Where Should I Start?

Child in astronaut costume with ccomputer
Image: Canva

The Official Grace Community School Blog (you’re on it now!) has been running since 2015. We’ve got a lot of content. If you’re new to the blog or haven’t poked around here in awhile you may be asking, “What should I read?”

You Must Be New Here

We’ve put together a list of some of our best articles from the blog archives, sort of our “greatest hits.” Just click the links below.

The Good Stuff

Your Child Deserves This!

How to Sign Up for Special Classes at Grace Community School

What is Grace Community School?

15 Reasons Why You Should Give Your Kids Music Lessons

Why Did Grace Community School Build New Playgrounds at Every Location?

Boost Your Child’s Learning With This One Thing

What Will Your Child Learn at Grace Community School?

Should Young Children Be Taught to Read?

Grace Community School Kindergarten

The Joy of Reading

Get More From Your Grace Community School Education

Helping Your Child Succeed in Child Care and Beyond

Unlocking Success at Grace Community School

Why I Love Grace Community School Photos

How to Get $100 and Follow the Golden Rule

More for Your Money at Grace Community School

Daycare or School: What’s the Difference?

Take Your Pick: Your Preschooler Reading Real Books… or Not Reading at All

What Are Reading Circles?

Success Through Early Literacy at Grace Community School

All About Math Circles!

If you find anything here useful or interesting, please click one of the share buttons and let your social networks know!

Grace Community School Summer Camp 2017

Grace Community School summer camp has fun, safe, summer activities for ages 1 to 11!
Grace Community School summer camp has fun, safe, summer activities for ages 1 to 11!

Summer Camp for Ages 1 through 11

As Low As $60/Week

You need a place for your kids to go this summer and Grace Community School is ready to help. Summers should be special times for kids. Thanks to Grace Community School, summers are now affordable, enjoyable, and safe! While we are open year round, we have special summer camp programs for school-age children, and now for younger students, too!

Our summer campers enjoy fun theme weeks like Hawaii Week with parties and dress-up days!
Our summer campers enjoy fun theme weeks like Hawaii Week with parties and dress-up days!

Who is Summer Camp For?

Grace Community School now has summer camp programs (subject to availability) for kids ages 1 years through 11 years. We are enrolling now, but space is limited. Once enrollment is full, we will take a wait list.

What Does Grace Community School Summer Camp Offer?

Hours of operation for full-time Summer Camp are 6:30 am to 6:00pm, Monday through Friday.

The 2017 Grace Community School Summer Camp runs May 30-August 11, with enrollment starting now.

NEW FOR 2017: PART-TIME SUMMER CAMP FOR AGES 1 TO 4, STARTING AT $60/ WEEK — Gracie’s Summer Splashtastic Camp!

New part-time Grace Community School Summer Camp!
New part-time Grace Community School Summer Camp!

Ages 1 to 4 years of age can enjoy the Grace Community School Summer Camp experience in a special part-time program. Choose either 8:30-11:30, or 2:00-5:00 each day, with plans starting at $60/week.

Summers are more fun at Grace Community School! We’ve been in operation since 1986. That’s more than 30 years experience in Southwest Florida! Complementing our year-round learning activities, some of the special activities include:

Keep scrolling to see the 2017 Grace Community School Summer Camp Theme Week Schedule

Fun dress-up days!
Fun dress-up days!

One of the best parts about the summer is the fun theme weeks we do. Every week has its own fun theme like Pirate Week, Hawaii Week, Carnival Week, and Super Hero Week. Along with the theme weeks we have parties, games, bounce houses, dress-up days, and other special events. A mix of student- and teacher-directed activities and art projects keep kids interested and occupied.

Summer Camp 2017 Theme Week Schedule

Check out all of Grace Community School’s New Playgrounds!

Sign Up for Grace Community School Summer Camp

We anticipate a lot of demand for Summer Camp this year, especially the new part-time program, so sign up before we start a wait list! Enrollment forms are available now at all Grace Community School locations.

Beat the heat this summer and bring your summer camper to Grace Community School.

Summer Camp 2017 Theme Week Schedule

Summer Camp 2017 – Ages 5-11 Registration Form

Summer Camp 2017 – Ages 1-4 Registration Form

Tell Your Friends and Get a $100 Referral Bonus

Happy New Year!

New Year's image
Let us help you with your New Year’s resolutions! Image: Canva

It’s a new year, and that means New Year’s resolutions! While we probably can’t help you with your weight loss goals, we may be able to help with some other stuff. Here’s how can Grace Community School help you be better this year.

Wait, Grace Community School Will Pay Me?

