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 Kindergarten

Kindergarten at Grace Community School! It's never too early to start planning ahead.
Kindergarten at Grace Community School! It’s never too early to start planning ahead.
Are you ready for kindergarten? It’s never too early to start planning! The pre-K year goes by so quickly. Finding a kindergarten program for your child can be stressful. Let us help! Good news: Grace Community School has kindergarten! Don’t worry about going to School Choice; your child can continue with Grace Community School in the safe, friendly environment your child is used to. Why should you choose our kindergarten program?

Is Learning Important to You?

Grace Community School students graduate pre-K reading — something public school students often don’t achieve until the 3rd grade, if then. The Grace Community School kindergarten program has demonstrated results. If learning is important to you, and you want an uncompromising education, this is the way to go. This is an advanced program! The phonics instruction at Grace Community School gives kids what they need to succeed, in reading and other areas. Students who have attended our school since they were young graduate our preschool program reading multiple grade levels ahead of public school kindergarteners. Our kindergarten graduates are reading at a third-grade level. The average public school kindergarten graduate cannot even be tested for reading skills! That’s why we have to give our kindergarteners a 1st-grade standardized test.

Grace Community School Kindergarten is an advanced program that will help your child excel in every area!
Grace Community School Kindergarten is an advanced program that will help your child excel in every area!
The Grace Community School math program continues into kindergarten, too. Your child will move seamlessly from the pre-K Math Circles right into the kindergarten levels. Our kindergarten students learn their addition and subtraction families, story problems, and more. Get a comprehensive list of what is learned here.

Our musical graduation program is a highlight of the school year!
Our musical graduation program is a highlight of the school year!
It’s more than just academics. All our learning instruction is done with fun games and interactive activities, including our famous theme weeks. There are parties, dress-up days, and special events throughout the entire school year. Get weekly photos including digital photo copies through the GCS Memories program. Grace Community School kindergarten finishes in a musical program complete with graduation ceremony and diploma presentation.

What Does Grace Community School Kindergarten Include?

Grace Community School Kindergarten includes:

  • all care 6:30 am to 6:00 pm, including before and after school care
  • breakfast, lunch, snack and drinks
  • yearbook
  • Bible instruction
  • the advanced reading and math program
  • weekly photo program
  • spring and Christmas programs

Music Classes — along with Karate, Dance, and Art Classes — are available to our kindergarten students.
Music Classes — along with Karate, Dance, and Art Classes — are available to our kindergarten students.
And of course, our special classes — Art Class, Dance Class, Karate Class, and Music Class — are also still available.

How Much Does it Cost?

Here’s the really awesome part! Everything is just $85 per week. That price stays the same throughout the whole school year, including many days that public school is closed.

What Do I Need to Do?

Let us know you want your child to stay here for kindergarten! Sign-up forms are available at your Grace Community School location.

Your Child Deserves the Best

Your child deserves the best education possible! Grace Community School Kindergarten makes that dream a reality.
Your child deserves the best education possible! Grace Community School Kindergarten makes that dream a reality.
For more than thirty years, we’ve been providing the ultimate in early childhood education. We want to make things easier and better for you and your child. You can find out more about Grace Community School’s learning programs at our official website.

Do you know someone else who might be interested in Grace Community School kindergarten? Click one of the share buttons below to share this post and let them know!

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

Learning Certificates Celebrate Achievement!

Grace Community School students are recognized for their scholastic achievements.
Real learning is something to celebrate!

If you’ve been to Grace Community School, you’ve probably seen the colorful, exciting learning certificates hanging on the wall, certificates that say things like “I’m a Reader Achiever.”What is all that? These are not things you will find in other childcare centers, nor are they mere participation awards. These certificates celebrate learning, real accomplishments. Our students are learning a lot, and learning is what sets Grace Community School apart from everyone else! We want everyone to know about our students’ scholarship, especially our parents. Our students are justifiably proud of their work. They can’t wait to show their parents what they have learned, and the certificates help them do that.

Learning Certificates Aplenty

There are a variety of accomplishments certificates can celebrate, such as:

Printing all those certificates each week takes a lot of time, as well as paper and ink. So why do we do all of this?

  • It informs parents of their child’s progress
  • Students love getting them and taking them home
  • It recognizes our students’ achievements
  • We want parents to have something to show their friends and coworkers
  • It’s fun!

Demonstrated achievement is the greatest self-esteem booster. Grace Community School kids don’t just think they are special; they know they are special because of all the things they can do. The certificates just remind them. We want our students to be able to believe in themselves and be proud.

Math Achievers get learning certificates, too!
Math Achievers get learning certificates, too!

Real Learning = Real Self-Esteem

There is a lot for our students to be proud of! Grace Community School students often get into gifted classes when they go to public school, after having working multiple public school grade levels above their public school counterparts. Now it is clearer than ever that getting kids to learn to read early in life has dramatic importance for success later on. This success is what GCS students have to look forward to. Our Reading Circle program begins teaching children as young as two years of age the phonic sound of each letter and moves on from there to blends, words and reading books. There is no stopping them!

