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January 2021

Private Schools 24 area programs

Art & Soul Local creative kids

Brainy Apps

Students love

Remote Learning Tips for parents

Cutest Kids & Pets Contest JUST UPLOAD A PICTURE


with Dennis Urbiztondo Photography (Family Life Cover Photographer)





Buy Gowan’s Award-Winning Ciders


January 2021

Every Issue 6

Dear Reader


Cooking with Kids No-Bake Bars

10 Features 10 Mom’s Homeroom Working and teaching your kids at home? Here’s how to cope.

12 Brainy Apps Remote learning just got easier.

14 Private School Guide All the info you need, in one place.

17 Featured Private Schools Our top picks.


Bits and Pieces Science Spiels


For the Birds Play Ball! Nurture the Nurturers

18 Keep Kids Creative We talk with the owner of a local kids’ arts studio.

20 Friendships Flourish Online Programs that encourage social interaction.

22 Lose the Quarantine 15

Get Up & Dance Home Is Where the Heart Is

26 Calendar of Events One-Man Show Hits the Virtual Stage

28 Humor Break You Can’t Quit Childbirth

Smart advice for shedding pounds.

24 Overcome Trauma How Somatic Experiencing helps people heal.



4 SonomaFamilyLife

January 2021 www.sonomafamilylife.com

YEARS celebrating

YEARS Online…Mobile…Magazine…eMail…Social…Events…Local…Award-Winning sonoma



Money Apps

Our local guide

Bye Bad Habits 12 strategies

For kids

Get Fit

3 smart steps


Camp Is Cool 7 reasons why

Couple Time V-Day play


May 2020


Camp Is Cool

Finish strong

Learn to negotiate

Tasty frittata


Give Back

How to help

Smoothie Power! Boost immunity

sonoma FREE!

Routines work

Virtual Nana Kids connect

Find a Tutor Tips for success

Moms-to-Be Local COVID-19 advice

Family Hiking

4 great spots

Dental Dramas Help every age

B-Day Bash Party ideas

Sleepaway Camps Kids grow overnight

sonoma FREE!

New Dads A primer Teens & Screens Expert advice


Expert advice

Trick-or-Treat New, safe drive-thrus

COVID-19 vs. Flu How they differ

Fact or Fiction? Scientific literacy

April 2020

New Baby?

How to cope

Toilet Training

Tips for success


Best Beaches Top local spots

Let’s Talk about Race Pointers for parents


Safe Schools Super’s letter Road Trip!

Make traveling fun

Nature + Nurture Local ranch-school

Support a Small Biz 6 creative acts

Online Turkey Day

Shop Stay safe



August 2020

Mom Blogs

Help you need

Local Fun 26 family events

Mayor’s Letter COVID-19 response


Veteran’s tips for success


December 2020

November 2020

Work at6 practical Home tips

Teen draumedy

A child psych-mom’s advice


Virtual Feast


Super’s Letter

July 2020

October 2020

Kids in Crisis


March 2020

June 2020

September 2020

Autism Aid


February 2020

January 2020

Private Schools




7 engaging activities

Sweet reads


Taste the

8 practices

Local chocolates

As the #1 resource for local families

Dear Reader


giving special attention to facilitating children’s interactions. Kimberly Blaker details 11 of them in “Friendships Flourish Online” (page 20).

orking and teaching kids at home is an incredible challenge. How do you keep your sanity? Say no a Sharon Gowan Publisher/Editor lot, says veteran Sharon@family-life.us homeschooler Kerrie McLoughlin, and go easy on yourself. Find out more of her savvy advice in “Mom’s Homeroom” (page 10).

Patricia Ramos patty@family-life.us

Along with day-to-day parenting dilemmas like helping lonely kids, moms and dads must also face big choices like picking a private school. We aim to make the decision-making process easier with our Private School Guide (page 14). Turn to it for important information on 24 local institutions.

Educational apps are an excellent resource for parents-turned-teachers. In “Brainy Apps” (page 12), dad and college professor Tanni Haas highlights nine that can make learning math, reading, and science fun.

We hope the start of your New Year is a great one. We look forward to spending 2021 with you.

Warren Kaufman warren@family-life.us

Features Editor Melissa Chianta melissa@family-life.us

Contributing Writers

Registration for Kindergarten and Transitional Kindergarten (Kinder Bridge) for 2021-22 School Year Begins February 9 & 10

Call 542-6272 to sign up

A limited number of interdistrict transfer requests for 2020-21 will be accepted Strawberry Intermediate School Fourth–Sixth Grade 2311 Horseshoe Drive, Santa Rosa 707 526-4433

Renee Nutcher renee@family-life.us

Donna Bogener production@family-life.us

Bennett Valley Union School District

California Distinguished Schools

Business Marketing

Production Manager

Students are living so much of their lives via screens, many of us wonder where socializing fits in. Some programs are

Yulupa Primary School Preschool–Third Grade 2250 Mesquite Drive, Santa Rosa 707 542-6272

Office Manager

Consistently high student academic achievement at both schools

Kimberly Blaker Evan DeMarco Sandra Gordon Tanni Haas Kerrie McLoughlin Pam Moore

Billing Jan Wasson-Smith

Publishing Office P.O. Box 351 Philo, CA 95466 (707) 586-9562

Your child’s joy of learning is nurtured with our: • Excellent Teachers • Reduced Class Size (K–3) • Kinder Bridge Transitional Kindergarten • Extended Day Kindergarten (8:30-1:25) • Fully Staffed Libraries and Technology Labs • Visual and Performing Arts Programs YMCA provides on-site child care

• Band, Percussion and Chorus (4th–6th) • Boys’ and Girls’ Interscholastic Basketball (4th–6th) • Emphasis on Environmental Stewardship • Gifted and Talented Education (4th–6th)

Call to reserve tours: Yulupa 1/20, 2/17, 3/10, 4/14 Strawberry by reservation only 526-4433 Registration Packets available Jan. 4. Children must be five on or before Sept. 1, 2021 to be eligible for kindergarten. Two-year Kinder Bridge program offered for children turning five on or after Sept. 2, 2021.

