Friday, August 28, 2009

Internet Safety

Now that school is underway, the phone is ringing off the hook and the computer is always in use. Whether for personal enjoyment or homework, the computer has become an everyday part of the typical American home. It can be a blessing as long as you know how to keep it safe for your children.

Check out the Illinois Attorney General, Lisa Madigan's website for some great information and tips about internet safety as part of her 'Safeguarding Children' campaign to have every child grow up in a safe community.

You might also want to look at some internet safety software that blocks inappropriate content on computers and cell phones here, or check out the KidsHealth website to find out more about what you can do as parents to keep your child's internet experience safe.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Ready.....Set.....Back To School!

Whether your child is just beginning school or a returning student, the new school year is likely to bring with it feelings of anticipation, excitement, and nervousness!

With the start of school, the lazy, hazy days of summer automatically give way to the activities of acquiring school supplies, clothing, and shoes. Also included in the back to school buzz are packing nutritious lunches, carpool schedules, after school lessons, additional trips to the grocery store and of course spending more money.

Wait! Are you feeling overwhelmed? Take some time out to share some back-to-school stories together. Check out the great back to school display we have at the library, and take a look at our newly created bibliographies (lists of appropriate books for your child's grade level). Among the many excellent choices at the library are Will I have a friend? by Miriam Cohen, and Mrs. Watson Wants Your Teeth by Alison McGhee.

Back to School Resources is a helpful website for the new school year. Good Luck!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Wait... There Are Comic Books in the Library!?!

The answer is YES! Graphic novels are essentially a book length comic and they are a terrific way to encourage reluctant readers to read.

Graphic novels might be the same thickness as a regular size paperback book, but because there are less words on the page, readers are able to finish the book sooner than they would reading prose. It gives them a sense of accomplishment-they finished a book! They end up getting caught up in the story and interpreting the pictures, and it makes reading fun. If your child doesn't want to be seen reading a book, or is upset because he or she thinks it's too hard, try suggesting graphic novels. They might look at you like "What? Mom is okay with me reading comics?!" but the important thing is that it encourages your child to read!

Don't know where to start? Stop by the Youth Services desk! We would be happy to suggest some titles your child might like. You can also try this fantastic website: no flying no tights. The homepage offers you the choice to enter the main site for teens or Sidekicks, the site for kids up to 12 years old. They offer lots of great reviews, definitions, and FAQs.

In my next post I'll talk about other ways graphic novels help kids learn, but until then, here are some recently read titles that were really great:

Babymouse: Queen of the World by Jennifer Holm
The first in a series, Babymouse deals with life using her active imagination. Girls can relate to Babymouse and her desire to fit in with the popular crowd in this title.

Grampa and Julie: Shark Hunters by Jef Czekaj
Julie and her Grampa are off on a series of mad-cap adventures in search of the largest shark in the world, Stephen. Luckily Gramma will come in to rescue them and lend her assistance.

Knights of the Lunch Table: The Dodgeball Chronicles by Frank Cammuso
A modern update to the Arthurian legend involving a stuck locker (instead of the sword in the stone) and a new kid at school named Artie.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Guten Tag! Sprechen Sie Deutsch?

If your answer to that question is "No, I don't speak German, but I would like to learn," there are some great resources in our community. Children who are interested in instruction in the four language domains (reading, writing, speaking, and listening) may want to take classes at the the German Language School of the Danube Swabian Society, 625 Seegers Road, Des Plaines. Classes for children ages 4-14 begin Saturday, September 19.

If you want to try speaking German (and eating at the same time), visit Kuhn's Deli, 749 W. Golf Road, Des Plaines. The chicken schnitzel is one of my favorite sandwiches to eat there. I also like to take home the authentic German potato salad, but there are also lots of other grocery and deli items available for purchase.

The Library also has many resources for learning about German language and culture. Tell Me More is an online language learning resource that can help you build vocabulary, speaking, listening, reading and writing skills in German. The Golden Goose is a DVD based on a fairy tale by the Brothers Grimm that you can listen to in German. Want to pick up a dictionary? The German Picture Dictionary is exactly what the title implies. Each German word is accompanied by a translation, a simple sentence, and a colorful picture.

