...Common Sense Discipline Do's and Don'ts...

...Common Sense Discipline Do's and Don'ts...

Most classroom discipline problems can be headed off before they occur--this simple, yet helpful guide to discipline can be applied at home, at school, or in a children's ministry.  There is a difference between training kids and discipling them, rather than simply handing out punishment when they don’t act the way we think they should. 

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A Daily Prayer for our School....

Dear God,

We thank You that You make all things new. Thank You for all that You've allowed into our lives this past year, the blessings along with the challenges, which have reminded us how much we need You and rely on Your presence filling us every single day. “The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” Lam. 3:22-23

We pray to love You, our Lord and our God with all our hearts and with all our souls and with all our strength and with all our minds and to Love our neighbors as ourselves.  Luke 10:27

We pray for your Spirit to lead us each step of this New Year. We pray that You will guide our decisions.  We ask that You open doors for us to have a permanent home. “Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.” Is. 43:18-19

We pray to trust in You for all things: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.”        Prov. 3:5-6

We pray for a hedge of protection over our school, families, and friends. We pray the blood of Jesus over any strongholds, snares, schemes and traps of temptations from the enemy.

We pray for energy and endurance to pray and persevere to build Your school for Your glory.

We confess our need for You and ask for Your forgiveness for the sin of self-sufficiency. "I will give them an undivided heart and put a new spirit in them..." Ez. 11:19

May we be lovers of truth and may the fruits of Your spirit be evident in our lives - your love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. (Galatians 5:22)

We ask that you make all things new, in our hearts, in our minds, in our lives, for this coming year. “Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead.” Phil. 3:13

We thank You: “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” – Jeremiah 29:11

Lord, we pray for peace and patience as we persevere.  “But they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.” Is. 40:31

We pray that You will give us the desires of our hearts as we seek You first in all that we say and do. “May he give you the desire of your heart and make all your plans succeed.”  Ps. 20:4

To You be glory and honor, in this New Year, and forever.

In Jesus name, Amen.


Celebrating Advent with Your Children By Jody Capehart

Celebrating Advent with Your Children By Jody Capehart

Sometimes our busy, hectic December calendars start looking like a bowl of alphabet soup.  BSFP…bring snack for partyBut what party? Your child's party at school? Your Sunday School Christmas Party? Your office party?  And what snack did you commit to bring? Oh, dear. Where did the Merry go in Christmas?

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Can You Not Pray with Me for Even a Little While?

Is there anything sweeter than my children praying?  With one eye open and peeking at their sweet faces as they prayed, you can see the peace and joy as they talked with God!  As a grandmother, I might add that seeing my grandchildren praying to God may be the closest I can get to heaven while still on earth.  A child-like faith is truly angelic!

Walking on a path in the Garden of Gethsemane, I pondered on the statement our Lord asked His disciples.  “Can you not pray with me for even a little while?’  When did we decide, yes decide, as adults that prayer was only at mealtime or maybe at bedtime?  When did that child-like prayer life not become a way of life?  When did we stop praying, even for a little while…?  A little child’s reliance on God is a sweet reminder for us to strengthen our own prayer times with God.

The Camerata family considers it a privilege to pray for you and your children!  We know and are excited that all our lives will be enriched as we get to know each other and pray for each other!  ‘Lord, help us to have a child-like faith as we constantly talk with You about life!’ 

~Caroline Worley

Learning Music for the Developing Mind

For years, we have all heard about the effect just listening to music has on the brain. The so-called "Mozart Effect" was supposed to make you smarter, especially if you were taking a math test or studying.

New evidence is showing that learning to play an instrument, even if only casually, can have profound impacts on the brain. Think of it this way, you have to actually exercise to get in better shape, you can’t do it by sitting down and watching an exercise video.

Playing a musical instrument has been shown to thicken the cortex of several brain structures that are involved in motor planning and coordination, visiospatial ability, emotion, and impulse regulation, according to a study in the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, published in Nov. 2014.

This information may have some big implications for students with ADHD or who experience sub-clinical depression or anxiety.

