Speaking with compassion: Sticks and stones can break your bones – and words can really hurt, too

I think it’s safe to say that we’ve all heard the phrase, “sticks and stones will break your bones, but word will never hurt you,” at some point as a kid. I know I’ve heard it many times. And, I’ve caught myself echoing that same sentiment to my young sons. But, you know what? It’s... Read more »

Chicago artist Jim Bachor turns street potholes into works of mosaic art

We’re in the middle of winter here in Chicago, and with the snow, cold and slush comes the inevitable potholes. Yes, everyone who survived last year’s polar vortex knows that once the snow, cold and slush are gone, we’re left with potholes. And, lots of them. In fact, last year, at the end of January,... Read more »

“Mom, when are you going to stop embarrassing me in front of my friends?” An important parenting lesson I learned from my 6-year-old son

When I make a parenting mistake, I want to own up to it so my sons see that I make mistakes, too. And, boy, did I make one the other day. You see, I unknowingly brought up a very touchy subject for my six-year-old son. Yes, I’m talking about the number of teeth you’ve lost... Read more »
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Chinese New Year: 6 ways to wish friends and family good luck for the New Year

I’ll never forget one of the best things that happened to my son when he was in kindergarten. He came home with a small red envelope (hóngbāo) decorated with gold lettering and filled with two dollar bills. As he excitedly told me, one of his friend’s moms came into his classroom that day to talk about the... Read more »

5 ways to celebrate Black History Month with your family

February is Black History Month. Throughout the month, we celebrate the achievements of African Americans and the important role they’ve played in shaping American history, arts, culture, science and more. For me, the 28 days of February are an ideal time to build a foundation of learning that will help kids recognize and celebrate the achievements of African Americans (and all Americans) throughout... Read more »

The legend of the Golem of Prague – and its appearance in children's and modern literature

I love when my six-year-old gets to go to the library at his school – simply because I never know what books he’ll check out that day. I always excitedly open his backpack to see what French and/or English books are tucked away inside of it. And, I’m never disappointed. A few months ago, he brought home... Read more »
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6 lessons kids can learn from the High School Musical movies

I have two boys, ages 9 and 6. One look at the posters on their bedroom walls and you can tell they’re huge soccer fans. Manchester United fans to be exact. But, they’re not just sports fans. My boys are budding travel enthusiasts and secretly wish Hagrid would show up on their doorstep and whisk... Read more »

TGIF: The origins of the phrase and its use in countries around the world

The other day was one of those days when it was nearly impossible to get my two young sons out of bed and off to school. Before we walked out the door that morning, I said to my sons, “TGIF.” They replied to my quick comment with two tired, utterly blank stares. And, then it... Read more »

How do you define “world citizen”?

How do you define “world citizen”?
These days, to me, it seems like the world keeps getting smaller, and the impact we, as individuals, can have on it, keeps getting bigger. The inspiring words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. are regularly shared in countless memes via social media, with a big spike in shares happening on Martin Luther King Day. The amazing... Read more »
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5 ways to channel a child’s vivid imagination into creative pursuits

My husband and I have been struggling with an ongoing parenting challenge. We want our sons to dream big, but we also want to find ways to channel their creativity into pursuits that allow them to better themselves and potentially the world – as students, people and world citizens. You see, our sons, like most... Read more »