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  Santa Cruz Parent Santa Cruz, CA

June 19, 2014
Prescription for a Great Summer

Suki: My Essential Children's Library

An Enchanting Book List

Christine: Art Exercises the Brain

This Week
Annual Passes Now Available at Park Store Online!
Click to view our Business Directory
  Prescription for a Great Summer

(Photos General) Seymour_boyinWheelchair.jpgJust for July and August, our very own Seymour Center Marine Discovery Center is open 7 days a week.  This is a great place to take guests!

Prescription for a great summer: Down Time/Free Play, Reading, Summer Camp, Chores, Rest, Delicious Food, Daydream, Family Vacation, Music, Draw, Paint, Dance, Sports, Beach & Ocean Play, Swim Lessons, Mountain & Redwood Hikes, plus: Think! Create!

Here's a June Camp Guide with LOTS of new information and new camps!

Suki's begins the summer cleaning out "stuff".  In case you are too, two nonprofit organizations that serve families, Learn to Discover and Discovery Learning, have recently posted their wish lists here.

Sunday David Marin, aka Mr.Mom, is interviewing Pamela Cayton on Teaching Compassion.   The world needs more (Ads 2014) Seahorse_LargestSwimLesson1.jpgcompassion.  We all need more compassion. It's hard work to be a compassionate person all the time, unless....

Are you participating in the World's Largest Swim Lesson?  It's on Friday, 8-8:30am and you need to register ahead of time! Call or show up at 7:30am.  "Tens of thousands of participants from hundreds of locations around the globe, are teaming up to help prevent childhood drowning by spreading the word Swimming Lessons Save LivesTM at this kickoff to the first day of summer."

Have a great summer! Parmalee

 

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  Suki: My Essential Children's Library

(Photos General) SukiWessling2013.jpgSchool is out this week, and I am thinking toward next week: annual spring cleaning. Our spring cleaning usually happens in the summer and is largely a culling of clothing the kids have outgrown, homeschooling materials we don't need and will pass on to others, and books.

Yes, my family is part of the rare set of humans who have: a) remodeled their whole upstairs after discussing the need for more bookshelves, and b) bought a house in large part because of the copious bookshelf space in the kitchen.

Despite our feeling that you can never have too many books, when you have kids who love to read, you can have too many books. Books they hated and will never read again, books they bought at their school book fair (hosted by a not-to-be-mentioned publisher of generally cheap and disposable literature), books someone gave them that they will never be interested in.

But there are some books that will stay on our shelves no matter what. I decided to write up a list of these books, the ones I brought with me from childhood as well as the ones we've discovered since. My personal list of desert island children's literature, so to speak.

Personally, I love the old Alice woodcuts and wouldn't buy a book with modern illustrations!

Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll

I will admit, this book will always come first for me. I read this book over and over as a child and as a teen. There is nothing else like it in terms of the effect the tale had on our culture, the inventiveness of the language, and the incredible imagination married with observations of the real world.

Harry Potter by J.K.Rowling

This list was inspired a few minutes ago by my standing in front of my son's bookshelves, musing about how worn out his copies are. He and his sister have read these books to shreds. And the most wonderful thing about these books is that they squeaked in right before the age of i-devices changed children forever. They are perhaps our last, innocent look at childhood before the iPad, the child without Google, the child who has to invent his own games and solve his own problems.

The New Way Things Work by David MacAulay

I wasn't familiar with MacAulay before a friend bought the original version of this book for my son. This is the book that answers questions about the stuff we use every day in depth and with humor. Really, you could buy any of MacAulay's books-his books Castle, City, Cathedral, The Way We Workand many others do the same for more specific subjects. When I was a child we had the Time/Life series of books about the world, and this is like a modern take on those (which don't make my list because, alas, our kids do have Google and Time/Life seems so quaint now).

The collected works of Dr. Seuss

Go ahead, splurge and get them all. Dr. Seuss was born when Theodor Geisel was issued the challenge of writing a children's book with only the most common 50 words that a first-grader can read. He wrote The Cat in the Hat. Most of us would have written Dick and Jane Do Something Really Boring! Seuss's books are so amazing because with so little he creates drama, tension, and irony, something often lacking in children's early readers. Throw away the Bob books-read Seuss over and over!

The lines between good and bad, dark and light, friend and wild beast are all blurred in Sendak's work.

Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak

Like Seuss, Sendak never worried about corrupting young minds-he knew that young minds love the dark and mysterious parts of life. Like Seuss and MacAulay, the illustrations are also a huge part of the story. Can you imagine someone issuing Where the Wild Things Are with new illustrations? How could any artist improve on Sendak's dark and silly, scary and cute world?

Books about my part of the world

This, of course, would change with each reader's location. I think having books set in and about the environment your children are growing up in is a wonderful part of the reading life. When I was a child, I don't remember a single book covering anything remotely like the place I grew up in. But since I have been raising my children on California's Central Coast, we have collected both fiction and nonfiction about our area. If you're a local here, check out my book list of children's books set in our area. We also have multiple books on redwood forests, a local mushroom guide, several books about the ecology of our seashore, and Tom Killion's wonderful woodcuts.

The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S.Lewis

I found it fascinating to reread these books as an adult once my kids were ready for them. I had such intense, vivid recollections from the books and had read them multiple times as a child. As adults, both my husband and I found them disappointing, hardly the brilliant tales we remembered. But our children adored them. Just like me, my daughter went through a period where she read and reread them. I guess just as the children can't go to Narnia once they were grown up, my grown-up self just can't access the magic anymore. But they clearly still speak to kids.

Little House on the Prairie and sequels by Laura Ingalls Wilder

My adult enjoyment of these books is tempered by what I have read about Wilder and her manipulative daughter. But ignore all that-the Little House series, with all of its distortions and rose-colored glasses, is a deeply important part of American culture. I think all children should read these books, but somehow they seem to be most important to girls of a certain age. I was sure, when I was a girl, that I'd been born into the wrong time. I longed to get up with Laura on icy mornings, stoking up the fire and trudging to the well. Laura has been a trusted friend to American children for so many generations because her stories are so appealing, and so much a part of the history of this country.

My First series by DK

Encyclopedias for the toddler set-these books are wonderful to look at with small children. They are apparently not publishing the one my son loved the most. Simply called My First Word Book, it featured pictures of most of the things that a small child might encounter in daily life, arranged by category. We referred to this book as "the datz book" because whenever he saw something he liked, he would point at it and say "datz!" He did a lot of pointing with these books.

If you'd like to see other book lists I've written, click here!

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

 

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  An Enchanting Book List

(Books/Movies/Products) Book_ThingAboutLuck.jpgThe Thing About Luck by Cynthia Kadohata, Julia Kuo

Cynthia Kadohata won the Newbery several years ago for Kira-Kira and this, too, is a multicultural tale. It's about a young Japanese girl, Summer, and her young brother, Jaz, overcoming the demands of their grandparents with whom they live. A first bit of boy-girl attention further complicates Summer's life.

(Books/Movies/Products) Book_Countingby7s.jpgCounting by 7s  by Holly Goldberg Sloan

Adopted on the 7th day of the 7th month, Willow is obsessed with the number 7. This is a highly original telling of a girl who thinks of herself as a strange outsider beginning to realize her worth. Maria Semple (Where'd You Go, Bernadette) calls it "achingly beautiful ... a celebration of life in all its wondrous, hilarious and confounding glory."  It's currently on the New York Times bestseller list and is a strong contender for the Newbery.

(Books/Movies/Products) Book_BreakingStalinsNose.jpgBreaking Stalin's Nose by Eugene Yelchin

A Newbery Honor Book, this brief telling of two days in a young Russian boy's life in the 1930s illustrates the lessons learned from living and escaping a cruel dictatorship. Based on the author's own experiences. 

(Books/Movies/Products) Book_TheNameofthisBookisSecret.jpgThe Name of this Book Is Secret by Pseudonymous Bosch

Readers must ignore the author's warning, "Do not read beyond this page!"  It's somewhat in the vein of The Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket-funny, smart, fast-moving. Currently there are six in the series.

(Books/Movies/Products) Book_TheMysteriousBenedictSociety.jpgThe Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart, Carson Ellis

Four gifted children pass the required tests (and the reader can take them, too) to go on a secret mission that only the most resourceful children can complete. This series is so well done that older readers enjoy the puzzles. Currently there are five books in the series.

(Books/Movies/Products) Book_TheDaytheCrayonsQuit.jpgThe Day the Crayons Quit by Drew Daywalt, Oliver Jeffers

This is one of the funniest picture books to come along in a long time. Just open to any page and read what that crayon's beef is. You'll love it.

