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GRACEVLE Enrichments: Week 2

Thanks to all who are sending in pictures of the fun things your students are working on during our time of Virtual Learning!

Check out a few of the pictures we received from last week.

At-Home Family Fun Resources

As promised, below are some additional resources that we hope may be helpful as you’re looking for fun activities for your child to explore during downtime.

Art Resources

  • MetKids: The Metropolitan Museum of Art has a dedicated kids section on its website, complete with videos, an interactive map, and a “time machine” that brings the viewer to different art pieces in the museum.
  • The Art Assignment: Weekly PBS videos, hosted by curator Sarah Urist Green, that explore art and history.
  • Google Arts & Culture: Explore different works of art, famous places, and more in Google’s interactive space online.
  • Lunch Doodles with Mo Willems: Doodle along with beloved children’s book author Mo Willems.

Zoo + Outdoor Webcams and Tours

Educational Resources

  • Scholastic: The company put many of its educational lessons and resources online for free, including online books and activities.
  • Crash Course and Crash Course Kids: Educational video lessons on everything from space and science to mythology and literature.
  • Club SciKidz: Activities and videos for kids on topics in science and math, including daily science experiments.
  • Carmen Sandiego: Download the free printables to solve word puzzles and unscramble secret messages by answering questions about geography.
  • Ranger Rick: The website is free to all visitors through the end of June.  
  • Mystery Science: The website’s most popular science lessons are available for free.
  • Beanstalk: The company is offering its interactive kids classes for free.

More Resources

  • NASA: NASA has hundreds of photos and videos of planets, space, and more, available to view for free.
  • The Deep Sea: Scroll to the very bottom of the ocean with the help of this interactive visual about the deep sea.
  • ScratchJr: Kids can create their own interactive stories and games.
  • America’s Test Kitchen: Recipes and activities are available for kids for free.

Get Moving

  • Les Mills: Born to Move workouts – designed for kids!
  • GoNoodle: Free movement and mindfulness videos created for kids.

GRACEVLE Week 1: Artwork

Our GRACE students are having a blast working on their at-home art assignments. Check out their work below!

ACSI Spelling Bee Winners!

GRACE was privileged to host six schools at the ACSI District Spelling Bee on Friday, February 7.

Congratulations to the GRACE students who placed in the grade-level bees: First Grade: 3rd Place, Cameron Pusey; Third Grade: 1st Place, Maddox Hickman, 2nd Place, Cecily Shibley; Sixth Grade: First Place, Nate Hickman, Third Place, Eli Stewart; Seventh Grade: Third Place, Connor Woodworth, Fourth Place, Collin Sanchez; Eighth Grade: Third Place, Anna Garrett.

Nate Hickman, Eli Stewart, Connor Woodworth, Collin Sanchez, and Anna Garrett went on to compete in the Spell-Off event among the top four participants who placed in grades 5-8.  In the Spell-Off event, Anna Garrett finished in First Place and Collin Sanchez in Second Place. Anna and Collin and the other top five will go on to compete in the ACSI Regional Spelling Bee in Atlanta in March. This was quite an accomplishment for these students and we are so proud of them!

Congratulations to all the students who represented GRACE and their grade level in the Spelling Bee:

First Grade: Faith Olaitan, Thaxton Kaluka, Cameron Pusey, and Jackson Whitham

Second Grade:: Harper Sabo, Aubrey Dayton, Lily Shoop, and Princess Ugochukwu 

Third Grade: Lucas Gomide, Maddox Hickman, Cecily Shibley, and Gabe Ojie

Fourth Grade: Bee Brooks, Tanner Lawrence, Kevin Ni, and Hudson Pietz

Fifth Grade: Caroline Gausmann, Wyatt Savage, Grace Shibley, and Luke Turner

Sixth Grade: Nate Hickman, Maddie Laakso, Emerson Lee, and Eli Stewart 

Seventh Grade: Ben Anderson, Sage Collier, Collin Sanchez, and Connor Woodworth

Eighth Grade:
Anna Garrett, Carter Murphy, Lynley Pusey, and Lauren Wingerd

Congratulations, students!

