My Little Girl is Flying High! Story Time at Quinnie’s Fun House!

Story Time at Quinnie’s Fun House

A few days ago, my daughter had an awesome idea for her 25th YouTube post: story time reading one of her favorite books. I thought this was a wonderful way for my first grader to practice her reading skills. While I am not necessarily fond of flies, the way she read “Fly High, Fly Guy!” By Tedd Arnold had me entranced and eager to hear the story. I was very impressed with her inflection and hope she will want to read a story more often on her channel. If you or children you know are fans of Fly Guy or just story time, please check out my soon to be six year old.

All the best,


First Graders Unite: Quinnie V. Loves Reading Junie B. Jones!

I loved reading when I was younger. One of my favorites was the Ramona series by Beverly Cleary. I related to her because she had an older sister just like me. For my daughter, it’s June B. Jones, written by Barbara Park and illustrated by Denise Brunkus, who’s all the rave in my daughter’s first grade class and now in our home too. I’m not sure if it’s because I grew up reading Ramona, but Junie B. seems far more precocious than Ramona, yet she’s a witty little girl. I enjoy having Quinn read the stories to me and am impressed that she seldom needs help with a word. I also look forward to reading a chapter to her as part of her bedtime routine as it bringing me back to when I was in grade school.

When the second scholastic order form came home a few weeks ago, my daughter pleaded, “Mommy, can we please get the first set of Junie B. Jones’ books?”  We ordered ten books in September with Junie starting first grade and are still reading through the last few. Even though I initially suggested that we get through the ones she has first, Quinn convinced me to get the first series when Junie B. Jones is in kindergarten so that she can have the entire set and backstory. Plus, how could I possibly say no to purchasing books and encouraging my daughter’s love for reading.

This past Friday, the new series arrived at my six year old’s school, and she excitedly told me that her teacher said, “Wow, you have all of the Junie B. Jones books. I’m so jealous!” Book series surrounding a specific character is such a wonderful idea to engage children and even adults in reading. I too am eager to see what Junie B. Jones does in these series of stories. If you know of any other book series for young children please feel free to share.

All the best,


Just Ask My Daughter, There’s Nothing “Wacky” About Learning Facts over Lunch!

My six year asked her dad, “Do you know what the dot over the lower case “i” is called?” With a pensive look on his face, he responded, “No, I don’t.” Quinn smiled, and enthusiastically said, “It’s called a tittle!” I teach English, and if I’m honest, I didn’t know it was called a “tittle.” Last year, when my daughter started kindergarten, I began including little notes in her lunch bag to not only let her know I love her or to offer her motivation but to give her an opportunity to practice reading.

I’m proud to say that she was a solid reader in kindergarten and eager to learn, so even though it’s only one year later, she is quite advanced in her reading. I still write little notes, but when we were doing back-to-school shopping prior to school starting, I stumbled upon something that caught my eye.

It was 101 Lunch Notes containing wacky facts and laughs. Some of the notes do contain big words where sounding them out might not help, but I’m amazed with Quinn’s ability to use the context clues of the other words to figure out what the one new word might mean. I also look forward to reading over the wacky facts myself finding that I’m learning new information too. One fact was about a snail and how many teeth it has. We were all so intrigued by the “wacky fact” of some snails potentially having 20,000 or more teeth that we decided to research it to see if it really was accurate. Even some of the jokes gave me pause, and I had to share them with others to get the punch line. For instance,

Question: What did Delaware?

Answer: A New Jersey.

If you are looking for a way to add a little something special or fun to your child’s lunch and possibly a follow-up conversation at the dinner table about the wacky fact or joke, definitely consider purchasing these note cards.

All the best,




Last Day of School but Many More Days of Tending to the Garden



Garden for the children: the German meaning of the word kindergarten. This year, my daughter was one of many in that lovely garden. It was the perfect environment to allow her to blossom with a wealth of knowledge, flourish by socializing amongst the other beautiful children while under the tutelage of wonderful teachers who know exactly what it takes to tend to many children burgeoning all at once. 

