Helping Your Student Prepare For College

High school is a busy but fun time for students. They are working hard to do well in school, keep up with their social lives, continue their extracurricular activities, and begin planning for the future. While high school may seem like a busy and stressful time in your kids lives, it is important that they begin to think about college and making plans.

Many students don’t think about college until junior year of high school, and don’t start making plans until senior year. This puts a lot of pressure on them during their last and most important year of high school. Planning their entire future in the span of a few months is stressful and can cause them to rush to a decision.

Preparing for college is a matter of preference, some students may begin the minute they get into high school and other may wait until the last second. There are students who have had their future college picked out for years, before even reaching high school. While planning for college has no right or wrong answer, at Resurrection Christian School we believe that preparation can help students be more successful and hopefully save them some stress. We offer college prep to our students—covering everything from writing resumes or college essays to building a portfolio, ensuring your student if as prepared as possible.

While we offer a college prep class that will help your students in many different areas, there are things you can do at home to help your students get ready for the next chapter of their lives. Whether you start planning early or wait until their senior year is up to you, but we believe that an early start can help your student make the right decision. Forbes features an article stating that children should start preparing for college in sixth grade. While this would help your child be more prepared than just about any other student, it would also not allow your child to be a kid while they have the chance. But again, it is about preference.

A previous blog described how to prepare your recent graduate for college, in this blog, we will go over some of the things you and your child can do to start preparing for college, starting in ninth grade.

Freshman Year

Many students don’t begin thinking about college in ninth grade, but those who do are ahead of the game and will be more prepared when the time comes to make decisions. Your kids aren’t going to start applying for colleges, writing essays, or anything else like that in ninth grade, but there are things they can do to get a headstart on their future.

Colleges like to see student’s involvement in the school and in extracurricular activities. Many students think that their grades and the level of the classes they took are the only things that colleges care about, but they want to see that they had a healthy social life as well. Being involved in clubs, sports, and other groups will be fun for your kid and helps them when the time comes to apply to college. Even getting involved in the community and volunteering can look good on a college resume, plus it can make your student feel fulfilled.

Exploring different classes is another great way to prepare. Not only can students take classes that may help them find their passion and future career options, but it can also look good for colleges. They should try out different technology classes, art classes, foreign languages, and whatever seems to interest them. Although colleges are looking at a student’s life as a whole, grade as still an important factor, so the better your student does in school the better chance they have at getting into the college that they want. Help your student work hard in their classes and ensure they get good grades.  

Even though your child still has a few years before they have to make any major college decision, this is a great time for them to start planning. Begin talking with your child about which colleges they want to go to, if they want to stay in the state or go to an out-of-state college. Get your child thinking about scholarships and maybe even help them begin to build a resume. If you student has a job, maybe suggest that they start putting some money aside and begin saving for college.

Sophomore Year

As your student heads into their sophomore year, they should be focused on their grades. Staying on top of their classes is important, especially as their classes begin to get more difficult. But they should also begin to think more about their college options. Remind your high schooler that some colleges they may be interested in require students to take the SAT and some require the ACT, a list can be found here from PrepScholar. If they are only looking at colleges that require the ACT, they may not have to take the SAT, saving money, stress, and time. If they have no idea which college they want to attend, their best option is to take both tests.

Beginning to prepare for these tests early can help them feel more confident and ready when the time does come to take them. RCS has college prep classes that help your student prepare for these tests, allowing them to head into their senior year feeling fully prepped.

Your student should begin thinking more about what they want to study in college, what careers they may be interested in, and what they are looking for in a college. Many students choose a college based on the specialized programs they offer. Other students choose a college that offers many different areas of study, giving them options to choose from. Whichever way your child leans, make sure they begin to consider their options throughout the year.

Your student will want to stay involved and continue doing extracurricular activities. Encourage them to join clubs, try out for different sports, and perhaps even get a job. A summer job or a weekend job could help them learn responsibility and allow them to save some money. Try to encourage them to save a majority of the money they make, since they are living at home, this is a good time to get their savings account looking good before heading out on their own.

Junior Year

This is a good time to sit down with your teen and talk to them about their college options. Ask them if they have done any research on colleges and if not, encourage them to do so. Ask them if they have begun to consider what they want to study and where they may want to go, and be sure to encourage them to make the decision they think is best for their future. Have them make a list of colleges and slowly find out more about each school, this will help them narrow it down and get a better idea of what they are looking for.

If your high schooler is looking at schools that require or recommend the SAT, help your child prepare and sign them up for the PSAT, allowing them to get practice and have an idea of what the actual test will be like.

Your student should begin having a better idea of the colleges they want to attend, what they may consider studying, and gather college information. Make sure they are staying on top of their academic lives, social lives, and continuing the hard work for the rest of the year.

Senior Year

If you follow all of the tips above, by the time your student makes it to senior year, they will be more prepared than many other students. This can help them feel more confident and stress less as the college decision begins to draw closer. Your teen will be taking the SAT and ACT within the first few months of senior year and hopefully they will be prepared.

Begin visiting colleges on their list to ensure they like the campus, the atmosphere, and the location. Once they have a finalized list, begin applying. Try to encourage your senior to apply for one college each week depending on how many they are applying to. Don’t let them procrastinate and help them whenever possible. Make sure they get letters of recommendations and all the other essentials for applications.

Help your student apply to scholarships and emphasize the fact they even a small scholarship can save them thousands. They should be working on applications for colleges and scholarships regularly and keeping track of everything they have done.

Once your student begins hearing back from colleges, help them decide. Making a decision on a college when they are accepted to many of the ones they were interested in is difficult. Help them by making pros and cons lists, talking about what they liked more about different schools, and have them begin to narrow their choices down. Once they decide on a college, celebrate! Your student worked hard these past few years and they deserve a break. At this point all you will have to worry about is getting them ready to actually attend college.

Peterson’s offers extensive lists outlining everything that can be done to prepare for college, so if you want more information, check it out!

Preparing your student for college can be stressful and hectic, but the early you start preparing the easier it will be! At Resurrection Christian School, we offer a college prep class for our high school students, allowing them to get the knowledge and help they need to take the next step in life. Contact us today to learn more about our school!

