• November 2022

    How to Help Your Child with ADHD in School

    I watched my son, Luke–who was struggling with ADHD– in mainstream education for six years before finally pulling the plug on the whole operation and vowing to search for a better, alternative solution for him. Luke was a round peg trying to fit into a square hole, the child left behind, the kid falling through the cracks. But not anymore. When we left his Santa Cruz city school after his last day of 5th grade still unsure where he would end up during this scholastic year, I knew we were in for an uphill battle. THE 6-YEAR BATTLE We first learned of his condition from a Stanford research study of…

  • September 2022

    Huggy Wuggy

    He Hugs You to Death Is Huggy Wuggy too Scary for Kids? by brad Kava It was supposed to be a cultural trip to San Francisco, and it was, until we passed some flea market booths near the wharf. There, Parker saw what became his obsession—a Huggy Wuggy backpack. Normally, I monitor what he watches, but this one escaped me. It sounded so innocent, and so what if Huggy Wuggy looked a bit monstrous—the Muppets are also monsters of a sort. “You know he’s a serial killer,” Parker asked after we’d negotiated our way around several booths that were loaded with the blue character backpack and found one for $15.…

  • June 2022

    Defining Gender

    Banned in Florida, but Freely Talked About Here Gender Isn’t Always What You Think It Is By Suki Wessling Most of today’s parents grew up with what’s called the gender binary, which assumes the existence of two distinct genders. Most of today’s kids learn about changing gender norms from their peer groups, for whom gender is seen as fluid and as a spectrum. But for many families when they’re at home, gender is simply not an issue…until it is. “My child is 14 and was assigned female at birth, and that’s how we raised this child—as a female, you know? Because that’s how it’s done.”Goldi’s child came out as nonbinary…

  • April 2022

    Raise a Water Wise Kid

    Raise a Water Wise Kid! Let’s Enter Another Year of Drought with a Positive Outlook By Suki Wessling I have to admit, it’s very easy to feel dispirited about entering yet another summer in a drought that’s now in its third year. But research shows that a positive focus on how we can help makes us more likely to take successful action to solve a problem. So instead of getting bummed out, let’s work on energizing our families to learn more and become Water Wise Kids. How bad is it?On the bright side, Santa Cruz is one of the few counties on this end of the state that are water-independent. That…

  • March 2022

    Parenting

    Summer Jobs for High Schoolers By Jeanette Prather There are the classic high school summer jobs that might include a smaller retail position, tutoring, babysitting and the food industry. However, in the questionable times we’re living in with ongoing employee shortages, less willing capable workers and more ample excuses, creative options are a must… for everyone. Most summer jobs for teens range between $10 and $25 per hour, according to Indeed.com. Indeed suggests grocery store cart attendant, movie clerk, cashier, lifeguard, housekeeper, automotive detailer, stocking associate, delivery person, lawn care specialist, dog walker and swim instructor as plausible high school summer jobs. Conventional-ish Santa Cruz Jobs Almost everyone from Santa…

  • February 2021

    Unique Preschools

    Creating New Ideas for Preschools By Jeanette Prather Thinking outside of the box in education has become a super norm as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Outdoor schooling becoming more popular, more accessibility to personalized learning and governmental funding supplementing early education, to name a few of the scholastic pivots. Some preschools are taking these opportunities to continue developing their own new and alternative curriculums.             “This year, I’ve set up a classroom outside so that we can safely be together,” said Westside Parent Education Nursery School (WPENS) director and teacher Cory Cherk, who is also a 25-year veteran of the preschool co-op scene and a current parent education…

  • February 2022

    Preschool UPK TK

    What’s the Difference Between Preschool, UPK and TK? By Jeanette Prather Many opinions and options surround early childhood education and pre-kindergarten. With the new roll-out of the universal pre-kindergarten program easing strict TK regulations, there will be even more. Between preschool, transitional kindergarten (TK), and as of last year, universal pre-kindergarten (UPK), California parents have – and will have even more in the coming years – a myriad of pre-kindergarten educational options. And, what the heck is UPK? UPK is a 2021 early childhood education legislation and pandemic response by Governor Gavin Newsom to make pre-kindergarten more accessible to California parents. Experts are hailing the new $2.7 billion universal transitional…

  • November 2021

    lying or pretending

    Lying or Pretending? Teaching Kids to Tell the Truth By Jan Pierce Somewhere around the age of three, when children begin to understand parents may not know what they actually did or didn’t do, your precious little angel may begin to tell big whoppers. “Baby Jack made that mess,” or “I played with a dinosaur today and rode on his back.” Before you panic, thinking your child is destined for a life of crime, let’s take a look at when children lie, why they lie, and how to teach them to tell the truth. WhyChildren tell lies for a variety of reasons. They’re afraid of getting in trouble, they want…

  • November 2021

    Holiday Toys

    By brad kava Three things you need to know this holiday season right way. First, if you put off toy shopping you will be in trouble. Those container ships you keep hearing about are backed up all the way to China and Santa can’t get at ‘em. Sadly, Santa Cruz’s homegrown toy maker, Modarri, says they don’t want publicity for their hot make-your-own-cars because they won’t be available for the holidays. So be the early bird and not the worm. Second, Hanukkah starts Nov. 28 and lasts for eight days, with a gift on each. You can be sure a lot of shopping will be done by then. Third, you…