Saturday, January 30, 2016

Should You Use a Private Tutoring Service?



Hiring a private tutor is really based on the evaluation of either one or both parents. Before settling for spending the money on a tutor, consider the significance of good grades as well as your child's ability to obtain those grades. Be sure your child agrees with it as well, in order to get the most benefit from the time and money spent on a tutor.

Private tutors offers help for homework, present test taking strategies and assist strengthen areas where your child is showing weakness. By concentrating on whatever area, which is often the cause of having poor grades, you will most likely see improvement after just a brief period of time. Factors that your child may need a tutor to help with grades include motivation, learning style and test taking skills.

Although costly, hiring a tutor may kick your child into focus and address the condition of a child who is just not trying. This particular can be a temporary solution though, since lack of motivation may suggest much more problem. While focusing on the short term objective of improving grades, try to identify the root of the problems as well.

Your child may have a learning style different to what the teacher is concentrating on. A private tutor can teach and explain the same information in an alternative way, enabling your child to learn the information more effectively. Normally a child understands the information, but has issues performing well on a test. A tutor can spend some time to concentrate particularly on these test-taking skills which will allow a child improve test results. Your child will be trained to stay focused during the test day and get better in information recall.

In case your child has a learning disability or is otherwise not capable of doing better, a tutor can provide further assistance. Alternatively, if your child is much smarter than his grades show, a private tutor can help persuade these students to try and do much better. Employing a private tutoring service to help your child can be beneficial both your child's report card and self-esteem, making it possible for him to realize his hard work may lead to getting better grades.

Now, keep in mind that hiring a tutor is a personal decision, same thing with choosing the right tutor for your child. Regardless of whether you hire a private tutor, get your child enrolled in an after school review group, or begin going to a commercial learning center, the decision has to be weighed considering your child's preferences.


Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Milly_Paullus

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Wednesday, January 27, 2016

The Most Lightning-Struck Place on Earth - Graeme Anderson



Lake Maracaibo is the stormiest place on the planet. Thunderstorms rage above this massive body of water for up to 200 days of the year, with each ear-splitting event lasting for several hours. But why? Graeme Anderson lists the factors that create Lake Maracaibo's seemingly ever-lasting storms.

Lesson by Graeme Anderson, animation by D. Lee Peffer II.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

8 Steps to Tutoring Success


After you’ve decided to seek help, what’s next?
 
Ignoring a child's school problems or waiting too long to seek help perpetuates a cycle of frustration and failure. Here, an eight-step plan:

Step 1: Reality Check

When you or the teacher identify a problem, take a step back and consider the whole child. "Many factors could account for a child's falling behind. Rushing to hire a tutor should be the last thing you do," says Kathy Hirsh-Pasek, Ph.D., co-author of Einstein Never Used Flashcards: How Our Children Really Learn and Why They Need to Play More and Memorize Less. "Instead of slapping a Band-Aid on the problem, be a diagnostician and figure out the cause.”

"Your child could be tired," says Hirsh-Pasek. "Maybe he needs to go to sleep earlier, and you need to better enforce bedtime rules. Maybe he's not doing well because he's being dragged down by having too many high-fat snacks or fast-food meals. Or maybe he can't complete his homework because he's overscheduled and exhausted from too many extracurricular activities."

Step 2: Get Perspective

Talk to your child as well as his teacher or guidance counselor for their perception of the problem. Does he hand in homework assignments on time? Does he fidget in class or lose focus when the teacher talks? Does he seem unhappy or uninterested in school in general? Is his behavior disruptive in class? Lack of motivation or acting-out behaviors may be a sign that a child is having difficulty either understanding or processing information. Sometimes simply moving a child to a smaller class can make a difference. If that is not possible, ask if he can move his seat to the front row right near the teacher, which may prevent his attention from wandering.

Step 3: Consider the Best Setting

Once you've decided to find tutoring help, you need to determine what form it should take. Some children feel more comfortable working privately with a tutor in their own home; others are motivated by the dynamics of a small group and concentrate more easily when they are away from the distractions at home. They might benefit from a study group or supplemental class at a learning center. Also ask yourself: Does my child do better with men or women? Does he need lots of nurturing or a firm hand?

