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Oak Knoll School Blog

5 Steps Towards Safe Social Media Behavior and Improved Online Mental Health

Posted by Chris Starr on Jan 24, 2023 1:54:20 PM

Is social media bad for teen health? It doesn’t have to be. That was the key takeaway following a talk with Upper School students by social media expert Bailey Parnell. Parnell is the founder of #SafeSocial and CEO of Skills Camp – a company that offers soft skills training to businesses and educational institutions. She presented students with some very compelling risks of social media addiction and its effects on mental health – especially with young women – but also offered advice on bringing balance to your online self by maintaining balance with your offline self.

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Topics: health, wellness, social and emotional learning, success skills, building confidence, growth mindset, family, online, safety, executive functioning, life lessons

10 Books to Read with Your Pre-K Child This Christmas

Posted by Chris Starr on Dec 21, 2022 2:11:02 PM

We recently posted a blog entitled, Reading Aloud to Your Pre-Kindergarten Student. Yes, research supports the notion that this act improves cognitive development, but who needs an excuse to cuddle up with a wee one during the holidays or any other time of year!

As a follow up, Lower School Librarian, Betty Castello, put together this list of some of her favorite holiday-themed book recommendations for the little elves in your life. Book descriptions are courtesy of amazon.com.

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Topics: christmas, elementary, elementary school, parenting, reading, kindergarten ready, activities with kids, pre-kindergarten, family, winter break, Community

Why Reading Aloud to Your Pre-Kindergarten Student is the Best Gift

Posted by Chris Starr on Dec 15, 2022 12:46:39 PM

This holiday season, give your pre-kindergarten student the gift of a lifetime–give them a story a day. Whether it’s reading aloud to them at bedtime, listening to an audio book in the car, or sharing a story during bath time, research overwhelmingly supports the fact that exposing young children to aural storytelling at an early age, improves their cognitive development.

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Topics: parenting, reading, activities with kids, pre-K, family, preschool

How to Celebrate and Reinforce Computer Science Education Week at Home

Posted by Kimberly Connolly on Dec 5, 2022 11:00:00 AM

Oak Knoll School of the Holy Child in Summit, NJ, will be actively participating in Computer Science Education Week from December 5-11, 2022, with daily coding and computing activities across all grade levels. Parents and caregivers can reinforce these in-school activities with assignments at home. Here are some suggestions and some helpful web resources.

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Topics: technology, robots, engineering, education, computer science, STEM, Math, elementary school, project-based learning, activities with kids, steam, family

Prepare for Thanksgiving with a Gratitude Week

Posted by Chris Starr on Nov 2, 2022 12:10:18 PM

Gratitude is an emotion we should express throughout the year. The days leading up to Thanksgiving, though, are an excellent opportunity to reinforce the practice of giving thanks and schedule some fun activities with your children to promote gratitude. Here are some suggestions for holding a “Gratitude Week” prior to Thanksgiving to dedicate one activity per day to remind kids of the many blessings and people that surround and support them.

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Topics: faith, parenting, thanksgiving, activities with kids, things to do, family, Community

Fun Ways Families Can Celebrate Advent

Posted by Laura Perillo on Dec 3, 2020 1:53:56 PM

As we are now in the last month of an unusually challenging year, it’s understandable the anticipation of the new year ahead now more than ever before. However, before they usher in a brand new year, Christians across the globe are currently celebrating Advent – the coming of Christ – signifying the four weeks leading up to Christmas Day. 

Amid the holiday hustle and bustle, there are many fun and meaningful ways that families can connect to celebrate Advent together this month before Christmas morning arrives. 

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Topics: christmas, things to do, family, advent

Lessons Learned from the COVID-19 Pandemic

Posted by Laura Perillo on May 8, 2020 3:45:53 PM

COVID-19 has forced most of the world to change up its everyday routines. Social distancing is keeping us apart from one another. School and work are mostly being conducted remotely, and even going to the grocery store requires keeping yourself safe with masks and gloves.

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Topics: tips, family, COVID-19

Should Parents Reevaluate Screen Time During Distance Learning?

Posted by Laura Perillo on Apr 23, 2020 11:00:00 AM

Before the global coronavirus pandemic came into play earlier this year, parents everywhere were guided by experts to set limits on their child’s screen time each day. However, in a rare twist of fate, COVID-19 stay-at-home orders meant that children and parents were left scrambling with no choice but to rely on virtual technology even more to attend work and school from home every day.

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Topics: technology, mental health, Coronavirus, family

Keeping Connected While Physically Apart

Posted by Laura Perillo on Apr 17, 2020 12:56:40 PM

As COVID-19 quickly spread throughout U.S. communities in the beginning of 2020, social distancing orders forced family and friends to get creative and tech savvy in order to stay connected with one another. Now, for at least another four weeks in the state of New Jersey, residents have been ordered by Governor Murphy to stay at home and schools will continue remote learning until at least May 15, 2020. So, with an even longer extended period at home now, you might be looking for new and fun ways to keep connected while physically apart from friends and family outside your immediate quarantine crew. 

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Topics: parenting, activities with kids, tips, things to do, Coronavirus, family

Tips for Working at Home with Kids During Coronavirus Pandemic

Posted by Kimberly Connolly on Mar 27, 2020 11:00:00 AM

It’s no secret parents are dealing with a lot at home throughout this COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, which shutdown schools across the country — and the globe — for an undefined amount of time. If you're like me, you're at home helping to facilitate distance learning for your multiple elementary-aged children and toddlers while working your own job from home. You're juggling parenting, working, helping with online learning and trying to maintain some semblance of normalcy in your home. Oh yeah, and you're trying to remember to shower.

As an educator and a parent, it gives me a unique perspective on this at-home time and what it can and should mean for families, that I felt it important to share some lessons learned to help you navigate these unsettling times and be the heroes of your own household.

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Topics: parenting, social and emotional learning, tips, Coronavirus, family

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