Book Review: “On My Way To School” A New Kid’s Book by Sarah Maizes

On My Way To School

On My Way To School, is a new kid’s book by Sarah Maizes, my amazing friend, writer, mom of three and parenting humorist. The third in a series, On My Way To School is inspired by Sarah’s daughter Livi, who is the book’s central character. As you can imagine, Livi is just as adorable in real-life as she is in the book.

 

As every parent knows, getting kids ready for school can be a struggle on even the best mornings. Add in a few mishaps and the word “routine” goes out the window. On My Way To School takes its readers on a fun-filled journey, as Livi makes her way to school–very, very s-l-o-w-l-y. Livi procrastinates and lets her imagination take over, creating silly characters and lots of reasons why she just can’t go to school. From becoming a slimy snail to cooking an elaborate breakfast and then strutting into school as a movie star waiving to her fans, it’s a miracle Livi finally arrives at school. Sarah Maizes has written a warm, witty book that will have your kids listening (or reading) closely and possibly even mimicking some of Livi’s hilarious morning activities. Your kids will ADORE this book!

 

“Livi’s vibrant imagination and abundant energy leap off the pages.” —Publishers Weekly

 

Colorfully illustrated by Michael Paraskevas, this book is for ages 1-5. Published by Bloomsbury.

 

SARAH MAIZES is a parenting humorist, freelance writer and the author of On My Way to the Bath—a Children’s Book Council “Best Picture Book of 2012,” and On My Way to Bed—a New York Times “Bookshelf” pick.  She is a regular contributor to TODAY.com and HuffingtonPost.com and has appeared on theTODAY Show, CNN, and more. www.SarahMaizes.com or www.amazon.com

Striking a pose! Christina Simon and Sarah Maizes . Sarah makes any event fun.

Striking a pose! Sarah makes any event fun–and funny.

Upcoming event: Sarah will be reading and signing copies of On My Way To School at Children’s Book World in West L.A.! Saturday, August 16th, at 10:30 a.m. Don’t miss it!

 

Book it: Schedule Sarah for a reading at your kid’s elementary school! She’s been a featured book fair author at my kids’ former and current schools. www.sarahmaizes.com

 

This post was not sponsored or compensated. I received a review copy of the book. 

 

 

 

Gorgeous L.A. Private School Gardens

Barnhard School Love the statue! (Photo: Mia J. Photography)

Barnhard School. Love the statue! (Photo: Mia J. Photography)

adat_jpg

Growing food at Adat Ari El Day School

Wildwood School Pod Garden (Photo: Wildwood School)

Wildwood School Pod Garden (Photo: Wildwood School)

Tomatoes growing in a corner of the school garden at Turning Point

Tomatoes growing in a corner of the school garden at Turning Point

Center For Early Education greening project

Center For Early Education greening project

An edible garden at Seven Arrows School

An edible garden at Seven Arrows School

A garden grows at Chandler!

A garden grows at Chandler School!

Westland School gem

Westland School gem!

The Farm

The Farm at Waverly School

The garden at Children's Community School, Van Nuys

The garden at Children’s Community School

Gorgeous garden!

Pasadena Waldorf garden

Lycée Francais de Los Angeles (LILA)

Lycée International de Los Angeles (LILA)

State of nature: The garden at Sierra Canyon

State of nature: The garden at Sierra Canyon

 

Firefly Educational Consulting: Especially For The 805/818 Area Codes

Christine Sharma

Christine Sharma, Firefly Educational Consulting

I’m thrilled to introduce you to Christine Sharma, founder of Firefly Educational Consulting. I met Christine at an event recently and as soon as I heard about her business, I asked her to do a Q&A interview with Beyond The Brochure–Christina

 

1. Does Firefly Educational Consulting specialize in a specific geographic area?

As a Kindergarten teacher, I get to work with our littlest learners inside the classroom, and as an Educational Consultant, I get to connect families from Camarillo to Calabasas with the “just right” educational resources, schools, and support specialists in our corner of the world.

 

2. Do you work with all students of all grade levels?

I am honored to support Firefly Families and their school age children from Preschool – 8th Grade.