Getting the family finances under control is a critical resolution! We have worked hard to keep our prices as low as possible, including offering extra-low introductory rates for new students. We think being kinder is another great thing to aim for in the new year. Here’s how we can help: the Grace Community School referral program makes helping out friends and coworkers a piece of cake, and it helps you with your financial goals! Refer a family to any Grace Community School location, and once the child has attended for two weeks, you will receive $100 on your account! There is no limit to the number of referrals you can make. That’s right: we will pay you! That’s being kind to both yourself and others. The $100 referral is a great deal, and it’s even better because students at Grace Community School enjoy so much more than basic care!

There’s No Way All of That is Free!

When we list all the things you get at no charge as part of Grace Community School’s programs, people are often skeptical. All of that can’t really be free, can they?

But they are! We’ve even had people call us up and ask, “How do you do it?” The “freebies” offered at Grace Community School include free yearbooks, weekly photo program, twice-yearly school programs, free food, and non-denominational Bible Time.

Free yearbooks, and lots more!
Free yearbooks, and lots more!

To Your Health!

Maybe the number one New Year’s resolution people have is to live healthier. You’re on your own with that one, personally, but we can help your kids! All Grace Community School students receive FREE breakfast, lunch, snacks, and drinks. Our USDA-approved food program does so much! Kids who eat healthy meals are less at risk for getting sick and have more energy to play and learn. These benefits last long past childhood. In addition to tasty, healthy food, Grace Community School students enjoy physical exercise and our beautiful playground areas. We all know the importance of physical activity, and we make it fun for the kids!

Grace Community School playgrounds are designed to help our kids get plenty of physical exercise AND fun!
Grace Community School playgrounds are designed to help our kids get plenty of physical exercise AND fun!

New Year, New Fun For Your Kids

Have more fun in the new year! Learn something new! Your kids can do both of those things at the same time with Grace Community School’s special classes.

Karate students
Karate Class is one of the special classes we have at Grace Community School!

Grace Community School’s Karate Class helps kids build self-defense skills and discipline while getting exercise in a fun environment with an experienced instructor. Dance Class teaches the basics of ballet and jazz while improving coordination, motor, and social skills with an experienced instructor. Art Class gives your child a fun art experience and project to take home each week. Our students explore instruments and express themselves creatively in Music Class while they learn the basics of reading notes and rhythm.

We are enrolling now in these classes, so ask your location’s office for the sign-up forms!

Get Organized

Do you want to be more organized in the new year? Staying organized is tough for families. Do you have kids in elementary school? With the kids spread out all over the place, the day gets hectic. But wait! Grace Community School has before and after school programs — we pick up from many local public schools (you can find a full list on our location pages here). Instead of making multiple trips to pick up the kids in the afternoon, imagine getting all of your kids in one spot!

Grace Community School offers free before and after school transportation!
Grace Community School offers free before and after school transportation!

The Best Resolution A Parent Can Make

Money, health, fun, and organization are all wonderful thing, but let’s be honest: as parents, we make our kids the number one priority. Here is an excellent New Year’s resolution: “I want to do everything I can to help my kids succeed, now and in the future.” That is something worth doing. What is most important for a child’s future success? Some things stand out. These include having a loving family, support from parents, and something Grace Community School is famous for teaching: reading! We can help with that.

Reading is the foundation for every other academic pursuit. Without fluent literacy, all subjects are hard. Superior reading skills make even challenging academic topics approachable. The benefits extend beyond school, however. Kids who learn to read well and learn to read early do better in life in general and a love of reading provides a lifetime of enjoyment. Grace Community School’s phonetic reading program gives kids the tools they need to succeed.

The best new year's resolution
The best new year’s resolution!

Along with our advanced math program and the rest of our curriculum, our students participate in an unmatched whole-life education.

We thank you for giving us the opportunity to serve you and your children. Remember: we’re more than a school, we’re a family! We hope and pray that you have a blessed and happy new year!

Want more from Grace Community School? Sign up for our email list! Get news, photos, special offers, and more right in your inbox. CLICK HERE.

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

Unlocking Success at Grace Community School

Unlocking Success
Image: Canva

What do you want most for your child? As parents, we want lots of things for our children. We want them to feel secure and loved. We want them to be healthy, and happy. We want them to have friends and social skills. We want them to be educated. In short, we want our kids to succeed. Success is an all-encompassing goal, and dependent on so many things. Some of these things are outside of our control as parents, but there are many things parents can do to aid success, and Grace Community School is here to help.

Continue reading Unlocking Success at Grace Community School

More for Your Money at Grace Community School

In addition to our unmatched education programs (including our Reading Circles and Math Circles) and extracurricular classes, do you know about all the other great services we offer, for free? At Grace Community School, you will find plenty of freebies, no-cost extras, and superior all-around values.

Continue reading More for Your Money at Grace Community School