Recess, or as I like to call it, Early Entrepreneurship Lab, is a very important part of the school day.
I may have mentioned this in an earlier log, but recess still seems to be getting the short end of the stick when it comes to time in the school day as the public school emphasis continues to be on testing and meeting test quotas. This was true several years ago and is still true today!
This doesn’t stop kids from identifying recess as their favorite part of the day. I hear that and I see future entrepreneurs!
Entrepreneurs need to know how to take an unstructured portion of their world and provide structure. Ultimately it is up to the market place if that new structure has value to the broader community or not, but that doesn’t detract from the fact that the entrepreneur is the one, who designed something that wasn’t preexisting, and acted to make it happen. Recess has also been shown to result in students with improved memory and focused attention. Recess helps develop more brain connections along with enabling students to be more physically active outside of recess time periods. Finally, during recess students learn negotiation skills, exercise leadership skills take turns, and solve conflicts as they make up and teach each other games to play. These map nicely to entrepreneurial skills; we conclude that many needed entrepreneurial skills are actually learned during recess while playing!
Thus, my claim is that recess is an early entrepreneurship lab.
Beyond my personal orientation onwards recess, others have noted that taking recess actually makes kids smarter! Caralee Adams’ article, “Recess makes kids smarter”, reinforces this point. She provides examples of teachers bringing the case for recess to their schools. Some have been able to prevail against the growing tide of removal of all parts of a school day not directly related to a test outcome.
Dr. Jarrett is quoted as pointing out that, "(w)ith recess, children have choices and can organize their own games, figure out what's fair, and learn a lot of social behavior that they don't learn in P.E." Adams also quotes a poll of principals from 2009 where 8 of 10 principals linked recess with stronger academics.
Recess is important academically.
The Renaissance Preparatory Academy has a strong recess program. Its two shorter times helps with the fidgeting child and to refresh the minds of all. The longer lunch recess allows for the development of those entrepreneurial skills mentioned above. Check out our entire program on line (www.RenaissancePrepaMB.org) or come and visit our campus! We rent space in the Hall at St. John's which is located behind the Greek Orthodox Church at the corner of 33rd Ave. and Hwy 17 Business. Come and visit!
Thoughts by Janice Black, Founder & Chair of the School Board
Our curriculum allowed our students to finish a report on Family Heritage, Inheritances and the Family Tree by Wednesday. Hurricane Irma's track was still looking like it would hit our area and so we moved to a unit on Natural Disasters.
We acknowledge that some believe that the conditions for Irma were not a "natural disaster" but one that humans contributed to making with their activities that supported global warming. While the children learned about hurricanes and preparing for hurricanes this week and will move to other natural disasters next week, this blog took a turn down the unintended negative consequences of human actions road.
Specifically, we looked at reasons why someone might want to move a child into our public school setting. One big unintended consequence has to do with the unintended "pruning" of our children's brains by our classroom activities...
No Child Left Behind or ALL Children Dumbed Down: IS THIS SOCIAL EXPERIMENT WORTH YOUR CHILD'S FUTURE?
We all want the best for our children and grandchildren. Even those without children should want the best for our community! However, sometimes when we take action to address one social ill, another unintended social ill arises. We can see this in a recent public school trend.
We agree with Dr. Judy Willis (a neurologist see her post from 2009 ) that the “no child left behind” debacle is one such well-intentioned effort that unfortunately has resulted in what a neurologist has called “Brain Toxic Classrooms”. We suggest that the intervening years since 2009 have only seen the problem get worse!
Dr. Willis notes that all animals have a primitive brain information intake system at an unconscious reflexive level that is based on novelty, change and cues that are
linked to pleasure. These are not found in classrooms where, according to Dr. Willis, a “teach to the test” curriculum has emerged. She notes that this type of curriculum causes disengagement as early as kindergarten.