707 542-2201 • Visit us at www.bvusd.org 6 SonomaFamilyLife

January 2021 www.sonomafamilylife.com

Cooking with Kids

No-Bake Bars

An Easy, Healthy Snack for Kids By America’s Test Kitchen


here are all kinds of raw fruit and nut bars packaged in bright colors and sold at the supermarket. They are simple and delicious, packed with protein from the nuts and sweetness from the dried fruit. The best part? They require no cooking to make. All you need is a food processor to finely chop the ingredients. Then you press the mixture into a pan, chill it, and slice it into bars. Done! Recipe and photo originally published in The Complete DIY Cookbook for Young Chefs (America’s Test Kitchen, 2020) and printed with permission from America’s Test Kitchen. Find more information at americastestkitchen. com/kids.


Cranberry-Almond Energy Bars Makes 12 bars | Total Time: 20 minutes, plus 1 hour chilling time Prepare Ingredients 2 cups whole almonds ¼ teaspoon salt 1 ½ cups dried cranberries  1 ½ cups chopped pitted dates  2 tablespoons water ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract Gather Cooking Equipment 8‑inch square metal baking pan Plastic wrap Food processor Rubber spatula Cutting board Chef’s knife Start Cooking! 1. Line 8‑inch square metal baking pan with plastic wrap, letting excess hang over sides of pan. 2. Add almonds and salt to food processor and lock lid into place. Turn on processor and process until almonds are finely ground, 20 to 30 seconds. Stop processor and remove lid.

January 2021

3. Add cranberries, dates, water, and vanilla to processor and lock lid back into place. Hold down pulse button for 1 second, then release. Repeat until fruit is finely chopped and mixture starts to clump together, about 15 1-second pulses. Stop processor, remove lid, and carefully remove processor blade (ask an adult for help). 4. Use rubber spatula to transfer mixture to plastic-lined baking pan and spread into even layer. Fold excess plastic over top and use your hands to press mixture firmly to flatten. 5. Place baking pan in refrigerator and chill until firm, about 1 hour. 6. Transfer chilled mixture to cutting board and discard plastic. Slice in half, then cut each half crosswise into 6 pieces (you should have 12 bars). Serve. (Bars can be refrigerated in airtight container for up to 1 week.)

SonomaFamilyLife 7

Bits & Pieces

Science Spiels


ver wondered what kind of stone comprises the Sonoma coastline’s majestic cliffs? Find out at the Fascinating Geology of the Sonoma Coast mini-lecture on January 14. The Facebook Live video is part of a series of 15-minute talks presented every Thursday at 2:30 p.m. on the Sonoma County Parks’ Facebook page. Additional talks include Winter Spawning Grounds (January 7); Out of Town Guests: Winter Birds (January 21); and Historic Flooding of the Russian River (January 28). Find out more at parks.sonomacounty.ca.gov and facebook.com/sonomacounty regionalparks/?ref=page_internal. ¶

For the Birds


ith their eye-catching colors and melodious songs, birds capture the attention of everyone from children to professional ornithologists. For little ones who want to learn more about their feathered friends, there is the Audubon Kids 10-week series of interactive downloadable activities that teach kids about different birds and their habitats. Along with the series, there are also videos that show kids how to draw birds, too. Check out both the series and the videos at audubon.org or tinyurl.com/y8xqlszj. ¶

Play Ball!


n a world of cancellations, it may seem like a small miracle when an activity happens as scheduled. Ta-da! Enter the North Bay Girls Softball League. How will it work in the age of COVID-19? Teams will strictly follow social distancing guidelines. The league is open to ages 5–14, and play will begin in late winter at Northwest Community Park in Santa Rosa. The registration fee is $105–$135. Online registration has closed, so send an email to info@northbaygirlssoftball.org or see northbaygirlssoftball.org to find out more. ¶

8 SonomaFamilyLife

January 2021 www.sonomafamilylife.com

Nurture the Nurturers


othering is a 24/7 job. And mothering during a pandemic brings extra stress. Spiritual life coach Melissa Grace and sound healer Rebecca Webb aim to give moms a break at their online Women’s Self Care Retreat: Nourish Yourself in the New Year. The virtual circle of women will explore dream interpretation, intuition, oracle cards, and sound healing at this two-hour event on January 30, 11 a.m.–1 p.m. PST. Admission is $45. Register at thenightisjung.com/events. Grace and Webb, who each have more than 20 years of experience in the healing arts, maintain private practices in Sonoma County and online. Find out more about Grace at thenightisjung.com and Webb at soundhealsyou.com. ¶

Get Up & Dance


ids’ rambunctious energy and parents’ need to focus may be at odds during sheltering-in-place. And GoNoodle may have a cure, with its music-and-movement videos that help kids get out their yahoos and get some exercise. Check out the “Cookie Boogie,” starring animated gingerbread dancing to a rap, and “Freeze,” featuring some tween/teen boys twirling and gliding to pop grooves. Find these and many other videos at grownups.gonoodle.com/ goodenergy_familyfun. ¶

Home Is Where the Heart Is


he 2017 Tubbs Fire left behind many stories of devastation. But one of the tales has a silver lining involving the creation of a children’s book. When Carrie Barnes’ family lost their Fountaingrove home in the historic Santa Rosa conflagration, the experience deeply traumatized 7-year-old Brett. Barnes looked around for a children’s book to help her son process his grief, but couldn’t find anything that really fit the bill, so she wrote one herself: Home: A Story of Resilience and Healing (Roundtree Press, 2020). Illustrated by Lyn Meredith, the picture book delivers a simple message: Home is more a matter of who loves you than where you live. Find it on amazon.com. ¶


January 2021

SonomaFamilyLife 9

and that’s when I move my little operation down to the storage room, where there’s a Formica table, chair, plenty of light, and quiet. Maybe you even have a real, separate office in your home, and in that case, fantastic! 3. Create and post a routine. While schedules are rigid and only induce more stress, a routine lets everyone know what’s coming next,

Mom’s Homeroom

How to Work and Teach at Home

By Kerrie McLoughlin


verwhelming, stressful, and challenging are just a few of the words that can describe working from home while homeschooling. Not only can you survive this unprecedented time, but also you can join the ranks of those who are thriving! Here’s how.

