The Advice Sisters

“The Advice Sisters are here to answer your questions about anything, including animals, too much homework and why you should get out of your car if it’s on fire. So quick—ask a question!”

Dear Advice Sisters,

I am a member of a mother-daughter book club, and we are trying to decide on a book to read for the autumn. I have suggested two books that I think everyone will enjoy. One is a moving story about a girl who has to flee from Vietnam during the Vietnamese war but has a challenging time adjusting to her new life in the U.S. (titled Inside Out and Back Again). The other is about a family struggling with racism in the U.S. (Roll of Thunder Hear My Cry). The characters are rich and diverse and feel real. Two other members have suggested a highly moralistic book, with stereotyped and unrealistic characters.

Actually when I think about it I’ve been trying to encourage higher level literature from the beginning of the club four years ago. We have decided to only do two books this year so I’d like to make sure each book is really good.


Concerned Parent

Dear Concerned Parent,

That seems like a tough situation. Why don’t you start by trying to convince them and letting them know that it’s good to learn about things like racism and how people have to run away from wars at young ages?

If that doesn’t work, you could compromise (one of your books and one of theirs).

If after you do all that and it still doesn’t work, you could give in this year and try next year. But if they still don’t want to read your books, it would make sense to join or start a book club where everyone wants to read the same books.

Good luck,

The Advice Sisters


Dear Advice Sisters,



Dear Confused,

“Why?” by itself, does not really mean anything. What do you want to know? You might want to send another question to make it a little more clear so that we can answer it.


Please explain,

The Advice Sisters


Dear Advice Sisters,

I am the mom of two awesome homeschooling girls. We like to sign them up for lots of activities so that they have plenty of opportunities to try new things and be around other kids their age. However, I have also been reading that it’s good for kids to have lots of unstructured or free time to do whatever they want.

How can I know if my kids have too much structure in their weekly schedule?

Thanks for your help!

Proud Mom

Dear Proud Mom,

Why don’t you try asking them about how they feel? If they feel like they have too many activities, you could try finding ways to do some of them less often.

But if they say that they have the right amount of activities, then you could keep doing the same amount.

Good luck,

The Advice Sisters


Dear Advice Sisters,

How to start reading and writing with kids.  At what age and what’s the best approach? And what kind of curriculum or structure do kids being homeschooled prefer?


Dear Thanks,

They best way to encourage kids to read and write is to do really fun and easy things. A good age to start is when the kid feels ready! You learn fast when it’s fun. Eventually everyone starts reading so don’t put pressure on them.

And for the curriculum it’s the same thing. A good curriculum is really for you and your kid to decide. You can ask your kid and decide together. But don’t forget to not pressure your kid.

Happy learning,

The Advice Sisters


Dear Advice Sisters,

Is it illegal to park next to a fire hydrant even if your car is on fire? 


Urgently Wondering

P.S. Please respond ASAP.

Dear Urgently Wondering,

If your car is on fire, I would get out of it as soon as possible and call 911.


The Advice Sisters


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