Self-Regulation A Learning Predictor

Thoughts From Our 2017 Graduates

It is hard to believe that another group of graduates are ready to finish their time here at MCS. We truly delight is witnessing each of our graduates grow and mature in so many ways over the course of the years as students at MCS. We wish them God's blessings in high school and beyond, knowing that God goes with them and has prepared them for every situation and journey life offers.

Here are their thoughts on their time as students at MCS.

I think my time at M.C.S has prepared me for high school in a way most schools couldn’t.  This is most likely because it is a Christian school.  I don’t know why, but some of the most vivid memories of MCS are of pain, physical or mental.  Grade 5 and 6 were probably the hardest years for me because I wasn’t as confident as I am now.  I kept comparing myself to others and I always got angry when I lost.  I thank the Lord I am more mature and confident in myself now. I believe MCS is a fun and wonderful place full of learning and I hope I will also have as much fun at high school.    - Angus C.

As a grade eight graduate, I have many things to say about MCS. Mainly, I am very happy with how much this school has prepared me for high school. I feel as though I will be able to handle the change from a Christian school to a secular high school much better than I would have without having so much Christian influence in my life.
Everything I have learned since kindergarten and specifically in grades seven and eight has helped me grow in my faith and my wisdom about God. And having fun doing it! I have had many great years at MCS and am grateful to have had the opportunity to come here.    - Carlie M.

I made friends and I made memories. This community helped to change me and turned me into the young woman I am today. This school gave me confidence, and I’ve learned to love myself. In the past, I’ve made some mistakes. I was lonely and now I have God. Ahead, I see a bright future. My name is Hailey and I’m proud to say MCS is my school. Muskoka Christian School is my home and my family and I’ll never forget that!    - Hailey S.

I’ve been coming to MCS for ten years now and it’s great! People ask me if I’m excited for high school and my answer is, “I have mixed feelings about it.” MCS is such a small school and BMLSS is such a big school, the change will be a hard and trying one for me in many ways. I know though, that the teachers here have prepared me for almost everything about what’s waiting for me at high school. They’ve also helped me to realise that my faith and trust in Jesus is important through both the good times and bad. I’m very thankful to my parents for sending me to MCS and I know that I’ll remember my years here for a long time.    - Erin V.

I came to MCS when I was in grade 7. I now finish my second and last year here. Grade 9 doesn’t seem very intimidating, mostly because I have other siblings that go to high school and tell me what’s going on. Overall, I think I had a good time at this school. We had many jokes, and I had a little group of friends called “The Crew.” I created many memories here, and most of them were good! We made small jokes in class, and we talked about random stuff. This school may be small, but there are many nice people here. It’s a great school to go to! As a person who has experienced many different schools, this is definitely one of the most exciting. I look to the LORD to continue to guide me to make good and godly choices in the future. As the Bible says, “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.” (Proverbs 3:5-6)    - Mike V.

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Fidget Spinners: Is It What My Child Needs?

Your child might be asking for the latest of toys, a small hand held spinner. These are fascinating to operate and to watch, but does your child need one to keep their hands busy while learning in the classroom. Here is an article written by an occupational therapist who encounters thousands of children and adults with varying levels of needs. Please read as you will be enlightened on the effects of allowing spinners for fidgety fingers.

Fidget Spinners: Is It Really What Your Child Needs?

Here at MCS, most students do not need anything to occupy their hands while learning. We do allow stress balls for those that a teacher has identified as requiring fidgets. We want our students focused on their learning as we develop their intellect, self-regulation and creativity.

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The Joy Buddies Bring

Buddies bring tremendous joy to our students. Students at Muskoka Christian School have a wonderful opportunity to be partnered with an older or younger student for a time called Buddies. Buddies meet each Friday afternoon for a time of reading and partnering for fun activities. Buddies develop a sense of community among students, leadership skills being developed in our older buddies and mentorships for younger students to look up to the older ones. The connection and love that the older students show is an amazing testament to their character and the lights they are becoming of sharing God’s love!


