Weekend Links: Articles, Photos, Events and More!

 

Beyond The Brochure's 3rd year speaking at the wonderful Aria Montessori Preschool in Pasadena. What a great place!

Beyond The Brochure’s 3rd year speaking to families about kindergarten admissions at the wonderful Aria Montessori Preschool in Pasadena. What a great place!

Oakwood School Holiday Boutique is open to the community.  A chance to see the school and shop! November 13, 2013, 8:30 AM to 5:00 PM in the Music, Dance and Athletic Center. Valet parking available on Lemp Ave. Kick-start your holiday shopping at the Oakwood School Holiday Boutique! Get a jump on some chic and festive shopping while supporting a great cause. The impressive and thoughtfully curated vendor list includes Joe’s Jeans, Jacqueline B., Shelley’s Fashion, Soto Boutique, SY Devore, Curio and Kind, Clare Vivier, Classy Bag Lady, and Tough Cookies. Browse jewelry from Eden Rox, Stella & Dot and Maya Brenner, to name a few. For additional updates follow us at Oakwood School or https://www.facebook.com/OakwoodSchoolHolidayBoutique.

 

We spent last weekend in Anaheim for a hoops tournament:

 

Links:

Here’s a piece about one of Viewpoint School’s assemblies written by my friend Matt Steiner of Launch Education Group. It gives insight into the amazing culture of my kids’ school! (Launch Education Group)

 

Are standards too high at Harvard-Westlake School? An interesting article about the stress and demands on students at this top-ranked school.  (LA Times)

 

At Scottsdale Country Day School in Arizona, a 3rd grader was threatened with expulsion for these graphic drawings and journal entries that depict and describe violence.  The kid’s parents are furious and pulled him out of the school. (CNN and CBS5az.com)

 

The headmaster of the elite Tower Hill School in Wilmington, Delaware has been arrested on charges of dealing in child porn. The school’s alumni include Dr. Oz and congressman and senators. (abclocal.com)

 

I’ll be chatting with moms at BabyTalk LA later this week. Have a great weekend! Christina

 

Click on This Girl Walks Into A Bar to check out Bungalow Clothing shopping experience

Hear KOST 103.5 FM “Getting Into Private School” Interview and Photos, Summer Camp Links!

KOST 103.5 FM Interview

I was so excited to be invited by Kristen Cruz, the awesome morning co-host on KOST 103.5 FM to talk about getting into private elementary schools. Kristen is a mom of two and also writes a mom blog. The interview link is up and you can listen to the interview HERE.

 

Co-hosting a lunch at my home for some of L.A.’s most fabulous and inspiring mom bloggers was one of the highlights of my week!

My favorite mom bloggers!

I had some of my favorite mom bloggers over for lunch! My co-host was Matt Steiner of Launch Education Group (pictured next to me)!

 

My family and I were in San Diego for my son’s soccer tournament last weekend. Lots of fun!

A rare chance to play goalie and loving it! FCLA Club Team in San Diego

A rare chance to play goalie and loving it! FCLA Club Team in San Diego

 

Momangeles and I put together a fantastic list of summer camps for kids ages 4 and up. These include camps at private schools like Willows, Brentwood, Curtis and more! Click on Momangeles. 

 

Have a great weekend- Christina

 

 

Wordless Weekend: L.A. Summer Daze

Album Cover. One of my daughter's projects in photo class at Marlborough Summer School

My son at a soccer tournament in the OC. Team is FCLA/Galaxy Club

Our family at Disneyland for my kids' birthdays

Tennis Tournament at UCLA

Our family loves hiking at Tree People in Coldwater Canyon-my daughter and our dog (Taken with Instagram)

Take the Expo Line to the super-cool "Cleopatra" exhibit at California Science Center

Blogging! Writing for Beyond The Brochure, Momangeles and SuperMommyNot. (Taken with Instagram)

A decadent afternoon. The 100th anniversary of the BH Hotel. (Photo: Instagram)

 

Oh, The Places They Go!

Cabo San Lucas

France, Italy, London, Los Angeles, Mexico, Asia. No, I’m not talking about the vacations of celebrities and supermodels, although they jet set too. I’m talking about the spring break vacations of some of L.A.’s private elementary school families.

 

Don’t get me wrong, I like the idea of exposing kids to new places, cultures, foods and countries. And, I’m no stranger to Five Star resorts. Still, I’m astounded at the luxe vacations private elementary school parents take their young kids on for spring break. We’re not talking about high school or college graduation. We’re taking about 2nd grade spring break, 4th grade spring break, even kindergarten spring break to Thailand, Costa Rica and Switzerland.

 

Moroccan getaways, villas in Cabo, excursions to Japan, Thailand, Paris, Costa Rica and London. Statement vacations reign supreme. Jetting off on a moment’s notice without the hassle of horrifying body scans or sweltering 6 hour delays on the tarmac comes with the territory for a few of these families.

 

At The Willows School, a kid who traveled to an extremely exotic and faraway locale for spring break this year, regaled the entire grade with a slide show of the family’s trip, complete with editorial commentary that was meant to dazzle classmates.

 

I think its wonderful for kids to see remote places while they develop an appreciation and respect for other countries not their own. But, my kids will have to wait a while before we embark on a 15 hour flight to anywhere. Right now, my kids think Hawaii is awesome (because it is!) and I’m not going to try to try to change their opinion. My family also loves hanging out right here in my hometown.

Dinner with friends and family at The Reel Inn, Malibu, then a walk on my hometown beach. At Topanga Beach

Topanga State Beach

Lovely Los Angeles

If you’d rather wait until the kids are older to jet off to a fancy resort on the other side of the world, I’m with you. There are a lot of cool cultural and outdoor places to go right here in Los Angeles. Jennifer Brandt’s piece for Lifetime Moms about taking her son to the beach during her “summer of nothing” is so fun. Michelle Chiklis writes about a perfect day spent hiking in Temescal Canyon and then a bit of retail therapy. While spending the day as a tourist in your own city may not get your kid invited to present a slide show to the class, its certain to entertain and enlighten her.

 

Want to talk about summer vacations? How about Machu Picchu, Peru. Anyone want to go? Anybody at all? I thought so. They’ve already arrived and are posting pics on Facebook.

 

Wordless Weekend: Name That L.A. Private Elementary School!

A new Arts and Education building is coming soon to this well-established Valley School (photo: Toluca Times)

A mildly religious Hancock Park K-6 school

This Preschool-8th has a Montessori-inspired approach in the early years

Kids have been known to remain on this school's wait list for 5 years before being accepted

This super-popular school has a gorgeous campus and student uniforms

This is a Catholic school in Brentwood

Wordless Weekend

With a group of very cool mom bloggers at UCLA Family Commons Mother's Week: (Lto R) Beverly Hills Mom, Santa Monica Macaroni Kid, Salt & Nectar, Mommy Poppins, Checklist Mommy, Me, Club Mom Me, Beyond The Brochure, LA Moms Dig, Momangeles

At Romp for private elementary school admissions event. L to R: Laura Gerson (Momangeles), Porcha Dodson (Beyond The Brochure), Christina Simon (Beyond The Brochure), Sandy Eiges (LA School Scout), Janis Adams (Academic Achievers-event sponsor)

A giant sunflower looms brightly over the Willows School garden

At Children's Book World for author Sarah Mazies' signing of her new kids book, "On My Way To The Bath" L to R: Rachel Pitzel (Club Mom Me), Christina Simon (Beyond The Brochure), Sarah Maizes (Mommyliteonline) and Linda Wolff (Carpool Goddess)

My precious girl just after her return from 5 days in Boston with Willows School

 

Inspired Learning: The Waverly School Garden

“We grew a “pizza sauce” garden of tomatoes, onions and oregano, made some sauce, and threw a party at the farm where we grilled up a lot of pizza. Everyone liked that, so the next year we grew a sauce garden again, and made the cheese for our pizza in the classroom. A parent joked, “How come you didn’t grow the crust?” -Barbara Ayers, Waverly School parent who oversees the school’s garden.



