Friday, November 17, 2017

When to Hire a Tutor for Your Child

We all want our children to do well in school, but sometimes – despite our best efforts – they just need a little extra help.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Giving Kids a Voice During the Season of Giving

Teach kids that what they say and do matters.

November is a time for preparing for the holidays and giving thanks, but it’s also a time for using our voices.

It’s a time to set an example by using our voice for good and encouraging our kids to do the same.

As parents, we can be the example for our children in the ways we focus on supporting giving campaigns, donating to meaningful causes, or expressing our thanks for all we have. It can really be exciting to watch our children follow our lead, especially when holiday sales, promotions, and items saturate store shelves and advertisements at this time of the year.

Choosing one cause and empowering children to get involved alongside us is one step that we, as parents, can take. When our children realize how good it feels to give to others, there’s no telling how far they will take it.

Here are some ways to give our children a voice during the season of giving:

• Volunteering at a local thrift shop or soup kitchen;
• Holding a bake sale to raise money;
• Making crafts or small ornaments to sell;
• Gathering friends to write letters to government representatives or political leaders;
• Making posters to encourage friends to support a cause;
• Sending emails or letters to friends and family to teach them about a cause or campaign;
• Having a conversation with a friend about an important cause.

The possibilities are endless.

It’s really about having our kids learn about giving themselves and then encouraging others to join them. The more, the merrier—especially when it comes to giving back to the community and world around us!

Sometimes, just sharing stories about other children who have used their voices is impetus enough for our kids to speak up.

Article Source:

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Can You Solve the Egg Drop Riddle? - Yossi Elran

The city has just opened its one-of-a-kind Faberge Egg Museum, with a single egg displayed on each floor of a 100-story building -- and the world’s most notorious jewel thief already has her eyes on the prize. Can you help the thief formulate a plan that will drop the most expensive egg she can get safely into her waiting truck? Yossi Elran shows how.

Lesson by Yossi Elran, directed by Artrake Studio.

Sunday, November 5, 2017

4 Ways to Help Your Reluctant Reader

If your child struggles to read, try these suggestions.

Editor's note: This blog post was originally published July 24, 2014.

No parent wants to hear, "Mom, I hate reading." But in all likelihood, at some point, many of us will hear it from one of our children. A few months ago, my son told me, "Reading is just something I am good at, not something I like."

I am pretty sure the sound of my heart breaking could have been heard from miles away.

What are our kids really saying when they tell us they hate reading?

1. It's hard.

Yes, reading is tough. Reading the wrong material is even tougher. As parents, if this is what your child means when he says he hates reading, your job is to find the right level of material for him to read.

2. I'm really struggling.

It's hard to ask for help, and children want to please their parents. Reading is something children see adults do easily, and they may feel ashamed to tell their parents they can't do it. It's simpler to refuse to do it because they hate it than to say, "I can't." It may be confidence, it may be some letter sounds that they need to practice, or it may be something much deeper than that. If you suspect your child may have a learning disability that is hampering her reading, talk to your child's teacher or pediatrician who can point you towards the proper local agency to have her tested.

3. It's boring.

In college, I had a textbook that was so boring I had to sit on the floor with my back against a cinderblock wall so that when I nodded off I would hit my head against the wall and wake up. Sometimes reading is boring, but it doesn't have to be for our kids...not yet, anyway. Ask him what makes it boring. As a team, take time to find him the right things to read. Maybe you skip the novels and dive into comic books, or forget fiction and read books filled with facts. Make it your mission to find interesting things for him to read.

4. I'd rather be outside/online/at a friend's house.

Sometimes it's a matter of shifting schedules to get kids to read for fun. No one thinks that something is fun when they are forced to do it. "Stop bothering your sister, go up to your room, and read!" doesn't sound like a treat. Staying up "past" her bedtime to read is a wonderful way to get reading in without making it compete with other activities. More than one voracious reader was created between being tucked in and lights out.

As parents we need to open up our minds to what a child who is reading looks like. Reading for many of us means reading a novel, but children can read so many other things. Before we decide that our kids really do hate reading, take time to see if what they are saying is: It's hard, I'm struggling, I'm bored, or I'd rather be outside.

So, what was my son saying when he told me he hated reading? "I'm bored of these early chapter book mysteries." I sat back and thought about what I was offering him to read and we switched it up together. Books full of wacky facts, Pokemon reference books, and sports magazines are his favorite things to read now, and I haven't heard a peep about him hating to read since!

Article Source:

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Where Do Math Symbols Come From? - John David Walters

Math is full of symbols: lines, dots, arrows, English letters, Greek letters, superscripts, subscripts ... it can look like an illegible jumble. Where did all of these symbols come from? John David Walters shares the origins of mathematical symbols, and illuminates why they’re still so important in the field today. 

Lesson by John David Walters, directed by Chris Bishop.

Monday, October 30, 2017

Friday, October 27, 2017

Parents Weigh In: 20 Tips to Encourage Your Elementary Schoolers to Read

Having trouble getting your child excited about reading? Try these creative ideas to keep your elementary reader turning the pages of a good book.

After coming home from school, your elementary-aged children will undoubtedly spend time completing their daily reading homework. For some kids, their reading may end there. Yet as parents a great goal is making reading a fun activity beyond school assignments.

That’s why we asked our Scholastic Parents Facebook audience for suggestions on how their families encourage reading for fun throughout the school year. Check out their tips -- which may not only inspire some new ideas, but also remind you how you can bond as a family through reading.

“We make reading a whole family thing. We read together. We read to each other. We read separately. Older siblings read to younger siblings. We make sure that the kids see that we read for enjoyment as well. Reading has feelings of enjoyment, fun, love, and family in our house. Now, we run into how to get them to stop reading, so we can get other things done.” -- Christina Montgomery

"Our go-to is letting our kids pick their own books! The faster they read through their books the faster they get new ones. I buy them each 2-4 books at a time and while I try to guide them towards my childhood favorites, they get to choose what they're interested in reading!" -- Anna Turkel

“My tip is telling them each book will take you on an adventure you have never been to. You can even travel to places you've never seen! It works for us. Make reading sound exciting and fun. It opens up an entire new world for your children. We love reading. We love books!” -- Lisa Shults

“We go as a family to our local library and stock up on anything that looks interesting. We have a large basket for our library books surrounded by bean bag chairs. During the week, we have a no TV rule and everyone ends up in the bean bags reading whatever they want.” -- Desirae Flores

“Start reading from day one. Even though your infant won't understand, if you make reading time a part of their everyday schedule, your kids will begin to look forward to that time. Pick out all kinds of book and engage your children while reading. Once they start talking, they will engage back with you, ask questions, and make observant comments about the story. Make this time sacred time in your family and your child will cherish it [because] not only will it be bonding time, it will foster a love of reading too. My children are 5 and 2 and my oldest is already reading and if my youngest is quiet, he is most likely sitting in front of his bookcase 'reading' some books.” -- Taisha R. Alvarez

