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The mission of Brookfield Christian School is to offer a Christ-centered education that prepares students to learn, to lead, and to serve faithfully in God’s world. Throughout the year, we provide opportunities for students to serve with their fellow classmates.
Before Christmas break, the first grade class took on a service project to impact our local homeless community, collecting items and making “blessing bags” filled with essential items to be distributed to those in need. The students took ownership of the project and were excited to see how their efforts made a difference. The first graders began by making signs to hang in the hallways of BCS advertising their plan and goal.
The class collected and sorted items for 2 weeks and then assembled the blessing bags. Their 5th grade buddies from Mr.Vander Vliet’s class helped. The students formed an assembly line with students stationed around the room filling the bags with a particular item, while others walked around with a gallon sized storage bag collecting each item, and still others packing the finished bags into boxes. It didn’t take long for the class to make up 80 blessing bags!
The 1st grade students also wrote cards to go in the bags. They wrote very sweet and heartfelt messages. The class has been been praying for the homeless and that their bags would truly be a blessing to whomever received them. Along with the 80 bags for the homeless, they also collected a box of basic necessities including extra items leftover, 2 boxes filled with baby and children’s clothes and necessities, a box of hats, scarves, gloves, and socks for men and women, a garbage bag full of blankets, and a garbage bag full of coats.
After completing the project the kids reflected on what they had learned. Here are some of their responses:
“Even though we are young, we can be an example.”
“It took a lot of teamwork and getting others to help us to make it work and help more homeless people.”
“People who live close by need help, not just people in far away places.”
“Giving and serving is fun and it makes you feel good.”
“I am thankful God used us to help others. He knows what everyone needs”
The assembled blessing bags and supplies will be handed out to the homeless living on the streets in Milwaukee. The class partnered with a former BCS teacher who initiated a donation drive to help the homeless community this Christmas. She and a group of family, friends, and church members will deliver the supplies along with the other donations she has received. Not only will the bags and winter clothes and blankets be given out, but time will be given to talk with the homeless people, hear their story, and pray with them (if they would like). After handing out supplies, remaining items will be delivered to the Hope Center in Waukesha.
Thank you to everyone who made a contribution. It was a joy to see the first graders get so excited to serve!
Want to learn more about Brookfield Christian School? Contact us to schedule a visit or to receive more information.
At the start of every school year, I enjoy walking around the school, looking at the hallways and poking my head into classrooms as teachers prepare, and seeing the fresh, creative ideas they have used to decorate their rooms and make them a welcoming learning environment. Often, many teachers take the theme for the year and turn it into a bulletin board or use another concept that they would like to emphasize and make it the focal point of a visual display. This year is no different. The theme for this year, “Stand Up and Be the Example,” is prevalent on many walls as are other ideas centered around our value as unique individuals loved by God.
Yet what makes our education different from others is not simply words and ideas placed on walls. Instead, we take the words off the walls and make them part of an intentional effort to connect our faith directly with our learning. Weaving our throughlines, ten faith “connection points,” into our teaching and learning discussions and activities enables us to integrate faith more seamlessly into our content areas.
Discerning and Applying Knowledge
Exploring and Creating Beauty
Caring for Creation
These faith throughlines serve as a reminder of what we are truly trying to teach our students as we encourage them to look at life through the lens of faith as Christians. When done well, students realize that learning about math, science, social studies, language, or any of the other subject areas, is more than just learning for the sake of learning. The knowledge and insights gained are not separate or implemented in isolation from our faith. Rather, students understand that what they learn is to be used to further God’s kingdom and that they are called to be difference makers in his world.
As we go through this and every school year, our goal for our students is that they will internalize and embody this concept of making our faith a living, active, connected faith that impacts our everyday lives and the community and world in which we live.
To learn more about Brookfield Christian School or to schedule a visit, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We were blessed to have one of our alumni, also a parent of one of our 2018 graduates, deliver the commencement address this year. We’re sharing a part of her advice to our 8th graders as they head out to learn, to lead and to serve faithfully in God’s world:
“You may or may not know, but BCS has lots of traditions – which I personally love. Many of my friends tease me about my long and varied list of traditions in our house. And because of this, I find great joy watching my own children do many of the things I did as a student here. Some things have changed over the years, the enrollment, the school colors, even the name….but the core of BCS remains the same. Founded in faith, teaching God’s Word.
