2021 education magazine:
navigating school in the twin cities
As parents, our child’s education is something we place value on. We want them to receive a well-rounded educational experience that leaves them with a lifelong love of learning and exploring. We know that their educational experience goes beyond their schooling too – it can include child care, activities, and even what we teach our children within the walls of our own homes. Our partners at Casa de Corazón understand these values we hold as parents and we want to thank them for sponsoring this resource. Our hope for this Early Education Guide is that it leads you to a school, child care facility, or program that you find fits with the way you educate your particular child.
Be sure to check out our linked guide: a comprehensive list of local schools, preschools, child care facilities, and other educational businesses that we trust and love, linked throughout this magazine.
here's to the many decisions mamas make
Decisions, decisions. As moms, we make hundreds a day, and those involving our children's education can feel overwhelming. It seems these decisions are posed to us when they are still fresh and new babes: preschool seems to loom before they've taken first steps. Our hope is to not only help you find options for your children's education from very beginning, but also to share perspectives of other moms who have walked these same decisions. In motherhood, you're never alone here. Take a scroll through the content here, explore the partners we've shared and use the links to our full and comprehensive listings. Our area offers so much, but don't let it overwhelm. Allow these resources to be those you take in over coffee, consider them as you need to and always ask questions of the other moms you know, one of our best resources for recommendations. And if you need a few of those moms in your life, find the link to our Neighborhood Groups below and get connected. It truly does take a village.
COVID-19 NOTE: We understand each family has a different comfort level and will make different choices for school. This is true in and out of a pandemic, but this year, know that the local recommendations we share have your family's safety in mind and are very open to fielding your questions. Don't be afraid to ask!
meet our presenting partner
Give your child the world! At Casa de Corazón we provide quality Spanish immersion child care that families turn to for their children’s first educational experiences. We provide safe, encouraging, and educational child care services that parents trust to engage their children while they are at our centers. Through Spanish immersion curriculum, sustainable practices, and an emphasis on social responsibility, we prepare children for their future endeavors both inside and outside scholastic settings. Bilingual brains benefit from improved executive control, which impacts the cognitive ability to plan, problem-solve, and focus. Casa de Corazón is a leader in early childhood education with locations in Edina – Centennial Lakes, Edina – 50th & France, Minneapolis – Kingfield, and Maple Grove. Learn more about Casa de Corazón today!
a letter to mama educators
If you’re anything like me, you likely ended the past school year with a sense of relief – the hard season of distance learning had finally come to a close. Yet, here we are, a new school year has arrived. While the unique challenges continue, starting with new teachers, new grades, and children who no longer felt the same excitement about online learning or going back to school, in the way before. We never could have imagined the lasting impact of this pandemic, nor did we think we would have to prepare our hearts and minds to take on the role of “mom” and “educator” this school year. But mamas, teachers believe in you and value you more than you will ever know.
As educators, we tend to share the core belief that a child’s parent will always be their first and most influential teacher. So, while you may feel overwhelmed and unfit to take on the role of both mama and educator, you’ve already been doing this your child’s entire life.
a note about
Students, teachers, and coaches at Breck believe in the school’s strength of community, focus on lifelong learning, and commitment to the greater good. Across the school and across constituencies there is collective focus on personalizing care for each individual student in service of excellence. Our school’s Episcopal roots are lived through the unwavering commitment to diversity, value in the dignity of each human being, and community partnerships that instill in our students the mutually beneficial value of service.
From One #twincitiesmom to Another
Your kids will feel special as long as you keep the focus on them! Keep in mind that you're guiding their mindset, so even if their birthday isn't what they dreamed of for this year, you can help make sure they feel it's the best day they could have. They're looking to you, and it's easier than you think! You've got this.
a note about
The French Academie
Now more than ever, our children need a safe, creative, and fun environment where they can learn to express themselves. Research indicates that the bilingual mind regularly outperforms monolingual peers on executive functioning skills like problem-solving and regulating emotions. Give your child the gift of a second language without compromising on your high standards of care.
from the teacher on the other side of the screen
You’ve been asked to do it all. Your job. Your children. Your partner. Your family. Your dishes. Your dog. Your health. Your community’s health. And now your children’s schooling. Everyone is calling for you at once.
It feels like the weight of the whole world is on your shoulders, because during a pandemic, when what you do matters more than ever, it sort of is. And some days you feel that weight more than others.
But it will be okay.
a note about
Minnehaha Academy is a top-rated preschool with passionate, early-childhood licensed teachers who cultivate a joy of learning. Classes for three and four-year-olds incorporate hands-on, interactive activities to develop and grow reading and mathematical thinking skills using the latest research in brain-based learning. Using the innovative Creative Curriculum in conjunction with the SMART program, our highly-trained teachers work closely with each child to ensure they are poised for success as they move on to kindergarten.
the top educational tool your baby needs is you
So yes, during the most stressful, new to motherhood, dry shampoo, cold meals, high coffee consumption time for you, your little one is soaking up the world at an unbelievable rate. And it is impacting their adulthood and who they are as people. No pressure.
There is one learning tool that is fundamental to this brain development growth.
Yes, one very special education tool!
It’s not at your local toy store.
You can’t have it delivered in two days.
It can’t be downloaded to your phone or iPad.
It doesn’t cost any money.
Any guesses? Yes, it is you.
three kids in special education
Our journey with education has been overwhelming to say the least these past few years. All of our kids have had delayed expressed language.
Special Education has been a lifesaver for us. Overwhelming only because I didn’t realize all the resources at our fingertips through the school district. Not only that, but we are so lucky that all these resources and services are free to us! Yes, you heard me right…. FREE!!!
Disclaimer here: I am definitely not an expert and not sure how it works with other school districts. Make sure and check the school district you are in to see what is offered.
The most important thing is that as parents, we need to be open to whatever needs our children may have. Start early and don’t hesitate to use the resources around you. Special Education has been the best thing that has happened for our kids.
the universal unwritten school supply list
I know you love getting new school supplies each year. It’s the highlight of late summer. You may think you are now ready for school! However, there is another unwritten school supply list that you and all other students will need, regardless of grade level.
This list is applicable to the nervous kindergartners and the seasoned fifth graders, the seniors ready to rule the school and the incoming freshman apprehensive about what high school may hold. While the items on this universal list aren’t nearly as tangible as the scissors, rulers, and scientific calculators, they are just as or even more important. Unfortunately, they can’t be purchased in a store or kept in your pencil case for easy access. They are invisible, reusable, and free. Now that I have your curiosity piqued kids, let me share with you what these additional school supplies are:
to the siblings left behind
I had prepped all summer for my oldest kids, the twins, to head off to Kindergarten.
We prepared in tangible ways. I checked off the list of school supplies: crayons (both twistable and regular), scissors, notebooks, glue sticks: double of everything. We shopped for new clothes and set aside time for hair cuts. We went through the Kindergarten workbooks from their preschool teachers. We practiced opening lunch boxes, granola bars, and applesauce pouches; I showed them what was trash and what to bring home.
In all these preparations, I hadn’t taken into account what all this would mean for him. Not once had I thought about how all this would affect Nolan, number three in my trio, born exactly two years and two days after his brother and sister, who wears the same shoe size they do, the three-and-a-half-year-old who is so big strangers frequently stop to ask if they’re triplets.
We Are Twin Cities Mom Collective
It's been nearly six years since we began connecting moms in the Twin Cities. Twin Cities Moms Blog is now Twin Cities Mom Collective. The #1 local resource for moms in and around the Minneapolis and St. Paul area, TCMC is made up of more than 100 women driving community to connect, empower and inspire local moms.