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106 E. Church St.
Orlando, FL 32801

407-996-5864

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.

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faith and family | december 2018

Vicki Rutledge

Merry & Content

“It is also the gift of God whenever anyone eats, drinks, and enjoys all his efforts”. Ecclesiastes 3:13 (HCSB)

I started to write today about “The Reason for the Season” or “Slow Down/Simplify” and trust me I found lots of inspiration from my own experience with excess. It’s easy to feel bad about going overboard! Over the top with shopping, decorations or the steady stream of activity, the photo shoot, daily Christmas themed baking or crafting. It can easily turn not fun and snappy. Yes, I know, happiness and contentment do not come from stuff; they come from a relationship with God. That being said, December brings joyful traditions, gifts exchange, and glittering celebrations. We should remember that the instructions of the Bible include feasts and happy hospitality! Somewhere in the middle we have deeply spiritual recognition of the birth of our Savior and our choices to celebrate by baking.

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In Philippians 4:11-13, Paul writes “I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.” So what was the secret to Paul's joy? What was the secret of his contentment? Paul found the secret of contentment is not in what you have; it is in whom you know. And the "whom" to which I am referring is Jesus. Hebrews 13:5 says, "Don't love money; be satisfied with what you have. For God has said, 'I will never fail you. I will never abandon you'" (NLT). It is because God is with us always that we can say, "I have found contentment." No matter what happens, no one can take that from you. But you will be able to keep your balance in all of that, because you recognize that God is the provider.

So I will joyfully relish the bustle and hustle. The characters in the Bible often made plans to celebrate. They passed out assignments, organized the people, and oversaw every aspect of the celebration. Romans says, “For from him and through him and for him are all things.” Celebration reminds us that every success happens by the grace of God.

Gratitude to God for all that He has done removes pride and opens the door to future blessings. Without thanksgiving, we would forget what is truly important. Contentment is a state of heart. Contentment is found in making the most of the least. That is what the apostle Paul was saying. So you can have joy and contentment in the midst of a busy Christmas season, “also that everyone should eat and drink and take pleasure in all his toil--this is God's gift to man.” Ecc 3:13 esv

Father, the holiday season can be quite a trial and even a deep sadness to many people. We thank You for the wonderful hope that the Christmas message instills into each of our hearts, and the glorious message of the gospel of peace. Amen.

Roberta Smith, Faith and Family Coordinator

links we love

Vicki Rutledge

"Every good and perfect gift is from above."  James 1:17

Opening gifts on Christmas morning is a big deal for children.  Opening gifts in front of others is also an opportunity to practice good manners and show gratitude to the gift givers.  For young children, it is important to teach them what they need to do when they open presents BEFORE the excitement of the moment takes over.  Check out these links for some our suggestions on what to teach your child and how to teach it.

Gift Opening Etiquette

Teaching Kids Gratitude When Opening Gifts


keep it short | december 2018

Vicki Rutledge

Short Phrases Parents Can Use

To Set a Boundary

We want to have a fun, loving relationship with our children, but as parents, we also need to discipline. How can we do both well? A helpful place to start is reframing our understanding of discipline. Discipline is not about punishment. Discipline is an act of love.

“The LORD corrects everyone he loves, just as parents correct a child they dearly love.”

Proverbs 3:12 (Contemporary English Version)

Good discipline is about teaching our children how to live well. It’s about setting healthy and clear boundaries; defining what is okay and not okay at home and out in the world. When we adopt a teaching mindset about discipline, it’s easier to see how the hard and often unpleasant work of discipline is an expression of our love.

“We love our kids through discipline, not to make them happy in the moment, but to ensure years of happiness later in life.” Meg Meeker, M.D.

When it comes to discipline, there are two tendencies parents gravitate toward:

  1. Authoritarian parenting - My way or the highway

  2. Permissive parenting- Anything goes

These tendencies are the parenting presets we inherit based on how our parents raised us. A wise parent acknowledges these “factory settings” and actively works to move toward the sweet spot between the extremes:

3. Authoritative parenting.

An authoritative parent is in charge, but not controlling; gentle, but firm; kind, but clear. Using short phrases to discipline helps a permissive-leaning parent practice firmness and a authoritarian-leaning parent practice gentleness. Here is one example:

“I won’t let you….”

It is normal for young children to hit, grab, bite, kick or shout to get something they want or avoid something they don’t want. It developmentally normal but it is not acceptable behavior. It’s an opportunity to discipline or teach your child the acceptable ways to express their wants and desires.

When preschoolers display aggressive behavior, it’s easy for a “my way or the highway” parents to power-up, react swiftly and sometimes harshly. Permissive parents may react with surprise and shock and then proceed to give their mini-lecture about acceptable and unacceptable behavior and how hitting hurts.

The sweet spot of authoritarian discipline begins with the adult staying calm in the face of chaotic behavior. When aggressive behavior like hitting happens in your home, do everything in your power to not react emotionally. This can be hard, but it is essential. Remind yourself that preschoolers have a developmental need to assert their individuality (which means testing and disagreeing with us often), while also feeling safely reined in by our clear boundaries.

Respond confidently and calmly say “I won’t let you hit.” Hold your child’s wrist or hand if you need to. You may also want to put away any toys and objects your child is using unsafely (i.e. throwing). You may add “It hurts me” or “It hurts your brother.” Then zip it! Those are all the words that need to be said.

