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Holiday Crafts

Get kids excited for Christmas by counting down the days with fun holiday crafts. If you are interested in discovering new crafts to keep your kiddos occupied, look no further! Not only do kids love craft time, it is also a great chance for them to built their fine motor skills.

It’s no secret that Santa loves cookies and any craft store will have customizable plates. Buy a plain white plate along with paint or markers, then let the kids create their own designs! At the end of the day, serve Santa’s favorite dish on something that was homemade and full of fun memories.

If you want a treat that looks good and tastes good, try creating this Candy Christmas Tree Snowglobe! All you need is one mason jar, white chocolate peanut butter cups, any other treats you’d like to add and some ribbon. Assemble the candy tree using the largest peanut butter cup as the base layer. Add as many levels and goodes for decor as you like! When the tree is decorated, put a small dot of frosting on the lid to secure the tree then screw the lid onto the jar – and wahla!

Let your little chefs get creative this year. Let them help bake batches of cookies then provide them with multiple holiday animal cut outs and treats to decorate their cookies with. Kids have great imaginations so there will never be a dull moment! It is amazing to see your little chef hard at work with frosting and sprinkles.

One of the most famous holiday crafts has to be building a gingerbread house. This tradition has been around for decades! You can build a house from scratch or buy a box with all the needed supplies from the store. The crisp gingernut cookie is baked into shapes for perfect construction. The frosting holds all the pieces together and then it is ready to be filled with treats.

No matter what holiday craft idea you choose, the kids are guaranteed to have fun. Crafts make for a great weekend or afternoon activity that the whole family can enjoy!

Where Do Holiday Traditions Come From?

Christmas wreath for the holiday. The new year celebration. 

The students at Delphi Academy of Boston are history buffs. In researching various traditions of Christmas, we discovered this holiday has so many interesting origins. So, we just had to share! Many of the family holiday traditions that we see during the holiday season date back to the Victorian times. Gathering around the Christmas tree or discovering treats inside your stocking stretch back thousands of years, long before Christianity. New traditions, like Santa and elves show up during the holiday season as well, mixing multiple traditions together to arrive at their current state today.

Christmas evolved around the Roman tradition of Saturnalia, which was a festival honoring their god of agriculture. Today it has become known as a time to celebrate joy and gift-giving. By the turn of the 4th century Christians recognized this already celebrated time of year as the birth of Christ. During both celebrations, the act of gift giving was involved. Today family members and friends celebrate and exchange thought-filled gifts to express their gratitude for one another.

It is commonly thought that Saint Nicholas began the stocking tradition we see during the holiday season. Both represent the idea of gift giving and savoring childhood. During this time, oranges were given out as luxurious and generous gifts since they were so expensive at the time. The practice of stocking-stuffing can be dated back to the 4th century. In modern day, Saint Nicholas has taken on the form of Santa Claus. Looking past Saint Nick, this practice can be seen in Scandinavian countries were candy and treats would be left for the children.

Wreaths were used as a symbol to represent power and strength. Roman and Greek rulers would wear laurel wreaths as crowns. It is though that the laurel wreath connected them to their sun god, Apollo, and his values. Harvest wreaths, which closely resemble the ones we see today, were used for rituals during harvest. These predate written history. The evergreen wreaths also symbolize strength and fortitude since the evergreen will survive even through the harshest of winters. Today, wreaths are common decor that offer a lovely scent for the holiday season!

Everyone wants the Christmas glow – especially during the short winter months. The numerous traditions we see today all relate back to different times of history. After thousands of years of different cultures mixing and sharing traditions, Christmas has become a holiday where everyone gathers together to celebrate one another.


Do you celebrate Christmas? If so, what traditions do you have for this historical holiday?

The History of Thanksgiving


Modern day Thanksgiving is celebrated with a large turkey meal surrounded by friends and family. It’s not about giving or receiving gifts, but about enjoying time with your loved ones. Pies and cakes were not traditionally on the menu but have become a hallmark statement.