 

3. How does your professional experience help you assist families who want to find a great private school?

As an educator, with experience teaching in both private and public schools, I know that our families have many choices when it comes to educating their children. With deep roots in education and in our community, I am able to offer families a supportive and personalized school search experience.

 

4. What do you think is the biggest challenge facing families who want to apply to top private schools in LA/Ventura County?

The private school search experience can feel quite different here than it does a bit further south. We have fewer private independent schools than in the heart of Los Angeles, making the application process less familiar for many of our families, while simultaneously creating competition for limited spots into our top private schools, both private independent and parochial.

 

5. Can you tell us a bit about your approach to working with families?

Relationships are the heart and soul of Firefly, and I have loved being able to build relationships with families as well as the stand-out schools and specialists who serve children in our community.

 

6. How are your fees/services structured?

I like to meet with prospective parents for a short complimentary consultation, after which my hourly fee is $130. I am also happy to offer a Preschool Placement Package, for families of our smallest students who would like comprehensive support during their school search.

 

Christine and her husband, Sameer, both graduated from UCLA in 2004, and settled into a cozy Cape Cod-style cottage in Westlake Village. They have a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Raja, who loves pillows and just about anything that flies. Christine has taught at within the Pleasant Valley School District, at Westside Neighborhood School and within the Oak Park School District.
Contact Christine at 805-746-1363 or email: Christine at fireflysky dot net 

 

Clearing Off The Sports Trophy Shelf

At a trophy ceremony where every team member gets a trophy. Happiness!

At an early ceremony where every team member got a trophy. That smile. Happiness!

My son came home recently and announced he wanted to get rid of all his “participation” trophies. Those are the trophies he got for being on a team, whether or not they won, whether or not they played well, whether or not everyone showed up. From the moment he hit the field in his first T-Ball game, he hasn’t stopped playing. His love of sports is part of who he his. But, after about six years of trophies that collected on his shelf he wanted to clear the space for the trophies his teams won. He got a trash bag, gathered them up and dumped them.

Participation trophies in the trash. It was time.

Participation trophies in the trash. It was time.

Now, at almost 11, my son understands what it takes to win a soccer or basketball championship. It doesn’t come easy, but when it happens its a big deal. So, the trophies he kept are from his team’s championships. It’s a smaller bunch, but one that has immense meaning to him.

Merit trophies. Hard-fought club team tournament championships.

Merit trophies. Hard-fought soccer club team tournament championships.

Standing next to Coach Freddy (Pacific Elite Basketball), my son knows how hard the team worked to win the championship.

Proud moment!

Proud moment! With Coach Freddy (Pacific Elite) a few months ago.

Anaheim Cup Champs

Anaheim Cup Soccer Champs

What’s Not In My “About The Author” Section

 

Medium

Whenever I read my go-to blogs, I like to know more about the writers. I always browse the “About The Author” section first. It’s usually brief and factual, occasionally funny. There’s nothing funny about this piece that was accepted for submission on the uber-popular writer’s site, Medium. It is, however, an essential part of my “About The Author” section. It’s just that it won’t fit in my brief bio on this blog. –Christina

 

Click on As She Lay Dying: How A Hippie Chose To Die on Medium

 

An earlier version of this piece was an Editor’s Pick on Open Salon

Preschool Playdates: Not Just For Kids

 

Elizabeth Street Logo

Some could argue preschool playdates are more for us moms. Here’s my latest post for Elizabeth Street. –Christina

 

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Differences Between Progressive and Traditional Schools (Part 6)

The Answer Can Be Found In The Test

Progressive School Test

Progressive School Test

Traditional School Test

Traditional School Test

 

Let’s be social! Like Beyond The Brochure on Facebook or Follow us on Twitter. Are you more the email type? Get our posts in your in box by subscribing (enter your email in the subscribe” box on the right sidebar of the blog. Or, buy the Second Edition of our book at Amazon.com or your local bookstores! 

