Back-To-School Basics

Back-to-school season is in full swing, and while supplies and clothing have been purchased, there is still a lot a parent has to do in preparing their child for their upcoming school year. Below are some tips that will get the year started off smoothly and running successfully as the year goes on.

Get Organized

• Visit the pediatrician. Find out whether your child needs immunization or a physical exam to participate in school activities. Make an appointment with a pediatrician, if necessary.

• Plan transportation and child care. Arrange a carpool and/or after-school care for your child. Even if you don’t plan to carpool, gather contact information for neighbors and other parents who may be able to help when needed.

• Mark school events on the calendar. Create a master family schedule and add each person’s appointments and activities. If you have children at more than one school, plan ahead to make sure a parent is available to attend each open house and family night.

• Stock up on school supplies. Besides buying the supplies on the list provided by your child’s teacher, get extras of items your child is likely to misplace, such as glue sticks or scissors. Think about the items your child may need while doing homework and keep them in a central location.

Take It Over

• Review the rules. Get a copy of the school’s guidelines and go over them with your child. Make sure he understands all the rules he’ll be expected to follow.

• Check in regularly. Ask your child how she feels about starting school. If she’s nervous about making new friends, consider arranging a play date with classmates. Talk over any issues she’s concerned about, such as bullies or cliques.

• Evaluate extracurricular activities. Talk with your child about extracurricular activities. Select fun activities that teach new skills, but avoid over-scheduling your family or your child. Taking on too many activities can cause anxiety and distract children from schoolwork.

Meet Teachers and Staff

• Visit the school before classes start. Call the school to arrange a time for you and your child to meet his new teacher. Take your child on a tour of the school so he knows how to find his classrooms, his locker, and the cafeteria.

• Talk with the teacher. Find out whether the teacher prefers to communicate by phone, email, or written notes. Let the teacher know about things in our child’s life that may affect her performance, such as health problems, a recent move, or family changes. You might also mention your child’s hobbies or special interests.

• Learn about school resource. Find out which professionals the school has on staff and what services they provide. Ask about the best way to get in touch with the principal, school counselor, or other staff members you may need to contact.

• Make contact with the parent group. The PTO or PTA will have lots of information about the school, including nuances and tips that aren’t written down anywhere else.

Review the Routine

• Discuss safe travel routes. Make sure your child knows how to get to and from school safely. If your child walks or rides a bike to school, review the route with her until you’re sure she knows it. If she rides a bus, remind her where the bus stops and where to get on the bus after school. No matter how your child gets to school, remind her of safety issues she is likely to face, such as how to cross the street.

• Go over after-school plans. Remind your child where he will go after school, whether it’s home, to an extracurricular activity, or to an after-school program.

Ernst & Haas would like to wish every parent and student a very successful 2012-13 school year!




Long Beach Greek Festival

The 63rd Annual Long Beach Greek Festival & Cultural Event will take place this weekend, Sept.1-3, from Noon-9 p.m. at the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Greek Orthodox Church.

The festival will include Greek food, desserts, and drinks, as well as Greek music, dance performances, cooking classes, specialty shops, kids carnival, and more! Admission is a $3 donation for guests 12 and older (children under 12 are free). Everyone can get in FREE on Monday, September 3, and seniors, firemen, policemen, and military personnel get in FREE all 3 days of the festival! Parking is FREE and at Cal State Long Beach’s Parking Lot 11A- Structure 3 off of Atherton St. and Palos Verdes Ave. FREE shuttles will take guests to and from the parking lot and festival.

The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Greek Orthodox Church is located at 5761 E. Colorado St. in Long Beach.

For more information, please visit or call (562) 494-8929.

Ernst & Haas Company Picnic


Last Saturday, the Ernst & Haas staff enjoyed a day at the park with their family and friends. Camped under a shady tree at El Dorado Park West in Long Beach, we enjoyed homemade tacos (courtesy Carlos and Maria Alatorre), played soccer, participated in a water balloon toss and wheel barrel race, and even had some fun with water guns!

