Homework Helper: Writing Practice Part II

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

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

Why Is Writing Practice Important?

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

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

Ways to Help Your Child at Home

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

Look Over Prompts

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

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

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

Important keywords from the prompt:

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

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

Understand Writing Structure

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

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

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

Understand Writing Types

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

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

Talk About Different Writers

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

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

Practice Typing

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

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

Set Goals

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

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

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

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

Enroll Your Child With RCS

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


Helping Kids Love to Read

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

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

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

Lead by Example

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

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

Provide Books

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

Learn Your Child’s Interests

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

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

Motivate and Encourage

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

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

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


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!


Family New Year’s Resolutions

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

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

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

Choose kindness.

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

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

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

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

Give back.

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

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

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

Do less.

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

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

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

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

Read more.

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

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

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

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

 

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


Battling Smartphones As a Parent

Social media feels like a minefield lately. With your aunt being impersonated on Facebook and the mere existence of Snapchat can be easy, as a guardian, to start eyeing that smartphone in your child’s hand a little suspiciously. Can you honestly remember the last time you got on a social media channel and were not bombarded by a variety of political content and schlock? What’s interesting about today’s youth is that it is an essential component in social interaction, which is something that we’re all totally out of touch with. Sure, we text other moms to find out when that coffee date is happening and we like baby photos, but we don’t feel an obligation to like people’s photos on Instagram or watch people’s “stories” on the platform that you prefer. The kids these days, though? They do. So what are kids actually getting out of this constant form of social interaction? Let’s explore:

Do Smartphones Make Us More Connected?

In some ways, certainly. There’s no question that smartphones certainly make you safer. A smartphone is a clever little device and with a variety of safety features already installed, there’s hardly any need to input anymore. There’s codes you can type into your iPhone that will allow it to alert the police that you’re in a tight situation without making a sound. There’s the Uber app, which you can download to make sure that at any point when you’re inebriated you don’t have to get behind the wheel to get home. Not to mention the ability to send and receive calls and texts literally anywhere, along with the GPS feature, which can help you find a route home when you’re lost without a data connection, it certainly improves individual safety and probably adds a layer of peace of mind for you about your child. Additionally, it makes sure you’re connected with the people you want to be in contact with most. The little devices keep you in touch with the outside world shockingly well and help you stay relevant and current in general, but is any of this worth the general sense of isolation people feel when they’re attached to their phones that much?

The Case of False Connection

As you grow older, people generally have more going on. You’ve certainly had at least a few friends who are more willing to send you a check-up text than they are to have coffee. In fact, some folks actually prefer to only have communication over the various connection channels through your smartphone. Which poses the question, will a Facebook message carrying a news article be the proper conversation invoking catalyst that your child and their friend need to keep their friendship aflame? Or will social media help our world crumble into a series of false allegiances and pure isolation? The answer, like with most things, is not if you don’t let it. You might make the argument that your child will only need to have a slight misunderstanding over whose texts meant what before they come to realize that face-to-face interaction can actually have a better effect on them. Putting an emphasis on proper communication, and learning to listen to people’s body language and facial expressions as well as all the other communication symbols humans naturally give off when having a conversation with someone, is a skill that cannot be traded-in. Learning to read those symbols might actually give you a leg up on most conversations since so many people are apparently stunted by not encountering those as often as they could have.

Witnessing Only What the Camera Sees

With such amazing cameras popping up on the pricey little pieces of technology called the smartphone, it’s not shocking that most of the social media and the communication that traverses through those various mediums is mainly visual. However, it’s had a peculiar effect on people in the sense that you might make the argument they see less of their surroundings because of their camera. It’s better to do something “for the (Insta)gram” than it is for the experience of that thing. In fact, there’s been a variety of studies that explain the more pictures you take of something, the more you’ll have a hard time remembering the event in anything but the pictures themselves.

Can You Combat This?

Of course you can, but probably not in the manner you think you should. Children actually rarely react well to a hard hand in most situations. Making them think that they’re putting down the phone of their own accord is actually a more powerful way to teach a principle that will stick. The bottom line is that smartphones are cool and your child will find the interactive play and the social connection they can access through them fulfilling. Your job is to put an emphasis on finding outside activities also fulfilling. Regular activities that don’t prominently feature a need for the phone will gently expose that it’s possible to do things outside of the smartphone world. Signing them up for sports activities and encouraging artistic endeavors is a great way to see them step away from their smartphone and explore options within their own social circles. Have faith that you’re doing a good job raising them. Their reliance on their smartphone is more of a social expectation than it is necessarily something they’ll become attached to in their adulthood.

