We’ve Moved!

October 7, 2010

To Blogger.

The blog is not being shut down but, despite our love of WordPress, we are moving to another blog publishing platform.

Our new URL is: www.findingschools.blogspot.com. So please update your bookmarks!

Visit our new site and let us know what you think of the change. Our new site has all the same great posts you’ve read here and a few upgrades we couldn’t really implement in WordPress.

Also, we’ve made a few changes to our School Choice International website so do make sure to visit us there as well.

We are also pleased to announce that we have succumbed to the Twitter bug and you can follow us at: www.twitter.com/findingschools

Our new blog site isn’t just different in the way it looks, we promise more diverse content to keep you informed on education around the world and happenings at School Choice. For example, our president, Liz Perelstein, was just named one of Fortune Magazine’s 10 Most Powerful Women Entrepreneurs for 2010! Even more exciting, we hear Pippin (the School Choice mascot) will be back in the office soon after taking a brief break to further his education and spend time with his family.

We hope you’ll continue to follow our blog at the new address!

See you at Blogger.


Tutoring Centers versus Private Tutors: What’s Best for Your Child?

September 28, 2010

Guest writer: Alisa Gilbert

Nowadays, finding the right tutor for your child has gotten even more complicated. Everywhere you look, tutoring services claim to offer the best and most customizable programs available, while graduate students crowd the internet offering their services in the hopes of earning a little cash on the side. Despite the intimidating nature of the search, I know you’re committed to finding some help for your child as the school year gets underway. Here are a few ideas to consider as you choose between a tutoring center and a private tutor.

Before you begin your search, try to establish some goals for you and your child regarding his or her education. It’s important to establish these goals immediately, as the nature of your goals will affect every aspect of your search. Do you want to help your child get a head start on next year’s curriculum? Are worried about your child’s falling grades? Do you simply want him or her to have some extra academic practice while you have a little free time? Regardless, be sure that you sit down with your child and talk with him or her about tutoring. Sensibly helping him or her understand the reasons why you’d like to hire a tutor will help preempt any rifts between you and your child down the line.

Now that you’ve got a list of goals, think about what each service could offer. Certainly either option has advantages and disadvantages, so the key will be figuring out how to best maximize those advantages in order to reach your goals. A tutoring center will most likely cost a lot more than a private tutor; however, because they use many tutors, they will be able to work around your schedule. With a private tutor you might be at the whims of his or her schedule, especially if he or she is in demand among other parents. A private tutor, fortunately, will be able to customize his or her tutoring to the needs of your child, while tutoring centers make use of standard verbal and math curricula in order to target and improve general skills.

Furthermore, if you value a close working relationship with your child’s educator, you might want to hire a private tutor, someone with whom you can meet and communicate as often as necessary. Although tutoring centers often don’t allow parents to interact with the tutors, they do have a center director who communicates with parents regarding the child’s progress. This isn’t to say that tutoring centers don’t work with parents well, but that you can have a greater hand in your child’s education if you go with a private tutor.

Ultimately, the decision is up to you and your child. Before you finalize the hire, make sure your child has some say in the matter. Remember, if your child isn’t happy with the situation and with his tutor, then you’ll have a bit of a struggle every time a tutoring session rolls around.

This guest post is contributed by Alisa Gilbert, who writes on the topics of bachelors degree.  She welcomes your comments at her email: alisagilbert599@gmail.com.


Successful Living Abroad: Global Lecture Series

September 15, 2010

Check out our new favorite site!

‘Successful Living Abroad,’ an 18-part on-line global lecture series based on the expatriate family book series by ExpatExpert. It’s FREE and devotes most segments to Raising Global Nomads.

About the author:

“As the Expat Expert, Robin Pascoe is well known abroad for her inspirational and informative articles, corporate presentations, and best-selling books. She is the author of five widely-used books on global living. Since 1998, her popular website has served as an international meeting place, discussion group, and source of advice and information for hundreds of thousands of expats world-wide.”

Congratulations Robin!


Top 10 Bizzare College Courses

August 30, 2010

ListVerse.com takes a look at the top ten most bizarre college courses. What a fascinating list!

Here are some highlights:

  • The Unbearable Whiteness of Barbie at Occidental College
  • Stupidity at Occidental College
  • The Joy of Garbage at Santa Clara University
  • Zombies at University of Alabama at Tuscaloosa
  • The Phallus at Occidental College

To learn more about these courses (for instance, the assigned readings) and to see the rest of the list, see the rest of the article!

What Do We Think?

Silliness aside, these course offerings illustrate a value that is central to the American educational system; US universities and colleges teach students to how to learn and analyze. Many of these skills can be acquired regardless of the content of the course… for instance, in The Joy of Garbage, professor Virginia Matzek teaches students to “do research and learn to work with data.” Students must analyze the difference between garbage, discard and waste. While the content for the course is garbage, the skills are priceless!

Compare this approach to systems which focus on memorization; an educational system that values information retention would never offer a class on garbage, zombies or the phallus, as the specific information learned would be relatively useless (except probably as dinner-table conversation starters… well maybe not even that!)


Announcing GEE 2.0!

July 6, 2010

School Choice International is developing a new online tool, Global Education Explorer 2.0!

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Calling all parents around the world…

Take the survey

You will receive FREE month’s subscription to the current version of Global Education Explorer.


Should the Digital Divide Be Closed? (via The Infomavens’ Desktop)

June 23, 2010

Interesting article on technology at home… Spending unsupervised time on the computer at home probably is not making your child smarter!

Should the Digital Divide Be Closed? Interesting bit from the Freakonomics blog on the New York Times website, pointing to a new study that is showing a statistically significant DECREASE in math and reading test scores among students with home computer and internet access. Meanwhile, students with limited access to computers and internet did not experience this statistical … Read More

via The Infomavens' Desktop


Building a Business

June 17, 2010

This evening I will be participating in a panel on entrepreneurship.  In preparation for this event I took a wonderful journey – I went back through the history of School Choice International. Fortunately I have kept a notebook of our original activities: a list of market research questions with answers scribbled on loose leaf pages.  A questionnaire about the child, a list of questions to ask at school visits, and our first brochure.  Perhaps most striking was our first database: a Xerox copy of a list of relevant schools and their contact details.

From this humble start School Choice International has become a company with 17 employees and 90 consultants in 50 key expatriate locations worldwide. 

It just shows the power of a dream.

Thanks to all who have been a part of our success.

Elizabeth Perelstein