Category Archives: Blog

NSCS March into Missions 2019

Now that we have turned the calendar to March, we embark upon one of our favorite times of the year! On the first of the month, the NSCS Beverly Campus students and faculty kicked off the event known as “March-Into-Missions.”

What is March-Into-Missions?

NSCS Beverly Campus Dedicates the entire month of March to raising awareness for missions; locally, nationally and globally. This year we have taken on new missions as well as continuing a mission project we started earlier.

This month-long commitment is much anticipated time of the school year for our students. It is the time of the year that our students are intentionally exposed to outreach opportunities both in their own communities, and those that may be very far away from them.  

What is NSCS Working on this Year?

DCF Foster Care Outreach

This year we are focusing on four outreaches. We will be partnering with the local DCF Foster Care system. A representative will engage the students on what it means to be a foster parent/family, how a family could get involved in either direct child care or providing supplies for foster care families, and how our local foster care system works to help children in need. We will also be taking up a supplies collection all month.

Our wonderful panel of guests are all involved in providing foster care. This sweet angel is a preemie held by a single mom who has taken this newborn in and is caring for all of her needs. She believes that she can make an impact in the foster care system.

Our students asked thoughtful and interesting questions that helped them understand the foster system and how they can make a difference in a child’s life. For more information about Massachusetts Department of Social Services visit their website.

New Missions: Support for Wasley

We are also supporting a young boy living in Haiti by way of raising funds so that he can attend school, receive two meals each day, and medical care as needed. We are happy to report that we have raised over $1,200! This means that Wasley can remain in school for at least three more years! We hope to raise enough funds to help him stay through high school. We will have a representative who recently traveled to the Dominican Republic, working with New Missions, come to engage our students as well and we will continue our collection of funds through November 2019.  

Kenya Experiences

Two of our students spent their winter break serving young children in Kenya! These two students will be sharing their story and how even though you are young you can live a life of impact!  

Displaced Peoples

Our Director of Music will also be sharing about people who are displaced. She will share about her work with Syrian refugees.  We helped support her recent trip to Greece to serve some of these refugees and she will be reporting on the work taking place there.

Finally, we will culminate this wonderful month with our Annual International Luncheon on March 27th.  Every family will be invited to prepare a meal that is representative of their culture. We will enjoy a time of food and fellowship as we reflect upon God’s faithfulness to all people.

Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loves is God’s child, and knows God… God is love. John 4:7a&8b

 

S.T.E.M Afternoon: Circuit Building and Heat Energy Experiments

S.T.E.M. Afternoon

Our lower elementary students worked with our 2nd grade teacher, Ms. Bekas and focused on studying heat energy. Our upper elementary students took a close look at electricity and circuits with our 5th grade teacher, Mrs. Gourley.

In both cases, our students were posed a scientific question and were challenged to solve it using materials and information about their topic provided by the KnowAtom curriculum.

Electricity and Circuits

What fun our students had building circuits using wires, batteries, lightbulbs, cardboard, switches and some tape! After learning about the types of circuits such as: simple, series and parallel circuits our students focused on the question: “How does the amount of current in a circuit change when more light bulbs are added to a series current compared to a parallel current?”

It was amazing to see how adept our students already are at creating a circuit, understanding what a short circuit is and how to operate switches. They discussed how circuits work, what a current is and what things conduct electricity and what insulates it. Ask your student what the results of their experiment were and how they might think differently about the electricity that runs all the appliances and lights in your house.

Heat Energy and Mixtures

Our 2nd graders also had some fun creating mixtures of water and hot chocolate as they explored the question: “Does heat energy affect the speed of Dissolving?”

After collecting materials that included three temperatures of water (cold, room temperature and hot water), our students timed how long the hot chocolate package would take to completely dissolve.

Prior to experimenting, our students discussed what they already know about energy and heat. From there, they created a hypothesis about which temperature water would dissolve the hot chocolate fastest and slowest.

