Monday, December 23

FAIRMONT FIVE holiday hygge

In spite of the bitter cold and only six hours of daylight in the winter, the people of Denmark are some of the happiest and most prosperous on the planet.  One reason may be their appreciation of hygge (hue-gah) a word which is tough to translate but loosely refers to a feeling of warmth, coziness and togetherness.  Danes create hygge by burning fires and candles throughout the winter, cuddling with loved ones under warm blankets, and making time to connect with friends and family over coffee or simple meals.  

Here in America, we talk about “unplugging” and “being present”—something that is nearly impossible when we are busily preparing for holiday celebrations.  It can be so hard to make time for the simple things, but it’s so important.  Our children will forget the fabulous meals and expensive gifts, but they will remember the time they spent with you.  

This winter break, create some hygge at your home by:
  1. Enjoying a cup of warm cocoa with your child
  2. Playing puzzles or blocks near a warm fire
  3. Watching a favorite family movie together
  4. Staying in your pajamas and making pancakes together
  5. Building an indoor fort and telling stories past bedtime

Contributed by Danyelle, Fairmont Private Schools

Wednesday, December 18

SNACK TIME healthy holiday snacking substitutions

Want to make some wonderful, holiday treats, but still keep it healthy and enticing? Focus on size, color and shape.  Making simple substitutions to traditional family recipes can deliver a nutritional boost without sacrificing taste.

Recipe Substitution Tips:
Substitute whole wheat flour for white flour. Replacing half of the white flour with an equal part of whole wheat flour will increase the fiber content and trace minerals such as zinc and magnesium. Works well with cakes and muffins!
To reduce calories and fat in a recipe, substitute half the fat (a recipe with 1 cup of oil would use 1/2 cup oil and 1/2 cup applesauce). If you can't tell the difference, try substituting a bit more of the fat each time. Applesauce adds moisture and should not change the flavor of the recipe.
Use prunes for butter. No kidding! In brownies and other dark baked goods, prune puree makes a perfect butter substitute while cutting more than half the calories and fat. Combine 3/4 cup prunes with 1/4 cup boiling water, and puree to combine. Substitute in equal amounts in most dark baked good recipes.
Fortify to boost nutrients.Toss in some nuts or ground flax seed meal to a recipe to boost fiber, B vitamins and omega-3 fatty acids. Spices such as cinnamon, cardamom and ginger contain antioxidants and other compounds that may boost health.
Choose bite-sized vs. super sized. Holiday snacking is part of family tradition and fun. Bringing balance to the table might alleviate some guilt without foregoing flavor. Celebrate using traditional family recipes, but cut into smaller pieces or use holiday-shaped cookie cutters to create a more festive feel. Bite-size desserts such as mini-tarts and cookies automatically act as calorie monitors. Focus on quality not quantity.  

Healthy holiday snack suggestions:
  • Bite-size sandwiches in the shapes of holiday characters offer fun and intrigue. Fill with lunch meat, hummus, lite-cream cheese or peanut butter and jam.  
  • Mini-muffins with whole grains, pumpkin, dried fruit or nuts.
  • Hot spiced tea brings flavor and warms the body.
  • Cranberry, Tangerine and pomegranate punch packs flavor and even more phytonutrients!

Happy Healthy Holidays!

Image credit:
Submitted by Leslie Kay-Getzinger, MS RD
Regional Dietitian for Nutrition Management Services Company

Monday, December 16

SHORT STORY 14th annual choc toy run

Santa says thanks to Fairmont's "elves"!
Fairmont celebrated a beloved holiday tradition on Friday, Dec. 13 with the 14th annual CHOC Toy Run. Bikers from the Orange Coast Harley Owners Group (OCHOG) arrived at each of our campuses to pick up Fairmont's toy donations, meeting with students and teachers before revving up their Harleys and heading on their way.  Fairmont's donations will be delivered to CHOC hospital on Christmas Eve and will bring cheer to the children hospitalized at CHOC throughout the coming year.  Thank you to the entire Fairmont community for your generosity!
Mrs. Calabria gets in the spirit!
Contributed by Valerie & Danyelle, Fairmont Private Schools

Wednesday, December 11

SCHOOL NEWS technology in the classroom

Fairmont Prep's 1:1 iPad program is a huge success!  We love to see what happens when great teaching meets engaging technology.  Check it out!

