Back to school tools.

Columbus Parent Magazine teams up with KidsLinked.com
Being a parent is hard. Remembering all you need to remember can be darn near impossible. Is Billy's soccer practice rescheduled for Tuesday or Thursday? Was the permission slip for Suzie due Friday or Monday? When is Johnny's science fair project due? The 4th or 14th? And what are you going to do this weekend as a family?

Regular calendars just don't have enough room, and heaven forbid the kids (or you) lose that piece of paper on which you scribbled the info. All the details can be overwhelming and downright intimidating. Have no fear - KidsLinked.com is here to make everything much easier and we've put it all at your fingertips on ColumbusParent.com.

Started by a busy parent like you, KidsLinked is where it all comes together for simplicity and sanity. KidsLinked has partnered with Columbus Parent Magazine, so it's chock full of activities to do and things to see. Want to attend the apple festival next weekend? Send it to your KidsLinked family calendar. Need to remember when permission slips are due? There is a teacher's page that enables your child's teacher to send out reminders. Need to know when practice is and if it's your turn to bring snacks? The coach's section will help you with that.

KidsLinked is everything you need to keep your busy family organized and running smoothly. Best part is, it only takes a minute to register and less time to tailor a calendar to your family's needs. Plus, you can log on anywhere you have web access. Banish all those little slips of paper and Post-it notes to the recycling bin forever and sign up on ColumbusParent.com or KidsLinked today!


Back in a flash
Flashy Cards are customized flash cards with several different designs, making an otherwise bland learning tool more personalized and engaging for students. Currently available in packs of 60 or 180 cards in a camo pattern. Patterns coming soon include fashion, animal prints and sports. Available at thetutorwhisperer.com. $4.99 for 60 cards; $13.95 for 180 cards. Shipping and handling not included. Enter to win.


Junie B.'s Essential Survival Guide to School
Junie B. Jones is back and better than ever with a must-have Survival Guide!
Hello, school children! Hello! Hello! It's me . . . Junie B., first grader! I have been going to school for over one-and-a-half entire years now. And I have learned a jillion things that will help you survive at that place. And guess what? Now I am going to pass this information on to y-o-u!!! I wrote it all down in my brand-new book! Enter to win.

Here is some of the stuff I wrote about: Bus rules, carpools, how to stay out of trouble (possibly), homework, fun work, water fountains, friends (plus children you may not actually care for). All the helpful hints and drawings are done by me, Junie B. Jones! Plus also, there are stickers and pages for you to write in! This thing is a hoot, I tell you! $12.99 on RandomHouse.com/kids. By Barbara Park. Ages 6-9. Enter to win.


Coping with Cliques: A Workbook to Help Girls Deal With Gossip, Put-Downs, Bullying, & Other Mean Behavior
By Susan Sprague
Gossip, teasing and bullying can have a devastating effect on teenage girls. This workbook was developed to help girls develop a positive identity during these difficult years.

The activities in this book equip girls with the tools they need to deal with cyber-bullying, social isolation, pressure to be sexy, and other issues that arise in middle school and high school.
Available on Amazon.com for $24.95. Enter to win.


Making Friends: A Guide to Understanding and Nurturing Your Child's Friendships
By Elizabeth Hartley-Brewer
Child expert Elizabeth Hartley-Brewer addresses children's friendship styles at key ages and stages, and answers questions for parents: Should you worry when an imaginary friend sticks around past kindergarten?

How do you guide your child when "mean girls" taunt her at recess? What should you do if you don't like one of your child's friends? Sure to be an invaluable resource for any parent, Making Friends weighs in on a timely and important topic. Barnes & Noble, $13. Enter to win.


Overcoming ADHD: Helping Your Child Become Calm, Engaged and Focused Without a Pill
By Dr. Stanley GreenspanEvery parent has some anxiety as a new school year approaches. But for parents of a child with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), the stakes can feel much higher. ADHD diagnoses have been steadily increasing over the past decade.

The National Institute of Mental Health says three to five percent of children have it, and many experts believe the true percentage is closer to ten, with many children going undiagnosed.

Overcoming ADHD: Helping Your Child Become Calm, Engaged and Focused Without a Pill is for parents looking for treatment options besides the commonly prescribed drugs.

