Chariot Learning Blog

Ask a high schooler what college he or she wants to attend, and you’re likely to hear one of about fifty big name schools–typically either ultra-competitive or beloved for sports. However, the pool is far larger, approximately 5,300 in the United States alone, though that number includes even small technical and for-profit schools. How can a student choose from such a dizzying array of options? Geography plays a major role, particularly among students at public four-year colleges; nearly 70% of such students attend within two hours of their home. Location aside, every institution of higher education possesses something unique to itself, some tradition or cultural distinction that instantly bonds students and alumni alike wherever they meet. On a broader level, however, colleges and universities can be sorted into classic categories, such as the archetypes NACAC describes: Liberal arts colleges “focus on the education of undergraduate students. Classes are generally taught…

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This past year has been stressful for all of us, especially high school students. If you’re not sure how hard the COVID era has hit teens, just ask your school counselor how much social and emotional distress increased starting in the spring of 2020. Our support networks and coping strategies have had to adjust to account for social distancing and distance learning. During this current health crisis, mental health needs to be treated with the same urgency as physical health among adolescents: 50% of all lifetime cases of mental illness begin by age 14 and 75% by age 24. Teens need healthy outlets for stress so they can grow into resilient adults. New York State Mental Health Resources and Training Center shares essential information, current practices, and guidance on mental health from the NYS Education Department. Here are some valuable tips for families: Talk openly about mental health. When we…

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Clearly, 2020 has been a year of adjustments for students and teachers alike, but thankfully, technology and a little bit of creativity have gone a long way towards making it possible to tutor your children efficiently and effectively without losing that personal connection that one on one tutoring provides. When it was clear that the pandemic was going to keep me out of the office, I called my son who is a high school English teacher in Virginia and an admitted tech geek; his web site is appropriately titled teachernerd.com. I could see him smiling as he calmly walked me through my options. They ranged from simple and inexpensive to ridiculously complex and expensive. I chose an option that would make the most of what hardware I already had and only required a $100 purchase. I have Zoom loaded on my MacBook Pro. I recently upgraded my internet speed, so…

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From September to June, high schoolers can count on an opportunity to take at least one of the two big college admissions tests every month. Some months, however, offer ambitious test takers shots at both the SAT and ACT. Sitting for both exams in rapid succession can be a better idea than you’d think, especially in December. What makes December such a good month to take the SAT and ACT? For one thing, the tests fall early in a month that gets busier as it progresses. The SAT is traditionally administered on the first Saturday of December, followed by the ACT the next weekend. This means students can finish both tests before the first holiday parties of the season. December also deserves strong consideration for testing because the timing meets the needs of both high school juniors and seniors at this point in the academic year: SENIORS who haven’t yet…

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No part of everyday life escapes disruption by a global pandemic. Even something as fundamental as education gives way when society responsibly shuts down to prevent the spread of a lethal virus. But while classes could–at least in theory–be conducted remotely, all the other trappings of American schooling fell away piece by piece starting this past spring. One rite of passage people didn’t expect to miss the way they mourned the loss of sports, clubs, and prom was testing, specifically college admissions testing. But once the April ACT and May SAT were cancelled, the obvious upheaval of the application process became very real. Spring was a crazy time for anyone in higher education. Colleges across the country faced existential threats they have not yet overcome. At the same time, students in the high school graduating class of 2021 confronted challenges of their own as target test dates fell away with no clear options ahead. College Board and ACT adopted  two…

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Multitasking makes us dumber, in that trying to focus on more than one activity at a time not only leads to inferior outputs but can actually produce a measurable decrease in IQ. But, of course, some tasks require more attention than others. Surely, you might say, just answering a text message while studying couldn’t hurt… Wrong. Researchers at Michigan State University found that even short interruptions can have a surprisingly large effect on the ability to accurately complete a task. Among a group of 300 subjects performing work on a computer, interruptions of approximately three seconds doubled the error rate. Erik Altmann, lead researcher on the study, drew a fairly reasonable conclusion about why such brief interruptions caused errors to spike: “The answer is that the participants had to shift their attention from one task to another. Even momentary interruptions can seem jarring when they occur during a process that…

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