Education

What Every Mom Should Know About The Early Years

Statistics on early childhood care and adult success.

By Negin Ascher
Negin AscherWhen life gets crazy, it’s easy to miss opportunities to nurture our youngest children. In fact, statistics indicate that very few Americans truly understand the impact of a child’s earliest years. In California, the state’s financial commitment to early care and education declines with each successive round of budget cuts.

Yet, we know now that there is a biological window of development that, once past, can hardly be revisited. We know that the earliest years are the time of greatest development and brain formation and the best predictors of eventual educational attainment, social contributions and even happiness. (more…)

The Parent Revolution in Education

Parent activism is the key to reforming our schools.

By Kevin P. Chavous
KevinChaveousSlowly, yet ever so surely, a new revolution is emerging in this country as a response to our declining educational outputs. This revolution is being driven by parents who are tired of trying to navigate local school bureaucracies just to get their children a quality education. These parents come from all walks of life and are challenging the education status quo to listen, embrace innovation and be open to change. This new parent voice couldn’t come at a better time. (more…)

Tips on Getting Organized

By Debra Siegel
By Debra SiegelPeople often ask me how long it will take to complete an organizing project. And my first response is “How long did it take to collect the clutter?” But are the two closely connected? We are always consuming and bringing items into our spaces whether it’s groceries, clothes, toys, magazines or our kids schoolwork and art projects. What do we do with all of that stuff on a daily basis? Some is consumed or tossed but most of it is added to the piles we have cast aside with the intention of going through it “one day.” So for many, organizing is something you do when you get completely overwhelmed and can’t handle the clutter anymore. You don’t need to wait for that to happen. (more…)

Tips on Making Family Vacations Educational

By Nathalie Kunin
Nathalie KuninFamily vacations are a time to un-wind, “disconnect” and have fun with your family. They are also wonderful opportunities for learning. Whether your summer plans take you an hour from home or to another continent, travel can be a springboard for learning new skills. Every destination has distinct traits to draw upon – a foreign language, local customs, landmarks or a unique natural setting. Here are some ideas to make your summer vacation a meaningful learning experience.

If you are traveling to a foreign country have your child keep track of foreign exchange rates. Mentally converting the cost of lunch from dollars to another currency is great multiplication and division practice. (more…)

Keeping Your Brain Active Over the Summer

Tips on preparing for exams and applying to schools.

By Ellen Richards
Catherine McCord

Parents set the tone for their children’s academic success.

Many people mistakenly believe that education begins in high school when students realize the competition involved in gaining admission to college. Parents and students do themselves a huge favor to remember that the earlier one fosters an appreciation for education, the more likely they will achieve academically. (more…)

How Can Women Have It All?

By Angella Nazarian
angellanazarianWe all have heard it when we talk to our girlfriends, somehow in mid-conversation the cursed word slips out—“I feel like I am not good enough”. While in the gym, we are fretting about work, while working we are thinking about how we missed the last bake sale at the kids’ school. We have become our own taskmasters who drive ourselves relentlessly toward an ideal of perfection.

The big question remains: Can women really “have it all”? I tend to categorize myself in the “something’s got to give” camp—multi-tasking and juggling can take us just so far. As a matter of fact, recent studies have shown that our IQ drops by 10 points when we do two tasks at the same time. So, I am calculating that by noon each day, the IQ of women all around the globe has dropped exponentially! (more…)

Helpful Test Taking Tips

By Nathalie Kunin
Nathalie KuninGet those No. 2 pencils ready! Test taking season is coming. Each Spring, starting in about the 2nd grade, students throughout America will take a standardized test. These tests have different names depending on the state and school district, but they all test the same skills. Although these standardized tests are important, please remember that they are only one of the tools used to assess how your child is performing academically.

Taking standardized tests annually from a young age helps prepare students for when it is time to take admissions exams like the ISEE, SAT and ACT. The testing doesn’t ever stop – think about the LSAT, GMAT, MCAT and then Boards and State Bars…and then professional continuing education testing. (more…)

The Value of Mathematics

The Importance of math and college acceptance.

By Ellen Richards
EllenRichardsStudents must have access to high level math classses and be encouraged to take four years of math during high school. Students who do not take and pass a rigorous math sequence in high school are ineligible for admission to many four-year colleges and universities.

  • Access to academically challenging course work in high school significantly increases the likelihood of a student successfully completing bachelors degree.
  • Access to and enrollment in challenging courses had a greater impact on admission to college than any other factor, including income level and parents’ level of education.
  • In 2004 an average applicant who passed Pre-Calculus increased his/her chance of gaining acceptance to college by 79%.
  • Completing a Pre-Calculus course is the equivalent of raising one’s GPA from a 3.1 to a 3.6 in terms of admission to college.

(more…)

Valentine’s Day Expectations

By Samara Fabrick
samaraFor many of us, Valentine’s Day is a chance to sit down with our kids to make cards for their classmates, think of fun ways to surprise our partner or have an excuse to eat that box of chocolates. However, for many Valentine’s Day is another opportunity to have a million expectations that are so often dashed by our clueless spouses and our inability to express our wants. Here are a few suggestions to make sure that your Valentine’s Day is a happy one filled with whatever your heart desires. (more…)

Children and Money

By Dr. Judy Bin-Nun Ph.D., LMFT
judy“Mommy (Spoken beseechingly), buy this toy or food for me! I need it now! (Spoken stridently) My friends have this toy and I want one too” (Spoken demandingly). I know you have heard these requests, demands and sound bites; what do you do to teach your children about money and how to develop appropriate money habits early in their lives?

Now that it’s a New Year, you and your spouse can begin to plan sound money habits and it is never too early in your child’s life to start teaching your children. You can start the concept of giving allowance so that children learn natural consequences of using money. Allowance affords a hands-on, direct approach to the use of money that your words can’t teach; money requires teaching by show and tell.

(more…)