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Ponder and Wonder

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Choice-a-School

Choice-a-School

✍️Choice-a-School!
My kids will be going to kindergarten in a few days. Its been a complete confusion and a chaos the last few months to decide a school for them. I am mostly a no-pressure mom , but everyone around me was all about this! That got me thinking! I had already missed a few deadlines and does kindergarten admissions really have an effect on the kids chances to get into a Harvard or MIT! Off course, no-one can stop your child if he/she is a prodigy, but what about all of ours in the middle spectrum? I honestly don't know, and at this moment I am just not ready to take in the pressure. 

When we were growing up, the choices were simpler, selection was between public school or private school, affordable school or premium priced schools , home schools or boarding school - the choices were based on affordability, circumstances and accessibility .But now its a different ball game all together! I am in the Silicon Valley ,but these choices are coming everywhere if not already, then soon! 

Here are the choice of schools we have:
1. The regular public schools following common core.
2. The lottery/Magnet public schools following common core plus, giving the students some edge!
3. The Charter schools/independent public schools which define their own curriculum and/or follow common core but they are not regulated like the regular public schools and have more independence, so it does tackle bureaucracies better.
4. Alternative Schools - Public schools which still adhere to common core standards but adopt an alternative teaching philosophy. 
5.Co-op Schools - Activity Community and intense Parent Participation schools to shape the education and learning.
6. Private academic schools which offer intense aggressive academics. 
7. Alternative schooling like Waldorf schools. 
8. Experimental schools like Khan Lab School which follow personalized and project based learning. 
9. Balanced Private Schools - which adopt a well rounded approach and balance academics with inspirations from alternative pedagogy.
--- these are the one's that I have come across in the past year, and there might be some more options. Also, these are elementary school options, if you are a considering preschools there are a few other options like Montessori, Reggio, play and learn and the like! 

What's my choice - I love co-ops, the learning as a parent and exploring education is very enriching. I did opt for this as a preschool option. (It is quite different than a Mommy and Me setup , its intense). We were in a fantastic play and learn co-op school for most part of preschool, and for the last one year we did both a co-op setup 2 days a week, and a balanced school (drop off's) 3 days a week. 

For elementary school, time permitting co-op would have been a great choice, and we have a very distinguished elementary co-op school near me, so it would have been really perfect - but now balancing life and work, this option I have to rule out for now. 

We are the first few in the wait list for lottery/Magnet school in our area. We missed the deadline on the charter school. My husband and I went back and forth between regular public school (which is the only available option for us right now) and private school and also on the learning approach. We believe alternative school would be a great choice, but after considering our children's personality traits and the Waldorf school approach, we did not find a 100% match, as much as we love the approach, we still think we need a better defined structure for them.( I think this gap is somewhat solved for by schools in India adopting Waldorf compared to a proprietary Waldorf school here in the US) 
We finally decided to go with the Balance School approach which has a structured learning focus and at the same time adopts various alternative learning processes. 
As my kids start school, I will share more experiences and the impressive curriculum which I am very excited about! 

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Yours Truly,

Miss K

Ponder and Wonder - 1

Ponder and Wonder - 1

Ponder and Wonder: Why we expect kids to think outside the box...  ..... but color inside the lines ?

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Yours Truly,

MissK

Hot Cross Buns - Easter Special

Hot Cross Buns - Easter Special

Easter Special
Hot Cross Buns - Popular Nursery Rhyme

A hot cross bun is a spiced sweet bun marked with a cross on the top. The traditional Hot Cross buns, its not just a cross marking, but its actually a cross cut into the bread. Good Friday is the day to bake and share Hot Cross Buns with family and friends.

                                                      

Different parts of the hot cross bun have a certain meaning,
-cross representing the crucifixion of Jesus,
- the spices Jesus was wrapped in in the tomb

Some of the earlier traditions included keeping bread baked on Good Friday to use as a medicine in later years. It was believed that the buns would never go bad and they were sometimes nailed up in the house as a good luck charm.

Hot Cross Buns were popular street cries by merchants. The first written reference of hot cross buns is in 17th century is a women walking the street, singing to sell their spiced treats:
"Good Friday comes this Month, the old woman runs, With one or two a Penny hot cross Buns."

and thus this popular Nursery Rhyme came into being..

Hot Cross Buns, Hot Cross Buns
One a penny two a penny, Hot Cross Buns
If you have no daughters, give them to your sons,
One a penny two a penny, Hot Cross Buns!

