All right, everyone, we’re just under a month away from Election Day 2020! Does anyone else remember going to the polls with your parents as a kid? I have truly fond memories of Election Days as a child (and not just because we got the day off of school!). I learned so much through those days…
So, use this Election Day as a chance to teach your children about our election process. Remember to vote, and take your kids with you (or let them watch you fill out your ballot at home). While you’re at it, use this time to talk with your kids about America, our democracy, our various elected officials and their roles in our lives, and the issues important to you and those around you.
Below, I’ve shared a few of my favorite titles about our country and our democracy in action, and of course, our presidents and presidential elections. Check out the titles here, and try to get your hands on a few between now and November 3.
Continue reading “Our Favorite Books About Elections, Democracy, and America” →
It’s October, which means you’re already almost too late to try to grab Halloween books from your local library! Fortunately for you, I’ve got you covered with all sorts of Halloween reading. Below, you’ll find lists of our favorite Halloween-y (but not Halloween-specific) books, Halloween picture books, Halloween books for the youngest readers, and even Halloween chapter books for your older audiences. So take a look below, put some (or all…) of these titles on hold from your local library, and have a great time getting into the spirit of Halloween this month!
Continue reading “Our Favorite Halloween-y and Halloween Books” →
Have you been following along with us as we move through the year with a Family Focus Trait each month? We have been loving the intentionality and focus that it brings to conversations we’re having with the girls, and I have to say I may be more excited about October’s trait than I have been about any all year. And what makes this even better for us is that when we created our family’s school mantra for this school year, one of the girls named this trait! I was thrilled that it was on her mind before we had even focused on it, and even more thrilled by the timing, since I knew this was coming next. So…
In October, we’ll be reading picture books with upstanding role models, books with characters who stand up to and for others, facing down both friends and foes. Because being able to stand up for what’s right and respectfully but strongly tell others what’s right is absolutely a skill we want our children to carry with them through life.
Continue reading “Picture Books with Characters Who Stand Up to Others” →
Ah, fall… While I’d truly have a hard time naming my favorite season (for the record, it’s a toss-up between summer and fall…), I am always excited when fall rolls around. I love football and sweater season. I love the crunchy leaves under my feet. And I love the clear skies and breezy, cooler days.
While we still have weather in the 90s here and our leaves don’t really start to change until about Thanksgiving, I know many of you around the country are starting to pull out sweaters and sweatshirts, enjoying cooler mornings and evenings, and maybe even seeing some color on your trees. So, even though we don’t need to read books about changing seasons just yet in our house, I wanted to share some of our favorite fall books for those of you who may need them before we do. Read more to find our favorite fall picture books, some fall-ish books with fantastic social-emotional lessons, and board books for the littlest readers! Continue reading “Our Favorite Fall Books” →
We are fortunate to live close to many opportunities to pick fresh fruits, and we try to take advantage of that whenever we can — we love berry picking in early summer, we visit pumpkin farms in October, and we pick apples each September. And, of course, I love to create a good themed bookshelf to help the girls get excited about whatever we’re picking next. Even though we’ve been reading some of these for going on 7 years now, we still love pulling them out each fall — and we always have an amazing time picking apples!
Below, you’ll find both fiction and nonfiction titles, as well as books for a range of ages, so hopefully you’ll find a great book for your family’s or classroom’s needs! Continue reading “Our Favorite Books About Apples” →
Did you know that though the first Boston Marathon, the world’s oldest annual marathon, was run in 1897, women weren’t officially allowed to enter the race until 1972? And, did you know that the oldest person to complete a marathon was 108 years old??? We bought Girl Running: Bobbi Gibb and the Boston Marathon last winter, and it was one of the most requested read alouds in our house throughout the spring…
Because my husband and I both enjoy running (we’ve each done a handful of half marathons and marathon(s)), and because the girls were so interested in this story, I thought I’d gather a list of books to read to celebrate the Boston Marathon in April. And then COVID happened, so those books got pushed to the side. But, the 124th Boston Marathon is being run virtually this week, so I gathered three wonderful marathon books to read with the girls. Keep reading for quick blurbs and affiliate links to each.
Continue reading “Marvelous Marathon Picture Books” →
In less than a week, we will acknowledge the anniversary of the attacks on the United States on September 11, 2001. Last year was the first year that we intentionally talked with our daughters about the events of 9/11, guided mostly through three of the picture books listed below. Knowing how sensitive and scary this subject can be for kids, I searched long and hard for books that we could read with them to help them begin to understand, in an age-appropriate way, what happened to our country that day. Below, I’ve got four titles (I added one this year, thanks to our amazing school librarian) that I feel are excellent books about 9/11 to read with preschoolers and early elementary students. I’ve also got a few titles that I couldn’t easily get my hands on, so please check those out too, and comment below if you’ve read them and would recommend them (or not!).
Continue reading “Four Terrific Books for 9/11” →
It’s almost September, which for most of the Northern Hemisphere means we’re deep in back-to-school mode. For many of us, that also means we’re deep in the throes of reading with and talking to our children about what kind of person they want to be in school this year. So, when we mapped out our tentative plan of our Family Focus Character Traits for 2020, we knew that we wanted September to be about noticing and including others. In the beginning of a new school year, we hope that our girls can reach out to new students in their classes and make them feel welcome. But, throughout the year, we want them to notice the other students around them, to see which ones are sad, to observe who might be feeling left out, to note who needs an invitation to play.
In short, we want our girls to grow into inclusive members of a community, the kinds of friends and classmates that make others feel welcome, comfortable, and confident. We want them to be includers!
Continue reading “Picture Books that Model Including Others” →
Yesterday, I posted our favorite first day of school stories, a collection of books that will help children of all ages and experiences get ready for that first day of school. Up today is a list of our favorite school stories that help to set students up for a positive year.
These are stories of kindness and inclusion, stories that help children build empathy and understanding of self and others, stories of self-love and self-confidence. In short, these are stories children need. I love reading these year-around, but they’re perfect for helping children start their school years off on the right feet. They’re perfect to read at home or at school, independently or as a read aloud. And they’re timeless. So get them from your library or take the plunge and purchase them to own!
Continue reading “Our Favorite School Stories for Social-Emotional Growth” →
It’s back-to-school season! Whether you’ve got a preschooler preparing for his first school experience or a rising fifth grader who is seasoned and suave, whether your children are starting the school year in person, with distance learning, or attempting homeschooling, reading picture books about the first day of school can help children of any age transition to the next stage or grade. Below, I’ve got you covered for whatever grade your children are starting! You can find books perfect for first-time preschoolers, kindergarteners, bus riders, elementary students… I’ve even got a few books perfect for the siblings being left behind when their older brothers or sisters start school! Be sure to scroll all the way down for the list(s) that might be best for your family. Continue reading “Our Favorite First Day of School Books” →