Wordless Wednesday: Actress/Mom Viola Davis’ Campaign to End Child Hunger

Viola Davis partners with Safeway,

Viola Davis (The Help) is one of my favorite actresses. Her personal story is both heartbreaking and inspiring.  She grew up in extreme poverty, eating out of trash cans, hungry all the time. She put aside the shame associated with growing up poor to join with HungerIs.Org, a partnership between The Safeway Foundation and The Entertainment Industry Foundation, to prevent childhood hunger.

Meeting Viola Davis. Yes, I was nervous! With my friend Candi Schreuders.

Meeting Viola Davis. Yes, I was nervous! With my friend Candi Schreuders. Her inspiration is contagious–my family made a small donation to HungerIs –contribution levels start at $10. Every dollar counts.

With some of my favorite writers/social media ladies, Sarah Maizes and Ashley Faucet at the event. This is social media at its best, truly.

With some of my favorite writers/social media ladies, Sarah Maizes and Ashley Faucet at the event. This is social media at its best, truly.

The MOMS w:Viola Davis

Super women! Melissa Musen Gerstein and Denise Albert (The MOMS) with Viola Davis. The MOMS hosted a lovely, intimate event at the Hotel Sofitel’s Rivera 31. #HungerIsMamarazzi. Photo: The Moms

We know that Beyond The Brochure readers are caring, compassionate moms and dads. Please take a minute to visit HungerIs.org to see how you can help. Every dollar counts. Every voice helps. Thank you–Christina

 

This post was not sponsored or compensated.

School’s Out, Summer’s Here!

Viewpoint Art: The kids painted pictures that were used to create  sets of beautiful notecards. Of course, my heart melted when I saw my son's notecards (above)

Viewpoint Art: The kids painted pictures that were used to create sets of beautiful notecards. Of course, my heart melted when I saw my son’s notecard (pictured above).

My kids just completed their first year at Viewpoint School. And what a year it has been!

 

Both my kids started the school year excited but slightly apprehensive about a new school. They’ve finished this year happy, tired, confident, dazzled and inspired. They will be both be spending time at the school this summer. My son will be at basketball camp and my daughter will be a Counselor In Training at Viewpoint’s Roadrunner camp.

My son performing at the 4th grade California Fiesta Assembly…part of the study of California history.

My son performing at the 4th grade California Fiesta Assembly…part of the study of California history.

Viewpoint School welcomed our family in a way words cannot explain. The warmth, kindness and sense of community is real. It is a school where much is expected of the kids and much is given back to them. It is traditional, rigorous and competitive academically. The dress code is enforced. Good behavior is expected. Achievement to one’s fullest potential is encouraged and expected. Along with those qualities, there is an ever-present nurturing quality about Viewpoint that my kids intuitively appreciate.

A happy Viewpoint mom!

A happy Viewpoint mom!

Viewpoint Gala Night On The Town

Most of all, we are grateful for the kindest, most genuine welcome our family could have imagined.We have been embraced by the headmaster, the admissions director, the teachers and administrators. And the other parents too. This made our first year at the school a huge success. We look forward to many more years there. It’s a good feeling.

 

Thank you, Viewpoint School. Thank you.

 

Let’s be social! Like Beyond The Brochure on Facebook or Follow us on Twitter. Are you more the email type? Get our posts in your in box by subscribing (enter your email in the subscribe” box on the right sidebar of the blog. Or, buy the Second Edition of our book at Amazon.com or your local bookstores!

Preschool Chatter Doesn’t Matter When It Comes To Admissions on Elizabeth Street

Elizabeth Street Logo

A lot of conversations about private kindergarten admissions happen after preschool drop-off. Or, before pick up. But when does the preschool rumor mill add stress to an already crazy-making time?

 

Speaking from personal experience, here’s my advice on dealing with these high-octane conversations. –Christina

 

Preschool Chatter Doesn’t Matter When It Comes To Admissions on Elizabeth Street. 

 

 

Let’s be social! Like Beyond The Brochure on Facebook or Follow us on Twitter. Are you more the email type? Get our posts in your in box by subscribing (enter your email in the subscribe” box on the right sidebar of the blog. Or, buy the Second Edition of our book at Amazon.com or your local bookstores!