221: Four Tips for Knocking Off Your Summer Reading Assignment

Many schools assign summer reading, and most students wait until the last minute to do it.

Tune in as Megan and Gretchen provide four tips for getting a head start on your summer reading, and getting it done well before the due date.

Tips include:

  1. How to check for assignments, particularly if you are attending a new school in the fall,
  2. When to get started with the assignment
  3. How parents can use summer assignments to set a new positive tone for the coming school year, and
  4. How to look over the assignment and make a plan

You might also find this helpful: Gretchen’s video series about how to read a 400 page book in 2 hours.

Tune in as Megan and Gretchen provide four tips for getting a head start on your summer reading, and getting it done well before the due date.

220: Anti-Boring Study Tool #2 – The Study Senses

Is studying tedious and boring?

Use the Study Senses as a simple checklist for how to engage your brain while learning, so that you learn more in less time.

Tune in for Part 2 of the Anti-Boring Summer Series, where she walks you through a simple model for how to mix up your studying so you’re processing information in multiple ways.

If this anti-boring tip delights you and you want more from where this came from:

219: Before You Write Your Admissions Essays, Listen to This

Essays are an important component of college applications, but most people– students, parent, and even educators– have little idea what a winning essay looks like or how to write one.

Check out these resources that we highlighted on the episode:

Don’t forget to listen in as we help you get started and share advice from some colleges.

217: Is Your Student Affected by the Rise of Vaping at School?

As a parent, teacher, mentor there are so many things we need to keep up with as we guide students.

One new development at schools in the last year is the rise of vaping amongst teens. Is your student affected by this new trend in tobacco and marijuana consumption?

In this episode Megan and Gretchen discuss:

  •  what vaping is and why it seems to be on the rise
  • how students tend to use it at schools, and how other students are affected even if they don’t vape themselves
  • how parents and teachers might inform themselves about the types of vaping devices that are used by students,
  • And more!

Listen in to see what Megan and Gretchen say about Vaping in Schools.

216: Why Learning is Hard and How to Make It Easier

Too many students judge themselves as “stupid” because learning new things feels hard. Understanding this one brain fact goes a long way to helping students feel better about themselves as learners.

 

Tune in as Gretchen explains:

 

  • What a neuron is and how a neural pathway is created in the brain,
  • Why it’s totally normal if learning feels hard,
  • How to stick with a hard task for long enough so that it feels easier,
  • And more!

If you’d like to learn more tools and tricks to make learning easier, check out the  Anti-Boring Approach to Powerful Studying online course; you might also like to book a few sessions with any of these certified Anti-Boring Approach Coaches.

215: How to Choose the Right Calculator for High School

Having the right calculator can effect your math scores on the ACT and SAT, yet too many students have the wrong calculator with them.

Megan walks you through how to get the right calculator ahead of time.

Tune in to explore:

  • Common mistakes students make when choosing calcultors
  • Whether you need to purchase an expensive calculator, or whether cheaper versions will do
  • What the requirements are for ACT and SAT approved calculators
  • Whether to buy or rent your calculators,
  • And more!

If you’d like some extra reading, here are the calculator policies for the ACT and the SAT.

Listen in as Megan walks you through how to get the right calculator ahead of time.

213: How AP, IB and Dual Credit Can (And Can’t) Help You in College

Many families assume that AP, IB and Dual Credit Courses will help them get ahead and save money in college. However, this is not always the case.

Listen in as Megan outlines how these higher level higher school classes in high school will — and won’t! — benefit you when you get to college. Specifically, she’ll walk you through:

  1. The limitations of taking AP, IB and Dual Credit courses, including what can transfer where and what scores are needed,
  2. Before taking these classes, how to establish your goals to you’re clear why you are taking them, and whether those reasons are realistic
  3.  How to research the credit by exam policies at the colleges on your list, so you know in advance which courses will count towards college credit and which won’t
  4. When to meet with an academic advisor to help determine which credits you should “cash in”, and
  5. The importance of remember these programs are part of a complete academic plan, and not the “be all and end all” of your college career.

Also note: It’s final exam time! If you need some help with studying for final exams, check out some of these episodes:

Listen in as Megan outlines how these higher level higher school classes in high school will — and won’t! — benefit you when you get to college.

212: Is Your Student Vulnerable to the Cheating Epidemic?

Cheating is on the rise in high schools around the country!

