Category Archives: Blog

Importance of a Morning Routine to Start the Day Right

How do you start your day? Do you sluggishly hit snooze a few times or hop up ready to greet whatever the day will bring? No matter whether you are a night owl or a morning person, we all have to face the day at some point. For school children, a good morning routine can set them on a productive path for the entire day. Let’s take a look at what some of the experts say about creating a routine before school that can start your day (and your child’s day) on the right foot.

  • Give Yourself Enough Time – Starting your day feeling as though you are late or feeling rushed is a bad way to begin a work or school day. It raises your stress level and makes many feel like they are anxious for, at least, the first part of their day. Set your alarm so that you have enough time to ready yourself and still have a little extra time. Many parents find that packing the backpacks and reviewing the activities of the next day the night before helpful.
  • Eat a Healthy Breakfast – Fuel up on something healthy with a bit of protein to give you energy and get you going. Skipping breakfast can make adults and children alike feel sluggish and cause a lack of concentration. Even if breakfast is a protein shake or a granola bar, something is better than nothing.
  • Create a Morning Hygiene List – Many children need a little reminding to wash their face, brush their teeth, and when a little older, put on deodorant during their morning routine. Create a quick list that can discreetly remind your child about these tasks so you don’t need to nag every morning.
  • Have a “Today’s To-Do List” – Many families find it helpful to have a calendar or list of activities for each day that can be reviewed each morning. A quick review during breakfast can make sure that everyone has what they need, like their cleats for sports or instrument for lessons. It also allows for discussion of these activities such as who is picking up or dropping off for each event.
  • Stay Unplugged – While it may be tempting to catch up on social media or check out the news headlines, try to stay off your phone, tablet or laptop in the morning. Use this time to mentally ready yourself for the day and be sure that you have everything you need. Some students even use this time in the morning to review notes for a test or check their bags.
  • Take a Moment for Yourself – Take a few minutes to pray, meditate, or just have a moment of gratitude. This positive thinking can set you off on your day with an optimistic attitude.

 

What routine do you follow in the morning? Create a morning routine that is right for your family and starts you on a positive note each day. Good morning!

 

NSCS 4th Grade Literacy Circles – Because of Winn Dixie by Kate DiCamillo

The fourth graders on the Lynn Campus of NSCS are studying the beloved novel Because of Winn Dixie by Kate DiCamillo. The two-time Newbury Medalist and New York Times Best Seller is sure to touch the hearts of our young readers over the next few weeks. The story follows Opal, a ten year old girl who has moved to Naomi, Florida with her preacher father. The fourth graders will learn how Opal enters a supermarket, named Winn Dixie, only to exit with a dog.  She befriends the dog who she aptly names after the store. The story sweetly follows a summer of the pair making new friends and learning about her mother. The students are sure to learn many life lessons about friendship and forgiveness during the daily literacy circles.

Ms. Ceteras, our new fourth grade teacher, has worked hard to find interesting and interactive ways to have the students connect with the story and the characters in her literacy circles. Here are just a few of the many examples of her lessons on this cherished novel.

  • Whole group reading
  • Literature circle roles (questioner, discussion leaders, connector, summarizer)
  • Comprehension and Discussion Questions
  • Partner Reading
  • Games to reinforce vocabulary
  • Settings of story
  • Compare and contrasting
  • Cause and effect
  • Conflict
  • Character Development
  • Making predictions of the text
  • Themes in the book
  • Lessons learned from the book

One fun activity that the students enjoyed was brainstorming on sticky notes the internal and external character traits of the main characters in the book. Ms. Ceteras began the lesson by teaching students the difference between internal (what’s in your heart and are observed by getting to know someone) and external (visible with just your eyes) characteristics. She then gave the students three pink stickies and three blue stickies. They were to write her internal characteristics on the pink stickies, and her external characteristics on the blue stickies as a practice before applying the skill to the characters in the book. Some internal characteristics were “nice,” “caring,” “fun,” and  “helpful,” while some of the external characteristics were “blue eyes,” “wears glasses,” “blonde hair,” and “short.” They quickly grasped the concept. The students LOVED the activity. The interactive brainstorm really helped the idea stick in their minds for when they applied it to our novel study and the main character Opal the next day.

