Global Maker Day will be celebrated on October 18, 2022. Founded by a group of volunteer educators, the day brings together “makers” from around the world to participate in local maker space events and share ideas and projects globally. Oak Knoll School of the Holy Child Lower School students will be participating in the detailed series of challenges that will be released prior to the event and making good use of our IDEAS Lab, but anyone can participate from anywhere in the world.
As the cooler months arrive and with the holidays on the mind, many families start discussions within their own homes about what they are thankful for and how to serve the most vulnerable in their communities. In fact, statistics say that 30 percent of annual giving occurs in December and 10 percent occurs on the last three days of the year.
Although parents, caregivers and schools should be discussing ways to give back to others all year long, here are some helpful ways to serve others this Holiday season, while safely navigating COVID-19.
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:
“Is my child ready for kindergarten?” is one of the top questions I receive from parents as an elementary school teacher. And while there are many factors that go into determining whether a child is academically, physically, socially and emotionally prepared to start school, we at Oak Knoll School of the Holy Child have maintained that there are really five main pillars used to prepare a child for the next step: social skills, reading, language, motor skills and number concepts.
The resurgence of the sciences in curriculum, particularly at the elementary school level, has occurred under the banner of STEM – science, technology, engineering and math. Like nearly every other aspect of education, this is ever-evolving and, in recent years, has grown into STEAM by incorporating the arts.
The first few weeks of a new school year are always a time of adjustment and many students (and parents) feel a sense of separation anxiety, which is perfectly normal. Separation anxiety in children is often caused by fear of the unknown when it comes to a new situation or it can relate to something that is happening at home or to something that the child has just experienced before arriving at school. No matter what the cause, it is heart-wrenching to everyone involved. As teachers, we need to be able to nurture the child who is upset, provide support to the parents who feel like they are abandoning their child and also, help the other children feel at ease as they may start feeling anxious with seeing one of their classmates so distressed. As a parent of three, I have experienced my own share of back-to-school jitters and it is extremely challenging. It is one of the hardest things to deal with as a parent, and can be very stressful as a teacher as well. Below are a number of strategies I have developed to help parents along the way. Remember, elementary school separation anxiety is a phase; it is perfectly natural and it will pass.
It's no secret — boys and girls learn and develop differently. They have different behaviors and respond to different learning styles. But that doesn't mean they should learn separately in their most impressionable years.