Why The Gap Year Might Be Beneficial After Private School- Part Two

If you’re joining us late, be sure to go back and catch the intro to our ideas about the beneficial uses of a gap year between high school and college. As we mentioned in our previous entry, the gap year develops the child’s prefrontal cortex which develops their worldview as well as their personality and rounds them out their expectations of reality.

Financial Relief

One of the major advantages for most kids and their parents alike is the financial hiatus. If you’ve been spending money to give them a classical education for the majority of their life, a financial break might be highly valued for you and also for your child if they’re preparing to go and support themselves at college, even if you’re prepared to pay for their tuition. As more people go to college and get worthless degrees the number of people who have only a pile of student debt to show for their 4-year college degree rises. Kids who feel the need to switch majors in the middle of their college career stretch the costs out, making the whole ordeal more pricey. Studies are finding that a gap year might reduce the number of folks who change their major in the middle of their college career. Gap years are praised for assisting people in deciding what they’d like to study and helping find their passions and what they’re best suited to in a way that unfiltered education cannot.

Diversified Preparation

College is rigorous and while RCS does everything we can to prepare children academically there are a variety of challenges that nothing but real-life experiences can prepare them for. While there are a host of support systems and other channels that Christian private schools provide for children, there is still a cost for going to college too early and that is mainly the taxing nature it takes on a person’s mental health if they’re not prepared. The idea of the gap year is to take kids out of their safe zones and thus improve their self-confidence and help them gain a sense of self and adaptability which can be a powerful skill set to earn before entering college. College environments are full of lack of sleep, constant activity and high levels of stress that past experience in adaptability to a variety of situations will help kids tackle those things like pros so they can focus on the new chapter of their life and what obstacles will help them grow the most as people.

Start Your Child On The Right Foot With Private School

If you share our opinions about education and religious ethics you’d fit in perfectly at RCS. Enroll your student today to give them a well-rounded education that includes Christian values. Reach out to us with any questions or concerns. We’d be happy to talk to you about our private school curriculums and ideals.

 


Why The Gap Year Might Be Beneficial After Private School

Some people go so far as to criticize private schooling at times, mentioning that there is a limited pool of social growth that a child can acquire when they’re submerged in a controlled environment. For several reasons, Resurrection Christian School is careful to push back against those claims, but we can also see how, even through RCS provides a large environment for children to build many social skills with fellow Christians, we understand the need for real-world experience. If, as a parent, you’re more concerned about this valuable outside world experience being cultivated in your child, we have one suggestion that is earning more respect as the years go by: the gap year.

Europe Did It First

Sometimes, Europe is ahead of the curve with certain things and in this case, they certainly are. Germany, the UK, Denmark and even Australia and Israel encourage students who have just graduated to take a gap year in between their studies. This time can be used to travel, serve the church, serve in the military or work before moving on to their college studies. However, the current U.S. climate regards gap years with a collective panic. Surely, if your child takes a gap year, they’re destined to not do as well as others. The growing consensus is that it isn’t quite true anymore. The idea is that if children get a taste for the non-school life they’ll realize how important it is to go back and it will give the privilege of going to college and earning a degree a new glow. In fact, psychologists at large are not worried about kids not wanting to go back to school as many studies done on the subject found that around 90 percent of the kids that take a gap year return to their studies with new fervor. The studies concluded that a very important brain growth period between those two school periods allows for the person to grow socially and within their understanding of the world.

The Simple Science:

While a gap year isn’t for everyone, it has quite a bit of scientific data backing up the benefits for those it catches the fancy of. The prefrontal cortex is continually expanding in the late teen years and it is the section of the brain that develops the child into an adult with an adult personality. It controls your propensity for planning and draws complex conclusions from data. In other words, it’s the largest jump in growth in the form of maturity that your child will see in their lives. Thus, when the gap year comes to a close, they’ll nearly be a different person with a new understanding of themselves and college as a growth opportunity.