How to Recognize the Warning Signs of Anxiety or Depression in Your Child

As the saying goes, life is full of ups and downs. Having fun with friends, trying out a new sport or hobby, or accomplishing a goal we set can bring a smile to our faces and instill a sense of contentment and happiness. Other times, when we’ve made a bad decision, experienced loss, or just had a day where nothing seemed to work out right, life can feel sad, lonely, and unmotivating. 

All of these experiences and feelings are normal reactions to life’s joys or stressors. However, sometimes the balance of ups and downs regularly feels off-kilter, and everyday tasks and relationships feel burdensome or filled with nervousness and fear. It is especially concerning when this type of struggle seems to be plaguing our child. 

When to Seek Help

So, what is “normal” anxious or depressed behavior for a child? And when should we be concerned and seek additional help from a professional? 

Depression and anxiety are classified as mood disorders. It’s normal for kids to feel sad, down, or irritated, but when negative feelings and thoughts linger for a long time and limit a child’s ability to function normally, it might be depression or anxiety. The symptoms of depression and anxiety can vary from mild to severe and may include:

  • Frequent sadness, tearfulness, and/or crying
  • Decreased interest in activities or inability to enjoy previously favorite activities
  • Persistent boredom, low energy, or willingness to give up easily 
  • Social isolation, poor communication
  • Low self-esteem and guilt with negative and/or self-critical thinking
  • Increased anger, hostility, or irritability
  • Feeling nervous, on edge, or panicky
  • Difficulty thinking, concentrating, or making decisions
  • Frequent absences from school or poor performance in school 
  • Changes in appetite (weight loss or gain) or sleep (trouble sleeping or sleeping too much) 
  • Persistent physical illnesses such as headaches and stomachaches for which no other cause can be diagnosed
  • Running away from home or talk of running away from home

It can be hard for parents and other adults to know when a child is depressed or anxious. An irritable or angry mood might seem like a bad attitude or disrespect. When a child acts like everyday problems are more difficult than they really are, it might seem like laziness or carelessness.

The key is to recognize when the problem or mood isn’t going away. A parent should trust his or her gut instinct about a child and seek the help of a school counselor or other professional if needed. At GRACE Christian School, our families have access to our full-time school counselor, Dr. Karri Hawley.  

Tips to Manage Stress

If you think your child is struggling, consider taking some of the following actions.

  • Have them exercise. This is a mood-booster because it releases endorphins (chemicals in the brain that make you feel good). It also raises self-esteem and confidence.
  • Teach them relaxation techniques, such as breathing exercises or listening to music. This can help clear their head and reduce feelings of stress. 
  • Help them set goals or do something meaningful. Getting involved in an activity or helping others can grow positive feelings and self-worth.
  • Encourage them to share feelings and get support. Therapy with a counselor can address behavioral patterns, interpersonal communication, and problem-solving abilities.
  • Talk to a doctor about available medications. Some children have a hormonal imbalance that is best corrected by medicine. Research shows that for many teens with persistent depression a combination of therapy and medication is the best treatment.

At GRACE, we are thankful for the opportunity to partner with you in helping to raise children that are truly equipped for life! 

GRACE: The Best of the Triangle!

Over the last week, GRACE Christian School has been honored by Cary Magazine and Cary Living as one of the best private schools in the area. These awards are voted on by thousands of magazine readers – and school rankings are one of the most voted upon categories.

We are thrilled to see GRACE honored and are thankful for all our community members who voted.

GRACE is the Place!

More Than a Game: 7 Guidelines for Parents to Keep Gaming Healthy

Many students love the adventure online gaming brings. But many parents can feel overwhelmed trying to navigate this intersection of family, faith, and technology. At GRACE Christian School, we believe in equipping students for life, which involves partnering with parents. 

Truth is, not all gaming is bad. Modest doses may lead to better motor skills, problem-solving, and some relaxation. But a routine of “just ten more minutes” may cause harm.

