Homework Helper: Algebra

It’s every parent’s worst nightmare. OK, well, maybe not every parent, but plenty of adults cringe at the very thought of having to contend with algebra once again. You never thought you’d have to use algebra again, you thought you had escaped. But now, your kids are coming home with math homework, and they’re in need of your help.

In today’s issue of Homework Helper, Resurrection Christian School is going to give you the tools you need to help your child succeed with algebra. Learn more from our private school in Loveland, and contact RCS to look into enrollment opportunities for your elementary, middle, or high schooler today.

The Basics

We’re going to let you in on a little secret: Algebra is actually kind of fun. Especially for kids who love doing puzzles, they’ll likely enjoy the similarities for this type of mathematical problem.

If your child has a good understanding of the basic algebraic principles, they’ll be able to build and expand on that knowledge, and likely not run into too many issues. Here are some things to keep in mind.

Solving for “x”

Your child should be able to do basic equations with addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division, before they get into algebra. They’re probably used to seeing problems like this:

4 x 4 = ___

Algebra is the exact same concept, but the value of x (or y, or any other variable) is replacing the blank space. It’s also keeping in mind the commutative property, which states that one side of the equal sign should be equal to the other, even if you were to switch the order around. For example, 3 + 8 = 11, just as 11 = 8 + 3.

In order to prepare your child for basic algebra, try giving them problems like this:

    • 4 + 5 = x
    • 19 – x = 12

 

  • x ➗ 5 = 6

 

Use Visuals

If your child is struggling with balancing out equations, our private school recommends using visuals. Blocks are tangible, and therefore easier for kids to visualize equations being equaled out. Different worksheets can also help, especially when colors are involved.

Additionally, Khan Academy is a great resource that provides free videos for kids to watch. As an adult who’s trying to remember the basics of algebra, it can also be helpful for you to watch as well, and practice with your child. As always, feel free to consult with your child’s teacher for other visual ideas or ways to help learning stick.

Teach Properties

Mathematical properties might sound boring to some, but they’re actually pretty fascinating and can help reinforce your child’s learning. Here are some basics to remember:

 

  • Commutative Property: As mentioned above, it states that both sides of an equation should equal each other. Your child knows the commutative property, even if not by name — any time they answer a math problem, they’re using this property.
  • Associative Property: When numbers are only be added or only be multiplied, the order of numbers or the grouping (i.e. parentheses) doesn’t matter. For example, 4 + 5 + 6 = (4 + 5) + 6.
  • Distributive Property: This property is all about how integers are multiplied with values within parentheses. For example, a (b + c) = (ab) + (ac).

 

There are likely other properties that your child will go over in class, but these are some of the basics to understanding algebra.

Practice

It’s unlikely that your child (or any of us, for that matter) learn something the first time they’re exposed to it. Especially with summer coming up, it’s a good idea to get a lot of resources available for your child to continue with their studies while school’s out of session. Here are a few resources and ideas to rely upon:

 

  • Workbooks: You can find teacher stores, or look online for workbooks that are specific to your child’s grade. Make a goal with your child of how much of the workbook they’ll complete each week or when they should have the whole book completed by.
  • Talk to Teacher: Teachers are more than happy to find some additional resources to help their students outside of the classroom. Get in touch with your child’s private school teacher at RCS.

 

Look Into Tutoring

If you’re still struggling to help your child, it’s OK! Even the best mathematicians can sometimes struggle to explain things in a way that makes sense, and everyone has different learning styles. See if there’s any after-school tutoring available to your child at RCS, or look into hiring a tutor to help them connect the dots.

Algebra can be tricky, but it’s not impossible. Our private school hopes these tips help, and that study time becomes a little bit easier.

Want more Homework Helper blogs? Visit any of our previous HH posts to help your child succeed!


How to Navigate the World of Teenage Dating

If your instinct to the idea of your teenager dating is to forbid it and pretend that they’re going to be young forever, you’re not alone. Most parents want to protect their children as much as they can, and aren’t ready for the idea of their babies getting into relationships. Especially when it comes to middle school and high school, there is so much uncertainty and your kids are still, well, kids.

Resurrection Christian School provided some relationship advice for high schoolers in our last blog, but today we’re here to assuage the fears of parents. Take a look at some of our tips on how to cope with and help your child as they begin dating, and look into elementary, middle, or high school enrollment with our Christian school in Loveland today!

Face the Facts

There’s such a weird, strange, double-edged sword when it comes to parenting. On one hand, you want your child to be a child forever. On the other, you want to watch them grow up and experience the best parts of life — so many of which come with simply letting go and growing up.

The goal should always be to raise a child who is truly happy and confident in themselves, and who doesn’t need a partner to rely on for their sense of self-worth, identity, and happiness as a whole. But a positive, loving, and meaningful relationship can be one of the best experiences for us adults. It’s natural to want the same for our kids.

Your child is likely going to want to experience physical and emotional intimacy with someone. They’re going to want to date. Even just acknowledging this is the first step in becoming a supportive parent in the dating world.

Have an Open Dialogue

Chances are, if you give the classic “No dating until you’re married!” one-liner, your child is going to date a lot sooner than that. Also, that one-liner is impossible (or at least, it should be). Our Christian school recommends having an open dialogue before setting your expectations. This way, you’ll know where your child is at, what they feel is important, their level of maturity, and their overall view on relationships. This gives an amazing opportunity to converse and connect with your high schooler, an opportunity which can sometimes be a bit rare.