Start Your Child On The Right Foot With Private School

Share our opinions about classical education, child growth and ethics? Enroll in RCS this semester.

Catch the continuation of our argument for a gap year on our next blog.


Preventing The Summer Slump – Staying School Ready

When school lets out, it is time for summer fun to begin. Your children probably eagerly anticipate this time of year — long summer days perfect for hanging out with friends and the freedom of making their own schedule.

While a summer break is a great thing to allow your child to recoup from a busy school year, it can also turn into a time where they lose all routine and discipline, making the transition back into the next school year a nightmare. If you have watched this pattern in your children’s life occur year after year, consider how you can help prevent the summer slump. While it is good to allow your child time to enjoy being a kid over the summer break, help ensure they are still prepared for the transition back into school next fall. This will be beneficial to the whole family and can help you stay ready as well.

Read on to learn more about how you can ensure your child stays school ready year round.

Keep Some Routine In Your Life

Without the requirement of heading to classes every morning looming over your heads, it is easy to let all routine drift slowly out of your lives like the lazy summer Big Thompson river. However, while it is fine to ease up on some of the routines in your lives, it is important that you don’t let this go too far.

For example, during the summer, you might allow your kids to stay up a little later and sleep in longer. This can be fine as long as you do so within bounds. If you let your kids stay up as late as they want and sleep in until any hour, you can wind up shifting their sleep schedule so far off track that readjusting in the fall is a horrible experience. Instead of allowing your kids to slowly drift into a later and later sleep cycle, opt for flexibility with guidelines. Perhaps they can stay up an hour to two hours later than normal and get up an hour to two hours later but cap it off there. By instilling some routine, you will prevent them from going into shock when school starts back up again.

Encourage Learning

Just because school is out doesn’t mean that your kids should stop engaging their brain. If your children spend the entire summer without challenging their brains, it will make the transition back into academics a painful one. Think of it the same as any other muscle. If you stopped walking and using your legs for the entire summer, you wouldn’t be able to walk very far at all come fall. The same is true of your children’s brains. If this muscle isn’t exercised all summer, it will be difficult to start studies again in the autumn.

Encourage learning through fun activities. Perhaps your kids can join the local summer reading program. Greeley, Loveland, and Fort Collins all offer great summer reading programs for every age group. You can also schedule some museum visits into your summer. Visit the Fort Collins Museum of Discovery or the Denver Art Museum. Plan trips to the zoo for animal lovers and encourage your kids to check out books from the library to learn more about the animals they saw. Learning over the summer doesn’t need to be as organized as school. It can be hands-on and enjoyable, while still keeping the brain engaged.

Plug Into Clubs And Organized Activities

Another great way to ensure your kids stay school ready is to sign them up for organized activities or have them join clubs. Sports are a great way to keep routine and discipline in your kid’s life even during the summer.

You can also look for community groups they can join that will ensure they stay socially engaged and involved in projects. Check with your local church for summer activities geared towards their age group or your local recreation center. Clubs will offer a similar structure to school, which will help keep your kid accustomed to following rules and being part of a group.

Stay Involved As A Family Unit

Finally, don’t let the busy chaos of summer detract from your involvement as a family unit. Make sure all your kids, young and old, spend time together during the summer months. Keep an active role in their day-to-day life, asking about what they learned, even when school is out. Stay engaged with who their friends are and how they are spending their time. If possible, stick to having at least one family meal a day where you can gather to discuss the day’s events.

Here at Resurrection Christian School, our goal is to ensure your children succeed academically and spiritually. We work hard to create an environment where no student slips through the cracks and where community is our priority. If you are looking for a private school in Loveland, we hope you will schedule a tour to visit our beautiful school soon.


Ways to Help Your Children Finish the School Year Strong

It is hard to believe that summer break is just two months away as we continue to see sporadic snowstorms in Northern Colorado in this last week of March. But summer is, in fact, right around the corner and your children are likely getting excited. As the days pass by, your kids will be itching to get outside, hang out with friends, and forget about school for a few months. But don’t let them forget about school too soon!

