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  Santa Cruz Parent Santa Cruz County

August 16, 2018
First Day of School Inspires Eloquence
Show off your best at the Santa Cruz County Fair!

BirdSleuth Explorer's Guidebook

Suki: On the Other Side of Free Range

Fun Events!
Click to view our Business Directory
  First Day of School Inspires Eloquence

(0 A Aug 2018) MiddleSchool_J.jpg"It was awesome! Teachers are great! Some are tough and I like that, but they are still kind and caring. I met new people and everyone was engaging, focused, and the entire school energy was great! I felt like I could be MYSELF! I'm so happy and excited!"*

When your child comes home from the first day of school at middle school with a glowing report, your heart swells with a mixture of gratitude and joy... and just a little bit of reality, for we parents know life includes challenges and it won't always be smooth sailing.

"It will be hard, some of the hardest times of your life are coming now" we told him "But your family is here, here to guide you, support you, and help give you the tools you need to succeed and grow. Honor this time, be honest, open and share with us."*

No matter what your schooling choice --public, private, charter, home schooling-- I hope for an eloquent experience for you and your children this learning season.

Enjoy the weekend with the family! Parmalee

*Quotes from a Santa Cruz family.

  Show off your best at the Santa Cruz County Fair!

(0 A Aug 2018) SCCountyFair_BountyoftheCounty_250.jpgAll Ages are welcome to enter a contest!

Imagine the joy of creating, entering a contest and winning a ribbon!

Of course it's the experience that counts.

County fairs are wonderful, eclectic displays of the many facets of community life and a great way to expand children's horizons.

General Info       ~       Advance Tickets

Youth Collections and Hobbies FFA
Fine Arts Floriculture Lego
Home Arts Homebrew Photography
Livestock Poultry Technology
Poetry Handspun & Handwoven Ag Hort
Apple Pie Baking
Diaper Derby Toddler  Amateur Winemaking

 

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  BirdSleuth Explorer's Guidebook

BirdSleuth Explorer's Guidebook

Explorer Guidebook Cover

BirdSleuth wants to help you get kids outside and enjoying their
local parks and natural areas. Take kids on a habitat scavenger hunt, create a sound map, and test bird ID skills with this adaptable activity book designed to be used by families, school groups, and anyone looking for a fun way to connect to nature. Inspired by the federal Every Kid in a Park initiative and geared towards fourth graders, this step-by-step guide will help you explore our country's diverse habitats and the birds that live there.

Turn your park visit into an adventure with the BirdSleuth Explorer's Guidebook!

Thanks to a generous supporter, this wonderful booklet is available as a free download in both English and Spanish! Just click the download button and click on the picture of the English or Spanish version to download your preferred version.

 

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  Suki: On the Other Side of Free Range

On the other side of the free range

The last time I wrote about helicopter parenting was 2009. At that point, my kids were 10 and 6, a prime age when our culture is telling us to fear "stranger danger" and other harm that could come to our kids if we allow them the simple freedoms kids used to have.

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Click on this handy chart from the CDC to find out the risks to your child's life. Please notice that "stranger danger" doesn't make the grade, as far as the CDC is concerned, of things you should worry about.

And I thought it was bad in those good ol' days.

The New York Times reports that mothers (though, perhaps predictably, not fathers) are being charged with crimes and referred to Child Protective Services for leaving their children in perfectly safe situations that others deem "unsafe."

Remember:

All research on childhood independence shows that hovering over children and never allowing them time to be alone is bad for them.

All research on childhood safety shows that "stranger danger" is so far down the list of risks for children (and so unpredictable) that acting to prevent it doesn't actually prevent it.

Our free-range days

My kids are now 19 and almost 16. I allowed them a "free range childhood." Amongst the "horrible" things I allowed:

  • walking to friends' houses alone on our street
  • walking in the state park near our home alone
  • playing with friends on the street or in the park
  • riding the bus alone or in pairs
  • going into stores alone
  • waiting for me in the public library

 

My children loved to go on walks on our street. Shockingly, I allowed them to do it....though I did wish they would wear shoes!

Amongst the horrible things that have happened to them:

  • figuring out how to negotiate with typical adults
  • figuring out what to do when they missed a bus
  • learning to interact with other children naturally
  • learning how to manage money
  • and yes, making sure to keep their bodies and emotions safe from predatory humans

I realize that something truly horrible could have happened to them. But something truly horrible is so unusual and so random, it just as likely could have happened when they were with me.

The guilt monster

But I will admit, as the moms in the Times article explain, that guilt was a constant presence in my subconscious and conscious mind when they were out. I remember one time standing at the kitchen sink watching my younger child go out our front gate, having declared that they were going for a walk. I imagined the headlines: "Local parenting writer's child abducted while walking alone."

Bad Mommy!

(0 A Aug 2018) Suki2018.jpgFor those of you with younger children now, the only advice is to keep these basic facts in mind. And if anyone questions you, please feel free to quote me:

  1. Choose your partner well, and the danger of physical violence against your child by an adult will be negligible
  2. Instead of worrying about stranger danger, get your baby vaccinated for diseases which they are more likely to die of
  3. Feed your child healthy food, including dairy without hormones, vegetables without excessive pesticides, and meat without unnecessary antibiotics
  4. Buy a safe car, and drive safely, and don't look at your phone while driving
  5. Teach them safety skills, then...
  6. Set them free.

