Thursday, December 31, 2015

Happy New Year!

"Tomorrow is the first blank page of a 365 page book. Write a good one."
-Brad Paisley

Monday, December 28, 2015

The Science of Snowflakes - Maruša Bradač

One could say that snowflakes are simply frozen water — but if you compare a snowflake to an ice cube, you’ll notice a big difference. Why are all snowflakes six-sided? Why are none of them exactly the same? And how do we ski on them? Maruša Bradač sheds light on the secret life of snowflakes.

Lesson by Maruša Bradač, animation by bottomless well films.

Friday, December 25, 2015

Happy Holidays!

Wishing You Peace and Joy this Holiday Season and throughout the Coming Year!

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

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.

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Why the Octopus Brain is So Extraordinary - Cláudio L. Guerra

Octopuses have the ability to solve puzzles, learn through observation, and even use tools – just like humans. But what makes octopus intelligence so amazing is that it comes from a biological structure completely different from ours. Cláudio L. Guerra takes a look inside the amazing octopus brain.

Lesson by Cláudio L. Guerra, animation by Cinematic.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Top Tips For Reading to Children

There are many good reasons why parents should read to their children and encourage a love of books, and words, and reading from a young age. Children with literacy problems are more likely to drop out of school, commit crime and endure a life in poverty.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Why Do We Dream? - Amy Adkins

In the 3rd millennium BCE, Mesopotamian kings recorded and interpreted their dreams on wax tablets. In the years since, we haven't paused in our quest to understand why we dream. And while we still don’t have any definitive answers, we have some theories. Amy Adkins reveals the top seven reasons why we might dream.

Lesson by Amy Adkins, animation by Clamanne Studio.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Only a Few Spots Left in Our Robotics Class - Makes a Great Christmas Present for Kids and Grandkids!

Spots are filling up fast! Don't miss the chance to sign your child up for our Robotics class. 12 weeks of instruction in coding, robotics, physics, and so much more!

To enroll, call (707) 474-4710 or visit our website:

Monday, December 7, 2015

What to Watch When- Holidays

There are so many great holiday movies—both old and new—so choosing the right movie can be tricky, which is why we've broken it down for you!

Friday, December 4, 2015

Can You Solve "Einstein’s Riddle"? - Dan Van der Vieren

Before he turned physics upside down, a young Albert Einstein supposedly showed off his genius by devising a complex riddle involving a stolen exotic fish and a long list of suspects. Can you resist tackling a brain teaser written by one of the smartest people in history? Dan Van der Vieren shows how.

Lesson by Dan Van der Vieren, animation by Artrake Studio.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Common Core Subtraction with a Kindergartner

Watch as Barbara, our founder, teaches a Kindergarten student how to subtract 3 digit numbers using Common Core methods.

He was not only able to get the answer but he also understood the why behind the answer.

Please call The Academy at 707-474-4710 for more information on getting your child started in tutoring and enrichment classes!

Saturday, November 28, 2015

What Would Happen If You Didn’t Sleep? - Claudia Aguirre

In the United States, it’s estimated that 30 percent of adults and 66 percent of adolescents are regularly sleep-deprived. This isn’t just a minor inconvenience: staying awake can cause serious bodily harm. Claudia Aguirre shows what happens to your body and brain when you skip sleep.

Lesson by Claudia Aguirre, animation by TED-Ed.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving!

"Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it." - William Arthur Ward 

Wishing You and Your Family a Safe and Happy Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Helping Your Kids Succeed in School

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

Thursday, November 19, 2015

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?

Scott is an expert at both student tutoring and finding a tutor online. Scott can help you or your child improve their grades with the use of several online tutor finder websites.
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Monday, November 16, 2015

Group theory 101: How to Play a Rubik’s Cube Like a Piano - Michael Staff

Mathematics explains the workings of the universe, from particle physics to engineering and economics. Math is even closely related to music, and their common ground has something to do with a Rubik's Cube puzzle. Michael Staff explains how group theory can teach us to play a Rubik’s Cube like a piano.

