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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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End of the Year Checklist: 5 Tips for Preparing your Child for Summer



Posted by on May 28, 2015 in Education, Family, Featured, Parenting, Summer | 0 comments

Most younger children are completely worn out by the middle of June. They want to get out of their chair and into the Ocean (or some other fun outdoor setting) as fast as they can. Summer is a great opportunity for young kids to have a chance to run around, enjoy the sunshine, and spend more time with family; however, it’s also a good time to work on academic issues. 1. Talk with your child’s classroom teacher 

The classroom teacher will have a list of all her students as well as notes about each student’s current academic standing. She will be able to tell each parent if a child needs extra help to catch up during the summer or if they need supplemental learning materials to be prepared for the fall. Most teachers provide a reading list, list of...

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ECCU Can Help Parents Lower the Financial Stress of Higher Education

Posted by on May 27, 2015 in Education, Family, Featured, Giveaways, Hot Topics | 0 comments

Sponsored Saving for college is an important task, since we all know that higher education isn’t cheap. But even though we are reminded about how critical this step is every time we encounter the latest metrics on the cost of tuition and books, real life tends to be a stumbling block that gets in the way of our intentions. And this is more widespread than you may realize: According to a survey conducted by student loan giant Sallie Mae, only 48% of parents are saving for their child’s education. If you aren’t currently socking away future collegiate costs, take comfort. You’re not alone. You’re also not too late to start up a college savings plan, which is a task that a reputable financial institution like Evangelical Christian Credit Union can help you complete. Even if you have never been...

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The Dragon Institute Kids Kung Fu Program Creates Well-Rounded Children

Posted by on May 12, 2015 in Camp, Education, Family, Featured, Parenting, Summer | 2 comments

Partnered Story The martial art of kung fu is not about showing off or winning trophies. It’s about learning how to protect yourself. It is a vital practice for children to learn, since the scourge of bullying is still an unfortunate reality from grade school to high school. Yet kung fu also goes beyond the realm of self-defense for kids. It serves as an interactive way to hone skills that will serve them well later in life – skills like discipline and focus, confidence and ambition. This belief is the cornerstone of the Kids Kung Fu classes at The Dragon Institute. It is a key reason why they have been recognized as the “Best Martial Arts in Orange County” by OC City Voter for four consecutive years, as well as the Dana Point Times 2014 Golden Lantern Award for...

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Cooking with Kids at KinderCare

Posted by on May 4, 2015 in Education, Events, Family, Featured | 0 comments

Sponsored KinderCare is much more than a preschool but a place where children’s minds are enriched through various programs like cooking classes. The cooking adventure classes at KinderCare are part of their Learning Adventures™ Enrichment Program where children learn how to read a recipe, cook and the history behind the food they are preparing. Earlier this month, I went to observe one of the cooking classes with my daughter, and she couldn’t resist joining in on the fun. The teacher started the class by talking to the kids about the food they were going to prepare. Since they were going to make “sushi sandwiches” she talked to the kids about sushi, where it came from and showed pictures of sushi. The kids were all participating in the class by talking about how their parents eat sushi, their favorite restaurants...

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5 Ways to Celebrate Your Kid’s Teacher During Teacher Appreciation Week

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

Teacher appreciation week falls somewhere in April and is something that educators across America look forward to. No matter what the gift is, feeling appreciated is a huge part of this rewarding profession. The feeling of being handed a potted plant from a middle school student who has been otherwise quiet, the feeling of being given a handmade card by a kindergartner who spent 20 minutes writing their name in their very best handwriting, and the feeling of a parent coming in with a plate of homemade cookies. 

Teachers across America will have different experiences when it comes to teacher appreciation week. There might be a grade teacher whom everybody adores and who walks home with handfuls of gifts and there might be an AP teacher who has had to hand out some tough grades recently. Regardless of the...

