8 Small and Big Changes to Expect In 2018 From RSG!

We think you’ll love these ideas as many of them have come from your feedback.  However if you don’t, we definitely want to hear about it! Please don’t hesitate to send a note.

Here you go:

1. Original Content 

We have spent the last year scouring the internet and curating the most relevant news, stories, and ideas that have to do with parenting and education. This year, we will be launching guides that go deeper into specific topics providing you with toolsets and frameworks to solving a problem, trying something new, or be kept in the know.

2. Save for later functionality 

We’ve heard from some of you that while our content weekly is helpful, it can get overwhelming to feel like you can’t truly dig into all the articles and resource at the time you are reading it. This functionality will allow you to save any of our content to read later.

3. A fitting home for all the resources we share and more 

We have mostly lived so far in warmth of your inboxes. This year, we plan to take a bold step further into the internet and develop this webpage into a comprehensive, easily navigate resource that you can come refer back to over and over again. In particular, this year, the website will host all the resources we have recommended over the past year for easy reference and moving forward.

4. Book Reviews 

There are so many parenting books out there and not enough time to read them all to glean the insights and wisdom captured inside. We will start building a library of reviews/notes so that you can review key takeaways from relevant books across many topics and decide whether it worth a full the read.

5. STEM @ Home Videos 

Part of our goal with this platform is making the home a natural place for STEM exploration so we would love for you all to share videos of you having fun making things with your girls at home. More to come on that later in the year.

6. Introducing the Dad perspective

Did you know that on the top 10 list of things that kids want for Christmas, “a dad” is mention. How incredibly heartbreaking! Girls need both their parents. And Dads have a unique position on influence over their daughters. It would be a huge miss to ignore that. Expect to see this reflected in some articles and guides this year.

7. Girl inspired, fun math worksheets 

Because the summer learning slide is no joke and our girls deserve learning tools that are exciting, creative and engaging, we are creating math worksheets that your girls will love and enjoy during the summer break!

8. Amplification

Lastly, we are really going to go out there in the big scary world and tell our story and share our vision more. All through last year, your validation that our newsletter content is useful and purposeful has meant a lot. And now, because of you, we have the full confidence to invite the rest of the world to come be a part of what we are building.  Well, thank you friends :). Expect to see us more active on social media and partnering with like-missioned organizations.

As if that is not enough, we have a few surprises planned as well so stay tuned. Ultimately, our biggest goal this year is to earn more of your engagement and to hear and learn from what you are doing to raise smart girls in your homes and communities. You can expect us to ask us for your feedback regularly throughout the year.

Cheers to our girls flying high this year!

Also, this week’s newsletter is out. Check it out here and/or subscribe to get these delivered to your mailbox weekly!

Ps: We are experimenting with a Friday morning by 6AM delivery for the newsletter starting this week because who doesn’t love Fridays? It is typically the most relaxing day of the week and perhaps that makes it more likely that we are sparking up a conversation with you at a convenient time. And we picked 6AM so that you have it at the start of the day and can decide to check it out whatever time works best during your day. Let us know if it works.

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Happy New Year, Smart Mommies!

We made it! { Insert excited Whoo hoo -ing 🙂 }

Amidst the excitement and newness of the new year, we hope for you, as we do for ourselves, that you love harder, be stronger, do better, reach higher, live healthier, dream bigger, and deepen relationships in 2018.

We resolve to work harder to support you in making your girls smarter this year through your support for her own unique learning journey, her self discovery and her care for her whole self (mind, body, and soul). 

Your daughter(s) will grow older this year and with each new age, the more of this world and life she will get to see, understand and experience.

Lucky for her, she has you. 

Lucky for you, you have us keeping you informed and cheering you on. 

And lucky for us, you honor us with your trust and partnership. 

Have a happy 2018!

Love,

Abi & Team RSG

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Back To Basics

It started out as a consequence for naughty behavior. I remember actually cringing inside as I made the decree of no TV for a week. The girls are used to not watching TV during the week but the weekends are free game. Hubby is traveling this week so restricting TV on a weekend day was not doing myself any favors.

As expected, the day started slow and with a lot of whining about how bored they are. But soon enough, they were making up games and belly laughing. It warmed my heart. The best part was T declaring later that day that it was actually fun without TV. Sigh!

