ADD: a reminder for parents what “Attention Deficit” really means

Parents of a student who has been diagnosed with “Attention Deficit,” commonly known as “ADD” and “ADHD,” get a reminder every hour of every day that by, “attention deficit,” ADD is more than some inability to focus. Wikipedia defines “Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder” (ADHD) as: characterized by problems paying attention, excessive activity, or difficulty controlling behavior […]

Sleepers Awake: a celebration of J. Reilly Lewis, master organist, conductor & educator

J. Reilly Lewis, world-renowned conductor, organist, and expert on the music of Johann Sebastian Bach, and our dear friend, died unexpectedly last week. A Friend to All We called him our friend because, for Reilly, if you were a friend of Bach, you were a friend of Reilly’s — and if you were a friend of […]

Deconstructing Graduation Day: Administrators, “The Road Not Taken” Speeches & Other Regrets

It’s hokey, trite, and boring:  long live the great American high school graduation ceremony & hopes and dreams for students and parents! As a teacher I grew cynical about graduation ceremonies. At my school the faculty blessedly sat well behind the podium, mostly out of view. When one of our kind ever “went to the dark […]

Mike Cahir on Why Shakespeare Matters & How Parents Can Help Their Child Learn & Enjoy Shakespeare: Student Success Podcast no. 26

Oh, no, Shakespeare? English teacher Mike Cahir explains why learning Shakespeare matters and how parents can encourage their child to engage in the enormous benefits of learning from the Bard. Featuring Mike Cahir, high school English teacher and Department Chair. This podcast began when I asked Mike for his advice to one of our A+ […]

Procrastination, values, and connecting long term goals to short term choices

Parents and teachers think that if only students would connect their short term decisions to long term goals, such as college and jobs, they would quit procrastinating and do their homework. That’s why we’re always telling them about how important their future is. Experience tells us that it’s not a reasonable connection. Kids won’t suddenly […]

How can I improve my essay grades? Students, writing is drafting

With academic writing or other research projects, student improvement has a single source: drafting. Students will always score a better grade if they don’t hand in a “first draft” to the teacher. Think of handing in an unrevised paper as “going in blind.” That means that no one else, including the author, has looked it […]

Ancient advice from Epictetus for students and parents: want what you can, not just what you want (setting realistic expectations)

All students are aspirational: they want to do well in school and for their parents. But when they fall off from expectations, the excuses and resistance begin. Managing a teen student is complicated enough! Now you have to deal with enforcing rules, upping the oversight, and staying on top of a resistant child. Communication breaks […]

Parents & Teens Beware: like diamonds & tattoos, social media posts are forever

Seemed like a good idea at the time… Two recent Skype incidents remind us of the dangers of social media and the “instant age.” One, an offensive albeit private joke ignorantly shared online, the other a deliberate spamming via Skype messaging remind us that parents can and should be aware of their teen student’s social […]

Brenda discovers that she actually can learn the quadratic formula! (with a little help from the A+ Club)

Brenda’s mom is upset about her grades and that she’s not doing her homework. Brenda thinks her mom is being too pushy. Like high school teens & parents everywhere, they’re both a little right — and also a little wrong. Brenda’s mom is right to be concerned. And Brenda is naturally feeling stressed over doing something she is […]

First Presidential Auto on Display on National Mall: Taft Biographer Michael Bromley Joins Celebration of Historic Vehicles in “Cars at the Capital” Event LLC & the A+ Club founder and president Michael Bromley a featured participant in the “Cars at the Capital” event on the National Mall on April 14, 2016. Celebrating the first White House automobile, a 1909 White Model “M” 40 HP steam car that was used by President William Howard Taft, the Historic Vehicle Association […]

Helping middle & high school students and parents find academic success: tutoring, coaching & mentoring from the A+ Club