The Kindergarten students get so excited….I mean THRILLED when it’s Friday and their buddies are about to join them in class. Sometimes they hide to be found. Sometimes they wait and peak out of our classroom door. They enjoy reading to their older buddy as well as listening to the stories they have read to them. After a time of reading, older and younger buddies in the Kindergarten room look through discovery bins, work on puzzles, create crafts, build train tracks, play in the kitchen and create letters in the post office dramatic play area. 


In the Kindergarten classroom, we end the day with a time of prayer. Buddies have joined us a few times for this wonderful time of prayer together. Some prayer requests were:

  • “Thank you God for my buddy. Thank you that he can come and play with me and teach me.” -Myles
  • “I love my buddy.” - Lukas
  • “I pray for my buddy. I wish he could come everyday to read to me!” -Hunter

Proverbs 22:6 states, “ Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.” The excitement these children have in spending quality, God-honouring time together is a constant reminder for me as a teacher that these moments and memories they are making will stay with them for a lifetime. 


I asked the parents of the Kindergarten students if there were stories that their children came home telling about an older buddy and these are a few of the responses I received:

  • “Buddies are so fun because they are big kids and they read to me and they have playtime with us too.”
  • “ Hiding on my buddy is so fun. When my buddy finds me I jump out and give him a big bear hug.”
  • “My favourite thing to do with my buddy is to build Lego creations.”
  • “I like building with blocks when my buddy is here.”

It is a pleasure, as a first year teacher here at Muskoka Christian School, to be part of the staff community and see students come together as a community of their own. I love every moment at the school so far and I am excited to see what God has in store for the future of the school!


Written by the newest member of the MCS teaching staff, Mrs. Alyxandra Brown.

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Students as Coders

I would like to take this opportunity to share with you one part of the computer technology curriculum that I have been teaching for many years and I feel is becoming more and more important as technology becomes increasingly prevalent. Coding (or programming) is a vital skill for students to learn. In fact, so much so, that there are concerted efforts to aid in the promotion of coding to students, parents and teachers. One such initiative is the “Hour of Code” ( aimed to develop interest in a fun and collaborative way.

Why should kids learn to code? There are many reasons. It is becoming a much-needed skill in the current job market today. Currently, there is a demand for skilled programmers in many companies. They are offering a sizeable income to employees along with meal, fitness and recreational facilities – quite an offering for a young, hard-working person. However, this is not the only reason, after all God has made us all unique and not all will be led in this way. Computers are so prevalent in our world that it only makes sense for students to learn the basics in order to use them in their daily lives. As an article published on CBC parents explains, “If grade-schoolers are taught biology and mathematics in order to understand the world around them, then knowing the basics of how computers communicate—and how to engage with them—should be a given.” (found at

Additionally, coding is a great way to develop skills in problem solving and logical thinking. Students who learn programming skills increase proficiencies in Math and Science. Let us also not forget that coding is fun! Making a computer perform the tasks you want it to is quite rewarding. As a teacher, many times I have seen the thrill of a student watching the computer execute their first program.

What ages should students be? Any age! I have taught students from grade 1 to grade 8 and all have been able to grasp fundamental concepts. A great introduction to coding is using “block” stacking. Students build programs by stacking together short blocks of code by dragging and dropping. At MCS we use a technology called Scratch ( which uses this technique. Younger students can build programs to make a character move around the screen and respond to simple events. Older students can use Scratch to make full-fledged programs using variables and sophisticated logic.

For the grade 6-8 students, they are ready to begin looking at more traditional forms of coding. At MCS we look at creating web pages with HTML and CSS and this year we are going to look at a prevalent language often used to teach beginners to code, Python.

What can parents do to help supplement the learning in the classroom? There are many books and websites dedicated to helping the student learn to code. The Huntsville Public Library has quite a few books written, for students ages 10 and up, to learn in a fun and exciting way. A great list can be found at the end of the CBC article ( including some aimed at girls using the “Frozen” characters (

Written by Roger King who teaches technology to many of our students and who oversees our technology department at MCS.

