Skating & Pizza Day – January 15th

Thursday, January 15th. Click here to view the details on the school calendar.

January 2015 Newsletter

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2014-2015 Parent Contract & Registration Forms

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2014-2015 School Calendars

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Summer Camp 2014

The new forms for our summer camps are available.

Board Games That Increase Brain Power

Experts say board games can boost a slew of skills that help kids do better in school. And playing them as a family just ups the benefits—and the fun factor.

By Linda Rodgers

Games are great for kids for different reasons at different ages. For preschoolers, they’re a fun way to learn how to “follow rules, focus, take turns, and defer gratification, which helps with self-regulation, the basis of problem-solving and thinking creatively,” explains Peter J. Pizzolongo, the senior director of professional development at the National Association for the Education of Young Children. Board games also get bonus points for bringing families together (especially if family dinners are a rare occurrence) and for luring grade-schoolers away from the Wii. And all kids get lessons in decision- making (“Should I buy Boardwalk or save my money?”), consequences (“Ooops—no more cash!”), and strategic thinking (“If I swap two railroads for Boardwalk, I can start buying houses”).

So should you set up regular times to play or let your child set the agenda?

“Both,” says Pizzolongo. “Let your child come to you, but setting aside a special evening or afternoon gives her a ritual—and predictability and routines are important for kids.” For ideas on what to play, read on for the games that get the highest marks from experts.



This card game for two or more players can be aged up (the original, with words, numbers, and colors) or down (with Thomas the Tank Engine or Disney Princess characters), says Shannon Eis, a play and development expert and mom of two. It’s good for preschoolers to about age 8 or 9.

How you play it: Shuffle the deck of 108 cards and deal seven to each player. Put the rest of the cards in a pile, and turn one over. The card that’s face up is the start of the discard pile; the larger one is the pile you draw cards from. Each person must put down a card that’s either the same number or color as the card on the discard pile. There are also wild cards and cards that cause a person to skip her turn, draw more cards, and so on. The first player with no cards wins.

What it teaches kids: Paying attention is a crucial skill in school—and that’s just what preschoolers pick up when they focus on the cards and remember to play the same color (or character). Besides reinforcing numbers and colors, Uno also sharpens pattern recognition: your child won’t take algebra until eighth grade, but patterns will help her understand the relationship between objects and numbers, which is the basis of algebra. Older kids get lessons in logic, reasoning, and strategy by deciding which cards to throw down now and which to save for the next turn.

Uno, $5.78, from



This is another game that can be tailored to preschoolers who don’t yet know their letters or numbers, says Eis. You can buy versions that are just shapes, colors, or everyday objects (Zingo), or you can just cut out photos of things that fascinate your little one (cars, say, or animals) from catalogs. Kindergarteners on up can play the classic version with letters and numbers.

How to play: Each player gets a pile of tokens and a card divided into a 25-square grid with 24 numbers and a blank space in the middle and a row on top that spell out “BINGO.” The caller picks out numbers from a basket, and calls it out: “B-5,” for example, or “I-26.” The first player to fill up a row with tokens—either diagonally, horizontally, or vertically—shouts “Bingo!” and wins the game.

What it teaches kids: No matter which version you’re playing, your cutie’s listening and memory skills will get a workout. Another benefit: she’ll practice her ability to visualize shapes and objects (and later, letters and numbers) and then match them on her card, both of which are necessary for learning to read and do math.

Bingo, $5.32, from


Where is Sock Monkey?

A cross between Twenty Questions and Clue, this game gives wiggly preschoolers and young grade- schoolers a lesson in deductive reasoning and a chance to race around the house, says Sherry Artemenko, a speech therapist and creator of, an award-winning speech therapy site.

How to play it: One player hides the six-inch sock monkey (which comes with the game) while the other players close their eyes. When the hider returns, the players take turns drawing illustrated cards with yes or no questions—“Is the monkey in a room with a fridge?” “Is it in the living room?”—designed to uncover the monkey’s whereabouts. When a player draws the “Go look” card, she must race to a room to find the monkey before the timer goes off.

What it teaches kids: Your preschooler or kindergartner won’t be able to read the questions, but she can figure them out from the illustration—a decoding strategy that will come in handy when she learns to read. The game also gives her practice in asking questions, listening for the answers, following directions, and putting clues together—all crucial skills for the classroom.

Where Is Sock Monkey?, $16.99, from



Dominoes is another grade-school game that can be scaled down to the preschool level by buying tiles in colors, Disney characters, or animals, instead of the classic tiles marked with dots (like dice) from 0 to 6, says Eis, who’s also a contributor to Time to Play.

How to play it: Put the 28 tiles face down on a table and shuffle them. Each player draw seven tiles, and the rest are left in what’s known as the “boneyard.” The person with the highest double tile goes first, placing the domino on the table. The next player must match one of the halves with a tile containing the same number or character. If a player can’t make a match, she has to draw a tile from the boneyard. The player who gets rid of all the dominoes wins. Older kids can play for points—the first one to reach 50 or 100 wins the game.

What it teaches kids: Besides being a good way to get kids to recognize numbers or objects quickly, dominoes is also good at honing a kid’s ability to spot patterns, since that’s what you need to make a match. The game also sharpens critical thinking and strategy, since older kids must decide how to maximize the number of points.

Dominoes,$13.60, from


Richard Scarry’s Busytown Eye Found It

This 6-foot-long board game gets kudos from Artemenko and scores of Amazon users, who’ve made this preschool-friendly game based on cooperation (and the brilliant Busytown books by Richard Scarry) a bestseller.

How to play it: The object of the game is to get all the players onboard the ferry to Picnic Island to eat their lunch before the pigs gobble up the food. In order to do that, each player takes a turn at the spinner, and follows the directions—move four spaces, for instance, or lose a piece of food. When the spinner points to Goldbug, someone flips over the sand timer, and all the players band together to hunt for as many items of the object (shovels, say) listed on the Goldbug card before the sand runs out. Players get bonus moves depending on the number objects they’ve found on the board.

What it teaches kids: Teamwork pays off, and that’s a great lesson for a preschooler or kindergartner who’s learning how to work with classmates. The game also reinforces your child’s ability to recognize objects and match them on the board, hones her powers of observation, and gives her practice in associating categories with people and actions—for example, learning you’ll find shovels and hammers at a construction site.

Richard Scarry’s Busytown Game, $19.99, from


I Spy Ready to Read

Based on the I Spy books, this board game is actually five games in one, and is geared to kids ages 4 to 6. You may have to help your pre-reader with the riddles at first, says Eis.

How to play: Each player gets a card that has punch-out tokens on one side and four riddles on the other. In the simplest version of the game, players take turns reading from a riddle, finding the object, and punching out the token. After all the tokens are punched out, you can play the game in reverse: Read the riddle, find the object, and put it back in the card. Other versions of the game include a memory game, where kids look for pairs of objects that rhyme.

What it teaches kids: This is another matching game that helps kids practice their visual skills and letter recognition. But even better, this game is based on rhymes, which help your child become more aware of language structure by hearing the syllables in each word and sentence.

I Spy Ready to Read, $15.68, from


Connect Four/Connect 4 Launchers

Connect Four and Connect 4 Launchers (an updated version of the classic) provide the right type of challenge for your grade-schooler, who’s developmentally ready to become a better strategist, Eis explains. Yes, she’s still a sore loser (especially when she plays with you), but she’s also learning what she’ll need to do to win the game next time around.

How to play it: Connect Four is like a combo of tic-tac-toe and checkers for two players. Each player picks a color, gets their pile of 21 checkers, and then takes turn sliding a checker into a plastic grid. The player who gets four in a row—either horizontally, vertically, or diagonally—wins. Connect 4 Launchers lets players launch their checkers onto a two-tiered platform, adding a new element of challenge: Now your child has to send her checker flying in such a way that it hits the right spot on the grid.