Think about where you were at as a high schooler, and be open and honest with your child! Let them know if there were mistakes you made (if it makes sense to share them) or what you wish you did differently. Did you agree with what your parents did or said? What worked, and what didn’t? Use your experiences as a talking point, and find out where your high schooler stands on love, sex, and relationships as a whole.

Talk About Consent

Another hugely important aspect of relationships is talking about consent. Every single child should know what it means to give their consent, and what it means if they are denied consent, and how to appropriately respond. Far too often, there are incidences of consent not being respected, and this can result in hurt feelings at best and assault at worst. These conversations are tough, but necessary, to have, and should be an ongoing topic that your family revisits.

Talk About All Relationships

Relationship talks nearly always are conducted in a heteronormative way. Keep in mind that not every child is going to be in a heterosexual relationship, or might not be happy in one. You can always talk about your family’s beliefs, and this might be a discussion that your family approaches in a different way (or not at all), but it might open up lines of communication with your child if they know that they’re welcome and normal, regardless of their sexual preferences. The last thing you want is for your child to feel isolated because they feel like they have no one to talk to.

Set Expectations

Before going into having an open conversation with your child, you should likely have some expectations in mind. Here are some common ones that work well for many families:

  • Always ask permission. Let your child know that if they want to go hang out with their significant other, they need to run it by you first (just as is true for hanging out with their friends, or going anywhere).
  • Keep the door open. If spending one-on-one time together, it should be in a public setting. Talk with your child about God’s intentions for loving relationships, and how they can live by His example.
  • Set boundaries. If your child is glued to their phone when they’re away from their significant other, talk about the importance of being present when with family, and how their relationship should not be the center of their universe.
  • Set an age limit. If you think 13 or 14 is too young to start going on dates, let your child know, as well as your reasons why.
  • Be flexible. These are some guidelines and basic expectations, but remind your child that you, as the parent, have the right to revisit and revise these expectations as the situation calls for it.

Set the Example

Before we dive into this, our Christian school would like to remind you that you as a parent do not need to be in a relationship to set a good example. Sometimes not being in a relationship and setting a positive example as a single parent can be even more beneficial than a married couple who fight constantly.

With that being said, your child has seen your relationship as the basis of their understanding for relationships. If you want your child to treat others with respect and to be treated with respect, you should be living this out. If you want your child to see what it’s like to be taken out on a date, your partner and you should go out on dates regularly. If you want to see what affection and acts of service look like in a relationship, both you and your spouse need to show that towards each other.

Kids are like glass — everything that touches their lives leaves an imprint. One of the best ways you can navigate relationships in high school is by being in the very relationship that you want your child to have.

If you are like the aforementioned couple who’s fighting more than you’d like to, think about what you would recommend if your child were in the same situation. Consider seeking out counseling, reaffirm your spirituality, and how you can get your relationship to a place that’s healthy and thriving.

Don’t Pressure

If your child is not currently dating and seems to be a way’s off, don’t pressure them! They likely already feel the pressure from seeing their peers in relationships, and getting pressure from their parents is only going to make them feel worse.

The truth is, most high schoolers aren’t ready for a real relationship. They have so much growing up to do. High schoolers aren’t wrong for wanting to date, but they’re also not wrong for not dating anyone (or not having any interest).

Enroll Your Teen With RCS

At our Christian school, your child will have a beautiful community and foundation to keep them on the right track — academically, mentally, and spiritually. Dating is an important part of life, but it’s not the only part. RCS is the perfect place for your child to thrive, and for you to feel confident about their growth. Look into enrollment options with RCS today!


Easter Lessons To Remember All Year Long

Easter season is truly one of the best. While there’s a sadness and somber nature that comes with the Easter story, there’s also hope and resurrection. There are lessons to be learned from this time that can be applied to every and any season. Our private school is going to take some time to look into these messages in today’s blog.

At Resurrection Christian School in Loveland, we offer incredible academic and spiritual growth, as well as opportunities, for every one of our students. Look into enrollment with RCS and contact us to get started. We look forward to hearing from you! Until then, take a look at some of the most important takeaways from Easter.

Forgiveness saves.

It’s a well-known belief in Christianity that Jesus died on the cross so that our sins can be forgiven. He took away the sins and pain of the world, in the ultimate act of forgiveness. We can take this almost-inconceivable act of forgiveness and apply it into our daily lives.

Our feelings will be hurt from time to time. Certain people will rub us the wrong way. You’ll likely have to counsel your squabbling 7-year-old and their sibling many times over the course of their childhood. But when we remember that we have the choice to move on and forgive, we should absolutely take it. We are imperfect, but we can live out God’s message by showing love, kindness, and forgiveness to everyone we meet — especially when it’s hard to do.

Love thy enemies.

Jesus didn’t just forgive the sins of those who loved him, but of those who betrayed him. He showed love to all, not just the people who he saw eye to eye with.

When it comes to showing love and kindness, it’s easy to do when we love someone. It’s difficult when we don’t. But if everyone eliminated the thought of “enemies” and simply treated everyone with love and respect, the world would truly be a different place. It doesn’t only have to be Easter season for that message to be relevant.

There’s always hope.

When Mary Magdalene, Mary, and Joanna (also called Salome) went to Jesus’ tomb and found it empty, they originally despaired. They were already devastated by his loss, and then to see him not there, it was almost too much to bear. Two angels brought the news that he had risen, saying “Why do you look for the living amongst the dead?” (Luke 24:5).

Trials and tribulations are a part of life. Sometimes, it feels safer to give up and think the worst than to hope for the best. But we mustn’t forget that there is always hope. Even in the darkest of times, even when it feels like we are alone, there is always something better on the horizon. Hope is precious, and should not be forsaken. Jesus teaches us that every end has a new beginning.

