Stuart Hall School Blog

Kids should play outside

Monday, May 8, 2017
A few weeks ago, we discussed the decline in recess and outdoor play with our blog post on Outdoor Education , so we felt we had to mention this recent article from Huffington Post, Kids Should Play Outside 3 (!) Hours Every Day . In her interview, Balanced and Barefoot author, Angela Hanscom, discusses more of the benefits of daily outdoor play.

  • Improved fine motor skills and coordination. When allowed to free play outdoors, young children improve their balance and motor skills. Walking across a fallen branch or swinging on a playset? These activities help practice balance. Picking flowers or gathering leaves? Children have to grasp items between their fingers. These experiences help gain skills and confidence needed as children enter preschool.
  • Improved creative thinking. The outside world is an open book. A broken branch can become a fairy wand. A garden path can become a river. Multiple studies have shown the importance of pretend play in a child’s development, and nowhere offers more opportunities for this than outside. Hanscom goes beyond the elementary years to mention how the creativity of outside play improves a student’s ability to answer a free write essay question in middle and high school.
  • Improved emotional stability. The outside world can be scary. There are bugs and animals, sharp rocks and stones, even a busy neighborhood street. However, as Hanscom mentions, all these fears create learning opportunities. Parents can teach their child how to listen for cars and safely cross streets, or how to identify plants such as poison ivy or oak. Learning to look for solutions helps children later in life when they face a scary situation such as speaking in public or interviewing for college.

As you can see, there are lots of reasons to encourage outdoor play in children, and at Stuart Hall School, we try to do our part by providing daily outdoor recess and PE whenever the weather allows.

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Preparing for the SAT and ACT

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

This summer, thousands of students across the nation will take the SAT. According to the College Board, more than “6.7 million test-takers completed the SAT® or a PSAT-related assessment during the 2015-16 school year.” To find out what students need to know before heading to the testing site, we spoke with Meghan Munsey, Director of College Counseling for Stuart Hall School.

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What Is Outdoor Education?

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

All of us have participated in some form of outdoor education during our school careers. Some of our fondest school memories might even include these experiences even if we didn’t call them by that title. Remember your favorite field trips? Trips to the zoo, a museum, or an aquarium all count as outdoor education. How about PE class? Whenever students can move out of the classroom and into a more natural space, outdoor education can occur.

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talking to your child about loss

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

As parents, we try to protect our children from the harmful or scary things in life. We fight monsters under the bed and cover eyes during scary movie scenes, but there comes a time when we cannot protect our children from the pain of loss. Many things can create the feelings of loss and grief in a child - the death of a pet, a divorce, the loss of a family member - and parents might wonder how they can support their children through this tough time. We sat down with Reverend Becky McDaniel, Stuart Hall School chaplain, to discuss a few important things to remember when talking about loss with your child.  

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Taking An Active Role In Your Child’s Education

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

According to the Center for Public Education, scholars at the Southwest Educational Development Laboratory “found that students with involved parents, no matter their income or background, are more likely to:

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why should we take a theatre class?

Monday, March 6, 2017

Why should anyone, who isn’t planning to go into the theatre arts professionally, take an acting class or an introduction to theatre class? The answer is simple: You learn real-world skills that are applicable to many disciplines. You can find many lists on the Internet from personal blogs to magazines like Backstage with their own beliefs of what these life skills are.  In honor of Theatre in Our Schools Month, we provide our own list created by Jeremey West, Stuart Hall School Theatre Director.

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Why Music Education is valuable for every student

Monday, February 27, 2017

“Learning music is the same as learning to read. Students decode symbols, give them sounds and beats, and then combine these symbols to communicate. No one says you shouldn’t teach a kid to read. So why deprive a student the chance to strengthen and build those skills through music?”  -- Mr. Echols, Stuart Hall School Music Director

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Preparing Your Child to Begin School

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Schools across the country are announcing the start of Kindergarten registration. Whether the thought of sending your child to school for the first time instills fear or relief, it can be a stressful time for both of you. But there are things you can do now to help make the transition as smooth as possible.

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How to Make Homework Less Stressful for Everyone

Monday, February 6, 2017

Homework. The dreaded eight-letter word that creates such divide between parents and students everywhere. Whether your student needs a gentle push to complete his work, or he completes everything on his own, there are still steps you can take to make hometime a little less stressful for your student and for you.

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is there value to teaching cursive handwriting?

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

In today’s world, emails replace letters; credit cards replace checks; and electronic check marks replace official signatures. This shift towards technology has left many wondering if handwriting, and in particular cursive handwriting, still has a place in the classroom. Could the time spent mastering loops and humps be better spent studying fractions or verbs? Many school districts seem to feel so, and cursive handwriting has been disappearing from curriculum guides across the country. But maybe cursive still has a place in the classroom after all. Here are a few benefits of teaching cursive handwriting in the classroom.

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