Watch for Warnings

Ease of access to screens of all sizes can turn gaming from a hobby into a problem. This can reveal itself in slipping grades, weakening friendships and family bonds, and worsening emotional instability. Potential warning signs include the following:

– Overlooking after-school chores

– Rapid, sustained decline in time spent on homework

– Anxiety from sudden shifts in schedule

– Extreme irritation when asked to stop gaming

– Aggression toward siblings or pets that disrupt gaming

– Indifference toward time with family and friends

Watch for these warning signs over time, measuring them against the fruit of the Spirit, starting with love, joy, peace, patience, and gentleness (see Galatians 5:22-23). Remind your children that God desires integrity, correct priorities, and self-control. 

Keep Gaming Fun and Healthy

Parents can help children game responsibly. So maybe instead of selling the Xbox, try implementing these guidelines to keep gaming fun and healthy.

1. Create gaming times.

Limiting gaming to one or two hours a day can unlock benefits for gamers without unleashing the risks. Have any gaming turned off at least 30 minutes before bedtime, and avoid using extra gaming time as an incentive. 

2. Set the example.

Our kids learn from our habits. If you’re constantly thumbing your phone or tablet, you may be fueling your child’s gaming habits.

3. Make family time screen-free.

Family dinners, weekend adventures, and even chores can bring families together when conversation displaces screens.

4. Leverage parental controls cautiously.

You’re a better parent than Nintendo. Use the parental controls tech companies provide, but beware of loopholes. Your child is tech-savvier than you. 

5. Game together.

Visiting your child’s gaming world can build trust in the real world. Grab a controller and join him or her in some racing or world conquering. After your shared gaming experiences, chat through the following questions:
– “What do you like about this game?”
– “Does anything you don’t like happen during this game?”
– “What would you do if …?” 

6. Read game reviews.

Read game reviews with your child. This provides an excellent opportunity for your child to learn the why behind a “no” or “yes.” Use sources like Plugged In and Common Sense Media with your kids to understand a game’s story and characters, and whether a game is in line with your family’s Christian values.

7. Talk about online bullying.

Remind your children that their Christian values aren’t shared by everyone playing online. Any chats during gaming that make your child uncomfortable should result in a conversation with a parent. Check in with your child regularly about what they see and hear from online players.

Have a Conversation

When kids bristle at healthy limits, remember: Leading them well is more important than being liked. Keep calm. Hear them out. Speak the truth in love. And reach out to other parents and to school personnel for help.

See How GRACE Supports Healthy Tech Habits

Beginning in 4th grade, GRACE students have their own laptop to use in the classroom. In grades 5-12, our students use these laptops at school and home.

We prepare our students for online learning. Beginning in Transitional Kindergarten (TK), our students are taught healthy tech habits. Our IT department has written a complete TK-12th grade Scope and Sequence for digital and library skills. Our broad curriculum covers everything from learning to type to curating a positive digital footprint. Areas of emphasis in this curriculum include Media Center use, computer literacy, internet safety, research and information fluency, and social responsibility and ethical use.If you’d like to know more about how we’re educating students to thrive in a digital world, schedule a tour today at GRACE Christian School. We look forward to hearing from you!

A Beginners Guide to Growth Mindset: How Parents Can Help Their Kids Squash Fear of Failure and Become Lifelong Learners

If there’s one thing educators know for sure, it’s this — mindset matters. Day after day, we see how students are impacted by their attitudes and beliefs about their own abilities. With a growth mindset, the sky’s the limit. On the other hand, a fixed mindset is often a recipe for failure, frustration, and a long-term lack of fulfillment. Here are the basic definitions and differences:

Growth Mindset: A belief that one’s intelligence can be developed. Students with this mindset believe they can become smarter and achieve more…and they do! They are not afraid of making mistakes and are able to persist through life’s various challenges. 

Fixed Mindset: A belief that one’s intelligence is static. Students with this mindset believe their qualities and abilities are unchangeable. They compensate by shying away from challenges, becoming defensive toward constructive criticism, or trying to prove themselves.

