Rhode Island Parent Magazine December 2015

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December 2015




Gift Guide: Kid’s books Tips for taking kids out to eat Scholarship contest Win Julie Garnett’s new lullaby CD or Providence Children’s Museum tickets

Homeschooling Perspectives on home education in RI

Willow Campbell, 6, with sister Elowyn, 5 months, of Cumberland


Rhode Island Parent Magazine  December 2015

December 2015  Rhode Island Parent Magazine



Rhode Island Parent Magazine  December 2015

Contents December 2015 / vol. 1 / no. 5



6 A Note from the Publisher Would you attend a Camp Expo? 12 My Turn Winter fun: Ice skating.

14 Free Stuff! Win tickets to the Providence Children’s Museum or the new CD from Julie Garnett.


16 Get Organized! 8 tools for restaurant survival.

22 Ask Dr. Day Care Your questions answered.


24 Kid of the Month Win a scholarship.

8 Cover Feature:

28 Calendar Things to do in December.


26 Directory of Advertisers They make the magazine possible and keep it free. Give them some love!


See what homeschooling looks like in RI.

18 Gift Guide:

Children’s Books

Learn about books that make great gifts.

On the web

We are working on our website and the magazine is available digitally online (great for tablet, phone, or computer), and you can join our Facebook page. Visit www.RIParentMag.com and Facebook.com/RIParentMag

December 2015  Rhode Island Parent Magazine


A Note from the Publisher

57 Rolfe Square, Suite 10094 Cranston, Rhode Island 02910 (401) 337-9240


hope you have completed all your shopping, wrapping, and baking and are sitting comfortably somewhere with a cup of hot chocolate, reading stories to your quiet and clean children. It sounds nice, doesn’t it? We can dream. Now I’d like to ask you about next spring. I’m not trying to rush things, but we at Rhode Island Parent Magazine have this crazy idea to hold a Camp Expo next March or April. This would be held somewhere easy to get to with lots of free parking, like a mall or other business. Camps and other summer activity groups would set up tables with brochures, photos, and friendly people to talk to. You would get information about a whole bunch of things your kids could do next summer – all in one place, at one time. Save time planning your children’s summer and have more time to actually enjoy the season! Would you attend? We want to know what you think. Please go to our website, riparentmag.com, and take a very quick poll (it’s only one question!) to let us know if you are interested. We only want to hold our Camp Expo if it will be useful to you, so your feedback will help us decide what to do. This month’s issue is full of great articles. Learn what RI homeschooling looks like on page 8, and get book gift ideas on page 18. Get tips on surviving a restaurant with your kids on page 16, and read a wonderful piece on ice skating with kids on page 12. And of course, visit our website, riparentmag.com, to enter to win a Julie Garnett lullaby CD or tickets to the Providence Children’s Museum. Finally, please tell the businesses in this magazine that you’ve seen their ad – it’s super important. Without them, the magazine won’t exist for long. If you’re enjoying each free issue, please be vocal to our advertisers who really want to hear from you! Happy Holidays!

Susan Gale

Publisher/Editor Susan Gale publisher@RIParentMag.com Art Director/Graphic Designer Rob Kenney artdirector@RIParentMag.com Copy Editor Sheila Flanagan editor@RIParentMag.com Business Manager Lisa Koulibaly sales@RIParentMag.com Advertising Sales (401) 337-9240 sales@RIParentMag.com On the cover: photo by Kimberly Dobosz of Kimberly Dobosz Photography. kimberlydoboszphotography.com Publisher photo taken by Keith Jochim. KeithJochimPhotography.com Rhode Island Parent Magazine is published monthly by Gale Force Communications. Unless specifically noted, no advertisers, products, or services are endorsed by the publisher. Editorial submissions welcome.

©2015 All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or part without written permission is prohibited.

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Rhode Island Parent Magazine  December 2015

December 2015  Rhode Island Parent Magazine


Cover Story By Barbara Slover Winkler

Perspectives on

homeschooling in Rhode Island

ENRICHri is a “secular community which provides support and guidance in a welcoming environment for homeschooling families in Southern New England.” It is the largest homeschooling group in RI with 350 member families and more than 1,100 individual members. The group offers support services, 1:1 consults, a resource library, workshops/ seminars, field trips, and a co-operative program (parentled classes) at its Coventry community center. Classes change each session and have included topics such as “Great Composers,” “Fermentation & Preservation,” “Animal Life Cycles and Habitats,” and “Lego Math.” Contact ENRICHri at www.enrichri.org.


aking decisions around your child’s education or extra-curricular activities is always a complex and nerve-racking experience. Families in Rhode Island who choose to homeschool often have more than one reason they decide on this route for their child or children – and parent-led home education is more mainstream than most people know. Homeschooling is growing 2% to 8% per year, according to the National Home Education Research Institute. Contrary to old stereotypes, most new homeschoolers are motivated by secular, not religious, reasons. The Institute estimates there are more than 2.2 million home-educated students in the United States. Homeschooling is also a popular option in many other countries. In Rhode Island, it is estimated that there are between 1,200 – 1,500 homeschooled students. Homeschoolers must file an annual letter of intent to homeschool with their local district.

Why families choose to homeschool

Here are some common reasons families decide to homeschool: Academic needs: Many families decide to homeschool so that they can better meet their child’s academic


Rhode Island Parent Magazine  December 2015

needs by offering one-on-one learning opportunities, which are not always available in typical school settings. Children can go as fast or as slow as they want to in different subjects. Learning can be tailored to a child’s style of learning (visual, auditory, verbal, or kinesthetic) and to each child in a family. Homeschooling takes less time than a typical school day, so the child can pursue additional interests. Arts, music, sports, and any other interest can be explored more in-depth. Medical issues: Some families choose to homeschool when their child has medical issues. Homeschooling allows the child to pursue education while dealing with any type of medical needs that may interfere with typical schooling. Changes in schools: The school system has changed over the years. Some families are concerned with the emphasis on testing or the reduction in physical education and recess, especially in the younger grades, and decide to homeschool. Others are concerned with the violence that happens in our society, sometimes focused on children in day care settings or schools.

