Teaching Gratefulness #Brenwoodgratefulnesschallenge

This week my son came home from school and was excited to tell me about their exercise on being thankful in class.  He said, “Mom the teacher asked us in class today what we were thankful for.”  With the sweetest grin on his face, my first thought was to prepare myself for a special mother and son bonding moment.   I asked him what his reply was and he simply said “My best friend, Reid.”  With a slight twinge of disappointment that the answer wasn’t his amazing mother, I was also very grateful that he has developed a friendship bond that is important to him.

This entire conversation made me aware of how easy it is to let our selfish nature take over in our thoughts and actions.  It became an earnest sincerity to remember the importance of teaching our children gratitude.   While this may not come as a surprise, one study linked gratitude to greater social support, stress and depression prevention, and a more optimistic outlook throughout life. The lack of teaching our children gratitude can often lead to an attitude of self-entitlement.

My experience this week also created a sense of self-awareness in my actions.  Am I showing positivity and being thankful for my day-to-day interactions?  Children learn from watching how we react to certain situations and makes this one of the most important steps in teaching gratitude.  Are you remembering to say thank you to your children for doing their chores and having the patience to teach them? Are you thankful to the people around you for their efforts and hard work?  Are you grateful for even the small things like the colors of fall, a family meal together, anything that makes us happy?  A small token of thanks can give a child confidence to try harder and do more for others.

Real life exposures, at age-appropriate times, can often give children an opportunity for a bigger visual.  We often try to shelter our children from difficult circumstances to protect them.  Any child can put a toy in a box for donations, but are they grasping the full scope of their actions?  One of my favorite projects I have organized while working for a former employer was assisting Must Ministries in their Santa Shop.  We took children to stock and shop at a store that was created to help underprivileged families in providing for Christmas for their families.   Many of the children were able to hear personal stories of sadness and abandonment of children with no parents, families of chronically ill children who were in bankruptcy from medical expenses, and many stories that were heartfelt and difficult.   The overwhelming change of attitude in many of these children in how they appreciated their lives and each other was one of the most rewarding experiences.

I want to challenge each of you to continue to teach gratefulness at home, by taking the Brenwood Academy Grateful Challenge.  With many difficult stories, news, and struggles that surround us daily, I want to encourage each of you to look at the enclosed list and choose a few of each of these items.  Share your experiences with me through e-mail or by tagging Brenwood Academy on Instagram or Facebook with #Brenwoodgratefulnesschallenge.  Please allow us to share these through social media and throughout our school.  In a school of early childhood development, a heart of Gratitude is one of the greatest lessons we can hope to teach your children.

Giving Back to Your School; Goal Scholarship

School of choice is a concept that has been in circulation for decades.  Learning, children, and paths to success for our children do not fit into a simple one-size-fits-all box, and while positive aspects of both public and private school abound, the need for alternative learning styles presents itself.  Individualized learning plans for proper growth in a child without restrictions has become a common factor of enrollment at Brenwood Academy.

As our private school begins to grow for grades K – 3rd (expanding to 5th) children with a wide varying range of skill sets can find a place to develop and work on their specific needs.   Our students range from Pre-k students able to write and read on a 2nd grade level, 2nd grade students practicing math concepts on 5th and 6th grade levels, and some are starting out several grades lower academically and are in need of more one-on-one time.  Imagine placing these children into a classroom environment that restricts them from meeting their full potential or cannot provide them with the individualized attention they need in a classroom size of 22 to 25.  Along with our proprietary curriculum centered around project based learning, our students can explore and engage in a learning style that gives them freedom to find their own path to success.

Private School scholarship options are available for families who may not financially be able to afford the full cost of private school tuition.   Brenwood Academy is an active participant in the GOAL Scholarship Program, which allows you as a parent to help support our enrolling families by applying for a 100% state income tax credit.   When you apply for your tax credit, your funds can be allocated towards private school tuition funding for your school of choice.  There is a cap on the funds that can be allocated to the GOAL Scholarship each year, which makes it critical for you to act now to request your tax credit.  You have the power to change a child by providing scholarship options for those children that may mean the difference between success in life and failure.

Please take a look at the GOAL Scholarship Fund website https://www.goalscholarship.org.   Please make an appointment to speak with me directly for more information on how this program can work.  Brenwood is making a huge impact in the lives of children every day.  Every dollar you redirect towards private school scholarships will cost you absolutely nothing.  Imagine making such an impact completely free.  Please consider helping Brenwood Academy make this impact.



Anxieties In Starting A New School Year

As a child, one of the most monumental moments of your life is the start of school. There is so much excitement that builds up about being part of a classroom, picking out the perfect backpack, riding the bus, and making new friends. With all of this anticipation often comes anxiety, illness, and exhaustion which leads to the perfect storm of emotions for our young students.