We couldn’t have asked for better weather and truly enjoyed spending a summer Saturday with each other!

10 Ways To Improve Your Health Daily

One of the biggest challenges of modern life is that technology enables you to do so much without getting out of your chair. Between the temptations of fast food and the stress of trying to keep up in a fast-paced world, it’s easy to understand why so many people don’t get enough exercise, well-balanced meals or sleep.

Fortunately, it is easier to fit good health habits into your busy life than you may think. Here are some ways to do so:

1. Keep moving. Always take the stairs instead of the elevator. Walk during your lunch hour or breaks, even for just 10 minutes at a time. Aim for 30 minutes of activity every day.

2. Slow down. Focus on just one thing. Watch a sunset, savor every bite of a good meal or simply take a deep breath.

3. Avoid fat. Choose lean meats, and cook without oil and butter. You don’t have to be a vegetarian, but avoid everything that is high in fat.

4. Make technology your friend. There are many free health applications for your smart phone, tablet or personal computer that allow you to track your daily activity, count calories or plan healthy meals.

5. Know your blood pressure. If you have been diagnosed with high blood pressure, invest in a home monitor and keep a diary.

6. Get enough sleep. Eight hours is ideal. If you have trouble sleeping, take a short walk before bedtime.

7. Take a good multivitamin daily. This may be all you need if you have a well-balanced diet. Omega-3 fatty acids may be helpful if you have high cholesterol, but adding more fish to your diet is even better.

8. Choose healthy snacks and meals. Substitute fruits and vegetables for chips and other junk foods, and drink water instead of soda. Plan your meals ahead and avoid unhealthy spur of the moment choices.

9. Get regular checkups. This ensures that you will have screenings at the appropriate times to prevent conditions such as diabetes and high cholesterol, or detect other problems early.

10. Make time for yourself. Schedule “me time” on your calendar to do whatever relaxes and revitalizes you. It’s vital to reduce stress – even if you start with baby steps.

50 Fun Summer Activites

It seems like just yesterday when summer went into full effect, and it’s already August! Before we know it, it’ll be Labor Day! Here are 50 fun summer activities you can do to help close out the summer:

1. See a movie at the drive-in.

2. Walk on the boardwalk and listen to the boards creak under your feet.

3. Blow bubbles.

4. Play tag, hopscotch, or one of your favorite childhood games.

5. Ride a roller coaster.

6. Play miniature golf.

7. Win a prize at the fair.

8. Catch fireflies at night.

9. Build a sandcastle at the beach.

10. Eat a whole lobster with your hands.

11. Pick berries and peaches at a farm.

12. Buy a Creamsicle from the neighborhood ice cream truck.

13. Roast marshmallows over a fire and make s’mores.

14. Make lemonade from scratch.

15. Eat corn on the cob.

16. Sip a sweating glass of iced tea.

17. Eat a slice of watermelon.

18. Buy fresh produce at the farmer’s market.

19. Mix up a pitcher of sangria.

20. Eat a soft-serve vanilla ice cream cone with rainbow sprinkles.

21. Dig your own clams.

22. Have a barbecue.

23. Nap in a hammock.

24. Have a picnic at the park.

25. Sit on a porch swing.

26. Stargaze while lying in the grass.

27. Watch the sun set from a beach.

28. Dangle your feet off a dock.

29. Bring a blanket and lie on the grass at an outdoor concert.

30. Pick wildflowers.

31. Swim in a lake.

32. Rent a bike.

33. Go fishing.

34. Go camping.

35. Play tennis.

36. Go for a hike.

37. Go kayaking or canoeing.

38. Toss a Frisbee.

39. Collect seashells at the beach.

40. Take a last-minute road trip.

41. See a summer blockbuster.

42. Read a trashy novel.

43. Walk barefoot in the grass.

44. Get caught in a summer rainstorm.

45. Sleep with the windows open.

46. Make a summer playlist.

47. Smell freshly-cut grass.

48. Feel the sun on your back.

49. Roll up your pant legs and go wading.

50. Go to a baseball game.