1. Go easy on yourself. No comparing. This includes getting rid of any Mom Guilt about your kids being on screens too much. Sarah Lyons, a writer-mom of six, says, “I think the most helpful thing I’ve learned is that your best is enough. It’s okay if you have to let some things go (housework), and it’s okay if you are working at your own pace. Just doing your best and being aware of what your kids can handle is more important. Don’t compare yourself to others, just do what works for your family.” 10 SonomaFamilyLife

You are not going to be caught up on the latest season of anything. 2. Carve out your workspace. I’ve always preferred to work at the dining room table so I can see what’s going on at all times. When it’s mealtime, it’s easy to move my laptop over to a small nearby bookshelf, where I keep anything I need for work and homeschooling. However, there are times when I need a place to focus for a while,

Say no as often as you need to so you can maintain your sanity, marriage, and family time. so arguments and feet-dragging diminish. My family sleeps late, which means I work in the mornings. Then I put work away to focus on homeschooling until 3 p.m. so my kids know I am entirely available to them. They know when TV time starts at night, what their chores are, and when I’m available for requests. You might work best at night, on weekends, or maybe you work well in 30-minute increments every day, task-switching between homeschooling and work. But… 4. Routines will get disrupted. Some days homeschooling will be thrown off course. You may have to work overtime, or your child may get sick and your job will have to be put on hold. But it all evens out in the end. You are not going to be caught up on the latest season of anything; you might not have much time to read; and your social media perusing might be non-existent, except for during school breaks.

January 2021 www.sonomafamilylife.com

Just know that there’s going to be a lot of juggling, pivoting, and communicating. 5. Everyone pitches in. Slap up a rough draft of a chore chart as fast as you can, then tweak it as the whining (from kids and spouse!) begins. This way, everyone sees what needs to be done on what days. This takes decision-making out of your court as you simply point to the chart. 6. Solve the daily dinner dilemma. Creating an easy, rotating meal plan will be the best thing you ever did. Take full advantage of the slow cooker, grocery delivery, and leftover and delivery nights. If you have older kids, now is the time to teach them how to toss together a casserole and pop it in

the oven while you finish up that last bit of work. Prep meals on weekends and always remember that, if you made dinner, you don’t have to clean it up. While your family tidies up the kitchen, you can get back to your job,

A routine lets everyone know what’s coming next, so arguments and feet-dragging diminish. help the kids with their homework, or heck, even take a well-deserved shower! Pam Barnhill, of the Homeschool Solutions podcast, has a course called Put Your Meal Plan on Autopilot that’s worth checking out. See plus.pambarnhill.com.

7. Practice saying no. You are at home, so there will be people who expect you to accept them as a drop-in visitor, answer every text in a timely manner, and sign up for all the church and sports volunteer positions. Make your routine clear to anyone who should know, then sit back and say no as often as you need to so you can maintain your sanity, marriage, and family time. Don’t forget to take to heart what June from the blog This Simple Balance says: “Give yourself so much grace to try different things until you find the right balance and routines that work for your unique family.” ¶ Kerrie McLoughlin (TheKerrieShow. com) has been working from home for 19 years and homeschooling for 14 years.

sonoma Elevating Excellence for All

Enroll Online (TK–8) Academic Excellence Enrichment & More


Successful Distance Learning & Homeschool programs


for 30 years

(707) 829-4570

#1 local resource for local families magazine • web • email www.sonomafamilylife.com

CASTLE Preschool & Child Care Park Side School (K–4) Brook Haven School (5–8) January 2021

SonomaFamilyLife 11

Cram gives them access to more than 80 million flashcards on all the major academic subjects. They can also create their own flashcards using text and images, and share them with classmates. They can go through entire sets of flashcards, hide the ones they’ve already mastered, or have the flashcards read out loud to them.

This app teaches kids basic geometry.

Brainy Apps Tech Help for Remote Learning By Tanni Haas


s kids continue to learn remotely from home, they may find it difficult to study on their own, away from their regular teachers and classmates. Luckily, many great study apps are available. Here’s a list of some of the very best ones. They’re all completely free, so download an app—or three! Classify It! Apple App Store; ages 9–15. When it comes to learning biology, kids need to master the ability to categorize organisms. Developed by the American Association for the Advancement of Science, Classify It! teaches kids how to sort and group animals based on shared characteristics, such as whether they’re amphibians, birds, fish, mammals, or reptiles. Kids can choose to get hints to help them along. 12 SonomaFamilyLife

Cyberchase Shape Quest Apple App Store & Google Play; ages 6–9. Inspired by Cyberchase, the Emmy Award–winning math series on PBS Kids, this app teaches kids basic geometry, including the names of different shapes, spatial properties, and problem-solving. Flashcards with Cram Apple App Store & Google Play; ages 6–18. When your kids sit down to study, flashcards are very useful tools. Flashcards with

Khan Academy Kids Apple App Store & Google Play; ages 2–7. Developed in collaboration with experts at the Stanford University Graduate School of Education, Khan Academy Kids is a comprehensive study aid for young kids. It covers math, reading, and writing as well as more general critical-thinking and problem-solving skills. It has lots of informative lessons, books, games, songs, and videos, as well as activities and exercises such as coloring, drawing, and storytelling. You can even monitor how well your kids are doing. LitCharts Apple App Store & Google Play; ages 6–18. The modern-day, app version of CliffNotes is called LitCharts. The app has more than 1,000 guides to the books that are most commonly taught in schools across the country. The guides summarize major plotlines and offer detailed analyses of literary themes and symbols. If your kids need to write papers on specific books, they can search for quotes by theme, chapter, and even individual character and incorporate them into their papers.

January 2021 www.sonomafamilylife.com

My Study Life Apple App Store & Google Play; ages 6–18. If you want your kids to do well on their school assignments, it’s not enough that they know how to do them. They also need to submit their work on time! First task: Download My Study Life. This easy-to-use app lets them keep track of all their assignments, which will help them effectively manage their time. They can also use the app to set reminders for themselves, and get alerts before any particular project is due. Photomath Apple App Store & Google Play; ages 12–18. Photomath is a great math study tool. All kids need to do is to take a picture of a math problem with their phones, and the app will


show step-by-step instructions on how to solve it. It has a built-in calculator and can even understand hand-written math problems. Obviously, the kids should try to solve the problems themselves first and then check their answers against the app.

