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The 6 Key Tips to Starting Virtual School Effectively

Setting your child up for success this year is less about the trip to Target or Walmart and securing the box of Kleenex for the teacher and checking off the rest of the supply list! Instead, creating an environment that is conducive to learning is what you need to focus on.

  1. The first question you need to ask yourself is, where is your kid going to attend class? This becomes really difficult if you are also working at home, or if you have multiple kids, but don’t make these mistakes: 
  • The Kitchen: This is a hard NO. Parents think that this location will allow them to help with questions, oversee their work, and make sure that their child is staying on task, but the reality of the situation is different. Your kid will sit down at the island or kitchen table and their brain immediately thinks, “I am hungry”, “Can I have a snack?”, “What’s for dinner?”, or it could be, “Mom, what are you doing?”, “Mom, who are you...
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Back to School Looks a Little Different This Year

The last time I walked into Target, I knew something was different. Gone were the displays touting fun in the sun and red-white-and-blue. The pool toys were on clearance, and there was not a bathing suit to be found. It's the most wonderful time of year for an educator: back to school season.

But what does that mean this year? What does back to school mean in the era of COVID-19? Should you be factoring new masks and hand sanitizer into your school supply lists, or should you be getting ready for a new round of home schooling? We've taken the most common options that schools are exploring for next year and broken down what they might mean for your kid. 

Virtual, In-Person, Hybrid, A-Day/B-Day, Option for In-Person or Virtual, etc... The options discussed have been all over the board, but why is there no consensus? Potential health risk to students, teachers, and the community, number of teachers on staff, quality of education, and cost all have a role in what administrators...

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Questions: Cancellations, College, COVID, & You

Questions: Cancellations, College, COVID, & You 

On New Years' Day, I don't think that any of us expected to be where we are. I don't think that any of us expected to become mask-wearing, social distancing experts. I don't think parents expected to become homeschooling experts. I don't think our students expected to miss out on so many high school memories. But here we are, with more questions than answers and a lot of uncertainty in front of us.

Luckily, you have me. 

In this issue, we are going to discuss what you should focus on as your child approaches their senior year and how you can ensure that your child has every possible opportunity moving forward while keeping in mind the goal of reducing their future cost of college. My goal is to inform parents so that they can feel a sense of control around the critical decisions that will affect both them and their child for the next several years.

First thing's first: We need to have a plan

You and your child...
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Does My 17-Year-Old Really Need a Career Plan Before College?

ASK THE QUESTION: HOW WOULD YOU LIKE YOUR LIFE TO LOOK?

Your child needs to think about how they want their life to look after college. What values are important to them? What skills do they have? What’s their vision? We really encourage students to think about what their days will look like in a chosen career path.

Let’s say you want to help people and think you want to be a nurse. Are you up for night shifts or missing holidays? Are you ready to do what nurses are required to do? Is that the life you envisioned? If not, there are many other ways to help people.

EARLY EXPERIENCE & EXPOSURE SAVES MONEY

Being able to experience careers before choosing a path and going to college is the best way to know. Due to budget cuts, a lot of high schools don’t have this opportunity in their everyday high school classes. There are so many options, but without exposure, children usually know the big careers (doctor, lawyer, etc.) and the ones held by those around...

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The Importance of Grades in College Placement

WHY IS THERE SO MUCH PRESSURE TO GET GOOD GRADES?

When it comes to college, grades are on everyone’s minds – from the parents to the students.  And there’s good reason for this because grades are the number one thing that the colleges look at prior to making any decisions on whether or not you can attend their school.  This is why there is so much pressure when it comes to getting good grades.

Saying “I get good grades" isn’t good enough because the standard is going to be different per person. For example, is a good grade all straight A’s or is it A’s, B’s and C’s?  Let’s help clear up what really constitutes good grades based on college standards.  If you visit any college website, you will find what they will consider good grades based on their GPA standard. This can be a useful tool as you are going through high school.

IS A B IN AN HONORS CLASS THE SAME AS AN A IN A REGULAR CLASS?

You...

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A Guide for Student Athletes Considering College Sports

HOW DO PARENTS HELP THEIR KID DURING RECRUITING AND THE PATH TO COLLEGE SPORTS?

There are many misconceptions about what it takes to get to being a college athlete. Often, people feel like their kid is a great athlete. They're setting records, they're in the weekly newspaper, and yet, they're not getting recruited. And that is very common. We have to look at it from the coach's perspective.

LOOKING AT THE RECRUITING PROCESS FROM THE COACH’S PERSPECTIVE

Coaches are looking for someone who's going to be a good fit not only for their team, but for the school. Coach’s recruiting budgets outside of the Big Ten and SEC are relatively small. Their recruiting budgets cover things like traveling to see high school athletes play. That includes the cost of gas, the cost of the ticket to get in, an overnight stay in a hotel.

There's a lot of overhead for these coaches, so they are pretty selective about when and what games they go to. Just because you're a great athlete,...

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Is your son or daughter a fall athlete?

WHY YOUR STUDENT SHOULD CONSIDER TAKING THE JUNE ACT EXAM.

Fall takes a lot out of kids.  They have just spent some (or all) of their time relaxing, kicking back, going at their own pace.  Suddenly, August 1 rolls around and they have two-a-day practices, captain’s practices, conditioning, weight lifting and team-bonding activities.  In addition to the physical aspects, there are also the mental demands of trying to be the player the coach wants them to be, maintaining friendships while competing for a spot, learning new plays, drills, or even a new position.  Less than three weeks later, they are thrust back into school.  New classes, subjects, teachers and even lunch periods can throw a teenager into fits of angst. 

Trying to earn playing time, understand a new teacher’s expectations and grading methods, and learning new material is not conducive to scoring well on the ACT.  I often hear high schools recommend the June ACT to high...

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