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Monthly Archives: April 2013


April 30, 2013

By Sarah Vander Schaaff Tradition. My family does not have a lot of it, to be honest, so the events at school that fall under that category, are interesting to me. And if there was ever a season for traditions it seems spring is it. The only one I remember from my own elementary school days was track and field day, but it was big—and it was something I looked forward to, if only to see my principal play tug-of-war. My oldest daughter recently had a Maypole celebration. Her cohort of second-graders practiced for several days, learning to bow to their neighbors and then move, with a steady pace, in what became a weaving of the colorful ribbons draped from… Read More

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Hindsight is 20/20

April 23, 2013

By Sarah Vander Schaaff Sitting in the examining room during my eight-year-old daughter’s recent visit to the optometrist, I had a rare insight into how she sees the world. For the most part, it seemed, as I looked at the chart she viewed, “D’s” looked liked “O’s”. In fact, anytime a letter was difficult for her to see, she called it an “O”. I was proud of her poise, sitting in the big chair in the darkened room, with instruments set before her eyes, the doctor flipping the slats, asking again, and then again, for her to read a line of letters. And I was struck my how narrow my own understanding of her eyesight has been. As her mother,… Read More

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After Boston

April 16, 2013

By Sarah Maraniss Vander Schaaff It was only four months ago that we, as a country, and as parents, were stopped cold, left to wonder how to make some sort of sense out of the events unfolding. While it is too early to know much about the bombings in Boston, we thought the best use of the blog this week was to provide links for parents that might be of use if and when they speak to their children about the tragedy. It was a Bedford, New Hampshire Patch site that lead us to the link on the Boston Children’s Hospital Pediatric Health Blog. There are some good points there, as well as links, including one at PBS KIDS, called,… Read More

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Preschool TV: No Longer Educational?

April 9, 2013

By Sarah Vander Schaaff The most troubling thing about the story in last week’s New York Times, “New Disney Characters Make it Big in TV’s Preschool Playground“, was not that Disney Jr.’s “Sofia the First” is leaving Nick Jr.’s “Dora the Explorer” in the ratings dust. That contest, between the down-to-earth explorer in a pair of shorts with a talking backpack, and a newly dubbed princess in a floor-length dress with a crown, is another blog post entirely. No, the troubling thing for parents might be the explanation Disney Jr. reportedly has for its successful new formula of preschool programming. According to The New York Times, Disney said, “its research indicated that mothers were less interested than they used to… Read More

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