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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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