What it teaches kids: To win the game, your child has to plan out her moves, so both versions sharpen her abilities to think critically and logically. Plus, she not only has to focus on what she’s doing, but on what her opponent is too—a skill known as divided attention.

Connect Four, $20.19,; Connect 4 Launchers, $26.18, from



If your child is too young or too impatient for Scrabble, get her started on this take-and-play-anywhere word game that’s great for kids 5 and up.

How to play it: Dump out the 144 letter-tiles face down on the table. Each player takes at least 21 tiles (fewer if you have more than four players) and, after someone yells “Split!”, starts to create her own crossword puzzle, racing to finish before the others. When you run out of tiles, yell, “Peel!” and everyone must pick a tile from the bunch in the middle. The player who uses up all the tiles wins— provided there are no more left in the bunch to pick from.

What it teaches kids: Like Scrabble, this fast-paced game is a reading, writing, spelling, and vocabulary booster.

Bananagrams, $14.95, from


Animal Mastermind Towers

Making and breaking codes appeal to your grade-schooler’s more advanced thinking skills, says Eis. Animal Mastermind Towers is a little-kid-friendlier version of the classic for children 5 to 7.

How to play it: In Animal Mastermind Towers, each player gets four animal tiles and a tower. Players stack the tiles so their opponent can’t see; then each takes turns asking yes or no questions (“Is the penguin above the hippo?”) to guess the order of the tiles. The object is to break your opponent’s code in the fewest number of turns. Older kids will love the classic Mastermind, which involves pegs of different colors.

What it teaches kids: Because your child must remember her opponent’s answers, Animal Mastermind Towers helps boost memory as well as deductive skills (“If the penguin isn’t below the hippo but above the giraffe, maybe the order is giraffe, penguin, hippo, lion!”). Making up a code teaches strategy, a useful skill for helping your child decide how to tackle any situation, in the classroom or on the playground.

Animal Mastermind Towers, $11.11, from


Angry Birds Knock on Wood

The smartphone version has been downloaded 350 million times, and if your 5- to 8-year-old is a fan, you might want to lure her offline for this hands-on, cooperative version.

How you play it: Like the app, the object of the game is to catapult birds at a structure and knock it down. Players work together to build the structures according to the directions on the mission cards; then each player takes a turn launching the birds with a slingshot.

What it teaches kids: Building the structures requires teamwork, which is great for kids learning to work together in small groups. Copying the structure from the cards means your child get practice following directions, recognizing patterns, and perfecting her fine-motor skills.

Angry Birds Knock on Wood, $33.50, from



By the time your child is in third grade, she’s mastered the basics, so what she needs now are games that teach her patience, persistence, and flexibility, says Eis.

How to play it: Players scoot along the board, buying up property, building houses, and amassing as much play-money cash as possible. The object is to become the richest player by bankrupting your opponents. Along the way are chance cards that can change a player’s luck. Monopoly Junior is a scaled-back version for kids 5 to 8, with amusement park rides and ticket booths instead of properties and houses.

What it teaches kids: Besides giving kids practice in making change, Monopoly is a fun way to teach such grown-up concepts as saving, budgeting, and financial planning. Plus the random element (“Go directly to jail!”) teaches your child how to adapt to sudden changes.

Monopoly, $17.77, from


Rory’s Story Cubes

Sometimes it’s good to play open-ended games that don’t involve winning. This game has the added benefit of getting your child ready to write more complex stories, says Artemenko. It’s recommended for kids 8 and up, but younger ones can play too.

How to play it: The game comes with nine six-sided cubes, all of which have a sketch—aliens, eyes, keys, chat balloons, wands, flashlights, and more—on each side. Roll the cubes and make up a story based on the sketches that appear face up.

What it teaches kids: The sketches are abstract enough that your child can interpret them any way she wants, which is great for spurring her imagination. She’ll also learn to create stories with beginning, middles, and endings, turn something abstract into something more concrete, and how to spin an entertaining story.

Rory’s Story Cubes, $6.86, from



This game, unlike any other, helps a child visualize a grid as she figures out how to sink her opponent’s ships, explains Eis. You can even play the game with pencil, paper, and graph paper. A two-person game, it’s best for kids 8 and older.

How to play it: Each player gets a board with two grids—one for keeping track of her opponent and the other for hiding ships—five ships of different lengths, and two different colored pegs. Players take turns firing of their shots: You call out a number and letter on the grid. Your opponent must say if you’ve scored a hit or missed; you mark each miss with a white peg and each hit with a red one. The player who sinks all her opponent’s ships first, wins.

What it teaches kids: It takes a certain amount of cunning to hide all five ships in such a way that make them difficult to find, so logic, planning, and reasoning all come into play here, as do deductive powers, problem-solving, and memory.

Battleship, $29.99, from



Teachers and child education experts love Scrabble, which is why you’ll find it in every classroom, especially once your child hits third and fourth grades.

How to play it: Place all 100 letter-tiles in a bag, and let each player get seven tiles, which are arranged on a tile board. Players take turns creating words on the board; one letter of each new word must connect to a previous word. Since each letter is worth a certain amount of points, the object is to create words with the highest point value. The player with the most points wins.

What it teaches kids: Not only does Scrabble help your child with reading, vocabulary, and spelling, but it teaches math (she has to keep adding up her points), problem-solving and strategy (she has to plot how to get the biggest bang from a word), and is great for boosting her attention span and long- term memory, which help her test-taking and study skills.

Scrabble, $12.26, from

Experts say board games can boost a slew of skills that help kids do better in school. And playing them as a family factor.


Quirky Discipline Rules That Work

Tired of nagging and scolding? Try these 7 surprising solutions

By Barbara Rowley

I’ve made a lot of bad rules in the decade I’ve been a mom, from irrational threats (“No graham crackers in the house ever again if you eat them in the living room even one more time”) to forbidding human nature (“You may not fight with your sister”). But occasionally I’ve come up with rules that work better than I’d ever contemplated. These made-up rules have an internal logic that defies easy categorization, but their clarity and enforceability make them work. Several of them are not, technically, rules at all, but declarations of policy or fact. And they’re all easy to remember. A few personal favorites, plus those of other moms:

Rule #1: You can’t be in the room when I’m working unless you work, too

Goal: Get your child to help, or stop bugging you, while you do chores

It might seem odd, but I don’t mind doing laundry, cleaning floors, or really any kind of housework. But I do mind my kids, oblivious to the fact that my arms are full of their underwear, asking me to find their missing doll shoe or do a puzzle with them. Until recently, this was a source of great frustration, especially when our household grew to five kids when my husband, Taylor, and I became temporary foster parents for two months.

I tried to explain to my expanded brood that if they helped me fold laundry, we could do something together sooner. But they knew I’d be available anyway if I finished folding myself, so the argument wasn’t compelling.

And then one day, as my oldest foster daughter sat and watched me work, asking me favors and waiting for me to be done, I came up with a rule that takes into account two important facts about kids:

* They actually want to be with you as much as possible.

* You can’t force them to help you in any way that is truly helpful.

I played fact one against fact two and told her that she didn’t have to help me but couldn’t just sit and watch. She had to go elsewhere. Given a choice between being with me and folding laundry or not being with me at all, she took option one.

Why it works: I didn’t care which she chose. And it was her choice, so it gave her control even as it took it away.

No more late nights

Rule #2: I don’t work past 8 p.m.

Goal: Regular bedtimes and time off for you

You can’t just announce a rule to your husband and kids that says, “Bedtime has to go really smoothly so I can get a break at the end of the day.” It won’t happen. But if you flip the problem and make a rule about you instead of telling everyone what they have to do, it all falls neatly  — and miraculously  — into place.

When this occurred to me, back when my oldest was 6 and my youngest was nearly 2, I announced to Anna and Taylor that the U.S. Department of Labor had just created a new rule and I was no longer allowed to do any kind of mom jobs past 8:00 in the evening. I would gladly read books, play games, listen to stories of everyone’s day, give baths — the whole mother package — before then. Then I held firm — I acted as if it were out of my hands. Sort of like Cinderella and midnight.

