Hi there! I'm Jenn...
a teacher, mom, wife, and the founder of Smart Cookie. I live in the south bay area of Los Angeles with my wonderful husband, two adorable and rambunctious, reptile-loving sons, and cuddly dog Emma.
I've taught in preschool through 5th grade classrooms for a decade. I have my undergraduate degree in Psychology with a minor in Child Development, my master's in education, and my National Board Certification in Early Childhood Education. I have developed curriculum for grades TK-5 and conducted professional development sessions for teachers at both the school and district level.
I've spent years working with, researching and thinking about kids - from babies through elementary school aged. (Decades if I'm being honest with myself... just ask my younger brother and my parents, my very first students, in my very first backyard schoolhouse.) I've discovered how children learn and grow best, what helps them to thrive and what they need from the grown-ups in their lives.
I started Smart Cookie in 2015 because I see how stressful parenting, learning and education has become for families. And I know, without a doubt, it does not need to be that way. My mission is to build Smart Cookie to be a supportive community for YOU, parents, in the trenches with your kids. Every. Single. Day.
I want to take stress off of your shoulders and I want you to know that the best things you can do to help your child learn are often the simplest... and most fun. Being a parent is HARD. We hear all the time that our kids don't come with instruction manuals. But that doesn't mean that we have to feel stuck as parents. I want to be there when you need to brainstorm solutions to sleep issues, behavior struggles, parenting challenges. I hope to connect you with other parents in the same boat as you. Parents that will become your lifelong support system, friends, and an integral part of the community raising your child.
I know that all of you parents are your children's "first and BEST" teachers. From infant-hood, you have the power to build a home and family that invites joy and learning opportunities. Whether you feel like you're starting from square one or already have an arsenal of tricks in your parenting tool box, welcome! I'm happy you're here.
Are you interested in joining a community of parents (like me!) working together to brainstorm solutions to parenting dilemmas we all encounter every day? A place where you can go to ask pressing questions and get help fast? The closed Facebook group "Raising Smart Cookies" is perfect for you. Get in touch with me here for more info.
And be sure to follow Smart Cookie! Social links here...
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My Philosophy on Children & Learning
I believe that parents need a support system; we need other parents to talk to, laugh with, cry with, and brainstorm strategies with. I believe that in parenting, two (or more!) minds are better than one.
I believe that a parent's instinct is more valuable than any parenting book or resource.
I believe that play in the first 3 years forms a solid, meaningful foundation for future learning in years to come.
I believe that all children want to learn and can love learning.
I believe that all children are “smart” (hence the name "Smart Cookie"!) and that the loving adults in a child’s life can help a child discover their unique talents and gifts.
I believe that positive learning experiences early in life lay the foundation for a positive attitude toward school, learning, and one’s own academic capabilities.
I believe that children's behavior issues can be effectively addressed in a loving and respectful manner.
I believe that adults can create learning activities at home that are fun, engaging, and strengthen the bond of the family unit.
I believe that homework should be a peaceful time in your home.
I believe that there’s nothing better than cuddling on the couch as a family - reading, laughing and learning together… with a tall glass of milk and a warm plate of chocolate chip cookies.