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OC Mom Spotlight: Mary Bailey

Posted by on Apr 2, 2015 in Education, Family, Featured, OC Mom Spotlight | 0 comments

Mary Bailey is a single mom to Chase, her 13-year-old son who was diagnosed with autism when he was just a toddler. In her blog, she shares the life-changing decision she recently made to home school Chase. Together, they’ve also set up www.chasenyurface.com to share their journey and to encourage people to follow their dreams. Why I Chose to Home School My Son Growing up the seventh of my parent’s 14 children taught me so many things that prepared me to be Chase’s mom. Lots of simple things come to mind, but the two overarching lessons are first, that each person—no matter the gifts and imperfections—has a place and a purpose to fulfil in this world; and second, that life isn’t easy, fair, or painless, but with the right attitude, the willingness to work and learn, and the right...

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You’re Invited to a Dr. Seuss Reading Party

Posted by on Mar 17, 2015 in Education, Events, Family | 0 comments

Sponsored Your family is invited to an afternoon full of fun at the Dr. Seuss Reading Party. Early reading is a great way to instill a lifelong love for learning. During the celebration, children will celebrate the legendary Dr. Seuss by listening to their favorite Dr. Seuss book during interactive storytimes. While your children will explore, the world of Dr. Seuss parents are invited to tour KinderCare and get to know the teachers. Don’t miss this special educational event happening at your closest KinderCare location. What: Dr. Suess Reading Party at KinderCare When: March 24 Time: 3:30-5:30pm Location: Find a location nearest...

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Four Tips for Starting a Bank Account with your child

Posted by on Mar 17, 2015 in Education, Family, Giveaways, Parenting | 2 comments

Sponsored Opening a bank account with your children is a great way to teach them how to budget and save their money which is a valuable tool that they will need later on in life. Children will learn that they can earn interest on their money in a bank vs. sitting in their piggy bank which will help to instill smart money skills in your children at a young age. Make it Fun Before helping your kids to start their first bank account, you’ll want to encourage them to earn money for their first deposit in a fun way. Help your kids open a lemonade stand, make crafts for selling or give them an allowance for helping with household chores. Not only will your kids earn money for their first bank deposit but they will also begin to learn...

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OCSA Foundation Arts Enrichment Program Jumpstart Student’s Talent

Posted by on Mar 4, 2015 in Education, Family, Featured, OC Mom Spotlight, Parenting | 0 comments

Do you believe your child has a gift in the arts, such as writing, music, dance, voice, drama, culinary or visual arts? I know as a parent that is a loaded question. After all, doesn’t every parent consider their child amazingly talented? Well, parent Abby Maharaj felt exactly this way when she noticed her daughter Maya never left home without a book or journal, and teachers were consistently praising Maya’s writing abilities. However, Maya was somewhat leery in following a similar path of her older brother in creative writing as a student in the Orange County School of the Arts (OCSA) Creative Writing Conservatory. “The prospect of trying to measure up to her brother’s success was a little unnerving for Maya, despite all the positive comments she received about her writing from teachers, friends and family. We decided to...

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Celebrate Dr. Seuss’ Birthday by Reading These 5 Favorite Dr. Seuss Books

Posted by on Mar 2, 2015 in Education, Events, Family, Featured, Parenting | 0 comments

“You’re never too old, too wacky, too wild, to pick up a book and read with a child.” Today is National Read Across America Day and Dr. Seuss’ Birthday. Children across the Country will come together today to celebrate a love for reading by reading their favorite Dr. Seuss books. Dr. Seuss is one of America’s most beloved children’s author, and these are five of our favorite Dr. Seuss books to read to your children before bedtime on National Read Across America Day. “I do not like green eggs and ham. I do not like them, Sam-I-Am.” “Green Eggs and Ham” is an all-time favorite Dr. Seuss book. It helps to encourage picky eaters to explore new foods through the fun rhyming story. I recommend reading this book to your children in the morning paired with a dish of...