During your time here, you have been challenged to learn, to lead and to serve. This is more than just a tag line for the school. It is a great foundation for your life. It’s time to take those principles into the next chapter! Never stop learning. Look for the ways God has prepared for you to lead. Live a life of service. This reminds me of a phrase used in medical training: “Watch one, do one, teach one.”
The first phase of learning to do a new skill is watching someone who has mastered that skill. This is not an inactive, sit back and watch. This takes concentration, a willingness to learn, not being afraid to ask questions. I believe that much of your time at BCS has been a phase of “watch one.” You have been “watching” your teachers for years now, taking in all the knowledge they are working to pass on. You have learned your days of the week from Mrs. Bylsma. You learned to read from Mrs. Patch, cursive handwriting from Mrs. Otten, and world history from Mr. Dekker.
But you have also learned how to pray, how to study the Bible, how to be a reading buddy, how to stand without moving in the wax museum, how to give speeches, how to resolve conflict, how to encourage others. You have had the opportunity to “Build Each Other Up,” to learn what it means to be part of the “Body of Christ,” and how to “Grow in Grace.” You have been blessed with parents, teachers, small group leaders, and coaches who have prayed for you, encouraged you, and instructed you in these things.
BCS has prepared you well for the next phase: “Do one.” It is important to know that in the medical field the “do one” phase is done under supervision. The instructor who had you watch their procedure, now supervises you as you do the procedure. You are not left on your own yet. You are still side by side with someone who has more skill, more knowledge, more training. So has been your experience at BCS. Your parents, other parents, teachers, principal, coaches – they have been there to lead, guide and cheer you on as you put your knowledge into practice and do one.
You’ve learned about unity in Christ and then practiced the “doing” in your unity groups. Watch one, do one. You’ve watched and learned about leadership and you’ve practiced the “do one” phase in the classroom and on student council. You were a little buddy once, looking up to the big kids. Then, you yourself became the big buddy and little ones were looking up to you and watching you. Watch one, do one.
You have been taught about the importance of service and then you have gone outside these walls and packed food for Feed My Starving Children. You’ve collected and sorted shoes at Soles for Jesus, and this year you picked 2500 pounds of vegetables to help feed Milwaukee’s hungry and homeless. Watch one, do one. All the while, being surrounded by “supervisors,” resources and encouragers.
Now comes the exciting and scary phase: “Teach one.” It’s your turn to take all that you have experienced, all that you have learned, and share it! Share the knowledge, gifts and talents that have been nurtured in you with others. You are headed out into the world where you will have more autonomy, more responsibility and will be making more decisions on your own – decisions that have bigger impact and consequences. Remember that every decision, every friendship, every conversation is an opportunity to represent God.
I’d like to offer a couple practical ways to represent God, lead by example and teach one:
Be truthtellers. Proverbs 12:22 says “The Lord detests lying lips, but He delights in people who are trustworthy.” Lying is the way of the world and often the easy way out. Resist the urge to make yourself look better or avoid consequences by lying. Lying hurts friendships and destroys trust. Instead, choose honesty even when it’s difficult. Lead by example. Speak truth and in doing so you teach one.
Take ownership. Accept responsibility for your mistakes. News flash: You will make mistakes. (We all do). You may lose your cool on the field or court, you may make a bad decision in the moment, you may post something on social media that you regret, or you may inadvertently find yourself in a bad situation because you went along with the crowd. I challenge you to own it. Don’t lie to yourself or others. It makes it worse. The Bible says in Proverbs 28:13 that “He who conceals his sins does not prosper, but whoever confesses and renounces them finds mercy.”
Others are watching how you deal with mistakes. When you accept responsibility you represent God well. Remember! Representing God does NOT mean pretending you never make a mistake. Showing others how to own it in the hard times and then choosing better next time is a wonderful example of God’s grace and goodness. And in it you teach one.
Be men and women of integrity. Having integrity means a person has a moral compass that does not waiver. It literally means having a “wholeness” of character that is undivided. Just as an integer is a whole number with no fractions. And for my kids that try to convince me that they’ll never need math, there’s some math you can use!
Base your moral standard on God’s Word and not what is right in the world’s eyes. That may change from year to year. But God’s truth never waivers, and the best way to know this is to know God’s Word!
As a mother of a young man, I’d like to say to the boys tonight: The world is full of examples of men who lie, who are arrogant, who do anything to win at all costs. Men who treat and speak of women with no respect. Men who are afraid to speak out and stand up for what’s right. DO NOT BE ONE OF THEM. Instead, lead by example and choose honesty, choose kindness, and speak the truth in love. Stand strong, be humble, choose your words and actions carefully. I Corinthians 15:58 says, “Be on your guard, stand firm in the faith; be men of courage; be strong. Do everything in love.”