Spiritual health is as important as physical health.

Easter season is one of those times of year where many people who haven’t gone to church in awhile take it upon themselves to attend service. First off, there’s no judgment — our private school believes that going to church, no matter what time of year, is extremely beneficial. It’s better to go than to not, even if you haven’t been in awhile.

With that being said, our connection to Christ shouldn’t solely exist once or twice a year. If we only talked to our spouses or our parents or our children or our friends once or twice every few years, we would lose out on an incredible connection. Spirituality is so important to maintain, even when your beliefs wax and wane (which is normal).

Jesus would not have risen if it weren’t for his faith and connection to God. Easter should be a time for us to reconnect to our spirituality, and to maintain that connection throughout the rest of the year.

The hardest thing and the right thing are often the same thing.

Jesus did not want to be crucified on the cross. No one in their right mind would want that. But he knew that it was the right thing to do, and that the impact of his actions would change the face of the world.

When faced with adversity, it’s important to remember that your morals should not be compromised. Doing the right thing is often going to be challenging, but it is fundamentally right. Carry out the same bravery that Jesus showed when going forth with his own crucifixion.

Our private school in Loveland gets its name from this time of year. We believe in the power of God’s love and Jesus’ resurrection so strongly and fiercely, and this is at the foundation in all that we do. If you think your child would benefit from a moral compass and unparalleled education, look into enrollment with our elementary, middle, or high school programs today. May this Easter season be a wonderful time of reflection for you and your family.


Relationships in High School

Dating is one of the toughest things to navigate in high school. You can feel like an outsider if you’re not in a relationship, you might feel like things are getting too serious too fast, or you might not want to date and feel like there’s something wrong with you.

Our private school is here to tell you that all of these thoughts and feelings are completely normal. See how to work your way through the world of dating in our blog, and parents, check out our admissions page to help your child apply for Resurrection Christian School.

“Everyone is dating except for me…”

First of all, not true! It can feel like that if all your friends are beginning to date, or when you feel kind of awkward and alone at the high school dance (trust us — we’ve all been there). But you’re certainly not the only one who’s single. Even if you were, that’s honestly a good thing.

In high school, you want to have those romantic experiences with others and you don’t want to feel left out. Your parents aren’t wrong when they say “it will happen,” because it truly will. Adults who dated in high school sometimes end up wishing they would have waited. Adults who were single all throughout high school usually have zero regrets. Dating in high school isn’t necessarily bad, but it just goes to show that high school is temporary, and you have your whole life ahead of you to get involved with someone else.

“I don’t want to be inexperienced at dating…”

More specifically, most high schoolers are worried that they’re not going to be good at kissing or other physical stuff. There is so much to say on this topic, it could practically be its own blog. But to start, we’ll say that this feeling is normal. You are not alone for feeling this way, and honestly, it would be kind of strange if at 16, 17, or even 18 you knew exactly what you were doing.

Dating is about getting to know someone, sharing in intimacy, and building and strengthening a connection. The physical side of relationships are important, but they should absolutely come second to the partnership that you are forming. At least, that’s true if you’re wanting to have a lasting relationship.

The point is that everyone is inexperienced at dating at some point in their lives, and when they begin dating a new person, they’ll be inexperienced at dating that person as well. All you can do is listen, learn, reflect, and try your best. And for an additional piece of advice, if you are able to have lasting friendships, through the good and the bad, you’re getting great experience for having a relationship.

“I’m afraid to break up…”

As we mentioned earlier, dating is about getting to know someone and strengthening a connection with them. It’s also about recognizing when something’s not right, and having the courage to acknowledge that being single is far better than being in the wrong relationship.

Far too many people stay in relationships because they’re afraid to be single. Our private school cannot emphasize this point enough: if you’re in a relationship solely because you don’t want to be alone, you are not ready for a relationship, and you probably should spend some time on your own.

Think about it this way — would you rather be with someone who’s not right for you, or wait for someone who is? People talk about “dating to marry” and while that sentiment is admirable and there’s a lot of truth to it, you shouldn’t force something, especially not for the wrong reasons.

Dating is all about learning more about yourself and what qualities in another person are important to you. It’s a process and a learning experience, and breakups happen to nearly every person on the planet. Very few people look back at their breakup and wish it had never occurred — nearly everyone ends up thankful that it happened, because it happened for good reason.

“I’m not interested in dating…”

Not wanting to date people? There’s nothing wrong with that either, regardless of what other people might tell you. Maybe you want to focus on school and your friends, maybe you’re not interested in anyone at your school, maybe you have no desire to date whatsoever. All of that is completely fine.

If you met someone who didn’t like mac ‘n’ cheese, you might think it’s shocking or strange for a second, but otherwise wouldn’t really care. Dating’s the same way — just because some people are all about it doesn’t mean you have to be. Plenty of people go their whole lives without dating someone or having a serious relationship — it’s not unusual! A relationship can be immensely fulfilling and enriching, but you can (and should be able to) have a fulfilling life without one.

“I don’t know how to ask someone out…”

Here’s the thing about asking someone out (and romantic gestures in general): if the other person is into you, they’re going to say yes. If they’re not into you, they’ll (hopefully) say no. It might seem like a gamble, but either outcome is a good one. Even if you hear “I’m not interested,” at least you know! Pat yourself on the back for being courageous, be respectful and thank them for their honesty, and move on.

In order to ask someone out, however, you should probably work towards having some kind of connection with them first so that you can get to know them, see if they’re still someone you’re interested in, and to gauge how they’re feeling. Super important to note: gauge how they’re feeling, not how you want them to feel.

