A resource for families in Santa Cruz County
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She Nurtured Her Creativity
It's not every day we wake up to a refreshingly cooler day and an orange world. It's amazing! I just know you all turned the experience into a science/weather lesson!

Speaking of orange, the Arboretum invites you to visit 9-5 daily where you can see the Banksia Victoriae, commonly known as Woolly Orange Banksia, blooming now in the Australian rock garden. The Arboretum gardens are great for all ages! Take a journal and colored pencils.
"The renowned American folk artist known as Grandma Moses was born 160 years ago this week. Anna Mary Robertson Moses didn’t begin her painting career until the age of 76, but she was so prolific that she completed over 1,500 original works before her death at the age of 101. Moses became well-known for her depictions of what she called "old-timey" New England rural life, and famously said, “I’ll get an inspiration and start painting; then I'll forget everything, everything except how things used to be and how to paint it so people will know how we used to live.” Thanks Mighty Girl.
Constitution Day is Thursday, September 17th!

"We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America."

Schoolhouse Rock offers a simple, delightful musical video for the young ones. Ducksters Education offers a next level explanation of our constitutions's history and principles. History.com offers a good refresher for parents, teachers and older children.

Be kind to yourselves! We shall weather the challenges, Parmalee
Local Moms and Dads
Offer a Potpouri of Suggestions
From a perspective of one whose children are grown I am continuously impressed with today's generation of parents, especially in light of the 2020 social upheavals! How do they do it?

Mamas Find Solutions Listening to Podcasts
I love The Moms I Know podcast with Maria Fahrner and Sheila Walsh Dunton! The Moms I Know.

"I really love One Bad Mother. Some of the recent episodes are a little wonky since they’re recording during Covid times, but you can honestly start wherever. " One Bad Mother is a comedy podcast.

"Hand in Hand is Motherflipping, Awesome, Peace and Parenting..." Hand in Hand
"They're not making new episodes anymore, but there are 10-12 years of episodes of The Longest Shortest Time. Lots of great content in there! The host interviews all sorts of parents about all sorts of things. Great journalism and real talk. They don’t shy away from anything!"

I always learn stuff from Joyful Courage. Her kids are teens. She interviews guests and also does solo! Joyful Courage

"Janet Lansbury's podcasts really help me stay calm and be my best self."