“My daughter reads for 20 minutes every day when she gets home from school, and I read to her for 20 minutes every night before bedtime. Reading is so important in our family!” -- Danyelle Dolan

“My family's go-to tip for encouraging reading is to find a subject my kids are passionate about and get books concerning that subject. It helps so much. My son loves history but hated reading. We got him a bunch of history-centralized books and next thing we knew he was reading on his own for fun. My daughter loves animals so we steer her toward reading material like zoo books. We've seen a huge improvement in both of them.” -- Bridget Amaral

“Reading is a family event in our house. We like finding books that we all can enjoy so we can sit together and have a read-aloud. Kids will be more encouraged to read when everyone else is [involved]!” -- Amber Miller

“When my son turned 5 years old, I took him to the library to sign him up for his very first library card. He was so excited. I even bought him a reusable bag, so when we made trips to the library he has something special to take the books home in. I have him lay in bed with me and we read together until he falls asleep. We have read so much that he's considered a Superstar Reader in school. He reads above his grade level. We gradually worked our way up to reading higher level books. He reads, and if he gets stuck, I have him sound out the word until he gets it right. He's so proud of himself!!” -- Jillian Carr

“We encourage the kids to read books and then do a craft i.e. poster, shoe box, drawing, book journal anything creative [about the book]. They love the craft part, so it encourages them to want to read more!” -- Angela Franklin King

“It's all about finding the right series for us! Our almost-10-year-old daughter just recently discovered the Dogman books and it has sparked a love of graphic novels in her. That's pretty awesome! I would have never thought of those for her. Our soon-to-be 8-year-old daughter loves the challenge of a 'big, thick' book (LOL) so for her we go for age-appropriate books that hold a collection of stories. That way she still feels it's a win but doesn't get overwhelmed with a book that is out of her range.” -- Ashley Dietrick

“We read one book together with our family every day! And we let our kids choose the book of their choice to make it fun and of their interests!” -- Ruthveveli Packer

“My daughter reads daily both in English and Spanish. Our family might relocate to Spain in the near future and she is aware of how necessary it is for her to know the language.” -- Virginia Pino Rodriguez

“Be a mentor, a mirror! You can't ask your kids something that you don't do yourself. My bunch sees Mom reading whenever possible! We start a book, read together or alone, and when finished feel so accomplished and smarter, and sometimes donate to school. And the best part is, we get to go on Scholastic, and order a new book we look forward to reading!! They want to read, and for that I'll give them all the books in the world! So proud of my lil' readers!!” -- Josie Malloy

“We encourage reading by awarding them with change they can use for new books at their school book fairs along with setting goals for the amounts of books to finish by the end of the school year. Setting expectations with rewards helps make reading fun and creates a competitive game with our children. They are so proud whenever they finish a new book or chapter!” -- Rocky Anastasio

“We have 'family date nights' at the library where we look for new books for each age group and search for books that interest each child.” -- Amy Pavlock

“My son is autistic and nonverbal, so to try to encourage any and all forms of communication I read to him, explain pictures, look up ASL [American Sign Language] to go with stories. We read anything and everything about day-to-day life.” -- Millissa Pope

“My daughter loves to read to me. She is in the 2nd grade and is reading at a 6th-grade level. We have been reading together for years. Her favorite is the tag-team approach; She will read a chapter and then I will read a chapter. Special sound effects and different voices for all the characters is a must, especially when reading books above her grade level with very few pictures and a tougher vocabulary. My daughter also enjoys writing short stories and little comics, which help with her creativity. She loves reading those to me. It is all about making reading fun.” -- Wendy Andrade

“We keep books in the car, on the end tables and in their bedrooms. My older child is allowed (on weekends) a flashlight to read before bed in his room. We also read together each night before bed or review sight words with our littlest. Our children also see us reading often. I even run a book club, and we've encouraged the kids of our mom members to join in each month.” -- Janel Thomas

“We read out loud together. We also take a couple days in the month to have read-a-thon. We stay in our PJs, leave the TV off, and cuddle up with a good book. I'm so grateful to have children that love to read. My boys have been writing their own book. They are 8 and 6 years old, so of course it's about zombies. But it makes me so proud!!” -- Samantha Lynn Santos

Article Source:

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

North Bay Science Discovery Day is Saturday, October 28!

It is once again time for North Bay Science Discovery Day which is part of the Bay Area Science Festival

The North Bay Science Discovery Day is a free annual event designed to inspire children (Grades 4-8) to pursue STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) careers. Last year, over 14,000 people attended Discovery Day at Sonoma County Fairgrounds in Santa Rosa. The event has free admission, free parking and an incredible array of fun, interactive exhibits with hands-on games and experiments including robotics, animals, microbes, DNA and much more. Our exhibitors are not allowed to sell any items as we want this to be an event that ALL children can enjoy equally.

Our event will be held this year on Saturday, October 28, 2017 from 10:00-4:00 PM at the Sonoma County Fairgrounds.

Saturday, October 21, 2017

The First Asteroid Ever Discovered - Carrie Nugent

Over the course of history, we’ve discovered hundreds of thousands of asteroids. But how do astronomers discover these bits of rock and metal? How many have they found? And how do they tell asteroids apart? Carrie Nugent shares the story of the very first asteroid ever discovered and explains how asteroid hunters search for these celestial bodies.

Lesson by Carrie Nugent, directed by TED-Ed, animation by Reza Riahi.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

4 Ways to Get More Involved in Your Child's School

Explore these accessible ways you can help make a difference at your child's school — beyond the PTA.

As a former classroom teacher and school administrator, I witnessed firsthand the huge impact that family involvement has on school culture and home life. Being involved in your child's school sends a message to the school that you are there to support the staff and that you are a team player. It also sends a message to your own family that you value the school and it's an important part of your life.

There are many ways to get involved with your child's school. If you work during the day and can't get to the school, there are even ways to support the school outside of the school day.

You might be familiar with the idea of a PTO or PTA group, chaperoning a field trip, or participating in fundraisers benefiting the school. But, there are even more ways you can be involved. Below are some other ideas that might resonate with you.

1. Read Aloud to the Class

It is such a treat for a child when a family member comes to school to read to the class. Your child's favorite book, a new release that you can leave behind for the class, or a book from your own childhood are all great reading choices.

If you can't make it into the classroom to read, try using a video conferencing tool such as Skype, Hangouts, or FaceTime to connect with the class and share a story.

2. Prep Materials

As a teacher, I spent many nights in front of the television cutting out laminated materials, collating packets of work, or stapling paper together to make blank books for my students to create stories.

