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  Santa Cruz Parent Santa Cruz, CA

October 27, 2016

Music - Good for What Ails Us!

Christine: Teaching Kids to Graph

PDCR: Positive Time Out vs. Punitive Time Outs

9 Skills they Don't Teach in School (but should)
Click to view our Business Directory

(A A Oct 2016) Music-and-Art2.jpgThe articles I'm sharing with you today amaze me, but even more amazing are the articles that their links take you to.  Set aside some time to digest ideas that can affect family lives and directions positively.

Music is tremendously important in our lives,  even therapeutic.  As you read the articles on music, especially Maria Popova's (Brain Pickings) you will probably think of even more ways it helps family life!  How fortunate we are to have many vehicles for exposing our children to music.

Do you think schools should be teaching all the classes mentioned in the article on Life Skills?  I think they would offer a nice balance to the more rigorous academic classes.  I very much enjoyed the home ec sewing and cooking classes I had in 7th grade and to this day find both activities most satisfying.  Back then the boys took shop and we girls took home ec.  Nowadays I expect classes are open to all.  If not available in your child's school, what would you advocate for or what life skills are you teaching your children?

(A A Oct 2016) Seaglass_Rainbow.jpgI like beaches where I am challenged to look down lest I miss the rare piece of seaglass or the most beautiful seashell ever, yet also must look up and ahead less I miss the perfect wave, the setting sun, the sparkles on the water, the children so in the moment, surfers doing amazing conquests of waves.  Coming next weekend is the annual

(A A Oct 2016) Halloween_SpiderGirl.jpgWe've added more Halloween events into the calendar.  If you know of one we missed, please let us know.  Have a fun Halloween! Boo!!

(A Buttons) Button_Weekend.jpgPlease recommend our newsletter to new friends so they won't miss a few tidbits of wisdom from our author contributors, and as always our many fun events! We cannot fit them all into this newsletter.  There are more on the online calendar.

Try on another character and enjoy your weekend with the family! Parmalee


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  Music - Good for What Ails Us!


by AJ Block and guest author Gracy Liura

Doctors Now Prescribing Music Therapy for Heart Ailments, Brain Dysfunction, Learning Disabilities, Depression, PTSD, Alzheimers, Childhood Development and More

(A A Oct 2016) MusicNotesCheerful2.jpgMusic has proven time and again to be an important component of human culture. From its ceremonial origin to modern medical usage for personal motivation, concentration, and shifting mood, music is a powerful balm for the human soul. Though traditional "music therapy" encompasses a specific set of practices, the broader use of music as a therapeutic tool can be seen nowadays as doctors are found recommending music for a wide variety of conditions.

1 Music Helps Control Blood Pressure and Heart-Related Disorders
2 Listening and Playing Music Helps Treat Stress and Depressions, muscle and bone growth, sugar and fat metabolism, and possibly heart function.
3 Music Therapy Helps Treat Alzheimer's Disease
5 Playing Guitar (and Other Instruments) Aids in Treating PTSD
6 Studying Music Boosts Brain Development in Young Children
7 Music Education Helps Children Improve Reading Skills
8 Listening To Music Helps Improve Sleep
9 Playing Didgeridoo Helps Treat Sleep Apnea

 This list is only a small sample of what doctors, therapists and healers are doing with music.

Get the details>>>>

How Playing Music Benefits Your Brain More than Any Other Activity

"Playing music is the brain's equivalent of a full-body workout."

By Maria Popova, Brain Pickings

"Each note rubs the others just right, and the instrument shivers with delight. The feeling is unmistakable, intoxicating," musician Glenn Kurtz wrote in his sublime meditation on the pleasures of practicing, adding: "My attention warms and sharpens... Making music changes my body." Kurtz's experience, it turns out, is more than mere lyricism - music does change the body's most important organ, and changes it more profoundly than any other intellectual, creative, or physical endeavor.

This short animation from TED-Ed, written by Anita Collins and animated by Sharon Colman Graham, explains why playing music benefits the brain more than any other activity, how it impacts executive function and memory, and what it reveals about the role of the same neural structure implicated in explaining Leonardo da Vinci's genius.

Playing music is the brain's equivalent of a full-body workout... Playing an instrument engages practically every area of the brain at once - especially the visual, auditory, and motor cortices. And, as in any other workout, disciplined, structured practice in playing music strengthens those brain functions, allowing us to apply that strength to other activities... Playing music has been found to increase the volume and activity in the brain's corpus callosum - the bridge between the two hemispheres - allowing messages to get across the brain faster and through more diverse routes. This may allow musicians to solve problems more effectively and creatively, in both academic and social settings.

Because making music also involves crafting and understanding its emotional content and message, musicians also have higher levels of executive function - a category of interlinked tasks that includes planning, strategizing, and attention to detail, and requires simultaneous analysis of both cognitive and emotional aspects.

