Grade Schoolers

Guidance and ideas for raising 5 to 10 year olds.

Amazing healthy eating trick for pre-K and up

So my kids (3 and 5) are pretty normal when it comes to eating; not super picky but they certainly prefer “kid foods” like chicken nuggets, pasta, hot dogs, etc. I give them veggies every night but often they ignore them or have to be nagged into eating them. Then my 5yo did a nutrition unit at school. Somehow his (brilliant!) teacher managed to teach a bunch of pre-K kids about vitamins, macr... More

How do you deal with food wastage from school lunches?

I pack lunch for my kids every day and try to give them plenty of fresh options like meat, cheese, fruit, yogurt etc. I use a thermal bag and give them an ice pack, but by the end of the day whatever they didn’t eat is generally spoiled and I have to throw it out. This really bothers me and is getting expensive! Is there healthy stuff I can pack that won’t spoil if they choose not to eat it? H... More

  • Ashly
    Jun 07

    Where I live and I’m sure most schools- they have just 30 mins to eat so I choose things that don’t take long to open or require extra utensils. And I have a middle schooler next year and she only gets 20 mins!!

  • Sarah
    Jun 07

    I agree with a lot of above comments. We tend to pack very few spoilable things. I will opt for Mandarin oranges and grapes, rather than berries. We will do the horizon milks that are Shelf stable. Freeze dried peas, homemade beef jerky, crackers, squeeze pouch apple sauce. The individual hummus packs are good too (although more plastic 😕) our dude really likes olives, and they last pretty well... More

How do you get your child ready for kindergarten without taking afternoon naps?

My daughter is 4 years old and going to preschool. Right now, she still takes afternoon naps. How do I get her ready for kindergarten next year without afternoon naps, as she will go to school then go to the after school program at the school until 6pm when I get off work?

  • Lea
    Jun 05

    I can confirm that not all kindergarten classes have nap or even a small rest time. In my kids school they do not get any at all.

  • Jennifer
    Jun 05

    Thank you everyone for your comment. My daughter's upcoming kindergarten will have no nap times. Her older brother who is now 7yr old is currently at the school and when he was in kindergarten there is no nap time. When he was in kindergarten I was not working at that time so I was able to pick him up at school when they get out at 2pm and take him home to nap. But now I'm working so... More

Pre-K graduation

Advice on how not to cry at pre-k graduation?! Time is going by so fast! It makes me sad that 3 years of preschool are over, but excited for my son to start Kindergarten. Bittersweet😢

  • Simone
    May 31

    If you cry, you cry. It is perfectly fine. Our babies grow so fast and time is so fleeting that we usually don’t stop to take a moment and reflect. My twins just turned 4 a few days ago and I was so sad. Carry tissues just in case and if you feel like crying, you can also think about the new ways your baby will be growing and maturing and how life gets a little easier as they get older. Good luck.

  • Kelise
    May 31

    Mom it’s okay to cry I’m sure u won’t be the only one.😁

Anonymous posted in Child Care May 29

Does anyone else dread summer break that works full time? This is the first year of us having two school age kids that need care over summer. Looking at prices and hours of operation is stressing me out. What do you guys do with your kiddos during summer break? Suck up the cost? Our kids are 12&6 and I thought about having the oldest babysit a few days a week to reduce the cost of summer... More

  • Ann
    May 29

    There is the cost - but also the guilt. I feel horrible for over programming my kids summer and not letting them have any down time. We have a pretty reasonable town rec program and my husband and I try and balance the drop off and pick up times by flexing our schedules where we need to. We also try and enlist family to help out too. My mom will take them a few days here and there to fill in... More

  • Barbara
    Jun 15

    Don t take advantage just because family members can help out...be fair ,be mindful their time is valuable too...and don t take advantage andvnot offer to pay a fair amount...what would you do and how much would you pay withot them..?

Rachel posted in Education May 28

Year-Round School

If your kids go to a year round school, what do you do with your kids for the long breaks in winter and spring? Are there camps? We can't go on a 3-4 week vacation from work twice a year, sadly.