Ask your child's teacher if there's any prep work you can help do from home. Or, you can visit the classroom and help prepare materials needed to make your child's day full of learning opportunities and experiences.

3. Lend Your Skills and Talents

Put your career or job skills to use for the school. If you're a graphic designer, help out with a school flyer. A florist could donate or offer discounted flowers for the graduation ceremony. A restaurant worker might lend serving dishes and utensils for a teacher appreciation luncheon.

Share your talents or expertise with the teachers. Everyone has something that could be beneficial in a school environment. I've had a musician parent share songs with students, a dentist parent provided toothbrushes, a mom who worked at McDonald's had her manager donate gift certificates to the school, and a dad built planters for an edible garden in the schoolyard. What are the skills or talents you can share?

4. Be an Advocate

One of the simplest but most powerful things you can do to support the school is to be its advocate. Talk to other parents and encourage them to attend school events. Encourage families who are unhappy about a situation at school to talk to those involved. Call the school when you have a question or concern. Working together is more productive than anything else you can do.

To get started with any of these ideas, send a note or make a phone call to your child's teacher. Chances are the teacher will be thrilled to hear from you and happy to work around your schedule.

Your child's school and your family will be rewarded through these involvement experiences. Plus, your message that school is important to your family will ring loud and clear to both your child and the school.

Article Source:

Sunday, October 15, 2017

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:

Article Source:

Thursday, October 12, 2017

The Surprising Cause of Stomach Ulcers - Rusha Modi

It’s a common misconception that stomach ulcers are caused by emotional upset, psychological distress, or spicy food. Yet no convincing study has ever demonstrated that these factors directly cause ulcer disease. So what does cause stomach ulcers? Rusha Modi explains how one doctor’s famous (and dangerous) experiment led us to the answer.

Lesson by Rusha Modi, animation by Black Powder Design.

Monday, October 9, 2017

Helping With Big Homework Projects

Know when to step in and when to back off.

The contest to create the best visual often prompts many parents to get overly involved in their kids' school projects. But teachers say that by doing so, parents are missing the big picture. The ultimate goal isn't how beautiful the project is; it's the lesson the kids ultimately learn about taking the necessary steps — from research to presentation — to reach the end result.

The Parent's Job
Parents play an important role in that process. One way parents can achieve that goal is by coaching their child through the steps of a project from start to finish. Here's some thoughtful advice on how to help your child do her best:

Ask questions.
Questioning helps your child define the assignment. Is this historical figure's early life important? Does it make him who he became? What are the five most important events in this time period? What was the turning point in the war? Why would you recommend this book? What character made the most powerful impact?

Get out the calendar.
Help your child set goals and create deadlines. For example, by the end of a certain week, complete all your research. Then create a timeline the following week.

Narrow his focus.
Many kids bite off more than they can chew. Suggest that your child spend the first few days absorbing information and reading about his subject before figuring out what the important elements are.

Designate a work space.
It might be a spot near the computer or a place she can leave out her books or the work in progress. Having a designated space eliminates the need to gather together materials. It also serves as a constant reminder that the work has to get done.

Do the tedious work.
If typing is frustrating your child, it's okay to do it for him. Just don't work on the project without him.

After the project's done, discuss the process.
Talk about whether you had enough time and what you would do differently in the future.

Article Source:

Friday, October 6, 2017

How To Know When To Get A Tutor

Education expert Ann Dolin discusses how to know when your student needs the help of a tutor.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

What Are Gravitational Waves? - Amber L. Stuver

In September 2015, scientists witnessed something never seen before: two black holes colliding. Both about 30 times as big as our Sun, they had been orbiting each other for millions of years. A fraction of a second before the crash, they sent a vibration across the universe at the speed of light that was picked up by the LIGO detector. So what are these ripples in space? Amber L. Stuver explains.

Lesson by Amber L. Stuver, animation by Eoin Duffy.

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Reasons Why Your Child May Be Struggling in School

Parents tend to get very frustrated when they find out their child is struggling in school. They try to do everything they possibly can to help, but sometimes it’s not enough. Many different factors can affect your child’s performance in school. For example:

Vision problems

Children with vision problems have frequent headaches, have a hard time reading, often sit right in front of the TV, and in school can barely see the blackboard. Vision problems can keep a child from excelling in school. Correcting vision problems can make a world of difference in your child’s academic performance.

Learning/Behavioral disabilities

If your child has a learning disability, they may have trouble remembering things, may be socially isolated, have trouble following directions, may be anxious, and sometimes violent. The most common learning disabilities are ADHD and dyslexia..

Environmental factors

Not being socially accepted in school can damage a child’s self esteem. Problems at home such as abusive parents, absent parents, a divorce, death in the family can negatively influence a child’s performance in school. Many children will keep what is bothering them to themselves. Even if they don’t say anything, they are well aware of what is happening at home. If you’re having a stressful situation at home, talk to your child about their concerns and most importantly listen.


Highly intelligent children who are always ahead of in class assignments may have a hard time staying focused due to their boredom. Kids start to lose interest in learning if they are not being academically challenged. Seeking the help of a professional tutor will help your child become interested in learning again by introducing him to new concepts that will intellectually stimulate his mind.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Where Do New Words Come From? - Marcel Danesi

There are over 170,000 words currently in use in the English language. Yet every year, about a thousand new words are added to the Oxford English Dictionary. Where do they come from, and how do they make it into our everyday lives? Marcel Danesi explains how new words enter a language. 

Lesson by Marcel Danesi, animation by TOGETHER.

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Make Math Fun With a DIY Dry Erase Board

Want to make math homework more fun and engaging for your child? Make your own dry erase board to make worksheets exciting and scrap paper more interactive. Creating the dry erase boards is easy and inexpensive. As a teacher, I use these in my math class every day to help my students play math games, complete worksheets, and practice math facts.

What You'll Need

  • Plastic sheet protectors (I prefer the heavy-duty ones, but any kind will work)
  • Dry erase markers
  • An eraser (or paper towels)
  • 5 Ways to Use Your DIY Dry Erase Board

Once you have the plastic sheet protectors, you can put anything inside them to create a flexible, interactive dry erase board: math printables, blank paper, etc. Here are five options.

Option 1: Use a blank piece of paper to have a clean, whiteboard to solve problems or use as scrap paper.

Option 2: Insert lined or graph paper into the sheet protector to help your child line up numbers or practice writing answers neatly.

Option 3: Make worksheets reusable. Since your child can complete a worksheet without writing on the paper, she can use the worksheet to practice again and again and again!

Option 4: Practice math facts over and over by completing timed tests.

Option 5: Create a math binder full of different activities so your child can choose which activity she wants to complete.

You can also try adding this tool to your child’s nightly homework ritual for extra practice. You will certainly find that children of any age love to use dry erase boards and markers!