Suddenly, my 6-year-old (and my husband) developed a new consciousness of time. My daughter actually rushed to get ready for bed just after dinner so that we could have lots of books and time together before I was “off.” My husband, realizing that if things dragged past 8:00 he’d have to face putting both girls to sleep himself, became more helpful. Anna’s now 11, and my hours have been extended, but the idea that I’m not endlessly available has been preserved and integrated into our family routine.

Rule #3: You get what you get, and you don’t throw a fit

Goal: No more haggling — over which pretzel has more salt or who gets their milk in the prized red cup and who in the cursed green, or which cast member of Blue’s Clues adorns whose paper plate.

My friend Joyce, director of our town’s preschool, told us about this terrific rule, now repeated by everyone I know on playgrounds and at home. Not only does it have a boppy rhythm that makes it fun to say, but it does good old “Life isn’t fair” one better by spelling out both the essential truth of life’s arbitrary inequities and the only acceptable response to the world’s unfairness: You don’t throw a fit.

When I first heard this, I was skeptical. It seemed too simple. But to my utter surprise, not only did it do the trick but kids seemed to rally around it almost with relief. They must have seen that if it applied to them today it might apply to someone else tomorrow.

Why it works: It’s irrefutable — it almost has the ring of runic or prehistoric truth to it — and rather than focusing on an abstract notion like “fairness,” it speaks directly to the situation at hand.

Rule #4: Take that show on the road

Goal: Peace and quiet

Is it just me or does someone saying “one-strawberry, two-strawberry, three-strawberry” over and over in a squeaky voice make you want to smash some strawberries into a pulpy mess? I want my kids to be gleefully noisy when they need and want to be. But I don’t feel it’s necessary that I be their audience/victim past a few minutes or so, or that I should have to talk (shout?) over their, um, joyous clamor when I’m on the phone. So once I’ve shown attention adequate to their display, I tell them that they’re free to sing, bang, chant, or caterwaul to their hearts’ content, just not here. The same goes for whining, tantrums, and generic pouting.

For the irrational and long-winded whining jags sometimes used by her 4-year-old son, my friend Denise has turned this rule to a pithy declaration: “I’m ready to listen when you’re ready to talk.” She then leaves the room.

Why it works: It gives children a choice rather than a prohibition and does so without rejecting them.

No money, no problems


Rule #5: We don’t argue about money

Goal: Short-circuit begging and pleading for stuff

This rule has to be enforced consistently to work, but the basic deal is that you can tell your child yes or no on any requested purchase, but you don’t discuss it. If your child protests, s mply repeat, calmly, like a mantra, that you won’t argue about money. The key to success is that you have to have the courage of your convictions and not argue. Thus the calm repetition.

It cuts both ways, though: When your kids want to spend their “own” money, point out potential mistakes and give advice on the purchase if you’d like, but at the end of the day, don’t overrule them unless it’s a matter of health or safety. After all, you don’t argue about money. They may make some bad choices, but they’ll learn. And you’ll all enjoy shopping together a lot more.

Why it works: It shifts the focus from the whined-for treat to financial policy. You’re almost changing the topic on them, no longer debating why they should or shouldn’t have gum or some plastic plaything and, instead, invoking a reasonable-sounding family value.


Rule #6: I can’t understand you when you speak like that

Goal: Stopping whining, screaming, general rudeness

This one requires almost religious consistency of application to work effectively. But, essentially, you simply proclaim incomprehension when your child orders (rather than asks) you to do something, whines, or otherwise speaks to you in a way you don’t like. Whispering this helps; it takes the whole thing down a notch on the carrying-on scale. This is a de-escalation tool, so calmly repeat the rule a few times and don’t get lured into raising your voice. A child who’s whining or being rude is clearly seeking attention and drama, so use this as a way to provide neither.

Why it works: It empowers your child by suggesting he has something valuable to say (if he says it nicely) and allows you to completely invalidate (i.e., ignore) the rude presentation.

Rule #7: There’s no such thing as boredom

Goal: Prevent your child from saying “I’m bored”; teach her to entertain herself

A friend of mine says this is one of the few things he got right with his kids. The first time his older daughter claimed she was bored he simply denied that the thing existed. Now he sometimes adds: “There’s no such thing as boredom, only failure of the imagination” or “…only mental laziness.” Surprisingly he’s never gotten the “There is too boredom!” argument, only an exasperated “Da-ad.” Regardless of the phrasing, the result is the same: The burden of amusement lands directly on your child, which is precisely where you want it.

Why it works: By the time your kids have figured out the puzzle of how something that exists can also not exist, they won’t be bored. Also, it changes the terms of debate, from a challenge for you (list all my toys, then cave in and let me watch TV) to one for them. Besides  — if your child learns how to entertain herself, there truly is no such thing as boredom. And that’s a gift that will last all her life.

Open House March 4, 5 & 6th

NHCDS will have Open House, March 4, 5 & 6 at 9:30 AM.  Join us to learn about our programs, observe classrooms, tour and gather information for your child’s next school year.

Registration for the 2014-15 School Year

Registration letters for Elementary have been sent home, preschool information will be available on Feb. 17th.  Please take time to read over registration information and register your child for next year.  Registration is on a first come basis, so don’t delay!

No More Whining!

By Julie Tilsner

No-More-WhiningWhen it comes to torture, we could all learn a thing or two from kids. Who knows better than they how to extract most anything they want within minutes of applying the technique? I’m talking about whining, of course — that grating mewling that causes us to do anything (anything!) just to make it go away. But you can break the habit. And the rewards of victory can be rich for both of you.


Why they do it: Early talkers whine like babies cry. Some experts say that whining tends to peak in a child’s development when she’s feeling out of control and overwhelmed — emotions that pretty much sum up toddlerhood. She lacks the vocabulary to articulate her frustrations, and that whimpering is the natural default noise.

Certain triggers, such as hunger and fatigue, can also cause breakdowns (true for kids of all ages), so keep that in mind the next time you take your toddler grocery shopping close to naptime.

How to stop it: Patience becomes the first rule when confronted with these early bouts of whining. When her son, Matthew, who’s almost 3, melts down because he can’t wait ten more minutes for dinner, Rae Sullivan of Durham, North Carolina, gives him a little extra attention, like five minutes of lap or snuggle time. Those five minutes are well spent if it means she can finish cooking without another whinefest. Tossing him a few crackers to eat in the meantime doesn’t hurt, either.

“A lot of toddlers don’t even know they’re whining,” says Sheila Oliveri, a mom of three and a nursery school teacher in St. Louis. So give your little complainer an exaggerated demonstration: “Whyyyyyy are you taaaalkingg like thaaaaaat?” The result will be twofold: “You’ll show her exactly how irritating whining is,” says Oliveri, “and you may make her laugh, which will make her forget why she was complaining in the first place.”

Or try recording your child. Play it back to her so she knows what she sounds like, and work with her on better ways to ask for the things she wants or needs.


Why they do it: Like toddlers , the 3-to-5 set has a low threshold for frustration. Plus, they’re going through a lot of changes — such as starting school, facing a new baby sib, or graduating to a big-kid bed-that make them extra hungry for your attention, even if it’s the negative kind.

How to stop it: The great thing about preschoolers is that they can still be distracted by a clever trick. For instance, Debbie Granick of St. Louis uses a “whine” cup, or bowl or bucket or whatever’s at hand. “Whenever one of them starts, I say, ‘Here, go pour out your whine and bring me your regular voice.’ It gets a smile, or at least that ‘Oh, Mom’ look, and then they’ll usually change their tone.” She then
thanks her child for using a “pleasant” voice.

Or whisper your answer back. “You may have to whisper it several times, but your child will have to be quiet to hear you, and a lot of times he’ll mimic your tone of voice,” says Karen Shaffer, a mom of three in Highland, California.

