Nurturing Determined Children

– By Sarah M.

You know the look the bottom lip comes out, the brows go down, the arms get crossed. Your child is determined to get their way. They won’t give in and they know you will. What’s a parent to do? If you force them to do what you want, your child will start shouting, get aggressive, or just cry. If you walk away or do the task for them, they learn that their determination worked, but they have missed an opportunity to use their determination productively.

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The Little Drummer Boy

– Lynn Hess

After Thanksgiving, our focus in Music class is on Christmas.  We sing fun songs, like “We Wish You a Merry Christmas”, during which we clap, jump and twirl to a variety of verses; and “Jingle Bells”, when we imagine what it must be like to ride in a one horse open sleigh (and, of course, we play bells).  All of our fun songs evoke smiles, movement and joy.

We continue with “Go Tell it on the Mountain”, combining a mixture of hand motions and sign language.  The most touching part is the last chorus, when I tell the children to use their big (not yelling) voices so others beyond the classroom can hear us.  The result is a beautiful collection of young voices owned by beaming children, who understand that the good news of Jesus’ birth is to be shared.

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I am a Non-Participatory / Participatory Parent

-Beth C.

My children go to a parent participatory preschool. The biggest part of this is taking your child into class, picking them up from the class (no carpool lines here!), going to school with your child 1-2 days/month and providing the snack for the class. The thing is, I can’t go to class with my children and I am not the one transporting them.

It wasn’t always this way.  When they first started attending The School of Grace, I had a very flexible schedule at my job and was not only able to come to school at least 1 time per month with each of them, I was also able to pick them up from school 2 days per week. It is a great way to get to know the teachers, the other parents and the children your child is calling friends. So how does a working parent with a non-flexible schedule make a parent participatory preschool work?

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As My Oldest Son Graduates

-Beth C.

sogblogphotoAs my oldest just “graduated” from The School of Grace and will move into kindergarten, I have been reflecting back on the growth of my children there. I’m not sure exactly what I expected when I sent my boys to preschool. I had two goals when looking for a preschool. First was to find a place where they could socialize with children. Second was to give my parents, who watch them while my husband and I work, a break. Going to the School of Grace has given us so much more than that.

Most importantly, over the past three years I have watched my two boys grow, learn and discover. While it is hard to pinpoint exactly what it is, I know that the school has had a major impact on shaping who they are. The school uses the curious, playful side of children to encourage their learning. They build on the children’s natural interests. Everything is learned through singing, touching and doing. Sensory tables, play centers, art time and music time – all of it is child focused but built for them to learn.

Additionally, they have grown in their faith. They are taught about Jesus’ and God’s love for us. It is done through stories and songs. It is sincere and honest, never frightening or overwhelming. It encourages them to want to know more and is building a solid foundation for their faith. Continue reading

The end of the school year is always a mix of emotions

-1I am so proud of all the growth since September.  For example, in the Turtle Class (ages 6 months to 2 years), several of our children weren’t even crawling, many weren’t talking and most of them preferred parallel play, playing alongside each other with little interaction.  Now, they all walk, they all talk, some say one or two words; many communicate with complex sentences.  The sign language that everyone used at the beginning of the year has been replaced with words, by many children.  The most amazing growth has been in their play.  They prefer to play with their peers, laughing and reacting to each other’s actions.  They cook for and feed each other at the kitchen center.  They build towers with blocks, play instruments and read together.  They explore new sensory experiences, showing each other what they have learned.  Of course, these one and two year olds also claim toys for their own!  Outbursts of  “Mine” and “No” remind us that they are age appropriately showing their independence.  Yet, they also show compassion for their friends when someone cries after falling down.

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2014/15 Registration

Based on parent feedback, the Board of Directors unanimously agreed to extend the Tadpole, Frog and Monkey classes to 4 hour days for the 2014/15 school year.  This means that all classes will operate from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. beginning in September.  Children will bring their lunches to school and eat with their classes.

With this decision, registration for the 2014/15 school year has now begun.  Priority Registration is for the next two weeks, through March 27, 2014.  Anyone may register during this time.  At the end of the two week period, current families who registered will be placed in classes first.  Anyone else who registered will be placed in the remaining spaces.  All forms are dated as they are received, so the earlier you submit a registration form, the better chance you have for placement.

Please click here for more information on 2014/2015 registration.

If you have any questions, please ask.
Have a Grace Filled Day,

Tears at the End of the Day Mean They Want to Stay!

by Ellen C.

Several weeks ago, my children and I attended a birthday party for a friend of my youngest child. The birthday boy’s mother is a teacher at The School of Grace, where my youngest child attends preschool.

Children attending the party were mostly preschool children and their families. It was a particularly cold day. Despite the frigid temperatures, when it was time to leave the party and seek warmer temperatures inside, a few children started to have typical toddler “I don’t want to leave” meltdowns.

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Why I put my Infant in Preschool

By Megan E.

It’s chilly and breezy outside when I exit my car with my children and head in to the preschool for drop off.  I enter through the main play room, pausing to speak with the Teacher Assistant as I disperse items throughout the preschool space:  Lunch and cup in the snack room fridge, clean diapering and changing supplies in the designated changing area, jacket on hook right above her bag.   I give a quick rundown of the morning, how she slept, when she woke up, how well she ate that morning, then I say my good byes and head out.  My daughter sometimes waves but often just continues to play with whatever she’s already walked to.  She does not say good bye back to me as she has not learned to say that yet.  My daughter turned one year old last week, a couple months after her first day in preschool.

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Dress Up Time

by Sarah M., Teaching Assistant, Lunch Bunch Teacher and Chapel Leader

Everyone loves to see cute little kids dressed up in costumes playing pretend games.  At The School of Grace, we do too, but we also realize that dress-up and pretend play forms an integral part of your child’s development.  In a safe, caring, nurturing environment like The School of Grace, children are free to explore, question, and rediscover their world.  By stepping outside of themselves -and becoming a dragon, princess, or cowboy- they strengthen their imaginations, dream of new possibilities, and find a new voice within themselves. We as teachers are blessed and humbled to help the children in our classes learn through dress-up and pretend play, and to help them find their wings even after the costumes are off.

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