Posts Tagged ‘parenting’

hi_pov-neurotypicalNeurotypical — broadcast on WGBY Monday, July 29, at 10:00pm — is an unprecedented exploration of autism from the point of view of autistic people themselves. Four-year-old Violet, teenaged Nicholas and adult Paula occupy different positions on the autism spectrum, but they are all at pivotal moments in their lives. How they and the people around them work out their perceptual and behavioral differences becomes a remarkable reflection of the “neurotypical” world — the world of the non-autistic — revealing inventive adaptations on each side and an emerging critique of both what it means to be normal and what it means to be human.  Preview.

In addition to the resources you’ll find at the POV:  Documentaries with a point of view website, PBS LearningMedia has the following:

 Susan Levy on Advances in Autism Research:  Dr. Levy says that because the characteristics of autism disorders range so widely, it has been difficult for scientists to pin down causes and develop effective treatments. But, she says she has hope.   (Audio, Grades 7-13+)

Is Autism Genetic or Environmental?  In this video segment from Greater Boston, learn about conflicting theories regarding the cause of autism.  (Video, Grades: 9-12)

Visual Supports:  A fact sheet for understanding visual supports.  (Document with Background Essay & Discussion Questions,  Grades 4-8)

We’d love to hear what you think about the program, this subject or any of these resources.

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Make silent reading more meaningful by following these three simple tips provided by Teach Mama. According to Amy Mascott, any parent can do these simple things to support their child’s independent reading at home. Check out the video below:

Teachmama, a Youtube partner of PBS Parents, is a blog focused on providing tips to parents for teaching their kids.  Check out her other great ideas for teaching math, science, and digital literacy.

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Pumpkin Math from PBS Parents

Whether you are making a jack-o’-lantern for Halloween, a pumpkin pie for the holidays, or pumpkin soup for a cold, rainy day, here is a fun way to engage your child in estimation, measurement and simple graphing activities.


  • one or more different-size pumpkins
  • sharp knife
  • tape measure, yardstick, or ruler
  • string
  • scissors
  • markers


  1. Before you tackle the task of cooking or carving, invite your child to help you decide if this particular pumpkin is going to meet your needs. If you are cooking, for example, decide together: Is the pumpkin going to be big enough? How could you figure this out? (One idea is to weigh it: a 3-pound pumpkin usually gives you 4 to 5 cups of pulp.) Or, if you are making a jack-o’-lantern, talk about any problems the pumpkinís shape might create as you make the face. What could you do to overcome those problems?
  2. If you are using more than one pumpkin, talk about ways they are the same and different (height, circumference, color, overall shape). Invite your child to help you cut a length of string for each pumpkin that shows how tall it is. (To keep track of which string goes with which pumpkin, use a colored marker to mark both the pumpkin and the string.) Then compare their heights using a “bar graph.” To make the “graph,” lay the strings parallel to one another on a table or countertop, with the bottom ends lined up. Similarly, you can ask how the height of a pumpkin compares to the distance around its middle — the circumference. Is the circumference greater than the height? How could you find out? Invite your child to help you cut a length of string that measures the distance around the pumpkinís widest part. (Use the same markers to keep track, as explained above.) Now pair the height of each pumpkin with its circumference. What do you notice? (That the circumference is greater than the height.)
  3. If you like to bake the seeds for snacks, before scooping them out, invite your child to estimate how many seeds are inside the pumpkin. To do this, use a sharp knife to open up the pumpkin and look inside. What strategies could you use to estimate how many seeds you see? (One way is to mentally divide the inside of the pumpkin into equal sections and count how many seeds are in that section. Then, using repeated addition, add that number to itself for all the sections.) Using your estimate, do you think youíll have enough seeds to give snacks to 10 friends?
  4. If you are making a jack-o’-lantern, invite your child to suggest geometric shapes for the eyes, nose, and mouth, and then draw the shapes where they should go. (You can either cut out the shapes or have your child color them in.) Finish off the pumpkin by adding fun and wacky details, like string for hair, costume jewelry, etc.
  5. If you are cooking with your pumpkin, invite your child to help you measure the pulp and other ingredients for your recipe.

