Charlotte Smarty Pants

Charlotte Smarty Pants – Daily Scoop for Savvy Charlotte Moms

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January 16, 2018

Smarty Save the Date: Joined in Education’s ‘Teach your Children Well’ Symposium

Mark your calendar for Joined In Education’s next parenting symposium on February 13 & 14, 2018. The keynote address this year will be delivered by Madeline Levine Ph. D., author of New York Times bestsellers Teach Your Children Well and The Price of Privilege. This event will be relevant to parents of toddlers as well as teens. JIE’s goal is to help parents ensure that the next generation can problem solve, think critically and are productive, kind citizens of the world. JIE_2018_10x7Ad_r2a print version

Here’s what the JIE says about the keynote speaker:

Levine brings together cutting-edge research and thirty years of clinical experience to explode the myth that good grades, high test scores and college acceptances should define the parenting endgame. Parents and educators are all too familiar with the escalating rates of anxiety among today’s children. Levine shifts our focus from the excesses of hyper parenting and the unhealthy reliance on our children for status and how to provide a meaningful parenting style that focuses both on academic success and developing a sense of purpose, well-being and connection. Read More →

January 15, 2018

Storytime at Morrison Library back and better than ever

The Morrison Regional Library is back open after being closed for a year and a half for renovation, and that’s great news for Mamas (and some Papas too). It reopened Dec. 16, just in time for that frigid weather spell when parents like me were desperately seeking indoor outlets for cooped-up kids. storytime1

Just a few steps into the front door and it’s immediately obvious how much the renovation was geared toward parents and pre-school children who come to the full slate of “Storytime” classes for babies, toddlers and families.

“Our largest demographic is families with preschool children,” said Susan Green, manager for the Morrison Regional Library. “…Most months we have more people at our Storytimes than any other branch, including ImaginOn.”

Green said HVAC and mechanical issues precipitated the $8 million renovation but improving the children’s area was one of its biggest benefits. Read More →

January 14, 2018

Smarty Alert: This Week’s School Open Houses


Don’t miss this week’s School Open Houses we’ve listed below. This is NOT the full Open House listing for each school or school system – it’s just this week’s. For our full listing of open houses, please see our Palisades Episcopal School

Palisades Episcopal School

Storytime Adventures
Reading, art and music workshops for parents & children ages 3-5 years. All Storytime Adventures begin at 10 a.m. Space is limited.
January 19, 2018 – Music & Movement

Every day is an Open House at PES – tours scheduled at your convenience.

Register for any of these events at

For more information, please contact Monique Gilbert at or 704.583.1825.

Palisades Episcopal SchoolPES Logo
13120 Grand Palisades Parkway
Charlotte, NC 28278
Twitter @pescharlotte

January 12, 2018

From Girls on the Run Charlotte: Five Ways to Teach Kids to Value Improvement Over Winning

By Allison Riley, PhD, Girls on the Run International

One of my two-year-old daughter’s favorite activities is playing with blocks. She enjoys exploring their shape and texture as well as sorting them by color and size. Her ultimate fun is tower building. Since her ability to stack began to bud, she’s spent countless hours stacking and stacking, working her hardest to build an even taller tower. As she stacks blocks on top of one another, I can see the range of emotions crossing her face and, when each tower ultimately comes crashing down, these feelings, particularly frustration, are often magnified. Spring 2018 Program Registration Dates

As I sit on the floor alongside my daughter and observe her structural pursuits, I recognize her effort and remind her of her personal improvement. “You could stack 5 blocks last week and now you can stack 10 blocks. Wow!” Each time her tower falls I encourage her to keep trying and, occasionally, I show her different ways to stack the blocks.

What I am attempting to do, even at this young age, is to create a mastery motivational climate. Perhaps you haven’t heard this specific term before, but the underlying concept is likely a familiar one. In a mastery climate, the emphasis is placed on personal improvement and effort, and mistakes are seen as learning opportunities.

A performance climate, the opposite of a mastery climate, focuses on competition and favorable comparison to others. In the example above, I would instead make the tallest tower I could and define success for my daughter by comparing the height of her tower to the height of mine. Instead of focusing on her growing skill, I would turn tower-building into a lopsided competition. Hopefully we can agree that this approach would not be effective (or pleasant) with my toddler. Why, then, is it so common in youth sports?

As a parent, caretaker or coach, here’s what you can do to create a mastery climate for the kids in your life:

1. Reflect on your own experience in sport and physical activity as a kid.
Gaining an awareness of how your own experiences might influence the environment you’re creating for your kids is a critical first step. After you reflect on your experience and the feelings that those experiences evoked, commit to doing things differently if needed. Just because you were constantly compared to others doesn’t mean it has to be that way for your kids.

2. Recognize effort and personal improvement. In many youth physical activity contexts, only the best athletes are praised and encouraged (performance climate). If we want all kids to have a good experience with physical activity, this is not the most effective approach. When you talk to your kid after a game, instead of asking if they won or who scored the most goals, ask them how they think they improved and if they tried their best.

3. Provide opportunities to practice skills. In a mastery climate, the focus is on learning, so it’s important that kids have a chance to practice their newly developed skills. As a parent, you can help your kids grow by taking some time to work individually with them outside of the practice or game setting. Read More →

January 11, 2018

Smarty Review and Giveaway: ‘The Queen of Hearts’

** This giveaway is closed! Winner is Sara Mayse**

I’ve been looking forward to writing this post for MONTHS! Our very own Kimmery Martin is releasing her debut novel, The Queen of Hearts, and I am one of the lucky ones to have received an advanced copy with a chance to review the book. And, of course, most of our Smarty reviews include a giveaway, and this one is no different. One lucky Smarty will win her very own copy of “The Queen of Hearts” just in time for Valentine’s Day. Keep reading to find out more. Queen of Hearts cover jpg

Kimmery’s name might sound familiar to you because she’s been our Smarty Book Review blogger for the last couple of years. She writes, hands-down, the best book reviews (which makes this post a little nerve wracking – my apologies in advance, Kimmery :-)!), and we’ve been so lucky to have her as a CSP contributor. She’s about to hit the big time with this impressive debut from Penguin Random House. Before I get into the nitty gritty, here are two reasons why I fell in love with this book right out of the gate:

1. I know the author. There is nothing more amazing than reading a book when you know the person behind the words. Kimmery is one of us (well, a super brilliant one-of-us) – she’s a mom-of-three, a physician, a wife, friend, daughter, sister – which makes the fact that she’s written such a superb book even cooler.

