Interview with Kelly Bartlett, Author of “Encouraging Words for Kids” (Plus, WIN A COPY!)

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Kelly Bartlett is one of my e-friends; though have never met in person, the interactions we have had over email and digital media makes me feel like I could sit down for coffee with her tomorrow and we would chat like old friends.  Kelly’s blog, Parenting From Scratch [http://parentingfromscratch.wordpress.com], and her book, Encouraging Words for Kids [http://www.kellybartlett.net/book.htm], have both been enormously helpful to me in my journey as a parent and educator. 

 Many of us have heard of the notion that praising kids might not nurture the traits we hope for in our children, but the practice of shifting our vocabulary can be overwhelming!  Encouraging Words for Kids is like the how-to manual for those of us trying to raise kids without saying “Good job!”  (more…)

Playgrounds in Japan

Desmond on a train in Kobe, Japan

Desmond on a train in Kobe, Japan

One of the interesting realities about traveling with young children is the ways that it changes our use of time while we are in port.  We aren’t touring museums or spending much time in Japanese teahouses.  Instead, we are balancing our time between cultural sites and places where our children can be children.

We get to see local playgrounds and experience a small slice of what it is like to have a family in the countries we are visiting.  I plan to share pictures of these experiences with you.  In Japan, we visited two parks, and while I’m sure these parks are not typical of the entire country, I was interested to see how the Japanese design spaces for children in these small regions. (more…)

We Are All Outsiders: Play is Our Way IN

We were in Japan last week, and I was reminded of the exhilaration of immersing myself in a brand new culture.  We quite literally did not know how to do the most basic things: board the escalators, eat the amazing food, or flush the toilets.  Relying on cues from the local Japanese was the only window we had into cultural expectations.

·         The line of pedestrians standing along the left side of the escalator signaled that we were to keep a lane open on the right for those commuters rushing to catch their train.

·         The full shoe cubbies by the doorway to the restaurant clued us to take our own shoes off before entering.

·         I had to guess on the toilets.* (more…)

Writer’s Block

I have started no fewer than six blog posts since we embarked on our sea journey twenty-two days ago.  I can’t seem to figure out what you would want to read.

You might think that is preposterous.  If I were you and you were me, I would want to know everything about what it’s like to live on a ship and travel the world with young children.  (more…)