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Blog Articles

Principal Shelby Gorski Interview

Posted: 1/08/2018


The best educators are passionate about helping kids, and lifelong learners themselves — but those traits are just the beginning of what makes Principal Shelby Gorski so great.

Principal Shelby grew up in Maryland and moved to North Carolina for college. She was a nursing student with a variety of interesting jobs along the way, including selling knives and hopping around as her school’s mascot — until serving at a camp for chronically ill children changed the trajectory of her life. Shelby had always known she wanted to work with kids in some capacity — but the camp solidified her decision to become a teacher. She changed majors and never looked back. “It was perfect,” she reminisces...(Read More)

Let it Snow!

Posted: 12/21/2017


Whether you live in a snow belt state or enjoy a warmer winter, you’re certain to equate snowflake imagery with colder months. Who can resist being mesmerized by their beautiful detail and perfect symmetry? Plus, snowflakes make for a fascinating and fun DIY paper craft too!....(Read More)

Principal Kerry Chisnall Interview

Posted: 11/30/2017


Every person has a unique story to tell, and when Principal Kerry shares his, you can’t help but be intrigued — partially because his thick New Zealand accent is so fun to hear, but especially because his story is all about overcoming. Principal Kerry knows what it means to persevere and adapt. He’s experienced first-hand what a difference education can make in the life of a child....(Read More)

#STEM is now #STEAM

Posted: 11/13/2017


For several years, great emphasis has been placed on incorporating STEM-based initiatives into classrooms across the country. This push to integrate more “Science, Technology, Engineering and Math” has helped educators find new and innovative ways to present curriculum, creatively blurring the lines between the four subjects to demonstrate how they work in tandem, and a fresh approach to future careers students can consider....(Read More)


Coding for Kids - it's never too early to learn!

Posted: 10/23/2017


Many people think programming is too difficult or technical for everyday people to learn. Not only is this untrue — it’s disproven each day by children busy building digital worlds online. Coding isn’t reserved for computer nerds geniuses, it’s accessible to everyday people online or in a classroom down the street.
With the advent of games like Minecraft and countless apps that make coding entertaining, computer programming has never been more popular or easy to learn. Experts recommend encouraging children to learn coding for a variety of reasons:...(Read More)

How to Raise a Respectful Kid

Posted: 10/10/2017


"One of the best lessons a child can learn is “a little kindness goes a long way.” Respectful people have an easier time building healthy relationships, navigating through tough decisions (because they realize their behaviors directly impact others) and ultimately help them earn respect from others. Raising a respectful kid does them a true favor. As a parent, you can set your child on course toward developing empathy and respect simply by demonstrating the behavior yourself. Here are a few ideas to consider:...(Read More)

Finding a better future through a charter school education

Posted: 9/26/2017


Did you know National Heritage Academies students gain the equivalent of 70 additional days of instruction over traditional public schools? While this statistic sounds staggering, it’s just one of the impressive findings from Stanford University’s 2017 CREDO study of charter schools.    
CREDO, the Center for Research on Education Outcomes at Stanford, is an organization that focuses solely on analysis and strategic planning for improving public education. Their insights are highly regarded and often used to help educators audit the effectiveness of programs and initiatives, while determining how to strengthen policies and accountability. In this particular study, CREDO compared the performance of a charter school student with their “virtual twin” at a traditional school to compile their research analysis. We couldn’t be more thrilled with the results...(Read More)

Play-Doh and its Distant Cousin Slime

Posted: 9/15/2017


​Play-Doh has provided countless hours of fun and smiles to kids the world over. It even has it’s own national holiday, September 16th! …But do you know its history?
Sold originally as a wallpaper cleaner by inventor Joe McVicker, the malleable modeling compound quickly found small-town popularity after a teacher told McVicker that many of her students found modeling clay too difficult to work with.

Realizing his cleaning product could serve as a great substitute, McVicker began sending samples to local Cincinnati schools. Students and teachers alike loved the product and McVicker eventually showcased the clay at a national education convention in 1955.,.(Read More)

Trade Kindergarten Jitters for Success

Posted: 8/29/2017


The process of growing up is full of “firsts.” Many firsts feel very nerve-wracking, and all carry at least some measure of uncertainty. At some point, every person faces a “first” that leaves them wondering if they’ll be good enough, if they’ll fit in, if they’ll know what to do. These experiences can stir up all sorts of emotions and require a good dose of bravery.

