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Oak Knoll School Blog

Behind the Mask: Staying Connected while Physically Distant

Posted by Laura Perillo on Oct 1, 2020 1:26:01 PM

This fall, parents who were able to send their children into the classroom – whether a full day or via hybrid model – lined up their children’s backpacks and pencil cases the night before their first day of classes. Also sitting among that pile of new school supplies was 2020’s newest necessity required for in-person school days – a mask.

While the CDC requires that masks be worn this fall while in the classroom and out in public to help keep COVID-19 at bay, this new normal does not arrive without its challenges.

One of the biggest challenges with mask-wearing is that faces are covered, therefore making social cues less reliable and sometimes difficult for children to interpret.

With the school year well underway, here are some helpful tips on how teachers and children can connect with one another when faces are not fully visible.

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Topics: teaching, elementary school, social and emotional learning, Coronavirus

How to Instill Empathy and Compassion in Children

Posted by Laura Perillo on Sep 21, 2020 11:00:00 AM

Raising kind and compassionate children is inevitably one of the most – arguably the most – important tasks that parents and caregivers are responsible for. Of course, parents want their children to do well in school, get involved in activities and make friends, but the foundation to raising a kind human being all boils down to the basic of principals – teach your children to become empathetic and compassionate toward others. 

This, however, does not happen overnight. In fact, it takes a lot of practice. But the process can start when children are young. Between the ages of 6-9 months, infants focus on parents’ reactions to social events and mimic them to learn how to operate in a social world. Between 18-24 months, toddlers begin to develop their own theories about the way the world works by attributing thoughts, feelings and intention to others and themselves. 

So, how can you instill empathy and compassion in children? Melissa Nelson, Oak Knoll's Lower School Guidance Counselor, says there are several ways parents and caregivers can model and guide, starting when they are very young: 

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Topics: elementary school, lower school, parenting, social and emotional learning

Podcast: Understanding Re-Entry Anxiety in Children

Posted by Meghan Hodgin on Aug 24, 2020 5:19:34 PM

In our brand new podcast, Academically Speaking, Laura Perillo — Oak Knoll's Marketing Content Strategist in the Office of Marketing and Communications — sat down with new Lower School Guidance Counselor Melissa Nelson on re-entry anxiety in children as they return to campus this fall under COVID-19 restrictions.

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Topics: elementary school, parenting, separation anxiety, tips, mental health, Coronavirus, COVID-19

Virtual Learning Tips for Families

Posted by Laura Perillo on Mar 18, 2020 6:16:00 PM

As we continue to weather the storm of the novel COVID-19 virus weaving its way throughout the world, millions of children everywhere are hunkered down at home, at their computers, attending their “virtual school day” – as they navigate this new reality.

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Topics: technology, high school, elementary school, parenting, middle school

How to Talk to Your Child about Coronavirus

Posted by Meghan Hodgin on Mar 12, 2020 11:50:39 AM

With all of the news and social media coverage of the COVID-19 pandemic, children may be confused and frightened by what they see and hear. Imaginations run wild on the playground and parents may feel that the topic should remain off-limits to avoid sparking fear in their child more than necessary. But according to The Child Mind Institute, children are actually more fearful when they are kept in the dark.

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Topics: high school, elementary school, parenting, middle school, health, tips, mental health

5 Ways to Help Your Child Fall in Love with Reading

Posted by Laura Perillo on Feb 13, 2020 4:11:14 PM

Many children are reluctant readers. They're uninspired by the content, struggle with vocabulary or are simply more interested in other things. It's possible your child has trouble putting down a book, but so many parents pull their hair out trying to figure out how to motivate their child to read. 

So, how do you ensure your child soars in reading without making it seem like another mundane to-do-task? By getting your child to fall in love with reading.

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Topics: elementary school, learners, reading

6 Fun Ways to Teach Kids about Giving Back

Posted by Meghan Hodgin on Nov 18, 2019 11:00:00 AM

Developing empathy in children is imperative to ensure we are promoting good, responsible citizenry. Studies show that children start to show genuine empathy - understanding how other people feel - around 2 years of age. To help foster values of charitable giving, families must find ways to teach kids about giving back and make it FUN.

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Topics: elementary school, community service, thanksgiving

5 Ways to Start the School Year Off Right

Posted by Meghan Hodgin on Aug 20, 2019 11:00:00 AM

Parents get ready; it’s almost time for your child to go back-to-school! For many, this can be a stressful time. Transitions at any age are an adjustment and the earlier you can start preparing your child for the change in routine, environment, workload, friends, etc., the less stress there is for everyone.

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Topics: elementary school, parenting, separation anxiety, kindergarten ready

How to Talk to Your Child about Mental Health

Posted by Dr. Jennifer Butler-Sweeney, Ph.D. on Apr 22, 2019 11:00:00 AM

As parents and educators, we seek to put our teen’s behaviors, emotions and difficulties into mutually exclusive categories that we can readily understand and, by extension, start the processing of fixing. This assuages our own anxieties about being ineffective in our children’s lives and, replaces that inner parental angst with controllable variables in the form of actionable items and measurable gains. If your teen comes home expressing that nothing in math class is making sense, parents may act in the straightforward response of contacting the teacher or enlisting the help of a tutor, should one not already exist. This is an “easy one” as parenting goes, in that the direction is clear and there is a reasonable expectation that this intervention will fix or at least mitigate the problem.

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Topics: high school, elementary school, parenting, middle school, wellness, building confidence, mental health

5 Benefits of Small Class Sizes

Posted by Meghan Hodgin on Apr 1, 2019 11:00:00 AM

There are proven benefits of small classroom sizes - from increased achievement to higher graduation rates. The way students learn and perform are significantly impacted by a small classroom environment - specifically those with fewer than 20 children. Students are more likely to receive individualized attention, which enhances learning opportunities, improves behavior, builds a community and produces overall better results, from test scores to grades.

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Topics: teaching, classroom, elementary school, tips, success skills

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