Throughout his 35 years of clinical practice, author Dr. Stanley Greenspan one of the country's foremost child psychiatrists has developed an intervention program that identifies the roots of ADHD and tailors treatment to the individual.

The book explains the importance of family dynamics and a healthy environment in ADHD intervention, and provides a comprehensive approach to treating ADHD effectively and without drugs. Available September, 2009. Suggested retail price: $25. Enter to win.


What Your Preschooler Needs to Know
By Core Knowledge Foundation
Designed for parents to enjoy with their children, and filled with opportunities for reading aloud and fostering curiosity, this beautifully-illustrated anthology offers preschoolers the fundamentals they need to prepare for a happy, productive time in school - and the rest of their lives.

Millions of children have benefited from the acclaimed Core Knowledge Series, developed in consultation with parents, educators, and distinguished developmental psychologists.

In addition to valuable advice to parents, including what it means for a child to be ready for kindergarten, special sidebars throughout the book help parents make reading aloud fun and interactive, suggesting questions to ask, connections to make, and games to play to enrich their preschooler's learning experience. Amazon.com, $15. Enter to win.


How's My Kid Doing? Practical Answers to Questions About Your Child's Education
By Keith W. Frome, Ed.D.
Parents' most pressing and worrisome questions about their children's elementary school experiences are addressed in this helpful resource.

The explosion of education options and the emphasis on parental involvement often confuses or intimidates parents, prompting such questions as: How can I know what's going on in school if my child won't tell me? Do video games interfere with my kid's ability to learn? What is school choice? Does "No Child Left Behind" make classrooms better? Is it okay to bribe my son to motivate him to do his homework?

Explained in a simple and reassuring manner, apprehensive and concerned parents are advised to go easy on interrogation and to ask pointed questions about particulars: What was the worst thing about school today?, which may be a better conversation starter than, How was school today?

Topics range from curriculum and classroom concerns and homework and discipline questions, to social and moral issues. Insight is offered into what motivates teachers, and suggestions for forging effective parent-teacher partnerships are included. This compilation of practical advice is grounded in years of classroom and administrative experience. and extensive research. Available on Amazon.com for $14.95.| Enter to win.


The Gigantic Book of Teachers' Wisdom
By Erin Gruwell and Frank McCourt
When we look back with fondness at our school years, one teacher always stands out. This tremendous collection of wisdom captures that special relationship. With more than 3,000 entries, it includes thoughts on the art of teaching and the acquisition of knowledge from hundreds of professors, scholars, politicians, celebrities and more.

Some of the famous names represented include Socrates, Aristotle, the Buddha, Jesus, Muhammad, Mark Twain, Frederick Douglass, Helen Keller, Freud, Albert Einstein, Gandhi, Winston Churchill, and John Lennon. The words will educate, amuse and perhaps even inspire some readers to focus on this honorable profession as a lifelong pursuit. Available on Amazon.com for $18.21. Enter to win.


Marley Goes to School
By John Grogan
It's the start of a new school year and a new adventure for Marley in this follow-up to the number one bestselling picture books Bad Dog, Marley! and A Very Marley Christmas, by author John Grogan.

As expected with Marley, there is never a dull moment and the first day of school is no exception. Even though he's told to stay home, Marley has other plans and decides to sniff his way to school instead. In true Marley fashion, chaos ensues upon his arrival as he begins roaming the halls, consuming hot dogs in the cafeteria, and even releasing several mice from the science room.

Marley Goes to School puts Marley's signature spin on the traditional excitement and apprehension associated with the start of any new school year. His hilarious escapades are sure to ease first-day jitters for young readers. Ages 4 to 8. $11.69 on Barnes & Noble.com. Enter to win.


Vocabulary Power: Raining Cats & Dogs
Banish pesky spelling and definitions fears with the fun and handy Vocabulary Power series: a flip-card guide with 200 idioms for grades two and up. This full-color stand-up, stand-out guide expertly explains those funny phrases that confuse many kids. Each idiom and definition has been selected by professional language specialists.

Hilarious full-color pictures and sentences bring the words to life. Being "crystal clear" on idioms is a sure-fire way to build reading and vocabulary skills. Give your child vocabulary power and improve reading comprehension in just three minutes a day. Amazon.com, $9.95. Enter to win.