A common misconception is that kids can’t learn to read until elementary school. This is simply not true! At Grace Community School, children learn to read as young as three years of age.
A common misconception is that kids can’t learn to read until elementary school. This is simply not true! At Grace Community School, children learn to read as young as three years of age.

The GCS Math Circle program is similarly advanced. Math domain concepts are split into different levels. Math learning certificates go home when a level is mastered, and the child moves on to the next level.

Grace Community School Math Circle learning certificates go home to keep parents informed of their children's mathematical accomplishments!
Grace Community School Math Circle certificates go home to keep parents informed of their children’s mathematical accomplishments!

Some of our longtime students have a hard time adjusting to government schooling because the material they already know entering kindergarten will not be taught until years later in the public school! (that is one reason why Grace Community School offers a kindergarten program for just $10 in tuition per week!)

Demonstrated achievement is the greatest self-esteem booster.
Demonstrated achievement is the greatest self-esteem booster.

Don’t keep all this goodness to yourself! Refer your friends and coworkers! We accept students from 6 weeks up through kindergarten for school, and up to age 11 for before/after school and summer camp. Show them some of your child’s certificates, and make sure they write your name down on the enrollment form as a referrer so you can get your $100!

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

Celebrating Academic Excellence in Mathematics at Grace Community School

We’ve got something exciting for you!

On this blog we have previously talked about Math Circles, Grace Community School’s unique educational system for teaching math concepts and skills to our students. Because this program has been so successful, we are pleased to announce a new accompaniment to Math Circles: Math Achievers.

Math Achiever photoLike our Reader Achievers program, Math Achievers celebrate students who reach various milestones in their education. These include learning their shapes and patterns (Level 1), counting to 50 (Level 2), passing all the Pre-K Math Circle levels (Level 3), and counting to 100 (Level 4).

You will see photos of our Math Achievers featured on our social media channels like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

For more information about Grace Community School’s mathematics program, including printable practice materials, visit the Math Instruction page on our website.

All About Math Circles!

Math Teaching Tools
Image: Canva

If your preschooler has been attending Grace Community School for very long, you are probably familiar with Reading Circles. If not, you can learn more about these here and here. Let’s talk about a more recent innovation, Grace Community School Math Circles. While mathematics instruction has been a part of our program from Grace Community’s beginning, Math Circles are still pretty new. The idea was to take the same system that has taught our preschool students to read for nearly thirty years, and implement it with mathematics. It’s been a huge success so far!

As our Reading Circles do with phonics, Math Circles break down the mathematics domain of the Florida Early Learning and Development Standards for Four-Year-Olds into small, easy-to-learn skills. Individualized instruction helps kids progress quickly. Once a child has shown mastery of one level, he or she moves on to the next level. Passing a Math Circle is cause for celebration! One of the guiding principles in our education programs is that children love and need to be rewarded and acknowledged for their achievements. All the books, photos, and, in this case, the Math Circle certificates, that go home also keep parents up to date on how their child is progressing. Each Math Circle certificate has fun and colorful images, as well as example material so kids and parents can practice the learning material at home, for even more fun! For example, the 1-30 Objects Set certificate has thirty planet cutouts for kids to count with, and the 3-Element Patterns certificate has colored square cutouts for pattern-making. Your kids will be proud to “show off” their new skills!

Math Circle certificates.These are the Math Circle levels:

Basic Shapes

  • Circle
  • Triangle
  • Square
  • Rectangle
  • Oval

Patterns

  • 2-Element Patterns
  • 3-Element Patterns

Counting by 1’s

  • 1’s Family (0-9)
  • 10’s Family (10-19)
  • 20’s Family (20-29)
  • 30’s Family (30-39)
  • 40’s Family (40-49)

Sets

  • 1-10 Object Sets
  • 11-20 Object Sets
  • 21-30 Object Sets

Ordinal Numbers

  • 1st to 5th
  • 6th to 10th

Advanced Shapes

  • Trapezoid
  • Rhombus
  • Sphere
  • Cube
  • Cone
  • Cylinder
  • Pyramid

That is a lot of mathematical knowledge! Also in the works is an expansion of Math Circles for our kindergarteners and advanced pre-K students. This will include higher counting, addition, and subtraction families, before and after numbers, and more. Coming soon!

Reading and Math Circle certificates celebrate our students’ achievements and keep parents informed of their child’s progress!

A photo posted by Grace Community School (@gracecommunityschool) on

Girl With Math Circle certificate.The best way to build self-esteem in a child is to help him or her believe in his or her abilities, and the best way to do that is to help a child gain those abilities. This is one of the reasons early childhood education is so important, and part of why Grace Community School is committed to real learning, not glorified babysitting like at most daycares. We get to see how happy our students are when they take home their reading books and Reading and Math Circle certificates. Kids want to learn; it is our job as educators to help them do that, and the Grace Community School Math Circles program is a powerful learning tool!

You can find out more about Grace Community School, including information on our other educational programs, at www.gracecommunityschools.com. Did you enjoy this article? Why not share it with your friends by clicking one of the share buttons below? Better yet, share this article with a friend, and give them one of these flyers here. Be sure to write your name down on the “referred by” line to qualify you for a $100 Grace Community School referral!