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When you think, "improve your child's reading skills," do you think about flash cards or back flips? When you plan on ways to help your son or daughter grow their love for math, do you knit a sweater or knit your brow (and then hire a stern tutor)? Science has shown that extracurricular activities - what moms and dads in the highly-competitive year of 2012 often construe as "just for fun" - can actually build brain pathways that work to enhance academic performance. You may see higher grades after engaging your child in these activities, but the only thing they'll see is a good time (and more friends, less stress, better health...!).
This month, we're feeling grateful for summer vacation. The kids will be back to school before you know it (Hence, our Back to School preview.).
What are your plans for keeping your children occupied and mentally engaged over summer break? (Not to mention out of your hair or safely learning/playing while you are at work!) Santa Clarita is chock full of fantastic - and fun! - opportunities that can fill up a day, a week or all season. Grab your favorite pen and start making notes. Your summer plan is in your hands!
As easy as 1, 2, 3 - our back-to-school guide does the
math for you
You want the best for your kids - and for yourself! Be proactive on the education front and choose a school or program that inspires a passion for learning and a real opportunity for future success in a career - and in life.
Here is your guide to summer fun! Check out great summer activities for children and adults!
An in-depth look at some of SCV's greatest Summer Camps...
Who says you have to travel outside of Santa Clarita to continue your education? We all know how important it is to upgrade your occupational skills. And in these trying times, It's nice to know there are options close to home...
"Mom! Olive is on top of the piano again!," yells Kati, our 11-year-old incarnation of Shakespeare, before returning to her playwriting tasks. Like a professional climber driven to plant their flag at the peak, Olive-Anne, 1, can find handgrips where there are none and climb entirely vertical planes relying only on sheer will (and a complete ignorance - or is it defiance? - of the law of gravity). Meanwhile, Will, 3, is pulling at my sleeve. "Mommy, can we go swimming today?"
Do you know that your child's health has a direct correlation with how well they perform in school? Read on. You just might learn something!
Kid-powered veggies and dessert will be the most memorable additions to a traditional summer barbecue.
Whether it's seasonal childcare or a cure for "no-more-school" boredom you seek, Santa Clarita is full of excitement so hot, it makes an SCV summer in July look downright chilly.
photography by Ted Dayton

Academic, Social & Cultural Enrichment
Betty Ferguson Foundation's YWAV
Available to girls ages fifth grade to 12th grade, Youth With A Voice Program's (YWAV) mission is to train, develop and empower girls to be a vital force in their community. The goal is to provide a safe place for girls to meet new friends, work on personal growth, learn leadership skills and give back to their community.
Whether you need a creative day care solution or are searching for an enriching way to get the kids out of the house this summer, Santa Clarita has just what you (and your child!) are looking for.

For the Child Searching for the Spotlight
Santa Clarita School of Performing Arts Summer Camp

Ages/times accommodated: 7 to 12 years old, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. July 7 to July 10 is "Theater Week." July 14 to July 17 covers acting, dancing and modeling.
What they'll do: Make summer fun by acting out their dreams! The Theater camp involves organizing into groups, learning a script, rehearsing and then performing in front of the class. A pizza party to celebrate will conclude this session.
Does your teen cry out to be trusted, loved, and to feel safe and secure? Do they have a purpose, and long to be heard, valued, and supported? Based on a customized survey developed by Tim Smith and George Gallup, our teens, the "millennials" say these are their seven greatest needs. These seven cries of today's teens will be the focus of the 7th Annual Teen Scene Unplugged, scheduled for Tuesday, September 18, 2007, at the Hyatt Valencia, 24500 Town Center Drive. A very popular event offered by the City of Santa Clarita and the Blue Ribbon Task Force, Teen Scene Unplugged draws over 500 parents, teens and community members every year.
Following are some exercises and tips to help parents stay cool, especially during the often-stressful summer months! A good place to start is with our tone. Are we keeping our cool and speaking respectfully? Try using an "I" statement. They sound a little funny at first (Okay, they sound really funny at first.) but they help with the goal of not losing it! "I" messages tell what is happening, tell what you feel and explain why you feel that way. They use the pattern of "When blank happens, I feel blank, because blank."
Parenting means being responsible for someone other than yourself. A teen parent is responsible for their baby and homework, chores, possibly a part-time job and answering to their own parents if they live at home! All of that can be a pretty overwhelming challenge. How do you graduate from high school and learn how to nurture a child when what you really want to do is see your boyfriend, talk on the phone and go shopping with your friends? Where do you go for support and information?
Summertime will bring a handful of near-absolutes to the Santa Clarita Valley. Ants will invade kitchens. Lawns will turn brown. Electricity bills will break hearts. One of the tradeoffs is that the valley's children will be home from school. For parents, that means no math homework to correct, no reports to edit and no practice spelling tests to give. And for the kids, summer is practically paradise.
Nine elementary school sites, as well as a variety of other SCV locations makes Sunshine Childcare & Learning Centers one of the most convenient options to local parents, but that's not the only reason families love Sunshine. The fun counselors, combined with a chance to hang out with friends, do crafts, play games and (gasp!) complete homework make for a positive experience, too.
It seems like just yesterday you were teaching your child how to tie his shoes. Now that he is about to enter high school, have you given any thought to his college education? According to the experts, you should have started thinking about it and putting aside some money when you were teaching him to tie those shoes.
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