Education Matters—Sanford School's Private School Blog

How To Use a Calendar to Help Your Student Succeed

Posted by Christine Yasik on February 9, 2018 at 12:30 PM

“Transform a wish into a goal by putting a date on it.” Peter Turla

Managing time is a universal issue; certainly, it is not confined exclusively to students. However, school provides the perfect place, along with limitless opportunities, for young people to begin to form habits to effectively use their available “free” time that will assist them throughout their lives.

Many schools have incorporated technology into the daily lives of students and their families by posting all class assignments and grades online. The student can, and must, check their schools' website portals for a listing of all classwork that is due. Having all assignments in one accessible place can be extremely helpful. Because of the number of subjects a student takes, that list can cover quite a bit of space and, at first glance, may seem a bit daunting. A closer inspection usually reveals due dates that are staggered, which means that the student must now prioritize the workload. It is not enough to refer to the website daily and use that as the homework sheet. No time is being allocated for long-term projects, test review, or work that is expected to take several nights to complete.

For many students, this is the juncture where “high tech” should join forces with “old school.”  Enter the student planner or some other form of a calendar. By transferring the information from the school website portal into their own calendar, the student can then begin to plan for the successful completion of all assignments.

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Topics: Education, Academics, Parenting Tips

The Benefits of Student Participation in Community Service

Posted by Olivia Civiletti on January 26, 2018 at 12:30 PM

The benefits that come from supporting one's community are ageless. Community service fosters empathy for people with different needs and encourages good deeds in every aspect of life. No matter the age, students should have the opportunity to experience the sense of fulfillment gained through community service.

The efforts of even one person can be invaluable when it comes to volunteering. Just one student can mobilize a task force, raise money, or advocate for a cause with stunning results. Students are uniquely qualified to take up such a cause as they have access to a serviceable community and willing participants. Schools can provide many outlets for volunteering such as service clubs and fundraising groups. This is an easy way for students to get started helping their community without having to break from their routines.

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Topics: Education, Health & Wellness, Community

What to Look for When Choosing a High School

Posted by Olivia Civiletti on January 12, 2018 at 12:30 PM

sanford_school_high_school.jpgHigh School is one of the most important influences on the lives of adolescents. It becomes a student’s world at an age when they are still developing their identities, growing into adults, and learning about life. The teachers, students, and learning material serve to influence how teenagers think and view society as they adopt more responsible roles in their own lives. Something that has such a large impact on students' lives should be chosen with careful consideration. A student’s school should be welcoming and tailored to their needs with many exciting opportunities to take risks, make connections and be creative. There are many factors in this monumental decision to consider in order to get the most out of the experience, including:

Classroom sizes
Whether big or small, this choice should be influenced by a student’s learning style. If they do well working in groups with more peer input, having many classmates may be best suited to them. If they do better in a calmer environment with more personal attention from the teacher, a small number of classmates may be the right choice.

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Topics: Education, Admission, Community

Tips for a Healthy Holiday Routine for Children

Posted by Authored collaboratively by the Sanford Counseling Team on December 15, 2017 at 12:00 PM

The holiday break is finally here, giving our students time off from school to enjoy being home with family and friends. While breaks are intended to be a time for rest, they are also often a time of get-togethers that extend past bedtime, long car rides to visit relatives, and second (maybe third) helpings of holiday treats. As we interrupt our normal school and work schedules for a few weeks, it is important to pay attention to healthy routines for our bodies and our minds.

Hang up and hang out! Have you ever ignored your real-life family and friends in favor of phones or devices? Let’s face itwe’ve all been there. And without parental limits over break, our children and adolescents may be tempted to settle into hours of video games, TV, and social media. Take some time to work with your children to create a plan regarding screen time. Encourage everyone to put down those devices during family mealtimes and spend time telling stories or catching up on the day. The American Academy of Pediatrics has an interactive tool that can help you set appropriate expectations for electronics and media-based devices.

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Topics: Academics, Health & Wellness, Parenting Tips

The Hidden Benefits of Chores

Posted by Libbie Zimmer on December 1, 2017 at 12:15 PM
This past weekend, I raked the never-ending supply of leaves and prepared the yard for cooler weather. While working, I remembered a similarly warm autumn weekend when my son, William, was 10. I was dirty, sweaty, thirsty, and tired from the outdoor chores, and found William cozily engrossed in a book. (One he'd read so many times, the spine was no longer intact.)

With irritation in my voice, "Rather than reading that book again, please come help me with the chores!" William earnestly responded, "But mommy, you   like  working in the yard and I don't."  William's right. I do enjoy working in the yard and much of that joy blossomed at an early age when I "had to" do chores. Now, I fondly remember planting tulip bulbs with my dad in the fall, harvesting and "snapping" beans with my grandmother in the summer, and hauling firewood in the winter.
 
William's reply is important to me for three reasons:  
  • From a young age, he noticed his parents doing chores without complaint but with purpose.
  • As an adult, I connect even laborious childhood chores with some of my most vivid and positive childhood memories.
  • Chores at home fall into two categories:   want  tos  and   have  tos .
Work at school can also feel like a   want to  or a   have to. For instance, a child may like:
  • Calculating numbers but thinks   solving  word problems is arduous
  • Dumping out materials to build but prefers someone else pick up
  • Talking about ideas but doesn't like writing them on paper or via keyboard
  • Creating games on the playground but doesn't like  compromise
  • Being the line-leader but doesn't like being second in line
As parents and teachers, we work hard to keep things fun and exciting for our children, sometimes feeling like we haven't succeeded because our children are indifferent or unwilling. And, if not careful, we even adjust and appease rather than adhering to and restating the expectations.
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Topics: Health & Wellness, Parenting Tips

2 Ways Private School Can Be An Affordable Option

Posted by Jaime Morgan on November 17, 2017 at 3:59 PM

There are several ways to make a private school education an affordable option. 