"I find The Parenting Junkie incredibly insightful and helpful." The Parenting Junkie
Mamas Outsmart Picky Eaters
"Z" earned points for taking one bite of something new and different colors were different points. At the end of the week, he could trade points for favorite foods. So a bite of something purple was 8 points. Green was 7 points. Red 6 points, etc. Pepperoni Pizza was 25 points. Small bag of chips was 15 points. I had a little homemade chart. He managed it himself and would run and record points when he had finished a bite of something. Eventually he found new things that he liked and we phased out the chart. Maybe had it for like 3 months."
"My trick is to always cut up cucumbers, carrots, or other easy veggies and set it out while I’m cooking. It’s the before dinner snack and then I worry less about dinner."
"I started the “you don’t have to like it, you just have to eat it” campaign. I’d make the food they like but put one spoonful of whatever I wanted them to eat. They’d eat the one spoonful then after about ten times of that I’d double it. Has to be similar flavors. My picky eater pulled salad out of the fridge for lunch one day. It took about a year. Now I put whatever on their plates and really try to stretch them with new flavors."
"My mom read an article that says we have to eat something 14 times before our tongue recognizes it. So I’d tell my kids that when they were saying "ewwww!"
"I ask myself is my kid growing? Is their diet causing any ailment? Am I offering fruit and veggies? Are healthier snacks available for them to get for themselves? And then I do my best to let go of the rest of it, in part because I want them to have a sense of joy around food."
I’ve been making mostly fruit smoothies with Greek yogurt to try and balance the other things. I even blend in spinach!
I have three kids, all very different eaters. I tried forcing things with my picky one but it never worked. The only thing I found helpful was to make sure I had good options in the house and not junk and gave him vitamins.
Snack boards have been my latest success. It’s the same thing you’d give as a meal, but deconstructed. Something about calling it a snack helps too.
Family Events
Owing to fires, check websites for open or closed!
Attend this FREE virtual Triple P workshop, September 16, 3-4:30pm. Learn: How “screen time” (TV, computers, tablets, phones, video games) can affect children’s health and behaviors; Tips for setting limits for screen time and engaging children in other activities; What to do if your child refuses to follow the rules about screen time. Details
All the Farmers Markets!
Just picked, fresh from the farms to you, and often musical entertainment and special, delectable eats for foodies! Details
Every Kid Outdoors - Hey fourth graders! See America’s natural wonders and historic sites for free. “The wilderness holds answers to questions man has not yet learned to ask.” (Nancy Newhall) Your child can take you amazing places! With the pass, fourth graders can bring family and friends on adventures free for a full year. Details
Drive-thru Fair Food Sale, September 11-13 & 188-20, 11am - 8pm The Santa Cruz County Fairgrounds over the next two weekends will host a drive-thru fair food sale. The drive-thru will offer corn dogs, funnel cakes, Greek food, cinnamon rolls and deep-fried Oreos, among other fair favorites. Details
Young Writers Contest Bookshop Santa Cruz celebrates the talents of young writers in our community with an annual contest designed for writers ages 6–17. Deadline to submit Sept.20 Details
Helping Children with Emotional Moments - September 13, 12pm - 2pm, Children’s upsets cause some of the rockiest moments in parenting. If we are permissive toward their upsets, are we setting them up for failure later on? If we insist on rational behavior, are we doing emotional damage they’ll have to undo later? Details
Moonlight Mentorship Program for Girls & Gender Non-Binary Youth October 1, Moonlight Mentorship is a cohort of girls and gender non-binary youth between the ages of 11 and 18 who connect virtually for the 2020-2021 school year. Details
Food Trucks & Pop-Up Kitchens at the Grange, Thursdays 4 - 7pm
Come out and support a sustainable food economy! Food truck and pop-up kitchens at the Live Oak Grange source ingredients from Monterey Bay Area organic farmers and ranchers. Details
Nature Journaling Workshop for Teachers and Parent-Teachers - Wednesdays 12-1:30pm beginning August 19 - Learn how to teach Nature Journaling! Join our weekly discussion and idea-sharing for teachers, home school parents, and other educators interested in teaching nature journaling skills. Details
We are launching The Museum At Your Side — a collection of hands-on activities, informative articles, and engaging videos to connect you with nature and science wherever you are! Details
Tales to Tails - Mondays 3:30-4pm, Register! Santa Cruz Public Libraries Details
Tech Talks: iPhone 101 Ready for a review of the basic features and settings of your iPhone? We will share our favorite features and tips. We hope you will join us and share with us too. Register Now!  Thursday, September 10, 11:00am – 12:00pm
Tech Talks: Android 101 Ready for a review of the basic features and settings of your Android? We will share our favorite features and tips. We hope you will join us and share with us too. Register Now! Thursday, September 17,11:00am – 12:00pm
Banff Centre Mountain Film Festival World Tour, Sept 18 - 30
Get off the beaten path with Radical Reels/Adventure Nights and explore the edge of believable with exhilarating stories from the 44th Banff Centre Mountain Film and Book Festival. Stand on the highest peaks, paddle through the coldest waters, and be a part of the gripping adventures waiting for you in this year’s Banff Centre Mountain Film Festival World Tour. Details
West Cliff Food Truck Summer, September 18 @ 3- 8pm. West Cliff Food Truck Summer The local food trucks combine with local bands to make it a great night out for the whole family. Details
Schooling Choice
Is your choice working for your child?
Regarding choices you made for how to educate your children in 2020-21...
You, your children and your children's teachers are doing your best, given these extraordinary circumstances. If it's not going as well as you would like, communicate! Share what's working or not working for your family. Above all be daring and willing to do what's best for each child in your care. You are your child's first teacher. You know your child better than anyone else. Investigate options. Get facts. Doing what's best for your child is ultimately best for the community.

Education Choices

Talk with other parents: (Join FB: Santa Cruz Mamas, Homecruzers, Teaching at Home During School Closures in Santa Cruz)

Santa Cruz County Office of Education provides a comprehensive list of resources and their contacts including school close/open information

Independent Study Programs In or Serving Santa Cruz County List

Local Parents Recommend a Great Variety of Online Resources.
These resources come from local homeschooling parents who recommend that you find what works best for your children's unique learning styles. We've categorized these resources under: GENERAL, ELEMENTARY, MIDDLE - HIGH SCHOOL AND PREK - 12.