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New Leaf Community Markets - Everything for Healthful Living!
  Santa Cruz Parent Santa Cruz County

September 27, 2012

Opting Out of the 'Rug Rat Race
New Leaf Barking Lot Party
Suki: Real Chemistry for Kids
Springhill School
Science Fun with Christine: Warp Drive, Here We Come!!
Viva: Free Halloween Recipes Book
Oktoberfest Benefit for Tip the Ocean
This Week
Fall Harvest Festival
Click to view our Business Directory
 

(Photos General) KidClimbingTree.jpgAs a parent, I practiced giving my children the space to make mistakes and learn from them.  Then along came my youngest who ran with this approach.  He was (is!) an adventuresome spirit. 

At age one, as I walked into the kitchen, a sweet little voice from the top of the refrigerator said "Mama"!  At age 14 months he disappeared on a city sidewalk and I found him around the block saying "Where's Mama?" to a sympathetic lady.  At 15 months he jumped on his brother's big wheel and took a wild ride down the hill with me running after him, nearly giving a driver a heart attack as he continued across an intersection.  Age three at Disneyland --we turned around and no Jimmy.  While we were making our way to the lost and found and back (no cell phones then), he had a fun hour helping the Dumbo rides ticket lady.  He liked walking on the peaks of roofs.  He broke a leg skiing.  In school he took some mistakes in stride and figured out how to play by the rules --most of the time!  There were many more adventures as he grew up and traveled the world.  I'm sure I have yet to hear more stories. 

My point is, we gave our children the space to make mistakes and in the process they developed grit, character.

As parents we seek a balance between giving our children the freedom to make mistakes and guiding or re-directing their choices, between rescuing them or allowing them to experience failure.  Read Paul Tough's article on this topic.

The "H" word came up yesterday, HOMEWORK that is.  How much is enough?  just right? too little? too much?  I like the concept of developing responsibility with a little homework Monday through (Photos General) MakersFactory_Animation.jpgThursday, then have lots of FAMILY TIME over the weekend.  If homework is seriously interfering with family time, talk to teachers and principals.  They have families too and may be willing to hear your voice and make adjustments!

Welcome MakersFactory!  Just look at their fun classes for kids: Animation, Game Design, Robotics for starters.  Parents, they have classes for you also!  Our children are the next wave of makers.  Give them an introduction to the future at MakersFactory.  If you're downtown near the library, they're in the Cruzio building with a display window visible from the sidewalk.

Have an adventurous weekend, Parmalee

  Opting Out of the 'Rug Rat Race

For success in the long run, brain power helps, but what our kids really need to learn is grit

By PAUL TOUGH

We are living through a particularly anxious moment in the history of American parenting. In the nation's big cities these days, the competition among affluent parents over slots in favored preschools verges on the gladiatorial. A pair of economists from the University of California recently dubbed this contest for early academic achievement the "Rug Rat Race," and each year, the race seems to be starting earlier and growing more intense.

At the root of this parental anxiety is an idea you might call the cognitive hypothesis. It is the belief, rarely spoken aloud but commonly held nonetheless, that success in the U.S. today depends more than anything else on cognitive skill-the kind of intelligence that gets measured on IQ tests-and that the best way to develop those skills is to practice them as much as possible, beginning as early as possible.

American children, especially those who grow up in relative comfort, are being shielded from failure as never before.

There is something undeniably compelling about the cognitive hypothesis. The world it describes is so reassuringly linear, such a clear case of inputs here leading to outputs there. Fewer books in the home means less reading ability; fewer words spoken by your parents means a smaller vocabulary; more math work sheets for your 3-year-old means better math scores in elementary school. But in the past decade, and especially in the past few years, a disparate group of economists, educators, psychologists and neuroscientists has begun to produce evidence that calls into question many of the assumptions behind the cognitive hypothesis.

What matters most in a child's development, they say, is not how much information we can stuff into her brain in the first few years of life. What matters, instead, is whether we are able to help her develop a very different set of qualities, a list that includes persistence, self-control, curiosity, conscientiousness, grit and self-confidence. Economists refer to these as noncognitive skills, psychologists call them personality traits, and the rest of us often think of them as character.

