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With four campuses in Orange County, Fairmont Private Schools provide preschool through high school students an individualized educational experience to help them reach their full potential. To learn more about Fairmont, visit our website at www.fairmonts



Updated: 2017-10-17T04:20:42.499-07:00

 



We've Moved!

2016-05-16T09:26:19.252-07:00

We’ve moved! Still want to see the same great articles and ideas? Click here!



A to Z: 12 Hacks for Traveling with Kids

2016-05-04T14:55:57.839-07:00

Summer is on the horizon, which means family vacations are being strategically planned and plotted!  While making memories as a family is important, traveling can be taxing. Take some of the stress out of your summer travel plans with these simple parenting hacks!Make sure your vehicle has a first aid kit with all the basics.Keep kids entertained with a travel binder stocked with pencil cases, paper, coloring sheets, worksheets, crossword puzzles, etc. The binder not only keeps everything contained, but acts as a portable writing desk.Play the license plate game or road trip bingo with these free printables!Bring audiobooks that the whole family can enjoy while riding in the car.Tether sippy cups to car seats, making sure the length of string is long enough for use, but short enough to not be hazardous.Purchase suction cup shower caddies and attach to the car window for a place to store small toys, crayons, etc. Leave the expensive stroller at home. Cheap strollers are usually much smaller, lightweight, and won't be missed if they’re stolen at the amusement park.Pack small trinkets and snacks into a paper bag for each child. As a reward for their patience and cooperation, hand these out during a halfway point or once you reach your destination.Freeze juice boxes to keep them cold and refreshing during travel. As a bonus, they’ll keep other snack items cool and refrigerated.If you’re worried about spills and stains, cover your car’s seat upholstery with an old bed sheet. If dirty shoes are a potential problem, bring plastic grocery bags or a pack of shower caps to keep shoe pairs together and contained. Keep out crumbs and gunk by putting muffin liners in cup holders.If you’re headed to a friend or family member’s house, travel light by packing clothing in vacuum-sealed bags. Just borrow the vacuum before heading home!Contributed by Rebecca Stokes, Fairmont Private Schools [...]



SNACKTIME: Child-Friendly Vegetable Salads

2016-05-02T07:00:20.825-07:00

Fruits and vegetables provide enormous health benefits, but little ones may find it challenging to meet the recommended number of daily servings for each. In fact, national surveys indicate that most children do not consume enough vegetables, and that about one-third of the vegetables children did eat were mostly from potatoes, such as French fries or chips.The following strategies can be helpful to get your child to eat a variety of healthy vegetables. It may take some time, but encouragement and a little imagination will increase the odds.Start Small - Mix familiar salad greens with one or two new veggies.Color is Appealing - Children naturally navigate towards red, so try red cherry tomatoes, red bell peppers, and even red beets. Carrots also come in a variety of colors including purple. Identifying colors can become a fun game and take pressure off eating.Shape - Get creative with cubes, sticks, and Julienne sliced vegetables. Special peelers can create visual interest with creative swirls and curly cues.Size is Key - Bite size pieces are easier for small mouths to manage. Carrot or celery sticks are favorite finger foods and dip easily.Salad Dippers - Homemade or store bought, dips can help veggies get eaten. A creamy salad dressing, bean dip (hummus), or a cheese dip can entice little ones to try new vegetables.Sweet - A bit of natural sweetness added to salad greens, such as apples, berries, jicama, mandarin oranges, or melon balls can help stimulate appetites.Getting kids to eat a variety of vegetables from the rainbow diet can be fun!Contributed by Leslie K. Kay-Getzinger, Regional Dietitian for Nutrition Management Services[...]



