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Four Benefits of Learning a Foreign Language at an Early Age

Posted by on Nov 8, 2018 in Education | 0 comments

 Sponsored Today, competing on a global scale is integral to a successful career. For the majority of occupations, speaking foreign languages makes you more marketable and valuable to any company. Teaching foreign languages to kids can set them up for a lifetime of success. A growing mind can pick up languages quickly, which is why it is an excellent idea to teach children different languages when they are young. It’s never too early for your child to begin learning one – or several – foreign languages. Below, we outline how learning a foreign language sets your child up for success in the future. Benefits of Learning a Foreign Language as a Child Cognitive Advancement Learning a foreign language has been linked to several cognitive benefits. Researchers who studied bilingual children found that, compared to their monolingual peers, had better...

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Saturday Teen Culinary Classes

Posted by on Aug 23, 2018 in Education | 0 comments

  Do your kids like to cook? Are they they wanting to explore their talents? The OCSA CSArts Culinary Classes are the perfect place for them to start. Not only can your children fall in love with the Culinary Arts, but also get a small taste of what the OCSA Culinary Arts High School program can provide for them. The Saturday classes are geared towards children aged 11-15. During the classes, students will learn a variety of foundational cooking techniques while experimenting with fun recipes. Basic knife skills, cooking methods, garnishes, portioning, plating, and representation will be explored with a culminating gathering and sampling for parents to enjoy. Morning and afternoon sessions are available. Fundamentals of Culinary Arts 9am to 12pm Innovative Flavors and Presentations 1pm to 4pm Cost: $475 Dates: The Fall 2018 classes occur weekly on Saturdays...

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30 Days and Counting: 4 Tips to Help your Child Concentrate Through the End of the School Year

Posted by on Jun 1, 2018 in Education, Family, Parenting | 0 comments

 Sponsored It’s that time of year again, school is almost over and students are excited to get out of the classroom and into the swing of summer. Unfortunately, this can make it harder for students to concentrate on what’s important including end-of-year testing, final exams, and final projects that will make a big difference in their overall GPA. There are lots of things kids can do to stay on track and work towards academic success for the remainder of the year. Keep regular sessions with your tutor It’s essential to maintain a weekly schedule with a student’s one-on-one tutor in order to maintain organization and promote concentration. When students meet at the same time every week, they feel like they still have responsibilities to fulfill and can stay focused on what’s important regarding assignments and test prep. Students who...

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4 Ways to Get Your Kid Back on Track After Spring Break

Posted by on Apr 9, 2018 in Education, Family | 0 comments

  When kids come back from a week away from school, they are often not as focused on classroom work and assignments. Also, at this point in the year students start thinking more about summer and less about school. Whether in kindergarten or 12th grade, every student will have assignments to complete by the end of the academic year. How focused a student is will play a role in exams and quizzes they take as well as their overall GPA. There are some great ways to help get kids back on track after spring break, so they can be successful and finish the year strong. Hire an Orange County tutor There are highly qualified private tutors throughout Orange County who can help students in the peace of their own home and start getting them back on track. Tutors can...

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Tutor Tips: Should My Kid Study in a Group or Alone?

Posted by on Mar 6, 2018 in Education, Family | 0 comments

  Parents often ask if it’s better for students to study alone or in a group. There are benefits and drawbacks to both, and the answer will depend a lot on the individual student’s ability to concentrate and their specific learning needs. Many students find that it’s easier for them to study in a social setting as long as the students they are working with are equally motivated and able to focus on the task at hand. Students who need a little more direction can hire a tutor to run their study group and ensure that every student finishes their assignments or studies for an upcoming exam. Peer motivation One of the best reasons for students to study as part of a group is to receive positive motivation from their peers. When studying solo, many students start to get...

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Fine Motor Skills Support Academic Success: Tips to Support Your Child

Posted by on Feb 6, 2018 in Education, Family | 0 comments

 Sponsored Your kids are learning and growing every day…and every moment can be a learning experience for them. When it comes to something as essential as developing fine motor skills, your child benefits from extending this skill at home. For young children, fine motor skills can be learned by fastening clothing, using art materials, putting together a puzzle, and practicing handwriting, with long-term benefits. Why is Developing Fine Motor Skills Important? Fine motor skills are necessary as your child grows and becomes more self-sufficient – grasping and using utensils, buttoning and zipping clothes, making crafts, and writing by hand all fall under the umbrella of fine motor skills. An early and firm grasp of fine motor skills will help as your child learns how to write clearly and legibly. Children who write letters tend to produce more words and...

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Sparking a Love for Creativity and Literacy at Storymakery

Posted by on Jan 3, 2018 in Education, Family | 0 comments

 We visited as a guest of the venue Reading has never been easy for my youngest son. I had a lot of complications during my pregnancy, and he was born prematurely. He could have had multiple major lifelong challenges, but thankfully he was only left with one – a learning disability. Unfortunately, when you are 10-years-old, a learning disability can feel like the end of the world, and struggling to read can cause endless frustration for a child. The two things that we have been doing to boost his self-confidence is being supportive and finding unique ways for him to learn. One of the best places that I recently discovered that could help do that is at Storymakery at the Irvine Spectrum Center. Storymakery has been open for awhile, and I was always afraid to bring my son in...

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4 Things to Ask your Kid’s Tutor this January

Posted by on Jan 3, 2018 in Education, Family | 0 comments

  It’s important for students to play an active role in their supplemental education services, which means asking their Orange County tutors questions and staying involved in the direction their education is taking. Students can inquire about study skills, challenging topics, and deadlines coming up this spring. It’s easy for students to become disassociated with their overall education in the middle of winter but playing an active part in their tutoring sessions will make a huge difference in the big picture. Staying alert can help improve study efficiency, increase a love of learning, and raise a student’s GPA. What should my end-of-year goals be? The first thing students should talk about with their tutor is their end-of-year goals. Between now and June students need to think about midterms and final exams, college entrance exams, scholarship and student loan applications,...

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Thanksgiving Blessings

Posted by on Dec 13, 2017 in Education, Family, Parenting | 0 comments

  When I was growing up my mother often said, “The only thing in life that’s certain is change.” Over the years these words have resonated with me to varying degrees depending on the happenings of my life at a given moment, but they rang especially true for our family this holiday season. We were set to go out of town for Thanksgiving when we received the unexpected news that our daughter had to have surgery. Rather than hopping in the car to visit family we found ourselves unpacking for vacation and packing hospital bags instead. The sheer disappointment of missing the trip was an obstacle in and of itself, but facing the fear of surgery and the shock of the situation was more than we bargained for. Now that some time has passed and I’ve had a minute...

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Track the Paw Prints to Free Educational Classes at New Library

Posted by on Dec 11, 2017 in Crafts, Education, Events | 0 comments

  Follow the painted bobcat and mountain lion paw prints prancing on the sidewalk to the new Library of the Canyons. Inside, watch out for the skunk, coyote and raccoon paw prints crawling up the walls to cave style paintings by local artist, Robert Myers. Throughout the children’s section, kids discover interactive displays, puzzles, puppet theatre and crafts. My son and his friends especially enjoy the library’s educational programs. The only place my son wants to be on Monday’s at 4 p.m. is at the library’s Crazy Eight’s math class. His favorite lesson dealt with sound waves. He made a pan flute from straws and noticed the changes in pitch from the different lengths of straw. Then he and his classmates headed outside to test the decibels of the flutes with an app on the children’s librarian, Shanon Delaney’s...

