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How to Turn an Under Performing Student into an Academic: 4 Tips For Parents

June 20, 2017
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high school

It can be difficult to be the parent of a high schooler who is struggling academically. Often times, you can tell that they are under-performing and that if they would only apply themselves, they could turn their grades around.

In the United States, these concerns are compounded by the cult of parenthood. While the idea that childrens' behavior is a reflection on the parents is hardly unique to Americans, we take it a step further by forcing ourselves to go further, spending endless time and energy on maintaining the wellbeing of our child.

To that end, we've put together a few tips we hope will help you improve your high schooler's academic success without sacrificing your own well-being.

Have Them Take a Reading Analysis
A reading analysis is a perfect place to start with academically struggling children because nothing else you do will really matter if they are unable to read the class materials. If your child does have difficulty reading, whether from a lack of solid foundation or because of a learning disability, simply knowing the root of the problem and addressing it head on can be tremendously effective.

Seek Out Help
Understand that often times what a child is struggling with will be outside your wheelhouse. For instance, many states have recently seen a shift in the way that math has been taught. That means that even if you were a capable mathematics student, you might not be the best resource for your child. 

Stay Engaged
Just because you might not be as well-equipped to help your child with their classwork as a tutor doesn't mean that you should wash your hands of the subject altogether. It is vitally important that you keep tabs on your child's education and talk to them about it. Ask them to explain any new and difficult concepts, even if they don't fully understand it. For many, the simple act of vocalizing a concept will help them better understand it.

Enroll Them in Private High School
Not all students learn the same way, and often, under-performing students need a little more attention than their peers. In private schools, class sizes are typically much smaller, about 12.5 students to each teacher compared to public schools where the ratio is 15.4 students to each teacher. 

For parents, it can be easy to feel overwhelmed with your child's poor academic performance. There is a temptation to blame both yourself for failing to prepare your child and your child for not applying themselves harder. 

It's important to remember that your high schooler can turn their academic performance around if you take the right steps and have the right opportunities, whether that is a tutor or enrolling in one of the area's top private schools.

If you have more questions about the benefits of private school education, contact Riviera Schools today!

Thinking About Public Preschool in Florida? Read This First

June 01, 2017
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preschoolThe National Institute for Early Education Research (NIEER) has released a new study, ranking the quality of publicly funded preschools in the United States, with Florida Public Preschools considered in the lowest tier.

While making their evaluation, NIEER examined a number of factors. Among these factors were class size, the training level for teachers, and medical services. 

Steve Barnett, head of NIEER, said in an interview with NPR"The growing inequality between states that have moved ahead and invested in quality preschool programs and states that have done nothing is really stark."

One reason that public Florida preschools might be performing so badly is their heavy enrollment. Florida is in the top tier for enrollment of four-year-olds, with more than 70% enrollment, no doubt leading to an increase in average class size.

While it is true, any preschool is likely to be better for students in the long run -- a recent review of three studies showed that 80% of children who participated in preschool outperformed their peers who had not -- the significant disadvantage of a public preschool education in Florida will likely be a concern for parents.

Fortunately, there exist a number of high-quality private preschools in Miami and around Florida that can help children get the best preparation for their academic careers and life. 

Even beyond preschool, the benefits of private school education are well documented, leading to a higher enrollment in college and better SAT Scores.

According to the NPR, researchers -- including the ones at NIEER -- are coming to the consensus that better funding is a key component to improving public preschools, an issue that is uniquely avoided by private school option.

But while the NIEER report might be problematic for Florida parents, on the whole Barnett seems pleased, citing the vast improvement of states like Alabama, North Carolina, Rhode Island and West Virginia -- an improvement which Barnett attributes, in part at least, to better quality teachers and smaller class sizes.

If you are a Florida parent looking for the very best of the best preschools in Miami, visit us at Riviera Schools today.

Private School Misconceptions: 3 Negative Stereotypes You Shouldn't Believe

May 25, 2017
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benefits of private school

Approximately 5.3 million students in the U.S. are served by the more than 30,000 private schools that exist throughout the nation. But while there are many clear cut benefits of private schools for kids and teens, there are also a lot of misconceptions about these institutions. Unfortunately, this can make some students and parents reluctant to apply for the best possible education.

We've debunked just three of these private school myths below.

MYTH: Private schools aren't diverse

Truth: In the past, some of the country's top private schools were open only to those who could afford high tuition rates. But these days, one of the benefits of private schools is that students are exposed to a more diverse population. The majority of private schools are totally welcoming to kids from all kinds of economic and cultural backgrounds. While a small number of religious schools may limit those they accept to those of a certain faith, there are many independent, non-sectarian private schools. And there are many religious private schools that don't limit applicants based on faith. Private schools have made a conscious effort to change this stigma and embrace students from all walks of life to provide more opportunities and give everyone a more enriched experience. As a result, the best private schools are offering more scholarships and financial aid than ever before.

MYTH: Legacy guarantees admission

Truth: Being a legacy may help to ensure your application is reviewed, but it doesn't automatically mean you'll be accepted. Ultimately, your family needs to represent what that school is looking for. If your kids are excellent students with an eagerness to learn and participate in extracurriculars, that often goes a long way. In your application, it's far more important to focus on your family's potential to contribute both in and outside the classroom. If a relative attended the school, it might get you noticed initially, but if you're not a good fit, it's not going to help you very much.

MYTH: Students automatically get into their top college choice

Truth: Many private school students do end up with their pick of great universities. But it's not simply because they attended a private school. The well-rounded education these students receive at private schools will, in many cases, better prepare them for the college application process. Therefore, they may have a greater chance of getting into the school they want to attend. However, it's up to the student to work hard, receive good grades, and pursue outside activities, all of which will make them more attractive to college admissions officers.

The fact that you'll be receiving your diploma from a private school is not enough to guarantee your acceptance to college on its own. Actually, private school students are often expected to meet higher standards, so they may need to work even harder to prove themselves.

These assumptions about the benefits of private school may be misguided, but there are countless advantages that come with attending a private school.

To find out more about how your child can attend the best private schools in Miami FL, get in touch with Riviera Schools today.

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