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  Santa Cruz Parent Santa Cruz, CA

July 3, 2013
Happy Independence Day
The Declaration of Independence

Christine: 2000 Year Old Concrete Still the Best

Parenting Mission from Lorraine: Interact with your children & ask them the following:
Annie Murphy Paul: A Simple Way to Push Back Against the "Summer Slide"
This Week
Babysitting Basics
Annie Murphy Paul: A Simple Way to Push Back Against the "Summer Slide" continued...
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  Happy Independence Day

(Photos General) MusicTogether_4thGirlwithFlag.jpgHappy Independence Day! The key word is independent [good for our well-being]. The opposite of independent is dependent [not so good for our long term well-being].

237 years ago our struggling young nation decided that independence was a better form of government than dependence. Leaders passionate about freedom wrote the Declaration of Independence and 56 representatives from 13 states signed it July 4, 1776.

For the first time in the history of nations "we the people" took control of government and declared ourselves in charge "...We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed..." 

Today we are a large and powerful nation and still we struggle with issues of independence and dependence, with freedom, restraint and balance of power. 

Ask the children what they understand about the importance of Independence Day. If their answers are vague, or if they think it's only about parades, picnics and firecrackers, consider introducing a family history lesson and ceremony on July 4th.  You can arm yourselves with interesting information here.

(Photos General) MusicTogether_4thParade.jpgLizz from Music Together recommends these patriotic songs for Independence Day: God Bless America, This Land is Your Land, America the Beautiful, You're a Grand Old Flag, Yankee Doodle Dandy, and the National Anthem!  Here are the words --and here is Lizz's favorite version of Yankee Doodle Dandy.  Listen to George M's Yankee Doodle Dandy.

Will one of your children love history and science so much that they grow up to become an archeologist?  Read about archeology, science and modern cement making in Christine's column.

Annie Murphy's research suggests that if your children read all summer long they will not lose academic ground, but math may lag.  What will you do with this knowledge?

Enjoy the 4th, Parmalee

Pictured: Students of Music Together at the Shortest Parade in Aptos

A-Z Camps Camp Calendar 2013 Camp Guide
  The Declaration of Independence

(Holidays) FreedomFest_PatrioticSing_Children.jpgThe Declaration of Independence: A Transcription

IN CONGRESS, July 4, 1776.

The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America,

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed.

Read the entire transcript of this amazing document>>>>

 
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BRING HOME THE WORLD
Make life-long friendships with families from Italy, France or Germany!

HOST FAMILIES URGENTLY NEEDED for HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS

International Student Services Santa Cruz
Call Sandi 335-3088  or  Jessica 462-0650

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  Christine: 2000 Year Old Concrete Still the Best

(Graphics) RomanHarbor_Ostia_tiberRiver.jpgI usually talk about science. Today, I talk engineering.  I am talking about some of the best engineers that ever existed. We like to think of modern-day engineers as the best, but the ancients can still teach us new stuff. Look at the Egyptians, or the Harappan Civilization of India and Pakistan. Many of the techniques were lost to time, and some have been relearned.  Today I am talking about ancient Roman concrete. The Romans made concrete better than any modern engineers, and the recipe disappeared into the Dark Ages. 

(Graphics) RomanHarbor_Carthage.jpgThere are lots of photos showing ancient Roman structures, ranging from buildings to roads to aqueducts. One of the most fascinating structures is the simple harbor breakwater. The Romans built breakwaters in harbors all over the Mediterranean region. These are partially underwater, so they must withstand salt water, storms, currents and occasional ship collisions. Many of these are still in use and don't need replacing after 2000 years. The best effort of current engineering (Portland cement) will maybe live for 50 years before complete replacement. Many times our breakwaters start crumbling after 20 years. What researchers have discovered will probably revolutionize the building materials business.

One thing the Romans did was heat limestone at lower temperatures than we currently use. This will save lots of money and energy and put less pollution into the air. The Romans also added volcanic ash into the mixture for underwater structures. This is very exciting. When this ash mixture was used underwater, seawater would mix in and change the composition. Heat would be generated and would make the concrete much stronger than the original mixture. The methods are less environmentally damaging and create much stronger structures. If they are also cheaper, I suspect there will be a run on the market on volcanic ash. A lot of concrete is used throughout the world.

We like to pride ourselves on our advanced technology. It is kind of wonderful that we can learn something from 2000 year old techniques.

Click here for more science with scientist and mom, Christine Cockey.

 

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  Parenting Mission from Lorraine: Interact with your children & ask them the following:

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1- What do you really want from me as your Mom or Dad?
2- What would you really like to do with me this week?

No matter what your child's age, marvel at their answers! Do your best to set a date and a time to do what your child really wants and then do your best to KEEP IT! Remember, if we want them to keep their promises then we need to keep ours.

Please email me how it goes for you: AskTheParentMentor@gmail.com 
http://www.yourkidslovinglife.com/

  Annie Murphy Paul: A Simple Way to Push Back Against the "Summer Slide"

A Simple Way To Push Back Against The "Summer Slide"

Annie Murphy Paul

They appear every summer as reliably as the stories about shark attacks: a rash of articles raising the alarm about the "summer slide," or the loss of learning that grade-school students experience over the months when classes are out. Concern about this leads many a parent to stock up on workbooks and flashcards, or to enroll their children in educational camps and enrichment programs. But is the summer slide really the seasonal disaster that we've been warned about? A close look at the research reveals a more complicated picture.  Read more below>>>

  This Week

(BUILT IN) (Icons/Graphics) Text_Calendar.jpg(BUILT IN) (Icons/Graphics) Text_Camp_Directory.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.

