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Homemade Butterbeer

Reading Rewards Let's talk reading rewards for a minute. I believe the greatest reward for reading is in the story itself. That's why it's so important to find books with which our children identify!  The second best reward is one that reinforces reading. Offering an experience related to a book is a spectacular way to reinforce reading! Maybe it's making corn husk dolls after reading Little House on the Prairie. Maybe it's visiting a farm after reading Charlotte's Web. Maybe it's making homemade Butterbeer after reading Harry Potter.  This summer, we wanted our 11-year old son, who is a very reluctant reader, to venture into the Harry Potter series. (True confession: I've actually never read the series. I'm not much...

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Celebrating America's Birthday!

Happy 4th of July! I love Independence Day. I love my freedoms. I love holiday traditions. I love festive food. I love summer nights. What could be better than the 4th of July? Here are some of my favorite books that celebrate our country. Two of them are specific to the 4th of July, but the others are patriotic "anytime" books.   Blue Sky, White Stars This gorgeous book, BLUE SKY WHITE STARS, is a perfect celebration of American ideals. The text is simple, but oh-so-mindful and pairs perfectly with the pictures. For example: "Sew together, won nation" (with a picture of a woman sewing an early flag) is shown alongside "So together, one nation" (with a picture showing a beautiful melting...

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Library Book List: All Things Green

15 Gorgeous Green Books June is coming! After spending most of spring at home, indoors, I think it's time we celebrate the beauty of our earth. I've put together this list of green books that I think you'll really enjoy. There's a healthy mix of creative storytelling, nonfiction fun, and some straight-up silliness. These picture books will appeal to a wide range of ages, from 3-10. (And don't be surprised if older kids listen in, too.) I chose a few new titles and lots of older picks, in hopes that you won't have to endure long hold lines. As always, I've chosen books that have engaging text and stunning illustrations that captivate readers. I hope your library is offering curbside...

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Mother's Day 2020

Mother's Day is just one week away! I don't have any interest in expensive gifts or luxury items. All I want a letter or picture from each of my children and I want to be off-duty for meals and dishes, so that I can spend that time enjoying time with my kids. I created this fun questionnaire for each of my children--and yours!--to fill out. And, just for fun, I filled one out about my own mother. She's amazing! Everything she touches turns to gold and I feel so blessed to have her love and teach me. My Mom is Wonderful! Download or print blank PDF here. Print as many as you need. If you'd like to share, please link to...

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Drop Everything and Read

How to recapture the JOY of reading when the drudgery of schoolwork snatches it I’m grateful for the incredible feats performed by our school staff in the last month. They’ve successfully implemented a totally new teaching medium. They have been incredibly organized, communicative, and responsive. They are teaching all the same material, with the added challenge of having to come up with YouTube videos, schedule one-on-one video chats, and create means of administering work digitally. But… It has not been an easy transition at home. I feel like my kids hit a brick wall yesterday with online schooling. They’re not used to being on screens so much. They can’t ask questions easily. They don’t feel the same accountability. They’re overwhelmed by...

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