Additionally, make sure you’re being authentic. If you’re asking a bunch of people out for the sake of trying to be somebody, regardless of who it is, you’re probably going to hear a lot of nos (as you should). If you’re truly interested in the person and think there’s a chance they feel the same, go for it!

Trust us at RCS when we say that dating can be rough, and in high school especially, the road can be a rocky one. Our private school knows that dating and relationships feel like the crux of existence for many high schoolers, but we’re here to let you know that there are so many other important things to focus on right now. Spend time with your friends and make memories with them. Work on your grades and get involved at our private school. Start investing and planning into your future, thinking about life after high school. The dating stuff will fall into place when it’s time.

Interested in having an amazing high school experience that prepares you for college and beyond? Look into enrollment with our private high school in Loveland today, and get set for the upcoming school year! We look forward to hearing from you.


Break Through the Winter Doldrums

Does February feel kind of “blah” to you? You’re not alone. The February Funk is rough for many people, and not just for those of us living in Loveland. Millions of Americans are affected by seasonal affective disorder (SAD) each year, and February is one of the peak months for people to feel a bit glum.

It’s easy to start counting down the days until warmer days and summer nights, but this isn’t a great way to spend your time. If you’re constantly thinking about what’s ahead, you’ll be missing out on the wonderful moments in the present. That’s why our private school has compiled a list of things to do in the dead of winter. Take a look at some things to do in February and March, and look into the many activities Resurrection Christian School has to offer! Begin the enrollment process today for the upcoming school year.

Try a New Sport

Being active in winter can seem like the last thing anyone wants to do, but it’s actually a great opportunity to try something new. Loveland and Fort Collins have tons of climbing gyms that are an excellent activity for kids and adults alike — check out Ascent or Whetstone in Fort Collins, or Wooden Mountain here in Loveland! Now’s also an ideal time to get back into (or start up) yoga, and it’s pretty easy to find a family-friendly studio. Dance classes, basketball, or other sports are a great way to stay fit, healthy, and happy throughout the winter.

As far as outdoor activities go, you might feel like skiing or snowboarding are your only options — and both are definitely an amazing sport for so many people to enjoy. However, countless others are not fans of the driving involved to get to the mountains, the ski passes and lift ticket prices, or the sports themselves. That’s OK too. You can rent snowshoes for pretty cheap, and it’s easy for anyone to try (while still being a good workout)!

When it’s cold out, we often retreat to our homes instead of venturing out. After all, who really wants to scrape their car, wait for the heat to warm things up, bundle up in countless layers, and be outside at 5 p.m. when it’s already pitch black out? But keeping up on fitness makes you feel better and makes the winter months go by faster. If your child is already enrolled at our private school in Loveland, be sure to look into upcoming sports they can partake in!

Start a Hobby

Being creative is one of the most important parts of life, but it can take us a lot of time and effort to really get ourselves going. Whether you want to take up painting, pottery, woodworking, knitting, or anything in between, now’s a good time to do so. You can even start your new hobby with a friend or loved one to make it more fun, while also holding yourself accountable.

As fun and easy as this sounds to take on a new project, starting up a hobby takes a good amount of motivation. It’s so much easier to veg on our phones than it is to start something that requires work and concentration. But ultimately, hobbies are more fulfilling and provide us with more joy. Once a week, schedule a block of time that’s dedicated to working on your craft, and put the phones and tablets away.

Have Something to Look Forward to

Every month in winter, you and your family should have something fun planned that everyone can look forward to. Ideally this is the case every month, but it’s good to make it a priority at the beginning of the year! It could be a mini-vacation, like a weekend trip up to Estes, it could be a road trip down to New Mexico, or it could even just be a movie and dinner date with the family.

The event itself doesn’t matter as much as the memories and connections you strive to create and strengthen. Putting something on the calendar is a necessary way to excite everyone, and it’s a way to break those winter doldrums. Your family will love having something fun on the horizon.

Make a New Routine

The winter doldrums set in because things seem boring. It gets dark too early and it’s too cold, so we end up doing the same indoor activities over and over again. You and your family can spice up those Wednesdays in the middle of February that seem tedious by starting a new weekly routine. Here are a few ideas:

  • Game or puzzle nights — shut off the TV or other screens and spend some time together in the middle of the week.
  • Cleanup dance party — when it’s time to clean things from top to bottom, blast the speakers with some of everyone’s favorite music. Of course, it’s necessary to make sure dancing is involved.
  • (Make a) movie or play night — break into teams and give everyone two hours to create a script for a play or to make a movie, then watch the results! Switch teams the following week.
  • Something new — it could be checking out a new park, trying a new ice cream spot, or even just making a new dinner recipe where everyone makes something new for people to enjoy (especially good for older kids). Spice things up by choosing a “new” day once a week.

Throw a Party

You’re not the only one with the winter doldrums! Sometimes it’s best to get people together to lift everyone’s spirits. Invite the extended family over, throw a neighborhood shindig, bring your friends and their kids together, and celebrate! Have a generational party (the ‘70s, ‘80s, and ‘90s are excellent inspiration), an indoor picnic, a luau, a build-your-own pizza event — the sky’s the limit!

If you start making this an annual occurrence, it will become something that everyone will look forward to and it will make the winter months a little more special. People will love getting to break through their own winter doldrums by celebrating in style.

At Resurrection Christian School, we have so many amazing activities going on, all throughout the year. From sports to clubs and so much more, there’s a ton going on at RCS! But our private school also recognizes that winter can seem to drag on forever, and we know that it doesn’t have to feel this way. Try out some of these activities with your family to make winters wonderful, and contact our school for questions on elementary, middle, or high school curriculum and admissions!