When your child tests the boundary by attempting to hit again, you should block the hitting and say, “Whoa, I’m going to stop you. Yeah, I saw you wanted to hit.” Parenting coach Janet Lansbury called this an “on it” response. Find more helpful advice about this scenario here: My Child Won't Stop Hitting

Let’s say your child refuses to hold your hand in the parking lot or races down a sidewalk toward the road. Sweep up your child and say, “I won’t let you run into the road. Roads (parking lots) are dangerous. I’m here to keep you safe.” Then zip it. Resist the urge to use reasoning and logic to make your point. Preschoolers can’t yet access logic like adults can. It’s a brain development issue. Keep their age in mind and speak in a manner that helps them understand rules and they must be followed.

“I won’t let you throw rocks onto the slide. It’s not safe. There’s a boy on the slide. You can climb up the ladder and then slide down after him or play somewhere else.” Be prepared to physically remove your child from the slide area if needed.

When children are little, parents have a great deal of physical control. Calmly picking up a child, moving a child, putting a child where they need to be is teaching a child that the words you say mean something. And that your gentle leadership who will keep them safe no matter how out-of-control they may be feeling.

Final word, punishing may get a quick result, but it has a hidden danger. It can be very shaming and frightful for a child. Young children can’t compartmentalize bad behavior, so punishment tends to convince them that they are bad (rather than the behavior) and must therefore hide away parts of themselves, which will not foster open communication, now or in the future.

from the director | december 2018

Vicki Rutledge

Hello, dear WDS parents. Thank you for allowing me to pop into your December inbox. This month is so laden with “all the things” that the last thing I want to do is add to the noise.

So quietly, like a whisper, I just want to gently encourage you to….

Soak it in. Preschoolers LOVE Christmas and their joy is contagious. They don’t need to be taught how to experience wonder at this time of year. They come by it naturally. Let’s your preschooler’s enjoyment of lights, decorations, baby Jesus, and the elf rub off on you. Soak it in. Get down on their level so you can see Christmas through their eyes. If you are moving too fast to do that without twitching, let one or two of the balls you are juggling fall to the ground. You only get one pass through the preschool phase with your children. You don’t want to miss this part.

“For it is good to be children sometimes, and never better than at Christmas,

when it’s mighty Founder was a child Himself.”

Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol

At the same time, I also know preschoolers are not perfect angels at this time in year. There are still bedtimes to wrestle to the ground and sugar-induced meltdowns to endure. I heard someone say recently, “Parenting is harder than your day job.” That is truth. Just because it’s the most wonderful time of year doesn’t mean it’s easy. In this month’s “Keep It Short” we’ll give you one simple phrase to gently but firmly set a limit when Christmas crazies abound at home.

We look forward to welcoming you to classrooms for Christmas parties in two weeks. With a simple retelling of the story of Jesus’ birth and a rousing version of “We Wish You a Merry Christmas,” our children show us how to be captivated by a baby in a manger. Keep in mind, the program is short so you really want to arrive on time or you will miss it. You can find the specifics for your class here: Christmas Parties.

We’d also love to have your family worship with us on Christmas Eve at First Presbyterian Church. There are some child-friendly worship options I think you’ll really appreciate. All the details can be found here: Christmas Eve.

May wonder and joy fill your Christmas as you celebrate Jesus' birth.

In Him,

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keep it short | november 2018

Vicki Rutledge

Short Phrases Parents Can Use

To Teach Your Child to Cooperate With Requests - Part 2

You are smarter than your preschooler.

But do you ever feel like he or she is outsmarting you? That even the simplest daily tasks can descend into power struggles?

You are not alone.

The preschool years are a time when children are learning how to express themselves and interact with others. Keep in mind that refusal to cooperate is not always a deliberate refusal to follow your directions, but may be due to other reasons. For example, your child may:

  • Need a 5 minute warning that play time will be over soon (give warnings).

  • Might be thinking about something else and not hear the request (go close to your child and touch shoulder to be sure you have attention).

  • Might not clearly understand your request (say what to do in very specific and concrete way).

  • Might be used to receiving negative attention (lots of verbal interaction and focused parental attention for negative behavior). Refusing to cooperate gets desired attention. This is HUGE, btw, and can happen in the classroom as well.

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If you’ve worked through these bullet points consistently, and your preschooler is still saying “no” or ignoring your directions, here are some short phrases to try.

“First _______, then ____________.”

“First you put on your shoes, then we can go to the park.”

“First we get in the car, then you can choose what song we listen to in the car.”

“First you take a bath, then you can pick a book for me to read to you.”

The key here is that once you’ve said it, your have to maintain that expectation. Don’t back down. Take a deep breath and wait. You are smarter than your preschooler.

“Would you like to choice #1 or choice #2?

This is not about whether or not your child has to take a bath, get dressed, or turn off the tv. As the parent, you are setting and maintaining those expectations. This is about giving your preschooler small choices within your stated expectation to unlock a power struggle. It’s one way to let them “have a say” that can encourage them to get moving the desired direction.

“It’s time for dinner. Would you like the blue cup or the red cup?”

“Would you like to play quietly with your toys or help mom cook dinner?”

“Would you like to hold my hand or do you want a piggyback ride?”

Let me show you how to do it…

You are your child’s first and most important teacher and you always will be. Remember that you have to intentionally teach him or her what to do. If you child seems unsure of what is expected or does not understand the direction, follow your direction with, “Let me show you how to do it (said in a gentle tone of voice) and provide your child with the minimal amount of help that he need to do the activity.

As soon as you child starts to cooperate, give lots of positive attention by describing what he/she is doing: “Look at you! You are putting your toys away. I like how you are cleaning up.”

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