This time of year usually brings a collective sigh of relief from parents (and a furious rush from teens to have just a bit more summer fun), but it also brings inevitable crossroads. What classes should my teen take? Is Advanced Placement or IB worth it if they never sleep? Will colleges be impressed if they’re not an athlete or class president? What are the right choices for my student?
Unfortunately, there’s not always a clear “right choice,” but whether your kids are just entering ninth grade or are gearing up to start their college applications, there are plenty of best practices to keep in mind as you navigate the questions that arise throughout the school year. Continue reading
1. Start getting back into the routine. Summer is filled with mornings of sleeping in, hanging by the pool and days of soaking up the sun. Kids enjoy the fun of summer and how it gives them the freedom to roam. It is very difficult for kids to pivot on their rhythm so quickly. They do better if eased into a change. Start to assimilate the school routine back into their lives slowly but surely. It will be easier for you all to wake up early when the first day arrives.
“School’s out! No more class, books, homework, and tests! We’re gonna run around barefoot, swim, play video games, and eat Popsicles!” declare happy children heading to summer break.
But it doesn’t take long for parents to burst these happy summer bubbles with the dreaded news: “Time to get your books from the required summer reading list.” The once-happy children face-palm and sadly shake their heads as they realize that summer break doesn’t include a break from reading. “But we don’t wanna!” Continue reading
Three Ways to Reduce Your High-Achieving, Stressed-Out High Schooler’s Burnout Right Away
By Shirag Shemmassian, Ph.D.
For decades, our high-achieving high schoolers have been encouraged to fill their schedules with as much as possible, including tough classes, tons of extracurricular activities, and summer camps and internships.
I know, for example, a junior at a private Los Angeles high school who is currently taking 4 AP classes, 2 Honors classes, and PE, in addition to being on the varsity basketball team, participating in Model United Nations (UN) and Science Quiz Bowl, studying for the ACT exam, and volunteering at a local homeless shelter. A typical school day for this student begins with a 6:15AM alarm to get to school by 8AM, which lasts until 3PM. After school, this student meets with his Model UN and Quiz Bowl teams from 3:30-5:30PM and has basketball practice from 6-7:15PM. He gets home at 7:30PM, eats and showers, and sits down to begin his homework at 8:30PM. After 4.5 hours of homework, he falls asleep—sometimes at his desk—around 1AM. The only other sleep he gets during the week comes unintentionally, during class time. Continue reading
Carter started preschool today and it was very hard for him and me. There were lots of tears. For those of you who don’t know me well and just stumbled upon my blog, I NEVER leave my children. Blake and I have never left them overnight, except for when we were in the hospital having Kennedy. We never leave our children with babysitters. Blake and I personally feel it is very important that at least one of us is there for every bed time, every breakfast, lunch, dinner… just everything! I know every mom and dad are different and believe me I have tons of friends that are not like me and I am totally okay with that. I am just a different kind of mom.
As we try to soak up the last few hours of summer before a new school year begins there is so much to do. I am checking and rechecking their back packs to make sure they have all of their school supplies. Making sure their lunch boxes and folders are labeled. Doing a final fitting of their school uniforms to make sure the shirts and bottoms are comfortable. Continue reading