The modern-day, app version of CliffNotes is called LitCharts. Read with Phonzy Apple App Store & Google Play; ages 3–5. This app is a great reading tool for the youngest kids in the house. Kids read out loud five simple sentences, which are accompanied by images to help them better understand what the sentences are about. Built-in voice

January 2021

recognition software gives kids feedback on whether or not they correctly pronounced the sentences. If they need extra help, they can tap a Help button to hear the narrator read the sentences out loud. Snap&Read Universal Apple App Store; ages 6–18. While the kids are studying at home, there’ll be times when they’re assigned readings that are hard for them to understand. To help them, download Snap&Read Universal. The app can read difficult texts out loud; kids can take notes as they’re listening. They can also ask the app to edit complex texts so the sentence structure and vocabulary are simpler. ¶ Tanni Haas, PhD, is a college communications professor.

SonomaFamilyLife 13

2021 Sonoma County Private School Guide School


Tuition Contact info

Healdsburg School



33H Healdsburg Ave. Healdsburg 433-4847 • thehealdsburgschool.org

Rio Lindo Adventist Academy



3200 Rio Lindo Ave., Healdsburg 431-5100 • riolindo.org

Saint John the Baptist Catholic School



217 Fitch St., Healdsburg 433-2758 • sjshbg.org

Harvest Christian School



3700 Lakeville Hwy., Petaluma 763-2954 • harvestpetaluma.org

Saint Vincent de Paul Elementary School



246 Howard St., Petaluma 762-6426 • svelem.org

Saint Vincent de Paul High School



849 Keokuk St., Petaluma 763-1032 • svhs-pet.org

Spring Hill Montessori

18 mos.–8


825 Middlefield Dr., Petaluma 763-9222 • springhillmontessori.org


Call for rates

5475 Snyder Ln., Rohnert Park 795-7863 • crossandcrownschoolrp.org



Rohnert Park Cross & Crown Lutheran Church & School


Classical Education in a Christian Environment


• TK-6th Grade On Campus & In-Person Learning • Excellent Distance Learning Program Option (TK-8th) • Safe, Challenging, & Fun Learning Environment!


Now accepting applications for 2021/2022 info@HarvestPetaluma.org 707-763-2954 14 SonomaFamilyLife

January 2021 www.sonomafamilylife.com

2021 Sonoma County Private School Guide School


Tuition Contact info

Brush Creek Montessori



1569 Brush Creek Rd., Santa Rosa 539-7980 • bcmontessori.org

Cardinal Newman High School


Call for rates

50 Ursuline Rd., Santa Rosa 546-6470 • cardinalnewman.org

Quest Forward Academy



1500 Farmers Ln., Santa Rosa 733-6452 • ngl.academy

Redwood Adventist Academy



385 Mark West Springs Rd., Santa Rosa 545-1697 • weloveredwood.com

Saint Eugene’s Cathedral School



300 Farmers Ln., Santa Rosa 545-7252 • steugenesch.org

Saint Rose Catholic School



4300 Old Redwood Hwy., Santa Rosa 545-0379 • strosecatholicschool.org

Sonoma Academy



2500 Farmers Ln., Santa Rosa 545-1770 • sonomaacademy.org

Sonoma Country Day School



4400 Day School Pl., Santa Rosa 284-3200 • scds.org

Summerfield Waldorf School & Farm



655 Willowside Rd., Santa Rosa 575-7194 • summerfieldwaldorf.org

Santa Rosa

Grounded in Christ. Ready for the World.

NOW ENROLLING TK-12th | MUSIC | SMALL CLASSES We exist, in partnership with families, • Band, Choir, Art to provide a nurturing and challenging • 3rd-6th grade STEM Robotics Program educational experience in a Christ• Free math tutoring centered community, where students are renewed in the image of their • Opportunities for student leadership Creator and are equipped to live out and outreach their God-given purpose for His glory • Contact us for a tour and the good of others. (707) 539-1486 | 4585 Badger Rd., Santa Rosa | VictoryCA.org www.sonomafamilylife.com

January 2021

SonomaFamilyLife 15

2021 Sonoma County Private School Guide School


Tuition Contact info

Victory Christian School



4585 Badger Rd., Santa Rosa 539-1486 • victoryca.org



1782 Pleasant Hill Rd., Sebastopol 823-5868 • phcs.org

Presentation School



20872 Broadway, Sonoma 935-0122. presentationschool.com

Saint Francis Solano Catholic School



342 W. Napa St., Sonoma 996-4994 • saintfrancissolano.org

SoloQuest School & Learning Center



414 W. Napa St., Sonoma 939-1133 • soloquest.com



10285 Starr Rd., Windsor 838-3757 • windsorchristianacademy.org



4026 Maher St., Napa 255-0950 • justin-siena.org

Sebastopol Pleasant Hill Christian School Sonoma

Windsor Windsor Christian Academy NAPA COUNTY Justin-Siena High School

Why is your smart child struggling in school?

SoloQuest Learning Center

• Determine the cause • Find a solution • Stop the struggle and tears • Ongoing programs — open enrollment

• One-to-one cognitive skills training works! • For ALL ages


414 W Napa Street, Suite D, Sonoma 707-939-1133 • www.soloquest.com 16 SonomaFamilyLife

January 2021 www.sonomafamilylife.com


2021 Featured Private Schools Healdsburg Rio Lindo Adventist Academy. $13,770–$25,650. This school’s goal is to maximize every student’s potential & instill a sense of independence through its whole-person education. Classes in performing arts, fine arts, auto technology & STEM feature hands-on learning & prepare students for college & life. Grades 9–12. Avg. class size: 12. Enrollment Current/ Max: 130/190. Offers: multi-child/family discount, cafeteria/lunch program, transportation/busing. Casual dress code. Enrollment open for day & boarding school. 3200 Rio Lindo Ave., Healdsburg. 431-5100. riolindo.org. Petaluma Harvest Christian School. $3,800–$8,750. Call to learn more about Classical Christian Education. Tours available. Grades TK–8. Avg. class size: 12–16. Enrollment Current/Max: 120/250. Offers: multi-child/family discount & financial aid. Distance learning available. Uniforms required. Class size limited due to COVID restrictions. 3700 Lakeville Hwy., Petaluma. 763-2954. harvestpetaluma.org. Santa Rosa Summerfield Waldorf School & Farm. $6,500–$22,700. Waldorf, college-prep, arts