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Give Your Children the Gift of Learning

Posted by on Nov 29, 2017 in Deals, Education, Toys | 0 comments

 Sponsored Are you looking for the perfect holiday gift for your kids this year that will encourage them to love learning? Well, we have found it. Every year, our holiday tree has a ton of gifts under it that doesn’t stimulate my kid’s brains, so this year, I have been on the hunt for educational toys to gift them this year. One of my favorite educational toys that I have found is the Omano JuniorScope Microscope. The new Omano JuniorScope is the perfect microscope for your young scientist. The JuniorScope is a high quality, easy to use microscope built with kids in mind. With the JuniorScope, your kids can look at everything from plant cells to water bears. Unlike other children’s microscopes, the JuniorScope has precision glass optics, is easy to use, and gives a crystal clear image of...

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Food Network Star Pays Visit to OCSA’s Culinary Students

Posted by on Nov 28, 2017 in Dining, Education | 0 comments

  Laughter filled the room as celebrity Chef Alex Guarnaschelli impressed Orange County School of the Arts (OCSA) students from The Mekjian Family Culinary Arts & Hospitality Conservatory with her expertise and down-to-earth personality during an exclusive OCSA master class held on Thursday, Nov. 9. Executive chef at Butter restaurant in New York City, Guarnaschelli is also a winner of the Food Network’s “Iron Chef America” and a judge on “Chopped” and “Chopped Junior.” Early in her career, she spent seven years cooking at restaurants in France, including Guy Savoy and La Butte Chaillot. OCSA students, parents and VIP guests excitedly filled the school’s Event Center for a private demonstration from Guarnaschelli about creating herb-infused olive oils to transform an ordinary meal into a gourmet dish. She cooked olive oil with thyme, curly-leaf parsley and rosemary, and used it...

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Mom’s Night Out Holiday Cooking Class

Posted by on Nov 27, 2017 in Christmas, Dining, Education, Events, Holiday | 0 comments

  Enjoy a night out with friends or a special date night where you can learn some cooking basics, drink wine, eat what you cook, and have a great time! The classes provide hands on, practical culinary experience under the guidance of Orange County School of the Arts (OCSA)’s renowned Chef Instructors in their world-class teaching kitchens. Monday, December 4th – Fresh Pasta Anyone? Monday, December 11th – A Night in the Mediterranean Time: 6:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. Cost: $60 per class Ages 21+ Cost of registration includes beer and wine! Registration is currently available...

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Creating an Effective Partnership with Your Child’s School

Posted by on Nov 17, 2017 in Education, Family, Parenting | 0 comments

  It’s that time of year again, and school conferences are upon us. I have the advantage of being a parent, as well as, the school counselor so I’m privy to information from teachers, as well as, other parents. Consequently, I’ve been reflecting on this process from both perspectives. Parents typically go into conferences looking forward to hearing about what their children are doing well and sometimes cringe when they hear about children’s missteps. What I’ve learned is it’s very difficult for teachers to deliver less-than-optimal news to parents, especially if they worry about parents’ reactions. However, when they don’t deliver the news or soften the blow by minimizing the information they’re often doing students a great disservice. Teachers have unique perspectives of students. The reality is that children may behave very differently at school than at home. The...

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Changing the Lives of Kids with the Boys & Girls Clubs of America My.Future

Posted by on Nov 16, 2017 in Education, Family | 0 comments

 This post was sponsored by Boys and Girls Club as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central and all opinions expressed in my post are my own. We were so enthused to be invited and see first hand the recent unveiling of My.Future to the Boys & Girls Clubs of America in Los Angeles. As we walked into the gymnasium full of energetic, happy kids, we knew we were about to witness firsthand what happens when a corporation partners with a non-profit organization to change the future through the lives of children. Boys & Girls Clubs of America and Comcast NBC Universal have partnered to start My.Future; a wonderful opportunity that provides young people with a safe, fun digital platform they can use to learn, play and socialize while at the Boys and Girls Club of Los Angeles....

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How to Know Your Child is Ready for Preschool

Posted by on Sep 25, 2017 in Education, Family, New Baby, Parenting | 0 comments

 Sponsored Have you been thinking of transitioning your toddler to preschool but aren’t sure if your child is ready? Even though you are your toddler’s first and most important teacher, it may be time for your little learner to explore the world, meet new friends, and gain knowledge that will be with your child forever. Why is Preschool Important? Preschoolers must explore, experiment, and make discoveries for themselves through playful interactions with the environment as well as with other people in order to make sense of their world. A preschool that promotes STEM and STEAM (Science-Technology-Engineering-Arts-Math) curriculums, allows children to engage in fun hands-on activities at a very young age. With an early start, your little one will be well prepared for the many years of learning to come. Here is a checklist to see if your little one...

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Kindness is Captivating

Posted by on Sep 22, 2017 in Education, Family, Hot Topics, Parenting | 0 comments

  We all need more examples of kindness in the world, and in my work as a school counselor, I attempt to teach children to be kind because it’s the right thing to do. If children are only kind when they know someone is watching or because they hope to be recognized for their kindness we’re missing the mark. My message to students is “Be kind, especially when it’s hard.” It’s easy to be nice when others treat us well or when we get exactly what we want. However, my hope is that children will learn to pause and make good choices even when it’s not easy. That’s where we come in, because children must be taught how to do this. Ironically, this is as much a challenge for adults as it is for kids. I teach our students...

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4 Reasons to Get a Tutor Early in the School Year

Posted by on Sep 13, 2017 in Education, Family | 0 comments

  Many kids will need to work with a tutor at some point in the school year either for one particularly challenging subject or for overall study skills improvement. The child may be in elementary school or they may be entering their college prep years. More often than not students wait until there is a particular problem before they start investigating one-on-one tutoring and, unfortunately, fall far behind by the time they start their sessions. It’s definitely beneficial to work with a tutor early in the school year so that students can stay on track academically and maintain positive feelings about education. Keep self-esteem high Most students have one subject that gives them more difficulty than all the others. It’s that one topic or series of topics that makes the student want to avoid learning and eventually view school...

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Wonder Sprouts Fall Nature Classes

Posted by on Sep 6, 2017 in Education, Gardening | 0 comments

  September is just around the corner and they have a special line up of sessions planned for our Wonder Sprouts this autumn at the Outdoor Education Center. Come out and join us as we hunt for berries, harvest squash, plant food for bees, build micro-greenhouses from re-purposed containers and more! Dates/ Times: Monday, September 11 – 10:00-11:30 am Friday,September 15 – 3:00 -4:30 pm Monday, September 18 – 10:00-11:30 am Friday, September 22 – 3:00 -4:30 pm Monday,September 25 – 10:00-11:30 am Friday, September 29 – 3:00 -4:30 pm Monday, October 2 – 10:00-11:30 am Friday, October 6 – 3:00 -4:30 pm Friday, October 13 – 3:00 -4:30 pm Monday, October 16 – 10:00-11:30 am Friday, October 20 – 3:00 -4:30 pm Monday, October 23 – 10:00-11:30 am Price: Adult/ 1 child – 1 session $15.00 Adult/ 2...

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Fun Toys to Encourage Kids to Get Outside

Posted by on Aug 23, 2017 in Education, Family, Toys | 0 comments

 Sponsored Let’s be honest. Our children are growing up in a time where most kids spend the majority of their time inside. Electronics and video games are distracting children of this generation and discouraging them from spending their time outside having fun and playing. This summer, we had a technology-free summer, and my children spent all of their time outside playing. With them spending all their time outside, I had to look into finding new tools to help make it fun (especially for my teenagers). One brand that my I discovered this summer, and my children loved was Toysmith. Their outdoor products make playing outdoors fun for children, and these are our favorite Toysmith outdoor toys that you’ll want to add to your toy box. Spring Ring Enjoy your outside playtime with the Toysmith Spring Ring. Play a variety...

