Are We There Yet?

Are We There Yet?

Kids should stay active, but how much is too much?

So we’re thinking of adding on a room to our house. A soundproof one. Just for saxophone practice.

My son’s fifth-grade band adventure is the latest in a long line of activities our children have explored, and it’s going to be a noisy one. But so far at least, he likes it. And I’m all for it.

A little bit of everything in Family Picks

Talk about an eclectic lineup this weekend: football, physics, bubbles, jazz, Latin rhythms, dachshunds, dungeons and dragons. And of course, the Lawn Rangers. Need I say more?

Jazz Walk: 5:30-7:30 p.m. Friday, Meadowbrook Park, Windsor Road and Vine Street, Urbana. Free.

No 'safe sleep' with drop-side cribs, attorney general says

Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan is denouncing the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association for its upcoming “Safe Sleep” campaign, saying some dangerous drop-side cribs still carry the association's certification seal.

Family Picks: Last blast of summer

It's a three-day weekend, so take the time to enjoy a last blast of summer: a swim at Sholem Aquatic Center, a cheese festival, or a Symphony at Sunset. And who doesn't love a parade -- especially the one with all the candy?

Life in C-U: friends move on

One more familiar face is missing this year as my son begins fifth grade.

A close friend just moved to Arizona after his dad took a job promotion, the third to go in the four short years since kindergarten.

Sweetcorn, jousting and giant planes: weekend Family Picks

One word for this weekend: suuweeet! As in corn, music, cars and, yes, a medieval jousting tournament at the Illinois Renaissance Fair.

Corn, get your corn: 35th annual Urbana Sweetcorn Festival, 5 to 11 p.m. Friday, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday, downtown Urbana. Free.

UI 'academy' offers Spanish classes for kindergarten, first grade

Researchers tell us childhood is the best time to learn a second language, when developing brains are primed to absorb any and all information.

Unfortunately, most public elementary schools have no foreign language instruction, with school districts citing both the cost and the lack of time in the school day.

A weekend chock full of art in Family Picks

Summer may be drawing to a close, but this weekend features plenty of fine arts, entertainment and other activities for the whole family.

SculptureFest, 6 to 10 p.m. Friday, Park Street between Neil and Randolph streets, Champaign. Free.

Sharpening my school-supply skills

Late last night, sharpening the last of 72 pencils for my kids' classrooms, I got to thinking:

Why didn't we buy pre-sharpened pencils?

TV and Tooth Fairies, Part II

Since I was technically on vacation until Thursday, I devoted this column (in absentia) to updates on a few previous entries, with thanks to several readers.

All I want for Christmas ...
My daughter can now officially drink through a straw with her mouth closed.