The terms “growth mindset” and “fixed mindset” were originally coined by Stanford Professor Carol Dweck. Her research described how growth mindsets foster success not only in the classroom, but in life.Consider these five strategies for helping your student develop one.

Examine the mindset you are modeling.

“I’m no good at math.” “Sports are not my thing.” “My brain just doesn’t work that way.”

“I can’t read maps.” Do you catch yourself casually making statements like this?

Parents are a child’s first teachers. If we want our children to develop growth mindsets, we have to embrace them for ourselves. Let your child see you trying new things, getting out of your comfort zone, and responding to challenges with grace and grit.

Learn about the growth mindset with your child.

The science behind growth mindset is fascinating. If the old adage “if at first you don’t succeed, try and try again,” isn’t motivating your child, consider going deeper and helping them understand how the brain truly works. 

In a nutshell, modern science explains how malleable the human brain is, and how it can actually grow through our experiences, actions, and habits. Consider reading the book “Your Fantastic Elastic Brain: Stretch It, Shape It” by JoAnn Deak, Ph.D. Learning about the brain is also a wonderful opportunity to highlight God’s unique design.

Have intentional conversations about what your child is learning and how they are performing in school.

How you talk about the school day can make or break your child’s mindset. Whenever possible, avoid dismissing mentions of mistakes and challenges and turn the conversation to what was learned from a hard experience. 

Praise is important and helps build self esteem, but be mindful of what you are praising. Rather than praising talent or effort, try praising your child for the approach they took to a challenging task, the strategies they used, and the process you saw them engage to reach the finish line.

Help your child overcome fear of failure.

Every parent strives to provide unconditional love, but with some children, our responses to failure have to be well thought out. Try to encourage a sensitive child by highlighting their mistakes as learning experiences.

Children that shy away from challenges because they fear they might fail often need help envisioning the potential outcomes. Try posing the question, “What’s the worst that could happen if you…” When parents do this, kids often see that the rewards of trying something new are greater than the potential pitfalls.

Plan activities with your child where it’s safe to fail.

If your child has anxiety around potential failure, the first step is changing the conversation. So, “I can’t do it,” becomes, “You can’t do it yet.” Parents — check out this awesome video on The Power of Yet.

The next step is to get out there and practice. Go to a children’s museum during a non-peak times and encourage your young learner through some of the stations. Sign up for piano lessons. Encourage your teens to try a new sport in a recreational setting. And make sure they remember what fail truly stands for:

First
A
ttempt
I
n
L
earning


See How Your Child Can Grow at GRACE Christian School

If you’re looking for a school where your child will be encouraged and equipped as a lifelong learner, we invite you to learn more about GRACE. Our teachers work to instill a growth mindset in every student, and spent the summer reading titles like Carol Dweck’s “Mindset,” and “Grit” by Angela Duckworth. Their research benefits students in powerful ways.

To learn more about GRACE Christian School, download our free e-book today.

GRACE Summer Bucket List: The Ultimate Activity Guide for Raleigh Area Families

Summer is the prime time for family bonding, memory making, and experiential learning! With the warmer season right around the corner, many parents are wondering how to make the most of this time with their kids. Thankfully, the Raleigh area is full of fun opportunities for all age groups.

The faculty and staff at GRACE Christian School in Raleigh, North Carolina have created this summer “bucket list” of their favorite summer activities to help you plan for an exciting and meaningful break.

Picnic in the ParkKids eating ice cream cones in the summer
Pack a picnic and head out to one of the amazing park systems in the area. The City of Raleigh’s Pullen Park or Dorothea Dix Park are great options. North Cary Park has hiking trails, play structures, large slides, and a boulder that kids love to climb on, as well as access to the Black Creek Greenway which connects to trails around Lake Crabtree and through Umstead Park. 

