Category Archives: Parents and Kids

Great Summer Activities for the Whole Family

There are so many good resources for things to do with your kids – Here are a few I like and really use.

Parents Connect – A well-organized easy to navigate site (from nickelodeon) that shows activities and events (on-going and special) by area – even by neighborhoods. Great listings and ideas.

Daily Candy Kids – I like the regular newsletter (for me!) and the Kids newsletter has cute stuff (usually for kids 8 and under), things to make, eat, wear and do.

KIDOINFO – Parents Guide – Providence and beyond – This is a terrific resource for all things Rhode Island and truly beyond. There is a great camp guide, summer guide and 100 things to do with your kids in Rhode Island (and Connecticut and Massachusetts, too).

Boston.com has a great Things to do section as well and organizes it by neighborhood, too. Here is a sample of this weekend’s line-up:

Cirque Du Soleil – Ovo

The thought of paying to see insects eat, crawl, work, flutter, play, fight, and …
8/13/2010 Friday 4:00p
(repeats 5 times)
Featuring: Cirque du Soleil

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WBZ Free Friday Flicks

Wouldn’t it be cute to pack a picnic dinner of meatballs to eat before or during …
8/13/2010 Friday 6:30p

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Grimm
Grimm

Seven Boston-area playwrights, including Lydia R. Diamond and Gregory Maguire, adapt …
8/13/2010 Friday 8:00p
(repeats 2 times)

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Movies By Moonlight

Fridays at dusk. Time is only approximate according to dusk time. June 18: “Driving …
8/13/2010 Friday 8:00p

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Filed under family Activities, Feed your head, soul, self, Finds, local events, Parents and Kids

Summer Brain Drain…Summer Slide… (whatever you call it)…how to stop it

capability mom ten marksWe are just into the last month of summer – long, hot days at the beach or pool, still some summer camp and here in the NorthEast, we don’t start school until after Labor Day and, even if your children don’t agree, they are losing some math skills. How do I know this? Because I read about an on-line math tutoring program called Ten Marks the other day and it got me thinking…hush, it happens.

From an article in Boston.com: In a study released in June, the Center for Summer Learning at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore found that students typically lose one to two months of reading and math skills during summer break, and that teachers often spend up to six weeks reviewing topics already covered. Yikes.

Here is a link to a nicely formatted page that highlights the research from the National Association for Summer Learning (yes, there is such a thing).

So I have a math packet for one child (courtesy of her teacher) and she has been faithfully working at it but I do need to give a boost to my younger child in fractions. I contacted TenMarks and the company, a local (Newton) based organization let me try it (so I could write about it here) but even the demo (take a test drive) on the site is nice and a good representation of the program.

So here is what happened –

I got an email with sign-in information and telling me (the parent) about the weekly lessons. My children (who are both solid math students but not making up math problem sets for each other on long car rides – okay, or anywhere else) found the site easy to navigate and easy to work on the topics they wanted (er, I wanted them) to highlight.

Both logged on with a code scribbled on piece of paper (I, lazy summer mom, gave them the codes to get into the site and did not help, I mean, hover) and both were able to finish the worksheets with relative ease (meaning the problems were not out of their knowledge base but challenging).

Here is why I like it – If a problem is confusing, there are helpful hints and if the student is still stuck, there is a video that walks through the problem.  An interesting part of the program allows the student to go back over their work and get all the problems right – good reinforcement of the math concepts and nice (for the confidence) to get all 10 out of 10 problems correct.

As far as confidence and competency and math – it is obviously important for everyone but it has been shown that girls self-select out of math (even if they are good at it) in the upper elementary grades (source – here) and that 50% of all jobs are math-based – I don’t know where I got that statistic but here are some cool jobs that need math). Now I do not care if they don’t want to be math majors in college, but I do care if they limit their options in general.

TenMarks is running a special summer package now and click here to find out more about it and stop the brain drain, well, at least for the children. No promises for parents.

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Filed under Books and More, family Activities, Feed your head, soul, self, good to know, math games, Parents and Kids

Newton

Newton, MANewton ranked number 3 in top ten places to live in U.S. by CNN/Money.com – very exciting and accurate. The home prices are high but the schools and library are wonderful and the sense of community is very strong.

Here is the link and an excerpt from the article –

http://money.cnn.com/magazines/moneymag/bplive/2010/snapshots/PL2545560.html

3. Newton, MA

Population: 82,000

Unemployment: 6.0%

Pluses: Great schools, low crime, strong economy

Minuses: Pricey homes, bad traffic

Less than 45 minutes from downtown Boston via train, subway, or express bus, Newton is divided into 13 “villages” loaded with classic New England charm. Most have pedestrian-friendly shopping districts, parks, and playgrounds.

The town weathered the economic downturn fairly well, thanks to such stable local employers as Boston College and Newton-Wellesley Hospital. And Greater Boston, of course, offers a wealth of health care, education, and government jobs.

Residents rave about the top-ranked schools, and parents are excited for the new high school opening this fall. “It’s absolutely beautiful,” says Claudia Wu, 51, an attorney with three school-age kids who has lived in Newton for 20 years. It should be: The school cost $197 million, an amount that sparked plenty of local outrage.

After all, living in this community is expensive enough: a three-bedroom house runs nearly $600,000. If it weren’t for those hefty price tags, this town would be pretty close to perfect.

Ever wonder how they pick the places? Here is a link: http://money.cnn.com/magazines/moneymag/bplive/2010/faq/

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Filed under Feed your head, soul, self, Parents and Kids

Two great articles in The Boston Globe on how to live a healthier life

The first article that caught my eye was on the editorial page by Christof Westphal and is called A simple, hard lesson to long life. It  is well-written and so motivating that I stopped reading mid-column and joined my walking group this morning – before I had even had my cup of tea and I really, really like my cup of tea.

The second article was in my favorite section of  The Globe, the mini-magazine section called G. It has local events, theater, movies, exhibits and great articles and, of course, the comics. Basically the old Living section but re-imagined – often the front page has super creative graphics, too. It was in the section Be Well : Research on Diseases and Prevention and is titled Physical activity’s after-effects.

So get out there and walk, run, cycle – it is all good. Here is another good article (from MinnPost.com) as a shout out to my Walking Group.



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Filed under Creative outlets, family Activities, good to know, mom blogs