Step 4: Ask for Referrals

Whether you decide that a once-a-week meeting with a homework helper (say, an older student or moonlighting teacher) is sufficient, or that intensive remediation makes more sense, keep in mind that tutoring is only as good as the person who does it. Check with your child's teacher, the school office, and other parents for names of qualified tutors. Schools may have a list of tutors who work regularly with students, and may even be familiar with the teachers and course curriculum. Your school may also offer some sort of academic help — before, during, or after school.

Step 5: Meet and Greet

Meet the tutor or visit the learning center with your child so he feels a part of the process and you can see if there's a rapport between him and the tutor. Sit in on one or two sessions to be sure. Since anyone can advertise in the local newspaper that he's a tutor, check credentials. Your tutor should not only be knowledgeable in the subject matter, he should have experience working with children your child's age. If your child has a learning disability, the tutor should be trained to identify and work with youngsters with this specific problem.

Step 6: Discuss Plans

A skilled tutor does more than simply check over homework. She will assess your child's strengths and weaknesses, prepare individualized lessons, and use hands-on materials wherever possible. She should also consult and work with your child's classroom teacher. Finally, she should offer positive reinforcement so your child feels good about himself and his efforts. Ask if the tutor gives additional homework besides your child's regular classroom work as well as how she evaluates progress. Does she use standardized tests or other forms of evaluation? How often?

Step 7: Set a Timetable for Progress

Most tutoring relationships last several months to a year (meeting once or twice a week). Don't wait that long before asking for feedback. Talk to your child and the tutor after every session. Does she enjoy the sessions? Are her grades improving? Does she have more confidence with the subject matter? Is she feeling better about school in general? This informal observation, combined with her teacher's input, will help you determine if the relationship is working. And if it's not? It can take several months for a child's performance to improve, but if you sense something is not working, don't be shy about discussing your concerns with the tutor. If he's not responsive, find someone new.

Step 8: Stay Involved

Parents are part of the tutoring equation. Your involvement is necessary to make it work. Make sure the tutor has the phone number or email address of your child's teacher, a copy of the textbook and curriculum she's using (request this from the teacher or guidance counselor), and your child's past tests so he can see areas of weakness. Finally, be sure to reinforce skills at home. Ask the tutor for suggestions, look for ways to fit in real-world practice (cooking together is great for both math and reading), and don't forget to share books and stories often.

Article Source: Scholastic.com

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Why is Bread Fluffy, Vinegar Sour, and Swiss Cheese Holey? - Erez Garty



Where does bread get its fluffiness? Swiss cheese its holes? And what makes vinegar so sour? These foods may taste completely different, but all of these phenomena come from microorganisms chowing down on sugar and belching up some culinary byproducts. Erez Garty shows how your kitchen functions as a sort of biotechnology lab, manned by microorganisms that culture your cuisine.

Lesson by Erez Garty, animation by Smart Party.

Monday, January 18, 2016

Time for a Tutor?


Use this guide to determine whether your child needs extra help.

If your child is struggling, don't panic at the first bad report card or note from the teacher. Do some homework. Find out why he's falling behind — and what you can do to make a difference.

While there are some normal developmental tasks a child should master at each age, the operative word is "normal" — and it has a very wide range. After reviewing the lists below, if you're concerned, check with your child's teacher, the school psychologist, or a reading specialist. Most likely, you'll get all the reassurance that you need. If not, you'll know how to proceed.

Grades 3–5
Though a child who struggles with reading may have been able to get by up until now, he'll face a high hurdle in these grades. As homework increases, and the curriculum focuses on reading and writing for comprehension, good decoding and writing skills are critical. So, too, are study and organizational skills.

Consider help if your child:

  • your child consistently avoids reading activities or complains that reading is too difficult;
  • you have an older child who was diagnosed with a learning problem (these difficulties tend to run in families; the earlier problems are diagnosed, the quicker you can find the help your child deserves);
  • she does well in small groups but feels lost in larger ones;
  • your instincts tell you that she's having a harder time than her classmates;
  • is chronically disorganized, forgets homework sheets, misses quiz or test dates;
  • can't manage homework time well;
  • fails to take responsibility for doing her homework;
  • does well in some subjects but poorly in others;
  • never reads for pleasure.