Eventually I needed two hours of quiet and let them watch a show but I learned that day how important it is to be intentional about going back to the basics with our kids and letting them embrace screen-less fun.  It bothers me a bit that I even have to be intentional about that and it’s not just what we do but that is my reality.

Am I alone in this? To what extent do you all restrict screens in your home?

Ps: There have been some amazing #SmartGirls in the news lately. Check these rockstars out: Ms. Frankel is 92 and still rocking wallstreet, Naomi is the strongest teenager in the world, and 11yr old Zoe is an amazing entrepreneur.

P.s.s: #TeamRSG has expanded! Congrats to my dear friend Uto who delivered a beautiful baby boy yesterday!

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Bravo To The Silence Breakers!

 

In an absolutely wonderful and powerful move yesterday Time Magazine unveiled it’s 2017 person of the year and stunned the country by crowning the notable women who have set off a national reckoning by speaking up and naming names of men who have abused their power and sexually harassed and/or assaulted them.

They have indeed broken the silence on a very rampant and hidden culture in all different parts of the society. This honor does much to extend this now very loud national conversation and and hopeful leads to the setting of a new standard for acceptable behavior. Ultimately, validating the Silence Breakers is awesome for us, awesome for the future men you and friends are raising, and especially awesome for our girls.

In other news, this week is Hour of Code week! If you are not familiar, It is a global movement to introduce people of all ages to computer programming in a fun way. All you have do to is commit to an hour of fun. We have recommended the best resources in this week’s newsletter to help you get started.

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What Is Your Daughter Teaching You About Yourself?

On Monday, my baby girl turns 3 years old. I have been busy planning her little celebration and reflecting on how much she has grown in the last year. She has truly found her voice and is not afraid to use it. She is extremely decisive, strong-minded, independent, and cheeky. I am both proud of the fire in her heart and terrified for what those teenage years might be like.

It a pretty common headline these days to find an article with a letter addressed to your younger self. With my youngest daughter, Ari, I feel like I am looking right at my younger self. She reminds me that is ok to be multidimensional; to be both tough and delicate; smart and playful; sugar and spice.

Sometimes we hate to admit it but the very thing the drives us mad about our girls are traits that define our own adult lives as well.

What is your daughter teaching you about yourself?

PS: It’s almost here! Look out for this year’s holiday gift guide in next week’s newsletter.

img credit: Quote

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Hello, November!

image credit

Can you believe it is November already?

Turkey, Black Friday, Holiday Shopping, Christmas Carols are all rapidly approaching. We are hard at work at our now 3rd annual Gift Guide to help you pick out smart and fun gifts for all the smart girls on your list. In the meantime, enjoy the fall weather and start warming up for the most wonderful time of the year!

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Yeah, me too.

This past week has been so heavy with the breaking news of rampant sexual harassment in Hollywood. I have read many of the accounts from several of the brave women stepping up to tell their stories.

Lupita Nyongo’s account published in the Wall Street Journal really struck a cord with me for two reason. First, her heartbreaking reason for not speaking up until now: “…I also did not know that there was a world in which anybody would care about my experience with him. You see, I was entering into a community that Harvey Weinstein had been in, and even shaped, long before I got there.”

And the powerful reason she thinks she has not had this negative experience with anyone else in her career since Weinstein: “… I think it is because all the projects I have been a part of have had women in positions of power, along with men who are feminists in their own right who have not abused their power.”

Womanhood desperately needs a culture of story telling and sharing. Too many of us secretly endure pain, hide scars, and smile hard. I can’t help but think this begins at home.

What stories did our mother tell us? What stories will we tell our girls? How will we prepare them for what is ahead?  “Half of all American women—54%—have experienced “unwanted and inappropriate sexual advances” at some point in their lives. Nearly a third have endured such behavior from male colleagues and a quarter identified men with sway over their careers as the culprits.” 

We need to be intentional about sharing our experiences and telling the stories about those hard worn scars. Because you have been there, your wisdom could light up the path to avoiding the same heartache for your daughter, your sister, your friend, maybe even a stranger.

