How to Sign Up for Special Classes at Grace Community School

Plus: Why You’d Want To!

Special Classes at Grace Community School
Special Classes at Grace Community School

Karate, Dance, Music, and Art Special Classes at Grace Community School

In addition to the Grace Community School core curriculum, we have special classes available!

Grace Community School Special Classes for your child!
Grace Community School Special Classes for your child!

These special classes are for Grace Community School students ages three years and up (for Karate Class and Dance Class) and two years and up (for Art Class and Music Class). Experienced instructors come in once a week for half-hour instructional periods with the kids. Each class is just $10 per week per child. Your child can participate in one, two, three, or all four classes. Classes run year-round, and enrollment is always open as long as we have space (wait lists are taken if a class is full)

How to Sign Up

Signing up is easy! Just ask your Grace Community School location for the sign-up form, fill that out, and you’re all set. You can start and stop at any time.

We make fun creative projects each week in Grace Community School Art Class!
We make fun creative projects each week in Grace Community School Art Class!

Our Whole Life Approach to Child Care

We have a “whole life” approach to child care. There are many aspects of a child’s education and development that our program helps with. Core classes include our phonics and math programs, as well as Bible Time, physical education, and much more. We want children to learn as much as possible, and have fun at the same time! Our special classes contribute to these goals. One thing that all of our classes have in common is an emphasis on self-control. To be good at dance, or martial arts, or music, or art, you need to be able to control yourself. This is something we teach children in our special classes as well as our day-to-day activities. Self-control is so important that experts have called it the “master virtue” because of its importance as a predictor of future success in every area of life.

Schedules and Availability for Special Classes

You can see the specific special classes schedule for all our locations and get more information on our website pages at the links below. Ask your location for the sign-up form today!

Karate Class

Dance Class

Art Class

Music and Piano Classes

15 Reasons Why You Should Give Your Kids Music Lessons

15 Reasons Why You Should Give Your Child Music Lessons

Are you on the fence about whether or not to enroll your child in music lessons? Here are 15 reasons why you should give your kids music lessons!

1. All Kids Can Benefit to Some Degree from Music Lessons

Even kids who don’t grow up to be Mozarts can benefit! This includes children of all ages, backgrounds, and talents. While children have many different interests and abilities, the benefits listed here still apply. Here are some more reasons to give your kids music lessons!

Child with trumpet.
There are so many benefits to kids music lessons!

2. Music Lessons Boost Skills in Areas Beyond Just Music

You might think that learning music just leaves you with children who have music skills, but there are many areas that benefit children way beyond just being able to play an instrument or sing. These skills help children in a multitude of ways. From improved social and language skills to increased concentration, people who take music lessons have improved quality of life.

3. The Benefits of Music Are Long-Term

Like riding a bicycle, many things you learn from music classes stay with your whole life. While a child might forget certain specifics of music, the cognitive and other benefits remain into later childhood and adulthood.

Child at keyboard
The things kids learn in music lessons stay with them throughout life.

4. It Builds Discipline and Self-Control

Being able to play an instrument is no small achievement, and one that doesn’t happen without improvements in self-discipline and self-control — considered to be one one the most important traits for success in every area of life. You’ll be better at everything with more self-discipline.

5. Kids Music Lessons Sharpen Children’s Senses

Participating in music is a multi-sensory experience! A good musician has to use ears (to listen), eyes (to read music and pay attention to the instructor/conductor), and touch (to work the instrument). Every sense improves with practice, and this spills over to other areas that kids use those senses.

Kids with rhythm instruments
Making music sharpens kids’ senses!

6. Music Lessons Boost Children’s Language Skills

Not just because of singing, but the area of the brain that handles music includes language skills. When kids get better at music, they get better at language, too. Also, the self-discipline required to learn an instrument boosts overall learning capacity.

7. Music Is an Area of Learning With Immediate Feedback

When you are playing a piece of music, and you make a mistake, you know right away! It’s unmistakable. Few areas of endeavor have such amazing immediate feedback.

Child playing a keyboard.
Few things provide such immediate feedback as music lessons!

8. It Can Boost a Child’s IQ

All that increased cognitive ability from kids music lessons we’ve been talking about? It actually boosts IQ scores That’s amazing! While high IQ is by no means the only indicator of success in life, it is important.

Kids music lessons can provide boosts in IQ, math, and language scores.
Kids music lessons can provide boosts in IQ, math, and language scores.

9. Music Allows Kids to Express Themselves

Few things give children the opportunity to express themselves like music does. Kids love music, and music lessons help them do it better. In particular, kids who are more introverted or find difficulty expressing themselves in other ways can turn to music as a creative outlet.

Kids express themselves through music!
Kids express themselves through music!

10. Music Lessons Can Physically Improve a Child’s Brain

The increased concentration ability, self-control, and math-language skills that come along with kids music lessons are the result of actual physical changes in the brain — which is why these benefits are long-term.