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Back to School Educational Toys

Posted by on Aug 22, 2017 in Education, Family, Toys | 0 comments

 Sponsored The best gift that parents can give their children is the gift of play. We all live busy lifestyles, and taking time out of your day to sit down on the floor and play with your children is the best thing for them. As a retired preschool teacher, I remain passionate about empowering parents to play more with their children. One of the best ways to make playing with your children fun is to have educational toys that stimulate your children and help them to learn through play. One brand that I have been purchasing for my children since they were babies is Learning Resources. Their educational toys make learning with children extra fun, and they are high-quality products that will last for many years. While purchasing back to school supplies for your children, also purchase some learning...

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Five Ways to Help Your Kid Socialize This Summer

Posted by on Aug 7, 2017 in Education, Family, Parenting | 0 comments

  Kids have a ton of opportunities to socialize during the school year because they see their friends and classmates almost every day. During the summer, however, many kids don’t get a chance to socialize as much as would be ideal. Some students live far away from their school or don’t get to spend time with classmates for any number of reasons. However, there are tons of ways to help your kid socialize this summer so they can learn and grow with their peers. Summer camp Summer camp can last all summer long or might just take up a week of a kid’s time. There are tons of options from sports camps to arts and crafts programs to academic programs that help fill a kid’s schedule while giving them a chance to socialize in a structured environment. It’s important...

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Summertime STEAM Family Fun

Posted by on Aug 2, 2017 in Education, Family | 0 comments

  Astronomer Carl Sagan believed “every kid starts out as a natural-born scientist.” Think about it, children exhibit insatiable curiosity! Everything babies touch ends up in their mouths and they love to study cause and effect in their environments. Toddlers stop to investigate bugs on the ground and often imitate their parent’s every move. Elementary aged children have a strong need to know “why” and “how.” In recent years, educators have pushed the STEAM initiative. STEAM is an acronym for science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics. The goal of this initiative is to help students develop critical thinking skills through the use of project based learning. The rationale behind this learning philosophy is that the ability to solve novel problems will prepare children for the future. Examples of STEAM activities involve asking “why” questions, engaging kids in counting and...

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5 Things Every Parent Should tell Their Kid’s Tutor Over The Summer

Posted by on Jul 13, 2017 in Education, Family | 0 comments

  Kids are enjoying some time away from the classroom this summer while playing outside or enjoying quality time with family and friends. Many students will work with a one-on-one tutor over the summer in order to catch up on difficult and complicated subjects or get ahead of the game by completing test prep or college applications before the school year starts up again. Sometimes students already know their tutor because they’ve worked with them during the year and, as a result, their supplemental educator already knows what’s going on in the student’s academic life. In other circumstances the tutor will be a brand-new element to the child’s education. Regardless, there are definitely a few things every parent should tell their kid’s Orange County tutor this summer. Learning differences One of the most helpful things a parent can discuss...

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Five Ways to Cope with Summer School

Posted by on Jun 15, 2017 in Education, Family | 0 comments

  Summer is here and students are out of school; they‘re excited to take a break from academics and enjoy exploring some fun extracurricular activities. However, many students need to attend a summer school program of some kind. Summer school used to be something students needed to do to catch up but, these days, many students attend summer school programs to get ahead or even help them apply to college. Most students will resist summer school to some extent but there are definitely some great ways to cope with the idea of spending more time indoors. Mix it up Many summer school programs offer students the chance to work on academics in the morning and sports or creative activities in the afternoon. This is a great way for students to work on math or English while still having the...

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Best Teen Summer Read – The Trials of Apollo: The Dark Prophecy

Posted by on May 15, 2017 in Books, Education, Entertainment, Family, Giveaways | 5 comments

 Sponsored The one thing that I love to do is read. With school ending within just a few short weeks, I have been busy planning my must-have summer reading calendar. One book that I couldn’t wait to read this summer is The Trials of Apollo: The Dark Prophecy. Imagine my surprise when I received a box on Friday that had a copy of the book I have been dying to read – I dropped everything and read the book within a couple of hours. Who doesn’t drop everything to get their hands on the newest Rick Riordan book? The man is a genius of an author who immerses his readers into another realm. The Trials of Apollo is one of my favorite book series by far! The book is complete with puns, backstabbing, poetry and so much more! The...

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Your Child’s Education Beyond the Classroom

Posted by on Apr 4, 2017 in Education, Family, Parenting | 0 comments

  Many parents understand their child’s education does not end at 3 PM Monday through Friday. Education outside the classroom is just as important as the math, English, science and history our children learn inside the classroom. The question now is, “What other type of education is there that is important and crucial to my child’s social, emotional and intellectual development?” Learning to relate to other people is a very important thing to learn from a young age. Parents try very hard to teach that to their children, but it may not be enough. Schools teach that, but it’s always on the back burner to math, English and other traditional subjects. There needs to be another system that focuses entirely on effectively communicating and relating to your peers. LEARN TO LOVE YOU Now that’s an important thing to learn....

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Five Spring-themed Educational Activities for Elementary School Kids

Posted by on Mar 29, 2017 in Education, Family | 0 comments

  When kids are young, it’s fun to find a theme throughout the year that can help them get interested in academic educational activities. Now that spring is officially here parents and teachers can focus on spring-themed activities to help kids learn while having fun at the same time. Whether kids are doing an art project or learning about numbers, there are lots of ways elementary school age children can learn from the season. Arts and crafts projects There are some excellent spring-themed arts and crafts projects for kids that also have an educational element. Kids can learn about different types of flowers and even purchase a tulip bulb or wildflower seeds and plant them in a pot or their back garden. They can learn about soil and how much they need to water flowers and whether or not...

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Inspiring Children to Learn through Play

Posted by on Mar 9, 2017 in Education, Parenting, Parks | 0 comments

 This post was sponsored by Landscape Structures as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central. All opinions expressed in my post are my own. One of the best gifts that a parent can give their child is the gift of play. Putting down the electronics, going outside, and playing. With my job requiring me to be online for a large portion of my day, many would think that my children live a high-tech lifestyle, but we actually have the opposite. The minute that I had children, I knew that I wanted them to be outside as much as possible, digging in the dirt, climbing trees, and learning through play. My younger son attends a Waldorf School where he learns by going on nature walks, draws his own textbooks, and has a no-tech learning environment at school. Ever since...

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Five Perfect Graduation Announcements

Posted by on Mar 8, 2017 in Education, Shopping | 0 comments

 Sponsored Is you child getting ready to graduate this year? Create a lovely graduation announcement for all your friends and family before your precious child puts on their cap and gown and gets ready to walk up to the stage to accept their diploma. When it comes to graduation announcements, the choices are endless, but when it comes to announcing one of your child’s biggest accomplishments, you’ll want to send high-quality announcements. Basic Invite is one of our go-to places for high-quality announcements and invitations, printed on your choice of high-quality 110-pound matte, semi-gloss, or shimmer card stock. They offer their customers over 150 different colors to personalize your card to perfection. You can change the color of the text, background, and photos making all their templates customizable. If you’re worried about invitation etiquette, they have experts available via...