By the time they’re 4, most kids are able to understand that their behavior has consequences. So you can start using the “I can’t understand you when you whine” technique.

“When my children complain, I say, ‘I’m sorry, but when you talk in that voice, I can’t understand anything you’re saying. Use your normal voice and I’ll try to listen to you.’ Then I ignore them until they start to comply,” says Audrey Smith, a mom of two in Long Beach, California. It works, she says, but you have to be as consistent as possible.

And that’s not easy, as we all know. Who among us hasn’t caved in? Trouble is, if your child sees you can be broken, he’ll simply up the ante, and your whining problem will be worse.

Besides being consistent, look for ways to reinforce the behavior you do want, like thanking him when he repeats his request in a polite tone.


Why they do it: Besides whining when they’re tired or hungry, kids grumble when they’re asked to do things they don’t want to do (insert your chore of choice) or when they’re bored. Whining is learned behavior, and by the time a kid is in elementary school, she’s a pro.

How to stop it: Some moms swear by sending their child to the “whine” room as soon as she starts. Sending her away-to the corner of the living room, say, and letting her vent aloud to herself-spares you from having to listen to it and may help the offender understand what she sounds like.

Shaffer has another tactic when her school-age kids start in. “Every whine costs them a nickel, to be deposited in a special jar,” she says. “Then we give the money to the charity box at church on Sunday.”

When you’re out in public, you can head off most whining by establishing some rules before you leave. My two kids know that there’s every possibility of a small candy or sticker purchase if they make Mommy’s trip to Target as pleasant as possible. They also know that the moment they start complaining in that tone of voice, the deal’s off. Sometimes my 5-year-old slips up, but my 8-year-old has this rule down cold.

It bears keeping in mind that everyone whines — moms and dads, too. But our kids model their behavior on ours, so the next time you’re griping about soccer-practice schedule, take a minute to listen to yourself and then go put a nickel in the whine jar. Your child will be impressed.

Holiday Recorder Concert – New Horizons Country Day School

Holiday Recorder Concert

Wednesday, December 18th | Time: 2:30 PM


Holiday Recorder Concert

Au Clair De La Lune – French Folk Song
Played by Beginners and Intermediates

Good King Wenceslas – English Carol
Played by Beginners and Intermediates

Jingle Bells – American Thanksgiving Carol
Played by Beginners, Intermediates & Advanced

An Olde English Carol – Traditional 18th Century
Played by Intermediates & Advanced

Ode To Joy – Ludwig van Beethoven
Played by Advanced players
O’Come Little Children – Traditional German Carol
Soloist – Ryan Tingley
Sung by all!

All Through The Night – Welsh Fold Song
Played by Advanced players

The Dreidel Song – Traditional Hanukkah Song
Played by Advanced players

Bring A Torch, Jeanette, Isabella – French Traditional Carol
Played by Advanced players

Silent Night—Austrian Carol
Played by Advanced players

Rahther Jolly Olde St. Nicholas – American Carol
Played by Advanced players


Healthy Lunchbox Tips

lunchboxTry these easy ideas for quick brown bag nutrition.

By Elizabeth M. Ward, MS, RD
WebMD Feature

Lunch often gets lost in the hustle and bustle of getting kids off to school in the morning. You may prefer to give your child money for lunch rather than pack a midday meal. But it’s worth reconsidering bag lunches because they often far healthier than standard cafeteria fare.

To make sure your child actually eats the healthy lunches you provide, try this advice from Hillary Wright, MEd, RD, a Boston-based nutritionist at Harvard Vanguard Medical Associates and the mother of three boys.

Make the Grade With Lunch

“The most nutritious lunches include foods from at least three food groups, but that doesn’t mean children must have the traditional sandwich, fruit, and milk for good health,” says Wright. As long as youngsters eat a balanced and varied meal, it’s perfectly fine to pack hummus, whole-grain crackers, and yogurt or leftovers from last night’s dinner every day, as well as sandwiches.

The key is to respect your child’s eating style and preferences. Some kids derive comfort from eating the same foods day in and day out while others balk at it. Work with your child, Wright says, and your child is less likely to drop lunch in the playground trash bin.

Get Kids Involved

Allowing children to choose and prepare their own lunch piques interest in the meal and makes it more likely kids will eat their own creations. Let your young child help make lunch the night before school for greater ease in the morning. You can help guide your children to the proper portions and healthy choices of whole grains, protein, and produce. Keep in mind, most elementary school-aged children are allowed a midmorning snack. Account for that when considering the amount of food you provide for lunch.

Make sure you have healthy fare on hand for your child to choose:

  • Whole-grain breads or crackers
  • Peanut and almond butters
  • Light canned tuna fish
  • Raw vegetables that can be cut into slices
  • Fruits
  • Encourage the kids to make sandwiches with whole-grain breads or bagels; tortillas; or colorful wraps. Try different sandwich fillings, such as tabouli mixed with feta cheese in a pita pocket, or a veggie burger.

For even greater buy-in, Wright recommends these simple steps:

  • Let your children pick out their own lunchbox.
  • Consider insulated lunch bags with room for a small freezer pack that allows you to send foods that must be kept cold, such as dip for fresh vegetables, yogurt, and orange juice.
  • Or use larger lunch bags to avoid squishing foods.
  • Have on hand small sturdy plastic containers for cut fruit, vegetables, dip, and lunch foods other than sandwiches.

Practical Lunch Tips

A sandwich made with lean meat, light tuna fish, or peanut butter and jelly; fruit or vegetables; and milk or 100% juice is a fine meal for a growing child’s lunch. You can boost nutrition and tantalize a child’s taste buds by adding shredded carrot, chopped celery, or water chestnuts to egg salad or tuna salad. Combine chopped grapes with diced chicken and mayonnaise for a tasty chicken salad. And don’t forget this popular standby: Add a sliced banana or apple to peanut butter sandwiches.

Here are some other yummy and easy lunches that use foods from at least three of the food groups:

  • Tortilla wraps with shredded cheese, chopped chicken, and cut vegetables
  • Egg salad, whole-wheat bagel, and fruit
  • Whole-grain roll with butter or margarine, 2 hard boiled eggs, and carrot sticks
  • 8 ounces of low-fat yogurt, whole-wheat crackers, and fruit
  • 1-2 tablespoons of peanut butter, whole-grain crackers or bagel, and fruit or vegetables
  • 1/2 cup low-fat cottage cheese or hummus, whole-grain crackers, and cherry tomatoes
  • Bean-based soup or stew in a thermos, whole-grain roll with butter or margarine, and dried fruit
  • 1-2 slices leftover thin crust cheese pizza and fruit or vegetables

Make It a Snap

“Children may have as little as 20 minutes to make it to the cafeteria, find their seats, eat, and clean up after themselves, so ease is the name of the game,” Wright says. At some schools, kids eat on the playground, distracted by playing games.

So user-friendly foods are a must for lunch, especially for younger children who easily dismiss hard-to-eat foods that take time to get ready to eat. For example, older kids may be capable of peeling oranges and eggs in a flash, but younger ones are not. Sending a thermos? Make sure your child knows how to use it. Children with braces or other orthodontic devices often do better with foods like applesauce rather than whole apples, and prefer crackers or bread to bagels and bulky rolls, which are difficult to bite.

What’s to Drink?

Milk and fortified 100% fruit juice are the best drinks for children at lunch, in that order. Up until age 9, kids need three 8-ounce glasses of milk every day, or an equivalent such as three cuts of yogurt. By their 9th birthday, they require four servings a day. Milk is one of the easiest ways for kids to meet their need for dairy foods. Encourage milk at school by providing milk money or packing containers of milk in the lunchbox. To make it a treat, offer low-fat chocolate milk. If you child refuses to drink milk at school, opt for 100% fruit juice fortified with calcium and vitamin D.

