Ten Ways You Can Help Your Child Succeed At The Oaks
Discipline your children according to God's Word
The Oaks strives to create an orderly and warm environment because the children are trained to display kindness to others and self-control in their conduct. While many parents are attracted to this type of an environment, there is a temptation for some families to seek out a school which will provide the type of discipline and training that they are unable or unwilling to provide themselves. This will inevitably lead to difficulties in the school-family relationship because the child is not trained consistently.
God's Word, the Bible, provides all the encouragement, wisdom and practical understanding we need as parents to adequately train our children for life. If you feel that this is an area in which you may need to improve (and who doesn't), we encourage you to seek wisdom from the Scriptures and to read an excellent book about biblically training children called "Shepherding a Child's Heart", by Tedd Tripp.
For parents of older children, an excellent book about shepherding young adults into adulthood is "Age of Opportunity", also by Paul Tripp.
Read to your children
This can hardly be emphasized enough. This one task can help your child improve his self-control, imagination, creativity, vocabulary, writing skills, and auditory processing. Fostering a love of books will lead your child to becoming a lifelong reader, thus a lifelong learner. By ages three and four, most children are capable of learning to sit through short novels such as The Chronicles of Narnia, The Little House on the Prairie, The Adventures of Homer Price, etc. If you would like to learn more about what to read to your child, Honey for a Child's Heart is an excellent resource.
Communicate with the school
Communication is the weakest link in any organization whether it's a family, church, or school. Communicating our appreciation, concern, fear, and disappointment should be a natural and regularly occurring event in the classroom, hallway, or on the phone. Doing this within the parameters of Scripture will enable us to bring glory to God and build up others instead of tearing them down. An excellent book on communicating with others is The Peacemaker by Ken Sande.
Establish priorities for home life
The first school your child will experience is your home. Here, your child will learn how to play, work, worship, relax, eat, and interact with others. While these activities do not involve grades and exams, they are measured in the daily application of faith to life. It is crucial to the Christian life to understand how to perform these activities in a way that celebrates and brings glory to the Lord. "Whatever you do, whether you eat or drink, do it all to the glory of God" (I Cor. 10:31).
Childhood flies by in an instant. There are so many choices and activities available in our culture that there is a great temptation to fill the day running from one thing to the next. The children who are the most successful at The Oaks, or anywhere else, come from homes that have made family time a priority by limiting extracurricular activities.
Godly home life is not something that can be appreciated in rare tropical storms of spiritual teaching. If we are to be effective, it will be accomplished by keeping the relative spiritual humidity very high.
Establish consistent sleep habits
Sports and activity schedules, along with the additional responsibilities of homework can lead to children staying up far later than their bodies are intended to, resulting in a lack of sleep. Sleep is very important to the healthy development of children. Parents who want their children to be successful would be wise to carefully select extracurricular activities and make sure that sleep is a priority.
Above all, relax and enjoy your child, let him become what God has made him to be, and enjoy the incredible adventure you are beginning!
(adapted from an article by Leslie Collins, Rockbridge Academy)