Lesson by Michael Staff, animation by Shixie.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Learning, Academy Style

By Barbara Dwyer

“Would you like an easy problem or a hard one?” asks the teacher as the third grader nervously stares at the unmarked, white-board table. “Oh, easy, please,” answers the child, relieved she will not have to do hard math. “We don’t do easy math here,” replies the teacher. “Easy math is boring. Watch.” The teacher carefully writes 1 + 1 on the white-board table. “Can you answer this problem?” The child giggles, “Yes,” and carefully writes a 2 under the line. Nodding, the teacher questions, “Would you like to just do this kind of problem over and over again, or would you like to do some fun problems?” This is the moment where the teacher discovers if the child has a growth or fixed mindset.

Research by the eminent Stanford psychologist, Carol Dweck, has shown that in a fixed mindset the belief is that intelligence is fixed and static. You are either smart, or you are not smart. This belief is the either-or principal of intelligence and was the widely accepted theory of cognitive development until the 50’s and 60’s. In contrast, a growth mindset is the belief that intelligence is active and that the brain changes (grows) based on experiences. This theory of growth mindset is supported by research into brain plasticity and has proven to be pivotal in helping students improve their academic achievement.

“Harder, please,” the child answers. The teacher nods, understanding that the child has a growth mindset and math will soon become one of the child’s favorite subjects. If the child would have answered, “More like this one,” the teacher would then begin to try to break through some of the child’s defenses, realizing the child is demonstrating a fixed mindset and is becoming a non-learner.

“I don't divide the world into the weak and the strong, or the successes and the failures, those who make it or those who don't. I divide the world into learners and non-learners.” ― Benjamin R. Barber

Our babies are not born non-learners. They have a tenacious desire to learn. They try and learn seemingly insurmountable skills like standing up, walking, climbing stairs, even running. They don’t give up after multiple failed attempts; they keep trying until they succeed. Then they learn to speak (multiple languages simultaneously if there are several languages spoken in the home). They discover humor and they memorize stories read to them by their parents. For our babies, failure is the first step in the formula of success.

What happens? Why does the formula change? The answer is, when children become able to evaluate themselves some become afraid to take chances, afraid that they are not smart enough. Such children develop a fixed mindset. Every mistake means, “Oh, I’m not good at this. Maybe I’m not smart enough.” Every time they begin to struggle with new material, their internal chatter shouts, “Maybe I won’t be good at this and will never get it. Maybe I will make a mistake. I mustn’t make a mistake. I must only succeed.” Their fixed mindset makes them insecure about their ability. Over time, this insecurity forces them to stay within their comfort zone(s), rather than risk failure by trying something new and difficult.

There is not a parent alive who wakes up in the morning and wants to turn their children into non-learners. No way! We love our children and only want them to be happy and have a successful life. For years I thought I had the answer to this goal. I believed that my children’s self-esteem was the answer to self-confidence and these qualities would certainly lead to success. It was my job as their mother to ensure that my children were praised for all of their abilities in school, on the sports field, and in life. On the soccer field, my son was a good player and the coaches all wanted him on their team, “You have a natural talent and just seem to know where that ball is going to go! Why don’t you come join my team?” I was so proud of him. “You are the best player out there! You may become the greatest soccer player ever!” Even when his team lost the coach would tell him, “That other team was just lucky, today.” The truth was that he had missed two passes - because he was not paying attention - and that was the reason the other team had won, but I knew how badly he was going to feel about himself and I couldn’t allow my young champion to doubt himself, could I? “You did great, today, son! The coaches are right. You are a natural soccer player, just like Pele.” My son only played a couple of years and I couldn’t figure out why he quit. Now I understand that he was out there to have fun with his friends and not to have to live up to the greatness potential the coaches and I had thrust upon him.

What are the messages we are sending to our children?

“I am so proud of you. You didn’t even need to open a book and study! You are so smart! I love you!” What happens when the child does not comprehend a concept the teacher is trying to explain and must open a book to understand it? To the child it may mean, “I did have to open a book to understand this. Does this mean that mom may not be proud of me because I was not smart enough? Does this mean she doesn’t love me?”

“Oh my gosh, look how quickly you solved those problems and you didn’t make any mistakes! Wow. You are terrific!” What we are actually telling our child is that we want speed and perfection. Is it possible that your child will translate your statement into, “These problems are really tough and I don’t know if I can do them? My parents think I’m smart because I’m fast and get things right. I better not try hard things.”

