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What Your Kids Can Learn from The Olympics

The 2024 Paris Summer Olympics will begin on July 26, drawing millions of viewers worldwide. Beyond the thrill of live sports, this global event presents a multifaceted learning opportunity for these incredible moments that transcend competitions. With the Olympics just days away, here are some of the valuable lessons for our children. 

The Olympics can inspire future generations.

Spirit of Sportsmanship

The Olympics Games exemplify the spirit of sportsmanship on a global scale. It is a powerful lesson for kids to watch athletes competing not only for victory, but also to celebrate the values of Olympism: excellence, respect, and friendship. These moments foster children’s mutual understanding of camaraderie, solidarity, and fair play, all essential for their personal development into well-rounded individuals.

Collaboration and Teamwork

The Olympics provide an excellent platform to enlighten children to collaboration and healthy competition. Events such as relay races and team sports educate children on the importance of working together towards a common goal. When children observe how a team succeeds, they realize that supporting and encouraging their peers is as crucial as individual achievements. 

Through teamwork , children learn to combine their strengths, negotiate ideas, and produce high-quality work.

Cultural Awareness

Since its emergence in Ancient Greece, the Olympics h ave symbolized a cultural gathering. As a global event bringing people from nearly every corner of the world, it communicates messages to all human beings. This grand event promotes children’s global awareness by demonstrating our shared humanity despite differences. 
This is particularly relevant for our bilingual students, who are already learning to navigate multiple languages and cultures. In following weeks, watch parties will be hosted for students in all language tracks at Tessa Summer Camp. When children see the vast array of unique flags, clothing, and skin tones, they gain a deeper understanding and appreciation of the world’s rich diversity. Cultural appreciation and awareness significantly contribute to a child’s positive self-image and encourage them to create a diverse social network as they grow up.

A class of primary students at Tessa International School holding up a poster of the earth written in Spanish.

At Tessa, children are introduced to other languages and cultures to enhance their cultural awareness.

 

“We must make sport available to all children, regardless of their personal situations and backgrounds, and the Olympic Games are the perfect way to inspire them.” 

Aksel Lund Svindal, the two-time Olympic champion. 

 

What is unique about the Games is the capability to reach everyone, including the youth. As parents and educators dedicated to preparing children as happy and excellent world citizens, we can enrich and inspire our children through the Olympics. Let us encourage our kids to watch the Olympics not just as an entertaining sporting event but also as a global classroom, full of valuable life lessons.

 

Are you ready to explore the only international leading private school in Hoboken?

Contact Tessa International School to learn more!

Turn Summer Learning Loss into Opportunities for Your Kids

Summer is an important time for students to recharge from a demanding school year. However, the long summer months also raise concerns about students losing academic ground during the summer break. This phenomenon, also known as the Summer Learning Loss, has garnered significant attention from educators and parents alike.  What is it exactly, and how can we help children avoid it?

With the right strategies in place, parents can help prevent the summer slide.

Is Summer Learning Loss Real? 

Concerns about Summer Learning Loss date back approximately 100 years. With improved methods and larger samples to examine its reality, multiple recent assessments indicate that test scores flatten or drop during the summer

  1. With data from 3.4 million students in all 50 states from 2016 to 2018, research found that the median summer losses are fairly large in magnitude, ranging from losses of one to two months in reading and a little more than one to three months of school-year learning in math.  
  2. Across primary grades, between 70% and 78% of students experience a decline in math skills over the summer, and between 62% and 73% show regressions in reading.
  3. A longitudinal study by Johns Hopkins University researchers found that more than two-thirds of the reading achievement gap in 9th grade can be traced back to Summer Learning Loss accumulated during the primary school years.

Students’ learning patterns during summer break differ significantly from those during the school year, making it natural for them to learn less or forget some knowledge over the summer. However, it is also clear across recent studies that summer is a variable time for students. Educational experts advocate for additional summer opportunities to reduce the slowdown or stagnation in students’ learning rates. 

