First Day of Preschool: How to Prepare

The first day of school is a big deal whether you are in kindergarten or even in college. But when you’re enrolling your child in preschool for the first time, the experience is completely new. Here are some tips to help your child’s first day of preschool go smoothly.

parents-prepare-for-first-day-of-school

Get a Good Night’s Rest

This is important for adults but more so for children who are headed for a busy and exciting day in the morning. Showing up for class grumpy is no way to start the year. Prepare for an early night so your little one will have plenty of energy in the morning.

Start The Morning Right

Running around making last minute preparations in the morning adds unnecessary stress to your day. If your child sees you stressed, they will most likely be stressed as well. Plan out your preschool morning routine ahead of time to keep things moving along – don’t forget a healthy breakfast!

Give it Time

The first time you drop your child off, there might be some apprehension while your child adjusts to being away from your side. Resist the urge to whisk them out of the classroom; instead, give your child the chance to work through their problems on their own. It’s also important to keep going to school everyday to help establish a routine for your child. If your child is fearful of being left alone, try introducing them to the teacher or a classmate to distract them.

Avoid Long Goodbyes

Remember to keep your goodbyes short and sweet all the while holding back any tears and braving a smile so that your child knows it will be okay. Sneaking off is not a good idea because your child may panic after suddenly losing you. As long as you reassure them that you will be back to pick them up, they should be able to ease into their new surroundings.

Avoid Showing Up Unexpectedly

As we mentioned above, your child needs a chance to develop problem solving skills on their own. If you constantly show up to surprise or check up on your child, you may be inadvertently encouraging your child to become dependent on your presence at school.

Ask Them How Their Day Was

When you pick your child up from school, try using a toddler conversation starter to get an idea of how their day went. Engaging in a conversation helps your child stay enthusiastic about school, while giving you an opportunity to identify any areas you may want to address with your child’s teacher.

At CornerStone Christian Academy and Tykes Preschool, we want your child’s first day (and every day!) to be a fun, new experience. Our NAEYC certified staff are passionate about creating meaningful relationships and learning opportunities. If you would like a tour of our school or have any questions about our preschool program contact us at 702-939-5050.

The Benefits of Choir are Truly Something to Sing About

Enrolling your child in Show Choir, Vocal Leads, or private music lessons at school is a great way to help them boost their self-esteem, learn valuable life skills, and have a great time doing it! When you combine music and education in a Christian environment, wonderful things happen. Here are just a few of the benefits of joining a choir.

Benefits-of-joining-choir

Emotional Benefits

If you’ve ever sang in a choir, you’re surely no stranger to the wonderful, almost indescribable feeling that comes from singing in harmony with a group. Turns out, it’s not just a feeling – it’s science! A 2013 Time Magazine article cited various recent studies that have found that singing as part of a group may lower stress and contribute to happiness by releasing endorphins and oxytocin while lowering cortisol levels.

Music Builds Life Skills

The benefits of joining a choir go above and beyond lowering stress. Enrolling your child in one of CCA’s choir programs or classes will not only help them learn how to read and understand music – they’ll get to practice and hone their teamwork skills as they and their peers work as a group to perfect their performances. Children will also benefit from learning firsthand that hard work pays off – though some children have an innate ‘ear’ for music, practice is an important part of life for all members of a choir.

Music and Education

It should come as no surprise that music helps children succeed academically. Practicing music at a young age helps boost memorization, language skills, creativity, and the ability to identify and replicate patterns. Sparking a love for music early on in your child’s academic career can open the door for them to learn an instrument, continue on in choirs in high school and college, and sing proudly on-key in social settings and churches for the rest of their lives.

Music Brings Everyone Closer to God

One of the benefits of sending your children to a private school is that they’re encouraged to explore and nurture their relationship with God on a daily basis. Joining choir is a great way for children to discover new ways of praising Him on an individual level and as part of a group.