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Back to Basics

Basic Training or Boot Camp is an intense time for new army recruits to learn the basic procedures and behaviours required to be good soldiers. Your child may have come home these past couple of days with a similar comment like, “school feels like Boot Camp.” While the first few weeks of school are tenderly coined “Boot Camp” by teachers as they teach routines and appropriate behaviours at the start of the new school year, the past few days may also seem like “Boot Camp” to your child as teachers reflect back to re-establish routines and behaviours that were taught at the beginning of the school year. As educators, we desire that our students know and display the appropriate behaviours to be good students and respectful citizens of God’s kingdom.

It was the consensus of our teaching staff that the expectation of respect for others was not evident in our students’ behaviours within the school and on the playground, thus a focus back on re-establishing this expectation can be witnessed throughout the school.

The expectation of demonstrating respect to others is a command from God. 1 Peter 2:17 tells us to show proper respect to everyone; Luke 6:31 says we are to do to others what we would have them do to us; Romans 13:7 states we are to give everyone what is owed to them, including respect and honour, and finally; Philippians 2:3 explains that we are to do nothing out of selfish ambition, rather to consider others better than oneself. These verses clearly implore us to conduct ourselves in ways that put others first. We do this by showing respect in word, deed and comportment.

What does respect look like at MCS? Respect must be shown to the other learners and people in the school. Showing proper respect means being quiet and courteous so others can learn and work. Precisely, the expectations during specific times are described below:

Whole Class

Sitting in one spot on bottom

Participating in activity

Looking at speaker

Following protocol for asking questions i.e.: raise hand

Empty hands except for what is needed for learning

Sitting on floor if class is on floor

Immediate silence when signal given

No call-outs

No side conversations

No eye conversations



Sustained focus on quality work

Whispered voices if asking for help

Stay in designated area

Follow time set for “give it a try”

Grit, Grapple, Persevere

Follow protocols for what to do when finished

Follow protocols for getting materials during work time


Small Group Work

Participating in activity

Looking at speaker

Follow protocol for listening and asking questions

Empty hands except for what is needed for learning

Sitting on floor if class is on floor

Immediate silence when signal given

No call-outs

No side conversations

           No eye conversations

Teachers and students use 12-inch voices


Large Group Work

All engaged/involved on task/on topic

Follow assigned roles

Individual accountability

Stay in designated area

Keep working


One voice at a time

Respectful conversations


Transitions in Classroom

Timely/efficient i.e.: on spot by end of signal

No detours

No clumping

Materials ready

Stay in personal space


Transitions Out of Classroom

Quiet talking during morning arrival and dismissal periods

Silence during all other movements in halls


Single file/stay on the right

One step at a time on the stairs

Push quietly on doors

Hold door for the person behind you

Hands to yourself



Sit in your spot

Sing and participate in activities

No bathroom usage

No side conversations

Can talk quietly using 12-inch voices until opening

Immediate silence when signal given



Yes, before class begins, during recess, lunch and assigned times

Yes during independent work

Never during direct instruction

Not during Assembly, musical rehearsal, and special presentations etc.



Stay in your spot

Converse with others near you

No trading food

Appropriately compost and recycle when possible

Take uneaten food home

We respectfully ask our school families support these expectations for the benefit of all learners. We look to our Lord for strength as we strive toward our calling to be respectful citizens within God’s world.

Written by the Principal/COO of Muskoka Christian School, Mrs. Lauralynn Mercer

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Google Docs in the Classroom

Recently our senior students began using a technology called "Google Docs". What is it and why is it important for Muskoka Christian School?

