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SEP/OCT 2014


Literacy tips


Create word families craft USING PAINT SWATCH



Cook a star shaped egg & toast WITH YOUR KIDS

content 3 4 6 10 14

letter FROM THE EDITOR this edition’s contributors inspire: how you can influence your daughter’s self esteem cook: a starry breakfast

fun play: handmade toys from around the world

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story: confession of a special needs parent

Cover illustration & photography: Mia Setyawan 2

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CONTACT US: eLLEN STUMBO AND www.facebook.com/kidsnationmag HER DAUGHTER NICHOLE

photo: melissa hicks photography

from the editor I’d love to welcome you to the 1st edition of Kids Nation magazine. It’s the world’s first free digital magazine dedicated to empowering kids around the world.

On this 1st edition, Carey Casey, the CEO of Fathers.com, inspires us with strategies on how you can influence your daughter’s self esteem.

Why Kids Nation?

Ellen Zumbo from the US shared a heartwarming story about parenting her little girl who has special needs.

I want to share my dream with you, which has motivated me to start this journey. My dream is to see future generations who know that their value is not based on their appearance, race or background, but by characters they possess. I want to see future generations who can stand up for what’s right and be a voice for those who do not have one. I want to see future generations who are smart, enthusiastic and full of purpose. ... and Kids Nation was born. We are privileged to have contributors from different parts of the world.

September 8 is the International Literacy Day. We have reading and writing tips from excellent educators in Australia, Bangladesh, Japan and Cambodia. We also have an easy breakfast recipe and crafts that you and your kids can create together. As I embark on this journey, I invite you to walk hand in hand with me. Let’s touch the hearts of children and empower these future generations.

xo, Mia 3

this edition’s contributors:

MIA SETYAWAN AUSTRALIA EDITOR & DESIGNER KIDS NATION MAG Mia is a mother of two boys and a business owner from Australia. She owns an award winning graphic design studio and print + stationery online shop. She also writes a lifestyle blog and volunteer at a local children program.

ELLEN STUMBO UNITED STATES WRITER ELLENSTUMBO.COM Ellen Stumbo writes and speaks with gritty honesty and openness. Ellen’s writing has appeared on Focus on the Family, LifeWay, MomSense, Not Alone, Mamapedia and the Huffington Post. Ellen blogs at ellenstumbo.com and you can also find her on Twitter and Facebook.



Carey Casey is Chief Executive Officer of the Kansas City-based National Center for Fathering (NCF), a dynamic communicator and a compassionate ambassador. Carey serves on the White House Task Force on Fatherhood and Healthy Families.

Melinda is a primary school teacher and the creator + writer behind the blog Top Notch Teaching. Currently, she also provides oneon-one specialised intervention in reading, spelling and writing to students with dyslexia or other specific learning difficulties.


this edition’s contributors:

KARLI LOMAX, BANGLADESH EDUCATOR AND WRITER www.CREATINGATHOUGHTFULCLASSROOM.blogspot.com Karli is an American teaching first grade in Dhaka, Bangladesh. She has taught kindergarten and first grade while in Dhaka, Bangladesh for the past 6 years. Karli blogs at creatingathoughtfulclassroom.com. TAKUMI MAETSUKA, JAPAN EDUCATOR Takumi is an English teacher for Year7-9 students in Osaka, Japan. After graduating from the University, Takumi studied English education in Australia and has been teaching English for eight years in Japan. Alison Wood, CAMBODIA home-schooling mom of six and writer www.pintsizedtreasures.com Alison is an American expat living in Cambodia and a home-schooling mom of six. She has been published in family magazines and write for other parenting websites.

Kids Nation is a bi-monthly magazine, dedicated to empowering kids around the world. It is published by MOS Design Creative (www.mosdesign.com.au). Copyright © Kids Nation magazine. All rights reserved. Reproducing without permission is eLLEN STUMBO AND prohibited. Copyright of articles and photos remain with the individual contributors and may HER DAUGHTER not be reproduced without permission. NICHOLE



How you can influence your daughter’s self esteem BY: carey casey

click here to watch

There’s a fascinating video put out by Dove — aimed at women — that explores the idea “You’re more beautiful than you think you are.” Before I continue, watch the video. (It’s really worth 6 minutes of your time.)