 

 

NSCS Chapel on our Lynn Campus

Do you ever yearn for time in your day when you can be mindful and think about the things that really matter in life? Or maybe you find yourself seeking out a few minutes of quiet contemplation to be grateful for what you have been blessed with in life? Then there are times in you just want to gather together with friends to keep a loved one in mind during a trying time. The students, teachers, and staff at North Shore Christian School get the opportunity every week to gather together during Chapel and do these things: be mindful, pray and celebrate together as a community.

Every Wednesday morning the Lynn Campus of NSCS gathers in the multipurpose room to share, pray, learn and celebrate as a community – our Chapel time. This past week was a prayer and worship service facilitated by Patti Cook. As with most of our Chapel experiences we begin and end in song. It is amazing to enter the room with the sweet voices of our NSCS children singing “Here I am to Worship” by Tim Hughes and also during the ending song “Lord I lift Your Name on High.”. Three remarkable students led the group in song today and we encourage all of our students to join in. What a bright spot to start the day with what was looking like a grey and drizzly day outside.

Once the students welcomed each other in song, Ms. Cook began with the verse Colossians 2:6-7.

“Therefore as you have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, having been firmly rooted and now being built up in Him and established in your faith, just as you were instructed, and overflowing with gratitude.”  

We will continue to discuss this verse as the year progresses and discuss how this touches each of our lives in different ways.

The main focus of our Chapel service today was worship and prayer where we offered up prayers to Jesus and praise for his blessings. Our students were asked if there were any prayers that would like to hold up. So many of our students came up with some wonderful thoughts that included loved ones in their lives like siblings, moms, dads and grandparents. But their prayers also took into mind people a little further away like those impacted by the gas explosions in the Merrimack Valley this last week. Other prayers and well wishes were given up to the people who were affected by the flooding and destruction caused by Hurricane Florence in the Carolinas. Students from preschool to eighth grade added their thoughts that touched on so many people from right here in our own neighborhood to loved ones around the globe. Their heartfelt prayers were beautifully raised up.

Parents and family members are always welcome at our Wednesday Chapel. Please feel free to drop in and join us any time. Each week there is a different theme and focus.

 

The Benefits of a S.T.E.M. Education

Does your child come home excited about what s/he is learning in class? How much do they enjoy experimenting, asking insightful questions and searching for the answers in new and exciting ways? Do they love doing hands-on experiments in class? Chances are that the S.T.E.M. curriculum has something to do with the level of enjoyment while learning. Here at North Shore Christian School we see the benefits of a S.T.E.M. education on a daily basis. Not only do we witness first hand the “aha” moments for many of our students, but we also know from our research the advantage this type of education will grant our students later in their continuing education and even further down the road in their chosen careers. Globally, we also understand the positive impact this type of education can have on our country’s economy and innovation. Let’s take a quick look at some of the benefits of a S.T.E.M. education for our students and our community and country.

For Our Students  Since a S.T.E.M. education relies on asking questions, getting involved, and being “hands-on” in solving questions to problems, it can help students in many ways.

  • Students become critical thinkers when trying to solve a problem. They hypothesize, test, and come up with conclusions based upon data collected.
  • Students become an active part of the learning process rather than a passive participant.
  • Science literacy increases during each unit.
  • Students feel prepared for advanced education and future careers.
  • S.T.E.M. meets the inquisitive needs of students to explore, test, discover, and learn about the world around them. Encouraging that curiosity can have positive impacts both personally and globally.

For Our Community  S.T.E.M. education has also been shown to have a huge positive impact on our local and national community.

  • Students studying a curriculum in science, technology, engineering, and math are making strides toward bridging the gap that the United States has experienced with other developed countries in these areas.
  • S.T.E.M. encourages a generation of innovators. Increased innovation can help inspire and create products or ideas that can help boost the U.S. economy and solve complex world problems.
  • Students studying and receiving degrees in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and math tend to have higher incomes than non-S.T.E.M. degree holders.
  • S.T.E.M. breaks the traditional ethnic and gender roles in the science and tech fields

We are proud of our S.T.E.M. program at NSCS and look forward to more “aha” moments for our students as the year progresses. Visit our website, blog, and social media page on Facebook to stay up-to-date on our classroom experiments and studies!

