The Spark! – September 2018

A Note From The Director
Dear Parents,
Happy September! We had a wonderful summer filled with camps and we are now getting ready for a new school year. It’s an exciting time but it can also be hectic and stressful on children and families. Our early childhood teacher, Jen Katz, helps you combat the back to school jitters with the tips below. 

This summer, the Gym Director, Mary and I went to a gymnastics conference and we obtained new energy and ideas which can be applied to all of our programs and shared with our staff. I really enjoyed the sessions on positive coaching, special needs, and the keynote speaker’s address. She talked about presence, discipline, vision, and inspiration. I was truly moved and reminded of how our vision must be present through our everyday procedures, classes, and staff and teacher interactions. I love hearing from parents that their child is really part of a community here, how much their child loves a particular teacher, or how a staff person helped a family through their child’s transition to camp. I know we can strive to do even more! 

The speaker also talked about “sharing stories of our program.” Through The Spark, we have been sharing the stories of our teachers, programs, and accomplishments. Our students are also a major part of the “Discovery Story”!  Whether they were here for many years, all summer, or even just a short time, I thought it would be wonderful to start highlighting those students in the new Student Spotlight section. 

We look forward to a great school year with you and your child.

Warm Wishes,

Katie Kheel
Back-to-School Tips!
Jen Katz
Mother, Teacher, Artist
Looking forward to the first day.

The days leading up to school are an excellent time to go on a walk to take a look at your child’s school. Meeting your child’s teacher in advance is helpful if it’s possible. If you are lucky enough to have the class information before school starts, this is also a great time to have a playdate with a future classmate. Seeing a familiar face is always comforting when starting at a new school.

We all need our zzzz’s.

It’s so important for children to get plenty of rest to be their best at school. Starting a healthy “early to bed” school routine is vital for young, growing minds. If there is time, try to start this routine well before the night before their first day.

Food for thought.

Wake up early, have a healthy, protein rich breakfast with your child every day. 

Breakfast really is the most important meal. Picky eaters? Brainstorm a list of healthy, acceptable, go-to breakfasts that you all agree on and then stock up on the necessary ingredients. 

Involving kids in what goes into their lunch boxes helps them to actually eat what is packed for lunch. Load up on the fruits and veggies and proteins and don’t forget to add extra snacks for the after school munchies!

The big first day.

On your child’s first day of school, try to get to school a little early to take in the scenery and have time to talk a little about what school will be like or maybe meet a new friend outside waiting for class to start. Greet the front desk or other people that work in the school. This will help your child feel comfortable in her/his new school community.

Make memories.

Take lots of pictures for the memory books. It’s a very special day! Kids will cherish looking back at a collection of all of their first day of school photos.

For the littlest learners.

For young children, read a picture book together that addresses going to school and separation at school, during the days or weeks leading up to school. 

A few good ones are:

Owl Babies 

The Kissing Hand

Llama, Llama Misses Mama 

For young children who are new to separating, bring a security object or lovey to school in a little backpack. It can help teachers soothe your child if they are sad. 

Always reassure your child that you or your caregiver will be waiting for them at the end of the day. You can say something like, “I’ll see you after the goodbye song”.

If you ever feel at a loss for what to do regarding separation, rely on your child’s teacher to make the plan that best suits your child and what they are ready for. Each child is different and will need different separation plans to settle into school. 

Staying organized is key!

Create a shared family calendar for the new school year. Do you ever feel your kids are busier than you are? Try to keep everyone’s schedules in one place. Dry erase calendars are a helpful tool that can keep everyone’s schedule in one place. Write in a different color marker for each child’s activities. For families with older children, create an electronic calendar that everyone can easily access. There are many calendar apps available that can be shared with everyone in the family. The sooner kids can keep track of their own schedules, the better. Have a family back-to-school meeting to go over the schedule for the new school year. Kids will learn it quicker than you think!

Need a few extra minutes of sleep in the morning?

Prepare for the next school day the night before. Pack lunches, drinks, snacks, instruments, sports dance bags, etc the night before they are needed. Involve your children in this process if they are old enough to help. This will make mornings less hectic so everyone is ready to go!

We all need a quiet space.

As children get older, homework and studying requires more of their focus and attention. Remember to create a quiet homework space that is screen-free. TV and other electronic devices will distract them from getting their work done correctly and on time. Rewards for excellent, completed homework are strongly recommended!

Down time.

After a hard day’s work, everyone deserves to do something that can help them relax and wind down for the night. Curl up with a favorite story, listen to your favorite music, watch a favorite show. You and your children have earned this moment. All of these activities should be calming and pleasant as you settle down and get ready for bedtime.

Cheers to a great school year!

Photo Op: August Campers!
Photo Op: Dolphins and Seahorses Trip to Lotus Garden!
Discovery Consent & Release Form
9 Inspirational Back-to-School Quotes for Your Kids
Discovery Announcements!
Classes begin September 17th.
Don’t Miss Parent Viewing Week
-We will be having our first of two parent/caregiver viewing weeks in all classes throughout the week of October 15th-20th. The second opportunity to watch your child’s class will be towards the end of the semester, in early January. 
Fall Holiday Closings
– Discovery will be closed on the following dates this fall:
September 18th, 19th, 24th, 25th
October 1st, 2nd, 8th
November 22nd, 23rd, 24th
December 24th-31st
January 1st-5th, 21st
Nutcracker Save-the-Date 
-Our annual Nutcracker Ballet Recital will be taking place on Sunday, December 16th.   

Student Spotlight

This month, we’re shining a light on two of our beloved gymnasts! 
Claudia Belt
– Claudia (Age 5) spent most of her summer with us here at Discovery in gymnastics camp! What did she love the most? “Learning how to do handstand bridge and bridge kick over, and better cartwheels and handstands.” Claudia is excited to come back for classes in the fall, and says that she looks forward to doing “harder stuff and cooler stuff.” 🙂
Ilana Cope
– Ilana (Age 12) has been a student at Discovery for almost 10 years, starting in our 2’s ballet program and eventually making her way through dance and recreational gymnastics to our highest level competitive gymnastic team! Ilana has been a member of the gymnastics team since Fall 2013. Her mom says that “she’s grown a lot with the help of all of you (at Discovery) and Coach Mary and Cristian!”  

Slime Recipe:

Summer Camp Favorite!

2/3 cup glue
1/3 cup water
2 cups shaving cream
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 tablespoons contact solution
Watercolor/food coloring
Optional: glitter
Add the glue, water, baking soda, and shaving cream to a bowl and mix. Add the food coloring and stir. Add optional glitter. Next, slowly add 1 tablespoon of contact solution. Mix with a fork, then knead with hands. In about five minutes or so, add the other tablespoon of contact solution. Knead until it is no longer sticking to hands. Let set and knead again.

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