What do you think happened? Was it the hot water that dissolved the hot chocolate the fastest or the cold water? Or perhaps was it the water that was left at room temperature? Ask your child what the results were.

Does your child like to solve problems or experiment? Join us for our next S.T.E.M Afternoon or Saturday. Check out the next dates on the NSCS calendar.

 

NSCS Beverly Campus Presents Science Fair 2019

Every great idea starts somewhere. Scientists spend years working toward a solution to a problem in labs and natural environments. Sometimes those great ideas that impact the world are discoveries that happen by accident such as with penicillin, Post-It-Notes, x-ray machines, and pacemakers. Sometimes good old science and investigative research lead us to findings that forge changes that help medicine, daily life, or even our planet. It is with that love for discovery that our NSCS Beverly campus students embarked upon their 2019 Science Fair.

On the evening of February 11, 2019, family, friends and faculty were treated to an evening dedicated to the pursuit of scientific discovery. Beginning in the hall of the lower chapel, Mrs. Heinz delighted the crowd with a spirited trivia game with questions about the science topics the students researched for the past few weeks and months. Each grade focused on a different area of study and every single project showed hard work and dedication.

The Kindergarteners focused their science studies on, “The Sun, the Moon, and the Stars.” As a class, they examined the effects that the sun has on paper as well as the impact that the sun has on plants. They made educated hypotheses and followed their experiment through with data and a conclusion about how the sun can fade paper and help plants grow. In addition to their experiments, the class made paper mache planets and drawings of constellations. Individually each student created a trifold poster board about their planet including pertinent information regarding size, location, and characteristics that set it apart from the other planets. This was an amazing night for our early learners explaining their studies and how much they learned.

The 1st and 2nd graders studied, “The Fabulous Five Senses.” It was easy to tell right away that the students, dressed in lab coats and goggles, we ready to captivate their audience with experiments. The aroma of popcorn and tastes of sweet, salty and sour items were just a few of the ways that these students “showed-what-they-know” about sight, sound, smell, taste, and touch. They even examined the mind-blowing McGuirk Effect. This discovery shows how we all use visual speech information. It involves showing a person’s lips making the shape of one sound—like “bah”—while the audio is actually the person saying “fah.” What’s interesting is that your brain changes what you “hear” based on what you see. The students did a marvelous job explaining their individual projects and taking parents through the experiments they tried in class.

The 3rd and 4th graders looked at, “The Engineering Process.” The engineering design process includes a series of steps that engineers follow to come up with a solution to a problem. The engineering process is different from the scientific method in that it deals with designing, building, and testing rather than merely making observations and doing experiments. Our students chose different topics within the umbrella topic of engineering design and displayed their research on trifold. Some of their deep research dealt with building bridges, objects that sink or float, energy, heat energy, colors, winds and turbulence, temperature and climate. Each student examined their topic while collecting data and conducting experiments. Some even made prototypes of their experiments. They learned so much about their topics that many plan to continue their studies on their own!

Finally, the 5th and 6th graders chose a topic that is near and dear to hearts, “How to Save the Coral Reefs.” Entering the classroom, one would think they you were entering an actual coral reef with the underwater lighting and seaweed floating from the ceiling. Each student took a look at the different coral reefs that are around the globe such as the Great Barrier Reef and the New Caledonia Barrier Reef. They posed questions such as: what are coral reefs, what is harming them, and how can humans help stop the pollution of the ecosystem that is dependent upon these environments. They also took a close look at the bleaching of coral reefs and how this could impact our Earth over the course of many years. Our most mature learners showed poise and a wealth of knowledge as they presented their findings.

In all, the night was a wonderful way for our students to show off what they have been learning and how hard they have been working. They should be very proud of their efforts. The NSCS community is proud to call them our own.

Making the Most of Vacation

For many of us, vacations conjure up visions of laying on the couch watching Netflix or maybe sitting on a tropical beach with our toes in the sand. While this would be lovely, especially given this cold winter Mother Nature has delivered, it is not always possible. Staycations are becoming more and more popular with families with two parents working. So, if you are firmly planted in New England with February break, what can you do to make the most of your vacation with your school-age children?

