Parent Engagement Network [PEN] Offering Truly Excellent Parenting Workshops

PEN is a great Boulder area resource! They offer free [or reasonably priced] workshops and lecture series. They often seem focused on tweens & teens, but for those of you with younger kids these topics will still apply and honestly it is never too early to start thinking about some of the issues on the horizon.

Here is the PEN calendar [some of these dates are long past]:

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But PEN has some more great topics coming up:

1/16: Child safety in the digital age

1/22: High expectations [yes, it’s the high you are thinking]

I love how PEN works to support families and children in Boulder! Thanks, PEN!!!!

Reminder–BVSD Open Enrollment Ends January 17th

Open Enrollment. These two words bring strong emotions to the parents of Boulder. For some who chose to enroll their kids in their neighborhood school, open enrollment in the Boulder Valley School District [BVSD] is not a big deal. Phew! For the 40% of us who do open enroll our children it can be stressful.

So what is open enrollment in BVSD? Any child can go to any school based on availability by entering their child into the lottery system called, Open Enrollment. All families in BVSD can look at all schools to see which one seems to meet their child[ren]’s needs best. There are many choices [charter schools, focus schools, and neighborhood schools] and each has it’s benefits and drawbacks. But ultimately many Boulderites choose to open enroll their children in an attempt to try and find the best fit. For more details on open enrollment click here.

There are two main types of BVSD schools:

1. Neighborhood Schools: These are the schools that are designated for your neighborhood. Your child can always get into these schools if you live within the boundaries. You DO NOT need to open enroll to these schools if you are in the neighborhood, but you CAN if you want your child to go to the school, but you are not in the designated boundary.

2. Focus/Charter Schools: These are open enrollment schools that serve ALL of BVSD. There are NO designated neighborhood boundaries for Focus and Charter schools. You MUST open enroll to these schools. 

To help you visualize the open enrollment process here is the BVDS open enrollment flow chart:

Screen Shot 2013-12-02 at 2.13.08 PM

For Boulder Families with younger children there are a few schools that have open enrollment options for preschool, such as Community Montessori. For these schools, open enrolling at preschool age is the best way to secure a slot for your child. So even if your child is too young for elementary schools, taking a look at the open enrollment process can be really helpful. Likewise, the award winning Peak to Peak Charter School has open enrollment policies that favor those who have applied many times. They are all a bit different, so best to do your research!

Open enrollment happens for a limited time. You MUST apply to open enroll your child between December 2, 2013 and January 17, 2014. To get an open enrollment application head to the BVSD website. Good luck to everyone open enrolling a child this year!

The CU Wizards Are Here. Let Them Engage Your Child In The Wonders Of Science!

Screen Shot 2013-12-12 at 10.38.00 AMThe CU Wizards program is an ongoing science discovery program presented free by CU professors on a variety of topics. The presentations are geared towards kids in grades 5 to 9, but everyone is welcome! These are fun, interactive, intense, silly, engaging presentations so take a look! The next Wizard program is titled Sink or Swim! on 1/18.

CU Wizards website

Wizarding schedule

FAQ’s 

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BVSD Open Enrollment Time Is Here!

Open Enrollment. These two words bring strong emotions to the parents of Boulder. For some who chose to enroll their kids in their neighborhood school, open enrollment in the Boulder Valley School District [BVSD] is not a big deal. Phew! For the 40% of us who do open enroll our children it can be stressful.

So what is open enrollment in BVSD? Any child can go to any school based on availability by entering their child into the lottery system called, Open Enrollment. All families in BVSD can look at all schools to see which one seems to meet their child[ren]’s needs best. There are many choices [charter schools, focus schools, and neighborhood schools] and each has it’s benefits and drawbacks. But ultimately many Boulderites choose to open enroll their children in an attempt to try and find the best fit. For more details on open enrollment click here.

There are two main types of BVSD schools:

1. Neighborhood Schools: These are the schools that are designated for your neighborhood. Your child can always get into these schools if you live within the boundaries. You DO NOT need to open enroll to these schools if you are in the neighborhood, but you CAN if you want your child to go to the school, but you are not in the designated boundary.

2. Focus/Charter Schools: These are open enrollment schools that serve ALL of BVSD. There are NO designated neighborhood boundaries for Focus and Charter schools. You MUST open enroll to these schools. 

