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106 E. Church St.
Orlando, FL 32801


Weekday School is a Christian preschool serving children ages 2 1/2 to 5 years.  Our school is known for its committed teaching staff, play-based learning environment, and personalized focus on each child. Small class sizes and a strong network of parent volunteers ensure that the Weekday School is an ideal place for young children to grow and learn.




faith and family |august 2018

Vicki Rutledge

New School Year, New Me

“For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out.” Romans 7:18 ESV

I don’t know about you but Back to School Season evokes a fresh sense of renewal. Even before I became a mother, I felt possibility and a clean slate in the anticipation of a fresh box of pencils or an unmarked notepad. It’s the start of something new! I still find myself resolving to be more organized, exercise more, and devote more effort to my relationship with Christ. You know- to do something more or something less. It’s the same routine we can fall into because we desire to change for something better. 

Anyone of us can begin again right where we are. We do not need new calendar year or a new season to make things better in this life. As a believer in Christ, it’s not about a massive overhaul only to fall short. We can challenge ourselves to ask the Lord to help us every day, to discipline us, and to equip us. In this way, we ask Him to change our focus to things of eternal perspective. To wait in joyful anticipation for His return. 


On what basis am I going to live in this new year? Will it be do it yourself? It all depends on me? Or will I accept what God offers me every day, fresh from Him? When I realize the depths of my sin and my need for Him the answer is clear as a bell. I will ask for deeper love for my enemies and my neighbors, less comparison, humble hospitality, and fearless sharing about Christ’s love. He can and will be there for us weary parents. We can believe that because He says so. So as we begin this and all New Years let’s focus on fresh beginnings each day. New commitment to asking for help and seeing the joy in desiring better.

Lord, thank you for this new year that lies before me.   I choose to depend on you, and accept from your hand all that you would give me. In your sons name, Amen

Roberta Smith, Faith and Family Coordinator

keep it short | august 2018

Vicki Rutledge

Short Phrases Parents Can Use
 What are they and why do they work?

Parenting preschoolers can be pure joy and extremely hard. Their behavior can be mystifying, even bizarre at times. Their emotions are over the map. They appear allergic to reason and logic. What’s a parent to do?

First of all, it’s wise to accept that there is no one solution. If your child had come with a list of instructions, an item at the top of the list would be: “Develop an assortment of parenting strategies and be prepared to add/subtract strategies as your child changes and grows.” The next bullet point would read: “BTW, each child you have will require a different set of tools. No two children are alike so YOU must adjust strategies for each child. Have fun!”


Given this reality, we are going to use this space to focus on a magical parenting strategy: using short phrases.

What are short phrases?

Short phrases are simple verbal statements that clearly and effectively help your preschooler understand your expectations and what to do next. Early childhood expert, Amanda Morgan say short phrases are, “Words that have already been carefully selected before we (parents) have lost our minds.”

Why short phrases?

Short phrases are based on the science of brain development in preschoolers and an understanding of how they process information.  Here are some highlights:

  • Your child’s prefrontal cortex (the “thinking” brain that regulates behavior and impulsivity) is under construction and doesn’t fully mature until their mid-twenties. It is the most immature part of your child’s brain. A preschoolers ability to control impulsivity and process logic is present but limited. This is helpful to remember when you struggle with your child’s behavior and listening.
  • Your child’s limbic system (the “emotional” brain that process memory, stress responses, nurturing, caring, separation anxiety, fear, rage, social bonding and hormone control) is “the front seat driver of the brain, and doesn’t care what anyone in the back seat has to say about it,” notes Rachel Norman and Lauren Tramm. This is the difference between adults (operate from the prefrontal cortex or thinking brain) and young children (operate from the limbic system or feeling/emotion brain). You are looking at situations from a logical place. Your child is viewing situations from an emotional perspective. 
  • Your child’s synapses (the web of communications between neurons in the brain that lay the foundation for things that become habitual or “automatic”) are in a period of rapid growth. Repeated use strengthens a synapse which means that a consistent approach to behavioral expectations is KEY. Consistent, calm repetition of a short phrase is a ninja parenting skill.
  • Short phrases are easier for children to process than logical rationale or a paragraph of explanation. Getting lost in verbal back/forth can trap you in an unhelpful power struggle. Short phrases help you get to the heart of the matter and focus in on what you expect. Secretly, your child is craving the security of knowing that your expectations are and what needs to happen next.

Ready to try a short phrase?

“It’s time to…”

Sometimes we make our directions sound like options. “Would you like to take a bath?” “Ready for dinner?” “Pick up your shoes, OK?” If you are not giving your child a choice, then do not make your directions end with a question mark. Make your directions…well, direct. You can do this in a soft and kind way. Instead of the ambivalent examples above, try: “It’s time to take a bath.” “It’s time for dinner.” “It’s time to pick up your shoes.” Preschoolers often struggle with the transition from doing something enjoyable to something they might not enjoy as much. Give a five-minute warning to give them time to get ready for what is coming next. “In five minutes, it will be time to leave the playground.” Then set the timer on your phone and keep your deadline.

