NSFAS- Show me the money!

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The National Student Financial Aid Scheme, NSFAS, offer financial support for tertiary study in the form of loans and bursaries.  How do you get your hands on some of this money?  Read on to find out! Read more

Teacher Troubles – Survival Strategies

With the very many subject teachers involved in teaching the high school curriculum, it is likely that all students will face teacher troubles at some time.  Our first blog  gave practical steps to help you identify and resolve teacher troubles.  However this process may take some time during which your marks may well start to suffer.   Whilst you are trying to figure things out with your teacher, you will still need to pass your class.  At no point is it OK to point at a terrible mark and blame your teacher.  Your marks are YOUR responsibility.   So here are some bad teacher survival ideas: Read more

Brain Health – Back to Basics

Feeling tired?  Having trouble concentrating?  Memory seems to have holes in it?  Can’t think of the answer to things you thought you knew?  May be it’s time for a brain health check!

Our brains are truly amazing thinking organs, able to adapt and grow, process multiple pieces of information at any one time.  Over 100 billion neurons act as virtually instant message carriers, if you piled up that many pieces of paper, the pile would be over 8000 kilometers high!  To keep your brain working in optimal condition, it requires looking after.  Here are some back to basics – brain health tips. Read more

SMART Goal Setting for Teens

Turning over a new leaf doesn’t just belong to New Year’s Day.  Goal Setting and celebrating achievements are the markers of successful lives.  SMART goals are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Time Bound. Here’s how to set SMART goals for yourself and make certain of your success.

We all have goals for our lives.  They are the things we want for ourselves that we don’t yet have.  Some of our goals are short term, we can get them quite quickly like eating less chocolate or going to bed by 10pm.  Other goals take more time and need to be broken down into smaller steps like improving a maths grade by 15% or getting a driver’s licence.  Goals are not the same as dreams for our life which tend to be much bigger and more general -like I want to be rich and famous and have my photo on the front of a major magazine.  Dreams involve a large dollop of wild imagination.  Goals balance imagination with careful planning.

Teens often find that other people also have goals for their lives.  Mom wants me to be a doctor, my maths teacher wants me to talk less in class, my boyfriend wants me to grow my hair long… There is only one thing to say about other people’s goals, they belong to other people.  Only you have the power to change you and that power comes from wanting it for yourself.  What do you want? Read more

Read to Read

Today is International Literacy Day, and also Tolstoy’s birthday (he’s the old guy that is popping up on your google browser home page). I first “met” Tolstoy when I was in matric. He helped me through my final exams by giving me a parallel universe to escape to, filled with people and events that I was not at all responsible for. What a relief!

People read for all sorts of reasons. Fun, relaxation and finding out new things rate as some of the more positive experiences. Reading for pleasure means you get to choose what you are reading because you are interested in it. You also get to choose where and when you read it. No one is making you. Some say reading is a form of play but I like what Pullman (2004) has to say: “Consider the nature of what happens when we read a book… It isn’t like a lecture: it’s like a conversation. There’s a back and forthness about it. The book proposes, the reader questions, the book responds, the reader considers. And we are active about the process… We can skim or we can read it slowly; we can read every word, or we can skip long passages, we can read it in the order it presents itself, or we can read it in any order we please, we can look at the last page first, or decide to wait for it, we can put the book down and… we can assent or we can disagree.” Read more