 

“Summer learning loss is common and substantial, but not inevitable. ”

Megan Kuhfeld, Senior Research Scientist at Northwest Evaluation Association (NWEA), 2019

 

What Parents Can Do to Help Students

Summer break is not something to overly worry about. It can become an opportunity for students to learn, catch up, or build certain interests. A 2020 American Educational Research Journal (AERJ) study found summer learning outcomes “vary dramatically from child to child,” based on factors including summer activities and parental involvement. 

There are many activities that parents and families can do to mitigate Summer Learning Loss, spark a love of learning in kids, and ensure an engaging summer vacation: 

Travel as a catalyst to children’s growth and development: 

A summer trip can spark your child’s passion for learning and foster a global perspective like no other. Life on the road is the perfect time to develop children’s social skills and cultural appreciation in a language-immersed environment. 

Engage with educational activities from community resources: 

Libraries, museums, and natural parks are trusted places where children make discoveries, expand their knowledge, and connect their natural curiosity to the real world. Learning experiences in these institutions are self-directed, experiential, and content-rich, promoting executive function skills that shape a child’s success in school and life. 

Use the Internet wisely for home-based education: 

A handful of online platforms, services, and publishers have made their content accessible to keep students learning nowadays. Not only does virtual learning allow flexible scheduling, but also a wider range of courses are offered across the Internet to satisfy different children’s levels and interests.

Summer Camps and Programs Can Help

Structured summer programs can provide a balanced mix of learning and fun, ensuring that children stay intellectually engaged while also enjoying their break. 

One of the biggest differences between Tessa Summer Camp and other camps is that we are a language immersion camp, offering a unique and enriching experience for children. At the camp, students continue their language development throughout the summer. Campers love to learn Spanish, French, or Mandarin!

Hear more from our campers’ parents here

Tessa Summer Camp enables children to have fun while keeping learning in an immersive environment.

 

Rethinking Summer Learning Loss reinforces our goal of preparing lifelong learners. When schools are out, the whole world becomes our child’s classroom. With the ideas above for inspiration, parents can help students focus on the joy of learning during this golden period. These efforts will serve as a critical bridge for students transitioning between school years, ensuring they return to school ready to progress and excel.

 

Are you ready to explore the only international leading private school in Hoboken?

Contact Tessa International School to learn more!

Having Fun in Hoboken: Kid-Friendly Activities in Hudson County

Having Fun in Hoboken: Kid-Friendly Activities in Hudson County

The kids are running around the house with the fervor of a squirrel on any street in the north end during rush hour traffic, and the decibel level in your living room could rival the JFK runway. Yes, it’s the end of winter and the beginning of parents everywhere pleading for warmer temperatures so they can send the kids outdoors for outside activities before losing their last bit of sanity (the parents, not the kids).

If you find yourself with a bit of cabin-fever and can’t wait for the more tepid days of summer, you’re not alone. It’s one thing to be cooped up inside during the long winter months, but for parents – especially those with younger children – it can be downright maddening.

When you find that old man winter has been hanging on with his icy grip for a bit too long (and honestly, I think we all feel that way this time of year), you will likely find yourself searching for things to do outside of the house; Something – anything – that will let your kids constructively let out their energy without sacrificing your family home (or your mind).

Kid-Friendly Activities in Hudson County

Because we’ve all been there, here is a list of places in Hudson County that you can visit with your littles when the clutches of winter seem never-ending:

1 – Urban Jungle Play – Hoboken

If you need an indoor retreat for your tykes that will both keep their minds engaged and give them some physical activity (your furniture will thank you later), try Urban Jungle Play. Here they’ll be able to construct foam buildings, participate in early learning play classes, or even attend various camps. With tons of activities for kids of all ages, it’s a great place to let them be kids outside of the house.  