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Save a Life with Bayer Aspirin

Posted by on Mar 7, 2017 in Education, Family, Health, Hot Topics | 0 comments

 I am participating in an Ambassador program on behalf of Influence Central and hosted by the makers of Bayer® Aspirin. I have received compensation to thank me for my participation. All opinions expressed are my own. One night when I was a teenager, my father went out to walk the dog along the beach. The minute that he walked into the house, I immediately knew that something was wrong. He calmly went up to my mother and said the words that no child ever wants to hear their parent say, “I think I am having a heart attack.” Since my grandma had a history of heart-related issues, my mom knew what to do and got him a Bayer aspirin to chew on while she rushed him to the emergency room. Looking back, she should have called 911, but we...

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Storymakery: a Perfect Daddy/Daughter Night Out

Posted by on Feb 9, 2017 in Education, Hot Topics, Shopping | 0 comments

 We visited as a guest of the venue One of the activities my wife and I like to do from time to time is spend an evening with each child one on one.  With that in mind on Friday night, my daughter and I had a planned activity. Trying to figure out an activity that is fun, educational and unique was my focus for the week prior to our night out. Fortunately for me, I was given an opportunity to visit Storymakery at Irvine Spectrum. While I was not fully familiar with the store, the evening’s plan was very intriguing.The activity would start by local author, Jeannie Fung reading her book (Hawaii) and then answering some questions. After that, the kids would each write their own stories and get it published. I thought that ending the evening with a...

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5 Tips to Keep Your Elementary School Kid on Track This Winter

Posted by on Feb 9, 2017 in Education, Parenting | 0 comments

  There is so much to learn during the elementary school years and the school year seems longer to a student of this age. In fact, many students lose interest in school halfway through the year and have a little bit of trouble staying on track. Testing requirements seem to get harder each year, and teachers don’t have as much time to review as they did in the past. Although pressure is higher, there are so many ways a student of the stage can be successful in the classroom environment while still learning at their own pace. One of the best ways for elementary school kids to be successful is to work on time management with the help of their teachers and parents. Homework organization Elementary school kids are not ready to organize homework on their own, so they...

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Girl Scouts of OC Ignites Girls’ Interest in STEM

Posted by on Feb 9, 2017 in Education, Family, Parenting | 0 comments

  Girl Scouts of Orange County Ignites Girls’ Interest in STEM with STEMsational ME badge! Girls lose or gain interest, skill, and confidence in STEM by the 8th grade – a startling statistic made more alarming given that women make up half of the workforce, but only 25% of STEM professions (U.S. Department of Commerce). Girl Scouts of Orange County is working to change this by developing girls’ love of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) before they reach this critical tipping point. The leadership development organization recently introduced STEMsational ME!, a new STEM badge exclusively for Orange County Girl Scout Juniors (grades 4-5). Whether you have a sporty girl, a creative girl, or an engineer in training, STEMsational ME! is all about encouraging all 4th and 5th grade girls to explore how they use STEM every day to...

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Inspiring Ali Stroker Performs with OCSA Students

Posted by on Feb 6, 2017 in Education, Entertainment, Theatre | 0 comments

 We visited as a guest of OCSA Last week I had the opportunity to have a one-on-one interview with Ali Stroker at Orange County School of the Arts (OSCA). My mom and I attended the “Performing with the Pros” showcase performance at OCSA featuring Ali Stroker. Ali Stroker had been working with the students in the showcase for weeks leading up to the performance by sharing her talents and inspiring the group of students to reach for their dreams. Ever since I was ten, I have been watching Glee and The Glee Project, so I was so excited to meet Ali Stroker in real life and not just on a television screen. In case you don’t know Ali Stroker is, she is the first ever Broadway star in a wheelchair, and she also stars in multiple shows. When we...

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Wonder Sprouts Helps Kids Become Eco-Heroes

Posted by on Jan 17, 2017 in Education, Events, Gardening | 0 comments

  In organic gardens overflowing with herbs, kale and berry bushes, Suzanne Slavens led my son and his new friends in song during the fall session of Wonder Sprouts at the Irvine Ranch Outdoor Education Center. “Capturing sunlight, collecting worm poop, I can make a difference even though I am little.” Soon the children jumped up and danced to the music, their voices rising loud enough for the citrus trees in the hills above to hear. Suzanne is excited about the new winter curriculum for ages 3-6. Topics include making dyes out of beets and greens, searching for “gold” treasure in citrus groves and training kids to be eco-heroes. Turns out Suzanne created the quoted song about kids making a difference. She believes active lessons in nature during early childhood produce huge dividends later. “Hopefully Wonder Sprouts will inspire...

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How to Find a High-Qualified Tutor

Posted by on Jan 9, 2017 in Education, Parenting | 0 comments

 Sponsored in partnership with Everly Learning has never been easy for my youngest son. When a family has a child who struggles in school, it can often impact the entire family. My husband and I spend all of our time in the evenings helping our youngest son trying to ‘catch-up,’ and our two oldest children don’t get as much time from us to help them with their homework. I finally made the decision to hire a tutor to help us, so that I can divide my time more equally between all of my children, but then didn’t know where to start with finding a qualified tutor. I am a working mom and don’t have time to interview tutors or search job boards looking for the perfect educational professional. That was when my girlfriend told me about a new tutoring...

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5 Tips to Help Your Kid Succeed in the New Year

Posted by on Jan 6, 2017 in Education, Parenting | 0 comments

  The holidays are already over, and it seems like time flies; kids are about halfway through their school year and are, hopefully, rested from the holiday break. Now is a great time to reevaluate academics and think about what will make the rest of the school year a success. Perhaps a student needs a little push to get organized, or maybe they need to tackle that one tough subject. There are tons of things parents can do to help their kid have a great experience between now and June. Personal organization skills Personal organization can be hard at any age. In fact, it can be a full-time job in and of itself. Most kids, even really responsible and motivated kids, need a little bit of help with their organization. The start of a new year is an ideal...

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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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Building Bright Futures in YMCA Afterschool Care

Posted by on Aug 19, 2016 in Education, Family, Hot Topics, Parenting | 0 comments

 Sponsored Are you looking for childcare options for your children this fall? The YMCA before and afterschool care provides opportunity for your child to learn, grow, and thrive as they make their way from K-5th grade. They provide daily physical and educational activities like homework support, sports, arts, and technology that allow students to engage in the learning process and have fun with friends at the same time! With over fifty locations on school campuses throughout Orange County, the YMCA is a convenient and affordable choice for your family. Kids can explore interests, learn new skills, and develop cool hobbies with their club curriculum. YMCA Clubs include: Cooking Healthy Eating and Physical Activity Engineering Photography Meteorology Arts and More Secure your child’s spot for Fall by enrolling now. Registration fee waived before September 15th! Registration and location info at...

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The Importance of Eye Exams for Kids

Posted by on Aug 17, 2016 in Education, Family, Health, Hot Topics | 0 comments

 “This post was sponsored by Think About Your Eyes as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central. All thoughts and opinions are completely my own.” One of the hardest things that I have faced as a parent is having a child with a learning disability. School has never been easy for my younger son, and we have done everything in our power to get him as much help as possible, but nothing has seemed to help. He has been wearing glasses since the age of two because of a lazy eye. The opthamologist that has been treating him over the years was using glasses to help correct the issue. It wasn’t until taking him to a cornea specialist to be screened for a genetic eye disease that my husband and his father suffers from that we learned that...

