What Kids Need in Child Care

Happy Kids With Whale Shirts
At Grace Community School, we know the parents of our students want the absolute best for their kids; so do we!

Helping Your Child Succeed in Child Care and Beyond

Every parent who drops a child off at child care has certain expectations of what will happen to that child. Each parent hopes that the child care experience will be a positive one, giving the child what he or she needs to grow, learn, and be happy.

These things include the basics: being kept safe from harm, fulfillment of physical needs, comfort, opportunities for friendship, fun. Most parents would also be happy if their children could learn something while away from home. These things aren’t the only things a child needs from child care!

Achieving Full Potential

Child experts agree that for the child to achieve his or her full potential – to rise above the median, to accomplish what is called “self-actualization” – the child must have more than the basics. You, as a parent, would no doubt like your child to do more than just survive – you want your child to thrive!

Unfortunately, if you bring your child to just any child care center, you will likely get just the basics – only the basics. It will be babysitting, for the most part. There is something not on that list of basics: love! It is not enough to merely take care of a child, the child who will thrive needs love, both at home and at school.

Remember: love is not just an emotion, it is also action! At Grace Community School, we know the parents of our students want the absolute best for their kids; so do we! Love means giving kids the best education possible.

Instead of daycare, why not school?
Instead of daycare, why not school?

Why Not School?

Here is where we see the very big difference between a daycare and a school; one is merely a place for children to bide the time where their parents are at work, the other is a real educational facility. Grace Community School is a school. We like to say, “College Can Begin at Two.” When children have the capacity to start genuine academics as young as age two, why not let them? Learning is fun! Let us take a look at some of the ways Grace Community School goes “beyond the basics.”

First, Grace Community School provides instruction in an area often neglected in child care: morality. You will not even see it listed as a domain in articles about child development. A truly great education must be built on a moral foundation. Virtues or character traits like self-control, diligence, and deferred gratification – characteristics of highly successful people – are actually all a part of moral training. A Grace Community School education includes moral training, both in our Bible instruction and integrated throughout the curriculum. Grace Community School kids learn the Golden Rule, as well as other Biblical principles like the Ten Commandments, and put them into practice. You cannot overemphasize the long-term importance this makes in the lives of children!

Our Preschoolers Can Read!
Our Preschoolers Can Read!

Second, Grace Community School teaches real reading! Reading is simply the most important academic skill you must learn in school; nothing else comes close. Society and technology have changed vastly in nature in recent decades, but the importance of reading has not diminished. Daycares might teach “reading readiness” or “emergent literacy,” but not Grace Community School. Our students learn the real deal. Accept no substitutions! Since reading is so vital to a child’s future, what better way to show love to a child than teaching him or her to read!

Our Math program is also second-to-none. Just as in the Grace Community School reading program, math students work at their own pace achieving various milestones and learning different skills. Children move on to the next Math Circle level when they master their current level. We celebrate both Reading and Math Circle achievements by sending home certificates and books with the kids so they can show off what they have learned! We put photos of students who have reached special milestones on our social media, too.A truly great education must be built on a moral foundation.

There’s More!

For children to perform at their best, their physical needs have to be met. Grace Community School provides FREE and nutritious breakfast, lunch, snack, and drinks for all students. Meals are prepared fresh onsite daily. Better nutrition means kids who are better able to learn. You can check out our USDA-approved menu any time on our website www.gracecommunityschools.com. Not only does the free meal program benefit students at school, but family life improves at home since parents do not need to spend time and money packing lunches. It’s a win-win situation!

We have a variety of extracurricular courses available for our students (ask your Grace Community School office how to sign up today!) The Grace Community School karate program is another program that benefits children both physically and mentally. Children ages three years and up have an opportunity to learn martial arts from an experienced American Kenpo karate instructor in a fun environment. The most important skill learned in karate is self-discipline. Self-discipline is sometimes called the “master virtue” because of its importance in everything a person does, and its use as in indicator of success later in life. More self-discipline leads to more success!

Along similar lines, our dance program enhances the lives of children in many ways. Children learn techniques of jazz and ballet while experiencing the joy that comes from moving their bodies to music. The kids are having so much fun they don’t even realize that they’re exercising and enhancing motor skills!

Piano and group music lessons are also available at some locations. Students learn both the theory and practice of playing piano as they progress through beginner’s piano lesson books, play games, and participate in fun music drill. The benefits of music lessons are many, even going so far as to boost SAT scores! Returning again to the topic of self-discipline, there is something about the immediate feed-back in playing music that improves discipline like nothing else. It’s a wonderful way to earn an instrument as well as increase overall self-control.

We also have Art Class! Each week our Art Class students create a special art project during thirty-minute lessons. It’s a different project each week (that goes along with our special theme weeks) that they take home. See why Grace Community School Art Class is one of our most popular extracurricular activities.

The various Grace Community School learning programs let children progress at their own pace combined with an orderly environment full of routines creates a comfortable, loving environment that makes kids feel safe. Parents need assurance, too! Updates via our social media pages and email list let you stay informed about what is going on at school, upcoming special events and theme weeks, and lots of other news. Also, our photo program lets you take home a printed photo of your child from school each week.

Set for Success

That’s a lot of extras! We know you love your child and want nothing but the best! That is exactly what Grace Community School gets you – the best possible education at the lowest cost, including the most important thing your child needs to succeed: love demonstrated through action. We are happy to have the privilege to serve you and your child. Don’t forget to tell your friends! Right now Grace Community School has an awesome referral program. Refer a child to any Grace Community School location and get $100! Find out more here or ask your location’s office for details.