Contributed by Danyelle, Fairmont Private Schools

Monday, December 9

FAIRMONT FIVE winter break boredom busters

Woohoo, the winter break countdown has begun!  It's the most wonderful time of the year for children looking forward to Santa, holiday celebrations and NO SCHOOL!  For moms and dads, it can be challenging.  There are tons of holiday preparations to be made, travel to and fro, and the kids are out of school--yikes!  What can you do to keep your sanity, entertain your kids and sneak in a little fun, learning over the winter break?  Here are five ideas:
  1. Make a marshmallow tower
  2. Build a indoor fort
  3. Send the kids to the museum with grandma (great gingerbread exhibit at Discovery Science Center)
  4. Let the kids make gift tags from scrap paper or old Christmas cards
  5. Make paper chain decorations
Contributed by Danyelle, Fairmont Private Schools

Wednesday, December 4

SCHOOL NEWS coach kahlweiss wins coach of the year

Congratulations are in order for Coach Katie Kahlweiss who was recently named 2013 Coach of the Year for the San Joaquin League. Coach Kahlweiss lead the young Lady Huskies volleyball team to a second place finish in the league.  She says, "When I coach I love to teach the girls about technique, teamwork, and discipline, but mostly I enjoying teaching the strategy of the game!  I also encourage my girls to live healthy and active lifestyles which are lessons they can take with them after they leave Fairmont." 

Contributed by Danyelle, Fairmont Private Schools

Monday, December 2

BULLETIN BOARD december inspiration

Children look forward to the holidays all year long, but sometimes the fun gets lost in the shuffle.  We love these four pins from our Fairmont Pinterest boards that bring out the kid in all of us.

Contributed by Danyelle, Fairmont Private Schools

Monday, November 25

A TO Z holiday giving for kids

With so many messages bombarding us to hit the stores and buy, buy, buy, it can be hard to re-focus on a deeper meaning of the holiday season.  One way to tune out the noise of consumerism is to get involved in giving back to others through community service or philanthropy. 

The holiday season is the perfect time to "shop" for a worthwhile cause that suits your family. Whether it's adopting an animal at your local zoo or aquarium, sponsoring a child in a developing country, rounding up canned goods for charity or visiting a senior center, you don't have to look far to find meaningful ways to show genuine charity. 

The holidays can be a stressful time for children as well as parents.  There's so much going on. The expectations are high.  And Santa is making his list and checking it twice!  Slowing down and connecting with others in the community is a great way to bring some normalcy to the season.  

As surprising as it may seem to parents who are keeping track of their kids' ever-expanding holiday wish lists, children get a huge kick out of giving--they just need to be introduced to the habit by an adult who has experienced the joy of giving and wants to pass it along. It's contagious!