Your Kindergartener is no different. They’re facing one of the biggest “firsts” of their young life — starting school. Separation anxiety can be a real beast, but there are a few things you can do to help lessen your child’s worries....(Read More)

Summer Reading Challenge - Take on a Classic

Posted: 8/4/2017


This summer we’re featuring reading ideas for the whole family. In June, we brought you reading recommendations based on age, and last month we wrangled some of the best summer reading challenges from around the web.
This month we thought it would be fun to close out the summer with a few good old classics no one should miss! Here are a list of award-winning must-reads for everyone under your roof (or those lying leisurely in your hammock). As a fun bonus, almost all of these books have been made into movies, or are scheduled for release very soon. Read then cozy up together to watch your favorites come alive on-screen. Enjoy...(Read More)

Ten Free Things to do with Your Kids This Summer

Posted: 7/17/2017


1. Go bowling, for free! Have you heard of Kids Bowl Free? Register your child to receive 2 free games of bowling everyday this summer! Check the site for participating locations near you.

2. Go to the library. There’s nothing better than curling up with a good book on a rainy day, except for spending a whole day at the library! Check your local branch (or those in nearby towns) for special events including puppet shows, summer reading programs, parties, special readings or musical acts....(Read More)


Take on a Summer Reading Challenge

Posted: 7/10/2017


In May we brought you some great summer reading recommendations for the whole family. 

Want some more ideas for great poolside reads? Here are a few summer reading lists for adults:
  • Your Summer Reading List Recommended by Bill Gates
  • The Ultimate Summer Reading List from BookBub Blog
  • 2017 Reading List from Goodreads
  • Ultimate Summer Reading List from Harpers Bazaar
  • An Unusual Summer Reading List from The Washington Post...(Read More)

Our Ultimate Grilling Guide

Posted: 6/26/2017


Have you ever looked forward to an afternoon with friends and family over a delicious summer meal — only to be served a tough piece of meat or blackened veggies? Huge bummer.
Grilling doesn’t have to be intimidating with these tried-and-true tips and recipes. We promise you delicious, inventive barbecued food that’s cooked perfectly every time. Behold our Ultimate Summer Grilling Guide! We’ve wrangled some helpful tips, as well as a few suggestions sure to please even the pickiest little eater under your roof.

..(Read More)

Summer is a Great Time to Read

Posted: 5/1/2017


Looking for an excuse to relax with a good book this summer? Here are three great reasons: 
  1. A good book makes a great summer companion — lounging poolside or in a hammock. It even reduces stress!
  2. Summer learning loss is a real risk. Reading is an excellent way to fight it...(Read More)


Celebrating Terrific Teachers!

Posted: 5/1/2017


It’s time to celebrate all the wonderful teachers who have impacted students both past and present. As we begin Teacher Appreciation Week, here are a few ways you and your child can show special gratitude to a teacher for their sacrificial work...(Read More)

March - the Perfect Month to Read

Posted: 3/21/17


Poetry is one of the most powerful forms of literature and yet also one of the most neglected. But it doesn’t have to be! Reading poetry is a wonderful way to express emotion and explore culture together with your children. Here are some great ways to help your child become more familiar with poetry and cultivate a special appreciation for it....(Read More)

March - the Perfect Month to Read

Posted: 3/06/17


Did you know March is National Reading Awareness Month? In honor of one of our favorite pastimes — reading — we’ve created a list of five books that honor
several special events happening throughout this month: Dr. Seuss’ birthday, Pi Day, St. Patrick’s Day, the First Day of Spring and World Poetry Day. Enjoy these books with your family or curled up in a cozy corner...(Read More)

9 Ways to Eliminate Stress at Drop Off and Pick Up

Posted: 2/20/17


Some of the most stressful moments of a parents’ day are behind the wheel… in the school parking lot. We’ve all been there. It’s early morning and you’re running late — or it’s the end of the day and you just want to get home. It’s easy to forget simple parking lot etiquette when you’ve got a lot on your mind, or worse yet the person in front of you clearly does!...(Read More)

Help your child with homework, without losing your mind

Posted: 2/6/17


Tired of homework headaches? Between busy work weeks and the pressure to get dinner on the table each night, it can be especially tricky to make room for homework without becoming stressed. Plus, there are actually quite a few benefits your child receives by completing homework.... (Read More)