Depending upon your interests and the energy level of your children, there are plenty of activities you can do this vacation that are both fun and, dare I say, educational as well. Here are a few ideas that span the age range from pre-K to middle school for your next “staycation.”

Create a Plan

Like all things in life, planning can make all the difference between a harried, chaotic vacation and one that has a balance of downtime and activities that will make your whole family happy. Do some research to find out times when the locations you would like to visit are open and if there are any coupon codes or specials being offered to make your experiences more affordable.

Become Tourists

Although you may live in the New England region, you may not always have the time to see all of the sights or visit all the places that make this area so special. Make a list of your “must see” places, activities, and events. For example, if you have never seen the birthplace of the American Revolution, maybe now might be a good time to take a ride to Lexington and Concord greens (weather permitting). Or if you love science, then visit the Museum of Science or some of the local Children’s Museums. If art is your thing, maybe the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum would be a great day trip. If the weather is mild enough, just walking the streets of Boston and taking in the historic architecture and Freedom Trail can be a wonderful day to get to know your region and learn a little something in the process.

Go Easy

Vacations are meant to give students a break from the workload expected in school. We all need time to recharge so don’t forget to add this into your vacation plans. This may include watching some favorite movies, catching up on a hobby that you don’t have time for during school, reading books for pure enjoyment, and visiting friends!

Whether you have big travel plans or staycation plans this February break, make the most of your time together! From the faculty and staff at NSCS to you and your family, enjoy your break!

Pay It Forward This Valentine’s Day

If you have ever heard the expression to “Pay it Forward,” then you know it means instead of paying someone “back” for showing you kindness, that you pay it “forward” to someone else. While this concept has been around for decades, the idea has really caught on since the American romantic drama, Pay It Forward hit the screen in 2000.

The movie chronicles the life of 12-year-old Trevor McKinney and his school project. The seventh grade Las Vegas student launches a goodwill movement known as “Pay it Forward.” He does a favor for three people, asking each of them to “pay the favor forward” by doing favors for three other people, and so on, along a branching tree of good deeds. While the story has a tragic ending, the concept of this young man catches on and spreads across the country.

Every year around Valentine’s Day, we hear of others around our area doing similar kind deeds. This deed could be for someone they know or, someone they have never met before. Many people even make these small moments anonymous. When our students were asked what ways they could “Pay it Forward,” here are some of their responses.

  • Fold my laundry for my mom.
  • Pay for someone’s coffee when we go to Dunkin Donuts.
  • Shovel a neighbor’s driveway without them knowing.
  • Sit with a friend who is having a bad day.
  • Hug my parents.
  • Put away the dishes without being asked.
  • Bring the trash barrels in for my next door neighbor so they don’t blow in the wind.
  • Help my teacher when she needs help.
  • Collect mittens and hats for people who can not afford them.

Even the smallest act of kindness “paid forward” can mean a world of difference to that person. Who knows, that act may get passed on and on.

Organizing for Success

Did you know that organization is one of the key factors to success in school? Being organized in school can mean: being on time with assignments, knowing what is due when, and being able to plan ahead for longer projects. Since organization tends to be a learned behavior, let’s take a look at how students get organized through practice.

Have you ever looked in your backpack or locker and thought, “Wow, I’ll never find this assignment in here?” That is a sure sign that you may need some help getting organized. Other signs of being disorganized may be: poor grades, forgetting/losing papers, pens, books, not planning well for long term assignments and needing constant reminders to keep track of your “stuff.” Getting organized and staying organized can be tough but here are a few strategies that may help you get started in the right direction.

Start Fresh

Whether it is your binder, locker, desk, or backpack, start fresh by cleaning out clutter. Get rid of all old papers and assignments that you don’t need anymore. A clean slate is a great way to start.