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Five Tips to Encourage Reluctant Readers to Pick Up a Book

Posted by on Feb 28, 2015 in Education, Family, Hot Topics, Parenting | 1 comment

In an age of tablets, smartphones, and hundreds of television channels, it can be difficult to encourage kids to tear their eyes away from the screen and pick up a book. Despite the benefits of technology—helping people to quickly retrieve and disseminate information, as well as creating connections between people regardless of distance, for instance—it is just as important now to read books as it ever was. Rather than allowing a child to passively watch as stories, ideas, and visuals are presented to him via websites and television, reading is active; a reader uses the information on the page to construct her own worlds, and must decipher themes, analyze characters, and pick apart story arcs on her own. As a result, regular readers have longer attention spans, better ability to process and comprehend information, and display more vibrant imaginations...

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The Psychology Needed to Feed Children Well

Posted by on Feb 17, 2015 in Education, Family, Featured, Health, Hot Topics, Parenting | 1 comment

Feeding children is not an easy task. Mealtimes can be stressful from dealing with picky eaters, concerns about a child’s weight (too little or too much) and other stresses. But the reality is that mealtimes are critical to a child’s development and total well being. Using mealtimes as a base camp for refueling your family with nutrition and love could be the most powerful tool you have in raising a happy, healthy child. Perhaps you, like many parents out there, have already been trying to help your child lose or gain weight, or just to eat healthier, but it hasn’t been working, and instead, it’s adding more stress to your lives—and as a result, your relationship with your child is possibly suffering. After 13 years at ground zero treating the toughest cases of childhood obesity (with over an 80%...

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Kohl’s Cares Scholarship Program Accepting Nominations

Posted by on Feb 3, 2015 in Education, Events, Giving Back | 0 comments

Do you have a child who volunteers their time in the community? Then Kohl’s is looking for them! Since 2001 Kohl’s has recognized more than 22,000 kids with more than $4.2 million in scholarship and prizes with the Kohl’s Cares Scholarship Program, and the are currently accepting nominations. Ten national winners will each be awarded a $10,000 scholarship for higher education, and Kohl’s will donate $1,000 to a nonprofit organization on each national winner’s behalf. Nearly 200 students will win regional scholarships worth $1,000 toward higher education, and more than 2,000 local students will receive a $50 Kohl’s gift card. Nominations will be accepted now through March 13 at www.kohlskids.com. We encourage local families to nominate deserving youth and help Kohl’s provide scholarship funding to outstanding kids in our...

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5 Steps to a Successful Mid-year Academic Check

Posted by on Jan 28, 2015 in Education, Family, Parenting | 0 comments

By now you’ve probably set those infamous New Year’s resolutions. However, with the mid-year upon us, there is another important life activity that is often overlooked: our children’s academic health. According to Paul Rabara, an educational technologist based in Orange County and father of two, “Many parents act shocked when spring and end of year grades roll around, and their child is falling short in some critical developmental areas.” What can parents do to prevent academic end of the school year panic? Here are five key mid-year steps to help improve the academic health of your child: Check in With Child & Teacher Actively check the class Web site for grade, project and homework updates. Call or drop an e-mail to your child’s teacher as well. Make sure you are clear with the intent of your message. This is...

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Celebrate National Reading Day Every Day!

Posted by on Jan 26, 2015 in Education, Entertainment, Family, Film | 0 comments

NRD supplies/DVD provided The kids and I celebrated National Reading Day by reading all our favorite books and making a list of all the books they want to read in the New Year. After reading together as a family, we watched our favorite film “The Book of Life,” followed by doing some fun crafts. National Reading Day is a yearly event to celebrate and encourage children to discover a love for reading. Reading is one of the best hobbies that a child can possess, and every day should be National Reading Day in the homes of young children. Reading with your children for just 20 minutes a day will have a long-lasting positive effect on young children. Children will bond with their parents, explore a whole entire new world of imagination, and learn while reading books. When we were...