“As early as kindergarten children begin to begrudge their time in school and gradually their brains construct neural circuits for self-stimulation (talking during lectures, drawing pictures instead of doing boring worksheets, fidgeting with change in their pockets or toys hidden in their desks).”
In such classrooms when there has been no interventions by parents, according to Dr. Willis, “children’s brain pathways to the prefrontal cortex (highest thinking conscious decision-making part of the brain) are pruned away from disuse.” We are literally making our children dumber as a whole by trying to have a one size fits all no child left behind.
According to Lisa Rivero (MA in Literary Studies and author of several award winning books on teaching gifted children and schooling), this is particularly toxic for the brighter child.
Ms. Rivero calls for individualized curriculum that allows for variation in learning rates and modalities. She argues that the need for individually challenging curriculum is necessary since
“when a child is challenged and able to learn at an appropriate pace and level, the child is closer to knowledge of self and acceptance of others than if the child is tied to a lockstep or inappropriate curriculum
This acceptance of one’s self is an important part of emotional growth and like novices of all types, children are prone to misinterpret their own conditions. When there is a misalignment, the learning environment can become toxic and continued involvement results in children whose growth and learning potential is forever stunted.
Check out our new video on when you might want to remove your child from a toxic environment and place them in an environment that allows for varying rates of intellectual and emotional growth while providing them with explicit instructions on how to continue to develop when growing at different rates academically, emotionally, ethically, physically, and socially.
Certainly changing the public school system is a worthy goal, but should it come at the cost of your own child’s potential? A private school might be a great short term solution for your child while you work to make changes in the public system. Private schools are not insular or greenhouse environments for the privileged but rather environments that have the freedom to craft learning experiences that are available to all given the amount of scholarships and discounts available (often up to 86% of students attending a private school receive some form of assistance).
The Renaissance Preparatory Academy offers tuition assistance to the vast majority of students who attend. Currently, they are offering tuition at $399/month up through grade 3 and at $419/month up through 9th grade. You can lock it in for this year and constrain its growth to no more than 5%/year saving tens of thousands of dollars over a 5 year period. Check it out today!
Second week of school is only 4 days long!
This week was a short week for the folks at The Renaissance Preparatory Academy but it was jam packed full!
My letter to the editor of the Sun News was published on Tuesday (see the picture on the right) .
The students were busy creating their family trees. As an FYI, our foreign language is American Sign Language. So as the kids created their own family tree books complete with paper dolls, they also learned how to sign the various family relationships. They are learning and remembering their signs so quickly and their hands move through the spelling part like nimble little butterflies!
This was also the week that the students demonstrated that they knew their Honor Codes in the Primary Class. I was so impressed at how well they remembered the whole thing! They were so cute as they recited it and looked so darling in their uniforms!
We had a 4-day week because Friday was a holiday for us as we as a school showed our respect for the Islamic religion by taking Friday off for a religious holiday (Eid al Adha: Observed). Monday, of course, is Labor Day and is also a holiday! So our first week was 3 days longs and our 2nd and 3rd weeks are only 4 days long each… we’re easing into the school year! You can checkout all of our holidays via our posted calendar.
Enrolling a New Kindergarten Cohort for children age 5 by October 16. Classes start October 2.
Our whole first term is a short one since it is the last end of our normal summer term. This is important because our next time to enroll a new Kindergarten Cohort begins with our next term which is the Fall term. We are enrolling children who will turn 5 by October 16 to start in a kindergarten cohort starting Oct 2. This is a small cohort so that these children can get the best start to school ever! When spaces are gone, children will be added to a wait list for our next cohort start which will be January 8, 2018.
Whew! Jam packed and a great start!
Founding Director, School Board for Renaissance Preparatory Academy
NEW SC LAW Implies a drop in teaching time for the average and above average student in SC public school 3rd grades!
NEW SC LAW Requires that all 3rd graders pass standardized test or not pass 3rd grade.
