Newsletters from the Preschool Director
Summer’s Not Over…yet!!
Here we are late summer, and the school year is fast approaching! Why does everything seem so rushed? Why are we always talking about the next vacation, the next day off, the next meal. Why can’t we enjoy the steak we are eating right now? I was at Hobby Lobby the other day and half of their Christmas stuff is out on the shelves. I don’t know about you, but thinking about Christmas in July makes me crazy!
Breathe, just breathe…
Let’s learn to take every day, one day at a time. This thought reminds me of the “do not worry” scriptures in Matthew 6:25-34. Don’t worry about what you will eat, or drink…take no thought of tomorrow. Sounds easy on paper, huh? But, we have to offset that with the verse toward the end of that chapter that says, “But seek ye first the Kingdom of God, and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you.” The word “seek” in this passage means to seek in order to find, to aim for, to strive after, to require, demand or crave. It is an active pursuing. You get the picture that the seeker won’t stop until he is satisfied. He is demanding to know God’s righteousness peace and joy. Oh, that my pursuit of the Kingdom of God would parallel this picture!
Romans 14:17 says that righteousness, peace, and joy are a part of the kingdom of God. Possessing and displaying those attributes would be a great way to live every day. We need to walk in His righteousness, His peace, and His joy. And when “life” happens, and tough times come our way, a pattern of living in the kingdom has already been established and will carry us through those difficult times. Aren’t you glad we don’t have to do this life alone?
Take time today to seek the Kingdom…peace and joy will come.
Cathi Roth, Preschool Director
Yea! It’s summer…now what?
June, July, and August hold my best childhood memories. Of course, that was back when life was simpler and technology, at it’s best, was a 16″ color TV with rabbit ears that you would adjust for a clearer picture!
When the sun came up, we were dressed and out the front door, and only visited home for the necessities–food and bathroom! I lived in a ‘little house in the big woods’ of Connecticut so there was always lots of explorin’ to do. Then there was early morning swim lessons in the lake, picnicking with the ladybugs on a blanket in the backyard, riding bikes with the neighborhood kids for endless hours, making (and eating, of course) Kool-Aid popsicles in ice cube trays, and trying to catch fireflies in our pajamas at night. It was perfection!
And now, today, life is a little more complex, and a lot more busy. Lazy summer afternoons are ones you fight for while trying to balance sports schedules and play dates. How do we slow down in our current society? Let’s try to connect with our Creator throughout the day. Take note of the fluffy clouds, watch a sunset (or sunrise if you’re an early bird), smell the flowers in your yard (or your neighbors yard–just don’t get caught) to see which ones are the most fragrant, observe the activity of the bees in the flowers, and sit on the porch and listen to the songs of the birds. God made us to enjoy nature, and He was very detailed in the things He created just to make us smile. Take time to smile.
A study was done about children and the way they learn, and an interesting fact resulted. Children learned best when the curriculum or activity included nature somehow. Being outside, in water, sand, or a tree, had the most impact on a child. They’ll remember the story of Zacheeus if you tell it from a tree. Take advantage of the mild weather and take time to teach your child something new in their outdoor surroundings.
Here’s some ideas from www.workathomemom.about.com to help your family come up with a plan of action when you hear those proverbial words, “I’m bored, what are we gonna do today?”:
- Stargaze. Invite friends and make a party of it.
- Catch lightening bugs. And then watch them flicker away into the night.
- Rearrange the furniture. Give the kids graph paper and have them draw out a plan first.
- Make your own pizza.
- Invite friends over for a game night. Have a kids’ games table and an adult one too.
- Go to the demolition derby. And expect to see some major crashes.
- See an air show. And hope for no crashes.
- Stop to smell the flowers. (Go to a botanical garden.)
- Talk to the animals. (Go to the zoo.)
- Get wet. (Go to a water park.)
- Have a puzzle race. Use 100-piece puzzles and see who finishes first.
- Play a card game. Maybe crazy eights, spoons or poker. Take your pick.
- Play a board game. Candyland, chess or Monopoly, depending on age and inclination.
- Make good use of nearby parks. Go to your local parks website, print the schedule of activities and tape it to the refrigerator.
- Pack a picnic. And plop down to eat it just about anywhere, at a free concert, in a state park or in your own backyard.
- Start the back-to-school shopping early. The farther from the start of school the more fun my kids think it is.
- Get the summer homework done. Not exactly fun, but get it out of the way.
- Dig in the sand at the beach. Doesn’t matter if it’s on the ocean, lake or bay.
- Set a goal and complete a home project. Find ways to let the kids help.
- Take an early morning bird walk. Choose the right field guide.
- Grow vegetables. And then eat them.
- Grow flowers. And then arrange them .
- Let the kids cook dinner. In fact, make a tradition of it.
- Host the kids’ friends for a sleepover. And the maybe your kids will be invited next, giving you a free evening.
- Go to a nearby museum that you’ve never been to before.
- Go to a carnival or county fair. Eat cotton candy, fried dough or something really bad once this summer.
- Decorate your walkways with chalk. Better yet, make your own chalk.
- Take a hike. Choose a route near your house or take a drive to a more distant park.