To help you visualize the open enrollment process here is the BVDS open enrollment flow chart:

Screen Shot 2013-12-02 at 2.13.08 PM

For Boulder Families with younger children there are a few schools that have open enrollment options for preschool, such as Community Montessori. For these schools, open enrolling at preschool age is the best way to secure a slot for your child. So even if your child is too young for elementary schools, taking a look at the open enrollment process can be really helpful. Likewise, the award winning Peak to Peak Charter School has open enrollment policies that favor those who have applied many times. They are all a bit different, so best to do your research!

Open enrollment happens for a limited time. You MUST apply to open enroll your child between December 2, 2013 and January 17, 2014. To get an open enrollment application head to the BVSD website. Good luck to everyone open enrolling a child this year!

DIG INTO READING with the Boulder Public Library’s Summer Reading Program!

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The kids are out of school and summer if finally here in Boulder! Want to keep them motivated to read? I highly recommend kids being a part of the Boulder Public Library’s Dig Into Reading summer reading program. My kids have done it for years! They run a great program every summer and this year is no exception. Registration is open! Here is what you do to get involved:

  1. Stop into ANY Boulder Public Library and sign your child up. It’s free and easy to sign up. Pick out a book at that time.
  2. Read! Your child/you complete the tracking form.
  3. Head into your library each week to show your tracking form and get a prize
  4. It is really easy and motivating to the kids!

To keep things interesting there are a lot of programs happening throughout the summer. Attend a wide variety of programs. Including:

Get more information on Dig Into Reading here. Or Call 303-441-3099 for more information!

The Intersection of Yoga and Parenting

DownwardDog-300I love yoga. I don’t do it enough, but I still love it! Yesterday I was at a delicious yoga class at The Little Yoga Studio deeply immersed in sweat and downward dogs, when my mind started to wander. I cherish the time when I give myself the space for my mind to wander -it doesn’t happen a lot these days. All at once the words that yoga instructors have said over the years started to accumulate in my head. They came flooding in. It started with the yoga instructor telling us about her decision to bring Joy back into her life. Joy. Joy? Joy’s honorable. We all want to feel joy, right?

I was joyful, in between praying with all my being that this was not a class that was over 1 hour and wondering how I was going to ask my friend Wendy this question since she seemed to in the moment and engaged any time I glanced over to see if there was an iota of an opening to ask my very important question. It was hot in there, I was seriously sweating, I hadn’t been to yoga in a few weeks, and I know my body sort of turns off after an hour of yoga. I guess I was panicking a bit. I forgot at first how much more than exercise I get every time I am on my mat. But here were all these thoughts about ways of being that were floating around my head.

Back to the intersection of yoga and parenting. The words of past yoga teachers flooded in and it occurred to me how yoga informs parenting. And vice versa. But at this point with a pre-teen boy and a pre-pre-teen boy in my house I was really appreciating how yoga could support me.  I need some support. Some of the words of wisdom that were ringing though my head about how the essence of yoga cold support parenting include:

  • Be kind to yourself. If you need to take a break just take child’s pose or let your family know you need a break [even for a moment just go outside] and accept that it is okay to not be perfect.
  • If you wobble, it’s okay. Think tree pose and life. We will all wobble. It’s okay. Be accepting.
  • Look for joy. We are given many opportunities to find joy in our lives we just need to let them in. Don’t take life too seriously. 
  • Find ease [smile] even when it is tough. It’s not where we stand in times of comfort and convenience, but rather in times of difficulty and hardship that matter! [paraphrase of the MLK quote] Think of how this could transform the act of getting out the door in the morning.
  • Be thankful. Appreciate that you are here on your yoga mat. It’s okay to do something good for yourself. 

There are so many more wise words I have heard and wish to live by, but these are a few of the ways that yoga and parenting intersect.

Add to the conversation. What are the ways you see yoga and parenting intersecting and informing each other? I would love to hear from this amazing, yoga loving community!

Parenting Support Via Parenting Tips

IMG_0217Parenting is truly a journey! Sometimes it can be rough, other times you feel in sync and sail through. Either way we can all reach a higher level of self-understanding and be the best parents possible by getting support. We get that support in many ways: teachers, friends, family, church, classes, etc. Think about who it is that has pushed you to think deeply about the way you are with your child, spouse, friends. Who supports you to think, reflect, act?

I have found a few parent educators who offer support via emails that I think they are worth sharing. You can add their insights to your “bag of tricks” if you choose:

1. Michael Vladek: He focuses on families, teens, parenting and offers a weekly email that offers parenting insights. To sign up for his weekly insights click here.