According to WBTW’s report by Maggie Lorenz, this new law applies to over 50% of students state-wide. As a whole this means that over 50% of the students in a classroom are considered scoring in the lowest of the low category with respect to reading. These students are now required to be brought up to grade level comprehension by the end of 3rd grade.
I wonder... where will the extra teaching time come from?
Remember this promotional ad for our school where we were noting that if your child has been bored at school that perhaps it is not your child’s fault but that the school just isn’t geared for your already performing child. Look at an estimated school day of 7:40 to 2:40. This is a total of 7 hours or 420 minutes. Most schools offer 180 days of tuition-based efforts. Let’s imagine how a typical teacher might spend those minutes.
standards, and 66% that are not and will need extra help, coaching, etc., we can see a pie chart of how a teacher spends time. By looking at time for full class instruction and backing into time for the performing 44%, we find out that currently, the top 44% of students in a classroom receive about 11 minutes each or around 3% of the teacher’s time.
By taking time away from the Teacher’s preparation time, full class teaching time, the brighter students focused time, we could build up time to spend re-teaching, coaching and tutoring that majority of the class. This raises time for the bottom 66% of students to 195 minutes. This means that these students receive almost ¾ of the time available! Time spent on the 44% of students who are actually at grade level drops to 9 minutes each or 2% of the teacher’s time is actually spent teaching at or above grade level
Basically, the time and attention spent preparing for and grading the modestly bright child’s work has been reduced. The time spent in encouraging this student to push on and continue learning is reduced. The time spent in whole class lectures, which aren’t geared towards the learning level of the modestly bright child or even the average child who simply works hard, is reduced. The time that the top 44% of the class has for learning is reduced to about 28% of the time available in the school day. For a class of 30 students, this means that your child’s share of the teacher’s effort is about 2% of the school day. Yet, the time left for your child to be bored has been increased. This will tend to reduce motivation of the brighter child… why should they work so hard, they can do much less and just get by. Is this the attitude towards life that you want your child to learn?
At The Renaissance Preparatory Academy, your child’s class size maxes out at 15 students and our day is a full 8 hours not 7. Of that time, we have recess where your child learns social interaction and initiative skills. Time spent in teacher-directed time to your child’s learning level is typically 65 minutes or 13.5% of the teacher’s day. Here your child spends time being encouraged to stretch and learn more. Your child, even in the fullest class, will receive 29 minutes of the teacher’s efforts as an individual or 6% of the teacher’s time. Three times as much as in a typical 30 student classroom in a typical public school in South Carolina. The byproducts here are learning initiative, learning to stretch and learn more, and a strong work ethic (which is desired by future employers). Skating by, coasting, or not putting all of one’s effort into a task is actively discouraged.
Yes, we are small right now. Some classes have almost one on one teaching, but your family can come join our family and we’ll grow together! It will take some courage to be a part of a new learning experience.
It is worth being part of something brand new when your child can receive focused attention, your family receives a great discount on this year’s tuition AND we’ll commit to capping tuition cost increases to 5% a year for the time that your student is continuously attending the Renaissance Preparatory Academy!
So, ENROLL Today! LOCK IN LOW TUITION, Increase your child’s instruction time… JUST CALL at 843, 800-0590 or drop us an email and we’ll chat. Given the continued price of no more than $450 for a child 10 and above and only $399 for children below the age of 10 (like those in 3rd grade right now), it is a small investment now for a great pay-off in life lessons and learning received by your child!
Think about and then give me a call!
Founder, Director of School Board
As all who teach know, the time right before school starts and even the first week can be stressful for everybody! This week ran the gamut, but, I am pleased to announce that our first week flew by! It went from the eclipse to last minute preparations to welcoming our students in their new uniforms! You can see a couple of uniform options worn by our students in the above picture. Our office space was carved out of The Commons and an assortment of uniforms arrived for folks to peruse! BUT, it was too hot to use our picnic tables so we lunch in The Commons when the heat index is above 100 degrees.