Google Docs (and Google Drive) is one of many ways to access a relatively new technology called "The Cloud". Whenever technology writers have wanted to show an illustration involving the Internet, a cloud was used, hence the name "The Cloud". Instead of storing our documents and media on CDs, thumb-drives or memory cards, it is now possible to store them on the Internet, i.e. cloud. This allows us access to our documents from any device (computer, tablet, smartphone, etc.) that is connected to the Internet. 

There are many benefits to anyone using this technology, but some specific to education and us at Muskoka Christian School. One obvious benefit is that is it no longer necessary to carry around any physical media to store our files, eliminating the student nightmare of "I forgot my thumbdrive with my project at home!” Students can begin a document at school and continue at home needing nothing more than a web browser. 

In the classroom, other benefits present themselves that were not possible prior to using the Internet. Students can collaborate on a document at the same time - even in different physical locations! Documents can be shared (with other students and the teacher) and printed. A revision history is kept for each document to monitor student progress. Writing and reference tools are integrated into the environment and files are compatible with most major office software such as Microsoft or LibreOffice. Documents can be freed from the traditional 2D paper environment and include media (such as sound or video) and can become truly interactive if desired.

There are many other benefits, but even with this short list, it is clear to see why this is a technology we are embracing at MCS and guiding students in the use of these helpful tools. Below are links to articles detailing more information about using this technology for education.


This article is written by our resident computer technologist, Roger King. Among teaching technology, Roger teaches many subjects and grade levels at MCS.

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Teachers Say the Darndest Things

I’m sure you’ve heard the saying, “Kids say the darndest things”. Art Linklater ran a TV show for many years with this theme. But do you know that teachers also say things that are memorable? I recently came across this blog. These comments make me chuckle as I remember similar things I have said or heard in the classroom. Now I wish I had written them down.

35 Things Teachers Thought They Would Never Say

Bonnie Kathryn

BLOG • JANUARY 12, 2016

Every so often some of the conversations on my Facebook page become quite comical. Recently I posted a question that left me in stitches. I compiled the answers for you to spend a few moments laughing as well. Enjoy this compilation of quotes from teachers all over the world!

What are some things you thought you would never say as a teacher?

  1. “Please do not drink the watercolors.” – Jennifer
  2. “Your echolocation is not broken, you are not a bat you don’t have echolocation. Stop running into the wall and yelling ‘my echolocation is broken.’” – Danielle
  3. “No, I cannot marry you.” – Kay
  4. “Please take your head out from under my dress…” – Meghan
  5. “Stop licking the window.” – Jennifer
  6.  “Ew! Don’t lick the potty!” – Christina
  7. “We don’t pick our friends’ noses for them, even if they told you to do it!” – Tricia
  8. “No, I’m sorry you cannot be an octopus today.” – Chelsea
  9. “That is not Chapstick. That is our glue. Please stop putting it on your lips.” – Holli
  10. “Your string cheese is not a light saber.” – Melissa
  11. “What do you mean you have a tiny NFL football stuck up your nose?” – Lee
  12. “We don’t chew on scissors.” – Jennifer
  13. “Please keep your tongue out of your nose.” – Cathy
  14. “Do not eat the Crayons. Yes, they are nontoxic but let’s not test the theory.” – Julie
  15. “Stop sucking on the wall.” – Jenny
  16. “You brought a real live ‘dead’ fish?” – Chelsie
  17. “Please stop drinking from the toilet!” – Christina
  18.  “I’m so proud of you for buckling your belt…but now go back in the bathroom and put your pants on!” – Madison
  19. “We are not making valentines for the vegetarians, it’s the Veterans we are making them for.” – Jennifer
  20. “Your teeth itch? Hmmm, ok just get a drink.” – Nikkee
  21.  “I am not a tree; you are not a woodpecker, so please stop tapping on me.” – Katy
  22. “Please, do not come out of the bathroom licking your hands.” – Laura
  23. “Are you gluing your hair back on your head with a glue stick?” – Lee
  24. “We do not growl in school. We are human beings not animals and we do not growl.” – Jessi
  25. “Do not glue paper to your body! That includes your skin, your clothes, and your shoes!” – Amy
  26. “Did you really just put glue in your dear teacher’s hair?!” Student response: “Well a couple of hairs were sticking out! I fixed it for you…aren’t you so happy?” – Jill
  27.  “Well if it wasn’t your underwear you flushed down the toilet, whose was it?!” – Dana
  28. “Please go back to the bathroom and give each other back your pants. You need to leave school in the same pair of pants you showed up in.” – Melissa
  29. “No, your last name is not ‘Lil Daddy.’” – Ashley
  30. “No, you cannot wrap string around your finger to make it turn purple; that is not cool.” – Kay
  31. “Stay calm and evacuate the room. I’ll get Mr. Weeks to find the snake.” – Carol
  32. “If you try to stick your finger in the fan again and it comes off we get to call you ‘Stumpy’ the rest of the year.” Problem solved. – Carissa
  33. Back in the day when we had a dramatic play area in the classroom: “Please get down off of the table in the kitchen. No one will ‘give birth’ in our dramatic play area or anywhere here at school.” – Shelley
  34. “Everyone move to the other side of the room while I catch the snake with this trash can.”  ~Kellie S.  
  35. Did you really put glue on your eyelids?”  ~Teresa M.