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LEGO Nonfiction Books Makes Learning Fun

Posted by on Aug 17, 2016 in Books, Education, Entertainment | 33 comments

 I partnered with Scholastic to offer this giveaway… My son lives and breathes LEGO®. He has LEGO creations located throughout our house that helps to immerse him into a magical world of play. The hardest thing that I’ve had getting the kids to do this summer is reading. So, when I heard about the LEGO nonfiction books, I couldn’t wait to get a set for my little LEGO lover. The minute that he picked up the LEGO nonfiction books he couldn’t put them down. He has taken them with us on summer road trips, reads them before bed, and even has them open when building new LEGO creations. He has read the books over and over again, and yet never gets tired of them. The book series was created by the result of a partnership between LEGO and Scholastic....

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Six Facts About The Benefits of Breastfeeding

Posted by on Aug 9, 2016 in Education, Family, Health, Parenting | 0 comments

 Sponsored After giving birth to my son, Tyler, the first thing that I did was get educated on how to provide him the best nutrition possible by breastfeeding. I was able to use many resources available in our community to help me with successfully breastfeeding my premature baby, and I was so grateful to be able to nurse him for a little over two years. One of the best resources that at-risk mothers have for help with breastfeeding is MOMS Orange County. They are there to help mothers with education, support, and everything that mothers need to deliver and care for healthy babies. The support from MOMS Orange County doesn’t end when the baby is born, and they continue to offer health screenings, infant development screenings, and more. In celebration of National Breastfeeding Month, MOMS Orange County shared with...

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3 Easy Steps to Get Your Kids Addicted to Reading

Posted by on Aug 3, 2016 in Education, Family, Parenting | 0 comments

  Break Free I am in front of a screen pretty much all day. I have my computer at work, my computer at home, and my phone for every place in between. I’m connected (read: addicted). And, probably, so are you. That’s why doing anything off screen is special. And doing something off screen, with your child, and with something that’s good for them is really special. A hat trick of parenting. Reading is all of those things. We read to our kids when they’re little, and we love it. So why do we stop when they get older? I didn’t stop reading aloud to my kids—I still haven’t—and it’s the best part of my day. I don’t mean just at bedtime. I mean randomly: reading for 10 minutes here, for a few minutes in the car, or while...

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Health eXpress For Busy Families

Posted by on Jul 13, 2016 in Education, Family, Health | 0 comments

 Sponsored Last month, I woke up with pink eye. I didn’t have time to eat lunch let alone make an appointment to see the doctor or wait hours at the walk-in. So, like many busy moms like myself, I self-treated myself by using leftover drops from one of my kid’s previous pink eye endeavors. What I didn’t know, until recently, was that I could have gotten a virtual consultation with a practitioner using Health eXpress for only $39 while on the sidelines of my son’s football field. When self-treating, symptoms usually return, which is why it is not recommended that parents don’t see a practitioner when feeling under the weather or ill. Within days, I found my pink eye symptoms returning and ended up in the waiting room while traveling abroad in a foreign country to get treatment. Health...

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Summer Learning Made Fun with Osmo

Posted by on Jul 6, 2016 in Education, Family, Tech | 0 comments

 Sponsored by Best Buy Keeping your kid’s educational skills sharp during the summertime is crucial. In the past, I have always purchased my kid’s summer learning workbooks but wanted to try something fresh and new this year. I got my younger son with the Osmo education system, and ever since I introduced it to him, he hasn’t been able to put it down. I have tried many electronic educational systems in the past, and nothing has made such an impact on my child’s education like Osmo. My younger son has struggled with reading for most of his life, and along with having trouble reading comes spelling. Since he struggles with spelling so much, he has always been reluctant to do any spelling exercises until using the Osmo spelling game. The game has made learning fun for him again, and...

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5 Ways to Help Kids Become More Independent After School

Posted by on Jun 8, 2016 in Education, Family | 0 comments

  When children first transition to school, parents and teachers provide structure for them. Younger children can benefit from this structure to a great degree and it will help them develop their own internal structure so they can become independent. Once kids get into elementary school they should start finding their own motivation to get their homework done. Although a parent will still need to create structure and check up on kids to varying degrees, it’s important to introduce the idea of self motivation early on so that young students have plenty of time to adjust to their own responsibilities. Let them control their homework chart Many parents have a homework chart, which can be very helpful for children who don’t automatically sit down to complete their studies. Homework charts are also helpful because they let both the student...

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5 Ways to Stimulate a Child’s Brain over the Summer

Posted by on May 15, 2016 in Education, Parenting | 1 comment

  Summer is just around the corner and kids are looking for a well deserved rest after a long academic year. Each year is different, some bring welcomed learning and fun new activities while others can provide a stressful transition for the student. Regardless of the situation it’s important for kids to have a mental break before gearing up for the next school year. However, kids who don’t stimulate their brains at all in July and August often find that they have trouble adjusting in the fall or that they simply aren’t able to learn and absorb new things over the summer. There are some wonderful and exciting outside of the classroom experiences that kids can have over the summer to keep their brains sharp. Visit a museum Although some schools will have a field trip to a museum...

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End the Year Strong: 5 Benefits of a Private Tutor

Posted by on May 10, 2016 in Education, Family | 0 comments

  The end of the academic year is not that far away. Kids are getting excited to enjoy a summer without having to focus on textbooks and memorization. In order to avoid spending part of the summer catching up on academics, students should consider the benefits of working with a one-on-one tutor. By spring teachers don’t have time for review and have to add test prep into the curriculum. This can become overwhelming for many students who are focusing more on playing outside and less on learning. Avoid summer school Summer school is becoming an ever popular choice for kids in elementary school. If it’s necessary to allow a child to move on to the next grade then it’s totally worth it. However, lengthy academic sessions also take away from a child’s summer, as well as time away from...

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Superheroes, Barbies, and Tablets Oh My!

Posted by on Apr 12, 2016 in Education, Family, Hot Topics, Parenting | 0 comments

  When people find out that you’re having a baby, one of the first questions you hear is, “Is it a boy or a girl?” We kept our children’s genders a surprise until they were born, but within hours of their respective arrivals, family and friends returned with pink clothing for my daughter and blue clothing for my son. At their first birthday parties, there was no shortage of dolls for my daughter and trucks for my son, and my children loved them. My daughter is active, creative, an extrovert, and loves makeup and nail polish. In the last year she’s also shown an interest in soccer. My son is observant, sporty, musical, and empathetic. He continues to love all things cars and superheroes. And now that they’re older, both kids are captivated by their tablets. Research tells us...

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Seeking Host Families Near University of California Irvine

Posted by on Apr 5, 2016 in Culture, Education, Family, Featured, Parenting | 0 comments

 Sponsored Universal Student Housing, an innovative service provider in the study abroad sector, is currently seeking host families near the University of California at Irvine to provide homes for a large group of Japanese English teachers. Universal Student Housing will be supporting the visit of large groups of Japanese English teachers to the University of California at Irvine, and is seeking host families in the area. This will be the second year USH was chosen for this honor, and the fourth such group for USH. Universal Student Housing expects over 100 students and teachers to arrive this summer. The groups are made up of individuals between 25 and 50 years old, and the stay duration will vary between four weeks to three months, depending on the group. There will also be a coordinator on the ground to provide students...

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5 Educational Skills your Child can Learn from a Private Tutor

Posted by on Mar 30, 2016 in Education, Family, Hot Topics, Parenting | 0 comments

  Young kids can gain a lot from their role models and will follow the lead of the adults in their life. Once children start school, there are examples of what to do and how to behave from day one. Going to school is essentially a kid’s job while they are growing up and education, in general, takes up most of their day. A positive academic role model plays a valued part in a growing student’s life, and they can learn a lot from working with a private tutor. 1) Work ethic School is incredibly demanding. Kids work in the classroom until early afternoon and then sit down to complete homework assignments. Without a high work ethic, it’s difficult for young students to complete all of their academic tasks within a reasonable time frame, which can result in fatigue...