We still have seats available in our multi-grade classrooms. Remember our Kindergarten accepts students at age 5 within two weeks of the start of a term. Call us at 843-800-0590 or drop us an email at Renaissance.Headmaster@gmail.com!
Founder, Director of School Board
However, that is not the only aspect of our motto that is receiving confirmation by the larger community. If you have liked us on Facebook, you will have seen a shared posting talking about “old school manners”. That concept of what used to be common courtesy is also embedded in our motto under the heading of “HUMANITAS”.
Grandparents are more and more involved in their grandchildren’s lives. This ranges from raising them, to having the grandchildren (and often parents) move in again. This trend has been increasing for the last 40 years. Grandparents have often been helping their adult children. Sometimes with funds; but, often with other help like watching children, making meals, etc. So we want to acknowledge the value that grandparents provide to our families! Many grandparents live within 50 miles of their grandkids (60%+) while a minority travel more than 400 miles to see their grandchildren.
We thank our involved grandparents and provide the following breaks! 1) all grandchildren who attend the school will count as siblings and receive reduced registration and tuition discounts of $500 each. And 2) anyone over 55 who is paying for a child who is enrolled will receive a $500 discount. Furthermore, if a grandparent is a veteran and is paying for the schooling, there is a veteran discount of $500. Contact us today for more information but when grandparents are paying the typical per child costs max out at $377/child with our current two children for 1 promotion (only discount that applies is the senior discount all others covered by the 2 for 1 promotion). Let us help you pass on treasured values along with strong academics for less than kindergarten at other local private schools!
I look forward to hearing from you. Call 843-800-0590 or email us at Renaissance.Headmaster@gmail.com.
Janice Black, Founder
As was talked about in earlier posts, it is really important that we step up and ensure that our children have the opportunities to learn and grow so that they can be come the best possible individual. JFK commented that for our country, “the human mind is our fundamental resource.” Once we recognize that, can we really justify not doing something. This something is a private non-profit school that is structurally set up to help child blossom. We invite you to join us in this adventure. You can donate for a scholarship; you can volunteer; you can apply for a position, you can send your children or grandchildren. Contact us with your idea to help and support this outreach!
It is not too late...
As we come to the end of open registration week, two things are important to know:
1. This special can be reserved for you if you send an email of interest to email@example.com. This means that you don't have to complete the application, just indicate an interest in the school and you can still take advantage of this special.
2. Along with the special, the discounts means that children up to age 8 will be assured of tuition of no more than $520/month and children between 9 and 14 top out at $620/month. This is less than $3/hour for tuition. Is your child's education worth it?
Additional discounts include: Parent or Guardian who is a Veteran, Bright Children (those reading at age 4, those whose standard test scores indicated higher grade levels than enrollment, those tested for G&T), Sibling Discount, Students with a Minority or International Heritage, and Single Income Households. If you have ALL of these qualities in your family, a student's tuition drops to $370 and $470 respectively. Find out your family's costs by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org for an appointment!
Did you see that 2016 article* with over 6 million reads by Victoria Prooday, an Occupational Therapist working with children? She said,
intentions, we unfortunately remold our children’s brains in the wrong direction.”
She suggested that 5 things are causing this shaping: 1 Use of Technology as a Babysitter because we are busy which results in kids not learning how to process things at lower levels of stimulation. 2 Giving kids everything they want at the moment they want it so that they never learn to function under stress and delay gratification. 3. Pandering to our kids every whim without their learning that there are some necessary things that they simply need to do whether they want to or not. 4. Letting our kids live in an artificial world of “fun” without learning basic monotonous work (like picking up their toys and putting them away) that trains the brain to be workable and function under boredom. 5. As busy people, we often will give our kids digital gadgets so that they can be busy without our interacting with them and this takes away unstructured outdoor time as well. She offers solutions to these problems as well.
Founder's Blog by