Directing a preschool, you also begin to see parents struggling with these anxieties to an overwhelming point. We have identified the top three struggles and how to contend with them using the right techniques.

Children struggle with changes that may occur in their schedule or routine when they are presented with unfamiliar faces or places including “goodbyes” to their parents. Separation anxiety is a normal and necessary part of development where a child will show signs of regression, anger, crying, and sadness. The best fix for separation anxiety is always to be consistent, have a goodbye routine, and stay strong. Settling into a new routine from our experience will take anywhere from one week to one month.

As your child begins any school of any type, the spread of germs and communicable diseases are inevitably spread. Expect your child to come home with some type of cold, stomach virus, or rash within the first six months. Just like separation anxiety, seeing our little one’s sick can tug at your heartstrings. Allowing exposure to these germs can actually have positive effects on building antibodies in their immune system that will make them more resilient to viruses as they age. Exposure at a young age allows antibodies to build stronger and faster.

When the school year begins it usually follows with more scheduling “to do’s” that surface like extracurriculars, events, and priority lists. Balancing all of these can almost bring you into an exhausted state of depression where you experience burnout. Remember to slow down! Take a moment to breathe and appreciate what is causing all of the franticness in the first place by spending quality time with your children and simply take the time to play. Laughter and exercise can actually increase endorphins that bind to the opioid receptors in the brain similar to the effects of pain killers.

Staying on top of these anxieties and allowing your child and yourself to deal with these difficulties will create a positive and successful school year. We are always available to speak to you directly and provide resources for anything that you may have concerns about that we can work through with your family.
A list of insightful articles that cover more specifics on these topics:


Enrollment Decisions for April 2017

Enrollment decisions for Fall 2017 are on the table, so what is the difference between private Pre-K versus GA Pre-K.   Being a part of the value of Brenwood Academy, one of the top GA Pre-K centers in Canton, it becomes critical to help parents understand why tuition payments for our private program is an invaluable investment over a free state program.

As the old saying goes “you get what you pay for”, and what you’re paying for is an investment in a learning foundation, limitless learning boundaries, leadership skills, and a child’s ability to articulate their own objectives and ideas.  With intimate private classrooms, our environment and pedagogy of project based learning is instilled every day in the learning foundation of our students.

I have the stimulating experience of witnessing Project Based Learning in action every week.  An impressionable experience was watching our 5-8-year-old students develop their own in house Olympic games.  Each child was either grouped together or developed their own Olympic challenge.  The assignment challenged them to learn about the history of the Olympics and the job of the Olympic Committee.  They were then challenged to plan, organize, market, create and manage the first Brenwood Olympics!  The execution, and feeling of accomplishment was an investment in these students that was immeasurable, and a foundation development that will last a lifetime.

enroll my child in private school private elementary school enrollment 2017 canton Georgia private pre-k private schools near me

You’re still questioning the price tag that may seem impossible?   Let’s dig a little deeper at the prioritization of how we are budgeting for life.  According to Edmunds.com, the average monthly payment on a new vehicle is $479. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2014, the average American household spent $2,787 on restaurant meals and takeout.  Us News posted a 13 point article that would save close to $1000 monthly on unnecessary expenses.

In addition to the unnecessary budget indulgences, parents are spending hundreds in extracurricular activities around Canton for football, cheerleading, and gymnastics.  Are these the valued investments that will set my child up with a solid platform to succeed in life?

Project based learning and constructivism in learning creates excitement and a craving for learning.  It projects a child out of their seat of being a “passive listener” and entices them to learning more when they are actively involved.  PBL creates a learning style that is universal across all platforms of life that set’s them up for success in any environment with creative learning, communication, and collaboration skills.



Holiday Magic Restored

“Giving Back” Over the Holidays


Our School will be partnering with Becky Beckner from Provisions Today to support an organization called Path to Shine and Children from their Canton Office.  Path To Shine provides mentoring and tutoring support for at-risk elementary school students. With 1 mentor for every 2 children Path To Shine seeks to help students graduate elementary school, while learning to make productive life choices that can lead to high school graduation.

What are we collecting

School supplies and perishable Christmas stocking items for ages 5 (kindergarten) – 5th grade age 10 -11.
Sample items include: Small educational toys (i.e. legos, blocks etc.), Paper-lined and blank, pencils (large and small grip), pencil grippers, glue sticks, scissors, crayons, markers, plastic supply boxes,  Personal items such as toothpaste, toothbrushes, lotions, gloves, socks, mittens



  1. Help decorate donation points throughout the school for drop offs.
  2. Communicate and promote with your friends and neighbors share the collection information throughout your community.
  3. Teach the importance of giving back during the holiday season to your children.
  4. PROMOTE BREAKFAST WITH SANTA! This will be our final collection drop off and supply pick-up from Provisions Today.


