Events & Registration

Shady Oak Christian School Registration for 2014-15 School Year is well underway.  We have limited space available in all Preschool Classes (Readiness – age 3, Pre-K – age 4), our Bridge Class and Kindergarten.

Call (281-341-5001) today to schedule your appointment to see the school! Friend us on Facebook at 

All interested families are encouraged to call Shady Oak Christian School at 281-341-5001 and set an appointment to visit our Preschool, Bridge and Kindergarten Classrooms.   Appointments to visit our campus can be made with Bridget Hilbe, Assistant Director or Joyce Trigger, Director.   Visits will take approximately 1 hour and are usually conducted in the morning hours while school is in session.  During these visits you will get an opportunity to visit our play-based, hands-on learning environment first hand, learn about our curriculum and ask questions.  Campus tours are a prerequisite to enrollment, and we have found it is the best way to experience Shady Oak Christian School. If you have questions, you can also email Bridget Hilbe at, or call her at 281-341-5001, press 1.

Are you looking for a Bridge Program?  

The Shady Oak Christian School Bridge Program gives children the gift of time.  This program is designed for children that might need an extra year before entering Kindergarten.  Our Bridge Class is play-based in nature and offers children a full day of learning experiences similar to our Pre-K program with the time to go more in depth in all subject areas.  As with all Shady Oak experiences, there is lots of time for outside play and discovery!  This class meets daily from 8:30 to 3:00.  To be eligible to participate in this program, children must have turned 5 on or before September 1, 2014, or have had two years of preschool at Shady Oak.  Please contact us for additional information or to set an appointment to visit our Bridge Class.

Are you looking for a play-based learning experience for your Primary age child? 

Shady Oak Primary School for the 2014-15 School year will have classes for grades 1st  through 5th grade.  The learning environment will be the same hands-on, center based, individualized learning experience parents have come to expect from Shady Oak Christian School. Please email Nancy Wenzel at to set up an appointment with Debbie Elder, Shady Oak Primary School Director Fall 2014, to tour our Primary School Campus.

Fall Semester 2014 – Important Dates at Shady Oak Christian School

Date Event
Tuesday, August 19 Parent Orientation @ Packet Pick-up, 6:30 to 8:00 p.m. in the Shady Oak Primary Building at 600 Main Street
Friday, August 29 New Student Visitation from 10:00 – 11:00 a.m.  Meet your teacher and drop off forms
Monday, September 1 Labor Day Holiday – No School.
Tuesday, September 2 1st Day of School for all Kindergarten, Bridge and 5-day & T-Th Preschool Students.
Wednesday, September 4 1st Day of School of all MWF Preschool Students.
Thursday, September 4 1st Chapel of the School Year!
Monday, September 15 Pecan Fund Raiser begins
Wednesday, September 17 Hearing and Vision Screen conducted by Pine Woods Screening Services
Thursday, September 25 Open House and Block Party 6:30 p.m. to 7:45 p.m.
Thursday, September 25 Pecan Fund Raiser Concludes
Friday, September 26 Fort Bend County Fair Parade Day — No School
Wednesday, October 1 Ag’Tivity Barn Field Trip for all Pre-K, Bridge & Kindergarten Students
Monday, October 13 Staff Meeting and Early Release Day — dismissal at 11:30 a.m.
Thursday, October 16 Richmond Fire Fighters and Fire Truck to visit with Preschool Students
Friday, October 17 Walking Field Trip to the Richmond Fire Station for 3-day & 5-day Preschool, Bridge and Kindergarten Students
Monday, October 20 ArtWare By You Fund-Raiser begins
Thurs. & Fri., October 23 & 24 Individual Student Photographs taken with Steven Leonard Photography
Wednesday, October 29 ArtWare By You Fund Raiser Concludes
Thurs. & Fri., October 30 & 31 Pumpkin Celebration & Special Snack Days
Mon. & Tues., November 3 & 4 Operation Christmas Child Presentations
Monday, November 10 Staff Meeting and Early Release Day — dismissal at 11:30 a.m.
Wed. & Thurs., November 19 & 20 Thanksgiving Feast Days
Mon. thru Fri, November 24 – 28 Thanksgiving Holiday – No School
Monday, December 1 Classes Resume  — Christmas Event Tickets go on sale today.
Wed., Thurs., Fri., Dec. 10, 11 & 12 Christmas Program Rehearsal Days & “Festival Of Trees” Work Days
Friday, December 12 Cookies & Milk with Santa, Silent Auction Preview
Saturday, December 13 Shady Oak Christmas Event & Silent Auction
Wednesday, December 17 “Festival Of Trees” Take Down Day
Wed. & Thurs., December 17 & 18 Christmas Special Snack Days
Friday, December 19 Early Release Day at 11:30 a.m. for all classes
Mon. Dec. 22 to Fri. Jan. 2, 2015 Christmas Holiday Break — No School
Monday, January 5, 2015 Staff In-service Meeting — No School
Tuesday, January 6, 2015 Spring Semester Begins for Bridge, Kindergarten and all 5-day & 2-day Preschool Students
Wednesday, January 7, 2015 Spring Semester Begins for all 3-day Preschool Students
Wednesday, January 7, 2015 1st Chapel Day of the Spring Semester

Look What Shady Oak Christian School Students Did to Help Our Community!