Ich muss jetzt gehen. Bis bald! (I have to go now. See you soon!)

Friday, August 14, 2009

Summer’s Not Done…There’s Still Time for Fun

With half the month gone, school around the corner, and Labor Day weeks away- it's time for relaxing and enjoying what's left of summer. The challenge this year when the economy is lacking is: What can a family do locally on the cheap side? The following are some ideas that I enjoyed this summer with my family:

Explore through Cooking. Gather the family and pick a recipe from a cookbook like Around the World Cookbook that features various traditional foods. Don't forget to visit our CD collections for a side of cultural music.

A Family Camp Out in your own backyard- it's a classic!

Visit the Mount Prospect Park District's Rosemary Argus Friendship Park Conservatory located in Des Plaines and surround yourself with 30 acres of beautiful landscapes, strolling paths, and tennis or basketball courts.

Elk anyone? Visit the elk herd located on the corner of Arlington Heights Road and Higgins Road. The Ned Brown Forest Preserve also boasts paved trails for biking, paths for hiking, and renting canoes and rowboats.

A Day at the Farm. Visit Glenview Park District's historic Wagner Farm where you can see the newest farm animal, Madison, an 8 week old calf, and enjoy interactive exhibits including visiting a general store and milking a cow.

Visit the River Trail Nature Center located in Northbrook and learn about local plant and wildlife of the Des Plaines River Valley.

And of course, you can always visit us for more resources and ideas.

How about you? Any places to share?

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

New Parenting Books

Look for these books in our Parenting Collection.

Raising a Gifted Child
A parenting success handbook.
J Parent Collection 155.455 FER

Changing your World One Diaper at a Time
A reflective journey through your baby's first year.
J Parent Collection 248.8431 TAV

Still a Family
A guide to good parenting through divorce.
J Parent Collection 306.89 REY

Baby Sign Language Basics
Early communication for hearing babies and toddlers.
J Parent Collcetion 419.7 BRI

100 Questions &Answers about Childhood Immunizations
J Parent Collection 614.47 BEL

Unplug Your Kids
A parent's guide to raising happy, active and well-adjusted children in the digital age.
J Parent Collection 649.1 DUT

The Birth to Age Five Book
Confident childrearing right from the start.
J Parent Collection 649.1 NIX

The truth about your child's health from newborn through preschool.
J Parent Collection 649.122 ADE

Twins 101
50 must-have tips for pregnancy through early childhood from doctor M.O.M.
J Parent Collection 649.144 LE

Child's Play
Montessori games and activities for your baby and toddler.
J Parent Collection 649.5 PIT

Creative Play for your Toddler
Creative activities with expert advice and toy projects for 2 years - 4 years.
J Parent Collection 649.51 CLO

The Kazdin Method for Parenting the Defiant Child
Putting these methods together with no pills, no therapy and no contest of wills.
J Parent Collecton 649.64 KAZ

The Entitlement-free Child
Raising confident and responsible kids in a "me, mine, now!" culture.
J Parent Collection 649.7 DEE

Tough Conversations with Your Kids
From sex to family values tackle any topic with sensitivity and smarts.
J Parent Collection 676.78 HEY

Friday, August 7, 2009

Read on the Wild Side Summer Reading Patch

Wondering how to motivate your children to keep on reading during August before school begins? Encourage them to read and earn our special Read on the Wild Side patch!

All they need to do is read 10 books about wild animals, wild places or wild adventures by Monday, August 31st. No registration is necessary. Just drop in and pick up a suggested reading list plus a simple reading log to record and rate each book. Return the completed log by August 31st to receive a colorful embroidered Read on the Wild Side patch.

If your children would enjoy collecting more patches all year long, they can register for our complete Reading Patch Club program starting in September. This club runs through May 2010 when our the 2010 Summer Reading Patch Club program begins. Stop by the Youth Services desk to see the exciting patch choices beginning in September.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Easy Art with the Kids

Looking for something creative to do for or with your kids? Create a Wordle! It is a jumble of words in a word cloud about a person or a subject. You can use different color schemes, fonts, and layouts to create a unique art project just right for your family.

You can create one together on the computer about your home, a pet, or a person, or create one about your child to hang in their room. You can even use the lyrics from a song!

Check out our Wordle about the blog: