Weekend Links: Our Big Summer Vacation, Why Schools Should Teach Kindness and More!


Our family spent 10 days in London and Paris in early August. This was the first time the kids and I had been to Europe. My anxiety about traveling and my ability to become extremely homesick almost immediately (ugh!) kept me from taking such a big, expensive trip. But, I finally got it together to do this. My kids are old enough (12 and 15) to truly appreciate the museums, restaurants and other historic places and Barry has been to both cities many times so he was an amazing tour guide. My daughter is learning French and it was fun to see her pick up a few new phrases. Of course, I’m glad we went and I’m grateful for the chance to visit two stunning cities with my family.

Have a great weekend! –Christina


Here are a few links from around the web: 

Here’s a great primer on what to do when you have teacher troubles (Parenting)

Look at these flexible classrooms..a great idea, especially for kids who like to move around. (Edutopia)

These parenting incidents will make you smile or LOL! No judgement, of course. (BuzzFeed)

I’m a HUGE believer in the role of schools in teaching kindness to reduce bullying, especially if it is not being taught at home (Edutopia)

We’re getting ready for school to start in a few weeks. My kids will be starting 6th and 9th grades and with that will come transitions to new buildings, schedules and teachers. This piece really captures the essence of new routines and schedules that must be adjusted to. I’ve started leaving notes for my kids asking them to do specific chores and there’s something about a note from mom that makes sure the work gets done. And, they like writing me a note back telling me they did it! (NYT Motherlode)

A friend sent me this article, “Mean Moms: Meet The Newest Bully On The Block?” and sadly, even though its from 2011, the story is still relevant in 2015 (PopSugar)


In case you missed these from Beyond The Brochure’s Facebook Page:

Neighbors dislike private school construction and expansion around Los Angeles. (LA Times)

I’ve definitely been guilty of one or two of these things! Types of Parents Teachers Hate (Parenting)

Here’s a piece I wrote about how we became a 2 pit bull family. (Mom.me)



Weekend Links: Happy 4th of July!

Washington Monument, D.C.
Washington Monument, D.C. July, 2015

Happy July 4th weekend! This is my favorite holiday because it reminds me of what it means to be American. It’s also perfect for a long, lazy summer weekend where we can host friends for a BBQ and swimming. We visited family and friends last earlier this week in Washington D.C. on what has become an annual trip. What a fun city…so many things to see and do.


Here are some interesting links to browse from around the Web:

This is one of the most powerful pieces I’ve read about one mom’s search for a school in L.A. Wow. Definitely a must-read! (Dame Magazine)

Why would a New York school application ask how the kid was delivered? I would refuse to answer the question. Whatever happened to privacy? (NYT Motherlode)

To trust your ‘parenting instincts’ or not…two pieces with different perspectives tackle this issue. I’ve always relied on a combination of my own maternal instincts and the advice of parents I respect. In the spring, I definitely relied more heavily on friends and family more than ever before to get me through a rough parenting year–I mean really rough– like make me cry and knock me flat–kind of year.  (Brain, Child)

If you’re hearing terms like ‘project based learning’ on L.A. private school tours, but need more information check out Educopia. Also, tons of interesting articles on education trends and what’s happening in the classroom. (Edutopia)

A nice shout-out to Viewpoint Basketball. Coach Prince and his team are well-deserving of the accolades. (Los Angeles Times)


Like Beyond The Brochure on Facebook so you don’t miss a thing!



Happy Weekend! FB Recap and More!

Such a fun event! At Mommy Greenest's book launch with Laila Ali and Rachel Sarnoff at Naturepedic.
Such a fun event! At Mommy Greenest’s book launch with Laila Ali and Rachel Sarnoff at Naturepedic.

What a busy end-of-school-year season! I’m looking forward to a low-key summer. Maybe you are too? But first, my son is graduating from elementary school and my daughter is graduating from middle school. I’m incredibly proud of them for their hard work, perseverance, humor and most of all, their kindness.


I posted a lot this week on Beyond The Brochure’s Facebook Page, so if you’re not following on Facebook, you might be missing stuff I don’t post here on the blog.

Here are a few items:

How Elon Musk Is Educating His Children. Beyond The Brochure is mentioned! (Quartz)

You could say it was a field of discord…my piece about losing my cool.  He Yelled At My Son, So I Yelled Back (mom.me)

My friend, Jessica, thinks this is the new private school mom’s “It Bag” (FB/Pinterest)

A progressive NYC private school is trying something new–and creating controversy. Can Racism Be Stopped In 3rd Grade? (NY Magazine)

I didn’t post this on FB, but it might be helpful to those of you still on wait-lists.  Rejection Or Wait-Lists, What To Do? (Huffington Post).



