Friday, May 27, 2022

Education Aggravation: A Retired Teacher's View from the Trenches - A Call to Action by Leslie K. Brooks

 


The coolest magic beans in the universe . . .Education. . . has taken a back seat in the United States.

Oh, this is long before the pandemic. The pandemic just opened a can of worms long struggling to get out.

Sure, everyone talks about education, complains about it a lot but who’s really at fault here? And who really cares? Parents and students should be grateful. All children in the United States can get an education for free, a luxury not offered in many countries, if they will work for it. “Ay, there’s the rub!” Work ethic, changing priorities, time and technology.

Monday, March 28, 2022

Project Kid by Amanda Kingloff


Perfect for crafty parents who are eager to get their kids excited about DIY, ProjectKid is everything you could want in a craft book: 100(!) stylish, inventive projects; step-by-step photographs; tips for the novice crafter; easy-to-follow instructions; and a fresh, modern look. What really sets these projects apart are the unexpected, ingenious ways Kingloff uses everyday objects and materials. (Did you ever think a body-wash bottle would make a perfect rocket ship?) And these are projects for things kids want to make—and keep—from a juice-box owl to a pirate ship to a curio cabinet for displaying all of their treasures, plus games, jewelry, and more. Also included in the book are basic crafting lessons (such as pom-pom making and weaving) to help children of all ages build a DIY arsenal, a handy guide to must-have tools and materials, and a source directory.


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**My thoughts**


As Kingloff was the lifestyle director at Parents magazine for so long, overseeing the DIY content, I am not surprised to find such a comprehensive collection of activities for families to do together. The creativity found within these pages is astonishing. I would have gone absolutely crazy over this book as a kid.

Most of the materials that you need are already found at your house. For other items, Kingloff provides website and store recommendations to help you find what you need. Step-by-step directions are very clearly written out, with excellent photographs of each step. This is great for people who do better with written directions and for those who are more adept at following a photo tutorial. 

Activities definitely range in ability level. Projects such as the Joiner-Biscuit Butterflies would be easy to do with my preschool and kindergarten students. Juice-Box Owls would be more appropriate for older children. Some of them would even make great gifts, such as the Pom-Pom Poodle Pull Toy and the Embroidered Flyswatters. Others are more practical, such as the Family Message Center and Crafty Containers. Inspire learning while crafting with the Teaching Timepiece, ABC Flashcards, and Homemade Memory Game. 

I love the little art lessons at the end of each section, because they allow for open-ended creativity, beyond just the crafts shown in this book. The Montessorian in me appreciates open-ended possibilities, instead of only trying to mimic a craft! I also love the section on natural crafts, because it inspires you to spend time outside.

Both boys and girls can find something to enjoy in here, because crafts are not just for girls. The Robot Bank, Bottle Rocket, and Totally Tubular Train are sure to appeal to both!

Yes, a lot of the photographs are Pinterest worthy. I have a feeling that in the true tradition of Pinterest, a lot of attempts at some of these crafts are going to be significantly less than stellar. That isn't to say that with time and practice, your crafty skills, and those of your children, will not improve.

This is one that you'll want in a hard copy to make it easier to flip through the projects!

Thank you to NetGalley for fulfilling my review request. All thoughts and opinions are my own.