Smart College Visit Mentioned in Back-to-School Guide
Sep01

Smart College Visit Mentioned in Back-to-School Guide

Thanks to Nancy Berk for mentioning SCV in her recent interview in Organize! magazine’s Back-to-School Guide. In the interview, she stressed the importance of touring campus and suggests students begin by “visiting local colleges and universities so that teens can get a feel for size and location preferences (city versus rural) without putting a dent in the family finances.”

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College Bound and Gagged Goes Hollywood

February 13, 2013 In October 2011, we were thrilled to be among the first to announce the release of Nancy Berk's new book,  College Bound and Gagged: How to Help Your Kid Get Into a Great College Without Losing Your Savings, Your Relationship, or Your Mind. Today, we're equally thrilled to announce that College Bound and Gagged makes an appearance in Tina Fey's new movie Admission which opens in theaters nationwide March 22. The trailer for the movie appears below.  Nancy Berk, Ph.D., is a regular contributor to Smart College Visit. Her college parenting expertise and humor can be heard weekly via our podcast series, College Mom Minute. Check out Nancy's bio for more information about her books and podcasts. For more laughs, see Nancy's take on what it's like to sit through the movie premiere hoping to see a glimpse of the book on...

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8 Parenting Resolutions for Academic Success
Jan01

8 Parenting Resolutions for Academic Success

I’m often approached by panicked parents of high school students. Some are worried about their children’s college potential. Others are searching for ways to give them “an edge” in the competitive college admissions process. It’s never too late to support our children, but resolving to foster learning skills and opportunities throughout childhood is the best way to give your child an academic advantage. Below are 8 parenting resolutions to consider for 2013…. 1. Don't be college-obsessed. Parents should never be college-obsessed. Panic-pushing prep industries make money by making parents nervous. Nervous parents often make their children nervous. Remain calm and focus on helping your young children develop their skill sets and overcome obstacles to become academically competent and confident. PS: There's a great college for everyone, so back off of the thought that your child must land in one place. You'll be doing yourself and your child a huge favor. 2. Make reading a priority. Ask any great test prep expert and they'll agree — Years of dedicated reading, especially reading for fun, will boost SAT scores more than an expensive prep course. What if your child proclaims he hates to read? Look for creative ways to incorporate reading. Some parents have reported spikes in teen reading with a People Magazine subscription. Others claim Uncle John's Bathroom Reader is the secret to reading enthusiasm and crazy facts. No, these options aren't Shakespeare, but sometimes you just need to get the process rolling.Always have books and magazines on hand when traveling. And consider using devices like the Kindle to kindle an enthusiasm for reading and improve vocabulary.  3. Build math confidence early. Work with your child to make math fun. If you suffer from math anxiety, don't proclaim it's genetic. Speak with your child's teachers and find a tutor if he or she needs one. Some school districts provide free tutoring via high school honor students. Take advantage of options to make your child math savvy. And remember, males and females share equal mathematical talents. 4. Encourage writing mastery. Students who write well can inspire and convince. A student who is comfortable writing may be less apt to procrastinate (That includes college admission essays!) and will feel more comfortable with some forms of testing. She may find she has more time in test-taking situations. How do you get your reluctant-to-write child on the bandwagon without forcing her? Provide materials early. Paper, colorful journals, cool pens and a computer can push the reluctant to create. Identify writing opportunities like after school classes, contests, blogs and summer camps. And, most importantly, always support your child's writing efforts by being cautious before you...

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College Commencement Prep: Michelle Obama
Apr07

College Commencement Prep: Michelle Obama

Nancy Berk, Ph.D. Smart College Visit’s Z. Kelly Queijo sent me a “Woo Hoo” email when she learned her beloved alma mater Virginia Tech would be welcoming Michelle Obama as its 2012 Commencement Speaker. I was impressed and happy for the deserving institution, but I wanted to make sure Kelly was ready for a presidential encounter should it happen. What if she bumped into the First Lady totally unprepared? As a parent who captured some great President Clinton moments at NYU's 2011 commencement, I was the perfect coach for Kelly. I created this timeline to help her on the road to graduation. 2 Months Before: Immediately begin bicep regimen. You must rock sleeveless too. 1 Month Before: Plant your own garden so you’ll have something in common besides the biceps. 1 Week Before: Buy something cute in long sleeves—the arm curls just aren’t working. 1 Day Before: Assume you’ll meet the First Lady. Jot down the important questions you’ve been dying to ask her—star struck people forget a lot. Commencement Morning: Go to the most popular diner in town for breakfast; political peeps love to show up unannounced and order the special. Commencement Hour: Bring your zoom lens. Sorry, but statistically speaking, it’s probably the closest you’ll get to seeing the commencement speaker. Still, even at a distance, an amazing day with an inspirational woman can leave you breathless. Congrats Hokies for welcoming First Lady Michelle Obama! Nancy Berk is a regular contributor to Smart College Visit and creator of the College Mom Minute audio podcast for parents. Her book, COLLEGE BOUND AND GAGGED: How to Help Your Kid Get into a Great College without Losing Your Savings, Your Relationship, or Your Mind—a parent's guide to colleges– is available on Amazon.com.  Virginia Tech's Commencement is May 11, 2012 at 12 p.m. Please see the Visit Virginia Tech profile page on Smart College Visit for directions to campus and other information about traveling or visiting Blacksburg. The Visit Virginia Tech iPhone app is available free on...

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Don’t Stress – it’s just the Night Before SATs

Parents of college-bound teens and SAT test prep counselors know all too well the challenges related to getting teens prepped for the SAT, especially when it’s Friday night, the night before SATs! Author and humorist Nancy Berk shares her take on that timely (and often dreaded) event in the following video excerpt from her book–College Bound and Gagged: How to Help Your Kid Get Into A Great College Without Losing Your Savings, Your Relationship, or Your Mind.   Like this video? Feel free to share or repost this video on your site, on Facebook, Twitter or YouTube and be sure to check out our ACT/SAT test prep 3-part guide published in conjunction with Bellcurves. Expert tips on how to prepare for the SAT, ACT, PSAT: ALL YOU EVER NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE SAT AND...

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College Mom Minute February 2012
Feb27

College Mom Minute February 2012

Parents: Got a minute? Click to play audio tip: Rain Date –Stormy College Visits Previous tips this month: Parental Pressure –Caution: Obnoxious...

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