Sort Items

Once you have cleaned out all of your school items, start putting like items together such as all math papers together and all science papers together. If you need to get folders or notebooks to keep them grouped together that is a good idea. Don’t have a folder or notebook handy? Use a paper clip until all items can be organized by subject. If your assignments are online sort them into folders or classes. Whatever you have to do to keep items in the place where you can find them when you need them, then do it. It may mean color coding notebooks and folders, or labeling binder and books. It will be worth it.

Create a Calendar

Many students find that being successful means seeing the “big picture.” This may mean getting your time organized as well as your study materials. Set up a calendar that helps you see what activities and assignments you have on each day. This will be helpful if you have long term assignments or assignments that are due at the end of each week. Plotting out which days you need to hurry off to an event or activity can mean getting homework out right away or skipping video games on certain days.

Maintain

Once you have started a system to keep your time and materials organized, it is important to carve out some time each week to maintain your organization. Put papers where they belong, check off things on your to-do lists, and update your calendar. A little work each week can make or break staying organized.

Resources

Staying Organized in Middle School
Ways to Help Messy Kids Get Organized (An Occupational Therapists Point of View)
Organizational Skills for Students (that really work!)

Benefits of Being a Member of a Team

North Shore Christian School offers many after school opportunities to be a part of a larger team whether it is on the basketball court, the soccer pitch, in a musical ensemble or an art group. Being a part of a team can be a wonderful experience that can build character and help us understand each others strengths. Here are a few ways that encouraging your child to be a part of a team can benefit them both now in school and later in their career.

Complementary Strengths

Being a part of a team or group can help students gain a deeper understanding of each person’s talents and skills. For example, some students may be excellent at communicating while others are better at organization. Learning to break tasks into smaller, more manageable parts and assign these parts to individual team members according to their strengths is an important life lesson that will become more critical as they transition into the working world.

Learning Flexibility

Just like in life, learning how to “roll-with-it” can be hard. Starting young, learning how to work as a team means that our students acquire flexibility in finding solutions whether it is on the court, field or in the auditorium.

Time Management

Nothing teaches you time management like being a member of a team. If you are not on time you may let down your team. If you have not completed your part of the project you not only answer to yourself but the team as well.

Support and Morale

Honestly one of my best memories is being part of a musical ensemble. We were a tight group who supported each other and had each other’s backs in school and out. We would laugh together and sometimes cry. When facing a difficult musical piece we would work it through together. This is one of the intangible benefits of being part of a team.

Is your child considering trying an after school group? Encourage them to try something new or an old favorite. Either way they will benefit from learning to work with others, cooperate, compliment each other, and support each other as only our NSCS students can do. Questions about what programs are available? Check out our events calendar on our website and ask your teachers.

 

Movie, TV and YouTube Ratings Guide for Parents

As parents, we are always trying to make informed and thoughtful decisions for the wellbeing of our children. We worry about what they eat, drink, read, study, and how they spend their free time. The list is endless. That’s why we welcome tools to make informed decisions especially when it comes to the television programming, movies and YouTube videos that our “digital age” children watch. Here is a quick guide to help you make the right determination for the age and maturity level of your growing child.

 

Film Ratings:

Film ratings are determined by the Motion Picture Association of America Rating Board. Its members are not associated with the movie industry, and no one has the authority or power to influence the Board’s decision on films.

 

  • Rating G – This film does not contain any offensive language or themes. While some language may not be viewed as polite by all audience members, it is frequently found in everyday use. There are no situations included that are inappropriate for children. Violence is minimal. And it incorporates no sex scenes, nudity or drug use.

 

  • Rating PG – This rating, as indicated by the title, requires Parental Guidance in choosing this film. Contents of this film could include profanity, some violence and brief nudity. However, the presence of these elements is not intense. There is no drug use content in a PG-rated film.

 

  • Rating PG-13 – Parents are strongly cautioned to consider this movie. In a PG-13 film, there is more violence, nudity, sensuality and inappropriate language or other contents than in a PG film, but these elements are not explicit enough to require a restricted R rating. Any drug use content will initially require at least a PG-13 rating.

