Showing posts with label private school.. Show all posts
Showing posts with label private school.. Show all posts

Wednesday, October 28

EVENTFUL: A Grown-Up's Guide to “Treating” Trick-or-Treaters

"Trick or treat?" How you answer that question on Halloween night will impact your household’s reputation for the entire year. Children have a sixth sense when it comes to scouting out the best candy houses and are quick to discover which houses to swarm and which to avoid during their night of scavenging. Since this is the only time when taking candy from strangers is socially acceptable, remember to play by the rules in order to become the beloved Willy Wonka of your neighborhood. As any trick-or-treater will tell you, not all candy is created equal.
Golden Rule – While “fun size” is fun, “king size” is better.

Rule #1 – No Popcorn Balls or Homemade Pinterest Attempts

Popcorn balls are good for two things: pelting siblings and gunking up a child’s candy receptacle. And unless you’re hosting a Halloween bash, refrain from dispensing homemade treats to wandering children. Popcorn balls do not belong in a pillowcase or plastic pumpkin. No parent is going to let their child eat treats made by the hands of a stranger, no matter how nice and unassuming you seem. Give Pinterest a rest and don’t waste your time in the kitchen. Think pre-wrapped and store-bought.

Rule #2 – Chocolate > Hard Candy
Not only is chocolate far superior in taste and satisfaction in comparison to hard candy, chocolate also has the bonus of being less of a choking hazard. Lemon Heads, Jolly Ranchers, and the like are delicious, but no kid can resist the smooth taste of a Snickers or Hershey's Kiss.
Rule #3 – Fruit Spoils Happiness
Unless you want to be known as the Grinch of Halloween, do not answer the door holding a bowl of fruit. Nothing makes a child’s gleeful smile disappear quicker than an apple or clementine on Halloween night. The same goes for toothbrushes and raisins. Save yourself the embarrassment and keep the fruit for your own kid’s lunches.  
Rule #4 – Protect Your Candy
For one night only, candy is king. Like a scene from a zombie movie, parents allow their children to wander the streets in search of these nutrient-lacking nuggets. So, protect your stash. Don’t leave your candy bowl unattended on the porch. It only takes one punk teenager with a heart full of greed and a mouth full of cavities to ruin the fun for a gaggle of tiny trick-or-treaters. No one wants that.
Rule #5 – Stay Away from Wax Lips & Wax Fangs
No one knows what these are, or why they were created. Enough said.
Rule #6 – Mom & Dad Tax
Think about being the house on your street that caters to the Mom & Dad Tax. Candies such as caramels, Almond Joys, Good & Plenty, and Mounds are usually lower on a child’s candy-trading scale and therefore act as acceptable payment for the Mom & Dad Tax at the end of the night.
Rule #7 – Accidental Lighting
Don’t be the person who is clearly home and has left the porch light on, but refuses to answer the door. If you run out of candy or don’t wish to be greeted by ghouls and goblins, turn off the porch light. Think of those little tykes patiently waiting for candy, and then realizing there is none.

Have a happy Halloween!

Contributed by Rebecca Stokes, Fairmont Private Schools
Image by Clip Art Sheep  

Wednesday, August 19

HOW TO: teach gratitude

An important lesson while growing up is learning to demonstrate gratitude and thankfulness. In a culture of instant gratification, it is important to foster an attitude of gratitude in your child. Studies show that children who engage in grateful behavior have more energy, demonstrate enthusiasm for school, and carry more positive paradigms overall. Here are several tips and activities to engage your child in the concept of gratitude:

  1. Be Intentional - Practice gratitude in your own daily life and lead by example when interacting with your spouse, children, and other adults. Modeling the type of behavior you want from your child is the best way to encourage him or her to follow your lead.
  1. Be Charitable - Show your children what it feels like to be a gracious giver. Encourage your child to clean out his or her room and donate any unneeded items to a local homeless shelter or church organization. Explaining to your child the purpose behind donating items to those who really need them is a great eye-opening exercise in gracious giving.
  2. Be Acknowledging - Encourage your child to acknowledge all that they have been given by frequently discussing what you’re thankful for. Stating that you are grateful for a nice meal cooked by your spouse, time spent with loved ones, money to purchase a new item for the family, etc. will plant a seed of thankfulness as your child begins to identify specific things for which to be grateful.
  1. Be Responsive - Teach your child to respond appropriately to others’ kindness by encouraging him or her to frequently say “Thank you.” Keep a stash of thank-you notes at home and have your child thank others after a gift or service has been given. Grandparents will love getting a handwritten card in the mail after sending a grandchild’s birthday present. Thank-you cards are also great for teachers, coaches, etc. to demonstrate gratitude for their time and commitment. Also see FAIRMONT FIVE: Teaching Good Manners for more etiquette tips.      

Gratitude equates to a positive attitude and optimistic outlook on life. “When kids recognize that the things they own and the opportunities they have come from someone other than themselves, it helps them develop a healthy understanding of how interdependent we all are - and they may be more inclined to treat others with genuine respect,” says Huffington Post article titled 11 Tips for Instilling True Gratitude in Your Kids.

Contributed by Rebecca Stokes, Fairmont Private Schools
Image by Gratitude Habit
Videos by Greater Good Science Center, University of California - Berkeley

Wednesday, April 29

FAIRMONT FIVE: planning a kid-friendly vacation

One of the rites of spring is figuring out this summer’s family vacation. Planning can be as simple as loading up the car for a fun road trip, or as complicated as making airline and hotel arrangements around busy schedules for a trip across the country or overseas. Either way, we have provided some tips to make your next vacation extra-memorable for your children.