Article Source:

Thursday, September 21, 2017

5 Reasons to Choose a Tutoring Company Over an Independent Tutor

When trying to find a tutor for your student, you are bombarded by an astonishing number of choices. Evaluating some of the value a tutoring company provides over an individual.will illustrate that a tutoring company offers many advantages.

1.) Fit with the Student: A tutoring company has a variety of tutors. This allows them to match your student to a tutor who has the necessary subject knowledge, tutoring experience, and a complementary personality to the student. A personal connection is a very important, often overlooked key to a successful tutor/student relationship. Having many different tutors allows a company to provide your student with tutors in different subjects and to be flexible with your scheduled sessions.

2.) Quality: A tutor has to go through a number of steps to gain employment with a good tutoring company. At The Way to A, tutors submit resumes. We interview the most promising of these candidates; then we call personal and professional references of the best tutors we interviewed. If they are highly recommended, we perform criminal background checks on each prospective tutor. If the background check is clear, we bring in the tutor for an orientation and example tutoring session. Each tutor must demonstrate the ability to tutor effectively at the interview level and the orientation level before they will actually be placed with a student. When you hire an individual tutor, you have 2 options: you can do all of that yourself, or you can risk it.

3.) Professionalism: A tutoring company has established methods of doing business. Companies have systems of invoicing their customers and paying their tutors. This allows the tutor to focus on what they do best: teaching. Additionally, tutoring companies have a code of conduct and a level of professional behavior they expect from their tutors.

4.) Reliability: Unexpected things happen to people. People move, retire, get sick, etc. If you are working with a tutoring company, they have another tutor that they can pair with your student to make sure that the test is still studied for, even though the regular tutor is sick. If a tutor moves away, the company can provide a new tutor and already be familiar with the situation, as opposed to you trying to find a new individual on your own.

5.) Accountability: Tutoring companies have invested in their reputation. Their tutors work with multiple students, not just yours. They are known entities in the community. A tutoring company has more to lose and consequently more motivation to make you happy by going above and beyond to give you and your student a great experience.

Article Source:

Article Source:

Monday, September 18, 2017

What Are Gravitational Waves? - Amber L. Stuver

In September 2015, scientists witnessed something never seen before: two black holes colliding. Both about 30 times as big as our Sun, they had been orbiting each other for millions of years. A fraction of a second before the crash, they sent a vibration across the universe at the speed of light that was picked up by the LIGO detector. So what are these ripples in space? Amber L. Stuver explains.

Lesson by Amber L. Stuver, animation by Eoin Duffy.

Friday, September 15, 2017

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.

Article Source:

Article Source:

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

How Many Ways Are There to Prove the Pythagorean Theorem? - Betty Fei

What do Euclid, 12-year-old Einstein, and American President James Garfield have in common? They all came up with elegant proofs for the famous Pythagorean theorem, one of the most fundamental rules of geometry and the basis for practical applications like constructing stable buildings and triangulating GPS coordinates. Betty Fei details these three famous proofs.

Lesson by Betty Fei, animation by Nick Hilditch.

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Super 5: Back-to-School Power Moves to Start the Year Strong

Today we welcome Windy Lopez-Aflitto from Learning Heroes to the blog! Below, Windy shares "power moves" that parents can use to make back-to-school a success.

When it comes to getting your child off to a new school year, parents can be learning heroes. In addition to getting backpacks and school gear ready, this is a great time to get a clear sense of how to support learning at home throughout the year. Knowing your child’s interests, habits, and personality means that you have a head start and can help make learning fun and enjoyable throughout the year.

Yet, for parents to successfully support their child, they also need an accurate picture of their child’s achievement level.

Learning Heroes’ newly released national survey Parents 2017: Unleashing Their Power and Potential shows that nine in ten K-8 parents report their child as at or above grade level in both reading and math, two in three consider their child “above average,” and three in five are confident their child will be prepared for success in college. But national data tell a different story. For example, 2015 National Assessment of Education Progress (NAEP) data demonstrates that barely one-third of students perform at grade level.

To help parents get a full picture of how their child is progressing and start the school year strong, Learning Heroes created the Super 5: Back-to-School Power Moves, which includes the below 5 tips as well as free, easy-to-use resources and videos from National PTA, Scholastic, and many other trusted organizations.

Start Strong. As part of your back-to-school routine, find out how prepared your child is for his or her new grade. Pay attention to how easy or hard it is for your child to perform grade-level tasks, and review the annual state test results from last year. If you haven’t received the results yet, ask your child’s teacher. Compare this information to see where your child is doing well and where more support is needed.

Partner Up. You need your child’s teachers and they need you. At your first teacher meeting, bring your child’s state test results and ask what they mean for the year ahead. Find out what’s expected of your child this year and what you can do at home to help. Ask your child what he or she is most excited and
nervous about for the new
school year and why, and let the teacher know.

Make it fun! You are the expert on your child and can help make learning cool! Read together to discover topics that interest your child. Find math problems in everyday life and turn it into a game. Practice subtraction, measuring, and division when cooking together or while grocery shopping. These small learning moments add up to a lot!

Celebrate hard work. Our attitudes about learning–called “mindsets”–impact how our children learn, how they feel about making mistakes, and their self-confidence. Promote a “growth mindset” at home to help your child see that hard work is what leads to success. For example, focus on the specific effort and what your child is learning. This will help your child feel less nervous about new tasks or subjects.

Encourage life skills along the way. When it comes to your child’s potential and happiness, focus on the whole picture! Strengths like being able to communicate, problem-solve, show patience, and act independently will help your child in school and life. Talk openly with your child about how he or she is feeling and reacting to situations at school, on the playground, and at home.

For more back-to-school resources and activities (in English and Spanish) to help your child succeed this year, visit You can also get and share tips with other parents using #bealearninghero.

Article Source:

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

The Science of Smog - Kim Preshoff

On July 26, 1943, Los Angeles was blanketed by a thick gas that stung people’s eyes and blocked out the Sun. Panicked residents believed their city had been attacked using chemical warfare. But the cloud wasn’t an act of war. It was smog. So what is this thick gray haze actually made of? And why does it affect some cities and not others? Kim Preshoff details the science behind smog.

Lesson by Kim Preshoff, animation by Juan M. Urbina Studios.

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Advantages of Getting a Math Tutor for Your Child

A math tutor is a teacher or expert who specifically teaches an individual about mathematical solutions and subjects. There are many different levels in tutoring. Some children in elementary and high school need tutorials in this subject because the lessons taught are becoming more and more complex. On the other hand, there are quite a number of students who do not fully understand what their teacher is teaching them in the classroom.

Due to the pace that some teachers teach, not all students are able to easily grasp the concepts that are taught in each mathematical lesson. While the teacher can entertain questions from the students about the aspects of the subject that may confuse them, there is a limited amount of time allotted for this particular topic every day.