A to Z: 7 Ways to Keep Your Child’s Brain Active During Summer

2016-04-25T15:16:01.289-07:00

When you’re a school-age child, there is possibly nothing better than the freedom of summer vacation. While this annual break from the daily grind is fun and exciting, the loss of structure and stability of the school routine can be a concern for some parents. Studies have shown that most students lose about two months of grade level equivalency in math and reading during the summer break. A great solution for keeping your child sharp during the summer months is enrolling him or her in a quality summer program (none better than Fairmont Summer Programs, of course!). width="320" height="266" class="YOUTUBE-iframe-video" data-thumbnail-src="https://i.ytimg.com/vi/hNVejq-WNxc/0.jpg" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/hNVejq-WNxc?feature=player_embedded" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen> Summer schools, educational camps, and enrichment workshops are great ways to keep kids active, structured, and learning while school is out. In addition to enrolling in a great summer program, here are several more strategies to keep your child safe from the summer brain drain!Find free classes or workshops in your community that interest your child. Visit your local library for summer reading challenges, children’s events, and youth classes.Start a family book club. Choose several age and level appropriate books for your family to read over the summer. Schedule time to gather, discuss the books, and ask questions of the characters and plot. Click here for reading recommendations!Plan educational outings to museums, historical sites, and cultural events. Encourage your child to study up on the history of the places you’ll visit, and have conversations about the significance of the people, places, and events that occurred.Bring your child into the kitchen when it’s time to make meals. Showing him or her the ways of the kitchen not only teaches basic cooking concepts, but also reinforces math concepts like addition, subtraction, and fractions.Research some online educational games or apps for your child to play during downtime. If you’re traveling this summer or you know your child will have a lot time when he or she will need to be still (at mom’s work or dad’s desk), games that promote mathematics skills and reading comprehension are beneficial. Make time to do lots of experiments this summer. Activities and experiments that promote STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) concepts will engage curiosity, creativity, and draw on math and science topics learned in school. Click here for a curated list of STEM activities!Do lots of arts and crafts. Encouraging creativity in your child opens the door for exploration and builds upon the concepts covered during the school year. Click here for arts and crafts inspiration!Contributed by Rebecca Stokes, Fairmont Private Schools[...]



CHALK TALK: Help Your Child Learn a Second Language

2016-04-18T14:28:45.497-07:00

Learning a second language can be a challenging and daunting experience for adults. Children, however, are linguistic sponges soaking up all the sounds and vocabulary necessary to decipher and transmit meaning. With a growing global ethos and more opportunity than ever for people to travel outside their home country, foreign languages are taught or at least encouraged in most public and private elementary schools. Even if your child isn’t exposed to a foreign language during primary education, he or she will most likely be expected to fulfill high school and college foreign language requirements. Scientists have proven that establishing proficiency in a second language becomes more difficult later in life. While experts say that a basic capacity for language is guaranteed in all infants, the interest and skill level beyond this baseline are differentially distributed depending on the individual. As a child acquires a specific language, he or she use the same brain tissue when acquiring a second language. However, this changes as the child’s brain matures and transitions into adulthood. Once the tissue initially used in language acquisition has matured, learning a second language becomes difficult because the brain utilizes a completely different area to learning and process the new language. Thus, for most adults, learning a new language is formidable and time consuming. With the growing push for bi and multilingualism, preparing your child for a second language will only benefit as he or she begins formal education. Give them a boost by exposing your children to a second language at home! If you or your spouse speak another language fluently, frequently engage with your child in that language. If you are monolingual, learn a language with your child. There are hundreds of free and low-cost language learning applications such as Little Pim, Gus on the Go, and Kinder App, as well as audio files and books that can be purchased or borrowed from your local library. Expose your child to music, movies, and other digital media presented in a different language. Once your child has grasped some vocabulary, allow him or her to engage in cultural experiences. Attend a local festival or restaurant that is specific to the region of where the language is spoken. The key is repetition and stable exposure as your child begins to grasp the complexities of their native language and a second language.Contributed by Rebecca Stokes, Fairmont Private Schools[...]



BOOK REPORT: Welcome Spring with These 5 Children's Books

2016-04-12T08:02:18.964-07:00

Winter has passed and spring is here. Welcome the new season with these five children’s books! Reading aloud with your child helps to boost vocabulary, sentence fluency, and overall comprehension. Use one of the following books to spark a conversation with your child about their favorite flower, how the seasons change, planting a garden, and more.The Secret Garden, Frances Hodgson BurnettThe Gardener, Sarah StewartMiss Rumphius, Barbara CooneyCompost Stew, Mary McKenna SiddalsThe Tale of Peter Rabbit, Beatrix PotterClick here to learn more about improving your child’s reading skills! Discover great reading recommendations on Fairmont’s Literary Genius Pinterest board! Contributed by Rebecca Stokes, Fairmont Private SchoolsImages by GoodReads[...]



