Keri's blog

The Upside of Downtime

Thu, 05/07/2015 - 9:00pm -- Keri

The Upside of Downtime

The scientific case for doing nothing more often — and its surprising rewards.

In the mid-1980s, physician and author Victoria Sweet, MD, was doing her internal-medicine residency at San Francisco’s Kaiser hospital. She worked 110 hours a week, getting time off only every fourth night, after a 34-hour shift. It was then that Sweet discovered the necessity of a little idleness.

Why Kids Should Be Allowed to Act Out (Scenes) In Class

Wed, 04/22/2015 - 9:00pm -- Keri

Why Kids Should Be Allowed to Act Out (Scenes) In Class

Physically acting out a written text—as an actor would walk himself through the gestures and emotions of a soliloquy during rehearsal—is an effective way to commit that text to memory. For adults, this process of enactment imbues abstract words with concrete meaning, fixing them more firmly in our minds.

How to Talk about the Holocaust

Thu, 04/09/2015 - 10:45am -- Keri

How to Talk about the Holocaust
Rabbi Sarah Reines

Only a couple of miles from my daughter’s elementary school, two planes flew into the World Trade Center. Around the city and across the nation, parents were forced to make quick decisions about how to keep sons and daughters safe from the shadow of a chilling new reality. Psychologists and school counselors advised us to keep the televisions off while our children were home and withhold conversing about 9/11 while they were within earshot.

The 10 Real Plagues of Passover

Tue, 03/24/2015 - 3:55am -- Keri

The 10 Real Plagues of Passover

Each year, the thought of Passover makes me want to run away. It’s a labor-intensive, heavy-on-the-sighing holiday, especially in Israel. The traditions and message are nourishing, but for me they get lost in the pre-holiday hype, in the burden of preparation, and in the myriad prohibitions which turn us back into disgruntled slaves. 

5 Ways To Connect To Judaism Between Holidays

Thu, 03/19/2015 - 2:31pm -- Keri

5 Ways To Connect To Judaism Between Holidays
Nina Badzin, March 12, 2015

The last hamantaschen has been devoured, and the Passover cleaning will not start in earnest for a few weeks (at least not for me). We are Jews between the holidays. Yes, we always have Shabbat, but in these weeks when there’s a lull in both the excitement and the pressure of a holiday, it is the perfect time to turn inward and to explore other ways to feel and act Jewish.

Why Purim is So Much More Than the Jewish Halloween

Thu, 03/05/2015 - 3:19pm -- Keri

Why Purim is So Much More Than the Jewish Halloween
Rivki Silver

Since Purim is a holiday that’s not necessarily on the radar of people unconnected to the Jewish world, whenever I find myself needing to quickly explain it, I usually end up calling it the “Jewish Halloween.” There are enough similarities to warrant a comparison. They’re both fun, involve dressing up in costume, a significant amount of nosh, and parties. Also liquor, depending on how you do Halloween.

Your Child, Your Tree

Wed, 02/04/2015 - 5:32pm -- Keri

Your Child, Your Tree
By Eliezer Shemtov

A child needs the same things a tree needs... Earth. Water. Sun. Air...Much has been written about how best to educate a child.

What better source to look for guidance in this matter than the Torah, whose very definition and purpose is "teaching."

We find that the Torah likens man to "a tree in the field" (Deuteronomy 20:19). There are many reasons given for this linkage.

Let's explore the connection as a paradigm for education.

No Time Outs

Thu, 01/15/2015 - 4:25pm -- Keri

No Time Outs

November 26, 2014

My oldest daughter is the kind of kid that is interested in color theory, other people's emotions and the point of our existence. She'll sit in front of a sheet of math problems while happily tapping her toes through each formulation. She is so much fun and so much depth. She is also still so much 5 year old; her imaginary games are rich and usually feature time travel, assumed scientific theories and inventions along with some sort of princess and cackling witch. She is a real, true joy.

The Disease of Being Busy

Thu, 01/08/2015 - 11:25am -- Keri

The Disease of Being Busy
By Omid Safi, (@ostadjaan), Weekly Columnist

I saw a dear friend a few days ago. I stopped by to ask her how she was doing, how her family was. She looked up, voice lowered, and just whimpered: “I’m so busy… I am so busy… have so much going on.”

Almost immediately after, I ran into another friend and asked him how he was. Again, same tone, same response: “I’m just so busy… got so much to do.”

The tone was exacerbated, tired, even overwhelmed.

How Play Wires Kids’ Brains For Social and Academic Success

Thu, 01/08/2015 - 11:20am -- Keri

How Play Wires Kids’ Brains For Social and Academic Success

By Jon Hamilton

When it comes to brain development, time in the classroom may be less important than time on the playground.

“The experience of play changes the connections of the neurons at the front end of your brain,” says Sergio Pellis, a researcher at the University of Lethbridge in Alberta, Canada. “And without play experience, those neurons aren’t changed,” he says.

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