Thanksgiving becomes an Official Holiday

November of 1621 has been declared the United States first unofficial Thanksgiving celebration. The Plymouth colonists, who survived the rough winter and trip away from London, and the Wampanoag Indians shared a harvest feast. For more than two centuries, colonies continued to celebrate Thanksgiving. It wasn’t until 1863, in the midst of the Civil War, that President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed a national Thanksgiving Day to be held each November.

The Pilgrims’ first corn harvest was proved successful so Governor William Bradford organized a feast to celebrate and invited their Native American allies, including the Wampanoag chief Massasoit. While the exact menu for the celebration isn’t known, it’s said that lobster, seal and swan were a part of the meal! Old journal entries show that a large “fowling” mission was executed in preparation for the event and the Wampanoag guests brought 5 deer. The friendship with the Wampanoag tribe, which endured for more than 50 years, tragically remains one of the sole examples of harmony between European colonists and Native Americans.

The next year, 1623, the Pilgrims celebrated their second Thanksgiving harvest to mark the end of the drought that had threatened their last years harvest. It prompted Governor Bradford to mark it as a religious holiday. Days of fasting and thanksgiving on an annual or occasional basis became common practice in other New England settlements as well.

In 1863 at the height of the Civil War, Abraham Lincoln, spoke to all Americans to ask God to “commend to his tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife” and to “heal the wounds of the nation.” He scheduled Thanksgiving for the final Thursday in November, and it was celebrated on that day every year until 1939, when Franklin D. Roosevelt moved the holiday up a week in an attempt to spur retail sales during the Great Depression. Roosevelt’s plan, known derisively as Franksgiving, was met with passionate opposition, and in 1941 the president reluctantly signed a bill making Thanksgiving the fourth Thursday in November.


Thanksgiving Controversies

It is debated whether or not  the Plymouth Thanksgiving was truly the first celebrated in the United States history. There have been other ceremonies recorded that focused on giving thanks for safe arrival or giving thanks to their almighty.

The sunny version of the Thanksgiving story is frequently discussed, especially around the holiday. Many believe that the story of the Pilgrims and Native American tribe feasting together misrepresent all the blood shedding that occurred as the Europeans moved further and further west, killing millions. Since 1970, protesters have gathered on the day designated as Thanksgiving at the top of Cole’s Hill, which overlooks Plymouth Rock, to commemorate a “National Day of Mourning.” Similar events are held in other parts of the country.

Manners Makeover


If you feel like you have put learning basic table manners and social edicate aside, don’t worry! At Delphi Academy of Boston, we are always building character and practicing excellent manners. Here are just a few tips from the pros over here. Kids are clever and with a little bit of constant encouragement  they will catch on to the importance of manners. Make learning about manners fun and talk with your child about why they think manners might be important and which ones make the most sense to them.


Step 1. Teaching your kids how to set the table

Holidays mean big family meals – which means you and your kiddos will be sitting at a table.  Let your kids practice setting the table a few times. Fork on the left, knife and spoon on the right with cups on the top right. While this may seem silly, it’s often forgotten! Include kids in creating table decorations so they get to enjoy making arts-n-crafts. Run through the basics – washing up before dinner, placing napkin on lap before eating, waiting for everyone to be served before you start eating and saying “please” and “thank you”. Practice, practice, practice!


Step 2. Table Conversation

A complete meal is one that impresses the taste buds, looks beautiful and is full of quality conversation. Remind your children to talk to people on their left and right, along with whoever is seated across from them. Practice asking questions that are engaging and don’t have simple “yes” or “no” answers.Chewing with their mouths open is a definite “no-no”. If you’re struggling with your child thinking it’s something silly to do, show them yourself so they can see how it looks (yes it seems silly, but it really works!). 


Step 3. Consideration

Young kids often forget that parents and grandparents get enjoyment from spending time together, not just from material gifts. A great skill to learn is knowing how to be considerate, kind and helpful. You can create a list of “special gifts” they are interested in giving out to certain people. For example, a special gift could be helping grandma clear the table after dinner or asking mom if they can help set up decorations before guests arrive.