SNACKTIME: A Child’s Garden - Lessons in Nutrition, History, and Art

2016-03-30T07:00:12.823-07:00

While science and ecology might be the obvious garden subjects, a school or home garden can also provide an environment to support lessons in math, history, art, and social skills.Science and nutrition:  Nurturing plants from seed to harvest is exciting! Eating a tomato grown in your own garden is rewarding! Eating fruits and vegetables may contribute to the prevention of many diseases, however children often do not eat enough of these foods. Participating in gardening increases awareness of where healthy foods come from, resulting in increased consumption of fruits and vegetables during early childhood and adolescents.Research shows that students participating in garden activities may reap many benefits, such asA willingness to taste new fruits and vegetables, especially among younger childrenAn increase in overall fruit and vegetable intakeAn improvement in nutrition knowledgeOverall, children that gardened were more willing to eat nutritious food, try unfamiliar food, had a greater likelihood of cooking and gardening, and expressed a greater appreciation for other individuals and cultures.Social skills: Additional benefits of gardening include the ability to improve life skills, including working with groups and self-understanding.History: Children can discover the origins of gardening and design around the globe, from pre-historic forest making to agricultural and ornamental processes.Art: Garden art nurtures creativity and imagination. Children can create their own planter boxes, paint a garden sign, or add character with small personal touches (colored glass, sea shells, etc).Contributed by Leslie K. Kay-Getzinger, Regional Dietitian for Nutrition Management ServicesImage by Dr. Willard’s[...]



EVENTFUL: Top 5 OC Hangouts for Kids on Spring Break

2016-03-21T14:39:27.685-07:00

Spring break is just around the corner! If you’re short on ideas to keep your kids engaged for a whole week, here are five top-notch activities for Orange County families! Visit the animals at the Aquarium of the Pacific! Take a quick trip to Long Beach to see the home of over 11,000 seas animals! Exhibits include the sea otter habitat, mesmerizing jellies, shark lagoon, penguin habitat, and more! Explore Catalina Island! A wealth of activities are just a ferry ride away, from ghost tours to parasailing! Adventures are endless on the island, where your family can hike, kayak, zipline, and so much more!Hang out with mummies at Bowers Museum! Check out the current exhibitions at Bowers Museum in Santa Ana, as you explore temple murals, inspect mummy masks, observe the ancient arts of China, and learn California mission history! Take in a show at the Mission Tiki or Rubidoux Drive-In theater! Trek just outside of Orange County for the special experience of a drive-in movie! Cheap admission and the option for a double feature, lets you get the most bang for your buck while treating your kids to an unforgettable outing.Hike the Riley Wilderness Park! With five miles of trails for hiking, biking, and horseback riding, embrace the great outdoors and wander through nature. Boasting a one-acre butterfly garden, the Riley Wilderness Park offers lots of opportunities for wildlife sightings, bug searching, and fossil hunting.Contributed by Rebecca Stokes, Fairmont Private SchoolsImage by UNM Continuing Education[...]



EVENTFUL: Who was Saint Patrick?