I can't tell you how to avoid the guilt. That is a battle each one of us has to wage on her own.

Suki Wessling writes fiction and nonfiction about reading, writing, parenting, education, and homeschooling.

 

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  Fun Events!
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AUGUST

CALENDAR

 

SUMMER BEACH READING

Enjoy mysteries that take place in Santa Cruz!

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Author Leslie Karst enjoys cooking. Look for a few good recipes in each book!

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If you're passionate about supporting local family farms, sustainable agriculture and building a healthy regional food system, then please consider volunteering at this year's Open Farm Tours.

Sign up!

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Thanks SPCA

Nature Craft Workshop: Plant Based Salves
click to view website
  Nature Craft Workshop: Plant Based Salves
Arboretum
Date: 08/19/2018 from 10:00am to 1:00pm
Ages: Ages 12 and up
Details: Gain hands-on experience with seed saving, learn strategies for habitat restoration, and explore the life cycle of select native
Special Instructions: Class limited to 15
City: Santa Cruz view all details >>
     
Scotts Valley Art, Wine & BeerFestival
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  Scotts Valley Art, Wine & BeerFestival
Chamber of Commerce Scotts Valley
Date: Every day (Aug 18-Aug 19) from 10:00am to 6:00pm
Details: Come enjoy fine art, wine & beer tasting, great food, and live entertainment in an open park setting
City: Scotts Valley view all details >>
     
Aloha Outrigger Races and Polynesian Festival
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  Aloha Outrigger Races and Polynesian Festival
City of Santa Cruz
Date: 08/19/2018 from 8:00am to 5:00pm
Details: Discover the excitement of outrigger canoe racing, taste of the tropics- fresh flower leis, Hawaiian shaved ice, Maori face pain
City: Santa Cruz Phone: 831-420-5273 view all details >>
     
Book Sale at Aptos Library
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  Book Sale at Aptos Library
Library Aptos
Date: The 3rd Sa of every month from 11:00am to 3:00pm
Ages: 6yrs & up
Details: Support your libraries by coming to the Aptos Book Sale and finding new life-changing books
Special Instructions: January-July and September-October
City: Aptos Phone: (831)427-7717 view all details >>
     
LitWits Poetry Writing Camp
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  LitWits Poetry Writing Camp
LitWits Workshops
Date: Every weekday (Aug 20-Aug 24) from 9:00am to 12:00pm
Ages: 8+
Details: NEW! Because poetry is important.
Special Instructions: Sibling discount $20 each
City: Santa Cruz view all details >>
     
Pie Contest
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  Pie Contest
Live Oak Grange
Date: 09/16/2018 from 11:00am to 3:00pm
Details: Come on down to the Live Oak Grange to eat delicious pie, play pie games and help raise funds for our Grange Hall Renovation!
Special Instructions: Pie eaters - 3 slices for $10
City: Santa Cruz view all details >>
     
Craft Sale in the Mountains
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  Craft Sale in the Mountains
Made in the Mountains
Date: The 3rd Sa of every month (Apr 21-Dec 15) from 1:00pm to 5:00pm
Details: Artists line the sidewalks showing of their amazing crafts.
City: Boulder Creek view all details >>
     
Pescadero Arts & Fun Festival
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  Pescadero Arts & Fun Festival
Pescadero Festival
Date: Every day (Aug 18-Aug 19) from 10:00am to 6:00pm
Details: Aquaint gathering of artists and artisans, locals and out-of-towners alike, showcasing their creativity and enjoying a down home
City: Pescadero view all details >>
     
Summer Gathering of Mountain Men
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  Summer Gathering of Mountain Men
Roaring Camp
Date: Every day (Aug 18-Aug 19)
Details: Live history! Visit Roaring Camp's summer gathering of wild and woolly mountain men.
City: Felton Phone: (831)335-4484 view all details >>
     
"It was awesome!"
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  "It was awesome!"
Date:
view all details >>
     
Ssssssnakes Campfire!
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  Ssssssnakes Campfire!
State Park Big Basin
Date: 08/16/2018 at 7:00pm
Ages: All
Details: Why are snakes important to us? How do they see, smell, taste, hear? What and how do they eat? What does a snake feel like?
City: Boulder Creek Phone: (831) 338-8883 view all details >>
     
Gardens of Time
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  Gardens of Time
State Park Mission
Date: 11/17/2018 at 1:00pm
Details: Tour the native plant beds, neophyte kitchen garden, and memories of Victorian Nearyland. Take home history in a seed
City: Santa Cruz Phone: 831-429-1840 x102 view all details >>
     
Scotts Valley Art, Wine & BeerFestival
click to view website
  Scotts Valley Art, Wine & BeerFestival
Chamber of Commerce Scotts Valley
Date: Every day (Aug 18-Aug 19) from 10:00am to 6:00pm
Details: Come enjoy fine art, wine & beer tasting, great food, and live entertainment in an open park setting
City: Scotts Valley view all details >>
     
     
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