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Highland Hall: A Unique Learning Experience for LA Kids

Living in Los Angeles, there's no shortage of choices when it comes to educating our children. Even so, finding a school with a unique approach to teaching, inspiring, and mentoring students can get parents truly excited about their children's education. And that's just what happened to me after a recent tour of our sponsor, Highland Hall, the first Waldorf school in the western US for children in nursery through 12th grade.

At the heart of the Waldorf approach is the recognition that children pass through distinct stages of development, and that both the subject matter and the way it is taught need to be age-specific. The focus is to engage the whole child in the learning process, with the arts integrated into every subject, using movement, music, storytelling, and rhythm to bring the material to life and make learning a stress-free process. Nature also plays an important role in students' education.

Public School Choice in Los Angeles: Navigating LAUSD Charters, Magnets, & More

We all want great public schools for our kids, and today in Los Angeles there are more options than ever. So why is making the right choice so complicated? Perhaps because finding all the information you need in one place is so difficult! We're here to help. And rather than attempt to wrestle the enormous topic of public school choice into one article, the Mommy Poppins team is presenting a whole series of articles on public education in Los Angeles. Read on for an introduction to the basic public choices out there, and in coming weeks look for more in-depth information about charters, magnets, permits, and the daunting point system. We look forward to providing all of you who live within the borders of the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) with a sense of how to take charge of your families' educational choices.

Brooklyn Preschool of Science: A Unique Learning Experience for NYC Kids

Once upon a time, preschool was all about learning shapes, colors and the ABCs. These days, the curriculum is way more advanced, with many kids having already mastered these basics before they set foot in a preschool. So it’s no surprise that parents are looking for a place that can not only prepare their children for kindergarten, but also inspire a love of learning and encourage them to find and explore new interests. As mom to a preschool-age son, I was intrigued by our sponsor, the Brooklyn Preschool of Science, which is opening its doors to kids ages 2.5 to 5 years in Park Slope this September.

When I first heard about the school, I immediately thought, why a preschool with a focus on science? But after reading about how the school uses a variety of science-based activities and lessons to teach kids about the world around them, as well as providing a foundation to excel at math, language and more, I can see the benefits of giving little ones this kind of specialized learning experience.

Discover a World-Class Private School in the Hamptons on Saturday, November 15

Education has been dominating the headlines for several years now. While many are trying to figure out a better way to teach our children how to be the global citizens that their world will require of them, Ross School has been doing it for over 23 years. Our sponsor, Ross School, on Eastern Long Island, offers hands-on learning for children from pre-nursery through grade 12. Mommy Poppins readers can check out Ross School for themselves at two Open Houses on Saturday, November 15, 2014.

10 Questions To Ask During a Preschool Tour

A preschool tour is the best opportunity for parents to get a feel for a school before tackling the admissions process. Hopefully, you see the school in action, or at least check out what the classrooms look like. Keep your eyes open for important details. What type of student work is on display? Do the kids seem happy and engaged? How do the teachers interact with them?

When you're on the tour, don't be shy about asking questions. This is your chance! "Parents should ask as many questions as they want to help understand and grasp our program's philosophy," says Lisa Pacheco, center director at Children’s Creative Learning Center. Jennifer Jones of Battery Park Montessori and the Pine Street School adds, "I encourage parents to ask questions based on their personal priorities for their children. For example, if the child is physically active and the parents are concerned about it, they should ask how the school will satisfy the child's need for physical expression." Open-ended questions are best, as they tend to reveal more about the school. For example, "How do you support literacy?" is better than, "When do you teach the alphabet?"

Here are the top 10 topics to ask about when you're visiting preschools.

What Preschool Directors Want To Tell You About Admissions

It’s understandable that applying to preschool is nerve-racking: It’s one of the first decisions you make for your child’s education. But at Mommy Poppins, we believe that applying to preschool can be a sane experience, and we want to do what we can to dispel some of the anxiety. So we're sharing the inside scoop from our recent preschool fair where we interviewed a number of top NYC preschool directors, administrators and teachers for their tips on the admissions process. After all, who knows it better than the people who make the decisions?

Preschool Directors Share How To Pick a 'Good Fit' Preschool

Applying to preschool is one of the most important (and potentially harrowing) experiences for young children and their parents. It’s the beginning of their education, their introduction to schooling and their foundation for a life of learning. In NYC, we are lucky to have many preschool choices available, but it can be a lot of work to figure out which one is best suited to your child.

We asked directors from participating preschools at one of our recent Preschool Fairs to share their insights about the admissions process and what parents should look for in a program. Who better to explain how to navigate this journey than these experts, who help families find the right schools for their kids every day? Read on for their top tips.

Long Island Kids Can Develop a Love of Learning at JEI in Lynbrook

My husband and I recently attended “Curriculum Night” at our son's elementary school, and we were blown away at the level of coursework being done by these young kids. We even joked that we might need to take some classes if we wanted to help him with his homework. With the introduction of Common Core Standards, students are under intense pressure to excel, and it's not uncommon (no pun intended) for them to need some extra help. Our sponsor JEI Learning Centers in Lynbrook helps students reach their fullest potential with a variety of after-school programs and classes


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