If there is one person at the hub of this new interdisciplinary network, it is James Heckman, an economist at the University of Chicago who in 2000 won the Nobel Prize in economics. In recent years, Mr. Heckman has been convening regular invitation-only conferences of economists and psychologists, all engaged in one form or another with the same questions: Which skills and traits lead to success? How do they develop in childhood? And what kind of interventions might help children do better?

The transformation of Mr. Heckman's career has its roots in a study he undertook in the late 1990s on the General Educational Development program, better known as the GED, which was at the time becoming an increasingly popular way for high-school dropouts to earn the equivalent of high-school diplomas. The GED's growth was founded on a version of the cognitive hypothesis, on the belief that what schools develop, and what a high-school diploma certifies, is cognitive skill. If a teenager already has the knowledge and the smarts to graduate from high school, according to this logic, he doesn't need to waste his time actually finishing high school. He can just take a test that measures that knowledge and those skills, and the state will certify that he is, legally, a high-school graduate, as well-prepared as any other high-school graduate to go on to college or other postsecondary pursuits.

Mr. Heckman wanted to examine this idea more closely, so he analyzed a few large national databases of student performance. He found that in many important ways, the premise behind the GED was entirely valid. According to their scores on achievement tests, GED recipients were every bit as smart as high-school graduates. But when Mr. Heckman looked at their path through higher education, he found that GED recipients weren't anything like high-school graduates. At age 22, Mr. Heckman found, just 3% of GED recipients were either enrolled in a four-year university or had completed some kind of postsecondary degree, compared with 46% of high-school graduates. In fact, Heckman discovered that when you consider all kinds of important future outcomes-annual income, unemployment rate, divorce rate, use of illegal drugs-GED recipients look exactly like high-school dropouts, despite the fact that they have earned this supposedly valuable extra credential, and despite the fact that they are, on average, considerably more intelligent than high-school dropouts.

These results posed, for Mr. Heckman, a confounding intellectual puzzle. Like most economists, he had always believed that cognitive ability was the single most reliable determinant of how a person's life would turn out. Now he had discovered a group-GED holders-whose good test scores didn't seem to have any positive effect on their eventual outcomes. What was missing from the equation, Mr. Heckman concluded, were the psychological traits, or noncognitive skills, that had allowed the high-school graduates to make it through school.

So what can parents do to help their children develop skills like motivation and perseverance? The reality is that when it comes to noncognitive skills, the traditional calculus of the cognitive hypothesis-start earlier and work harder-falls apart. Children can't get better at overcoming disappointment just by working at it for more hours. And they don't lag behind in curiosity simply because they didn't start doing curiosity work sheets at an early enough age.

Instead, it seems, the most valuable thing that parents can do to help their children develop noncognitive skills-which is to say, to develop their character-may be to do nothing. To back off a bit. To let our children face some adversity on their own, to fall down and not be helped back up. When you talk today to teachers and administrators at high-achieving high schools, this is their greatest concern: that their students are so overly protected from adversity, in their homes and at school, that they never develop the crucial ability to overcome real setbacks and in the process to develop strength of character.

American children, especially those who grow up in relative comfort, are, more than ever, shielded from failure as they grow up. They certainly work hard; they often experience a great deal of pressure and stress; but in reality, their path through the education system is easier and smoother than it was for any previous generation. Many of them are able to graduate from college without facing any significant challenges. But if this new research is right, their schools, their families, and their culture may all be doing them a disservice by not giving them more opportunities to struggle. Overcoming adversity is what produces character. And character, even more than IQ, is what leads to real and lasting success.

Wall Street Journal. September 7, 2012

-Adapted from "How Children Succeed: Grit, Curiosity and the Hidden Power of Character" by Paul Tough, which has just been published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

  New Leaf Barking Lot Party

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  Suki: Real Chemistry for Kids

(Photos General) SukiRedHead_138.jpg

Once upon a time, learning the details of the elements was "serious science" and left for older students who had the math skills for chemistry. But these days, parents and educators are seeing the value of teaching kids to enjoy science well before they are able to delve into the details.

I was very impressed by Conrad Wolfram's 2010 TED Talk about math education. He talked about how he got his elementary-aged daughter doing calculus on their computer. No, she isn't a math super-genius-she was using modern tools so she could access the fascinating application of calculus without having to be able to do the computing required.

