Category Archives: Blog


Teaching your child how to nurture and maintain friendships


For some children and adults, making friends comes naturally. This isn’t always the case for our children. Fortunately, making friends can be modeled. Has your child ever come home from school and said, “I don’t have any friends to play with,” or “I don’t want to play with so-and-so because…” Even if this hasn’t happened […]

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Thanks Mrs. Thacker


We have a new visual addition to the front of our school, Brookridge Day School, which was donated by Mrs. Thacker.  Again, thanks Mrs. Thacker!

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9 ways to keep your child engaged during summer vacation


Soccer, baseball, and swimming are some fun summertime activities.  With summer vacation comes a two or three month break from school.  Kids need a break from the daily rigors of school, but it’s important that they don’t take a break from learning altogether.  Children will not be ready for school in the fall if they […]

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8 simple things you can to do combat the “summer slide”


“Summer slide” is when students lose some of the achievements that they have gained over the previous school year.  This happens when children do not engage in educational activities during the summer months.  Children often fall behind as much as two months!  While the “summer slide” is most prevalent among low-income families, it can occur […]

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Celebrating the library with books


We believe in the power of reading here at Brookridge Day School!  Encouraging students to love listening to stories, putting books in their hands, and delighting them with much loved classics are just a few ways we help them along and nurture a love of reading.  There are so many life lessons woven in beautifully […]

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Preparing for the annual Spring Music Performance


Thirteen years ago, I gave up my Happy Room teaching position to become the music teacher at Brookridge Day School. It was my heartfelt duty to carry on the traditions of the music and Spring Program that had been in place for over 30 years. If it weren’t for the leadership and coaching from Mrs. […]

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The Family Wall -not just first for the first weeks of school


In Room C we have a wall of family pictures. It is a place where the kids can come look at a picture of their parent or their sibling if they are sad and missing them. It came in handy in the first few weeks of school when some of our friends were still getting […]

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Fine and Gross Motor Skills Exercises for Preschoolers


In Room C we are constantly looking for ways to incorporate motor skills development with our 2 ½ and 3-year-old kiddos. They really enjoy playing with small finger puppets, and while it helps kids work on fine and gross motor skills, and it also provides them with much needed sensory engagement. Room C has a […]

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The 50 Best Private Elementary Schools in U.S.


We’re bursting with pride! Brookridge Day School has been named to The Best Schools (TBS) listing of The 50 Best Private Elementary Schools in the U.S. Brookridge Day School has operated as an accredited private school in Overland Park, Kansas since 1968. Our school is consistently ranked in the top 5% of all Kansas schools for […]

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Keeping your child on track during the holiday season


Isn’t this the time of year for children of all ages?  I don’t know who gets more excited – the child awaiting a special red-dressed fellow OR the parent who can’t wait to see the delight in their children’s eyes?  Whoever it is, this is the time of year when everyone gets busy scurrying here […]

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Teaching your preschooler to be thankful – all year long


During November, many of us will gather with family and we’ll feel thankful for our turkey dinners and our many blessings. Teachers will talk about the Pilgrims and the Native Americans and how they thanked each other for their kindness. It’s also a good time to think about how we teach our children to feel […]

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Easy steps to teach children to be thankful all year long!


Being thankful shouldn’t be reserved for one festive day in the month of November. There are simple things we can do, alone and as a family, to reinforce the importance of being thankful all year long. Get outside and enjoy nature.  Take time to spend time doing things with your child outside.  As you are […]

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Library Time at Brookridge Day School


The Room C kiddos love to have their library time! They walk down the hallway to the library and hear a story that is read by Mrs. Chesher. Library time is an important part of Room C’s week, because the children get another chance to practice walking down the hallway of the school.  Additionally, being […]

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Helping your young reader master sight words


“They,” “said,” and “to” are just a few of the many words that can be tricky for young readers.  Learning to recognize sight words is an essential part of learning to read and the skill helps children become more fluent readers.  Looking at a list and memorizing works for some students; however, many students need […]

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Music in the early childhood years: a time of growth and development!


Early-childhood, birth through age 6, is the most important stage of life for a child’s own musical development and growth. Music is important in the Early Childhood years, because music is part of who we are academically, physically, ad a part of our culture and socialization. In Room C our 2 ½ -3 year olds […]

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Getting your Children to Listen and Follow Directions


Have you ever wondered how you can get your children to listen better at home? Have you ever wondered how you can get your children to follow directions the FIRST time they are given? There are many ways that you can make this happen in your home!  Stop Nagging This can be a tough one. […]

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First Grade September S.T.E.M. activities during Apple Week, Sept. 21-25, 2015


First grade had the opportunity to participate in two S.T.E.M. activities this month!  S.T.E.M. stands for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.  It focuses on creative problem-solving while planning, building, and revising projects. Our first project was apple structures.  We used chunks of apples and toothpicks to build all kinds of interesting things!  Some of the […]

