Need a Unique, budget-friendly gift? Think Journals

The summer I turned eight, my family camped our way across the United States from Baltimore, Maryland, to Monmouth, Oregon. Just before we left, my mom gave me a small, spiral-bound notebook for memorializing our trip. That little notebook (that cute little notebook to the left over there) launched a lifelong love of writing. From the mundane to the sublime its all there in my nearly 20 year collection of little diaries with keys, fancy journals (including Papyrus journal that was a wedding present from Bill), and college-ruled spiral notebooks! They’re not worthy of a memoir, for sure, but they remember moments long ago forgotten, and in the times that I spent writing, they were comfort and refuge, joy and … Read more

Thanksgiving with a Literacy Side

Yeah! The kids are home. The schedule is “between seasons,” so the kids need something to do. Why not let them help you get ready for Thanksgiving? You may not be ready to hand over an apron, but there are other ways they can help. Here are some ideas that will keep them busy and use materials that you already have around the house. Who knows, they might even become new Thanksgiving traditions. Thanksgiving Place Cards We started using place cards when my daughter was learning to read. One year we wrote out the names for her on a piece of paper, and she wrote them on her foam-cutout leaves. Another year we lined them all up and would read … Read more

Back-to-school Time: Make it a Family Adventure

Ready or not, it is back-to-school time for students of all ages.  Gone (or almost gone) are the unscheduled days and late nights.  In come the more structured days and homework routine. Some of us love the rituals that come with school … some of us don’t. While back-to school may not be your favorite thing, there is no reason it has to be drudgery either. Here are a couple of ideas that can make the process more enjoyable for everyone . Back-to-School Adventure Idea 1: Revive the bedtime story time For lots of reasons – later bedtimes, daily reading requirements to name two – we abandoned our evening read aloud this summer. We did read together a few times, … Read more