National Winnie the Pooh Day

Posted: 1/18/17


Did you know today is National Winnie the Pooh Day? January 18th is the day chosen to celebrate our favorite “chubby little cubby all stuffed with fluff” in honor of his creator’s birthday, author A.A. Milne, born January 18, 1882.... (Read More)

Easy Lunches on the Go

Posted: 1/5/17


Now that the holidays are over, many people are shifting their focus back to healthy eating, exercise and even re-prioritizing their lives. With so much on your plate, we thought it might be easy to make lunches mindless for a bit! Below we’ve pulled together some options that make assembling a healthy and tasty lunch a snap — for you and the kids.... (Read More)

Winter Reading Recommendations for the Whole Family

Posted: 12/19/16


Whether you live in a region that experiences snow or not, holiday break is a great time for families to hunker down, get cozy and spend time reading together, or alone. We’ve taken the guesswork out of this winter with a short list of book recommendations for every person in your home... (Read More)

Have Fun with Gingerbread this Season

Posted: 12/5/16


Not many confections symbolize the holidays quite the gingerbread house. First created in Germany during the 16th century, the elaborately decorated cookie-like houses quickly became associated with Christmas traditions and gained broad popularity after the story of Hansel and Gretel was published. Gingerbread arrived on American soil with English colonists, and three recipes were for the spicy cookie were included in the first American cookbook... (Read More)

Five Non-Traditional Thanksgiving Celebrations

Posted: 11/21/16


For many people the holiday season signals nostalgia — for others stress. But who says you have to do everything ‘just so?’ It’s important to remember that ultimately, Thanksgiving is about pausing to feel gratitude for the things and people in your life; making time to slow down and say “thank you.”...(Read More)

Principal Steve Pond Interview

Posted: 11/4/16


Even though his professional life has taken him from corporate training to professional sports management, Principal Steve Pond claims it was the “education bug” that bit him early in life and wouldn’t let go. But that’s just one of the reasons he’s so excited to open Peak Charter Academy in Apex, North Carolina...(Read More)

Make Learning Feel Like a Game

Posted: 10/24/16


Mary Poppins was definitely onto something when she said “Find the fun, and *snap* the job’s a game!” Everyone can agree that learning turns a fun corner when it’s incorporated into playtime. Plus, educational games are a great way to stimulate your child’s mind, or provide a fun opportunity to connect as a family....(Read More)

Stop Bullying in its Tracks

Posted: 10/10/16


It’s no secret that bullying is one of the biggest threats to a child’s emotional and physical well-being, and has been for many years. Perhaps you’ve experienced it yourself. It’s painful, alienating and scary. Add in the prevalence of social media outlets available today, and suddenly bullying becomes an exponentially larger problem....(Read More)

Homework Help is Here

Posted: 9/27/16


It’s homework season, and even though evenings are particularly busy for most families, your support at home can make a huge difference for your child. According to research conducted by the Center for Public Education, “Programs and interventions that engage families in supporting their children’s learning at home are linked to higher student achievement.” Here are five ways you can help your child get the most out of studying at home....(Read More)


Easy Weeknight Dinners

Posted: 9/14/16


Starting a new school year can feel hectic, no matter how well you planned ahead! And while there would probably be no complaints if you ordered takeout every night this week, intentionally sitting down around the table with a yummy dinner is a great way to debrief from the day and find your new fall family rhythm.....(Read More)


What is Parental Partnership

Posted: 8/24/16


If you’re new to National Heritage Academies, the term “parental partnership” may be new to you — and it may sound daunting. But we assure you, it’s not! At NHA, we believe a student’s education begins at home — and that our schools should strive to build a strong connection between home and school for each scholar....(Read More)


Principal Christy Morrin Interview

Posted: 8/17/16


While Matthews Charter Academy will be opening its doors for the first time this fall, its roots in the educational landscape of southeastern North Carolina run deep — largely due to Principal Christy Morrin....(Read More)

Celebrate Book Lovers' Day in Style

Posted: 8/9/16

Blog_August1_thumbDid you know August 9th is National Book Lovers’ Day? (As if we needed another reason to celebrate our love of books!) Here are some fun ways you can celebrate a day between the pages with your kids or loved ones!....(Read More)

8 Tips to Transition from Summer to School

By Amber Brandt

Posted: 7/25/16

Blog_June2_thumbThe beginning of a new school year can be very exciting, and also overwhelming. It’s a lot for kids (and their parents) to trade long summer evenings, camping and cookouts for routines, early bed times and homework. Here are a few tips that might help to smooth out the transition..(Read More)