There are so many benefits for children who are socially conscious. KidsHealth lists these perks:
  • A sense of responsibility. By volunteering, kids learn what it means to make and keep a commitment. They learn how to be on time for a job, do their best, and be proud of the results. But they also learn that, ultimately, we're all responsible for the well-being of our communities.
  • That one person can make a difference. A wonderful, empowering message for kids is that they're important enough to have an impact on someone or something else.
  • The benefit of sacrifice. By giving up a toy to a less fortunate child, a child learns that sometimes it's good to sacrifice. Cutting back on recreation time to help clean up a beach tells kids that there are important things besides ourselves and our immediate needs.
  • Tolerance. Working in community service can bring kids and teens in touch with people of different backgrounds, abilities, ethnicities, ages, and education and income levels. They'll learn that even the most diverse individuals can be united by common values.
  • Job skills. Community service can help young people decide on their future careers. Are they interested in the medical field? Hospitals and clinics often have teenage volunteer programs. Do they love politics? Kids can work on the real campaigns of local political candidates. Learning to work as a team member, taking on leadership roles, setting project goals — these are all skills that can be gained by volunteering and will serve kids well in any future career.
  • How to fill idle time wisely. If kids aren't involved in traditional after-school activities, community service can be a wonderful alternative.
You can feel confident about being generous when you research charities in advance through Charity Navigator.  The site ranks non-profits on a variety of things including how much of your donation goes to provide goods or services and how much is spent on overhead.  To get ideas for family friendly volunteering, check out this e-book from Volunteer Spot.

This time next year that must-have gift of the season will be long forgotten but the values and memories made by getting involved in giving back will last a lifetime.

Image credit:
Contributed by Danyelle, Fairmont Private Schools

Wednesday, November 20

FAIRMONT FIVE holiday photo cards

It's that time of year again...time to start thinking about your annual holiday card mailing! The majority of families with precious little children to show off opt for personalized photo cards, and can you blame us!  Photo cards are a great way to reconnect with friends and family near and far.  If you're not already planning a professional family portrait, Thanksgiving holiday is a great time to snap a quick shot of your family looking your best.  Here are five options for sourcing your cards this year:

  1. Largest selection--Tiny Prints
  2. Best quality--Minted
  3. Emailable--Paperless Post
  4. Budget conscious--Snapfish
  5. Print at home--Etsy (lots of options)

Image from frankandfrida via Etsy
Contributed by Danyelle, Fairmont Private Schools

Monday, November 18

ARTS + CRAFTS leaf finger puppets

Fall is such a great time for an outdoor craft with your kids. The leaves are changing colors, the air is crisp, and you may even get some mud puddles to stomp in when you go on your fall leaf hunt!  We love this simple craft from iVillage to share with your kids on a beautiful autumn day. It's easy, in-expensive, and makes for some fun dramatic play when your nature walk is over.

Image: iVillage
Contributed by Darcy, Fairmont Private Schools

Wednesday, November 13

FAIRMONT FIVE frameworthy kid art

We are super excited about creating a new Pinterest board dedicated to the fine and performing arts! Fairmont has an amazing arts program--from drama and music to drawing and painting. To kick things off, here are a few pins dedicated to art you and your child can create at home that you will be proud to show off. Follow Fairmont Private Schools on Pinterest to see more pins from Fairmont's art, music and drama teachers throughout the school year.

Abstract art made with black paint, cardboard/plastic and crayons

Another cool abstract art idea made with paint and cardboard paper towel rolls

Read What Snowmen Do At Night and create this oil pastel drawing on black paper

Love the whimsy of this "Catching Snowflakes" art project and your kids will too!

Get your artistic juices flowing by creating backgrounds to famous works of art.

Contributed by Danyelle, Fairmont Private Schools

Monday, November 11

SHORT STORY 2013 halloween parades

It seems like everyone has moved on to turkeys and tinsel, but we still haven't had our fill of cute students in Halloween costumes.  We think you will agree after you watch the 2013 Halloween parades!