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Learning is Fun with the LeapTV

Posted by on Jan 22, 2015 in Education, Family | 0 comments

Sponsored LeapPad has made learning fun for my kids since they were just babies. They are continually coming out with innovative products that inspire my children to have a love for learning. When I first learned about the all-new LeapTV, I immediately fell in love with it, and I could not wait to share it with my girlfriends, so I planned a “mommy playdate.” A group of my girlfriends came over for dessert and coffee while the kids tested out the all-new product. The best part about this product is that it keeps the kids moving..which is especially important for toddlers. The kids were dancing, jumping and learning through motion. There are more than 100 games and video so the fun never ends! Having my degree in Early Childhood Education, I know the importance of kids learning through play....

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Behind-the-Wheel Training with Varsity Driving Academy

Posted by on Jan 7, 2015 in Autos, Education, Family, Parenting | 0 comments

Sponsored How time flies…my first-born is 16 now and a junior in high school! Seems just like yesterday when he was first placed in my arms, after the emergency C-section we experienced… Anyway, 16 = DRIVING!!! Another one of those bittersweet (or anxiety-causing) moments of parenthood… He took the online Driver’s Ed course through his school district. It took him about a couple of weeks to finish and pass the test. Couple of months after that, we went to DMV and he passed his written exam, which got him a permit. But before you can actually drive (even with Mom/Dad), you need to complete a 2-hour session of Behind-the-Wheel Training with a licensed instructor. The mandatory 6 hours of Behind-the-Wheel Training is divided into 3 separate dates. We have been very fortunate to take these classes with Varsity Driving...

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Food Patriot Review

Posted by on Jan 1, 2015 in Education, Family, Health, Parenting | 0 comments

If there was ever a more exciting time to be alive and be a part of something big – the food revolution is it! I say this because food is something our daily lives revolve around. We eat it at least 3 times a day, we can’t live without it, and it can literally contribute to our health or to disease with every single bite. It’s actually one of the most important decisions we can make on a daily basis. If you are asking yourself, “what food revolution?” then Food Patriots is the documentary for you! <iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”//www.youtube.com/embed/V7smSleJ8kI” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe> This powerful new documentary that features people from all walks of life who are trying to change the way Americans eat and buy food, and, more importantly, educate the next generation of consumers. The focus of this...

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Teaching Your Kids How to Drive with Varsity Driving Academy

Posted by on Nov 5, 2014 in Education, Family, Hot Topics, Parenting | 0 comments

Sponsored When the time comes for your kids to get behind the wheel of a car, selecting a school that will give your kids the tools to be a safe driver is the biggest priority. There are many different options for parents in Orange County, and Varsity Driving Academy is the 2014 winner for Best Driving School of Irvine. They serve the majority of Orange County including Huntington Beach, Newport Beach and Yorba Linda with a new office just opened in San Clemente (and a Long Beach location coming soon.) All lessons are performed in new model Hyundai Accents with one of their experienced instructors, brake and rear view mirrors. Children cannot legally begin driving with anyone (including parents) until their permit is validated from completing a two-hour lesson with an instructor. In order for them to get their...

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Keeping Kids Learning While Traveling with the LeapPad3

Posted by on Nov 1, 2014 in Education, Family, Tech, Toys, Travel | 0 comments

Sponsored With our family always traveling, I am often asked how I keep my kids learning while they are not in school. We are lucky to be a part of a charter school that offers Independent Study for families who travel, and I also use vital learning tools including LeapFrog products. Why LeapFrog? They make learning fun while encouraging my kids to continue learning outside of their educational lessons. When traveling earlier this month to the Turks and Caicos, we brought along the new LeapPad3 for my younger son Tyler. It ended up being his #1 favorite LeapFrog product, and he didn’t want to put it down. With a 14-hour flight that had multiple long airport layovers, Tyler got acquainted with the product. Within moments, he was on his way to learning new things through fun and interactive games....

