I get the better than question a lot. Is it better to do A or B? Here are some examples:
- Is it better to take the ACT or the SAT?
- Is it better to participate in robotics or math competitions?
- Is it better to take 4 AP classes in the senior year or is it okay to do fewer?
- Is it better to go straight to college or take a gap year?
- Is it better to apply Early Decision or Regular Decision?
As much as I would like to give a universal clear-cut answer to the better than question, it is impossible to do so.
Better cannot be generalized, it is highly individual. It depends upon many things. It can change from one child to the next in the same family. It can have a different face for males and females. It is influenced by personalities, dreams, health, and family goals.
That is why I love working privately with families! With all the pieces of the puzzle in front of me, I can help the family to accurately answer the better than question for their child. Our results don’t come from a checklist or an online forum, it comes from knowing the student and making the best use of their time, talents, and temperament. Only then can we honestly determine if A is better than B.
Here is what Christina had to say about the process: “We so appreciate your experience, expertise, and perspective over the last one and half years. . . . We homeschool moms always think we are not doing enough. Without your wisdom and reasonable advice to pull me back from the edge of the cliff, I probably would have had (my daughter) take 8 SAT IIs, re-take her SAT I, do debate, teach a class, and a whole host of other things, which would have only taken away focus from her already full plate. This fall she was preparing for her Math level 2, but when it was borderline that she would break 700, we decided to let her focus on writing her essays and preparing a music supplement instead. (That was partly because of your advice to only take the Math 2 if she was scoring well.)
Thank you also for your honesty about her essay, which needed to completely change direction, and for helping us to prioritize well the pieces of the enormous app process. Most importantly, we appreciate your always trying to gauge where (my daughter’s) heart was, always asking her what she wanted to do (amidst many good choices for classes and extracurriculars). While we all have to do things that are not our favorite, you gave her the freedom to fully focus on her interests. We have a much better chance of excelling at what we love to do. My heart was relieved when you validated what I already knew to be true.” Interested in what others have to say?
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