Homework Helper: Writing Practice Part II

Welcome back to our homework helper blog on writing practice! In our first blog, we covered some of the basics for the littlest writers. Until about first and the beginning of second grade, the biggest concerns for writing are simply knowing how to physically do it.

Later elementary, middle, and high school students are all working on the same things — they’re just getting increasingly more challenging and building on the same foundations. These writing tips from our private school will help your child be prepared for all sorts of writing formats down the road. Find out how you can help your child’s writing grow at home, and contact RCS to learn more about enrollment for preschool, kindergarten, elementary, middle, and high school!

Why Is Writing Practice Important?

Writing and math have two things in common: People think they’re either good or bad at it, and they plan on using it or never using it for the rest of their lives. But with both math and writing, we use these subjects all the time, which is why it’s important to learn the foundations and to feel confident in some of the basics.

Writing, in particular, is something that your child will do all throughout their life. Essays for classes that impact their GPA, college applications, cover letters, work reports — the list goes on. Our private middle school encourages writing practice now so that your child can be well prepared and knowledgeable for their future encounters with writing.

Ways to Help Your Child at Home

Whether they come home with a big assignment or you’ve noticed they haven’t gotten as good of grades in their writing report cards or assessments, there are plenty of ways to help your kiddo practice their writing skills outside of school.

Look Over Prompts

Nearly all writing assignments — even those in the professional setting — have some type of prompt. One of the most important parts of writing boils down to understanding exactly a prompt is looking for.

If your child has a paper to write for homework, look over the prompt with them and help them dissect it. Have them rewrite the prompt in their own words, so that they understand what it’s asking for. This is trickier than it seems, and requires a good deal of practice. Identify verbs and important keywords in each prompt, and practice on multiple occasions. Here’s an example:

“In Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry, the author talks a lot about storms. Write a three-paragraph essay that points out at least two examples of storms taking place, and explains what these storms symbolize.”

Important keywords from the prompt:

  • Three-paragraph essay
  • Two examples of evidence
  • Symbolize
  • Storms

By dissecting the prompt, your child (and you) will have a clearer idea of what to base their writing off of.

Understand Writing Structure

Most essays are looking for an introductory paragraph that includes a thesis statement, a few body paragraphs (usually three for elementary and middle school grades) that provide evidence to support the thesis, and a closing paragraph that brings it back to the original thesis.

Looking over samples of essays in this format is a great way to get an idea of what works and doesn’t. Usually, your child’s teacher will include a rubric so you can also get an idea of what the final product should look like — feel free to ask for one if you don’t have access. By knowing what a paper or essay should look like, you can help your child format something similar.

On that note, it should be added that learning how to write thesis statements, find evidence, and connect it back to your writing in a cohesive manner is pretty challenging. Don’t let one bad grade knock your child (or yourself) down — use it as a learning tool and grow from there.

Understand Writing Types

Essays are one of the more formal types of writing, but at our private elementary, middle, and high school, your child will gain experience with many different types of writing. Poetry, limericks, haikus, song lyrics, fictional stories, and reports are just a few examples they’ll encounter.

By exposing your child to many different types of writing, they’ll become a more well-rounded writer. Switch up the books you read together at a young age — try poetry (“Inside Out And Back Again” is a great one), nonfiction books, fantasy stories, and everything in between. When your child can provide context to the writing task at hand, they’ll have a starting place and will be more ready to dive in.

Talk About Different Writers

If your child plays basketball, they undoubtedly know and talk about Stephen Curry and James Harden. If your child plays guitar, they know all about some of the great musicians of classic rock. We look to others for inspiration and motivation, and the same can and should be done for authors.

Talk with your kids about writers that they enjoy — has there ever been an author they’ve continued to be drawn to, or a series that they love? If so, what have they liked about the writing? By revealing the man or woman behind the curtain, your child can get a sense for writers that they love and aspire to emulate.

Practice Typing

Handwritten essays are going to one day be a thing of the past. It’s important for your child to know how to write clearly and concisely by hand, but it’s just as important — if not more — to practice typing skills.

There are countless programs available that can work to improve your child’s typing. From games online to software, it’s a good idea to start your elementary schooler out strong so that their typing skills are developed by the time they get to our private middle school and high school.

Set Goals

Here’s the tricky thing about writing — no piece of writing will ever feel perfect. It will never feel done, and even if you’re proud of it now, chances are you’ll look back on it months and years later and find so many mistakes. You’ll wonder why you ever thought it was even good (and that’s when you become a writer!).

Setting goals for writing is essential for helping your child at home. Even if they get a great grade on a paper, there’s always something that can be improved. Take the time to set some intentional goals with your child, and reflect back on them consistently. Here are a few goal ideas for you both to consider:

  • Improving my handwriting or typing (writing neater or typing faster/more efficiently).
  • Using a new word I’ve researched for every paper.
  • Raising my grade from a C to a B on my next writing assignment.
  • Reading more from different writers, and trying out different writing voices.

Not only should your child set goals, but you all should celebrate when those goals are met! This is a great way to continue developing writing skills, and to help children feel motivated to continue growing as a writer.

Enroll Your Child With RCS

One of the ultimate best ways to help your child succeed in writing is by enrolling them with our private school in Loveland. We are the academic path your child needs to thrive and flourish in their future. See why parents and kids love RCS, and contact us to begin the enrollment process today.


Helping Kids Love to Read

Reading is one of the most important skills a person can have. And yet, most people say they read four or less books per year.

