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Five OC Holiday Break Educational Activities

Posted by on Dec 26, 2016 in Christmas, Education, Family, Holiday | 0 comments

  The holidays provide an excellent opportunity for kids to be able to participate in educational activities outside the classroom. Most schools provide more than a week off for kids in elementary and middle school, which leaves a lot of time to fill between holiday family activities. There are tons of things parents have wanted to do with her kids but they simply didn’t have time to experience during the first semester of the school year. Now that kids are at home for winter break, there are some excellent holiday educational activities in and around Orange County. Aquariums There are several beautiful aquariums within close driving distance of cities in Orange County. They provide a great field trip for people of all ages and can be pretty educational as well. Whether a kid is in first grade or fifth,...

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Word of Mouse Gives Kids ‘Words to Live By’

Posted by on Dec 13, 2016 in Books, Education, Family, Giveaways, Parenting | 22 comments

 Sponsored My children love to read. They are the rare children in todays society that are always walking around with a book in their hand vs. a digital device. Since my children are always reading, I love when I come across a book with a good message. Word of Mouse is a new book that was just released yesterday that sends children a great message on friendship. Before giving my children the book to read, I encouraged them to think about what words do they live by? Love. Kindness. Hope. These were a few of the words that my kids mentioned to me. We talked about what those words mean to them, and then I let them jump into the world created by James Patterson in Word of Mouse. James Patterson’s newest illustrated middle grade story follows the illuminating...

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The ‘Write Gift’ for the Teen Who Loves to Learn

Posted by on Dec 1, 2016 in Education, Family, Shopping | 0 comments

 Sponsored There are two things that my son loves more than anything in life, and that is learning and cooking. He is always striving to do his best in school so that he can accomplish many of his life goals. When I was a teenager, I didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life, but my son has already planned many of his life goals, one of which he recently achieved by getting into the culinary program at the Orange County School of the Arts. Thousands of children applied for this esteemed high school educational program, and after a lengthy interview process, he was invited to attend the high school program. Since starting the school in the Fall, I have watched him blossom, grow and love life more than ever. He is passionate about his educational path...

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My Day in a CSArts Academy Visual Arts Class

Posted by on Nov 9, 2016 in Education, Family | 0 comments

 We are proud to be an OCSA family If you read my earlier story, you know that I am taking a CSArts Visual Arts Portfolio class at OCSA. My first CSArts class was last week, and it was a blast. Last week we started off by drawing our hands and seashells, but this week we did a little bit more complex drawings. The class started off by doing some blind contour drawings. If you don’t know what that is, it is a drawing exercise where you cannot lift your pen, and you cannot look at your paper. The teacher started us off by giving us each an object and having us draw it with blind contour. We did this for about an hour and then we began to do controlled contour, which is the same thing except we were...

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Orange County School of the Arts’ First Annual College Fair

Posted by on Nov 4, 2016 in Education, Family, Parenting | 0 comments

  On October 20, 2016, Orange County School of the Arts (OCSA) hosted its first annual College Fair for its high school students and parents. Most college fairs offer several information sessions about admissions and financial aid, and booths featuring representatives from universities and colleges. OCSA’s College Fair took this model a step further by offering a variety of interactive master classes, arts and academic panels, and showcases. The event kicked off with a performance from USC’s infamous Trojan Marching Band. Whether you are a USC fan or not, the Trojan Marching Band provided great entertainment to the attendees, playing upbeat hits such as Bruno Mars’ “Uptown Funk,” Pat Benetar’s “Heartbreaker,” and The Offspring’s “The Kids Aren’t Alright.” Additionally, the band conductor spoke about ways for students to get involved in any university’s campus life, such as going to...

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Fighting the Fall Flu Bugs with Providence Express Care at Home

Posted by on Oct 26, 2016 in Education, Family, Health, Hot Topics | 0 comments

 Sponsored I have found this year to be one of the hardest as a mom. I have three children in three different schools with three different after school activities. Since school started in September, I have been living in my car, spending all day driving my kids around town. If I’m not shuffling the kids from activity to activity, I am stopping at various coffee shops to try and get my work done. Winter coming soon means the start of colds and flus. Normally, I would be fearful of my kids coming down with a cold or flu this year because I just don’t have a free moment in my schedule to take them to a doctor’s appointment to get a prescription. Over the summer, I learned about a great online tool for parents called Providence Express Care Virtual....

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My First CSArts Academy Visual Arts Class

Posted by on Oct 24, 2016 in Education, Family | 0 comments

 We are proud to be an OCSA family If you don’t know what OSCA is, then you should definitely do some research! OCSA stands for Orange County School of the Arts, and it is amazing! There are certain things you can apply for to be accepted into OSCA. My brother applied for Culinary Arts & Hospitality and got accepted, and I was so excited for him. I love photography and drawing, so when I found out there is a category that you can apply for under for visual arts, I freaked out (with excitement.) My parents did some research and figured out that OCSA was holding CSArts Academy classes every Saturday for portfolio preparation for Visual Arts. Once they had signed me up, I was a little nervous about making friends and all, but I soon figured out it...

