Monday, November 23

EVENTFUL: Black Friday Survival Guide

The season of giving has arrived and the mad dash of holiday shopping will commence this coming Friday. If you’re planning on braving the late night shopping on Black Friday, here are a few survival tips to consider:

1. Don’t
If at all possible, don’t leave the safe, warm embrace of your house. Enjoy your turkey coma and don’t get trampled upon by mindless shoppers frantically searching for the last $50 flat screen television. Cyber Monday is a great alternative for those who seek not to be bombarded by humanity, but shop alone while snuggled in pajamas. Amazon and many department stores have plenty of online deals to satisfy savvy shoppers. If participating in Black Friday shopping is a must for you, proceed through the following rules.

2. Don’t Buy Into the Hype
Remember that stores carry a small quantity of sweet-deal items to get consumers through the door, so the chances of making a once-in-a-lifetime purchase are slim. Don’t worry though, because most of the regularly advertised deals are available frequently throughout the year.

3. Scout the Stores and Make a Plan
Make a list of stores most important to you and outline the items and/or sales that you’d like to take advantage of in each store. Plot a shopping route for easy access and efficiency. Understand parking limitations and plan an alternate route.

4. Research the Products
Sometimes a deal really is too good to be true. Research the most tantalizing sales advertisements, especially those for electronics. Is there a reason why a store would want to give away that particular brand or model of laptop? To make your trip worthwhile, make sure you’re really getting what you want and are getting the most for your money.

5. Skip Starbucks
An almost blasphemous suggestion, but skipping Starbucks will prove to be most beneficial when executing the shopping route established in Rule #3. Brew some coffee in a travel mug before leaving the house, or better yet, have two cups with your pumpkin pie. This will not only save you money on that $5 grande latte, but will save time and hassle. Remember, everyone and their mother will be pre-gaming at Starbucks. Avoid drive-through coffee shops like the Plague.

6. Get the App and Clip the Coupon
See if there are any apps for the stores you’re going to be shopping at. Think Target’s Cartwheel app. Remember to bring any coupons and membership cards, as well as install any coupon apps that will help you to save money or earn incentive while shopping. Have these items ready before getting to the checkout stand. Don’t be that guy.

7. Pack Light and Dress Tight
For the ladies, take a small purse packed with only the essentials. This will lighten the load while running through crowded store aisles and hurdling small children lying exhausted on the floor. Also, if you’re clothes shopping for yourself, wear leggings and a tank-top, with the idea of throwing clothes on for a quick fit-check, and skipping the dressing room all together.

If you must shop on Black Friday, remember these rules and don’t forget to complete your pre-shopping calisthenics in the parking lot to avoid straining a hamstring.

Contributed by Rebecca Stokes, Fairmont Private Schools
Image by

Friday, November 20

FRIDAY FOLDER: November 20

Weekly Highlights: 

Historic Anaheim Campus
Anaheim Hills Campus

North Tustin Campus
Contributed by Rebecca Stokes, Fairmont Private Schools

Wednesday, November 18

A to Z: Best Sports Movies for Family Night

Fall and winter are exciting times for sports fans! Here’s a list of beloved sports movies to share with your family! Stories of inspiration, achievement, and humor remind viewers of the importance of dedication and teamwork.

 Rudy (PG)
An inspirational story about a young man with a big dream, Daniel “Rudy” Ruettiger knows that he’s meant for more than just working at the local steel mill with his father and brother. Rudy’s heart and determination lead him to the University of Notre Dame where he strives to achieve his lifelong dream of becoming one of the Fighting Irish. Common Sense Media recommends this movie to children age 11 and older.

Remember the Titans (PG)
Chronicling the true story of TC Williams High School and racial integration, Remember the Titans reveals the struggles of the newly interracial football team of 1971 as teammates learn to look past skin color and achieve a common goal together. Common Sense Media recommends this movie to children age 10 and older.

The Sandlot (PG)
Scotty Smalls, under no volition of his own, makes the local sandlot team and spends the summer developing his baseball skills with the help of his new teammates Benny, Yeah-Yeah, Ham, and Squints. Trouble ensues when Scotty takes his stepfather’s baseball for luck, and accidentally hits it over the fence and into a junkyard. The team creates an elaborate scheme to rescue the ball and bring good luck to the sandlot. Common Sense Media recommends this movie to children age 8 and older.

Miracle (PG)
Outlining the compelling story of the 1980 U.S. Olympic hockey team, Miracle recreates the practice and strategy used, as well as the struggles overcome by the team of amateur hockey players, to beat the Russians during the 1980 Winter Olympics. In the match that would be known as the “Miracle on Ice,” the Americans strive to upset the heavily favored Russian team. Common Sense Media recommends this movie to children age 8 and older.   

The Rookie (G)
The true story of a Texas high school teacher and coach who, with a pitching arm still full of promise, tells his baseball team that if they win the division title, he will try out for the major leagues. After the teams rallies and fulfills their end of the bargain, Jim Morris takes a chance and becomes the oldest rookie in Major League Baseball. Common Sense Media recommends this movie to children age 7 and older.