Go on a Treasure Hunt
Geocaching is an exciting outdoor activity that not only allows students to enjoy nature, but also promotes valuable skills such as problem solving and navigation. A real-life treasure hunt, geocaching involves using GPS to discover “geocaches” (usually a hidden box with a small toy or trinket) placed by volunteers. When a geocache is found, you sign the attached notebook, and leave something for the next treasure hunter. We’ve heard there are hidden geocaches at Kids’ Together Park in Cary, MacDonald Woods Park, and Lake Johnson.

Have Some Water Fun
Beat the heat with a day of swimming, splashing, or sailing. Raleigh is only two and a half hours from some of the best beaches in the Carolinas. Visiting Carolina Beach, Kure Beach, and Fort Fisher gives you access to the ocean, restaurants, an aquarium, and a civil war site. Don’t forget to try Britt’s Donuts if you go to Carolina Beach. If you’re not a beach lover, check out the Splash Pad in Southern Pines or Wet-N-Wild in Greensboro for water-related fun. Closer to home, the Bond Park Boathouse, Lake Crabtree, and Lake Johnson all offer inexpensive watercraft rentals including sailboats, canoes, paddle boats, and paddle boards. Note: check each lake for what they offer.

Try a New Sport
Consider trying some unconventional or “niche” sports that can foster fun and healthy competition while keeping the whole family active. White Oak Park in Cary features three pickleball courts. Take up frisbee golf at Kentwood Park or Cedar Hills Park in Raleigh. If it’s a rainy day, head to one of the many bowling alleys in the area.

Write a Pen Pal
Connecting with a pen pal over the summer can be exciting, nostalgic, and a great way to maintain writing skills. Perhaps your child could exchange letters with a cousin who lives across the country, or, if you’re a subscriber to Focus on the Family ClubHouse magazine, a pen pal program is offered for children ages 8-12. There is also the opportunity to sponsor a child through an organization such as Compassion International, and to bless a student in an undeveloped country by exchanging monthly letters.

Plan a Movie Date
Who doesn’t love to catch a good flick? For a more traditional experience, check out the summer movie programs at local theatres, some of which offer $2 tickets for morning showings. For an exciting, outdoor movie experience, check out the NC Museum of Art or the Raleigh Little Theatre in Raleigh or the Booth Amphitheatre in Cary. You can even host an outdoor movie night in your neighborhood by using a sheet and projector. Don’t forget the popcorn and candy!

Take Cooking Lessons
Cooking is a valuable life skill. Getting boys and girls into cooking can foster creativity and empower them to be healthy eaters for years to come. It’s always fun to try a new recipe at home, but for more guided coaching, check out cooking lessons for kids and parents offered by Flour Power at Parkside Town Commons, Whisk Kitchen Store in the Waverly Place Shopping Center, Taste Buds Kitchen at Beaver Creek in Apex, or Williams and Sonoma at Crabtree Valley Mall.

Go Camping
Jordan Lake is perfect for first-time campers or big groups. Offering large campsites, bathrooms/showers, and RV sites, it’s an ideal experience for families. If you’re a backpacker, check out Raven Rock State Park, where campsites are about 2.5 miles from parking, and can be reached by hiking or canoeing. William B. Umstead State Park also offers both campsites and a variety of hiking trails. If you love fishing, check out Eno River State Park. Last but not least, Falls Lake State Recreation Area has something for everyone, with a range of camp sites including RV camping, family tent camping, and hike-in backpacking.

Visit Local Museums
The Raleigh area is filled with must-see museums. We’ve compiled the following list to help you beat the heat or rainy-day boredom.

Raleigh

Triangle

Day Trips

Enjoy the Arts
Add a couple concerts or plays to your summer bucket list to help your kids experience the joy of the arts. Check out the lineups at Koka Booth Amphitheater, Raleigh Little Theatre, Red Hat Amphitheatre, or Walnut Creek Amphitheatre. The NC Art Museum also has outdoor theater events and concerts in the summer, and the Town of Apex has summer music and movies at the Apex Historic Depot and at the Apex Nature Center.