2016-03-16T15:18:26.110-07:00

Every March 17th, Ireland, along with countries boasting large Irish immigrant populations - such as Australia, Canada, the United States, and the whole of Europe - gather together in a celebration of all things Irish. A display of traditional Irish culture and icons that have morphed their way into mainstream St. Patrick’s Day celebrations, the 17th of March becomes a sea of bright green, complete with leprechauns, shamrocks, and pots of gold. But that’s not the whole story. allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="320" scrolling="no" src="http://player.history.com/pservice/embed-player/?siteId=hist&tPid=21110641" width="480">Commemorating the feast day of Saint Patrick, patron saint of Ireland, the origins of the celebration are rooted in 5th century Druid Ireland. Patricius, later Saint Patrick, was born around 387 A.D. in Roman Britain. Historians have been unable to pinpoint Saint Patrick’s birthplace but have narrowed it down to regions possibly in Brittany, Scotland, or Wales. Born into an aristocratic Christian family, Saint Patrick showed little interest in his family’s spiritual beliefs, thus historians have dubbed young Saint Patrick a modern day atheist. At around sixteen years old, Saint Patrick was kidnapped by Irish raiders, thrown onto a ship, and sold to a chieftain after landing in Ireland. Enslaved for six years, Saint Patrick served as an isolated shepherd, tending flocks in the harsh island weather with little to no shelter or provisions. Removed from civilization, it was during this time of servitude that Saint Patrick began to rely on the God of his parents, resulting in his conversion to Christianity. Six years after being taken captive, Saint Patrick received a message in a dream stating that his devotion would be rewarded and he would soon be going home. Immediately after, Saint Patrick set out for the sea, crossing 200 miles as a fugitive and boarding a ship for Britain. Returning home as a young man, Patrick remained devout and began to study at the local monastery where he later joined the clergy and was ordained a bishop of Auxerre.During his study, Saint Patrick received another dream where he was urged to return to Ireland. He arrived on the Emerald Isle as a missionary around 432 A.D. and was not well received. The people of 5th Century Ireland were enduring harsh times enmeshed in tribalism, division, and violence, however Patrick gained credibility to a widely Pagan audience through his methods of teaching and explaining the tenets of Christianity. Due to his early capture, Saint Patrick was equipped with the cultural knowledge, language, and beliefs practiced by the Celts, helping to integrate Saint Patrick back into their society.Though Saint Patrick was not the first missionary in Ireland, he was able to grow the small, already present Christian communities by establishing churches and schools, improving literacy, and providing educational resources to the people of Ireland. Saint Patrick served the Irish for almost thirty years before his death in 461 A.D. He is attributed with planting over 300 churches, promoting literacy and education, and acting as the catalyst that transformed Ireland into a Christian state. Though Saint Patrick was never formally canonized by the Catholic Church, his presence and message became immortalized during the early celebrations of his feast day.         Contributed by Rebecca Stokes, Fairmont Private SchoolsImages by Crisis MagazineMark, Joshua J. (2015, September). “Saint Patrick.” Retrieved from http://www.ancient.eu/Saint_Patrick/Kithcart, David “Patricius: The True Story of St. Patrick.” Retrieved March 16, 2016, from http://www1.cbn.com/churchandministry/patricius%3A-the-true-story-of-st.-patrickBiography.com Editors “Biography of Saint Patrick.” Retrieved March 16,[...]



CHALK TALK: Strategies for Strengthening Your Child's Reading Skills (And Yours, Too!)

2016-03-07T17:17:40.482-08:00

Reading is a complex process of the brain. Language acquisition begins very early in infancy as children begin to make sounds. As an infant’s brain begins to catalog and interpret sounds, the child creates the foundation of language and lays the groundwork for communication, cognition, and eventual reading. Once a child becomes phonemically aware, he or she will begin to connect letters to their corresponding sounds. This is tricky due to the fact that the English language is made up of 44 sounds and only 26 letters. Next, a child will begin to recognize sounds and blend them to create words. When we read, several different sections of the brain are used in sequence to parse out meaning. These sections simultaneously link phonics, fluency, and comprehension, decoding and determining the meaning behind lines of words. Once a person has developed the necessary skills, reading is a function of the brain that only takes a matter of seconds. The reading process can be broken into five basic steps:The brain sees shapes on a page.The brain recognizes them as letters.The brain recalls the sounds represented by the letters.The brain blends the sounds to form words.The brain extrapolates meaning from the words and punctuation making up the sentence.  The process of reading is quickened and perfected over time with proper practice. Frequent and consistent reading exercises the brain, improving memory and mental cognition. Work with your child at home to improve their reading and communicative skills!Read Aloud - Take turns reading aloud with your child. Even for adults, reading out loud helps to improve text comprehension and speech fluency. Another idea is to listen to audiobooks which are handy during stagnant stretches of time (e.g. in the car or waiting room). Quality Over Quantity - Reading quickly rushes the complex mental hoops that a person’s brain must jump through. Experts encourage both adults and children to read at a slow and steady pace to boost comprehension. When reading is done at a furious pace, many of its benefits (e.g. vocabulary building and meaning comprehension) are lost.Write, Journal, Compose - Encourage your child to keep a reading journal or to simply write freely. Writing and reading go hand-in-hand and exercise the brain in similar fashions. Fostering the connections between creating words with sounds, and creating meaning through words, is very impactful when children are honing their reading skills. The same is true for adults.Discussion - When reading with your child, pause for a discussion. Host a book club meeting for you and your child to talk about the characters and events of a story. Engage in a conversation about the actions a character took, situations that occurred within the book, etc. Talking about a text helps to determine reading comprehension, test memory and vocabulary, and also helps children become more equipped to engage in academic dialogue, prepping them for higher education.Make Time - Schedule a designated reading time for you and your child each day. Lead by example and ensure that your child can see you actively reading. If you establish reading as a habit, your child’s interest and ability will increase over time. Contributed by Rebecca Stokes, Fairmont Private SchoolsImage by Daily Genius[...]