This ability also has an impact on how our memory systems work. And, indeed, musicians exhibit enhanced memory functions - creating, storing, and retrieving memories more quickly and efficiently. Studies have found that musicians appear to use their highly connected brains to give each memory multiple tags, such as a conceptual tag, an emotional tag, an audio tag, and a contextual tag - like a good internet search engine.

Pleasure your brain and your spirit with Kurtz's indispensable Practicing, a taste of which you can devour here, then revisit these essential books on music, emotion, and the brain and legendary cellist Pablo Casals on how playing prolonged his life.


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  Christine: Teaching Kids to Graph

(A A Oct 2016) Graph_Scatter_plot.jpgAt some point your kids will need to know how to graph data. They may need it for a school project or a science project. Not all of us want to teach our children graphing basics. However, there are others who have foreseen this problem. 

There are wonderful websites that go step-by-step through basic graphs and show anyone how to graph data. If you go looking you will find that many are based around science fair projects. The US government also has a basic graphing website that is very nice and informative. They did a good job and kids will enjoy this place.

(A A Oct 2016) Graph_TurkeyConsumption.jpgI personally believe that anyone should be able to graph by hand. I taught my son how to draw a graph from data first, then allowed him to use tools. However if you are not comfortable with teaching graphing, learning the tools and then graphing by hand afterwards will work. The reason that graphing by hand is important is that it gives someone a better feel for the data as well as an extra tool to see errors in the tools.

There will always be errors. 

Never feel that your lack of knowledge can hold any child back. I know zero about art, yet my little guy is an accomplished artist - thanks to others. Lack of knowledge about math doesn't mean your child can't be a prodigy.

Christine Cockey is a local mom and scientist who researches what's happening in the world of science and makes science easier to understand.  Keep up with her latest articles at


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  PDCR: Positive Time Out vs. Punitive Time Outs

(Logos Business) PositiveDiscipline_LogoSquare.jpgPositive Discipline Community Resources offers a variety of parent workshops.  Here's one that may be just the support you are looking for!

Positive Time Out  vs. Punitive Time Outs (Saturday Workshop Series)
Come learn about the most effective way to use Time-Outs, the latest on Brain Research and Anger, and how this information will aid you in being a more effective parent.  Gain tools that help support feelings and hold clear boundaries at the same time.

Saturday, Nov. 5, 10:00am to 12:00pm
Live Oak Community Resources, 1740 17th Avenue
Colleen Murphy, Certified Positive Discipline Trainer, ECE co-op teacher with over 16 years of ECE teaching experience both with children and as a parent educator
$20 per person Register at or call 831-476-7284 x107.  Limited scholarships available, pre-register for childcare $10 per child


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  9 Skills they Don't Teach in School (but should)

by Jenn Savedge

From CPR to car repair, these building blocks create successful adults.

1. First aid. Along with CPR, students should learn other lifesaving skills such as the Heimlich maneuver as well as first aid basics like identifying an allergic reaction, making a splint, preventing infection and bandaging a wound.

(A A Oct 2016) womanwithdrill.jpg2. Home repair. It's amazing how many tasks there are to do around a house or an apartment. While most of us know how to unclog a toilet or hang a picture on the wall, far fewer of us can fix a drippy sink, change an air conditioner filter or hang a (level) set of shelves.

3. Budgeting. Studies show that the vast majority of Americans lack the basic financial skills necessary to make important decisions when it comes to their own wallets. So why aren't these skills emphasized in schools? From the first lessons in addition and subtraction to more complex math lessons in percentages and algebraic equations, wouldn't it be nice if word problems focused on real-life skills such as balancing a checkbook or creating a budget rather than whether or not a train leaving Point A ever meets up with a train from Point B?

4. Car repair. Even if we're not the drivers, most of us spend a good deal of time in cars each week, so it's important to know skills such as how to jump start a dead battery, how to check the air pressure in your tires and how to change a flat. Bonus points for classes that go over "simple" skills that many students are ashamed to admit they're unsure about, like pumping gas and checking the oil level. Kids who learn to swim possess a useful and potentially lifesaving skill that will be with them forever.

5. Swimming. Roughly 4,000 people die every year from accidental drowning. Most of those victims are under the age of 14. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, for every child who dies from drowning, five more are treated in emergency departments for incidents related to drowning. Teaching kids to swim at a young age would go a long way toward minimizing these numbers.

6. Self-defense. When most people think about self-defense classes they think about learning tricks to break boards with their fists or karate chop their opponent in the side. But self-defense is about teaching kids how to protect themselves: how to prevent bullying, how to identify dangers on the street and how to react in an emergency. Self-defense classes help build confidence by teaching kids they have the power to keep themselves safe.

 When kids get involved with food prep, they're more interested in eating what they've made. Teaching them how to cook could lead to better eating habits in the long run.