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Orange County School of the Arts Master Class with Wynton Marsalis

Posted by on Oct 17, 2016 in Education, Entertainment, Music | 0 comments

  It is not every day that high school students have the opportunity to work with legendary artists of our time. However, 21 students in the Orange County School of the Arts’ (OCSA) Ambassador Jazz Orchestra participated in the once-in-a-lifetime master class with the internationally renowned trumpeter and composer Wynton Marsalis on Friday, October 7, 2016. For those not familiar with the nine-time Grammy Award winner, Wynton Marsalis is the managing and artistic director of Jazz at Lincoln Center. In 1983 and 1984, he became the first, and only artist to win both classical and jazz Grammys in the same year. The master class is a part of the arts charter school’s Master Artist Series in celebration of its 30th anniversary. The sold-out crowd of more the 425 attendees bubbled with excitement in anticipation for the beginning of the...

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Affordable Nature-Based Education for Children

Posted by on Oct 4, 2016 in Education, Events, Family | 0 comments

  Looking for something fun and educational for your children? I recently experienced a fantastic nature-based educational program at the Irvine Ranch Outdoor Education Center. During our first Wonder Sprouts class, my son discovered the joy of turning lemons into lemonade, literally. Suzanne Perry Slavens, Life Science Director and teacher, sang a song about a moose who loved his juice. Afterwards, she led our class to the on-site organic citrus orchards where everyone picked lemons and piled them high into baskets. Returning to the pavilion overlooking a large, colorful organic garden, we continued singing while the children pressed juice out of the lemons. In a large mason jar, the children swirled the lemon juice with sugar and water. While drinking a cup of his very own lemonade, my son said, “Mmmm. Lemons are yummy.” The children also made seed...

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Interactive Game Night with Pie Face Showdown

Posted by on Sep 29, 2016 in Education, Family, Parenting, Shopping, Toys | 0 comments

 This post was sponsored by Hasbro as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central and all opinions expressed in my post are my own. Our favorite thing to do together as a family is to have a family game night. Our kids would rather play games with us in the evening vs. watching television, and it is all because of interactive games available like Pie Face Showdown. I have wanted to get the kids a new game to play, and when I found out about the Pie Face Showdown game that was coming out on October 1st, I couldn’t wait to test it out with my kids. Since this game is more of an “outside” game, I planned to surprise my kids with the new game during their after school snack time. Once the kids finished their snack,...

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Enter Your Kids Science Teacher to win $250

Posted by on Sep 29, 2016 in Education, Family | 0 comments

  Discovery Cube OC wants to hear your stories and recognize the science teachers who open up the wonders of the world – and beyond – to students! Do you remember the science teacher who built a bubbling volcano using nothing more than baking soda and vinegar? Or maybe the teacher who convinced you to dissect a frog and inspired you to explore new subjects and careers? Perhaps you have a colleague who is amazing at being a science educator. Well now it’s time to share your favorite memories of your favorite science teacher! So How Do I Enter? * Snap an amazing photo showing your favorite science teacher in action (be creative!) * Post that photo to Instagram, Facebook or Twitter with a description of how he or she inspired you or your kids. * Use #MyScienceTeacher in...

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5 Questions a Student Should Ask the Teacher

Posted by on Sep 22, 2016 in Education, Family, Hot Topics, Parenting | 0 comments

  Some students love to ask questions in class while others prefer to keep quiet. Although it can be intimidating for kids to raise their hands and ask the teacher pertinent questions, they can learn so much valuable information by speaking up from time to time. Whether a student is curious about the specifics of a topic or needs clarification on homework it’s highly beneficial for them to learn how to ask their teacher certain types of questions. Assignment clarification Many young students go home to get started on an important assignment only to find out that they didn’t quite understand the scope of work. This can be very frustrating because they don’t know how to get started or, perhaps they do a great job on their homework but end up handing in something different than what the teacher...

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My Journey to Leadership with Girl Scouts of Orange County

Posted by on Sep 22, 2016 in Education, Family, Hot Topics, Parenting | 1 comment

 My journey as a Girl Scout began as a first grade Daisy. I loved my troop and the friendships I made with my Girl Scout sisters. I’ve continued as Girl Scout into high school because this inspiring organization has shown me the power I have to lead and make a positive difference in the world by helping others. Challenging myself with difficult tasks has been the most rewarding part of my Girl Scout experience. I take things step by step and learn along the way. Even when I fail, Girl Scouts encourages me try again, get better, and achieve my goal. Taking chances and experiencing failure through opportunities with Girl Scouts help girls become stronger challenge-seekers.
Linking Leadership to Academic Success: The Girl Scout Difference, Girl Scout Research Institute I’ve developed the confidence to try so many things that I...