What homeschooling looks like

Homeschooling offers many experiences and opportunities that cannot be

The magazine cover and photos taken by Kimberly Dobosz of Cumberland. kimberlydoboszphotography.com

attained in other educational settings. Homeschooling actually doesn’t just happen at home. It happens everywhere. Between field trips, co-operative learning options (available with other homeschooled students), outside music/art/sports classes, park and playground time, and scheduled playdates, homeschoolers are out and about all the time. Many families have to schedule time to just be home for “school.”

Estimates put the number of home educated children in the U.S. at 2.2 million with 1,200-to-1,500 in RI. Homeschooling, by its very nature, allows families to have very close relationships. By creating their own school schedule, families can enjoy a slower lifestyle or one that is action-packed. It is up to homeschooling parents to create it. Another excellent opportunity with homeschooling is the flexibility to travel as a family when others do not travel. Children can travel with parents for work trips or as an overall lifestyle. All variations of families homeschool – one fulltime working parent with a stay-at-home parent; single parents; both parents working part-time; and any other option you can imagine. Families of all religions, races, and economic levels homeschool today. Strong support and resources exist for homeschoolers with curriculum options, including high quality, free curriculum. Barbara Slover Winkler, of Attleboro, MA, a freelance grant writer and national nonprofit consultant, homeschools her boys, ages 11 and 4, and is part of ENRICHri's Public Relations Team. ENRICHri.org

In their own words… Homeschoolers in RI Rhode Island Parent Magazine conducted interviews with parents who are members of ENRICHri. What follows are brief summaries of these conversations. These quotes are designed to provide a window into homeschooling in RI but do not necessarily represent all homeschoolers or every aspect or belief of the parents quoted. Rema Tomka, of Smithfield, homeschools her children: Edie, 12, Boden, 10, Greta, 7 “We usually wake up at 8 a.m. and have a curriculum list for the day with reading, writing, math, all of the regular subjects but we have flexibility. For instance, we were doing science and my kids wanted to do something different. They wanted to use Hot Wheels® cars. So I told them get everything out and then talked about how science is about measuring things. They sat there studying which of the cars was best, based on weight and the shape of the car – for hours and hours. “I’m always worrying am I doing enough, am I organized enough? But we are letting go of the idea of what school is. What I’ve noticed is how less hectic life is. There is peace and harmony in the household. I don’t have to yell at them to get on the bus or have them come home cranky and hungry and have to yell homework, homework, homework.” (continued on next page)

December 2015  Rhode Island Parent Magazine


Beverly Burgess, of West Greenwich, is state coordinator of ENRICHri. Her oldest son is in college, and she homeschools her two other children, Morgan, 16, and Tae, 11. Her oldest son Pat, 19, has Tourette’s Syndrome, a disorder characterized by physical and vocal tics. “We left school because my oldest son had Tourette’s Syndrome and they just couldn’t accommodate him. He was crying every day, which made me cry. He left fourth grade unable to read and could only do two math problems – not two pages – two problems. Today he is a writing major, when they told him he’d never be able to write well. My 16-year-old is pretty independent, doing research projects. When they are older, parents became facilitators and touchpoints along the way to guide them. Some of our teens are dual-enrolled in college classes. “The kids always help one another. It fits everybody’s needs. We trust that kids are going to learn what they need to when given the freedom to fly. We have no issue sitting down and learning with our children. It expands what you know and is a testament to kids that mom and dad are willing to learn. We don’t expect parents to know every subject. If you need to, you can get a tutor in a particular subject. My husband does math with the kids in the evenings. It changes the family dynamic tremendously. You talk more to your kids. They come to you more with those big questions in life. There are more family discussions that happen.” Amanda Campbell, of Cumberland, homeschools her 6-year-old Willow and has a five-month-old daughter Elowyn. “It’s important for us to be part of our kids’ learning process so we can instill a lifelong love of learning. Everything we do comes from that place. That curiosity is so important and we were afraid that in school it would be the opposite. We have school year-round, so that gives us a lot of flexibility. You get to figure out what really works with your kid. We don’t have to fight about what to write. You look at the intent of the curriculum and get writing because they can decide what they are interested in. “The goal is that by age 12, they are wholly responsible for their education. If you love to learn, it’s not about sitting down and doing X-number of pages a day, but what your curiosity can do if you are curious. It’s joy and interest, not chore and work. It’s a lot of fun to watch them learn and grow. “


Rhode Island Parent Magazine  December 2015

Sarah MacManus-Rayl, of Rehoboth Mass, began homeschooling her daughter, Savannah, 9, this year. “I brought my daughter to school and the school system just wasn’t working for us. We are learning what we want to do, how we want to do things with no boundaries in what we learn. I prefer to say home learning. We’re not home a lot, maybe 50% of the time. Everything they do they learn from it. You learn what you love and when you love what you are learning, you retain it. My daughter is so good at music and art. We can focus on what makes Savannah special. “We never know where it’s going to go. We’ve done sewing, dance, gardening, and cooking together. We have everything available whether it’s academic, a hobby, learning a trade, or Zoo School (at Roger Williams Park Zoo). For language, we read articles to each other. It’s pure one-on-one tutoring. There is a mentality that parents aren’t capable but they are. I feel like any parent has something to offer their child. Kids are really capable of grasping so many concepts and learning so organically.” 

How to homeschool in RI

It is recommended that anyone considering homeschooling connect with local homeschoolers first for support, information on homeschool philosophy and curriculums, and inspiration. Submit a “Letter of Intent” for children 6 to 18 years of age to your school district’s superintendent. Certified mail or return receipt is recommended. Required subjects are: Reading, Writing, Geography, Arithmetic, History of the United States and Rhode Island, Civics, Health and Physical Education. Homeschoolers are not required to follow the public school calendar. Verify three items in your letter: attendance will be substantially equal to public school; you will teach the required subjects; your teaching will be “thorough and efficient.” Submit an end-of-year report.

