Subscribe and download my Kid’s Faves list and get access to my language arts freebies!
After two years of creating, conspiring, and co-writing, my writing assistant (Zac Kieser) and I have finished our Twice-Told Tales–Classic Stories With Spin-Off Versions for Read Aloud or Read Alone Fun. Just in time for Christmas gift giving and second semester classroom use! So what exactly is a “Twice-Told Tale”? And what is a book containing twenty of them? Let’s start with the Classic Tale first…..
Christmas is a time of spreading good cheer. It is a time of giving gifts. It is a time that we remember the best gift ever given to the earth. And yet it quickly becomes a time of selfishness when it comes to get-togethers, “getting” Christmas Eve or Christmas day for your get together when your kids are grown, etc.
Maybe this was easier for me because when our kids were little, we decided that we would not have a Christmas day that was filled with running around to multiple grandparents, especially with divorced ones making another place to go. Thus, if we had an extended family get together on the 25th, our Christmas day was simply a different day. It was easy, and our children came to realize that if they did not wake up to open presents on the actual December 25th, that was fine. Christmas was just longer and even more fun!
One of the things that I love about our adult children having such close relationships is when they ask for group gifts (still!).
It is not uncommon for them to ask for things like these:
1. Restaurant gift cards to a place that they all want to go to together but that the college kids couldn’t afford without a gift card.
I have had a wonderful time this semester teaching my first official Live Online Class! We just wrapped up our first Research Report–and I thought I would share parts of those two class sessions with my readers. I hope it gives you some insights into how to teach the difficult task of research report writing! I am including the whole two-week lesson for free in a download AND two partial video classes (one live and one recorded since it is a holiday week). Work through this project with your upper level junior high students or high schoolers. I’ll think you’ll be amazed how simple report writing can be with my Overview Source Method and Color-Coded Research Method! And you will love their final product for sure!
Christmas with college and adult kids can easily turn into a fiasco if family members are not careful to put other people first. Selflessness is the key to family harmony at all ages—but especially with college and adult kids simply because when someone has a bad attitude or is selfish, parents really have no recourse with grown kids. (It’s not like you’re going to send a twenty-four year old to his room!)
My advice for this is not going to be the most helpful for families with grown kids THIS Christmas. But families with younger children really need to grasp the idea that whatever is happening in your home among siblings now is likely not going to magically go away when they are adults.
My husband loves to do clever things all the time—pranks on the kids, jokes, etc. He also likes to do special things for the kids—and let them know that he was thinking of them. (Not just that Mom thought of a special thing and had him “sign on” for it!) I love this about him, and it makes our kids feel so well-parented by BOTH parents.
By Zac Kieser & Donna Reish
Compound possessives! They are incredibly tricky! Zac does a great job teaching them in this week’s Punctuation Puzzle, but I am going to give you three “Tricky Tricks to Help It Stick” right up front about possessives (a little cheat sheet before the test!):
1) When two nouns possess the same thing, only the noun closest to the “possessed” object needs to show possession.
2) When a noun and pronoun both possess something, use a possessive pronoun and show possession to the noun (both).
But the most important tricky trick of all is one that is taught incorrectly in many sources and handbooks.
The placement of an apostrophe to show possession is based on whether the word ends in S or not—not whether the word is plural!
This fall we took a family vacation to Florida (all fourteen of us!), so we decided beforehand that due to finances and time to shop (we returned a few days before Thanksgiving), we would give our kids gift cards for Christmas rather than presents (except for our Christmas Eve Plastic Wrap Prize Ball and Grab Bags). As it turns out, my dad was very sick and in the hospital for two weeks, and I was completely tied up between him and working/writing/teaching that I didn’t have a chance to do any Christmas shopping until mid-December, so we were glad we had made that decision early on. (If you’ve read about our plastic wrap prizes and grab bags, you will know that those require some shopping and planning too!)
“A vonderful goot game!” from the Dutch Blitz web site
It’s that time of year…that time when we start looking for great stocking stuffers, gift exchange gifts; and games for our kids for Christmas AND that time when we start gathering around the table in the dark evenings and weekends rather than playing outdoors. We are a huge game family! Love, love, love playing table games. We suffered through (okay, now I don’t think it is suffering as I miss my kids’ little days so much—but at the time, it got long!) many, many games of Chutes and Ladders, Clue Junior, and Go Fish. But it was worth it all as we now have seven kids (and some kids-in-love) to gather around the game table for fun “big kids” games, like the ones I am reviewing below!