• Join our Mailing List!

    Get access to free study tips, learning strategies, and other valuable resources for your child or student.
Topic Archives: Boredom

Let the Make Cake: and other PBLs

July 17, 2015

By Sarah Maraniss Vander Schaaff It’s summer, and the kids are restless, so how about adding a little PBL to your PB&J? Forgive me; educators love to toss abbreviations and acronyms into conversation. In this case, we all know what PB&J is so I’m here to explain your new BFF, Project-Based Learning (PBL). Project-based learning is a rather fancy term for describing a type of learning that parallels the tasks of real life. Edutopia cites experts, who say it involves: students learning knowledge to tackle realistic problems as they would be solved in the real world increased student control over his or her learning teachers serving as coaches and facilitators of inquiry and reflection students (usually, but not always) working in pairs or groups It makes sense,… Read More

Leave a Comment

All Aboard: How to Raise a Wild Child with Dr. Scott

March 18, 2015

By Sarah Maraniss Vander Schaaff Today, we have a Q&A with a man some of you may know best as Dr. Scott from the PBS show, Dinosaur Train. His full name is Scott D. Sampson and he’s got a new book out this month: How to Raise a Wild Child, the Art and Science of Falling in Love with Nature.  As a father, he gives practical advice on how to get back to nature with your kids. And as a scientist, he explains why it’s essential.  What Inspired you to write How to Raise a Wild Child? Why this book at this moment? Inspiration came from a pair of compelling insights. First, the present disconnect between kids and nature threatens the health… Read More

Leave a Comment

SPECIAL EDITION: TOP 10 THINGS TO DO WITH KIDS ON SNOW DAYS (inside)

January 26, 2015

By Sarah Vander Schaaff It’s going to snow. So we’ve been told. I hope you’d stocked up on milk, bread, batteries and sleds. But for those moments when the kids are inside recovering from building snow forts, here is our top ten list of things to do inside. (Most require electricity, but not all.) So, grab a mug of hot chocolate and let’s get started! 1. Watch a great musical. There is more to a snow day than “Frozen”, pardon the pun. And every kid should know the words to 76 Trombones before he or she heads off to college. Some of my favorites are: The Sound of Music, West Side Story and My Fair Lady, but a great list… Read More

Leave a Comment

The Summer that Changed Your Life

May 31, 2014

By Sarah Vander Schaaff I hope you’ll add your own memories or comment to this post I did last year about the summers that shaped us….   As a kid, there was always something wonderful about summer and having nothing to do except finding a friend and some ice cream, or a new bike route to a crowded pool. And was I the only one who considered “The Price is Right” a good break from the heat outside? But when it comes to memories of formative experiences, television, as you might expect, does not make the cut. Instead, for many of us, it was the times that we headed to places far away, where we sometimes felt alone, that we look… Read More

Leave a Comment

It Ain’t Easy Being Gifted

May 2, 2014

By Sarah Vander Schaaff Is there a way to talk about young people being “gifted” and not enter a territory fraught with debate? From what I’ve been reading recently, there are not only arguments about how we define “giftedness” but arguments about the arguments. For parents, the identification matters in a practical sense if they are trying to understand how their state identifies and fosters students with unique abilities. And it matters to our society, in a practical sense, if we are hoping to identify and encourage the next generation of leaders, innovators, and artists. But in the emotional and less quantifiable ways, it matters when we consider that there are many young people who possess the potential for giftedness… Read More

Leave a Comment

This is Interesting…

January 16, 2014

By Sarah Vander Schaaff In the middle of a polar vortex, one should not illustrate the concept of a perimeter by saying to an eight-year old, “Imagine you are walking the perimeter of the dog park.” Cold wind, frozen toes, the threat of stepping in….well, you get the idea. I was getting the look any parent who has helped a kid with homework knows well, the one that says: what good are you if you can’t telepathically understand my teacher’s intentions or remember things you learned when Reagan was president? I had to think quickly. “Forget the dog park,” I said, ready to pander to the aspirations of a soon-to-be tween. “When you paint your room,” I began, “you’ll only… Read More

Leave a Comment

The Race to Nowhere Comes Home

July 17, 2013

The documentary film, “Race to Nowhere” is described on the film’s website as, “Featuring the heartbreaking stories of students across the country who have been pushed to the brink by over-scheduling, over-testing and the relentless pressure to achieve…” It was nearly three years ago that the film came to the Princeton-area community, thanks in large part to Jess Deutsch. Today she reflects on the experience, sharing some answers to questions she’s been asked over the years. How did you hear about “Race To Nowhere”, and why did you lead the effort to have it screened at Princeton High School? JD: The short answer is that I watched the film at a very small venue, and decided on the spot that… Read More

Leave a Comment

What I did Last Summer…

February 21, 2013

By Sarah Vander Schaaff Well, maybe not last summer, but summers long ago. As many of us begin to think about what our own kids will be doing this summer, I decided to ask my colleagues about summers they still remember. Was there an experience that shaped them? As a kid, of course, there was always something wonderful about having nothing to do except finding a friend and some ice cream, or a new bike route to a crowded pool. And was I the only one who considered “The Price is Right” a good break from the heat outside? But when it comes to memories of formative experiences, television, as you might expect, does not make the cut. Instead, for… Read More

Leave a Comment