Grace Community School goes beyond the basics to deliver a safe and caring environment, an unparalleled learning experience, and more extras than you will find at any other child care center in Southwest Florida. Most importantly, it sets your child down on a path that leads to success in child care and beyond. Find out more about Grace Community Schools and its programs at www.gracecommunityschools.com

Get More From Your Grace Community School Education

At Grace Community School we are proud of our “whole life” education. Basic to this whole life education are our reading and math programs. Our curriculum has a whole lot more than that, including manners training, non-denominational Bible lessons, song and story times, physical education, and organized games. That’s a lot, but did you know there is more?

We have a variety of additional fun, enriching programs your child can participate in:

Karate Class

Karate kid.Our American Kenpo Karate Class is a favorite of our students. By teaching self-discipline, Karate Class helps kids with behavior problems. Martial arts training increase kids’ coordination, strength, and flexibility. Students earn stars, belts, and stripes that they can take home as they progress through the levels. This is a great way for kids to get physical education, gain skills, and have fun at the same time!

Dance Class

Dance studentGrace Community School’s Dance Class offers children the opportunity for exercise, development of motor and social skills, and muscle conditioning, all in an enjoyable environment! Each week kids learn the fundamental principles and techniques of ballet and jazz with their friends and our dance instructor. We also have an annual dance recital at our Christmas program!

Music Class

Child with tambourineIn Grace Community School Music Class, kids learn the basics of music theory, reading music notes, and instrument playing. Music lessons build a child’s self-esteem, increase coordination, help with concentration, and even boost test scores. Music games make it fun to learn. Perhaps most importantly, being able to play music is an expertise that gives pleasure for a lifetime!

Piano Lessons

Piano students.Piano lessons, available at some locations, are 30-minute, individual lessons in which students learn not only how to play songs, but also more advanced music theory and note reading — vital skills that apply to playing any musical instrument. It is amazing how much even young students can pick up! Our piano teachers use games and activities to keep things interesting.

These classes run year-round, and you can enroll at any time as long as we have space. Sign up for one of these programs, or all of them! For individual times and locations, you can click over to your school’s location page at www.gracecommunityschools.com. We do run waiting lists as needed, so ask your location for the sign-up form today to make sure your child has a spot!

It’s Almost Showtime!

Buddy the Elf
Image: New Line Cinema

We can hardly contain our excitement! One of the highlights of our year, the annual Grace Community School Christmas program, is coming up on December 4 (for our Port Charlotte location) and December 5 (for everyone else). We have a great show to put on for you, with wonderful music and some awesome dance moves. Our kids and staff have worked for weeks on this, and we are confident you will love it!

Kids at the Christmas programHere again are the dates, times, and locations:

December 4: Charlotte High School 7:00 PM Port Charlotte

December 5: Bishop Verot Anderson Theater 11:00 AM Fort Myers, 1:00 PM Bonita Springs, 3:00 PM Cape Coral and North Fort Myers, 5:00 PM Lehigh Acres, 7:00 PM Skyline; Gulf Coast High School 1:00 PM Naples Park, 3:00 PM Golden Gate

Please note that students need to arrive 30 minutes before the start of each show. The dress code for children in the show is Christmas colors.

Angels and singers.One of the things we have learned over the many years we’ve done programs is that people LOVE photos! We’re going to make it easy for you to get all the photos you want. Every photo we take on-stage during the show will be available online via our various social media accounts. Facebook and Twitter will have live updates throughout the shows so you can follow along. You will be able to get special videos on our Instagram and Vine accounts that you won’t find anywhere else.

ALSO: If you sign up for the Grace Community School email list, we’ll even email you the links to each school’s program photo albums and dance recital albums after the shows. Sign up here! DVD’s will also be available! We will be video recording each program show for your enjoyment. These DVD’s are just $5 each, and will be sold in each school’s office starting the week after the show. You may want extra copies as many people send these to grandparents and relatives as Christmas gifts — everybody will love them!  

We’d like to remind you again about the Grace Community School email list because we know you want to know what’s going on! The email list will make sure you never miss a dress-up day, party reminder, or special event again, so be sure to sign up at this link or on the left-hand side of this blog. See you soon!

Christmas Programs are Coming!

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas at Grace Community School! Can you feel it? The holiday spirit in the air? That’s because it’s Christmas program time!

Christmas program practice has begun!

Posted by Grace Community School on Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Christmas program lyricsI know what you’re thinking: it’s only October, right? Nevertheless, practice for Christmas Spectacular! 2015 is underway. It doesn’t take long to get the kids singing Christmas songs, and this year’s song lineup is especially catchy. We’ve already had some kids insisting on showing us what they have learned before they go home in the evening. The kids are very proud of their performance, as well they should be! Putting on these shows is a lot of work for both kids and staff. We practice for more than two months for every show learning the lyrics, movements, and parts. It is not an overstatement to say that it is one of our most anticipated events of the entire year.

Programs are a fantastic way for the students to show their families and friends what they have learned, and kids love singing! You’ll never see parents prouder than at a program. Our shows are very well-attended, and we welcome all to come. Attendance is free, just get to the show early to get your seats! Many times grandparents, aunts, uncles and other family members schedule their vacation times so they can come for our shows. We think that is wonderful!

Christmas Dance Recital2015’s Christmas program will once again feature a recital from the Grace Community School Dance Class — if you want your child to take part in that, talk to the office about enrolling in Dance Class soon while we still have room! You’ll love the dance recital costumes we’ve picked out, too!

If this is your first Grace Community School program, you’re in for a real treat. If you’ve been to lots of our shows before, you know how awesome it’s going to be! We’ll be announcing the program dates, times, and venues for all Grace Community School locations soon. Until then you can ask your location for details about which classes are participating. ¡Feliz Navidad! Nativity scene

Visit www.gracecommunityschools.com for more school information, and click the share button below to let others know about the programs coming up!