Combating Fall Illness

The season for colds, flu, and viruses has arrived once again at Brenwood Academy.  It’s normal you say? We understand and relate to the frustrations that parents have this time of year as the directors are parents as well.  It is, unfortunately, a normal part of having a child in school or childcare and as a parent; this is the difficult part of taking the first steps to exposing them early.

A long-term study conducted by researchers at the University of Montreal from 1998 to 2006, found that toddlers in group child care get sick more often than toddlers who stay at home, but found those same kids get sick less often than their peers during the elementary school years.

Many pediatricians will agree that even healthy children will get sick while in school or childcare.  Natural ways to help build up immune systems in children are to serve foods that are rich in protein, zinc and vitamin C, and free of refined sugar. Parents should consider supplementing their toddlers’ diets with immune-boosting vitamin D and probiotics, both of which are available in kid-friendly drops or chewable tablets. Exposing children to viruses is an important part of building their immune system.”  Today’s Parent http://www.todaysparent.com/toddler/daycare-germs-what-you-need-to-know/

Having your child enrolled in a licensed early education center ensures that guidelines for cleanliness are required and audited regularly.  State license regulations for child care centers, in addition to the cleanliness guidelines to obtain SACS accreditation ensures your child is in the best environment to combat these illnesses.   For our private school students, these guidelines are stricter in comparison to other school and elementary settings because of Bright From The Start license regulations.

ROI On Early Childhood Education

Perry Preschool findings How can we as parents possibly place a value on what a preschool environment actually has on our children.  We often question, why are we putting so much effort into classes for our children at such an early phase when we should be investing in and saving for their college education.  Perhaps we as parents have that philosophy somewhat reversed.

Brain development continues for an extended period postnatally. The brain increases in size by four-fold during the preschool period, reaching approximately 90% of adult volume by age 6.  With 90% of brain development and growth occurring in the preschool age, it is extremely critical to make the right choice for development.

A few excerpts from other resources suggest the following return:

The HighScope Perry Preschool Study, found that individuals who were enrolled in a quality preschool program ultimately earned up to $2,000 more per month than those who were not. Young people who were in preschool programs are more likely to graduate from high school, to own homes, and have longer marriages.

Early childhood education makes good economic sense, as well. In Early Childhood Development: Economic Development with a High Public Return, a high-ranking Federal Reserve Bank official pegs its return on investment at 12 percent, after inflation.

Brenwood Academy has by far pulled out the stops that are required to create a stimulating and educational environment for children ages infants through 3rd Grade Private School in Canton, GA.   Our private school setting has developed a project based learning environment with a multi-age classroom.  Our teaching philosophy alone has allowed children to transition from several different tutoring and help centers, to a place where individualization and assessments can nurture the academic needs of our students.  With an abundance of resources for each of our classrooms, spacious outdoor playgrounds, a developing garden center area, and a spacious  indoor gym facility, Brenwood Academy ranks as one of the best preschools and early elementary private schools in Cherokee County.


Camp Activate Summer Camp

Summer Camp is in full swing at Brenwood Academy.   We have overhauled our Summer Camp Program to include a new line-up of events for summer fun in Canton, GA.  If you haven’t registered yet there is still space for your child to attend.  From building a garden center, trip’s to the pool, INK and Tellus Museums, and learning adventures at Challenge Island our summer line up is jam packed.  Contact Mindy Anderson mindy@brenwoodacademy.com to register for our upcoming weeks and events by visiting our Summer Camp Page for more details.


Hannah Craton For the next two weeks at Camp Activate, Acting and Directing Coach Hannah Craton will be joining us as we host Drama Theater Camp.  Hannah will graduate this summer from Reinhardt University with a Masters Degree in music education.  She was a member of Pi Kappa Lambda Music Honors Society, Reindhardt University Concert Choir and brings a colorful world of Drama and performance to our campers at Brenwood Academy.  We are thrilled to have her join our team.


Former Director, Mrs. Rachel Rubright has decided to move to a school that is closer to her home in Dallas, GA, to allow for more time with her expanding family.  While we are sad to see her leave, we welcome Ms. Victoria Broyles as our new director at Brenwood Academy.

AN INTRODUCTION FROM DIRECTOR VICTORIA BROYLES: I am originally from Waco, TX and moved around quite a bit during my childhood. I moved to Georgia in 2005 and my family and I live in the Woodstock area. My husband Aaron and I have been married for fourteen years and we have two beautiful children-Braeden and Elayna. I hold a BA in Early Childhood Education and have been working in the field for 15 years.

In our spare time my family and I enjoy the outdoors, watching movies, and trying new Mexican restaurants. Our favorite vacation spot is Ocean Isle, NC and visiting my parents in Ellijay.