 

 


Helping Your Kid With School Transitions

Whether your child is heading into kindergarten or about to start their last year of high school, going back to school can always cause stress and your child may need your support to make the transition. Starting school for the first time is a big change and your little kiddos may be extremely nervous, so helping them prepare will help them immensely. As for your seniors, they will be starting to think about college and their future, and your guidance can help them feel more confident about the choices they make.

Luckily, if your children attend Resurrection Christian School, they will be able to grow throughout the school year with their friends, knowledge of the campus, and a community that will help them through the tough times in school. Our schools start at preschool age and end when your child graduates from high school, giving them the full school experience with a sense of belonging and a large amount of staff support.

While we will help your children as much as possible, you have the ability to help them as well, and we encourage you to do so. Going back to school can be scary, challenging, and overwhelming, and your children need you to help them through this hard time, even if they don’t ask for it.

While you don’t want to hold your child’s hand throughout their entire school career, you should be there for them to help them with problems, stresses, and needs they have. With the 2017-2018 school year starting, you should prepare your kids as well as yourself, be ready to help them when they need it. In this blog, we will go over how to help your children with the transition, help them throughout school, and help them prepare for the next step.

Preschool

If your little ones are finally at school age, you will want to make sure they are prepared and know what to expect before walking into the classroom. They should understand how to behave around others and that they will be learning a lot of different things. We provide them with a safe and caring Christian environment and will be teaching them everything from social development to different academic skills.

To best prepare your child for the year ahead, work with them on several things.

Work with your child on getting along with others. This is an important life skill and will not stop being used after preschool, so the earlier they master this skill, the better off they are. Teach them how to play well with others, share toys, and not interrupt. Have conversations with your kiddo to teach them how to properly address other people. We understand your preschooler is still young and may have trouble holding a conversation, but practice makes perfect! Help your child understand that saying hello and goodbye is polite and work with them on other manners as well. This will help them have an easier time behaving in class and working with other students. Social development is important to work on with young children and can help them develop other important life skills as they grow.

Not only should you help your child develop their life skills, but their academic skills as well. Start introducing them to the alphabet, numbers, colors, shapes, and other things they will be learning in preschool. Working on the alphabet or numbers regularly will help them begin to learn these things, which in turn, will help them excel in class and be ahead of the class. This will help them feel more confident with their abilities and learning will become fun.

Once your child has started school, make sure they are having a good time. We will do this as well, but it is important for you to make sure you child is learning, developing, and making friends. Ask them how their day was. Your interest in their school life will help them get excited to tell you everyday. You could even make a game out of it and tell them that every day they have to tell you one thing they learned, either in class, about a friend, and anything else they can come up with. This will help them get excited about telling you something and may even help them learn some better so that they can tell you all about it.

Your preschooler will be nervous during their first few weeks, but with your support and excitement they will have an easier time and be more willing to go to school everyday. They will most likely end up loving preschool as well!

Elementary To Middle School

Once your child has the hang of things, it will be easier for them to go back to school. It may even become exciting—reuniting with their old friends, meeting new ones, and learning more about their favorite subject will help your child be more prepared when heading back to school.

But making the transition from elementary school to middle school may be a different story. They went from being the oldest in the school to being the youngest, not knowing the building, and having to get used to a new system. Again, luckily for RCS students, they will be able to grow with their friends and will be more used to the different schools on our campus, helping them to feel better walking in the first day.

Help your children prepare by giving them a tour of their new school after getting their schedule. Knowing where their classes are right away can help them feel more confident walking in the first day. Students tend to be more nervous when they are not sure where they are going. You could even help by sketching out a map and marking where their locker is and where each class is.

Help your student with homework, have them teach your something they learned, and get them excited to be part of an older crowd and help them get involved. Being a part of a community at school can help them enjoy their time at school more and will help them feel excited about going to events with their friends.

Since your child has been doing this school thing for a while, they may not act as nervous as they once did, but just know they may be hiding it from you, so be supportive, excited, and help them when they need it.

Middle School To High School

This is a big transition for many students. High school is when grades truly start to matter and they need to start thinking about their future. They have a few years, of course, so don’t stress them out with future talk yet, just let them enjoy their high school experience.

This transition may be difficult for your kiddos, but like we said before, they have been doing this school thing for a while and they will most likely not show their nervousness or stress. Unfortunately, this is the age where kids begin to think they are too cool for their parents, so it is important to make sure you are not pushing them away as well. Let them be a teenager and don’t add stress to their lives. But make a point to show interest in their life. Ask them about their school, what they are learning, about sports they may want to participate in, and whatever else you can get them talking about.

If you can, help them with homework and give them advice when they ask. This is the age when children start becoming a little more independent are rely less on their parents to help them with everything. So if they don’t ask for help on homework, then just ask them to hang out—watch a movie, play a board game as a family, or go for a walk. Spending time with them will be as helpful as anything else and they may just open up to you.

High School To College

This is a scary but exciting transition for you and your kids. If your child is in their last year of high school, start asking them about their future plans. It is never too early to start making plans, applying to colleges, or deciding what they want to do. Helping them through the process will make them feel better and help them stress less. Throughout the year start helping them prepare—assist in scholarship applications, allow them to be independent, and help them finish school strong.

If your child currently just started their first year of college, pray for them and send them care packages. They are on their own now and you have done your job. Call them and answer when they call you. Make sure you are supportive of their choices and show interest in what they are studying. And remind them that there is no rush in choosing what they want to study.

If your child is making a big transition from one school year to the next, they will need your support and love. Show interest in their school work and spend time with them. This is a simple way to get your children excited about school and help them with these transitions.

At Resurrection Christian School, your student could have an easier time with the transitions thanks to the different schools all on one campus. Contact us and schedule a free tour.


RCS Athletics Golf Tournament

The RCS Athletics Golf Tournament is approaching fast. Spots are still open for the event on Friday, September 29, 2017, at Highland Meadows Golf Course. The tournament has a 9 a.m. shotgun start time.

All proceeds from the event will benefit the RCS Athletic Department.