& academics. Grades PK–12. Avg. class size: 12–28. Offers: Extended Care, multi-child/family discount, hot lunch program, summer programs. 655 Willowside Rd., Santa Rosa. 575-7194. summerfieldwaldorf.org. Victory Christian Academy. $7,000–$10,000. “Grounded in Christ. Ready for the World.” Band, choir, art. Grades 3–6: STEM Robotics Program. Distance learning available. Contact school for a tour. Grades TK–12. Avg. class size: 15. Enrollment Current/Max: 110/200. Tuition assistance available. Uniforms not required. 4585 Badger Rd., Santa Rosa. 539-1486. victoryca.org. Sonoma Presentation School. $16,450. “Working together to love, learn & lead.” Grades K–8. Avg. class size: 20. Enrollment Current/Max: 180/200. Offers: Extended Care & extra-curricular programming, hot lunch program & summer programs. Financial aid available. Uniforms required. 20872 Broadway, Sonoma. 935-0122. presentationschool.com. SoloQuest School & Learning Center. $10,000. “All students learn successfully with time & support.” Grades 6–12. Student/teacher ratio: 1:1. Offers: summer programs. 414 W. Napa St., Sonoma. 939-1133. soloquest.com.

For more information about these schools, go to www.sonomafamilylife.com. www.sonomafamilylife.com

January 2021

SonomaFamilyLife 17

guitar; all they want to do is draw; all they want to do is dance.” There are so many stories of parents telling us things like that. And that is really our goal, for kids to grow, not go to Juilliard (though we have some talented artists in our bunch). FL: What would you say is the key to your business? LK: Our teachers. They really create fabulous relationships with our students. And those relationships are the heart of who we are. We had a studio in Santa Rosa and in Windsor, but due to COVID, we lost our Santa Rosa school. We decided to let go of it

Keep Kids Creative Local Arts Education in the Time of COVID

instead of losing any of our teachers. We were able to keep all of them.

Family Life: What does Art and Soul School of Creative and Performing Arts offer?

FL: Besides the loss of the Santa Rosa school, what other ways has COVID affected your business?

Lauren Kushins, co-owner: We teach art, music, and dance to students as young as 18 months all the way through adults. FL: What brought you to this work? What was your motivation? LK: In the beginning, I was inspired by a Viennese artist named Friedensreich Hundterwasser. He had an art house in Vienna, Austria… and when I was in college I set out to create a healing arts center inspired by it. So that was my focus a long, long time ago. I have been teaching my whole life. My parents are educators. My husband’s parents are educators. 18 SonomaFamilyLife

(My husband, Benjie, is co-owner of Art & Soul.) Benjie and I have backgrounds in education. I also have a background in social work, which was the basis of my approach. Along the way, I decided I wanted to go into education—and I call education, prevention. If kids have the tools of art—music, art, or dance, any kind of art form—when they hit something hard in life, they can use [those tools] to help them. FL: How has your approach been received? LK: We have had so many success stories in the 18 years we have been in business. Parents will tell us, “Our kid had been having a hard time, and now all they want to do is practice

Our teachers create fabulous relationships with our students.

LK: We lost all of our dance students at first. Our dance enrollment went down to zero at one point. We are now up to 50 percent enrollment in our dance program. We got students back one at a time; it was hard work. We are back in-person with dance, but we are outside, on our patio. With our art, we are pretty much back to 50 percent enrollment. We were doing some of our classes inside, but with the new shelter-in-place order, all of our art and music classes went back onto Zoom. And we have moved our winter camp outside, too.

January 2021 www.sonomafamilylife.com

FL: So what is the protocol for the in-person dance classes? LK: We have an outdoor check-in, where hand sanitizer is available. Everybody has their temperature checked when they come in. The dancers each have a 10’ x 10’ square that they dance in. When they are in their square, they can take off their mask. When they leave their square to go back to their parents, they have to put their masks back on. And teachers never take off their masks. FL: How are you producing dance performances? LK: The performances are all virtual, though we record individual performances in-person. We have a huge green screen outside where we record everyone’s performances one at a time. When it’s done, it looks like a group is performing. It’s a lot of coordination. We do something similar for virtual music recitals. FL: When county restrictions lighten up, how will procedures change at the school? LK: When the county allows us to hold in-person classes again, everything will be COVID-safe. We are super creative. Music lessons will be held in a huge dance room, where we will hang shower curtains to serve as dividers. When students do a voice lesson, there will be shower curtains hanging between student and teacher. For in-person art classes, there will be plexiglass dividers set up at students’ desks. ¶ Art and Soul School of Creative & Performing Arts is located at 9064 Brooks Road South in Windsor. For more information, visit artandsoulmusicstudios.com.


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leads the clubs, which emphasize social interaction and collaboration in a structured environment. Six-week sessions feature one 45-minute class per week and serve two age groups: 10–13-year-olds and 14–17-year-olds. Interests covered include cooking, arts and crafts, video games, sports, and more. Clubba, for ages 6–12, offers an online club series with small (up to 5 students), interactive classes

Friendships Flourish Online 11 Programs That Encourage Kids to Socialize By Kimberly Blaker


or children, social interaction during childhood is more than just fun; it’s a vital part of their development. Engaging in social situations teaches kids cooperation, collaboration, compromise, problem-solving, teamwork, and so much more.

Yet, not all kids have access to sufficient in-person socialization opportunities, especially during the pandemic. Fortunately, kids can connect via online clubs or activities like these: Activity Hero is hosting a site where various groups and instructors can list activities for kids of all ages. There’s a section with live online classes, after-school programs, and even 20 SonomaFamilyLife

holiday camps. Options include Legos, science, cooking, art, music, coding, and more. Child & Adolescent Anxiety Practice’s Virtual After-School Clubs are particularly beneficial to kids struggling with social isolation and related anxiety. Dr. Shelley Avny, a clinical psychologist who specializes in child and adolescent anxiety,

Counselors mentor kids using a research-supported approach. taught by college-student club counselors. Icebreakers and other activities support peer interaction and developing friendships. Connected Camps offers online programs and camps for kids who want to learn about digital entertainment, such as coding, Minecraft, esports, digital arts, and game design. Connected Camps has small group classes that offer kids opportunities to interact with others and collaborate on projects or games in a fun environment. It also hosts a free moderated Kid Club Minecraft server for kids ages 8–13. Counselors mentor kids using a research-supported approach, and enforce a code of conduct. Destination Science offers summer camps and after-school clubs for ages 5–11. Participants receive science kits with the materials needed to participate in live instructor-led sessions.