At Cornerstone Christian Academy & Tykes, we understand that children are their best selves when they strive for academic excellence in a nurturing, Christian environment – and we’re proud to be one of the leading Christian schools in Las Vegas. To learn more about the benefits of a private, Christian education, our amazing extracurricular performing arts programs, how to fund your child’s education, or to schedule a tour of our school, please contact us at 702-939-5050.

Beginner’s Classes

We have some wonderful and exciting news to share.  Our preschool has expanded this school year and we now enrolling students in to our 2 year old program.  Students must be 2 years old to enroll.

Our Beginner 2’s program is a quality structured learning environment (not daycare) that meets NAEYC standards for the developing child. Students wear uniforms, learn structure and routine with circle time, sign language, music and movement and fine/gross motor skill development activities throughout the day and more.
If your family or you know of a family is in need of a quality early childhood program, give us a call today.  Spaces will be limited to maintain our low child to teacher ratios. There are several half day and full day schedule options to choose from.
Call or email today for more information!

Why You Should Act Quickly for Private School Registration

In some markets, the best preschools fill up so fast that parents are practically forced to put their children on the waiting list before they’re even conceived. Regardless of whether that’s the case in your area, it’s still important to register early; most children spend 6 hours a day or more at school, and the community values they learn at school will likely be a big influence in their lives. Here’s what you should know about registering for private school.

Finding the perfect fit

After thinking long and hard about it, you’ve decided that sending your child to a private school is the best decision for your family. This first step is a difficult one, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that the hard part is over. It’s normal to be left with many questions about which school is right for your child. Parents are often drawn to sending their children to private schools because they feel that their values or philosophies align with those of the school. Additionally, some private schools offer more academically advanced curriculums that can better prepare children for competitive schools later in life. These factors can sometimes make the deciding process difficult, so it’s important to reach out to schools and ask questions early.

Ask The Right Questions

One of the benefits of starting the school search early is that it gives you plenty of time to do your homework and check your prospective school’s credentials. For example, if you have a young child, it’s important to make sure that the school you choose is accredited with the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). Having the right credentials can impact which schools your child is eligible to attend later in life, so it’s well worth the effort to find a school that meets these requirements. Accredited schools also have a tendency to fill up quicker, so it’s important to start the process sooner rather than later.

Tours are important

When you’ve narrowed down your choices to your top two or three schools, the next step is to sign up for a tour. Be sure to ask questions about each school’s teaching philosophies, student-teacher ratios, and ways that the teachers keep parents informed about their child’s daily activities. A tour is also a great opportunity to introduce your child to the layout of his or her new school, and possibly even meet some of the staff before the school rush begins. A child will often feel a little less nervous about their first day if they’ve been there before.

Don’t delay the application process

When you’ve found the perfect match, you’ll know it. Sometimes it’s hard to face the fact that your little boy or girl is growing up and it’s easy to put off registering them for preschool right away. Be warned, however – delaying the application process can cost your child a spot at your dream preschool, so it’s important to begin the application process as soon as possible. Most private schools will have waiting lists whether they’re in competitive markets or not. This is especially true for private Christian schools, which often fill up quickly because they offer advantages like fostering lasting relationships and nurturing a child’s faith.
If you’re forced to send your child to your second or third choice school because you didn’t register quickly enough and were placed on the waiting list, there are two possible outcomes. Either you’ll decide to keep them in your second choice school (while wondering if maybe they’d be better off in your first choice) or, once a spot opens up in your first choice, you may decide to transfer them there. If the latter is the route you choose, know that there might be an adjustment period as your child gets used to their new routine. They might be confused about why they’re leaving their friends and teachers for a new school. Getting the selection process started early is a great way to prevent this from happening, and you’ll be more likely to get your child placed in your first choice school!

To learn more about enrolling your child in a private Christian school, contact CornerStone Christian Academy & Preschool at (702) 939-5050 to schedule a tour!