SNACKTIME: Eating for a Healthy Heart

2016-03-02T07:00:08.852-08:00

According to the American Heart Association, you can never start too early when it comes to heart health. It may be surprising to learn, but plaque deposits (atherosclerosis), can begin building up in the walls of the arteries in children as young as five years old, leading to coronary heart disease. Food is FuelIn addition to regular exercise, diet can help lower the risk of heart disease later in life. Children age two years and older should be encouraged to eat at least five servings of fruits and vegetables daily as well as a wide variety of other foods low in saturated fat and cholesterol. Doing this can help maintain normal blood cholesterol levels and promote cardiovascular health. Healthy Eating Tips for Heart Health Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, which are high in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, phytochemicals, and pectin (a soluble fiber). Choose whole-grain foods like steel-cut oatmeal, which are a good source of dietary fiber. Eat fish for heart-healthy, omega-3 fatty acids. Limit saturated and trans fats such as fatty cuts of meats, whole milk, cheese, butter, lard, ice cream, coconut oil, and palm oil. Trans fats are found in deep fried foods such as doughnuts and French fries. Look for “partially hydrogenated oils" on ingredient labels and stay away from those foods.  Limit your red meat intake and choose lean meats, fish, and poultry. Try meat-free alternatives such as tofu, beans, lentils, quinoa, and tempeh for protein.   Snack on nuts! High in healthy fiber, protein. and healthy mono-unsaturated fat. A one ounce serving size of nuts is about 28 almonds or two tablespoons of nut butter. Add flax seed to cereal or fruit smoothies for a high fiber, healthy fat boost! Drink water instead of sugary drinks. Making smart choices every day has a big impact on heart health. Develop proper eating habits early in life for better heart health. Contributed by Leslie K. Kay-Getzinger, Regional Dietitian for Nutrition Management ServicesImage by MintFit  [...]



EVENTFUL: What is Leap Year?

2016-02-29T08:33:03.389-08:00

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. allowfullscreen="" class="YOUTUBE-iframe-video" data-thumbnail-src="https://i.ytimg.com/vi/yd1i3vkkh-0/0.jpg" frameborder="0" height="266" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/yd1i3vkkh-0?feature=player_embedded" width="320">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. allowfullscreen="" class="YOUTUBE-iframe-video" data-thumbnail-src="https://i.ytimg.com/vi/56zlm9qhVGc/0.jpg" frameborder="0" height="266" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/56zlm9qhVGc?feature=player_embedded" width="320">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 SchoolsImage by Beachside LA[...]



A to Z: Academy Award Nominated Movies for Your Family

2016-02-24T14:40:21.017-08:00

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 SchoolsImages by Common Sense Media & Rotten Tomatoes[...]



ARTS & CRAFTS: Chinese Lanterns

2016-02-05T15:42:21.322-08:00

Decorate for Chinese New Year with these red, paper lanterns! Materials:Red construction paperScissorsClear tape Colorful string or ribbonGlitter paint (Optional)Paint brush (Optional)On one side of a piece of red construction paper, lightly paint glitter and let dry.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.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.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 SchoolsPhotos & Instructions by Nature Store[...]



FRIDAY FOLDER: January 5

2016-02-05T14:57:31.158-08:00

Weekly Highlights:         Contributed by Rebecca Stokes, Fairmont Private Schools [...]



ARTS & CRAFTS: Valentine’s Day Votive

2016-01-29T15:03:43.616-08:00

Decorate your house for Valentine's Day with these festive votive candles!Materials:Recycled glass jarsColored tissue paper (white, red, pink)Liquid Starch or Mod PodgeCraft brushesScissorsTea LightsUsing 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.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.Once the hearts are in place, paint one last coat of Mod Podge over the jar to seal all tissue paper into place.Allow the votive to dry overnight then place a small tea light inside.Contribute by Rebecca Stokes, Fairmont Private SchoolsImages and Craft Instructions by Homemade Serenity [...]