Nikki Z. Shorts, the lead strings teacher and conductor of the Heart of Los Angeles website, said she has seen one group of sometimes rambunctious 1st graders develop into attentive 4th graders in the three years she has taught them.

“In order to cultivate the skills to sit and focus, they’re like athletes: We exercise our brains and our bodies, and then we have to take a break, relax, and come back to it. And over time, that skill builds up,” she said.

Teachers and researchers have known for a long time that students who play instruments also tend to be higher academic achievers than those who do not play an instrument.

Recent scientific literature seems to back them up. One study found that executive function, which refers to mental abilities such as inhibition, problem solving, goal-directed behavior and maintenance of information in working memory, increases if children play a musical instrument.

Possessing strong executive function has been shown to be strongly related to mathematics and literacy skills in kindergartners, according to the study by Jennifer Zuk et al. published in PLoS One in June 2014.

Studying music has also been shown to improve spatial reasoning skills. People who can read music have a mental concept of how one note sounds in relation to another note and can approximate how they will sound.

Music also teaches the importance of work ethic and the pursuit of excellence. Learning an instrument and preparing a piece of music takes a lot of hard work and practice.

Neurologist and essayist Oliver Sacks' book "Musicophilia" is an exhaustive look at music and the brain. Perhaps Sacks bests summarizes how transformative music is on the human brain:
"Anatomists today would be hard put to identify the brain of a visual artist, a writer, or a mathematician," Sacks writes, "but they could recognize the brain of a professional musician without a moment's hesitation.”

As to how to keep children interested in playing instruments, I think parents should find the kind of music their kids love, good teachers, and an instrument they’ll like. Making music should be something that children enjoy and will want to keep doing for life.

With that in mind, it’s not too late to trade in those gameboys, iPads, and XBox games that you may have purchased, and swap them out for music lessons for the kids in your life.

~ Dr. Corey D. Rom

For information on other positive effects of music, click herehttp://www.emedexpert.com/tips/music.shtml

This blog is based on articles written by:
Melissa Locker and Cory Turner

Why Pay for Music Lessons?

A parent was asked why they would pay for music lessons. These are just some of their answers:

 - I pay for my kids to learn to self-discipline.

- I pay for my kids to learn that it takes hours and hours and hours of hard work and practice to achieve their goals and that success is not a one-time event, but rather a lifetime of personal development.

- I pay for my kids to learn to work with others

- I pay for my kids to learn to deal with disappointment as well as success.

- I pay so that my kids can be creating something beautiful and positively transformative through a personal relationship with music making rather than in front of a screen...

- I pay for the opportunity my kids have and will have to make life-long friendships and to be inspired and to inspire others.

-I pay for those days when my kids come home from school and are "too tired" to go practice and go to lessons but they practice daily and go to lessons regularly anyway.

...I could go on but, to be short, I don't pay for music lessons; I'm paying for the opportunities that music provides my kids to develop attributes that will serve them well throughout their lives and give them the opportunity to bless the lives of others. From what I have seen so far I think it is a great investment!

Preserving the Past and Preparing for the Future at the Camerata School

Educare and educere come from the Latin word for education.  Educare implies the preservation and passing down of knowledge and shaping young people in the image of their parents. Deuteronomy 6:6-9 reminds us that we are to teach our children God’s word as part of our everyday activities. Children often learn more from what we are than from what we say as well stated in this passage of scripture: “These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts.  Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.  Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads.  Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.”  Deuteronomy 6:6-9

Much of the teaching in a classical education is the passing down of the wealth of our Western civilization and to learn from the wisdom of those who have gone before us. We want our children to know the Bible, history, as well as great music, art, and literature. This creates the foundation of the tools of learning to prepare them to be excellent leaders for now as well as the future.

It is interesting to note that while both educare and educare have the same etymological basis, they represent two different aspects of the education process. Educare is much like the grammar stage when students are learning the language of a subject. The tradition or rules of each subject are being taught and memorization is an important part of this stage of learning.