December 2015  Rhode Island Parent Magazine


My Turn By Greg Coppa

Getting the most out of winter: Skating on a woodland pond


n many parts of Rhode Island, there has not been much outdoor ice skating for the last few years. More than likely, if you passed up the opportunity to skate on safe ice when it first presented itself, you never got another chance because of the fickle weather patterns. Either the ice melted or was covered by deep snow. It was different when I was a boy. I remember that thousands of people would frequent local ponds and lakes on any given winter weekend. At these places, you could skate for miles and miles on ice touched by no other blade! And the ponds in urban parks provided many images that could have inspired Currier & Ives prints. Graceful women would glide past beautiful Victorian-style boathouses, while small children would race under ornate iron or granite bridges, built in another age. Kids are kids only once, so how can you provide winter ice skating memories for them given the weather whims of Mother Nature? Our family has discovered that woodland ponds – large puddles really – are often great places to skate. We make sure the ice is at least four inches thick and we pick nearby sites where we know that the water is no more than eighteen inches deep. This knowledge gives parents the kind of peace of mind that they never get when they have children skating on large frozen bodies of water, no matter how cold it has been.

One area, which we have used for several years, initially had lots of bull briars and a few downed branches sticking out of the ice surface. We removed these, little by little, and enlarged the cleared surface so that it would easily accommodate a dozen young skaters. Sometimes we stop by our private "rink" in the summer just to make sure that no debris accumulates that will interfere with our next skating season. The fact that these little ponds are partially shaded helps them to keep their ice a little longer, once it has formed. Still, our children have learned how fleeting winter can be and often talk us into night skating. We illuminate the area with Coleman® lanterns, which give a surprising amount of light due to reflection off the surface of the ice. Hot chocolate, brought in a large thermos, is a real treat on these brisk evenings. We have even been known to bring a small charcoal grill out on the ice for cooking hot dogs, which the kids have skewered on sharpened branches. The ice surface sometimes needs to be refreshed given the considerable amount of use it gets in a short period of time from our little skaters. While we do not have a miniature Zamboni, we have found that a few five gallon pails full of water, splashed over the ice as we leave for the night, work pretty well. The next day we have a nice, new, shiny surface to enjoy once again!  Greg Coppa, of Wickford, is a father of four and the former chair of the East Greenwich High School Science Department. His short story, November Christmas, available on Amazon, became a Hallmark Hall of Fame movie starring Sam Elliott and John Corbett.


Rhode Island Parent Magazine  December 2015

December 2015  Rhode Island Parent Magazine


Free stuff! Visit RIParentMag.com and register to win! Enter to win RI singer-songwriter Julie Garnett’s newest CD…Pooped! Julie’s CD offers rest time songs and lullabies for parents and early childcare centers. On her website, you can join the unique “I’m Pooped Promotion” that will bring Julie to your school or early childcare center to perform songs from Pooped for free. (See her ad on page 3.)

Win a 4-pack of tickets to the Providence Children’s Museum Three lucky families will win! Looking for something to do during the winter school break? The Providence Children’s Museum has fun activities running all the time. (See the museum’s ad on page 21).

Keep checking in the magazine, RIParentMag.com, and Facebook.com/RIParentMag for future giveaways!


Rhode Island Parent Magazine  December 2015

December 2015  Rhode Island Parent Magazine


Get Organized! By Sara Marchessault

8 tools for

restaurant survival


oing out to eat with young kids can be a downright fiasco. If your kids lean towards the not-so-desirable side of appropriate restaurant behavior, then between the bread and the salad, you may have sugar packets opened, someone running laps around the table, and maybe even a kid smacking the nearest fish tank or playing with the décor. The idea of taking the kids out to eat is a nice one. Who doesn’t want a night where they don’t have to cook or clean and can just sit and be with the family? Besides, don’t we need to expose our kids to social situations so they can learn how to behave? Yes and yes. But, sometimes even our best-intended decisions as parents can backfire into an experience that is more stress than it’s worth. Here are eight tools to survive a night at a restaurant without your child screaming, running away, or throwing Cheerios over the booth into a stranger’s lap.


Practice at home. It’s hard for children to

understand they have to stay seated in a restaurant when they are permitted to get down from the table and run around at home. Try implementing a few rules around dinnertime in your house. Two simple rules to get started could be: stay seated in your chair during dinner, and say “may I please be excused” when you’re ready to get down. Implementing the same rules at home that you expect when out of the house will set the tone so your kids won’t be shocked when they are expected to behave differently at a restaurant.


Choose kid-friendly restaurants to practice. These are places where there is so much

background noise that it doesn’t really matter if your kid is loud. Often these are grills or pizza places with TVs and a relatively busy scene. If you don’t want your kids to watch television you can always position them to not see the screen or distract them with an activity.


Bring cool activities to do. Most restaurants

will have menus and crayons for the kids. This usually keeps them occupied for just enough time to order drinks and decide on dinner. The younger they are, the shorter the attention span. This is where a well-planned bag of activities is your treasure chest of success. Include one or two items your kids love. Maybe markers instead of crayons, and 16

Rhode Island Parent Magazine  December 2015

a special notebook. Or special treats you only get when you are out to eat, like a sticker book, a new book of Mad Libs, or even a favorite to read. If you’re a little more daring, bring scissors and paper to keep them still and in their seats (just be prepared to pick up scraps of paper).


Allow screen time. For many families this is


Bring snacks. Food can take a while to come


Ask to be moved if your table will not work. You are taking your family out to dinner

the back-up plan if a meal out is going particularly sour. Not always desirable, but it works in an emergency. from a restaurant kitchen, and if it’s already your kid’s normal dinnertime, hunger can make them even crankier than they might normally be. Having a snack handy can prevent a tantrum or overly emotional outburst.

and spending money in this establishment. If you’re seated at a table where your kid will be tempted to throw food out a window, or a spot where it’s easy for him or her to run away, you can request to be relocated.


Let your kids make choices. Read the menu


Use what’s in front of you to reinforce lessons. Talk about the way the table is set.

with your kids. Let them have ownership of the experience and learn that one of the fun things about going out to eat is that everyone can order what they want from the menu. If your kids can read, have them read the menu for you.