Connecting through shared experiences, however awful the memories, is a beautiful way to lean on each other. EVEN IF all you are able to do is raise your hand and say, #metoo.

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Parts Known: Remembering Lagos

image credit: pinterest

They say environment matters when it comes to raising kids. Watching Anthony Bourdain’s reporting on Lagos, Nigeria on his show, Parts Unknown, earlier this week, I couldn’t be more proud of the environment that I was raised in. Where an untrained eye might only see the dust and grime of busy bustling Lagos, I was reminded of the grit and stubborn optimism that characterizes the Nigerian spirit. In Lagos, where there is a will there is a way indeed and everything around you sets that hope ablaze.

Bourdain summarizes his experience this way: “The government ain’t going to do it for you. Nobody is going to do it for you. It’s very much do-it-yourself place that inspires a real innovative spirit that’s quite extraordinary particularly in the tech sector. You know, you see kids from the countryside who never finished high school. Who with their own tools in the street will pull apart your iPhone and put it back together. It’s an extraordinary thing.”

Of course this way of life is not without it’s flaws. Sometimes it gives birth to strong individuals that think about their wellbeing over the communal one as it is largely the case with Nigeria.

However, the positives are undeniable and I found myself thinking and hoping I can pass on the joys of the Nigerian spirit to my kids who are growing up many miles away from those brutal, exuberant, dusty, hopeful Lagos streets.

In trying to deconstruct my experience, I am reminded of the independence I enjoyed as early as 5yrs old to explore and contribute to my household in meaningful ways; The rigor of my education and the heavy expectations my parents placed on me to be engaged and successful in my learning; The love and pride with which my community celebrated every bit of success I had while simultaneously reminding me not to be complacent;  Lastly, the magic was in the way every adult in my community took their role in co-raising me seriously. They did not let me off the hook when my parents weren’t watching and they took the time to tell me stories and teach me life lessons that only come with experience.

It was a wonderful way to grow up and the person I am because of it, is a wonderful way to be. It will be my joy to share to extend these gifts to my girls.

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On Passion Hustles and Raising Smart Girls

A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to showcase Raising Smart Girls to over 200 girls at the Empowherment Summit, an event sponsored by a local girls empowerment organization.

It was WONDERFUL!

I really wanted to use the opportunity to engage the girls in a way that is meaningful and consistent with our mission. So we gave the  girls that visited our booth an opportunity to create their own lip gloss and learn about the chemistry of lip balms.

It was a hit! I really loved watching the girls light up as they learned what they were going to be doing. It validated our hypothesis that girls love STEM learning if it can be presented in a meaningful and relatable manner. We had over 50 girls indicate interest in a girls only STEM Maker club where we would teach them how to make more things they care about. Needless to say, I left that day feeling energized about this passion hustle of mine. It reminded me that this work is meaningful and many other people care about these same outcomes I am passionate about.

It has been a struggle to get content out and manage my transition into my new role at work. However, you are never far from my mind Smart Mommies. I am constantly reading and learning things that I think you might find useful and I am always so eager to share.

My dear friends who served as my team at the summit were absolutely wonderful; They both inspired and honored me with their commitment and service. They were so perfect in their support that I was able to fully focus on telling our story as passionately as I could to every family that walked up. It felt great to be so well supported and reminded me to seek help more often.

So I would like to ask you too, Smartmommy. Can you help?

I have a passion for enriching the way girls learn. My goal is to do this by empowering parents (i.e this newsletter), redesigning and customizing learning content with girls in mind and by surrounding our girls with a supportive community.

Do you have ideas to contribute? Do you work in Education? Are you a writer or editor? Are you a visual artist or graphic designer? Not sure how you can help but would love to? Please please reach out.

I am eager to hear from you!!

Photo credits to my super talented friend Ama @EbeleEdmund

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Happy New School Year!

img credit blog.whiterabbitstudio.fr

 

Heyyyyyyyy Smartmommies!

Summer is over and we are back to regular programming! Hope you’ve missed us as much as we’ve missed you and hope you had a great summer! I’ll share the highlights from our summer next week.

In the meantime, we pray your girls are settling into school nicely and that they shine brighter than diamonds this year.

Truly, we are looking forward to partnering with you again this school year in raising your smart girls!  

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