There are several benefits to getting a math tutor for a child, no matter the age or grade level. Elementary students and high school students benefit from tutorials because they can keep up with the pace that their teacher has set for the entire class. It is a good way to keep your child up-to-date with what is being taught in school. Another advantage in hiring a tutor is the confidence that the child develops when he or she understands what is being taught.

It can not only undermine a kid's confidence when he or she has trouble grasping the concept being taught, but it can also make him or her shy with the other kids who actually understood the lesson. Once the child loses the confusion that they have experienced initially, the awareness that they have finally understood it can be so heartwarming and enlightening to the child.

Another advantage that comes with hiring a math tutor is the one-on-one attention that the teacher can dedicate to the individual. Educators in schools make an effort to help their students understand the lessons they teach, but there is a lack of time and attention that they can dedicate to each student due to time constraints and the number of individuals in the class. Tutorial sessions are very advantageous because they are individualized and the specific needs of the student are addressed.

Another benefit that is gained from the presence of a math tutor is the specialization that the teacher has for the subject. In order to be successful, tutors need to see the curriculum that the child will be taught and they also need to see the homework and lessons that the school teacher has given the child for the day or for the week. Mathematics is a highly specialized subject that needs understanding and expertise. Professors or tutors on this subject are usually those who have particular knowledge of this subject while they were in school.

Hiring a math tutor has many different advantages, other than those listed above. Parents will be able to see the additional benefits after their child manifests positive results from the lessons received from these study aids.

Article Source:

Article Source:

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Helping Your Kids Succeed in School

Watch and learn about the top four things parents can do to help their kids succeed in school.

Monday, August 28, 2017

The Amazing Ways Plants Defend Themselves - Valentin Hammoudi

Plants are constantly under attack. They face threats ranging from microscopic fungi to small herbivores like caterpillars, up to large herbivores like elephants. But plants are ready, with a whole series of internal and external defenses that make them a less appealing meal — or even a deadly one. Valentin Hammoudi explains some of the fascinating ways that plants defend themselves.

Lesson by Valentin Hammoudi, animation by Juan M. Urbina Studios.

Friday, August 25, 2017

4 Helpful Habits for Back-to-School Season

The new school year is a great time to implement daily practices to further your child's literacy skills.

Very soon we'll be trading in the sound of the ice cream truck bell for the sound of the school bell. The start of a new school year is right around the corner. With the season comes the opportunity to put in place some back-to-school habits that can help your children build their literacy skills.

Here are four practical ideas to help your family kick-off the school year.

1. Keep Up With a Reading Log

Many schools request children to read at home several times a week. Even if the school does not require daily reading, it's still one of the best habits to put in place at home.

Keeping a reading log will help your kids track the books they read. When your kids can look back and see how many books they read each month, it provides a sense of accomplishment.

Writing down the titles or minutes read each day will also give your child a little extra handwriting practice. They might even give each book a star rating system and critique each book that is read.

A weekly or bi-weekly trip to the public library will ensure that you have plenty of reading material on hand. The 6th Edition Scholastic Kids & Family Reading Report shows a majority of kids agree “it is very important for their future to be a good reader,” but only one in three is a frequent reader. So, don't forget to let your kids choose their own books for reading at home.

2. Create a Nightly Reading Routine

In our house, we follow a "triple B" nighttime routine: bath, books, and bed.

Right before their bath time, my kids pick out two or three books that they want to have read aloud that night. They lay their chosen books on the bed where they'll be ready to read right after they take their baths and put on pajamas. Each night, my husband and I alternate reading to the kids. Then, once the books are done, it's time for bed. (You can also choose books before dinner, if your kids don't bathe before bed.)

Need some read-aloud ideas? Check out these books parents love to read to their kids.

3. Have Dinnertime Discussions

Take advantage of your captive audience at the dinner table each night. Implement a 'no screens policy' so that distractions will be limited, which in turn will encourage conversation. Here are a couple of prompts to connect as a family:

  • Tell us something you learned today.
  • Share something that you were proud of today.
  • What is something that you wished didn't happen today?
  • What are you most looking forward to tomorrow?

Using the prompts above will help you learn about what successes and struggles your kids experienced during the day. The last prompt will help your child think ahead to a new day.

For more activities to help build literacy skills at the table, see how to practice storytelling with kids at dinnertime and three ways to build vocabulary at dinner.

4. Plan Ahead

If you know that Wednesday nights are soccer practice and Thursday nights are piano lessons, plan ahead to squeeze in literacy learning.

Your kids can listen to audiobooks in the car on the way to practice. Start with these five awesome audiobooks.

Or, you can quiz your kids on their spelling words while you drive. If you still have a few minutes, ask your kids to tell you about the last book they read.

Putting a few habits in place now will have you feeling prepared and confident when the school bell rings.

To learn more helpful tips for success, get great book recommendations, and find out what to expect for each grade, check out the Start Smart: Back-to-School Guide.

Article Source:

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Cell Membranes are Way More Complicated Than You Think - Nazzy Pakpour

Cell membranes are structures of contradictions. These oily films are hundreds of times thinner than a strand of spider silk, yet strong enough to protect the delicate contents of life: the cell’s watery cytoplasm, genetic material, organelles, and all the molecules it needs to survive. How does the membrane work, and where does that strength come from? Nazzy Pakpour investigates.

Lesson by Nazzy Pakpour, animation by Zedem Media.

Saturday, August 19, 2017

This Guy Explains Why the Solar Eclipse Will Blow Your Mind | Short Film Showcase

On August 21st, 2017, millions of people in the United States will watch as the sun, moon, and earth align for a rare and extraordinary event—a total solar eclipse.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Getting Better Grades With Tutoring

There is nothing harder on a parent than to see their child suffer in any way. We all want our children to succeed and achieve their dreams. We don't want our children to be ridiculed by their peers. If your child is struggling to succeed in school there is a great opportunity for getting better grades with tutoring. Have you considered that the reason your child uses homework excuses is because he/she can't handle the stress of working on something he doesn't understand? If your child is not goofing off in school and has a genuine need and agrees, hiring a tutor is one way to help him/her out.

Finding a tutor for your child should be a decision based on what is best for your child, input from you and your child as well as consultation with your child's teacher to discuss your child's learning strengths, weaknesses and style. A tutor can not only teach the material, but can also give your child suggested ways to do homework more efficiently, approaches or tricks to test taking, motivation and an assessment of the child's learning style.

Tutoring Pay Rates

The rates paid to tutors for their services are not regulated, so there is no way to judge what you will have to pay. If the tutor has a high degree of education, they may charge more than a college tutor might charge. Setting yourself a budget and deciding where you can cut corners may be necessary to ensure that you can pay for the tutoring. A professional tutor, because of their experience, will likely be more able to adapt to your child's learning style/difficulties than a tutor that you hire from a college.