Megan has been observing this in the reports coming from her clients’ and her daughters’ school.

Tune in as Megan and Gretchen explore this topic in more detail, including:

  • The reasons Megan observes for this epidemic, including the way the internet exacerbates the impulse to cheat
  • What the real harms are to students who succumb to temptation to cheat
  • Questions parents can ask their students to make sure that students have thought through impulses, consequences, and alternatives to cheating as a way to raise grades.

Tune in as Megan and Gretchen explore this topic in more detail!

210: Take Your College Visits to the Next Level

College visits can get repetitive and boring, and the “official” tours offered by the school don’t always reveal the hidden details that help you make a decision about which school is best for you.

Let Megan school you on how to take your visits to the next level! She’ll cover:

  1. How early is too early to start taking college visits?
  2. How to go beyond the basic two-hour info session, with tips like eating in the actual cafeteria picking up the school newspaper
  3. How to use college visits to help make the “short list”

Click here and listen in and Megan will also share some notes from the road, observations based on the college visits her clients and her daughter have done.

209: How to Study When Given Essay Questions in Advance

Do your teachers ever give you the essay questions far in advance of the chapter test or final?

Many students don’t take advantage of this key resource.

Gretchen walks you through a few ways to use these advance questions to your advantage, including how to:

  • Identify which questions can be answered by reading which chapters and/or sections
  • “Chart” essay questions so you understand a) what information you are supposed to learn and b) what kind of thinking you’re being asked to practice
  • Give yourself a map of the chapter using the essay questions as a guide
  • Take notes using the essay question as a guide.
  • Run your charts and notes by your teacher as a way to “assess” your understanding before chapter tests and quizzes, and
  • Use your charts and notes to study for the actual exam

Listen in as Gretchen walks you through a few ways to use these advance questions to your advantage!

208: How to Make Your Final College Decision

April 1 was the date by which all colleges should have notified students of acceptance; students have this month to make the final choices and notify schools of their decisions.

Tune in as Megan walks you through 10 factors to consider as you make this final decision, including:

  1. General impression / ranking from your visits
  2. Money– How much will you pay EACH YEAR?
  3. Choice of Major– Are you in? Can you change your mind?
  4. Required courses– what will you have to take at each
  5. AP or transfer credits?
  6. Activities, organizations, Greek life?
  7. Travel costs and issues
  8. Academic support
  9. Need for family connectedness
  10. Where will you feel supported and pushed to be your best?

Listen in to learn how to make your final decision on which college to choose.

207: Give Your Time Management a Mid-Semester Makeover

By mid-semester students’ time management routines have often weakened or collapsed.

 

 

Consider these four questions when giving your routines a makeover so that you can make it to the end of the semester with your grades and self esteem intact:

  • First, do you have a weekly planning routine? This can be a helpful Sunday task to help you look ahead and plan for the week ahead.
  • Second, do you have a daily routine to do right before and after your homework? This can be helpful to make sure you are adjusting your weekly plan as needed, with every new assignment your teachers give.
  • Third, if the daily routine doesn’t work for you, are you doing a midweek check-in ritual? This enables you to check off items from your To Do list, add new items, and make a plan for the weekend, so that you take action rather than procrastinate during your “off” time.
  • Finally, do you have a plan for accountability? Who else besides you can know about your plans and help make sure you feel a low-grade pressure to follow through?

Listen in to learn how to revamp your time management skills.

206: Strategies to Improve Reading Comprehension on SAT, ACT or AP Tests

Believe it or not — raising your reading comprehension scores on standardized tests is often not about improving your reading skills!

 

Tune in as Megan outlines surprising skills to improve if you want improved performance on this section of your tests. Specifically she covers how to:

  • Develop college-bound vocabulary
  • Practice reading challenging material (fiction, non-fiction, archaic rhetorical style, complex scientific, detailed, etc.
  • Learn to find details (open book skills)
  • Practice analysis skills, and
  • Understand that every word matters

Listen in as Megan outlines surprising skills to improve if you want improved performance on reading comprehension of your tests.

 

205: One Student’s Takeaways From a Semester of Coaching

How much can a student’s behavior truly change after a semester of coaching?

In today’s episode, Gretchen walks us through a sixteen year old’s reflections about how he has grown as a result of academic coaching.