Playtime with a 7 year old and a 3 year old

Scarlet (3.5 years old) has a 7 year old step brother, Waylon. Scarlet and Waylon play well together sometimes but sometimes, of course they poke at each other and cause unneeded drama. My husband thinks Waylon should not play with Scarlet other than like coloring and stuff like that to just avoid the bickering but I don’t agree, I think they SHOULD learn to play well together. Am I wrong..?... More

  • Jonathan
    May 29

    Waylon should be *required* to play with Scarlet and be kind, even when she provokes him. But in small doses. It’s a lot to ask of a 7 year-old. I have an 8 and a 2, but the 8 is a girl so it’s not the same thing. Don’t call it playing. Call it “taking care of”. Teach him how, praise him for doing a good job, and give him lots of breaks from her, even when it’s really inconvenient for you.

  • Sarah
    May 30

    Having screen time together!

Anonymous posted in Grade Schoolers May 24

What to do for a 6 yr old girl who refuses to use the potty?

She holds it until she can get into bathtub. This is very strange and it's almost traumatic for her to try it, she just won't use the potty. Any feedback from anyone would be appreciated.

  • Anne
    May 25

    I would get her to the doctor ASAP. I had similar issues as a child as a result of chronic UTIs — the bathtub is just more comfortable and can be a sign she is in some pain. If she's associating pain with using the potty there could be an underlying medical issue.

  • Erin
    May 25

    I agree with Anne, just be straight up and ask her if anything hurts, especially when she needs to potty. I'm sure she would tell you.

Yadav posted in Behavior May 22

My son is 7 years old. He is very shy. Due to this he doesn't have any friends in school. He is very active and intelligent. His only problem is his shy nature which is so much that he even avoids his teachers in school to talk. Any suggestions would be great. Looking for ideas to overcome his problem.

  • Jayme
    May 23

    My son was the exact same way. He and I would actually role-play how to meet friends, what to talk about, etc. Also we but him in martial arts which empowered him

  • Joanna
    May 23

    I take my 4 yo to OT. Her therapy group offers Social Skills workshop for gradeschoolers. Maybe there's such a thing near you too.

Hi everyone I have a 5 yr old boy. What are some fun things I can do when I’m with him?

  • Amanda
    May 21

    My kid is 5 and has so much energy it’s scary. The park is his favorite place. Any kind of hands on kids museum is a win. Get a membership. We actually really like book stores. And despite it being a quiet place. Most local libraries have a play area in the kids section.

  • Morning66
    May 22

    My daughter is 3.5 and we loves to make slime (try different methods and recipes) talk about the science behind it etc . Playdough, go for nature walks and find creepy crawlies (if your kid is into that) scaling ingredients for a baking project, making pasta together. Making planet models out of rubber bands.

Would you let your 6 year old daughter have her own nail polish and makeup?

My daughter is upset that I have more makeup and nail polish than her. She does have girly makeup and girly nail polish but she wants makeup and nail polish like me.

  • Julia
    Jun 01

    I remember being that age and being obsessed with nail polish and makeup (I wasn’t allowed either). I think letting her pick out a small collection of non-toxic nail-polishes is a great idea. As far as makeup goes, I think that getting her some sheer chapstick and maybe her own special lotion could be a compromise that you both would be happy with. Just my opinion tho — if putting on a little m... More

  • Jennifer
    Jun 04

    I attended a lecture over the weekend and the speaker shared statistics that the younger a girl starts wearing makeup and caring about outward appearance lack self-esteem and self-respect and are prone to taking up "careers" that involve selling their body. Whether this is true or not, I would rather not take the risk with my little girl!

Primary Schools: Multiple Intelligence Theory vs Traditional

Which do you recommend? We have to make a choice between the two.. has anyone sent their kids to both and found a huge difference? Just wondering how these kids adapt to traditional High-School coming from Elementaries that use MI Theory.

  • Diana
    May 17

    If your child isn’t academically proficient go for the MI. It brings out and celebrates the natural abilities and teaches from those, compared to forcing a one size fits all curriculum and lesson plan on every child. I think all schools should be required to teach to MI’s since too many kids think they are dumb because they don’t do well in school using traditional methods.

Sibling rivalry! Help 🤦🏾‍♀️

  • Anne
    May 17

    There's an amazing book for this! Get it at the library: "Siblings Without Rivalry". Totally changed my life!

Parents of older kids, when did your child (kindergarten and up) start going to bed on their own?