Quinn has learned and grown much in that magical garden in such a short duration of time. She’s like a little book worm excited to read stacks of books everyday, many on her own. She’s a busy bee, constantly expanding her vocabulary and sharing their meanings. She’s a little scientist exploring the different subjects often eager to share what she’s learned. She’s a caterpillar who went through the metamorphosis process right before my eyes in a multitude of ways. Not only is she a little taller and lost many baby teeth and grew big girl teeth, but she’s matured so much in just just about eight months.

Though her days of kindergarten may be over, I will make sure that I’m doing my part to tend to her growth and development as she continues her education and beyond!

All the best,


Red Carpet Celebration: My Little Girl’s a Super Star Reader!

The luxurious Escalade SUV limo was parked. The plush, red carpet was rolled out, and the “fans” patiently awaited their arrival. One person shouted, “I think I see them!” People positioned themselves with cameras and cell phones ready to take pictures and videos. Then the door opened, and they all came parading out wearing their finest clothes and accessories.

The cheers from the crowd would make you think they were all singers being recognized at the Grammy’s or actors and actresses being recognized at the Emmy’s. But they were all being celebrated for something even more notable: kindergarten through fourth graders who read 100 or more books in a little less than three months!

My little kindergartener was among this small group of children who accomplished this wonderful goal! She read well beyond the 100 book minimum, many on her own with little assistance from me. Fancy Nancy, Pinkalicious, Thelma the Unicorn, Princess Truly and If You Give a Mouse an iPhone were some of her favorites to read. I am so proud of my six year old’s accomplishment and happily cheered her name as she walked the red carpet with the other children and went into the limo.

Afterwards, all of the children were lead by the school librarians and paraded through the halls of the school, along with the parents, where the other children and teachers were all lined up in the hallways to give hi-fives and cheer on the kids for reading so many books. Ending in the library, they were all then celebrated with cake and sparkling apple raspberry cider. I thought it was a wonderful event and an awesome way to reward children for reading. Quinn, along with the other children, all looked and felt like superstars! She’s so excited to keep reading and can’t wait to do the challenge again when she’s in first grade.

All the best,


The Importance of Kids Helping Kids: My Little Girl Reading and Raising Money for the Ronald McDonald House

A little over a month ago, I posted about my little girl reading for a good cause: raising money for sick children at the Ronald McDonald House. A few weeks after that post, we were notified that she was one of the top fundraisers at her school and would be recognized at a special event sponsored by the Philadelphia Eagles. She also received a congratulatory packet with a certificate, shirt, stuffed animal and a free happy meal. This was such a proud moment for us both.

At the event, we got to interact with people from multiple schools, run around on the football field, take pictures with Swoop, the Eagles mascot, and hear wonderful stories about how the funds raised will help children in need. The children were also rewarded with books to keep readers, which I thought was awesome.

“I can’t wait to raise even more money next time. I think it’s great that I’m a kid helping kids,” Quinn told me. It makes me feel so good that my soon to be six year old, only in kindergarten, is so thoughtful and cares about others.

All the best,


Reading for Fun(draising): My Little Girl Supporting the Philadelphia Ronald McDonald House


My daughter has loved leafing through books since she was a baby and looks forward to her father or me reading stories to her before she goes to bed, regardless of how tired she may be. Now that she’s five, she enjoys trying to read on her own, especially books about art, creativity, unicorns and princesses! So when she came home with a packet from her school to raise money, for the Read for the House Program, a service-learning project that raises funds to support the Philadelphia Ronald McDonald House, I thought it would be an excellent opportunity to not only raise money for a good cause but to encourage Quinn to read even more.

Throughout the entire month of February, Quinn eagerly read several books, many from the Fancy Nancy and Amelia Bedelia series. She’s only in kindergarten, but I am so amazed at how many words she can read by herself with little to no assistance from me or her dad. This was such a great experience for us both, and my sweet girl was able to exceed her fundraising goal with the generosity of family and friends. Even though the fundraising period is drawing to a close, the  fun times of reading together with my little girl will continue.