This entry was submitted by Mrs. Kathi Cooper. With over 32 years of teaching experience, Mrs. Kathi Cooper heard many things from her students and said many things to her students. We thank her for serving the MCS community these past 17 years and tenderly guiding and teaching our Kindergarten students. We wish her God's best in her retirement!


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Graduates Reflect on Years At MCS

My nine years at Muskoka Christian School have been great! A school with Christ at the center of its education really helps one start his or her walk with the LORD. The teachers are amazing and I’ve learned a lot, academically and spiritually. Soon, I will start high school, where God’s word is not taught. But with this strong foundation I’ve built at MCS, I know that I’ll stand firmly in the next four years and beyond. I give thanks to God and everyone who has helped with this school for helping in my Christian education.“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.”   Joshua 1:9    Written by Nathan P.


As grade nine quickly approaches, I will soon be leaving MCS and heading into a new school and a new environment. I will miss the friendly and uplifting surroundings that I have become so familiar with and appreciated so much for nine years. I have been so blessed to be able to come to MCS and have a Christian education to support me and help me grow in my academic studies, my faith and my relationship with God. I will not be attending a Christian high school and I know that after many years of great friends and caring teachers, I am ready to go into a secular environment. I will seek to honour and serve God in the place where he puts me. I have been taught to take deep root in God and trust that he will protect me in the situations he will put me in. MCS was the perfect place for me to learn and develop and I have thoroughly enjoyed my time here. I will never forget the wisdom and guidance from all my time here at MCS.  Written by Luke M.



Ever since I was five years old, I have wanted to be a pastor and M.C.S. has helped me step closer toward that goal. With kind, caring teachers and a loving atmosphere, M.C.S. is the perfect school for Christian kids and families in this unchristian world. Sure, God calls us to go into the world, but we are to learn and grow in God first. Muskoka Christian School is a wonderful place to achieve our full potential, with God's word being taught to us in every subject. I thank M.C.S. for everything that it has done for me in the last eight years. I heartily recommend it to inquiring families. Thank you, M.C.S., for everything you have done for me! Written by Jason T.

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Starting Your Uniform Adventure!

