What If This 12-Year-Old Ventriloquist Had Never Practiced?

In 2017, 12-year-old singing ventriloquist Darci Lynne Farmer wowed the audience and the judges on America’s Got Talent. Before the 7-minute video was over I laughed, and I cried. Real tears. I am not kidding.

And then I thought…

What if Darci Lynne had never practiced ventriloquism on her own at home? What if she’d just waited until age 18, signed up for ventriloquism classes, and then expected those classes to give her everything she needed to perform like a superstar?

Would Darci Lynne have ever gotten anywhere?

ventriloquist

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Kids Ages 12–26 Need a COLLEGE STUDY SKILLS CLASS. Here’s Why

The college study skills class I teach is called THE STRATEGIC COLLEGE STUDENT. For more info on this class, scroll to the bold red writing below.

LIve class coming August 27th!

You already understand why college students and grad students need a high quality college study skills class. You can even see why it makes sense for high school students to take one. (Especially if they’ll be taking dual enrollment college classes in 11th and 12th grades.)

But why would I recommend that middle schoolers also take a college study skills class?

Something magical happens when a middle schooler takes a college study skills class. I’ve seen it a thousand times.

Here, 7 reasons why middle school (or as soon as possible after that) is a great time for your kid to take a college study skills class:

1. A class like this shapes the way the student sees herself and her future.

Middle schoolers tend to feel immensely flattered that someone—a parent, a teacher, or a middle school youth pastor—sees them as so intellectually capable that the topic of college is coming up already.

Oh, every student will initially object when an adult brings up the idea of a class like this—but once the student knows that attending is not negotiable, even a “low-to-average” achieving middle school student will secretly start to feel an internal glow of pride about it.

When middle school students attend a college study skills class, they begin to feel a subtle but distinct shift in how they view themselves and their future life. They start to see this line item being written into the overarching plan for their lives: “I’m going to college!”

2. Younger students eagerly devour this material.

After just about five minutes in my college study skills class, students are sitting straight up on the edges of their chairs, ears and eyes wide open.

The minute I finish explaining the importance of taking notes with pen and paper and not with computers, these students are taking page after page of detailed notes.

At the end of class—when I ask to see the notes they’ve taken and I marvel and exclaim over them, these students swell up with pride.

When I explain exactly how to review the notes later to lock in concepts in as little time as possible, they write down every word I say.

One 8th grade girl walked out of my college study skills class and told her mom: “Sorry, Mom—I can’t go get ice cream with you now. I’m doing a a systematic review method and I have to review these notes I just took.” And I wasn’t even giving her a grade for learning this material.

I find that middle school students are especially eager to listen, eager to take notes, eager to review, and eager to implement college study skills strategies after they’ve learned them. This presents an opportunity that is just too valuable for us to overlook.

Parents, if your kids balk at coming to this class when you first bring it up, pay them to attend if that’s what it takes. You’ll recoup the investment 100 times over later.

3. Every student loves it when I say these words:

“Some of you here today have never, ever worked up to your ability level in school. Some of you are the last people your teachers would ever think would go to college. Well, let me tell you something. Some of you sitting here today are going to surprise everyone. You know why? Because it’s not brains or genetic ability that make you good at college. It’s strategy and organization. Pure and simple. And anyone can learn that.”

4. Brain development research tells us that middle school is an ideal time for us to be talking about these things.

Middle schoolers’ brains are growing at an explosive rate—faster than at any time since infancy. Neural pathways are being pruned and strengthened, and so any experience they have during these years is likely to stick with them—in technicolor—for years and years afterward. Often for a lifetime. 

I want it to be during these years that they are first reached with the message of what it takes to succeed in college. 

If we are able to do this, the college success strategies we give them will be locked in in ways they will not be if we wait until just before or during college.

5. Students who learn college study skills early on do better in high school.

They get better grades in high school, they take and pass more CLEP tests, they succeed at higher levels in dual enrollment courses in 11th and 12th grades, and they tend to apply for and win more college scholarships between the ages of 13 and 26.