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Dr. Borba’s Parenting Tips

Posted by on Mar 23, 2016 in Education, Family, Hot Topics, Parenting | 0 comments

  I attended an event at St. Mary’s School where Dr. Borba shared some parenting tips. In the words of renowned educational psychologist and expert parent educator, Dr. Michelle Borba, “Don’t lose the color of their eyes.” In her talk, Dr. Borba explained that bullying is an unfortunate part of childhood (and beyond). However, she outlined the necessary fundamental skills your child needs when he or she finds themselves in a victimized role. First and foremost, Dr. Borba asserted the need to set a solid foundation for your child. This looks like: Loving your child for who they are not what they do (or don’t do) Setting fair expectations and structure Modeling the rules and expectations Teach them how to be a good friend. Friendships are: Learned, not a given First modeled (think one mother to another) Conflicted, at...

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Protecting the Future Health of your Children with Americord

Posted by on Mar 19, 2016 in Education, Family, Health, Hot Topics | 0 comments

  I am a registered nurse and the mother of three boys, ages 7, 2 ½ , and 1 month old. About 1 ½ years ago we received the heart wrenching news that our second son was diagnosed with Stage 4 Neuroblastoma Cancer, one day before his first birthday. This took us on an emotional rollercoaster. Over the next year and a half our son endured lab tests, scans, eight rounds of chemotherapy, and several surgeries. He continues with monthly doctor visits and lab work, as well as periodic scans. Because we know that there is a chance of cancer relapse, and if so, that stem cell transplant is a possible treatment option, we wished we would have collected cord blood from both him and his older brother. But we were not familiar with the program and assumed that...

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5 Things That Can Stop a Study Group from Being Successful

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

  We all know that joining a study group can help students be successful when it comes to tricky assignments and projects. Working together can help students stay motivated and hold them to a schedule. In general, students who are part of a study group will take their academics more seriously and end up being more successful overall. However, there are times when study groups just don’t work. This can be for any number of reasons but there are a few universal issues that can stop collaborative study from being productive. 1)  The students in the group don’t get along If students within a study group really just don’t get along it can become a huge distraction from accomplishing work. Students don’t get to choose who they attend classes with but they can choose who is in their study...

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Storymakery Makes Young Authors

Posted by on Mar 2, 2016 in Crafts, Education, Events | 0 comments

  I’m in Love, and you will be too, with StoryMakery! What an amazing and exciting treat it was for my ten-year-old daughter, Bella and me, to visit the Storymakery at the Irvine Spectrum Center earlier this week. We met the Storymakery’s owner, Payal Kindiger, who graciously explained the story making and self-publishing process for kids. Like the scrumptious delights a bakery produces, Storymakery creates one-of-a-kind, truly unique stories by young authors, like our kids. Storymakery is a unique place child can build cognitive writings skills while flexing their imagination muscles, with friendly “Muse” staff, to design fun characters and stories that make their book(s) come alive! Prices range from ($19-$54.99) The first objective of our little authors is to develop their story character (up to 3), at the “Character Studio” area. After building the character(s), they move on...

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Carden Hall Lives Up to High-Quality Learning

Posted by on Feb 25, 2016 in Education, Family, Parenting | 0 comments

 Sponsored Are you looking for a school that explains the ‘why’ behind learning? Or do you want a school that truly understands your family values? How about a school that encourages independence, community, and respect as top priorities? After being in and out of public and private schools for several years, parents Victor and Rebecca Parrott landed on a school that met their family’s educational criteria—Carden Hall in Newport Beach. Carden Hall is small private school that serves pre-kindergarten to eighth grade. With a 50-year history in Orange County, it prides itself in providing premier education and fostering a love of learning through the mind, body and spirit of young children. For the Parrott Family, who have three children ages 12, 10 and six, Carden Hall exceeded their long list of educational requirements, which include: Community “We love that...

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Making Time for What Matters Most

Posted by on Feb 25, 2016 in Education, Family, Giving Back, Hot Topics, Parenting | 0 comments

 Sponsored As a mom of three young children, life keeps me busy. Between working and school events, there is rarely time left in my busy day to relax, refresh, and reconnect with my mind, body, and soul. In the New Year, I have made it a priority to work “smarter not harder” so that I have more time to do what matters most – spending quality time with my family and my God. How have I been managing my time better in the New Year? After doing my morning devotional in the backyard while sipping on a cup of hot tea and watching the sunrise, I make a list of what I need to accomplish in my day. While making my daily to-do list, I look it over to see what tools I can utilize to finish my daily...

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Smoke Alarm Inspection: It’s About Time

Posted by on Feb 18, 2016 in Education, Family, Hot Topics, Parenting | 0 comments

 Sponsored Turn Daylight Saving Time into the Ideal Time to Check your Smoke Detectors Smoke alarms are an essential part of home safety. It is equally vital that they are not ignored once they are installed. Not following up with routine, periodic alarm check-ups could render the devices as nothing more than well-intended showpieces that merely create the illusion of safety. This lack of attention could come with deadly consequences. To wit: according to data mined from the National Fire Incident Reporting System (NFIRS) and the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), one in five home structure fire deaths came from homes that had non-operating smoke alarms present. In most cases, the root of the malfunction was a worn-out alarm or a dead battery. This particular statistic obviously shines a light on something that is not normally thought about, and...

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Inspire Future Scientist with The Polymer Goo Kit

Posted by on Feb 1, 2016 in Education, Family, Toys | 0 comments

  My older son is obsessed with the Marbles Brain Store. He spends so much time visiting the store to play with the different games that he is one a first name basis with most of the staff. While he is always bringing home a mind game or puzzle, I have never gotten anything for my younger son until recently and got him the Polymer Goo Kit. This kit is geared for ages 10+ and with him being nine, it seemed like the perfect age. When I first showed him the blue box with green slime on it, he didn’t seem too excited about getting started working on it. But, when I opened the box to reveal a mini science lab, he dropped his Legos and came over to the table to get started. He put on the gloves,...

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5 Things Every Kid Must Know About The BFG

Posted by on Jan 15, 2016 in Disney, Education | 2 comments

 The BFG is a good book. I read the book and it was pretty great actually. Even though I am almost 14, I am going to recommend this book for kids ages 4-7, (If your four-seven year old can’t read, then read it to them – I just started reading it to my little bro). This book is all about Sophie (A girl) and The BFG (A Small Giant {You can figure out what The “B” and the “F” Stand for!}) So here is 5 facts about and 5 reasons why you or your kids should read the book. Fact: When the BFG talks, he may seem like he speaks with bad grammar. (But that did not stop me from reading the WHOLE ENTIRE BOOK!!) Reason to Read the Book: The BFG is a nice giant! He has taken...

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Five Positive Parenting Resolutions for 2016

Posted by on Jan 11, 2016 in Education, Family, Parenting | 1 comment

  We all want to be the best parents possible. As parents, we are always learning something new and trying new things to raise the best children we can. Michele Borba has been an inspiration to many of us while on our journey of raising young children, and she graciously shared these five positive parenting resolutions for 2016. Parenting Resolution #1: Increase Quality Family Time Try This: Identify the time & place each day your child is most receptive to listening and you’re available – and plant yourself there. You don’t need a lot of time, but you do need “uninterrupted” time with your kids without electronics. Research also says kids are most receptive to us five minutes before they go off to sleep. So use that time to convey your love for your child during a bedtime ritual....