If you’re looking to buy new school uniforms for the first time, or to buy bigger sizes for your child, you might get “sticker shock” when you see the prices from the school’s approved uniform supplier, Uniform Basics. MCS has been associated with Uniform Basics for more than 15 years, and throughout that time a few things have become clear. Clothing from Uniform Basics is extremely durable.  There are kids currently at the school wearing shirts labeled with the names of students who have graduated from high school!  What’s even better is that same high school graduate has two younger siblings who wore the same shirt, and the current MCS student has one older sibling who also wore the same shirt. How many other articles of clothing have gone through that many kids (and washes!) and still looks like other, newer shirts worn by kids in the same class? UB also offers sizes for the very young, very petite, and very husky – so all body types can find clothes and are comfortable and look good. Clothing, both tops and bottoms, are manufactured from a single, modern plant good that has no history, experience or association with sweatshops, where child labour can be a reality. As I live out my faith, I want my buying practices to be mindful of God’s people in other parts of the world, and I strive to put my “money where my mouth is” as much as possible. When you consider uniform purchases with those things in mind, the price is easier to understand. If you are looking to save money on uniforms, consider the school’s annual “Swap Shop” where you can purchase pre-loved uniforms, or resell items your children have outgrown. The “Swap Shop” can be an excellent way to save money, as can asking other families for their hand-me-down uniform items.

You may decide that you would like to buy your “navy clothes” somewhere other than Uniform Bascis. This option was introduced a few years ago as a way to help families with the cost of uniforms.  Having used this option, I can offer some insight into the pros and cons of different stores. Navy blue pants, skirts, skorts, jumpers, and shorts are available at Joe Fresh, Gap, The Children’s Place, Old Navy, Wal-Mart, and department stores. Prices vary, as does the quality.  Often, the saying “you get what you pay for” is true. Old Navy sells pants for a low price of $10 (sale price), but rarely do my kids outgrow the pants before the knee rips and the colour fades and the skort always looks like it needs to be ironed. Pants from Joe Fresh seem to hold their dark colour well, and the material is most similar to that of Uniform Basics. Pants from Wal-Mart are similar to those from Joe Fresh, but finding them in-store in the right size, or even online, is hit-or-miss for me. (The knee socks for girls are great!). My daughter’s skort from a department store falls nicely and holds up well to the wash, with no ironing needed. I have little experience with clothes from Gap, but regular prices there are almost the same as Uniform Basics.

I find my children need fewer clothes than if they did not wear uniforms, and the non-uniform clothes they have often do not wear out because they are less frequently worn.  Getting dressed for school is easy and straightforward.  As a parent and former teacher at three schools requiring uniforms, I appreciate that uniforms allow kids to focus more on school less on clothing.  If you have any questions about the uniform policy or saving money on uniforms, I encourage you to talk to the principal, or send me an email.

Submitted by Christine Tulloch, a current parent and former teacher here at MCS. Please submit your uniform questions to her at or to the school.

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Goodness - A Fruit of the Spirit

Goodness is the sixth fruit of the Spirit listed in God’s Word in Galatians 5. It’s a hard one to describe. It certainly includes avoiding bad stuff and staying out of trouble, but it goes much beyond. It is choosing to obey our heavenly Father; it involves intentionally seeking opportunities to do what God says to do. It is seeking to display God’s nature and, specifically, seeking to be holy, even as God Himself is holy.

We have been examining the fruit of the Spirit in school assemblies, learning how each of us is to take deep root in the Spirit by intentionally cultivating the fruit He gives. Here’s a summary of our learning - Love is more than a feeling, it is an action and it is choosing to love with God’s kind of love – yes, a tall and sometimes inconvenient order. Joy comes from the inside out. It comes from cultivating a life with Jesus.  We have Peace with God through the shed blood of Jesus Christ and we are to now be peacemakers. Patience is trusting that our almighty God is, indeed, in control and that nothing comes to pass that is outside His rule and reign. It involves waiting on God to bring about that good that He promises to all those who love Him and who are the called according to His purpose. Kindness, too, is an action word. It is self-sacrifice for others with no expectation of return. Faithfulness is being true to your word. Always doing what you have committed to doing, being there through the tough situations and not giving up. Gentleness is quietly putting God’s love into action. God desires us to show others what His love looks like through our own gentle actions, responses and words. The final fruit of the Spirit, Self-control is having control over our thoughts, emotions, actions and reactions to people and situations, especially when you’re angry. While it may be hard to exhibit self-control, the Holy Spirit equips each of us with self-control and we are expected to demonstrate it in our lives. Join us for our Friday morning assemblies and study what it means to live by the Spirit and to display the fruit of the Spirit each day.