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First Grade Owl Pellet Dissection


Our first grade had a great time dissecting owl pellets on Monday, August 31st!  “I liked pulling it apart!” stated one of the boys.  After studying owls and their habits, we had a chance to see first-hand just what kinds of things owls ate by taking apart the pellets that they regurgitated.  At first, many […]

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Exploring preschool through sensory activities


In Room C our 2 1/2 & 3 year olds love sensory activities! As teachers, Jordan Uselton and I try to make sure a sensory activity is part of our daily routine with the children. Sensory activities like rolling play-doh, finger painting, or tearing paper is very crucial to their developmental needs, especially during the […]

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Exploring the five senses in kindergarten


From the day children are born, they begin exploring their world through their senses. In kindergarten, we continue to foster exploration of our world through our senses in science (and all hours of the day).  Recently, our Brookridge Day School kindergartners studied the five senses: taste, hearing, sight, smell, and touch, through hands-on activities and […]

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Benefits of music instruction for elementary school students


“Music provides unique and invaluable insights into human condition. Music allows us to know, discover, understand, experience, share or express such aspects of the human condition as feelings, aesthetic experiences, thoughts, structure, time and space, self-knowledge, self-identity, group identity and healing and wholeness. If the purpose of an education is to systematically develop the mind […]

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Stone Soup


Building a community is an essential part of our curriculum at Brookridge Day School.  This is an essential part of our preschool years as we begin to become more aware of people around us and not focus all about “me.” By using the word community, we are able to get each child to understand how […]

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Promoting a love for reading: for preschoolers & beyond


When does a love for reading begin? The sooner the better would be the consensus among all experts and educators in the field. Listed below are several ways to promote a love for reading in a classroom setting as well as at home. Read books: children have to see their parents or teachers read to them with […]

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STEM: Science Thursdays make for hands-on learning!


What if? How come? Why does it do that? These are all things we discuss on Science Thursdays in our Pre-K room. Brookridge Day School has adopted the STEM program in our Pre-K classrooms. STEM stands for teaching Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics through a hands–on approach. Children observe, question, collect evidence, analyze and communicate […]

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Prekindergarten Science Exploration


In our Pre-Kindergarten Happy Room, we engage our learners in weekly science experiments. We believe in a ‘hands-on, minds on’ approach. For this week’s science exploration, we observed worms. We used a variety of instruments: magnifying glasses, spray bottles, and a microscope. We used the spray bottles to dampen the dirt and observe changes in […]

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Ten ways families can foster creativity in the home


Creativity is often thought of as being exclusively useful to the arts. This is a fallacy, as creativity has given us innovations in science, mathematics, technology, engineering, and perhaps most important, cuisine! Creative thinkers are problem solvers, inventors and scientists as well as artists. It is important that a child’s educational environment support and encourage […]

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5 tips to make going back to school easier on everyone


August is upon us and the school supplies have been purchased and first-day outfits are being chosen! For many parents, there is hidden joy with the children going back to school. For others, there comes a sadness that the relaxation and the freedom summer brings is over. For my family it is always a mixture […]

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Think Win-Win: Everyone Can Win (4th installment in the “Leader in Me” series)


Would you believe me if I said everyone can win? You should, because in a classroom setting this is the only way to build community. This doesn’t mean that every child needs fairness; it means every child needs to feel as if they can contribute to the classroom mission. So how do you begin teaching […]

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“Put First Things First” – Work, then Play!


Ask any kindergartner their favorite subject in school and you would inevitably hear the word “recess.” Not a subject, you say? Well, when you think about it, recess is a vital part of any young child’s day. Recess is a time for talking, letting loose, and playing with friends with limited restrictions.  Going out to […]

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Begin with the End in Mind-Have a Plan


(The following is another installment in a series authored by Brookridge Day School teacher Erin Argie.  She discusses good habits as found in The Leader in Me program.) Think about the last goal you accomplished. Now think about how you achieved it. Did you plan ahead and write the goal down? Did the task you […]

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The role of technology in the classroom – from a teacher’s perspective


When I was younger, an hour of screen time meant we all huddled around the one television located in our living room to watch a show that our parents wanted to watch. Nowadays, the “one” television is usually located in every room either by way of a flat screen or other portable device. As a […]

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Talk and listen to your children


Plates, napkins, salt and pepper.  These ingredients are key to getting a behind-the-scenes look at your child’s day.  What?!  You’re likely asking yourself what these things have to do with your child’s day! Dinner time is a small piece of time, carved out of our busy days, when we get to sit together as a […]

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Making the Most of Homework Time


Homework can be a time of the day that is stressful on families, or it can be a time of the day that is used for responsibility and independence building skills! I have “been around the homework block” with my own children and also with my students here at Brookridge Day School. Setting up some […]

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Kindergartners Thrive on Routine


In preschool, children are introduced to the routines of an academic environment with additional time for free play. As children mature and enter kindergarten, they develop an even stronger need for routine. Ask any kindergarten teacher what happens to their class when there is a change in the schedule, and they will surely tell you […]

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Is Your Child Getting Enough Sleep?