All the best,


Say Word?! Learning Can Be Fun! Lessons with My Little Girl

She paused for a few second and looked up to the ceiling with her head slanted. Then she said with certainty, “Word!” I proudly said, “You got another word right, sweetheart!” Even though my daughter already knew some words here and there, since she started kindergarten, we’ve been making a conscious effort to reinforce what she is learning in school and to even enhance that experience. Last week, in my blog entry, I wrote about the reward system I created to demonstrate positive reinforcement for my five year old’s eagerness to learn. Doing basic flash cards is one of the lessons we do together.

I purchased sight word cards with pictures and some without, and either way Quinn is able to recognize several words after a few sessions. I am impressed that she immediately distinguishes the differences between words with similar spellings such as then and than considering that some adults still mix these two up. Often when I ask her what reading activity she would like to do, if it is not leafing through one of her books, it is doing flash cards.

Yes, technology is wonderful, and we use some of those resources as well. But good old-fashion flash cards are still perfect for helping a child learn how to read. They are a cheap resource that you can purchase at the local dollar store, or you can even create them yourself. Give them a try if you don’t already use them with your child.

All the best,


Reading, Writing & Math: A Rewarding Experience for My Little Girl


“Mommy, may I please do some reading today,” my five year old pleaded. Those words are always music to my ears! Since my daughter was a baby, she’s always been eager to learn. Also, like many children, she loves playing with toys. One of her toys of choice is her doll, Sophia. Whenever we go near the toy section in Target, Quinn’s eyes widen as she sees the many doll accessories: clothing, footwear, little brushes, beds, you name it.

Since the star reward system my husband and I started with Quinn when she was two to reinforce positive behaviors was so successful, I thought why not implement a program like that to encourage and reward her for learning, especially since her school does not issue homework for kindergartners.

Over the summer, I purchased several workbooks and resources to help her with reading, writing and math. Then, I ordered big charts, smiley stickers and punch cards through Amazon. For every three stickers Quinn earns a smiley face. Then, she gets one punch on the card. Once she earns ten punches, she’s able to get some doll accessories for Sophia.

Of course, some parents might argue that learning is a requirement for children, and why should a child be rewarded? While this may be plausible for some, I’ve actually found that my daughter is even more eager to learn. It does not feel like a chore to her, and she does not do it solely to earn stickers or punches on the punch card. Sometimes, I have to let her know that she’s able to earn a sticker since she asked about practicing her writing.

Often, Quinn will ask to write and read instead of watch television or play with her toys.  What I love is that she even does math by counting up how many more smiley faces she needs in the different sections to earn a punch on the card and then how many punches she needs to get to ten.

This reward system also teaches Quinn about value. As she gets the doll accessories, she knows she had to put in a lot of work to earn them. It makes her appreciate them more than me just giving them to her.

Does your child needs a little encouragement to learn? Give the reward punch card system a try. Maybe it will be as successful for your child as it has been for mine!

All the best,


Reading is Within Sight! Learning with My Little Girl

Who hasn’t heard the adage “knowledge is power” or “reading is fundamental?” Now, something that is truly powerful is observing a child obtain knowledge through learning and reading. Since my daughter was one day old, my husband and I have been reading to her. Five years later, her eyes still light up, and she displays a smile as she picks out a book for us to read together. Since she began talking, she’s always been inquisitive and has expressed an interest in learning to read on her own, so when my mother provided me with information about a Reading Program through Temple University, I was eager to enroll Quinn.

The program was five weeks long, and as she learned sight words, like “I, see, can, and,” I learned different techniques to keep her engaged and to help reinforce what she learned in our hour long class. Even though we have ABC Mouse at home, and I could have just used some of the kindergarten preparation books I purchased, I am glad we did the program and am very happy with the progress Quinn made in a short duration of time.

With the first day of kindergarten just a little over a month away, Quinn is not only more than ready but confident.