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Sharilee West - Blog

From the West Wing September 9th, 2015

So, Mrs. Reid asked me this morning if I am going to write articles for the Eagle News this year. If you read the Eagle News regularly, you might have noticed that I stopped writing articles sometime towards the end of last year. Surprisingly, or perhaps not, I didn’t receive many comments about how valuable the blog had been and what a empty place there was. Sadly, it has been so long since I have written that I had to ask her how I did it before. She made me smile when she replied, “you open up a word document and start writing.” That’s not EXACTLY what I meant, but I digress. We have had a wonderful start to this school year. It has been extremely different than any other year, but there is definitely and excitement in the air. One positive addition to our school has been Fairview’s new Lead Pastor and his wife, Glenn and Jo McClimans. If you haven’t already made the transition to come in the front entrance from 7 – 9a in the morning, I would encourage you to do so. Pastor Glenn is there most mornings, along with fresh coffee! He is really enjoying getting to know so many of you and I have heard from some of you that you are enjoying the personal greeting in the morning. As we continue through this year, I hope that we can all hang on to our theme verse this year; Matthew 19:26: Jesus looked at Read More

Sharilee West - Blog

from the West Wing March 18th, 2015

It should be no secret to anyone that I love Fairview. I’ve written several articles over the years enumerating the many reasons why I love Fairview. I tell my friends about Fairview, expounding on the great things we do here. Today, however, I am not going to write another article on why I love Fairview. Instead, I want to put out a challenge to all of you. I believe that you also love Fairview. I believe that you are aware of what a wonderful place this is. I believe that many of you talk about Fairview to your friends and family. So here’s where the challenge comes in. I want to give you some tangible ideas of how we can do an even better job of spreading the good news about Fairview. Are you ready? Write your story – or better yet, have your kids write their story. We would love to have stories about how great Fairview is to publish on our website. Unless you want to add your name, or your child’s name to the story, they will be published as “a parent’s story” or “a student’s impression.” Send up pictures or short videos that can be published to our Facebook page, Twitter, or website. We are sensitive to not tag students, but this is a great way to show the world what our kids are doing. Put up a sign in your yard or in your neighborhood. We have some signs, about the size of the political Read More

Sharilee West - Blog

from the West Wing March 11th, 2015

Well, we are a little more than half way through the third quarter of this school year. This morning I sent out progress reports for the third through eighth grade students. Progress reports are a reminder of how the student is doing so far in the current quarter, gives a heads up if there are any problems and hopefully give some time before final grades come out to correct any issues. As I prepared to send the reports out this morning, I got to thinking about how nice it might be if we periodically got a progress report. Don’t we all periodically vow to “turn over a new leaf”, “be a better person”, or “never to THAT again?” And wouldn’t it be nice if after several weeks we got a progress report telling us how we are doing? But, alas, there is no such thing as a progress report for life – or is there? I think perhaps there is, but we just have to be in tune. Of course, some of them are easy. We decide to lose weight and after two or three weeks we get back on the scale and the report is right before our eyes. Others, however, are not so concrete. We decide to be kinder or more loving. After a couple of weeks, we don’t get a report in our email stating “Good job! You are making wonderful progress on your decision to be kinder.” Instead, if we are really serious about being kinder, Read More

Sharilee West - Blog

from the West Wing March 4th, 2015

I hope that you have enjoyed the blog posting over the last month as I shared with you some of the wisdom I have gleaned from Jim and Charles Fey from Love and Logic, particularly their views on technology and kids. I would even urge you to reread the articles all in one sitting. Today, however, I will return to writing my own material. This is the time of year that I do formal observations in the classroom. For the past week I have spent some time in the classrooms observing each of our teachers as they presented a lesson to the class. While the teachers are somewhat stressed by this, I must say, this is one of my favorite times of the year. The reason I like it so much is not because I want to stress my teachers. Rather, it is because I thoroughly enjoy seeing our terrific staff doing what they do so well. I must tell you that we are extremely blessed as a school. We have some of the best teachers anywhere to be found. What truly amazes me is the fact that each of our teachers is here at great personal sacrifice. Each of them could go most anywhere else and make more money. Instead, they have chosen to be here, working with, praying for, and giving themselves to you and your children. I could not be more proud to be part of this incredible team. As always, I consider it a great privilege Read More

