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  Santa Cruz Parent Santa Cruz, CA

January 15, 2014
Reading Great Books Is Good for Us
Independent School Fair - It's tonight!
What's Up Little Tyke?

Christine : Reading Changes Your Brain

Suki: Neither Good Nor Bad, but Different
This Week
Science Sunday: Remember the Titans
Click to view our Business Directory
  Reading Great Books Is Good for Us

(Photos General) Books_greatbooks.jpgOf course you're reading to the youngest children.  Are you reading with your children as they become independent readers or have the demands of your life left you without reading time?  Are you possibly a little bored because your own intellectual stimulation has stalled? 

David Clemens, founder and coordinator of the Monterey Peninsula College's Great Books Program, offers us an online class that can bring you out of the doldrums: "Learn about great books/core curriculum education, what makes a great book great, how to read a great book, and more."

He recently sent us a generous special offer for his class:

"Just an update.  I have created a MOOC version of my MPC class Introduction to Great Books.  There are eight recorded lectures and several suggested supplementary readings and viewings.  There are no assignments, no tests, and no college credit, just lots of good information.  The course is located at www.udemy.com under "humanities." It costs $15 but I arranged it so that folks from the Santa Cruz homeschooling community can register for free by using coupon code "greatbookssc".  There are 20 coupons, but I can make more if there is more interest.

Humanities Classes https://www.udemy.com/courses/Humanities/?view=grid

Great Books https://www.udemy.com/introduction-to-great-books/

Try a great book, one you missed along the way to parenting!  Just think, if YOU know what constitutes a great book, how helpful you can be in guiding your children to be critical readers.  Tie this in with Christine's science of reading.  Reading is good for us!

Enjoy! Parmalee

  Independent School Fair - It's tonight!

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  What's Up Little Tyke?

(Photos General) TouchBlueSky.jpgBaby Talk Before Baby Talks
Excerpt with permission from Parenting on the Peninsula and author, Evelyn Preston


Every parent's been there, those fraught moments when their cuddly, cooing, oh-so-cute baby suddenly turns into a cranky, frustrated infant or toddler, spitting food, constantly crying, or even throwing tantrums. When it's a toss-up over who's more frantic and confused, baby or mommy, and it's definitely not colic, a bump or a burp, there's an ingenious way to ask baby "What's up?" The little tyke may not yet have any words but definitely demands to be heard.

To bridge this super charged communication gap, Touch Blue Sky's Baby Sign Language dedicated instructors teach new parents how "to talk" with their young offspring via American Sign Language. The amazing results calm everyone, get baby's message across and offer brain enhancing benefits: accelerated language ability, reduced aggressive behavior and positive interaction plus the bonus of a stronger bond between baby and parent.

The fun-filled classes with songs and interactive activities teach classic American Sign Language to parents (babies welcome), who then weave it into their infants' everyday routines. Tricky to learn from a book, however an experienced "personal trainer" can fuse the nuance of signs, sounds and gestures that will work-and stick.

Parents begin Touch Blue Sky programs just as children's long-term memory and motor skills kick in at about 6-8 months old. At 8-10 months, as kids start mimicking adults and gesturing their wants, simple signing provides a jump-start for the verbal skills ahead. The 90 minute Introductory Workshop presents the basics and benefits of signing (with a proof-positive video of adorable babies signing), prior to the follow-up six weeks of themed, one hour courses designed to help absorb about 100+ signs (for foods, colors, clothes, animals, playtime, etc.), that cement the magic.

According to Teacher Bill, even the youngest babies want to be connected to the world around them and can be clever and resourceful while learning how. Infants will emphatically indicate, "all done" after meals and baths or begin moving their hand to their mouth when they're hungry. Emotions shine via smiles and hugs to the unmistakably signal "I love you."

With mom, dad and grandparents consistently reinforcing with words, expressions and body language, signing kindles indelible associations in the fast forming infant brain. "It's like riding that proverbial bicycle," explains Bill, "once learned, not easily forgotten." Early communication in languages, whether signing, Chinese, English or all together, becomes natural, interchangeable, useful and fun. Babies just do it and quickly catch on!

