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Lower School Blog


Week of March 6, Vol. 21, Issue 24

Dear Parents:


This coming Friday marks the end of our second trimester, a fact none of the faculty can quite believe.  The year seems to be accelerating at a dizzying pace, and for those of us who have enjoyed and benefited from the Parker experience with our own children, we know that the tempo only increases over the years.

Thus, Friday also offers you a chance to celebrate your first through fifth-grade children as they perform in our Spring Concert. If you can, make a point of leaving all of your work behind (perhaps even your cellphone) and thoroughly savor these fleeting moments.  Let time and the daily responsibilities or your lives take a one-hour break, and enjoy the incomparable beauty of children being children.  And, confident that that experience will inspire you, I urge you to read the touching article below in Thoughts to Ponder... so you'll enjoy treasure even more of these moments.


Bob Gillingham

Faculty Professional Day


There is no school for students on Monday, March 12.  Faculty will be working on report cards and other professional duties on this day in preparation for the third trimester

Spring Concert


The Spring Concert (featuring grades 1-5) is this Friday at 1 p.m. in the courtyard.  Please plan on joining us!

Foreign Language Survey


Haven't taken the survey yet?  We'd love to know your opinion.  Simply click here, and there will be 3 simple questions to answer.  Thank you.

Thoughts to Ponder



How To Spend More Quality Time With Your Child

Although the days with little kids often seem long, the years fly by. Use this practical and purposeful blueprint to savor the moments you have together.


The ten o'clock news hasn't even started, but you're too exhausted to watch -- who can stay awake that late? Car pools, lunch bags, after-school activities, dinner, homework, bathtime, bedtime. All on top of your own job (or jobs) and the other realities of adulthood. You have just enough energy left to drag yourself to bed so you can wake early and start the routine all over again. Each day with young kids feels like a week, each week like a month.

Yet as every birthday passes, the years seem to be streaking by at warp speed. Five-month-olds become 5-year-olds in the blink of an eye, and then 15-year-olds. This inexorable march of time that turns babies into big kids is the "other" biological clock facing young couples. Every day brings new growth, new milestones, and new wonderment, but the challenges of juggling our adult lives often prevent us from fully appreciating the delicate nuances of childhood.

We've heard about slow parenting, attachment parenting, and tiger moms. However, over my past 30 years as a pediatrician, I have learned that there is a single truth that applies to any parenting philosophy: Your children need to spend meaningful time with you. They need to see who you are and how you live your life. And in return, they will help you to better see who you are.

When you add up all the time your kids spend at day care, in school, asleep, at friends' homes, with babysitters, at camp, and otherwise occupied with activities that don't include you, the remaining moments become especially precious. There are only 940 Saturdays between a child's birth and her leaving for college. That may sound like a lot, but how many have you already used up? If your child is 5 years old, 260 Saturdays are gone. Poof! And the older your kids get, the busier their Saturdays are with friends and activities. Ditto Sundays. And what about weekdays? Depending on your children's ages and whether you work outside the home, there may be as few as one or two hours a day during the week for you to spend with them.

However, instead of worrying about how many minutes you can spend with your children each day, focus on turning those minutes into memorable moments. Parents often compensate for having such a small quantity of time by scheduling "quality time." Two hours at the nature preserve. An afternoon at the movies. Dinner at a restaurant. But the truth is that quality time may occur when you least expect it -- yes, at the nature preserve, but also in the car on the way to ballet practice.

Try this mental trick to help you readjust your thinking: In the course of a crazy day, imagine your biological parenthood clock wound forward to the time when your children have grown and have left home. Picture their tousled bedrooms as clean and empty. See the backseat of the car vacuumed and without a car seat or crumbs. Playroom shelves neatly stacked with dusty toys. Laundry under control. Then rewind the imaginary clock back to now, and see today's minutes of mayhem for what they are: finite and fleeting.

Not every day with your kids will be perfect, but hopefully one day you will greet their departure with a profound sense of satisfaction because you've given them what they need to succeed and also given yourself what you need to feel like a successful parent. Although I don't know how to slow down time, I do have some ideas about how to optimize the time you spend with your kids -- while they are still tucked into their beds, where you can peek at them before you go to sleep.


Lower School Menu March 5-9, 2012

Mon.                Spaghetti W/Meat Sauce Or Marinara
                        Gluten-Free Pasta
                        Pb & j
                        Garden Salad & Caesar Salad
                        Italian Chickpea Soup
                        Fresh Fruit & Yogurt
                        Apple Juice
 Tues.                Bean & Cheese Burritos
                        Spanish Rice
                        Pb & j, Roast Beef Sandwich
                        Garden Salad
                        Albondigas Soup
                        Fresh Fruit & Yogurt Bar
                        Apple Juice
 Wed.                Teriyaki Chicken
                        Steamed Rice
                        Snow Peas
                        Pb & j, Tuna Sandwich
                        Garden Salad
                        Udon Noodle Soup
                        Fresh Fruit & Yogurt Bar
                        Apple Juice
 Thurs.              Oven Roasted Turkey
                        Mashed Potatoes
                        Pb & j, Egg Salad Sandwich
                        Garden Salad
                        Cream Of Broccoli Soup
                        Fresh Fruit & Yogurt Bar
                        Apple Juice
 Fri.                   Beans & Franks
                        Corn On The Cobb
                        Pb & J, Cheese Sandwich
                        Garden Salad
                        Tomato Zucchini Soup
                        Fresh Fruit & Yogurt
                        Apple Juice

Posted by on Friday March, 2, 2012 at 04:17PM


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As Head of the Lower School and member of the Parker administrative team, Dr. Gillingham is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the Mission Hills campus. In addition to overseeing curriculum and instruction, Bob also works closely with the school's Parents' Association in coordinating parent volunteers and campus activities. He also... Read more.

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