The Fessy Den Blog

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...
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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...
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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...
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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...
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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...
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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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