The school year has ended and we had a lot to celebrate!! We celebrated our students during our Awards Ceremony and Graduation Ceremony. Visit our Facebook Page to see all of the images!
Hear from our founder, Dr. Leslie C. Bentley-Jackson, on our vision and initiative to raise money to make it a reality! To donate, please visit: www.GoFundMe.com/SolidFoundationChristianAcademy
Since the moment your child was born, you had high hopes for what their future would entail. Many want more for their child...more than maybe what their parents were able to provide. Despite any circumstances that may appear as lack, your love of your child will motivate you to find a way to provide the best opportunities and future possible. Sometimes a sea of opportunity can be right under your nose, if you’re willing to look!
Here are a few ideas to get you started:
Remember, Google is your friend
Depending on how old you are, you may remember in the “olden times” when you had to look things up in the Encyclopedia Britannica, dictionary hard copy (not dictionary.com!), and learn the Dewey Decimal System to complete school papers. But now, we have this amazing tool...GOOGLE! Anything you or your child wants to know can be found in a matter of minutes. Even seconds! Google is a low cost way to help your child succeed by showing them the plethora of knowledge out in the world at their disposal. You can learn anything! If your child wants to learn about another country, Wikipedia is an option. If your child wants to learn how to create a robot for a science project, you can learn by watching a few YouTube videos. You can even take FREE classes on HUNDREDS of subjects by logging into Lynda.com with your library card. There are literally thousands of opportunities to learn and get ahead by using all of the resources available to you through the internet. It’s up to you to decide how you’ll use it.
Your local public library
Speaking of the library...some people think of the library as an old place with old smelly books. But you have to give credit where credit is due! Most public libraries around the country offer enrichment programming, guest speakers, free internet use, tutors to help with homework, and digital resources to learn a new language among other things. And did I mention all of this is FREE to you and your family?
Seek out opportunities for free or low cost educational/enrichment programming through local organizations, colleges, and non-profits
Many non-profits and programs are started with the intent to help people of little financial resources in education, learning new skills, and overall creating a better life path for themselves. And I mean quality programs! Search online or through the websites of your local college for topics that interest your child to see if there are any low cost programs enrolling new students. For instance, a google search using the phrase “free enrichment programs in Atlanta” led me to the following:
- CDC Detective Program: A free week-long day camp for rising high school juniors and seniors that exposes students to epidemiology, the field of public health and the diverse career opportunities within the field of public health. www.cdc.gov/museum/camp/detective
- Callenwolde Fine Arts Center offers a variety of enrichment programming and also offers need-based scholarships. http://callanwolde.org/classes/scholarships/
- Gifted Atlanta is a great site to learn about programs for students around the Atlanta area. https://giftedatlanta.com/enrichment/
- The opportunities seem endless....
Help your child find a mentor
As a parent, you serve as the 1st role model in your child’s life. So you have the ability to help form your child’s perspective of the world. But it never hurts to have other positive role models. With a mentor, your child can develop an even more well-rounded view on life, as well as support academically, socially, and personally. Sometimes once a certain level of trust is obtained, the relationship built between a child and mentor can further enhance the child-parent relationship and child-teacher relationship by providing an additional outlet and support system.
Being a present parent
Studies show that parents who are PRESENT in their child’s life greatly enhance the child’s development and well-being. Children with parents who are not present may experience attachment issues, trust issues, low self-esteem, lack of identity, and can easily be influenced by the wrong crowd. Of course, every child is different and may not experience these consequences. But who wants to test it with their child?? No one. Understanding many parents work and have obligations outside the home, it is understandable that you cannot be with your child 24/7. However the time you are present is enjoyable and edifying for the entire family when you are present without being distracted.
Remember, time is your greatest asset...use it wisely
Nowadays we all seem pressed for time. Between work, raising a family, a social obligations, it may appear like you have no time. But your child’s well-being and future depend on you prioritizing. Activities such as checking homework, ensuring your child has a healthy well-balanced meal, reading, or taking time to find your child the resources he/she needs to succeed all matter! A lot of times, parents may have the money to provide but not the time. Or a parent will have the time, but not the money. As frustrating as either situation can be, see the positives in both. If you are the latter and financial resources are not in abundance, please realize your time and how you spend it can be as good as gold. You have time to find the resources your child can use to get ahead. Use your time wisely.