To read more about how the Waverly School garden came to life, read Barbara Ayer’s blog piece. She oversees the school’s garden. For more about the Waverly School in Pasadena, click HERE.

Don’t Miss School Events, Photos, Guest Posts and More! Like Us On Facebook!

The Year In Review, What’s Ahead and Photos!

Happy New Year! Anne, Porcha and want to say THANK YOU to our book readers, our blog readers and our Facebook friends. We truly appreciate your support, comments, feedback, emails. We love hearing from you!
In 2011, we wrote about a wide range of L.A. private elementary school topics that have become our most popular posts (a few of these are from 2010, but remain our most-read pieces). How to create your Family Message (a three-part piece) was our most popular blog post of 2011. The Big Five Feeder Elementary Schools To Harvard-Westlake continues to be of interest. Jenny Heitz’ Do Or Die For John Thomas Dye is at the top of the list too. Anne wrote a very informative piece about how private schools hire teachers and Jenny’s witty, sly piece about Perfect Mommy Syndrome at L.A. private schools sparked a huge controversy, resulting in a blog spat with Today Show mom blogger, Mayim Bialik and landing Beyond The Brochure on E!Online and Fishbowl L.A. Janis Adams roundup post Straight Talk From Admissions Directors is a great resource. And, Samantha Goodman’s Wait-listed At Wildwood walked readers through her quest to get her son into Wildwood School (she now gives tours there). My personal favorite: Jenny’s post, I Want My Manny: A Private School Status Symbol.
Beyond The Brochure continues to grow! I’m now a contributor to two outstanding sites, Momangeles and Moms LA.
We’ve been incredibly fortunate to have outstanding guest bloggers who bring their own unique perspectives as private elementary school moms to our site. A huge thank you to these women who have contributed so much valuable information and insight to this blog:
Jenny Heitz, Mirman School mom and writer of Find A Toad, a modern style blog
Samantha Goodman, Wildwood School mom and writer of the very witty blog, Life With Smalls
Lauri Kranz, my friend and founder of Edible Gardens LA. She’s the talented mom who oversees the stunning garden at The Willows School.
A special thank you to Chevalier’s Books on Larchmont and Children’s Book World in West LA for carrying our book!
As 2011 comes to a close, we know its been a tough year for many families. The economy continues to falter and many of us have friends who are unemployed.  Yet, as parents, we all strive to give our kids the best possible education, despite uncertain economic times. Private elementary schools in Los Angeles are making sincere efforts to help both current and incoming families with financial aid packages. Some schools are raising additional funds for financial aid. Other schools are trying to keep tuition increases minimal. It is our sense that everything that can be done to help families who qualify for financial aid, is being done.
We’re looking forward to 2012! We’ve got a lot planned that we look forward to sharing with you. Speaking events, excellent guest bloggers, private school buzz, reader questions and an updated version of Beyond The Brochure: An Insider’s Guide To Private Elementary Schools In Los Angeles, due out in Fall 2012.
We’ll leave you with our most recent Facebook photos of 2011. See you next year!
All Our Best, 
Christina, Anne and Porcha
Christina’s Kids: Photo by Joy Marie Smallwood
The Willows School Garden, Managed By
Lauri Kranz, Founder of Edible Gardens LA 
Karen Bowlin, Christina Simon and Wendy Wallace
 at Moms Club Of Burbank, Holiday Boutique For Charity
The Willows School’s Beautiful Garden
Christina Simon and Laura Filipowicz of Bag Lady Productions at Holiday Event,  Evolue Beauty