’m not in the target audience for this campaign, but as a father it was eyeopening for sure. I have to ask myself, If my daughter described herself for a sketch artist, how would that drawing turn out—and how would it be different if I described her? I’ll probably never fully understand the pressures girls and women feel in our culture related to their appearance, and how that affects their self-image. But a few things I know without a doubt:

Physical appearance is a big deal to girls and women. And with the way they are portrayed in the media, they surely feel very little room to be less-than-perfect when it comes to their faces and their figures. And focusing on any perceived flaws impacts how they feel about themselves as people. None of us would want our wives or daughters to feel that way, but it’s easy to understand why they would. I say it’s tragic, because appearances don’t reflect the real character of a person. 7

It also reminds me that our wives and daughters are probably less secure than what they may show. If they seem confident and cheerful, that doesn’t mean they don’t need plenty of affirmation from us!

I won’t say affirming their physical appearance isn’t important. It is, for sure. But we should focus even more on affirming our wives and daughters in terms of their character and what they mean to us.

As husbands and fathers, we have a lot of influence on how the women in our lives view themselves, and we need to be all about affirming them — many times, every day.

That helps to build them up inside, and fosters the kind of inner strength that helps them maintain a high self-worth no matter what other signals they’re getting from the culture.

photo: ben earwicker

The Dove campaign is powerful and insightful … and as fathers, it should motivate us even more to help our children focus on the right things. Ultimately, don’t we all want our kids to learn to place less value on a person’s appearance and more on what’s inside — a person’s heart? We can play a big role in this area. One section in our ebook “5 Things Every Child MUST Get from Dad” hits today’s topic very well: Go ahead and compliment your daughter when she has taken care to look attractive, just as you would a son who has intentionally spent time making sure he looks handsome. But more important is your ability to compliment her other qualities, like emotional strength, sense of humor, loyalty, intelligence, and courage. But more important is your ability to compliment her other qualities, like emotional strength, sense of humor, loyalty, intelligence, and courage.


Make it clear that what you love most about your daughter are her non-physical qualities, and that even without her physical features, you would still love her just as much. But don’t let your response end with reading something. Do something! Start a new habit in the way you express affirmation to your daughter—and your son.

Action points for dads on the journey

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Talk with your children Talk about what makes a person “attractive.” How much of it is purely physical, and how much is about character? Have three or four specific virtues in mind for the next week — such as loyalty, courage, kindness, and respect. Really look for those in your child and be ready to point out examples you see. Be creative Find a shared activity that you and your daughter both enjoy. Make plans to do it regularly. Be creative and make sacrifices if necessary. TELL THEM Make it clear to your bride and your children that your love and commitment to them will never change, and has nothing to do with their physical appearance. SET AN EXAMPLE Set an example and join your children in healthy activities — walking, running, or some other exercise.

The National Center for Fathering (www.fathers.com) is a national nonprofit organization that offers innovative tools and resources that inspire and equip fathers to be more involved with their children in order to give each child a better future and to create a positive fathering legacy. 9


A starry breakfast BY: MIA SETYAWAN


Father’s Day in Australia falls on September 7 this

year. Make this breakfast for all star dads!

ingredients: Bread Egg Star cookie cutter Butter and cooking spray Cocktail sausage Mushrooms Your fave salad leaves Salt and pepper for seasoning


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Lightly toast your bread. Cut out a star shape using the cookie cutter.

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Prepare your side dishes and don’t forget to season it with salt and pepper to your liking.


Melt a little butter in a skillet. Place your bread. Spray the star cookie cutter with cooking spray. Fit it in the bread and crack an egg into the cutter. Once the egg is set, remove bread from skillet and place on a plate. Use a knife or tongs to remove cutter. Note: children may need their parent’s help.