For more information, contact Bruce Dick at bdick@RCSchool.org, or to register click here.


Summer Math Strategies for Your K-3rd Grader

The weather is great, there’s hardly a cloud in the sky, the pool is calling, the mountains are beckoning—it must be summer in Northern Colorado. One of the best times of year, summer offers so much for families to enjoy. However, there’s a shadow cast from summer, and it’s not just from the extended periods of sun.

The summer slide is the fear of all teachers, because it accounts for so much learning loss in such a short period of time. One statistic as reported by the CDE reported that children can fall behind “an average of 2 months in reading during the summer.” While the slide is often most reported for reading, as well as for low-income families, the nature of the summer slide can be applicable to all.

Learning is a continual process, and like anything we want to excel in, we need to have consistent practice to maintain achievement and success. Resurrection Christian School is determined to help all students succeed, regardless of when school is in session. Take a look at some ways to help your younger elementary student continue their math skills over the summer in order to start the school year off right!

Math Fact Fun

Third grade is when multiplication concepts begin, and in order to be successful with this mathematical step, students need to have a solid foundation with addition and subtraction first. For younger children, give kids math problems in the form of physical objects for them to run around and find. As an example, say “I need 6 pinecones plus 4 rocks,” or have kids race to find 12 sticks around the yard, and use chalk to create math equations.

For a second or third grader, write a number 0-9 on a rock, and repeat the process for about 10 rocks. Have kids draw rocks out of a bag to create 2-digit or 3-digit addition and subtraction problems. Encourage them to use sidewalk chalk for increased fun!

Summer Skip Counting

Skip counting is not only a great strategy to have (imagine any scenario where you as an adult have counted off by twos, for example), it is an excellent precursor to multiplication. Create hopscotch boards with different skip counting patterns, starting with 1s and 2s for your younger kids. Have them practice saying (or shouting!) the number as they play hopscotch.

Third graders (and possibly some second graders) will be able to create their own boards, and you can challenge them to go by other numbers. Teach them the 5s and 10s before diving into other numbers like 4s or 7s. This will be beneficial not only because 5s and 10s follow an easier pattern, but they are more commonly used in the real world in terms of skip counting.

For an added bonus, encourage your kids to use different voices when saying their skip counting. Try voices like whisper, giant, underwater, ninja, musical, and more! You’ll love how creative they are, and that they’ll be working on math in the process!

Math Scavenger Hunt

What kid doesn’t love a scavenger hunt? Hide numbers around the house or yard (either on pieces of paper, or write them onto rocks with chalk) in a manner where kids can grab them and bring them back. For kindergarteners, write the numbers 1-20 to encourage them finding 20 numbers, then putting them into the correct order. Even if your child is younger or is still working on counting to 20, this will be great practice! The more they try it, the more they’ll get faster at counting (make sure to have them practice saying them aloud as well!)

For older kids, give them equations on a sheet to work as a map or guideline. Make sure they’re at a developmentally appropriate level, so that your child does not grow frustrated. You want them to have fun, while learning and practicing their skills at the same time. This is less about gaining new knowledge, and more about honing the math knowledge they already have.

Up the ante by giving a clue to a “bonus number” at the end of the scavenger hunt, and include some kind of reward if they make it that far. Maybe on the back of the number it says “Popsicles for everyone!” or something simple, but fun. Want a further challenge? Take the counting steps, but have them practice their numbers in Spanish or another language!

Summer is full of free time and a break that is always much needed and deserved. During the break, however, it’s crucial to make sure your child is not sliding back from all the academic progress they made throughout the year. Math can and should be fun, and these summer activities are designed to help with math practice, as well as enjoy learning. Kids at this age simply love to learn, and you might be surprised with how eager they are to continue growing in their math skills. Practice with these games all summer, and contact RCS for any enrollment questions you may have.


Teaching Empathy to Your Children

Being a great reader is important, so we teach our children to read. Learning math is essential, so we teach our children math. Indeed, children spend hours each week dedicated to learning these building blocks of academia, all for the purpose of setting children up for success into adulthood. Yet one of the most important things we all need to work on is one that is not always given nearly as much attention.

Empathy is one of the greatest skills a person can have, and is truly a critical part of the human experience. Whereas empathy is not necessarily a subject that has specific hours and lessons devoted to its teachings and practice, there are so many ways to implement it into daily conversations and routines. At Resurrection Christian School, we do a lot to ensure empathy is being practiced and taught, and are happy to share some ideas with you and your family. Read on to learn more about bringing a focus of empathy into your home, and contact RCS for enrollment information and more!

The Importance of Acceptance

Many place an emphasis on tolerance, but tolerance is really not quite enough. Tolerance implies a basic, apathetic response to the behaviors or beliefs of another. This is not to say tolerance is a bad thing, but when we can move past tolerance into acceptance is when we are truly succeeding.

From the playground to the classroom to the college lecture hall and beyond, our children will face a wonderful amount of diversity in background, belief systems, and more. When we work on teaching acceptance, we help children understand there is somuch more to the world they know. There truly is no one “right” way to a situation, and this is something that Jesus worked at teaching us.

Matthew is one of the best chapters in the Bible to serve as a starting point for God’smessages on love and acceptance. As Jesus said in Matthew 5:43-44, “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven.” He goes on to say, “‘Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be jduged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you’” (Matthew 7:1-2).

The purpose of these teachings is that regardless of beliefs or cultures, we show love to all. We accept and cherish our neighbors, whether they live next door or several continents away. There is never room to see ourselves as better or above anyone else. In fact, Jesus teaches us to love our enemies—something so much harder to do in practice, but something so essential.

Lessons at Home

For younger children and preteens, and probably for even many teenagers, there are some amazing books that keep Jesus’ teachings in mind. “The Story of Ruby Bridges is a phenomenal read for children at practically any age, and is such a great book to have a discussion about. This might be a bit young for those in later middle school years, but the message is still incredible. Ruby Bridges provides an exceptional story of acceptance and loving those who think differently.