Sharilee West - Blog

from the West Wing February 25th, 2015

One last installment on technology and kids. This one is written by Jim Fay. I was raised in an era when kids knew that it was their responsibility to entertain themselves. When we got bored we asked, “What can we do?” If your kids ask this question, you are doing a good job of parenting. Many kids today ask, “I’m bored. What can I watch?” This is difficult to combat in an era where television, internet and video games can keep kids in an almost constant state of stimulation. Research on the brain tells us that this constant excitement can wire a kid’s brain to prefer activities that offer immediate stimulation and entertainment. As a result we see many children who cannot handle the slower speed of a normal classroom. These kids see school as boring and often stimulate themselves by acting out. Our media-driven culture of constant stimulation through television, internet and video games contributes to the number of kids who need and demand instant gratification. Dr. Ed Hallowell describes these kids as attention-disordered. Do your kids a favor and limit the amount of time their brains are connected to electronic entertainment. More than one-half hour per day is hurtful to your child’s brain. Read our book, Meeting the Challenge and learn how to help children develop better attention and behavior skills.” I hope these articles have given you some things to think about. As I have read them each week, I’ve been impressed with how the idea of Read More

Sharilee West - Blog

from the West Wing February 18th, 2015

Here’s the latest installment from Dr. Charles Fay of the Love and Logic Institute on technology and kids. Enjoy. The Root Causes of Technology Addiction At Love and Logic, our focus has always been to provide simple, down-to-earth strategies for raising happy and well-behaved kids. As such, we don’t typically spend much time describing the scientific research behind these strategies. I’d like to make an exception this week. I’d like to summarize a body of research that gets directly to the heart of why some kids (and adults) become so addicted to technology that their lives begin to fall apart. The problem…and the solution…have relatively nothing to do with technology…and everything to do with relationships. The bottom line: People at risk for developing these problems feel so badly about themselves, and their lives, that they will do anything to escape into a world where they feel competent, powerful and liked. For example, researchers Kwon, Chung and Lee found that those at highest risk score high on the following variables: Escape from Self The child believes that they don’t measure up. Compared to the perceived standards of their parents, peers, school, self, or world, they feel inadequate, unattractive, or responsible for everything that goes wrong. Negative Mood Severe anxiety and depression are the logical result of a child believing that they’re worthless. Perceived Parent Hostility/Lack of Affection Loving relationships matter! Kids at risk for escape from self and depression believe that they can’t do anything to please their parents: “Nothing I Read More

Sharilee West - Blog

from the West Wing February 11th, 2015

Here’s the next installment from Love and Logic about kids and technology. Hope you are enjoying what Dr. Charles Fay has to say. Mistakes Made On-Line: Affordable or Not? “Hope and pray every day that your kids make plenty of mistakes when they are young…when the “price tags” are affordable.” Since the 1970’s, we’ve repeated this statement thousands of times. Why? Simply because children allowed to learn by making affordable mistakes are less likely to make life and death ones later on. We learn most of the important lessons in life, not by being lectured, but by experiencing the consequences of our decisions. So…should we be hoping and praying that our kids chat with predators on-line, stumble upon pornography, become so addicted to video games that they miss out on life, text while driving, etc.? Absolutely not! Wise parents yank their children back onto the sidewalk when they begin to dart into traffic. Likewise, they do whatever they can to prevent their kids from making unaffordable mistakes with technology. One of the most challenging aspects of parenting is striking a balance between over-protection and allowing children to make healthy mistakes. Further complicating matters is the fact that we can’t completely ensure that our kids won’t get sneaky and make unaffordable ones. We can up the odds of success by doing the following: • Humbly admit to our kids that we can’t always watch them and keep them from messing up THEIR OWN lives. This allows them to understand that rebelling Read More

