We are #1!

WalletHub recently ranked Massachusetts as having the #1 public school system in the country. While we may be #1, many parents find that there is a lot missing in their local public school system.

We have parents coming to us from some of the “best” public school systems in the state: Wellesley, Weston, Newton, Brookline, Lexington, Westwood, etc., seeking to place their children in private schools. They believe that the academics, sports, art programs, college counseling, and support services (like mentoring and advisory) are far superior in private school than in most public schools. All private schools are not created equal, and some are better than others in certain areas.

If you are looking at private school placement for your child, we can help. We are embarking on our 18th year of placing students at private and exam schools, and we are experts in this process. Please contact us to see how we can help you and your child with placement in a new school in the fall of 2021.

https://www.foxbusiness.com/features/best-worst-school-systems-state

How to Motivate Teen Boys?

Apathy in teens is a common issue, especially these days with so much screen time – cell phone, tablets, lap tops, streaming video and video games.

I recently came across an interesting article on ways to motivate teen boys.

Below is a link to the article.

https://yourteenmag.com/health/teenager-mental-health/how-to-motivate-boys?utm_source=Weekly+Emails&utm_campaign=55d3319db3-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2017_12_24_COPY_01&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_418d895dd9-55d3319db3-408361509&mc_cid=55d3319db3&mc_eid=87466ec5c5

I especially like the suggestion to: “let them make mistakes”. We see so many students so deathly afraid of making mistakes and aiming for perfection. Making mistakes is how children learn and grow. There is no such thing as perfection. One of the best gifts we can give our children is room to make mistakes and learn from them. This is how we equip them for life!

Anne Yount

Boston ISEE Prep
617-553-8083
www.bostoniseeprep.com - Test Prep for the ISEE & Latin School Exam

Boston Tutoring Center
617-553-8083
www.bostontutoringcenter.com - Tutoring Grades K-12

Boston Private School Search
617-553-0540
www.bostonprivateschoolsearch.com - Your Resource for Private School Admissions

Lighthouse Education, Inc.
617-553-0251
www.lighthouse-education.org - Changing Lives One Student at a Time

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Summer Reading

I have always found reading to be one of the greatest pleasures in life. Some of my earliest and fondest memories are of sitting on my grandfather’s lap in his rocking chair (which I still have today) and reading with him. Thanks to my grandparent’s emphasis on education, I could read before I started school, and they instilled in me a love of reading that has been a great source of empowerment and comfort to me throughout my life. When times were tough, or I was lonely (I grew up as an only child), getting lost in a book was always the best medicine.

It is so sad to see that many children today never pick up a book unless they are required to read it for school (and even then they try to find ways to cut corners and not read the whole book). The proliferation of social media and electronic devices is rotting kid’s brains. I would not mind so much if the material they were consuming on-line was substantive (at least some of the time), but taking quizzes on which Harry Potter character you are most like is just not going to do much for them as human beings.

I came across this article recently about how to get kids excited about reading, and I wanted to share it with my followers. I have used some of these suggestions successfully with my own children. My daughter and I read books together when she was younger (“Anne of Green Gables”, “Little Women” and “Tuck Everlasting”, were some of our favorites, among many others) and then we watched the movies together. Seeing these stories brought to life on screen was a fun experience for both of us. This also led to discussions about complex issues such as adoption, women’s rights, education, the Civil War, and immortality.

We have also traveled to places that feature characters from books my children have read. We have gone to Prince Edward Island and visited the “Anne of Green Gables” homestead, and we visited Louisa May Alcott’s home in Concord, and saw the desk where she wrote “Little Women” (it was very small and it looked very uncomfortable). These trips helped to bring the stories to life for my children.

Whatever you do this summer read!

https://www.greatschools.org/gk/articles/ideas-for-summer-reading/?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_content=072119.4

This is how a generation of snowflakes is formed

I recently came across an article about new policies being enacted by the Bedford, New Hampshire school system in response to “snowplow parenting”. The term “snowplow parenting” was coined to refer to parents who try to remove all obstacles from their child’s way, in order to make life as smooth and stress free as possible. While these parents think they are helping their child, they are actually doing more harm than good.

One of a parent’s most important jobs is to teach their child how to deal with adversity, challenges and stress. Let’s face it, no one, no matter how rich, successful, or privileged, goes through life without dealing with disappointment, challenges, stress, and failure. It is just a fact of life.