Where are the fork and knife? What are they used for? If there are cloth napkins, discuss with your kids why a place would use cloth instead of paper, and that keeping a napkin in your lap means sitting still. This will likely take some practice, but once your kids are able to sit at the table and behave, you will get to enjoy the fruits of your labor and going out to eat will be the pleasant experience you crave.  Sara Marchessault, of Westford, Mass., is a writer, life coach, and lifelong diarist. saramarchessault.com.

Entertainment Party Needs


December 2015  Rhode Island Parent Magazine


Feature Story By Hilary Levey Friedman


book is a gift that keeps on giving – and if you have a toddler like I do, giving and giving and giving! To celebrate Hanukkah, every year I give a book to my kids on each of the eight nights – which means I need at least 16 new children’s books each holiday season. This year I attended the sixth annual Rhode Island Festival of Children’s Books and Authors where I picked up several books for the upcoming holiday season, and learned about some future picks to purchase as my sons age. This festival brings together a variety of authors and illustrators for one day at Lincoln School in Providence to speak, meet, and sign books. Several of the authors have direct ties to Rhode Island. This year’s October 17 event featured a storytelling tent with musical guests, along with several food trucks and book-related arts and crafts. For only $5, families gain access to a world-class gathering of writing minds, and of course, the opportunity to purchase their work. In many ways, the event is like our state –the little event that could. You might not think such a high-powered event would be held in Rhode Island each year, especially when compared to larger neighbor cities like Boston and New York. But this festival exceeds expectations. Well over 500 people attended the morning events alone. Next year, you should be one of them, and seek out personalized gifts for all the kids on your holiday shopping list. In the meantime, here are eleven suggestions for every type of young reader in your life.

Pre-readers Quest by Aaron Becker

This is the second installment in an expected trilogy, coming after 2013’s Journey. Aaron Becker’s book is full of lush and imaginative pictures, but no words. The images clearly tell a tale, but the book calls upon your child to articulate the 18

Rhode Island Parent Magazine  December 2015

make-believe narrative. Each time you look at one of Becker’s illustrations, you and your children will notice something that you hadn’t seen before. An ideal gift for any child at any stage of early childhood education, especially pre-readers who want to tell their own stories.

You Nest Here With Me by Jane Yolen and Heidi E.Y. Stemple

Jane Yolen and Heidi Stemple are a mother and daughter team, so you get two authors for the price of one! They have collaborated on several books together, including this year’s rhyming, educational, and loving You Nest Here With Me. The book features a variety of parent birds and their babies, which will appeal to any preschoolers. Birds are big in this family; Yolen’s classic award-winning Owl Moon is actually about her daughter Heidi as a young girl, owling with her father. (These are the kinds of tidbits you learn while attending a session at the Festival.) Books are also big in this family; Yolen has astonishingly published over 200 books, while Stemple boasts a more than respectable 20+ titles. With its sweet illustrations and wonderful word play, You Nest Here With Me shows that the relationship and partnership between mother and daughter only deepens over time, a model to which we all can aspire.

Breathe by Scott Magoon

Scott Magoon’s strength has traditionally been in illustrating (you might recognize his work in Eric Litwin’s new series called The Nuts), but his second solo-authored/illustrated book, Breathe, shows his talents extend beyond the brush. In this book, Magoon portrays all sorts of creatures of the sea – my preschooler especially loves to find the narwhal—making the real seem fantastical. I would be remiss if I didn’t mention his partnership with Amy Krouse Rosenthal on Spoon and

Chopsticks, in which he makes the ordinary fictional with great effect. The stories wouldn’t be nearly as entertaining without Magoon’s clever illustrations, and parents will appreciate the witticisms while reading to or with their readers-in-training.

difference, and similarity at young ages. Kids who are not Asian-American will love learning about new traditions from kids who might look slightly different, but who are also just like them.

Early readers Pop! The Invention of Bubble Gum by Meghan McCarthy

Middle Grade readers Gone Crazy in Alabama by Rita Williams-Garcia

Meghan McCarthy serves as an example to all aspiring young Rhode Island writers, as she grew up in our state. Now living in New York, McCarthy writes and illustrates non-fiction books for kids, with a special focus on primary grades. Given the increasing focus on non-fiction books in those early grades, books like Pop! are great ways to enjoy a fun read while learning something and developing a critical skill. Pop!’s illustrations, story, and even the last two pages of denser facts will appeal to kids of all ages. Best way to gift this book? With a packet of chewing gum, of course.

Ling & Ting Share a Birthday by Grace Lin

Grace Lin is another author with Lil’ Rhody connections, having graduated from the Rhode Island School of Design. Lin has a remarkable oeuvre of children’s books, as she writes and illustrates picture books, early readers, and novels. Lin focuses on Asian-American females, so if you have someone who fits that description on your gift list, you can check a box off! Her Ling & Ting early reader series on twin sisters is also great for pre-readers, who will enjoy the repetition, bright colors, and seeking out similarities and differences on each page. And what child doesn’t love talking and thinking about birthdays? That’s why Ling & Ting Share a Birthday is a great pick. It is more than worth considering the purchase of this, or one of Lin’s other titles, to expose children to diversity,

Rita Williams-Garcia gives life and voice to African-American tween girls in a way that speaks to all of our experiences. Gone Crazy in Alabama is her third book featuring the Gaither sisters (after One Crazy Summer and P.S. Be Eleven) and this takes the girls from Brooklyn to Alabama in 1969. Middle Grade readers will learn about the civil rights movement, family dynamics, and read a genuinely good tale. Williams-Garcia has won just about every award a children’s author can, and it’s easy to see why. Don’t miss out on an opportunity to gift one of the best children’s books of 2015 to the kids in your life.