Don’t Forget Fun

Every kid clamors for junk food, and an outright ban rarely works. So offer healthier alternatives. Pack these fun foods for a healthy treat:

  • Baked potato chips
  • Homemade toasted pita bread chips
  • Pretzels
  • Trail mix or raisins
  • Whole-grain cereal
  • Nuts or soy nuts
  • A smattering of chocolate chips
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Graham crackers
  • Fig bars


Recipes for… Sandwiches and Munchies

recipes-3Mozzarella and Tomato

This simple sandwich is a cinch to make and pack. Prepare it the night before and give the flavors a chance to mingle.

Tuna Salad

Our tuna salad recipe is sure to be your child’s new favorite sandwich stuffing.

Chicken and Fruit Salad

With chunk white-meat chicken and sweet fruit, this sandwich filler will be a lunchtime favorite.

Turkey-Meatball Pitas

Lean turkey and an easy-to-handle pita make this healthy sandwich fun to eat.

Ham and Cheese Pitas

Update the classic sandwich by swapping out bread for crisp pita.

Turkey-Melon Wraps

Your kids will love the sweet cantaloupe that transforms a typical turkey sandwich.

Garden Turkey Sandwich with Lemon Mayo

Liven up a traditional turkey sandwich and create a lunch your kids will love.

Falafel Sandwiches

This fun-to-eat sandwich is easily made, packed, and enjoyed.

Healthy Makeover Meatloaf

Use leftovers from this double-duty recipe to create a kid-friendly sandwich.

Baked Honey-Lime Drumsticks

With this recipe, it’s easy to make your kids feel extra-special at lunchtime.

Fish and Chips

This lightened-up version will give your kids a favorite meal with less fat.

Mini Corn Dogs

This lunchtime munchie scores extra credit for its healthy update.

Recipes for…Soups, Chips, and Dips

Chicken Noodle Soup

Send your kids off to school with a thermos of this hearty soup. Be sure to pack their favorite crackers for dunking.

Three-Bean Vegetable Chili

When your kids tire of the same old sandwich, pack this vegetarian chili.

Chicken Chili with Green Salsa

Slightly spicy, this chili is a fun departure from an ordinary lunch.

Corn and Tomato Chowder

Have your kids enjoy this mild soup with tortilla chips.

Vegetable Soup

Thanks to this tasty soup, getting your kids to eat their veggies has never been easier.

recipes-2Romano-Cheese Flatbread Crisps

These yummy crisps are the perfect companion for a tasty dip like hummus.

Parmesan Pita Crisps

Give your kids a healthy alternative to potato chips. Baked crisps have all the crunch without the fat.


Fill a piece of Tupperware with a scoop of hummus, veggie sticks, and pita strips.

Perfect Guacamole

Holy guacamole! Your kids will love dipping baked tortillas into this mildly spiced classic recipe.

Cheesy Salsa Dip and Peanut-Butter-Ginger Dip

Cut up your child’s favorite veggies and pack them along with these tasty dips.

Recipes for…Healthy Desserts

Almond Macaroon Fingers

recipes-1A sweet treat like these cookies are the highlight of your child’s lunch hour.

Brownie Bites

Your child works hard all day. Give him or her a sweet reward with these rich brownies.

Figgy Bars

Skip the prepackaged bars and make your own lunchbox-friendly healthy treat.

Lemon Meringue Drops

Light and tangy, these sunny cookies are the perfect afternoon pick-me-up.

Whole-Grain Ginger Snaps

Better-for-you whole-grain cookies are a great choice for a healthy lunchbox.

Whole Wheat Sugar Cookies

Add chocolate chips or other favorite mix-ins to this healthier cookie dough.

Peanut Butter and Jam Bars

This hearty treat is perfectly packable. Experiment with different flavors of preserves.

Apple Crumb Squares

All the taste of pie, in easy-to-pack squares.

Read more: School Dessert Ideas – Best Healthy After Lunch Snacks & Desserts – Good Housekeeping

Teaching kids to eat healthfully starts with smart shopping

eat-healthyTeaching kids to eat healthfully starts with smart shopping. Fortunately, supermarkets are recognizing Americans’ interest in healthy eating, and there are plenty of healthy and good-tasting foods in almost every aisle of your favorite market. Getting the kids involved in navigating the store aisles to find the healthy stuff can not only be fun, it will help them to develop healthy eating patterns for life.

EatingWell’s handy shopping guide is the first stop to better nutrition, better value, and maybe even to putting a little healthy fun in your weekly shopping trip.

Produce Section

Go for variety. Buying the fruit and vegetables your children like assures that they’ll eat plenty of them but what about trying the ones they’ve never even heard of? How about jicama, papaya, tomatillos, mango or even artichokes? It’s always a good idea to look for what’s in season: it will be fresher and may even pack in some extra nutrients.

Prewashed and peeled veggies, such as mini carrots or celery sticks, make great snacks. Apples, pears, peaches, oranges and bananas are lunchbox-ready, but any fruit is easy to pack, simply cut it up and put it into little single-serving containers.

Cereal Aisle

It’s no secret that prime real estate in the cereal aisle is at children’s eye level, so they can easily spot the sugary cereals and beg Mom and Dad to buy them. Try to resist there are plenty of healthier options that still satisfy a sweet tooth. Be sure to look for whole- grain cereals high in fiber (5 grams or more) or cereals that have less than 9 grams of sugar per serving.

Juice aisle

Only buy 100% juice and avoid other beverages that include such ingredients as “high-fructose corn syrup,” “artificial color” and “artificial flavor.”

Soda aisle

Keep walking. But, if your kid loves the fizz and carbonation, grab some flavored seltzer waters they have 0 calories and 0 sugar. Or make your own spritzer by adding add a splash of 100% fruit juice to seltzer.

Dairy section

Choose low-fat dairy options over whole milk and full-fat varieties; they usually have all the same nutrients and benefits without all the fat. Individual packs of cottage cheese and yogurt make great snacks, as do low-fat string cheese and individually wrapped cheese squares. Yogurts can be high in added sugar, so be sure to read the label and pick those with little added sugar. Take advantage of lunchtime as a great opportunity to give your kids natural sources of calcium.

Snack-food aisle

This can be a tough aisle with all the options out there: a zillion potato chips, pizza-flavored tortilla chips and sugar-laden cookies and bars with new ones filling the shelves every day. Weeding out the good from the bad is a challenge but here are some tips to get you started:

  • Go for baked instead of fried potato chips or corn chips.
  • Limit portion size 1-ounce portion is plenty.
  • Avoid trans fats – you’ll find it on the nutrition label.
  • Chose whole-wheat pretzels or crackers over non-whole-grain varieties.

Grab some all-natural granola bars as well; look for ones that contain whole grains, nuts, seeds and pieces of dried fruit.

Frozen section

Bags of frozen fruit and vegetables can come in handy when you’re out of fresh produce. Pack a small container of frozen berries alongside a cup of yogurt for a quick mix-in. Frozen veggies in a quick stir-fry at dinner can be packed for an easy lunch the next day.

Must-Have Kid-Friendly Kitchen


Keep a variety of washed fruits on the counter for quick snack options:

  • Bananas-look for miniature bananas, they’re the perfect size!
  • Apples
  • Clementines or mandarin oranges
  • Blueberries
  • Strawberries
  • Plums
  • Pears



  • Nuts-All nuts are healthy but nuts in their shell have the added benefits of giving the eater something to do to help prevent mindless eating; try unshelled peanuts or pistachios. Other nuts, such as almonds, pecans, cashews, are all healthy options that deliver 160-170 calories per ounce. Dried and toasted soy nuts are another option.
  • Dried fruit – raisins, apricots, figs, blueberries, pineapple, craisins
  • Trail mix-either homemade or store-bought
  • Cereal-It’s not just for breakfast add it to homemade trail mix or just put it in a small container to snack on; granola or whole-grain varieties are best.
  • Whole-grain snack crackers
  • Granola bars made from whole grains and without high-fructose corn syrup
  • Fruit leather made from 100% fruit; it’s not the same as eating the real thing, but it’s darn close. How can you be sure it’s fruit leather? Pureed fruit should appear as the first ingredient.
  • Whole-wheat bread and wraps
  • Baked snack chips and pretzels, preferably whole-grain varieties

Veggie chips/sticks: They crunch like potato chips, but are made from vegetables like squash, spinach and tomatoes.