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School of Rock Opening in Huntington Beach

Posted by on Oct 27, 2014 in Education, Entertainment, Events, Featured, Music, Parenting | 2 comments

Sponsored Do you have a music lover in your home? Then we’ve got some great news for you! School of Rock, the leader in performance-based music education inspiring the world to rock on stage and in life, will be opening a new location in Huntington Beach on November 1st. School of Rock is an ingenious concept that gets kids and adults rocking out to the classics and on stage performing with their peers. Music programs are designed to create a supportive environment where music students of all skill levels are comfortable yet challenged at every turn. In addition to individual private music instruction on guitar, bass, vocals, keyboards and/or drums, School of Rock combines weekly one-on-one lessons with structured group rehearsals and jam sessions, culminating in a live performance in front of real crowds at legendary rock venues. School...

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Fuel for Young Athletes: Tips and Strategies

Posted by on Oct 27, 2014 in Education, Family, Fitness, Hot Topics, Parenting | 1 comment

Fall sports are in full swing, but do you know what to feed your young athlete before, during and after games? Americans spend billions of dollars on specialized coaching and personal trainers (guilty!), so shouldn’t we pay attention to what these kids eat? After all, food is fuel, the fuel that sustains them during long and arduous practices, games and tournaments. But did you know young athletes are NOT like regular kids? Here are a few reasons why and strategies to keep them well fueled: Young Athletes are NOT like regular kids Young athletes are like expensive racecars; they need high quality fuel, and a lot of it! These kids/teens are not only spending lots of calories in order to grow, they have significant additional demands to keep up with their sports. Young athletes need to eat a lot...

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How to Jumpstart Your Child’s Reading

Posted by on Sep 22, 2014 in Education, Family, Hot Topics, Parenting | 0 comments

Before my first child was even born, I vowed to make reading an important part of our daily lives together. Besides reading to her daily as a baby, I bought a tiny “reading chair” for her first birthday. I set up a basket of hard-back books next to the pastel-flowered chair, and told her excitedly, “This is your reading chair!” Ever since then, my now nine-year-old daughter can’t get enough of books. As a parent, this is thrilling. I know, though, that not all children love to read. So, what can a parent do to inspire a “love of reading?” Angel Ko, director of the Aliso Viejo Kumon Math and Reading Center explains that pre-reading, the stage before students begin reading words, is a vital time to begin fostering a child’s love of reading. “Singing songs with your younger...

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Cooking the Paleo Way with Chef Nikki Ledford

Posted by on Sep 15, 2014 in Education, Featured, Health, Parenting | 1 comment

Healthy eating should be a priority for the entire family, and what better way to learn a new way of cooking than a hands-on cooking class!  Friends are always a great resource and that’s how I found Chef Nikki Ledford of The Clean Plate.  Nikki is a Natural Chef with an emphasis on Paleo cooking, ancestral diets, and general health support through whole, real foods, say goodbye to pre-packaged food.   After graduating from Bauman College, a holistic nutrition and culinary arts academy located in Sonoma County, CA., Nikki moved to Southern California where she conducts cooking classes, offers private chef  services which include weekly meals prepared in your  home, customized menu, menu planning, grocery shopping (yes, grocery shopping) and meal preparation / packaging and clean up and continues to create healthy recipes to share on her website and blog. As a busy family of five, I...

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Top Summer Workbooks

Posted by on Jul 15, 2014 in Education, Family, Parenting, Summer | 4 comments

Educational workbooks. You fell asleep even just reading the words, right? I used to cringe at the thought of academic workbooks too, especially in summer. Some research indicates that on average, children can lose 2.8 months of grade-level equivalency skills over summer vacation. That may not seem like much, but to those children who have worked especially hard during the school year, or had to “catch up” in some academic areas that number can be significant. Now, B-O-R-I-N-G might be the first word that comes to mind, but summer workbooks from my old days have greatly improved. Here’s a rundown of a few top-selling academic summer workbooks to help better prepare your kids for the upcoming school year: The Original Summer Bridge My favorite summer workbook is the Original Summer Bridge for pre-K through entering fifth graders. I like...

