Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Amy reviews Mom made Us Write This

Mom Made Us Write This in the Summer by Ali Maier

Genre:   Fiction
Content: Clean
Publisher:  Erie Island Media; 1st edition
Release date:  October 2013
Number of Pages: 208

Book Summary:
A sister and brother, forced to write in the summer, and share ONE journal? Ugh.

This is exactly what happens to 10-year-old twins Maggie and Max Pruitt. When Mom comes up with a plan for them to keep a summer journal, Maggie and Max can’t believe it. Worse yet, they have to share!

Through their writing, Maggie and Max find out they have very different (and hilarious) views about growing up, family and life - a conclusion they only discovered because, as Max and Maggie say, “Mom Made Us Write This.”
Mom Made Us Write This In The Summer is a journal-style book that inspires kids to read and write, and captures the essence of sibling relationships. Anyone with a brother or sister will identify with the fun and struggles that Max and Maggie experience this summer! From a trip to the zoo to the annual check-up at the docs – read all about the life adventures of Maggie & Max.

Mom Made Us Write This In The Summer is recommended for 2nd – 6th grade students.

Parents, kids, and teachers will love this book. Parents will welcome the emphasis on strong family relationships. Teachers will appreciate the classroom extension opportunities. Kids will enjoy the laughs, lessons and the “me too!” connection.

“Positive, creative and fun for classrooms and families!”
-Mrs. Jane Jagielo, 4th Grade Teacher

My opinion:

I had fun reading this book, I think kids would REALLY enjoy this one.  It is journal entries written by ten year old twins, they have fun sharing their opinions and teasing each other.  It is cute and clever the way it was done.  I did have a hard time believing that it could be written by ten year olds though.  I have a nine year old and an eleven year old and it just doesn't fit.  Their sense of humors are too mature, and their ability to express themselves with clear, coherent, and entertaining ideas is also too developed.  I really did enjoy it, and I think the idea of it is very fun.  My only complaint was that it didn't seem realistic.  But maybe that's why it would be best for kids! 
Rating: ****

 Mom Made Us Write This In The Summer is available for sale on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Ali Maier

Thursday, November 20, 2014

24 Magical Christmas Journal Prompts for Kids

Parents, be prepared for interaction. These prompts are designed to get your kids thinking about the true meaning of Christmas. They will need to understand the word symbol.
Adapt for younger children by breaking the drawing prompts into smaller pieces and spread them out.

Day 1--Draw a Christmas tree with a star on top, lights all around and presents underneath.

Day 2--Answer in your journal why we use evergreens for Christmas trees? Hint: it's symbolic. You might need to ask an adult.

Day 3--What does the Star at the top mean? What about all of the twinkling lights?

Day 4--Why do we give each other presents? List each member of your family and what you would like to give them this year.

Day 5--Red is known as the first color of Christmas. Why? Why is green the second color of Christmas?

Day 6--Write the lyrics of your favorite Christmas hymn or Primary song. Why is it special to you?

Day 7--Down the left hand margin of your paper draw Christmas bells, a candy cane, and a wreath.
To the side of each one write down what they symbolize.

Day 8--Draw a picture of Baby Jesus in a manger, with Mary and Joseph at His side.

Day 9--Write about your picture from day 8.

Day 10--Draw the biggest star you can fit on your paper.

Day 11--Who did the star guide?  What or who is your guiding star?

Day 12--Draw the stable with all of the animals.

Day 13--Write a story about what you imagine each animal gave Baby Jesus.

Day 14--Draw a picture of the Shepherds watching over their flocks being surprised by the Heavenly Host of Angels singing.

Day 15--Pretend you are one of the shepherd's children tending the flocks that night. Write about what it was like to hear the angels singing. What do you feel? What do you do next?

Day 16--Draw a picture of the 3 wise men seeing the star from far, far away.

Day 17--Pretend you are one of the Wise men. What would you do to prepare for such a long journey? Hint: it took them about two years to reach Baby Jesus.

Day 18--The Nephites who believed the signs of Jesus' birth would come were threatened with death. Would you be one of the believers? Why or why not?

Day 19--Draw a Nephite child seeing the star from Zarahemla. He or she is a believer.

Day 20--Imagine you are that Nephite child. Did it take great courage to believe? How did you feel when you saw sun set but it didn't get dark. What did you fell when you saw the star? How did the wicked Nephites feel when they saw the signs?

Day 21--The Wise men reach Bethlehem when Jesus was about two years old.They asked King Herod where Jesus might be.  Draw a picture of the wise men visiting Jesus and His family.

Day 22--What gifts did the Wise men bring? Write about what each gift symbolized.

Day 23--Draw a picture of Joseph, Mary, and Jesus escaping Bethlehem at night.

Day 24-- Herod ordered all of the babies two years old to be killed. Pretend you are Mary or Joseph. You have been warned to flee. What do you take? Are you frightened or calm?

Merry Christmas to all!

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Mary or Martha: Who are you more like?

Mary versus Martha

It's easy to categorize myself as either a Mary or a Martha. In reality, they both struggle inside me, like little imps on my shoulder enticing me one way or the other.

It's more like a tug-of-war. For the majority of the time, I'd have to say Martha has the upper hand. She's a list maker, very organized and sees to the needs of others. I think she was the oldest sister

who had to grow up fast with a lot of responsibilities.

Sometimes Mary takes charge. She reminds me that people are always more important, that I need to stop what I'm doing when a child wants to tell me something.

I know that Mary has won when I take a few moments to sit on my front porch and count how many different bird songs I hear, or breathe in the lavender and apple blossoms.

Martha is the one who keeps the house up and the clutter down. She remembers friends' birthdays and can manage making an extra dinner for a neighbor in need.

Mary is the one who makes time to be creative, the one who is truly grateful for what she has. She makes time to ponder, she's more positive by nature, and rarely complains.

Martha is a hard worker. She may be a little more negative at times, but if something really bothers her she will do whatever is necessary to change her situation.

Mary is content to sit and listen while Martha's contentment comes from accomplishing tasks.

Currently, Martha is trying to convince me that working full time hours would be more practical than writing. My work hours are worth a lot and so far I haven't earned anything from my writing. I've only incurred expenses and self-imposed deadlines.

Mary argues that life is short. She even pulled out a calculator to show me that it would take almost as many years to get completely out of debt as it would if I stayed part time.

I think Mary won this one. Or did she?