Education

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.

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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.

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Selecting the Right School for Your Child

By Nathalie Kunin
Nathalie KuninSelecting the right school for your child can be as exhilarating as it is overwhelming. Here are some things to consider as you tour prospective schools, thumb through brochures, and peruse websites.

1. Observe and Report. Start with a school tour, but don’t stop there! Stop by during their next book fair, see a school play or attend a sporting event. Are there on-campus volunteer opportunities? You want to meet as many families as possible to get a broader sense of the school and the community.

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Prepping Your Child for Kindergarten

What are private schools looking for?

By Janis Adams
janis adamsThere are a lot of questions about whether or not one should prep their child for the all important playdate/entrance exam to private school Kindergarten.

The subject is so fraught with emotion that many parents do not even discuss it with other parents. This anxiety is fueled by the low number of openings in Los Angeles private schools and by a sense of competition that careens off the walls of inflatable party bouncers the minute the child turns three.

Such is the reality of today’s private school admissions. (more…)

Sibling Rivalry

Tips on dealing with new siblings.

By Rachel Bernstein
RachelYou all know the family. The one in which the siblings seem to magically get along, support each other, work well together, and talk through difficult moments with little to no yelling, or homicidal threats. You also know there is a reason you probably only know one family like this. It is a rarity. It doesn’t exist in nature in large numbers. Parents aspire to have that sense of familial calm and sibling cohesion, and may feel that it will always be beyond their reach. Then, a new sibling is brought into the mix, and that aspiration for familial magic seems like an ever-more-distant hope.

Truth be told, familial magic can always be created. When parents already have a child, or children, and find out they are pregnant, there are a few tricks to put up your sleeve.
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Paper. Pencils. Confidence.

By Nathalie Kunin
SamaraWhat do these three things have in common? Well, they’re all on our first day of school checklist. And that third word—Confidence—can’t be found in the back-to-school section at Staples.

Before the first day of school, our children start to become consumed by questions like Will I like my new teacher? Will I make new friends? Will there be even more homework this year?

As parents, we can set some goals for ourselves for this year. We can value and celebrate our children’s strengths—not dwell on their weaknesses. We can ward off their nerves and trepidation with support—not criticism. We can anticipate success—not failure. Our involvement and encouragement are undoubtedly the most influential factors in their academic achievement.

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Building Your Child’s Self-esteem

Expert tips to help build you child’s positive self-perceptions.

By Samara Fabrick
SamaraSelf-esteem is a term we hear a lot in child rearing, but what is it and why is it important?

Self-esteem can be defined in many ways, but I define it as the collection of beliefs or feelings we have about ourselves or “self-perception.” In children I would add that self-esteem is the feelings of capability and confidence combined with feelings of being loved. Helping our children build their self-esteem is one of the most important responsibilities we have as parents.

So why is self-esteem important and how do we as parents help build our children’s positive self-perceptions? (more…)