2. The book is set in two of my favorite cities: Charlotte and Louisville, KY. Charlotte is my hometown and obviously my favorite city on the planet. My sister lives in Louisville, and I’ve come to love that city like a second home. Knowing both cities so well made the book almost like reality TV – but better – and made each city like another character in the book.

So, that being said, “Queen of Hearts” is a smart, funny, and sometimes heartbreaking page-turner of two best friends and doctors, cardiologist Zadie and trauma surgeon Emma. The two met in summer camp and survived med school together in Louisville, and are now settled in as moms, wives, and doctors in Charlotte. When chief resident, Nick Xenokostas (“Dr. X.”), Zadie’s med school bad-boy boyfriend, shows up in Charlotte right as some professional crises shock both women, Zadie and Emma are forced to revisit their past and take a hard look at their current friendship. There are twists, turns, lies, betrayals, revelations, humor, and a li’l bit of sex mixed in with just the right amount of mommyhood. Read More →

January 9, 2018

Smarty Podcast: To TK or K?


Welcome back to the Charlotte Smarty Pants podcast series, which is powered by Charlotte Star Room, Charlotte’s premier boutique music development and corporate video production studio + the best Pop Star birthday parties in the QC, AND professional voice lessons in a studio.

We are SO excited to announce that you can now find the Smarty podcast series on iTunes! So, please subscribe and share!

Today Smarties Jen P. and Cheryl are talking to educator Mary Yorke Oates, Admissions Director at Charlotte Latin School, about a question on a lot of minds of Smarty moms with preschoolers whose birthdays are close to the cut-off: whether to TK your child or send them on to kindergarten. It’s a question not to be taken lightly, and Mary Yorke has great insights in this one.

Click to listen to the podcast. Read More →

From the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library: Fill up your new device for FREE at the Library

CSP Image - Fill up your new device

Did you receive a new device this holiday season? You’ve probably been busy adding apps and e-books and music to it from the moment you unboxed it. Well we’ve got great news for you! Charlotte Mecklenburg Library offers many resources to fill up your new device – for free!

If you have a Charlotte Mecklenburg Library card or ONE Access account, you have access to all of this and more!

E-books and e-audiobooks

OverDrive has an extensive collection of e-books, e-audiobooks and read-alongs, with kid- and teen-friendly content in special reading rooms. You can check out up to 10 items per month with a 21-day loan period, and can download titles to your computer, tablet (including Kindle!) or mobile device. Or you can read or listen to them online. New users should check out OverDrive’s new Libby app, but the classic OverDrive app is also available. OverDrive also powers NC Kids Digital Library, which offers e-books, e-audiobooks, streaming videos and read-alongs specifically designed for youth in pre-K through fourth grade. Read More →

January 8, 2018

Smarty Alert: This Week’s School Open Houses


Don’t miss this week’s School Open Houses we’ve listed below. This is NOT the full Open House listing for each school or school system – it’s just this week’s. For our full listing of open houses, please see our 2017-18 Smarty School Open House Guide.

Charlotte Preparatory School

Prep 5-2015-254

Pre-Kindergarten-8th Grade

Tuesday, January 9, 2018, at 9:30 a.m. Read More →

January 7, 2018

ADHD, Mindfulness, and More: 7 Winter Workshops on Learning Differences and the Skills to Help You Best Serve Your Child

By our Smarty friends at The Fletcher School

Since 1982, The Fletcher School (K-12) has been a leader in serving children with Specific Learning Disabilities (SLD) and ADHD. Through their outreach arm, The Rankin Institute, they educate and empower community members like you by providing the resources and knowledge you need to best serve children with learning differences — be it in school or at home. IMG_9954

This winter, The Rankin Institute is offering several workshops and trainings to educate teachers, parents, and professionals on the various types of SLDs and techniques to help children with learning differences reach their full potential. Explore their programs and join the community of dedicated parents and professionals striving to best serve and support those who learn differently!

Upcoming Rankin Institute Workshops:


This series provides information and strategies on specific disorders and diagnoses such as attention deficits, reading and math disorders, auditory processing deficits, anxiety, and related medications. Workshops are taught by professionals in the field related to the topic.

Gimme Just a Little More Time: Auditory Processing Disorder
Tuesday, January 9, 7:00pm – 9:00pm ($10)

This workshop will examine the impact of auditory processing disorders and offer strategies for
improving performance. Presenter: Barrie Morganstein, Ph.D. of Southeast Psychological Services. Both parents and professionals are invited to participate. Register. Read More →

December 31, 2017

Smarty Open House Alert: Palisades Episcopal School


Don’t miss this week’s School Open Houses we’ve listed below. This is NOT the full Open House listing for each school or school system – it’s just this week’s. For our full listing of open houses, please see our 2017-18 Smarty School Open House Guide.

Palisades Episcopal School

Palisades Episcopal School

Bring a Friend Days
Students are invited to spend the day at PES and learn more about our school. You do not need to know a current student to attend our Bring A Friend Days.

Friday, January 5, 2018 Read More →

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