The Fessy Den Blog

Why Parents Must Get Comfortable with the Word ‘Failure’

Parents often have a visceral reaction to the word “failure” in the context of student learning. This is especially true of parents who pay tuition at a private or independent school. An investment in your child’s education should lead to success, right? And isn’t failure antithetical to achievement? You already know the answer to this,...
Read More

How Community Service Shapes Executive Functioning

The middle school years mark an important transition for young boys. Their educational journeys will undergo big changes as they move from a contained classroom setting with a single teacher to an experience in which they may see four or five different teachers per day. However, this is not the only change. Their adolescent brains...
Read More

The ABCs of Middle School Boys: ‘C’ is for Change

This is part 3 of a three-part series. In parts one and two of this three-part series, we addressed common challenges and fears that can be associated with parenting a middle school boy. We assured you that feeling uncomfortable and uncertain about your parenting techniques is normal, and that it’s healthy and developmentally appropriate for...
Read More

Team Sports vs. Individual Sports: How to Help Your Child Choose

There’s no question about the health benefits of enrolling your young child in a sport. Studies show that physically active kids benefit from higher test scores, are less likely to become obese, are more likely to go to college, and often see higher earning potential as they grow into adulthood. The Aspen Institute Sports &...
Read More

The ABCs of Middle School Boys: ‘B’ is for Belonging

This is part 2 of a three-part series. In part one of this three-part series, we addressed the distinct challenges and fears that come along with parenting a middle school boy. We assured you that feeling uncomfortable and uncertain about your parenting techniques is normal, and that it’s healthy and developmentally appropriate for your son...
Read More

Why Your Child Needs to Learn How to Code

Not long ago, coding seemed like something that was unattainable for the average person. It seemed complex, out of reach, reserved for über smart Silicon Valley archetypes. Today, coding skills are not only becoming more readily accessible to the average student, but they are quickly becoming integral to success in the 21st century. Over the...
Read More

The ABCs of Middle School Boys: ‘A’ is for Acceptance

This is part 1 of a three-part series. So you’re the parent of a middle school boy and you’re wondering where your sweet, well-mannered, and bright-eyed child went. You may feel as though you’ve lost control—that your regular parenting techniques are no longer working and you can’t seem to connect with your child. Not only...
Read More

Why Recess Should Be a Staple in Your Child’s Middle School

When the Common Core hit the public school system in 2009, education shifted from a whole-child approach to a more narrow focus centered around passing standardized tests. The goal, in part, was to maintain a certain standing with the Department of Education. As many schools opted to increase instruction time during the academic day, or...
Read More

Can Reading Help Your Child Avoid the ‘Summer Slide’?

There is a natural crescendo of any school year that typically culminates with a finale of tests, projects, events, and celebrations. Children (and parents) often crave rest and relaxation after the last bell rings. Whether students have been studying language development in Pre-K, or global citizenship in middle school, it is undoubtedly important to take...
Read More