We need to emphasize to our children that speed and perfection are not a part of the formula for success in learning material that is difficult. As hard as we may try as parents to be supportive, we may not realize the mindsets we are actually developing in our children.

One of the most common reasons people seek out tutoring services for their older children is the mindset caused by test anxiety. “Jessica does all of her homework and always gets 100%. She studies very hard and we know she is a smart girl, but when she takes her math or history or English or Spanish or Chemistry or … test … she always fails it! We think she has test anxiety.” In reality, Jessica is bright and does study. She knows the material, but come test time her mind goes blank. Her internal dialog goes something like this: “I am not going to pass this test, again. I’m going to disappoint my parents who have so much faith in me and I will probably not get into my dream college. If I don’t get into that college, my whole life will be ruined!”

What happened the night before the test? “Jessica, we know how smart you are and you know how smart you are. You have this material down! Put the book away and get some rest. You can do this! Stop worrying!”

These words are said in love, but won’t help Jessica. What she needs to hear is that you understand how it feels to be evaluated when you can’t fully demonstrate what you know. She also needs to hear that you won’t be evaluating her and that you are now, as always, proud of how hard she works; she has tenacity and it is tenacity – the never giving up – that, after all the tests are completed, marks the winners in this game of life.

Okay parents, what’s next? After finishing reading Carol Dweck’s book, Mindset, I knew her research was right. I had experienced a fixed mindset in my own life and knew I had helped create one in the lives of my children. I had to change the way I looked at learning, growth, and success. Change is not easy. Mark Twain wrote, “The only person who likes change is a wet baby.” And I agree with him. No one likes change, but I have never heard anyone say the effort was not worth the result. I needed to change and so I did. That change has brought additional richness in my daily dealings with my families and their children, my students. I have seen firsthand how quickly children adapt to the new language and change their ideas of what makes them successful. They begin to take a chance on themselves and there is nothing more powerful to the intellectual growth of children than having them change their minds about themselves. So what’s next? Read Mindset and then drop by and we’ll do some really hard math problems, together.

Article Featured in the September/October Issue of Vacaville Magazine

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

What Makes Muscles Grow? - Jeffrey Siegel

We have over 600 muscles in our bodies that help bind us together, hold us up, and help us move. Your muscles also need your constant attention, because the way you treat them on a daily basis determines whether they will wither or grow. Jeffrey Siegel illustrates how a good mix of sleep, nutrition and exercise keep your muscles as big and strong as possible.

Lesson by Jeffrey Siegel, animation by Brett Underhill.

Saturday, November 7, 2015

3 Reasons to Choose a Tutoring Company Over an Individual

Sometimes your teachers at school cannot provide you with the attention you need to succeed in your classes. Whether you need one on one attention, or you simply need to see the material presented in a different format, pairing yourself with the right tutor can mean the difference between failure and success.

With that in mind, you may be tempted to try and find someone at your school or on Craigslist to try and help you out for a little extra money. However, you would be better off finding an established tutoring company to match you with someone well-suited to your needs. Here are a few reasons you will benefit from a tutoring organization over an independent tutor:
  1. A tutoring company is more dependable - When you find an independent tutor, you simply do not have a backup plan. For example, if they get sick, or if some other unexpected event pops up, your session will get cancelled. Since they are not part of a larger business, there is no substitute tutor, nor are there any procedures put into place to ensure that you make up the session. But when you go with a larger tutoring organization, the company can work with you to place you with another tutor who is skilled in the subject matter you are working on, such as chemistry.

  2. Tutoring companies can provide highly qualified specialists - In truth, anyone can bill themselves as an independent tutor. For example, if you are studying for a chemistry exam and you need help, you may find yourself being tutored by another chemistry student. Sure they might be great at the subject, but are they really qualified to try and teach you? You need to understand that a good student is not necessarily a good teacher. That is another reason why going to a professional tutoring company is a good idea. When you find the right company, they will match you up with someone who is an experienced tutor... someone who has experience teaching students the subject you are struggling in and obtaining positive results.