Step 4. Social Greetings

Kids might feel nervous being surrounded by a large group of people, whom they might not see frequently. Practice greeting people with a smile and “hello” to build their confidence. Social skills will benefit your child for their whole life so it is important to build a solid foundation while they are young. While they are not expected to shake everyone’s hand, teaching them how to be pleasant and speak clearly is a great start! Practicing with family is a great way to boost their social confidence.


Step 5. Gift giving and receiving

Gifts are a huge excitement to kids, and often one of their favorite parts of holidays! When giving gifts remind them to hand it directly to the person and say something along the lines of “I hope you like it!” or “I thought of you when I saw this!”. When receiving gifts, saying “thank you” and being grateful is a must. While some gifts may seem a little silly, a relative thought it would be something that brought joy into their lives.

Here are a few “tips” from Delphi students about how to have good manners during the holidays

“Give compliments when people show up.”

“Greet people with smiles.”

“Eat with utensils if necessary.”

“Be kind to friends and family.”

“Do not fight with each other.”

“When you are at the table eat with your mouth closed.”

“Be grateful for what you have.”

“Acknowledge people because it shows respect and can make people feel important.”

“Don’t eat with your eyes.”

“Share with others because then they will feel loved.”

Approach these steps with a positive and fun learning atmosphere to prepare you and your children for the upcoming holidays. They will know what is expected of them and you will be able to sit at ease while the kiddos show off their newly learned table manners. They will know what to expect from guests making them feel more at ease and confident. And remember, you are your child’s first and most important teacher. He or she will mimic and learn from you, so keep in mind they are always looking to your actions for how to act towards others.

Fall Arts and Crafts

Crafts are great, in or out of the classroom, for getting everyone into the autumn spirit! Simply designing pumpkins out of paper or sculpting clay can be a new, fun experience for kids. They will be so excited to get hands-on with crafts that they won’t even realize that they are educating themselves! Arts introduce new science concepts, color theory and boost motor skills along with hand-eye coordination. Here are a few crafty ideas to spice up this autumn season:


Negative Leaf Impressions

A must! Not only will your little ones be going outside for a stroll to collect the best leaves, but they will also be tuning in their fine motor skills. You’ll want to flatten out the recently picked leaves onto a cloth covered table, then mix water and liquid colors of your choice into a spray bottle. Put the leaves on top of paper and spray from above! Your paper will be left looking like a canvas. The leaf outline will be clearly visible and surrounded by bright autumn colors!


Fall Luminaries

Simple, safe and look great! All you need are leaves, colored paper bags and paint. Lay out your leaf design and mist the bag with the paint! Decorate the whole bag, let it dry for 20 minutes and you are left behind with a new lamp! Light up the inside with a battery operated candle and let your design glow.


Fall Handprint Trees

Something more traditional that always turn out amazing. Your kiddos love the experience and parents love the memory! It might get a little messy but the first step is finding some brown paint and coloring your kiddos palm and forearm to create a tree trunk. You’ll late on use cotton swabs to create red and orange leaves along the branches(or in this case fingers) and along the ground! This activity is great for boosting fine motor skills and color recognition.


Autumn is one of the most beautiful times of the year – embrace the changing colors and falling of the leaves! Arts and crafts are great activities for when the days get shorter and a fun way to let children express themselves. Not only are they building up their motor skills but they’re creating memories for both of you to remember for a lifetime.

Boston Activities for the Fall

Soak in the gorgeous October weather, enjoy gold and crimson fall colors, and join the seasonal celebrations and festivals happening in Boston this month! There are parades, football games and loads of Halloween events. All give you great excuses to get outside and enjoy the last of the sunny weather!

Discover Boston

Each year Boston has its annual Columbus Day Parade. On odd ending years, like 2017, it goes around the North-end of Boston and on even years you’ll catch it in East Boston. It’s 2 hours long and celebrates the city’s Italian heritage, the armed forces and their contributions to American freedom, and the voyages and explorations made by Christopher Columbus. It’s a great time to chat with friends while you watch the floats and performers slide by.