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5 Things You Didn’t Know About After School Care at the Boys & Girls Club

Posted by on Sep 15, 2016 in Education, Family, Parenting | 0 comments

 Sponsored The Boys & Girls Club provides transportation – you don’t have to drive your kids there after school! Boys & Girls Clubs of Huntington Valley has a fleet of 18 yellow school buses that bring kids to its three school age youth centers from 43 schools in Huntington Beach, Fountain Valley, Westminster, and Garden Grove. And, the Club is open until 6pm, so if you’re a working parent, you can stay at work in the afternoon with no worries about how your kids are going to get to their after school program. The Boys & Girls Club helps your kids do better in school. 
In 2015, Boys & Girls Clubs of Huntington Valley was named the #1 Boys & Girls Club in the nation for Education & Career Development programming from more than 4000 clubs nationwide! Each of...

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4 Indoor Educational Projects for a Rainy Day

Posted by on Sep 13, 2016 in Crafts, Education, Family, Parenting | 0 comments

  Kids love to spend time playing outside. However, even Orange County has a few rainy days (or days so hot everybody wants to stay indoors in the AC). There are some great education-based projects that can be completed indoors that are both fun and productive on a rainy day. Whether kids are working on their art skills, reading comprehension, or math, there are several things they can do as a family while learning something new. 1. Color mixing Color mixing can make a fun and educational art project that helps kids learn how to make secondary and tertiary colors. For this project, kids will need four colors of paint: red, blue, yellow, and white. They can mix up orange, purple, green, and pink and so on. Many kids end up accidentally making brown or gray when they mix...

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The CSArts Academy Fall Program Offers Creative Arts Classes for Children and Adults

Posted by on Sep 7, 2016 in Education, Events, Featured | 0 comments

  Are you or your kids looking for something fun to do on the weekends or during the evenings? The California School of the Arts (CSArts) Academy Fall Program is a great opportunity for artists of all ages and skill levels to explore new mediums, or learn about completely new art forms! Students ages 5 through 15 are invited to enroll in the CSArts Weekend Academy classes, regardless of whether or not they are currently enrolled at the Orange County School of the Arts (OCSA). The program enables students to experience OCSA’s arts and academic curriculum in a fun creative and nurturing environment, while allowing them to develop fundamental skills and enhance existing skills. There are class offerings for both beginner level and advanced students in all artistic areas. Classes will be held on Saturdays and taught by OCSA’s...

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Kaiser Permanente is Focused on Wellness

Posted by on Sep 1, 2016 in Education, Family, Health | 0 comments

 Sponsored Our family has always had traditional insurance. Every year, during open enrollment, we begin to start looking at our different healthcare options. Since our family has had many struggles with health related issues over the years, healthcare is an important topic of discussion. With our open enrollment just around the corner, I decided to look into the option of trying Kaiser Permanente insurance. I have heard many good and bad things about Kaiser Permanente over the years, but after our adopted daughter was born in a Kaiser Permanente hospital, I realized that most of the negativities I had heard about Kaiser Permanente were false, and we had a great experience with the birth of my daughter. I made an appointment to meet with a Kaiser Permanente physician and tour the beautiful Kaiser Permanente location in Irvine. When I...

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CVS Health Comes to Target

Posted by on Aug 31, 2016 in Education, Family, Health, Hot Topics | 0 comments

 I’m proud to be working with CVS Pharmacy on the CVS Pharmacy Difference Campaign. All opinions expressed are my own, and all product claims or program details shared should be verified at CVS.com or with the appropriate manufacturers. Target is quickly becoming a one-stop place for family shopping needs. From Starbucks to optical to prescriptions, it has become one of my favorite places to go shopping. As a CVS customer, when I heard the news that all Target pharmacies were converting to CVS Health Pharmacies, I was over the moon with excitement – one less errand I have to run each week. Now I can do all of my Target shopping, and pick up my prescriptions all in one place. The best part is that as a CVS customer, I don’t have to do anything to switch my prescriptions...

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Back-to-School Tips for 2e Students

Posted by on Aug 29, 2016 in Education, Family, Parenting | 0 comments

  What is a 2e student? Twice-exceptional children have an exceptionally high intellectual ability in one area or another alongside a learning difficulty such as dyslexia, dysgraphia, ADHD, auditory processing disorder, and/or social/emotional challenges that impact their ability to effectively progress in typical or remedial settings. Many people do not realize that giftedness, or, exceptionally high intellect can exist alongside a deficit. In fact, more than 15% of individuals with exceptional intelligence have a learning disability that impacts their ability to progress effectively. Many twice-exceptional children are misdiagnosed with labels such as Autism and ADHD. While many twice-exceptional children may have these challenges, a good majority do not. Often, 2e children are able to mask their challenges and so their difficulties are subtle and often overlooked until school and life demands become more complex. What this can look like...

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5 Ways To Start The School Year Off Right

Posted by on Aug 23, 2016 in Education, Family | 0 comments

  Kids are adjusting to their first couple weeks back in a classroom. Some are very excited to be learning new things while others long for afternoons on the playground or at the beach. Either way, there are some ways kids can start the school year off right, so they have a great chance of academic success while still having the opportunity just to be a kid. Its important students learn organizational skills but still have time for friends. It’s also a good idea to reevaluate any changing needs young students have as they grow and transition through their K-12 experiences. Get organized Each student will have different organizational needs based on their current grade and list of classes. If kids are going to different teachers for different subjects, it’s great to have a separate notebook and folder for...

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