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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!

October 29, 2019 | Amazing GRACE

KINDNESS TREE

As we continue our October character education focus on “Kindness,” check out the Kindness Tree in our lower campus lobby. All lower campus classes have designated “kindness reporters” whose job it is to be on the lookout throughout the week for classmates who perform any act of kindness (such as helping a classmate, using kind words, inviting a friend to join in and play, etc.). At the end of each week, the kindness reporter will write their classmates’ names on hearts along with the act of kindness the classmate was observed doing, and the hearts are added to our GRACE Kindness Tree.

MOMS’ NIGHT OUT

GRACE moms – do you need a night out with the ladies? GRACE PTF presents Equipping Parents Series “Moments with Moms.” Join us on Friday, November 15th from 7-9 p.m. in the Upper Campus Chapel for a night of fellowship, dessert, hot chocolate bar, and a Pinterest craft night for the ladies of the GRACE community. Invite a friend and come out to hear from inspirational speaker and GRACE mom, Sherry Braswell of Sherry Braswell Ministries, as she delivers a message of encouragement to “be EMBRACED in your identity in Christ.”

Tickets are $20 each and include refreshments and 4 takehome crafts to keep or give away as gifts. The Pinterest stations include: earrings, sugar scrub, dipping oil, and a paint-poured Christmas ornament. 

 Purchase your tickets here.

COUNTDOWN TO CANDY!

Already worried about the mountains of candy that are going to appear in your home Thursday evening? Have no fear – we’ll take it off your hands! GRACE is, once again, willing to take any extra, individually wrapped candy. Candy donations should be dropped off at the Lower Campus office.

BUSINESS PARTNER SPOTLIGHT

GRACE appreciates the support of local businesses who partner with us and contribute to the success of many of our special events. We encourage the GRACE family to choose our business partners when you have a need for their products/services.

If you are interested in becoming a business partner with GRACE, please see below or refer to the Business Partner Information Sheet to see what is included at each level. For more information contact Michele Bandy at mbandy@gracechristian.net.  

To sign up as a business partner, complete the Business Partner Commitment Form.

 

Golden Eagle Partners

 

Silver Eagle Partners

Apex Wings

The Guys Place A Hair Salon for Men

 

Bronze Eagle Partners

Ancora Counseling Center

COMING UP

DONUTS FOR DAD
November 1st | 7:45 – 8:45 a.m.
Men of GRACE – join us on Friday to learn from our guest speaker, Anthony Moreland from the GRACE IT Department. Anthony has an incredible testimony and a passion for break dancing which he uses to give glory to God. Please join us between 7:45 and 8:15 am for refreshments and fellowship with other men. The guest speaker will follow from 8:15 to 8:45 am. The event will be in the Upper Campus Student Center. For more info contact grobinson@noresco.com.

NO SCHOOL
November 8th and 11th
Enjoy a long weekend. On November 8th, we have a Staff In-Service Day, and on November 11th, we are off for Veteran’s Day. Take a moment to pray in thanks for our GRACE parents and grandparents, and other brave men and women, who have served our country in military service. 

MOMS’ NIGHT OUT
November 15th | 7-9 p.m.
Join your fellow GRACE moms for a time of fun, food and fellowship. Purchase your tickets here. https://www.gracechristian.net/school-life/grace-communities/ptf/event-payment-form/

ANNUAL FUND
Last week, we saw record numbers of our GRACE community come together in support of our Annual Fund – making this our most successful year of giving to-date! GRACE, you are truly known for generosity – and we could not be more grateful!

SCHOOL SNAPSHOT

This weekend, the GRACE office staff celebrated the marriage of Mary Michael Coates daughter of Willa Bea Coates (upper campus office). Mary Michael graduated in the class of 2010 and was the first recipient of GRACE’s Distinguished Alumni Award.

Our GRACE Seniors accompanied their kindergarten sidekicks to Phillips Farm last week and a good time was had by all! Thank you, seniors!