Contributed by Danyelle, Fairmont Private Schools

Wednesday, November 6

BOOK REPORT milly and the macy's parade

Milly and the Macy's Parade
by Shana Corey
Illustrated by Brett Helquist

Treat your child to a festive story of how one small person makes a big difference. It's Thanksgiving, and spirited Milly sees that the whole town is in need of some cheer, so she comes up with a way to blend her family's old country traditions with their new American heritage, and thus the Macy's Day Parade is born. Inspired by the true story behind the first Macy's Parade in 1924, bright paintings and easy-to-follow text will captivate your child. Milly's story provides a glimpse into immigrant life in America in the 1920s and shows the value of a child's ideas and dreams.
Review provided by Scholastic

Contributed by Danyelle, Fairmont Private Schools

Monday, November 4

FAIRMONT FIVE rainy day playdates

I think everyone loves fall. You pull out all of the warm sweaters and boots.  You cuddle up under cozy blankets.  And EVERYTHING is pumpkin flavored!  It also means being a little more creative for playdates because fall can also mean rain. But don't worry, plenty of fun can be had indoors! Here are 5 playdate ideas when rain is threatening:
  1. Build a blanket fort. Whether you're 4 or 14 fort building is always fun. Give kids full access to all blankets, chairs, tables, etc. that will be needed for their forts. Building is most of the fun but snack time in the fort is great too.
  2. Balloon swatting. For those of us with young boys who have lots of energy, balloon swatting is the perfect solution. Blow up a handful of balloons or let the kids do it themselves. Give them some boundaries and then just let them get all of that energy out keeping the balloons off the floor!
  3. Bake cookies. Baking a sweet treat on a cool, rainy day fills the house with wonderful smells and keeps little ones busy. Let the kids help out with measuring, mixing and licking the spoon!
  4. Walking in the rain. Put on your rain gear and grab an umbrella because kids love walking and splashing in the rain. Go on a walk down the street or just let the kids play in the backyard with their rain gear on. 
  5. Go to the library. If the kids are getting stir crazy then just head to the library. Check your local library's calendar and you can find different story times and fun activities geared for different age groups. Or just let the kids choose a few books and get cozy in a chair.
Image credit:
Contributed by: Darcy, Fairmont Private Schools

Monday, October 28

A TO Z kindergarten readiness

Is your child ready for kindergarten? The skills that kindergarten teachers are looking for may surprise you. You might think it’s important for children to enter kindergarten knowing their ABCs, numbers, shapes and colors so they can keep up with the curriculum. While teachers love it when children are familiar with these building blocks of academic learning, they are also looking for students with:
  • Good listening skills. Loves listening to stories. Answers questions about a story. Hears and identifies letter sounds in words. Detects rhyming words and patterns. Concentrates on what the teacher is saying. Listens carefully for directions. Follows 3-step directions.
  • Strong fine motor skills. Correct pencil grasp. Forms letters and numbers, and writes first name. Weaves and threads objects. Colors a simple picture. Cuts on a line. Copies simple shapes. Has mastered practical life skills i.e. buttons, zippers, and fasteners on clothing. Also beginning to learn to tie shoes.
  • Solid oral language skills. Has a strong knowledge about their world. Uses words to convey needs, feelings, likes and dislikes. Uses language/words in the correct context. Identifies letter sounds. Responds to questions in complete sentences. Retells a story in own words.
  • Ability to play with others. Invites other to play through conversation and body language. Communicates with others by expressing personal wants. Understands and respects rules--often asks permission. Takes turns and shares (toys and attention with others. Shows self-control by using words instead of hands. Pretends while playing (combines fantasy and reality). Is silly, playful and happy. Plays through gross motor skills (jumping, climbing, etc.)
  • Enthusiasm for learning. Asks questions. Participates in activities. Becomes engaged in lessons. Wants to come to school. Is developing a habit of cooperation. Is curious and wants to investigate. Is willing to take risks and not afraid of making mistakes. Shows independence.
Watch your child's behavior and look for these key signs to ensure that he or she is ready to transition to "big kid school." Starting kindergarten when the child is truly ready is one of the first key steps towards academic success. 

Image credit: Fairmont Private Schools
Contributed by Danyelle, Fairmont Private Schools

Monday, October 21

ARTS + CRAFTS bat-o-lanterns

Halloween is such a fun time for arts and crafts. There are so many simple ways to decorate your home with things you and your children have made yourselves. One of the most popular crafts during Halloween is carving pumpkins!  But if you are like me, you have young children who you can't trust with a knife yet. Here is an adorable bat-o-lantern craft from Spoonful that will let your younger children join in on the pumpkin decorating fun!  For more great Halloween-themed crafts, check out Fairmont's Pinterest boards.