We have been singing a slight modified version of this song at home, as I have boy and girl twins:

Hot Cross Buns, Hot Cross Buns
One a penny two a penny, Hot Cross Buns
Give them to your daughters, give them to your sons,
One a penny two a penny, Hot Cross Buns!

Happy Easter, Happy Spring !

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Yours Truly,

MissK

Art Gallery Painters -  Itzchak Tarkay

Art Gallery Painters - Itzchak Tarkay

Information Summary on Art Gallery Painters

A Beautiful journey from a year in the concentration camp to becoming a famous painter - Itzchak Tarkay

His style - when asked about his style , he says "Can you explain your own handwriting" ?

His art is focussed on almost dream images of elegant women in classical scenes which draw you into an imaginary world.

"The most intriguing about his art, is that most the of women in his pictures have vibrant eye shadow, and are sitting with a group of women having tea. It is believed that Tarkay’s paintings are a representation of his mother's vision of having tea with her friends while they were in the concentration camp. It is said that Tarkay always paints his women with their eyes cast down as his way of honoring those who did not survive the Nazi camps"

"The figures Tarkay paints are taken directly from life although the artist manipulates and evolves them, eventually creating characters of his own. They tend to be faceless and often their poses seem theatrical and exaggerated. To Tarkay, the figures are characters in a play, and therefore the setting too is important and fulfills a special function."

Source: Multiple Sources related to Tarkay and his paintings.

Here are some of Tarkay's Paintings:

     

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Yours Truly, 

Miss K

Art Gallery Painters - Thomas Kinkade

Art Gallery Painters - Thomas Kinkade

Information Summary on Art Gallery Painters

Meet one my favorites - Thomas Kinkade

A popular American artist also known as a Painter of Lights.

His style - chi·a·ro·scu·ro which means the treatment of light and shade in drawing and painting. This technique was developed during the Renaissance era.

He was a devoted family man , and a lot of his art work has the letter "N" representing his wife Nanette and some paintings include the numbers 5282 as tribute to their wedding date May 2, 1982. He also has paintings named after each of his 4 daughters

Most of these artists, leave a DNA in their paintings. He sometimes included traces of his DNA from blood and hair mixed with the paint he used.

Example of an award-winning Thomas Kinkade Chiaroscuro: Moonlit Sleigh Ride, 1992 (see image)

To learn more about him, please visit his website, you are surely going to be amazed- https://thomaskinkade.com/

See the video to understand how his paintings come to life... as you dim the lights, the lights in the painting seem brighter.

A Side Note on the Art Gallery Works - Canvas/Oil paintings made by these artists are one of a kind and are very premium priced - a few thousand dollars and upward, some go upto a couple million dollars worth. However, for many artists you can get a printed version known as serigraph.

"Serigraphs actually involve recreating the original artwork by hand. The serigrapher prints each individual color of the original, one color at a time, resulting in an exacting hand created reproduction."

Depending on the artist and the demand a few hundred to a few thousands , but a limited edition serigraph prints are created, and may often carry the Painters DNA keeping it original and limited editions. These serigraphs are relatively affordable versions for art collectors. A great place to purchase these serigraph prints would be art auctions, specially on cruise lines.

               

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Yours Truly, 

Miss K

Mary, Mary Quite Contrary

Mary, Mary Quite Contrary

Mary Mary, quite contrary,

How does your garden grow?

There is an age old theory that plants thrive when you sing or speak to them - creating a beautiful and positive vibe - just like the effect of positivity and music would have when we nurture our kids. A basic underlying science behind speaking to the plants is that you are exhaling CO2 near them which is offcourse beneficial. So this Earth Day, get your kids speaking to the plants and writing messages to them. Also ask fun questions like if you are a plant, what would you like to say to your gardener and roleplay as a plant.

To add to this magic, I found a very cute dollar store item - Plant talk bubble!

As a part of the earth day celebrations at our house, the kids will write new messages to the plants daily as a reminder to love our surroundings, Our Earth. If you can’t find these talk bubbles, you can use small chalkboard clips or something similar and glue/clip to a stick and then use this concept with your kids.

Pink Bubble        Writing on Bubble      Bubble Stake in the Pot

Vitamin Simple Supermom Sandhya Vinod loved this idea and when she was leaving for a vacation for a month, She and kids wrote sweet somethings to their plants so they keep growing and feel the love while they are away.... 

Messages to Plant       Messages to the Plant1

Happy Earth, Happy Us!

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Yours Truly, 

Miss K

STEAM - the 5th dimension "A"

STEAM - the 5th dimension "A"

STEAM

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World Book Day! April 23rd, 2018

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