Watch the Head of Charles Regatta and you will see over 8,000 local and elite rowers in racing boats! They arrive in late October and create quite a spectacle! Crowds form along the river bank and look down from the bridge, giving you a perfect excuse to be outdoors and enjoying the golden fall colors.

If you are a Boston sports fan, October offers many exciting events! The Bruins, Celtics, and Patriots games are all in full swing. With TD Garden and Fenway Park right in the middle of the city, getting to a game couldn’t be easier. Gillette Stadium requires a little more time to reach, you can easily get there and back on the special “Patriot Train”departing from North Station, just budget more time into your schedule to ensure you aren’t late!

Boston is a large, inclusive city that has activities everyone will enjoy. Whether you want to stroll and soak in the beauty of Autumn, or cheer for your favorite team, Discover Boston has ideas for everyone!

PBS, School Inc., and Why “Study Tech” is Effective

School student generations steps, from preschooler to university concept, standing in classrom, in front of the board

In the new documentary, School, Inc., PBS dares to throw light on the fact that, even though the world has changed, innovated and evolved, the school system has not changed in over 200 years. It is failing our children, stifling creativity and contributing to the hidden illiteracy epidemic. Delphi Academy has been fighting the illiteracy epidemic in Boston since 1979, and we do that through the use of a Mastery-based curriculum and an innovative set of study tools called Study Technology.


The theory behind Study Technology (aka, Study Tech) is that there are three barriers that prevent students from learning and fulfilling their understanding. The barriers include; absence of mass, too steep a gradient and the misunderstood word. Study Tech, influenced by American writer and educator, L. Ron Hubbard, follows the thought that each barrier produces a physiological response within students – causing them to lose interest or become frustrated or give up studies. It is the reason behind illiteracy. Study Tech has become increasingly popular as the typical school education systems continues to decline.


Absence of Mass

The absence of mass creates a disconnect between students’ imaginations and the real physical object they are studying. Educating someone on something they can’t see or touch can be extremely difficult. Students who encounter this are often prone to headaches, their eyes will feel strained and overall they will not feel well. Many chalk this up to be from exhaustion, bad lighting or studying too late. But it comes from a lack of having the real thing (or a picture of the thing), which is why Study Tech utilizes clay, sketches or manipulatives to allow students to mold their ideas.


Too Steep a Gradient

When a student is given more complex work than they have previously been able to achieve means that they are moving forward with confusions – a too steep of a gradient. Gradients are steps. For example, you wouldn’t learn algebra before mastering multiplication. Study tech avoids this problem by ensuring that students fully master the basics and each step of a subject before moving on to the next level of work.


Misunderstood Word

The most important of the three: A misunderstood definition, not-comprehended definition or an undefined word can thoroughly block one’s understanding of a subject and can even cause one to abandon the subject entirely. Skipping over words that one doesn’t understand creates blanks in the overall understanding or aptitude of a subject. With Study Tech students are continuously encouraged to go back to words they skipped over and ensure they grasp a full understanding of its definition before moving forward.


Study Tech is being used in more than 760 groups and schools around the world and has become more popular as people stray away from the outdated school system. It allows student to be competitive in their knowledge once they enter the workforce and allows students to work at their own pace to ensure that they don’t move forward with any subject before they gain complete mastery.

Warning Signs your Child is Struggling in School

Education Back to School Shopping. Blackboard. School supplies

All parents want their child to grow to be a smart, successful intellectual. Usually, the first step on this path is being successful in school. Although there are many different types of school that provide different learning styles, the signs that your child might be struggling is the same in all settings.


No longer discusses school

Kids often moan and groan about having to go to school but they still find enjoyment in seeing their friends, participating in school activities, and are eager to learn. When this changes and your child no longer wants to even talk about his school day or can’t reiterate anything they’ve learned. The answer “I don’t know,” to your question about what they learned is all too common. This might be a sign that your child is struggling in school and starting to fall behind.