And after college is over? They’re the students who end up most likely to get their grad school paid for.

6. Students who take this path will walk onto their college campus with a 6-year track record of organizing their academics in ways that actually work.

When these students hear college friends talking about ridiculously ineffective college strategies like keeping track of due dates in their heads, or waiting until the last minute and cramming for exams, they’ll look at those friends like they’re completely out of their minds.

7. Students who learn high-level college study skills early on tend to feel greatly relieved of fear and pressure.

One bright, capable 8th grade boy recently wrote on my course evaluation for the college study skills class I teach: “This class has helped take away a lot of my fears about college.”

How much is that worth to a parent?

Whether your child is in middle school, high school, college, or grad school right now, don’t delay.

Sign up for my free weekly email newsletter now, and you’ll know the next time I’m teaching my 1/2 day  STRATEGIC COLLEGE STUDENT class either live or online.

Want a discount on this class?

My TRIBE Members get this class for free. Learn more about my TRIBE Membership and join the waiting list here.

Learn more about my 1/2 day STRATEGIC COLLEGE STUDENT class here.

You can see students ages 12–26 raving about this class here.

Get a quick preview of one of my most popular college study strategies here.

Your young adult child is finished with college, not ever attending college, and not headed to grad school?

Your young adult child will not need this class!

Instead, have him or her read this book: The Defining Decade: Why Your Twenties Matter—And How to Make the Most of Them Now by Dr. Meg Jay. It’s a life-changer!

Help us spread the word on this!

Copy this entire article and paste it right into your school, business, or nonprofit newsletter. Put a link to it in your Facebook group! Just include the words “By Jeannie Burlowski.”

And if you’ve found valuable info in this article, please help by tweeting it out to the people who follow you.

Imagine your kids not just performing well academically—but also getting through college debt-free.

There’s clear, step-by-step help on how to do this in my book:

It’s a reference book, so nobody reads the whole thing cover to cover. Pick out what you need to read in it using the fast-paced, 10-minute video instructions here.

You can see more than 100 reviews of it on Amazon at:

bit.ly/burlowski

(Tell your friends.)

You can see why financial advising professionals love LAUNCHhere.

You can see the top 9 questions parents are asking me about LAUNCHhere.

Read just one chapter of LAUNCH every 1–3 months while your child’s in middle school and high school, and you’ll know every viable strategy for debt-free college at exactly the right time to implement it.

And if your child’s already well past middle school? That’s OK; you can run to catch up. But the process of getting your kids through college debt-free goes more smoothly the earlier you start it—especially if you’re not planning to save up any money to pay for college.

Take a step on this right now. Get regular, inspiring help from me—every Monday morning.

Subscribe to my free weekly email newsletter here.

Do you have specific questions for me about debt-free college and career for your kids?

It’s my members that get most direct access to me. Doors to my membership open each year for just 5 days in March, and 5 days in September. It costs just pennies per day, but space is limited. Join the Waiting List here.

What about you? How old were you when you took your first college study skills class? Do you think you could have benefitted from taking it sooner? How so?

Comment below or LIKE Jeannie Burlowski Author on Facebook, find this post on that page, and let’s talk about it there.

Who is Jeannie Burlowski?

Jeannie is a full-time academic strategist, podcast host, and sought-after speaker for students ages 12–26, their parents, and the professionals who serve them. Her writing, speaking, and podcasting help parents set their kids up to graduate college debt-free, ready to move directly into careers they excel at and love. Her work has been featured in publications such as The Huffington Post, USA Today, Parents Magazineand US News and World Report, and on CBS News.

Jeannie also helps students apply to law, medical, business, and grad school at her website GetIntoMedSchool.com. You can follow her on Twitter @JBurlowski.

This article was originally posted on this blog on July 6th, 2017. It was most recently updated on November 12th, 2020.

Which Colleges Are Still Taking Applications?