The traditional sequence of learning holds that kids "can't understand" the theoretical ends of math, science, literature, or any intellectual pursuit without having the basic skills that underlie the theory. So in our schools, we require our kids to be able to do long division before we start them on algebra, and we expect them to be interested in how plants grow long before they start wondering what plants-and everything in the universe-are made of.

Wolfram's talk clarified for me what a lot of homeschoolers (and some brave teachers) have been doing with all sorts of disciplines, not just math.... Read more >>>

Read more of Suki's writing... >>>

  Springhill School

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  Science Fun with Christine: Warp Drive, Here We Come!!

(Graphics) WarpDriveDevice.jpgI want to go on a spaceship. I want to visit other planets, other solar systems, and see our sun disappear into my rear window. So far, it has just been a dream. Forty years ago, man stepped onto a different place - our moon. Since then we have been content (???) to stay in orbit around our own planet.


Help!!


An organization has been formed called the 100 Year Starship. They have base funding from DARPA and NASA. YEAH!!!


Be still my beating heart. 


Other private organizations have been working towards this goal.... Read more>>>

More posts at Science Fun with Christine Cockey, local scientist and mom.

  Viva: Free Halloween Recipes Book

(Photos General) VivaGravatar.jpg(Books/Products) HalloweenRecipes.jpgHalloween Recipes: 24 Cute, Creepy, and Easy Halloween Recipes for Kids and Adults is free right now on Amazon.   It's an Amazon Kindle ebook, but even if you don't own a Kindle you can still enjoy it by downloading it for free to your computer (PC or Mac), iPhone, or iPad. The instructions for doing so are included under the "Buy Now With 1 Click" button. PLEASE BE AWARE that the price is currently $0.00 but that could change at any time, so always check the price before clicking Buy Now.

Hurry, this book is only free until September 28th, 2012.  Let me know what you thought of this book!   .... Read more by Viva>>>>

  Oktoberfest Benefit for Tip the Ocean

(Holidays) Oktoberfest_Sign.jpgSaturday and Sunday, September 29 and 30 from 12 pm - 6 pm

The first annual Oktoberfest at the Davenport Roadhouse Restaurant & Inn offers great food, beer, live music, and kids' entertainment. It will take place on Saturday and Sunday, September 29 and 30 from 12 pm - 6 pm in the open area next to the Davenport Roadhouse at 1 Davenport Ave., Davenport. Admission is free.

(Holidays) Oktoberfest_Children.jpgYour children can enjoy the bounce house, face painting, and games while you listen to music by the rock and roll band Coffis Brothers and the alt-country McCoy Tyler Band (playing from 2 pm - 6 pm).  The chef will be grilling chicken and three different types of locally made sausages on site for sale, along with sauerkraut and goulash soup. And five different beers will be available.

Oktoberfest will benefit a new ocean conversation program called Tip the Ocean which will raise funds for Santa Cruz beach clean-ups, and bring children to the beach for the first time.  It was developed by the nonprofit LiVBLUE in partnership with Save Our Shores and the Davenport Roadhouse.

For more information, visit here.

  This Week

(Ads) SantaCruzParentFacebook.jpg(BUILT IN) (Icons/Graphics) Text_Calendar.jpgBelow is only a partial list

of upcoming events and activities.

Click on our EVENT CALENDAR.

Submit your event!


Check the Events Calendar for More Fun!

 

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School Corner

 

Seymour Marine Discovery Center School Field Trips 9/5-30

 

Los Gatos High School, Magical Glass Pumpkin Patch Fundraiser, 10/5-7

Use the Family Planner!

 

Go to the website's Annual Events. Using the Search Section isolate Sept 28-30.

 

How it Works

 

You can make a list of just the events you are interested in.

When you are on any of our resource pages or on our calendars, you will see a little box next to each listing.

Add to My Planner

When you check a box, it automatically places the listing in your Parent Planner.

To view your Parent Planner,  can click on the link, Parent Planner or the clock at the bottom of the page

View my Parent Planner

and it will direct you to your Parent Planner.

 

After you have finished, you can email your planner to a friend with a personal message or you can print it out.

 

Your Parent Planner DOES NOT save so make sure to email yourself a copy.

(Photos General) LaurenHoover.jpg

TEEN COOKING CLASS

Chef Lauren Hoover-West will give a hands-on cooking class geared to teenagers 13 to 18 years of age.