October 1, 2019 | Amazing GRACE

READY FOR HOMECOMING!
GRACE students, families, faculty and alumni – we hope you’ll join us for the big Homecoming Game on Friday at 7 p.m. against Arendell Parrott Academy. We will have a pre-game Tailgate Bash for the entire family including food trucks, inflatables, carnival games and more from 5:30 – 7:30 at the Athletic Field. In addition, we will have giveaways including rally towels and megaphones for the first fans in attendance. That night we will honor our 2019 Homecoming Court, GRACE Alumnus of the Year and Distinguished Honorary GRACE Alumnus of the Year. Look in your inbox for an email from Michele Bandy, Events Coordinator, for more information about Homecoming 2019.

COLLEGE CONNECTIONS

Calling ALL parents! Do you love what you do? Are you willing to share your passion for your career with GRACE juniors? If so, please contact Cathy Cole (CCole@GRACEChristian.net) in the College Counseling Department and let her know! We would like to invite you to come to GRACE (11 am – 12 pm on Monday, Tuesday or Thursday) to present and answer questions for 15-25 minutes in each of our Junior Seminar classes.   

Also, on the second Wednesday of each month between 8 – 9:15 a.m., the College Counseling Department will host College Connections – a drop-in meeting for any parent (in any grade) who has questions related to the college selection and application process. Mark your calendar and plan to attend October’s connection event on October 9th. 

Want to learn more about our College Counseling resources? Click here for this month’s newsletter.

COMING UP

Lost and Found Clean-Out
October 4th 
The upper and lower campus lost and founds are overflowing! Please be sure to check for lost items at both campuses. Any items not collected by Friday, October 4th will be donated.

Donuts for Dads
October 4th | 7:45 – 8:45 a.m.
Men of GRACE: join us for Donuts for Dads this Friday as we hear from Chad Poprocki from the Men of Armor ministry and fellow GRACE dad. The event will be held in the Upper Campus Student Center. Please park to the right of the building and enter through the door with the blue awning.

October College Connections
October 9th | 8 – 9:15 a.m.
Come by the Upper Campus conference room between 8 and 9:15 a.m. for our College Connections meeting. This meeting is for any parent (in any grade) who has questions related to the college selection and application process.

GRACE ANNUAL FUND
October 17 – 25
The Annual Fund is the most important area of fundraising for GRACE and provides the resources to make improvements to our campus facilities, instructional technology, and professional development opportunities that otherwise would have to be delayed or eliminated. Mark your calendars and join us in praying expectantly to see how you can help GRACE be known for generosity during our Annual Fund drive.

SCHOOL SNAPSHOT

Field trips are in full swing! Check out some of our kindergarteners on visit Downtown Cary where they learned about our various community helpers.

FOLLOW GRACE

Want to see more of what’s going on around campus? Follow us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/GRACEchristianschoolor on Instagram at www.instagram.com/gracechristian.raleigh. And don’t forget…tag us in your best GRACE photos for a chance to be featured! We can’t wait to see your Eagle pride!

September 24, 2019 | Amazing GRACE

WE HAVE SPIRIT, YES WE DO!

Next week is GRACE Homecoming, and we’re ready to show our school spirit! We invite all GRACE students, staff and faculty to dress up the week of September 30th to October 4th.

Monday, September 30th: Pajama Day
Tuesday, October 1st: Tacky Thrift Day
Wednesday, October 2nd: Favorite Sports Team Day
Thursday, October 3rd: Christmas in October Day
Friday, October 4th: Decade Day (UC) and GRACE Day (LC)

Make sure you’re following our new GRACE Instagram account – instagram.com/gracechristian.raleigh – to see all the fun!

And don’t forget to join us for the big Homecoming Game on Friday at 7 p.m. against Arendell Parrott Academy. We will have a pre-game Tailgate Bash for the entire family including food trucks, inflatables, carnival games and more from 5:30-7:30 p.m. at the Athletic Field. In addition, we will have giveaways including rally towels and megaphones for the first 500 fans in attendance. That night we will honor our 2019-2020 Homecoming Court, GRACE Alumnus of the Year and Honorary GRACE Alumnus of the Year.

Want to make Homecoming a huge success? We still need volunteers. Sign up today!

REMEMBERING MRS. MARILYN MARTIN

This week, GRACE would like all of our families to take a moment to celebrate the life of Mrs. Marilyn Martin who passed away on Friday, September 20th. Mrs. Martin was a kind, joy-filled follower of Christ. Alongside her husband, David, she was a mainstay at GRACE events for years. She played an integral role in the Martin family decision to donate the land for what is now the GRACE lower campus. Last year, the Martins were honored as our first honorary alumni of the year. We are all recipients of the wonderful legacy Mrs. Martin has left behind. Please keep the entire Martin family in your prayers. 