It can be difficult to keep your children invested in their school work and focused until the very last day of school, but since finals exams and projects are often due during the last weeks of school, it is important that your kids work hard until the very end.

Family vacations, summer plans, and no school can be exciting for everyone in the family. But finishing the school year strong is important. We know that getting your children to stay focused seems like an impossible task, especially as the weather gets warmer and you all want to spend more time in the great outdoors. That is why we are going to offer some tips that can help you get your kids motivated to finish strong and start the summer off right. Read on for tips to help motivate you children!

Make Plans

Nothing will keep your children motivated like making excited plans for the first week of summer. But be sure to mention that they have to finish strong. Motivate them to work hard until the end of the school year and then reward them with a trip to Water World or a camping trip. You could make it even more official and make it a reward for finishing with good grade or passing their final exams. Knowing that there is a reward at the end will help keep them motivated to finish strong.

Create a Routine

Creating a homework routine after school that all of your children follow can help them make it a habit to do their school work before heading outside or starting their favorite show. If your children all do homework together while you make dinner, it will be easier for them to focus, rather than if one child is playing with their friends before starting homework.

It can also help to make a rule that each of your children has to finish their homework before doing anything else. However, we know that children need a break between being at school and doing homework, so allow them to spend half an hour or an hour relaxing, playing with neighbor kids, or doing something else they enjoy.This will allow them to recharge and prepare for the homework session ahead.

Incorporate Weekend Plans

While your kiddos will likely have homework over the weekend, plan a day to do homework and a day to have fun. Make family plans to get outside (if it is nice), go see a movie, or spend the day playing games and watching movies. These fun activities can help your kiddos destress, enjoy time with the family, and allows them to have some fun before jumping back into school work. Allow your children to take a break before heading right back to their work, this will just overwhelm them and wear them out.

Focus on Big Projects

Taking a look at the projects, assignments, and tests your children have to prepare for during the last weeks of school can allow you to help them prioritize the important things. If your child is a procrastinator, like many of us once were, you want to help make sure they are not saving their most important work for last. Encourage them to chip away at these large projects piece by piece so that when it comes down to the last few days they are not overly stressed. Teenagers are going to push back and tell you they have it under control, and they probably do, but try to get them to start their projects early. Rewards may not work on your high school junior, but you never know, taking them out for ice cream could be all it takes to get them started.

Stay Organized

If your children all do their homework at the kitchen table, it is likely that their stuff gets moved around alot. Be sure to keep each of your children’s work organized and together. This is not really your job, but kids will be kids and when it comes time to get back to their homework and they can’t find it, they will likely blame you. Give spots to your children where they can store their stuff to help them keep track of their work. It may also be helpful to get them different materials to stay organized with, like whiteboards, sticky notes, and calendars.

Stick to a Bedtime Schedule

While we already discussed creating a routine to help your kids, sticking to a bedtime schedule is also extremely beneficial. All of your children, no matter the ages, need to get at least eight hours of sleep a night. When your children are well rested, they will be able to stay focused on their school work better and make it through the day without feeling groggy. You don’t want your children falling asleep in class, too tired to pay attention, or struggling to complete a simple homework assignment because they did not get enough sleep.

Make School a Priority

Your children may have soccer practice or a club that they have to attend, and we encourage extracurricular activities, but when these activities get in the way of school work, you will want to reassess and make school the first priority. Once your children start falling behind, warn them that if they don’t start making their school work a priority, they will not be allowed to participate in their extracurricular activities anymore. This may seem extreme, but you want your children to finish the school year strong.

Summer is exciting for everyone, especially children. They want to be done with the school year, spend their time outside, and have no responsibilities. We have all been there at one point, so don’t go too hard on your kiddos. But you do want to make sure that your children are finishing the school year with a bang. Don’t allow them to slack off and stop pushing to get good grades just because summer is on its way. Following these tips can help you encourage your children and keep them focused on their school work. Plan something fun for the first week of summer and keep them motivated to work hard on their school work.