 

  • Rating R – This level of rating indicates Restricted and may include strong language, violence, nudity, drug abuse, other elements and/or a combination of these elements.

 

Television Ratings

This rating system is a little more complex and is explained through the use of a code box usually at the top corner of the first few minutes of a show. The box indicates what age is appropriate, what the content may include, and whether the content includes sex, adult language, or suggestive dialogue.

 

YouTube Ratings

While millions of  free videos are added at regular intervals parents also have some level of control on this front as well. Google advises that, “You can only apply YouTube content ratings to paid content. To restrict free videos with mature content, use the Age-Restriction feature.”

A YouTube content rating labels the mature content in a video in several categories. Each category has three options that indicate the level of mature content:

  1. The first option (which is also the default) indicates no mature content in the category
  2. The middle option indicates mild mature content
  3. The third option indicates mature content that should be restricted to viewers 18 and older

The Benefits of Reading for Fun

When was the last time you read something for the pure enjoyment? Sure, your child has been keeping up with his/her reading for school assignments and you (as a parent and employee) have been reading emails, projects, and work related documents, but when was the last time you really chose something to read purely for the pleasure of it? Let’s examine closer why reading for fun is so important for both parents and children alike.

 

Academic Outcomes

Did you know that there is strong evidence linking reading for pleasure and educational outcomes? The more you practice a skill, like reading, comprehending and synthesizing information, the better you become! Even students who enjoy reading comics, or graphic novels increase vocabulary, causal relationships and character development. The rule seems to be that “Any reading, is good reading,” according to research completed by the Peter Sowerby Foundation.

 

Emotional Benefits

There is evidence that shows a correlation between reading for pleasure regularly and lower levels of stress and depression. Reading, especially that which is chosen by the reader for pleasure seems to increase well-being and happiness. Who doesn’t love curling up with a great book, magazine or website and finding out more about their favorite topic?

 

Social Benefits

Reading can also have immense social benefits for students. Reading, especially that which has characters who we can relate closely to, can help us develop our own identity. The middle school and high school years are critical for this type of development. Reading about characters who experience life differently than us can also lead to a better understanding of the people around us. Reading can also  improve empathy and gives us an insight into the world view of others.

 

What do you like to read for pleasure? Ask your student what they like to read for fun and encourage that self-motivated reading at home. Any questions, or looking for suggestion of interesting books, ask your child’s teacher at NSCS.

 

Kick off the New Year with Gratitude

Are you trying to follow your New Year’s Resolutions to eat better, exercise and live a healthier life?  Most of us made some sort of promise to ourselves to better our lives or the lives around us. If you are searching for a resolution that can help with your overall well-being and make you feel more connected to the world around you, we would like to suggest kicking the year off with gratitude. A recent article in Scientific American reported that, “the single best predictor of good relationships and emotional well-being is gratitude.” Here are some suggestions of how to show gratitude this year.

  • A Gratitude Jar – Keep a jar in your kitchen with paper slips readily available to write down things you are grateful for either spontaneously or every night while you gather for dinner. Each member of the family can add to the jar throughout the year. At the end of the year or when you need a pick-me-up, read the items that you wrote that will remind you of the wonderful blessings around you.

 

  • A Gratitude Journal – For a more personal and private way to take stock of the things you are blessed with, a journal might be more fitting. Write each night before you go to bed or even start your day with things that you are thankful for.

 

  • Get in the Habit of Paying it Forward – Once you have begun to notice all the things in your life that you are grateful for, it may be time to start paying it forward. Even little things like smiling at a stranger, holding a door open for the person behind you or even paying for someone’s coffee is a great way to pass on your blessings.

 

 

How do you show your gratitude? We would love to hear from you. Check out our Facebook page and add your messages of gratitude. Find us at NSCS Facebook or through the Facebook icon on our website.