Image credit: Spoonful 
Contributed by Darcy, Fairmont Private Schools

Friday, October 18


6th graders enjoying Outdoor Education

Highlights From This Week

Red Ribbon Week
Next week, Fairmont will celebrate Red Ribbon Week. This is a week to remind students to live a healthy lifestyle. Depending on the campus, there will be themed dress days through the week. In addition, all students will receive a red wristband to wear throughout the week. While wearing this wristband, students can receive discounts at various businesses around Orange County.

North Tustin JDRF Fundraiser
The North Tustin Campus had a JDRF Fundraiser on Wednesday, October 16th and we reached our school goal of $1,000! Students who participate will have their name written on a JDRF sneaker, which is hung on the car loading bulletin board. All collections go to the JDRF Walk on November 3rd. Thank you so much for your support!

Save the Date: JDRF - Walk to Cure Diabetes
Sunday, November 3rd, 2013
University of California, Irvine
Check in: 8:30 am  
Walk Starts: 10:00 am
Rain or Shine
UCI Parking: $7 per car
Fairmont as a community has registered for the JDRF Walk to Cure Diabetes and accepted the challenge to form a team and raise money for JDRF, the largest nongovernmental supporter of type 1 diabetes (T1D) research. The JDRF Walk to Cure Diabetes raises funds, awareness, and hope for the millions of people living with and affected by T1D, a serious autoimmune disease. This year's walk is Sunday, November 3rd at UCI. Visit our campus team pages to register for the walk and donate: North Tustin - Historic Anaheim Campus - Anaheim Hills - Historic Anaheim Preschool

Historic Anaheim and Anaheim Hills 6th Grade Goes Outdoors for Education 
Each year, sixth grade students spend a week in the San Bernardino Mountains hiking, exploring, and observing nature. While there, they are exposed to hands-on lessons in biology, geology, and ecology that enrich the sixth grade science curriculum. While the experience is highly educational, students also gain the opportunity to meet sixth graders from other school communities and develop rich friendships with their peers. Throughout the week, students had the opportunity to walk alongside expert instructors and classroom teachers, learning about the wilderness that surrounds them. Additionally, they studied many topics covered in their science classes, including plate tectonics and the water cycle. It certainly was a week of learning about and engaging with nature! 

Some students exclaimed their favorite moments included: Skit Night, the astronomy hike, and their science sessions. The camaraderie gained through the five day experience was enough to last a lifetime. While each and every student learned more about the world in which they live, they also developed strong friendships and lasting memories. Outdoor Science School provided an experience unmatched for Fairmont's sixth graders!

Wednesday, October 16

SNACK TIME pumpkin soup

Feel that chill in the air? Warm soup is on the way! It’s October – why not make it pumpkin? That’s right, pumpkin soup is surprisingly yummy, creamy, and velvety-smooth. Made from scratch using real pumpkins is way more fun and tastier than making soup from canned.
Selecting a pumpkin is part of the fun. Kids can watch it transform in the oven and help scoop out the flesh. Remember that children are much more likely to eat food if they are involved in its meal planning and preparation.
Cooking tip: The best pumpkins for baking are sometimes called “pie pumpkins” and are smaller than jack-o-lantern varieties. Try Baby Pam, Autumn Kobachi, Hokkaido and Cinderella varieties for the best flavor.
Nutrition tip: Colorful plants are loaded with phytochemicals, compounds that possess antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Orange and yellow squash and pumpkin definitely contribute to the “rainbow diet”.
Bonus: Scooping out the pumpkins seeds and roasting them is another kid-friendly activity and also makes a tasty and nutritious snack.
Imagine serving soup in hollowed-out tiny pumpkin as a special treat! Spooktacular!