  • Low-fat (1-2%) milk or soymilk
  • 100% fruit and vegetable juice (look for low-sodium varieties of vegetable juice)

Flavored seltzer water


  • Cups of low-fat fruit yogurt and cottage cheese
  • Drinkable yogurt smoothies
  • Fat-free puddings
  • Low-fat string cheese

Individually wrapped squares and wheels of low-fat cheese


  • Sliced bell peppers
  • Grape tomatoes
  • Celery and baby carrots
  • Low-fat dressings or dip for veggies

Bagged, premade salads


  • Raspberries, blueberries, strawberries
  • Sliced fruit – pineapple, melons, mangoes or apples



  • Sliced roasted turkey or chicken breast
  • Hard-boiled eggs



  • Jelly/jams/preserves with no added high-fructose corn syrup
  • Premade vegetable sushi

Jarred salsa


  • Frozen fruit – bags of berries or any other cut-up fruit
  • Low-fat pizza rolls
  • Individual cups of ice cream

100% fruit popsicles

Weekend Collaboration – Working with your kids to pack snacks they’ll actually eat

Involving children in the process of making food gives them ownership over what they put in their mouths and can lead to healthier food choices in the long run. Make snacks with them in advance that can be stored and packed in their lunches another day. Try making some of our fun and easy recipes with your kids today.

Reprinted with permission from EatingWell Magazine.

Top 5 Worst Lunch Foods For Kids

From fake fruit to carcinogenic chicken, how to avoid lunchtime’s worst pitfalls — and what to feed your kids instead.

Fruit Snacks

Nix it: Dentists hate them because they’re the number one cause of tooth decay. Parents hate them because they’re filled with artificial colors and flavors. But kids love them—of course. And why wouldn’t they? They’re basically candy with a health halo. Despite being labeled with the word “fruit,” most fruit snacks contain very little, if any, actual fruit. Even fruit snacks that do contain real fruit (and no, “fruit juice” doesn’t count) are missing the satiating fiber and water that comes with whole fruit.

Fix it: Grapes, berries, and peeled tangerines are just as finger-food friendly as fruit snacks, and most kids love the taste. And hey, raisins are nature’s fruit snacks!

Packaged Desserts

Nix it: Nobody sends a Ho-Ho, Twinkie, or Honey Bun to school with their child because they think it’s healthy. We let our kids have them because they love them, and we love treating our kids. And what mom out there hasn’t holed up with a Swiss Roll and a glass of milk during naptime every once in awhile? Unfortunately, snack cakes are one of the worst sources of trans fats, the man-made fats that experts agree are the worst type of fat to eat. In fact, the USDA advises completely avoiding trans fats as part of a healthy diet.

Fix it: I’m just going to be the bad guy and say it: Kids don’t need dessert at every meal. Treats should be a treat, not a staple. That said, for times when you do want to send something sweet, there are lots of dessert options. Try making cookies from scratch (cheaper than a mix and just as easy, I promise!) and saving them in the freezer to serve one at a time. Make them with your kids, and you get quality time, too!

Juice Boxes

Nix it: Anyone who’s ever handed a kid a juice box in the car only to watch them power wash the upholstery with it knows that those conveniently packaged sugary drinks can be dangerous. But it turns out they can be dangerous for your child’s health, too. Sugar is sugar—even if it is fruit sugar—and when it’s in commercially juiced form, it’s missing all the fiber that makes the original fruit so filling. While juice is delicious, nobody needs to drink it.

Fix it: You don’t have to ban juice forever, but try to save it for special occasions and encourage kids to get their servings of fruit from whole fruits. If your kids have a texture issue, you can always preserve the fiber and vitamins by juicing the fruit yourself or making smoothies with whole fruits, yogurt and ice.


 Nix it: Who doesn’t love the crunchy, buttery goodness of a cracker? Unfortunately, most of them are nutritionally void. Serving crackers made from white flour and preservatives that are cooked in unhealthy oils will leave your child tired and cranky.

Fix it: There’s a difference between 100% whole grain products and those “made with whole grain” so experts advise reading the labels and looking for brands with a short list of ingredients and at least three grams of fiber. Instead of crackers, try subbing in 100% whole grain pita pockets or naan cut into small pieces.

Lunch Meats

Nix it: Don’t you hate it when “experts” tell you that your favorite food is killing you? (Hello, cookies!) Yet when it comes to lunch meats, your food might actually be, well, killing you. Before you get all up in arms about ditching this lunch staple, the only lunch meats I’m talking about are the ones processed with nitrates. Nitrates and nitrites are food preservatives that do a much better job of preserving food than they do people. Research shows that people who eat nitrate-packaged foods including lunch meat, hot dogs, chicken nuggets, and jerky drastically increase their risk of heart disease and certain cancers.

Fix it: Try to steer clear of processed meats and when you do buy packaged lunch meat, hot dogs and the like, buy the preservative-free varieties. Be sure to read the labels as just having the word “natural” on the package doesn’t mean a thing. They may be a little bit more expensive, but it’s worth it!

Read more: 5 Worst Lunch Foods For Kids – Healthy Lunch Options – Redbook

Harvest Festival, Coming Soon!

palm-harbor-harvest-festivalOctober 31, 2013 from 9:30 to 11:30am.

Volunteers needed. Please see your child’s teacher if you can help.

Quality Education, Work Ethic & Character Development

30 years! Congrats! Our son, Clay, attended New Horizons Country Day School about 24 years ago! He’s since graduated with an Elect. Engineering Degree….and is Production Supervisor at the Tampa Armature Works (TAW) Plant in Orlando. His success is due in part to the quality education, work ethic & character development he received at New Horizons. THANK YOU and best of luck to all of you!


Talking to Children About Flu

Advice for Parents on Talking to Children About the Flu

Focus on what your child can do to fight the flu and to not spread flu to others.

The Flu: A Guide For Parents

What is the flu?

parent-tips-clearwater-palm-harbor-schoolInfluenza (the flu) is an infection of the nose, throat, and lungs caused by influenza viruses. There are many different influenza viruses that are constantly changing. They cause illness, hospital stays and deaths in the United States each year.

The flu can be very dangerous for children. Each year about 20,000 children younger than 5 years old are hospitalized from flu complications, like pneumonia.

Individual Picture Day!

Individual picture day will be held on October 8th & 9th. Please see the calendar to find out which day your child’s age group will have their pictures taken.

Pizza Day & Astro Skate

October 17th: Pizza Day school wide – Astro Skate (Kindergarten, VPK Wrap Around & The 3 Hour VPK Program).

Harvest Festival

The Harvest Festival is October 31st, 9:30-11:30.

Thank You For Providing Such A Wonderful Educational Experience

Thank you for providing such a wonderful educational experience for our child. Ben has learned so much in the time that he has spent at NHCDS. We are sad to move on and would like you to know we are so thankful for everything you’ve done for Ben over the years. Thanks for being an inspiration to our child!

Sherry & Chris Curti

We Enjoy A Fantastic Evening At The School

Not only did we enjoy a fantastic evening at the school but we brought the merriment home, along with the child, and the workbooks, and we continued our fun. Nathan was walking on clouds. Then, long after he had gone off to sleep, worn out from his big day today, Cindy and I sat together and continued to pore over his work with giddy delight and utter amazement. Oh, the amazement! We laughed, we giggled, we cried together. Oh, Mrs. Schroeder, the amazing things you have prompted this little boy to accomplish! Thank you thank you, thank you!!!

Brad & Cindy Wilkins

Thank You For The Last Seven Years

Thank you for your help and guidance with all of our children over the last seven years! You have been an important part of their daily lives. We will miss seeing you everyday. We love you.

