Guest Post

Guest posts from fellow bloggers

Guest Post:This Capon is Cooked – So’s My Goose!

I have a new respect for single parents and small free-range chickens.


We recently hosted a dinner party: a guest list of thirteen which included my wife, our two kids, and me.
Although it was pot luck, we were still responsible for the main course: capon and ham; as well as the vegetable side dishes: sautéed beans with Parmesan and lemon; and spinach salad with walnuts, cranberries topped with paprika/poppy vinaigrette.

My wife was called into work that day, so I was called up from the minor-leagues to prepare the meal, prepare the house, prepare the kids, and ultimately prepare for an inevitable crisis.


That morning, I avoided the “Life” section of the local paper. The risk was too high it would contain an article reminding parents to restrict television viewing in young children. Today, I knew I wouldn’t survive without plopping them in front of a movie. Psychologists be damned; unless Dr. Spock was going to vacuum my living room, The Incredibles were going to have to baby sit.


I reminded myself the key to surviving days such as these was prioritize, prioritize, and prioritize:
Step one: Tire Them Out.

Fortunately, they’d survived two consecutive late nights, followed by two early mornings. With the help of a little fresh air and bicycling, I could hope for a return of the long-forgotten afternoon nap…as long as I bribed them with a movie afterward.


Step two: Get That Bird in the Oven

As much as over-cooked dry capon is reminiscent of “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation”, salmonella is no way to welcome dinner guests, even family.




Image: David Castillo Dominici /


Step three: Rest While They Rest
When possible, twenty minutes of shut-eye, or deep-breathing, or book-reading, or knitting – whatever your pleasure – will go a long way toward salvaging your sanity when your day is one deadline after another.

With the bird in the oven and the kids in bed, my head hit the sofa throw cushion for 20 winks.


Step four: Clean While They’re Catatonic

The kids are awake, and now occupied by the evil television. Time to get the house to a presentable state. Not perfect, but – at the very least – your washroom should not be a testing lab for the Centre for Disease Control.


Step five: Get Dressed and Let the Chips Fall Where They May.

Even if it means Doritos falling into a bowl to be served as an appetizer because “Pot Luck” assignments didn’t quite cover everyone’s pre-dinner appetites.


Finally: Enjoy Super Hero Status.

That’s right. 10 hours of childcare, cooking, cleaning, and table setting is worth yodeling from a mountain top whether you’re a mom or a dad.
After all: At 11am I felt my goose was cooked, at 8pm the only thing cooked was that darn capon: to perfection.


Author’s Bio: Kenny Bodanis is father of two, husband of one. He works as a television producer/director, and is the author of FatherDaddy, at


Learning Spanish: 3 Approaches to Teach Spanish to Kids by Barbara Mascareno



Ever wonder how easy or difficult is to teach children a foreign language such as Spanish?

Ever wonder how to even approach teaching children about Spanish?

Well, there are many methods to educate children in learning Spanish: formal language classes, immersion classes, and tutorials. The concern is that  some of these classes can be expensive and time consuming and many parents may not have the funds or budget for them.

Here are 3 simple approaches how parents or caregivers can teach their children about Spanish.

The first approach would be to use a picture dictionary for preschoolers.

These easy-to-read reference books are great to teach children very simple words and syllable formation. For beginner readers in Spanish, picture dictionaries are a wonderful example to initiate pronunciation and bilingual word identification. Dictionaries are an excellent source of phonetics and pronunciation.

The second approach to  educate children in Spanish is playing with picture and crossword puzzles.

These educational tools are a magnificent way to teach children about cognitive skills in vocabulary and spelling. Puzzles provide an extensive array of language learning skills. Children can learn about new words. And the pictures in a puzzle can clearly help them identify the proper word with the picture.

Crossword puzzles are an excellent tool to teach and increment vocabulary by figuring out the correct words in each pattern. Puzzles are fun and educational tools to teach Spanish.

The last approach to teach children about Spanish is reading together.

Parents or caregivers and children should share books, whether picture books or easy to read stories, and talk about those stories. Many books are available as audio books where the parent and child can read the books together while a narrator on the CD or cassette tells the story. It is a wonderful experience to see the children interact with parents about the characters in the story by just simply listening to the narrator.

This is a great method for bilingual parents who are beginning to teach their children about Spanish. Also, many books are now bilingual in English and Spanish, which make it easier for parents to read these types of books. Audio and bilingual books are great beginner tools to teach Spanish.

Whether parents or caregivers want to teach their children a few words or phrases in Spanish, there are many approaches to start learning Spanish. Picture dictionaries, word puzzles, and audio bilingual books are just a few of the approaches to teach Spanish. Providing a world of learning Spanish to children is a skill that can last a lifetime.


Barbara has science degrees in Biochemistry and Chemistry. She has tutored under the NCLB program and she is currently an educator in Spanish, Science, and Math. You can learn more by visiting her blog at to get free worksheets, lesson plans, and book suggestions or connecting on Twitter @spanish4kiddos.