Real Relationships: Fear of starting school

Q: My daughter is supposed to start kindergarten this upcoming fall. Because of that, we wanted to enroll her in a part-time pre-school this spring so that she can get used to playing with other kids and taking direction from other adults. The first week of class was a nightmare. The teacher told me after the first day that my daughter screamed the entire half day. She also said it was normal, and it would get better. Well, it didn’t. She has been an emotional wreck every day that we have taken her to class. I am not sure what to do. She needs to learn to make this work, but she is a little young to be so emotionally traumatized. Where can I get help? A: Wow, I am so sorry that you and your daughter are having to go through such an emotional roller coaster. Socialization is natural and healthy for children, but not at the expense of their emotional stability, particularly at such a young age. You will likely need to pull her out of pre-school until you can pinpoint what she is afraid of. However, before you do, I would suggest trying something. Coordinate with her teacher to sit in class one day. Your daughter may be experiencing separation anxiety. Right now, she only associates pre-school with you leaving her, not […]

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Shine Building to brighten up downtown

San Francisco-based developer John Stricklin came through Sacramento six years ago and fell in love with the downtown scene.    "The downtown corridor has really transformed in the last few years," he said.  He also praised the unique qualities of Sacramento’s urban, yet small-town vibe.   Already a designer and restaurateur who owned an American bistro and a pizzeria in San Francisco, Stricklin set out to expand his business to Sacramento.  While driving through the Mansion Flats neighborhood, Stricklin was struck by an old, run-down building on the corner of 14th and E streets. "The building had been vacant for several years and was becoming an eyesore for the area," he said.  Stricklin decided to buy the 8,000-square-foot building and convert it into five retail spaces.   The development, now under construction, will be called the Shine Building, after William Shine, who owned and operated a cash-register distribution company in that location. The corner space will be a bistro called the Shine Cafe.  Owner Rena Davonne plans to open the restaurant in two months. On the 14th Street side of the building will be Penleigh, a child-development center catering to the downtown area.  Sacramento is in desperate need of child care, with wait lists at nearly all downtown facilities.   Penleigh will occupy two spaces in the Shine Building and have room for 40 children.  Two walls […]

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Unique elementary school in South Sacramento to celebrate the winter season

One of the best kept secrets of the South Sacramento area is a small, private school tucked away in the Lanai Shopping Center on Freeport Boulevard, neighboring the Sacramento Executive Airport, where it has existed in rented space for 21 years. Over the years, most of the shopping center tenants have moved away. Meanwhile, countless hours of parent, teacher and student work have gone into transforming a run-down property into a school with colorful classrooms and playgrounds. It has an understated entrance, but Camellia Waldorf School is an oasis for children. The kindergarten yard is home to Mr. Mountain, a big pile of dirt, and Ms. Sandy, a big pile of sand. There are climbing structures in trees, hay bales, a water pump, chickens and a garden of oak and fruit trees, flowers and vegetables. Young children run, jump, play and are close to the elements. Walking down the central corridor, a visitor may hear music, singing or poetry being recited. Watercolor paintings line office windows. The community at Camellia Waldorf School is a diverse group, including families from Sacramento, West Sacramento, Elk Grove, Carmichael and Rancho Cordova. Parents are engineers, pastors, attorneys, health practitioners and public school teachers. Many parents work for the government (federal, state and local), and in a variety of occupations. Families are from a wide range of social, economic, cultural […]

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Childcare and After-School Activities

Assessing the Risks If you’re a parent with young children who also works, you know the old stressors that come up every time you move to a new part of town or your previous daycare/nanny ceases to be available: Where do I leave my child? How do I know what places are safe? How do I know that my child is getting the best care? Do You Know What Your Children Are Up To? Ratings obtained over the Internet, recommendations from friends, word-of-mouth…While there are many ways to find places for your kids to stay either during the day or after school, it can be difficult to discern what is actually going on while you are away. With many areas of Sacramento not being the safest places, it can be frustrating and even scary to find a caretaker or facility that is both safe and provides a quality, enriching environment for your little one. This can be even harder if your child is not yet school aged, and he or she must spend the majority of the day in someone else’s care.  Parents Helping Parents What daycare facilities and caretakers have you utilized in the past, and would you recommend them to other parents? Where can parents find a good, non-biased place that gives these recommendations? Are there quality after-school programs at your child’s school […]

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