Give Them a Love of Learning

If you’re striving to find an environment that enriches your child’s mind and offers up a variety of entertaining activities within a comfortable community. Consider private schooling. While RCS can hardly promise that we’ll be able to shake your child of their attachment to Instagram, we can foster a love of learning from an early age and a love of community culture that they will, in turn, learn to encourage with in-person interaction. Introduce your child to a classical education through the top private school in Loveland at RCS and help them fight for their attachment to the real world while finding a love for human interaction as well as our technological innovations that make our lives easier.


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.


The Influence of Communication for Teens

We know that sometimes it certainly seems easier to just not talk to your teens. They’re combative and nearly always on edge and all those hormones racing through their blood make them into a person that’s not really them. Of course, you want your teenager to be able to talk to when they need you, as you’re their guardian, but establishing that dynamic isn’t always easy. Especially when they’re under layers of stress from feeling unmoored in a world that seems new and unfamiliar every day. Of course, that is an extreme and your teen is hardly a volatile little bottle of poisonous words, hormones and unchecked expectations for the world, they are tumultuous. Understanding how to not let that phase you is part of being a good parent and modeling how to be a good adult to them.

Staying Accessible Is Staying in Their Life

When your teen goes out in the world, you don’t know what they’re doing. You have some idea, certainly, but you don’t know how their studies are going in the sense that you don’t know if they’re actually learning or if they’re developing passions for any of the subjects. You know they’re at school and their extracurriculars, but you don’t know if they’re getting anything out of it unless they’re talking to you. In the worst scenario, not knowing how your child is doing in school and if they’re finding passions in their academics and social activities could put you at a disadvantage when your teen starts displaying any sort of unhappiness or when they need help because you don’t know anything about their life. The key to fostering a relationship like this is avoiding criticism. If your child wants to talk to you about something that happened that day they might have messed up, the answer is not to respond with critique. They won’t see it as you helping them, they’ll see it as you not approving of them and shutting them down immediately.

Communication Is Valuable.

If you have any experience in the workplace, you know that communication is of the utmost importance. Since they are your child, they seek your approval in a way you’ve never sought the approval of your co-workers which makes this communication so much more important. They need a sounding board for everything they’re thinking, feeling, experiencing, wanting and not wanting in their life. At times, they just need to feel like they’re not talking to themselves. In fact, there is some evidence that supports the idea that when teens talk to their parents they develop the skills to speak up for themselves. They become less afraid of presenting their own actual opinions and ideas and more functional adults because of it. People who can communicate well with anyone they come across are noticeably more successful than the people who feel stunted by what others will think of their opinions and how they feel about things. This is a skill that will help your child benefit throughout their life in their social and professional lives.

Developing the Wrong Communication Skills

If your child does not develop these skills, they’ll start to develop a form of communicating that is actually the opposite of verbal communication. They’ll expect people to be able to guess at their emotional state and they will become awkward in social situations, prone to shyness and social invisibility which promotes general isolation in life. This is a hardly a healthy way to communicate. The best way to teach a teenager is to lead by example and talk about how there are benefits to speaking up for yourself. Teenagers are inherently filled with a desire to go against the status quo, so if you tell them to speak up more, they’ll view that as criticism, but if you admire the trait in something like a fictional character that you both like, they might associate that as a role model’s trait and try to emulate it. Try casually pointing out a few of these benefits of speaking out in your everyday lives.

Give Your Child the Right Background

Enrolling your child in private schooling equips them with the eloquence they need to feel comfortable articulating their thoughts openly and tactfully. With experience communicating in class with their peers in an educated and civil way, they’ll be able to learn about communication with you, the parent, as well as with other people in their life. Teach your child the meaning of a classical education. Enroll them in the best private school in Loveland today.


Are Video Games Bad For Your Child?

The current political environment is rather tumultuous. There’s plenty of he said she saids and a variety of other arguments that have proven more and more problematic as time goes by. One of those many controversies includes whether or not video games contribute to the aggressiveness in children. Many people are pointing to the quote from Jay Hull, the Dartmouth University professor who proclaimed in the press release for his newest findings on the matter that: “If your kids are playing these games, these games are having a warping effect on right and wrong or they have a warped sense of right and wrong and that’s why they are attracted to these games.” However, the quote and most of the contents of the study are often taken out of the proper perspective to support this narrative of “games are bad for kids.” In fact, Psychology Today claimed that most of the discussions surrounding the piece have been in regard to the press release for the study, rather than the study itself. They mention specifically that “It turns out that this is just another example of how social science is often oversold to a public without the statistical knowledge to evaluate problematic claims.” So, are video games really bad for your children? How will they affect their future emotional stability, their success and what sort of effect does it have on the work you’ve been doing to help them earn their classical education from a high ranking private school? The proper question is actually probably does it have any sort of effect at all? In short, no.