 

Welcome Back

Welcome Back!

It is truly a delight to see the children in the hallways and their classrooms as they settle in for the school year.  I count it a privilege from the Lord to be a part of the education of each child here at NSCS!” Mrs. Lowe – Principal NSCS Lynn Campus

Welcome back to another year of growing, learning, and creating at North Shore Christian School. We especially want to welcome all the new students joining us this year as well as our youngest learners who are experiencing a school environment for the first time. How exciting!

Our faculty, staff, and administrators are looking forward to a fun and productive learning school year. Many of them have been planning and prepping since you saw them on the last day of school! In fact, over the summer our wonderful school community grew! We have expanded our mission to Hamilton, operating on the campus of Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary in Pilgrim Hall. Working in collaboration with the administration of GCTS, along with NSCS Board and administration, God has opened doors for an NSCS Early Childhood Program in Hamilton. This morning-only program (8am to noon) is for children 2.9 to 5 years old and will operate Monday through Friday. Welcome to our newest faculty members and families joining us for this program.

We hope you had time to rest, relax, and enjoy the beautiful weather that this summer offered. Getting back in the swing of things can be difficult during the first month of school, but there are some tricks that can help you stay organized and on top of all school activities and events. One suggestion is to check out our website, especially our calendar, organized by campus and athletics. In coordination with our classroom and school newsletters, this is a great resource to find out what is going on in the coming days and weeks. As always, if you have questions, just call our main lines at North Shore Christian School: Lynn Campus Main: (781) 599-2040, Beverly Campus Main: (978) 921-2888, and Hamilton Campus Main: (978) 921-2888.

We look forward to a blessed and joyous school year with our returning North Shore Christian School families and the new families joining our school community. Feel free to reach out at any time with questions.

5 Ways to Prep for Back-to-School

This summer has absolutely flown by. Hopefully everyone has had an opportunity to relax and experience the beauty of the summer season whether it is at a beach, a park, out for a walk or just enjoying your own backyard. Since the first day of school is approaching fast, here are a few suggestions of how to get back into the “school mindset” and get ready for an amazing year of learning and growing. Here are 5 ways to prep for back-to-school.

 

  1. Reading – Hopefully you have had many chances to read this summer and gotten lost in the many wonderful stories that are out there. Summer is such a great time to read for total enjoyment including comics, magazines, journals and, what I like to call “beach reads.” You know, the kind of book you read, not to prepare for a test, but to learn a little about life and the world around you. Try to get back in the habit of reading every night if you haven’t been doing that. Not only will it help with your reading skills but will add to your vocabulary and comprehension.  
  2. Writing – No matter the age or skill level, writing can be a fun activity as well as one that can help in school. Don’t make writing a chore but rather something fun. For example, keep a journal while on vacation, write letters or postcards to friends, write a bucket list, send a letter to your hero, or even send secret notes to family and friends! My sons and I used to write in invisible ink and hide the clues around the house. Whatever you do, make it fun!
  3. Re-Set Your Clock – For many children (and their parents) summer is a time to stay up past normal bedtimes and sleep in late. Once the summer starts drawing to a close it is a good idea to start readjusting your internal clock to the school day. Start working back to a normal bedtime and wake up routine so it is not as traumatic once that alarm clock rights on the first day of school.
  4. Go Shopping! – Sure, we all love to get some new items for school but I am talking about getting your school supplies in order. Having the right tools can get the school year kicked off on the right foot.
  5. Create your Goals – Every school year it is a good idea to set your goals. What is it you want to accomplish? Do you want to become a better reader, writer, join a club and get involved or make a new friend or two? No matter what your personal goals, are it is a great way to start out the school year on a positive note!

 

Our amazing teachers here at NSCS are prepping their classrooms and getting ready for yet another year of learning and growing! Enjoy the last days of summer.

 

6 Ways to Avoid the Summer Slide

Did you know that learners from preschool to college level suffer from something called “summer slide” according to research that dates back over 100 years? Summer slide, as it is called by teachers, administrators, and parents alike, refers to the loss of up to three months of academic progress over the summer months. This skill and content loss is due in part to slipping out of practice and/or forgetting what was learned. Thankfully there are steps that parents can take during those lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer to help prevent this loss. Here are a few tips that can help your child avoid the summer slide.

