Intrinsic or Extrinsic Stress in High School

High school is full of stress. Today I sat for nearly two hours to learn about what the Junior year would bring us as far as College Admissions. First of all I am unprepared to sit and listen to anyone for two hours, that was stressful and secondly it made me want to cry. One speaker after another talked about how to keep it from being high stress and then went on about the import of having A’s and B’s and high test scores and I’m sitting there wondering if …

We Don’t Celebrate Bs

When Jane was in 6th grade she struggled with organization. Homework and other assignments were constantly getting lost or not turned in. One semester she had a C in something, English perhaps, and was able to turn it around into a nice high B. Although pleased with a B I told her that we wouldn’t be celebrating it. If a B was demonstrative of Jane working to the best of her ability I’d throw her a party for it but this B was Jane salvaging the beginning of a not-good …

The Surprising Benefit of a K-8 Education

Today was Jane’s second to last high school interview. Between interviews and the flu the eighth grade class has hardly made a showing in the past weeks in fact one of Jane’s classes of 13 kids was down to four yesterday. This is part of the process with a school that ends in the 8th grade. When we picked this particular setting for the kids we felt like a K-8 school offered a lot of emotional and academic safety for some potentially difficult years in middle school but I mistakenly believed that …

The Benefits of a K-8 School

The high school applications are almost done for Jane and although it’s an extraordinary amount of paperwork it hasn’t been horribly overwhelming. The summer before 7th grade the kids all get a letter addressed to them (and not us parents) that reminds them that 7th grade really matters for high school admissions. It’s time to ramp it up and get the best grades possible. It’s a nice letter, an encouraging letter and it’s proven to be quite effective for the bulk of the kids. 8th grade is spent focusing on …

Would You Send Your Daughter to an All Girl High School?

Mr. G and I had a meeting with the head of the Upper School (that’s middle school for you folks who don’t have kids in K-8 schools) and the Head of Admissions (who is very involved in high school placement). The meeting was to discuss which High Schools Jane should apply to. We talked about the area schools, which would be academically challenging without crushing her, religion, the number of students in a classroom, philosophies, how “Hollywood” they are, and if they were all girls or co-ed. I know Jane’s first …