Lollaland Blog tagged "kids" - lollaland

This year, Lollaland has partnered with Raising a Reader to promote the development, practice, and maintenance of home literacy routines. At Lollaland, we are all about routines as well, and we do our best to encourage routines around family mealtime. Lollaland is excited to be donating 15% of our profits from any of our mealtime pieces to Raising a Reader, so please consider bringing our microwaveable, US-made plates, bowls, and dipping cups into your home and supporting children's literacy!


As millions of children across the U.S. end their summer vacations and head back to school, parents are getting ready to ease their kids back into the school-year routine of homework, extracurricular activities and going to bed at a reasonable hour. Raising A Reader, a national nonprofit organization that provides resources and guidance for families to implement home-based literacy routines, suggests as part of that routine, parents work in regular time to share books with their children above-and-beyond their required schoolwork.

Research shows that the time caring adults spend sharing books with children has a direct relationship on their academic success. Whether building background knowledge and vocabulary, comprehension skills, social and communication skills or reinforcing the idea that reading is not just something associated with school, home book-sharing routines are essential to childrens’ success.

“During the school year, many families become so consumed with schoolwork that the habit of sharing books for pleasure seems like an unnecessary distraction,” said Gabrielle Miller, Ed.D., president and CEO of Raising A Reader. “Parents need to remember it is more important than ever to find a few minutes each day to keep the reading habit alive. Aside from the innumerable cognitive, academic and social benefits, children begin to understand that reading for pleasure actually helps improve their success in school and in life.

Here are some tips for parents to make reading a larger part of the school year:

  • Talk with your child about his or her interests, watch what he/she is drawn to and help find books about those subjects. If your child in interested in horses, for example, find fiction books that tell exciting stories about horses and nonfiction books that will provide interesting facts and information your child might enjoy. Just because a child does not like to read fiction does not mean he/she isn’t a reader.
  • Look for opportunities to connect reading with what your child is learning in school. Help them make connections they might not otherwise see. Stories about sharing, caring and giving relate to the math he/she may be learning or folk stories from other countries can help deepen understanding of geography. Doing this will not only encourage a continued interest in books but also can inspire your child to take more of an interest in subjects he or she is studying.
  • Make sure to allow your child to still have free time to do whatever they want to do. It’s important reading not be viewed as more homework or punishment.
  • Ask your child’s teachers about books they recommend and develop a suggested reading list for the school year. Oftentimes teachers can suggest books their students have enjoyed in the past and these recommendations can mean the difference between your child embracing reading or viewing it as a chore. Find out wat books other kids have enjoyed.
  • Challenge yourself to find opportunities to share books with children that don’t make hectic schedules even worse. Traveling on public transportation offers a great opportunity. Reading while cooking dinner (recipe books are great) or a few minutes at the end of a meal before everyone runs off. Set the DVR to tape family TV shows and spend some time together sharing a book instead.

Raising A Reader is a 501c3 charitable organization dedicated to helping families develop, practice and maintain literacy habits for children ages 0-8 that are critical for a child’s success in school and in life. The program is evidence-based, with more than 32 independent evaluations showing that Raising A Reader significantly improves language and literacy skills, cognitive development, communication and comprehension skills, school readiness and social competence. Raising A Reader is implemented through a network of community partners that comprise more than 2,500 locations across the country including public school systems, libraries, afterschool programs, community agencies and other organizations both public and private. Headquartered in Redwood City, California, Raising A Reader was founded in 1999 and has served more than 1.25 million families nationwide. More information is available at RaisingAReader.org, @RARnational (Twitter) and RaisingAReaderNational (Facebook).

3

Kill Your Darlings

Posted on September 20, 2013 by Hanna Lim

I have a friend who is a talented writer, and every time I talk to her, I learn something new. The other day, we were talking and she asked me if I'd ever heard the phrase, "kill your darlings." Apparently, it's a phrase used by journalists, who often have a great idea for a piece or a fabulous opening that may turn out to be tangential or simply not a good fit. Instead of being married to said idea or concept, journalists are taught to "kill their darlings" - don’t use it, and get over it.

I began to think that I, as a parent, sometimes need to "kill my darlings." Don't get me wrong, I know my children can drive me crazy at times, but that's not what I mean. I know I'm not alone when I say that I do my best to be the perfect mother and my husband, the ultimate father. To that end, we tend to hold onto these notions of what ideal parenting looks like. We get distraught over missed naps, feel guilty about unhealthy meals, struggle to maintain discipline, etc. We get so much advice, read so many parenting tips, and witness other seemingly perfect children and do everything in our power to parent that way. BUT sometimes what's right for one family or what we hope to do and achieve as parents is simply not a good fit. Moving forward, I have vowed to "kill my darlings" and get over it. I hope you will consider the same. I'm thinking [and hoping] that it is going to make parenting a LOT less stressful.

I don't know about you, but every afternoon I find myself thinking, "how is it already time to prepare dinner?"  I just gave the kids an afternoon snack and now I'm already worrying about dinner!  Well, I am a big fan of quick and tasty dinners, and this is one of my kids' favorites.  I love that there are only a handful of ingredients, it's quick and easy to prepare, and it makes my kids devour peas.  What more could you ask for in a meal?

  • 16 ounces of pasta (I prefer linguine)
  • 8 ounces pancetta, diced (I like these Pancetta cubes I get at Trader Joe's)
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 1 (10-ounce) bag frozen peas
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced (I've made this without lemon juice and it's fine, but the acidity gives it a nice little touch)
  1. Cook pasta in salted water (before you drain the pasta, be sure to save a cup of the pasta water for later - this is key!)
  2. Saute pancetta in a large saucepan over medium-high heat until golden and crisp.
  3. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate.
  4. In the same pan, saute onions until soft and translucent.
  5. Add peas and garlic and saute for 3 minutes.
  6. Stir in Parmesan, pasta and pancetta.
  7. Moisten pasta with some of the reserved pasta water.
  8. Toss to incorporate, season with salt and pepper, if necessary, and serve, sprinkled with lemon juice.

You can find the original/full recipe on foodnetwork.com.  Enjoy!