Editor’s Note: You First!

I have a love hate relationship with new year resolutions. I love the energy it brings to every new year as we all gear up to be better and do better. But I hate that feeling at about day 50 in the year when you realize you are way off track.

 

We start off pumped up about our big hairy goal; every year, we are going to start a business, lose the weight, leave the dead end job, exit abusive situations, make new friends, reconnect with old ones, spend quality time with our kids, date our spouses, love our selves. Every. Single. Year.

 

Well, I’ve had it with the false starts so this year I am trying something different. I have picked only one goal for this year. One thing that gets all my energy and focus. One thing that if it’s all I get to check off my list, it will give me the boost I need to take on other challenges.

 

And to support my one thing, I have also picked one word that would serve as my compass when I start to feel myself wander off the path. My word is consistency.

 

And should I start to wander, I also picked a quote to remind me of what I set out to do. This beautiful quote from Goethe gave me the courage to start exploring my passion for writing years ago.

 

 

 

So before we get back to talking about raising our smart girls. Let’s start with you first.

 

What’s your word for 2017? How will you stay on track to achieve your goal?

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5 Ideas for Bonding With Your Family These Holidays

Be A Tourist In Your Own Town

There may be a chill in the air, but don’t let it slow you down. Bundle up, and spend an afternoon exploring with your girl. Head off to a destination that you’ve always wanted to check out, or take her to one of your own favorite spots that she hasn’t seen yet.

 

Twelve Days of Giving

Make others’ lives merry and bright during the 12 days of Christmas, beginning December 25 and ending January 5. Stuff decorated shoeboxes with toys, school supplies, and personal-care products for disadvantaged children. Ladle up nutrition at a soup kitchen or surprise your elderly neighbor with a homemade meal or treat!

 

Explore New Cultural Traditions

Broaden your family’s cultural awareness and spice up your typical holiday celebration by introducing traditions from around the world this year. Learn how to say “happy holidays” and sing carols in various language or try new recipes for holiday delicacies from various parts of the world.  

 

Bond Over Cookies

Whip up holiday cheer by gathering to bake and decorate cookies. Assign youngsters manageable tasks such as pouring pre-measured ingredients, stirring, and making shapes with cookie cutters. Older kids can measure wet and dry ingredients, crack eggs, and roll out the dough. Allow imaginations to soar when it comes to decorating these masterpieces. Share the baked goods with friends, family, and neighbors, and make a sweet gift

 

Enjoy the Big Screen at Home

After the craziness leading up to the holiday season, the best treat may be some much needed R&R at home. Organize a movie date complete with popcorn, drinks and cozy socks and let your little chick pick the flick.

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Editors Note: Where Did All The Time Go?

 

The day after we got home from the hospital after the birth of my first daughter, I remember feeling very overwhelmed. I wondered if we were adequately prepared to care for the delicate human we were now responsible for. I loved her immediately but I hated what pregnancy had done to my body and the tax on my sanity those early days of no sleep and constant crying. So I wished I could speed up the time. I wanted to get to the coos I had read start at 6 weeks and the smiles that will melt my heart at 3 months and the sleeping through the night at 4 months. Especially after that night at about two and half months when I was practically in tears because she wouldn’t go to sleep and I could hardly keep my eyes open.

Tomorrow,  my baby girl turns five. Really, where did all that time go?

So much is happening so fast. Each day is a new discovery of all the wonderful facets of her budding personality; I have no desire to speed any of this up.

In the quiet moments at the end of the day, after we have celebrated baby girl in all the ways she will appreciate, my husband and I will also celebrate the fact that the little delicate human we brought home five years ago has grown to be both so strong and so kind.

We could not be prouder!

 

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Ps: Thank you so much for your feedback this past week. We loved hearing both your kudos and your ideas. We look forward to your continued support and feedback as we implement some of those ideas!

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Weekly Roundup #6: Finland For The Win, The Hunt for STEM Girl Toys

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FINLAND FOR THE WIN

Lately, Finland has been making the news for exceptional practices when it comes to education. First it was their philosophy on learning through play in kindergarten, then we learned they’ve figured out and are solving the gender gap in science education. As if that is not enough, now they have announced that they will be the first country in the world to get rid of all school subjects! Agree with all their policies or not, they seem to have this whole education thing figured out while we are still busy sorting out whether we are keeping common core or not. Who else is packing their bags and moving with us?

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THE HUNT FOR GIRL STEM TOYS

If you have been having a hard time finding STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Math) toys your girls would like, it is because only 11 percent of STEM toys are listed as a girl’s toy on search engines compared to 31 percent of STEM toys listed only under boys. Recently, brands like Roominate and Goldieblox have done a great job addressing this issue but many other brands can fill this gap by thoughtfully marketing their offerings to girls as well. Our 2016 Holiday Gift guide  is a great place to start for some awesome ideas.

Adequate representation for girls is important in other areas of entertainment; recently, movies have been doing a better job in letting all girls should know they can be super heros too!

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Editor’s Note: Six Weeks and Counting!

 

Its been six weeks since our first newsletter and we couldn’t be more thrilled to have pushed that send button on the first one. Our audience has quickly grown to 1000 readers and we are so grateful to you all for reading and sharing our content!! We hope the content has been useful and that you are finding ways to incorporate new ideas and insights in your day to day activities as you go about raising your smart girl(s).

