Renee Nelson

Renee Nelson
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Renee holds three titles that are of utmost importance to her: mom to Cale and Ian; wife to Andy; and Communications Director for Grant Wood Area Education Agency. Although she has a Master’s degree from the University of Iowa, her heart still shines cardinal and gold for Iowa State University where she received her undergraduate degree. Renee’s a foodie who loves cooking, travel, her friends, her family, the Oxford comma, and happy hour. Cheers!

Tell Me Lies, Tell Me Sweet COVID Lies

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Welp, now it's obvious. I’ve been spinning a web of lies for years. You know, like how I told myself that our laundry would all be folded and put away if I “just had a...

My Hope for Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow

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I know a little something about family togetherness.  We drove from Iowa to Yellowstone National Park when I was fourteen. Our family of four packed two tents and everything needed for a week’s worth of...
kid making homemade pizza

Oh, Snack! A Pantry Survival Plan for Impromptu Play Dates

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It starts with an innocent request from your child to have a friend come over, and before you know it you have double the expected number of children in your home. Regardless of the time...
Almost Free Christmas Gifts

Three Almost-Free Gifts for Your Children

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You hit the streets on Black Friday, trekked to the small shops for Small Business Saturday, and blocked off your lunch hour on Cyber Monday. I trust that the biggest gifts of the season...
technology with kids

Four Ways to Teach Kids Computer Science: Help for the Non-Tech Mom

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I watched my niece play Angry Birds on my android device years ago. She clicked the screen in a way I had never considered. Then she adeptly used a move that helped her easily...
fall lakeside trees

Iowa, Wash Your Face

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My husband and I are Iowans but have lots of family in Texas-- cousins, aunts, uncles, fraternity brothers. You get the idea. And you know what you'll never hear in the great state of...

My Children Shouldn’t Carry the Weight of Your Labels

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As a mom with kiddos who are involved in a lot of sports, I spend a lot of my time chatting on the sidelines. I’m talking with fellow parents, grandparents and family friends of...
Understanding Educational Lingo

Learning the Lingo: A Parent’s Guide to Educational Terms

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Just like any other industry, education uses a language filled with acronyms and rooted in science. You need to break through some of that lingo in order to support your student. I consider myself blessed...

Always Avoid Absolutes: The Complete Truth About “Always” and “Never”

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It starts before the baby is even conceived. You’re enjoying happy hour (because before kids, happy hour happened all the time, right?)  Then a family with a toddler plops into the booth behind you. They...
These factors most positively influence student achievement

Survey Says: These Factors Most Positively Affect Student Achievement

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We all know there’s no handbook for this parenting gig, and that lack of official guidance is one reason we’re all looking for tips and ideas to do it better. I often think about writing...