11. Performing Music in Front of Others Helps Kids Become More Confident and Helps Them Overcome Shyness

The best cure for stage fright is practice at performing in front of others! And the earlier kids gain access experience doing this, the better. They learn that making music is fun, and not something to be intimidated by. A by-product of this is increased confidence in other social settings.

12. Kids Music Lessons Boost Math Skills

In addition to helping with language abilities, music lessons boost math skills. In particular, learning how to play a musical instrument has been shown to help kids do better solving math problems. Even listening to music during a math test seems to have some benefit!

13. They Boost Standardized Test Scores

Really! This effect has been documented in multiple studies. It’s almost incredible how something as seemingly ordinary as music lessons can do so much. And don’t forget…

14. It’s Fun!

Maybe we haven’t pointed this out enough yet, but music is fun. Music — performing it, listening to it, and learning it — provides enjoyment. Music makes kids happy!

So much fun!
So much fun!

15. Music Provides a Lifetime of Enjoyment

Unlike more physical activities, music isn’t something that requires great athleticism to perform and enjoy. Nor is it something most kids will “outgrow.” The benefits and fun of music lessons are here to stay for a lifetime.

So What Else?

Here’s a bonus reason to give your kids music lessons: we have them here at Grace Community School! That’s right: Grace Community School has music lessons! These are fun 30-minute sessions where students learn the basics of music theory and get experience with a variety of musical instruments, including piano. Learn more about Grace Community School kids music lessons here.

Further Reading

http://www.pbs.org/parents/education/music-arts/the-benefits-of-music-education/

http://www.childrensmusicworkshop.com/twelve-benefits-of-music-education/

http://www.wheaton.edu/CSA/Lessons/Long-Term-Benefits-of-Music-Study

Announcement: Christmas Celebration! 2016 [UPDATED]

illuminated christmas tree among snow covered pine trees at night.

Can you hear those sleigh bells jing-jing-jingling? We can! Very soon our students will begin practicing for Christmas Celebration! 2016 — the annual Grace Community School Christmas program! You are really going to love this show. We have lots of new music and dance routines for you.

Also: If your child is in the Grace Community School Dance Class, your child will participate in a memorable dance recital taking place during the show, complete with costume. Your GCS location will have information about that soon. Would you like your child to be in the dance recital? Let your location know — if you sign up now your child will have time to practice the routine for the recital.

2016 Christmas Program Locations, Dates, and Times

December 3 – Estero High School

11:00 AM Fort Myers
1:00 PM Bonita Springs
3:00 PM North Fort Myers / Cape Coral (Miramar)
5:00 PM Lehigh Acres
7:00 PM Skyline

December 10 – Gulf Coast High School

11:00 AM Naples Park
1:00 PM Golden Gate

December 20 – Charlotte Center for Performing Arts

7:00 PM Port Charlotte

Mary and Joseph

Stay tuned to Grace Community School’s blog, email list, and social media for Christmas Celebration! news, including details about the new Christmas Whale Shirt we are working on!

We’re on Pinterest! Click here to discover our cool educational Pins, fun kids activities and recipes, and other neat stuff.

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

Spring Programs Are On the Way!

Jungle Jive! graphic with toucan in jungle
Image: Canva

We’re on the last leg of our school year journey, and the spring graduation programs are coming into view. Jungle Jive! is the 2016 Grace Community School spring program, and we are very excited. This show features new music, including the very first public performance of the new Grace Community School Whale song!

Dress code for the program is the new jungle Whale Shirt, available now!
Dress code for the program is the new jungle Whale Shirt, available now!

Here is the schedule:

Jungle Jive! logo
May 21
Charlotte Center for Performing Arts
7:00PM Port Charlotte

May 28
Bishop Verot Anderson Theater
11:00AM Fort Myers
1:00PM Bonita Springs
3:00PM Cape Coral (Miramar) and North Fort Myers
5:00PM Lehigh Acres
7:00PM Skyline

June 4
Barron G. Collier High School
Golden Gate and Naples Park (times to be announced)

Ask your location’s office about which classes are participating, and we look forward to seeing you at the shows!

A New Whale Song AND New Whale Shirts!

We’re having trouble containing our excitement, because we have two incredible things to share with you.

First, after much ado, we are proud to share with you our brand new Whale Song! Have a listen:

Will you be able to get copies of this song? YES! We will have a CD available for purchase soon. We will let you know when that is available. This song will also be featured in the spring graduation program.

But wait, there’s more! Our new 2016 Whale Shirts are finally done and will be going on sale this week. Here they are:

Girl wearing new Whale Shirt
The 2016 Whale Shirt!
We are very pleased with how the design came out. This will be the dress code shirt for that spring graduation program, Jungle Jive!, but you can wear them now. Ask your Grace Community School location’s office for these shirts.

What do you think about our new song and Whale Shirts? Let us know in the comments!

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!

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!