At Resurrection Christian School, we know that the last weeks of school can be difficult. We encourage and help our students in any way possible to ensure they stay motivated and work hard until the very end. Learn more about our school and schedule a tour today!


Benefits of Private Schools

When your children get to the age of heading to school, many parents are faced with the question — public or private? In Northern Colorado, we are blessed with a ton of great public schools. But the question of whether you should enroll your child in public or private school is a tough one that many parents struggle with.

Of course there are benefits to both public and private schools that can easily be argued, but as a private school, we are going to go over the main benefits of having your children go to a private school. While Resurrection Christian School is private, we also offer one major benefit over other schools. Our private school is a full campus with a preschool, elementary school, middle school, and high school — allowing your children to stay with their friends and the school throughout their entire grade school career. This can help your students with a sense of belonging and so much more.

While our private school may be unique in that way, most private schools offer the same benefits. Private school may not be right for every student, but there are many things to consider when deciding on a school for your children. In this blog, we are going to talk about that benefits of private school as well as our school. Read on to learn more about private school and why it might be the right choice for your kids.

Small Classes

While this varies based on the school, private schools often have smaller classes, which can be beneficial for students. An Our Kids article discusses a study done by some education researchers. In this study, they found that smaller class sizes result in the average student performing better on academic achievement exams. The longer kids are exposed to these smaller classes the more they benefit from them.

Teacher Support

Private schools can often also hire more staff, allowing for additional help in the classrooms and more individual attention. Your student will be given more support as they go through school, getting help from teachers when needed and receiving individual attention. This can help students as they go through school and allow them to feel as though they can get the help they need when they need it.

Better Relationships

While the students will have a better relationship with the staff because of smaller class sizes and more individualized attention, they will also have a better relationship with the other students, especially at RCS. Since your students will be going through each grade with the same group of students, they will build strong bonds and friendships that will last forever. Switching from elementary to middle school and middle school to high school in a public school can be intimidating. Some of your kid’s friends will head to a different school and new students will fill the halls. This is a great way for your kid to meet new friends but it can also be hard for children to make new friends. These strong relationships can help your children feel more accepted at school which could help them enjoy school more and look forward to going.

But the student relationships are not the only ones that are stronger at a private school. The staff and parent relationships are more personal and better as well. Private schools often hold more parent-teacher conferences and encourage communication between teachers and parents. This open communication and parent involvement can help the parents of students feel better about the school and what their children are learning.

Extracurricular Activities

While public schools often have extracurricular activities as well, private schools offer a ton of different options for students. Private schools give students that chance to participate in everything from sports and clubs to unique classes and religious studies.

At Resurrection Christian School, students have a lot of different extracurricular activities to choose from. We offer spiritual development for all of our students as well as many more. Our elementary school kids will participate in physical education, art, technology, library time, and music. The middle school students also have access to a wide variety of activities, including sports for boys and girls, choir, band, theater, and visual arts. Sports, the arts, student council, robotics, National Honor Society, and other activities are offered to high school students. These extracurricular activities allow students to become more involved in their school, obtain different skills, and become part of different groups of people.

Preparation

Another benefit that Resurrection Christian School has to offer is that we offer college prep to our high school students. We offer ACT and SAT exam preparation, college planning, career planning, and college writing help. These can help your high school students get prepared for the world after high school, help them figure out the college application process, and give them tips to build the perfect resume. These are important and necessary skills that many public schools do not teach.

In Northern Colorado, we are lucky to have so many schools that are above par, while schools across the country are struggling. But there are benefits to picking a private school for your children, and Resurrection Christian School should be your first choice.

At Resurrection Christian School, we take pride in our private school. We work hard to build a community and environment that students can feel encouraged and accepted and push themselves to be better. With so many extracurricular activities, a caring staff, and a campus that allows students to grow with together, our private school is one-of-a-kind. Learn more about our school and schedule a tour of our private school today.