Get your kids to create their breakfast like an artist. Their imagination is the limit! You can use the star cutout and dip it into the egg. Yum!

inspirational prints for kids room


for the love of children, home & celebrations


Confession of a special needs parent: i wish you could see what i see BY: ELLEN STUMBO


It’s no secret my girls have special needs. You can easily see the facial characteristics of Down syndrome, or the walker, wheelchair, and poor gait that points to cerebral palsy. Delays, poor speech, clumsy steps.


know you see the behaviors, I know you hear the labored words, I know you notice the differences, and I know you are grateful this is not your child. I don’t blame you. I understand. Sometimes it’s hard. There was a time I stood where you stand now, from the outside looking in. But I wish you could see what I see. Because my kids are so much more than what your eyes perceive. Our lives are rich and full.

what i see I wish you could see the celebration we live with, the excitement we find in the small accomplishments, the way we cheer each other up. I wish you could see the beauty, to look beyond a disability to see the person, just the person. The beauty not only from the outside, but the incredible beauty that’s found in the heart. I wish you could see the joy, not just happiness, but the overwhelming joy. I wish you could see the smiles that knock me over feeling like the luckiest parent in this world. The laughs that make me do crazy theatrics just to hear those giggles. 15

I wish you could see photo: hans thoursie

the beauty, to look

beyond a disability to see the person

just the person ...



wish you could recognize that those clumsy steps mean mobility, and every single step is a win. I wish you could see the sibling love, so different from what I expected. So real, so close. So beyond my dreams. I wish you could see how typical our lives are. Sibling fights, trips to the park, grilling burgers in the backyard. I wish you could see the old me, and recognize how my kids have helped make me into who I am today. How they have helped me rearrange my priorities, and how they have made me stronger, bolder. I wish you could see our thankfulness, and how very lucky we feel that we get to calls these kids our very own. I wish you could recognize the sweet sound of those labored words, and how hearing, “I love you” even with missing sounds, is beautiful. I wish you could see our Friday Family Movie Nights, and how much love you can feel in a Living Room, eating chicken nuggets and French fries. I wish you could see that we love our life, and we love our family, and we love how well we fit together, all of us flawed in our own way, all of us loved for exactly who we are. Yes, I wish you could see the love. And I wish you could feel it too. Because it’s the type of love that surprises you, because you never thought you could love this way. Love changes things, even perspectives. I know it changed mine. I wish you could see what I see.

Ellen Stumbo is passionate about sharing the real – sometimes beautiful and sometimes ugly – aspects of faith, parenting, special needs, and adoption. Ellen blogs at ellenstumbo.com and you can also find her on Twitter and Facebook. the article and photos of the stumbos ARE COPYRIGHT OF ELLEN STUMBO. used with permission.


fun play compiled bY: MIA SETYAWAN

handmade learning toys from around the world

math dice: cake in the morn (USA) | painted stones: happy emotions (latvia) wooden puzzle: siam collection (thailand) felt food: mummy made it me (UK) | lion amigurumi: daydreams by meri (turkey)

around the world

Reading and Writing tips from educators from around the world compiled BY: MIA SETYAWAN 19

What are you teaching? I’m a primary school teacher, but I currently provide one-on-one specialised intervention in reading, spelling and writing to students diagnosed with dyslexia or who may have other specific learning difficulties. Two top tips for teaching kids to read and write? Tip 1 – Listen for sounds in words


This is a great activity to use with younger children who are just starting out with the concept of reading. You might say, “I see the ‘sun’, what’s the first sound you hear in the word sun.” Choose words that start with a sound that can be held, such as the /s/ in sun. You may also need to really hold the first sound to emphasise it to younger children. When children are able to identify the initial sound, then move on to try the end and middle sounds. Again, sun is good to use as you can hold the final sound to emphasise it. Tip 2 – Play games

My name is Mel and I am the creator and writer behind the blog Top Notch Teaching. I am passionate about K-7 education and how we can better ourselves as teachers to provide more quality opportunities for our students. I love all things educational and creating FUN, meaningful activities for kids. I share practical, time saving tips and resources for teachers through my blog. 20

Games are a fun and motivating way of consolidating and rehearsing what has been explicitly taught. Games could be as simple as eye-spy. You might say, “I spy a mmmuuugg.” The child needs to then blend the sounds together to tell you the word. For more practical ideas to help kids improve the skills needed for reading, check out this article here.

Two top tips for teaching kids to read and write?