The Tail of Emily Windsnap by Liz Kessler

In the same way that many adults like to binge-watch Netflix shows, young readers love to gulp down series. Liz Kessler, primarily a Middle Grade author, has written 16 books that have developed a loyal following, especially around her Emily Windsnap and Philippa Fisher series. The Tail of Emily Windsnap is the first of six (the latest, released this past August, is Emily Windsnap and the Ship of Lost Souls). The series is fantasy; Emily discovers that when she enters water she becomes a mermaid. All the books focus on some related adventure, in places like the Bermuda Triangle, the Arctic, and Atlantis. Buy one, or all six, to be an especially generous Secret Santa this year.

(continued on next page) December 2015  Rhode Island Parent Magazine


Schooled by Gordon Korman

Warning to parents: don’t read Gordon Korman’s biography if you want to feel productive on a weekend. First published at the age of 14, Korman has gone on to publish over 80 books, including several series (one of which became a series on the Disney Channel known as The Jersey). His work is primarily focused on middle school, and Schooled is no exception. Given his breadth of work and success, it is clear that Korman pens books that appeal to both boys and girls. Schooled, about a homeschooled boy who goes on to be elected class president when he is forced to enroll at his area public school, addresses many important issues (especially bullying) that are top of mind for boys and girls alike.

Escape From Mr. Lemoncello’s Library by Chris Grabenstein

This year, Chris Grabenstein won the Rhode Island Children’s Book Award. And once you, and your child of course, read Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library, you’ll see why. Some have called it a modern day version of Willy Wonka, but about books! What’s not to love? And if you gift Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library, you will be ready to line up to purchase the next installment, Mr. Lemoncello’s Library Olympics, when it goes on sale on January 5, 2016.

The author's son, Carston Friedman, age 3

Young Adult (YA) readers Why’d They Wear That? Fashion as the Mirror of History by Sarah Albee

Sarah Albee creates books that are a visual cornucopia of topics that boys and girls can get behind, albeit sometimes for different reasons. She’s written beautifully designed books on bugs, animals, and poop (yes, poop!). Albee’s latest is about fashion. At first glance, you might think that Why’d They Wear That? would primarily appeal to girls, but you would be wrong. So many of the surviving images of fashion, especially dating back to ancient times and the Middle Ages, which Albee covers, are of men. So boys can look back and learn about the fashions they would have worn if they had lived during those time periods – plus there are lots of military ensembles, which my own son was fascinated by. Kids in both elementary and middle school will find much to learn in this engaging hardcover book that can be treasured for years to come.

Nantucket Blue by Leila Howland

I love to read YA fiction—especially YA fiction that captures the intense feelings and relationships of adolescents. Leila Howland specializes in YA and Middle Grade novels about the transformative power of summer, along with a hefty dose of romance. Her first book, Nantucket Blue, is a great pick for your teen readers dreaming of summer vacation as winter approaches. Howland, a graduate of Lincoln School, follows up Nantucket Blue with Nantucket Red, in which the protagonist starts as a student at Brown University. Needless to say, local teen readers will relate, making Howland a go-to author for area parents.  Hilary Levey Friedman, of East Greenwich, is the author of Playing to Win: Raising Children in a Competitive Culture; the Book Review Editor at Brain, Child Magazine; and a professor at Brown University in the Department of American Studies. www.hilaryleveyfriedman.com

Photos by Kimberly Dobosz of Cumberland. kimberlydoboszphotography.com


Rhode Island Parent Magazine  December 2015

December 2015  Rhode Island Parent Magazine


Ask Dr. Day Care: Advice for Parents By Mary Ann Shallcross Smith, Ed.D.

Dr. Day Care answers your questions about children from infancy to school age. Send questions to: editor@RIParentMag.com or ask them on facebook.com/RIParentMag.


Dear Dr. Day Care, I am the parent of two young children. Do you have any suggestions to get through the hectic holiday season as a working parent? - Holiday Help


Dear Holiday Help, Higher stress levels this time of year can make special times less enjoyable. I suggest that families with young children keep it simple. Try to maintain your child’s schedule as much as possible. A small child who has had time to rest is usually a much more pleasant child when socializing. Respect your child’s fear of Santa. Young children can be fearful of Santa Claus, with three-year-old children especially tending to have more visual fears. Resign yourself to the fact that you might have to be in this year’s Santa photo or even eliminate the picture entirely. By age five, children are usually more willing to talk to Santa and have a picture taken with him. Postpone toilet training until the holidays are over. This time of year is often too busy and you may not be able to provide the extra attention and time necessary. Timing is a factor in toilet training success, and January is a great month to begin because it’s after the holidays and more time is spent inside. Introduce new foods and monitor intake. Wonderful, delicious baked foods are often part of the holiday season. This is a great time to introduce children to new foods, tastes, and family traditions, but it’s also important to monitor food intake. This is a social time when people might offer children “comfort” food and drink without realizing that the child has not had nutritionally complete meals or has consumed too much. Tips for holiday shopping. Often, families need to complete their holiday shopping at the very last minute. To make your shopping experience more enjoyable, consider extending your child’s day care schedule if your childcare provider has the proper staffing and space for your child.

The most important strategy for the holidays is to plan ahead so all members of the family enjoy pleasant, memorable times together. 22

Rhode Island Parent Magazine  December 2015


Dear Dr. Day Care, I am the mother of a kindergarten child who plays well with another child in our neighborhood. Playtime is equally divided between the two families. Yesterday my daughter came home and said that her friend's mom told her that she had to be a good girl for Santa Claus. My daughter told me if she is “bad” Santa would skip our house! Do you believe that Santa Claus should be used as a discipline technique? - Santa Scare


Dear Santa Scare, I do not believe Santa Claus or any other fictitious characters should be used as a discipline method for children. I suggest that parents, grandparents, teachers, caregivers, etc. deal with the child's behavior on an individual basis without the use of fear as a disciplinary technique. Best practice for discipline is for the consequences to fit the inappropriate behavior in a reasonable time frame. The Santa discipline method creates anxiety in a child and most likely, Santa will come to the home and leave toys for Christmas morning. So the Santa discipline concept is less effective and there is no immediate consequence to the child. Clearly stating a chore and the consequences for not completing it gives the child a sense of responsibility and teaches follow-through. My suggestion is to explain to your daughter that Santa comes to her home no matter how she behaves. Explain to her that all families are different and may have different rules. For example, her friend's parents have rules in their home about Santa’s arrival, and the rules in her home are not the same. This will give her a sense of security and eliminate fear.  “Dr. Day Care” is Mary Ann Shallcross Smith, Ed.D., CEO/ President of Dr. Day Care and Kids Klub and children’s book author: Edgar Graduates. www.drdaycare.com