Let’s look for a moment at the goodness Daniel displayed. As a young fourteen-year-old boy in Judah (about the age of the grade 9 students we know!), Daniel, along with waves of other Israelites, was captured by the mighty and conquering Babylonian army and forced to march 1500km to the capital of Babylon. King Nebuchadnezzar carried into captivity all Jerusalem, the captains, the mighty men of valor, ten thousand captives and all the craftsmen and smiths. The captives were forced into slavery in a land known for its power, wealth and cruelty. What joy and elation Daniel and his friends must have known when selected out of slavery for training for the king’s royal service! But along with the privilege came spiritual challenges. Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah were instructed to eat from the king’s table, food strictly forbidden against God’s law. The Scriptures tell us Daniel purposed in his heart not to defile himself. This was true goodness!  Daniel very purposely chose not to do what he knew was against God’s law. He chose the good, the right and the holy thing to do. The Lord requires the same of each of us. God brought Daniel into the favour and good will of the chief of the eunuchs. Often times there may not be evident rewards from our King when we choose the right and the holy. Nonetheless, will we have the courage to obey our Master? Let us look to God to help us in each step of our path to do what is good and to cultivate the fruit of goodness in our lives. Well after these events in Daniel’s young life and living under another king of Babylon, the Scriptures describe the eighty-year-old Daniel as faithful, with no error or fault found in him. Daniel, throughout his life, chose the good, the right and the holy. As he followed God and obeyed His ways, let us, too, walk in the Spirit and cultivate the fruit of the Spirit in our lives.

We invite you to please join us in our assemblies and learn along with us. We’d love to have you!

Submitted by Janet Davis, our senior class and French teacher. We appreciate her guiding us through understanding about the fruit of the Spirit, Goodness!

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Texting and How it Affects Us

A Speech Presented at the MCS Public Speaking Festival


Hey, let me tell you all a secret. Our world has been taken over by a new and powerful species and we don’t even know it. Right now, there are some of these in this very room! They are the cause of thousands of deaths and injuries. They are changing us all the time. We know about them, but not about what they are doing to us. If you haven’t guessed what I am talking about yet, be prepared for a surprise. This species is… the cell phone!

    Judges, parents, teachers and fellow students, I was not lying when I said that phones cause thousands of deaths and injuries. I wasn’t lying when I said that phones are changing us. You might be confused right now. How are phones doing these things? Let me explain by giving you three things that phones do to us, which all have to do mostly with texting.

    One of the effects texting has on people has to do with spelling and grammar. You see, when texting, people don’t usually care about spelling and grammar. They just want to get the message across as quickly as possible.This might not seem like it matters at all, but it does. When people are constantly ignoring this kind of stuff when texting, it creates habits. People who do this so often start to spell everything incorrectly when doing important stuff in their jobs, or projects for school.They start developing habits of bad grammar when speaking with others in real life.

Colossians 3:23 says: “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters.” I think that we should put our very best effort into anything we do for God, which this verse says should be everything. If we are putting lots of little errors in our work and we don’t care about it, that’s not our very best and we aren’t doing as God wants us to do.

    How does texting affect our social lives? Well, when I was doing research on this topic, I found that there was debate on whether texting makes us more or less social. It seems to me that most people say that we are spending so much time on our screens that we don’t know how to talk and act around other people. Others say that texting and social media websites are expanding and creating ways of being social.

    I, personally, am on the side that says texting and social media are making us less social. Sure, we use these things to talk to other people even if we are in different places. But some people are spending so much time with a phone in their hands that they never say much to other people in real conversations. They never know what to say in real life Talking through the internet just isn’t the same as talking face to face.