Please go to the following link to see what Shady Oak Students and Supporters just did:

The above link will take you to the Houston Museum of Natural Science Newsletter which touts Shady Oak Christian School’s donation of $1,800.00 as putting them over top in reaching their goal of $80,000.00 to restore the mirror of the telescope at the George Observatory (located in Brazos Bend State Park). Who says little children can’t do big things.  Funds were raised in our recent Fun Run to “Save Our Scope”.  As you know, Shady Oak Christian School promotes a Family Fun Run for children in conjunction with our annual “Spring Thing” family fun day event.  Historically, proceeds raised by the Fun Run have gone to support a variety of local charities, local causes or environmental causes in Texas.  Seven years ago, Shady Oak Primary Teachers designed this event to help children take ownership and responsibility for our local community as well as our world.  We want the children to realize that they have the ability and a responsibility to make this world a better place.  Our students have participated in a great deal of the planning for this and previous events.  Our students are involved in everything from the selection of the cause to support and in-depth learning about the selected cause, to promoting the cause, designing fun run t-shirts, mapping the fun run course, etc.  This is truly a “hands-on” learning experience that helps make our world and our local community our classroom.  This real-world experience helps our students to truly feel empowered, and that their efforts can make a difference in their future and the future of others.

On Thursday, April 24  at our Shady Oak Christian School Children’s Spring Program, Shady Oak Christian School will present the donation check to a representative of the Houston Museum of Natural Science.  This event will take place at 7:00 p.m. in the church sanctuary of First Baptist Church.  All are welcome to this event.

Thank you to all for your past and continued support of Shady Oak Christian School.

Shady Oak Christian School

Recent Article in New York Times Touts Executive Function Skills

A recent article written by Thomas Friedman in the New York Times describes the following skills as necessary to get a job at Google, one of the world’s most successful companies.  The skills are among those listed in an essay written last month by Joyce Trigger on Executive Functions (See article below) that we are seeking to develop in Shady Oak Kids.

The article starts by saying that “GPA’s are worthless as a criteria for hiring, and test scores are worthless. …We found that they don’t predict anything,” states Laszlo Bock, the senior vice president of people operations for Google. 

Bock says, “There are five hiring attributes we have across the company.  For every job, the No. 1 thing we look for is general cognitive ability, and it’s not IQ.  It’s learning ability.  It’s the ability to process on the fly.  It’s the ability to pull together disparate bits of information.”  The second, he added, “is leadership—in particular emergent leadership as opposed to traditional leadership.  …What we care about is, when faced with a problem and you’re a member of a team, do you, at the appropriate time, step in and lead?  And just as critical, do you step back and stop leading, do you let someone else?  Because what’s critical to be an effective leader in this environment is you have to be willing to relinquish power.”

What else?  Humility and ownership.  “It’s feeling the sense of responsibility, the sense of ownership, to step in,” he said, to try to solve any problem—and the humility to step back and embrace the better ideas of others.  “Your end goal,” explained Bock, “is what can we do together to problem-solve.  I’ve contributed my piece, and then I step back.”   It is not just humility in creating space for others to contribute.  It’s “intellectual humility.  Without humility, you are unable to learn.”

The least important attribute they look for is “expertise,” said Bock.  To sum up Bock’s approach to hiring:  Talent can come in so many different forms and be built in so many nontraditional ways today, hiring officers have to be alive to every one. 

At Shady Oak, we really agree with looking at nontraditional ways of exhibiting talent.  We believe, in the language of Howard Gardner’s Multiple Intelligences, that the best question we can ask ourselves and parents about each child is, “How is this child smart?” rather than the traditional question of  “How smart is this child?”

Developing “Executive Function” At Shady Oak

(Who is a “Shady Oak Kid”?)

For more than a quarter of a century, parents, teachers, and others have used the term “Shady Oak Kid to describe a child who has attended Shady Oak Christian School and has benefitted from attending this nationally recognized play-based program.  A “Shady Oak Kid” stands out from his/her peers for being bright, caring, articulate, confident, self-regulated, and respectful of other children and adults and the environment. Research shows that this is not just proud parents or staff of a school describing children they love so much!

Such children have developed traits and skills that now have been researched and named “executive functions.”