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Five Tips to Help Kids Stay Sharp Over Holiday Break

Posted by on Dec 28, 2015 in Education, Featured, Parenting | 0 comments

  At this point in the year students are probably in one of two positions. Either they are completely overwhelmed and exhausted or they have lost their zeal for education. Depending on which path a student is currently walking down, there are a few things they can do to stay sharp and alert over holiday break. Dealing with stress By December students are often stressed out because they are experiencing the domino effect of academics. Basically this means they got behind on an assignment a couple of months ago which led to being behind on another assignment and so on. Eventually all of the dominoes fall down and create a huge weight on a student’s shoulders. Once final grades are in students will have a fresh start for their spring term. This is a great time of year to...

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Three Benefits of Using Probiotics with Children

Posted by on Nov 10, 2015 in Education, Family, Health | 0 comments

  Sponsored by Culturelle®, and all thoughts are my own. Probiotics have played a major role in the overall health of my children. Along with a well-balanced diet, we have been using probiotics as a part of our children’s daily nutrition to help encourage a healthy and balanced digestive system in our children’s young growing bodies. Our children take the Culturelle® chewable tablets daily, and they use the packets while our family travels. Healthy Digestive System Seventy percent of our immune system lives in our digestive tract. Using probiotics can play an important role in helping to support children’s natural defenses. Using Culturelle® Kids Probiotic Chewables and Packets helps maintain “good” bacteria in my children’s little tummies.* Helps To Support Well-Being When kids have a healthy digestive system, they have an overall sense of well-being.* Digestive issues can slow...

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Gizmo’s A Plenty at the Child Creativity Lab

Posted by on Nov 7, 2015 in Education, Family, Parenting, Shopping | 2 comments

 My daughter and I were guests at the Grand Opening of the Child Creativity Lab We attended the Grand Opening of the Child Creativity Lab in Santa Ana. As a former elementary school teacher, I’ve always gravitated to the expression: –With ART, anything’s possible! There is NOTHING more satisfying and fulfilling for children than to be able to express themselves openly and without judgment. We know now, there is a window of time in their development where if they don’t use it- They LOSE IT. …Tell me it isn’t SO?!….. Internet…TV…..technology…are awesome avenues but it could be hurting our kids? I’m a tad guilty AT TIMES allowing my kids time on iPads, video games and watching TV … but with creative outlets like the Child Creatively Lab—the world’s their explorative oyster! My ten year old daughter and I jumped...

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Storymakery is Opening at the Irvine Spectrum Center

Posted by on Nov 2, 2015 in Crafts, Education, Family, Shopping | 0 comments

  Designed to encourage a child’s creativity, cognitive and artistic expression, Storymakery will offer a unique retail experience to help record and preserve a child’s imagination for a lifetime. “Not only is this a fun and entertaining concept for young children, but it can be a great educational tool as well,” said Easther Liu, chief marketing officer for Irvine Company Retail Properties. “Storymakery will be the perfect excursion for families and children.” Ranging from a 20 minute to one-hour visit, children will be able to use Storymakery’s kid-friendly technology to do one or more of the following: Design a storybook character Work one-on-one with a staff “muse” to create a story at the Writing Studio If short on time, design their very own poster Publish the story as a book and take it home Storymakery will be located between...

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5 Ways to Approach Your Very First Parent-Teacher Conference

Posted by on Oct 15, 2015 in Education, Family, Parenting | 0 comments

  Many parents will be experiencing their very first parent-teacher conference in the coming weeks. These can be exciting, informative, and stressful depending upon the situation. Parents who are  going to their first conference are encouraged to think about a few things that can make their experience better overall as well as obtain information they need about their young learner. Ask about the curriculum in general Once parents have been to several conferences, they should be relatively familiar with the curriculum. However, parents who are adjusting to their child entering school for the first time will likely have a ton of questions. It’s good to know what, in general, will be covered within the classroom environment so parents know what to expect and know what they need to supplement, if anything. For instance, some schools offer a comprehensive electives...

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Child Creativity Lab in Orange County

Posted by on Sep 28, 2015 in Education, Featured, Giving Back, Hot Topics, Shopping | 0 comments

 We have a partnership with the CCL The highly-anticipated opening of the Child Creativity Lab in Orange County is officially here. Earlier this month, the non-profit organization opened the first venue in Orange County to provide reusable materials for artists, teachers, community organizations and families. The resource center is going to make a huge impact on our community by helping to keep reclaimed and reusable resources from filling our precious landfills. Materials include unique and clean manufacturing scraps, a variety of colorful fabrics and textiles, paper goods, decorations, coffee bean burlap sacks, school supplies, picture frame moldings, and many other items that can be repurposed for educational projects, arts and craft supplies, home décor and DIY needs. Because of the organization’s focus on hands-on science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education, the Depot for Creative Reuse also provides pre-packaged...

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Critical Creativity: Five Ways Kids Benefit from Art in the Classroom

Posted by on Sep 21, 2015 in Education, Family, Parenting | 0 comments

  Students who have the opportunity to take art classes in elementary school learn several skills that their non-artistic counterparts will perhaps not develop. This is not to say that the student must have inborn talent or technical skill in a particular media, such as drawing or painting, but rather that they have the opportunity to fully participate in a creative and tactile endeavor during the school week. Improved tactile function 

Classroom Teachers who integrate creative projects into their curriculum are used to the idea that their students will get messy during art time. It’s essential that children have the opportunity to roll up their sleeves and get their hands dirty so they can experience difference tactile sensations. Many art teachers will ask their students to feel the difference between the texture of paint, clay, and pencils. Students who have...

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Neighborhood Little Free Libraries in Orange County

Posted by on Sep 10, 2015 in Books, Education, Family, Featured | 3 comments

  While I was in San Diego with my children, I discovered our first Little Free Library at the top of Quince Street Bridge. It was the first time that I had seen a neighborhood run free library, and fell in love with the concept. After doing some research, I learned about the Little Free Library nonprofit that helps neighborhoods to start their own free library. The non-profit organization offers families everything they need to promote literacy in their front yard. I can’t wait to start my own free little library with my children, and here are some little free libraries for your family to visit in Orange County. How does it work? You bring a book, take a book, and lose yourself in a story. Costa Mesa 950 Dogwood Street Costa Mesa CA United States 92627 375 Monte...

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Don’t Break the Egg: Preventing Shaken Baby Syndrome

Posted by on Sep 8, 2015 in Education, Family, Hot Topics, Parenting | 0 comments

  The fragility of a raw egg has a lot in common with the vulnerability of a baby’s developing brain. To see how, grab a raw egg the next time you’re in the kitchen. Put the egg in a clear container with a lid, give it a good shake, and see how the egg cracks. This demonstrates what happens when an infant’s brain is shaken, a point MOMS Orange County reinforces with its clients of pregnant women, and new mothers and fathers. With Shaken Baby Syndrome (SBS), the protective cerebral spinal fluid is unable to cushion the brain against the blunt force to the skull. This violent shock damages the infant’s brain by causing bruising and bleeding. In addition to causing brain damage, shaking the infant can cause permanent disabilities, such as blindness or paralysis, and in the most...