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Calling All OC Moms with Kids in Diapers

Posted by on Jun 6, 2014 in Education, Family, Parenting | 0 comments

Sponsored Do you have a kiddo who is still in diapers? Want to earn $175? Then we have the perfect opportunity for you! Fieldwork LA is looking for female Orange County moms between the ages of 23 to 44 to participate in a 10-day product test about diapers – that’s right – free diapers!! The opportunity will begin on Thursday, June 12th or Friday, June 13th with follow-up interviews scheduled on Tuesday, June 24th or Wednesday, June 25th in Irvine. All participants will be paid at least $175 for completing both parts of the research which you will be paid after the study. If you are an Orange County mom between the ages of 23-44 with a child in diapers – then this is the perfect opportunity for you. Applications for the opportunity are available online here.   What...

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Autism is Not The Cause of Violence

Posted by on May 25, 2014 in Education, Family, Hot Topics, Parenting | 0 comments

Again, it happened. I’m devastated, sad, and angry that our media is in a race to be first, and misinformed us. My thoughts and prayers are with all of those who are suffering in the wake of the tragedy of Isla Vista. Another mentally ill mad man did the unspeakable. He went after innocence, he went after girls, he went after his roommates, he went after anyone that he thought wronged him. I believe he was mentally ill after watching his multiple YouTube videos and reading his 141 page manifesto. The break with reality was sad, and I am shocking that the system, his parents, and the police failed him, and then they failed the rest of us. But all of that will be a can of worms that will be open and picked apart over the next several...

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Introducing Our College Spotlight Series – Trinity University

Posted by on May 19, 2014 in Education, Family, Featured, Parenting | 1 comment

OC Mom Blog is a supporter of Trinity University This week, two graduation announcements came in the mail… I love this time of year, and am excited for all the high schoolers transitioning to the next phase of life as a young adult. Even though I still have a few years to think about my babes leaving the nest to head off to college, it was a reality check… College is coming. So it got me thinking, what do I really want for my kids’ college experience? Of course, an outstanding education in an area of study they love, but even more- I want them to grow up to become real thinkers, adults who pursue knowledge, are willing to experiment, ask questions and strive to better understand the world and its cultures (past and present). We’re already taking action...

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Tween Book Review: Oh My Godmother The Magic Mistake

Posted by on May 7, 2014 in Education, Family, Shopping | 0 comments

Oh my Godmother! A new book came out and it is called (OMG) Oh my Godmother The magic Mistake. It is about a 12 year old named Lacey Unger-ware and her two friends Paige and Sunny. Lacey is a fairy Godmother and Paige and Sunny are her two BFF’s. Recently Sunny’s mom (Gina) got dumped at her wedding so she was super sad for the next couple of weeks. Suddenly there was a knock at lacey’s window. It was a fairy friend named Katerina. She tells lacey that she needs to be Gina’s fairy godmother and she needs to find Gina a new boy that she is going to marry. Lacey, Paige, and Sunny finally find the perfect man for Gina. His name is Brian (Paige’s dad). Then suddenly he finds another woman that he likes more – so...

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What Every Parent MUST know About Cyber Safety

Posted by on May 6, 2014 in Education, Family, Parenting | 8 comments

Imagine you’re on your way to an important meeting. Your boss, supervisor, co-workers, and even friends are in attendance. When you walk in, the quiet noise of chatter instantly stops. You notice that the people in the room are either staring at you or avoiding eye contact. Some are suppressing a laugh or wearing a grin. One of your co-workers even gave you an uncharacteristic wink. You have the very uncomfortable feeling that everyone is talking about you. You take a seat next to your closest friend who gives you a sheepish look, whispers something in your ear and discreetly hands you a piece of paper. You excuse yourself to go to the restroom. Alone, you read the hand-written note. Two minutes ago everything was great; you were just going about your day, now everything is crashing down around...