By trying to “smooth out” the bumps for their children parents are depriving the child of learning how to deal with setbacks in life. When this happens we end up with children who cannot function in the world and who coming running back home to seek parental help every time anything goes badly for them. This is not how a healthy adult functions.

When we work with students who are struggling, and we talk to parents who get alarmed when their child is facing challenges, we tell them to step back and give it some time. Parents need to resist the urge to swoop in and “make it all better”. While this may have worked when the child was a toddler, it is not an appropriate way to parent a middle or high school student.

Children who are allowed to try and fail develop the courage to keep striving. They develop skills to help them cope with stress and adversity. Ultimately students learn to trust in themselves and their abilities, and they gain a greater sense of self worth and dignity when they are able to achieve things on their own.

Remember parents – it is okay to be a cheerleader – it is NOT okay to be a snowplow!

https://patch.com/new-hampshire/bedford-nh/bedford-school-board-addresses-fine-line-parent-involvement

Tips for helping your student get organized

Very often when students are struggling in school part of the issue is a lack of organization. Skills such as test taking strategies, study strategies, time management, project management, memorization techniques and essay writing are often not taught in school, but are critical for academic success.

For years we taught a class in study skills for new middle and high school students, and the feedback we received from students and parents was that what students learned in this class was not taught in school, but was invaluable in helping them to successfully launch the next phase of their academic careers.

Below is a link to a good article with some very practical tips and suggestions for how to help students be organized in school. Back-to-school is right around the corner.

Trashy TV can make Children Dumber!

I came across this article this weekend about trashy TV and how it made children dumber in Italy.

We see this all the time with the families we work with. Parents who limit screen time and engage children in constructive activities have children who are calmer, more intelligent, and better able to learn.

Check it out for yourself:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2019/07/20/how-trashy-tv-made-children-dumber-enabled-wave-populist-leaders/?utm_term=.3d09776ccb47&wpisrc=nl_most&wpmm=1

College is an investment that needs a sensible ROI

My husband and I both grew up in lower middle class families. We were the first in our families to attend college – my husband went to MIT and I went to Babson. My husband earned a degree in electrical engineering with a concentration in software development. I earned a degree in business with a concentration in marketing and communications. We have never been without work in our lives.

We both own our own businesses and our student loans have long been paid off. Neither one of us could afford to get a degree in a major that did not lead to gainful employment. In fact, I took college classes through the summer and during winter breaks to finish my 4 year degree in 3 years, while working, because I would not afford to take out loans for a 4th year of living expenses.

It astounds me the amount of student loan debt people are willing to accumulate for degrees that do not lead to jobs that will help them get out of debt, buy a home and support a family. A friend recently told me about his niece who earned a degree from Boston College and went into debt over $200,000. She has been working as a nanny for the past 7 years, since her graduation. She lives at home, and she has no prospects for using her degree to help her launch a life independent of her parents. This is sad, but unfortunately not uncommon today.

I am also a firm believer that college is not for everyone, and there are some well paying jobs that can be achieved through the trades or other pathways that do not require a $200,000 degree.

We have a student who recently was admitted to Harvard. He was looking at over $73,000 a year in student loans to obtain his degree. He was also accepted into the Coast Guard Academy. His education through the Coast Guard would be free (in return for his service). He opted to go into the Coast Guard, and I applaud his decision. Taking on $300,000 in debt for a Harvard degree does not guarantee that he will be a millionaire some day.

The decision to finance a college education should always include careful consideration about what the return on investment will be.

Below is a link to an article about local colleges that pay off.

https://patch.com/massachusetts/westroxbury/s/gs77d/these-5-ma-colleges-pay-off-the-most-for-students?utm_source=alert-breakingnews&utm_medium=email&utm_term=schools&utm_campaign=alert

Anne Yount

Boston ISEE Prep
617-553-8083
www.bostoniseeprep.com - Test Prep for the ISEE & Latin School Exam

Boston Tutoring Center
617-553-8083
www.bostontutoringcenter.com - Tutoring Grades K-12

Boston Private School Search
617-553-0540
www.bostonprivateschoolsearch.com - Your Resource for Private School Admissions

Lighthouse Education, Inc.
617-553-0251
www.lighthouse-education.org - Changing Lives One Student at a Time

Follow my blog at: www.privateschoolguru.com/blog

Follow us on Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/Boston-Tutoring-Center

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What is SEL and why is it important?