 

The focus will be warm comfort foods, from soup to deserts, utilizing the abundant fruits and vegetables from the fall harvest season.

 

Preregistration required.

 

To register, visit www.newleaf.com

or call 831-466-9060

ext 126.

 

 

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Tune up your parenting skills in local Parenting Workshops!

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ALLPETS

for All Your Pets

 

Conventional, Alternative and Holistic

 

1226-B Soquel Ave
Santa Cruz
425-0945

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 Fall Harvest Festival

(Graphics) ApplesandPumpkins.jpg

Fall Harvest Festival
Sunday, September 30, 11am - 5pm
UC Santa Cruz's 25-acre organic farm

 

Apples, corn, cider, and pumpkins take center stage at the 18th annual Fall Harvest Festival, coming up Sunday, September 30, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at UC Santa Cruz's 25-acre organic farm.

Along with the season's bounty, the festival features live music from rock to reggae and bluegrass to marimba, along with hay rides, kids' crafts, workshops, tours, pumpkin and produce sales, and campus and community group information tables.


(Photos General) Harvest_Pies.jpgDuring the Harvest Festival you can sample more than 30 apple varieties, enter the pie baking contest, crank the apple press, scale the climbing wall, enjoy fresh-roasted organic corn and other locally sourced, tasty treats, and learn about a range of food and environmental issues. Want so see how your favorite apple pie recipe measures up.  Be sure to enter the Apple Pie Contest by 12:30 p.m.

Also on tap-workshops on saving seeds, planting the fall garden, making kombucha and vegan wraps and burritos, and "cupping" the perfect cup of coffee. Tours of the farm and an herb walk through the gardens are on the schedule, and Life Lab's "Food, What?" youth empowerment group will hold a sunflower-picking fundraiser in the Farm's fields.


Admission to the Fall Harvest Festival is free for UCSC students, kids 12 and under, and for members of the Friends of the UCSC Farm & Garden; general admission is $5. See a full schedule of the day's events below.

Mistakes Yield Grit
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  Mistakes Yield Grit
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Mistakes Yield Grit
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Mistakes Yield Grit
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  Mistakes Yield Grit
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Friday the 13th Flashlight Tours
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  Friday the 13th Flashlight Tours
Winchester Mystery House
Date: The 13th of every month from 6:30pm to 10:30pm
Ages: Teens and up
Details: Tour the rambling, mysterious mansion at night with only the moonlight, a souvenir flashlight, and your imagination
Special Instructions: 13TH OF THE MONTH IF IT'S A FRIDAY!
City: San Jose Phone: (408) 247-2101 view all details >>
     
Mistakes Yield Grit
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  Mistakes Yield Grit
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Thriller Dance Classes!
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  Thriller Dance Classes!
City of Santa Cruz
Date: Every day (Sep 17-Oct 22) at 10:00am
Details: Classes on Saturdays so you can Dance the Thriller on October 29th!
City: Santa Cruz view all details >>
     
Founders Day Special Events
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  Founders Day Special Events
State Park Big Basin
Date: 09/30/2017 from 9:00am to 8:00pm
Ages: Able to do 3.5 mile hike
Details: Honor the Visionaries, Valued Workers and Visitors that shaped the character of Big Basin over the past 109years.
City: Boulder Creek Phone: (831) 338-8883 view all details >>
     
Santa Cruz Mountains Harvest Festival
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  Santa Cruz Mountains Harvest Festival
Santa Cruz Mountains Harvest Festival
Date: 09/30/2017 from 11:00am to 6:30pm
Details: Great local artists, wineries, breweries, musicians, games, hayrides and crafts
City: Boulder Creek Phone: 831-588-5628 view all details >>
     
Mistakes Yield Grit
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  Mistakes Yield Grit
Date:
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Mistakes Yield Grit
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  Mistakes Yield Grit
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Mistakes Yield Grit
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  Mistakes Yield Grit
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Tools of the Treasure Hunt Orienteering & Mapping for Kids
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  Tools of the Treasure Hunt Orienteering & Mapping for Kids
Santa Cruz County Parks
Date: 10/05/2014 from 2:00pm to 4:00pm
Ages: 6 & up
Details: Learn to use a compass and find treasure
City: Felton Phone: (831) 335-9348 view all details >>
     
Mistakes Yield Grit
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  Mistakes Yield Grit
Date:
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