Preschool news and information for L.A. Parents.


tips on preschool

Learning to Let Go: The Millennial Dad’s Tips on Preschool

It was a typical hot July afternoon, so I decided to take my son Hank to the ocean. We met a friend of mine and his 3-year-old boy at Glen Alla Park in Marina Del Rey, which has a great maritime-themed playground. My friend, an intense academic but also a suitably sensitive millennial, spoke severely about his boy starting preschool. He was concerned. I tried to console him, but his...

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preschool problems

7 Preschool Problems and Tips on How to Solve Them

Preschool can be daunting for parents. Your child seems to enter new phases every day. It’s an exciting time, but when behaviors crop up, it can be difficult to know what’s age-appropriate and what needs more attention. Maybe your kid is a bit of a bully, a biter or has a hard time at drop-off. Do you have a ringleader, or a kid who has trouble making friends? What if...

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choosing arts education

The Arts Matter – But What’s Best for Your Child?

We may not always practice what we preach, but in general our culture agrees that the arts are important, and that kids should be exposed to them at an early age. In fact, the California Education Code requires arts education in public schools, but with tight school budgets and other education priorities, it can be tough deciphering what type of arts education your kids should receive at each grade level....

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school safety

Blue-Ribbon Panel Outlines Ways to Keep Students Safe

After the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., the cell phones and emails of LAUSD parents were buzzing with messages from the second largest school district in the country – messages that attempted to assure us that our children were safe and that the district was doing everything it could to improve safety measures. To bolster those efforts, Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer assembled...

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children's books

Kid Lit’s Secret Sauce

Think about the picture books that were your favorites as a kid. Some that probably made the list – such as “Corduroy” by Don Freeman, “The Story of Ferdinand” by Munro Leaf and “Where the Wild Things Are” by Maurice Sendak – are still popular today. The continued success of these books is not just a matter of nostalgia or luck. These books have been cooked with a secret sauce,...

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school shootings

Stopping School Shootings

Let’s begin our look at this scary topic with two solid – possibly calming – facts: School shootings are a rare occurrence in the U.S., and there has not been a mass shooting at an L.A.-area school in recorded memory. Mass school shootings – beginning with Columbine in 1999 through Sandy Hook in 2012, up to February’s shooting in Parkland, Fla. – have spurred the notion that school shootings are...

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Los Angeles public schools

Navigating Los Angeles Public Schools and Beyond

Deciding where to send your child to school can be a daunting task. Parents need to think carefully about what is most important to them when it comes to their child’s education. Now, parents have a convenient way to access detailed information on public schools across the state. In March 2017, the California Department of Education piloted a new website with measurements to show how public schools are performing on...

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preschools in los angeles

Preschools in Los Angeles: 9 Things Your Child Should Learn

Last fall, as I watched my son run down the walkway toward his new kindergarten classroom, I noticed that he appeared tinier than usual. I looked at the other children, products of preschools in Los Angeles, flowing past him and realized that he was, in fact, considerably smaller than most of them. As his R2-D2 backpack flapped against the backs of his knees, I wondered whether we had made a...

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Our Breakfast-to-Bedtime Back to School Guide

Remember last year’s back to school photo? The kids wore big, happy grins and fresh haircuts. Inside their shiny new backpacks awaited orderly pencil cases and a homemade-with-love lunch filled with summer veggies and nothing processed. Cut to the second week: Running to the car five minutes late, the day’s completed homework forgotten on the kitchen table and cranky parents playing Rock-paper-scissors to see who has to leave work early...

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How to Spot a Developmentally Appropriate Preschool

It's spring and if you have a young child, there's a good chance that preschool is on your mind. If you want to find the right place for fall 2017, I recommend that you start your search now. Good schools fill up quickly! There are plenty of things to consider when choosing a preschool. Clearly, proximity to home or work is a biggie as are cost, hours of operation and...

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early childhood special needs

Inclusive L.A.: The Preschool Launching Pad

Choosing a preschool is a process so fraught with confusion and pressure that some have quipped it is as difficult as choosing a college. While that might be an overstatement, for parents of children with disabilities, choosing a preschool can be an especially challenging and frustrating experience. Preschool is usually the first time parents send their kids out into the world. With a dizzying array of options, financial and other...

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danica mckeller

Danica McKellar: On Making Math Fun During Your Child’s Wonder Years

Known for her role as Winnie Cooper on the popular coming-of-age TV series, “The Wonder Years,” and for her bestselling math books aimed at tweens and teens, Danica McKellar is now on a mission to make math fun for even the youngest kids. Her whimsical picture book, “Goodnight Numbers,” which debuted last month and landed at number seven on the New York Times picture book bestseller list, introduces young readers...