Educere, on the other hand, implies more of a leading out, preparing a new generation for the changes that are to come. This aspect of the education process is more like the  logic stage when the student takes what was taught in the grammar stage and begins to evaluate it in order to take ownership of the information. Finally, in the rhetoric stage, the students express what they have learned and true leadership emerges.

R.V. Bass states, “In the overall scheme of things, educare and educere are of equal importance. Education that ignores educare dooms its students to starting over with each generation. Omitting educere produces citizens who are incapable of solving new problems.”

Our education at the Camerata School provides a Christian and classical education; educare, to preserve the past. Likewise, we want to prepare our students for the complexities of a 21st century world and thus we provide programs such as STEAM Initiative (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math) to prepare them for the future; thus educere.   At the Camerata School, this balanced teaching of preserving the past through a biblical, classical education along with programs such as STEAM and brain-based innovative teaching prepares them for the future as strong learners.

Our mission statement for the Camerata School is to equip Christ-centered leaders and

cultivate confident thinkers for a lifetime of influence.  Inherent in this statement is both the educare as well as the educere aspects of the education process. Both are necessary to provide balanced education. We seek to cultivate confident thinkers (educare)  and equip Christ-centered leaders (educere) for a lifetime of influence.

~ Jody Capehart

Why Send Your Child to Camerata School?

Christ-centered education

Classical curriculum with trivium model

Conservatory of Fine Arts

Culture that cultivates Christ-like character

Climate that is conducive to learning to cultivate a passion for learning

Curriculum that includes STEAM and tracks for Rhetoric students

Community Garden to teach important life skills

Clubs: Chess, Robotics, Thespian society, Eco-Club, and Speech/Debate

Classes each week in Latin, Spanish, art, music, P.E., and technology

Cultivate heart for serving others

Cultivate confident thinkers
Equip Christ-centered leaders

For a lifetime of influence

Why Camerata Is a Classical School

G.K. Chesterton said that every revolution is a restoration-the recapturing and re-introduction of something that once guided and inspired people in the past. The word ‘revolution’ comes from the Latin word re-volvere-to re-roll or re-turn. C.S. Lewis says that when we have lost our way, the quickest way forward is usually to go home. We are returning and we are revolving. To put it strongly, we are revolting and we are doing it by going home. (An Introduction to Classical Education, page 5)

~Jody Capehart

Fake Learning versus Real Learning - by Steve Lund

I think that we’ve become accustomed to thinking that evaluation produces good results, and that often is far from the case, it seems to me.  It reminds me of when I begin a new writing class:  I tell students that I will be teaching them how to write—not just grading their essays.  The latter is the kind of writing instruction that I got (and my grades weren’t bad because I was an avid reader).   But no teacher sat with me to show me better strategies that I could use in my writing.  Just the grades—that’s all I got.  So I had to learn to write on my own.  And when I started teaching college undergraduates writing at 21 years old, I vowed that I would do it a different way.

When I teach writing, I sit and discuss every draft with every single student in the class.  For over thirty years I have taught classes in great literature (Shakespeare, Homer, Dante,  Joyce, Faulkner, for example) and in writing and grammar/punctuation and rhetorical analysis and vocabulary acquisition—just as many English teachers do, and although every class is difficult in some ways, the hardest class for me is teaching writing.  Why is that?  Try doing this sometime–try meeting with every student in your class individually and reading deep into their drafts and helping them (like a good editor) to imagine and express what they want to do in the essay, and then helping them to do that in a very powerful way—try that, and you will quickly see why I call it the most difficult part of teaching.

On the other hand, it is also the most rewarding part of my teaching because I get to see before my very eyes how the writers are growing and improving in their thinking.  Every draft is a new step forward in their thinking and communicating.  Every new draft is a big deal!  The problem is that this slow and deliberate process is very, very difficult and very time-consuming for the teacher and for the students.  Surely there has to be a better way!

As a matter of fact, we are inundated these days on social media with all kinds of “better ways”.  And they’re all found—it seems—on the internet.  Everybody seems to think that Google and the information explosion of the internet will make ordinary strategies of learning obsolete.