One way is through need-based financial aid.
Prospective families are often surprised to learn that many higher-earning private school families receive some form of tuition assistance simply because the tuition costs are so high. For many (or most) families, it is a true sacrifice to send a child to private school.

A second option to help make tuition more affordable is through merit scholarships.
These scholarships do not take financial need into account. They simply allow your child to shine. Private schools approach merit scholarship awards in a variety of ways. Some schools will base decisions on standardized admission test scores. Others may look at a child’s academic success in the school they currently attend. Still, others may choose to look at the bigger picture. Luckily, we understand this and want to help. 

Learn About Sanford  Merit Scholarships

Why choose a PRIVATE SCHOOL?

  • Seemingly endless and individualized opportunities in arts, athletics, club activities, and leadership
  • Exciting and engaging academic programs
  • Small class sizes of motivated students
  • Teachers who love their work and care deeply about each student
  • State-of-the-art facilities on beautiful campuses.

While many children would thrive in an environment like this, often the high tuition cost is a significant obstacle for families—how can we pay for private school before our child even goes to college?

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Topics: Financial Aid, Affordability

Make the Most of Your Parent-Teacher Conferences

Posted by Christine Yasik on November 1, 2017 at 12:00 PM

The Parent-Teacher Relationship is Key in Your Child’s Success

A positive parent-teacher relationship is vital to a child’s success in school. Parent-teacher conferences provide an opportunity to strengthen the home and school communication. You and your child’s teachers are a team, and a conference is similar to a team huddle where a game plan for success is being reviewed and, if necessary, revised. Both the parents and the teacher are highly invested and interested adults who will use the meeting time to exchange information that will ensure that your child’s academic and social-emotional well-being are moving forward. This spirit of collaboration and cooperation between home and school will go far in enhancing your child’s opportunities for success. There are a few strategies that parents can do to ensure that your private time with your child’s teacher is used to its maximum benefit. 

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Topics: Education, Parenting Tips, Community

The Beginner’s Guide to Private School Open Houses

Posted by Tanya Graham on October 20, 2017 at 5:00 PM

From academics to athletics, teaching style to use of technology, and campus facilities to classroom culture, it’s important to get to know a school before you decide if it’s the right fit for your family. One of the best ways to do this is by visiting a school during an Open House.

WHAT is an Open House?

An Open House is an opportunity for multiple families to visit a school at the same time and see the full range of activities that a school offers, both in and outside of the classroom.

WHo should go to an open house?

An Open House is a family affair! Parents/guardians and prospective students are invited to attend an Open House. Typically schools treat Open House as an “all hands on deck” type of event, which means that teachers, coaches, parents, and current students will be available to talk about campus life, so bring anyone who might have questions about the school.

Register YOUR Family for   Sanford School's Open House   November 10, 2017 at 8:30 AM

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Topics: Admission

4 Ways Diverse Schools Benefit Kids

Posted by Tanya Graham on October 6, 2017 at 5:15 PM

Many schools take the time to highlight the amount of diversity on their campus, and with good cause: time and again research shows that all students benefit when the student body is diverse. Below are four reasons that it’s worth your while to take notice when schools affirm that diversity matters.

Reason 1: Working with people who are different than you builds problem-solving and critical thinking skills.
It’s easy to have a conversation if everyone agrees with you, but when classrooms include students from many different backgrounds and lifestyles then all of a sudden discussions get more interesting. Different people think differently and it takes significant mental work for students to listen and respond to those whose experiences aren’t the same as theirs. Doing these kinds of cognitive gymnastics—forcing themselves to consider new ideas and understand unique perspectives—means that students have more opportunities for intellectual growth. 

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Topics: Education, Community, Diversity

How to Help Your Child with Homework

Posted by Suzanne Humphreys, M.A. on September 22, 2017 at 11:30 AM

 Who likes to do homework? We all have work that we need to take home in different forms, but it helps us to prepare for our next day, week, or month. Most students have nightly work, preparations for projects or tests, which is designed to prepare children with the necessary skills to succeed at various levels of educational development. Daily homework should reinforce skills learned in the classroom and preparing for tests/projects should require time to plan and work.

Each student is a unique individual, and how and when he or she works needs to be specific to them. What may work for your first child may not work best for your second child. Plan, plan, plan and be sure to have a good home-and-school partnership to ensure success for each of your children.

Here are a few quick tips on how parents can help with homework:

  • Provide a quiet, distraction free work area such as a desk or table with good lighting and no distractions.
  • Routine time to work—it’s a good idea to schedule a similar time each day to do work so each child gets into a routine.
  • Help your child create a homework plan each night—if you know that one night is busier than others, help your student plan out how to get the work completed and/or work ahead for the next busy night. A visual calendar helps with this organization skill.
  • Parent-teacher partnership—know the expectations of your child's teachers so you can help reinforce those expectations at home.
  • Have the student do his or her own work—let’s face it, you’ve already completed the grade your child is currently enrolled in, so it is his or her turn to learn and do the work on their own.
  • Role modelif your child is working, you can be working too. You can be prepping for dinner, balancing your checkbook or completing any other adult work you may have.  This sets a great example of good work ethic for your child.
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Topics: Education, Academics