Archives for August 2016

fun ideas for kids

The Globe-Trotting Musical Life of Stephen Michael Schwartz

The name Stephen Michael Schwartz is synonymous with fun ideas for kids. He is well-known in America’s family music scene, from his work in the award-winning group Parachute Express through his current solo career. But did you know he is also well-known in China? He started touring that country in 2010 and, due to his popularity, he now travels there twice a year. The Glendale-based performer recently chatted about playing music for kids in America and China, the origin of pizza and his new CD, “Bucket of Wow!” The title track on “Bucket of Wow!” opens the album and very...

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school news

The Partnership for Los Angeles Schools Welcomes Grape Street Elementary

As part of its mission to transform schools, the Partnership for Los Angeles Schools and the Los Angeles Unified School District recently announced a joint collaboration to include Grape Street Elementary into the network of schools the organizations supports. The five-year Memorandum of Understanding includes a plan to strengthen instructional practices, implement socio-emotional learning, support teacher and school leader development and increase parent engagement. "The Partnership for Los Angeles Schools has been an exceptional partner to L.A. Unified," said Local Area South Superintendent Chris Downing. "This is the second year in a row we have asked them to partner with...

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parenting

Helping Your Teen Through a Move

Being the parent of a teenager is a challenge in any city, but can be even more difficult if your family has recently relocated. Southern California in general, and Los Angeles in particular, can be a challenge for anyone who is not used to the diversity in people and activities. For a teen who is new to the area, the first few weeks or months will inevitably present challenges with regard to acclimating to a new school, making friends and easing their transition into a different social environment. Like all parents, you worry about how they’ll do and if they’ll...

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positive parenting

On The Record: Becoming a Butterfly Parent

Rhinoceroses are strong, have endurance and thick skin. A rhino charges toward its goals and never stops until it gets there. As a child, my bedtime stories were not about princesses and unicorns. They were about living life like a rhinoceros and not a cow. When I became a mother and had little rhinos of my own, I naturally wanted the same for them – to be strong and determined. As my 5-year-old Sofia grew old enough, I signed her up for just about every activity possible to help her excel. Needless to say, I overdid it. Keeping up with...

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family fun

“Kubo And The Two Strings” Hits All The Right Notes

Some movies are easy to describe. Like the one where a boy discovers an alien stranded on Earth. Or the film about a dad searching for his lost son (OK, father and son are fish). Then there are the movies that aren’t simple to synopsize – such as “Inside Out” or any of “The Avengers” films. “Kubo and the Two Strings,” the latest cinematic offering from the wonderfully creative folks at Laika Entertainment, fits into this latter category. It is really best to go into this movie knowing as little as possible about the story so you can be charmed...

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parenting

Is Homework Worth Kids’ and Parents’ After-School Time?

Is the deluge of after-school tasks a necessary character builder or a waste of kids’ time? As we look back over our school days, most of us can remember a particularly torturous homework assignment – an English essay, a science project, maybe a history presentation – that kept us up past midnight or ruined a weekend. Or a perfect storm when a lack of communication between teachers meant two projects were due on the same day as that big math test. But how many of us remember torrents of homework being the norm rather than the exception? Many students today...

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special needs

Sign-ups Open For The Miracle Project Fall Theater Classes

The Miracle Project – an innovative program that uses theater, music and movement to help individuals with autism and other disabilities build self-confidence, communication skills and friendships – is kicking off its fall schedule of courses in September. Space is limited, and early registration is strongly recommended. Several classes will be held Tuesdays at the Wallis Annenberg Center for Performing Arts (9390 Santa Monica Blvd., Beverly Hills; www.thewallis.org) from Sept. 20-Dec. 13: Beginning Music, Movement and Creative Dramatics for all abilities ages 4-7, 3-3:45 p.m. Beginning Expressive and Performing Arts for ages 16 and up, 4:45-6 p.m. The Miracle Project...

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positive parenting

How Your Kids Can Mindfully Succeed At School

Mindfulness and focusing have the potential to help children achieve school success with peace. I am talking about not just your peace of mind as a parent, but peace and ease for your children if they are experiencing aversion towards school or homework. Mindfully focusing at school can help students get through their day with greater ease and success. The effect of mindfulness on the brain supports increased memory, positive emotions and physical state, increased confidence and a greater sense of overall control, even when getting through something like homework, which may seem at some level out of their control....

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Rabbi Selilah Kalev Joins Temple Menorah’s Tuvia Preschool

  Rabbi Selilah Kalev has joined Temple Menorah as Director of its growing Tuvia Preschool. Kalev joins Tuvia to work closely with parents, teachers and synagogue leaders to further improve Tuvia's learning environment for children in the South Bay. With a strong belief that the ritual-based environment provided by Judaism allows children to thrive, Rabbi Kalev promotes a combination of learning, playing and community connection as a key component of her teaching philosophy. This aligns with Tuvia’s mission of enhancing learning and development of young children in a safe and caring Jewish environment. Kalev’s combined passion for Judaism and education led...

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special needs

The Art of Autism: Growing Up

From Tom Iland: Growing up with autism is not easy. Social challenges, family dynamics, academics, employment opportunities and many other issues need to be addressed over the course of one’s life. In my experience, in having the right mindset and an effective, loving support system made these obstacles more manageable. Shortly after my diagnosis at 13 years old, I was taught that using autism as an excuse or as a crutch to justify inappropriate behavior was not all right. My parents told me I had the power to think happy thoughts and do good things just as much as I had...

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