Engaging Young Minds

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By Rebecca Teti

(Join each day’s Coffee Talk discussion: Mon: Parenting; Tues: Open Forum; Wed: NFP; Thu: Marriage; Fri: Education; Sat/Sun: Changing Roles)

Whether your children attend school or are homeschooled, this is the spot to ask questions about curricula, religious education, parent-teacher relationships, or academic concerns of any kind.

Please join us!

Rebecca Teti


  • Any ideas for providing some quiet for an older child to do homework? My 10-year old needs some quiet from his 4- and 1-year old sisters while he does homework yet he needs to be near me for questions and help. Our home is very small, so if he sits at the dining room table (and I'm generally downstairs in the dining room, living room or kitchen) then the girls are right nearby and he's within eyeshot of the TV if that's on. Maybe I just need to outfit him with horse blinders and earbuds! <g>

    Posted on Nov 30th, 2012 at 11:52 AM by Carolyn A

  • Does anyone have suggestions on a good book about St. Nicholas for children (currently 2.5 and 4)?

    Posted on Nov 30th, 2012 at 2:09 PM by JJ's Mom

  • Carolyn, take a look at The Miracle of St. Nicholas by Gloria Whelan. Age level is 4 and up, but your littler one will like the pictures.

    Posted on Nov 30th, 2012 at 3:01 PM by Rebecca

  • For Carolyn A: A lot depends on your 10 year old, some can handle it more than others. But, I think all of my kids, to some degree, needed some time to work without distractions and without being felt like they were being secluded from everyone else. What works for us is to schedule the school day around those quieter times. If you haven't already done so, could you pencil in a schedule for everyone? Then, the subjects he finds more challenging or simply easier to be distracted from, could be worked around his sisters routine (or visa versa). So, maybe they could play quietly together for 30 minutes while he is doing his math or something. Then, if they watch TV at a certain time he could work on another more challenging subject? Probably things like handwriting could be done with a bit more chaos. My current 9 year old is by far my most easily distracted (and always mooovvvviiinnngggg). My mom works in the school system with special needs kids and she suggested to me that I make him his own workstation using 3 piece cardboard fold out things like used for science fairs (about $4). That would give him a little cubby (those horse blinders!) and maybe he can add cool things inside to make it more enjoyable rather than feeling secluded. Good luck!

    Posted on Nov 30th, 2012 at 10:56 PM by RealMom4Life