Even if your kids are a little old for a picture book, talk to them about her story, and if you happen to have the book laying around, it’s a safe bet that they’ll pick it up at least once. Ruby Bridges is an incredible inspiration, whose story is both timeless and ageless. Discuss the book and her story with your family, asking follow-up questions and reflection questions such as “What was the most striking thing in this story?” and “What lessons did you take away from Ruby Bridges?”

Literature has never ceased to teach us some phenomenal lessons. Use “The Story of Ruby Bridges” as a starting point for conversations throughout the school year and beyond. When we can all practice love and acceptance, we are not only living in God’s way, but we are making a difference in the lives of so many.

The Weight of the Words We Use

The teenage years in particular can be rough. With expanded vocabularies and emotions and hormones running at an all-time high, middle schoolers seem to know exactly what to say to hurt—but they also know exactly how to help with their words as well. So much of the drama that seems to be associated with middle school draws from the “mean” factor, though hurtful words are nothing new to most children by the time they enter their teens.

So much comes back to Jesus’ teachings in Luke, where he says, “Do to others as you would have them do to you” (Luke 6:31). He goes on to say, “If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners do that” (Luke 6:32-33). Talking with your family about important it is to not only show love to the ones we love, but to the ones we don’t like as well.

Lessons at Home

This activity is an excellent visual for kids of any age. Cut out a heart from paper, and have your children do the same. Think as a family of mean things that could be said to hurt someone’s heart. Each time you think and state a hurtful phrase or sentence, start to fold and crumple the heart. Stop when it’s folded into a completely crumpled ball, and ask what can be done to help someone’s heart feel loved again.

Each time a kind sentence is said, start to unfold the heart. Remind children that it does not have to be a compliment said, but even saying something like “Can I help you with that?” will make someone feel better. Once it’s unfolded, talk about the effect the kind words had.

The best part of the lesson, however, is talking about the effect of the hurtful words. Talk with your family about if the hurtful words ever truly left the person. Discuss with them the impact that their words have—they can truly make all the difference in someone’s life. It’s up to your child if they want to change someone’s life for the better, or for the worse.

Another great visual that is very hands on involves a tube of toothpaste, particularly for preteens and elementary-aged children. On a piece of wax paper, have children squeeze out the toothpaste, saying hurtful things along the way. At the end when all the toothpaste is squeezed out, ask children how to fix it, or how to make a person feel better. Coax them to using an apology if they do not come up with this conclusion on their own. After apologizing, ask the kids if everything was fixed. Talk about how even after hurtful things are said, even after an apology, there’s still a mess. Realizing how important our words are is a critical piece to understanding empathy.

As part of Romans 16:19 states, “I want you to be wise about what is good, and innocent about what is evil.” All of us can be quick to judge, all of us have the potential to lash out, and all of us make mistakes. By teaching empathy, we move towards creating compassionate and caring children, who will carry these lessons into adulthood. The school year is on its way, and having continual conversations about empathy will provide children of all ages a wonderful way to navigate the challenges that school can bring. We want our kids to think before they speak, to know the power of their words, and to understand and show love towards those who are different. All of these things are concepts that Jesus wanted people to learn and excel in, and we can still revert back to these teachings today.

More than 20 different denominations make up the student body at RCS, and one thing that every belief system can agree upon is the uniting nature of empathy. We teach our students empathy and compassion, because we believe it is such an important part of life itself. Learn more by contacting RCS, and reach out to us for any enrollment questions you might have.


Improve Your Child’s Reading Fluency at Home

One of the most important aspects of a child’s education is ensuring they have strong reading fluency and comprehension. Having a solid reading foundation is critical for setting your child up for success in every aspect of their educational career and beyond. The journey to becoming a fluent reader doesn’t just start in elementary school, and it certainly doesn’t stay there. A plethora of strategies exist to help your child continue their reading fluency outside the classroom, and we are happy to share some of these skills with you in this blog!

At Resurrection Christian School, we are dedicated to help your child excel in reading fluency and comprehension. Our highly-trained teachers and assessments help target reading levels in a precise and exact manner, enabling students to grow in reading in a way that challenges them, but is not difficult. Read on to see how you can transfer this mindset to your home, and help your kids stay engaged in their reading development!

What Exactly is Reading Fluency?

At its core, being a fluent reader means that you can read at a good pace, while also understanding what you read. There’s a fine balance between pace, intonation, and comprehension. This seems simple enough, but becoming a great reader takes years and years of practice!

Some students are excellent decoders, meaning they have a mastery of how a certain language works; its rules and regulations. Being an excellent decoder means coming across a word you might not know, such as “quintessential,” and being able to figure out how it’s pronounced.

Being a great decoder, however, does not mean one automatically understands what a word means. Some readers excel in context clues, meaning they use the rest of the text to help them understand an unknown word’s definition. An excellent contextual reader means looking at a sentence such as “The water around the mountain flowed out from a tributary” and being able to deduce that “tributary” has something to do with a river.

Both of these parts of reading fluency must come together in great and practically equal strength in order for a reader to be successful. A child who only can decode words might seem like they’re fast readers, and therefore talented, but lack the comprehension. A student who can only use context clues will grow frustrated with not being able to get through a text in a fluid manner.

How Can I Tell if My Child is a Fluent Reader?

Resurrection Christian School assesses reading fluency through the DIBELS method, where students read letters, words, and/or a text (depending on the grade level standards). DIBELS focuses on progress monitoring, where students who are reading below grade level are given a timeline as to how frequently they should be assessed. This ensures that their progress is more closely monitored, and adjustments to their

For younger students, such as kindergarteners and first graders, much of the assessment focuses on phonemic awareness. Students at this age are asked to read individual letters, or be able to phonetically “chunk” or take apart a word. A 5-6 year old with a solid reading foundation will be able to hear or see a word such as “spot” and break it down to “sp/awh/t,” showing they understand how letters form to make sounds, which in turn comprise words.

Students after first grade will be tested by being timed to read a short text, with a follow-up of having to answer comprehension questions. DIBELS looks at how fast a student can read, as well as their overall understanding of the text, to gauge where students are at. Through this method, DIBELS addresses which areas should be focused on for your child’s reading development.