Preschool Morning Routine Ideas to Help You Seize the Day

If frantic scrambling to the preschool drop off each morning has become the norm in your household, you’re not alone. Try these tips to make mornings with your preschooler times you’ll cherish and look forward to rather than dread.

these morning routine ideas can make life easier for preschoolers

Use technology to your advantage

Our smartphones often make us feel like we’re being pulled in a million different directions. Incorporating an alarm into your child’s routine can let them know that it’s time to start getting ready to get out the door without you having to ask them repeatedly. Use a fun-sounding alarm, like a duck quack or frog ribbit. Set the alarm for 10 minutes before you have to leave. After a few days, your little one will associate the animal noise with wrapping up their activities and heading towards the door.

Make time the night before

After a long day, the last thing anyone wants to do is make tomorrow’s lunches or figure out what your tater tot is going to wear the next day. In order for your morning routine to go smoothly, make an effort to set up a consistent evening routine, too. Avoid morning battles about what your child will wear by having them pick out their outfit the night before. Make it fun by tracing your little guy or girl on a large sheet of paper or piece of cardboard and letting them color it before you cut it out. You two can “dress” their paper counterpart every evening. Including your child in the decision-making process will lead to fewer last-minute arguments and meltdowns.

Breathe

Many of our daily stresses can be alleviated by changing our perspective. Preschoolers grow up so fast, so make mornings memorable by setting aside a few minutes where you don’t have an agenda. If your little one is feeling especially sleepy, set aside some time to wake them up gently by getting in an AM snuggle session. If they’re feeling especially talkative, take a few minutes to really connect with them by sitting down and having a conversation with them without trying to do a thousand other things at once. It only takes a few moments to create memories that will last forever.

Get up earlier

While it’s perhaps the least-fun suggestion on this list, if you feel like you’ve tried everything and you notice that you’re still struggling to figure out a stress-free way to get out of the house in the morning, it might be that you haven’t given yourself enough time. Try waking up 10 or 15 minutes earlier than usual one day. Don’t fall into the trap of feeling like you have more time than you do, though – this usually leads to frantic, last-minute rushing around.

Once you’ve gotten them out the door, don’t forget to initiate a conversation starter after school to get an idea of what your little one was up to all day!

8 Early Reading Tips for Kids

You have been there every step of the way when it comes to your child’s development. From learning to walk to potty training, the one constant has been the encouragement that a child receives from their parent. A big step academically is learning to read, and while childhood education in school setting is importing, having a supportive parent can give them that extra push they need. Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis said it best, “There are many little ways to enlarge your child’s world. Love of books is the best of all.” In this article we’ve provided some tips to help nurture your child’s appreciation of books and a love of reading.

1. Set up an area of the bookshelf just for their books

Children love having their own version of something “grown up”. A bookshelf located in your child’s room with their own books is likely to get them more excited about reading. Not only will they be able to reach books anytime they like without having to ask, it will demonstrate that your family values books and reading.

2. Let your children pick out their own books

When you do go book shopping, take your children with you and have them spend some time in the children’s area. Children want to “do it themselves” and letting them choose their own books gives them a sense of independence and can ignite some passion about reading.

3. Have daily read-aloud sessions

Schedule regular times to have your child read aloud to you so that you can pin point words they might be having trouble with. If there are certain sounds they need help with, try breaking it down for them on flashcards.

4. Make sure to point out words when reading them aloud

Another way to show them how certain sounds are pronounced is to take turns reading. Perhaps you read one sentence and then have them read the same sentence after you. When it is your turn to read, have them sit next to you and follow along. As you read a passage make sure to point at the words as you are reading them – sort of like karaoke. This will help your child associate how words should be spoken with how they are written.

5. Make reading fun

Come up with ways to make reading interactive and entertaining. Take turns reading a bedtime story and when it is your turn to read, exaggerate the words and even add in hand gestures. You can even assign different voices to different characters within the stories. Listening to you bring the characters to life will help your child visualize the story and engage their imagination!