...and how old is your child? It worked really well for our 4 year old when we had a check mark system that led to a prize, but she has since regressed and once again needs to be hand-held through the entire process.

  • Haley
    May 17

    My daughter is turning 6 next week and she started going to bed on her own when she turned 5. Each kid is different, but they all well eventually.

  • Crystal
    May 18

    I have my daughter whom is now 13 and my son 9 I say my daughter was about in 1st beginning of 2nd grade before she would sleep in her own bed and it wasn’t every night my son still likes to sleep next to me!! But being a single mom now I kinda don’t mind cuz I would have rather love on them any thru this transitional period in our lives. I’m sure that could so bite me later on down the road bu... More

My oldest is finishing elementary this year. Thoughts on a 5th grade graduation party with family?

  • Sarah
    May 17

    I like it! In my opinion any reason to get cake and celebrate your kiddos is a good one!

Best book or series for a first grader?

  • Peggy Kaye: Chief Curriculum Officer at HOMER
    May 15

    I am not sure if you mean for a child to read or books to read to a child, so I’ll answer both ways. First – what first graders might read for themselves. Of course, first graders vary a good deal in their skill levels, and it is important to make sure you choose books your child can read with ease. I do like the old favorites, though, like “Frog and Toad,” “If You Give a Mouse a Cookie” (... More

  • Laura
    May 24

    thank you!

Anonymous posted in Books & Reading May 15

My 9 year old is struggling with reading. I was wondering what I can do to help her?

ADHD and dyslexia = frustrated mother and child :(

  • Anonymous
    May 15

    Thanks. I will try this. Ask her IEP team to give me more things to work on

  • Mariah
    May 22

    Maybe look at understood.org a coworker of mine suggested to me for my toddler but hes a bit young compared to the focus on the sight but it could be helpful for you

Anonymous posted in Books & Reading May 15

Keeping a gifted reader challenged

My kindergartener was an early reader and now reads independently at a grade 2/3 level. He’s way beyond what they are doing in his class and I want to make sure he doesn’t get bored with reading! Is this something I should work with his teacher on or just try to make sure he has plenty of books at home to challenge him?

  • Peggy Kaye: Chief Curriculum Officer at HOMER
    May 15

    What a great problem to be facing! But I don’t underestimate the issues of helping early and gifted learners. There are lots of issues that arise, and will arise, as your son progresses in school. Absolutely make sure he has plenty of great reading material at home, along with taking regular trips to the library and bookstores together. I would also talk to his teacher. No doubt there will be ... More

  • DaveP
    May 25

    The library is your best friend for a gifted reader. Plus a fun place to visit. We gave our son his own library card and he chooses books online to be available to pickup. We do supervise selections but he can go through series like the box car children then hardy boys. Look online for websites that suggest good reading material but it helps if you can read with him too at times as even the bes... More

Behavioral issues with stepdaughter

My 6 yr old stepdaughter has been living with us now for 6 months after her mother sent her and her brother to live with us because she couldn't handle single parenthood anymore. They skype once a week and her mom talks about all the stuff she's been doing and i think it is making her sad and left out. She has been acting out at school and talking back to the teachers bad lately. Any ad... More

  • Nada
    May 16

    What you need to remember is the child is hurting. Don’t bad mouth the mom around the children and do something special for the little girl. Once she feels she isn’t being sent away because no one cares she will open up more. Take her for ice cream, special shopping time, play date at the park...just something for you and her. Tell the mom that even though she loves her kids sometimes a step ba... More

  • Scarlett
    May 16

    Yeah we try very hard not to mention her at all around them because she gets so sad about missing her. We are about to go on a family vacation to the beach and i think i am going to take her to get her nails done just me and her before we go!

Age to separate showers?

6yo and 7yo son still take baths and showers together at what age do you stop them? Of course they are always playing in there with toys and having fun. We have talked to them about keeping their privates to themselves since they were toddlers and they understand that part.

  • Yem
    May 17

    Yes 2 boys 😁

  • Morning66
    May 22

    I only have one kid and she's 3.5 now, so sometimes either myself or her father will give her a bath or she will get into the shower with either one of us. We are not ashamed to walk around naked around her and if she asked questions we answer them . America (IMO) has such a body shaming culture that I want her to feel very comfortable with her own body. We from very early respected her b... More

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