Bottom line, we are so thrilled you are here and eager to connect with each of you individually over time.

To realize our mission to be your ultimate resource for raising smart girls, our immediate goal is to build a robust library of content and resources on our website that would be a mix of our own content and curated content. This is where your honest feedback would be extremely valuable.

We would love to hear from you. What type of content would you like to see more or less of? You can respond with specific topics you are interested in or with the types of format you love to see the content in .. .for example, video or checklists or infographics etc.

We welcome any and all feedback. Can’t wait to hear from you!

PS: Our Holiday Gift Guide is ready!

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Weekly Roundup #5: The Science Education Gap, Trash to Treasure … and Thank You!

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OFF TO THE MOON? NOT SO FAST.

Turns out most of American kids want to build airplanes, find cures to all diseases and build really cool apps! Unfortunately their grades in the sciences don’t necessarily match that ambition.

According to a recently completed study by the OECD, 38% of American children (15 yr olds surveyed) hope to pursue science-related careers which is good news, considering some of the fastest-growing, highest-paid jobs are science-related such as  robotics, biotechnology, medicine or programming. However, the US ranked 19th in science education, out of 35 OECD countries. (And that was better than it did in reading and math, where it ranked 20th and 31st, respectively).

This discrepancy between the perceived and actual abilities of our children when it comes to science education is quite telling. While there is much work to do to improve science education in our schools, Science Bob thinks encouraging Science at home is much easier than you think.

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TURN YOUR KIDS ARTWORK INTO TREASURED GIFTS

Sure that first art project your child brought home from school was the most beautiful thing ever. However, if you are like me, these days you try your best not to get caught tossing them when the corner pile starts to spillover. Every now and then though, your child brings home that special artwork that you know you want to hang on to.

This holiday season, make ornaments out of those special works of art for grandparents, uncles, aunties and even teachers. They are actually pretty easy to make!And If you are not into ornaments, Parent’s magazine also has some other fun ideas you might like.

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Editor’s Note: More To Womanhood

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Every year on my birthday, I make several resolutions for my next year. Today is no different; I have been reflecting all week on what promises i will make myself this time. To do this, I have been browsing through my thought journal for this year. Its nothing fancy, just a digital notepad I occasionally document thoughts that intrigue me. One particular one caught my eye and has now become the basis of this year’s promise to myself.

“Isn’t there more to your womanhood than catering to everyone’s needs?”

It is daring to think that the honorable self giving hallmark of womanhood falls short but it does.

We give others life and spend our lives nurturing those around us; navigating the needs of many different complicated relationships. Yet in the end, we forget to cater to own minds and bodies. We run our homes, boardrooms, soccer fields, PTAs, churches, towns, countries … we do it all and do it very well except, we forget to preserve our health and sanity and strength through loving self-care.

They are so many areas of neglect we so desperately need to consider such as what we eat, how much we sleep, what we affirm to ourselves, who we let in our lives, how much we pile on at a time, the list goes on and on.

As we go about the work of raising our beautiful girls, they will inevitably inherit the desire and capacity to love and care for the people around them. This is great; however, will they also inherit a love for self and a habit of self-care?

This birthday, my promise to myself is a healthy mind and body. I have chosen to be intentional about being my own caregiver over this next year and just as important, I have chosen to be intentional about teaching my daughters to care for themselves.

Will you join me?

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Weekly Roundup #4: School Choice Debate, Are You Raising A Gutsy Girl?

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VOUCHERS, CHARTERS, MAGNETS OH MY!

The conversation about school choice is not new but has heated up recently due to the recent elections. The basic idea is that rather than only having the choice of your neighborhood school, you have a choice to go to any school you want including private schools and in some cases the government will give you vouchers to help offset the cost. There are obvious pros and cons to this system and some widely held myths. Time Magazine breaks it down and debunks the myths.

While only a handful of states have the voucher system in place, your state likely offers Charter schools already which is also a type of choice available outside of your districted public school.

Regardless of what side of the national school choice debate you fall on, finding the right fit for the education  of your children is so personal (just ask Nikole Hannah-Jones) and sometimes stressful. If you are looking for help, Picky Parent Guide does a wonderful job of providing tools and resources to make your decision making so much easier!

 

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ARE YOU RAISING A GUTSY GIRL?

Be careful! Watch where you are going! Don’t do that! You’re going to hurt yourself! Take it easy! These are phrases that get a lot of use around our daughters. Our sons? Well, that’s how boys are! Whether we would like to admit it or not, we have been raised with some gender stereotypes which we subconsciously believe in and may pass on to our daughters.

Christina Paul, one of the first female firefighters in San Francisco in 1989, has 10 awesome tips you can start using right away to unlearn those behaviors and encourage our daughters (and ourselves) be more adventurous!

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Editor’s Note: Thankful For You!

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Today as we take time to reflect on the goodness and fullness in our lives, particularly the people and things that matter most, we count you as one of our wonderful blessings.

Thank you for allowing us to support you in your parenting journey. Most importantly, thank you for the diversity of voice and thought you and your daughters bring to communities around the nation.

We wish you and your families a happy and safe thanksgiving!

Love,

Abi + Uto

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