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.


Activating a Christian Mindset in Sports

Whether it’s the parents, the coaches, the refs, the fans, or the players themselves, there’s a lot of intensity in private high school sports. Everyone is wanting the same outcome, to win, and they’re willing to do what it takes to make that happen.

Competition drives many of us, but it’s also inherently not the kind of Christian mindset that Jesus would want us to have. Jesus doesn’t teach us to beat others or to put others down, and we certainly don’t want to relish interminably in the attitude that we’re the best — this leaves us thinking others are inferior.

And yet, we’re not wrong for wanting to win the game or score the winning basket. But where’s the balance? How can we do our best at sports and help our team, while also keeping a Christian mindset?

These are some tough questions, but our private high school is here to provide some guidance. High school athletics are an important part of the Resurrection Christian School framework, and we’re proud of our Cougars! Find some advice on how to incorporate Christianity with high school athletics, and find information on enrollment, admissions, and activities at RCS!

Stay Humble

When everyone is telling you you’re a star, it’s all too easy to buy into that mindset. Every single person is so special in the Lord’s eyes, and every single person is unique. Staying humble doesn’t mean cancelling out this fact, it’s just recognizing that you are human, and that God is greater than us all.

As a high school athlete, you can start practicing humility by thinking about what’s something you did well each game or practice, and what’s something you can improve on. The things you do well shouldn’t always be about goals or points, either. Thinking about how hard you worked, how you incorporated your teammates, or how you dealt with a tough call from the ref are all huge things to be proud of.

Similarly, when thinking about things to improve on, consider any attitudes you may have carried throughout the game — towards other players or yourself. Were you too hard on others? Were you talking negatively to yourself? Did you mess up a goal because you weren’t as confident or you didn’t think things through as well as you could have? Staying humble is less about the points you did or didn’t score or the assists you did or didn’t have, and much more about how you approached the game and players as a whole.

Be Forgiving

Refs, like the rest of us, are human, and they will make bad calls. While it’s easy to assume favoritism or purposefully turning a blind eye, the best thing you can do is to forgive and forget. Getting hung up on the plays that could have (or in some instances, should have) been keeps you from growing.

The same attitude applies towards your coaches — trust their judgment, and while you can always ask questions and see what they’re thinking, remember that timing and approach is key. Is your coach more open to a conversation when there’s five minutes left on the clock? Or would they be more willing to sit down with you when you’ve cooled down and it’s not in the heat of the moment?

Finally, be forgiving of teammates and the opposing team, and be forgiving of yourself as well! Sports can breed some major feelings of inadequacy and resentment, and that’s not what it should be about. Jesus teaches us to forgive those who trespass against us — sometimes that person trespassing against us can be ourselves. Hard times and moments happen. Our private high school wants you to always play your best, whether on the court or off, but we also want you to carrying a loving and empathetic attitude towards all whom you encounter.

Reflect on Scripture

Wait, the Bible doesn’t talk about football, right? Not exactly, but there are plenty of relevant teachings from Jesus. When giving the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus mentions things that every athlete could stand to remember:

  • Competition: “You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’ But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also.”
    • Takeaway: Every game is a competition, but it’s necessary to treat others with respect.
  • Trophies: “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, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
    • Takeaway: Trophies might seem like the most important thing, especially when thinking about what they represent. However, your love of the game should always be your reason for playing.
  • Grit: “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.”
    • Takeaway: Don’t give up! This passage doesn’t mean to be salty, it’s all about being true to yourself and persevering. When tough times happen for you or your team, use them as a way to grow.

Play to Win, But Play Fairly

No matter what someone else might be telling you, there is never an OK time to cheat. Honesty absolutely pays for itself, time and again. You don’t want to give your team the reputation of one who doesn’t play fairly. Jesus asks that all of us are honest and open in everything that we do. Make sure you uphold this tenet of Christianity when you’re out there on the field — it will ultimately help you, your character, and even your team in the long run.

Accept Losses

When our private high school says “accept losses,” we don’t mean to say that you should just give up regardless of the outcome of the game. Instead, we think that sometimes so much emphasis is put on winning that a loss can feel like the end of the world instead of a moment for growth.

