Posts tagged ‘tips’


Photo courtesy of Jennifer Waldon

Adults aren’t the only ones who feel the stress of the busy holiday season. Between parties, entertaining, shopping, wrapping, decorating, hosting visitors, baking, and other festivities that go along with the winter season, it can be exhausting even to think about, never mind take part in!

ruby barefoot books new sibling

To celebrate the addition of Ruby’s Baby Brother to our family of books, we asked you, our community, for tips and tricks for helping older children adjust to the addition of a new sibling to their families. We crowdsourced advice from our Facebook page and our Living Barefoot Forums, and got some great advice from you.

Neil Griffiths is known around the world for his exceptional storytelling skills. A former headteacher and the founder of Storysacks, he is in constant demand as a presenter. Here, he shares some of the ways in which he turns children into happy, hungry-for-more readers. We hope his tips inspire you to pick up your child, race to the nearest bookshelf, choose a book, find a quiet corner, and sit down to read together.

For more than 100 years, people have been giving books to loved ones as gifts. Books are a wonderfully thoughtful way to thoughtfully tell someone you care. When you inscribe the books and wrap them up with add a personal message, the lucky recipients will enjoy complimentary goodies to enjoy with the book (think hot chocolate), and remember you every time they open the book.

As I drove home to Somerset from Oxford last Friday, there was a lively debate on the radio about the merits and demerits of assigning homework to children at infant school.

This summer, I stayed with a good friend who has educated both of her daughters at a local Waldorf school. Somehow or other, we found ourselves talking about the challenge of screens and mobile devices in family life and how this affects intimacy between parents and children. I found myself remembering the early body language of a little girl whose Mum was more often than not on her mobile phone while she was going about her day, head and neck tilted towards her right shoulder. When she started walking independently, her daughter mimicked this body language, tilting her own head and neck over to the right and hunching up her shoulder. Happily, her Mum realised the error of her ways and took more care about when she used her phone and how.

Reading matters. The ability to read opens doors to all kinds of opportunities that otherwise remain out of reach. This is why literacy has been prized for so many centuries. Reading, whatever the subject matter, forms the bedrock for all other forms of learning. So there are few other activities that will benefit your children as much as reading with them and inspiring them to start learning to read themselves. According to The Reading Agency, reading aloud with your children for just 20 minutes a day will transform their prospects.

The Summer Olympics, with the athletes’ dramatic personal stories, unbelievable athletic prowess and excitement about thousands of people from hundreds of countries unified through sport, inspire children’s imaginations like no other global event. But the Olympics aren’t just about watching amazing athletes and rooting for your favorites. It’s also a great opportunity to turn children onto world culture and geography.

Have you ever considered becoming a parent-blogger? The Barefoot Books Studio in Concord recently had the pleasure of hosting a blogger networking night co-organized by Raising a Reader MA and Boston Parent Bloggers, and Barbara Meltz, one of the original parenting bloggers and a writer for the Boston Globe for over twenty years, was the guest speaker. Barbara was full of helpful tips, advice and insights for fellow parent-bloggers, and we were inspired to share with you an interview on her top parenting tips. Read on to learn more!

Storytime will always have a special place in our family, no matter what age our children are. They are the kids who will not put their heads on the pillow until they have at least twenty solid, uninterrupted minutes of mom and dad reading to them. We’re talking books; the good, old-fashioned kind that make a distinct rustling noise when you turn the page. As much as we love reading with our children (it’s not just their favorite part of the day, it’s ours too!), now that our kids are reading proficiently on their own at ages six and ten, storytime is quite a bit different than it was back when they were contented lap babies and squirmy toddlers. It’s not better or worse, just different.