How to Help Your Child’s Reading Fluency Grow

No matter if you’re child is above, at, or below their grade level for reading, you want them to continue to grow. What parent wants their child to reach a plateau and say they don’t need to learn anymore? That’s not the kind of attitude that anyone should have, at any age in life. Additionally, if we don’t consistently practice at something, we lose the skills we have. This isn’t to say your child will not be able to read, but even the loss of reading stamina is a considerable deficit that can be easily prevented. Take a look at some ways to help your child continue growing in their reading outside of the school day!

Read With Your Child

This is one of the most obvious, seemingly easy things to do, and we’re including it because it makes such a huge difference. Engage in books with your child every day! Have them practice reading to you, read with them, ask questions along the way, praise them for reading, talk about how reading makes you smart—do everything to make reading an activity they will intrinsically grow to love.

Help Your Child Take Charge of Their Growth

One of the things teachers can do to encourage their students is to have students track and chart their DIBELS growth. You might be surprised to know that kids love graphing their progress, and seeing how they grow! Just as many adults are motivated to progress and improve, kids have much of the same mentality.

Make a chart with your family about books that are being read, and have your child color in or choose a sticker to represent a completed book. If your child needs a little extrinsic push, create a family celebration for filling up a chart (like a trip to the bookstore!)

As children get older, we know that the number of books read pales in comparison to their younger, picture-book-reading years. Change it up to track how many words they read! There areseveral ways to check the number of words read in a book—one of the best systems is AR Book Find, which also quizzes students when they finish a book.

Help Your Child Form Goals

In addition to tracking their growth at reading outside of school, work with your child to practice writing and forming goals, specific to their reading. Some children will be pleased enough to make a goal and achieve it, sans extrinsic motivation. This is definitely something to strive for, but everyone is different. Just as in a career, adults still work for promotions and bonuses, proving a little extrinsic motivation is not bad. If your child needs a little boost, tie in their goals with their data tracking. Here are some great goal ideas!

  • I want to read _____ this many books in March.
  • My goal is to read the __________ genre, because I haven’t read as much from that type of book style.
  • I am driven to read every book that _______________ has written.
  • I want to read 100,000 words this year!
  • I am going to work at increasing my reading fluency to _____ words per minute.

Don’t forget to encourage them along the way!

Create an Ideal Reading Space

Maybe some people would want to read sitting upright at a desk all day, but for many of us, we need something a little bit different. Take blankets outside, build a reading fort, switch to “night reading” by turning off all the lights and breaking out the flashlights, or just have a really comfy chair. Any of these things will encourage reading as the cozy and wonderful activity it is!

Have Access to Books

Even if you don’t own a ton of books, even if your personal library is lacking, you can still provide access to books! If your child doesn’t have opportunities to read books they are interested in, they’re not going to be nearly as motivated to read.

Take frequent trips to the library, many of which offer great incentive programs for youth readers! The more your kids can read books that interest them, the more they will read.

Reading takes a lot of practice, but helping your child be a fluent reader is one of the best gifts you can give them. By practicing these reading fluency strategies outside of school, combined with the direct instruction children receive at Resurrection Christian School, your child will be set up for so much educational success. We are proud to offer highly-esteemed and recognized strategies and lessons for encouraging reading fluency, with over 90 percent of our readers at a fluent level.

They say knowledge is power, and if there’s anything that takes us there, it’s being a fluent reader. Try these strategies with your young ones, and contact RCS today to look into enrollment!


How to Prepare for the School Year in a Christian Mindset

Can you believe it’s already July? Summer always seems to fly by, but July is the time where it becomes most apparent that the school year is quickly approaching. From advertisements on back-to-school deals, to information and class lists being released, it’s no secret that school will soon be in session.

At Resurrection Christian School, we are so excited for the upcoming school year and to see all our families once again! No matter what age or grade level, getting back into school can be a bit of an adjustment. We’ve compiled some ways to get ready for the transition back into school, and each way can be driven from a Christian mindset. Start practicing these ideas now to prepare for the school year, and contact RCS for any enrollment questions!

Start Building a Schedule

“Then God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating he had done.”  (Genesis 2:3)

All throughout the Bible, we see examples of the importance of duty and work, but also the same can be said for rest. When the Bible speaks of God’s work, it speaks of six days worth of some pretty intense work. Then on the seventh day is when God is shown to rest, thus creating the Sabbath.

The purpose of this story is to find balance between work and rest. In ancient times, it was a pretty spectacular concept to take a day off. Even in modern times, it can feel pretty challenging to actually take a day to rest. Families know that weekends, those days which are supposed to be meant for down time and relaxation, are often the busiest. Weekends quickly become the time for birthday parties and sports events and practices and everything in between. While we can’t always free up an entire day so easily, building sleep into a schedule is one of the best ways to ensure we’re getting the rest we need.

Even though rest is one of the first priorities to be pushed aside, creating a schedule that builds in and allows for some down time will help your family in so many ways! Start preparing for the school year by building some routines now. About two weeks out from the start of school, start formatting a bedtime schedule and practice waking the kids up at a scheduled time. An important thing to note is that this does not have to be exact to what you’d like to see during the school year! If you’re wanting your 10-year old to be in bed by 8:30 during the school year, there’s a good chance that time has slipped over the summer. Start with some flexibility, like being in bed by 9:00 or even 9:30, then keep moving the time up gradually over the last few weeks before school starts.

For older kids and teenagers, work with them about what a reasonable sleep schedule should be. Even if your teenager verbalizes their disagreement about a bedtime (which is not at all surprising), they often need the most help with getting an adequate amount of sleep. In fact, teenagers still need over 9 hours of sleep every night to be healthy and get enough rest! Talk with your family about the importance of rest, and bring it back to the message that God sends us. We rest so that we may grow, and so that we can seize each day to the fullest of measures. When you and your family allot for rest in your schedules, you’re ensuring that success is attainable for everyone.

Go Back-to-School Shopping in a Reasonable Manner

“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven… For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (Matthew 6:19-21)

Those advertisements that have been coming out since practically since school was still in session keep calling: back-to-school. Back-to-school. There are so many beautiful notebooks and pens and pencils and new outfits to be bought, and you simply must have them to be fully prepared for school, right?

