EDUCATION

Who Built That? teaches children more than modern architecture and engineering

By reading Who Built That?, children learned more than architecture and engineering principles. They learn that to turn a project into reality requires vision, passion, creativity, problem-solving skills, and determination.

As I wrote before, I felt in love with modern architecture at 6 years old. I’m glad that I can share this interest with my son. We have been reading about skyscrapers this week.

Our latest bedtime story is Who Built That? Skyscrapers: An Introduction to Skyscrapers and Their Architects by Didier Cornille. The book explains the technological breakthroughs, design elements, and engineering concepts of eight tall buildings. It’s written in terms that children can understand. But the most important thing, in my view, is that Cornille described the motivations and the challenges that the creators had to face to make their project a reality. Continue Reading

EDUCATION

Science camps: We need to go beyond the experiments

It’s that time of the year when parents start to register kids for summer camps. I sought innovative and fun science day camps for my 6 year old son. I made my short list of contenders and already registered him to two weekly camps that seem awesome. I’m writing this because my STEM camp search also raised a few flags. Continue Reading

EDUCATION

Galaxy Zack shows early readers what it’s like to live on another planet

I searched for another sci-fi book series for my five year-old son while we wait for the 6th volume of the DATA Set series due in March. I found it with Galaxy Zack.

Author Ray O’Ryan centered this fun-to-read series on Zack Nelson, an eight-year old boy from Earth who moved with his family to a planet called Nebulon. Interplanetary space travel and having extraterrestrial friends are common in the year 2120. Zack lived many aventures in a “grape” futuristic universe. Along the way, he meets a few old and new friends.  Continue Reading

EDUCATION

Don’t rush it: what ScratchJr and simple block-based programming languages teach children

ScratchJr projects :: animated story

I wrote this post because I heard a few parents of kids aged 5 or 6 who did a few simple ScratchJr projects mentioning that they wanted to go to the next step. With the end of Hour of Code week, it’s easy for young coders (or their parents) to succumb to the lure of a more advanced programming language. After all, these programs offer more options. You might feel that you know everything there is to know about the simple block-based language you used so far. In many cases, that would be a huge, huge mistake! Let me explain why I think this way. Continue Reading

EDUCATION

The DATA Set, perfect for young sci-fi readers

If you are looking for a way to introduce a child aged 5 to 8 to the science-fiction genre, look no further than the DATA set chapter books. The filled with danger, action, trouble and adventure stories are fun, easy to read and beautifully illustrated. Illustrations are important at this age. The storylines grab my son’s attention. He looks forward to the next chapter. Continue Reading

EDUCATION

How taking a break led to a mission

Since I took a sabbatical, I’m a mom on a mission. I worked in computing and digital content for 25 years. My job always involved in one way or another training people, understand their needs, designing applications, prototyping and disrupting how people work, promote their business, shop or get informed. I now want to put my skills and knowledge to use for the benefits of children instead of businesses.

Like many women in tech and STEM-related job, I’m deeply concerned by the fact that not only girls don’t consider these career choices but that many women left these industries to launch another venture or to work in other industries. Continue Reading

EDUCATION

A one-of-a-kind bedtime book for kids who like space

Each time my son sees his book, he says with a proud and happy face: “This is the book that my mom made for me”.  There is nothing more joyful to hear for a parent (or a grand-parent).

When the PR team of the London-based start-up Lost my Name approached me to review one of their books, their second title The Incredible Intergalactic Journey Home instantly grabbed my attention. I knew that this lost in space story would speak to my 5-year-old son. What I didn’t know is how advanced was the way they personalize this space odyssey. Continue Reading

EDUCATION

Why the Finns are right when it comes to early childhood education?

If you’re on Facebook, you probably saw on your feed the clip from Michael Moore’s “Where to Invade Next” that talked about Finnish children who spend comparatively little time at school, don’t get homework and yet receive one of the best educations in the world.

I’m all for it. What happens in Finland validates my own observations and belief. Observing how my son and his little friends behave showed me that kids learn essential emotional, social and cognitive skills when they play, explore, experiment, invent, make and create art projects. Moreover, I don’t see why, as a parent or a society, we would need to push them away from enjoying their childhood. Continue Reading

EDUCATION

Teaching emotions to young kids with a simple craft project

Posting on Facebook a photo of a simple craft project imagined by our son led to our discover of teru teru bozu. Teru teru bozu is a traditional Japanese dolls made of tissue paper or cloth hung in front of the window to prevent rain. These ghost-like dolls became popular in the Edo era. Children of that era hang them the day before important events or festivities. Continue Reading