By Yasmin Mossanen, Psy.D.
Let’s face it; we all are guilty of using psychological language to label our children’s’ behaviors. It is not meant to be harmful or malicious, however, the sudden increase in mental health diagnosis in children is forcing us to take a hard look at what options we take as parents. Research has shown that ADHD is diagnosed in 1/10 children, Autism Spectrum Disorder is diagnosed in 1 out of 54 school-aged-boys, and mood disorders have increased by 40% in the last decade. Why the sudden surge?
Educators, administrators, and parents have become casual about incorporating mental health language in everyday life. Over-diagnosis in our school systems has paved the way to medicate and abnormalize children’s normal behavior. It is common for parents to categorize their child’s behavior in order to control it. Consequently, it is easy to forget that a mental diagnosis will follow children into adulthood. The label and the experience that comes with the disorder are irreversible. Mental health diagnoses are important and can be very helpful, and you want your child to be diagnosed with a mental health disorder if he/she really has one. (more…)
By Nathalie Kunin
Spring break is a time to unwind and enjoy a relaxing week or two off school. It can also be an opportunity to sharpen academic skills and learn new skills to bring back to the classroom with you. The 5 activities listed below will make Spring Break fly by whether you are away on vacation or having a “stay-cation”. (more…)
By Janis Adams
What does it take to secure a place in a top Los Angeles private school?
Let’s talk to some people in the know.
After months of researching, preparing, testing, and interviewing, there is nothing left to do but wait. We want to give families some behind-the-scenes insight about what is going on as final decisions are being made. Despite this being crunch time for the independent schools admissions directors, several top ADs and experts took the time to talk with us about the admissions process.
Laurel Baker Tew, Director of Admissions at Viewpoint School, reminds us that “the student isn’t the only part of the admissions decision. The family as well has to fit into the school community.” (more…)
By Chris Carra
Camps can be one of the greatest experiences for a child. Fun, stimulating and inspirational. They are usually the highlight of the summer for most youngsters and leave them with a lifetime of cherished memories.
But these days, sending them off to any old camp can actually hinder their creativity. Put it this way – would your music-loving daughter be happier learning to climb, or developing her skills on the piano? These questions are what every parent needs to ask when choosing the right camp for their child. (more…)
By Allya Orlov
Resolutions. So empowering to make them…but oh so disappointing when you fail. Let’s be honest, most, if not all of our resolutions don’t last. Instead of shooting for the stars, let’s be practical. Let’s commit to being just a tad better than last year. Here are 3 areas to focus on to make 2016 your best year ever:
Stress Less – Stress is the leading cause of all sickness. Yup, you heard that right. Finding ways to de-stress will make you happier, healthier and just a nicer person overall. (more…)
By Roxana Maddahi
As parents, we want our children to be better and more successful than we were. We dream of an easier, happier, and more financially fruitful life than we ever had, and in order to do so, we work hard to obtain the best possible education for our kids.
But even in the best schools, parents need to do their homework if they want to teach their kids to be business minded and entrepreneurial. Schools teach academics such as history, math and writing skills, but being good at these subjects is a piece of a larger puzzle if you want your kids to start their own businesses or achieve financial success in a business that they are passionate about. (more…)
By Elizabeth Fraley
According to the National Institute for Early Education Research, there is a growing body of research that Executive Functioning (EF) skills are critical to implement in the home and classroom environments. Times have changed and increased academic demands on students have created the need to rely on strategies to help children plan, initiate, and organize academic and social responsibilities. Parents, teachers, and specialists can help support EF skills to optimize students’ full learning potential. (more…)
By Nathalie Kunin
For more than two years there has been lots of chatter about the “new SAT”. Well, it is finally making its debut in March 2016 and the following is a breakdown of what you need to know about the new test. High school Seniors will still take the current SAT so the changes will not apply to them. Sophomores and Juniors will start preparing for the re-designed test. The most significant changes are as follows:
Scoring will go back to the 1600-point scale (instead of the 2400-point scale) and there will not be a penalty for guessing. That means correct answers will receive a point and there will not be deductions for incorrect answers. Also, there will only be 4 answer choices instead of 5.
Sentence completions have been eliminated. Vocabulary questions will only be in the context of paragraphs, and words will be focused more on “real-world” language. No more memorizing obscure lists of words that you have never heard of.
The math section has been re-designed to assess a student’s fundamental grasp of core math concepts. Twenty-eight (28) out of fifty-eight (58) total math questions will not allow the use of a calculator.
The sections are longer, but the pace is slower. An example of this is: Instead of three 25-minute reading sections, there will be one 65-minute reading section and fewer questions per minute.
While still required by many colleges, the essay will be optional. The essay will be based on an analysis of documents, rather than an open-ended question. The essay score will be separate, not factored into the 1600 point total.
The current SAT is offered through January 2016. Indicators that your high school student may prefer the current SAT:
- • High PSAT score (1800+ on Sophomore PSAT)
- • Strong Vocabulary
- • Trouble with Mental Math
- • Prefers shorter sections
Indicators that your child might prefer the new SAT:
- • High grades in Geometry and Algebra II
- • High ISEE or State test math scores
- • Taking AP English Language Composition Junior Year
- • Prefers slower pace
The main thing for students to remember is that everyone taking the newly designed test is in the same boat – it is new for everyone. To be successful on any exam, new or old, students must study and practice. Preparing for any standardized test is a challenge and should take place over several months. Familiarizing yourself with the material will get you one step closer to success.
Nathalie Kunin is the owner of Team Tutors.
By Dina Newman
Back to School is a time for meeting new challenges and taking on new responsibilities.
The following 7 Tips will help you get organized & help you stay organized throughout the school year.
THE IMPORTANCE OF ROUTINES
I. Create a morning schedule and practice it at least once before the start of school.
a. Try setting up a schedule in the morning that will help you stay organized. A sample schedule might be: Wake up and shower at 6:45, get dressed at 7:00, eat breakfast at 7:15, pack your lunch at 7:25, do your hair and makeup at 7:35 and leave at 7:50.
b. Make sure you allow extra time in case something goes wrong (ex: you wake up late)
c. Follow the same routine every day.
By Kami Laura
Both parents and teachers play a significant role in preparing children to become knowledgeable, caring and responsible adults. Whether your child is returning to school or a new kindergartener, there are ways that parents can clearly send a message to their children that school is important and education matters.
When parents create routines at home for homework, free time, meals and bedtime, they set the stage for school success. Some techniques that teachers use in the classroom can easily be adapted at home. Many teachers display visuals in the classroom, such as, schedules, to establish transitions throughout the school day. Parents, too, can prepare their child for events and post daily calendars of those events. (more…)
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