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National Geographic Engineering Exploration Challenge

Posted by on May 1, 2014 in Crafts, Education, Family, Featured, Tech | 0 comments

The launch of the National Geographic Engineering Exploration Challenge had my sons creative gears spinning. He loves to explore and learn new things. This engineering challenge is perfect for him and he is so excited to participate in it. Engineering has recently become one of his main focuses. He has been learning about electronics in school and he has been learning a lot of stuff on his own with an electronics set he received for Christmas. The love of learning started very young for him. He has always been enamored with the way things worked or how things were put together. This exploration challenge is a great way for him and his brother to explore new and exciting challenges together, all while learning in the process. I think this is a win-win situation all around. From now until May...

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A Sweet! Partnership with The Wyland Foundation Spreads Conservation Education in Los Angeles

Posted by on Apr 25, 2014 in Education, Events, Family, Giving Back, Parenting | 0 comments

If you’re a frequenter of Laguna Beach, you are more than likely very familiar with the artist, Wyland. His large murals depicting whales and other marine life are prominent. With galleries in Southern California, Hawaii, Florida, Nevada, as well as Northern California, and murals across the country and internationally, Wyland is a world renowned environmental artist and conservationist. Through the work of his organization, The Wyland Foundation, he has made it his mission to educate the public, particularly parents and their children, on the importance of protecting the health of our world’s oceans and waterways. Now his message and his art have a new home for the first time in Los Angeles, through a partnership forged between The Wyland Foundation and Sweet!, a massive 28,000 square foot candy “emporium” located at Hollywood and Highland. This first of its kind,...

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Who’s Cooking Dinner Tonight? Your Kids Are, That’s Who!

Posted by on Apr 16, 2014 in Education, Events, Family, Featured, Health, Parenting | 0 comments

How many of you are tired of having to prepare dinner every night only to hear complaints of “yuck, I don’t like this?” Well here’s an idea for you, why not have your kids cook dinner tonight? I think it is important for our children to learn to cook healthy meals for themselves. One of these days they will be out there on their own and while they may not make great food choices in the beginning, they will hopefully realize that they feel better when they eat good whole foods they prepare themselves. I want my boys to know they have a choice because they have the skills to cook a decent meal. Besides all that, my future daughter-in-laws will thank me! As the mother of 2 boys, I sometimes neglect teaching them to cook. When I had...

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Vergara vs. California: How This Case Will Affect Education

Posted by on Mar 24, 2014 in Education, Family, Parenting | 0 comments

Currently, the State of California is faced with a lawsuit brought on by nine very brave students throughout California who feel their education has been negatively impacted by long-standing education policies that force school districts to lay off teachers based on tenure (how long a teacher has been teaching) instead of the quality of the teacher. With the help of an organization called Students Matter the plaintiffs/students are challenging the current tenure law known as Last In; First Out (LIFO), permanent employment statute (tenure after only 18 months), and dismissal statues that require many years of documentation. These students believe having a great teacher, regardless of how long a teacher has been teaching, should be the most important factor in retaining an educator. Everyone is watching this case closely as it will set a new teacher employment precedent in...

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It could be us……..

Posted by on Feb 28, 2014 in Education, Family, Hot Topics, Parenting | 1 comment

My biggest fear, as a mom of a non-verbal child with Autism, is that he’ll get lost and not be able to communicate his needs or name to people who can help get him home. The thought of it, literally wakes me up out of a sound sleep in cold sweats at night. I get missing autistic children notices in my Facebook feed a lot because of all my ties to the autism community. Late last year, I got a notice that a 14 year old, non-verbal autistic child in New York, Avonte Oquendo, got out of his school from an open door. He was seen running away on surveillance footage, and his body was found several weeks later on the banks of the East River. I sobbed. So I ask – How??? How did that happen? Parents with...