The Harts

Strong Values

Thank you for always giving me enough discipline to instill a strong set of values, enough freedom to find my own wisdom, enough encouragement to take on the world… and enough love to last all year!

Love always, Katlyn

We Have Enjoyed Our Time With You

We want you to know how much we have enjoyed our time with you. It is impossible not to feel the care as well as the enthusiasm in your classroom. Olivia has truly benefitted from your teaching and guidance. We will miss spending time with you daily but we now you are still there.

Sincerely, The Steas

Thanks For Always Being So Nice

Thanks for always being so nice, and helping me see, how much fun and how exciting, going to school can be!


This Is A Note Of Thanks From The Heart

This is a note of thanks from the heart. It takes a gifted person to teach those so young. It has been our pleasure and fortune to share the last three years with such a caring and wonderful teacher as you. In these days of violence and difficulties in school it is a comfort and joy that we send our boys to school each day, knowing they are in the hands of caring and loving individuals. James and Samuel will grow up with happy memories of their first years in school. You have been an integral part of their first and most important school years and with that very special extra caring touch you have become such an important part of our lives. We will miss you very much and hope that our boys are fortunate enough to meet such teachers again in the future.

From our hearts to you, Thank You, The Vidals

Thank You For Inspiring My Daughter This Year

The most important job after being a mother is being a TEACHER because of the profound impact they make on the child’s life and future. Thank you for inspiring my daughter this year. For this I will be forever grateful.


Thank you thank you, thank you!!!

Not only did we enjoy a fantastic evening at the school but we brought the merriment home, along with the child, and the workbooks, and we continued our fun. Nathan was walking on clouds. Then, long after he had gone off to sleep, worn out from his big day today, Cindy and I sat together and continued to pore over his work with giddy delight and utter amazement. Oh, the amazement! We laughed, we giggled, we cried together. Oh, Mrs. Schroeder, the amazing things you have prompted this little boy to accomplish! Thank you thank you, thank you!!!

Brad & Cindy Wilkins

Elementary Pajama Day

On Wednesday, May 8, wear PJ’s to school, sneakers for the playground.

Mother Goose Day

Elementary students come to school dressed as a Mother Goose Character!

Parent’s Wish

For my child I wish:
That they seek their happiness not so much at the finish line, as in the running;

That they have the strength not to lift tremendous weights, but one fallen friend;
That they learn to fight their own battles with a never-ending string of temporary cease-fires;
Not that the occasion make them smile, but that their smile make the occasion;
That their bridges be built not over rivers, but over misunderstandings; that their wealth be not in their banks, but in their hearts;
That they gain power not over others, but over themselves;
That they never fail to leave the stage before their applause is done;
That they bow not to little people with big titles, but to big people with little titles;
That they keep strict account not of favors owed them, but to others; Not that they never know grief, but that they never know joy the moment after;
That their names be household words not throughout the land, but in their own households;
That their monuments be found in public parks, but in the lives of those they’ve touched.

By: Jerry Spinelli

Author of “Maniac Magee”

Developing Character In Your Child

We often are asked to pause and take time to ponder which direction we are headed with our children and/or students. Since our own childhood, times have changed! The world has become a more complicated maze to maneuver within and feeling secure as well as safe is often difficult. Parents, teachers and adults who have contact with children need to work daily together toward the development of character within our children.

True character begins with self-esteem. High self-esteem, true self-esteem comes from believing that one is making the world a better place. Self-esteem when real is self-gard and comes from ethical behavior. Often in America, we are encouraged to be narcissistic, to constantly examine ourselves for dissatisfaction or to evaluate everything and every interaction in terms of what’s in it for us. As the parents and/or teachers of our children/students, we are asked to teach and model prudence, fortitude, justice, and temperance. As a result of reinforcing these characteristics we will boost a child’s self-esteem, confidence, and ability to cope as well as survive in our world today as a happy and productive, contributing human being.

The ability to govern and discipline oneself by use of reason is a skill that must be taught by parents, modeled by other adults and requires maturity. Children need to understand that everyone makes mistakes, and that mistakes create opportunities for learning and teaching. “To lose is to learn” – unknown. Mistakes require damage control and steps to prevent the mistake from occuring again. Of course, the goal is to understand that when a problem occurs, everyone is expected to remedy or make amends while learning (sometimes the hard way), which increases self-esteem. As adults, it is important to remember that each mistake is a life lesson.

It takes courage and staying power to survive in today’s world. It is the strength of mind and character which enables one to bear adversity. Modeling for children patience, perseverance, positive thinking, and self-reliance will assist them with life’s difficulties. All adults should avoid overindulgence like the plaque! A child’s every within and desire should not be given into or they will set up for unrealistic expectations. Children should be expected to persist in activities such as baseball, piano lessons, and dance lessons. In building solid character children should be expected to complete homework, finish tasks and chores. Children should be guided to grow away from adults and adult intervention physically, socially, and emotionally. Our job as the adults in their lives is to give them the skills to be independent functioning members of society.

A goal for our children/students is to develop the ability to treat others fairly, look after the rights of others, and thyself. This can happen by encouraging children to stand up for themselves respectfully, show respect to all others even in times of anger, make and keep promises, be honest and judge themselves rather than others. Adults, should reinforce and teach generosity, manners (please & thank you), impartiality and practice problem-solving as well as negotiation skills. Though we work daily to reinforce these skills in school, our job is often difficult when parents do not support the basic values of justice. We ask parents not to rescue or defend their children but embrace teaching their children to deal with situations of injustice through role play and discussion thus empowering them to solve problems independently.

We are seeing more children in school these days who lack self-control and the ability to limit or self-check. Adults must model control of emotions, enforce limits, teach children how to recognize personal warning signs, teach humility and how to establish a balanced life. Limiting television, video games, computer, devoting a special time for family as well as not allowing children to isolate themselves will assist with teaching temperance. Children have to be taught self-control tactics in many cases such as removing oneself to a quiet place, counting to 10, taking a deep breathe, and learning respectful behaviors/language.

As a result of taking time to teach, reinforce, and embrace a character developing attitude with children, and adults will find confidence and self-esteem in our youth today. “We know that success succeeds, that getting things right, mastering something, being productive, accomplishing anything, large or small, feels good and builds our self-confidence and our self-esteem” As adults who spend time with your children we ask for your assistance as we attempt to help your children move through the life lessons that occur when children are in our care. Remind your children that they own everything that they do. That their behavior tells us who they are. they are not separate from their behavior, bad or good, and others cannot make them or cause them to behave in an inappropriate manner and that you will not rescue them from their mistakes. We look forward to getting to know your child and family while welcoming you as part of our New Horizons Country Day School family. Thank you for your continued support of these values in the education of your child!


The Faculty at New Horizons Country Day School

For further information:
“Discipline for Life – Getting It Right With Children” by Madelyn Swift

What To Look For In Classrooms

In a sincere effort and desire to be better able to support teachers, parents have asked, “What are some classroom practices I might look for to assess the application of current research?” The following questions may be helpful for parents to keep in mind during classroom visits and to teachers for the purpose of self-evaluation.

