Gameschooling and Sibling Cooperation

U-Build Monopoly, Snap Circuits, Playmobil and Magnetic Tiles have been taking over the floor of the living room. In all of these, the kids are involved in creative problem solving, negotiation, cooperation, and navigating social situations.
I’m constantly amazed at how much the kids learn and stretch themselves in the context of play.
To read more about how we play and what we prioritize, check out my post over at My Little Poppies.

Time to Grow

Lately, my kids have really been enjoying intricate coloring patterns with a nice set of colored pencils (thanks, Grandma!).
As they’ve been contentedly creating, I started thinking back to all my concerns about J, who is now 8, because he wasn’t meeting the coloring milestones when he was younger the way I thought he should.

Nice Books for Nice Kids

We reach the “early chapter book” stage, and all of a sudden, we go from nice, friendly, stories about families supporting each other and getting along to this focus on everything annoying, mean-spirited, selfish, and disrespectful.
Here’s a list of good, quality, enjoyable literature in that upper elementary level (grades 2-4, primarily) that does NOT celebrate mean, catty girls or rude, potty-humored boys… but are still fun to read.

Gifted Kids and the Rejection of External Motivation

Every once in a while, though, a student came along who was so disenchanted by the educational system, so convinced that it was irrelevant, that he did everything possible to declare his independence.
By the time they got to me, at age 15, it was almost too late.
What can we do in the early years to help kids stay engaged and motivated so they don’t reject the system and end up failing out of school?