Shrinking World, Expanding Minds

After stress-baking, grooming the schnauzer, and endless rounds of the card game Exploding Kittens this weekend, my husband and I decided to quit squandering our time. We signed up for edX, the massive open online course provider that serves a worldwide community and offers thousands of free classes. Our dining room table became our classroom... Continue Reading →

Instant Home Schooling

“Do you have any dot stickers?” texted my daughter-in-law Lindsey, now tasked with home schooling a four-year-old and a toddler because of the COVID-19 crisis. I found a cache of them in a kitchen drawer stuffed with Fourth of July sparklers, recipes and other assorted junk. The dots – inexpensive and invaluable craft items –... Continue Reading →

Not Enough Adjectives!

I’ve just wrapped up another semester of college-essay coaching, with my students getting early-decision acceptance letters from great schools ranging from the University of Michigan to MIT. As I look back on this latest group of students, I find that parents often need more reassurance and hand holding than their children as we go through... Continue Reading →

Tiger Moms vs. Kitty Cat Moms

My students are taking a little break after the big push to meet the November 1 deadline for submitting early decision/action applications to Harvard, Yale, Columbia, MIT, the United States Military Academy, the University of Michigan and other highly ranked schools. It gave me some time to reflect on the different parenting styles I’ve encountered... Continue Reading →

College Essay Coaching: The Glaring Omission

I’ve come across a heartbreaking trend among my students who are applying this fall to prestigious colleges and universities. Many of them have stunning achievements, including perfect scores on standardized tests, hundreds of hours in volunteer work and leadership positions on winning sports teams. Their credentials include self-publishing books, rising to the top in national... Continue Reading →

Baba Yaga and How to Get into Harvard

My mother often brags that she has read just one book in her entire life, a young adult romance from 1942 called “Seventeenth Summer” by the author Maureen Daly. Books, to her, are dust collectors and a monumental waste of time. She reminds me a bit of the evil captain in the Jack London novel... Continue Reading →

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