“The way we talk to our children becomes their inner voice.”
Peggy O’Mara

from the director | august 2018

Vicki Rutledge

Hello, Weekday School Parents! 

Welcome to the first newsletter of the 2018-19 school year. We use several layers of communication to keep you in the loop (Sunday email reminders, flyers in school bags, text/emails from Kaymbu, etc.) as a WDS parent. The explicit purpose of this monthly digital newsletter is to encourage you as parents. I hope you will find it to be a helpful guide as we move throughout the year.

Let me begin by saying a little about myself by way of introduction or re-introduction as the case may be. This is my sixth year as the WDS Director. For two years before that I was a 3 Day Lead Teacher. Honestly, I’d jump back into the classroom in a heartbeat. I love, love, love preschoolers. My husband Bobby and I have two children who attended Weekday School. Our son, Hunter (19), is currently living and working in NYC. Our daughter, Sarah Beth (17), is a senior at Winter Park High School. We are 89% empty nesters at this point - it is weird and disorienting on so many levels. 

Here’s what I really want you to know about me: I get how challenging parenting (and marriage) can be. I am absolutely not a perfect mom (or wife) or preschool director. But I am committed to showing up and starting fresh each and every day and cheering YOU on too. I remember what was going on in my heart when my children were at Weekday School - the fears, anxieties, stress, joys, sorrows - and how the staff and teachers nurtured and supported ME and my children. That is my prayer for you this year. That you would feel our support. That Weekday School would be a place where you and your child can be real and imperfect and loved well. 


“Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God.” I John 4:7

At Weekday School, we are aware of God’s great love for us.  And we know that it is only with God’s help that we can truly love other people well. We also believe that children learn and grow best in an environment fueled by the perfect love of God. 

“There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, 
because fear has to do with punishment.” I John 4:18

Growing in God’s love is not just a tagline. It’s something we practice together. On tangible way we open ourselves to God’s love and direction is through corporate prayer. I’d like to invite you to join us for our Prayer Walk on Wednesday, August 15 from 10:00-10:30 am under the Angel Wing. This is an annual tradition where staff, parents, and children gather for a brief devotion and prayer followed by a self-guided walk through the halls of Weekday School to pray over classrooms and the people who will occupy them. 


Switching gears a bit, let’s talk technology! This year we are adding a new management software for data and finances called Prime Child Care. You will receive email invoices and pay your tuition bills through this platform. Just last week we made the executive decision to KEEP Brightwheel (a check-in app we added last year) in place. So even though you set a PIN through Prime Child Care, we will not be using it for check-in because it’s not nearly as robust as Brightwheel. Transparent, user friendly, safe check-in/out is a huge value for us! If you are new this year, don’t worry, we’ll help you out each step of the way. You’ll receive an invitation to Brightwheel later this week that you need to accept. We also recommend downloading their app.

Can’t wait to see you soon!

Beth for web.jpg
Summer's heart picture.jpg

what great moms do | may 2018

Vicki Rutledge


A national survey by ZERO TO THREE found that 90 percent of moms have felt judged and criticized for their parenting choices, and 46 percent of moms say they feel judged all the time or nearly all the time. Wow!

The problem with this statistic is that judging and criticizing moms only causes more stress. We believe moms (and dads) need compassion and support, not criticism. Great moms can cultivate this within themselves and extend it to other parents. Here’s one example: What To Do When Your Child Loses It Outside The Home.

Great moms practice empathy.

When we practice empathy with our kids, we show respect for their feelings and their reality. It shows that we are really listening and that we understand (or at least are trying to understand) their point of view. Empathy has the power to sidestep or diffuse power struggles. It creates a safe place, emotionally, for our kids (and adults!) to experience hard feelings like disappointment or frustration. NOTE: practicing empathy does not oblige you to change or fix the situation or to back down on your expectations. Understanding feelings first is a powerful starting place as you lead your children to desired behavior.
Learn more here: How To Be An Empathetic Parent Even When It Feels Hard

Great moms practice self-compassion.

Self compassion means treating yourself as you would treat a good friend. Rather than berating, criticizing and judging yourself for your humanness, you turn your empathy back on yourself. Studies have shown that self-compassion is a powerful tool to boost your emotional resilience as well as your health and well-being (The Motivation Power of Self-Compassion). Being a mom is hard. Self-compassion paves the way to learning from our mistakes and energizes our desire to grow in our parenting skills.

“God is kind, but he’s not soft. 
In kindness he takes us firmly by the hand and leads us into a radical life-change.”
 Romans 4:2 (The Message)