 

  1. READ!  The number one way to help your child retain reading and comprehension skills is to read every day during the summer. Gather list of great books that your child could enjoy throughout the summer and create a goal of reading a certain amount daily. These books should be “just right” meaning not too easy but not too hard to read for his/her reading level.
  2. Incorporate reading everywhere! Make reading a part of your daily activities such as reading: a menu, a recipe, comic books, signs, magazines, directions, journals, and even audio books on long car rides. Every chance you get… read!
  3. Take fields trips. One of the best things about summer is that you have opportunities to go on fun adventures. Whether it is the park, beach, museum, library, bike trail, sports field, or tidal pools, there is always a learning moment if you look hard enough. Ask your child why they think something happens or pose questions such as: “What would happen if…?” You would be amazed at how much learning and exploration can go on in the nature that is all around us.
  4. Practice, Practice, Practice. Just like during the school year, children should practice some academic items. Use flashcards to give quick reminders of math facts, whether your child has mastered addition, subtraction, multiplication or division. Make it fun by challenging family members to get them faster than your child. Maybe provide prizes at the end of each competition.  
  5. Make math a part of your daily activities. Math can also be incorporated into daily activities such as using estimation, measuring when gardening, counting money and change at the store, budgeting when planning a meal, or fractions when following a recipe. Again make it fun and meaningful so they can use it before they lose it!
  6. Camps! Summer camps such as those dealing with STEM, robotics, or space camp can really help students keep up their love of exploration and experimentation. Consider finding a camp that can keep your child’s scientific brain active.

 

Get out there and enjoy the summer, but remember that learning is a part of your summer as well. We hope you all have a wonderful break and see you in the fall!

Learning through Volunteering

Over the past year, we have discussed the many ways that our students, staff, and families take part in volunteering all year. From helping serve food at Our Brother’s Table in Lynn, to creating Shoeboxes for Haiti, we try to remain witnesses to Jesus, not just during the holy season, but throughout the entire year. In addition to those activities, students at both our Beverly and Lynn campuses have visited local nursing homes, held “Baby Wipe” drives, donated to Puritan’s Purse, coordinated with Beverly Bootstraps, shared our love of Jesus with our pen pals in India, and raised funds with a local church to provide grocery store gift cards for families in need. The list could go on and on. With each volunteering experience, our students share a bit of themselves and God’s love. However, these volunteering activities are not a one-way-street so to speak; as our students take part in these giving and loving activities, they are also learning from this act of volunteering. Here are just a few of these skills that our students are practicing and fine tuning every time they lead or even take part in a volunteer event.

 

  • Leadership Skills – During each of these volunteer opportunities, our students have the chance to take the lead, use their ingenuity to plan and execute their ideas and make them come to life. That takes leadership and the skills associated with it. Organizing, stating a goal, and making it come to fruition is an amazing part of volunteering for a cause.
  • Teamwork – None of these volunteer activities happen without “many hands making light work”. Each experience allows our students to work with people from other classes who may have different ideas from their own. The skill of working as a team is an invaluable one that can be practiced over and over when in a volunteer situation. Plus, nothing gets people working as a unit more than working toward a common and worthwhile goal!
  • Self Management – While our teachers help guide and mentor our students during each activity, they also allow the children to self-manage in order to learn how to manage time, materials, and ideas.
  • Gratitude – Volunteering can help broaden a child’s perspective of the world and the challenges people may face.
  • Self-Worth – The United Way explains that when we give time toward a good cause, we are rewarded with the feeling of self-worth and increased self-esteem. The same goes for kids. Lending a hand is a great way to show kids that no matter who they are or how young they are, they have the power to change our community for the better.

 

Encourage your child to take part in a volunteering experience either at school, your church, or in your city or town. You will be amazed that not only will your child give of themself but also get so much back in return.

How Much Tech is Too Much Tech?