Regardless of if back-to-school shopping has ever been a tiresome event for you and your family, or if your family goes all out, reflect on what’s most important. It can be so easy to see the plethora of advertisements telling you what you need to be successful this school year, and forget what you actually need.

Make a two-columned list with your family before taking on back-to-school shopping, dividing the categories into “need” and “want.” Start with the “need” category, and focus on things that are necessary. After completing this column, move over to the “want” section. Your family might want a new pencil case, or a new outfit, and that’s totally OK. Write it all down, and reflect with them on the teachings of Jesus. Talk about what treasures are most important, and think back to what everyone will need to start off the school year in the best way.

Take it a step further, and look to see what school supplies are in demand for students in need. Many schools, churches, or even stores have drives to collect supplies and clothing to help out families in the area. Have a discussion with your family about their needs and the needs of others. Children are often some of the most selfless of us all, and this discussion will be a beautiful opportunity to prepare for the coming year.

Continue to Review Social Skills and Compassion

“Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” (Ephesians 4:32)

“Compassion” is such an important word, and has more recently shown itself in the classroom. In fact, there are now tons of books and articles for educators on how to teach compassion to students. Compassion is one of the greatest virtues a child can have, and it is one that should carry over into adulthood.

The words of the Bible and the teachings of Jesus have long reflected the importance of loving one another, and the beginning of the school year is an excellent time to have some conversations about compassion. Schools can sometimes be a venue where bullying takes place, and addressing compassion before and during the school year works as an excellent preventative measure.

Present scenarios to your family, and they do not just have to be bullying related. Talk about what compassion would look like if they saw a student sitting alone at lunch, or if they saw a student crying. Ask your children what compassion would look like if they saw a classmate without a partner, or a new student join their class. Reassure them that even if their compassion is not always reciprocated, they tried to do the right thing. These lessons can be especially valuable for teenagers, as some of the bullying can reach its boiling point during the middle school years.

Jesus spoke of compassion often, knowing it was something that could change the world. Kindness is a first step, but teaching compassion to your children is a way to help them think of others in a much more in-depth way.

The school year is approaching, and each of these topics offer great opportunities to prepare as summer is coming to a close. At RCS, we have so many churches and religions represented, all of which are validated and respected. These lessons are good reminders for the upcoming school year, regardless of religious belief or background. Enjoy the time you have with your family this summer, and contact RCS to learn more about enrollment.

 


Helping Your Children Grow Into Leaders

There are two types of people in this world—leaders and followers. And while that may seem cliché, it is true and there will always be those who enjoy taking control of different situations. Some leaders may surface during situations that require someone stepping up to the challenge. And a leader can be made. Children have the possibility of turning out in one of two ways, will your child be a leader or a follower?

Every parents wants their child to be a leader—to have the attitude, mentality, and ability to lead a group and themselves. And this is something that you can teach your children. As parents, you can help them learn how to think as a leader would and act as they would act. At Resurrection Christian School, we understand the importance of leadership among different peer groups, and we love seeing our students emerge as leaders. There are many different things you can do to help your children develop and grow into leaders. These lessons and skills may come naturally, but there are ways you can help your child start on the path to leadership.

Start When They Are Young

Your kids learn from watching you and your actions. If you have a positive attitude, face challenges and show them that failure is a learning opportunity. Encourage your children to step outside of their comfort zone whenever possible, push themselves mentally and physically, and take risks. This will allow your children to get comfortable standing up against fears and prepare them to face others.

At a young age, your child will be able to develop different traits and will learn more your actions. Be a good role model for them and show them what a true leader looks like. This will help them begin to adopt their own leadership skills and continue learning new skills into the future.

Teach Them To Work As A Team

A leader works with a team to achieve a goal. Team activities can help encourage your children to take charge and try to motivate everyone to work together. Even if they do not develop leadership skills on the team, it is important for them to see why it is important that an entire team works together and the value in having a team.

If you child does develop leadership skills on their team, be sure to help them best put these skills to use and make the team feel like they can only reach their goals with everyone working together. Teaching your child to be motivating to others may be a challenge but it is something that will help them become a better leader.

Use Motivation

Speaking of the importance of motivation, you should always motivate your children. Make sure they know what they are working towards, as well as the importance of what they’re doing, and that hard work pays off. Keeping your kids motivated can help them feel more confident in their work, feel as though they have significance, and can keep them interested in reaching their goals.

Work On Emotional Intelligence

According to this Forbes article, emotional intelligence (EQ) is a big factor when it comes to developing valuable leadership skills. Emotional intelligence is what helps us manage behavior, make personal decision that achieve positive results, and work through social problems.

EQ is a learned behavior from parents. Children watch how you act in your everyday life, how you respond to strong emotions, and acknowledge how aware of emotions you are.

Forbes mentions a study done by TalentSmart, which found that EQ is responsible for 58 percent of a leader’s performance in their job and 90 percent of top-performing leaders have higher EQs. Being attuned with our emotions may be difficult, but that is because we do not work on developing our EQs. Help your child develop their EQ and they will have a better chance at becoming an effective leader. Emotional intelligence is learned, and these behaviors can easily become habits. Learn more about EQ from the TalentSmart article.

Teach Your Child To Grow From Failure

Every single person, at some point in their life, will experience failure. Whether it is a test, a job interview, or working toward their dream, everyone will face this challenge and have to learn how to deal with it. Teaching your child that failure is okay, will allow them to understand that they can take risks. A leader must learn to take risks and understand the consequences that could come from them.

After your child has faced failure a few times, they will be able to better understand what risks are worth taking. This will help them in many different areas of their life—decision making, comparing risk versus reward, and perseverance.

Teach Perseverance

This is an important part of being a leader and it goes hand-in-hand with failure. Teaching your kids to keep trying and push their challenges and mistakes can help them work until they get it right, and when they finally achieve their goal, they will feel more accomplished and proud of themselves. Failing is only a chance to try something again in a different way, teach them that failure means nothing more than that and have them continue to push themselves and work until they figure it out.