To the girls: As a fellow woman, I encourage you to be woman of excellent character. Use all that God has given you for His purposes. Don’t fall into the trap of comparing yourselves to others which can cause us to put people down to make ourselves feel better. Your identity is in Christ. Build others up and be generous. Watch your tongue and your choose your words carefully. Resist gossip. Be bold in your witness of Christ!
When you leave BCS, you may no longer be surrounded by teachers who watch over you or “supervise” your spiritual growth. In fact, you may be headed into circumstances that will challenge your faith. I will encourage you to find friends who share your love for God and strengthen those friendships. You can rely on one another, find common ground, accountability and encouragement there.
Choosing to live a life of integrity may come at a cost. You may risk losing a friendship or risk being labeled judgmental, narrow minded or weird for standing up for what is right or for telling others what you believe. This phase of “teach one” may bring on fear of rejection, ridicule or of being left out. I love the song that says “for every fear, there is an empty grave, for the Lord our God has overcome.” God took on all our fears and He buried them in the grave and He has overcome! You can trade your fear and put your trust in a God who promises to always be with you in every situation. He will never ask you to do these hard things without providing His power and grace.
Living your life full on for Christ will be a decision you will never regret. It is a life of fulfillment and purpose. It may not be easy, but God is with you always. And there is great blessing even in the hard times because God is faithful. The most important thing to remember is that He loves you. You are actively pursued by God who loves you so deeply and He desires to have an ever-growing relationship with you. And even with our mistakes or when it’s hard or challenging, I pray that truth compels you to want to make good decisions, to live a life of integrity and purpose and to point others to Jesus.
WATCH ONE. DO ONE. TEACH ONE.
This is a lifelong process, but look at all these people here tonight! They are all in your corner and are praying for you and cheering you on as you step out in faith. No matter how many years you’ve been here, you know that this community of believers is something special. Your families have become family to us. We will be forever grateful for our time here and the friendships we have made.
You are leaving this place and entering the next chapter, and I am so excited to see all the ways you will grow and serve God in the future. You are just a wonderful group of young men and women, and I am privileged to have watched you grow over all these years.
Congratulations to you on your graduation! Love you all.
To learn more about Brookfield Christian School or to schedule a visit, contact us at email@example.com.
This post was originally shared by our talented Middle School Language Arts teacher in our weekly staff gathering on Mondays as a devotional and then adapted to share on our blog.
Lately, I’ve been thinking about the mundane rhythms of life. Maybe it’s because it’s April and I’m “teacher-tired” – everyone in this room knows what I mean when I say “teacher-tired” – it’s that bone-tired weariness that goes beyond the reach of sleep.
Maybe it’s because Wisconsin decided to hold off on spring for far too long this year, and because of the seasonal “boycott,” UW-Milwaukee’s baseball team (and their handsome coach who happens to be my husband) has had to play 33-straight games on the road. That is, thirty-three and counting…there are 4 more road games this week.
Whatever the reason, I’ve been thinking a lot about the mundane things of life – the daily tasks that glue our lives together hour by hour: the laundry and the shopping and the meal prep and the running of kids to and fro, the tedious but important stuff that we work out behind the scenes before we step onto the stages of our classrooms, the countless hours making comments on papers that may (or may not) be read while also posting grades and returning emails in timely fashion. Because of the repetition – the redundancy – of the daily grind, these mundane tasks often become a kind of white noise in our lives. And if we let it, it can drown out a holy chorus that speaks to the beauty and greatness that God can create in the midst of the mundane.
I don’t know about you, but sometimes living in the spin cycle of the mundane make me feel like I’m missing out on some bigger “Kingdom Work”…something greater, something bigger, something more. But, as author Ann Voskamp asks, “what if living a life of greatness for God is not about doing a few great things, but instead it’s about living a life of holy redundancy—showing up faithfully day after day in the seemingly little things? What if our greatest investments are faithfully raising our family, building a God-honoring career, cultivating a healthy heart, and developing strong relationships?”
In his book, Dream Big, Think Small, author and pastor Jeff Manion shares what he has observed through his thirty steady and consistent years of ministry, which is this: the remarkable life is built by taking a thousand unremarkable steps.
He shares, “As believers, we want our lives to count. We long to do great things for the kingdom of God. However, greatness is rarely achieved by doing great things, but instead by doing good things repetitively.