The world around us is changing so fast and technology is evolving faster than most of us can handle. For many parents, this means that our children’s experiences in school and during social time are far different than our experiences were as children. My children often laugh when I explain that my childhood did not include a smartphone, tablet, XBox, or even cable. In fact, my children probably couldn’t even identify a VHS tape! So how do we as parents then reconcile the advantages that these new pieces of tech provide while knowing when technology has become too much? While rules and expectations differ from home to home (as they should), here is what many child life experts are saying.

 

While it may be easy to allow children to get lost in a television show, an iPad game, or even some video games after school, pediatricians and researchers have seen a sharp increase in screen time for children since 2002 that should alarm parents. A study released last year by the World Health Organization (WHO) found “a continuous steep increase” in screen time between 2002 and 2014 in Europe, with about 65 percent of girls and nearly 75 percent of boys claiming they now use computers for two hours or more on weekdays. This contributes to kids spending more than 60 percent of their waking hours sitting. This particular study, which was focused on 27 countries, analyzed the scary health risks, including childhood obesity, that can occur when a child or adolescent is sedentary for large amounts of time due to excessive screen time. One of the first things parents should become aware of is just how much time is being spent on technology, whether it is social media, video games, tv, or computer time. Once you have a good sense of how much time is really spent in front a screen, you can start to help your child balance that time with other activities such as hanging out with friends, reading, going outside or playing games.

 

So when should parents require that their child “unplug” and get outside for a while, or at least move on to another activity? This question can be very difficult as these types of activities, especially screen time that allows children to connect to peers and learn something new, can be so advantageous. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends keeping babies under 18 months away from screens unless they’re video chatting. Kids between the ages of 2 and 5 should be cut off at an hour a day, and others shouldn’t exceed two hours, according to the Academy. What’s most important as parents is to help your child begin to monitor themselves by mentoring and guiding them to choose a healthy balance between screen time and the rest of the world.

NSCS Beverly Spring Concert and Art Show

On May 14, 2018, the students of NSCS Beverly Campus blessed parents, grandparents, and guests during a special evening featuring our annual Spring Concert and Art Show. What an amazing night it was to listen to and watch such talented students! Students from preschool through sixth grade treated the audience to a variety of music which included songs of praise, string instruments, recorders, tone chimes, and piano solos. A dance performance by the Judah Dancers was also a delight. Following the concert in the Upper Parish Hall the Art Show dazzled guests as many forms of art creations were displayed.  Additionally, the Silent Auction began with items such as hand painted pottery by students and teacher services. A reception followed in the Lower Parish Hall to complete this wonderful evening.

Our Spring Concert began, as always, by giving praise with a Welcoming Prayer offered by the Fernandes Family. From there, the preschoolers stole the show (and our hearts) with their rendition of King of My Heart and No Longer Slaves. These children of God put smiles on everyone’s faces as they sang their hearts out. Ms. Leza, our dance instructor, then led the students in a beautiful dance to Reckless Love by Bethel Music. These young women danced gloriously, with such freedom and with love in their hearts.

After a short reset of the stage, the audience was treated to several string groups including two accomplished violinists who played Pachelbel’s Canon in D, a small chamber group who played Great Are You Lord and Build My Life, and a guitar ensemble who skillfully played Ode to Joy. In addition to some seriously accomplished string musicians, the audience also had an opportunity to hear some delightful piano solos. These young men and women were calm and collected as they played for a room of enthusiastic parents and friends.

Piano and string instruments were not the only instruments with which the students of NSCS dazzled the audience. The 1st and 2nd graders used bells to perform This My Father’s World, the 3rd and 4th graders showcased their recorder skills playing God is So Good, and the 5th and 6th graders used tone chimes to captivate the crowd with Every Time I Feel the Spirit.

Finishing off the music portion of the evening was a simply heavenly group performance to several of the songs the children love: The Mighty Name of Jesus, I Want Them to Know, Every Burning Brighter, and Seek and You Shall Find. These songs included some beautiful solos, duets, and percussion solos.

The second part of the evening was the Art Show and Silent Auction that featured the art that our students have working on all year, as well as auction items that were quickly being bid on. The 2D and 3D artwork was awesome and the students were so proud to show off all their pieces. The big highlight of the Art Show, however, was the Gratitude Wall where students wrote about and created art about someone they are grateful for. This project truly shows who we are as a community.

Thank you to all the parents, friends, and relatives who joined us for this special evening of music and art.