FAMILY EVENTS Park Activities
VISIT MUSEUMS PARENTING WORKSHOPS

 

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Oh Joy!

Summer Reading

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Art and Garden Classes

for Toddlers and Young Children

Children's Art Studio
and Discovery Garden

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Summer in the Parks

 
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Parents Nights Out!

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Luma Yoga

3rd Fridays

July 19

 

Junebug's Gym

Sat July 13
Friday July 26

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 Babysitting Basics

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 27th Annual 1, 5, 10k Firecracker Run  ALBA SCHOOL 4th Celebration & BBQ
 Wilder Ranch Independence Day  Roaring Camp Sock Hop and 50’s 4th Celebration
 FREE 4th of July COMMUNITY SWIM!  Gilroy Gardens Independence Day   BBQ Buffet
 4th in Monterey  Santa Cruz Beaches July 4th Road Closures
 4TH  Parade & Fireworks Scotts Valley  Boulder Creek Fire Station Pancake Breakfast
 Freedom Fest in Morgan Hill  Spirit of Watsonville Parade
 World’s Shortest July 4 Parade Aptos
 Spreckles
 Cooper Molera Celebration

 Evening Kayaking Tour in Santa Cruz

 Pacific Grove  Carmel-by-the-Sea
 Boulder Creek 4th  Parade  Street Fair on the Bay
 Seaside  Half Moon Bay's Ol' Fashioned 4TH Parade

Happy Independence Day America!
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Holiday Movies
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  Holiday Movies
Beach Boardwalk
Date: Every day (Dec 14-Jan 7)
Details: Free Christmas and Hanukkah movies
City: Santa Cruz Phone: (831) 423-5590 view all details >>
     
Free Movies at the Beach
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  Free Movies at the Beach
Beach Boardwalk
Date: Every Wed (Jun 21-Aug 16) at 9:00pm
Details: Bring the family and your blanket or low back chair and join us for these classic hits!
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Free First Friday at the Santa Cruz Museum of Natural History
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  Free First Friday at the Santa Cruz Museum of Natural History
Santa Cruz Natural History Museum
Date: The 1st Fri of every month from 10:00am to 5:00pm
Ages: All
Details: Come and connect with our local natural history!
City: Santa Cruz Phone: (831) 420-6115 view all details >>
     
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  Annie Murphy Paul: A Simple Way to Push Back Against the "Summer Slide" continued...

For kids from middle and upper-middle income households, for example, the summer slide doesn't exist at all-at least in terms of reading skills. Affluent children actually make slight gains in reading over the summer months, according to an analysis of 13 research studies led by Harris Cooper, professor of education at Duke University. Meanwhile, lower-income kids lose more than two months of reading achievement over the same period. (The math skills of both affluent and less-affluent kids tend to decline over the summer break.)

Even among underprivileged students, however, the summer slide is not universal. A study published last year in the Journal of Education for Students Placed at Risk reported that "not all low-SES [socio-economic status] students experience summer learning loss." The authors, led by Johns Hopkins University sociologist Stephanie Slates, identified a sample of poor children from Baltimore who gained as much as their higher-SES peers in reading or math during at least three of the four summers of elementary school.

What makes these "outliers" different? Their parents, the investigators found, are significantly more likely than other low-income parents to take their children to the library during the summer and to check out books while there. The parents of these "exceptional summer learners" also read to their children for longer periods of time, and are more likely to check their children's homework and have higher expectations for their children's conduct grade during the school year-"types of parental involvement that could well carry over into the summer months," the researchers note.

As simple as it sounds, reading books can reverse the summer slide in literacy skills for even the poorest children. Richard Allington, a professor at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville, and his colleagues found that giving kids twelve books to read over the summer was as effective as summer school in raising the students' reading scores. The increase in test scores was especially pronounced for those who were most economically disadvantaged.

The children in Allington's study were allowed to pick their own books, and while parents may cringe at their selections (most popular: a biography of Britney Spears), the researchers believe that giving students a choice of reading material is a critical part of their intervention: not only are the kids more motivated to read the books, but the words and facts they learn build on knowledge they already possess.

Another study, this one led by James Kim of the Harvard Graduate School of Education, found that regardless of family income, the effect of reading four to five books over the summer was large enough to prevent a decline in reading achievement scores from the spring to the fall. Kim's other finding: children who said they had easy access to books over the summer ended up reading more. So seasonal alarm bells aside, the best way to push back against the summer slide is with your library card.

One Response to "A Simple Way To Push Back Against The "Summer Slide""

  Lewis Hall July 1, 2013 at 4:33 pm

Yes, reading books over the summer is a wonderful way to enhance literacy and build vocabulary skills. No summer slide here. But math is a different story. Teachers spend almost a month at the beginning of the school year reviewing the previous years lessons, simply because over the 2-3 months their students have forgotten much of what they learned. Singapore doesn't have this problem because school continues throughout the year. No wonder that students in Singapore are more advanced when it comes to math.

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