Ahead of the Curve: June 14, 2014

Inspired by CMC Clients: To tour or not? Summer is a convenient time for families to visit colleges, yet also is not ideal for experiencing a more authentic view of campuses, as college students are on break too.  Empty buildings and deserted pathways demonstrate the majesty of a college, however not necessarily the vitality.  Since teens, who may prize a social life greater than…

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“Summer Reading” Is Not An Oxymoron

As summer vacation begins, so too does the back and forth negotiation to complete summer reading assignments.  Even for avid readers, summer reading assignments can sap the pleasure derived from reading. Both parents and teens know all the logical, rational reasons TO complete summer reading sooner rather than later, but there’s that part of the mind (everyone’s got one) that…

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3…2…1…Liftoff! Launching the Class of 2013

Commencements can be bittersweet moments–a celebration of accomplishments, while simultaneously a doorway into a new unknown.  The following are words of wisdom from graduation festivities around the United States, as the Class of 2013 enters the world with new knowledge and greater experience.  And, for posterity, I added my two cents. President Barak Obama, Morehouse University: “Just as Morehouse has taught…

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Guest Post: Cultural Musings

Many high school and college students intend to study abroad, with only vague notions of foreign escapades and intrigue, as a sort of extended tourist vacation.  Haven, a current New York University Sophomore and former Creative Marbles Consultancy client, agreed to share a more detailed picture for students wishing to live and study internationally, while she’s spending her Spring 2013 semester…

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Sleep, More Sleep and Summer Camp: A Teen’s Summer Vacation Agenda

The months long stretch of unscheduled summer vacation can be enticing to both teens and their parents.  For teens, the idea of sleeping in until afternoon and no pressure about daily homework assignments is enthralling.  For parents, summer can be an unrestricted time to explore other academic interests and hobbies.  (And, in fairness, for teens too, attending a residential camp…

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The Ups & Downs of Being Well-Rounded

As freshmen and sophomores in high school, college admissions is focused on being eligible for application.  The academic classes that need completing (also known as A-G requirements for the UC & CSU systems), as well as extracurricular activities that are included in any college application means that most applicants are going to start looking the same–well-rounded individuals with the same…

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Back To School…More Complex Than Buying New Notebooks

BACK TO SCHOOL: Three words that can send excited nerves through a student’s, parent’s and teacher’s bodies.  Students may lament, yet their friends are waiting on campus, after all.  At the same time, there’s a frenzy of last minute summer reading and assignment completion while parents buzz in the background, brimming with “I told you so’s…”–both said and unsaid.    For…

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“Parent Involvement”: Only for Bake Sales?

The recently upheld “Parent Trigger” law in California, which allows a 50% + 1 majority of parents at a state defined “failing” school and/or incoming feeder school to petition to change the school to a Charter, fire the principal and staff, close the school or restructure the school, gives parents additional tools to shape their kids’ educational experience.   Many of…

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“A Spoonful of Hope Makes Move In Day Go Down…”

“The last step in parental love involves the release of the beloved.” -Lewis Mumford Easy words to read; difficult words to carry out in practice.  Parents all over the country are preparing for their offspring moves to colleges and residence halls.  Roommate assignments are arriving.  Shopping trips for new bedspreads, stacking crates, power strips, and non-marking tape are flooding local…

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Grades Don’t Only Measure Learning

Grades are a complex mix of a student’s performance meeting the teacher’s grading standards, managing assignments so they’re completed & returned to the teacher on time, AS WELL AS actually learning the concepts in class.  Too often, the last part–the learning & understanding–is the only part that consumes students’, teachers’ and parents’ efforts, when a grade isn’t what’s expected.   Tutors…

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