Communication Is Key

Remember that all good leaders are great at communicating. Teach your children how to communicate with everyone, from adults to their peers. Emphasize what good communication looks like compared to bad. Don’t talk for them, allow your children to order their own food, ask adults questions, and communicate with you effectively rather than yelling or throwing a tantrum.

Good communication is not only a good leadership skill, but a life skill that your kids will carry with them throughout their entire lives. Teaching good communication can help them in more ways than one, which is why it is so important to teach them from a young age.

Work On Decision Making

Dealing with failure, working towards a goal, and learning how to act in response to our emotion, all go along with learning how to make good decision. Teaching your child to make good decisions and how to do so can help them greatly in life. They will learn to think about the outcome, why this decision is important, and how it will affect their lives. This is an important quality for a leader to have, and the sooner your child learns the value of good decision making, the easier their life will be.

Let Them Do Their Own Thing

If your child is working on a project, attempting to learn something, or working on an activity, let them work alone. If they struggle, take a step back and let them work their the problem by themselves. Allow them to do things on their own, make their own decisions, and work through their failures. This will teach them not to always rely on receiving help. They will learn to work through their own issues and get the satisfaction of figuring it out on their own. This is a great way to help your children build more confidence, become more independent, and realize the importance of hard work and perseverance.

There are many things you can do to help your children develop leadership skills, this list in only highlighting a few of the most important things that make up a leader. Even if your child does end up being more of a follower, they will benefit greatly from these lessons you taught them.

These lessons, along with an education at Resurrection Christian School, can put your children on a path to success and help them become an effective leader. At RCS, we value leadership and teach our students how to be leaders and what it takes. The lessons you teach your children, along with what we teach at our school, have the potential to make leaders out of more children than most people would expect.

Learn more about the RCS today and work with your children to a learn and understand the importance of these different leadership skill. Feel free to contact us with any questions.


Beginning Preparation For College

Although it is still early in the summer, it is never too early to think about how to prepare your teen to go to college. If your kid recently graduated from high school, they are soon to be heading off to the college of their choosing, ready to start the next chapter in their lives. This part of the process should not be difficult—applications have been filled out, decisions have been made, and your student has begun to mentally prepare.

But this is still a hard time. Especially if your kid is going to an out of state school, they will have to learn how to be on their own for the first time. They will have to figure things out on their own, make decisions without parental guidance, and discover their place in this world. Even if your students still have a few years of high school left, this blog will help when the time comes.

At Resurrection Christian School, we work hard to prepare our high school students for college. We work with students to help them get the best ACT and SAT scores they can to help them get into the colleges they want. We use technology courses and different programs to help them learn about the world and prepare them for the future.

But now the preparation is in your hands. Your teen is ready to take that next giant step in their life, and you need to be there for support. Your kid may take a while picking the college that will best suite their future dreams, their personality, and their academic pursuit, but once they make that important decision, you must help them get everything together and be mentally ready for the challenge ahead.

Making the College Decision

Before we dive in, let’s take a moment to help those parents dealing with an indecisive teen. If your kid has yet to decide on the college they want to attend, have a chat with them. Find out what colleges your student is considering and why. If they are considering a school because of a friend, a significant other, or because it has a fun reputation, try to talk to them about why these are not good reasons to be basing their college decision off of.

Teens will be teens, and if you tell them they cannot make decision based on these reasons, they may go against what you say simply to rebel. So, keep it calm, don’t make accusations, and be reasonable. Find out what their interests are and what they may want to study, then look into each school and find out what their best programs are. Finding a school with a great nursing programs may persuade your student to select that school instead of their less desirable choice.

Once the decision is made, it is time to start preparing your student mentally for college. According to Healthline, the sad fact is the one out of four college students suffer from some form of mental illness, 44 percent report signs of depression. So helping your student through this time in their lives could truly make a difference.

Picking a Major Isn’t Major

Of course selecting the right major is important, but it is not something that needs to be done the first semester or even the first year of their college careers. According to the University of La Verne, about 50 to 70 percent of students will change their major at least once, and most change it at least three times.

Stress this point to your child. They may have dreamed about being a historian since their were young, but once they start classes they may find their math classes much more interesting. Remind them that it is okay to be undecided for a while and test the waters, try out classes that they never imagined liking.

Do research on the majors they may seem interested on, declaring could help them out. For example, at Colorado State University, new freshmen can declare a business major right away. But it they hold off only to later decide they want to give business a shot, they will have to get their GPA up to a 3.0 before their can declare. Keep that in mind while researching colleges.

Don’t Force The Major

This is just a small reminder to let your kids live their own lives. If you push your child to be an engineer because your family comes from a long line of engineers, it may end badly. If they don’t like the major or the industry but feel pressured to follow the family, they will end up hating college all together, and may not even have the desire to finish.

Take Time, Save Money

Your teens will want to spend one last summer with their high school friends, but they could be using that valuable time to save another valuable asset: money. Depending on who is paying for college, you will soon learn that it is way more expensive than anything should be, but that is the way it is.

By having your student apply for scholarships, even if they only get a few, they can save a lot of money. The more scholarships, the more money they can save. Although it takes a ton of time, it could truly help their, or your, financial situation in the future and allow them to not take out as many loans.

Have your kid spend a few hours a day applying to scholarships. While they may hate you for it now, they are sure to thank you in the future.

Instill Independence

Most likely, your student will be living in the dorms their freshmen year. This means they will have a certain level of independence they did not have before. They will take care of all their laundry, cleaning, feeding themselves, and whatever else they generally rely on you to take care of.

Many students will get their first job, or a work study, during their first year in college. They will be in charge of their money, and have to decide whether they will save it or not. Teaching them to save at least a portion of their money could help them start building up their account before having to find a place to rent the follow year.

During the summer, start giving your teen a little more independence so they can begin to figure it out. If you keep a close eye on everything your student does and force them to follow your rules until they move out, the transition may be more challenging for them.

Get Ready For Move-In Day

Obviously move-in day won’t be for quite a while, but it is never too early to start preparing. Tell your teen to start planning on what they will bring, what they will need to buy, and what they can buy there. This may also be a good time to have them clean out and throw away old junk they no longer need or want.

