Birdytell's Favorite Back to School Gear for 2014.

As summer break comes to a screeching halt, it's time to hone in on the best options for back to school gear. We took on the massive undertaking of sorting through the retail madness, so you don't have to waste a precious minute of valuable vacation time. Rest assured, we value awesomeness over deep pockets, so nothing on this list is sponsored.We included items for the youngest students all the way up to the seasoned college crew. There is a lot to love out there, but this list is concise to maximize your leisure time....more

America's Test Kitchen Cooking School

Have any of you ever wanted to go to Culinary School, but never knew how to find the time or come up with the tuition? I may have a solution for you. I was browsing theAmerica’s Test Kitchen website (this is a fun website for cooking nerds like me) and I noticed a Cooking School tab on the page. I of course clicked it, and what do I see?...more

Not Being Promoted - Conversations with Charlie

Report cards came home with students the last day of school. I looked at Charlie’s and pretty much saw what I expected, A’s and 2 B’s. Charlie, however, had a totally different perspective. In case you didn’t know, my son is extremely literal.Charlie – Bad news Mommy. I didn’t get promoted, I won’t be in 4th grade!Me – Huh? What are you talking about? You are going to the 4th grade next year....more

First and Last Day of Third Grade

I was not able to get this posted Friday which was the last day of school. Charlie is now officially a 4th grader! I am so proud of my little man. He has really grown up in so many different ways over the past year.  Elizabeth...more

Working full time plus 2 young children plus college equals crazy

If someone would have told me six years ago that I would be working full time with 2 young children while going to college at the same time, I would have said "Yeah right".  But here I am six years later doing exactly that.  I am taking one class per semester until I get my bachelor's degree.  I am officially crazy.  I am doing it out of necessity though.  In the city that I live in, a person in my field needs a bachelor's degree in order to have job security....more

Fighting the Summer Brain Drain

Here's a good article on ways to fight the summer slide. The stats are pretty scary; brain drain is a real thing! Just read the reaction from the teacher who taught second grade one year then had some of the same students the following year when she taught third grade.- The average student loses 2.6 months of grade-level equivalency in math computation skills- Teachers spend about 4 weeks reteaching and reviewing material because students have forgotten so much over summerThey offer some brain games to do at home. Here's what I read:...more

White matter quality linked to ability to add and multiply (but not subtract and divide)

A new study of healthy 12-year-olds found that those who are good at addition and multiplication have "higher-quality white matter tracts" in their brain. What's odd is that this link doesn't apply to subtraction and division.Why wouldn't it apply to all four tasks?...more

IEP Success

IEP? Are you ready? The big tool to carve an educational program for special children is the IEP - Individualized Education Program. Education is a big task; figuring out what to do with special needs kids in the educational system is gigantic. ...more

Too much to do- am going to take a nap

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Dear Overzealous Room Parent

Now, before I get into the nitty gritty of this, would like to state emphatically that I mean this woman no ill-will, I don't think she's a horrible person, I don't think room parents in general is a bad idea, etc. etc. I'm just annoyed. That's all. ...more