Interesting and Fun 4th of July Facts

Posted: 6/28/16

Blog_June2_thumbAs we’re all keenly aware, “patriotism” can sometimes be a loaded or fuzzy word — especially during an election year! Hopefully, we can all agree the annual celebration of Independence Day...(Read More)

Stop Summer Learning Loss in its Tracks

Posted: 6/14/16

Blog_June1_thumbEveryone knows kids need a healthy balance of learning and play, but maybe never as much as during the summer months. As temperatures rise, so does the risk of learning regression. Without an intentional focus on keeping your child’s brain engaged during their summer vacation, the natural “break...(Read More)

Finding Your Summer Rhythm

Posted: 5/17/16

Blog_May2_thumbTransitions can be hard — and moving gracefully from the school year to summer break is no exception. Adjusting to new schedules, pressures, dynamics or obligations can sometimes clash with a litany of mixed emotions, causing frustration and stress...(Read More)

9 Ways to Finish the School Year Strong

Posted: 5/4/2016

Blended Learning thumb.pngIf you’ve ever put in a two-weeks’ notice at a place of employment, you know how difficult it can be to stay plugged in, even with the best of intentions. Your heart has already moved on to what’s ahead and your brain is struggling... (Read More)


What is "Blended Learning"?

Posted: 4/18/2016

Blended Learning thumb.pngIf you’ve heard the term “blended learning” and wondered what it meant, you’re not alone. In fact, this concept is new for many parents and even teachers! (Read More)


How to Raise a Compassionate Kid

Posted: 4/07/2016

Compassionate Kids thumb.pngEach month at National Heritage Academies, we emphasize a moral focus throughout our curriculum. We incorporate the theme throughout class discussion, and do our best to personally recognize when a student exemplifies the quality in action. April’s focus is Compassion. (Read More)


15 Ways to Make Reading Fun

Posted: 3/29/2016

Make Reading Fun thumb.pngReading provides countless benefits including increased vocabulary, stronger analytical thinking skills, improved focus and stress reduction. But for some, it can also be a source of frustration. Here is a list of 15 ways you can help eliminate obstacles for your child and make reading fun! (Read More)


Boost Learning With One Simple Key

Posted: 3/16/2016

Blog Boost Learning thumb.pngAs parents and caregivers, our role includes guiding and nurturing our children’s development in all areas of their life - which can sometimes feel like a tall order! Our lives are hectic and we’re bombarded with conflicting advice on the best way to parent. The good news...(Read More)


Dream Job Drawing Contest

Posted: 2/20/2016

DarrickWelch_thumb.jpgOur students have big dreams and we encourage them to chase these dreams every day. This month we asked them to share their dreams in an artistic form. The range of dreams our students have are an inspiration to us all...(Read More)


Everyday Learning Your Child Will Love

Posted: 2/16/2016

Everyday Learning.pngIf you’ve spent any significant time around children, you know they’re inquisitive. (Who knew it was possible to ask “why” six thousand times in one day!?) And while the “why” stage can feel draining at times, your child’s natural inclination toward curiosity and wonder is a really good thing...(Read More)





Posted: 11/12/2015

Respectober Cover thumb.pngIn our schools every October our students study respect in class, what it means and why it’s important. This year we challenged our students to tell us in their own words what respect means to them in our Respectober Contest...(Read More)


The Principal Series featuring James Hill

By Tristan Sweat

Posted: 11/04/2015

James Hill Blog thumb.jpgAndrew J. Brown Academy (AJB) Principal James Hill jumped over a lot of hurdles in his life to reach his dream of running an elementary school. The journey was painful at times, but the reward has been well worth it...(Read More)


What is Respect?

Posted: 10/22/2015

Blog Respect thumb.pngDuring the month of October schools across the nation will be talking about National Bullying Prevention Month. Showing respect to each other is one way students can take an active role in preventing bullying...(Read More)


The Principal Series featuring Alison Foreman

Posted: 10/20/2015

Alison Foreman Blog thumb.jpgBefore she was a principal, assistant principal, or classroom teacher, Alison Foreman was a young girl helping her mother put together her classroom for the upcoming school year. As she helped her decorate and label, Alison dreamed of one day having her own classroom...(Read More)


