Core Classes in High School


Always select your core classes first.  These classes are required for graduation.  They include math, science, English, social studies,  and foreign language.  Many schools offer multiple levels of these classes including Regents level, honors, and AP.  There might also be options for core classes.  College look highly upon students that took additional core classes.  This includes an extra year or two of your foreign language or an extra science or math class.


Recommended Downloads:High School Course Planning Sheet

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Social Media Apps and Sites Parents Should Watch Out For


Here is a list of social media apps and sites parents should watch out for.  New apps and sites are constantly being created and we will try to keep up-to-date with the latest apps.  We always recommend that parents talk to their children about apps, cyber-bullying, and privacy.  There are many apps that can be okay for children if they are used correctly. (There is a list at the bottom of this post.)  You should always monitor what your children are doing on these apps, especially at the younger ages.  Many of these apps are for 13+ or 17+ but children can lie about their age and create an account.

Top 10 Apps to Watch For

1) Yik Yak

The app is rated 17+.  Everything is posted anonymously.  It was started for college students to spread the word about parties and events.  Younger students are using it to spread rumors or hurtful comments.  The “Yaks” (posts) show up based on area.  This makes it easy to post about other students, teachers, or the school itself and only have other local students see the yaks.

2) Tinder

The app is rated 17+ but you can sign up at the age of 13.  It is used to “hook up” with other local people.  It is also location based and anonymous other than a picture.  This app can be used for sexual harassment, stalking, or other similarly scary uses.

3) Kik Messenger

The app is rated 17+.  It is a messenger app and therefore users and connect with other users who they do not know.  The app has been used for cyber-bullying and sexting.

4) Snapchat

The app is rated 12+.  The app allows users to send pictures or short videos to other users.  The picture or video will disappear after 10 seconds of viewing.  However, users can take screenshots and save the picture forever.  The app is being used for sexting and sending nude photos.

5) Whisper

This app is rated 17+.  It is another anonymous app.  Users are encouraged to share secrets and confessions and add pictures.  Other users can then like the secret or confession.  The app also uses location.

6) Creppy

This app allows users to find another users location based on pictures that have been posted to social media sites.  It opens the location right in Google Maps.


This site allows users to anonymously ask questions.  It is an open site with no login or monitors.

8) Omegle

The app is rated 18+.  Talk to Strangers.  It picks random people for you to talk to.  You can chat via text or video.  It is anonymous unless the user shares information.

9) Blendr

The app is rated highly mature.  A flirting app based on location.  Flirt and meet other users and go on dates.

10) Down

The app is for people who are down to hook up.  This app used to be called Bang with Friends.

Facebook Apps to Watch For


This a Facebook app.  It is a question-answer app.  Students are sometimes using these questions for cyber-bullying.

2) Poke

This is a Facebook app similar to Snapchat.

Online Slam Books


Always monitor apps such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Vine, Tumblr, Pheed, Oovoo, Skype, WhatsApp, Reddit.  Most of the apps are okay.  However, users can find inappropriate content, post information that should not be shared, or use them for cyber-bullying.



Children should begin taking responsibility and doing chores from a young age.  There are plenty of chores that even your preschooler can do.  Chores help children feel like part of the family.  It also brings the family together.  It teaches them to be helpful and kind.  They also will appreciate little things that are done for them.  The children will also have a feeling of pride when they are able to do something on their own.  Always remember to tell the children you appreciate them helping and what a great job they are doing.  This will help build their self-esteem and self-confidence.




Preschool Age

  • Pick out clothes (even if they don’t match)
  • Put away any toys he or she was playing with
  • Throw away garbage
  • Put dirty clothes in a hamper
  • Set the table



Elementary School Age

  • Do homework
  • Make the bed
  • Clear the table
  • Feed a pet
  • Take a shower or bath
  • Put away clean, folded laundry
  • Pour cereal for breakfast
  • Dust
  • Water plants


Middle School Age

  • Wash dishes
  • Rack leaves
  • Shovel snow
  • Make a simple basic dinner
  • Do laundry
  • Clean the house
  • Walk the dog
  • Vacuum
  • Clean
  • Bring in the mail


High School Age

  • Cook dinner
  • Take care of younger siblings
  • Take care of a pet
  • Have a part time job
  • Shop for groceries with a list
  • Iron clothes
  • Mop the floors
  • Mow lawn

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Educational ideas you can do on any vacation


Here are a few ways to bring learning along on your vacation in a fun and creative way.

1)      While on vacation find out where other people are from.  Whether you are hanging out by a pool or on the beach, or waiting on line for a ride there are always other people around.  Find out where people are from and keep a list in a notebook or on a tablet.  At night back at the hotel room here’s what you can do with the information.

Math: Create a dot plot or bar graph of the different places.  Slightly other children can find the percentage from the different places or describe the data by finding the mode and peak.

Geography: Bring a map (you can print one online) and then put a dot or sticker at every place that you met someone from.

Writing: Every day you can ask one person that you meet for a story about where they are from.  At night you can rewrite the story and something you learned from it.

Science: Watch the news and record the temperature and humidity then compare it to where you’re from.

History: Find out one piece of history each day about that vacation area.  Keep a list of what you learn.


2)      While driving around especially on a road trip keep a list of different license plates states. Also keep track of the time you spend driving from place to place and the actual distance.

Math: Find your average speed based on distance and time. Again create a dot plot or bar graph of states that the license plates are from.

Geography: Bring a map and track where you are going.  Describe the path you are driving using the cardinal directions.

Writing: Write a journal entry about what you did each day of the trip.

Science: Watch the news and record the temperature and humidity then compare it to where you’re from.

History: Find out one piece of history from each city that you stop in on your road trip.