A love for reading helps out in all school subjects and work — even math requires our literacy. When we love to read, we do it more, and we become more articulate, more imaginative, and happier. Every parent wants their kids to ditch the screens and instead turn the pages, but how can you make that happen?

Resurrection Christian School puts so much value on not only reading books, but developing a love for reading itself. Our private school in Loveland incorporates reading at all turns, but we know that most parents wish their child was reading more (and enjoyed doing so). We’ve compiled a list of ways you can help instill a love of reading in your household. Try these out, and contact RCS to find out more about enrollment!

Lead by Example

As Brené Brown says, “The question isn’t so much ‘are you parenting the right way?’ as it is ‘are you the adult you want your child to grow up to be?’” Kids pick up on everything that we do. If we want them to be kind, generous, and empathetic, we need to embody these very principles in our day-to-day life. The same goes for reading.

We know that, as a parent, you are beyond busy. You’re constantly swamped. But if even you can spend five minutes a day reading, or putting down your phone for a few minutes and swapping it out for a book instead, this sets a positive tone. It shows that you prioritize reading, and your kids will absolutely pick up on the example that you set.

Provide Books

You don’t have to own a personal library to help your child love reading. After all, books can be expensive, and not as worthy a purchase if only read once or hardly looked at at all. However, trips to the library or finding a book sale are excellent opportunities for your little one to start gaining exposure to reading.

Learn Your Child’s Interests

If your child is obsessed with tractors, they might not be as inclined to read a book about boats. This doesn’t mean you need to limit their reading experiences — being exposed to different materials is how we find out what we like! But it does mean that you should be mindful of what might pique your child’s interest and what might have them running off in the other direction.

Take time to discuss books that they (and you!) like to read. By creating a dialogue around reading, you’re establishing a culture where reading is the norm.

Motivate and Encourage

For some, reading comes easy. For most, reading is hard. Which is easier: letting your mind melt while scrolling through social media, or trying to concentrate on a complicated and lengthy biography? Even if we’re good readers, it doesn’t always mean we gravitate towards reading instead of an easier task. Our private school works with countless students who have the skills, but struggle with the focus and concentration that reading requires — it’s understandable, because reading is difficult!

Be transparent with your child. Talk to them about how reading is a challenge, but that’s part of the fun of it. Pushing yourself to become a better reader helps you improve in so many ways. Sometimes we read things that we fly through, other times it takes us weeks to work through a tough book. Always be a source of encouragement for your child, and let them know you’re proud of them for their perseverance.

In our next blog, we’ll cover a few more strategies to help encourage young readers. As challenging as reading can be, it’s one of the greatest experiences in the world, and it’s a joy that no one should be deprived of. Stay tuned for more tips from Resurrection Christian School in Loveland! Offering preschool, kindergarten, elementary, middle, and high school private education for families in the Northern Colorado area, you can find the academic and Christian experience you want your child to have at RCS. Read testimonials and contact us today to learn more about enrollment.


Educational Activities Over Holiday Break

The first week of the holidays, your family is likely rushing around trying to get everything set for Christmas. You’re cooking all the foods, meeting up with all the family, wrapping all the presents, and come Christmas Day, you just want to relax.

After the blur that is the Christmas season, however, you want your kids to do something engaging. You don’t want them spending the rest of their break on the iPad or on their phones or playing the XBox. Not only does this feel like a waste of time off, it makes getting back into school and routines more challenging. Our Christian school has some educational activities that your family to enjoy that are both enriching and fun, while still making time for relaxation.

Connecting as a family, resting, having fun, learning — that’s what break should be all about! Learn more from Resurrection Christian School, and look into preschool, elementary school, middle, and high school enrollment options for your child!

Visit a Museum

A day off makes for a delightful trip to a museum. In Colorado, we have so many amazing options for everyone in the family to enjoy. If you haven’t taken your family to the Denver Art Museum, it’s well worth a trip — they have countless kid-friendly activities that can be found around the museum. There’s also going to be a free day on January 5th!

The Fort Collins Museum of Discovery is an even closer option. While it’s a bit more catered to younger children (think fifth grade and below), there’s still something for everyone to enjoy. And don’t forget to check out the Loveland Museum website to find special events and exhibits that are happening close to home!

Check Out the Library

Getting some new books is an obvious perk of visiting the library. But the Loveland Public Library has tons going on, and all their events are free! There’s a Messy Arts event happening on December 22nd, and a science event on the 28th — ideal for some hands-on and enriching activities for your young ones! Check out their calendar to find more opportunities for your family. And back to our book comment, is there anything better than curling up with a good read in the middle of the day? We think not.

Go on a Literary Scavenger Hunt

Children learning their sight words and elementary-aged kids working on spelling and vocabulary can benefit from this one. Create a list of words that your kids need to find (completely fine to make different lists for each child), then walk around downtown Loveland or Fort Collins to try to find each word. Each time a word is found, kids should write down where they found it (good writing practice!) and can take a picture of it as well. This is a fun and unique way to grow literacy concepts, and a great way to get outside and explore over the holidays.

Have a Board Game Day

Board games are educational? You bet! There are so many educational benefits that come from playing a board game. Strategizing, critical thinking, logic and reasoning, these are just a few skills that are honed through board games. But to add onto that, essential math and literacy skills can be developed through specific board games. Bananagrams, Scrabble, and Boggle are great for word play. Yahtzee and Monopoly are excellent for working on addition and subtraction. You can never go wrong with a game of cards, either!

Get a new board game for the family for the holidays, and spend one of your days off playing. It beats everyone being on their phones or devices for a day, and it’s such a fun way to connect with your family.