    God has created us to be social, to be able to have a good time with others. Though technology may help us talk to people who are far away, it does create barriers. We aren’t enjoying each other as we should be. We aren’t communicating to God’s people in the way we should. This is not how He created us.

That’s not the worst that phones do to us. They are injuring and killing thousands of people each year. How? It’s called, “Texting and driving.” So, ordinary people are driving when they hear their phone ding. They are quick with checking what the text is about, only having their eyes off the road for… about five seconds, before they end up hitting another vehicle while they aren’t looking. This is called, “Distracted Driving”.

    I know, fellow students, that you are too young to drive, but you won’t always be that young. You will probably learn to drive at some point, and when you do, it’s very important that you know how to drive safely. In the year 2011, so not that long ago, 23% of car crashes were caused by texting and driving. That’s 1.3 million crashes caused by distracted driving.

    Let’s say that you are driving 88 ½ kilometers per hour, which is slower than you would drive on the highway, so not that fast. You have your eyes off the road for 5 seconds. You have just driven the distance of a football field with your eyes off the road! I don’t even watch football, and I know that football fields are big! A lot can happen in five seconds.

    When driving, you have a lot of responsibility. It is possible to end your life, and possibly others’ by messing up on the road. We have to be cautious. God has created humans in His image. It is our job to take care of our lives and others’.

Maybe you’ll look at cell phones in a way you haven’t before, after hearing these things. Texting can take over our lives. We need to be careful!

This month's blog was written and delivered as a speech at the MCS Pubic Speaking Festival. Hopefully, you read it as though you were hearing it! Written and presented by Nathan P.


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How to Recognize Bullying

The most recent blog, Bullying? Not Here!, describes how at Muskoka Christian School “bullying” is not part of who we are as a school community and how we should avoid describing our students’ actions as “bullying”. It outlined how we have created an environment free of bullying. This blog, written by school psychologist, Beth Harmon, is an overview of principles that describe bullying .

Everyone wants to fit in and be accepted by those around them.  But for kids like Joey and Anita this remains a dream.  Anita, who has cerebral palsy, is taunted by classmates whenever she has to run in P.E.  And Joey, a second grader, is told every morning as he gets on the school bus, that there is no room for him to sit near his classmates.  The outcome of this bullying is that they are at risk socially, academically and emotionally; and through no fault of their own.

But how do we know it’s bullying and not just “kids being kids”?
Well, the four guiding principles are:

  1. Is the behaviour occurring over and over?
  2. Is it aggressive?
  3. Is there intent to harm?
  4. And, is there an imbalance of power?

It’s also helpful to keep in mind that bullying can take many forms, such as excluding someone from a social group, physical harm, spreading rumors, or making verbal threats.  It can happen in the classroom, on the playground, in hallways, at home, or online.

But how can a parent or teacher recognize that the bullying is happening? 

Experts estimate that there is no intervention in approximately 85% of bullying incidences, often because adults are unaware that they are occurring.  However, there are signs to watch for; here are just a few:

  • Kids change their eating, or relational patterns.  Are kids suddenly ravenous when they get home from school?  Maybe someone is taking their lunch or interfering in their ability to eat during lunch time.
  • School performance plummets.  Assignments aren’t turned in, grades go down.  It‘s possible that someone is taking homework or repeatedly asking for “help” on their own assignments.
  • Personal property keeps getting “lost”.  Repeated destruction of personal property is also considered bullying.

The good news is that with parents and school personnel working together, kids can be safer and be ready to succeed academically and relationally.  With everyone working towards the same goal, ALL students can be fully included.

Here at Muskoka Christian School, we have a proactive structure and have created an atmosphere to reduce incidences that may lead to bullying through working closely with staff, parents and students to address all reports of meanness and aggressiveness.

Beth Harmon is a School Psychologist at CLC Network, where she enjoys the "ah ha" moment when a parent or teacher gains an understanding of why a child learns or behaves in a certain way. She loves being the advocate to help the adults in a child's life appreciate the uniqueness of and love the child.

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