Long Island Parent Talk

Get the inside scoop on all things kids and parenting on Long Island.

Why I decided to have my son opt-in on standardized tests

One Long Island mom talks about why she

(Credit: iStock)

Opt-in. Opt-out.

If my sixth-grade son learned nothing else this year, he learned what those phrases meant.

After the first day of the state English Language Arts assessments, he said to me, “Why didn’t you opt me out?” I explained that I believe the tests will give both the school and us a good measure of how he is learning this year, and that test-taking and being evaluated is a part...

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Family-friendly performances in April on Long Island

The "Teacher From the Black Lagoon" performance at

(Credit: Landmark on Main Street)

Children love watching their favorite characters come to life on stage, and there's no shortage of theatrical events on Long Island. Since many of the shows require some forethought, here's a sampling of family-friendly shows throughout April to help you plan a fun-filled day.

"Jungle Book" at the Carriage House Theater, Vanderbilt Mansion (180 Little Neck Rd., Centerport) on Saturdays and...

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Study says babies can't learn to read

Babies aren't capable of learning to read, according

(Credit: iStock)

As much as parents might want to give their kids a leg up in education, there’s only so much a baby can learn. For instance, they can’t learn to read, according to a study by researchers at New York University’s Steinhardt School of Culture, Education and Human Development.

The researchers examined 117 children ages 9 to 18 months, splitting them into two groups. One group received baby media...

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Free (or cheap!) for kids in April on Long Island

Spring Egg Hunt at Belmont Lake State Park

(Credit: Newsday / Gina Tomitz)

Need weekend plans or something to do with the kids during the week? There are a ton of free children's events at local libraries, but we also found free and cheap things to do elsewhere this month. Whether you have one, two, three or more kids in tow, here's a roundup of fun, budget-friendly events in April.

Free

Sculpture Art Caper and Exploration Activity Backpack at Hofstra University's...

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Frequent Facebook use could increase eating disorder risk

Facebook use may affect eating habits.

(Credit: iStock)

College women who spent 20 minutes in a laboratory looking at their Facebook page demonstrated weight and shape concerns that could increase their risk for developing an eating disorder, according to a study led by researchers at Florida State University.

Women who placed greater importance on receiving comments and “likes” on their status updates and were more likely to untag photos of themselves...

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Five children's book illustrators are finalists for award

"Mr. Tiger Goes Wild" is a finalist for

Five children’s books have been selected as finalists in the 2014 Bull-Bransom Award competition. The award, given annually by the National Museum of Wildlife Art in Jackson Hole, Wyo., recognizes excellence in children’s book illustration with a focus on wildlife and nature.

The finalists include “Cheer Up, Mouse!” written and illustrated by Jed Henry, “Frog Song,” illustrated by Gennady...

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New history and science books a kid likes

Cover of "How Does a Caterpillar Become a

(Credit: Sterling Children's Books)

My 10-year-old son already gets a good dose of science at his STEM school, but even after a long, long day of studies, trumpet practice and exercise, he enjoyed reading the some of the new titles in the “Good Question!” history and science series from Sterling Publishing.

Geared toward readers ages 7 and up, the latest additions pose questions in their titles: for instance, “How Does a Caterpillar...

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How I made our morning routine better

Time to get up! Close up of alarm

(Credit: iStock / diego cervo)

It started on a school morning when I tried to get Harrison to smile as he argued about wanting to stay in bed. As he pulled the blanket over his head, I jumped in front of him and in my hammiest karaoke voice belted out, "Thank God it’s Friday.”

He pulled the cover off his face and smiled faintly. I was on to something.

“Let’s make this our Friday ritual,” said Harrison, who by this...

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Gwyneth Paltrow's parenting comment mocked by working mom

Gwyneth Paltrow attends the Great American Songbook event

(Credit: Getty Images / Theo Wargo)

The "mommy wars" continue, and this week, Gwyneth Paltrow is in the hot seat for comments she made about parenting.

In an interview with E! News, Paltrow said she believes parenting is more difficult for a movie star than for a typical working mom with a 9-5 office job. The 41-year-old actress said:

"I think it's different when you have an office job, because it's routine and, you know,...

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Meet 'Peter Panda Melts Down' author in Manhasset

Children's book author Artie Bennett will be at

(Credit: Artie Bennett)

Children's book author Artie Bennett will be signing his new book, "Peter Panda Melts Down!" in Manhasset on Sunday.

Hailed as the "Dr. Seuss of your caboose," Bennett will also be reading his two other picture books"Poopendous!" and "The Butt Book."

"Peter Panda Melts Down!" follows Peter, a 3-year-old who throws tantrums -- in the car, in the library and in the supermarket -- when...

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