Watch Baseball
Take everyone out to a ball game! Whether you choose to support the Durham Bulls, Carolina Mudcats, or Holly Springs Salamanders, kids of all ages will enjoy experiencing “America’s pastime.” Check the schedules for events like family night, post-game fireworks shows, or other promotions that amp up the fun.

Cool off With a Treat
Even if you’re on a healthy eating mission this summer, an occasional cold treat is well deserved. Here’s a list of our favorite spots to cool off in a delicious way.

  • Goodberry’s – this Raleigh frozen custard shop has been around since 1986, has nine locations across the Triangle, and is known for their “flavor of the day”
  • Howling Cow – ice cream made on campus at NC State with fresh milk and cream from their Raleigh farm is available at the Talley Student Center on NC State’s Campus and some local supermarkets
  • Pelican’s SnoBalls – incredible shaved ice with hundreds of flavor options in Apex and Raleigh
  • Sunni Sky’s – Angier’s nostalgic homemade ice cream stand is worth the drive (cash only)
  • Kilwins – A confection shop with chocolates, ice cream, and more with multiple locations in Cary and Raleigh
  • Two Roosters Ice Cream – visit one of their Raleigh shops or their food truck location for beloved classics and unique flavors
  • Maple View Farm – fresh ice cream featuring classic and monthly specialty flavors located in Hillsborough

Give Back
Last but certainly not least, summer is a great time for parents to teach their kids to live missionally by creating opportunities to give back. Thrift2Gift always welcomes volunteers, and Rise Against Hunger relies on helping hands to pack meals to send overseas. The SPCA of Wake County welcomes junior volunteers to love on dogs and cats while they wait for forever homes. Even without a specific organization, children can bless neighbors or the elderly by offering to mow grass, clean up yards, or wash a vehicle.

Visit GRACE
If searching for the best private school is on your family’s to-do list this summer, schedule a tour at GRACE. We look forward to welcoming you to campus!

 

Our Favorite Christmas Activities in Raleigh

Looking for fun, meaningful Christmas activities in Raleigh, NC? Is it time to find some new holiday traditions for you or your family? We’ve got you covered! In this post, we have collected some of the best local Christmas season performances and attractions, some wonderful places to volunteer, and some of the favorite traditions of our own faculty and staff at GRACE Christian School! Whether you’re new to the area, or just looking for new things to try in town, we wish you a blessed Christmas season and a very happy New Year! 


The Best Christmas Performances in Raleigh, NC
Even though it has already happened this year,  Salem Baptist Church’s Journey Through Bethlehem event at the beginning of December is one you should plan attending next year.

The Carolina Ballet production of The Nutcracker is one of those performances you must see at least once in your life. A live symphony orchestra and the elaborate sets and costumes bring this timeless classic to unforgettable life each Christmas season.

The Summit Church Christmas services are coming up at the Durham Performing Arts Center. You can buy tickets for the dress rehearsal on December 22, as well as one of the three services on December 23rd, or two services on December 24.

The North Carolina Symphony performances this year include a Holiday Cirque de Noel Spectacular on December 21 and 22, and a Candlelit Christmas on December 23.

The Best Christmas Lights In and Around Raleigh, NC
The Lake Myra Christmas Lights Show celebrates 20 years of lighting up the season this Christmas. It’s a show unlike any other in the region in downtown Wendell, NC.

The Festival of Lights is definitely worth a drive to see in the Tanglewood neighborhood of Clemmons, NC, just outside of Winston-Salem. This remarkable light display draws visitors from all around. If you go, be sure to stop by the S’moresville station just outside the Gift Village!

The Meadow Lights display in nearby Benson, NC, claims to be the oldest and largest Christmas attraction in eastern North Carolina. Four trains roll through their 10 acres of displays, and drinks and Christmas candies are for sale.

Koka Booth Amphitheatre is home to the Chinese Lantern Festival this year. Live cultural performances are also a part of the 1/2 mile walking tour.

