By Megan S. Willman

Here a few tips from St. Francis School that you can use to help your kids become better in every way.

Take time for play in nature. “The power of play is tremendous. Children need to be allowed to be children, and play is much more than a way to pass the time. Imaginative play in particular is important!” Sitting on 64 acres, the Goshen campus allows younger students the chance to learn and grow while in touch with nature. In addition to the school building and gym, there are three playgrounds, a wooded area, a garden, and animals including chickens, bunnies, and cats.

Expect them to help out at home. “Helping children understand that privilege and responsibility go hand in hand is vital. As they want more autonomy — being allowed to stay up later, for example — their level of responsibility around the house should also increase.”

Make sure they catch some Z’s. “Consistent bedtimes and adequate sleep are critical to a child’s success. There are clear guidelines from the American Academy of Pediatrics on how much sleep children need by age, and it’s a parent’s job to make sure they get it. As a school, our recognition of children’s need for adequate sleep and the natural sleep patterns of adolescents was a major factor in moving our start of school time back to 8:30​am.”

Expose kids to real urban areas. So that your kids know how to get around in different areas, expose them to different areas. The downtown campus of St. Francis situates adolescents in the “real” world of downtown Louisville where the city becomes their campus. Students walk to theater performances, the public library, and local businesses to broaden their learning and prepare for life after high school.

Photo: courtesy of St. Francis 

Get your kids involved in a sport/team. St. Francis offers no-cut athletics where all students are encouraged to play, and experienced athletes can play years at the varsity level.

As its mission statement indicates, St. Francis exists to “cultivate a joyful, compassionate, intellectual community that celebrates individuality and inspires independent thinking for life.” St. Francis is an independent, non-denominational school that educates students from preschool to grade 12 on two campuses, in downtown Louisville and Goshen, Kentucky.

“St. Francis has a strong commitment to financial aid, which allows it to enroll a diverse student body. “We want to be affordable to any student who wants to attend. Fifty-one percent of the student body receives need-based aid, which is over twice the national average for independent schools,” says Suzanne Bizot Gorman, head of Downtown Campus.