If you’re worried about your competitive children getting upset and the game turning from a fun event to a hostile, tear-filled situation, find a collaborative game for everyone to play instead, try playing on teams, or have the classic rule: whoever wins has to clean everything up. It’s always a great opportunity to talk about being a good sport, regardless of if you win or lose.

Create a Lego Challenge

Who doesn’t love Legos? Legos, like board games, have a lot of intrinsic educational value. They require critical thinking, imagination, creativity, and a pretty solid understanding of structural engineering. However, you can create challenges that incorporate STEM activities for something different for your child to try. Here are just a few ideas:

 

  • Tallest Tower: With an unlimited number of Legos, encourage your children to make the tallest tower they can — with the rule that their tower must be able to withstand an earthquake (shaking the table). After they’re finished, talk with them about how this rule impacted their design.

 

  • Identical Housing: With an unlimited number of Legos, the challenge is to create identical housing for two Lego families (though the colors of the blocks can be different). It’s more challenging than you might think! An added layer would be giving a limited number of Legos, which makes it more tricky to figure out.
  • Road Runners: Create a vehicle (with wheels) with the goal of having it travel as far as it possibly can. Looking for something more imaginative? Encourage your children to create a mode of transportation that has yet to exist. Hover cars, rocket boats, the sky’s the limit!

 

 

Grow Some Plants

A sunny winter home is an excellent place for plants to blossom and grow. Taking a trip to your local gardening store can get your family set up with some seeds, soil, and planters. An afternoon spent preparing your potential garden is an exciting and invigorating activity that everyone will love. It’s also a gift that keeps on giving — tracking plant progress is an ongoing learning activity!

You can go for a flower garden, or if you’d like to create a fruit and vegetable garden in the summer, this is a great time to start seeding your plants. Talk with gardening experts at a store about what they recommend, and happy planting!

Revisit the Story of Christmas

Learning about the birth of Jesus is why this season exists in the first place, and it’s absolutely an educational activity. While at our Christian school, your child will spend time learning about this miraculous time, but it’s an excellent lesson to reinforce at home as well.

Leading up to Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, spend some time with your family talking about Jesus’ birth, revisit the relevant scripture, and think about some takeaway lessons for your family to practice in the coming holidays and new year — as one example, think about how Mary did not have a place to go, and find volunteer opportunities to help those who are also in need.

The holidays are a spectacular time, and when you can bring in some educational activities for your family, you will not only strengthen your connections by spending time together, but you’ll have a break that’s happier and more fulfilling. Resurrection Christian School is all about having learning opportunities wherever you are, but we’re also about family time and getting to relax. With these activities, you’ll get all three. Have an amazing holiday season, and contact our Christian school in Loveland to schedule a tour!


Family New Year’s Resolutions

New Year’s Eve is exciting for many reasons, but one of the biggest reasons for this feeling of joy is the thought of a clean slate. A whole new and fresh year to make some changes in your life. A chance to reflect on the past year, and to create room for growth in the next one.

Whether you’re thinking about cutting out soda or desiring to show more patience to your family members, this is a great time to think about your goals as a whole. As 2 Timothy 1:7 says, “For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.” It’s almost like this verse was written with resolutions in mind!

Everyone should always have a personal idea of how they want to self-improve, but creating some family resolutions are an excellent way to connect with your loved ones and strengthen the bonds between you. Our private school has the inspiration you need to get started. Try out these family resolutions to ring in the new year in a positive, loving, and optimistic manner.

Choose kindness.

Let’s face it — the things that family members say to each other (siblings, we’re looking at you) are not always the kindest. Part of this just comes from being so close with one another. Since family is blood and they’re not going anywhere, it’s easier to say the first thing on each other’s minds from time to time.

But this can lead to hurt feelings and way too much conflict management/damage control. It’s also not living out God’s message. New Year’s is a great time to reflect as a family about some of the word choices that are being used, and how those can be improved.

It’s completely fine to start small. Think of one or two words or phrases in particular that you as a parent think should be eliminated from the household (and family vocabulary in general). Talk with everyone in the family about how you’re feeling, and start a dialogue on it — why is this word being used? Does it have a negative or positive implication?

In addition to thinking about words to exclude, your family can reflect on some phrases to include. Everyone could choose a day of the week to give some compliments to one person in the family, and it rotates each week for who’s in the spotlight. By making kindness transparent, talked about, and intentional, your family will absolutely feel the difference in dynamic.

Give back.

There are 8,760 hours in a year. It should be possible for everyone to give at least three of those hours to a volunteer opportunity. But when crazy schedules, school, sports, and everything else seem to make the year simply fly by, it’s difficult to add in another commitment to the agenda.

Make it easier for your family by starting out with the intention of everyone committing to a volunteer opportunity together. If you plan it at the beginning of the year, you have a better chance of having it on the calendar and making it a priority (just make sure you have reminders when the date gets close so you don’t forget, or suddenly remember when you’ve accidentally overbooked).

Jesus teaches us that giving to others and helping one another is one of the most important things we can do. Building this principle into your family helps build character, generosity, and selflessness — traits that everyone can continue to grow in.

Do less.

Raise your hand if you’ve ever felt overwhelmed by the number of things your family has going on. Now that everyone’s hands are in the air, let’s talk about why it’s time to do less.

From extracurriculars to sports to music lessons to dance class, there are so many things going on in your family’s life that there’s hardly a moment to just relax. It’s impossible to recharge if everyone is always busy. Our private school thinks you should make this the time of year that you commit to doing less, as impossible as it might sound.