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Reducing the Spread of Illness with PURELL

Posted by on Sep 4, 2015 in Education, Family, Health | 0 comments

 “This post was sponsored by GOJO Industries, the makers of PURELL® Advanced Hand Sanitizer. The opinions are completely my own based on my experience” It has been almost 30 days since my family began using PURELL hand sanitizer for the first time to help prevent the spread of illnesses. I have always been passionate about using natural products with my children, but after several recent illnesses, we decided to test a hand sanitizing product to see if it would impact the overall health of our family. When I first introduced the product to my children, I talked to them about what PURELL is. I feel that it was important that they know what products they are using on their bodies, and be aware of the role that each product they use plays in their overall health. My kids were...

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5 Tips for Balancing Sports and Academics

Posted by on Aug 30, 2015 in Education, Family, Hot Topics, Parenting | 0 comments

  It’s always been a challenge for students to maintain their commitment to after school sports while engaging in college prep. For some students, it will be absolutely essential to achieve their athletic goals, if they are in line for a scholarship or acceptance to a sports-oriented university. Others, who may not be in line for a scholarship, may simply be devastated at the thought of giving up their athletic goals and losing their team companionship. Either way, balancing sports and college prep is a delicate balance but it can be done. Preparation is essential If students don’t think about what their sports schedule will be like until partway through the year, they will often find themselves in an emergency situation. Their grades will already be slipping, their brains will be exhausted, and their bodies are not ready to...

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5 Reasons to Get Educational Support Early in the Year

Posted by on Aug 24, 2015 in Education, Family, Hot Topics | 0 comments

  Summer is over and kids are back in school. They are transitioning away from the park, beach, and arts and crafts table and back into the learning environment of the classroom. In addition to the initial transition, kids are adjusting to a new teacher, new friends, and new academic tasks. Kids that used to sail through the year in the past are more often in need of help; it’s no wonder with all of the added testing and pressure that has become part of a young student’s daily life. If they do end up needing a little help, it’s generally better to start early. Make the transition all at once Since kids are currently transitioning to a new school year, they are already undergoing an adjustment. If a tutor or mentor is introduced into the situation at this...

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10 Things Not To Do in a School Car Line

Posted by on Aug 13, 2015 in Education, Family, Hot Topics | 1 comment

  As a mom, I have to drop-off and pick-up my kids from school. Now, I’m no expert on what to do and not to do, but here are a few ideas from what I have seen happen at my school car line. The obvious one is cutting everyone off and going to the front of the line.  Please stop!  Yes, we all very aware that you are more important than the rest of us, and “yes” so are your children. While in the pickup line, if you feel the need to talk badly about the school, teachers, children, and parents at the school on your car’s hands-free Bluetooth, maybe putting the volume on high isn’t the smartest thing to do.  Next time roll-up your windows up, turn the volume down, and talk all you want about how your child’s...

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10 Favorite Greek Gods and Goddesses

Posted by on Aug 10, 2015 in Education, Family | 8 comments

 We are receiving books, merchandise and prizing from Disney-Hyperion If you are like me, then you just adore Greek Mythology and the Gods and Goddesses! Well, here I will list my ten favorite Greek Gods in order from 10-1. They’ll be listed from Demeter to Athena. Thanks to Percy Jackson, I have learned more about Greek Mythology than anyone! (Except the Greeks, and a few unnamed people) So, let’s get to the list! Starting with… 10) Demeter: The Greek Goddess of the Harvest Now Demeter, the great goddess of the harvest! Without her, the world would not get the fresh food that we have today. No pasta salad, or other fresh foods! Demeter is a really great goddess! 9) Aphrodite: The Greek Goddess of Love and Beauty Who doesn’t like the Goddess of Love and Beauty? I mean without...

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School of Rock Huntington Beach Fall Open House

Posted by on Aug 6, 2015 in Education, Events, Family, Featured | 0 comments

 Sponsored Do your kids love music? Want to learn how to play musical instruments? Then don’t miss the Fall enrollment open house at School of Rock in Huntington Beach on Saturday, August 29th from 11 am to 2 pm. The event will feature performances by live bands, including the School of Rock Huntington Beach House Band, which has recently come off of four performances at Disney’s California Adventure. There will be free demo classes, guided tours of the school giveaways, and tasty food. Demo classes are limited, and advanced registration is required by contacting the school. During the open house, they will be offering discounts on the day of the event, so there is no better time to get started playing an instrument, and no better place to do it. School of Rock Huntington Beach is the premier performance-based...

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Keeping Your Brain Sharp Over the Summer

Posted by on Jul 17, 2015 in Education, Family, Featured | 0 comments

  Kids’ brains are firing off constantly throughout the school year and keeping brains active helps little ones stay smart during these crucial times of academic and social development. Once school is out for the summer kids can either keep those brains active or they can settle into a summer of TV watching and video games that may leave them behind their peers once school starts back up. Young kids certainly deserve a break over the summer but even a few hours of educational activities a week can keep kids on top of academics and get them ready for all of those standardized exams that will soon become a part of life for even the youngest of students. Art Art is a topic only lightly touched on during the school year but this fun activity keeps the brain sharp...

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2015 Orange County Summer Cooking Classes

Posted by on Jul 14, 2015 in Education, Family, Featured, Parenting | 0 comments

  Do you love to cook? Wanting to learn how to cook? Surfas in Costa Mesa is hosting a plethora of summer cooking classes to help inspire parents to learn how to cook healthy meals at home for their children. We hope to see you at one of these fun and interactive classes this summer. Fresh Summer Salads Saturday, 7/18/14 from 4:00 PM – 6:30 PM Hands-On Cooking Class $55.00 With summer’s many seasonal ingredients, creating fresh salad combinations is easy and delicious. Our Chef Instructor will share tips on grilling vegetables, cooking with ancient grains, and preparing homemade vinaigrettes. Enjoy a generous sampling of: Roasted Corn Curry Salad – Watermelon Salad with Heirloom Tomatoes and Yarra Valley Feta – Thai Freekeh Salad – Grilled Panzanella Salad with Summer Vegetables – Cacao Nib and Summer Berry Salad with Champagne...

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Literacy Meets Gaming with BattleKasters at Comic-Con San Diego

Posted by on Jul 7, 2015 in Education, Events, Featured, Parenting, Tech | 0 comments

 Sponsored Comic-Con is an event that your family is not going to want to miss, and BattleKasters is taking Comic-Con by storm. During the event,  the all-new mobile game is going to transform the Gaslamp Quarter into a Game Board from July 9th-12th. Players will have a chance to win a $5,000 grand prize that will be split between the winner and the winner’s library of choice.. What is BattleKasters? Based on the award-winning, young adult book series, Legends of Orkney, by author Alane Adams, BattleKasters is a whole new experience for gamers and readers. This app-based game allows players to collect digital trading cards, cast spells, and close the stonefire portal to protect Earth from dark magic – all while giving gamers the chance to explore the historic district near the San Diego Convention Center, where Comic-Con is...

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Summer Learning Made fun with ABC Mouse

Posted by on Jun 10, 2015 in Education, Family | 0 comments

 Complimentary download received I have seen many people talk about ABC Mouse, and I have viewed many commercials on television talking about it. I always wondered how well a site like this worked, but the price tag always kept me away. I thought we were doing just fine using other free websites and Apps, and now I can say that I was 100% wrong! You do get what you pay for with ABC Mouse. The layout is very child-friendly, and the content inside is superior to those other learning sites. Since the very first day, we started this site my son has asked and begged to play. He is just about to be two and a half, and his attention span was very limited, but over the past two months he has begun to sit still and learn for...

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