2 – Liberty Science Center – Jersey City

Few things will captivate a young mind more than an experience that combines fun and education in one setting. The Liberty Science Center is a fantastic way to immerse your child in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) learning through exciting and play-oriented means. Visit the museum to explore space through the planetarium, navigate the sensory tunnel, or let your children try their balance in the state-of-the-art infinity climber.

3 – Pump It Up – Secaucus

When the kids seem to have an endless supply of energy, try checking out Pump It Up in Secaucus. The indoor bounce houses will give your children an infinite amount of fun to spend their energy on. Though Pump It Up is known for their party rentals, they do offer open jump times where children can come and bounce in any number of inflatables for hours on end.

4 – Play City – Weehawken

With a focus on catering to both parents/caretakers and children, Play City is a great place to spend a few hours when you need to get out of the house with the kiddos. Here you’ll be able to either participate in activities with your child, such as their “Music Together” program, or simply relax in the café while the little ones play on their own. They have tons of activities for kids to choose from, ensuring they’ll find plenty of fun to keep themselves entertained for a while.

5 – Hudson PLAY – Jersey City

If you have a blended household with kids of all ages, Hudson PLAY might be a great option for you! With everything from rock climbing walls for the older kids to soft play areas for the little ones, it’s a great indoor activity center to let them burn their excess energy! And bonus – there’s also a nice little café included for moms, dads, and caregivers to recharge while the kids play.

Whether it’s bounce houses or rock-climbing walls, Hoboken and Hudson County have excellent options to help you beat your cabin fever. Or, in some cases (most?), help you keep your sanity by wearing the kids out indoors before the weather warms up! Need more ideas? Check out these other fun experiences in Hoboken!

Kids-Eye-View: Kid-Centric Hoboken Through the Eyes of Our Children

Kids-Eye-View: Kid-Centric Hoboken Through the Eyes of Our Children

When it comes to Hoboken, few things grasp the essence of the city like the pier, the river walkway, and the city’s deep Italian roots. Being the birthplace of Frank Sinatra and boasting local celebs like Buddy Valastro, Jr. (otherwise known as ‘Cake Boss’), it’s easy to understand why so many choose to call it home.

But what about the younger generations? Hoboken, though rich in culture and experience for adults, is seen quite a bit differently through the eyes of its youngest population. So just how does Hoboken look to the littles of the city?

It’s one thing to search for certain “kid-friendly” activities and locations, but how do you choose a place your child will truly enjoy? Well, for starters, we thought it might help to take a look at what your child is seeing on your city adventures with them.

While most of us appreciate places that are understanding and accepting of family dynamics (hence the ‘kid-friendly’ aspect), there’s a bigger picture here. Namely, if we’re looking for ‘kid-friendly’ locations, we’re usually looking for something that is going to capture our child’s attention and (hopefully) give them a fantastically entertaining learning experience simultaneously. Or, at the very least, a chance for some physical activity to wear them out for nap time. However, there is a bigger picture here.

The Research

Beyond the “fun” aspect (or the “wearing them out” one), getting kids actively involved in their communities has an enormous impact on their futures. In fact, according to an article in UC Berkeley’s Greater Good Magazine,  “research shows that getting kids involved increases their commitment to civic participation” later in life as well.

Researchers have found that focusing on what children show an interest in around their communities, increases the likelihood that they will explore and experience their surroundings. In short, when we try to see the city through the eyes of our children, we can better supply them with opportunities that are actually ‘kid-centric’, not just ‘kid-friendly.’

Kid-Centric Vs. Kid-Friendly

Kid-friendly locations like the ball pit at Romparoo, or the indoor jungle gyms of Urban Jungle Play are fantastic places for your child to gain some active play time. They are also great for arts and crafts and other exploratory and imagination play.

Hoboken is certainly rich with these kid-friendly locations. A quick Google search will have you lining up play dates at various kiddy locations in no-time, but are they your only option? In short – no. Not by a long shot.