One of the new buzz words in education is SEL (social and emotional learning). Schools are increasingly being asked to take on the challenge of helping students regulate their behavior and deal with their feelings. This is an issue for schools across the board – public and private, in both affluent and lower income communities.

Many students face trauma today whether it is in the form of poverty, hunger, homelessness, abuse, divorce, an absent parent, substance abuse in the home, violence in the home and/or community, parental stress – at all income levels, bullying, etc. These issues inevitably cause problems for children in school and can lead to a variety of negative behaviors from inability to pay attention in class to violent outbursts that disrupt the class.

Many teachers say they are ill equipped to handle students exhibiting these behaviors and their schools do not have the necessary resources to support these students. Below is a link to an article in Education Week that highlights this problem. One of the statistics that I found startling is that on average in public schools across the country there are 482 students for each counselor. Clearly the resources are stretched way too thin.

One highly regarded school in Boston is a prime example of this problem. The school has over 2,400 students and a guidance staff of approximately 8 counselors – a 300 to 1 ratio. There is no way that one person can effectively support 300 students at once, some of whom are applying to college and need more guidance. These students have issues with substance abuse, eating disorders, mental health issues and stress that accompanies the demands of a rigorous curriculum. The drop out rate at this school is very high. Many parents are not equipped to handle these issues and seek partners at their child’s school to help navigate these common teenage issues.

I hear from many parents who feel like the public schools are failing them and their children, and they are seeking smaller schools with more support services for both their children and all the children in the classroom. Even if your child is not experiencing an issues, they are bound to be impacted by their peers bringing these issues into the classroom. If the teacher and the school do not have effective programs in place to support all students then everyone suffers. Private schools in particular have the resources and the mindset to support the whole child – socially and emotionally.

Check out the article at the link below.

https://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2019/07/17/teachers-support-social-emotional-learning-but-say-students.html?cmp=eml-enl-eu-news1-rm&M=58886768&U=2637811&UUID=378b5ca1eb69e222743c57ccc1a5191c

Anne Yount

Boston ISEE Prep
617-553-8083
www.bostoniseeprep.com - Test Prep for the ISEE & Latin School Exam

Boston Tutoring Center
617-553-8083
www.bostontutoringcenter.com - Tutoring Grades K-12

Boston Private School Search
617-553-0540
www.bostonprivateschoolsearch.com - Your Resource for Private School Admissions

Lighthouse Education, Inc.
617-553-0251
www.lighthouse-education.org - Changing Lives One Student at a Time

Follow my blog at: www.privateschoolguru.com/blog

Follow us on Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/Boston-Tutoring-Center

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This is a great article on why preparing for college should start in 9th grade

My daughter is a rising sophomore, and we have already laid out a plan for working with a college coach starting this year, preparing for the SAT exams starting next summer, researching pre-college programs for next summer, and laying out her courses and electives for the next 3 years.

I talk to too many families who fail to plan, and it sets their children up to fail. It is important that students use their high school years to set a path for college and career (even if they are not sure yet what they want to do).

I especially like the recommendation to “find and follow your passions”. My older son has built a career and a successful business around following his passions, and this started when he was in high school.

https://yourteenmag.com/teens-college/admissions/early-college-preparation?utm_source=Weekly+Emails&utm_campaign=0237cab13e-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2017_12_24_COPY_03&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_418d895dd9-0237cab13e-408361509&mc_cid=0237cab13e&mc_eid=87466ec5c5

Exam School Diversity

Boston is facing the same issue as NYC with a lack of diversity in exam schools. It is interesting to see how NYC is trying to address this issue, and what this means for Boston.


http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/District_Dossier/2019/06/whats_next_for_new_york_specialized_schools.html?cmp=eml-enl-eu-news3&M=58871665&U=2637811&UUID=378b5ca1eb69e222743c57ccc1a5191c

Anne Yount

Boston ISEE Prep
617-553-8083
www.bostoniseeprep.com - Test Prep for the ISEE & Latin School Exam

Boston Tutoring Center
617-553-8083
www.bostontutoringcenter.com - Tutoring Grades K-12

Boston Private School Search
617-553-0540
www.bostonprivateschoolsearch.com - Your Resource for Private School Admissions

Follow my blog at: www.privateschoolguru.com/blog

Lighthouse Education, Inc.
617-553-0251
www.lighthouse-education.org - Changing Lives One Student at a Time

Follow us on Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/Boston-Tutoring-Center

https://www.facebook.com/Private-School-Guru