December 2015  Rhode Island Parent Magazine


Kid of the Month By Susan Gale

It happened so fast…


t age 12, Emma Katzen came home from school with a bad headache and fever. She stayed home with her father, Judd Katzen, the next day. With a striking suddenness, Emma’s condition deteriorated, and by the time she got to Hasbro Children’s Hospital, she was losing consciousness and in septic shock. Emma’s story is best told in her own written words: “My name is Emma Katzen. It was the beginning of February 2012, and I was sent home from school with a high fever. The next day, I could barely walk or talk, and was extremely pale. My dad took me to the doctor and they immediately sent me to Hasbro Children’s Hospital. When I got there, they rushed me to the trauma center in a wheelchair. I was going in and out of consciousness. “As I found out later, I was in septic shock. All my organs were shutting down, especially my liver. The doctors were thinking that I might need a transplant. My blood counts were very low. My white blood cell count was at 100, when normal counts are between 5,000 and 15,000. “I was seen by many specialists, including an oncologist. That is when I found out that I had “ALL” – acute lymphoblastic leukemia [cancer of the blood and marrow]. I spent eight or nine days in the intensive care unit in a medically induced coma. I was then transferred to the 5th floor where I started treatment and stayed for about six weeks. “Unfortunately, I had many side effects from all of the treatments, including anaphylactic shock, seizures, osteonecrosis [loss of blood supply to the bones], and a rare genetic disease called Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease (CMT). CMT was a very bad side effect, as it caused me to not be able to walk, or even hold an object in my hand, like a pen or a glass. “Things have improved since then and overall I have overcome many obstacles and have gone through a lot! I still have many operations ahead of me to repair my hips and knees, but in the end, I HAVE BEATEN CANCER!” Today, Emma is 16 and an advocate for finding a cure for blood cancers. The Barrington High School student has faced multiple surgeries to repair damage, including a recent hip replacement. Emma and her family don’t like being told that she is “strong” or “brave.” They’ve heard it too many times. They’d rather have people pay attention and give time and money to help cure this cancer. 24

Rhode Island Parent Magazine  December 2015

“It’s not just something that happens to other people. I want to help find a cure so other kids don’t have to go through this,” said Emma, who has raised thousands of dollars towards curing cancer, as well as represented Barrington at the State House for cancer awareness. “Without supporting any organizations, it just makes it that much harder for a cure to be found,” added her father, Judd, who speaks proudly of his daughter. “She literally missed two years of school, being in and out of the hospital. But by the end of this summer, she is all caught up and will graduate with her class.” For Judd, the entire ordeal has convinced him that family members need to advocate for their sick loved ones – seeking second and third opinions and asking many questions. What his daughter has been through has brought him to a place of deep respect for her. “As a parent, you’re supposed to teach your kids – but then life comes at you and you end up learning more from your children,” he said. “I’ve learned how you can have inner strength and motivation regardless of what you are going through. It keeps you going.”  Susan Gale is Publisher/Editor of Rhode Island Parent Magazine.

Win a scholarship by volunteering High school students in Rhode Island have the chance to win a $5,000 scholarship by raising money for blood cancer patients. The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) is adding to their popular Man and Woman of the Year contests with this six-week fundraising competition starting January 14, 2016. The application deadline has been extended to January 2. The candidate (and their team) who raises the most during the competition earns the title “Student of the Year” and a $5,000 scholarship. To learn more, contact Campaign Manager Carla Mulhern at (401) 854-4416 or Carla.Mulhern@lls.org.

December 2015  Rhode Island Parent Magazine


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Artists’ Exchange................................................ Page 7 Dream Big Gymnasium...................................... Page 21 Launch Trampoline Park.................................... Page 3 Lincoln Johnny Lightning Race Club................. Page 26 Rock Spot Climbing ......................................... Page 7 Teamworks................................................... Back cover To the Pointe of Performing Arts........................ Page 15 YMCA of Greater Providence............................. Page 13

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Health-related services The Groden Network......................................... Page 4 Psychological Associates of Warwick................... Page 25

Museums Providence Children’s Museum.......................... Page 21 Tomaquag Museum............................................ Page 23

Music Parties/workshops Animal Experiences............................................ Page 17 Bjorn the Magician............................................ Page 17 Bwana Iguana Reptile Adventure........................ Page 17 Mad Science of Southern MA and RI................. Page 21 Pop n Bop Bubble Bash...................................... Page 17 Reel to Real Recording Studio............................ Page 17

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Rhode Island Parent Magazine is the only magazine in Rhode Island focused on parents and families. PRIMARY AUDIENCE Women in the 18–54 age range CIRCULATION 14,000 initially DISTRIBUTION Available for free at several hundred locations throughout Rhode Island. ADDITIONAL AUDIENCE Dads, grandparents, aunts, uncles, child experts, pediatricians, teachers, child care centers, etc. 85% OF PURCHASES and purchase decisions are made by women, so Rhode Island Parent Magazine is a great way to reach your audience. * Based on an industry-accepted average of two readers per each magazine.

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December 2015 Our calendar is as up-to-date as possible at press time. Be sure to check information with event sponsors for updates/ changes. To submit calendar items for January and beyond, please email them to editor@ RIParentMag.com.

