Monday, May 16, 2011

Give Your Child a Head Start with Merit's Summer Enrichment Program!

Summer is the time for fun and relaxation, but it can also be a great opportunity to lay the foundation for future success. Whether your child could use some extra help in a difficult subject, or would just like to be challenged to take his or her academic skills to the next level, every student can benefit from Merit Educational Consultants’ Summer Enrichment Program. Unlike regular summer school classes, which typically don’t teach for understanding, only cover remedial material, and function as little more than daycare services, Merit’s comprehensive K-12 Summer Program is designed to give your child a true head start on the school year. As an added bonus, classes can be held in your home and scheduled around your family’s needs, activities, and vacations.

To provide the maximum level of individual attention and flexibility, all Merit Summer Program classes are taught one-on one. Students who want to make up a class or explore a particular subject can choose from any class in the entire Merit Academy curriculum, all of them WASC and UC A-G accredited. On the other hand, if your student could use a boost to his or her academic skills, we also offer intensive, grade-appropriate workshops on building math skills, reading comprehension, literature appreciation, composing essays, and writing research papers, as well as both the SAT I and II. These workshops let students hone their abilities in a stress-free environment, away from the pressure-filled school year.

Summer is also a great time to start thinking about college applications, and to that end, Merit’s Summer Program includes both our popular College Advisory service, where students meet personally with the director to select the best-fit colleges and design a plan for getting in, and our college application essay workshop, where the director helps students fine-tune their essay topics and writing mechanics so that they can complete polished essays before their senior year. The director can also help students beat the college admissions game by guiding them step-by-step through the process of doing an original Project that will demonstrate the student’s leadership and intellectual curiosity.

As you can see, Merit’s Summer Program offers the breadth and depth to meet even the most individualized needs, and we’d be happy to design a unique and custom-tailored plan for your child’s success. To learn more about the Summer Program, click here to see the brochure!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

The Merit Planner Can Change Your Teen’s Life

Teenagers who’ve grown up in the Multi-Tasking Era are expected to be able to do many things at once; but even though they love to watch TV, do homework, and chat on Facebook at the same time, most have yet to learn how to apply that same deftness to managing the myriad of demands upon their schedules. Every parent can recall an instance in which they’ve asked their teen whatever happened to that book report that was due last week, or when their next test is, only to receive a blank look in return. And who can blame them? Even though time management is the key to success in high school, college, and beyond, the average school planner gives teens very little tools or training for properly planning out their schedules. These planners are set up for students to enter tasks on the days they were assigned, not when they’re due, so students learn to treat a planner as a glorified calendar, rather than as a powerful tool for taking control of every aspect of their lives.

The Merit Planner is that tool. It’s designed to let students organize tasks according to their due dates, and to block off the exact amount of time needed for every homework assignment, study session, or extracurricular activity. This gives them complete knowledge of and control over their schedules, as well as the freedom to enjoy their downtime without nagging guilty or uncertainty. With each day of the week divided into 15-minute intervals from 7am to midnight, not only is there plenty of space for precisely recording the time needed for every task and activity, there’s also just as much space for nights and weekends, allowing you to easily see your whole schedule for the week at a glance and avoid those inevitable conflicts between family, friends, and schoolwork. It’s also a good way to get the whole family on the same page; I have clients who start their weeks by sitting down around the breakfast table and discussing everyone’s plans, which is especially handy for efficiently dividing the labor for family chores like spring cleaning that might otherwise consume entire weekends, or coordinating hectic carpool schedules.

The Merit Planner gives parents an easy way to see if their teen is on top of everything, and the peace of mind that comes from knowing that they are. Most importantly, it empowers teens with critical life skills, and endows them with the confidence and self-esteem that can only come from being in control of their busy lives.

The 2011 edition of the Merit Planner is available at the Merit Bookstore

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