Article Source: Scholastic.com

Friday, January 15, 2016

How Do We Know What Color Dinosaurs Were? - Len Bloch



The microraptor was a four-winged carnivorous dinosaur with iridescent black feathers. But if our information about this dinosaur comes from fossils, how can we be certain about its color? Len Bloch shows how making sense of the evidence requires careful examination of the fossil and a good understanding of the physics of light and color.

Lesson by Len Bloch, animation by Paul Newell.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Dr. Mapp Shares Tips on How to Effectively Get Involved with Your Child’s Education



Dr. Mapp discusses the important role families play in their child’s growth and development and shares advice on how they can get involved and stay up-to-date with their child’s learning progress.

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Robotic Car on Track using Color Sensor @ The Academy



Check out this robotic car, assembled and programmed with our fantastic teachers Mr. Chris & Mr. Bryan, drive the track using its code.

The countdown is on until our Robotics class starts!

www.Academy21Learning.com or call (707) 474-4710!

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

How Do Solar Panels Work? - Richard Komp



The Earth intercepts a lot of solar power: 173,000 terawatts. That’s 10,000 times more power than the planet’s population uses. So is it possible that one day the world could be completely reliant on solar energy? Richard Komp examines how solar panels convert solar energy to electrical energy.

Lesson by Richard Komp, animation by Globizco.

Sunday, January 3, 2016

When to Hire a Tutor For Your Child


More parents today see tutoring as a natural add-on to their child's classroom learning. They realize even top schools can't focus individually on their child. And with private lessons in athletics and music so common, a private tutor for math, science or other subjects often makes good sense. Here are common times when hiring a tutor for your child is smart.

Your child is struggling in a subject or two.

If algebra class is 50 minutes but your son needs 60 minutes to learn the concept, he's going to fall behind in algebra and get discouraged. A math tutor will help the child who needs a little extra time. Tutors also re-teach past concepts and answer questions that kids are reluctant to ask in class. Tutors are expert in helping kids regain the motivation and confidence to succeed in math, science, writing, Spanish, or other classes.

Your child would benefit from homework and organization help.

Parents often seek a tutor for their child who isn't naturally organized. Some kids just need more supervision to get all their homework done to a high level. A 60-minute nightly tutoring session will nudge apathetic or scattered kids to work to their potential. Tutors will help kids manage due dates, get kids un-stuck by clarifying ideas or answering questions, and quality-check homework assignments.

Your child wants to achieve a goal or fulfill a hope.

Some families have a specific goal in mind when they start with a tutor. They want to raise a C to an A in calculus, or boost an SAT score 150 points. Other families have more abstract goals. They wish their child liked school more, or sympathize with a child who is trying hard but seeing only mediocre results. A tutor will listen to your hopes, and create a plan to help your child succeed.

You feel your child can improve study skills and test taking.

Many kids study the same way each year. But what works in 5th grade isn't enough in 7th grade. And the big leap from junior high to high school demands an upgrade in study skills. Kids with lagging study skills benefit immediately from a tutor who helps them increase homework time, pay attention to details, prepare for tests, and read more thoughtfully. A tutor can also ease test anxiety by teaching test-taking skills.

You hope to side-step a bad family dynamic, or provide stability.

By the teenage years, kids often will listen to any adult other than their parents. If that's the case, it's better for the child's grades (and family happiness) to bring in a tutor and remove the parent-child dynamic from the picture. Tutors understand teens and how to motivate them. And with younger children, parents can be too involved - doing all the homework themselves. A tutor gently returns responsibility to the child, while still providing consistency and support.

You have discovered your child likes to be tutored.

Parents often hire a tutor for a quick fix - usually to help their child bring up a grade in a tough class. But they'll continue with tutoring for years because their child really likes it. The one-on-one sessions help kids master even the hardest material, and signal that the family prioritizes their school success. Kids look forward to bringing home great test results, and to having undivided attention as they work on school assignments.

With today's school cutbacks, it's likely that more parents will try a private tutor and discover the benefits. Tutors are a smart way to ensure your children get the top education they need and deserve for later success in college and life.

Jessie Brumfiel is director of Spark Tutors (http://www.SparkTutors.com), a K-12 academic tutoring and SAT test prep company in Santa Barbara, CA.
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Jessie_Brumfiel

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