Karli Lomax COUNTRY: bangladesh first grade TEACHER www.creatingathoughtful classroom.blogspot.com

Tip 1 – Start a reading ritual with your child and practice it as often as possible! Enjoy a nightly bedtime story, take a weekly trip to your local library, or celebrate special events by gifting your child a special book. Whatever ritual you choose, make it realistic to ensure consistency. Establishing a reading ritual with your child conveys how much you value literacy, and cultivates a lifelong love for books. Guaranteed, your child will fondly remember this tradition well into adulthood! Tip 2 – Help your child “publish” their own books!

I’m an American teaching in Dhaka, Bangladesh at American International School, Dhaka. Teaching is my passion. I am thrilled to be starting my 19th year as an elementary school teacher! I have taught kindergarten and first grade while in Dhaka, Bangladesh for the past 6 years and taught 12 years in the U.S. I consider myself a lifelong learner and strive to cultivate the same love of learning in my own students.

Supplying children with loads of paper and writing supplies empowers them to find their voices as authors. Children have brilliant ideas to share! Encourage your child to tell stories through pictures and/or words, and then help them to create a construction paper cover to publish the final piece. Once done, your child may share with everyone in the family. Valuing creativity of thought over correctness will spark your child’s motivation to write and boost their confidence.


Takumi Maetsuka COUNTRY: japan year 7-9 english TEACHER

Two top tips for teaching kids to read and write? Tip 1 – Start with a simple story book It is important for children to read a simple story book to begin with. When they read a book, they should read it without dictionary. It doesn’t matter if they do not understand the story, sentences, and the grammar 100%. What’s more important is for them to learn to enjoy reading and have fun!

After graduating from the university, I studied English education in Australia for a year. I have been teaching English for Year 7 to Year 9 students for eight years in Japan.

Tip 2 – Relevant topics In my profession as a Year 7-9 English teacher, I help my students to be able to write in English. I would give my students some topics, which they personally can relate with. For example: topics about school life, club activity, sports, hobbies, friends and family. These kind of topics would help them to write easier in English.


Alison Wood COUNTRY: cambodia home-schooling mom of six children, former k4 teacher www.pintsizedtreasures.com

I’m an American expat living in Cambodia and a home-schooling mom of six. I have also taught K4 for one year, and many years of piano and voice. I am a missionary in Southeast Asia and it has been an adventure to home-school outside of the United States. My supplies are limited here, but I am thankful for many internet resources to help us enjoy our journey of learning.

Two top tips for teaching kids to read and write? Tip 1 – Pick a subject they enjoy to learn about My oldest three kids did not have much difficult with phonics and desiring to read. However, my fourth child did and would always cry when it was time to read. It became a chore for both of us and I dreaded it everyday. But, one day we began to read Amelia Bedelia. Everything changed. She loved the stories and the pictures. Now she BEGS me to read. Choose something your child loves and use that as a tool to teach reading! Tip 2 – Stay consistent Don’t read and write for a few days and then take one week off. Stay consistent as they are building their foundation. A little bit everyday is a lot more productive then a large chunk here and there. 23


Learn about word families using paint swatch BY: MIA SETYAWAN


word families word families are groups of words that have a common feature or pattern. For example: Meet the “AN family”: t-an, p-an, c-an or the “IN family”: b-in, f-in, w-in You can use this simple craft to teach pre-readers how to sound out words and learn reading in a fun way.

what you need Paint swatches Paper cutter or scissors Marker

how to make: Cut your paint swatches into single colour segment You can search in Google for the full list of word families. Few examples: ab, an, ed, et, in, ot. Write alphabets using marker 25

for pre-readers Use similar colour swatches for the word families (same colour are preferred) to help the kids identify “the family”. For example: if your kids are learning “AN” family, use green swatch for both “A” and “N” letters. Use different colours for the other letters.

for readers Write each alphabet (A to Z) on any colour swatch. Practice with longer word families, such as the “ACK” family: P-ACK, L-ACK, BL-ACK and SN-ACK.



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Profile for Kids Nation Magazine

Kids Nation Magazine - Edition 1 Sep/Oct 2014  

World's first free digital magazine, dedicated to empowering kids around the world, with global contributors

Kids Nation Magazine - Edition 1 Sep/Oct 2014  

World's first free digital magazine, dedicated to empowering kids around the world, with global contributors