Archive for May, 2014

AJCMomania has moved! Please visit our new address!

Friends, we are in our 9th year of the parenting blog and we appreciate you being apart of this family. We hope that you will follow us to the new address. You can click it here or find it under the Living tab on the front page.

Our new address is

Remember to change your bookmark or RSS feed if you have one.

You do NOT need to download any software to comment with the new software. You will just be asked to to create an account. It asks for your real name and email but also a screen name. You do not have to comment as yourself.  Most of you will be able to keep your same screen name. MissNadine kept her screen name and Jarvis just had to add a year to his. (I am guessing he was born in 1975 now.) So don’t be deterred from the conversation by having to register. It will take all of two minutes.

Please join us at our new address

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Moving: How do you find the right community for your family?

As many of you know we are moving to New Jersey at the end of the school year, and I took a house hunting/school interviewing trip last week to check things out. While I was on my trip a friend sent me a New York Times story all about how to find the right community and school. The article was called “43 Questions to Ask Before Picking a New Town,” and I found that I was already doing a lot of what it recommended. It’s great to look at prices of houses or ratings of schools or distance of commute, but the article advocates that you do a “values audit.” This is essentially trying to evaluate if you fit in here. Do the people in the community think the same way you do? Are they like-minded?

Here are a few points from the article in The New York Times

“This checklist includes scouting the drop-off zone at schools, eavesdropping shamelessly, figuring out where people swim in the summer, scanning the community’s bookshelves and pestering the local psychologist. The object is to …

Continue reading Moving: How do you find the right community for your family? »

International pedophile case: Should schools just not take overnight trips?

I was stunned Tuesday morning to read about an international teacher accused of drugging and molesting at least 90 boys during his four-decade career at international schools on four continents.
Since the story broke, hundreds of people have contacted the FBI wondering if they were victims.

According to the Associated Press article, law enforcement officials, school officials, and parents all missed the signs that this beloved social studies teacher with a reputation for leading fun overnight trips was apparently molesting the students.

From The Associated Press:
“With the sheer volume, the sheer number of incidents in which this man molested, it surprises me that somehow this was not picked up by someone,” said John Magagna, the founding director of Search Associates, the world’s largest international school recruiting firm. “I don’t know what went wrong.”…..
Read the rest of this story and join in the conversation at our new address —


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Are end-of-year projects way to beat end-of-year exhaustion?

Since Arizona doesn’t have any snow days to worry about, we are in our last two weeks of school now. My son’s charter school has an interesting way of dealing with the last week of school — term projects. They are weeklong studies taught by regular teachers mixing grade levels. Some have more education value than others. However, it keeps the kids occupied without sending homework or letting them straight up watch TV to kill time.

Here are some examples:

  • Martial arts for 5th and 6th graders
  • Teen Shakespeare for 7th through 10th graders
  • Sci-Fi Movie Days for 6th and 7th graders (I assume there is discussion attached to the watching.)
  • School mural — 5th and 6th graders — painting a school mural
  • Digging up your roots for 7th through 10th graders — exploring their family trees
  • Motor building for 8th through 10th graders – with the science teacher
  • Perseus Past and Present — 5th through 6th graders — taught by the Latin teacher
  • Sports — 6th through 8th graders –
  • Medieval Castles …

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A Mom needs your help: Names for education advocate/lawyer

I received a desperate note from a mother on Friday. Her child came to Georgia with a medical diagnosis of Asperger Syndrome and an effective IEP (Individualized Education Plan). Her new school in metro Atlanta is trying to change his diagnosis (not their job) and trying to eliminate her child’s services. She needs help immediately finding an education advocate or a education lawyer to help her fight for her son’s civil rights.

I called the mom to discuss what is going on. I told her I would make some phone calls to try to help her find someone but I would love for you guys to share names if you have used someone successfully. I am sure they are out there. Please let this mom know who you would recommend.

(I have lots to share about house hunting in New Jersey and interviewing schools, but let’s help this mom first! I feel terrible for her.)

Continue reading A Mom needs your help: Names for education advocate/lawyer »

Why Common Core matters to me…

I am flying to New Jersey this weekend to meet with schools next week. I have packed up years of test results, grades and course syllabi to show the new school what my kids have been doing during the last few years to try to figure out how they should be placed next year. Because curriculum and standards are not consistent across state lines, I now have to go in and figure out which classes my kids have already taken (pretty sure my son has already taken their sixth grade history in fifth grade), will their basic language arts class be difficult enough (I’ve hard that East Coast schools are two grade levels ahead than Arizona??) and how they will accommodate that my son needs algebra in sixth grade and my daughter needs geometry in eighth. (At least algebra is algebra right? They can’t fight be about that too, right?)

Meanwhile, I have no idea if my first grader is prepared for second grade in New Jersey. She is doing great in class here and she loves school but how does that …

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Would your husband be hot and bothered if you walked around naked?

Dear Prudence on received an interesting question from a husband who is begging his wife to put on some clothes in the morning because he just can’t control himself and there is no time for sex. The man writes that his wife exercises in the morning and then comes back and showers and has to blow dry her hair. She is apparently very hot (temperature-wise) when she does this so often she just stays in her bra and panties or sometimes just her panties. He says it drives him crazy but there’s not time for sex and then he’s just frustrated all day.

Read Prudence’s reply here.

So I am wondering would your husband be all hot and bothered if you paraded around in your bra and panties in the morning? Would he even notice?

In a funny corollary note: A woman wrote in that her 60-something husband who is not great at sex but was put on testosterone and now he won’t leave her alone!

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