June 23, 2017

On Book Leave

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By Julie Samrick I wanted to let you know I’ll be taking a short leave from writing articles for Kid Focused while I work on a clean, kid friendly, novel. I’ve always wanted to tackle a book and have finally found my inspiration. I may still post for Kid Focused but wanted you to know… Read more

Home at Last: Family dog found after 20 months in the wild

Dog found after 20 months in the wild

By Julie Samrick   On Oct. 6, 2012, the Braun family’s golden retriever Murphy, startled by a gun shot, bolted into the Tahoe National Forest near an off-trail campsite at Hell Hole reservoir.   Over the next two days they scoured the area for Murphy but that Sunday evening they went home to El Dorado Hills in the… Read more

How to Teach Kids the Importance of Memorial Day

memorial day

By Julie Samrick For many people Memorial Day  conjures images of 3-day weekends, discounts at the mall, and when we can officially wear white shoes without looking tacky.  But it’s important we pause to reflect and teach our kids why we have a Memorial Day but once a year, a day of serious reflection and… Read more

Rio 2 is a colorful sequel with one flaw

Rio 2

Julie Samrick At the start of Rio 2 domesticated blue macaw Blu, his wife Jewel and three kids leave their computers, iPods and busy city life in Rio de Janeiro to get back to basics and research their heritage in the Amazon rainforest. Thinking they’re the only blue macaws left in the world, they find… Read more

Mr. Peabody & Sherman offer adventure and heart

Mr. Peabody & Sherman

Julie Samrick  To look around the movie theater, parents had the biggest smiles on their faces during Mr. Peabody & Sherman, the new animated Dreamworks film that’s a nod to the past while still offering a clever, fresh plot.   Mr. Peabody and Sherman is based on the adventures of the1960s characters of the same… Read more

Play games to help young children succeed in school

play games

By Julie Samrick When my oldest child turned one a friend gave him alphabet magnets for his birthday.  We placed them on the refrigerator and he’d reach for them, so we moved them lower, showing him first how magnets work. Soon they ended up on the kitchen floor and seeing the 26 letters brought the… Read more

Common Core: a step in the right direction

Common Core

By Julie Samrick  My sixth grader’s middle school spent at least a month communicating the message the leap to middle school means the children put forth more effort, without the meddling of well-intentioned parents. If they forget their lunch, for instance, let them figure it out and they most likely won’t forget it again. We… Read more

20 best to worst kids’ movies of 2013

best to worst kids' movies

By Julie Samrick If you’re thinking of renting a family DVD in the New Year, check out this list of best to worst choices to watch with your kids.   Frozen is the best movie of 2013 because every age will enjoy it equally. The cinematography is breathtaking and the full musical soundtrack is on par with… Read more

Catching Fire movie review- not as violent as original

Catching Fire

By Julie Samrick Every once in a while a movie sequel is better than the original. This is the case for Catching Fire, the second installment of the Hunger Games trilogy based on the books by Suzanne Collins.   The heroine of the story, Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) struggles to readjust to normal life after… Read more

Candy more precious than gold

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By Julie Samrick Several orthodontists in our town offer a candy buy back the day after Halloween. Our orthodontist says he does it because so many kids break their appliances with sticky, chewy candy. Most parents I know would like to see it gone for a plethora of other reasons, our own waistlines included, but… Read more