12 old-school skills children shouldn’t lose

School is officially in session. And while kids are constantly learning new skills in the classroom, there are a few tried and true talents we shouldn't let fall by the wayside. Here are some life skills worth keeping around – no matter how old school they may seem.


Moms Gear: Hand-carved ‘Elephant Realm’ necklace signifies strength and wisdom

In fact, more than 2,000 artisans sell jewelry, clothing, and decor of all types on the website. The "Elephant Realm" necklace, hand-carved by Indian Chander Kant, is made of kadam wood, that comes from a tropical sustainable tree in Asia and Southeast Asia. According to the card that comes with the necklace's packaging, Kant learned his trade from his father and grandfather, making the craft a multi-generational source of income.


9 essential books to inspire young activists

Activism is in the air. Kids are hearing about marches and protests, boycotts and fundraising campaigns for all kinds of causes, from local to global. And increasing numbers of children's books are showing kids and teens how it's done. From stories of the authors' own activist experiences to how-to guides with tips on everything from organizing a rally to using social media to get the word out, these books offer a glimpse into the planning and passion that go into youthful activism.


Movie review: ‘Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween,’ funny creepfest is a perfectly frightful treat for tweens

Parents need to know that "Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween" is a sometimes-scary but frequently funny adventure for tweens and up based on R.L. Stine's same-named book series. Definitely more creepy than terrifying (and a little milder than the first movie), the bulk of the movie's frights stem from the idea of the Halloween decorations in stores and lawns coming to life. That means ghosts, witches, monsters, and a house-size spider made of balloons go into motion and terrorize a neighborhood. If that sounds kind of funny, it is; the humor and ridiculousness minimize the fright factor. That said, the villain – a menacing, weathered ventriloquist dummy that just won't die – is genuinely creepy in a way that could linger with younger kids. But most of the rest of the content is very mild: There's no substance use, language tops out at "jerk" and "shut up," and nothing beyond kissing and flirting is shown. Really, a bully getting pantsed and a Jack-o'-lantern spitting seeds like a machine gun is as iffy as it gets. Plus, the movie has a diverse cast and a clear teamwork theme, and it taps into relatable situations for kids: squabbling with siblings, treasure hunting with friends, struggling over school assignments, interacting with friendly but quirky neighbors, and dealing with bullies. It may be a hand-clencher in the theater, but it's the kind that lets kids rest easily as soon as the credits roll.


Living with Children: Parenting – the real deal

PARENTING REALITY, PART ONE: It is all but inevitable that after rattling off a list of provocative, sociopathic stuff his or her child is doing and usually has been doing for quite some time, a parent will say, "But he's a really good kid." How's that? How is it that a child who is belligerently defiant, denigrates the parent with various libelous descriptors, refuses to be the least bit responsible around the home, and creates nearly constant uproar in the family is "really a good kid"? I have a theory.


Ask Mr. Dad: That’s it: Only 173 ‘last warnings’ left–

Dear Mr. Dad: My husband and I have always tried to emphasize good study habits to our 13-year old daughter. But no matter what we say or how many times we say it, she goes into her room, closes the door, and plays on her phone or texts her friends instead of doing her homework. There has to be something we can do to get her to take her schoolwork more seriously, right?


Kavanaugh hearings reinforce need for parent-child dialogue on consent

More than 20 million people watched the testimony of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh and California professor Christine Blasey Ford. Ford accused the judge of a sexual assault that allegedly occurred more than 30 years ago. Kavanaugh has unequivocally denied the allegations, but the proceedings resulted in an FBI investigation.


App review: Creativity abounds with colorful, fun, and unique art tool, Mixerpiece

Parents need to know that Mixerpiece allows kids to create their own works of art from pieces of classic paintings. While the overall experience is simple to understand, some of the controls are challenging. Pinching and zooming on small parts will be hard for some kids. Kids can name their paintings, and there's no moderation around language. Some of the paintings have partial nudity. Note: No privacy policy was available at the time of the review.


Game review: ‘Super Mario Party,’ epic 5-star celebration is an absolute blast

Parents need to know that "Super Mario Party" is a party game for one to four players, available on the Nintendo Switch. Players compete with and against each other in a variety of short mini-games in both offline and online play. The mini-games are designed to be simple to pick up and play by people of any age and skill level. The focus is on competition, but in a fun and entertaining way that doesn't push winning so much as simply enjoying the fun with friends. There's some minor violence in a handful of the mini-games, though it's cartoonish and slapstick in nature. The game also features support for Nintendo's amiibo figures, which can unlock additional content, such as stickers and music.

Merced student says girls afraid, boys indifferent after coach is named as alleged sexual harasser

A Golden Valley High student tells the MUHSD school board about her fears Oct. 10, 2018, after reading about boys varsity basketball coach Keith Hunter sexually harassing a coworker but continuing to teach and coach, according to school records.