January 2021 www.sonomafamilylife.com

FunClubs offers live, online, instructor-led 45-minute classes for kids in grades K–8. Larger classes are broken down into groups of 6–8 students, allowing kids more time to interact with the teacher and each other. Subjects include drama, piano, guitar, Spanish, filmmaking, coding, cooking, and more. iD Tech hosts technology classes and camps for kids, ages 7–19, who want to learn or develop their technology skills. It offers weeklong online sessions of no more than five students, combining instruction time with opportunities for classmates to collaborate and socialize. Lavner Education offers technology camps with a STEM focus for kids in grades 1–9. A selection of more than 40 classes

feature 4–8 students per instructor and provide opportunities for hands-on, experiential learning, collaboration with classmates, social interaction, and opportunities to progress through skill levels.

Small group classes offer kids opportunities to interact with others. Open Tent Academy caters more directly to homeschool students but offers some “after-school” classes for kids. These classes focus more on learning material than socializing, yet provide opportunities for student discussion and interaction. Outschool is a small-group learning platform for ages 3–18. It

offers more than 100,000 classes, so it caters to practically any interest your child might have. Kids learn from teacher experts while interacting with classmates who share the same interests. Playcrafter Kids Club is a 6-week program for younger students, ages 3–7, and features two hour-long classes per week. Children work with four teachers trained in the arts and participate in drama, music, yoga, and dance. Kids are split up into small groups, and during parts of the lesson they can unmute and interact with their classmates. ¶ Kimberly Blaker is a freelance family writer and also founder and director of KB Creative Digital Services, an Internet marketing agency: kbcreativedigital.com.

McDonald Ranch Distance Learning & Enrichment Program

“Our children have never been happier” • Supervised by a credentialed teacher & 3 adult assistants. • Mornings are spent doing Zoom meetings and other academic work assigned by students’ schools. • Afternoons include archery, horse-riding lessons, interaction with farm animals, ceramics, crafts & camp games. • Safe social setting provides a lifetime of memories.

Programs held at Sky Tree Ranch in Santa Rosa www.mcdonaldranch.org • 707 583-6711


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SonomaFamilyLife 21

and track it all in a food diary. After that, you can just eyeball amounts. But go back to weighing and measuring every few months to tweak your portion-size perception. “Portions tend to get a little bigger and bigger over time,” Godwin says. To outwit your appetite, use a 9- to 10-inch dinner plate so portions don’t look too small and tempt you

Don’t drink your calories.

Lose the Quarantine 15 Don’t Fall for Old Diet Tricks

By Sandra Gordon


ittle white lies aren’t so bad when, say, your mother-in-law gifts you with a not-so-great sweater. With your diet, however, honesty really is the best policy. That’s because the small food fibs you tell yourself, as in “I need to eat this macaroni and cheese to get through the pandemic,” can sabotage your health goals. Do any of these other common diet self-deceptions sound familiar? You tell yourself: “I can just eye-ball my portion sizes to gauge calories.” Reality check: “Most of us aren’t good at perceiving how much we eat,” says dietetics professor Sandria Godwin, RD. In fact, in Godwin’s research, subjects who judged portion sizes just by looking at them 22 SonomaFamilyLife

underestimated amounts by an average of 23 percent. Diet fix: If you’re serious about controlling portions, don’t guesstimate. Weigh meat with a food scale (aim for 3 ounces per meal) and measure everything else with teaspoons, tablespoons, and measuring cups for at least a week

to go back for seconds. Keep eating out to a minimum or just eat less of what you’re given because no matter how much you think you ate, it’s probably more than that. You tell yourself: “My body needs a detox every once in a while.” Reality check: Forget the seasonal juice fast. You actually need to detox every day. The good news? You don’t need to do anything special beyond eating a healthy diet. “Your body is well-endowed with the apparatus to take care of the job,” says David L. Katz, MD, co-author of How to Eat (Houghton, Mifflin, Harcourt, 2020). Your liver, spleen, kidneys, and gastro-intestinal tract constantly filter “toxins” out of your system—breakdown metabolic gunk such as fat molecules, spent red blood cells, urea (a byproduct of protein metabolism), and other waste products. Diet fix: To keep these systems in good working order so you can continuously detox more efficiently, load up on unprocessed foods, such

January 2021 www.sonomafamilylife.com

as fruits and veggies. Their high water and fiber content speeds waste through your GI tract. Get plenty of fluids, too, (anything watery counts) so your kidneys can flush water-soluble by-products through your system. Regular exercise also helps keep your blood circulating through your arteries and delivers a robust supply of blood to your spleen, liver,

If you’re serious about controlling portions, don’t guesstimate. and kidneys. Meanwhile, avoid “toxins” by not smoking, shunning secondhand smoke, and steering clear of foods high in refined sugar and artery-clogging saturated fat and trans fat. You tell yourself: “Calories don’t count if I drink them.” Reality check: Liquid calories count just as much, if not more, than solid-food calories do. That’s because they’re not as satiating. “When people drink water, milk, fruit juice, Pepsi, Red Bull, a smoothie, or whatever beverage, they don’t compensate for those calories by reducing their food intake,” says nutrition professor Barry M. Popkin, PhD. In other words, liquid calories can slide in under your brain’s calorie-counting radar. Diet fix: Aside from nonfat milk to help reduce the risk of osteoporosis, don’t drink your calories. Stick to water or noncaloric beverages like unsweetened iced tea between meals. www.sonomafamilylife.com

And realize that when you do drink something caloric, including alcohol, it won’t fill you up but it will fill you out unless you exercise more or make a conscious effort to account for the calories. For example, say to yourself, “this is lunch,” while sipping a smoothie. You tell yourself: “I’ll eat less if I skip breakfast.” Reality check: A major study that analyzed the breakfast patterns of 12,316 men and women for five years found that breakfast skippers were more likely to have a higher

Load up on unprocessed foods, such as fruits and veggies. body mass index than breakfast eaters. The breakfast eaters also set a healthier tone for the rest of the day. They consumed fewer foods high in fat and sugar.


Underestimate the Power of the Purse Moms typically control 80% or more of their household budgets They’re looking right here, to find you. Call now. Don’t miss another month.