COMING UP

PTF Fundraiser at Chick-fil-A
September 26 | 5 – 8 p.m.
Eat chicken, give back! GRACE PTF invites our families to dine at Chick-fil-A Crossroads Plaza on September 26th between 5 – 8 p.m. and 10% of your purchase will be donated to GRACE. No flyer required! Also, the Chick-fil-A cow and prize wheel will be on-site for a chance for more fun and prizes. We hope to see you there!

GRACE Annual Fund
October 17 – 25
The Annual Fund is the most important area of fundraising for GRACE and provides the resources to make improvements to our campus facilities, instructional technology, and professional development opportunities that otherwise would have to be delayed or eliminated. Mark your calendars and join us in praying expectantly to see how you can help GRACE be known for generosity during our Annual Fund drive.

INTRODUCING TRAVELING TALON

This high-flying Eagle is ready for an adventure and hopes our GRACE community will enjoy taking him along on your family travels to share with the rest of us.

Heading somewhere fun and want to save a seat for Traveling Talon? Email cbarnhill@gracechristian.net with your travel dates and destination! We’ll arrange Traveling Talon’s passport and pack his bags. All we ask is that you snap some pictures of Traveling Talon with your family that we can share on our GRACE social media channels. (Oh, and you’ll have to bring Traveling Talon back to school after your trip so we can prepare him for his next adventure!)

Share your KNOWN story
 Our theme for 2019-2020 school year is “Known” and comes from John 10:14, “I am the Good Shepherd. I know my own and my own know me.” Over the course of the year, we will share with our students the incredible concept of being known by, and developing a personal relationship with, Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. We would love to hear your own “Known” stories throughout the year. Please send them to cbarnhill@gracechristian.net. 

Art Contest Winners February 2018

Twenty-six GRACE photography and visual art students placed in the February District VI GWFC Arts Festival and the eleven that received first place awards will advance to the state level competition.

High School Categories

Black & White Photography

  • Morgan Kelley — 1st Place

Color Photography

  • Grace Son — 2nd Place

Metal Crafts

  • Sofia Pinzauti – 1st Place

Wood Crafts

  • Olivia Payne – 1st Place
  • Lela Arruza – 2nd Place

Paper Crafts

  • Lela Arruza –1st Place

Decorative Painting

  • Madison Russell – 3rd Place

Nature Craft

  • Lela Arruza – 1st Place
  • Lela Arruza – 2nd Place

Creative Stitchery

  • Rachael Litavecz – 1st Place
  • Sofia Pinzauti – 2nd Place

Dye Craft

  • Hannah Billings – 1st Place
  • Anna Feagans – 2nd Place

Beadwork

  • Hannah Swecker – 1st Place
    Lela Arruza – 2nd Place

Glass Craft

  • Sofia Pinzauti – 1st Place
    Rachael Litavecz – 2nd Place

Painting

  • Madison Rhoads – 2nd Place

Middle School Categories

Ceramics

  • Melanie Carlson- 2nd Place
  • Ava Mendez – 3rd Place

Creative Stitchery

  • Erica Epperly – 1st Place
  • Bri Gower – 2nd Place

Colored Drawing

  • Melanie Carlson – 2nd Place

Pastel Drawing

  • Hannah Fetterolf – 3rd Place

Maker Carts and Recycling

The Maker Carts on the lower campus allow us to engage our students in using their imaginations to solve problems with creative solutions. If you have ANY of the following, please drop them by the media center (library) on either campus.

  • paper snow cones                                
  • fake jewels
  • frozen juice can lids                            
  • medicine lids
  • plastic lids                                          
  •  empty thread spools
  • clothes pins                                          
  • oatmeal containers
  • wrapping paper (sheets)                      
  • CDs
  • bottle caps                                          
  • corks
  • wood blocks                                        
  • wood pieces (no bigger than your hand)
  • dixie cups                                            
  • party picks
  • dental floss                                          
  • buttons
  • milk cartons                                        
  • magnet sticks

 

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