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Category Archives: Education

With Common Core, is Explaining “Why” Necessary?

math homework (photo by Wendy Kennar)

One of the changes I’m noticing with Common Core State Standards is the requirement for children to explain. Teachers don’t just want students to provide answers; they want to know how their students arrived at those answers. In my opinion, there are positives and negatives involved when we ask “Why” or “How”. On the one hand, I always asked my students to show their work when computing a mathematical question. ... Read More »

Free Common Core Testing at Learning Path

school kids taking test

The Learning Path is offering MomsLA readers a very special offer: One FREE test into the Common Core in Math or English (a $50 value). The test reveals precisely where your child stands in relation to the new Common Core standards using adaptive computer testing. The tests take 1 to 1.5 hours each, depending on the individual pace of the student and their grade level. They are completely objective and ... Read More »

The UNI Project Screening + Grants for Schools

NutriBullet The UNI Project Premiere [4]

Please join us on Monday, October 6 at 5 p.m. for the exclusive premiere of The UNI Project, an impactful documentary that follows student participants at a Los Angeles high school, University High School (UNI), on a three month journey focused on nutrition education and modifying the way teens eat in a movement to improve their eating habits. In collaboration with University High School (UNI) in Los Angeles, The UNI Project aimed to empower teens with a first-hand ... Read More »

Do Young Kids Really Need Cell Phones?


For the twelve years that I was a public school teacher, our school policy regarding student cell phones was — don’t. Don’t have one, don’t bring one to school, don’t advertise that you have one. Basically, if your cell phone stayed off and buried within your backpack, no one would know it was there. At my son’s school, the policy must be different because I see a surprisingly number of ... Read More »

Don’t Forget to Pack the Love Notes!

lunch box notes (photo by Wendy Kennar)

My mom used to pack my school lunches, and often included a little love note. As kids tend to do, I took the notes (and the lunches) for granted. When my son began preschool, I began including notes in his lunch box. Now, my son is in first grade, and I have no plans on stopping the love notes. They’re simple notes. Sometimes they comment on something specific for his ... Read More »

5 Reasons Why You Should Attend Back-to-School Night

classroom (photo by Wendy Kennar)

If your child recently started school, most likely Back to School Night is approaching. Back to School Night is the official “meet and greet” — the time and place when teachers explain their policies and procedures and their expectations for the year. It’s also a parent’s opportunity to ask questions about the general classroom, not about your specific child. I encourage all parents to make every effort to attend.  Specifically, ... Read More »

7 Tips for Making Homework More Manageable


School’s back in session which means it’s homework time. And for some families, the idea is dreadful, conjuring up memories of arguments, tears, screams, and late nights. It doesn’t have to be that way. Here are seven suggestions for easing the homework burden and turning the daily chore into something more manageable, and maybe even, more pleasant.   Make it social.  Doing homework with a friend or a small study ... Read More »

First Day of School; An Apple for the Teacher

apple-themed items (photo by Wendy Kennar)

Last year, on my son’s first day of kindergarten, we brought his teacher a red apple. She was completely surprised by this small gesture, and on that very emotional morning (she had two children beginning a new school year too), she said our small gift might make her cry. When it comes to teachers’ gifts, apples are the fruit that adorn everything teacher-related — mugs, keychains, candles, reusable tote bags. ... Read More »

6 Reasons Why the Supermarket is a Great Learning Tool


Teaching and learning doesn’t just occur in a classroom. Parents are a child’s first, and forever, teachers. And I have found the supermarket to be a valuable teaching tool. My 6-year-old son has been accompanying me to the market since he was an infant. Before he could talk, I would narrate our shopping trips to him. Now, he’s old enough to be actively involved in our shopping. It takes longer ... Read More »

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