Language Learning Resources for Children

Learning another language is not just for adults who want to travel. When children learn another language they improve their vocabulary and cognitive ability, so it is no wonder many parents are now starting their kids off young. Even just learning a few words can be useful. There are many fun and easy ways to introduce a child to a different language. Here are a variety of resources for tiny tots to preteens. Continue reading “Language Learning Resources for Children”

Money Smart Week: Making sense out of saving money

MSW Piggy BankRemember when your parents first got you that cute little piggy bank? It was a big deal because it symbolized a financial rite of passage and instilled a growing sense of independence. And after completing a series of mundane tasks or chores you could triumphantly deposit your hard earned money into it at the end of the week. Continue reading “Money Smart Week: Making sense out of saving money”

NurtureShock: Research that will make you go hmmm …

I stumbled across Po Bronson and Ashley Merryman’s book NurtureShock: New Thinking About Children after I was gifted a copy of Newsweek with their incendiary cover-story (September 14, 2009 issue) entitled “Is Your Baby Racist?” I should mention that a teenager gave me this particular magazine issue as a tongue-in-cheek gift at my baby shower.

In their Newsweek article, Bronson and Merryman cite research that shows that you don’t raise color blind or tolerant children by not talking about race. In fact, the opposite is true. I found the article so thought-provoking that Continue reading “NurtureShock: Research that will make you go hmmm …”

Kindergarten choices

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At this time of year, preschool parents are discovering that they have a tough decision to make – kindergarten selection.  As a parent of a preschooler myself, I’ve recently been immersed in the wonderful world of classroom sizes, test scores, transportation options, extra-curricular activities, PTSA involvement, after school care, and profiles of teachers and principals.  

If you are like me, selecting the right kindergarten is a serious undertaking, but it is definitely not exempt from emotion either.  It is my child’s future here!  Navigating the application and public school assignment process presents its own unique challenges.  If this sounds all too familiar to you, you might be interested in some of the resources I’ve been using to select the right college… er, kindergarten, for my child. 

If you are considering Seattle public schools, the district’s enrollment pages have the latest enrollment guides, school tour dates, and district calendars.  The district site also has a list of individual school profiles and school websites.

The Seattle Times School Guide provides a very comprehensive overview of both public and private area schools.  For those struggling with a place to begin, the site also includes helpful “how to” articles to help frame an approach.

For an entertaining and informative look at the private kindergarten application process, check out Alan Eisenstock’s book,  The Kindergarten Wars: The Battle to Get into America’s Best Private Schools. This intriguing story follows four families working diligently to get their children into the best private schools  (for help getting started with downloadable books).

 

 

The Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) gives a statewide perspective of education choices.  This is a good place to compare individual schools or district statistics.

Considering homeschooling?  The Washington Homeschool Organization (WHO) is a statewide non-profit organization that provides information and support for parents that are considering this option for their children.   

These resources have helped me understand the strengths in individual schools and begin to match these up to the unique needs of my child and my family.  I hope they are helpful to you as well.

                        ~ Jay L.

Parenting in the Wired Age

Parents today have so many networks and resources available to them. It can be daunting, but it can also be reassuring.

There are so many decisions to make, so many styles to choose from. Do you breastfeed or bottle-feed, or both? What bottles should you use? Cloth or disposable? Co-sleeping or crib? Those first months as a new parent can be so overwhelming. What helped me? Books and blogs.

Reading about how other parents made the decisions they made, how they prepared for birth, grew into their mother or father roles, and what informed their choices around parenting helped me not feel so overwhelmed or alone.

But one thing that I didn’t expect as a new parent was Continue reading “Parenting in the Wired Age”