Mothering while Battling Breast Cancer

Motherhood is challenging. It comes with much responsibility, immense joy as well as guilt. It can be difficult to have confidence in raising these little humans to be well-adjusted, productive adults. For my first six years of motherhood, I was feeling pretty sure of myself, but then my world got turned upside down. I was 39 and was faced with a breast cancer diagnosis. I felt like I had fallen down a deep dark hole with no ladder to climb out. My confidence in motherhood was gone. How do you explain cancer to your young children while you’re fighting the hardest physical battle of your life? Finishing my fight with children who stayed optimistic gave me the confidence to self-publish my family’s story to help others get through the awful battle of fighting cancer. My book is called OUR MAMA IS A BEAUTIFUL GARDEN and it is written in the voice of my two young sons. I hope having Louis and Maxwell tell our family story will give other families the strength and courage they need during an awful time that can feel quite hopeless.

Children’s Books that Inspire Making

I agree with Mark Hatch, author of Maker Movement Manifesto who said “Making is fundamental to what it means to be human. We must make, create, and express ourselves to feel whole.” Maker education brings the essentials of how humans learn back into everyday education. Being a mom of two boys who love to tinker, I often pair our making activity with a book. It is a great way to keep the conversation going and remind them that failure is an important part of the process of creating. Books with characters who identify problems and find a solution through trial-and-error can be very inspiring for children. There have been more and more books published that inspire making. Here are some of my favorites.

Stories in Verse

[originally published on MackinCommunity.com] In a PBS NewsHour interview, Jason Reynolds, the award winning young adult literature author, shares his ideas on how poetry can get more young people interested in reading. And I couldn’t agree with him more. This year, several publishers are launching new stories in verse. These are some of my favorites: … Continue reading Stories in Verse

Realistic Children’s Fiction: Loss & Grief, Death & Dying

How do you explain death and dying to your young child? I was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2009, my sons were 3 and 6 years old. I struggled finding an age appropriate book I could read to them. I decided to explain what was going to happen to me in my own way and it helped them stay positive throughout the journey. I self-published our family’s story to help others get through the awful battle of fighting cancer.

5 Factors to keep in mind when offering Makerspace experiences in the Library

[originally published on MackinCommunity.com] As humans, we are moved to make things, using our hands and our brains. The school library can provide an outlet for all students to fuel engagement, creativity, and curiosity at the same time. A Makerspace in a school library is powerful. Here are five factors to keep in mind when … Continue reading 5 Factors to keep in mind when offering Makerspace experiences in the Library