Let’s talk about Charleston

Smudge

The horrific events in Charleston, South Carolina. I struggle with what to say, what to do. But I can’t wait for clarity before saying something. My heart goes to those families. To the members of that church. To every person who lives in fear, unprotected. Without sanctuary. Not long ago my family watched the movie Selma together. My kids were […]

Advocating for your kid in school when you really want the teacher to like you

lockers

I’m no stranger to speaking up for my kids at school.

Both my kids have needed help handling the social and academic expectations of the classroom. At times, this has required me to reach out to their teachers for clarification (“Are you seeing in class what I’m seeing at home?”), or as translator (“When he gets anxious he blurts out answers.”). No problem.

Sometimes, however, I have to take on the role of advocate (“She needs to be able to eat a snack before lunch to help her concentrate.”) and challenger (“I’d like to talk to you about something that’s concerning me.”).

This is hard to do, because I wrestle with something I’ve craved ever since I was a kid: I want the teacher to like me.

Brain Chase Online Summer Learning Challenge: Update + Giveaway

Brain Chase Adventure Tools

This post is sponsored by Brain Chase. If you read my Brain Chase review, you already know I’m 100% on board with this online summer learning program. Which is saying something, because I’m an educational game skeptic and a supporter of unstructured summer learning. Today, I want to share two things: new additions to Brain Chase […]

My five favorite hacks for Easter

Dye Easter eggs in a muffin tin. #parenthacks #Easter

While I’m away on Spring Break with my family, I thought I’d leave you with something fun for the leadup to Easter: my five favorite Easter hacks. I gave these archive gems a little 2015 makeover. 1. Dye Easter eggs in a muffin tin Leah’s Easter egg-dyeing hack continues to be one of the most popular tips on Parent […]

An online learning challenge that reveals real buried treasure…and a $10K scholarship [Discount Code]

2014 Brain Chase Winner

This post is sponsored by Brain Chase, a summer learning challenge like nothing I’ve ever seen before. Read on for details, plus a special discount code for Parent Hacks readers. I’ve long held that “summer brain drain” is an academic problem, not a learning problem. Summer learning — open-ended, active, exploratory — is harder to measure but just as valuable as classroom learning. […]

Chores for Older Kids: Hold Them Accountable

Chores = move-out skills #parenthacks #kids #parenting #chores

We’ve had a breakthrough with my kids’ chores. Not because we discovered a magical new chore system for older kids — but because we finally held our kids accountable to the chore system we’re already using. Chores for Older Kids: Expect More As They Get Older When my kids were little, the daily chore list was simple: hang […]

5 easy craft ideas for kids who can’t bear to throw away their valentines

DIY-valentine-treasure-trunk

What to do with all of those classroom valentines? If your kid’s sentimental, tossing them may be tricky. Some kids are born “savers.” They resist decluttering because they’re attached to the feelings or memories associated with the item in question. My daughter is a saver…she doesn’t even like it when I weed through her outgrown clothes. But […]