As children mature, the pleasure of being understood enhances self-esteem that in turn, encourages confidence toward increased communication which leads to more effective signing...a lasting circle of learning that spirals on to pre-school and beyond.

Touch Blue Sky's instructors are lauded and loved for their special expertise and super enthusiasm. As a speaker, Mommy's Coach and class participant, Carrie Vawter-Yousfi, says, "I especially appreciated Bill's teaching by example, his wonderful stories of how signing with his own two young sons made their family life so much easier. I learned to start early, the sooner the better." Liza Baskind, mother of three, dispels the mistaken notion that signing will limit speaking. "On the contrary," she says; "especially for so many children with delayed speech ability, signing will coax out more words, another factor in reducing frustration for parent and child."

With the increasing popularity and positive results of Touch Blue Sky classes, parents who consider saving for a far off college future can make a nominal investment of time and money for their babies today that pays huge dividends in just a few months. It's proven that children who communicate early via signing are verbally ahead a year or more by age three. Along with Thoreau's premise that "language is the basis of all knowledge," Teacher Bill reminds parents that "You can never redo those most important first two years of life!"

Sign Up for Signing.  For more information on Baby Sign Language classes please visit TouchBlueSky.com

 

 

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  Christine : Reading Changes Your Brain

File:Editions of Frankenstein.jpgI love to read. I always have something to read - wherever I go.  One time I took my little guy to a play date - he was about 4. We were in a classroom. He looked at me, and then headed over to a bookcase. He carefully picked out something colorful and brought it to me. I asked if he wanted me to read it to him, and he said, "Mommy, this is for you. You didn't have a book." He then ran off. It is that common for me to have something to read in my hand.

Now new research shows that reading has an immediate effect on the brain. Lots of past work has shown improvements in school grades and test scores for readers. This study had students read a novel (Pompeii) and their brains were scanned the next day - after they completed the book. Brain changes carried over.

More connectivity was seen in two regions. One region makes sense - the left temporal cortex which is related to language. However the second region was the central sulcus. This is the primary sensory motor region of the brain. This part of the brain makes representations of sensation - like thinking about cold can make you shiver. Seems a little odd after reading a book. The researchers theorize that our brain tries to put us into the book.

Here is yet another study that says to read. By yourself, with others, with your kids (if you have any) and with other kids. Just read.

http://esciencecommons.blogspot.com/2013/12/a-novel-look-at-how-stories-may-change.html
http://online.liebertpub.com/doi/abs/10.1089/brain.2013.0166

Christine is a local mom and scientist.  You can read more of Christine's science explanations here!

 

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  Suki: Neither Good Nor Bad, but Different

(Photos General) SukiWessling2013.jpgRecently I spoke about blogging at my son's journalism class, and we talked about a lot of aspects of how journalists' lives have changed due to the Internet. I talked about how my blogging is probably the equivalent of the "zines that used to pass between people who shared similar interest. When I was in my 20′s, for example, I read zines about music. They were little photocopied pamphlets that a person would make and sell to others with similar interests. The likelihood that a zine would reach even 1000 people was very small-back then, it was so hard to find people with similar interests because you were confined to the physical world.

These days, every blog is like a zine but with some obvious differences: for one, it's free, and more importantly, you can reach so many more people. Blogs range from those with no readers (save the writer) to those with millions of readers. The effort that the bloggers put forth ranges from occasional musings to the equivalent of a full-time job. And the rewards of a blog range from a charming pastime to, in a few cases, a decent income.

What blogs don't have, what has largely been dumped from the process altogether, are editors. Blogs are a journalistic free-for-all.... Continue >>>

Suki Wessling writes about parenting, education, gifted children, and homeschooling. If you'd like to learn more about this Suki, please click on "About Suki".

