Friday, May 18, 2012

Gentle Shakespeare for Us

I used to pick up picture books of Shakespeare's stories from time to time at the library, put them in the library basket for perusing, offer to read them together, but they never really "took." Finally, Sela said to me, "I'm just not that interested in Shakespeare."

Oh, maybe I can help with that! Nope. These themes are generally not interesting to her -- "too much killing and dying." Well, I have just one word for myself on this: "Duh." Know your audience, right?

Now as it happens, her ballet company is performing A Midsummer Night's Dream. This is a Shakespeare story that works! No killing, no dying - silliness, fairies & cute bugs who dance. Just the right combination of elements.  And, again, know your audience!  There's more than one way to get to know Shakespeare.

In addition to the ballet, we love these versions:
:: Shakespeare for Children by Jim Weiss (audio)
:: A Midsummer Night's Dream for Kids (Shakespeare Can Be Fun) by Lois Burdett
:: A Midsummer Night's Dream by Bruce Coville

And now that I know what can be appealing, I'll be on the lookout for other good fits.  Some more of his comedies?  And maybe these?
:: Shakespeare for Kids: His Life and Times, 21 Activities (For Kids series) by
         Aagesen & Blumberg
:: William Shakespeare and the Globe by Aliki
:: Simply Shakespeare: Readers Theatre for Young People by Kroll

(Another mild introduction to Shakespeare is Osborne's Stage Fright on a Summer's Night from The Magic Tree House series.  Sela loved these.)

I'd love recommendations - leave a comment and share your gems!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

To Mamas...

This is the sentiment expressed to me this morning - and I am extending this heartfelt message to each of you, my Mama friends. Thank you for the connection and joy you each give to me.  The experience of motherhood is rich and full (and sometimes difficult) -  made more rich and more full (and much, much less difficult) because I can share it with incredible mothers who inspire me every day.

My sincere wish for you today is connection and joy and at least a moment to "just be" with those who make you happiest in the world.

I was so lucky this morning to also get a tray of croissants (I shared), a cup of coffee, and the Sunset Western Garden Book.  Oh, when it's good, it's very, very good, isn't it??

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Make Your Fun (& Dinner, Too)

While I had my afternoon cuppa, we watched a DVD about musical instruments.  Ready to wiggle (them) and make dinner (me) - we put the instruments front and center.  They had a blast while I attended to all-things-kitchen.
 Music-making led to ice skating and fancy shoes -- instruments in their own right.  A good reminder about what we each need in order to go into this part of our day fortified.  We do a lot in a day.  It feels so good when we can wrap it up with some ease.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Here Comes Science Sampler: Put It to the Test

Today's Song:  Put It to the Test
It's the Scientific Method!
It's Science Fair time.

are you sure that thing is true? or did someone just tell it to you?  
come up with a test
yeah, think of a test

Great books to make learning about & practicing the scientific method easy & fun:
Make it Work! Science Fair by World Book
Guide to More of the Best Science Fair Projects by VanCleave
Science Fair Success Secrets by Haduch
And these are just the ones I found at the most recent book sale for a dollar!  The library shelves are loaded.

if you want to know if it's the truth, then, my friend, you are going to need proof
come up with a test
yeah, you need a test

My advice: Don't wait for an Official science fair - just do it!  You can do them at breakfast, or set up experiments to explore more ideas.  They don't have to be hard.  Sela said to me, shocked and in disbelief, when I told her that some people think science fairs are a lot of work, "What?!  Science fairs are AWESOME!"  That's my girl.

More unsolicited advice: Organize a small science fair for a group of friends.

don't believe it 'cause they say it's so.  if it's not true, you have a right to know! 
put it to the test!

We all use the scientific method all the time & don't even realize it.
  • What's my question?
  • How can I test it?
  • What do I think will happen?
  • Test it out.
  • What happened?
  • What does it mean?
What will you test out next?