6. Set goals and reward reading

Set goals for reading such as one book a week. If these goals are met, reward this prowess with more reading options. Once a book is finished, pop into a bookstore and let them choose another one. These incentives are sure to keep them interested.

7. Let your child see you reading

Children view you as their most important role models and they pay close attention to what you do. If your child sees you reading books, newspapers and magazines they will understand that literature is part of our everyday lives – a source of education as well as a relaxing pastime.

8. On the go reading

In this day and age it is extremely common for children to use iPads or other devices for amusement on long road trips, or even short drives to school. To help limit their time on such devices, keep a set of their favorite books in the car. Interactive books that incorporate sound, touch or require some type of participation can be especially entertaining.
The American Academy of Pediatrics performed a study, which proved that reading to children helped with brain development. Children as young as 6 months old start interacting with books, and by 15 months they are usually able to point out pictures that they are attracted to. The relationship between a parent and their child can be assessed by simply observing how comfortable a child is reading with their mother or father. When a parent is able to get their child excited about reading they have most certainly helped put them on a path for better brain development. Ralph Emerson phrased the way reading affects a person’s intellect perfectly by saying “If we encounter a man of rare intellect, we should ask him what books he reads.”

8 After School Conversation Starters to Engage Your Child

Talking to a kindergartener can be challenging, especially when you’re looking for specifics on what they’re experiencing outside the home. Usual questions like “How was your day?” or “How are you?” will generally render rather uninformative responses like “okay” or “good”. By asking specific questions about their day, you can engage your child in more productive conversation that can give you a better understanding of their experiences at school while strengthening your relationship. Here are a few simple questions you might want to try incorporating into your daily after school discussions to get the ball rolling!

conversation starters for toddlers

Who did you sit next to during lunch?

Lunchtime is a regular opportunity for children to interact with others their age. If they have a group of friends that they like to sit next to, or even one specific person that they talk about frequently, this can be a good sign that they are settling into their school environment.

What’s your favorite thing to do at school?

Finding out what they enjoy most will help you figure out what activities you can partake in at home. It can also help you identify the areas they don’t enjoy as much and determine whether they can use help in those areas whether it be reading, math or their social skills.

What did your teacher say to you today?

This is a good way to find out if your child is having problems at school with either learning or behavior. Discussing these interactions with your child can make it easier for you to approach the teacher and work with them to make your child’s experience at school productive and enjoyable.

Did you do something nice for someone? Did anyone do something nice for you?

This topic can demonstrate the kind of relationships your child is building at school and gives you the opportunity to provide praise for their actions and reinforce positive attitudes about kindness and appreciation.

Can you tell me about something you learned today?

This question can be a good indicator as to how focused and attentive your child is at school. Children also love to demonstrate new skills or acquired knowledge and this gives them a chance to share this and receive recognition for their progress.

Did you play any games today?

Playing games allows kids to improve social skills, teaching them about sharing, negotiation, following rules, as well as developing critical thinking skills and using imagination. Asking them about the rules of the game and how they played it opens up a window for conversation on their understanding and development in these areas.

Did anything make you laugh today?

Knowing that your child had a good time at school and spent some time laughing can be reassuring and help ease a parent’s anxiety about their child fitting in.

Who did you play with today?

This question helps you get an idea of who their friends are and whether they are enjoying their playtime at school. By finding out which children they play with, you can get in touch with their parents to arrange play dates on the weekends. Interaction between children outside of school can help them form stronger ties and helps with the transition between home life and school life.

How to continue the conversation

Once you have been able to break the ice with easy questions, you can then keep the conversation going by asking more in depth questions such as, “you talk a lot about Lucy, is she your best friend?” or “Would you like Lucy to come over sometime and play at our house?”. Whether public or private, school should not only be about learning, but also about the interaction between students and about having a little bit of fun. Model communication by telling your child about your own day, talking to them about similar topics that reflect the information you’d like them to share. By nourishing your connection in this way, you can help them feel more comfortable opening up in future if they have any worries or anxieties about school or other situations you may need to know about.