FRIDAY FOLDER: January 29

2016-01-29T13:23:36.146-08:00

Weekly Hightlights:       Contributed by Rebecca Stokes,Fairmont Private Schools [...]



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

2016-01-27T16:04:42.427-08:00

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!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.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.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.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.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 [...]



SNACKTIME: What Do the New Dietary Guidelines Mean for Your Family?

2016-01-25T15:28:31.734-08:00

Earlier this month, the United States government released new Dietary Guidelines for Americans ages two and older. Issued every five years by the US Department of Agriculture and Department of Health and Human Services, the 2015–2020 Dietary Guidelines are designed to foster a healthier diet, promote health, prevent chronic disease, and help Americans maintain a healthy weight.Notable changes to the new guidelines include less emphasis on specific nutrients and more emphasis on overall eating patterns. For example, what you eat over time influences risk for certain diseases, such as obesity, heart disease, high blood pressure, and type 2 diabetes. In general, plant-based, unprocessed foods help reduce risk.The new guidelines recognize that American do not receive enough calcium, vitamin D, fiber, and potassium. Therefore, emphasis is now placed on the following foods to meet nutrition gaps. A healthy diet includes:A variety of vegetables: dark green, red and orange, legumes (beans and peas), etc.Fruits: especially whole fruitGrains: at least half of which are whole grainFat-free or low-fat dairy: milk, yogurt, cheese, and/or fortified soy beveragesA variety of protein foods: seafood, lean meats and poultry, eggs, legumes (beans and peas), soy products, and nuts and seedsOils: those from plants such as olive and peanut oil, as well as oils naturally present in nuts, seeds, seafood, olives, and avocados. The 2015 Dietary Guidelines recommends Americans limit thier sodium intake and the amount of sugary foods and beverages consumed:Adults and children ages fourteen years and over should limit sodium to less than 2,300 mg per day, and children younger than fourteen years should consume even less. Salty chips and canned soups are often high in sodium.Limit added sugars to no more than 10 percent of daily caloric needs. Americans consume 22 to 30 teaspoons of added sugar daily, half of which come from soda, juices, and other sugary drinks. High sugar intake has been linked to everything from dental cavities to obesity to type 2 diabetes, to heart disease. Daily added sugar intake should be under 200 calories per day, or 12 teaspoons of sugar. For children, who may only need 1,200 to 1,400 calories per day — it's even less.Use the Nutrition Facts label to check for sodium and added sugars to make informed food choices. A healthy eating pattern is adaptable to a person’s taste preferences, traditions, culture, and budget.Submitted by Leslie K. Kay-Getzinger, Regional Dietitian for Nutrition Management ServicesImage by Health.gov [...]



FRIDAY FOLDER: January 22

2016-01-22T11:07:21.476-08:00

Weekly Highlights:



Contributed by Rebecca Stokes, Fairmont Private Schools




ARTS & CRAFTS: DIY Paper Spinner

2016-01-20T14:38:09.750-08:00

Materials:CardboardWhite PaperColored Markers or CrayonsCotton string or twineScissorsGlue stickSave and print the blank circle template, then decorate the circles with colorful designs.Cut out the circles and use one to trace a circle onto the cardboard.Cut out the cardboard circle and attach the two paper circles on either side of the cardboard circle using the glue stick.Punch two small holes in the center of the circle.Thread a 28 inch piece of string through both holes and knot at the ends.With the circle in the middle, and with the end loops of the string in both hands, use a forward swinging motion to twist the circle around the string. Then slowly pull, as the spinner hums and spins!Watch a spinner in action: width="320" height="266" class="YOUTUBE-iframe-video" data-thumbnail-src="https://i.ytimg.com/vi/Ag6GSMkWi9A/0.jpg" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/Ag6GSMkWi9A?feature=player_embedded" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen>Contributed by Rebecca Stokes, Fairmont Private SchoolsImages, Video & Craft Instructions by A Girl and A Glue Gun [...]



FRIDAY FOLDER: January 15

2016-01-15T16:22:25.768-08:00

Weekly Highlights:        Contributed by Rebecca Stokes, Fairmont Private Schools [...]