Children who regularly engage in plentiful creative, imaginary play excel in the mental skill referred to as “executive functioning”. This functioning involves the prefrontal cortex of the brain. The term “executive function” refers to mental processes through which children learn to regulate and control their own “knee-jerk” impulses and emotional reactions. It means they gradually learn to think and control behavior before they act inappropriately. They gain competence in mentally solving problems so they learn to behave more reliably within acceptable social rules and conduct.

The ability to regulate and control one’s behavior corresponds closely with success in school and adult life. Adele Diamond of the University of British Columbia believes that executive functions predict children’s achievements as well as IQ tests do or even better, because they go beyond what we know and tap our abilities to USE what we know.

Children who are deprived of enough free time, space, and opportunity for creative play are at risk of NOT developing these play outcomes.

  • Abstract and symbolic thinking, decision-making, creative problem solving and goal setting;
  • Complex language development and ability to “self-talk” through learning steps;
  • Emotional awareness and competence, identity and self-image development, ability to maintain self-control through self-regulation, stress management and ability to delay  gratification;
  • Social skills, such as patience, cooperation, negotiation, non-violent conflict resolution, teamwork, sharing, considering other’s point of view; and,
  • Formation of a moral or ethical code that distinguishes right from wrong, respect for others’ rights and ability to work toward the greater good.

Play is an instinctual birthright designed to spur on and sustain human development.  Children rely upon it. We, at Shady Oak Christian School, are advocating for children’s crucial need for authentic play.


Galinsky, Ellen. Mind in the Making. New York: HarperCollins, 2010. Print.

Hirsh-Pasek, K., Roberta Michnick Golinkoff, Laura E. Berk, Dorothy Singer. A Mandate for Playful Learning in Preschool: Presenting the Evidence. New York: Oxford University Press, 2009. Print.

Shady Oak Christian School is going Screen-Free!

     Shady Oak Christian School will join thousands of schools, libraries, and community groups nationwide in a coordinated effort to encourage millions of Americans to turn off televisions, computers, and video games for seven days and turn on the world around them.  Screen-Free Week is a chance for children to read, play, think, create, be more physically active, and to spend more time with friends and family.

     “Screen-Free Week is a much needed respite from the screen media dominating the lives of so many children” said Joyce Trigger.  “Now, more than ever, it’s imperative that we help children discover the joys of life beyond screens.”

     On average, preschool children spend over four and a half hours a day consuming screen media, while older children spend over seven hours a day including multitasking.  Excessive screen time is linked to a number of problems for children, including childhood obesity, poor school performance, and problems with attention span.

     Screen-Free Week (formerly TV-Turnoff) is coordinated by Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood, a national advocacy organization devoted to reducing the impact of commercialism on children.  Since the Week’s founding in 1994, it has been celebrated by millions of children and their families worldwide.  For more information, visit

     Your children will be bringing home information encouraging your family’s participation.  We hope you will give consideration to joining in this effort.  Part of what you will receive is a list of other activities to engage your family members and to really connect you all.  If you choose to participate, please let us know by returning the bottom portion of one of the letters.  Also, keep us informed of what you are doing throughout the week of May 4-11 that is screen-free.  Send a photo to and we may post it on Facebook.



Shady Oak Christian School is a Music Together® School

MusicTogether classes are based on the recognition that all children are musical. All children can learn to sing in tune, keep a beat, and participate with confidence in the music of our culture, provided that their early environment supports such learning.  By emphasizing actual music experiences rather than concepts about music, Music Together introduces children to the pleasure of making music instead of passively receiving it from CD’s or TV.  This year as part of our curriculum, all Readiness, Pre-K, Bridge and Kindergarten Students will receive 30 minutes of instruction each week in this program.  Joyce Trigger will be the instructor.  Please visit




Some Images to Guide Us This Year

 Submitted by: Joyce Trigger, Director of Shady Oak Christian School

There is an amazing, vivid visual of part of Psalm 1 in the Prayer Garden that adjoins our school.

That Psalm says that delighting in the law of God and meditating on Scripture is being like a tree, maybe like an oak tree for which our school is named.  That property belongs to First Baptist Church, with which we partner for some activities and whose space we use for chapel and school programs.  We have enjoyed being in the shade of that tree for 26+ years.

Psalm 1 says the wicked are like chaff blown by the wind.  That’s the left-overs, the part no one wants.  They are definitely not rooted.  A visual for that could be plastic grocery bags.  Do you see them blowing in ditches, stuck on fences, or in hedges along the road?  Start paying attention.  I think you will begin to notice that they are in lots of places and appear as chaff!!

At Shady Oak we like to educate to change behavior (of children and adults).  This year we would like to partner with families to do what we can to lessen the chaff in our environment.  First we want to heighten our awareness.  We will do that by asking you to photograph ugly, out-of-place, blowing bags.  Send your photos to us or print them.  (  We will post them and see where this leads us.

More later on this continuing project.