Friday, May 16, 2014

Colleges That Change Lives College Fairs

It's been a busy few months since my last post! I've toured 10 colleges, joined in a roundtable on parenting teens at Princeton Learning Cooperative, shared tips about homeschooling through high school at Stone Hill Learning Center's open house, and worked with my fellow board members toward updating the New Jersey Homeschool Association's website (an ongoing labor of love).

Some of the colleges I toured are Colleges That Change Lives, Inc. (CTCL) members and some of the non-CTCL schools share many CTCL characteristics. CTCL was founded as a result of Loren Pope's book of the same name. In the book's introduction, Mr. Pope explained his purpose as follows: 
This book…will help youths of many levels of academic aptitude find catalytic colleges that will change their lives, help them find themselves, raise their aspirations, and empower them. In doing so it will free them from our system's obscene obsession with academic aptitude, which does not determine achievement, satisfaction with life, or the merit of a human being. 
CTCL is a great resource for college-bound homeschoolers. Rather than focusing on a college's name or prestige, CTCL believes that college choice should be guided by finding a match between a student's needs and a college's mission and identity. If you're considering college, then I urge you to attend one of the local upcoming CTCL events. You'll hear a 30 minute panel presentation about how to find a college that's right for you, and then have 1.5 hours to meet admissions reps from all the CTCL schools. Both events are at 7:00 pm. You do not need to register in advance.

Monday, May 19, Long Branch, NJ
Tuesday, May 20, Manhattan

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Princeton Learning Cooperative

Over the years, I've seen many teen homeschooling families turn to brick-and-mortar schools for high school learning. Sometimes it's because the teen craves increased peer interactions. Sometimes it's because the parents need to work outside the home or feel unprepared to mentor high school learning. Sometimes it's a combination of all three! Often, those families wish they could find the support they need without sacrificing the personalized learning piece of homeschooling.

If this sounds like you, the Princeton Learning Cooperative (PLC) could be the solution you seek. Check out this PLC Documentary created by PLC'er Konstantin von Schroder.

Full disclosure: I happily serve on PLC's Advisory Board.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Bill Nye vs. Ken Ham

Should evolution be part of the science curriculum? How about creationism? I'm looking forward to hearing the pros and cons during tonight's debate between Bill Nye the Science Guy and Ken Ham. The debate will be live-streamed at at 7 p.m. Afterward, I invite you to continue the conversation in the comments section of my blog--did the debate confirm your position, change your position, or leave you questioning your choices?

Friday, January 31, 2014

Teen Opportunities at McCarter Theatre

I'm a big fan of McCarter Theatre in Princeton. Not only do we regularly attend their productions, but all of my children took classes there and both of my daughters worked for them.

So I am happy to pass along this announcement  about an upcoming audition (Monday, February 10th) for aspiring teen actors (13-16, non-equity) who live in the greater Princeton area. The plays are 2 classics-The Barber of Seville and The Marriage of Figaro-and will be performed in repertory from April 1st through May 4th.

In addition to the opportunity to perform in the Ensemble, the announcement (scroll down to the bottom) includes details about applying for a summer volunteer apprenticeship. McCarter is offering the following apprenticeships: 

  • Assistant Choreographer
  • Teaching Artist Assistant
  • Costumes
  • Lighting 
  • Production Assistant
  • Props
  • Scenic Design
  • Assistant Stage Manager
  • Summer Camp Pre/Post Care
I hope you'll let us know if you join the cast of The Figaro Plays so we can look for you on stage!

Monday, January 6, 2014

Parents, Teens and Starting College

Happy 2014!

Our college-bound high school seniors have submitted (or are close to submitting!) their college applications and our college students are home for winter break, so this seems to be an appropriate time to talk about the question parents most often ask me: How can I best prepare my teen for college?

Parents are usually asking me about the academic piece--what should teens be learning and what's the best way to learn it? The answer to that question is wide-ranging and varies according to each teen's skills, abilities, and goals-- if that's the question you would like me to answer, shoot me an email and we'll set up an appointment!

But an equally important question is: How can we best prepare teens for independent living? In other words,  how can teens learn the time management and self-discipline skills that are so crucial for success in college and in life?

The short answer: it's a process, and like any skill, the more you practice, the more capable you become. This KCUR-NPR interview of psychologist Wes Crenshaw and current college freshmen offers insights into the freshman college experience along with helpful advice on how to prepare for success.

Friday, December 20, 2013

McCarter Theatre Costume Design Contest

If your teen is passionate about clothing or costume design, then check out Project Fences: Costume Design Competition sponsored by McCarter Theatre. The contest is open to homeschoolers and the deadline for submissions is Jan. 3, 2014. Happy Designing!

Thursday, December 12, 2013

School is Optional

I am so happy to share this TEDx Talk by North Star's Ken Danford. I encourage everyone to watch the video, but I especially encourage those of you who are:

  • a teen or the parent of a teen who is unhappy at school
  • a homeschooling teen or parent whose friends, neighbors, or relatives question your choice to homeschool
  • a teen or parent of a teen who wonders whether it's possible to lead a happy, fulfilled life (including attending college and/or becoming gainfully employed in your chosen career) without attending traditional school