Pumpkin Soup (from The Pioneer Woman)
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Difficulty: Easy
Servings: 8
§  2 whole Pie Pumpkins
§  1 quart Vegetable Or Chicken Stock
§  1/2 cup Heavy Cream
§  1/3 cup Maple Syrup
§  Dash Of Nutmeg
§  Salt To Taste
§  Extra Cream, For Serving

Preparation Instructions:
Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Place pumpkins on a cookie sheet and roast them until slightly shriveled and soft. Allow to cool slightly, then slice in half and carefully scoop out seeds and pulp. Scoop yummy flesh into a bowl. Set aside.

In a pot, heat up the pumpkin flesh with the stock and maple syrup until simmering. Mash out the big chunks, the transfer the mixture to a blender or food processor (or use an immersion blender) and puree until velvety smooth. Add cream and nutmeg, then blend again. Reheat if you need to, or just go ahead and serve in a hollowed-out pumpkin of whatever size you'd like.

Image credit: The Pioneer Woman 
Submitted by Leslie Kay-Getzinger, MS RD
Regional Dietitian for Nutrition Management Services Company

Monday, October 14

HOW TO make the most of your parent/teacher conference

Few things make a parent beam with pride more than a glowing review from a teacher. We love to hear that our children are bright, hard-working and responsible, and, chances are, that's just what you'll hear at your upcoming parent/teacher conference. Conference time is also a valuable opportunity to dig a little deeper and find out areas where your child may need support.

In order to make the most of this experience, it helps to do your homework. Think ahead about any concerns you may have and be prepared to share them with your child's teacher in an open and non-threatening way. Share important details about your child that the teacher may not know and that could help maximize your child's success in the classroom. Take advantage of the teacher's unique perspective to get a well-rounded picture of how your child is doing socially and emotionally as well as academically.

Let these tips from Scholastic be your guide and you'll be on your way to a super productive (and painless)  parent/teacher conference.

Before the Teacher Conference 
Start preparing early. Don't wait until the night before to get organized. Create a folder at the beginning of the year in which you store test scores, big homework assignments, and your notes (about things your child has told you or any other topics you want to address).

Talk to your child. Ask how he or she is doing in class, what's going on during lunchtime, recess, and when he or she goes to special classes like music or gym.

During the Teacher Conference
Arrive early. With only a few precious minutes to spend, you don't want to be late. It will shorten your time with your child's teacher and affect her day's entire schedule.

Enter with the right attitude. The goal of both the teacher and the parent should be the success of the student, but sometimes parents have a hard time discussing tough issues. Rather than put the teacher on the defensive, arrive with a compliment to start the conference off on the right foot. ("My son is really enjoying the unit on space" or "We had a great time on the field trip.") Then address any concerns in a respectful way.

Find out the communication protocol. Don't let this be the only time you talk to your child's teacher. Ask how he or she likes to communicate, whether it's by e-mail, notes passed through a folder, or phone calls.

After the Teacher Conference
Follow up. If the teacher brings something to your attention that needs to be addressed with your child, take steps to put the plan in motion, whether it's helping with organizational skills, getting extra help, or addressing a social issue.

Update your child. Start with the positive things his or her teacher had to say, then fill him or her in on any concerns you and the teacher discussed. Explain how you can all work together to ensure your child has a successful year.

Image credit:
Contributed by Danyelle, Fairmont Private Schools

Wednesday, October 9

FAIRMONT FIVE apple picking in oak glen

Romes and Winesaps and Braeburns, oh my! It’s apple season again! You can find these iconic fruits of fall at your local farmer’s market, but it’s so much more fun to harvest them yourself. Consider packing up the family and heading on an apple picking adventure. The little town of Oak Glen, California is just over an hour’s drive from Orange County, but you’ll feel worlds away. Pick your own apples, press a gallon of cider, hike in the San Bernardino wilderness, ride a pony, square dance…and gorge yourself on apple delicacies. Click on the farms below for apple picking and all manner of apple-related fun.