How to Find a Tutor Online

If you search online, you'll find many sites with a list of tutors in your town or city. These sites will have the tutor's contact information available for you to use. The site will have somewhat of a biography of the tutor, listing the tutor's education, grade levels they want to teach, etc.

Another option would be to check your local college or university website to see if they have students available that offer tutoring services. The rates charged by college students may be lower than those charged by professional tutors and there may be an agreement in place between your child's school and the university or college. Some schools may assist with the payment to the tutor.

There are also companies that specialize in tutoring. They have a big online presence and their sites are full of information on the types of tutoring being offered at their location.

All of the choices above are great to use as a tutor finder and have a lot of information to enable you to make the right decision for you and your child. Imagine your child getting better grades with tutoring because the tutor was able to get through to your child using a different style of teaching.

How will that positively impact your child's and your life?

Article Source:

Article Source:

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Will the Ocean Ever Run Out of Fish? - Ayana Elizabeth Johnson and Jennifer Jacquet

When most people think of fishing, we imagine relaxing in a boat and patiently reeling in the day’s catch. But modern industrial fishing -- the kind that stocks our grocery shelves -- looks more like warfare. Ayana Elizabeth Johnson and Jennifer Jacquet explain overfishing and its effects on ecosystems, food security, jobs, economies, and coastal cultures.

Lesson by Ayana Elizabeth Johnson and Jennifer Jacquet, animation by Anton Bogaty.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Tips to Get Your Kids Back on a School Routine

Did late-night sleepovers and extra free time throw off your kid’s schedule? Make a smooth transition into the new school year with these tips.

Monday, August 7, 2017

What Happens When You Have a Concussion? - Clifford Robbins

Each year in the United States, players of sports and recreational activities receive between 2.5 and 4 million concussions. How dangerous are all those concussions? The answer is complicated and lies in how the brain responds when something strikes it. Clifford Robbins explains the science behind concussions.

Lesson by Clifford Robbins, animation by Boniato Studio.

Friday, August 4, 2017

How to Prepare for Back to School

Ease your children back into their school schedule with these parent-tested tips.

Step 1: Reset their body clock
If your children have been staying up late and sleeping in all summer, reset their body clocks: Starting two weeks before school, send them to bed a little bit earlier every night -- and get them up a little earlier every morning -- until they're back on a school-day schedule.

Get them used to the impending morning rush by planning early-morning activities they'll want to jump out of bed for.

Step 2: Take them shopping
Take them shopping for school supplies and, if your budget permits, a few new back-to-school clothes. Let them have a say in the selection process to get them excited about the return to the classroom.

Step 3: Prepare their work area
Help them prepare the area where they'll be doing their homework, especially if they seem anxious about the upcoming year. Having a clean, organized space with some new supplies may help ease their nerves -- and might even get them excited about a fresh start.

Surprise them with a new electronic gadget that can be used to do homework. Check out websites like eBay and Craigslist for bargains.

Step 4: Set up playdates
Set up playdates with school friends they haven't seen all summer to remind them that the school year has its fun side.

If you're child is starting at a new school, see if it's possible to have them meet their new teacher before the school year starts.

Step 5: Cook ahead
Make double batches of meals now so you can quickly defrost dinner during those first hectic days.

Step 6: Tamp down your own fears
Keep any of your own anxieties about the upcoming school year to yourself. Children take their lead from you; if you seem composed, it may alleviate their own fears.

Did You Know?
Up to 18 percent of children display anxiety over returning to school in the fall that can lead them to be disruptive in class, according to one study.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

The Power of Reading Aloud

It’s never too early to start reading aloud to your kids – and keep reading – even as your little ones get older. Scholastic Librarian Deimosa Webber-Bey and a group of young readers, aged 7-12, share their tips on making the most out of family read-alouds.

Saturday, July 29, 2017

The Left Brain vs. Right Brain Myth - Elizabeth Waters

The human brain is visibly split into a left and right side. This structure has inspired one of the most pervasive ideas about the brain: that the left side controls logic and the right side controls creativity. And yet, this is a myth, unsupported by scientific evidence. So how did this idea come about, and what does it get wrong? Elizabeth Waters looks into this long held misconception.

Lesson by Elizabeth Waters, animation by Daniel Gray.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

How to Find the Ideal Tutor for Your Child

Finding the right tutor for your child can be a difficult and time-consuming task. There are a number of factors you must consider during the selection process and it can be difficult to evaluate some of these factors without your child actually receiving some tutoring from the tutor. This article will outline the steps you should follow when searching for a tutor for your child. I hope these steps will speed up your search process and help you find the ideal tutor for your child.

1. Determining the needs of your child

The first step in finding the ideal tutor for your child is to determine what type of help your child needs. If your child is weak in certain subject areas then you will likely benefit from finding tutors that specialize in those subjects. If your child has a learning disability then finding tutors specializing in learning methods for students with your child's learning disability will likely produce better results. It's also possible that you just want to help your child perform better in subjects across a wide range of subjects. Specifying the specific needs or combinations of needs for your child will help you narrow your focus when searching for qualified tutors.

2. Finding Qualified Tutors

You'll want to find several tutors that meet your requirements as established in the first step. At this stage you're just looking to build a list of companies to research further. There are several places you can look to find potential tutors. School guidance counselors are good resources - they are likely to know several tutoring companies in your area and can help you find tutors that meet your child's needs. Asking other parents with children is another good source for finding tutoring services. They may have experience with tutoring companies and can vouch for the quality of different tutoring services. Online tutoring directories are also an excellent resource. Tutoring directories tend to have a large selection of tutors, reviews and they allow you to search by city or subject.

3. Evaluating Tutors

You should now have a list of tutoring companies that meet your basic requirements (subjects, teaching methods, etc.). The next step is to go through the list and evaluate each tutoring service in more detail. Search online to see if the company has a website with more information. Search for reviews. In addition to your basic requirements there are other variables that you should consider such as the experience of the tutor, education, and their performance track record for past students. You can create a list of questions you want answered and call the tutoring company or tutor to find out the answers. Before you commit to anything you and your child should have a preliminary meeting with the tutor who would be teaching your child. This will help you evaluate how the tutor and your child interact, which can have a big impact on how well your child responds to the tutoring. After you have met with a few tutors weigh their strengths and weaknesses and make your final decision.

4. Agreeing on goals and measures

It's important to have established methods for evaluating performance. Many tutoring companies have their own systems in place for establishing a baseline and evaluating performance over time. If the company you select does not have a system like this in place you should bring this up and create a list of goals and how you will measure improvement. This might include increasing test scores by at least one grade, advancing to a higher reading grade, etc. Once the goals and measures have been established make sure you regularly check the performance of your student against the goals. Keep in mind that improvement isn't instant, but if your child still hasn't improved over a month or two you should probably meet with the tutor to discuss a different approach that will get results or you should begin searching for a different tutor.