The tragedy is that, while waiting for great opportunities to come along, we miss out on a parade of good opportunities that march steadily by. Goodness is largely ignored because it seems too common, too mundane, too everyday.
Consider the way this plays out in the example of a small community. A town mourns the death of three teenagers killed in a car accident.
Tragedy struck with screeching tires and twisting metal. The horrific news sweeps through the high school with the devastating shock of a tsunami. Bouquets and handwritten notes form a spontaneous memorial at the intersection where the cars collided. Tragedy strikes. Conversely, goodness rarely ‘strikes.’ It arrives on the stage with little drama.
In the same community that experienced the awful accident, a devoted coach painstakingly builds a cross-country program for middle school girls. For a dozen seasons, she forges diligence, teamwork, and confidence. While some of these girls are the products of affirming, encouraging homes, others will remember their seventh-grade cross-country coach as “the first person who believed in me.”
And then, twenty years pass. Ask a thirty-three-year-old woman from that community what influences impacted her while she was growing up. Reflecting for a moment, she answers, ‘The Accident’ and ‘The Coach.’
But recall that ‘The Accident’ and ‘The Coach’ arrived at different speeds and in radically different ways. Tragedy strikes. Goodness grows slowly. The snail’s pace at which goodness travels will require extreme devotion to the journey.
Goodness demands staying power. The question is whether we will summon the requisite endurance for a slow, faithful, consistent outpouring of love.
I believe this is why Paul urged an early community of Jesus’ followers with these words from Galatians 6:9: ‘Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.’”
Paul speaks to the issue of weariness because a life of goodness can be tedious and redundant and absolutely overflowing with the mundane. Manion adds, “It involves bringing ourselves again and again, often to the same tasks and often to the same people. The repetition takes something out of us. It drains our energy. Paul was writing here of a kind of weariness (maybe even “teacher-tired”) that leads to calling it quits. But he also reminds us that we will reap a harvest, if we do not give up.”
“If I’m honest, I wish Paul had selected a different metaphor. Perhaps something with a little more speed, and decidedly quicker results. But, no, Paul went with farming. Because you can’t rush a harvest. You plow, you plant, and you wait. And this is not a mistake: I believe the farming image can radically adjust our expectations. Sometimes a life of positive impact is about as interesting as watching a garden grow.”
And there it is: Goodness grows slowly. It arrives through the repeated kindness of the diligent faithful. It arrives quietly, traveling the slow path of devoted love.
As Manion gently reminds us, we must “dream big, but think small,” we must toil with the slow process that yields a harvest. Day by day, through one loving act after another, we have an opportunity to grow a life of greatness. Through one more paper comment. Through one more load of laundry. Through one more trip to the grocery store. Through one more, and then another, and then another. We have the opportunity to grow a life of greatness. We just have to keep showing up and planting. We have to keep keeping on…even in – no, especially in – the mundane.
Want to learn more about Brookfield Christian School? Contact us today for more information or to schedule a visit.
When deciding what type of learning environment will best serve your child, there are obviously many considerations: academic rigor, course offerings, educational philosophy, sense of community, extracurriculars, etc. However, sometimes lost in the decision-making process is the educational structure of the grade levels themselves.
Many larger schools and districts physically separate their students into elementary schools (usually K-5), middle schools (typically grades 6-8), and high schools (grades 9-12) due to space limitations and in order to operate efficiently. While such a setup works for some students and families, others express concern, especially at the middle school level, with the sheer size of the student body and a lack of feeling connected both on a student and family level.
That concern is understandable. Middle school is a time when students are going through many transitions socially, emotionally, physically, spiritually, and academically. It is a stage in life unlike any other. Students are exploring their independence and defining their sense of self in relation to others. They need to feel connected to the adults they interact with on a daily basis and be given opportunities to serve as positive role models themselves.
A self-contained K-8 school provides such a learning environment and offers many benefits, including:
All of these benefits lead to an overall sense of confidence that translates well as students transition to high school. As our graduate surveys consistently show, students from Brookfield Christian are prepared to succeed in high school whether they attend high schools large or small, public or private.
When considering a school for your child, we encourage you to visit Brookfield Christian School to see what we have to offer. Our self-contained PreK-8 model offers many educational benefits for you and your child(ren). Contact us to schedule a tour today.
Brr! Its cold, and that means lots of time inside, and the usual toys are getting old. Need some creative activities that won’t have you wasting time on major clean-up? Try some of these road-tested options:
Find few more activities and ideas on our Winter Fun Pinterest board.