EVENTFUL: Transitioning from Junior High to High School

2016-01-13T14:51:22.006-08:00

High school is an important time in a young person’s educational and social growth. Choosing a high school can be a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be. Fairmont Private Schools has taken the liberty of compiling an evaluation checklist for families looking for the best private school.After curating a list of schools that interest you and your junior high student, set-up an appointment with a school's’ admissions director. An in-person meeting not only provides you with a friendly face to answer your questions, but also gives you and your student an opportunity to peruse the campus. Take in the physical attributes of campus, as well as the overall atmosphere. Be on the lookout for modern technologies included in classrooms, current and well-maintained textbooks, and that classrooms are welcoming and organized. Also, make sure that the facilities on campus are safe and sufficient for your student’s needs and interests.While on campus or while researching a particular school, take some time to investigate the type of learning community. Are teachers well-qualified and engaging with students in the classroom? Were the administrators welcoming and knowledgeable during your campus visit? Did the students seem well-mannered and enthusiastic? Observe carefully the people associated with the school while touring, as well as any background information found on the school’s website or social media platforms. This will help you and your student determine whether a school’s social and learning environment is right for your incoming freshman.One of the most important factors when choosing a high school is the quality of the education offered. Investigate and compare the rigor of curriculums and specialty or advanced courses offered. Does the school offer classes for college credit? Do they offer enough Advanced Placement courses for your student? Encourage your student to look over the course catalogue to see which school offers the most interesting electives and programs (e.g. foreign language, art, computer science, etc.). Decide on the importance of technology in the classroom and determine which schools are the most tech-savvy. Another large question to ask while talking with an admissions director is what percentage of graduates are accepted to the top 100 colleges and universities?Extracurricular experiences help students grow and discover specific interests or talents. Compare and contrast extracurricular opportunities between schools. Determine your student’s social priorities (e.g. does he or she care most about athletics? Is he or she very service-oriented or interested in student government?, etc.) and let them see what most excites them.     Remember to ask lots of questions when visiting a new school, and encourage your junior high student to do the same! But to take the guesswork out of searching for a premier southern California private high school, schedule a tour or attend an upcoming Open House event at Fairmont Preparatory Academy! Contributed by Rebecca Stokes, Fairmont Private Schools[...]



CHALK TALK: What is “Coding” and is it Important?

2016-01-11T15:12:19.463-08:00

width="320" height="266" class="YOUTUBE-iframe-video" data-thumbnail-src="https://i.ytimg.com/vi/pvAsqPbz9Ro/0.jpg" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/pvAsqPbz9Ro?feature=player_embedded" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen> Computer code is the language of the 21st Century. It has invaded and transformed our lives in a multitude of ways, from communications and banking, to transportation, and even eating. Yes, microwaves are computers, too! An invisible language of streaming code surrounds us everyday, making our lives easier and more efficient. Simply put, code are literal instructions for any device with a computer. Thus, coding is simply telling the computer, step-by-step, exactly what you want it to do. The importance of computer science and people who can read and write computer code grows everyday as technology changes and new ideas emerge. Many computer programmers liken the skill of coding to a language that everyone should be fluent in. Much like verbal and written communication, it is now pertinent that people familiarize themselves with the language of the computers that share in our daily lives. While code is complex, Tamara Hudgins, executive director of Girlstart, states that “[l]earning to code is not hard. Can you write a sentence? It’s essentially the same. You learned a linguistic convention just as every user of a language does.” So, is it important for my child to learn about coding? Absolutely. The International Business Times suggests that “coders [are] the architects and builders of the digital age.” The IBT also estimates that in nine years there will be an estimated 1.4 million computer science jobs, but only 400,000 qualified college graduates to fill the positions. With the projected increase of computer-based jobs, children learning to code while in school are getting a jumpstart on building skills for technology fields. However, coding teaches more than just a computer’s language. The purpose behind coding is to solve a problem and create an easier way for a task to be accomplished, placing great emphasis on critical thinking and problem solving. Two skills that are important to learn no matter what field a student chooses to focus on in the future.Young adults with skills in coding and computer programming are already in high demand and the need will only increase as we further our use of computers in daily life. Peak your child’s interest with these great coding resources, tutorials, and online games!CodeTynkerCode AcademyKhan AcademyScratchCargo-BotDaisy the DinosaurContributed by Rebecca Stokes, Fairmont Private Schools[...]



FRIDAY FOLDER: January 1

2016-01-08T11:43:24.199-08:00

Weekly Highlights:Contributed by Rebecca Stokes, Fairmont Private Schools [...]