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Welcome to the Engaging Minds Blog!

Each week, we will be posting about pertinent articles on educational and school-related topics, how they relate to Engaging Minds students (and parents!), and how to apply this information to your child(ren). We will also be posting original content pertaining specifically to the Engaging Minds approach and philosophy with tips on how to improve and enhance your child(ren)’s learning experience.
Our hope for this blog is to make it a valuable resource for parents. To that end, if you read any interesting articles or have any suggestions for topics, please feel free to email Dan Levine at Also, please comment on posts in the section below with your own input, ideas, and experiences. While we can’t promise we will be able to use all of your suggestions, we would very much appreciate your contributions and thoughtfulness!

Overtired? How caffeine and sleep deprivation interfere with learning

Stressed-out teens often turn to caffeine or the occasional all-nighter to achieve an extra boost or accomplish their goals. Unsurprisingly, among those same children and adolescents, rates of caffeine use and sleep deprivation have risen drastically, often alongside heightened stress levels. The National Council on Strength and Fitness (NCSP) reports that “caffeine intake among children and adolescents has increased by 70% in the last 30 years.” Meanwhile, the National Sleep Foundation has found that “more than 87 percent of high school students in the United States get far less than the recommended eight to 10 hours.” What’s worse is that both caffeine and sleep deprivation can exacerbate stress symptoms, like anxiety, fatigue, and attention deficits. Accordingly, caffeine and sleep both have significant repercussions in the classroom, where compromised brain function and development can have crucial and long-term effects on learning.

In the second and third weeks of January, many students resist the transition back to school with all their might, finding mid-January to be one of the toughest times of year. If your child is still wishing for the days of Netflix and holiday dinners, try these tips at home to help your student get back on track:

Breaking News: The Teen Stress Epidemic

In competitive western ideologies, stress is a way of life; long, tedious hours, especially in academic spheres, have become a dangerous norm. Under significant stress, teens risk their well-being to shoulder mounting pressures, endangering their physical and mental health. Even so, few people stress the impact of stress on teens, largely because of their youthful resilience and optimism. But, as more and more children and teens succumb to unhealthy levels of stress, it’s increasingly important to manage the problem at its source: in school and at home.

Most students look forward to their winter breaks throughout the entire fall semester. Winter vacation serves as the finish line after a long marathon of tests, projects, and papers. While school vacations should always be used to rest and recharge, there are many uses of break time than can be productive for students in the long-run. Using break to look ahead, set goals, get organized, or explore new ideas are just a few ways to make the most of days off. Consider the following tips and suggestions to have both productive and restful December break:

How to stay motivated and overcome mid-year stress and exhaustion

By this time in the school year, even the most resilient students feel the pressures of mounting responsibility and fatigue. December is a month of considerable stress for students as they gear up for exams, final papers, holidays, and more. As students look ahead toward winter break, many can’t help but slip into the holiday spirit just a little too early. Longing for rest, many students begin to “check out” weeks before vacation begins.

Engaging Minds Boston Learning and Tutoring Center
188 Needham Street • Suite 215 • Newton, MA 02464
190 N. Main Street • Natick, MA 01760
Tel: 617-964-3100 •

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