Children and Books


Last week as I was visiting a preschool, I overhead a conversation related to books at the lunch table. “How old do you have to be to go to the library?” asked Ami.

Another child answered, “I’m 3 and I’ve been there before. You have to be three.” The discussion continued for a couple of minutes with the children deciding that “You have to be three years old to go to the library.”

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Benefits of Books

Very Hungery Caterpillar James

Books are some of the most wonderful gifts you can give to kids. We all know this, but what exactly makes books so valuable? There are numerous answers to this question. Books are wonderful because: They build vocabulary as children learn about the world. Kids are exposed to colors, shapes, animals, places, people, feelings, events,…

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Saying No Can Be Positive!


We have all been party to a child begging for a special treat or favor that we know we should say noto but the beggingbecomes so LOUDand insistent, often with others watching our every move, that we think, “Wouldn’t it be quicker and easier to say ‘yes’ just this once? Please let this moment end and…

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Lions and Tiger Moms and Bears, Oh My!


I recently finished reading Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother (2011) by Amy Chua. This is a controversial book you may have heard about since it received a lot of attention in the media since its publication for its exceptionally strict parenting style, by Western methods. If you are not familiar with Tiger Mother, Chua…

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Should We Allow Our Kids to Go Free-Range?


I was recently in Kauai on a relaxing vacation with my husband. We spent as much time as possible snorkeling at the beaches, exploring the small towns, hiking and boating around the “Garden Isle,” most familiar to mainlanders from the movies “Pirates of the Caribbean,” “Raiders of the Lost Ark,” and “Jurassic Park” . The…

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Myth: Kids will be kids. Boys will be boys. (Can There Really Be a World Without War? Part 6)


This has been a lengthy but important series on whether it is possible to believe and thus attain a world where peace is commonplace and war is no longer an acceptable option. Lengthy because issues are complex and cannot be simplified to a simple soundbite, important because as adults, we make decisions that will determine…

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Myth: War Makes Us Safe (Can There Really Be a World Without War? Part 1)


Just as there are misconceptions about war, there are related misconceptions about children’s misbehaviors. I will take the next six blogs to discuss not only three of the most commonly heard but erroneous arguments for engaging in warfare, but will also compare them to the faulty rationalizations we give for children’s misbehaviors. Today my goal is…

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Homeless in Seattle: Part 2


The following events occurred 12/13/11 in my Trailblazer Classroom, which contained eighteen 3-5 year olds.  Some names have not been included and some images have been altered per parent request.) This morning was an important and special morning for the Trailblazers. We were having Isaiah John, a homeless newspaper vendor, come to visit our classroom…

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Homeless in Seattle: Part 1

(The following events occurred 9/22/11 in my Trailblazer Classroom, which contained eighteen 3-5 year olds at the time. Each classroom at my school had its own name; ours just happened to be called “The Trailblazers &Explorers,” or “Trailblazers” for short.) My friend and colleague, Patty Hatfield, would occasionally surprise me with different materials she’d come…

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