You are going to lose games — but that’s part of how you get better! The LeBron Jameses and Brittney Griners of the world didn’t become some of the best basketball stars of all time because of nonstop wins. Their success is deeply tied to their losses and how they learned from them.

If you treat a loss like the end of the world and a defining moment for you as an athlete and person, you’re not going to get better. You’ll end up feeling pretty stuck and hopeless. If you treat losses like a lesson and an opportunity for improvement, you’ll come away feeling inspired and motivated, and it will absolutely impact your game.

As a private school in Loveland serving elementary, middle, and high school students, Resurrection Christian School is committed to bettering the character and education for every child. We want sports to be fun, exciting, motivating, and a source of wellness. When keeping Christianity in mind, this can all happen. Find out more about our athletic programs and inquire about enrollment today!


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.


Homework Helper: Writing Practice Part I

Writing is an interesting school subject. It’s one of the most subjective areas of academics — everyone has their own style, voice, and even their own handwriting. Being a good writer isn’t just something for the literary elite. Your child will write papers, essays, cover letters, and job applications at all turns in their life, so it’s important to hone in on the basics now.

At Resurrection Christian School, we prioritize all the subjects, but there are always things you can do to help your child out at home. It’s not only a great learning experience for them (and you), it’s a way to stay involved with your child’s academics at our private school, and a way to connect with them.

Take a look at these ways to work on writing practice with your child, and find more information on enrollment for preschool, kindergarten, elementary, middle, and high school throughout our site!

Early Stages: Preschool – First Grade

Writing is just starting at this point for your young one. You don’t need to worry about sentences or perfect spelling yet (you won’t need to worry about the latter writing element for quite some time). These are the years where it’s all about getting the foundation down.

Holding a Writing Utensil

For children at this age, writing can be very challenging. It requires fine motor skills that take time to develop. In general (but not always), boys take longer to develop their fine motor skills than girls — the reverse is true for gross motor skills, like throwing a ball.

At this age, your biggest priority should simply be helping them get used to holding a writing utensil and starting to use it. Drawing and coloring are great ways to practice (and pretty fun, at that!). Try different types of utensils with different sizes, such as thicker markers or pencils, to encourage your young one. They might feel like they have more control when there’s more to grip.

Another thing to note during this time? When your child is first holding something (usually as a toddler), you’ll find out pretty quickly whether they prefer their left or right hand. Give opportunity for them to practice both to see what feels right. Check out this article on ways to hold a pencil for more information!

Practice Tracing

Of course, you want your child to draw freehanded and explore with using writing utensils, especially when they’re young. However, our private school also recommends getting some practice in with tracing lines — this will make it easier to trace letters later on down the road.

By the time your child is getting ready for kindergarten, they should be able to write their first name and the first letter of their last name (capitalized). They should also be able to distinguish between uppercase and lowercase letters, even if they don’t know all their letters yet. In terms of writing, your child should be able to trace letters and write many letters independently.

If your young one isn’t there just yet, there’s no need to panic! You can practice by printing off sheets and resources for parents and teachers from the web, or ask your child’s teacher if they have extra materials for practicing at home.

Writing Words

By kindergarten and first grade, your child will be writing words and simple sentences. You can guide in this practice at home with a number of games:

 

  • Sight Word Match: Make a list of ten sight words (i.e. at, and, on, or, etc.), then have your child copy writing them down in a column on a piece of lined paper. In the other column or on another piece of paper, help them cut out and paste the same sight words that they find in magazines or newspapers. You can also tape or glue the words in a jumbled up order, then have your child draw lines to connect each word.

 

  • Chalk Hopscotch: Create a hopscotch outline, then have your child write words that make a sentence into different boxes. Have them hop in the order of the sentence, have them jump to sight words, or have them jump to words that start with a certain letter.
  • Copycat: This is especially good for kids who need to take their time and slow down on their writing, and need to focus on how they’re holding a writing utensil. You write various words, and then in different colors, have your young one try to copy (either by writing separately, tracing over, or both) the word as neatly and perfectly as possible.

 

 

Keep Reading

Reading and writing are completely intertwined. We can’t be great writers if we’re not great readers, and the reverse is true as well. By encouraging literacy as a whole in your household, you’ll be giving your kids a foundation for writing success.

