Wednesday, November 16

THE FAIRMONT FIVE thanksgiving leftover recipes

If you've been in charge of cooking the "roast beast" for many of your family gatherings, as I have, you know the joy of sitting down to a meal of leftovers the day after the big occasion. The hoopla is over and you can finally enjoy the fruits of your labors.  For some, however, the thought of leftovers conjures memories of conjealed cranberry sauce and dried-out stuffing (and various other science projects) curing on the refrigerator shelves until someone gets the honor of throwing them out.  Gross! 

Whether you like it or not, the leftovers are coming.  Here are some delicious ways to enjoy them.
Photo credit: Annabelle Breakey,

Contributed by Danyelle, Fairmont Private Schools 

Tuesday, November 15

HOW TO take the best family portraits

There's nothing like a great family portrait, especially in time for holiday cards and greetings. But we all know that it can seem virtually impossible to capture that one fleeting moment when everyone is looking at the camera and smiling. We loved these helpful tips from photographer David Capron of Emotion Portrait Studios that we found in Coast Kids. Hope they help make your holiday portrait picture-perfect! 
  • Schedule Accordingly. Plan the time of the shoot based on your children's best time of day. Avoid nap times and meal times, and make sure everyone has had a nice snack beforehand so there are no rumbly tummies. 
  • Avoid the Matchy-Matchy. Capron recommends letting every family member have a say in what he or she wants to wear. This way, the picture will better express everyone's individuality and come out more fun and playful. Consider asking everyone to choose clothing in a particular color scheme instead of mandating matching dresses or shirts. 
  • Get the Kids Involved. Ask each child to choose one belonging to bring to the photo shoot. This object will provide some comfort and tell the photographer about the child's personality. 
  • Visit the Studio in Advance. Consider setting up an appointment to visit the studio and meet with the photographer before the actual shoot. The photographer can get a sense of your family's chemistry and the children will become more comfortable in the space. 

Contributed by Alyssa, Fairmont Private Schools 

(Image from Light Stalking)

Monday, November 14

BOOK REPORT the giver

During this time of giving and thanksgiving, what better book to read by the fire than Lois Lowry's The Giver? An ideal read for young adults ages 11 and up, this Newberry Medal winner weaves the captivating tale of a boy named Jonas who lives in a controlled "Utopian" community. On his twelfth birthday, Jonas is assigned special training from The Giver. He soon learns that in order for the rest of the community to function so perfectly, The Giver alone must sacrifice and keep the memories of the true pain and pleasure of unregulated life. 

I first came across this novel in fifth grade when it was recommended by my favorite teacher and have since returned to it countless times. It's a story that provokes deep thought and appreciation for what might otherwise seem troublesome or challenging. Consider reading the story along with your son or daughter over the Thanksgiving holiday, and then reference these study questions to spark some great discussion. 

Contributed by Alyssa 

Friday, November 11

FRIDAY FOLDER november 11

Highlights From This Week 
Anaheim Hills DSL Football Champions
Congratulations to the UNDEFEATED DSL Football Team! They were 7-0 this season and are the Champions of the 2011 DSL Football League! Check out the Championship Game pictures on FLICKR.

Fairmont Students Help Make History
The Fairmont Private School third graders were part of making history on Tuesday, November 8 as they were part of the Gift of History Guinness World Record breaking crowd for the "world largest history lesson!" Read more about the event in this OC Register article

Citron Gives Back
Citron will be supporting the City of Anaheim's Thanksgiving Meal Project by collecting and donating food for deserving families' Thanksgiving meals. We love seeing our students become involved in service projects at such a young age. For more kid-friendly community service ideas, check out this blog post

Weekly E-Newsletters 
Anaheim Hills Campus 
Citron Campus 
Edgewood Campus 
Mable Campus 

November Lunch Menus 

Contributed by Alyssa 

Thursday, November 10

HOW TO stay focused on school during the holidays

The holidays are coming, the holidays are coming!  Yes, I know, the stress and activity levels are already ratcheting up in your household as they are in mine.  There are parties and programs, travel and house guests, cooking, baking, buying....  If you think you're the only one affected by the hubbub of the holiday season, think again.  Our kids are also experiencing a dramatic shift away from their daily routines.  Sometimes this can mean a hiccup in their overall academic progress.  Here are a few simple tips to help keep your kids focused on their schoolwork during the holidays:
  • Continue to create a calm, distraction-free zone for studying and homework.  This means turning off the TV (and the Christmas carols) and limiting the number of interruptions during your child's homework time.  You can still keep it festive by providing snacks and warm cocoa while he/she works.
  • Limit the number of activities your children participate in during the school week.  Okay, so this may be a case of easier said than done, but even it your child can't opt out of a mid-week engagement, be sure he/she can be home for a reasonable bedtime.
  • Stick to bedtime routines including nightly reading with your child.  Try to keep up the good work when it comes to bedtime stories.  Reading to your child just 15 minutes a night will boost his/her reading skills and provide much-needed downtime for the two of you to bond over a good book.
  • Balance sugary sweets with healthy, hearty meals including a nutritious breakfast.  There's no reason to ban your children from enjoying holiday goodies, but a steady diet of cookies, cake and candy isn't the best brain food.  Sneak healthy ingredients into kid-friendly foods like pancakes, smoothies and spaghetti and you'll be fueling a healthy mind and body.
  • Over holiday breaks, keep your child's mind sharp with educational activities.  Invite an aunt, uncle or grandparent to take the kids to a local museum for the day. Or, go to the library for an hour or two. Turn holiday baking into a math lesson.  Ask your children the history behind holiday celebrations and have them do some online research.  Encourage your child to keep an illustrated journal of his/her holiday experiences.
  • Keep up your active lifestyle.  With shorter, cooler days, it can be difficult for kids to get the recommended 60 minutes of exercise they need to stay healthy and focus in school.  If a hectic schedule keeps you from heading to the park or taking walks around the block, encourage your kids to jump rope or work out indoors with fun exercise DVDs.
Photo credit: Microsoft Office online photo gallery

Contributed by Danyelle

Wednesday, November 9

fall fruits and veggies...A TO Z

Summer may be over, but here in Southern California we are blessed with a bounty of nutritious, delicious (and locally grown) fruits and vegetables all year round.  Harvest season is no exception, with vitamin-packed yams and sweet potatoes, winter squash, kale, spinach, cauliflower, apples, pears, citrus, kiwi fruit...I could go on.  To help you incorporate in-season produce into your family's diet, check out this listing from Food Fit of fall fruits and veggies complete with nutrition facts and recipes.

Photo credit:

Contributed by Danyelle

Tuesday, November 8

FAIRMONT FIVE celebrating veterans day

November 11 can come and go with little pomp and circumstance, but the men and women who have served, and continue to serve, our country deserve our recognition. Here are a few links to help you with everything from the history of Veterans Day to kid-friendly activities as you make this holiday meaningful for your family.
  1. Brush up on your Veterans Day history with a quick video
  2. Test your Veterans Day recall with an online quiz
  3. Read poigniant veteran-related poems like In Flander's Fields
  4. Donate to top-rated veteran causes
  5. Have fun with hands-on Veterans Day activities
Contributed by Danyelle

(Image from: Microsoft Office online photo gallery)