- Plant a butterfly garden. Watch the butterflies flutter by.
- Make fresh lemonade. Maybe even sell it at a lemonade stand!
- Take road trip to a nearby city. Spend the night if you can or just make it a day trip.
- Show the kids science is fun.
- Go to a matinee. Find a bargain movie house and pay less.
- Go to the drive-in. If there isn’t one nearby, look for one near your vacation spot. Every kid should go to the drive-in at least once!
- Read a chapter book aloud. Or even go on and read a whole series together.
- Listen to a classic as an audiobook.
- Teach the kids a game you haven’t played since you were a kid.
- Meet friends at the playground. Not groundbreaking, but always popular nonetheless.
- Visit a historic house. Kids will be amazed at what the old-timers lived without.
- Make ice cream.
- Use bikes as a mode of transit. Show the kids the way to the store or a friend’s.
- Take bike rides for fun. Either leave from your own house or drive to biking trails.
- Go fishing. In many states kids can drop a line in without a license.
- Paddle a kayak or a canoe. Or if you’re really adventurous try white water rafting.
- Jump rope.
- Press summer flowers. Make a pressed flower picture.
- String beads.
- Blow bubbles. Make your own!
- Play miniature golf. Can you make the last hole-in-one for a free game?
- Eat at the counter of a diner. And let the kids spin on the stools.
- Find a new place to play. Easy idea: Clear out the basement or garage. Complicated idea: Build a tree house.
- Build a Lego castle. Clear off a table and make it a family project.
- Master a new skill together. Learn to juggle, play harmonica, do the hula hoop, etc.
- Teach the grandparents to use Skype. And show off your new skill.
- Build a fort. Try pillows in the living room or cardboard boxes in the yard.
- Write/illustrate a comic book. Make it a group effort or let everyone do their own.
- Find a free concert near you.
- Fly a kite.
- Run in the yard. Kickball, whiffle ball, Frisbee and tag will keep you moving.
- Visit a local farmers market. And feast on the fruits and veggies of the season.
- Create art with beach items.
- Have breakfast in bed. Take turns being the server and the served.
- Play with clay. Then bake your creations to make them permanent.
- Make play dough creations. Then rip them up and do it again.
- Make paper airplanes. See whose goes the farthest.
- Join a summer reading club. Parents can list all their books read over the summer too, but I doubt you’ll get a prize.
- Keep a sketch diary.
- Write in a journal. At the end of the summer share selections with each other about the highlights of the season.
- Teach the kids to skip stones.
- Make photo gifts online. Grandma will love them.
- Take lessons together. Cooking, yoga, tennis, music, etc.
- Play croquet on the lawn. And try bocce too.
- Set up a badminton net. You could use it for volleyball too.
- Play HORSE. With little ones, set up a mini basketball net next to the real one.
- Create a treasure hunt for kids. Do it on your own property or around town.
- Put up a bird feeder. And then watch the show from your window.
- Join a Junior Ranger program. Both national parks and many state parks have them.
- See a dramatic performance together. Doesn’t matter if it’s a puppet show in the park or a touring Broadway show.
- Put on your own dramatic performance. Write a script, sew costumes or just do a little improv.
- Make music. Either make your own instruments or play traditional ones.
- Play charades.
- Break out the family movies. And the popcorn too!
- Go to a flea market or garage sale. See if the kids are better negotiators than you.
- Have a garage sale. Kids can earn spending money by selling their old stuff.
- Climb trees together. Of course, only if the kids are big enough, and you are brave enough.
- Get a book of riddles. See if you can stump each other, then write your own.
However you spend your sunny summer days, enjoy each other, have fun, and make long-lasting rich memories!
Yeah! It’s May!
May, a month of transition…transitioning from school schedules to summer break, spring to summer (hopefully, anyway), and then there are end of the year class parties, field trips, and graduation and promotion ceremonies!
RCS Pre-K Amazing Grapes graduation ceremony will take place Friday evening, May 17, in the Main Sanctuary. 100 little people will march into the sanctuary to “pomp and circumstance”, loud and proud, and line the stage sporting purple and gold graduation caps. They will sing, dance, and recite their pledges, while moms wipe tears from their eyes wondering where the last five years went. Other moms will wipe a tear from their eye wondering how in the world they will keep their children busy all summer! (: Yes, it is a little dramatic, but it is a significant mile marker in their little lives. The big world of Kindergarten is just a few short months away!
Many parents ask us about summer programs and how they can help their children stay prepared for Kindergarten. Here’s a couple of thoughts:
~Rez Fellowship’s VBS is June 10-14, 9:00 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Call the church office at 667-5470 for more information.
~RCS Preschool’s SEW (Spiritual Emphasis Week) is June 24-27, 9:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m. for 3-6 year olds. Contact the preschool office at 612-0655 for more information.
~Read. Read. Read. Studies show that children that are read to often have higher reading and comprehension levels. It’s also good cuddle time, too!
~Sidewalk chalk, water painting on the driveway, and pudding or shaving cream finger painting are always a summer treat, and it also helps in developing fine motor skills!
The month of May is always busy, and it takes a lot of effort to stay focused on the important things…but it is well worth it. Take mental snapshots of each event and enjoy the journey!