Weekend Links: Play-Based Nature Kindergartens, Parenting Trends and more!


Viewpoint at Laurel Hall. First year playing for Viewpoint's flag football team. What a blast!
Viewpoint at Laurel Hall. My son’s first year playing for Viewpoint’s flag football team. What a blast!

Nature inspired forest kindergartens aren’t focused on academics and they’re catching on around the country. (NPR/KQED)


Since my daughter was born in 2000, a lot has changed in the world of parenting. My go-to basics like Sippy cups are now out! Who knew? This week, I wrote about the top14 parenting trends, what’s in (and out!) (mom.me)


One of the BEST pieces I’ve read about how moms need to be all in, all the time. Our Mommy Problem (NYT)


With Sarah Maizes
With Sarah Maizes

My friend Sarah Maizes (above) wrote this hilarious piece about vintage (and terrifying car seats). You must see how we used to ride with our babies! (mom.me)


A stunningly beautiful piece about missing the village to raise our kids. This piece resonated with me deeply, as I sometimes feel so alone in raising my kids in L.A. (Huffington Post)


If you’ve been reading this blog for awhile, you know how much I love school gardens and the movement to feed our kids healthy food at school. Farm to table movement comes to school cafeterias (Marketplace on NPR)


Authors of a new report aren’t happy about kindergarten becoming the new first grade. The article points out that some kids are ready to read in kindergarten while others need more time. (Washington Post)


Let’s be social! Like Beyond The Brochure on Facebook. We post a lot of stuff on Facebook that’s not on the blog!  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!

Weekend Links: The 13-Page Preschool Application, Pics and more!

I attended a fabulous event, Swap Your Style, at Give + Take in Santa Monica. I brought items I haven’t worn (or no longer wear) and swapped them for some really cool clothes and accessories. Here are the pics from the event.

With my partner in shopping, Jessica Gottlieb (JessicaGottlieb.com) at #SwapYourStyle
With my partner-in-swapping, Jessica Gottlieb (JessicaGottlieb.com) at #SwapYourStyle
Give and Take
Ready to #swapyourstyle? Oh yes! Thx @momsla #momsla @giveplustake @swapdom_com  @omcocktails @wholefoods  @ilovegurus @thewonderseed @josie_maran,@RachelLSarnoff, MommyGreenest.com
With author Sarah Maizes, "On My Way To The Bath"
With my friend, author Sarah Maizes, “On My Way To The Bath” at #SwapYourStyle
@RachelLSarnoff (MommyGreenest.com) giving us the scoop on shopping and swapping at Give+Take.
@RachelLSarnoff (MommyGreenest.com) giving us the scoop on shopping and swapping at Give+Take.

I stopped by Viewpoint School’s Invention Convention to check out my son’s science project. Very cool!

My son at Viewpoint's 4th grade Invention Convention
My son at Viewpoint’s 4th grade Invention Convention
The "laptop" with suctions so it will stick to a wall or treadmill
The “laptop” with suctions so it will stick to a wall or treadmill
The i-Suction 3000. It sticks!
The i-Suction 3000. It sticks!

We profiled Pasadena Waldorf School on the blog previously. Waldorf schools are unique and compelling. If you’re interested in a Waldorf education for your child, check out this event:

Waldorf Day

Experience Waldorf Day:

Adults attend Class at a Waldorf School – See why Waldorf Education Works

March 8th from 10am-2pm

The City School Waldorf Initiative (Preschool to G8) presents Experience Waldorf Day, where adults attend a day of “Waldorf” classes spanning Preschool to Grade 8! Waldorf Education is the largest independent, non-sectarian educational philosophy in the world. With 900 schools in 60 countries, Waldorf education reaches the heart, mind and soul of its students. Sign up online or call 818-776-0011. 17424 Sherman Way in Lake Balboa, 91406.


Weekend Links:

In a new series, Preschool Admissions Diary, The New York Times parenting blog will be covering preschool admissions through April. Do parents really hire consultants to help kids hide the fact that they took a class? Read on…here’s the first post, The 13-Page Preschool Application. (NYT Motherlode)


A very useful piece about how to approach a parent-teacher conference when your kid’s elementary school teacher is ineffective. (NYT Motherlode)


Low-income schools use mindfulness (meditation) in the classroom with big results. (KPCC’s Take Two). 


We shared this on Beyond The Brochure’s FaceBook page, but it’s worth sharing here in case you missed it. Read about how one teacher uses a simple but powerful method to find out a lot about what’s on her students’ minds. The is a WOW piece! (Momastery).