“The problem is our kids— like some of us— end up making career choices to impress other people for a fleeting, and false, feeling of validation. In the process, we lose sight of what makes us truly happy and successful.”
One of the most frustrating questions for high school juniors and seniors is, “what do you want to do when you grow up?” Determining a career path is a difficult process that is often left up to unreliable means such as chance, relying on what one is good at as a teenager, or a direction suggested or imposed on them by someone else. But how many adults have used this method and are still saying at age 35 or 40, “I’m still trying to figure out what I want to do!”
Is relying on one of four core subjects in school really the best method to determine a career path that will influence the next 40+ years of their life?
The workforce has changed substantially, but our...
December is the most wonderful time of the year for so many reasons: Christmas, winter break, snowball fights, and more. December also marks the last ACT test of the year, and the best test for high school Juniors to take.
The Test Information Release (TIR) is a digital copy of the multiple-choice test questions, your answers, a copy of your answer document, the answer key, and the conversion table used in determining your ACT scores. TIRs are only offered during the December, April, and June test dates, and is something that you opt into during the ACT registration process.
Having the TIR allows a student to see what questions tripped them up and where to focus their efforts when studying. We believe in working smarter, not harder!
Michael was one of our students who did well on every section— in the mid 30's— except English. He was certain that it...
Imagine: You head over to a friend’s house to help them with their landscaping project. You are greeted by a friend covered in mulch, dirt, and random pieces of weeds. She asks you to move her car from the driveway so the mulch truck can pull in. You happily grab her keys and get in the car, only to realize you cannot move her car. Sure, it has a steering wheel, the key fits the ignition, there is a brake pedal and gas pedal— but there is also a clutch, and you have never driven a stick shift!!
Even though you have driven for years and are a good driver, you cannot perform the simple task of backing out of the driveway and parking in the street because you have not been taught how to successfully manage the transmission yourself.
This is exactly why good students are not automatically successful on standardized tests: they have not been taught the strategies, tricks, or time management needed to crush the test!
Standardized tests intentionally bait...
I had a woman reach out to me. Her son had a 4.3 GPA. He had all of the extracurriculars, the volunteer work, foreign language, and yet he didn't receive a single scholarship and they were perplexed. They thought that they did everything right— so where was their scholarship money?
If money is a factor when going through the college selection process and planning your child's future, as it is for most families, figuring out what schools to apply for ahead of time is crucial. The types of school that your child applies to can determine how much money they are awarded. There are some schools that are very generous with the money they award, and there are others that are not.
Often, really elite and selective schools aren't that generous because they have a waiting list. They don't need to incentivize students to attend— if you don't want to take that...
One of the goals of high school is to prepare students for the “next level” of education, but the reality is that the "next level" is different for everyone. Not all careers begin with a 4-year degree. Some require a post-graduate degree (which means more than 4 years!), or maybe a 2-year degree, technical or trade school, apprenticeships, or none of the above! The question becomes, how do you decide what kind of school or training you should pursue?
You work backwards!
So many students assume that the next step for them is applying to college at a 4-year school, when they should really be thinking about what they ultimately want to do with their lives. By choosing a career end goal, a student can piece out what steps they need to take in between where they are now and where they want to be.
Your child has been asked this question since they could talk. And while their answers may have changed from the princess, dinosaur,...
Should they take as many AP or CCP classes possible? Play three sports? Or perhaps specialize in just one sport? Take a foreign language? Or maybe take a specific foreign language like Latin? While all of those pieces of advice could be helpful in the right context, the most important piece of advice that students should follow is to learn outside of the classroom.
Learning outside of the classroom offers many benefits for students, from the concrete benefits that can be added to a resume or college application, to the more esoteric benefits of becoming a more learned or well-read individual.
Starting with the former, many colleges, especially more selective schools, are looking to admit students that have a demonstrated thirst for knowledge. It is frequently forgotten that students are not only competing amongst their peers at their own high school or in their conference,...
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.
So you have your kid registered for the One Week to Perfect essay writing class, but you have absolutely no idea when they should be done with their essays. While we aim to have at least three essays completely finished by the end of the week, some schools require a number of supplemental essays and application materials. When should you have those in?
Parents of seniors are feeling out of the loop right now. There may be some anxiety, some frustration, and a lot of misunderstanding the admission process. I find that parents are usually all over in the understanding of best practices— especially this year. It's been years since they have applied to college; since when did everything get so difficult?
I have interviewed dozens of admission reps from schools all over, and their recommendations allow us to better help your child gain admission to their first...
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...
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.