The Mighty Ducks (PG)
A fast-lane lawyer is arrested for drunk driving and performs his community service sentence by coaching a group of rag-tag hockey players. The underdog team and their haughty coach learn to rise above individual struggles and work as a team. Common Sense Media recommends this movie to children age 11 and older.

Hoosiers (PG)
Set in 1950’s Indiana, this small town high school basketball team has no chance of a winning season. However, when a new coach arrives in town, everyone must adjust, especially his new players. Coming together with the goal of winning a state championship, Hoosiers tells a story of discipline and second chances. Common Sense Media recommends this movie to children age 9 and older.

When the Game Stands Tall (PG)
A true story about the high school football team with the longest winning streak in football history, When the Game Stands Tall focuses on the season that broke the 151-game winning streak of De La Salle High School in Concord, California. Common Sense Media recommends this movie to children age 12 and older.

A League of Their Own (PG)
A tribute to the All-American Girls Baseball League of the 1940’s, A League of Their Own follows two siblings scouted and chosen to play women’s baseball while Major League Baseball’s players fight World War II oversees. An engaging drama that follows the lives and ambitions of American women of the 1940’s, this movie is especially great for young female athletes. Common Sense Media recommends this movie to children age 11 and older.

Look for these films on Netflix, Hulu, iTunes, at RedBox locations, or your local library! Use Can I Stream It or Go Watch It to view streaming options and availability!

Individual parental discretion will determine which films are suitable for a family’s child.

Contributed by Rebecca Stokes, Fairmont Private Schools
Images by,,  

Friday, November 13

FRIDAY FOLDER: November 13

Weekly Highlights: 

Historic Anaheim Campus

Anaheim Hills Campus

North Tustin Campus

Contributed by Rebecca Stokes, Fairmont Private Schools

Tuesday, November 10

EVENTFUL: A History of Veterans Day - The 11th Hour of the 11th Day of the 11th Month

The eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month in 1918 resulted in the end of “the war to end all wars.” The armistice agreement of World War I between the Allies and Germany led to the creation of a day celebrating peace and honoring those who fought during the Great War. While celebrating the first Armistice Day, President Woodrow Wilson stated, “To us in America, the reflections of Armistice Day will be filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country’s service and with gratitude for the victory, both because of the thing from which it has freed us and because of the opportunity it has given America to show her sympathy with peace and justice in the councils of the nations.”

During the early celebrations of Armistice Day, business transactions were briefly halted beginning at 11:00 am, proceeding parades and public gatherings to honor those who served in World War I and brought peace to America. In 1954, after the conclusions of World War II and the Korean War, veteran service organizations persuaded the American government that the Act of 1938, which made Armistice Day a legal holiday, should be amended to include veterans of all wars, thus changing the name to Veterans Day.  
Over the years, several other military changes and commemorations came into effect on November 11th. On November 11, 1942, the draft age was expanded with on the onset of World War I. The registration of men between the ages of 21 and 36 was changed to include men between the ages of 18 and 37. By the end of the war, approximately 34 million men had registered, and 10 million had been taken into military service. On November 11, 1921, the Tomb of the Unknown was dedicated by President Warren G. Harding at Arlington National Cemetery during an Armistice Day celebration, a tradition which has been followed by the nation’s presidents ever since.
Contributed by Rebecca Stokes, Fairmont Private Schools
Images & Videos by,,

Monday, November 9

BOOK REPORT: Thanksgiving Must-Reads

November is a month of falling leaves, hot cider, and preparations for the holidays. With the onset of Thanksgiving, you might be interested to read several fun and interesting books to your young learner. Check these titles out at your local library and share the spirit and history of Thanksgiving with your child!

Mayflower 1620: A New Look at a Pilgrim Voyage, Peter Arenstam
Readers will learn about the realities of the Mayflower’s long voyage to America with primary sources detailing what the voyageurs wore, what they ate, the dangers of the journey, how they survived, and much more.  

Squanto’s Journey, Joseph Bruchac
A Native American descendant, Bruchac tells the story of Squanto, who, after being kidnapped by Europeans and taken to Spain, returns to his homeland and helps a group of new Europeans bear the harsh winter and create the Thanksgiving holiday celebrated today.

Magic Tree House: Thanksgiving on Thursday, Mary Pope Osborne
On another whirl-wind adventure, Jack and Annie are transported back to 1621 and must work together to help the pilgrims prepare the first Thanksgiving meal!

Thank You, Sarah, Laurie Halse Anderson
Anderson’s book shares the history behind how Thanksgiving became a national holiday! Through the persistence and petitioning of Sarah Hale, Thanksgiving become a nationally recognized holiday with Abraham Lincoln’s signing of the Thanksgiving Proclamation of 1863.  

Milly and the Macy’s Parade, Shana Corey
Based on the true story behind the inception of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, this book tells of Milly, a young Polish girl living in New York City during the 1920’s. Noticing the homesickness of her fellow immigrants, Milly persuades her father’s boss, the Macy’s shop owner, to host a parade in hopes of boosting spirits during the holiday season in a new country.  

Contributed by Rebecca Stokes, Fairmont Private Schools
Images by Amazon & Goodreads  

Friday, November 6


Weekly Highlights:

 Historic Anaheim Campus

Anaheim Hills Campus

North Tustin Campus

Contributed by Rebecca Stokes, Fairmont Private Schools