The truth is that a lot of this learning is an illusion.  When we find information quickly on Google, we have the illusion of gaining knowledge.  That is not the same as having the knowledge.  We feel that we are gaining knowledge when we are not.  If I can get a Wikipedia article on Joyce’s Dubliners, then I ‘know’ the Dubliners right?  Wrong!  Do you see what an amazing trick is being played on us?

 Here I am playing Mozart.

Here I am playing Mozart.


I have been a music lover and a piano lover since I was a young kid.  I was always in awe and envious of people who could do things on the piano that were beyond the reach of my ten fingers.    But I was obsessed with learning more, studying classical music for some forty years, and then studying jazz piano for another ten years. I know now that I had no idea how to really master playing piano until a concert I attended years ago at a tiny church in Dallas.  The pianist was a guy named Sam Rotman.  And he played a Beethoven sonata and then some major pieces by Bach and Scarlatti and Rachmaninoff.  And he did it all magically and flawlessly and from memory.  Then he said something that really got my attention.  He said that a teacher at Julliard had taught him how to master piano pieces and with this method, he had been able to memorize one thousand piano masterpieces.  And 32 of those 1000 pieces were the immensely difficult and transcendentally beautiful sonatas of Beethoven.  I could not wait to talk to him after the concert.  He gave me his phone number and told me to call him.

You are not going to believe what the secret is!

(And yes, I know, if you read that on the internet, you will hear that same phrase over and over in those inane infomercials and you might keep reading or keep watching and never hear the ‘secret’ without reaching for your credit card.)  Well, here’s the secret that he gave me:  slow practice—perfect practice!  Play four bars with the right hand over and over—slowly!  Play with the dynamics, the expression, and with the exact fingering that you will always use.  (He told me—this man who had just played this amazing concert— that if a neighbor came into his NY apt and saw him playing a new piece, the neighbor would think that he was a piano beginner.)   Then do the four bars with the left hand—same procedure.  Then hands together (and don’t forget fingering and dynamics).   Then continue in the same way through the other four -bar fragments and then start stringing them together*.  He said that when you sleep, the brain is putting everything you’ve learned into the hard drive, so that by the time you put the pieces together, you can play it all from memory.   That’s the basic procedure.  And with the metronome, you move it up to half speed and then gradually up to full speed.  Sam said, “You are bombarding the mind with correct data, so then, strictly speaking, you don’t need to memorize it in the usual sense as a separate step.”

This method, which changed all my ideas about learning piano—and learning in general, has now been validated by a new book which is the rage on the talk circuit at the moment.  Freakonomics is even trying to replicate this new research with its audience.  The book is Peak, by Anders Ericsson and Robert Pool.  Ericcson is the researcher who came up with the concept of 10,000 hours to master a skill, and Malcolm Gladwell made that number go viral in his book, Outliers.  Ericsson wrote Peak to try to correct false impressions about the 10,000 hours.  In his new book he makes it clear that 10,000 won’t turn you into a master pianist or tennis player or chess player or anything else.  It is slow and deliberate practice (with objective feedback) from a teacher or some other means (metronome, recording, videos) that makes the difference.  It is perfect practice that does the trick.  Auto-pilot, sloppy practice won’t give you any improvement even if you do it for 10,000 hours!

So yes, you need to constantly test your skills to make sure that you are keeping the train on the track, and you need a very skilled teacher to help you along the way, but “testing just to test” tells us very little.

Slow and deliberate practice is the only real way to learn.  There are no short cuts.  So having an excellent teacher/editor working with you is really the way to learn to write.  And, of course, there is another component in learning to write like a pro.  Students of writing also need to know how grammar and punctuation work too.  Loving Grammar will help you to master grammar and punctuation in the same way that Sam Rotman has shown me how to master a sonata by Beethoven.   It is slow and deliberate instruction and you will do it under the direction of a master teacher—and, therefore, you will be able to master it all in one book—but more on that in my next blog.

Mr. Lund