National Merit Scholarship Program

You constantly hear about highly ranked athletes being recruited by colleges on full ride (tuition + all expenses) scholarships. So what about students who are academically competitive? Do they get any scholarships for attending college? The National Merit Scholarship (NMSC)program is one such program for students who achieve high scores in standardized tests. The eligibility to this program is based on PSAT scores. Read more about the program here.

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Spelling Bee in Iowa!

Spelling Bee contests are conducted at various locations in the state of Iowa by the Knights of Columbus organization. Children in grades 4 through 7 grades are eligible to participate in the competition. Check out their website here to find a location near you. The website also has wordlists for the different grade levels to practice. You can walk in and register your child at the venue just before the contest. The contest at Waukee will be held on February 10th, 12.30 pm at St.Bonafice Church.

I am old fashioned and believe that good spelling skills are important in improving a child’s writing and reading skills. Most schools do not include weekly word lists and spelling tests anymore. Contests like these are a good way to learn and practice whether it be the spelling bee contests or geography bee contests. Winning the first place in the competition is not everything. Kids develop confidence in facing large groups trying out different contests like these.

Registration for summer programs are now open!

It is that time of the year to start thinking about summer plans. Many of the top rated summer programs are now open for registration.

If you have a High School Junior who will start working on college application essays this summer, John Hopkins has a very popular essay writing course which can also be taken online at your on pace. Check out their website.

Davidson Academy is a very reputable institution for gifted students. Their summer program registration is now open.

Belin Blank Center’s summer program registrations are also open. Read more here.

Check out WashU’s summer programs for High Schoolers here.

Science Centers in various cities offer various camps during summer. Read more here.

What is Algebra Readiness Testing?

Algebra Readiness  Test is given to eligible students in elementary school or middle school to test their ability to take more challenging mathematics coursework. Algebra Readiness  Test (a.k.a  Iowa Algebra Readiness Assessment,IARA in Iowa) is given to students who have scored high in NWEA/MAP testing, and  in state administered standardized tests like Iowa Assessments. IARA can be given to students as early as 4th grade or 5th grade (depending on the school district) to eligible students to place the them in secondary mathematics curriculum. Continue reading “What is Algebra Readiness Testing?”

Back to School: What to expect this year (academic milestones for each grade)

It’s back to school time! Hope everyone enjoyed their summer. I am ready for the kids to go back to school and get back to a regular routine.

You will find many websites with information on physical, cognitive and social milestones for a child’s growth.  But it is not easy to find information on what to expect in each grade in school as far as academics goes. Before the kids head back to school, here is an overview of what to expect in the year ahead from what I have learned over the years. Continue reading “Back to School: What to expect this year (academic milestones for each grade)”

Tips to avoid Summer Learning Loss

There are several researches out there which suggests that kids lose about 25% of their school year learning over the summer vacation. Learning over summer doesnot mean spending hours at a time doing math and writing. All you need to do is set  aside some time from your summer schedule, as little as half an hour for learning. Here are a few tips to avoid the learning loss that happens during the three months of the summer break. Continue reading “Tips to avoid Summer Learning Loss”