Monday, February 29

EVENTFUL: What is Leap Year?

Every four years, the day of February 29th graces our calendars and gives us one extra day to the year. But why does this happen? It takes the Earth 365.25 days to fully orbit the sun. Since it’s difficult to have a one-quarter day, those .25 are saved up until they equal one day, then are acknowledged every fourth year on February 29th.
Before Julius Caesar came to power over the Roman Empire, people used a 355-day calendar that included an additional 22-day month every two years. However, due to the movement of the stars and the shifting of feast days as they fell into different seasons, Caesar’s astronomer, Sosigenes, was tasked with created a more simplistic solution. Sosigenes developed the 365-day calendar that would save each year’s extra hours until they created an extra day.
Like any mathematical equation, there are rules. Generally, every fourth year is a Leap Year. However, a potential Leap Year that is divisible by 100 does not qualify as a Leap Year unless it is divisible by 400. Since Earth’s orbit around the sun is slightly less than 365.25 - 365.2422 to be exact - Pope Gregory XIII’s astronomers established the Gregorian calendar in 1582, which loses three leap days every 400 years to remain mathematically sound and astrologically aligned.

Contributed by Rebecca Stokes, Fairmont Private Schools
Image by Beachside LA

Wednesday, February 24

A to Z: Academy Award Nominated Movies for Your Family

The 88th Academy Awards ceremony is coming up and what better way to celebrate than with a classic, award-winning or nominated film! The first Academy Awards ceremony was held on May 16, 1929 in the Roosevelt Hotel in Hollywood, California. Founded as a nonprofit dedicated to the advancement of the film industry, the Academy was initially organized in 1927 by Louis B. Mayer, film producer and co-founder of MGM Studios. The Academy’s first president and ceremony host was renowned Broadway actor and silent action film star, Douglas Fairbanks, Sr. Share a piece of cinematic history with your children this weekend!
 Around the World in 80 Days - Won Best Picture (1956)

The Sound of Music - Won Best Picture (1965)

Little Women - Nominated for Best Picture (1933)

State Fair - Nominated for Best Picture (1933)

The Adventures of Robin Hood - Nominated for Best Picture (1938)

The Wizard of Oz - Nominated for Best Picture (1939)

The Quiet Man - Nominated for Best Picture (1952)

Roman Holiday - Nominated for Best Picture (1953)

To Kill a Mockingbird - Nominated for Best Picture (1962)

Mary Poppins - Nominated for Best Picture (1964)

Doctor Dolittle - Nominated for Best Picture (1967)

Fiddler on the Roof - Nominated for Best Picture (1971)

E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial - Nominated for Best Picture (1982)

Up - Nominated for Best Picture (2009)

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 Common Sense Media & Rotten Tomatoes

Friday, February 5

ARTS & CRAFTS: Chinese Lanterns

Decorate for Chinese New Year with these red, paper lanterns!

Red construction paper
Clear tape
Colorful string or ribbon
Glitter paint (Optional)
Paint brush (Optional)

  1. On one side of a piece of red construction paper, lightly paint glitter and let dry.
  2. After the glitter has dried, fold the construction paper in half, lengthwise. Using scissors, cut strips into the paper along the fold, but do not cut to the paper’s edge. Strips should be about an inch in width.
  3. Unfold the construction paper and secure the top two corners together with tape, and do the same with the bottom two corners. The paper should now be in a cylindrical shape.
  4. Cut a small length of ribbon and secure each end with tape on the inside top edge of the lantern.

Contributed by Rebecca Stokes, Fairmont Private Schools
Photos & Instructions by Nature Store


Weekly Highlights:


Contributed by Rebecca Stokes, Fairmont Private Schools

Friday, January 29

ARTS & CRAFTS: Valentine’s Day Votive

Decorate your house for Valentine's Day with these festive votive candles!

Recycled glass jars
Colored tissue paper (white, red, pink)
Liquid Starch or Mod Podge
Craft brushes
Tea Lights

  1. Using a craft brush, paint liquid starch or Mod Podge onto one side of a clean glass jar. Tear small pieces of white tissue paper and place on the painted side. Paint a layer overtop of the tissue paper now stuck to the jar. Continue painting and placing tissue paper until the outside of the jar is fully covered and a topcoat of Mod Podge has been applied.
  2. While the jar is still damp, cut small hearts from the red and pink tissue paper. Place the hearts onto the damp sides of the jar. If hearts do not stick, apply another layer of Mod Podge to dry areas of the jar.
  3. Once the hearts are in place, paint one last coat of Mod Podge over the jar to seal all tissue paper into place.
  4. Allow the votive to dry overnight then place a small tea light inside.

Contribute by Rebecca Stokes, Fairmont Private Schools
Images and Craft Instructions by Homemade Serenity


Weekly Hightlights:


Contributed by Rebecca Stokes,Fairmont Private Schools

Wednesday, January 27

FAIRMONT FIVE: How to Make the Most of Your Open House Experience

Open House season has arrived as private schools begin enrolling students and inviting new families to explore facilities, engage with teachers, and be welcomed into a new learning environment. Below are five tips to help make your Open House experience productive and insightful for your family as you shop around for the best private school!

  1. Don’t skip prospective family events. If you’re checking out a school for the first time, don’t skip the events dedicated to welcoming visitors. These times are dedicated to introducing new families to the school and staff, as well as providing tours or question-and-answer periods. This is your time to learn key introductory information and meet admissions directors and administrative staff face-to-face.
  2. Talk with current parents. Most Open Houses merge or overlap prospective families with current families, which provides you with incredibly valuable insight if you spark a conversation with a current parent. Grab an adult who seems to know their way around and ask questions for the ultimate, face-to-face Yelp review experience. Questions involving homework loads, styles of teaching, and overall satisfaction are great ways to encourage current parents to reveal their insight.
  3. Take a tour. If there is no established tour time, find a school administrator and express your interest in experiencing a guided tour. Chances are a school’s staff will jump at the opportunity to show off their facilities and introduce you to their learning environment. Pay close attention to facility maintenance, safety, organization, and the resources dedicated to extracurricular activities your student might engage in.
  4. Talk with your child’s grade level teacher. This could be your child’s next teacher, so take a moment to reach out and have a conversation. Introduce yourself and your child to get a feel for the teacher’s personality, teaching style, and overall compatibility. Teachers also provide a great source of knowledge regarding school policies, procedures, curriculum, afterschool opportunities, etc.
  5. Be observant to people’s reactions. As you walk around a school for the first time, use this opportunity to silently observe the parents, students, and staff. Do the children look excited to show off their school work? Do the parents seem engaged and receptive to teachers and staff? What is the overall energy level of the event? Simply being aware of the atmosphere and by watching the reactions and attitudes of others can provide a big indicator of whether or not you and your child will be happy attending this particular school.

When searching for the best educational environment for your child, attending Open Houses and admissions events is a great way to investigate and make fully-researched choices about which school to attend. Use these times to ask questions and discover the best learning atmosphere for your student!

Over the next month, Fairmont Private Schools is having Open Houses at its three Orange County Preschool - 8th grade campuses. This is a great opportunity to visit a campus and learn why Fairmont was voted "Best Private School in Orange County" by Parenting OC’s Readers’ Choice poll. Click here for more event information!

Contributed by Rebecca Stokes, Fairmont Private Schools