Education Matters—Sanford School's Private School Blog

Healthy Minds, Happy Kids

Posted by Authored collaboratively by the Sanford Counseling Team on February 16, 2018 at 12:30 PM

Beat the winter blues by getting high…naturally!

Sanford is looking forward to welcoming Dr. Matt Bellace to campus February 28th. Dr. Bellace is a psychologist, comedian, and passionate public speaker who has been involved in youth drug and alcohol prevention for many years. In his book, A Better High, he shares the acronym L.E.A.D., which lists four ways to focus on achieving a natural high. Today, we’re taking his LEAD to share our thoughts on natural highs.

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Topics: Health & Wellness, Parenting Tips

Using a Calendar as a Tool for Student Success

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

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

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

List of Back-to-School Essentials

Posted by Olivia Civiletti on August 25, 2017 at 11:30 AM

It’s that time of year! Though I am not talking about the holidays, the beginning of a school year also means a lot of shopping for parents. With the impressive amount of tasks that need to be accomplished, coming up with a comprehensive list of all that needs to be purchased for the upcoming academic year is something that most parents just don’t have time for. Here is a basic list to help guide any parent and child in their search for school supplies.

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Topics: Academics, Health & Wellness, Parenting Tips

Back To School Checklist

Posted by Olivia Civiletti on August 11, 2017 at 11:00 AM

Back-to-School Checklist

New shoes, sharp pencils, and fresh starts: the beginning of the school year offers students the opportunity to improve study habits, forge new relationships, and acquire new skills. It is a time of immense potential for discovery. As such, it is very important to hit the ground running. Not only does conscientious preparation enable a student to capitalize on this fresh start and avoid playing catch up for the rest of the year, but it also minimizes the back-to-school dread and angst some students experience.

Here is a checklist that can help to make this preparation easy and painless.

  • Buy Books
    Purchasing the upcoming year’s textbooks is obviously crucial to a student’s success in school. It is every child’s nightmare to show up to school already nervous only to realize that they don’t even have the right materials to succeed. This is a very simple task to accomplish early as there tend to be emails to parents or links on a school’s website regarding the purchasing of textbooks.
  • Do Summer Reading
    One sure way to win a teacher’s approval and ease the transition from summer to school is to make sure all of a student’s summer work is completed. Just check your summer work syllabus to make sure you have all of the work complete for the appropriate class before school starts and it will undoubtedly take a load off of your mind.
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Topics: Education, Parenting Tips

Best Apps for Kids for the Summer

Posted by Sandy Sutty on July 27, 2017 at 10:00 AM

Engage your kids in learning throughout the summer with a variety of experiences to help them to continue their growth and prevent learning loss. If you have a phone or tablet, apps can do more than keep them busy. It is important to select apps that engage your child, strengthen their skills, and promote learning. In addition, make sure to balance screen time with playtime to help your child to create a healthy relationship with technology. 

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Topics: Summer, Parenting Tips, STEM

Sleep Routine—One of the Best Gifts for Your Child This Holiday

Posted by Libbie Zimmer on December 20, 2016 at 3:20 PM

'Tis the season to be jolly!
As we plan holiday trips and travel, being mindful of children's sleep routines are equally, if not more important. As parents, the more we protect sleep routines, the happier the holiday celebrations will be. Consider the upcoming holiday hints to keep sleeping patterns a priority.

Be Realistic
Children are resilient and flexible to a point. Consider asking the host well in advance if festive evening events can be scheduled during an earlier family-friendly time. Otherwise, consider a babysitter, or simply make a plan that better suits your family.

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Topics: Health & Wellness, Parenting Tips

Choosing a Computer or Electronic Device For Your Child

Posted by Sanford Tech Team on December 9, 2016 at 12:36 PM

Macs…PCs…Chromebooks…iPads…tablets. Which of these devices is the best technology option for your child?

The answer to that question depends on several factors including:

  • Your child’s needs
  • Your child’s interests
  • Your budget

Your child’s needs
If you’re purchasing the equipment for your child to use in school and at home, check with the school to make sure that whatever you buy is suitable and permissible for use in the school. While some academic institutions which offer 1-to-1 programs require that all students use the same model computer or device, many schools allow students to bring the device of their choice to school. Keep in mind that student-owned devices may need to meet minimum mandatory requirements such as installation of a current operating system. Talk with your child’s teacher or someone from the information technology department before choosing a computer to help ensure that whatever device you purchase can be used on campus.

Your child’s interests
Is your child interested in using the device to play games, watch movies, listen to music, and engage in activities beyond academics? Or, will she use the computer for completing school assignments, surfing the Internet and checking email? Students whose computers will serve as media players and gaming stations will need faster and more powerful machines than children who use their devices solely for completing school work, sending and receiving email, and browsing the Internet.

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Topics: Parenting Tips, STEM