Learn about Native American culture From 10 am–2 pm on December 5, the Tomaquag Museum will celebrate Nikkommo, a traditional giveaway thanksgiving which includes a ceremony, museum tours, and storytelling. Also featured will be a film by Rhode Island filmmaker Marc Levitt entitled "Woven in Time; The Narragansett Salt Pond Preserve." This documentary focuses on the preservation of the only surviving, pre-contact Native American village in New England. It also explores the resiliency of this village and the parallel resiliency of the Narragansett Tribal Nation, whose village it was. The filmmaker and Tomaquag Museum Executive Director, Lorén Spears, will answer questions. Entrance to the event is free with a bagged gift for someone in need. tomaquagmuseum.org 28

Special events

11th Annual Gingerbread House Decorating Contest. Advance registration strongly recommended. 9 am–6 pm, December 5. Artists’ Exchange, 50 Rolfe Square, Cranston. $14/house. Register online and use coupon code GBRD15 to save $3. artists-exchange.org Christmas Candlelight Tour of Homes. Visit four candlelight-decorated homes in Jamestown. Presented by the Qunononquott Garden Club. 4–7 pm, December 13. Advance tickets: The Secret Garden, 12 Southwest Avenue, and Baker's Pharmacy, 53 Narragansett Avenue. Tickets day of the event: 21 Bayview Drive. Proceeds benefit Club projects. For information: email QGC2014@gmail.com or call (401) 489-5997. $20/person. A Christmas Carol at Theatre 82. The Charles Dickens classic. 7 pm. December 10, 11, 12, and 13. Theatre 82, 82 Rolfe Square, Cranston. $15/advance tickets; $20 at the door. artists-exchange.org Bowen’s Wharf 45th Christmas Tree Lighting. See Frosty the Snowman, Santa, and Mrs. Claus for an evening of Christmas cheer. 4:30 pm, Frosty the Snowman; 5 pm, The Christmas Carol Sing-a-long; 6 pm, tree lighting, immediately followed by Santa and Mrs. Claus arriving by boat (weather permitting). December 5. Bowen’s Wharf, 13 Bowen's Wharf, Newport. Free. bowenswharf.com Happy New Year for Kids. Families create noisemakers and other musical instruments, then join a parade and ball drop to ring in 2016. Noon–2 pm. December 31. Providence Children’s Museum, 100 South Street, Providence. $9/person; free/children under 12 months. www.childrenmuseum.org

Rhode Island Parent Magazine  December 2015

Sparky’s Puppets. Sparky's Puppets present “The Kingdom of Riddles,” a tale of a knight on a curious quest to capture a unicorn for the queen. The knight needs help from the audience to solve riddles posed by a jester, a witch, a dragon, and others he meets along the way. Shows at 1 pm and 2 pm. December 28. Recommended for age 4 and up. Providence Children’s Museum, 100 South Street, Providence. $9/person; free/children under 12 months. www. childrenmuseum.org

Places to go Artists’ Exchange. A non-profit arts collaborative with multiple art studios, a gallery, art boutique, and café, as well as a secondary venue, Theatre 82 and Café, a multi-use performance, meeting, and instructional space. Offers family events such as A Christmas Carol, and classes in art, music, and theater. Owned and operated by Gateways to Change, Inc. 9 am–5 pm, Monday-Saturday. 50 Rolfe Square, Cranston. Paid and free events. artists-exchange.org RISD Museum. Museum, classes, family activities at different times, including Tours for Tots, Open Studio, and Family See and Sketch. 10 am–5 pm Tuesday– Sunday; closed Dec 24–25. 20 North Main Street, Providence. Also enter from 224 Benefit Street, Providence. $12/ adult; $10/seniors; $5/college students; $3/youth 5–18; free/under age 5. Free on Sundays and 5–9 pm on the third Thursday of the month. risdmuseum.org Ice Skating. 10 am–10 pm daily. Alex and Ani City Center, 2 Kennedy Plaza Providence. $7/adults; $4/children 12 and under; $4/seniors and military. alexandanicitycenter.com Audubon Society Environmental Education Center. 9 am–5 pm, Wednesday–Saturday and noon–5 pm,

Sunday. 1401 Hope Street, Bristol. Some activities free. Admission $6/adults; $4/children 4–12; free/under 4. asri.org Providence Children’s Museum. Different activities every day. 9 am– 6 pm daily except Mondays; open select Fridays until 8 pm. 100 South Street, Providence. $9/person; free/children under 12 months. www.childrenmuseum.org

Friday nights Family Friday. Free entrance to Providence Children’s Museum. 5–8 pm. December 18, Providence Children’s Museum, 100 South Street, Providence. Free during this time period. www.childrenmuseum.org Bring Your Own Improv. Family– friendly comedy show. 7–8:30 pm. Warwick Museum of Art, 3259 Post Road. $8/adults; $4/children under 12 and seniors. bringyourownimprov.com Frosty Drew Observatory & Sky Theater. Public stargazing. 6:00 pm. 61 Park Lane, Charlestown. $1/person suggested donation. frostydrew.org Friday Night Live. Interactive scenes and musicals with improvised song, dance, and skits. All ages. 7 pm. Everett Stage, 9 Duncan Avenue, Providence. $5. everettri.org


Family Learning Sunday – Sculpture Workshop. Using cards, paper, staples and glue, build a small-scale dwelling of your dream house, a majestic palace or a hideout for your favorite superhero with Providence-based artist/sculptor and educator Kristina Brown. Age 5–10. 2–3 pm. Providence Public Library, 150 Empire Street, Providence. Free. Light and Color. Kids experiment with light and color in Discovery Studio, an open-ended art and science exploration space. Choose from an array of colorful materials to create sun catcher sculptures and explore and build with vibrant blocks and prisms. 10 am–3 pm. Providence Children’s Museum, 100 South Street, Providence. $9/person; free/children under 12 months. www.childrenmuseum.org Celebrate Downcity. Holiday shopping in downtown Providence with independently-owned businesses. In conjunction with the Providence Flea, a holiday Mini-Flea (10 am–4 pm) takes place at Aurora, 276 Westminster Street, Providence. 10 am–6 pm. Free. Tours for Tots. Caregivers and children ages 3–5 interact with art objects, exploring different cultures, the artistic process, and imagination, side by side. Artist-educators combine stories and art-making with gallery-based learning. 10:30–11:15 am. RISD Museum, 224 Benefit Street, Providence. Advance sign-up required. Free.

