A resource for families in Santa Cruz County
The Best Space to Be... NOW!
THIS, right now, this very moment is good. I'm alive; I'm breathing, thinking about what I'm sharing with you, sipping a cafe au lait; enjoying the sun shining on the trees outside my window; appreciating a perfect 70° temperature, the finches chirping it up at the bird feeder, my pup enjoying his second nap of the day with his paw on my feet and the quiet space around me.

Tuesday I experienced an explicit lesson about staying in the moment. I was getting caught up in way too ubiquitous, sensational, breathless, breaking news, and then, the last straw --waking up to the sound of a freaking doomsayer forecasting dire events. Enough! I'm avoiding your hystericical rants.
Happy Earth Day ...every day. So many of you are starting new gardens, sharing and trading bounty and posting photos of your creativity. Hooray!

I miss finding and posting all the family events we have shared with you in our newsletters for 13+ years. Please check our CALENDAR which we are filling with local virtual events. Our talented entrepreneurs have done remarkable pivots to bring happenings to your living rooms!

Today I'm sharing some opinion articles about where we are going with education. We in Santa Cruz County are very fortunate to have many quality choices: good and best public schools, innovative charter schools, a fine selection of dedicated private and parochial schools, schools serving special needs, and supportive organizations and associations for homeschoolers.

Throw into that mix a sudden stay-in-place requirement for entire families and an explosion of long distance schooling options and what do you have?

A renewed interest in the nature and future of education. Parents, teachers, administrators and children suddenly have been given new paradigms and a challenge to define what qualifies as a good education. The proliferation of online niche topics is thrilling.

The leap to mastering new technology by all parties has been challenging and enriching. Figuring out how to balance academic learning with cooking, gardening, reading, making music, chores, yoga, zumba, dancing and recreation while practicing patience, settling squabbles and finding space for downtimes has been a test of endurance and character for families! Not always easy or smooth, but nevertheless, impressive!

Have a creative weekend with your family, Parmalee
Setting Aside Biases...
Wide ranging opinions, facts and pseudo facts and interpretations of them abound.

As teachers and administrators, staying aware of our own biases and keeping them to ourselves demonstrates respect for our children as we guide their studies and they begin to formulate their own beliefs and test them against exposure to history, science, art, literature, current events.

We each have excellent opportunities to teach children to explore, to dig deeply, to assemble facts, to compare, to develop timelines, to search like an investigative journalist, to read critically, then to line up "arguments" for differing positions. We respect their process. This is what good parents and teachers do.

Choose any topic these days and set them on a search. Here's one facet of a current subject in the news with two perspectives to get them started.

  • The Swedish experiment looks like it’s paying off Read>>>
  • I’ve never written so many death certificates’: Is Sweden having second thoughts on lockdown? Read>>>

Or search for the original articles on the Stanford and USC coronavirus surveys and the reacting articles.
Food for Thinking...
Opinions

Read this opinion first. The Tyranny of (Alleged) Experts   Author Barry Brownstein’s essay considers the mindset biases of COVID-19 experts while acknowledging our personal biases.

Then read this opinion:   The Risks of Homeschooling by
If you’re really interested, read her 80 page version: HOMESCHOOLING:PARENT RIGHTS ABSOLUTISM VS.CHILD RIGHTS TO EDUCATION &PROTECTION . Go to page 78 and observe her going after private schools also.


This article is quite a mix of reactive ideas: COVID-19 Took Away Public Education. Will We Miss It?

Interesting article written in 2007 yet still futuristic: The Future of Education by Thomas Frey

I leave it to you, dear parents, to find what’s the right educational path for your family, or even different choices for your unique children with different needs.

Monterey Bay Backyard Bioblitz
Watsonville Wetlands Watch invites you to join us as community scientists to work together and collect data for our first annual Monterey Bay Backyard Bioblitz!

From ‪April 21-28‬ you can help our local ecosystems by recording the wild plants, animals, and insects you see around your home. This can be outside in your yard, your patio, from your window, or even inside if you have any wild visitors. The number of observations you and other participants make so close to home may surprise you!

Data collection is easy on iNaturalist, a website and smartphone app.
Happy 50th Earth Day!
Did you know the UC Santa Cruz Arboretum & Botanic Garden has a seed bank where we store over 4000 plant accessions? Starting this year, we are recognized as a primary seed bank by the Center for Plant Conservation and are working in collaboration with gardens and other institutions across the state to seed bank California’s rarest plants.

Pictured here, Delphinium hutchinsoniae and Silene verecunda ssp. verecunda are listed as 1.B2 (rare, threatened, or endangered) plants. We are growing both to collect seed, maintain a living conservation collection in the garden, and enjoy their beautiful flowers!
Small Business Resources, Assistance and
Safety during Covid-19
Friday, April 24, 3pm
123 Andrés,
Latin Grammy-winning duo
Bilingual tunes &irresistible Latin beats
Monday, April 27, 5:30pm
Free Books from Live Like Coco, 4th grade+
If you are a teacher or work with kids fourth grade and up and want books for your students, please comment below.

We have a lot of used books in storage to get out to the community ... these are almost all English, some classroom sets.

Contact Kate at on Facebook Live Like Coco and send a message or info@livelikecoco.com or (415) 902-1934.