TeenLife Blog

Supporting teen success, one post at a time

Category: For Parents

Posted Feb. 9, 2017, 2:28 p.m. by Suzanne Shaffer | View Comments
private-school

When my children were young, it never occurred to me to consider private school. I was a public-school kid of the 1960s. None of my friends went to private school. All the middle-class, average kids I knew walked to school every morning to the closest neighborhood school. It was that simple. My parents never considered the private school option. But times changed. The public schools changed. A generation later, the choice of schools was more complicated. Parents were considering other options as my children reached school age. The public schools became more crowded. Teachers became overwhelmed with responsibilities that added ...

Posted Jan. 24, 2017, 9 a.m. by Marie Schwartz | View Comments
Find Your Summer in TeenLife's Guide or at a Program Fair

Summer brings up all kinds of images: the freedom of a lazy afternoon; the joy of a cool swim; the wonder of a starlit sky. But what if you could have all that and develop skills that you’re going to need for college and beyond? TeenLife’s annual Guide to Overnight Summer Programs is a way to expand your world, explore a new interest, meet fascinating people, create something fantastic and, of course, have fun. At TeenLife, we know that a summer spent at camp, in an internship, learning a new skill, exploring a subject in depth or traveling to new ...

Posted Dec. 13, 2016, 2:24 p.m. by Sarah Shemkus | View Comments
boarding school dorm

Sometimes going to boarding school doesn’t mean leaving home - or, at the least, going far away. Many boarding schools welcome day students and/or allow local students to live on campus. (Some, like the Groton School in Groton, Mass., only occasionally let local students live in the dorms ). So, if you want the advantages of private boarding school, but aren’t sure you want to be far from home, look at what’s offered within an easy commute. Then, decide if you want to stick to the comforts of home or pack up your belongings and move into the dorm. It’s ...

Posted Nov. 30, 2016, 8 a.m. by Suzanne Shaffer | View Comments
Don't shy away from applying for scholarships.

There is great discussion among parents and students about whether or not college scholarship applications are worth it. Students complain about the time involved with seemingly little to show for it. Parents urge, and often nag, their students to apply. Other parents believe it’s simply a waste of time. I happen to be one who believes scholarship applications are indeed worth the time and effort. My daughter attended an expensive private university based on the scholarships she won from outside sources and from the college or university itself. Those scholarships allowed her to attend a school that was financially out ...

Posted Nov. 25, 2016, 8 a.m. by James Paterson | View Comments
should-your-high-school-resume-be-high-tech

It’s still uncommon for students to use video and other media in college applications and colleges have mixed attitudes toward them. If, however, you want to spice up your high school resume, there are some college-ready platforms that can help. Jobma, for example, offers video services for job applicants and to students for college applications. Other companies will help produce an application video. Students film themselves through a webcam and the companies do the rest, including posting. Some students tape their own videos and put them on YouTube or other social media and send the colleges a link. That, however, ...

Posted Nov. 21, 2016, 9 a.m. by Dana Elmore | View Comments
Consider the traits of student at liberal arts colleges

As you decide where to attend college, one of the choices is whether or not to apply to a liberal arts school – an undergraduate institution that emphasizes the liberal arts and sciences such as art history, literature and mathematics. Although some research universities include a liberal arts department, liberal arts colleges are typically differentiated from technical colleges and research universities. What might make you a good match for a liberal arts college? What attributes do liberal arts students share? Consider these traits as you apply to colleges: 1. You enjoy discussing ideas. If you are excited about attending college ...

Posted Sept. 23, 2016, 9 a.m. by Suzanne Shaffer | View Comments
The 5 Best Reasons to Consider Private School

Perhaps your student is restless in large public school classes, has a long wait for an appointment to discuss college with the public school guidance counselor, or is lost in a big public high school that has little sense of community. If so, it might be time to consider private school. Private school advantages include smaller classes, sufficient staffing and a sense of camaraderie that helps support students. Don’t be turned off by the sticker price. Most private schools want diverse student bodies and offer scholarship opportunities. So if your public school student is yearning for something more, and you ...

Posted June 28, 2016, 9 a.m. by Susan Moeller | View Comments
 10 Things I Learned When My Kids Took Gap Years

There are lots of reasons for your child to take a gap year. He’s worn out just from getting into college and needs a break before buckling down again. She needs more maturity to handle independence. He’s struggling with academics and needs to learn to manage time. She wants to find out if she really wants to be a veterinarian. As a parent, I’m a big fan of gap years or semesters before college. Two of my three children took a gap year, for reasons that were both similar and quite different. Both had been in boarding school and really ...

Posted June 24, 2016, 9 a.m. by Pam Willsey | View Comments
 How To Help Our Girls Transition to College

As a college transition coach, I’ve seen the worry, excitement and anxiety of parents sending their daughters off to college. The hopeful optimism of “she’ll be fine,” mingled with the fear that comes from wondering what may really be going on … and what may be to come. And I’ve heard plenty of mixed feelings from the girls themselves, as they learn to navigate a brand new terrain that requires new levels of responsibility, intensity and problemsolving that are the hallmarks of transitioning from high school to college. Our daughters need our help You don’t have to look far to ...

Posted June 1, 2016, 9 a.m. by The TeenLife Experts | View Comments
Have a Teen Headed to Camp? Break Out the Disposable Sheets!

If you have a teenager going to an overnight program this summer, you’ve probably already started the packing list, and most likely not without a hint of stress. Before you go too far down that path, the moms at Beantown Bedding have some words to the wise: Summer camp for teens should be like a mini vacation for you. Assume that everything you send will be lost, stolen or damaged, so set expectations low for the safe return of anything other than your actual kids. Get the rag bin ready for the return of stained T-shirts and suddenly single socks, ...

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