The Principal Series featuring Sarah Simpson

By Tristan Sweat

Posted: 10/13/2015

Sarah Simpson Blog thumb.jpgWhen asked to recall a favorite childhood memory, Sarah Simpson, principal of North Saginaw Charter Academy (NSCA), remembers a time when her father gave her a chalkboard. It was exactly what she needed for her one-room schoolhouse filled with stuffed animals...(Read More)


Importance of Attendance

By Jennifer Hoff

Posted: 10/8/2015

Blog Attendance thumb.jpgDid you know that someone with a bachelor’s degree can earn up to $36,424 more than the average drop out? Or that someone with a typical high school diploma can earn up to $10,386 more than the average drop out? (Read More)


The Principal Series featuring Deonna Washington

By Tristan Sweat

Posted: 10/06/2015

Deonna Washington Blog thumb.jpgGrowing up in Flint, Mich., Deonna Washington kept her nose in her books. She wanted to attend college and knew she needed to stay focused on her education. Luckily, she had her grandmother and a special teacher encouraging her along the way...(Read More)


The Principal Series featuring Ron Albino

Posted: 9/29/2015

Ron Albino Blog thumb.jpgIf there is one trait Principal Ron Albino embodies and portrays to his students at North Dayton School of Discovery, it’s perseverance. Day in and day out Albino teaches students how important it is to persevere no matter what life throws at you...(Read More)


The Principal Series featuring Dr. Christopher Petty

Posted: 9/22/2015

Christopher Petty Blog thumb.jpgLong after leaving the classroom as a student himself and 12 years later as an educator, Dr. Christopher Petty, principal at Alliance Academy of Cincinnati, never forgets the mentors who helped shape him into an educator....(Read More)


The Principal Series featuring Michael Bean

Posted: 9/15/2015

Michael Bean Blog thumb.jpgDr. Michael Bean knows success does not come easy, but when you achieve it, the feeling is sweet. Now entering his third year as principal of Apex Academy in East Cleveland, Ohio, Dr. Bean leads students and teachers with the same mindset that drove him to a career in education....(Read More)


Time to Eliminate Kindergarten Jitters

By Jennifer Hoff

Posted: 8/25/2015

Kindergarten-Jitters-thumb.pngThe first time we experience something can be exciting. The anticipation builds and the mind is full of hope and wonder. Firsts can also be stressful when one doesn’t quite know what to expect. The hope and wonder can turn into. ....(Read More)


The Principal Series featuring Matt Carlton

Posted: 8/5/2015

Matt Carlton Blog thumb.jpgIf there is one moral focus virtue Matt Carlton strives to live by, it’s perseverance. From his time as a young student, to teacher, and now principal, Carlton knows success comes when you push through. ....(Read More)


Science As You’ve Never Tasted It

Posted: 7/15/2015

Blog_Summer_Learning_2_thumb.pngMany parents are on the lookout for clever ways to sneak vegetables into their kids’ favorite dishes. But did you know that some of their favorite snacks are actually sneaking in a science experiment, too? While most of us cook meals each day, we rarely realize the amount of chemistry....(Read More)


The Principal Series featuring Devon Carson

By Tristan Sweat

Posted: 7/1/2015

DevonCarson_Measuring_Stick_thumb.pngWinterville Charter Academy principal Dr. Devon Carson understands the power of parental guidance. He is quick to thank his father, who he considers the most influential person in his life, for teaching him to always have a positive attitude even when faced with a challenge....(Read More)


Ten Simple Crafts to Boost Summer Creativity

Posted: 6/15/2015

Summer Creativity thumb.pngRemember the endless summer days you spent playing outside as a child? Technology had yet to advance much past the Nintendo, and if you were one of the lucky kids who actually had a gaming system, your mother was most definitely not going to let you sit in front of it all afternoon...(Read More)


The Working Mom's Survival Kit: 15 Ways to Make Life More Manageable


Posted: 8/21/2014

Mom Working at Home thumb.pngSee, the thing is, every few months some celebrity or super CEO or magazine cover story questions whether women can "have it all" and everybody starts arguing about work-life balance and what it takes to have a career, raise kids, wrangle a man and take time for self...(Read More)


Five Fun Ideas For Summer Learning

ene Millner


sted: 8/07/2014​

summer learning thumb.pngThere’s all that ripping and running during the school year - the super early mornings and the sweating over homework late into the evening and all the activities and volunteering and, good grief, work, in between it all...(Read More)


​Below is a list of the authors that have contributed to our blog.

Katie Baker

Amber Brandt

Denene Millner

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