How to Help Your Child Develop a Love For School

School should be fun, exciting, and a place your child feels as though they belong. Your kids have the chance to learn about many different subjects, join a wide variety of groups, and meet people from many different backgrounds. While school is meant to help your children explore different subjects and become part of a community, some students may not find as much joy in school as others.

Yes, homework is never fun and tests can be stressful, but school is not all about homework and tests. It is about finding new interests, learning new things, and finding a place in this crazy world. At Resurrection Christian School, a we work hard to make sure our students have the best possible school experience. We help them follow their interests, feel welcome in our community, and encourage them to continue to push themselves. RCS knows that importance of school and how it can affect our children’s future, and we work hard to make sure they love school.

There are a few key components to inspiring your children to love school, including everything from a sense of community and belonging to enjoying what they are learning. While you may be thinking that every school offers these things to their students, there are a few things that make us different.

Community

While most schools likely create a sense of belonging and community for their students, none of them have a community quite like RCS. At our Northern Colorado school, your child can go from preschool to high school on our campus. As they grow they will attend the different school on our single campus and continue their school journey with all of their friends.

This is different and special from other schools because your students will grow with their friends and peers all the way until they are ready to head to college and start a life of their own. Having multiple schools on one campus can make the sense of community even stronger than it is at other schools. Your child will become familiar with everyone in their class and in the classes older and younger than they are, they will become familiar with the teachers and staff, and they will be a special part of the community.

For many students, middle school and high school can be a tough time in life. In public schools, you will switch to a new school during 6th or 7th grade, and again in 9th or 10th grade. This can be stressful and nerve wracking for many students, especially if their friends are going to a different school. They will be forced to meet new friends, find a new community in which they feel welcome, and start from scratch. But at RCS, your children will never have to worry about this. They will switch from school to school with their entire class and have the chance to stay with their friends and meet new friends as well.

With many different student clubs, activities, and athletics to be a part of, plus other events, your student will be able to become a part of many different communities within our tight knit school community. We know the importance of making students feel welcome and wanted, that is why we do what we do and encourage students to participate in many different activities.

Courses and Areas of Interest

Another important factor in getting children to be interested in school is what they are learning. Classes, groups, and extracurricular activities can help to build your student’s interest in school. At Resurrection Christian School, we work hard to make sure we provide your students with interesting material, exciting activities, and a variety of groups to join that help them explore their interests.

Our faculty and staff is dedicated to creating an exciting learning environment for students, which can help students build a love for school and learning. From elementary school to high school, your student will be able to participate in a plethora of classes and activities, from fine arts and physical education to foreign language and bible study. Whatever your child’s interest is, they are sure to find a few classes that can teach them everything they are curious about and help them find a love for learning.

How Parents Can Help

While Resurrection Christian School works hard to make sure every student feels welcome and is offered classes of interest, we are not the only ones who can help yours kids find an interest and love in school. Parents can do a lot to help their students find an interest in school and a love for learning. Starting at a young age, you can help your child develop the curiosity that makes that was to follow their interests. This can lead to a love for school and learning.

There are some people born with a natural love for learning, they want to learn as much as they can about the world, the way things work, and what makes them curious. But not everyone is like this, so helping your children learn to love learning can help them succeed throughout school and the rest of their lives. Here are a few ways to help develop your child’s love for learning.

Feed Their Interests

Some children may be interested in Egypt while others have a desire to learn everything they can about foxes. Whatever your child may be interested in, help them and encourage them to keep learning and finding out new information about these topics. Bring them to the library to pick out books about their interests and allow them to read as much as possible on the topic. Sit down and learn with them. If they ask you questions about how big the Great Pyramid of Giza is, don’t just answer that you don’t know. Instead look it up and find out together. This will not only help them keep their interests alive, but it will also teach them that you are learning something new everyday throughout your entire life.