Where to Volunteer This Christmas in Raleigh, NC
Many of our local charities and support organizations need extra help around the holidays. If you’re looking to volunteer this season, try one of the following:

The Best Christmas Tree Lots around Raleigh, NC
We LOVE the family-run business at Cary Pumpkins & Christmas Trees. Located at 1355 Buck Jones Road, Raleigh, NC 27518, you’ll find a warm welcome and help with your selection of fresh-cut-daily NC Frasier Fir trees. They also sell wreaths, crosses, and candy cane decorations made from branches.

You’ll also find great trees at Quality Evergreens at the NC State Farmers Market. They are a third-generation West Jefferson, Ashe County NC tree business. One of our GRACE faculty says: “We have bought from them for 18 years, and when we take the tree down on January 1, it is as fresh as when we bought it!”

How We Have Been Celebrating Christmas at GRACE Christian School
Our students, faculty, and staff have all been celebrating the coming Christmas season.

  • GRACE art classes have been making ornaments, cookies, snowflakes, glass-fused dishes, clay nativity sets, and lots of Christmas-themed artwork. 
  • The school decorations all over campus are focused on the Christmas story and Jesus as we all prepare to celebrate Emmanuel. 
  • The seniors spent a day working at the Operation Christmas Child processing plant in Charlotte, helping get Christmas Shoeboxes ready for distribution. 
  • Our lower campus Christmas store has given our younger students the chance to find gifts for their parents. 
  • We’ve had many Christmas concerts and programs on campus and in the local area. 
  • The Student Council serves breakfast for their fellow students on exam days and plans Christmas parties for their grades. 
  • Spanish classes have been learning carols in Spanish and watching Christmas specials from different countries. 
  • GRACE participated in local parades with Christ and nativity scene floats.

How GRACE Faculty and Staff Keep Christmas
We asked our faculty and staff at GRACE Christian School how they celebrate Christmas, and this is some of what we heard back!

  • “We have a Jesse Tree that we use during Advent to retell the stories of the Bible that lead to Jesus’ birth. Each night in December we read scripture and pray relative to the ornament and Biblical passage for that day.” 
  • “After opening stockings and gifts on Christmas morning, we have a family brunch together.” 
  • “We join with a former GRACE family and pile in one car. We drive through the Ephesus Baptist Live Nativity. Then we go out for a dinner together.” 
  • “On Christmas morning before gifts, we celebrate Jesus birthday by doing a special breakfast with 3 large pancakes (Father, Son, and Spirit), pour over it red juice (blood), whip cream (white as snow) and light a candle (light of the world). As each of the items are added a scripture is read that goes with the item.  At the end, we sing Happy Birthday and then we eat!”
  • “We watch The Grinch and drink homemade hot chocolate while we decorate the tree and our house.”
  • We read Jotham’s Journey each night through Advent.  You are following Joshua for over 23 nights, and at the end of the book he ends up at the manger with the shepherds worshipping baby Jesus. It is sort of written as a mystery adventure so our kids always ask you to read more, but no! We only read one night’s worth!” 
  • “After going to church on Christmas Eve, we celebrate a French Canadian tradition called “Réveillon” where we each open one gift and eat a light meal after midnight. There are specific dishes served for this meal, including a “Bûche de Noël” (Christmas log).” 
  • “Each (extended) family member chooses a favorite song from the year. Each person takes a turn playing it and explaining why the song is so special to them. Sometimes the song is performed by the individual.” 
  • “I bake sugar cookies that are cut into shapes for Christmas. Then, my husband and daughters decorate them with frosting and sprinkles.”   
  • “We have an empty wrapped box under the tree for Jesus and we pass it around telling Jesus what we each would like to give him this year for His Birthday.” 

Have we missed any of your favorites that other people need to know about? Let us know, we’d love to hear from you! We hope it is a warm and wonderful Christmas for you and your family. Everyone at GRACE Christian School is grateful to be your neighbor, and we look forward to serving our students and families in the new year.

If you’re looking for a great Christian education for your child, we have so much we’d like to share with you. Have a look at Start Smart, our free e-book, to learn more.