American writer and educator L. Ron Hubbard recognized the struggles students have and identified basic barriers that prevent a student from understanding. The basic fact is that students fail to learn because no one ever taught them how to learn—that is, how to identify the barriers to learning and how to overcome those barriers. To overcome these barriers and ensure a student could truly put his or her education to use, he developed a precise and simple set of tools he called Study Technology. With them, a student learns to recognize the signs of study difficulty and, most importantly, what to do about them. The basic concepts of Study Technology have been incorporated throughout the Delphi curriculum.


Concern from teachers

Dismissing what teachers say about your child is very common. Education takes teamwork. When students, faculty and parents together decide on common goals and line up as a team, almost anything can be accomplished. Teachers spend a large part of the day with your child and can often provide different insight. At Delphi Academy, we invest in parents as team players by providing good coordination and making available important information about a student’s program, goals and progress. We expect to share strategies and insights on tackling difficult areas of academic progress or personal growth. And we always work to strengthen a student’s relationship with his or her parents.


Spending excessive amount of time on school work

People have different strengths and weaknesses, for example, math might click quicker for you than it does for your cousin. That does not mean that you aren’t capable of learning and understanding the material, same goes for your child. If your child is spending hours longer on a subject trying to master it than their classmates, it’s a sign that they might need a little bit more help on the subject.


These are three basic signs that your child might need more direction or more one-on-one time in school. At Delphi Academy of Boston, we do our best to work with each child individually and guide them to be successful with their classwork. If you feel your child is still struggling on any subject just let us know and we will ensure that they master all aspects of the subject before any new work is put in front of them.

The 7 Habits of Highly Successful Kindergarteners

Every parent wants to ensure that their child has a positive experience when they start kindergarten. Sometimes it’s even harder for a parent to adjust to this new stage in life for their children.  Here are seven simple, but important strategies to help you and your child prepare for kindergarten.


  1. A Healthy Kid is a Happy and Alert Kid. Diet, rest and exercise benefit everyone. Sometimes in summer we can veer off our regular good habits. A few weeks before school starts, get everyone back into good eating habits. Be sure to include brain foods like like salmon, tuna and sardines–all high in omega 3. Folic Acid is another great one that can be found in oats, lentils, almonds, walnuts and peanut butter. Dark leafy greens, like spinach and kale, are known super foods, and red meat (in moderation) is a great way to get iron into your diet.


Make sure your child gets plenty of sleep. This is also a great thing to ease back into a week or two before school if the schedule has been a bit lax in the summer. Also, before the start of kindergarten, make sure your child has had a recent physical exam.


  1. Develop A Schedule. Piggybacking on the above point, choose regular times for your child to eat, play and sleep each day. Routines will help your child know what to expect and what’s expected from him or her.


  1. The ABC’s and I, 2, 3’s. Encourage your child to practice the basics. Work with your child to help him or her recognize letters, numbers, colors and shapes. Have them practice writing their numbers 1-10 as well as their first and last name too.


  1. Make Reading a Daily Family Activity. Daily reading introduces your child to printed text, but it does so much more than that. When you read to your child, talk about the book. Discuss the characters, the setting, what the characters might be feeling, and what they might do next. This dialogue with your child is not only fun but will engage them in the story further. It also encourages critical thinking, problem solving, and is a natural way to develop communication skills as you examine feelings and explore the motives of the characters.


  1. Expose your child to learning experiences. Take time to read, rhyme, sing, and play with your child on a daily basis. Look for opportunities to broaden your child’s horizons, such as the zoo or local library events. Take your child to the museum or enroll him or her in community art or science programs, and take advantage of local summer camps that include hands-on learning activities. Opportunities for learning, exploring, and discovery are everywhere, even in your own backyard. Talk about the varieties of native birds that visit the bird feeder, or observe the way bees work a flowerbed.  When you are at the grocery store, ask questions like, “where do you think these apples come from?” and “who do you think makes these labels?”


  1. Encourage Socialization. There is a lot that you can do to assist your child’s social development. Talk to your child often. Encourage him to interact with others by signing him or her up for group activities like a dance class, or t-ball. Organize play-dates like meeting friends at the local library for story hour and going to play at the park afterwards. Encourage your child to share, express his or her feelings, practice taking turns, and follow simple directions.