To gain a more ‘kid-centric’ experience for children, researchers across the country have been turning their focus on more natural activities. Some cities, like Boulder, Colorado and Jacksonville, Florida, have even gone so far as to include children in the design process of their city’s public spaces. Why? What better way to encourage children to engage in their communities than to incorporate their views in the design?

Kids Designing for Kids

According to Mara Mintzer, one of the researchers involved in studying communities that participate in the kid-centric city planning, the most important thing to consider is what sparks the interest of children.

When you walk down Hoboken’s waterfront walkway with your children, what do they see? Do they see the city skyline and a great place for a jog? Or do they see the grass and the trees; hear the animals and smell the flowers? (Hint: it’s the latter.)

“Kids value things that often get pushed aside by big-money interests… in literally every single piece of work we’ve ever done with kids, they’re always (especially the younger kids) requesting more nature in their spaces – more animals, more plants, more flowers, colors,” says Mintzer.

Kids-Eye View

Through all of their research, city planners around the country have taken a look at what children see when they are immersed in their communities. You might think they’d notice the flashy lights of downtown or the familiar golden arches of a certain kid-geared fast-food chain, but you’d be wrong – at least, in part.

Their biggest findings? Kids love to explore. Finding areas where children can be free to roam and explore their surroundings – namely, nature – is the simplest way to cater to their curiosity and make the most of their experiences in the community.

Since children are inquisitive by nature, give them experiences that will nurture their desire to learn. Sure, you can do this by visiting specific kid-friendly places around town, but there are so many other ways to do the same. Actually, by viewing Hoboken through the eyes of our children, we open up a plethora of opportunities for them – most of which cost nothing more than our time. Here are a few of our favorite kid-centric activities to try in Hoboken:

Kid-Centric Activities in Hoboken

1 – The Waterfront Walkway

It may seem like an obvious choice, but when you look at the river walk through the eyes of your child, the learning opportunities are abundant. Head down to the pier and make a game of counting the ferries you see or imagine where the passengers may be off to. Watch the skies for nearby aircraft coming in and out of city helipads – who knows, you may spark the interest of a future pilot or captain!

2 – The Cove Boathouse

If you’ve visited the walkway and your child wants a more up-close water experience, try the Hoboken Cove Community Boathouse! Renting a kayak for a ride down the Hudson is an awesome way to spark your child’s inquisitive nature. By letting them see the city from the waterways, you give your children a unique opportunity to explore their surroundings from a different angle.

3 – The Pier Parks

Taking to heart the research findings that suggest kids love to explore uninhibited, a trip to any one of Hoboken’s public parks might be just the ticket. With wide open spaces, plenty of greenery and nature, and designated play areas, the parks are a fantastic way to let kids explore nature and their surroundings to their heart’s content.

4 – The Hoboken Fire Department Museum

Kids love hands-on experiences – a fact which makes Hoboken’s Fire Department Museum a fun outing for kids too. Combining history and the irresistible iconic red trucks, the Fire Department Museum is a great way to mix learning and play. If your little one loves to learn by touching everything in sight (and let’s be honest, they all do), they will love the fire truck “driving” experience they’ll get during the tour! Fire trucks not their thing? Check out any of these other historical sites in Hoboken as well.

5 – Castle Point Skate Park

Another thing that catches your child’s attention? Other children and what they’re doing. It’s no surprise that our kids pick up things that older siblings or friends are doing, and they usually love learning by immersion with others. What better way to expose your child to kids of all ages than to bring them to a skate park? Let them explore new activities and skills by giving them a place to observe others around them in an environment designated just for them.

Overall, if you’re looking for ‘kid-friendly’ activities for your child in Hoboken, try considering a ‘kid-centric’ one by looking at things from a kids-eye-view. Get out there and explore!

Join us at Tessa International School

Discover why our bilingual curriculum is one of the best! Explore how we combine learning with fun, making new friends, and encouraging a global mindset.

Tessa International School

Office: (201) 755-5585 | Location: 720 Monroe St. Hoboken, NJ 07030