Teach your child to take ownership over his/her own life experience
In schools, you’ll see many students who’s parents cater to their every need-always on top of the student’s schedule, running them to various practices/rehearsals, and not even trusting them to keep up with their own house keys. But when that child turns 18 and should be heading off to college to begin life as an adult, the child is ill-prepared. They’ve never had a responsilbility. They’re unable to manage their own money. And meals consistent of microwave dinners or fast food because they’ve never had to fend for themselves. From a young age, you can begin teaching a child to be independent. You can teach them how to speak up for themselves by encouraging them to speak on their own behalf instead of having mom speak for them. You can encourage them to be money-conscious by opening a student checking account where they can store their allowance. There are many ways to teach a child to take ownership while watching under a loving parent’s eye. A child who is responsible and takes ownership is poised to seek and seize opportunities.
What do you think of these ideas and resources? Do you plan to use any? Let us know by joining the conversation on our Facebook page. We’d also love what other ideas you’ve had or tested to make your child a success.
See you on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
-Solid Foundation Christian Academy Staff
Every parent hopes their child will become a gold star student at school. While every child learns and develops in a different capacity, there are qualities you can foster at home to help your child thrive at school.
Remember your child is like a sponge, give them positive things to absorb
Starting from a young age, you are your child’s hero or heroine. The superhero who serves as their first role model. Like the old adage “Monkey see, monkey do” your child learns from what they see you do. Just by going about your day, you can instill positive behavior and an atmosphere for learning in your child. Not only will your child watch what you do, but also listen to what you say. While you have your child at home, pour lots of love and positivity into their lives. Saying “I love you” and expressing love will live with them throughout a lifetime. Encouraging your child’s learning and exploration of life will provide positive reinforcement that is greatly needed during the early development years. How can you express love, belief, and encouragement for your child today?
Read with your child
It’s possible to learn through programs on TV, but watching TV is passive learning while reading is active learning. Active learning engages the brain more. In addition to making sure your child is reading (or being read to), help to make sure your child understands. As your child ages, reading comprehension should be key. Teach them to make sure they understand what they’ve just read before moving on to the next paragraph. You can also encourage comprehension by teaching them to take notes or create outlines while reading. Not only does this help reading comprehension in general, but serves as good practice for college!
Go over homework to make sure your child understands it
Go over instructions to ensure they are clear and your child understands what is expected. Once complete, check to make sure it was completed properly or if there is something your child needs more help with. It’s also very helpful if your child knows you are available to assistance while they are completing the task.
Build a relationship with your child’s teacher
Regularly communicating with your child’s teacher in person, by phone, or email lets your the teacher know you not only support your child, but also support the teacher. With open communication on a regular basis, the teacher is more likely to give feedback on how your child is doing in class, provide constructive suggestions, and give insight on your child’s strengths and weaknesses.
Healthy balanced meals and adequate sleep
Being hungry, thirsty, or tired can severely impact your child’s ability to focus and retain information. Planning ahead helps for time-starved parents when it comes to meals, as well as ensuring your child is in bed at a decent time. Child thrive with structure, so setting a routine for playtime, homework, food, and bedtime each day is key in helping your child thrive!
Allow time for physical activity
While many schools focus on more academic learning, physical activity or “recess” may be put on the back burner. This greatly affects children with a lot of energy who can begin to feel “trapped” sitting at a desk simply doing school work. A feeling of being trapped can turn into behavioral disturbances and “acting out”, which no teach or parent wants to see or hear. Time to play during school is key, but after-school playtime, sports, and other physical activities can allow your child to release any pent up energy.
Help develop your child’s social skills
According to a study by Vanderbilt University, there are the top 10 skills we should be teaching children to prepare them for success:
1. Listen to others
2. Follow the steps
3. Follow the rules
4. Ignore distractions
5. Ask for help
6. Take turns when you talk
7. Get along with others
8. Stay calm with others
9. Be responsible for your behavior
10. Do nice things for others
We can teach these social skills at home by being a model for our kids who are watching, whether you realize it or not. When parents exhibit behaviors such as yelling at strangers in the car, arguing with family members, gossiping, or being mean to neighbors, it shows the child what is acceptable and what is not. Modeling positive social behavior will help your child grow into an adult able to thrive in any situation. In addition to modeling, you can help your child by NOT labeling them, particularly if you view them as shy. Instead teach them that everyone gets nervous sometimes, remind them of times where they were comfortable and having fun in a similar situation, and do a little role playing to help them know how to react in different social situations.