  1. Los Rio Rancho
  2. Mom’s County Orchards
  3. Riley's Apple Farm
  4. Snow-line Orchards
  5. Willowbrook Apple Farm
Image credit:
Contributed by Danyelle, Fairmont Private Schools

Monday, October 7

BOOK REPORT dark emperor and other poems of the night

Dark Emperor & Other Poems of the Night
by Joyce Sidman
Illustrated by Rick Allen
This October we are taking every opportunity to embrace the dark side, and no, we're not referring to The Force, Luke!  This exquisitely illustrated book of poetry celebrates the creatures that go bump in the night from bats and owls to mice and moths.  It's a great read for kids during this spooky month of Halloween and features both beautiful poetry and enlightening natural science facts about the featured animals.  It's an un-scary read for a cozy night around the campfire.  Oh, and did we mention that Dark Emperor is a Newbery Honor Book!
Contributed by: Danyelle, Fairmont Private Schools

Wednesday, October 2


From poetry to chemistry to apple picking road trips, we hope our inspiration board helps sets the tone for your "fall" into October.
  1. Apple picking in Oak Glen
  2. Moon poster free printable
  3. Macaroni skeleton craft
  4. Dark Emperor and Other Poems of the Night
  5. Pumpkin spice playdough
  6. Mad scientist-themed Halloween party
Contributed by Danyelle, Fairmont Private Schools

Monday, September 30

HOW TO strengthen math skills at home

Math exists all around us in almost everything we do, and it's important to stop and use everyday math to help children improve their math skills.  When children use math in a real world application, they are far more likely to understand and remember the skill used.  This real world application alongside a consistent math regimen allows children the comfort and precision necessary to build a strong foundation in all areas of math.  

Have fun! Don’t be afraid to make a game out of some of the more mundane math activities such as math fact flash card drills.  For every fact a child gets correct, they get to keep that card and later can try to throw their correct cards into a hat or bowl.  The more cards they get into the hat, the greater rewards they can earn.

Let’s bake!  Rarely will you find more math involved in an everyday activity than in baking. Whether it's counting chocolate chips, doubling recipes, or just learning units of measurement, baking will teach children important math skills...and the end result is delicious!

Let’s shop!  Stores are excellent places to reinforce estimation, percentages through sales or taxes, and money.  Include children in every part of the process from budgeting to cost analysis. Let them decide which size package is a better buy at the market or what the price of an item on sale will be.

Let’s travel!  Using distance, speed, and speed limits, children can find out how long a trip will take. With so much information available online, children can look up the speed of airplanes and find distances from one locale to another.  Make a game of seeing if Google Maps has made a correct estimation of travel time.  Children can also use math to deduce whether their parents have violated a speed limit or two! Travel games can be used on a daily basis on the way to and from school.

Unfortunately, learning math doesn’t always involve yummy treats, shopping, or speeding. Math is one of the few subjects where extra practice and repetition is the key to success.  All subjects require understanding, but math requires hard work and diligence at home in order to attain speed, skill, and mastery.

There is never any substitution for a child carefully attacking his or her math homework each and every night.  Fairmont provides home access to Accelerated Math and Math Facts in a Flash.*  These programs along with excellent math instruction at school have allowed our students to take classes such as Algebra II and Pre-Calculus in 8th grade. *There are other great no-cost or low-cost math apps available such as XtraMath and Operation Math.

A love for math needs to be established both at school and in the home.  Math can be a burden or an adventure.  It is all about the positive attitude we create in the home for our children.  If we help keep math entertaining and meaningful our children will be more excited each and every day when math class begins.

Photo credit:

Contributed by Matt, Fairmont Private Schools