Parent Tips:

  • Use these activities to help your child develop skills related to counting, measurement, reasoning, estimation, and geometry.
  • For younger children, use steps 2 and 3, but simplify. For example, compare which of the pumpkins is bigger or smaller, taller or shorter, fatter or skinnier to build vocabulary. And instead of estimating, invite your child to help you count out piles of seeds, 10 in each pile, before roasting them.

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Expert Dr. David Walsh took to PBS Parents to explain how developments in brain-imaging technology shows the differences in boys’ and girls’ brains in living color.  You can read all of Dr. Walsh’s thoughts here.  Dr. Walsh has also written a book, Smarter Parenting, Smarter Kids.  You can watch his video describing some of his recommendations below:

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From tooth brushing tips to diaper duty, find the best ways to keep your kids squeaky clean and encourage healthy habits with this week’s parenting guide with Mr. Arturo Trejo.  We love these videos because Arturo brings a great sense of humor to the trials of parenting.

For more A Parent’s Guide with Mr. Arturo Trejo, subscribe to their Youtube channel.



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The Parent Show takes on the do’s and don’ts of internet safety in the latest Youtube episode. Find out what happens when his son disobey the rules.

As funny as this is, he’s got great tips for internet safety, even for teens! For more “A Parent’s Guide with Mr. Arturo Trejo”, subscribe to their Youtube channel.

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Writer Erin Woiteshek’s finished dino-feet and one happy customer

Mom and PBS Parents writer, Erin Woiteshek, found this craft in a magazine and instantly knew she had to try it with her kids. Turns out, they didn’t want to take them off. Ever.  Here’s what you need to make dinosaur feet for your kids:

  • empty tissue boxes
  • duct tape
  • paint or decoupage materials
  • scissors
  • sponge, craft foam or cardboard
  • glue for attaching the toenails

To view the step-by-step instructions for this craft, visit PBS Parents.

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PBS Parents is featuring a new blogger and Youtuber: teachmama.com. “Teachmama” Amy Mascott is a Reading Specialist and former high school English teacher. She also serves as a Literacy Consultant who works with local schools to train teachers in literacy instruction programs. Currently, she’s a stay-at-home mom who is bringing her backgroung in education to her teachmama blog, showing parents how to do everyday learning activities with their own children.

You can visit the teachmama blog or check out her Youtube channel for great tips on activities for kids.

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Summer is the perfect time to travel. The kids are out of school and ready to enjoy new adventures!  Parents spend hours upon hours planning each leg of their family’s journey but often forget about the most important part of their trip- the mid-trip entertainment.  Active preschoolers and inquisitive children enjoy filling their travel time with games, videos, and more!  PBS has a wealth of activities that engage children in reading, math and science while they are on the go. Here are a few highlights:

  • Download the PBS Kids Video App to enjoy videos from your favorite PBS KIDS shows such as Curious George, Sid the Science Kid, Dinosaur Train! 
  • Be a trip detective with Oh Noah!  While traveling around the city or on a long car trip, challenge your child to identify items you pass in Spanish!
  • Print the Cyberchase Activity Book to enjoy challenges, puzzles and games! 

Whether you are flying, riding, or driving make sure you have activities to keep kids engaged and entertained.  Happy trails!

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We know that, even though school’s out for summer, the hustle and bustle of a family’s schedule never dwindles.  We also understand that it can be tough to come up with fun, new ideas for things to do with kids all summer long.  That’s why the National Recreation and Park Association wrote a column for PBS Parents talking about fun things to do at your local park.  Some of their fun ideas include:

  • Go on a scavenger hunt
  • Make art from nature
  • Watch the clouds
  • Start a rock collection

Keep checking in with PBS Parents for ideas to fill your kids’ summer with fun!

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