Saturday/ December 5

Sunday/ December 6

11th Annual Gingerbread House Decorating Contest. Advance registration strongly recommended. 9 am–6 pm. Artists’ Exchange, 50 Rolfe Square, Cranston. $14/house. Register online and use coupon code GBRD15 to save $3. artists-exchange.org

Hanukkah Hurly Burly! A celebration designed for 3-to-5 year olds with handson activities, music, dancing, and holiday treats, facilitated by the school’s teachers. All are welcome. 10:30–11:30 am. Jewish Community Day School of RI, 85 Taft Avenue, Providence. Free. jcdsri.com (continued on next page)

Discover children’s books by RI authors More than 100 local authors will be at Lincoln Mall from 11 am–5 pm on December 5 for the third annual Rhode Island Author Expo. All types of books will be available: children’s, fiction, non-fiction, history, poetry, biographies, and memoirs. There will be presentations, stories, and special guests including: Claudine Pepin, author of Kids Cook French, a French food-inspired cookbook for kids with recipes in both English and French. Pepin is scheduled to appear at 1 pm. Sean Fay Wolfe, who writes an “unofficial Minecraft-fan Adventure Series,” is scheduled to appear at 11 am. Mark Perry published ‘Post’ Mark – Santa’s Misfit Postman this year. Perry will appear as ‘Post’ Mark and will have a table where kids can write letters to Santa. Lincoln Mall is located at 622 George Washington Highway. The Expo will be set up between the Marshalls and Five Below stores. RIAuthors.org/RIExpo

December 2015  Rhode Island Parent Magazine


December 2015 RISD Museum Annual Holiday Celebration. Family-friendly activities including musical performances, storytelling, refreshments and a special craft project. Special guests at the festivities include VOX (Voices of Christmas Victorian Carolers), Goulding School of Irish Dance, magician Bruce Kalver, St. Mary Academy Bay View chorus, Joe’s Backyard Band, and Santa. 1–4 pm. RISD Museum, 224 Benefit Street, Providence. Free. risdmuseum.org. Free Public Guided Hike. Along trails, pointing out interesting natural history and animal signs. Good for all ages. Pre-registration recommended. 11 am–noon. Norman Bird Sanctuary, 583 Third Beach Road, Middletown. Free. normanbirdsanctuary.org Festa Di Natale, Christmas in the Plaza! A family-friendly event for all ages with everything from a tree lighting and meeting Santa to face painting and live performances. 2–5 pm, DePasquale Square on Federal Hill, Atwells Avenue, Providence. Free. Light and Color. See 12/5.

Saturday/ December 12 Family Performance Series. Different performances each week, such as Magic, Puppet Shows, Music, Theater, Storytelling, Improv and more. 11 am–noon. Theatre 82, 82 Rolfe Square, Cranston. Pay what you can. artists-exchange.org Holiday Lantern Tour. Hear the history of early American holiday traditions on an evening walk and learn how colonial Newporters recognized the holiday. Reservations suggested as space is limited. Enjoy hot mulled cider and a tasting of Stonewall Kitchen flavors.

Operated by the Newport Historical Society. 4-6 pm. Brick Market Museum & Shop, 127 Thames Street, Newport. $15/person. newporthistory.org

The Nutcracker. Festival Ballet Providence at Providence Performing Arts Center. See website for details. festivalballet.com/nutcracker_story.php

After the Beanstalk: Jack, Jill and the Giant. Help Jack and his sister Jill solve the giant's puzzling spatial challenges in an interactive performance that expands on the classic tale. Shows at 10:30 am, 11:30 am, 12:30 pm, and 1:30 pm; recommended for ages 3 and up. Providence Children’s Museum, 100 South Street, Providence. $9/person; free/children under 12 months. www.childrenmuseum.org

Imagination Playground. Kids invent their own ways to play as they stack and build with huge blue foam blocks, wheels, spools, tubes and a variety of loose parts. 11am–2 pm. Providence Children’s Museum, 100 South Street, Providence. $9/person; free/children under 12 months. www.childrenmuseum.org

A Christmas Carol at Theatre 82. The Charles Dickens classic. 7 pm. Theatre 82, 82 Rolfe Square, Cranston. $15/advance tickets; $20 at the door. artists-exchange.org

Cinderella’s Christmas – Kaleidoscope Theatre. The story of Cinderella going to the Christmas Ball. 2–3:30 pm. Scottish Rite Auditorium, 2115 Broad Street, Cranston. $10/ticket.

Sunday/ December 13

The Nutcracker. See 12/19.

Christmas Candlelight Tour of Homes. Visit four candlelight-decorated homes in Jamestown. Presented by the Qunononquott Garden Club. 4–7 pm. Advance tickets: The Secret Garden, 12 Southwest Avenue, and Baker's Pharmacy, 53 Narragansett Avenue. Tickets day of the event: 21 Bayview Drive. Proceeds benefit Club projects. For information: email QGC2014@ gmail.com or call (401) 489-5997. $20/person. Free Public Guided Hike. See 12/6. After the Beanstalk: Jack, Jill and the Giant. See 12/12. A Christmas Carol at Theatre 82. See 12/12.

Saturday/ December 19 Family Performance Series. See 12/12.

Holiday Lantern Tour. See 12/12.

Sunday/ December 20

Imagination Playground. See 12/19.

Saturday/ December 26 Rigamajig. Invent creative constructions with a large-scale building kit featuring wooden planks, wheels, pulleys, rope, nuts, and bolts. 11 am–2 pm. Providence Children’s Museum, 100 South Street, Providence. $9/person; free/children under 12 months. www.childrenmuseum.org Family Performance Series. See 12/12.

Sunday/ December 27 Open Studio – RISD Museum. Hands-on, artist-designed activities for all ages that connect with works across the Museum’s collection and experiment with art-making tools and techniques. 2–4 pm. RISD Museum, 224 Benefit Street, Providence. Free. Rigamajig. See 12/26.


Rhode Island Parent Magazine  December 2015

401-229-2101 www.clubz.com/blackstonevalley December 2015  Rhode Island Parent Magazine



Rhode Island Parent Magazine  December 2015

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