August 23, 2014

The best summer school

summer lessons

By Julie Samrick As we sat around the campfire last weekend I pulled out an old Girl Scout goody for the 11 kids in our party. My Aunt Tilly, she died last night, she died last night, did she die?   At first the kids didn’t know what I meant, or why sometimes the answer… Read more

How To Train Your Dragon 2 is much more than its title

how_to_train_your_dragon_2_movie-wide

Overall Kid Focused grade: A- Rated PG Running time: 1 hour, 45 minutes   By Julie Samrick   Since dragons were banned, then accepted, in the first How to Train Your Dragon movie, dragon racing has become the Vikings’ favorite pastime in its sequel, How To Train Your Dragon 2.   The son of Chief… Read more

‘Maleficent’ tells her side of the story

Malificent

By Julie Samrick Maleficent is a well-intentioned fairy, a protector of her kingdom in the moors until her heart is hardened when she’s betrayed by the human world. She seeks revenge, taking her fury out on an innocent baby, Princess Aurora, thereby setting up the Sleeping Beauty story we know so well.   Like the… Read more

Middle school phone wars

cellphone kids crossing street

By Julie Samrick The verdict is still out whether or not the MTV effect will work on my sixth grader. When I was his age my mom delayed letting me watch MTV long enough that by the time I had the freedom to watch it, I’d never developed the habit and lost interest. My son… Read more

7 dangerous apps parents need to know about

dangerous apps

Yik Yak – This app is one of the newest and one of the most dangerous. It allows users to post text-only Yaks of up to 200 characters. The messages can be viewed by the 500 Yakkers who are closest to the person who wrote the Yak, as determined by GPS tracking. Users are exposed to…Read more

How to create a stronger math student before your child ever starts school

early math skills

By Julie Samrick I’ve shared how the years before kindergarten are optimal for playing games to create brighter students later on. And by specifically embracing numbers at an early age don’t be surprised when you’ve created a stronger math student too.    Sometimes when we wait to introduce concepts to kids, it takes them longer… 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

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

“Frozen” movie review

Frozen

Meet the latest Disney princesses: sisters Anna and Elsa of the Nordic-inspired kingdom of Arrendale.  When it’s discovered Princess Elsa (Idina Menzel) has the powers to freeze everything she touches, her parents, the King and Queen, hide her away much like Princess Aurora in Sleeping Beauty was sequestered for her own safety. Yet when Princess… Read more

18 ways to help kids find their passion

kids find their passion

There has been much talk about helping kids find their passion so that they can live a full life, but how do you help your kids find that spark?  As a parent you can open the door to experiences and opportunities.  You can encourage your kids to try different things and to always be curious… Read more