The following eight ideas resulted from a brainstorm during this young man’s final coaching session, during which he and Gretchen reviewed what he has learned and what habits he would like to maintain:

1. The Set Up Routine
2. Doing Spanish hw first
3. All the different study tools from the Anti-Boring Approach to Powerful Studying
4. Self Advocacy.
5. Keeping a Planner.
6. Finishing homework by a reasonable hour
7. Take advantage of meds before they wear off.
8. Marking period supply clean out.

Tune in to the episode to hear more about each of these take aways!

204: AP or Not to AP: Controversy & Considerations

The national average of number of AP classes taken by students admitted to top universities is five to eight total. That’s a lot!

Deciding whether to take (or not take) Advanced Placement classes is more complicated that simply taking as many tests as possible.

In this episode we discuss in detail the following considerations:

  1. The importance of students choosing an appropriate level of challenge
  2. The fact that AP classes (and the AP exams) can push students to learn at a higher level, which is great prep for college!
  3. How to think through your priorities when considering AP
  4. What does your family hope to get out of an AP class– higher learning, AP credit, boost to school GPA / rank, better teachers, taking class with peers, etc.
  5. What are your alternatives?
  6. What will the student have to give up to take these classes?
  7. How to monitor appropriateness (grades, time spent studying, mental health)
  8. When to go for it, and how to step down if you realize it’s too much

Listen in about AP courses to see if it’s right for you!

203: Don’t Overlook These Seven Surprising Study Techniques

Sometimes small study tweaks can make a difference.

In this episode, Gretchen outlines seven small study techniques that can are easy to integrate into your homework time, and can help you be better prepped for tests.

We’re listing them here, though you’ll want to tune in to understand exactly how to integrate them into your study routine. They are:

  1. Take 3-minutes to quiz yourself before every assignment.
  2. Don’t use Google Translate to do your language homework, but do use it to assess yourself after you’re done
  3. Eliminate silly mistakes on math tests by doing a “speed practice” when doing homework
  4. Check your homework every night using www.slader.com
  5. Use blue tape to put flashcards up around your house, so that you can study when you’re walking to and from different rooms
  6. Draw a picture next to information that you’re having trouble remembering
  7. Make a quizzable study tool before each chapter test and save those tools for the final.

Listen in as Gretchen outlines seven small study techniques that can are easy to integrate into your homework time, and can help you be better prepped for tests.

202: Course Selection: How to Develop a Four Year Plan

“Make time visible” is a favorite refrain of Gretchen’s, and it’s equally as true for college planning as it is for daily time management and organization.

In this episode, Megan walks students step by step through how to make the next four years visible…by making a 4 year plan for course selection.

Listen in as she walks you through the following steps, which you can apply to your high school or your college career:

  1. Gather information about the courses at your school.
  2. Start by laying out requirements and prerequisites on a calendar.
  3. Add electives and “one off” classes.
  4. Strive for balance.
  5. Know your options and make sure you have a back up plan if courses aren’t available when you thought they might be.

Click here to listen in as Megan provides 5 steps you can use to apply to your college or high school career.

201: How to Let Kids Fail “Small” Earlier On

Students need to become familiar with failure earlier than their parents often let them.

Megan and Gretchen discuss why it is important to let student fail small in the younger grades, and provide tips for how parents might back off as students transition from elementary to middle to high school.

 

Click here to listen to Megan and Gretchen discuss how important it is to let your student fail small at a young age.

200: How Lapses in Judgement Impact Graduation and Admissions

Teenagers often have lapses in judgement.But when these lapses go too far, how might it impact high school graduation or college admissions?

Megan lays out 5 kinds of trouble that teens can get in and analyzes how that behavior might get in the way of their next steps and goals.

Specifically, she and Gretchen discuss:

  • sexual misconduct
  • social media usage
  • underage sex and pornography
  • alcohol and drug use  and
  • “mob mentality”

Click here to listen in as Megan and Gretchen talk about 5 kinds of trouble that teens can get in.

199: How to Make a Family Nag Plan

Sometimes nagging is necessary! So how can parents do it in a way that will make teens receptive to their reminders and prodding?

In this episode, Gretchen tells stories about how 3 different clients made agreements with their parents about how and when they are allowed to nag them.

These “family nag plans” can make a big different in terms of helping teens follow through and also preserving the peace at home.

Click here to find out more about how to create a family nag plan that will work in your unique circumstances!