With its international focus and requirements that emphasize multidisciplinary coursework, service, and research, the International Baccalaureate (IB) program offers a more holistic option for students seeking to challenge themselves in high school. The IB teaches “students to think critically and independently, and how to inquire with care and logic.” Although the IB is similar to the more familiar Advanced Placement (AP) program, it has its own pros and cons.
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Many students who play sports in high school hope to compete at the college level, which means navigating a complex maze of deadlines and standards. To make it to the finish line, you will need to understand both academic eligibility requirements and proper test preparation planning, as well as how to apply the useful principles of athletics to test prep.
A Piece of Cake
The recipe for success on the SAT/ACT isn’t the same for everyone. Think of it as similar to baking a cake: one person can have all of the needed ingredients and baking experience; another person might have experience, too, but still need a few ingredients from the store; meanwhile, another participant without any experience could have even fewer of the necessary ingredients. All three, however, can successfully bake their cakes, but the process for each may vary.
When students prepare for the SAT or ACT, their level and pace of score improvement can be affected by preexisting factors, such as basic knowledge and past experience, as well as new factors such as studying and tutoring. Knowing what to expect and how to handle obstacles, such as slow improvement or score plateaus, could help students rise to the occasion and taste success on test day.
With a new year often comes new resolutions for self-improvement. Since teens often get insufficient sleep, one of the most important, yet most neglected, ways to better take care of themselves is by improving their sleep habits.
For many students, studying a foreign language in high school may seem like a waste of time. English is the second language of more and more people in our increasingly globalized world and technology has made translation easier than ever. Still, while interest and investment in foreign language education may be declining in the United States, many view multilingualism as both advantageous and necessary. Ultimately, the reasons to study a foreign language in high school outweigh any reasons to opt out.
A little stress can be a positive thing. For example, change can be stressful, but it doesn’t have to be negative.
Accepting new challenges is how you progress from one stage of life to the next. According to Alice Boyes, Ph.D. in Psychology Today, “Pursuing things you're curious about and interested in helps create a sense of meaning in life” and “builds skills and confidence.”
But moving away to college entails many changes. You have a new routine. You move among a new set of people. Your diet and sleep patterns are likely altered. How can you keep extra stress from unduly influencing your mood and school performance?
Like many parents, at this time of year you are probably anticipating and preparing for the start of a new school year. Back to school time is both exciting and stressful for all parents as children transition to new classrooms, new teachers, new routines, and new schools. Parents of neurodiverse teens often have to anticipate additional challenges associated with this time of transition such as handling executive functioning difficulties, embracing different classroom expectations, understanding friendships, and regulating emotions.
“When am I ever gonna use this?”
That is one of my students’ favorite questions. Often, this question is an attempt to avoid a topic that the student finds challenging. Sometimes, though, the question is genuine. In this increasingly fast-paced world, many assignments can seem like wastes of time, especially if a student already has strong interests and dislikes. However, being well-rounded provides students with advantages in many areas of their lives—in their day-to-day activities and as they face new and complex challenges in the future.
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