Category Archives: Academics

Despite spending seemingly interminable days at school or doing homework, teens aren’t necessarily learning everything they need for happy, productive lives. Some may even argue that an emphasis on academia overlooks the most important life skills. Melanie Pinola put together a terrific list of Top 10 Skills We Wish Were Taught In School, But Usually Aren’t that is worth a look. Here are her top 10: 1. How To Apply For Jobs And Handle Interviews 2. Mental Health 3. Basic Self-Defense 4. Negotiation Skills 5. Survival Skills 6. Basic Money Management 7. Study Skills (Or Learning How To Learn) 8. Time Management Techniques 9. Speed Reading 10. Computer Science Of course, we work with students on some of these essential skills while our partners cover others. And some of these skills are way outside our scope of service. I generally agree with the author’s findings, but find little evidence that Speed Reading has any…

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Mid-July may be slow when it comes to professional sports, but interpreting national, state, and local SAT scores has become something of a sport in its own right. Around here, we’re poring over the Rochester Business Journal Schools Report Card, trying to make sense of what all these numbers mean. Are you wondering the same thing? One a granular level, score averages probably don’t mean as much as you think… just because your teen goes to a school with high average SAT scores doesn’t guarantee that her scores are impressing colleges. Fortunately, the inverse applies as well. But understanding some of the benchmarks provides context for individual score goals and achievements. A superficial review of national and state averages might have some New Yorkers running to their realtors for out-of-state listings: 2013 National Averages SAT Reading: 496 SAT Math: 514 SAT Writing: 488 2013 New York State Averages SAT Reading:…

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Believe it or not, Weird Al Yankovic nails a few commonly tested grammar and usage errors in his new song parody, Word Crimes. Just don’t kid yourself that listening to the song a few times counts as test prep. It is catchy though…

We all know that everyone learns in different ways. Some of us prefer to work independently, while others need to be led along. Solo vs. group, synchronous vs. asynchronous, visual vs. auditory… everyone absorbs information most efficiently through specific channels. One of the great challenges for any of us is discovering those paths and then using them.

Have you ever experienced one or more of these symptoms? No spontaneous thought An intensified, fixed, internalized awareness An expansion of especially clear awareness into ambient space The disappearance of the bodily self A distinctive closing off of all sight and sound A deep, blissful serenity A marked slowing or cessation of respiration Don’t worry: you weren’t abducted by aliens (I hope).  Instead, you attained that elusive and magical state of flow that only comes from total absorption. Some associate this state with the deep internal absorption that comes from skilled meditation. Others refer to it as the Coder’s High. But you don’t need to live in Tibet or work in Silicon Valley to find this bliss. The flow state finds us when we are fully absorbed in accomplishing a complex and worthy task. Great works of art may be immersive but not truly absorbing unless we’re creating them. The flow state is…

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