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Chalk Preschool Online – Educational Entertainment for Kids


This is a sponsored post. Things are much different now than when my boys were in preschool. There are so many more tools that help kids learn while also being fun like Chalk Preschool Online. Chalk Preschool Online creates edutainment videos for preschool age kids. Chalk’s curriculum includes hundreds of videos that cover literacy, shapes, math, colors, and science. They were developed by entertainment industry professionals who know how to make fun and engaging ... Read More »

6 Ways to Parent Volunteer When You Don’t Have Much Time

back to school kindergarten yvonne condes mom blogger los angeles

I was a public school teacher for twelve years. When I taught kindergarten, parent volunteers were more numerous than in the years I taught fourth and fifth-graders. Additionally, I see the level of parent volunteerism differs from school-to-school. It is much higher at my son’s elementary school than it was at the school where I taught. Yet, I’m here to tell you parent volunteers are necessary. We are now into ... Read More »

Highland Hall Waldorf School – Academics and the Arts


This is a sponsored post Can you imagine a school where your child is taught two languages? Or spends two years in elementary school learning to play the cello and another two learning the clarinet? That’s the Highland Hall Waldorf School difference (grades Nursery – 12). Highland Hall was the first Waldorf School in the Western United States and will celebrate its 60th Anniversary next year. At the cornerstone of ... Read More »

Making a Rainbow: Each Hand Counts


I taught kindergarten for five years before being moved to fourth grade. It was quite a jump for me, requiring me to adapt my classroom management techniques, my lessons, and my library corner to accommodate the “big kids.” But, it was hard to leave all my kindergarten lessons behind, namely, the fun, art projects. It was my experience, that as our children get older their school days involve a lot ... Read More »

7 Reasons to Visit Public Libraries


Our kids are growing up with fewer bookstores. Within five miles of my childhood home, I can remember a B. Dalton at the Original Farmers Market, a Brentano’s in the Beverly Center, a Borders on La Cienega, and a Book Star in the Beverly Connection. Now, there’s only the Barnes and Noble in the Grove. (And those are just the big-name book stores.  Independents are struggling even more). Thankfully, hope ... Read More »

Holiday Gift Ideas for Teachers


It’s holiday time which leads to two questions:  Do I have to get my child’s teacher(s) a gift?  And, What do I get him/her? Okay, first question. No, you don’t have to purchase a gift for your child’s teacher. After a twelve-year teaching career, I can tell you that never did I receive a gift from every child in my class. And that’s okay. However, a gift does show your ... Read More »

Give The Teacher What She Wants

Photo by jarmoluk

Recently, my son’s elementary school principal shared with the parents in the audience her mantra when she was a parent of a school-age child. “Find out what your child’s teacher wants and give it to her.” Amen! And no, she was not talking about holiday gifts (we’ll be talking about that next week). As a parent, who was also a public school teacher for twelve years, I can undoubtedly say ... Read More »

For a Mixed-Race Family, It Isn’t Easy to Choose One Heritage

heritage quilt (photo by Wendy Kennar)

When my first grade son came home with a heritage project, I knew we were in trouble.  The assignment itself seemed straightforward and completely do-able for a 6 year old:  complete a paper quilt square by showing four different visual representations for your heritage.  Examples included pictures of a country’s flag, traditional dress, food, and games.  For the four pictures my son would need, he could use family photographs, images from ... Read More »

Should School Pictures Be Retouched?

picture perfect book (photo by Wendy Kennar)

You can usually tell when it’s Picture Day at your child’s school.  Young boys come to class dressed in shirts and ties when ordinarily they’re wearing shorts and t-shirts.  Teachers have ditched their jeans and sneakers and put on slacks and dress shoes. Of course not all young boys or teachers regard “Picture Day” as “Dress-Up Day.”   I never did — then, as a teacher or now, as a ... Read More »

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 »