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The “Sweet” Relationship Between Valentine’s Candy and Your Children’s Teeth

Posted by on Feb 10, 2014 in Education, Family, Featured, Health, Holiday, Hot Topics, Valentine's Day | 1 comment

Parents can help minimize children’s tooth decay by helping their little cupids make “sweet” and sound decisions this Valentine’s Day, during National Children’s Dental Health Month in February. In a Valentine’s Day heartbeat, pediatric dentists can tell parents that eating holiday candy today can bring cavities tomorrow. Tooth decay is a very serious countywide issue, but it is preventable. Healthy Smiles for Kids of Orange County, one of the largest nonprofit oral health providers for children dedicated to improving the dental health of children, provides alternative ideas and the following tips on sweets more likely to be cavity-causing culprits: It loves me… Chocolates like Dove Dark Chocolate Hearts®, M&M’s®, Hershey’s Kisses® or REESE’S Peanut Butter Cups Miniatures® have something in common: in a short period of time, they melt away and disappear (a better choice for your little cupid’s...

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2014 National School Choice Week

Posted by on Jan 27, 2014 in Education, Family, Featured | 4 comments

This week is National School Choice Week. It is a time to celebrate all the different choices parents in America can make for their child’s education. There are so many options to educate students such as traditional school, homeschool, magnet school, charter, language immersion, virtual school, and private school. The best thing about National School Choice Week (NSCW) is that every choice is recognized and celebrated. This week-long event also raises awareness of the crisis in education in America where students in every zip code are failing. Options in education are clearly needed when American high school students are compared globally in the Program for International Student Assessment world-wide test scores of 15 year olds and America remained stagnant once again with the following scores: 17th in Reading; 26th in Math; and 21st in Science. Awareness is being raised...

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Pacific Marine Mammal Center

Posted by on Jan 23, 2014 in Activities, Education, Family, Featured, Laguna Beach | 0 comments

Growing up just steps from the sand in Laguna Beach, the Pacific Marine Mammal Center has always been a favorite place for me to visit. I will never forget the time when my mom discovered an injured pelican on the beach. She wrapped the pelican in a towel and drove her cherry red Volvo down Laguna Canyon with the bird sitting on her lap to the Pacific Marine Mammal Center. I have no memory of if they were able to help the bird, but I will never forget the love that my mom gave to that animal. My love and passion for animals came from my mother, and I love getting to share that love with my children when visiting places like the Pacific Marine Mammal Center. The Pacific Marine Mammal Center has been in Laguna Canyon for my...

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Homework for Helping Your Child Make the Grade

Posted by on Jan 21, 2014 in Education, Family, Featured | 6 comments

With the school year more than half over, now is a perfect time to have an open dialogue about school, and perhaps “up your parenting game.” Don’t get me wrong, monitoring homework, test scores and communicating with your child’s teacher are important, but what are some big picture considerations that are often overlooked by parents? Here are a few key parental strategies to consider: Emotional Stability According to Paul Rabara, an educational technologist based in Orange County and father of two, emotional stability is more critical than ever. “Kids need to handle difficulties and setbacks without parents trying to always fix the problem or reward the child because they feel bad that things didn’t work out. It’s healthy for kids to feel challenged and experience failure,” explains Rabara. Talking & Listening Talking and listening play major roles in children’s academic success. After...

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Children Bring History to Life at South OC Charter School

Posted by on Jan 17, 2014 in Education, Events, Family, Featured, Parenting | 0 comments

The day my son picked out the name of his historical figure was a nerve wrecking one. Let me back up a bit so that you can have a full understanding about what I’m talking about. As part of my son’s 3rd grade academic standards (language arts, social studies and theater), my son had to participate in the charter school’s Living Museum. Each child transforms into a human animatronic of a historical figure that would talk about their life in a 2 minute speech. On top of writing and memorized a speech, the child must also make a story board, timeline, caricature and artifact, all of this had to be done without parental help. Of course I thought this was a joke because there is no way an 8/9 year old could do this and make it look presentable...

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