The Actual Research

Learning to read research papers is something that people spend quite a bit of time on, as in they can get a good portion of a college degree merely learning how to properly read research papers and draw conclusions from data. Thus, hoping to be able to grasp these larger concepts as a layman might prove difficult.  We’re here to help you slog through the strange terms and redefine some previous misconceptions you might have when glancing over a study similar to the one Dartmouth produced. In the Dartmouth study, in particular, conducted something called a “meta-analysis of studies of youth to see to what degree violent video games contributed to physical aggression.” First, that means, they were basing most of their data off of other people’s data which is not the best way to conduct the scientific method, as you know if you’re familiar with it. Additionally, they certainly make you believe that they’re measuring these youths over physical aggression, like serious acts of violence like homicides, fights and aggravated assaults. However, they only used teen’s self-analysis and confession of feelings rather than actual evidence of aggression. They specifically mention asking how they would respond to “If I have to resort to violence to protect my rights, I will” as a statement that indicated elevated aggression. If you were asked that question, would you say that you weren’t willing to protect your rights with violence? Probably not. Does that mean you’re an aggressive individual? Also, probably not.

The Actual Study

For that big claim Dartmouth’s leading professor made, it’s rather shocking in comparison to the data he managed to collect. The study itself even mentions that only 1% of youths self-reported in an increase in feelings of aggression, let alone physical representations of actual aggression. This is actually an example of a quite common phenomenon among social science research. For example, if you ask people if they play “violent video games” and then you proceed to ask them how angrily they’ve broken things, those points of data tend to drift toward each other, but that doesn’t mean that’s an accurate way of pulling this sort of data. It’s like asking someone you’ve never seen if they’re white, if they’ve been around people of another race and then asking them how they feel about that race and assuming that that’s an accurate metric of how is racist and how isn’t. The first set of questions creates a bias toward the response of the second question. Psychologists and other scientists alike have expressed that most of these studies, including this one, does not include any more useful information than a Buzzfeed article which is why they have similar headlines.

Join a Balanced Community in a Private School in Fort Collins

RCS is dedicated to getting to the bottom of things and seeking new knowledge together. With an emphasis on community values, Christian sense of ethics and a classical well-rounded education, we’ve created an exceptional private school experience for you and your child. Check out our carefully crafted curriculum and enroll now to join us in our collective pursuit of knowledge and ways to make our children’s lives better.

 


How to Raise Happy, Strong Children

Being a parent is stressful. You have quite a bit on your plate, but most importantly you need to concern yourself with the most important investment of your life: your child. Your child’s well-being is one of the most important parts of your everyday life and once you have their basic needs covered, your mind will start to wander toward your child’s emotional development. With so many folks online talking about their abusive childhoods and how easy it is to make a small mistake in regard to rearing your child. So how do you ensure you’re raising a child that will be as resilient as they need to be? Start off with always having their success in mind. If they’re enrolled at RCS, you’re probably already on the right track.

They Feel in Control

We’re sure you’ve seen the various Facebook posts about how controlling parents can damage a child’s long-term emotional development. There are some studies to back up this assertion, but they mostly come in the form of encouraging a successful child. The leading parenting expert in the UK, Sue Atkins, claims that adults who are successful felt in control in their childhood. There are also several strong examples of children succeeding based off of strong, close relationships with their close relatives and people they love. If they feel valued and have control over their lives and the direction they’re going in, they’re far more likely to succeed than children who are constantly urged in the opposite direction of the way they want to go. According to the same leading parenting expert extrapolated that children who won’t have much in the way of emotional stability as adults don’t feel connected to others, don’t feel like they count, and don’t feel capable of taking care of themselves. Most importantly, however, is that children have to feel courageous and brave in order to accomplish their goals and be stable as adults.

Why Are These Attributes Important?

Having the above attributes in both children and adults gives us a positive attitude about life. Quite simply put, it gives the whole thing purpose. The idea is that these four basic building blocks that create a sense of security for the child will certainly promote a “Can Do” attitude later in life, which will render them capable of handling the things that life throws at them. The hope is that children with these advantages will become responsible, happy, and self-reliant. Naturally, as a parent, finding these attributes in your child will be a relief. As it means you’ve done your job fundamentally well.

The Stem Is Connection

In most cases, a human’s ability to both survive mentally and physically relies largely on the ability to connect to others. To put it simply, we move from being infants who are totally dependant on others to being interdependent on others, because that streak never quite leaves. With strong connections to the important people in the child’s life, they’ll be able to thrive and feel secure in their endeavors because there’s always something to fall back on.

Foster Connectivity In the RCS Community

The easiest way for you to foster a sense of connection between you and your child as well as help them build a support system of their own starts with creating a community for them. Wouldn’t you want the community to be more centered around Christian values and the love of education and the pursuit of knowledge? Enroll your child at RCS to receive the private school level of education while tapping into a community where your child can feel supported and safe and thrive throughout the rest of their emotional development.