The Fessy Den Blog

How to Help Your Child Master Elementary School Math Skills

American math test scores have been a topic of debate for more than a decade, and the data is nothing short of disheartening. But schools are beginning to look toward successful international math programs, and there is hope that by rethinking the way we teach math, educators can increase national test scores and improve math...
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Managing Screen Time at Boarding School

managing screen time at boarding schools

A common anxiety-provoking question that parents often ponder is, “how much screen time is too much?” From toddlers to teenagers, parents are faced with the difficult task of managing their children’s use of televisions, tablets, video games, smartphones—and, within phones, the seemingly infinite world of apps and games. Parents wonder if excessive screen time will...
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3 Things to Look for in a Junior Boarding School’s Weekend Program

When considering a junior boarding school, most parents and students review academic, athletic, and artistic programs under a microscope. Beyond the core programs, people often evaluate the facilities during a campus tour, ask about faculty-to-student ratios, and glance at a typical boarding student’s schedule. But what actually happens outside of the classroom? It’s important not...
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How Innovation and Boarding Schools Go Hand-in-Hand

What do boarding schools and marshmallow-powered jetpacks have in common? Resources and innovation. Just ask Fessenden alumnus Charlie Schlager, a self-proclaimed tinkerer. As a child, Charlie liked to take things apart to see how they worked. And, as much as he liked to break things, he was driven to create. “I wanted to build things,...
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3 Places a Gifted Middle School Athlete Can Play at a Top Level

When you’re a gifted middle school athlete stuck in an area where there are few opportunities to compete at the highest levels, life can seem agonizing. You may have the fastest serve in town (among 11-year-olds, anyway) but before you can really test your mettle against elite competition, you have to wait two or three...
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3 Cures for Your Gifted Middle Schooler’s Academic Boredom

Are your son’s middle school classes uninspiring? Is his homework just so much drudgery through which to suffer? When classwork is too easy, many gifted students disengage. They coast on their natural abilities, acing their exams but failing to develop the intellectual habits that will sustain them when they reach the greater academic challenges of...
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3 Ways a 12-Year-Old Can Learn to Be a Leader

Some people are born leaders. They take control of difficult situations with confidence. They inspire others naturally. And it all seems to come so easily. But research has shown that the leadership abilities that appear to be inborn traits can actually be developed and nurtured during childhood: Researcher Carl Brungardt found in 1997 that leadership...
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3 Ways to Provide Stability to Your Middle Schooler During a Divorce

No parent wants to subject their child to unnecessary emotional distress, but sometimes, divorce is unavoidable. Middle schoolers already feel insecure about themselves. When a change like a divorce hits their family, it’s normal for everyone to have a wide variety of emotions to navigate. Research has shown that “although divorce is hard and often...
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