1.       Avoid over-planning and focus a little more on being flexible—Arranging a tight travel schedule might squeeze out unexpected pleasures such as visiting a country fair, shopping at a farmers market, or attending a concert in the park. Block out a couple of days to be spontaneous and experience life as a local.

2.       Involve your child in the vacation planning process—While mapping out the itinerary, discuss possible places of interest with your child. Encourage them to practice geography skills and test their knowledge of history as they research potential sites to visit. Math skills can be exercised while determining the distance and the time it will take to drive to a particular destination.

3.       Follow the 15-minute rule—For every one hour on the road, plan 15 minutes to stop and get out of the car. If pulling over every hour is not practical, drive three hours and take a driving break for half an hour. This offers opportunities to stretch the legs and fully appreciate scenic spots along the journey.

4.       Take a break from the screen—Provide alternative traveling activities for children to prevent them from being completely glued to their smartphones and iPads. Encourage them to pay close attention to points of interests during the drive. Have them create a photographic journal of the different sights along the trip. Bring books, puzzles, and word games to occupy their minds while on the road. When visiting relatives, ask your child to put on a reporter’s cap and interview grandparents, aunts, and uncles. This will open the door to some great storytelling and provide the child with fascinating insights related to their family’s heritage.

5.       Don’t leave healthy habits home alone—Be sure to bring a bag of snacks for the road that includes nuts, carrots, string cheese, fruit, and crackers. Sometimes vacations bring out the desire to indulge in junk food that is not common fare in the home. Keeping candy consumption to a minimum will prevent kids from getting too “sugared up” in the back seat.

By the end of vacation,  your child will have a detailed journal of wonderful memories, stories, and discoveries.

Please note If you are planning for your child to join the adventure at Fairmont's Summer Programs, enroll by April 30th to save 10% on summer camp and school. 

Contributed by Doug Fleischli, Fairmont Private Schools

Image credit: fueld

Monday, April 27

HOW TO: backing up your student’s work

As the school year winds down, now is a good time to think about the best way to save your student’s work.  If you have not been backing up regularly, summertime offers a great opportunity to clean up your student’s iPad and computer by backing up the data to an external drive.  To save work and projects, we recommend backing up data from your student’s iPad using one (or preferably several) of the methods outlined below.  Once the data has been backed up to a hard disk, it can be deleted from the iPad.
Since iCloud will save only the most recent backups, if you delete data from your iPad, the newer back up will not contain that data.  It’s recommended to use both a cloud-based and hard disk backup to protect and save your data, which will enable you to wipe your iPad clean for the next school year.  If you so choose, be sure to wait until after the school year is over, as teachers may have projects, assignments, and assessments that utilize school work completed earlier in the year.


The bottom line is to always remember to back up your computers and mobile devices regularly!


Perhaps the easiest way to back up your data is by using Apple’s iCloud feature.  With this feature enabled, your data will be backed up automatically when your iPad is plugged in, locked, and connected to the Internet.  This form of backup takes place when the iPad is charging and not in use. To activate iCloud backup:

  • Go to Settings > iCloud > Backup
  • Toggle the iCloud Backup switch to “On” setting
  • You can choose the “Back Up Now” option to create an immediate iCloud backup of your data
If you require more than the free 5 GB of storage, Apple offers additional storage space starting at 99 cents per month for 20GM


Another great option to back up your iPad is to plug it into your computer and sync it with iTunes.  If you have iTunes installed on your computer, it should automatically open when you plug in your iPad.  If not, simply open iTunes manually with your iPad plugged in. To back up your data:
  • Click on the iPad icon near the top of the iTunes window
  • Under the Backups box, click on “Back Up Now” to create a backup of your iPad

You can select how your iPad will generate automatic backups by selecting the "iCloud” or “This computer” option.  You can always create a manual backup of your iPad using iTunes even when your auto backup is set to “iCloud”

Google Drive

Google Drive is a convenient way to back up files, images, and videos.  However, Google Drive will not save your iPad apps or settings.  
To save apps or settings, you will need to use one of the above options  (iCloud or iTunes).
Many apps, such as iAnnotate and Explain Everything, give you the option to save directly to Google Drive.  You can also upload any video or picture from your camera roll to your Google Drive using the 
free Google Drive app. If your iCloud storage is getting full, the main culprit is usually the large size of your camera roll.  You can choose to back up your camera roll to Google Drive on a regular basis to free up some of your iCloud storage space.  Note that your drive has a capacity of 30GB while the free iCloud storage is limited to 5GB.  


Dropbox works  similar to Google Drive, but the free storage is smaller (only 2GB).  Dropbox will allow you to create an automatic back up from your camera roll.  To enable this feature, open the Dropbox app on your iPad then click on the Settings tab at the bottom left side of the screen.  Tap the “Camera Upload” option and toggle it to “On”  setting. 

Computer: External Hard Drive and Off-site Backup

It’s essential to back up your computer regularly to an external hard drive using Time Machine on a Mac or a number of programs on a PC.  It can be devastating to lose work and personal files if your computer becomes damaged or is stolen.  Establishing a routine to plug in the drive at the end of the week is an effective measure to back up data.  This ensures you will never lose more than a week’s worth of work.  And if you are using Google Drive or Dropbox to back up some of your files, you are creating even more insurance for protecting your data.  Other off-site options for backup include Crashplan, Mozy, and Carbonite. The best backup plan includes a local backup to an external hard drive and an off-site backup to the cloud. 
Backing up your student’s work ensures peace of mind. This protected resource of information will be useful for the upcoming school year.   It will also enable your student to safely free up space on his/her iPad in anticipation of new projects.

Contributed by the Marketing Department, Fairmont Private Schools 
Image by It's All About Laptops!