Build a Smarter Kid

Our high school holds an information session every year at this time on the procedures involved in getting your kid into college. Since this is a very competitive high school, much time is spent on the tricks involved in getting your kid into a great college.

I noticed that not much time is spent teaching you how to afford college, but that is another blog, I guess.

Anyway, it seems like a lot more focus is put on test scores for the college entrance exams and essays written for the application process than the good old GPA.

A friend of mine, whose daughter graduated with a 4.0 and got a really great score on her first try at the SAT, was only offered a full scholarship to her college of choice after her parents hired a private tutor to help raise the scores on certain sections of the test, particularly the reading portion.

This section of the test is the one many high school students struggle with.

What helps significantly is if your child likes to read, because reading is a natural vocabulary builder.

The reading section of the test was a natural for The Brainiac, since she has a book attached to her at all times.

I don't think we will have this same luck with The Athlete, who thinks "alone time" is spending the afternoon with two friends instead of four.

She was very surprised to learn the other day that her middle school yearbook did not qualify as a response to the Teacher's question of:

"What was the last book you read?"

With her I have to be very clever and trick her into being smarter using things that inspire her, like competitions.

I was lucky to find the web site www.freerice.com

This site "pays" you in grains of rice for every word you get right and increases your level of skill as you go. It is a sponsored site, and the money raised goes to disadvantaged countries.

I also have an SAT practice question sent to me every day by The College Board. Go to www.collegeboard.com and you can too.

Another clever way I have of teaching The Athlete new words is to use words I found in my new book 100 Words Every High School Freshman Should Know. (You can order it from Amazon by using my shopping link at right of this page).

For example: In response to The Athlete's question of "Can I sleep over at Maddie's?" I might say:

It may be a formidable task for me drive the half hour to her house. I'm not feeling very enthusiastic or jovial about it.

The which she might reply: "So can you drive me or not?"

Anyway, those are some tools to help you build a smarter kid and cheat legitimately on those wretched college entrance exams.

Remember: A scholarship is a beautiful thing.

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