In second grade, readers can really take off. Or not. Don’t be worried if your child hasn’t turned into a reader yet. Just focus on making fun books available. If you don’t read kids’ books for your own entertainment (I do!) you might have trouble coming up with some suggestions for your son. But better than my suggestions, are the suggestions of another boy. Here are 8 of the best books for boys, my son’s favorite books in second grade….
In first grade, kids are just getting started with independent reading. If you don’t read kids’ books for your own entertainment (I do!) you might have trouble coming up with some suggestions for your kids. But better than my suggestions, are the suggestions of other kids. Here are 7 of the best books for girls, my daughter’s favorite books in first grade….
In first grade, kids are just getting started with independent reading. I strongly believe that reading enjoyment is important, especially for early readers. If you don’t read kids’ books for your own entertainment (I do!) you might have trouble coming up with some suggestions for your kids. But better than my suggestions, are the suggestions of another kid. Here are 4 of the best books for boys, my son’s favorite books in first grade….
There many lists claiming to be lists of the best kids books. Lists of hundreds — if not thousands— of kids’ books that are carefully curated for their “literary merit.” I’m not a literature expert, just a children’s book author – but most of all a mom – who loves reading, with a house full of readers….
Over the years lots of my friends have asked me for advice, about book suggestions and about how I got my kids to love reading. This came so naturally to us, that it took some thought to figure out what we might have done differently….
Many students and parents right now are nervously awaiting the announcement of PSAT scores, the scores that will be used to determine qualification for National Merit Semi-finalists which will give them a chance at getting a National Merit Scholarship. How nervous? Really nervous. Just take a look over at the College Confidential forums. Even sophomores, who can’t qualify until next year, are nervous.
Of course, once the scores come out, everyone will still have to await the announcement of the cut-off scores for National Merit qualification. As we wait on those announcements, I’ve been thinking lately about what the number of National Merit Scholars mean s about the effectiveness of any one particular high school. Can you use the number of National Merit Scholars as a criteria for choosing a good high school?…
If you’re like a lot of high school students (or their parents), around this time of year you’re probably worrying about how you can improve your SAT score. If you’ve been following my blog, you know I’ve been questioning the worth of a lot of the standard advice you’re given for improving your chances of getting into college and being successful, but one thing I’ve found is that good SAT or ACT scores are still definitely important for college admission. This is one place that it’s still definitely worth your time to put in some effort. (For a information on schools that will even give you a full ride scholarship based on your SAT score, see the post What ACT or SAT Score Can Get You a Full-Ride Scholarship? by My Kid’s College Choice.)
I’m still working on setting up my blog specific to high school, college, and success, but my son just finished studying for the PSAT, which he took yesterday. (For the difference between the SAT and the PSAT, see What is the PSAT on DIY College Rankings.) His scores were already high, but even with private tutoring he’d reached a limit in his improvement. He was frustrated, so I did a lot of research into how to improve your SAT scores. And he did improve. To the point that he was capable of even perfect scores on practice sections. (In case you’re wondering, I was a National Merit Scholar, back in the day. 🙂 But we didn’t even consider him prepping for National Merit Scholar level until his practice test his sophomore year showed him to be within reach of the qualifying score.)
However, the more I dug into it, I realized that the quest for National Merit recognition now is like trying to get Olympic Gold. In the Olympics, all of the athletes have the skills, and top competitors are separated by fractions of a second. Different athletes will win on different days and some will crumble under the pressure. Same goes for the PSAT. It will be interesting to see if the new format of the PSAT has any effect.
But, if your quest is for high SAT scores or to raise your SAT score, it’s at least not a one day shot. And all your efforts studying for the PSAT will pay off when you take the SAT later….
If the appearance of “Back to School” aisles in July gave you heart palpitations, you might be wondering if all the stress accompanying what we call “high school” today is worth it. And if you — as a parent — are feeling this way, what do you think your kids are feeling? When did high school get so stressful for parents anyway?
For the summer I’ve taken a break from my series on high school, college, and success to focus on some summer fun and trip preparation. When I spy the back to school sections at the store, I avoid them as much as possible. It’s supposed to be the middle of summer, people! (Although I have to admit that we have already gotten the kids’ new backpacks for next year.)
But Amanda Valentine of Reads4Tweens forwarded me an article by William Deresiewicz on his thoughts about an Ivy League education, Don’t Send Your Kid to the Ivy League: The nation’s top colleges are turning our kids into zombies.
And here I thought it was just lack of sleep caused by an over-abundance of homework and extra-curricular “fun” activities….
School used to be so easy. Take the hardest classes possible. Do your best. Success will follow.
But have high schools (and the college boards who wrote up the advanced placement curriculum) succeeded in making advanced placement classes so challenging that a student can’t do it all? Or are they just leading to teen stress and anxiety with little to no affect on life-long success?…
As I’ve outlined in my previous posts, I’ve been pondering how to guide our kids to the best path of success, starting in high school by analyzing success factors. One answer might be that you try to move into a school district according to the high school ratings. Our school ranks well in U.S. News 2014 Best High Schools Rankings, but what does this mean?
I started thinking about this when we noticed that high school kids at our school seemed to have over-whelming schedules and then noted our own experiences with a full schedules of preAP and AP classes.
In my last post, I gave a quick rundown of my take on The Smartest Kids in the World: and how they got that way, by Amanda Ripley.
What I took from that was that was that based on the studies of Finland and Poland’s educational systems, stress, test, and retest might not be necessary for success. And South Korea’s school system shows that a high stress and test environment has some definite drawbacks.
So I was surprised that when I started reading Amanda Ripley’s blog, I kept running into statistics that used AP tests as a measure of whether of a high school was an academic success. She seems to agree with using AP tests as a way to determine school ratings….