The “Ordinary Mary” Series by Emily Pearson

The “Ordinary Mary” Series by Emily Pearson

Do you know the “Ordinary Mary” series by Emily Pearson, illustrated by Fumi Kosaka? I first discovered the original, Ordinary Mary’s Extraordinary Deeda few years ago, when searching for books similar to one of my favorites, Because Amelia Smiled. I was thrilled when a friend reached out last fall to make sure I knew about the second in the series, Ordinary Mary’s Postively Extraordinary Day. These books celebrate the good in all of us, and the power that our choices have to changes other’s days, too, not just our own. Read on for more information about each! Continue reading “The “Ordinary Mary” Series by Emily Pearson”

February Family Focus: Compassion and Empathy

February Family Focus: Compassion and Empathy

As you might remember, my husband and I decided to focus family conversations, meetings, read alouds, and more on 12 character traits in 2020, one for each month.

As a way to connect my Children’s Lit Love work to our family’s goals, I’m publishing booklists at the beginning of each month, centered around the character trait theme for that month. Most of my posts throughout that month, then, will be specific book recommendations, conversations we’re having, or activities that we’re doing around that specific trait. You can see my February booklist of 50+ books to foster compassion and empathy here.

Our family focus traits of the month for February are compassion and empathy. This means that last Friday night, we had an official “wrap-up” of our formal growth mindset conversations and work (though, of course, we will continue this throughout the year… Like we did just this morning, listening to the Big Life Kids podcast on the way to school!). After chatting about progress towards our learning goals for 2020 and the victories and obstacles we felt as we changed our self-talk last month, we officially launched into compassion and empathy month! Read on to see what this looked like in our house. Continue reading “February Family Focus: Compassion and Empathy”

I am Love: A Book of Compassion by Susan Verde + An Instagram Giveaway!

I am Love: A Book of Compassion by Susan Verde + An Instagram Giveaway!

Do you know Verde’s and Reynolds’s “I Am…” series? If not, you should! The whole series, aimed at children of all ages (but maybe best for ages 4+) is meant to help children understand the world around them, and how they can be a positive light in the world. Following I am Yoga, I am Peaceand I am Human, this fourth installment in the series, I am Love: A Book of Compassion, is my favorite. A perfect story for both Valentine’s month as well as our family focus of empathy and compassion, read on to see why we love it so much, as well as how you can enter to win your own copy! Continue reading “I am Love: A Book of Compassion by Susan Verde + An Instagram Giveaway!”

50+ Books to Help Build Compassion and Empathy

50+ Books to Help Build Compassion and Empathy

Drum roll please… Our family character trait(s) for February are… compassion and empathy! (You can read more about our 12 character traits for 2020 here and here.) With Valentine’s Day in February, we wanted to focus our month on love and kindness, but in terms of having family conversations about our behaviors, those are both very broad, general terms. The more we thought about how we wanted to help our girls grow, we realized we wanted to help them SEE others more. To see other people and notice how they might be feeling. To put themselves in others’ shoes and act on what they observe. So, while we also obviously hope our children are kind in every way and show love to important people in their lives, we really want them to start to notice. To pay attention to others. To stop and help if it seems that they can, or to make amends for their own choices if they need to do so…

In other words, to approach the world around them with compassion and empathy!

As Jamie C. Martin wrote in Give Your Child the World: Raising Globally Minded Kids One Book at at Time, “Books help your family grasp on a new level that what we have in common with our worldwide neighbors far outweighs what separates us… It naturally develops compassion… because we all have similar needs, hopes, and desires. Great stories build an empathic foundation that leads to a life of service and concern for others” (p. 26). To that end, we love to use children’s literature to help our children develop fully as people. So, of course, we’ll be reading a lot of books showcasing compassion and empathy in February! Below, I’ve got 50+ amazing books for you to read with your children. Check it out, read along with us, and let me know if I’ve missed any amazing stories that our girls need to know and love!

Continue reading “50+ Books to Help Build Compassion and Empathy”

Three Things to Remind Children Before School, Classes, Lessons, Practices, and Games to Focus Their Minds on Process, Learning, and Growth

Three Things to Remind Children Before School, Classes, Lessons, Practices, and Games  to Focus Their Minds on  Process, Learning, and Growth

Today’s post comes to you from my husband! While I am the one with two degrees in children and ten years of classroom experience, he is by far the more natural parent when it comes to many things… Especially fostering growth mindset. Read on to learn about the routine he created to set our children up for learning and perseverance when they go to classes, school, lessons, etc.

Continue reading “Three Things to Remind Children Before School, Classes, Lessons, Practices, and Games to Focus Their Minds on Process, Learning, and Growth”

The “What Do You Do With…” Series by Kobi Yamada AND an Instagram Giveaway

The “What Do You Do With…” Series by Kobi Yamada AND an Instagram Giveaway

Do you know the “What Do You Do With…?” series from Kobi Yamada and Mae Besom? Two members of this fantastic trilogy made their way onto our growth mindset booklist, and for very good reason. They’re beautifully illustrated, fantastically told, and tangibly inspiring to both children and adults alike! Continue reading “The “What Do You Do With…” Series by Kobi Yamada AND an Instagram Giveaway”

Hana Hashimoto, Sixth Violin by Chieri Uegaki

Hana Hashimoto, Sixth Violin by Chieri Uegaki

Have you ever watched someone perform and been inspired to learn a new skill yourselves? Perhaps it was watching an Olympic gymnast fly through the air, or following a pastry chef on the Great British Baking Show to create a masterpiece cake, or viewing Monet’s masterpieces in an art museum? Or maybe your inspiration came closer to home… In the form of a neighbor who learned to ride her bike without training wheels, a teacher who demonstrated a love of reading, or a grandparent who knit scarves?

In Hana Hashimoto, Sixth Violin, by Chieri Uegaki and Qin Leng, Hana’s inspiration came from her grandfather, Ojiichan, who played Second Violin in a symphony orchestra in Kyoto. Continue reading “Hana Hashimoto, Sixth Violin by Chieri Uegaki”