Finding the ideal tutor for your child can be a time-consuming process, and it can be frustrating if you don't find a good tutor; however, by following the steps listed above you can greatly improve your odds of finding a good tutor on the first try.

Article Source:

Article Source:

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Can You Find the Next Number in this Sequence? - Alex Gendler

1, 11, 21, 1211, 111221. These are the first five elements of a number sequence. Can you figure out what comes next? Alex Gendler reveals the answer and explains how beyond just being a neat puzzle, this type of sequence has practical applications as well.

Lesson by Alex Gendler, animation by Artrake Studio.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

How Journaling Benefits Your Child

Journal writing can help your children process feelings, build writing skills, and communicate their ideas.

Journaing encourages your child to grow while discovering open-ended writing. Instead of writing one assignment and being done, journal writing allows your child to write daily (or more!).

Not only can it be enjoyable and reflective, journaling also has multiple benefits related to literacy and social growth. Plus, you might just spark a fire in your budding writer!

Here are three great benefits of journaling, including tips for your child's further development.

1. Help Your Child Deal With Big Feelings

Remember that journal you had when you were a tween? The padded one with a kitten on the front that came with a lock? It also had a special key that you hid under your mattress.

The tween years can be filled with lots of emotions and new experiences. A private journal can be a safe place to record those new and brewing feelings. Many kids feel better when they can express their ideas and thoughts in a safe non-judgmental place. A private journal can help your child process her feelings.

Tip: Let your child pick out her very own journal. Plan a special outing to a bookstore that carries journals. Have your child select a journal that feels special to her. Explain that it will be a place for her to record her thoughts and also keep them private.

2. Improve Your Child's Writing Skills

Journaling builds writing skills. Just like basketball players, painters, and guitarists, the more we practice the better we get. Spelling, sentence structure, vocabulary, and grammar can all be enhanced through a regular writing habit.

Writing in journals allows your child to feel in control of the content he chooses to write about and the length of his writing pieces. This control and choice make writing more appealing to your child.

Tip: A curiosity journal is an interesting place for kids to record their observations and wonderings. The journal can be a simple notebook or a journal with blank pages. You child can keep his journal with him when setting out on an adventure — whether it's the backyard or a trip to a museum.

Have your child jot down things that interest him, or questions he has about his experiences. He can also fill the journal with drawings and sketches. Encourage him to label his drawings too.

3. Enhance Your Child's Communication Skills

Journaling helps communicate ideas through writing. Sometimes kids find it easier to express themselves through writing versus oral communication. And, developing written communication skills will be an asset as your child moves forward.

Children have to draw from their vocabulary bank to select precise words to communicate their thinking. Plus, they practice handwriting skills.

Tip: Try a dialogue journal. Have your child decorate a blank notebook with stickers or pictures from magazines. Take turns writing back and forth in the journal notebook with her. (Note: For those of you with crafty children, find out how to create a homemade journal from recycled materials.)

Begin by jotting a note to your child and ask her a question. These can be as simple as, “What do you want to do tomorrow?” or more personal such as, “When was a time you felt scared?” Then allow her to respond in writing. She can respond to your question, share her thoughts, or ask you a question. Have her leave the journal on the counter and tell her you'll respond the next day.

Journaling is full of academic and emotional growth opportunities for your children. So, grab a journal and introduce them to this new tool. Soon enough, they'll be writing volumes!

Article Source:

Monday, July 17, 2017

The Benefits of Tutoring Services For Students

When it comes to learning, every student will be different in terms of what they excel in, what they struggle with and the ways in which they best learn new things. In the event that any child struggles with a specific subject or area of their curriculum, it is beneficial for them to utilize a tutoring service which can not only help benefit them academically, but can also help with their confidence which can benefit all aspects of their education.

One of the main reasons why a student may struggle in class can stem from the often fast-paced nature of classroom teaching. As teachers have only a set period of time in which to teach a curriculum and a vast number of students to focus on, some students may not receive the level of attention and help they require, or may be too embarrassed to speak up at times when they are struggling. This in turn can lead them to shy away and struggle in silence which can dramatically damage their confidence.

By looking to a tutoring service, your child will be provide with the one-on-one interaction they require so that they can be given the time and patience they need in order to understand their specified subject. Being able to learn at their own pace will not only help to ease their anxiety, but will also make it possible for them to understand and feel free to ask questions. One of the main issues that arise in classroom teaching is that a teacher will be unable to devote the same amount of time on every student. This means that even in the case that the child is excelling, they may not receive the praise and acknowledgment they need in order to remain focused and motivated. When visiting a tutorial centre, the child will be able to receive the praise and encouragement they desire, and will also be provided with thorough individual feedback. This is also beneficial for the parent as they will be given more insight as to which areas their child is struggling within which can therefore help them understand how to help in their child's education.

As we are all aware, we each learn in different ways meaning that while some may struggle to grasp some aspects of a subject, others will excel and speed ahead of us. By turning to the help of a tutoring service, students can develop a complete understanding of the basics of a subject. This can not only help them in learning their subject as a whole, but as mandatory testing processes can cause teachers to advance their teaching in order to prepare students for tests and examinations; it will mean that the student in question is not feeling too stretched, therefore their test results will not be affected. Should a student feel unprepared before a test, the help of a tutoring service can help them catch up with any lost areas, rehash areas they are unsure of and generally help them prepare for a test scenario.

The benefits of utilizing a tutorial service are multiple, but it is important that you as the parent complete thorough research to ensure that not only will your child get the best from their tutoring, but so that you are also offered a fair and competitive price. If your budget does not allow for a large fee, it is advantageous to use the web and community services to search for a voluntary tutorial service which will allow your child to benefit from additional help, without the worry of large fees.

Article Source:

Article Source:

Friday, July 14, 2017

The Power of Creative Constraints - Brandon Rodriguez

Imagine you were asked to invent something new. It could be whatever you want, made from anything you choose, in any shape or size. That kind of creative freedom sounds so liberating, doesn’t it? Or ... does it? if you're like most people you’d probably be paralyzed by this task. Why? Brandon Rodriguez explains how creative constraints actually help drive discovery and innovation.

Lesson by Brandon Rodriguez, animation by CUB Animation.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Tips To Beat The Summer Learning Slide

Education expert Ann Dolin discusses how to prevent students from losing their reading and writing skills during Summer break.

Saturday, July 8, 2017

5 Read-Aloud Tips Inspired by "Where the Wild Things Are"

Make story time even more fun with these creative ideas inspired by Maurice Sendak’s classic title.