Read every single day with your young ones, take frequent trips to the library, and talk about the writing that you’re reading. Are there sentences that rhyme? What words make you feel a certain way? If you closed your eyes and listened, could you still picture the story? Engage in a dialogue with reading that revolves around writing, and you’ll set your kids up for success.

Offer Encouragement

There are any number of ways that kids deal with and react to writing. Some might try to write everything perfectly, and get hung up on the spelling of words. Others might get frustrated with the struggle of holding a writing utensil and producing neat words and letters, and might want to give up.

Our private school knows that the best things you can do for your child’s writing practice are to be encouraging, patient, and focus on the big picture. Create a culture in which writing is a messy process, it’s not perfect, and that’s the point of it. Always applaud your child for going the extra mile and persevering through tough tasks.

In our next blog, our private school will cover some of the ways in which you can help your older children with their writing exercises and homework. Stay tuned, and contact Resurrection Christian School for any questions you might have on enrollment, academics, or more.


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.


Homework Helper: Multiplication

If you’ve ever felt confused looking at your child’s homework, struggled to explain a topic that seems easy to know but hard to teach, and dealt with the frustration of homework help, you are not alone. In fact, you’re probably part of the majority!

Helping kids with homework is a challenging task, much more so than it may seem. But more than anything, it’s both commendable and loving that you want to help. Our private school is starting up a blog series called “Homework Helper” to assist families in helping their kids at home. Today’s topic: Multiplication!

Learn more from Resurrection Christian School, and contact us to schedule a tour with our campus!

The Basics

Mastering multiplication might seem like memorizing flashcards, but it goes much deeper than that. If your child doesn’t have a solid understanding of addition, grouping, and counting, they’ll struggle with later multiplication concepts and applications. Having a good mathematical base is the only way your child will truly understand the facts and the times table. Here are some things your child should know before diving into multiplication (and if they’re not there yet, our private school has included things you can try for added practice):

 

  • Grouping: Kids should be able to group objects into equal sets, and should recognize that if they’re trying to count out 20 blocks, it’s faster to grab several at a time.

 

      • Extended practice: Have your child count out objects and ask them if there’s a faster way to do it, then model what you mean (“Is there a faster way to count out 30 pennies?”).

 

  • Group counting: Similarly, your child should be able to count off by numbers: twos, fives, and tens are a good starting point, then go into threes, nines, fours, sixes, sevens, and eights (that exact order might be most beneficial).

 

      • Extended practice: Continue practicing to count everywhere and anywhere — road trips, items at the grocery store, money, etc.

 

  • Number order: Your child should confidently know what number comes before and after a number — ideally up to 1,000.

 

      • Extended practice: Make number line charts and turn it into a guessing game (“I’m thinking of a number that comes after 42 but before 63.”).

 

  • Addition: Your child’s adding skills should be basically flawless — even if it’s not perfect, they have mastered the concept.

 

    • Extended practice: There are countless coloring sheets that are addition-focused, as a fun activity to hone in on the basics. Continuing to ask real life scenarios (“I have four apples and eight grapes. How many pieces of fruit do I have?”) are also beneficial.

The Skill

When your child has mastered the above concepts, transferring their knowledge to multiplication won’t be as hard as you might think. You can reinforce some of the skills they’re learning in the classroom (feel free to ask their teacher for tips!), but here are some other strategies to try:

 

  • Area Method: Draw a rectangle, divide it into the problem at hand to figure out how many squares are present. For example, 3 x 5 would look like a rectangle with three squares drawn on one side and five squares on the adjacent side (like a grid).

 

 

  • Group Method: Draw (or use connecting blocks — Legos work too) groups of numbers to find the total. For the same 3 x 5 example, connect five blocks together, three times, or draw five dots three times. This is a bit more time-intensive, but it might help your child get started with mastering the basics.

 

  • Money: We multiply with money all the time and don’t even realize it! Money is great for mastering the fives and tens tables — five pennies equal a nickel, ten equal a dime, and so forth. Have your child practice converting money (they might be extra motivated if they get to keep a penny or two, too!).

