TeenLife Blog

Supporting teen success, one post at a time
Posted Feb. 27, 2014, 11 a.m. by Sladen West | View Comments
Texting and Driving: Is More Technology the Answer?

As texting, social media, and Internet access have become mainstream features on the phones we carry with us everywhere, the danger of distracted drivers sending texts, checking tweets and reading the latest email from the boss has become all too prevalent. Many like to limit the discussion of texting and driving to inexperienced teenagers, but in reality, drivers of all ages frequently excuse their use of their phone use as a one time thing, a necessity, or assume they can be more responsible than others. Teens & Adults Alike Don’t believe that texting is that big of a distraction? Glancing ...

Posted Feb. 27, 2014, 9:19 a.m. by Customer Service | View Comments
Value of Experiential Learning

The teenage years are characterized by curiosity, development, and experimentation. Traditionally, high school classes and extracurricular activities help foster these traits and aid teenage success inside the classroom and out. We believe experiential learning can advance teen success even further. Today, the field of experiential learning is booming. Teens have access to many more opportunities than their parents had at their age—they can travel to almost any destination during the summer, spend a gap year volunteering after high school, and even practice their future career ambitions with an internship. With thousands of programs available to students around the world, teenagers ...

Posted Feb. 26, 2014, 11 a.m. by Barbara Williams | View Comments
6 Tips for Single Dads With Teen Daughters

The teenage years can be tumultuous and overwhelming for girls, and difficult for their parents as well. A single father of a teenage daughter may feel overwhelmed and under-skilled for the task of parenting alone. It’s fairly common to see a woman raising a child or multiple children on her own, but single fatherhood is still considered an odd situation, especially a single father raising a daughter. The most recent data from the US Census shows that only about 14% of children living in a single-parent household were living with their father. Issues Faced by Single Fathers Many of the ...

Posted Feb. 26, 2014, 11 a.m. by Suzanne Shaffer | View Comments
Do standardized tests measure academic success?

Like it or not, standardized tests are here to stay. Even though there are test-optional schools that don’t require you to submit scores, most colleges still use them as a barometer when making admissions decisions. However, a new study, released this past week, conducted by the National Association for College Admissions Counseling, shows that high school students with strong grades but lower test scores tend to do just as well in college as those who perform better on these tests. Major findings The study compared the academic performance of students who submitted test scores to 33 colleges and universities with ...

Posted Feb. 26, 2014, 9:57 a.m. by Elizabeth Suneby | View Comments
Eating Disorders Awareness Week

The week of February 23rd is National Eating Disorders Awareness Week – a time to educate ourselves on the pervasive, growing, and serious health issue facing families each and every day of the year. The sponsor of Eating Disorders Awareness Week, National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA), is a major advocacy organization in the U.S. working to support individuals and families affected by eating disorders. Their goal is to focus on prevention, assist with better access to treatment, and advocate for broader and increased research to take care of those with eating disorders. NEDA estimates that 30 million Americans will be ...

Posted Feb. 25, 2014, 11 a.m. by Katherine Dayton | View Comments
Five Smart Reasons to Plan Your Summer Now

For high school and middle school students who haven’t decided what to do this summer, right now is not too soon to ponder possibilities. Whether you have a clear idea of a summer travel program in the U.S. or abroad, only an inkling, or no idea whatsoever but know you want to do something, a good tactic is to consciously plant the seed now. Keep it on your radar while options are open and you have the time to investigate summer programs. There is an old adage: “What you give is what you get.” The time you take now to ...

Posted Feb. 24, 2014, 11 a.m. by Karl Haigler | View Comments
Gap Year Advantage

Taking a gap year is a growing trend in the United States. Although there is no formal data on how many young people are taking a structured break before or during college, the rising number of gap year programs, gap year fairs, and college deferrals point to more students choosing the road less traveled. Download As gap year parents, researchers, and authors, we have spoken with hundreds of parents, students, college counselors, and other stakeholders about gap year experiences. The overwhelming consensus is that the impact is transformational in the most positive way. To explore this growing trend in greater ...

Posted Feb. 23, 2014, 11 a.m. by Sladen West | View Comments
R U Txting n Driving?

Phones are amazing devices these days. They can do just about anything we want them to—a mini computer that we can bring wherever we go. They are convenient and clever, and it is tempting to use them when we are on the go. However, texting and driving is stupid and dangerous and places the lives of both you and those around you in danger. And yet it still seems to be a problem that is endemic to the United States, as though no amount of campaigning or pleading will put a stop to it. The Stats At least nine people ...

Posted Feb. 22, 2014, 11 a.m. by Evan Berkowitz | View Comments
Applied Knowledge Part Six: The College Essay

When we last left off, I went over the procedure for requesting a Letter of Recommendation from a teacher. Now it's time for the part that everyone seems to dread: the college essay. Download The College Essay For someone like me, who writes often and has experience with word limits, the mechanics of the essay are not so difficult. But if you are having trouble with the nitty-gritty aspects of writing, here are a few tips: Brush up on grammar and usage. I humbly suggest William Strunk, Jr., and E.B. White's immortal classic of the written word The Elements of ...

Posted Feb. 21, 2014, 1:03 p.m. by Evan Berkowitz | View Comments
Thoughts on the "Empty Nest"

A bird is termed "nidifiguous" if its offspring leave the nest shortly after hatching. While human teenagers are by no means so quick to depart, you wouldn't guess so from watching! With birds, it's so graceful; the mother gives the chick a firm push and out it flies into the world, a free bird. With us, it's not so pretty. After eighteen years (or sometimes even longer), we are driven to a college campus for the last great family road trip between recounted memories, sappy songs on the radio, and nostalgia. We unpack, sometimes with fanfare, sometimes without, and there ...

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