(A A Oct 2016) home-ec-sewing-class-Elgin-County-archives-600x320.jpg7. Cooking. Cooking can be so intimidating to those who have never tried it. But ramen noodles, PB&J; and pizza delivery can only get you so far in life. A few generations ago, home economics classes that included cooking and sewing were standard in most schools. But the problem was, they were only offered to girls (while boys took classes in shop and woodworking). Let's bring back home ec for all students so kids can learn how to make nutritious, homemade food for themselves.

8. How to file taxes. Taxes are an annoying but unavoidable fact of life. And Uncle Sam doesn't care if you don't know what you're doing, he just wants his forms submitted along with - if applicable - the appropriate payment every year. If you think kids are too young to learn about filing taxes, you haven't met these Georgia high schoolers who not only learn how to submit their own taxes, they also volunteer to prepare income taxes for low-income residents in their community.

9. Coding. While coding classes may have been reserved for computer science geeks in the past, it's becoming more and more important for all students to learn about technology and the different ways they can use it to advance in whatever career they pursue. Britain gets it - in 2013, the U.K. passed a plan to mandate computer programming in primary and secondary schools. But in the U.S., nearly 90 percent of schools offer no computer science classes, according to the George Lucas Educational Foundation.


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Physics & Chemistry Fun with Irvin Santa Cruz Nov 2-Dec 21


Chartwell School 1-12, Open House 11/1


Gateway School K-8, School Day Tours 11/11


Gateway School K-8, Kindergarten Visit Day 11/5

Mount Madonna School PreK-12, Open House 11/19

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Garden Railroad Open
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  Garden Railroad Open
Fern Creek and Western Garden Railroad
Date: 08/13/2017 from 11:00am to 4:00pm
Details: Our little railroad will have lots of trains running and we will be featuring the start of our new logging branch line
City: Santa Cruz Phone: (831)-435-9042 view all details >>
Thomas and Percy's Halloween Party
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  Thomas and Percy's Halloween Party
Roaring Camp Railroad
Date: Every Su and Sa (Oct 8-Oct 30)
City: Felton Phone: (831) 335-4484 view all details >>
Fourth Friday Family Music Jam
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  Fourth Friday Family Music Jam
MusicalMe, Inc
Date: The 4th Fri of every month from 4:30pm to 6:30pm
Ages: birth - preschool with caregiver
Details: Your children want from you, more than anything, to sing & dance & play - with you and their loved ones!
City: Santa Cruz Phone: (831) 438-3514 view all details >>
Woofpack's Halloween Costume Parade
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  Woofpack's Halloween Costume Parade
Date: 10/29/2017 from 5:00pm to 7:00pm
Details: Join the dogs in costume parade with or without your dog!
City: Capitola view all details >>
Fall Harvest Festival
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  Fall Harvest Festival
Live Earth Farm
Date: 10/21/2017 from 10:00am to 3:00pm
Details: Join us for the Farm Discovery's annual Harvest Festival
City: Watsonville Phone: (831) 763-2448 view all details >>
Riverwalk Bird Tour
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  Riverwalk Bird Tour
Coastal Watershed Council
Date: Every day (Sep 1-Oct 31)
Details: An interactive bird walk along the San Lorenzo River
Special Instructions: Begin at River Walk across from Trader Joe's
City: Santa Cruz view all details >>
Santa Cruz Polar Express
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  Santa Cruz Polar Express
Santa Cruz Polar Express
Date: Every day (Nov 18-Dec 23)
Details: Ride to the North Pole and back, have cookies and cocoa, meet singing elves and Santa --in your pajamas!
Special Instructions: 1 pm, 3 pm, 5:30 pm, 7:30 pm NOTE: not all departures occur on each day.
City: Santa Cruz view all details >>
Cannery Row Tree Lighting Ceremony
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  Cannery Row Tree Lighting Ceremony
Cannery Row
Date: 11/01/2016 from 5:00pm to 9:00pm
Details: Cannery Row Tree Lighting Ceremony         
City: Monterey view all details >>
click to view website
Catholic Community of San Agustin
Date: 10/13/2017 from 6:30pm to 9:00pm
Details: Okoberfest! 6:30-9:00pm $15 per person (get tickets after mass
City: Scotts Valley Phone: 831-438-3633 view all details >>
Magical Music
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  Magical Music
view all details >>
 Conservatory of Flowers: Free Admission Day
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  Conservatory of Flowers: Free Admission Day
Conservatory of Flowers
Date: The 1st Tues of every month
Details: Experience with over 1,700 species of rare, exotic and endangered plants from more than 50 different countries
City: San Francisco view all details >>
Arboretum Garden Free Day
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  Arboretum Garden Free Day
Arboretum at UC Santa Cruz
Date: The 1st Sa of every month at 11:00am
Details: A tranquil place to see plants from around the world plus quail, bunnies...
City: Santa Cruz Phone: 831.427.2998 view all details >>
Magical Music
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  Magical Music
view all details >>
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