Were there things last year you could cut out? Were there events or activities or things you agreed to be a part of, even though you didn’t want to? While obligations are sometimes unavoidable, no one should spend their precious free time (and it is precious) doing only what others are wanting. This means you can say no to some of the birthday parties, cookouts, etc. Even if your family makes a resolution of saying “no” to something just five times a year, this is five times as much recharging time as you had in the previous year.

Far too often, we think we have to be doing something. Your family should plan on having at least one weekend a month where no one’s going anywhere, and everyone’s hanging out. Rent a movie, stay in, read some books, make some homemade pizza, go for a short hike, but lay low. If doing less sounds impossible to your family, it’s a sign that you all need to do less.

Read more.

Reading is one of the most important things in a child’s development (and it’s an essential growth opportunity for adults as well). If your family is already quite the clan of bookworms, keep doing what you’re doing! But if your family has gravitated more towards screen time than reading time, it’s a good time to start thinking about a switch.

Your family can make a reading goal of how many books each person is going to read. Divide this up into quarters throughout the year (“By March, I will read _____ books”), then have a celebration every time you all meet your goals. Or, you can each make a list of books that you want to read during the year, and then have a family lunch where you chat about the books you’ve each been reading.

If you have very young children that still listen to you reading books aloud, keep doing this as well! Literacy skills are one of the most important things that a child can develop; they’re skills that impact a child in more ways than we can even imagine.

Resurrection Christian School in Loveland is a private school that thinks your family is simply incredible. You are the foundation for the students we work with, and when you can strengthen and build the connections and love with your family, everyone is impacted. Your children will be happier and more grounded, and more confident in their abilities and future. Spending time thinking about resolutions as a family is something that you won’t forget.

 

Interested in enrolling your child with the best private school in Northern Colorado? Resurrection Christian School offers preschool, elementary, middle, and high school to families in the Loveland area. Contact our school to schedule a tour today!


How Genes Affect Child Psychology

Parents are uniquely in-tune with their child in ways that science has yet to discover. While some might say that it takes a village to raise a child, recent studies on epigenetics suggest that there are some things that are out of the village’s control and more about the genes that could get modified without meddling with the genetic code. While there are plenty of factors that will affect development into adulthood, like going to private school or public school, there are other things that we won’t have control over that might come calling once your child reaches adulthood.

The Power of Genes

Science has proved that our genes rule us in many senses. For instance, the latest research on epigenetics has concluded that genes might be the cause behind childhood anxiety, a disorder that psychologists believe is the gateway to a child’s future mental ailments. Interestingly enough, research is actually leading us to believe that the real-time for epigenetic effects to take place will be at some time during the early childhood development periods. Supposedly, some environmental factors that a child is exposed to around a particularly susceptible age may go so far as to alter their genes. If you consider it, it’s actually an incredible evolutionary trick the body is playing, but how does that come to play in the modern era? Apparently, it can make you prone to a whole host of odd things like heart disease, cancer, mood or dietary disorders, infertility, suicidal thoughts and behavior, an addictive personality, learning defects and even something simple like a sleep disorder.

Where Epigenetics Begin

Some would assert that epigenetics start to develop as early as utero. If, for any reason, the pregnant woman is subjected to stress or even deprivation this can alter the actual genetic programming of the child that will eventually develop in their adult years. It usually develops in the sense that some genes get blocked, or rather, they cannot be accessed which causes future habits of depression, paranoia, and anxiety. Interestingly enough, these changes in genes are permanent and can be passed on to the next generation of children that never came across the similar stress or deprivation. If you observe epigenetic theory and the correlation of obesity, you’ll see that those prone to obesity may have undergone some stress of being an underfed fetus that was always hungry and striving for food. When food is available, the stress response that was created doesn’t shut itself off. Thus, people who are prone to obesity will have trouble feeling full and might be prone to emotional eating. In a sense, this is how people start to equate being chubby with an entire family because the gene anomaly is still present.

Epigenetics is the New Darwinism

Before the true study of epigenetics began, it was more widely accepted that Darwinism was the fashion in which organisms, especially humans, evolved and created long-lasting changes within the brain. With the continued study of epigenetics constantly expanding into other areas of human behavior prediction, it seems we’ve found a more likely culprit than an overly-simplified form of Darwinism. The worry that’s coming to light as we go further down the rabbit hole is whether or not the human brain has developed triggers for stresses that no longer exist and cause adverse effects now.

Where’s The Proof?

There are several, historical instances that have, unfortunately, proven quite a few of the previously stated hypothesis. One of the most prevalent and well-known examples of real-life epigenetics is the Dutch Hunger Winter. Studies conducted on the people whose mothers were starved while the affected child was in utero were extremely prone to obesity and, interestingly, schizophrenia. Another strange example includes the Great Chinese Famine that produced similar results in children who then became obese, with markedly impaired cognitive function and another uptick in schizophrenia. From this data, they found that of the children exposed to such starvation, women were far more likely to show the signs of schizophrenia than their male counterparts.

The Next Chapter of Epigenetic Study

Essentially, the only thing left to measure is what exactly affects the first trimester of pregnancy with notably terrible adult diseases and how far do these stresses carry into future generations. It’s safe to say that everyone’s ancestors experienced some sort of trauma, but has that affected our society today? Some hypothesize that the rise of mental illnesses could be attributed to that.

Give Your Child a Fighting Chance at Resurrection Christian School

With so many environmental factors that could alter how your child grows up, be sure to give them the best head start. By enrolling them in private schooling you’re committing to your child’s future success through more attentive, smaller classes and, because we’re a Christian academy, morals and ideals. Reach out to us to find out more about curriculum and enrollment opportunities for this coming year.