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Pittsburgh Parenting Blog by Sewickley Academy

Sewickley Academy: Resource Blog for Parents

Tips to Find the Right Prom Date (and Attire!)

Prom, movie clichés aside, can be an amazing and memorable moment in any teen's life. Yet, it can also be stressful. From choosing a date to finding the perfect outfit and picking out flowers, there is a lot of planning that takes place. Since prom should be fun, sit down with your teen and see what his or her expectations are for the big event.

One of the most stressful parts of prom for a teen is finding a date. Perhaps they have a crush on someone and are afraid to ask them out, or maybe they are single and are nervous to ask a friend. The most important thing is encouraging your teenager to go with someone who he or she will have fun with, someone who will dance with them and hang out with their friends.

Your son or daughter may want your assistance on finding a suit, tuxedo, dress, gown, or pantsuit. Many men end up renting a suit or tux for the event. Rental places ensure that your son's suit or tux fits him perfectly and the style suits him and the occasion. Men's Wearhouse does offer complete tuxedo packages, including the jacket, vest, and pants, starting at $99.99 and offer numerous locations. Top Hat Tuxedo also offers complete packages, starting at $89.00.

Begin looking early at the local stores to find the best deal. Simply googling "Pittsburgh tuxedo rentals" will give you a decent list of what is available locally, and some of the websites allow you to book appointments online or submit measurements to see what is available. Don't, however, feel tied to a tuxedo rental. A nice suit and tie comes in handy for more than just prom, such as a wedding or job interview. The same places that rent tuxedos usually sell suits as well.

Dresses can be a bit more challenging than suits since there are many more styles to choose from. While dressing in style is important for most teen girls, encourage them to find a dress that suits their personality as well. A good place to start looking is a bridal store since they sell prom dresses as well as wedding dresses. Carlisle's Bridal, located locally, and the chain David's Bridal, are two such shops, though there are many to choose from.

If the idea of prom dress shopping at a bridal salon doesn't appeal to you, local retailers and boutiques also carry prom attire. There are many in the Pittsburgh area that carry stylish and affordable dresses. Check out the Style Exchange Boutique, One Enchanted Evening, or The Winner, to name a few. Second hand shops are also a good option whether your teen likes her clothes on trend or has a style all her own.  

Wherever you shop for the main outfit, keep in mind that shoes, ties, jewelry, and purses can usually be found in the same store. One-stop shopping is a good way to get accessories that match the outfit, however you never know what you will find at other stores that would compliment the dress or suit perfectly. Whether you are shopping with your teen or they are on the hunt with their friends, try to make the experience an adventure and not just a chore leading up to the main event.

The last thing to keep in mind are the flowers. Typically in the form of corsages, they are usually given to female dates to be worn on the wrist. However, boutonnieres can make any suit or tux look extra sharp. If your teen is getting flowers in any form for their date, make sure they know the color of their dates dress or tie, so that the flowers match. Local floral shops offer prom services and most can be found online.

We hope these tips will take the stress out of prom planning, allowing you and your teens to enjoy not just prom, but the planning as well.

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Topics: General

Creative Ways to Make Reading and Writing Fun

“It’s time to do your homework.” If this sentence is usually followed by your child screaming “NO!,” running away, or throwing any other kind of tantrum, you are not alone. If your child is resistant to reading and writing, you need to make learning fun. Here are five creative ways to get your elementary school-aged child excited about reading and writing.

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Topics: General

Take Care of Mother Nature on Earth Day

Earth Day, which falls on Sunday, April 22, is an excellent reminder to take care of Mother Nature. First celebrated in 1970, Earth Day is an opportunity to celebrate conservation and remember all the important ways each individual can contribute to taking care of our planet. Here are a few ideas for you and your kids to celebrate Earth Day. 

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Topics: General

Ways to Celebrate Saint Patrick's Day with Kids and Adults

Saint Patrick's Day is a holiday rich with tradition and festivities. While many American's think first of greenery and beer, the holiday is traditionally a religious holiday meant to honor Saint Patrick. Saint Patrick was born in Britain, was enslaved as a boy but later brought Christianity to Ireland. March 17 is the anniversary of Saint Patrick's death, and the day we use to celebrate Irish culture. Traditionally, the day started with a church service, followed with boisterous celebrations in the afternoon. Ironically, the first Saint Patrick's Day parade ever was held in New York City by Irish soldiers serving in the British army. So many early Americans were Irish too, though, so the Irish tradition quickly spread and has become ingrained in American culture. 

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Topics: General

Is Time Up For Daylight Saving Time?

With two states opting out of the national clocks back/clocks forward time change long ago, and other states moving ahead to make daylight saving time (DST) permanent, has the time come to let the clocks just tick on? Leave the hands and digital displays that remind us when to wake, sleep, eat, work, and play to do their job without a biannual interruption of our sleep patterns? How did the time change get started, for whose benefit, and why do we still do it? And what does it take for a state or local jurisdiction to opt out and stand alone, victorious but tired of trying to explain to the next-door neighbors just over the time zone line that they did this in the name of freedom, justice, mom's apple pie but mostly common sense?

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Topics: General

Senior Reflections: My Day as the Director of Teaching and Learning

On Wednesday, January 31, 2018, I left my student self at home, arrived at Sewickley Academy somehow bypassing my bachelor's degree and master's degree and went straight to earning a doctorate degree as I had the pleasure of shadowing Dr. Bevan Koch. I knew from previous meetings with her that this day would be informational as well as fun, but I never imagined how much I would actually discover and learn until I arrived.

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Topics: General

Senior Reflections: An International Student’s Perspective on Sewickley Academy

When I first decided to transfer to Sewickley Academy, I did not know if this new school would be a good fit for me or what my last two years in high school would be like here. I was the scared and worried “freshman on board.” The fact that I’m an international student, with English as my second language, added even more pressure to the situation. Although I spent the previous two years in the United States at an international high school in New York before moving to Pittsburgh, Sewickley Academy is really the one and only American high school that I’ve attended. My mind was filled with both excitement and worry at the same time.

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Topics: General

Simple Origami Pets To Create With Your Children

Days at home with the kids provide endless opportunities to be creative. Folding origami is a fun and interesting craft idea you can do with your children. Origami pets are cute and customizable, so your kids can make their animals unique and really let their personalities shine through their art. They are also fairly simple to make, and require no glue or cutting — both plusses when crafting with young children. Next time you and the kids are bored, pull out some paper and try folding up one of these little critters. 

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Topics: General

Senior School House Prefect Leila '18 Addresses the Academy

Senior School House Prefect Leila '18 Addresses the Academy

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Topics: General

Welcome Back to School by Senior School President Henry Meakem '19

Welcome Back to School by Senior School President Henry Meakem '19

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Topics: General