Your children may be interested in something that you have no desire in learning about, but that doesn’t mean you should shut down their curiosities. Encourage them to learn what they can and act excited when they tell you about what they learned.

To keep your child learning new things and excited to learn more, talk to them about different topics that somehow relate to what they are interested in. For example, if your child is interested in foxes, tell them about interesting animals that they may want to research. There are always topics to explore that are based off of other interests. Your child has to ability to learn just about anything, encourage them to do so.

Allow Them to Learn on Their Own

While many parents may want to jump in when their child is working through a problem wrong, it is important that you don’t jump in every time. Let your child think through different problems, think about what they are supposed to be doing, and figure it out on their own. This will help them to actually learn and be able to problem solve better, plus they will feel more accomplished and be excited that they were able to figure it out alone. Let your children struggle and figure out different problems on their own, but be there when they ask for your help.

Avoid Rewards

If you reward your child every time they finish a book or complete their homework, they will begin to only do these things for the reward. You want your child to enjoy reading and gain something from it. But when you reward them for completing a chapter in one sitting, they will begin to use reading as a way to get rewards. Allowing your child to learn based on their interests and curiosities can help them to learn better and give them a purpose to read a book or finish their homework.

There are many things you can do to help encourage your children to love learning. From feeding their curious minds to limiting TV time, you can help give your children the necessary resources to help them find a passion in learning new things and exploring different topics. This will not only help them develop a desire to learn while they are young, but it will encourage them to continue to research new topics throughout their lives.

Developing a love for learning is a great thing and one thing that we should help our children with. With a desire to learn, a variety of classes and activities that feed our interests, and a sense of community and belonging, your students will learn to love school. At Resurrection Christian School, we can help provide these things for your kids and allow them to enjoy their school.

Learn more about RCS and apply online to start your child on a journey that will allow them to get more out of school than you could have hoped for. Contact us to learn more and help your child develop a love for learning and school.


Helping Your Kids Stay Motivated

With the busy days of the holiday season quickly approaching, you may forget that it is about half way through the school year. Kids get excited about to holidays and the break they get in the middle of the school year, but this break could also weaken their motivation. As the semester starts to come to an end, they will be excited for a break from school. It is easy for your kiddos to slack off as the semester comes to a close, knowing that they are weeks away from relaxation.

But it is important for them to stay motivated and work through the end of the semester, finishing strong and giving their final projects a solid effort. Helping your kids to stay motivated through the end of the semester and at the beginning of the next is important, but may also be challenging. There are many different way to help keep your kids motivated in their school work, finding the right method for your child can help you handle this time period every year.

Every student will lose motivation at one point or another, even the best students will feel unmotivated at times, but as a parent you can help to motivate your kids and keep them excited about school and learning. At Resurrection Christian School, our teachers are taught a highly effective teaching model, helping them to keep students interested in the subjects and teaching them in the best possible way. Even though our school has a 100 percent graduation rate, our students still lose their motivation to finish a semester strong, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t all great students! They just need a little push to stay involved in their school work.

In this blog, we will go over some helpful tips for parents trying to keep their kids working hard through the end of the semester.

Stay Involved

When a parent is involved in their child’s academics, it is more apparent to the child that their schooling and work is important. It is easy to be involved, start by asking questions about what they learned, help them with homework, and let them know that you are happy to help whenever they need it. When you sit down with your child and help them with homework, it could help them stay focused and work to get the assignment done quicker. Leaving your child to do their work by themselves could be completely different. They may end up getting distracted, find ways to avoid working, and take double the amount of time finishing an assignment.

Helping your children with homework, especially when they are younger, can help them to develop good study habits and learn to get their homework done quickly. Children who are left to do their homework alone, may not put as much effort in and could end up wasting a lot of time. Sitting down with your kids could help them to work harder to show you that they are capable of getting their homework done.