Diet fix: The study found you’ll only get that a.m. advantage if you start the day off with foods low in energy density, such as unsweetened hot or cold cereal, or whole-grain bread, fresh fruit, and nonfat milk. Otherwise, breakfast can backfire. Your overall daily calorie tally will be higher if you feast on the likes of pastries and sausage/egg/bacon sandwiches, says Ashima Kant, PhD, the study’s lead researcher, and this can lead to weight gain. ¶


Sandra Gordon is an award-winning freelance writer who delivers expert advice and the latest developments in health, nutrition, parenting, and consumer issues.


January 2021

MendoLakeFamilyLife.com SonomaFamilyLife 23

This triggers a primal response in the brain to either fight, flight, or freeze. Your adrenal glands simultaneously release the adrenaline you need to maximize your strength—whether you plan to fight back against the threat or turn tail to escape from it. This whole process is completely automatic and something that’s been ingrained in humans and animals since the beginning of time. It’s why we’ve survived!

Overcome Trauma E

The Somatic Experiencing Hack

By Evan DeMarco

ven the happiest person has experienced trauma. The type and extent may vary, but everyone has had some type of trauma. If you work through your issues and resolve the trauma, you can go on to lead a happy life—but many people carry unresolved trauma with them for years, if not their whole lives.

Medical practitioners have spent decades researching methods for treating post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms, in addition to wide-ranging physical and mental trauma-related conditions. One of these researchers is trauma therapist Peter A. Levine, PhD, developer of the Somatic Experiencing® method for addressing and healing trauma and other stress disorders. 24 SonomaFamilyLife

Fight, Flight, and Freeze There are three animal responses to imminent threats: fight, flight, and freeze. They’re designed to help you protect yourself from or survive the encounter with the threat. In a split second, your brain assesses a situation and decides if it’s better to fight it off, run, or play dead. When you’re in danger, your body automatically activates your sympathetic nervous system (SNS).

How Does Trauma Affect Us? Trauma develops when the freeze response is disrupted—that moment before your body can fight back or flee. Your body creates energy to fight or flee, and then the freeze

There are three animal responses to imminent threats: fight, flight, and freeze. phase of the cycle must run its course to release that momentum. If the energy isn’t channeled, the result is trauma. Think of it like shaking up a soft drink, then putting it back in the fridge without opening it to release the pressure. The Somatic Experiencing (SE) framework states that trauma occurs when the unresolved freeze response causes an imbalance in your nervous system—not during the event itself. SE helps patients complete the freeze response. That is, once a patient has worked through any lingering freeze responses, the body can release the energy the SNS created during the traumatic event.

January 2021 www.sonomafamilylife.com

To overcome trauma with SE methods, you work to access your “body memory” of the event, instead of the event itself. That means you don’t need to discuss the traumatic event to move past it, which is often helpful for people who become anxious addressing or reliving a traumatic event.

You work to access your “body memory” of the event, instead of the event itself. How SE Can Help You Overcome Trauma A certified SE practitioner (SEP) will focus on reconnecting you with the physical sensations of the traumatic experience in order to become aware of them. Then you can use SE tools to release the trauma. Resourcing: SE treatment begins with resourcing. Patients create internal resources to make them feel safe. They discuss cherished memories, loved ones, favorite pastimes, and other comforting touch-points to figure out what is a resource for them. Titration: After patients create the resources to comfort themselves, they can address the trauma in a productive way. The therapist works with the client to revisit the physical sensations of the trauma—not the event itself. The SEP monitors the patient’s responses, noting any changes in breathing, crying, shift in voice tone, shaking, tensed muscles, shivering and/or clenched www.sonomafamilylife.com

fists. This trains the body to gradually release the trauma. Pendulation: This stage is also known as “looping.” Pendulation helps your body regain homeostasis and balance. The purpose is to train the body to naturally move back and forth between states of alert and calm, without triggering the fight-orflight response. This creates a more resilient nervous system, so the patient can handle future trauma. Why SE Works While other psychological approaches prioritize memories and thoughts, SE addresses the manifestations of trauma. It’s designed to reveal the habitual behaviors that trigger PTSD and other trauma-related symptoms. The patient can then work to mitigate triggering behaviors. Traumatic experiences can take over your life, leaving many people feeling trapped in their own minds and bodies. If that sounds like you, find a trained SEP to help you address and process your physical trauma manifestations. Everyone deserves to be free from trauma. To find an SEP in Sonoma, Lake, or Mendocino Counties, go to traumahealing.org and click on “Find a Practitioner” in the upper right corner of the homepage. ¶ Evan DeMarco is a leading sports medicine scientist and nutrition expert, published author, public speaker, and frequent guest on television, radio, and digital platforms. He is the co-founder of Complete Human (completehuman.com). This new multi-media platform takes a deep dive into the areas of mind, body, soul, and planet while exploring what makes us who we are and what will make us better.

January 2021



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Calendar of Events

One-Man Show Hits the Virtual Stage


he pandemic may have closed Cinnabar Theater’s Petaluma stage, but the company is still producing shows—online. The latest production is the Absolute Brightness of Leonard Pelkey, a one-man show starring Mike Pavone. The local actor plays nine characters, including that of the bored small town detective who finds intrigue in a case about the disappearance of a teen boy, Leonard Pelkey. The playwright of the show, James Lecesne, won an Academy Award for his 1994 short film Trevor and is also the cofounder of the Trevor Project, a 24-hour crisis hotline for LGBTQ youth (866-488-7386). The live-streaming show will begin January 22. Purchase tickets ($30) at cinnabartheater.org. ¶

Friday 1 Northbay Girls Softball League.

Ages 5–14. Registration open for late winter season. $105–$135. Players will strictly follow social distancing guidelines. Register: northbaygirlssoftball.org or mail form & birth certificate to: Northbay Girls Softball League #457, 1007 West College Ave., Santa Rosa. First Day Hike. Designed for all fitness

levels. Covid-19 safety protocols will be adhered to. Limited to 16 people who will hike in 2 groups of 8. Event: free. Parking: $10. Rain cancels walk. 10 a.m.–2:30 p.m. Jack London State Historic Park. 2400 London Ranch Rd., Glen Ellen. Meet in the ranch parking lot. jacklondonpark.com.