2. Scott Noelle: His website is Enjoy Parenting. He offers daily parenting insights that come to your email. He is insightful and I have enjoyed his vision for a few years. To sign up for his daily parenting tips click here.

Do you have suggestions for other resources for Boulder Families? 

Pathways to Parenting Success Offers Free Talks About Important Topics to Boulder Families!

IMG_0171Take advantage of these! The Boulder Psychological Services offers some really incredible, free, lectures on essential parenting topics. Examples include:

  • Technology’s Impact on Child Socialization
  • Understanding and Dealing with Teen Depression
  • Stress Reduction
  • Understanding and Managing Sibling Rivalry
  • Family Communication
  • And lots, lots more!

There are relevant topics for every family and situation! Even if your child isn’t a teen yet, it’s never to soon to start thinking about what is coming up. If you have an infant you still might be interested in topics of stress reduction or understanding family communications.

I highly recommend taking advantage of these free discussions/lectures. They are led by experts in their fields and every one I have attended was worthwhile! You can get more information about upcoming events at www.boulderpsychologicalservices.com. Click on calendar on the left side to find the most complete list of upcoming events. 

Childhood Developmental Asset: The Building Blocks of Healthy Development

Developmental Assets is a phrase coined by the Search Institute to identify and define the building blocks of healthy development that help young children grow up healthy, caring, and responsible. Wow, that is a big deal! We all want our children to be successful and the Search Institute has done the research and spoken to the kids to develop a framework that parents and children can use as a resource. On their website, Developmental Assets are laid out clearly by the Search Institute and broken down into age groupings starting at 3 years old.

Developmental Assets are the basic building blocks of positive development. The positive experiences and qualities of these assets help children grow up to become caring, responsible adults. The Developmental Assets categories are the same for all ages because they are the same foundational values. What does shift is the detail of what children need at different times in their lives. The best part of the lists I am about to show you is that there are Action Steps for each of the specific areas. This offers parents ways to take small action steps to move you, your family, and your child toward a more healthy, caring and responsible foundation.

Developmental Assets for all ages: Support, Empowerment, Boundaries & Expectations, Constructive Use of Time, Commitment to Learning, Positive Values, Social Competencies, and Positive Identity.

Introduction to Developmental Assets video

  • Developmental Assets list for children 3 to 5 click here.
  • Developmental Assets list for children 5 to 9 click here.
  • Developmental Assets list for children 8 to 12 click here.
  • Developmental Assets list for children 12 to 18 click here.

Let me know what you think. Our family is trying to weave these assets into our lives, conversations, and actions. It feels right!

BVSD Open Enrollment Time Is Here!

Open Enrollment. These two words bring strong emotions to the parents of Boulder. For some who chose to enroll their kids in their neighborhood school, open enrollment in the Boulder Valley School District [BVSD] is not a big deal. Phew! For the 40% of us who do open enroll our children it can be stressful.

So what is open enrollment in BVSD? Any child can go to any school based on availability by entering their child into the lottery system called, Open Enrollment. All families in BVSD can look at all schools to see which one seems to meet their child[ren]’s needs best. There are many choices [charter schools, focus schools, and neighborhood schools] and each has it’s benefits and drawbacks. But ultimately many of us choose to open enroll our children to try and find the best fit. For more details on open enrollment click here.

There are two main types of BVSD schools:

1. Neighborhood Schools: These are the schools that are designated for your neighborhood. Your child can always get into these schools if you live within the boundaries. You DO NOT need to open enroll to these schools if you are in the neighborhood, but you CAN if you want your child to go to the school, but you are not in the designated boundary.

2. Focus/Charter Schools: These are open enrollment schools that serve ALL of BVSD. There are NO designated neighborhood boundaries for Focus and Charter schools. You MUST open enroll to these schools. 

To help you visualize the open enrollment process here is the BVDS open enrollment flow chart:

For Boulder Families with younger children there are a few schools that have open enrollment options for preschool, such as Community Montessori. For these schools, open enrolling at preschool age is the best way to secure a slot for your child. So even if your child is too young for elementary schools, taking a look at the open enrollment process can be really helpful.

Open enrollment happens for a limited time. You MUST apply to open enroll your child between November 26, 2012 and January 18, 2013. For more details on the dates click here. To get an open enrollment application head to the BVSD website starting November 26, 2012. Good luck to everyone open enrolling a child this year!