Sharilee West - Blog

from the West Wing February 4th, 2015

Allow me to share the second installment from Love and Logic on technology and kids by Dr. Charles Fay. Ready for Cell Phones, Social Media, etc.: At What Age? At what age should our kids be allowed to have their own cell phones? When is it appropriate for them to begin using social media? The overly simplistic answer: Not before their early to middle teenage years. Few kids have the maturity to handle the pressures of these privileges prior to adolescence. In fact, many adults lack the maturity! “Maturity” is the key word. Since the stakes are so high, I encourage parents to take the following survey to see whether their kids might be ready. Rate your answers from 1 to 5 for all the statements below. Total your score at the end. 1—————2—————3—————4—————5   Not at all                                                      Absolutely My child is respectful and fun to be around most of the time. My child typically makes good decisions when he or she isn’t being watched. My child takes responsibility for his or her poor decisions without blaming others. My child believes that using technology is a privilege…not an entitlement or “right.” My child understands that not everybody online is their “friend.” My child completes chores and other responsibilities without needing to be nagged. My child isn’t hooked on drama or gossip. When I ask my child to turn off the Read More

Sharilee West - Blog

from the West Wing January 28th, 2015

I receive an email each week from the Love and Logic Institute. During the month of January, Dr. Charles Fay has been writing some wonderful articles on Technology and Kids. I would like to pass them on to you. The first one follows. Technology and Kids: Real Solutions Each and every day our kids have opportunities to take cutting edge courses on the ins and outs of the latest technology. Visiting with their friends, they can learn what’s hot, what’s not, and how to work around most technological safeguards we put in place.   While they are taking these graduate-level courses, most of us are working long hours, paying bills, cooking, cleaning, fixing broken stuff and trying to squeeze a few more hours out of each day.   As a result, trying to keep ahead of our kids’ technological savvy is impossible for most of us. Watching them every second of the day is also unrealistic. While it’s tough for some of us to admit, we have very little direct control over whether they make good digital decisions…or bad.   Real solutions to technology issues have little to do with technology…and almost everything to do with relationships.   When we have little or no direct control over any issue, we must rely on helping our kids become motivated to make good decisions from the inside-out rather than the outside-in. This means helping them feel so loved that they want to make good choices. This means providing limits in ways that reduce Read More

Sharilee West - Blog

from the West Wing January 21st, 2015

As you know, I am a big fan of Love and Logic. I recently read an article that I thought I would share with you today. It’s entitled “Listenin Means Love.” “How do wise parents and educators respond when their kids try to argue and manipulate? The most effective repeat an empathetic one-liner, such as “I love you too much to argue” or “I know” or “What did I say?” They also resist the urge to think too deeply about what the child is saying.   Do we do this when kids are hurting? Do we employ this strategy when they’re respectfully expressing their opinions? No! We listen.   When I ask people to describe the parents and teachers they respected the most as kids, they almost always mention something like, “They were always there to listen.”                Listening means love. It means that we sincerely care about another’s opinions and emotions. Here’s the problem: Many of us have a hard time listening when someone around us is emotional or is disagreeing with us. That’s why it’s helpful to have a few little sincere statements or questions in our back pockets: Tell me more. Help me understand. What would you like to see here? How long have you felt this way? The next time one of your kids expresses their opinion…or their hurt…be sure to lend a sincere and empathetic ear, showing loving interest by using the points above. Remember: The more you listen to them, the more likely Read More

Sharilee West - Bio

Sharilee West

I am a native Seattleite, the only daughter of a Church of God pastor. My dad pastored a congregation in south Seattle until I was a sophomore in high school. My family moved into Seattle proper at that time and I graduated from Lincoln High School in 1967. By the way, my dad’s picture is the one on the left as you come in the main door of the school. I graduated from Seattle Pacific College in 1974 (yes, it was only a college then) with my teaching degree. I later received a Master of Education form Seattle Pacific University in 1992. I came to Fairview Christian School in the fall of 1987. My first teaching assignment was a 5/6 combination class. The next year, I moved to the 3rd grade class and continued in that position for 6 years. I was away from Fairview for four years but returned in the fall of 1999 as the middle school math/science teacher. I enjoyed that position for ten years until the summer of 2009 when I was asked to become the school administrator. I met my husband, Lew, on a blind date in 1997, and we were married on Valentine’s Day in 1998. Together we are blessed with four adult children and nine grandchildren; six boys and three girls ranging in age from 5 to 18. My son and his family live in Kansas City, Kansas; my daughter and her family live in Ingalls, Indiana; Lew’s daughters and their families live in the Seattle area. I love my job at Fairview Christian School, particularly being able to serve such wonderful families alongside an outstanding staff. As the Apostle Paul so eloquently says, and I will take the liberty to paraphrase, “I am confident that God, who began a good work at Fairview will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”