Wednesday 6 FREE Girls that Code. Virtual

club offers extended coding classes for girls in grades 7–12. 4–5:30 p.m. Register: sonomalibrary.libnet.info/ event/4678261. 26 SonomaFamilyLife

Leonard Pelkey’s shoes

FREE Mind of a Scientist. Virtual field trips to meet scientists & engineers. For students in grades 7–12. Wednesdays. 12:30–2 p.m. Register: sonomalibrary.libnet.info/ event/4678309.

Thursday 7 Breastfeeding MeetUp. Online

group meets with Katie Oshita, IBCLC. Hosted by the Luma Center. Thursdays. 1–1:30 p.m. Register: thelumacenter.com/familyofferings.

Thursday 14 Live Online: Peanuts Origami. Ages

12 & older. Fold Snoopy’s doghouse, Lucy & Schroeder at his piano. Origami patterns will be emailed to participants. Charles M. Schulz Museum event that meets via Zoom. $10–$15. 4–5 p.m. Register: tinyurl. com/ya7uqxye.

Saturday 16

in good working order. 2–3 p.m. Preregistration required: bikesonoma. org/family-bike-workshops.

Sunday 17 FREE Puppy Social. For puppies 12 weeks–6 months. Supervised playgroup focuses on socialization. Kids ages 12 & older allowed. All puppies must be updated on Bordetella, 2 DHLPP vaccines. Only 2 mask-wearing humans per puppy. Sundays 9 a.m. Sponsored by the K9 Activity Club & Lodge. 4340 Occidental Rd., Santa Rosa. k9activityclub.com/puppy-socials. Call or text for info: 569-1394.

Tuesday 19 Monthly Dad’s Group. Online

support group presented by the Luma Center. $10. 8–9:30 p.m. Register: thelumacenter.com.

Friday 22

FREE Basic Bicycle Maintenance

The Absolute Brightness of

for Families. Virtual series. Learn the basics of keeping a bicycle

Leonard Pelkey. Mike Pavone plays 9 characters. Thru Jan. 31. $30. 7:30

January 2021 www.sonomafamilylife.com

p.m. cinnabartheater.org/the-absolutebrightness-of-leonard-pelkey.

Sunday 24 FREE Mark West Preview Days. See

the regrowth from the 2017 wildfires. Social distancing protocols observed. 8:30 a.m.–2 p.m. Mark West Creek. 3000 Porter Creek Rd., Santa Rosa. Registration required: tinyurl.com/ybdcx2g2.

Thursday 28 Hikes with Hounds: From Coyotes to Dogs. Bring a furry friend on an

afternoon 2-mile hike. Learn facts about the history of coyotes & tricks for walking in local parks with dogs. Event: free. Parking: $7. 4–5:30 p.m. Foothill Regional Park. 1351 Arata Ln., Windsor. Registration required: tinyurl. com/y7zgrxh3. A Raven Threesome. Three short

plays with absolutely nothing in common. Livestream: Jan. 28–30. Tickets: $21.05 stream + $3.95 service fee. raventheater.org.

Friday 29 FREE Foster Fathers Group. Online support group for male-identified caregivers. Last Friday of each month. Facilitators provide support & education on a variety of topics. 5–7 p.m. tinyurl.com/y9debhk4.

Saturday 30 FREE LumaCon D&D–Virtual Games & Gaming. Grades K–12.

Register: sonomalibrary.libnet.info/ event/4647822.

Sunday 31 FREE 2nd Annual Young Adults Worship & Prayer Night. Ages 18 (high school seniors) & older. Bring a mask, blanket & mug. CDC guidelines will be observed. 6–8 p.m. Mt. Gilead Bible Camp. 13485 Green Valley Rd., Sebastopol. tinyurl.com/y9fsaq2u.

Sign up for a one-hour D&D session. Time TBA closer to LumaCon.


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Humor Break couple centimeters dilated. Or you could have a few painful contractions and squeeze a baby out an hour later.

You Can’t Quit Childbirth Why Labor Is Nothing Like a Marathon By Pam Moore People often say giving birth is like running a marathon. Those people either don’t run, never had a baby, or they enjoy messing with pregnant women. I’ve run six marathons, completed two Ironman triathlons, and I’ve given birth to two babies minus pain meds. I think it’s fair to say I’m an expert when it comes to the running/birthing comparison. Trust me, they have nothing in common. You can train for a race. You can’t train to give birth. No matter what anyone has told you, nothing feels like having a baby except actually having a baby. During my first pregnancy, I kicked my swollen feet up and pored over stacks of birth-related books. I interrogated every mother I 28 SonomaFamilyLife

knew about her labor. I bought special perineal massage oil so my husband could stretch me out, um, down there, to get my body ready for the real thing. I’d like to punch whoever came up with that idea. Just, no. This makes as much sense as giving a pie-eating contestant a few petit fours as a training exercise. The racecourse is marked. The course of your labor is not. Every race—whether it’s a marathon or a 5K—has a beginning, middle, and an end. You know roughly how long it will take to reach each mile marker. The course of labor, on the other hand, is about as straightforward as a game of Candyland. You could be having contractions for days and be only a

You can quit a marathon. You can’t quit childbirth. While you’re running a race, you might see spectators holding signs that say things like “Quitting Is Not an Option.” They are wrong. Quitting is totally an option. All you have to do is step off the course and get an Uber. Childbirth, as the name suggests, is not over until a child is born. Whether drugs, forceps, incense, scalpels, or prayer beads help you get that baby out, you’re not done until a baby emerges. Crowds are awesome at a marathon. They are not awesome at a birth. I don’t know about you, but I can hardly relax enough to poop in a public bathroom. “I really think I could get this thing done on the next push, if only there were a few more medical-type people in here, staring at my crotch, waiting for me to have a baby!” said no one, ever. And if the thrill of having an audience wasn’t enough, you also have the pleasure of rocking a one-size-fits-no-one hospital gown. Yes, running and having babies both cause you to wish you were dead. Being able to persevere through either one is certainly something you will be proud of forever. I get why people are quick to compare the two. But after a race, you can kick up your feet and rest. Once you have a baby, you realize the hard work has only just begun. ¶ This article was originally published on Sammiches and Psych Meds. Find Pam Moore at pam-moore.com.

January 2021 www.sonomafamilylife.com

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