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home learning activities for kids

Digital vs. Analog: At-Home Learning Activities for Kids

Technology gives parents more ways than ever to provide a rich and engaging home learning environment for their kids. But how much is too much? Is it better to go “old-school” with plenty of books, journals to fill, and hands-on activities? Or is it best to be future-focused and provide the latest tablet computer and learning programs? Staying Hands-On Patti Clark, vice president of product development at Lakeshore, advocates for...

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Choosing a School: It’s In the Details

Most schools offer a good education. Look beyond that to find a fit for your child.  The days of sending kids to an assigned neighborhood school, no questions asked, are gone. Today, Southern California families are fortunate to have many great schools to choose from, giving us the opportunity to find just the right school for our kids. But after the websites are combed, tours are taken and the big...

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Striking a Preschool Balance: Play-Based vs. Academic Programs

Search out the best play-based and academic elements to find the right fit for your child. When my daughter, Mirae, was 3, she came home from preschool one day raving about baby rabbits. A rabbit had given birth and burrowed her offspring in the dirt just under the swing set at Mirae’s preschool, Pierce College Child Development Center in Woodland Hills. A child found the burrow, and the adventure began....

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positive parenting

Positive Parenting: Experts Answer Your Questions For Early Childhood

We hear it all the time, and yet we can’t hear it often enough: Children’s early years matter. Your child’s first interactions with you and with others, the environment you create for your family, and your child’s earliest educational experiences influence how your child’s brain is built, and set the tone for her or his relationships with others and future learning. The idea can feel overwhelming, but by asking yourself...

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Take Time, Talk: Eight Ways to Support Your Child’s Language Development

Like a snowball growing as it rolls downhill, young children’s vocabulary expands faster and faster as they hear more words. However, a constant stream of words from the radio or even an educational children’s video won’t create this cumulative advantage in language processing. Instead, social interaction (the back-and-forth, turn-taking nature of conversation) and talking with infants and toddlers will build their language and communication skills. This might seem easier said...

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Handling School Admissions Interviews Like a Boss

While private schools vary in curriculum, education philosophy and how many students they accept each term, they all share the same goal when interviewing prospective students. They use the interview to make sure the student is going to fit in well at the school, enjoy themselves and be able to thrive in the academic environment. “We are looking for families that would be a good fit for the mission of...

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What You’ll Learn At School Open House

While searching for private schools for their son Kevin (now in college), Tony and Kristy Adler of Bel Air eagerly attended several open houses at L.A. schools with him. They quickly learned the do’s and don’ts of open-house protocol. “We were doomed at one school from the beginning when I grabbed our son’s name badge. Apparently, that was one of the tests, to see if a child recognizes his own...

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How to Choose a Child-Centered Preschool

Extensive research shows that attending preschool helps children develop social and emotional skills, improves their reading and language development, and gives them the opportunity to make decisions and ask questions in a safe environment. Regardless of their socio-economic status, race or location, children who have attended preschool are more likely to graduate high school and attend college, and less likely to repeat a grade, have substance-abuse problems or commit a...

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STEM Learning In L.A.

People can’t seem to talk about education any more without using four letters: S-T-E-M. STEM sounds much more exciting than when we used to call it simply “science,” “math” or “computer class.” And STEM topics are now being touted not just as school subjects for aspiring techies, but as life skills vital for all kids. “At its essence, science is a way for human beings to understand the world,” says...

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5 Tips To Get You More Involved In Your Child’s School

When the school year began and you buttoned up your precious ones against the fall chill, kissed their cheeks and sent them off with the latest back-to-school goodies, did you make a silent vow that, this year, you would get more involved in your child’s school? More than likely, you’re next thought was, “What time is it?” Most days, after rushing to work and then home again, you can barely...

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Finding a Private School With the Right Vibe

When I was pregnant with my first child, I was one of those mothers. You know the type, reading all the pregnancy books, taking the birth-education classes, sharing pregnancy symptoms with the other mommies-to-be during prenatal yoga class. Once my son was born, I continued on that path. I breastfed. I made his baby food. I enrolled us in a well-rounded roster of baby classes because I had read how...

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What to Expect When You’re Expecting a Preschooler

I still kick myself for taking a rock away from my 2-year-old. “You can’t carry a rock around other kids,” I explained, prying the flat, round object out of his hand. It was shellacked bright blue with a big “R” painted on it, a trinket we had once found on the ground. “Rigby rock” wasn’t a particularly special toy, but it was what he happened to choose before we left...

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