  This Week

(BUILT IN) (Icons/Graphics) Text_Calendar.jpg(Ads) SantaCruzParentFacebook.jpgBelow is only a partial list of upcoming events and activities so be sure to click on our EVENT CALENDAR so you do not miss anything >>

Use the PARENT PLANNER to click on events and resources you are interested in and click PRINT MY PLANNER to print or email your list.

 

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School Corner

Meet representatives of 24 Independent Schools Serving Students in Santa Cruz County.

Independent School Fair, 1/15

 

 

Chartwell School K-12, Dyslexia Workshop 1/15

 

 

Gateway School K-8, Middle School Information Night 1/16



Kirby School 6-12, Open House 1/16

 

 

Santa Catalina Pre-12, Day of the Arts 1/19

 

 

Orchard School K-6, Open House 1/21

 

 

SCPENS Preschool, Open House 1/21



Spring Hill K-6, Open House 1/22



Coastal Community Preschool, Kindergarten Readiness and Info Meeting 1/28

(Ads 2014) TouchBlueSky_BabyinBlue.jpg

(Ads 2014) MontereyWhaleFest.jpg

(Ads Preschool) RoseBlossomSchool_180x150.jpg

(Ads 2014) SuperMoonsJan2014.jpg

(Ads 2014) SantaCatalina_ArtsJan19.jpg

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 Science Sunday: Remember the Titans

Science Sunday
January 19, 2014, 1 PM

Remember the Titans: Communication and Social Learning Among Northern Elephant Seals 
Caroline Casey, Field Research Coordinator
Pinniped Cognition & Sensory Systems Laboratory
Long Marine Lab, UC Santa Cruz

Male northern elephant seals are known for their massive size (weighing upwards of 4,500 lbs) and epic battles on the beach. While males do sometimes fight for access to females, the costs of doing so are extremely high. As a result, male elephant seals establish ordered social networks during the breeding season that limit energy expenditure associated with male-male competition. This social network is supported by a practical system of communication that allows males to identify and remember one another, and to respond appropriately to others without the need for physical confrontation.

Northern Elephant SealsAmong marine mammals, elephant seals may be the most accessible for study due to their predictable annual cycles and tolerance of human observers. For these and other reasons, elephant seals can be studied as a model system to improve our understanding of animal communication. This lecture will highlight discoveries made about elephant seals by researchers at the University of California, Santa Cruz. Their work is aimed at deciphering social behavior and communicative signals using a combination of methods including long-term tracking of individuals, assessment of competitive behavior, acoustic recording, and field experiments. Please join us to learn more about these coastal giants!


Location: Seymour Marine Discovery Center, 100 Shaffer Road, Santa Cruz Map
Phone: (831) 459-3800 •website Santa Cruz West Side

Santa Cruz Chocolate Festival
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  Santa Cruz Chocolate Festival
UCSC Women's Club
Date: 01/17/2016 from 1:00pm to 4:00pm
Ages: All ages
Details: Chocolate vendors are preparing to nourish your souls and treat your taste buds with their culinary delights.
Special Instructions: 6 tastings for $15
City: Santa Cruz Phone: (831) 426-0626 view all details >>
     
 Reading is Good For Us
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  Reading is Good For Us
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 Reading is Good For Us
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 Reading is Good For Us
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YogaKids class (ages 3-5)
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  YogaKids class (ages 3-5)
Luma Yoga and Family Center
Date: Every Tues from 12:30pm to 1:20pm
Ages: Suggested age range: 3-5 years
Details: Come play, stretch + explore!
City: Santa Cruz Phone: (831) 325-2620 view all details >>
     
 Reading is Good For Us
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  Reading is Good For Us
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 Reading is Good For Us
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Mission Cooking Demonstration
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  Mission Cooking Demonstration
State Park Mission
Date: 04/15/2017 from 1:00pm to 2:00pm
Details: Presentation of Ohlone and Spanish cuisine including hot rock cooking, tortilla frying on a Comal and baking in our Horno
Special Instructions: at the end of School Street off the Santa Cruz Mission Plaza
City: Santa Cruz Phone: (831) 425-5849 view all details >>
     
     
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