All too often I see children coming to school who yawn, put their head on their desks, lay down on the floor, etc.  As a parent, I know that schedules and routines are important to our children.  I also know that at times, we must deviate from our regular routines for special events.  The problem […]

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Helping your child learn to write creatively


Kindergarten writing is a balancing act. Not only does it take time, strength, and encouragement…it also takes patience. Many of these young five and six year olds come in knowing how to write a limited number of capital letters and their first name. The simple act of picking up a pencil is a challenge for […]

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Keeping your child on track during the holiday season


Isn’t this the time of year for children of all ages?  I don’t know who gets more excited – the child awaiting a special red-dressed fellow OR the parent who can’t wait to see the delight in their children’s eyes?  Whoever it is, this is the time of year when everyone gets busy scurrying here […]

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Structure and Routine make life easier for parent and child


Routines are crucial for happiness in the household. Routines create a sense of security for children. Children will handle change best when it is expected. If possible, talk to your child in advance and explain what is happening. Structure and routines help children take on new challenges. If you are having a lot of challenges […]

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Teaching your preschooler to be thankful – all year long


During November, many of us will gather with family and we’ll feel thankful for our turkey dinners and our many blessings. Teachers will talk about the Pilgrims and the Native Americans and how they thanked each other for their kindness. It’s also a good time to think about how we teach our children to feel […]

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Getting your picky eater to eat


How do I get my picky eater to eat? How do I stop the battles at the dinner table? These are questions that I am often asked by friends, parents, and co-workers. I turn to Love and Logic for the answers to these questions. In the Love and Logic newsletter, The Insiders Club, Dr. Charles […]

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Following directions to create successful students and confident kids


Parents and teachers are always seeking ways to create successful students and confident kids. Dr. Lynn F. Hellerstein’s book, See It. Say It. Do It!, is the perfect action guide to helping parents and teachers do just that. One of my favorite activities from this book (and there are dozens of great ones) is an […]

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School Success Requires Teamwork, Beginning with Preschool


When families and schools work together, it’s a winning combination. There are simple things you can do to support the school and help your child succeed academically. You can: Encourage your child to do her best in school.  Show her that education is the number one priority in your family. Support school rules.  From walking […]

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The importance of Early Learning in Preschool


The early learning years in your child’s life are very important and much can be done to set them up for future success. Their young minds are so eager to learn, ask questions, explore and play. Being in a group setting teaches these young minds to problem solve, learn social skills, take turns with others […]

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A cure for “the interrupting child”


Does your child(ren) have a problem with interrupting? The habit of interrupting is frustrating, but the good news is that it’s curable! Children of all ages can be taught how to wait their turn to talk. My Mouth is a Volcano; by Julia Cook, is an entertaining look at a boy’s problem with interrupting. His […]

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Be Proactive: You’re in Charge


The journey of Leader in Me begins as soon as my kindergartners enter the room on the first day of the school year at Brookridge Day School. The steps involved in this program are not meant to be mastered in a short period of time. In fact, we will be working on Habit 1 Be […]

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Teaching children the difference between fantasy and reality


As an adult in a child’s life, we are confronted with teaching our little ones the difference between fantasy and reality. It’s no small task. Young children have vivid imaginations to say the least. Monsters under beds or in closets, toys that come alive at night, these are the imaginary things that can feel very […]

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Helping children cope with life’s challenges


How do we help our children cope with life’s challenges of unkindness? What can we say to encourage them to be courageous in the face of challenges? If you are looking for ways to help your child cope with day to day challenges, I highly suggest Maria Dismondy’s book, Spaghetti in a Hot Dog Bun. […]

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Teaching your preschooler values that last a lifetime


The values you teach your preschooler will follow her throughout life. It is important that your little one sees agreement in both parents. The values you teach now will be central to teaching manners and etiquette later. A child may be dressed to the nines, but if her behavior does not match her outward appearance, […]

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How to put a stop to tattling–for children of all ages!


Are your children constantly tattling? Have you had enough? Children as young as prekindergarten age can be taught the rules of tattling. Once they understand the difference between tattling and reporting, they will be less likely to tattle and more likely to solve their tattling problems without the help of an adult. I recently taught […]

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Back to School: Getting your routine back


Yes, it is that time of year! Back to School! If you are anything like me you know that going back to school means lots of changes in the house. Changes with routines and changes with schedules. By the end of July, I frantically go into “back to school” mode. I tend to think about […]

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