(Books/Movies/Products) Book_Moo.jpgMoo by Matthew Van Fleet, Brian Stanton

Matthew Van Fleet's books are interactive and go beyond the average board book. They are all concept books with tactile features, so kids are learning while being entertained.

 

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  Christine: Art Exercises the Brain

(Graphics) ArtExercizestheBrain_Gregsouza-owl.jpgThere are many companies that sell computer programs and other materials that claim to exercise the brain and keep it sharp. Now a new study seems to indicate that viewing artwork seems to exercise most areas of the brain.

A meta analysis that covered fifteen studies looked at how art affected the brain. A meta analysis is an analysis that looks at multiple studies of something similar and compares results. One benefit is that there are many more people studied when you add them up. If the studies show opposite results, there is no clear-cut answer in this area. If all or most of the results show a particular answer, there seems to be a consensus toward one answer. The opposing results may show areas where other components of the study caused different results. Errors may also have been made. A meta analysis is a good way to look across one particular area.

These studies all involved putting people inside a functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) machine and showing them artwork. The fMRI machine showed which parts of their read the rest>>>

Owl by Christine's son Gregory, Age 7

Christine is a local mom and scientist. She likes making challenging science accessible to us non-scientists.  Visit her blog at Science Fun.

 

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  This Week

(BUILT IN) (Icons/Graphics) Text_Calendar.jpg(Ads Camp 2014) SCPBiggestCampGuide.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.

 

Camp Calendar A- Z Summer Camps Camp Guide

 

(Photos General) SchoolYard_WinslowHomer.jpgSchool Corner

 

Professional Development for
Teachers and Parents
at

MakersFactory

 

MakersFactory will teach you some new tricks for your classroom. 3D Printing? Minecraft? Computer Programming? We can train you on how to integrate these tools and programs (and more!) into your curriculum, making teaching more engaging, collaborative, and hands-on. Pick one subject or learn them all regardless of your technological savvy.


WORKSHOP TOPICS:
• 3D Modeling and Printing
• Laser Cutting
• Computer Programming
• Game Design
• Animation
• Game Based Learning

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 Annual Passes Now Available at Park Store Online!

Annual park passes are now available in our ParkStore Online! By purchasing your annual passes through us, a substantial part of the proceeds stay local to support our Santa Cruz County State Parks and Beaches.

There are two passes available via our website: The Surf Explorer Vehicle Day Use Annual Pass provides access to most California State Parks, State Recreation Areas and State Beaches that collect a vehicle day use fee. The Surf Explorer Vehicle Day Use Annual Pass is valid for 12 months from the month purchased.

The new 150 Year Commemorative Vehicle Day Use Annual Pass is a great value for frequent visitors of many of the premiere destination parks. The 150th Commemorative Annual Vehicle Day Use Annual Pass is valid for 12 months from the month purchased.

As a special celebration of the 150th Anniversary, purchasers of the 150th Commemorative Vehicle Day Use Annual Pass will also receive a Historian Passport Annual Pass. 

Purchasing your pass through our website benefits Friends of Santa Cruz State Parks!

Click here to order your pass in time for Summer!

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Bonny Doon Craft Fair
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  Bonny Doon Craft Fair
Bonny Doon Church
Date: 11/11/2017 from 1:00pm to 6:00pm
Details: FREE Fun for the Entire Family!! Chile tsting, bake sale and crafts for sale...
City: Bonny Doon view all details >>
     
Rock of Ages Chanukah Concert
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  Rock of Ages Chanukah Concert
Temple Beth El
Date: 12/11/2015 at 6:30pm
Details: Join Temple Beth El at their Rock of Ages Chanukah Concert and Community-wide Candle Lighting Celebration with the Rock Shabbat
City: Aptos Phone: (831) 479-3444 view all details >>
     
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Movies at the Mission Adobe
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Friends of Santa Cruz State Parks
Date: 06/21/2014 from 8:00pm to 10:00pm
Details: Free showing Pirates of the Caribbean
City: Santa Cruz Phone: (831) 429-1840 view all details >>
     
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UC Master Gardeners' Home Garden..
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  UC Master Gardeners' Home Garden..
Cabrillo College
Date: 06/21/2014 from 8:00am to 4:00pm
Details: Classes on irrigation, soils, Integrated Pest Management, propagation, pruning, composting
City: Aptos view all details >>
     
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