5 Cautions For You If Your Child is Headed to College in 1-3 Months

Ben and his parents sat up late at their dining room table, combing through all of Ben’s college financial aid numbers one more time. Ben’s dad ran his fingers nervously through his hair. The problem? It was already summer, and every college that had accepted Ben for the coming fall was requiring him to commit to loads of student loan debt in order to attend.

Colleges are still taking applications

“Is it too late to just try to go to a different college?” Ben asked. “I don’t know,” Ben’s dad said. “Are there any other colleges still taking applications?”

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Whoa! Slow Down on Applying for Scholarships!

I recently read an article by a well-meaning man pushing kids to apply for more college scholarships.

“Give up all your free time!” he said. “Come home every day and put in an hour or two applying for scholarships!”

This sounds good in theory, but in reality–no kid on earth is going to do that.

My advice to students is very different.

scholarships

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“If I Take College Classes in High School, Can l Still Have a ‘Full High School Experience’?”

A 10th grader writes to tell me that his parents are worried that if he takes dual enrollment college classes in high school, he might be prevented from having “the full high school experience.”

Here’s his email to me:

“Jeannie, I know you strongly recommend dual enrollment college classes in high school for kids who want to get through college debt-free. I want to do dual enrollment full time in 11th and 12th grades so I’ll have two years of college done by the time I graduate from high school. But my parents are trying to steer me toward doing dual enrollment only just part time. They’re worried that if I take a full load of dual enrollment college classes in high school, I’ll miss out on ‘the full high school experience.’ What do you think?”

My answer to him is here:college classes in high school

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Hilarious Idea Makes Kids Eager To Apply For Scholarships

If you’ve got a child between the ages of 12 and 26, you know how difficult it can be to motivate him or her to want to apply for college scholarships.

Try this entertaining strategy, one that other parents are using with great success.

1. Give your son a meager allowance.

Make sure it’s just barely enough to cover his bare minimum life expenses. Set up an automatic bank transfer so that this amount goes into his bank account reliably, every two weeks.

2. List for your son all the purchases this money will have to cover.

“Son, we’ll expect you to use this allowance money to buy all your own school lunches, cell phone service, clothes, shoes, gas, football fees, school activities, and all your personal spending.” Add anything else to this list you can think of.

3. Then, wait for an emergency.

scholarships

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Hear Jeannie Burlowski Interviewed on the “Hey, Sister!” Podcast

I was recently interviewed by Krista Gilbert on her “Hey Sister!” podcast. It was a great conversation, almost an hour, full of practical tips for anyone who loves a kid age 12 – 22.

To listen to the podcast, click on Episode 19 here.

Some of the topics we covered include:

  • Strategies not just for getting your child into college, but for getting him or her through college debt-free.
  • Why your local state university is probably not your child’s bargain college option
  • Why the lowest college prices may be at private universities that look only at the FAFSA financial aid form
  • Why “dual enrollment” is better than AP when it comes to earning inexpensive college credit in high school
  • How to spread the scholarship application process over 8 years rather than trying to do it all during the senior year of high school
  • How moms and dads can navigate the emotional difficulty of “letting go” of college-bound children with grace and faith and hope.

podcast

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Want More Scholarships? GPA Matters Less Than You Think.

You’d love for your college-bound teen to get more scholarships, but you worry that his GPA just isn’t high enough. Am I right? Well, worry no more.

Good news. There are thousands of college scholarships available to students with GPAs as low as 2.50.

I’ll give you tips for finding more scholarships to apply for at the end of this post.

The question for today is: Besides high grades, what can your college-bound teen do to make himself or herself a powerful, attention-getting applicant who will get more scholarships than most other people?

The answer might surprise you.

scholarships

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Looking for Scholarships? Here are 1.5 Million of Them

Parents and students ask me all the time, “Where can we find scholarships to apply for?”

Here are some places to look for scholarships—starting right now.

Remember, scholarships are available to students in 8th–12th grades, plus all the way through college, and all the way through grad school.

PSEOstudents

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