 

The Homework

At some point, memorizing multiplication facts will make their lives so much easier. But rote memorization does not leave much room for expanding in mathematical knowledge and insight. Understanding fractions, division, area, and perimeter are all things that require a sound foundation. If your child is struggling with multiplication homework, try out these methods before jumping into flashcards and memorizing their times tables.

Once they’ve shown they understand how multiplication works, then you can move into memorizing facts. Practicing flashcards, having a times table chart that they get to color in and track every time they master one of their times tables are all things that can help their multiplication progress.

How do I know if they’re ready?

If your child is automatically knowing how to set up an array, sees a multiplication problem and instantly starts drawing out the problem, they most likely know how multiplication works, and are ready for memorizing facts.

But if you’re not sure they’re fully understanding this math concept, you can — first and foremost — always get advice from their teacher or check in with them. There are also tons of online games and videos that you can help your child with.

At Resurrection Christian School, we are committed to helping all children succeed, and we know that so much of a child’s success comes from home. It can be frustrating when you don’t know how to help, but hopefully, these tips have provided you with some further insight. If you have further questions, never hesitate to reach out to our private school! In the meantime, stay tuned for our next Homework Helper blog, and schedule a tour with our preschool, elementary school, middle, and high school today!


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!


The Influence of Communication for Teens – Part 2

Communication is such an important aspect of life. It can be hard to deduce how best to communicate with your child about the importance of being able to express themselves and talk to other people. As the saying goes “it takes a village to raise a child.” Don’t think that the responsibility of showing your child how to express themselves falls entirely on you. RCS is here to help you teach them healthy ways to communicate and why to develop important communication skills. In our previous blog, we explored the risk of not developing communication skills and some ways you might show them how to communicate better. In this entry, we’ll discuss the various aspects of good communication and how it affects all of us in our day-to-day lives.

Benefits of Communication:

Expression is a key benefit of speaking out. While this isn’t always a matter of verbal communication, it’s about being comfortable in your own skin. If your teen loves Doc Martens but feels like they’ll be interpreted in a certain way if they wear those, let them know it’s a sign of expression and they shouldn’t care what people think. Expression is an important part of feeling stable and able to talk about what you feel is important to you. This ensures that your child won’t feel the need to express themselves by dying their hair pink down the road because they don’t feel heard. Instead, they’ll dye their hair pink cause they like pink, or they’ll dye it a flattering color because it promotes their professional goals in life.

Another major benefit of regular communication skills is being able to describe your feelings and understand yourself on a deeper level. If you can describe an experience you can fully understand it. It’s like a reading comprehension question, but in regard to day-to-day life and how they need to be able to handle different situations. By regularly being able to describe a situation, they’ll get better at viewing it objectively and acting rationally rather than based on what their feelings dictate. That goes hand-in-hand with the ability to explain yourself. If you can talk about your values, beliefs and perceptions comfortable you’ll be able to build more open relationships with the people around you. If those surrounding your teen don’t understand your teen, they’ll feel isolated because they are isolated. But that all starts with them. They need to feel confident enough in their communication skills to address their issues in a room and make it so that other people can understand where they’re coming from. That’s the very basis of healthy conflict resolution.

The Ability to Question is Gift

It’s more than being anti-establishment, it’s actually the secret to personal growth. Asking questions doesn’t mean you’re insubordinate to your superiors, it means you seek understanding and you gain a better understanding. If your teen knows why they’re doing something, then they’ll feel happier doing it. People want to know the why behind things so they can rationalize why they have to do it. For example, your teen needs to go to a good school, get a good education and learn how to become a lifelong learner so that they can succeed in the career path they choose. Giving your child the opportunity to communicate first with you equips them to be able to communicate with other people, ask questions and express themselves in a healthy manner so that they feel happier on a regular basis.

Success Is Due to More Than Communication; It’s Due to Education

Having an amazing, private school education that gives you the classical background to communicate concisely and eloquently is the first step any child should take toward success. Whatever path your child chooses for their future career, they need to be equipped to communicate with authority. A classical education can give them the base to explore their world with open eyes and the freedom to speak their minds tactfully. Reach out to RCS, the top rated private school in Northern Colorado to find out more about giving your child the proper building blocks to excel at whatever they try at.