Brookfield Christian School is an independent Christian school offering grades 3K-8 in Brookfield, Wisconsin. For more information about BCS, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
One of our teachers recently shared this reflection on our theme for the year – please enjoy!
I Corinthians 12:27 says that we are the body of Christ, and each one of us is a part of it. Students, parents, teachers, and other staff members at BCS are all part of the body of Christ. We all belong to our Maker, and we all have a role in serving Him.
Some of us are organized, others are creative, some are musical, and others are encouraging. We all have been given gifts from the Holy Spirit , and we are to use them for God’s glory. No gift is more important than another, nor is one member of thebody more important than another. At BCS each member is valuable. We need each other, and our combined parts work
together to grow as a body of Christ.
There are times when trouble comes. When one part of the body suffers, the whole body suffers. It is during the difficult times when we need to rally around each other, encourage, and lift each other up. When there is success and reason to rejoice, the whole body should celebrate together. There are so many things to be grateful for.
As we begin a new school year at BCS, let’s work together, encourage one another, and have a great year of growing in God’s
To learn more about Brookfield Christian School and how we’re living out our theme this year, contact us at email@example.com.
We kicked off our 54th year at BCS this morning! Our chapel speaker was alumnus and parent of three BCS students, Ryan Dooyema. He shared some fun stories of his times at BCS, and spoke on our theme for the year, “The Body of Christ.” We can’t wait to gain a deeper understanding of what it means to be a part of the body of Christ this throughout the school year. Our Middle School students started Monday with a retreat at a local camp, to spend some time getting to know one another and preparing for a great year. Our 1st-8th graders had their first official school day today, and then our littlest Eagles will start tomorrow. Please continue to keep the students, staff and families of Brookfield Christian School in your prayers throughout this school year.
To learn more about BCS, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (262) 782-4722.
Need to get your kids back into the swing of things before school starts? Try some of these fun learning activities!
If you’ve hoping to encourage your kids to open a book and read this summer but it’s been a struggle, then this might do the trick. Pick out a book that is also a movie and then pick a date for a movie night. To view the movie, they have to read the book.
Then, have a family movie night where you watch the movie together. Since the movie is often a creative interpretation of the book, talk about the differences that you noticed and what you thought was more interesting in the book and what was more interesting in the movie. Ask your child to be a movie critic and critique how the movie portrayed the book (characters, plot, scenes, imagery, etc.). Make sure to have some popcorn, too!
Find a project for your kids to do and have them follow the step by step instructions online. Pinterest and YouTube are great resources for finding fun project ideas. This allows kids to use a screen but to also create something and learn about how different things are made. You could also have your kids create their own DIY project and publish it online or email a tutorial to a family member.
Plan an outdoor photo scavenger hunt! Make a list of all planets, rocks, bugs etc. that you want your kids to find and ask them to photograph each item they find with a camera, iPod, smartphone or tablet. Afterwards you could use the photos to create a photo book together. Great for those end of summer camping trips and vacations!
Encourage your kids to dust off those word processing, graphic design and keyboarding skills! Create flyers for a rummage sale or lemonade stand and give proceeds to a favorite charity. Create cards for missionaries or soldiers. Volunteer to help a senior citizen with computer skills. Create a photo book of summer vacation photos for the family to enjoy.
This is part of a series of posts providing practical information for parents and families while highlighting the talents and expertise that we have within our school community. Here one of our parents in law enforcement shares some tips for keeping your family safe in large crowds.
1. Encourage your children to memorize your home address and phone numbers for parents. Make a game of it!
2. When your family goes to Summerfest, Six Flags, a local church festival or any other crowded venue, take a minute and snap a photo of your kids after you park your vehicle. If your child goes missing, you have a photo of what they’re wearing and don’t need to struggle to try to remember their outfit at a time when you are already panicked.
3. Have a “reunion plan” in place for crowded venues, i.e. “if we get separated we will meet up at the Spinning Teacups.” (This is more appropriate for older children.) Make sure your younger children understand what staff members wear and know to ask them for help if they get lost. Depending on your child’s age, it may be prudent to have a reunion site in and outside of the venue.
4) Remind your children that adults shouldn’t try to get them to go places away from their parents and that if someone does try to get them to “see a puppy”, “get some candy”, etc. that they should immediately tell an adult with kids, an employee, a police officer, etc.
Stay safe, and have a great summer!