Another way to get involved is to show interest in what your children are learning. Asking what they learned, what their favorite subject is, and what is interesting to them can help show your children that school and learning is interesting. If they get excited about something they learn and want to tell you all about it, listen and ask questions. They will be excited that you are showing interest. If you know anything about the subject, let them know, this could start a discussion and get them excited to go back to school to learn some more about it.

A Child Mind® Institute article mentions that while it is important staying involved in your children schooling, you also want to consider their age. Older kids may not like the fact that you are being nosy and constantly asking about their homework. Teens may become less motivated to do their homework if your are constantly nagging them. While you can ask about their day and have a conversation with them about school and their work, don’t hover, it does not work the same way it does with younger kids.

Put Homework First

It can be hard to say no to your children, but if they want to go play with their friends or do other activities before homework, it might be necessary. Tell them that once they finish their homework they can watch their movie, hang out with their friends, or do whatever else they wanted to do. But not until they finished their homework.

We know it is hard for kids to come home from school and jump right back into homework, but it can also help them. They are still in the learning and school mindset after returning home, so jumping straight into their homework can help them to get it done quickly. If you believe your children need a break for school and homework, allow them to spend half an hour reading, drawing, or even watching a show. But once that half hour is over, make sure they get up and do their homework. Don’t let them off with the “five more minutes” deal. This always ends up being more than five minutes. Simply tell your kids that they can spend some time relaxing but once that time is up they have to start their homework.

Many kids play sports and do other extracurricular activities after school, which is a good time for them to take a mental break and refocus. Once they get home for these activities have them start their homework and remind them that waiting to get it done may mean they can’t watch a movie with the family or go to a friends.

Reward Them

It is easy to reward your kids with stuff or money. But there are other ways to reward your kids that will help them as well. An Oxford Learning article states that praise can be one of the best rewards. Telling your kids how proud you are of them, how good they are doing in school, and other verbal reinforcements can help to keep your kids working hard.

The Child Mind® article also mentions that children respond well to these verbal reinforcements. Giving your kiddos high fives, hugs, and praise can help your child want to achieve more, because they like getting your praise and attention.

If your child does not respond as well to the praise, you can test out other rewards. Again, money and buying your children new video games or things like that is not the best reward. Instead, try taking them to that movie they have been asking to see for days after they finish their project. Bring them to get ice cream after dinner as a special treat for finishing their homework early. You could even plan fun activities like having a family movie night, making cookies together, or bringing the kids to Estes on the weekend to celebrate all of their hard work. Your children will enjoy spending this special time with you and if you rarely do these things, they will love the reward. Buying your children items instead can cause them to pull away from the family and may show that material items are a better reward that spending time with the family.

Build A Study Spot

Sometimes, the area where your kids do homework can be distracting and may be the reason they are losing motivation in their work. Never let your children do homework in front of the TV or around their toys. It may even be worth taking your teenagers’ phones while they do homework, although if they are generally pretty good at finishing their homework on time, this may just cause a fight that can be easily avoided. You know your children better than anyone, so make judgements on what is making homework hard for them and try to fix it.

Dedicating a spot for homework may help your kids maintain focus and get their work done faster. Set up an area away from distractions. If you have a spare bedroom, set up a few desks and allow your children to work on their homework together. Or allow your kids to work on their assignment at the kitchen table as you are cooking dinner. This way, they can ask you questions if they need to and they won’t be distracted by their toys, the TV, or their siblings. Plus you can keep an eye on them. Having a spot designated to homework can help your kids get in the right mindset and improve their motivation and focus.

These are only a few of the many tips that can help your children stay motivated. As the semester comes to an end, make sure they are staying on top of their work. You could offer a big reward for finishing strong. Just remind them they once the finish the semester they have a while to relax and not worry about school before they have to go back. This alone should help them to stay motivated, but in case it doesn’t, use some of our tips!

At Resurrection Christian School, we help our students get the best education and prepare them for the future. We will help to keep them working hard as much as we can, but they may need an additional push to stay motivated throughout the entire semester. Learn more about the RCS difference now!


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.


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.