Maurice Sendak’s Where the Wild Things Are is a celebration of childhood, the wonder of imagination, and unfaltering parental love. And while children the world over connect with this story of a rebellious child feeling more than a little wild, I think it includes wonderful lessons for parents too. Some of them might make story time at your house (and mine) more fun than a wild rumpus!

1. Read With Enjoyment

When you read with enjoyment your child learns that reading is fun and pleasurable. This helps your child develop positive associations with a book, and a greater connection with you. A book like Where the Wild Things Are is easy to read with enjoyment thanks to both its relatable topic and simple prose.

However, keeping the enjoyment alive in your voice can be tricky when you are reading it (or any other favorite book) for the 447th time! It’s good to know then that re-reading a book is valuable — it boosts vocabulary development, phonemic awareness, and story comprehension.

2. Add a Little Drama to Story Time

You can add a little drama to story time with these three techniques: 1) use interesting character voices, 2) adjust the volume of your voice as you read, and 3) use a dramatic pause or two to good effect. When reading Where the Wild Things Are, my family loves growling with the wild things, “Oh, please don’t go — we’ll eat you up — we love you so!”

Creating a sense of drama as you read together helps your child associate books and reading with pleasure and good, old-fashioned fun.

3. Explore the Feelings and Emotions Evoked in the Story

Books provide easy openings for talking to your child about emotions and feelings in various contexts, helping your child in developing emotional intelligence.

Explore the emotions of Where the Wild Things Are together by making the faces you would make if you felt like Max — mad, out of control, lonely, loved or relieved. Or, ask your child when was the last time he felt each of the emotions from the story.

4. Ask Questions About What You’ve Read

Talking with your child about the story and asking questions about what you’ve read provides a simple way to gauge his level of comprehension of the story. You might include questions like:

  • How do you think Max feels when his mother sends him to his room?
  • Do you think a forest really grew in Max’s room? If not, what do you think really happened?
  • Max wanted to be where “someone loved him best of all." Why is it important to feel loved "best of all"?
  • Do you think the Wild Things are real? What's the difference between things that are real and things you dream about or imagine? What sort of things do you dream about?
  • What do you think was the most exciting part of the story?
  • Do you have a favorite illustration?

5. Respond Creatively to the Story

Books can provide a wonderful springboard for creativity. Your child's creative response can be as simple as a drawing or a painting inspired by the story. For Where the Wild Things Are you could also try:

  • Re-reading the story and, as you read, taking turns to act out the parts of Max and a Wild Thing.
  • Creating a Wild Thing mask from a paper plate and scraps of paper or fabric.
  • Making crowns and hosting your very own wild rumpus by dancing together to your favorite music.
  • Making a Max and some Wild Things figurines by decorating toilet rolls and taking turns re-telling the story.

The great thing about all these tips is that they will work just as well for almost any picture book you choose for your child's read aloud time. Choose one, two, or try all five, and add some fun, book-inspired learning to your next story time.

Article Source:

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

How to Squeeze Electricity Out of Crystals - Ashwini Bharathula

It might sound like science fiction, but if you press on a crystal of sugar, it will actually generate its own electricity. This simple crystal can act like a tiny power source because sugar happens to be piezoelectric. Ashwini Bharathula explains how piezoelectric materials turn mechanical stress, like pressure, sound waves and other vibrations into electricity, and vice versa.

Lesson by Ashwini Bharathula, animation by Karrot Animation.

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Our Second Session of Summer Camp Begins July 10 - Register Today!

Academy of 21st Century Learning's Summer Camps 
Session 1: July 10 - August 4, 2017
4 weeks, 5 days a week, 3 hours per day
Monday - Friday, 9:00am - 12:00pm 

1671 East Monte Vista, Suite N-106 
Vacaville, CA 95688 

Acadmey Kids - Preschool (2.5 years - 4 years)

Calling all kids! Come and explore the FUN of school as we study our letters, colors, shapes, and numbers. Children will explore the worlds of animals and plants. They will do fun experiments as they are introduced to functional numerical skills and the wonders of science. They will develop new vocabulary as they learn about community helpers and family members and will be encouraged to use simple reasoning to express everyday occurrences. They will build on their vocabulary skills by discussing stories being read and will begin to understand and follow simple directions. Our daily activities always reinforce age-appropriate social development. The students’ multiple skills will be enhanced by singing songs and playing relative games while incorporating routine structure into their activities and daily schedules. Our teachers encourage both independence, as your child learns to verbalize wants and needs and, very importantly, the role of inter-dependence as children are introduced to taking turns. This class with its educational experiences is the perfect way to introduce your child to the wonders of learning!

Acadmey Kindergarten (Gr K - Gr 1)

Sparkle your child’s imagination! It’s time to jump on the STEAM bandwagon for a sizzling Summer Kindergarten through Second Grade at The Academy! We will study rocks, plants, mixtures and solutions. In our final week, we will have an amazing and deliciously-fun Build-It Festival. The Festival will include a wide assortment of classroom learning-station activities which focus on mathematics relating to construction, geometric challenges, and spatial visualization. Activities will connect to the real world and even potential careers. Free exploration sets the stage for such mathematical challenges as Create-A-Shape, Bridge Design, Symmetry, Tangrams, and lots of amazing structures! Background on geometry is provided. Special materials include Lego’s, boxes, pattern blocks, more boxes, and more boxes. This program sounds like great fun, doesn’t it? We will also work on: Reading: letters, sight-words, fluency, and comprehension Math: writing numbers through 20, measurement, greater than & less than, and geometrical shapes & patterns Art: color mixing, water and oil painting outside in the park, create mosaics, and decorating T-shirts Music: dancing, singing Yoga: stretch and learn balance and focus Fieldtrips: The trips may not be far-away and exotic, but they will be fun and educational. Summers are very popular at The Academy. Whether your child has just finished or will start Kindergarten in the fall, this program will inspire them to do their best, because doing your best is fun!!

Summer STEM Mornings (2nd grade - 8th grade)

Some elementary school children struggled this year. Some did only what was demanded of them. Some sailed through the year without even trying. The rest fell somewhere in between. Regardless of where your 2ndd thru 8th grader* landed, our Summer STEM Mornings program will support, encourage, challenge, and motivate them. Whoever touted the old refrain “learning isn’t fun” never experienced The Academy of 21st Century Learning! Let’s take a peek at our one month program: Math: through Algebra Academic Reading Science: STEM projects & EXPERIMENTS!! For three hours a morning, Monday – Friday, 9AM – 12PM, your kids will laugh, learn, experiment, and challenge themselves. (No summer learning loss for your kids, but don’t tell them!) PLUS, over your family dinner table, you will hear about dissected cow eyes, frogs that dance,and a myriad of other scientific topics that will have them excited about learning. We know many of you were with us the last couple of years so … Welcome Back!!! *Unless special placement is approved by teacher