Giving your child time to practice their social skills is also beneficial. Practice time may include playdates with friends outside of the family or enrolling them in sports and other team-based activities. According to a study by the University of Illinois, here are some signs to look out for to see if your child needs more assistance from you in developing social skills:
Lacks at least one or two close mutual friends
Has trouble losing or winning gracefully
Doesn't show empathy when others are hurt or rejected
Acts bossy or insists on own way a lot
Can't seem to start or maintain a conversation
Uses a louder voice than most children
Seems constantly ignored or victimized by other children or constantly teases or annoys other children
Teach them to be independent thinkers
Of course, you want to give your child an advantage and be a guiding force in their life. But there can become a point where children become dependent on the guidance of others-peers, parents, teachers, etc. You can teach your child to think for themselves by allowing them the opportunity to figure things out. Yes, that may seem harsh. But allowing your child to think about a problem and determine appropriate solutions on their own before coming to Mommy or Daddy for help can strengthen their brains and critical thinking skills. When your child has made an attempt to come up with a solution, you can provide positive reinforcement for the attempt and help them with a solution (if necessary).
Don’t let summers go to waste
Summer break is an exciting time for many children. For many, it can mean sleeping in late, watching tv, or possibly summer camp. But don’t forget academics! It’s important to not let your child forget everything he/she has learned throughout the school year. That would be such a waste! Even if it’s not sitting down to re-read their history book (boring, right?), challenge your child’s brain by engaging in activities such as learning a new strategy game like chess, learning a new language (Duolingo is a free app!), or learning to follow directions by trying new recipes every week. The opportunities are endless, and many times can be very inexpensive.
Spend time talking with your child about their day and how they feel about it
Open communication allows your child to feel safe in sharing with you no matter what. When a child feels like he/she can share without judgment, this allows you to be informed and proactive instead of reactive. Encourage your child to express any emotions that occurred throughout the day, be it happiness, excitement, anxiety, or disappointment. When you support your child’s expression each day, it will encourage them to deal with daily occurrences in a positive manner. It also helps you notice any changes. Drastic behavior changes can indicate something is disturbing them-bullying, peer pressure, other life occurrences are affecting them
Spending time talking with your child can also help you see what interests them. Once you know your child’s interest, you can begin incorporating that into their day, whether it be getting books or watching documentaries on the subject, visiting museums, or creating something related to the interest. Embracing your child’s passion can help them become more self-motivated learners all around.
Your child’s ability to thrive all begins at home. Modeling positive behaviors and positive reinforcement are all key in ensuring success, not only at school but in life. Try out the tips above and let us know how they work for your child. And if you’re not seeing the results you would like, here’s the most important tip to remember: BE ADAPTIVE. You can read as many tips and tricks on parenting as you’d like. But realize every child is different and what works for one may not be effective for another. Be open to trying new methods, routines, or programs if something is not working for your child. Communicate with your child and the other adults in his/her life for additional insight on what may be more effective.
-Solid Foundation Christian Academy Staff
With the weather becoming consistently pleasant, you’re probably looking for new things to keep your child entertained and get some family bonding time in. Take a look at some of the events coming up in May around the city of Atlanta!
Tech Talent South Atlanta- Free Kids Code, April 24, May 1, May 8
Do you have a child that is interested in computers and learning to code? Kids ages 8-12 join Tech Talent South for an afternoon of code every Monday from 4pm-5:30pm April 10th to May 8th. Each week we cover a different topic so come to every class or stop in when you can. Registration for each week is separate. Each class builds on the week before, and we would love to have your child join us for all 5 sessions.
Kroger Chef Junior, May 6th and May 20th
A Kroger Chef will guide your child as they learn to create a tasty food item on their own. Each workshop lasts for approximately 20 minutes and includes activities such as decorating a cupcake or creating your own fruit pizza. Each child will take home a recipe card that includes step-by-step instructions so that together, you can continue the experience at home with a made-from-scratch recipe! It’s a great way to foster a life-long love of cooking! Kroger Chef Junior workshops are recommended for children ages 4-10 years old, but all are welcome!
Classes are available at multiple Kroger locations across Atlanta-please check the Eventbrite link.
Time: 9:00am – 2:00pm
Free Skateboarding Classes on the Beltline, May 6, 13, 20, 27
Beginner class is from 10-11 a.m., Intermediate classes are held from 11:10 a.m. - 12:10 p.m., and from 12:30-1:30 p.m. (check specific Saturday calendar to confirm)
Family Game Night, May 8th
Join us the 2nd Monday of each month for Family Game Night. The library provides multiple board games that lead to hours of fun! No RSVP needed. Suggested Audiences:Toddler, Preschool, Elementary, Middle School
Alpharetta Branch Library
Sweet Auburn Springfest, May 13th and 14th
The Sweet Auburn Springfest aims to restore Auburn Avenue as the “greatest street on the planet” with family fun, food, art, shopping and music.
