Choosing Educational Apps

Whenever my kids ask to play an app on the iPad, I feel my muscles twitch in an uncontrolled spasm of cringing.  That’s because my kids spend a lot more time playing apps than I’d like to admit, and even though I try to direct them away from brain bubblegum games like “Disney Princess Story…

The Meaning of Play

  I hate to admit this, but when my kids ask me to play with them, it…is…the…WORST. I love them dearly, but I’ll be darned if it’s not the most boring thing in the world to play with them sometimes. But watching Stuart Brown’s TED Talk “Play is more than just fun,” opened my eyes…

Teaching Respectful Disagreement

  Debating with people today feels an awful lot like this classic sketch from Monty Python. We’re looking for an argument, but instead, we find abuse. Our society is filled with disagreements. In America political partisanship has increased sharply over the past several decades, and uncivil debate has risen right along with it. We could…

Making Learning to Read Fun

I always imagined teaching my daughter to read would be a magical experience, filled with amazing discoveries and triumphs for us both. Nope. There are some amazing days of course when she’s on fire to learn new words, and proud of the milestones and progress she’s making. But there are a lot of days where…

How to Talk to Children About Trust

Whenever I see bumper stickers, or especially the stick figure families on the back of people’s cars, I always think to myself, “How can they reveal so much personal information!” I realize I’m in the minority. With the rise of social media, people feel more and more comfortable sharing increasingly intimate personal details with casual…