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Oak Knoll School Blog

Laura Perillo

Laura Perillo is the Marketing Content Strategist for Oak Knoll School of the Holy Child in Summit, New Jersey

Recent Posts

How to Talk to Your Teenagers about Harmful Effects of Social Media

Posted by Laura Perillo on Oct 22, 2021 4:11:41 PM

The rumors are true – the teenage years are indeed filled with the inevitable messy rooms, empty kitchen cabinets, refrigerators and smelly shoes laying around the house. However, aside from the normal teenage happenings in households across the country, parents should be aware of recent statistics uncovered about teenagers and social media. 

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Topics: technology, parenting, social and emotional learning, mental health, social media

How to Talk to Your Child about Bullying

Posted by Laura Perillo on Oct 10, 2021 8:53:08 AM

By the time October rolls around with several weeks of school now behind families, children have (hopefully) settled into their school year. Homerooms, schedules, routines, and friendship groups by now have been established.

With many children now back to school in-person after months of learning virtually at home, they’re now back in classrooms near others who might be different from them – different races, sexualities, religions, weight, heights – and these differences may lead to bullying. 

October is National Bullying Prevention Month and was first initiated in 2006 by PACER, the Minnesota parent training and information center, funded by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Special Education Program.

Although it started as National Bullying Prevention and Awareness Week during the first week of October, the campaign expanded to cover the full month now unifying communities nationwide to educate and raise awareness of bullying prevention. 

While your child’s school most likely will discuss anti-bullying with students, parents, too, play an important and vital role towards eradicating bullying. 

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Topics: high school, elementary school, middle school, social and emotional learning, Bullying

Tips on Navigating Back-to-School Anxiety

Posted by Laura Perillo on Sep 3, 2021 4:13:30 PM

September is here and it’s hard to believe that means the first day of school is quickly approaching. Many of us are trying to soak in these last hot and hazy days of summer, while at the same time, laser-focused on getting everything done on time for our children so they’re well-prepared for the start of the 2021-22 school year.

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Topics: back-to-school, parenting, wellness, social and emotional learning

Lessons We Can Learn from Simone Biles and the Olympics

Posted by Laura Perillo on Jul 29, 2021 2:14:39 PM

The country was rocked on Tuesday, July 27, 2021, when U.S. gymnastics Olympian Simone Biles – the most decorated American gymnast with 30 Olympic and World Championship medals – withdrew from the Olympic gymnastics final. Since, she has also withdrawn from the individual and all-around gymnastic competitions – decisions Biles said were to protect her mental well-being, breaking open oftentimes the hidden stigma of mental health issues in our professional athletes.

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Topics: athletics, health, student advice, mental health

How to Combat the 'Summer Slide'

Posted by Laura Perillo on Jun 29, 2021 1:29:22 PM

Summertime is here and children have been trading in their class time for pool time as schools around the country are on hiatus until late August/early September. 

Families have started to enjoy day trips, limited schedules, vacations, quality time together, and plenty of outdoor fresh air. However, although children would probably much prefer to shelve their books and ignore practicing those basic math facts – they shouldn’t, especially after this unusual pandemic school year. 

Each fall, teachers wrestle with the inevitable “summer slide” – or summer learning loss where studies show there is significant knowledge loss in reading and math over summer break if children don’t practice these skills each day. 

Thanks to COVID, learning declines throughout last year were very real for many children. However, it’s not all bad news!  Kelly Ross, Oak Knoll's Academic Support Counselor, offers several ways families can help children combat the COVID slide – the gaps of academic growth and lowered expectations due to the learning disruptions from the 2020-21 school year.

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Topics: high school, elementary school, learners, middle school, summer, academics

What Your Child Can Expect to Learn in Preschool

Posted by Laura Perillo on May 14, 2021 1:39:09 PM

The passage of time is something that most parents wish they could freeze. Before you know it, your peaceful, sleeping infant in the car seat starts to develop their own, unique, and independent personality. 

It’s generally not until after age 2 that children begin to gain independence and show interest in exploring the world around them– two key markers that your child could be ready to start preschool. (Here are other markers to help determine if the time is right to start your child in a preschool program).

By the time your little one walks out of the house for that milestone first day of preschool, their brains are already functioning as sponges, soaking in stimuli and the world around them. In fact, between birth and three years of age, the human brain increases to 80 percent of its adult size. Enrolling your child in a preschool program boosts learning and development during this important window of time.

Young children are exposed to new experiences and opportunities in preschool. Here is what your child can expect to learn after you drop them off (hopefully without tears!) at their new preschool. 

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Topics: elementary school, pre-kindergarten, pre-K, preschool ready

How to Teach Children the Practice and Benefits of Self-Compassion

Posted by Laura Perillo on May 5, 2021 3:06:07 PM

We can all relate to those days when nothing seems to go your way. When we’re down and vulnerable, self-critique tends to creep in and – at times – can make us our own worst enemy. 

While we may think we have complete control over our negative emotions,  thoughts and behaviors, we don’t! This is a myth, says the Cultures of Dignity, an organization that works with communities to shift the way we think about young people’s physical and emotional wellbeing. In fact, they argue the opposite – that  no human has complete control over their thoughts and feelings. 

Despite challenging days life will undoubtedly continue to throw at us – pandemic-related or not – the best thing to do is face any hardship head-on through the practice of self-compassion. 

Self-compassion is defined by The Cultures of Dignity as the as “the practice of choosing to turn towards your suffering with kindness and empathy.”

Here is how to teach children to practice self-compassion and some of its benefits:

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The Benefits of Learning through Play

Posted by Laura Perillo on Apr 30, 2021 10:00:00 AM

Run, jump, play! When it comes to school, these are terms that typically don’t apply to the classroom – that is – unless it’s gym or recess time. 

Even so, the time children are allowed for recess or free play at school seems shorter these days than in years past. Thanks to the pandemic, many schools are also in half-day sessions making kids’ recess, gym or playtime non-existent in many school districts. 

Any parent will tell you that kids need to move their bodies. It’s good for their overall health, helps them to maintain a steady attitude and it’s great for their sleep cycle. 

But what many parents may not realize is that playtime works in tangent with learning. Research has found that it’s crucial for younger students at the pre-K and kindergarten levels to learn through play

Here are some of the ways that younger children can learn through play.

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Topics: project-based learning, social and emotional learning, pre-K, preschool ready

How Schools Can Help Foster Inclusivity

Posted by Laura Perillo on Apr 16, 2021 11:47:47 AM

As most of the nation gears up to send their children back into the physical classroom (hopefully) after months of virtual learning, parents will place a large part of their child’s development directly back into the hands of their school system.

Schools have a tremendous impact in the lives of our children. One way to help ensure that we are raising good humans is to work in tandem with our schools to help foster inclusivity – the practice or policy of including people who might otherwise be excluded or marginalized.

Every parent wants their child to feel included, accepted, to make friends and to have an overall positive experience and year in the classroom.

Here are several ways that schools can work together with parents, and their communities to help foster inclusivity.

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Topics: project-based learning, social and emotional learning, diversity, equity, inclusion and justice

Women’s History Month Highlights Female Trailblazers

Posted by Laura Perillo on Mar 15, 2021 11:00:00 AM

March is special not only for the first signs of warmer weather ahead, but it’s also the month that applauds women who are blazing trails, making differences in their communities, all while inspiring girls to become the next generation of leaders.

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