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Pittsburgh Parenting Blog by Sewickley Academy

Sewickley Academy's Private School Blog

Preparing Your Elementary School Child to Head Back to School

Your children's attitude will be one of the strongest factors in determining their academic success in the year ahead. You want to get them started off on the right foot: smiles on their faces, a bounce in their step, and a great attitude that will make teachers grateful to have your child in their class. Getting into the back-to-school mindset in a cheerful manner can be difficult, especially for kids who have had negative experiences in school in the past, but with some effort, you can get this year started off in the best possible way.

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Topics: Parenting

3 Steps To Transition Your Child Back Into a School Schedule

As we near the end of the summer holiday, our attention fades from planning vacation trips to getting our children ready to return to a school schedule. Of course, stores began their “Back-to-School” clothing and supplies sales in late June when we had hardly started to enjoy the break, but now it’s really time to get back in the swing of things. In my opinion, as a parent and an educator, there are a few general areas where you can assist your child to prepare and transition into the new school year.

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Topics: Parenting

Best Summer Reads for Older Children

As the summer wears on and the kids become restless, it is important to find ways to keep them entertained, engaged, and using their minds. One of the best ways to go about this is by offering them plenty to read.

While very young children require you to assist them during reading time, older children are much more independent, and while you may need to stand by to help with the occasional word or two, they can likely make it through an entire book on their own if you let them. The experience of finishing an entire chapter book or novel is a great self-confidence booster for children and can help lead them toward a life-long love of reading. 
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Topics: Book Review, Education, Summer

Weekend Getaways: Cape May

Looking for some Weekend Getaways to squeeze in this summer? Just a relatively, short drive from home—approximately six to six and a half hours—you'll find the exciting, relaxing, and lovely Cape May, New Jersey. This city offers beautiful scenery, incredible experiences with nature, and plenty of fun for everyone.

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Topics: Parenting

Grade 8 Commencement Address by Academy Parent Dr. Stephanie Phillips

Good afternoon. My name is Stephanie Phillips, and it is an honor for me to speak to you this afternoon at your graduation ceremony. Today is a day of celebrating all of you and all that you have accomplished and all that you have yet to do and become! By way of introduction, I am the mother of Sarah Phillips, who is graduating today, and Daniel Phillips, who is completing ninth grade here at the Academy. In my professional life, I work as a clinical psychologist. My work, both as a mother and as a psychologist (and often times, those roles kind of overlap!), has given me the chance to think about the goals that each of us should aspire to in our life journey. I would like to share some of them with you today.

You probably think I am going to tell you that, now that you are heading to the Senior School, you should expect to study hard and apply yourselves. You should, but that is not what I am here to talk about.
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Topics: Parenting

The 10 Best Summer Reads for Teenagers

During the dog days of summer, there is plenty of time in your teen's schedule for pleasure reading. They can sit back, read something that was written less than a decade ago, and dig in and enjoy that summer reading list. These ten amazing books are sure to be popular summer reads for teenagers.

Kiera Cass's 
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Topics: Parenting, Education, Summer

Best Summer Reads for Young Children

Young children love being read to, and kids who are read to on a regular basis are likely to learn how to read quickly and easily when the time comes. Take advantage of the long days this summer by squeezing in some reading time each day. 

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Topics: Book Review, Summer

Free Summer Fun in Pittsburgh

Looking for something fun to do with the kids this summer without breaking the bank? Look no more! Pittsburgh is loaded with fun events and activities that will cost you absolutely nothing. Pack a picnic lunch, pack up the kids, and get ready have the best summer ever without even opening your wallet. 

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Topics: Local, Parenting, General, Summer

Grade 5 Commencement Address by Head Of Lower School Dr. Cricket Mikheev

Thank you newly minted Middle School students and thank you Mr. Heavner for such beautiful music. That may be my favorite rendition of Katy Perry’s Firework ever! In fact, I’ve been so in “awe-awe-awe” of your work with your commencement song that I decided to focus my remarks on this song and what it says about you as a class.

I’d like to tell you about the process that lead to the Class of 2023’s song selection because it is so emblematic of who these wonderful students are. Mr. Heavner worked with the students to discern the difference between graduation and commencement. Graduation is a measured point of achievement along a journey. Graduation is an important time to notice how much we have learned and grown and this is why students are graduated from their grade each year. Commencement, which we are celebrating together today, represents beginning something new and exciting. These students have completed Lower School and are now moving on to new adventures in learning in Middle School.
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Topics: Parenting

5 Things To Do After Graduation

High school graduation is an exciting time in any student's life. The door is wide open for opportunity, and a feeling of change is in the air. College is right around the corner, with anticipation that anything could happen in this new, exciting life.

However, while all of this is exciting and graduation is a happy time, it tends to be bittersweet and a bit scary as well. Leaving friends and family behind and heading into the unknown might leave your student feeling a bit apprehensive, and letting go of your child—no matter how grown—will likely have you wondering where the time went and wishing you could get some of it back.
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Topics: Parenting

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