The Dunwoody Art Festival, May 13th-May 14th
The Dunwoody Village area transforms into a whimsical artist market with fun for the entire family, and Dunwoody Village Parkway will become a shoppers’ paradise. A fun-filled Kidz Zone will await youngsters with great rides, sand art, imaginative crafts and games.
Second Sunday Funday at the High, May 14th
On the second Sunday of each month we offer free admission for all visitors and special family-friendly programming
Revelations Celebration Second Sunday Workshop, May 14th
Explore the exhibition Painter and Poet: The Wonderful World of Ashley Bryan, which reflects this picture-book artist’s wide variety of influences, including spirituals, jazz, and African folktales. Set to a suite of spirituals and blues music, Alvin Ailey’s Revelations is the world’s most popular work of modern dance. Learn excerpts from this masterpiece in a dance workshop conducted by former Ailey company member Nasha Thomas, with live music by an Ailey percussionist. Join your friends and family—all ages are welcome! Dance for a moment; remember for a lifetime.
Kirkwood Spring Fling & Tour of Homes Festival, May 16th
Enjoy the family-friendly fun of the annual Kirkwood Spring Fling with an artists market, live music, BBQ competition and food from local vendors.
Lego Club, May 16th
LEGO Club meets monthly on the third Tuesday at 4:00. LEGOs are provided. All ages welcome, no RSVP needed. Come build with us! Suggested Audiences: Families: Preschool, Elementary, Middle School
Atlanta Fulton Public Library System - Roswell Branch
Click here for more info
From Here to There at the Children’s Museum of Atlanta
Come explore the science of how things move by land, sea and air. Ride a hovercraft to experience air pressure, turn up the heat to launch a colorful hot air balloon, and float a boat to experiment with air flow. Lift, launch and levitate your way through hands-on exhibits that make learning about gravity, friction, and the laws of motion fun!
COST: $14.95/ person; babies under 1 are free
Free learn to ride a bike class on the Beltline, May 20th
In May, kids classes are from 9-11 a.m. and 12-2 p.m.; adult classes begin at 9 a.m.
REI How to Ride a bike for Kids (ages 4-11) Is your child struggling to learn how to ride their bike? Through step by step, engaging activities REI’s Instructors will help them with their cycling. Our kid-friendly instructors will provide a combination of personalized and group instruction to help overcome fears, teach important skills such as starting and stopping and help them understand how to maneuver their bikes around obstacles. This may be the only lesson they will need! REI’s fun, unique and proven instruction methods have helped hundreds of kids experience the joy of riding a bike. A properly fitted bike is essential for your child’s comfort and safety. They should be able to sit fully on the seat with their feet flat on the ground. If you are able, please remove training wheels prior to the class.
Skills you’ll learn:Children will learn balance, braking, steering, stopping and starting in a fun interactive class.
Coding for Kids, May 20th
Children will learn a fun way to code by coding the letters in their names. Suggested Audiences:Middle School, Elementary
Northwest Branch at Scotts Crossing
Time: 12:30 PM-1:30 PM
Speech Factory Toastmasters for Teens, May 21st
On most third Sundays of the month this program will teach teens the basics of public speaking and help them become comfortable doing it. An advanced member of Toastmaster will discuss topics including creating goals, developing a personal mission and thinking on ones feet when in a public speaking situation. Teens will practice public speaking as part of the program. In the Community Room. Ages 12-18.
To register, email the teens name, age and phone number to:Laura.email@example.com
Northeast/Spruill Oaks Branch Library
Time: 2:30 PM-4:00 PM
The Best Kid Books' 2nd Annual Children's Entrepreneur Fair, May 27th
The Best Kid Books' 2nd Annual Children's Entrepreneur Fair is a youth empowerment event where selected kid entrepreneurs in the Atlanta area between the ages of 5 -10 are honored for their entrepreneurial nature! That's right, honored! President & CEO of The Best Kid Books is 7-Year-Old Kendyl Q. He too is a student in the Atlanta,GA metro area so he understands the challenges that are faced not only as a kid in a single parent home, also as an entrepreneur. He is honored to share the successes that come from being disciplined and focused with his peers, as he views this event as a platform to support and encourage youth to follow their dreams via his message, "Don't Give Up and Believe". This event is sure to encourage youth to continue the strides in business ownership and follow their dreams, whatever they may be.
Time: 2:00 – 4:00pm
Decatur Arts Festival, May 26 - 28
The Decatur Arts Festival features something for everyone and includes an artists' market, kids arts festival, performers and literary exhibits.
We’ll see you around the city!
-Solid Foundation Christian Academy Staff