  1. Talk About Kindergarten. Explain to your child what their days at kindergarten might be like, what their routine might be. Tell your child what you remember from kindergarten that might ease anxieties and build enthusiasm for entering school. Before school begins, take him or her to the school and, if possible, check out the classroom. Get your child involved in shopping for school supplies, and help organize their backpack and papers, so that your child is prepared and feels in control of their schoolwork, and ready for success in kindergarten!


Want to set your child up for a successful year in kindergarten? Delphi Academy of Boston offers Kindergarten through 8th grade programs. We’re still accepting applications for our Fall 2017-2018 program now.


For more information about program, please Contact our Admissions Director, Mary Parker, at 617-333-9610 or e-mail – info@delphiboston.org She will be happy to answer your questions and send you a copy of our catalog.

Keep Cool This Summer

When the sun comes out, the nearest watering holes become the place to be. In the Boston area, we are fortunate to have a few options to keep cool this summer! From wading pools to spray decks, MassParks shares the following information on places to cool down when it starts to get hot

  • In Brighton, visit the Artesani Playground Wading Pool and Spray Deck at 1255 Soldiers Field Rd., Brighton, MA 02135. They are open daily May 28th through September 5th from 9:30am – 7:00pm.
  • Also in Brighton, the Reilly Memorial Swimming Pool at 355 Chestnut Hill Ave., Brighton, MA 02135 (at Cleveland Circle) is open daily from 11am to 7pm, June 25th through August 21st. For more information, they can be reached at (617) 277-7822.
  • In Dorchester, visitors can stop by the unguarded Neponset Landing II Spray Deck at the corner of Hill Top St. and Granite Street. They are open daily May 28th through September 5th from 9:30am to 7:00pm.
  • In Hyde Park, there are three places to visit:
    • John T. Moynihan Spray Deck, which is unguarded. They are located at 920 Truman Parkway and are open daily May 28th through September 5th from 9:30am to 7:00pm.
    • Olsen Swimming Pool, located at 95 Turtle Pond Parkway. They are open daily June 25th through August 28th from 11:00am to 7:00pm.
    • Olsen Spray Deck, also unguarded and located at 95 Turtle Pond Parkway Hyde Park, MA 02136. They are also open May 28th through September 5th, and open daily from 9:30am to 7:00pm
  • In Jamaica Plain, stop by the unguarded Johnson Playground Spray Deck at the corner of Lamartine and Green Streets in the Southwest Corridor Park. They are open daily May 28th through September 5th from 9:30am to 7:00pm.
  • Also in Jamaica Plain is the unguarded Stony Brook Spray Deck at the corner of Lamartine and Boylston in the Southwest Corridor Park. They are also open daily May 28th through September 5th from 9:30am to 7:00pm.
  • In Mattapan is the Ryan Wading Pool at 350 River Street along the Neponset River Reservation. They are open daily June 18th through September 5th from 9:30am to 7:00pm.
  • In Roxbury is the Melnea A. Cass Memorial Swimming Pool at 120 Martin Luther King Boulevard on Washington Street. They are open daily June 25th through August 28 from 11:00am to 7:00pm.
  • Also in Roxbury is the unguarded Mission Hill Spray Deck, which can be found behind the Boston Police Headquarters at 1 Schroeder Plaza. They are open May 28th through September 5th and open daily from 9:30am to 7:00pm.
  • In West End is the Alfond Spray Deck at 280 Charles St., in the Charles River Esplanade near the corner of Monsignor O’Brien Highway and Storrow Drive. They are open May 28th through September 5th and open daily from 9:30am to 7:00pm.


We know kids love to swim! Summer Camp at Delphi Boston features a lot of time at the pool to keep kids active and smiling. In 2017, our 4- to 7-week Summer Camp will run from June 26th to August 11th. We may still have a few spots left, so be sure to check in with our admissions office soon! You can find more information on our Summer Camp admissions process here or email our office directly at info@delphiboston.org.

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