  • Is there a balance of teacher and student talk?
    Is the teacher’s voice the main voice or are students doing much of the talking? Does every child have an opportunity to be heard? Are teachers directing, or are they guiding and leading?
  • Do the students know the routines and procedures?
    Do the students rely on the teacher every time they have a question, or do they know the routines, assume responsibilities, use peers as helpers, and assume some self-management? Do things seem disorganized, or is there a well-planned flow from one activity to another?
  • Are the classroom walls by and for children?
    Is the children’s work displayed everywhere? Are the bullentin boards done by the children, with samples of writing, illustrations and projects, or are they commercial, perfect and cute?
  • Does the seating arrangement and teacher control allow for collaboration?
    Are students isolated in rows, or are they grouped so they can confer and assist each other building social and communication skills?
  • Is the teacher with the children?
    Is the teacher always standing front and center or sitting at his/her desk, or is he/she mostly among the children, demonstrating, facilitating, and guiding as needed?
  • Is there an orderly hum of activity?
    Is the classroom silent, or are students quietly talking with each other and actively engaged in various enterprises?
  • Is reading time focused on comprehension and understanding?
    Are children spending most of reading time oral reading, working on “skills,” and responding to literal level questions, or do they have frequent opportunities for self-selected, self-paced reading, responding to open-ended questions and participating in high-level discussions?
  • Is the independent work the children are doing meaningful?
    Are worksheets and workbooks being used with fill-in-the blank formats, or are there other purposeful activities that encourage open-ended responses which require thinking and application of experience and knowledge?
  • Do the children have choices?
    Is everyone doing the same activity, or are there opportunities for children to make decisions about their work for the day? Are there self-selected reading and writing activities?
  • Are there opportunities for students to work together?
    Are all activities being completed individually, or are pairs and groups of children reading, writing and problem solving together? Is there time for sharing, collaborating and contributing?
  • Is there a classroom library and cozy reading corner?
    Are there all types of literature attractively displayed and accessible to children? Are there reference books, dictionaries and thesauruses available? Is there a pleasant reading area where children can read in a comfortable position and with a friend?
  • Are there learning centers?
    (Learning centers should be evident at all grade levels.) Are those opportunities for exploration in centers such as math, science, listening, art, etc.? Is there an area where children can find different kinds of paper, writing, supplies, art materials, measuring tools and maps, globes and atlases?
  • Does the teacher use anecdotal records and observational data in evaluation?
    Does the teacher use only checks and grades in a grade book or is there also evidence of informal, observational data showing faculty knows and understands individual students?
  • Does the teacher provide demonstrations of literacy events?
    Does he/she read aloud? Does he/she teach skills in context? Does he/she teach conventions and qualities of good writing through mini-lessons? Does he/she model what good readers do through think-alouds and other strategic behaviors?
  • Does the teacher work with flexible groups?
    Does the teacher sometimes work with the whole group and other times with small groups or individuals?
  • Do children feel successful?
    Does the teacher provide experiences and materials that ensure each child success? Does the teacher accept approximations in reading and writing? Does the teacher celebrate each child’s attempts?
  • Do the students seem happy and actively involved?
    Are the children passively completing assignments, or are they excited about the opportunities for learning in their classroom?

Seven Secrets To School Success

by Jim Grant

Secret #1: Correct Grade Placement

This is the single most important secret to school success. A child must be ready socially, emotionally, and physically, as well as intellectually, for school. Make certain that your child is ready for the grade in which he or she is placed. Simply being alive the correct number of years is not enough to ensure that your child is ready for school. It is the child’s developmental age, not chronological age that helps determine school success.

Secret #2: Tip-top Physical and Emotional Shape

Children who are emotionally and physically distracted have a difficult time coping with schools demands. See that your child starts the day well rested with a well-balanced breakfast. A substantial breakfast fuels the brain, and your child will think, socialize, and perform better. Many children in Kindergarten and First Grade still require a day-time nap and between nine to eleven hours of sleep each night.

Dress your child to fit comfortably with classmates. Children who look out of place often feel out of place and may be treated like outcasts by their peers.

As your child leaves for school, send him/her off in upbeat, optimistic mood. Avoid before-school arguments, as they can set a negative tone for the entire day. Children who have a sense of emotional well-being benefit the most.

Secret #3: Watch for Stress Signals

Children always tell us who they are and what they need. Body language signals trouble long before a child can talk about it. Some children show stress through crying, nail-biting, nervous tics, becoming withdrawn, acting in insecure ways, reverting to thumb sucking, or through behavior that is out of character. As a parent, you know your child better than anyone else. Tune in to stress signs so you can prevent school stress before it starts.

Secret #4: Build Self-Confidence and Self-Esteem

Children who lack confidence, who have a poor opinion of themselves, may lack the motivation to succeed in school. Parents can help. Boost your child’s confidence! Praise your child in front of others. Build on strengths, not weaknesses! Never compare your child with others!

Secret #5: Read to Your Child

A child who is read to, will read. Children naturally love books and love to be read to. Reading together will show your child the importance of reading and will provide a special time for you to spend together each day. This will develop a positive attitude and sense of security.

Secret #6: Enthusiasm is Contagious!

You are your child’s primary role model. Your child tries to be like you by imitating you. If you think something is important, your child will think too.

Take an active interest in your child’s work. See that your child has a designated place and time to work. Set aside time to assist your child on homework and projects. By taking time to help, you display an interest that is extremely important in shaping your child’s attitudes and values.

Secret #7: Establish a Partnership with The School

Be an active participant. Keep the lines of communication open. When you form a close working relationship with the school, your child has a solid support system to build on. Your child receives a strong message of solidarity from the most important adults in his or her life – the child’s own parents and their daytime parents, teachers.

These seven secrets to school success are common-sense principles that will really help your child. Try them. They’re simple – and they work!

Thank you and your staff for the exceptional educational start

I would like to take this opportunity to thank you and your staff for the exceptional educational start you have provided Austin. The staff is attentive and consistent. It is evident through no only the educational activities, but also through their routine interactions with the children that they have the temperament and educational backgrounds necessary to provide the children with a positive educational environment. We have experienced other preschool programs in the past, none have addressed all the elements that this program has in such a positive way.

Rebecca Staubs

New Horizons Country Day School fosters a warm environment for learning

We have seen our little girl go from dreading to go to school to wanting to wake up an hour earlier not to be late for school. We have seen such growth in Aryma’s academic, creative and social ability… and an increased love for learning. NHCDS fosters a warm environment where children develop into independent, thoughtful, responsible individuals and likewise inquisitive learners. We have been extremely pleased with the high-quality and well balanced curriculum of reading, writing, arithmetic, science, arts-n-crafts, creative play, field trips and special activities provided throughout the year. The school has also shared supplemental resources and helpful information allowing us to contribute to her learning development as well.

Audrey Ashby/Ainsworth Moore

The education is superior!

We attribute our son’s love of learning to his teachers and staff at New Horizon’s. The curriculum is well rounded including hands on activities and it is expressed in their writing of compositions. The education is superior to others as attested to the amount of knowledge that my eight year old child has amassed.

Maria Kellner

What a terrific environment you present at New Horizons

At this time of Thanksgiving, I just wanted to take a moment to tell you how much I appreciate what a terrific environment you present at New Horizons. All of your hard work is very apparent in the attitudes of the staff, teachers and students. It seems so long since I sat in your office and voiced my concerns about my child starting school and adjusting to a new environment. She is so well adjusted and happy. We look forward to many more years at New Horizons!

Warm Regards, J. Vomero

New Horizons has a very special feel about it!

New Horizons has a very special feel about it. Every teacher our daughter has had has been genuinely interested in her. They have nurtured her and kept her academically challenged since kindergarten. After five and a half years at NHCDS, the staff and teachers feel like family to us. They are always accessible to discuss any concern, whether academic or social.

New Horizons is truly ‘doing great things with kids.’ We are pleased that our child is among the lucky ones to be educated and growing up in such a wholesome environment.

Kitty & Stein Adnreassen

Class Pictures For Preschoolers

ALL Preschoolers must wear their Green New Horizons T-Shirt for class pictures.

The children never complain about going to school!

Thank you for playing a big part in making our move to Florida such an easy transition for both us and the children. We felt at first sight that New Horizons was going to be the perfect place for Jason and Tarah, and we’re happy to say we were right.

We have seen so much growth in both Jason and Tarah in the past two years. All their teachers have been so kind to our children. They are all enthusiastic about their work, and it shows. Our children have felt like part of a family. Not once-never-has either of them complained about going to school in the morning. They bound out the door and into the car every school day. The only problem we have is getting them to leave aftercare to come home!


Class Pictures For Elementary

All Elementary Students must wear their Red New Horizons Polo shirt for class pictures.

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