When planning on what to pack, remember they will be home for Christmas break, hopefully earlier, and they can swap out summer clothes for winter items during this time. There is no need to bring everything the first time around.

Plan on what they will need once they are in the dorms. Do they have the proper size of sheets? Do they have a laundry basket? Will they need their own cleaning supplies or a shower caddy? Do they need a bike? Will there be room in their dorm for extra seating? Find out the layout of their dorm room and start planning from there. Let them figure out what they will need besides the basics. Decorating a dorm room is half the fun of living in the dorms. Let them enjoy it.

Obviously these are not the only tips that can help prepare your teen for college, and we will go over more as the time draws closer. For now remember these tips and be there for your students. Let them ask questions and answer them the best you can. This is generally a point where teens begin to push away from their parents because they are preparing for a difficult sendoff. Don’t get upset with them for this, help them prepare, and mentally prepare for yourself.

Resurrection Christian School can help get your kids prepared to apply and get into the colleges they want with ACT and SAT prep. If your student is not yet heading to college, make sure they are getting an education that can help them get there. Learn more about Resurrection Christian School today!


Keep Kids Busy With Events in Your Area

While coming up with ideas to keep your children busy during the summer may be more challenging than you expected, Colorado is a place full of endless possibilities and adventures. So even if your kids are sick of the same old activities in your town, wherever that may be, there are so many other things going on during the summer that your kids will love.

In our last blog, we went over how to keep your kids busy during the summer. And while trying to force them to go out and do things, it is all much easier when there is stuff going in town to get them excited to go out and about. Looking at the most popular and the hidden gems of Colorado, we will explore some of the best summer events that your kids are sure to love!

Fort Collins

Fort Collins is always a popular spot for festivals, events, and fun for the family. Whether your kids are young and require your supervision or old enough to explore the city with some friends, these events will be enjoyable to everyone.

This summer, Fort Collins has weekly events, monthly events, weekend events, and one time events. There is no reason to be bored in FoCo.

Every Tuesday until Sept. 27, there is a food truck rally in City Park. This involves many of the town’s favorite food trucks coming together to offer great food with a side of fun. Most of the food truck are the same each week but that doesn’t mean there isn’t always something new to try. From chicken and waffles to poutine fries, there are many flavors, different styles of food, music, and tons of space for your and your family. This event is a great time to get your family together for a fun and new experience, not worry about making dinner, and find new favorite food trucks.

Looking for some more musical fun? Every Wednesday at the Colorado State University Lagoon, there are live bands playing for free. These concerts are intimate, fun for all ages, and have food trucks to support your hunger while you support the bands. This is a fun summer night event and can give you all something fun to do in the middle of the week when you need a break as a family. These concerts start on June 14 and you can find the lineup here.

This weekend in Old Town Fort Collins, the Taste of Fort Collins will take place, featuring concerts, food, and even more family fun. And later in July, another famous Fort Collins festival will pop into action: Bohemian Nights. There are musical nights that are fun for all ages and can give you all something fun to do rather than stay inside on beautiful summer nights.

There are many more events in Fort Collins, but these are some that bring the most attention and last the longest, giving you places to go every week of the summer!

Loveland

Loveland doesn’t quite have as many summer long events as Fort Collins, but it does offer many fun and unique events that can be the perfect family outing.

This weekend, on June 9, the Blow Up: Inflatable Contemporary Art exhibit is coming to the Loveland museum. This exhibit if full of, well blow up artwork, that will be interesting and fun for your family and you to enjoy. Visit the museum for art turned 3D and inflated. These works of art include works from popular artists and add a new look and feel to the museum.

At the Art By Bike Tour, your family can enjoy a laidback bike ride through the art filled streets of Loveland. See murals, sculptures, and more, all while learning about them throughout the ride. Want to see more art work by local artists while enjoying natural beauty? On June 17, the 14th Annual Garden Tour and Art Show brings you through beautiful garden that feature art from local artists. You can also join the town for the 51st Annual Art in the Park on August 12.

Art is a huge part of the Loveland culture but if you have an appreciation for music more than art, you can always catch one of the Foote Lagoon Concerts. Be sure to also enjoy a movie with all of your friends and family. On June 30, the Main Plaza in Loveland will be hosting a Movie on Main, the perfect way to enjoy the outdoors and a movie!

Throughout the summer, on most Saturdays, Chilson Recreation Center hosts a Kids Nite Out—get your kids having fun and hanging with some friends during these events!

Milliken

Milliken, as a smaller town, may not offer as many festivals and events that draw crowds in, but they are still great events for the family and will help you all stay involved in the community.

Join Milliken for their annual Beef ‘N Bean Day, which started in 1924. This event offers many different booths and vendors. Participate in the events, enjoy a pancake breakfast, the parade, games for the kids, live music, and of course beef and beans. What a great way to spend your day as the summer comes to an end. This celebration is on August 12.

There are teen and tween crafts days, candy bar BINGO nights, and drop in craft days that you can enjoy all summer long. Milliken may not host as many events to keep you busy all summer long, but they offer some relaxed and smaller events for days the family is bored at home.

Estes Park

Estes is always a great place to bring the family. Whether it is for one of the many events, or just to explore the town, or RMNP.

There are several events that are educational, interesting, and fun for kids. There are kids fly-fishing, campfire ghost stories, “Who Pooped?” events, and sunset safaris every Friday evening. This is a great place for the whole family. Any and all ages can find something fun and interesting in Estes Park.

You can camp and spend a weekend up in the beautiful town or just head up for a day trip. This town is far enough to feel like a wild mountain vacation but close enough to only spend a few hours.

Whether you stick around your own town or venture to a new and unknown place, Colorado is a great state for adventures, events, and finding something new no matter where you go! Check out the city event calendars to find fun events for the whole family.

Before you start thinking about school again and getting your kids ready for their next year at Resurrection Christian School, plan for a ton of fun this summer! You can always find something fun for you and the family to do in Colorado! Get exploring and enjoy the summer!