  3. Tutoring companies are held to a higher standard - When you go with an independent tutor, you have to realize they really have nothing to lose. They are likely tutoring you as a side job for a little extra money. Whether or not your tutoring relationship works out probably is not going to make or break them. That said, there is no one to hold them accountable, and some tutors will take advantage of this. With no one looking over their shoulder, how can you be sure they are adequately preparing you? However, when you go with an established tutoring company, you have to realize that they have a lot at stake. Tutoring is their entire business, and they have a lot invested in it. For example, they have a large investment in an office, materials, and full and part time employees. So they have procedures put into place to ensure that customers are full satisfied with their tutors. Therefore, the tutors themselves have bosses they must answer to, which means they must do a good job.
Remember, do your research and match yourself with a well-established tutoring company!

To find the best Physics Tutoring in New York and ISEE test prep, visit at:
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Wednesday, November 4, 2015

How Does a Jellyfish Sting? - Neosha S Kashef

You’re swimming in the ocean when something brushes your leg. When the tingling sets in, you realize you’ve been stung by a jellyfish. How do these beautiful gelatinous creatures pack such a painful punch? Neosha S Kashef details the science behind the sting.

Lesson by Neosha S Kashef, animation by Cinematic.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Choosing the Right Tutoring Services

If you set out to do something worthwhile, be sure to go about it correctly. That is definitely true for succeeding at choosing the right tutoring services for your children. Planning carefully up-front, getting good advice and following it, could possibly make a major difference in whether you will do something right and succeed, or apply it wrong and fail. Improperly choosing a tutoring service may bring unwanted results. You could possibly end up with a service that just does not meet your children's needs, and perhaps a service that will make the problems worse instead of better. Here are three basic steps you might take to avoid failure and insure success.

Initially, you will want to find a service that understands your needs.

You will definitely need to start with a tutoring service that is going to listen to your concerns regarding the needs of your child since that will help avoid frustration for you and apprehension on the part of your children. Not getting this done properly could make it much more difficult to find a solution for the situation if you have to go back to the beginning and start your search over. So please do not make the mistake of disregarding this important point.

The second thing is finding a service that will match the tutor to your children.

Nearly as essential as finding a tutoring service that understands your needs when struggling with choosing the right service is finding a service that will take the time to match the tutor to your children. Take it from me, this is simply not something you want to leave to chance. It's very helpful to find a service that can provide a tutor who is not only qualified in the subject but whose personality matches with that of your children.

Finally, keep in mind that tutoring is about more than just the subject matter.

And finally, while you are dealing with choosing the right tutoring services, just be sure to keep in mind that tutoring needs to do more than just help your children with the subject matter in question. This will likely help with providing opportunities for your children to grow their self-confidence and improve their social skills as well as their learning skills, which can be an essential part of not only helping them to catch up to their classmates in terms of schoolwork but provide them with incentive to move ahead in their studies. Failing to keep this in mind can result in boring tutoring sessions that may cause your children to tune out.

When you're in the process of choosing the right tutoring services, you really want to make sure you won't make some mistakes that can cause you to ultimately end up with a tutoring service that just does not meet your children's needs, or maybe even a tutoring service that will make the problems worse instead of better. The thing you really want is a tutoring service that will aid your children in succeeding in not only their schoolwork but in their lives outside of school as well, which you can achieve by closely sticking with these steps.

Anton Lebedev is the director of Plus Plus Tutoring, a private K-12 in-home tutoring service in the United States.
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Friday, October 30, 2015

Why Do Some People Go Bald? - Sarthak Sinha

What do Charles Darwin, Michael Jordan, and Yoda have in common? They, like many other historical and fictive individuals, are bald. Scientists have long pondered, why do some people lose their hair, and how can we bring it back? Sarthak Sinha explores the basics of baldness.

Lesson by Sarthak Sinha, animation by Brett Underhill.

Monday, October 26, 2015

How a Tutor Can Help Your Child

Most children, whether younger or older, struggle with at least one subject in school. Poor grades, diminished self-esteem, and a negative outlook on the whole school experience can leave your child feeling frustrated and defenseless. When you enlist the help of a tutor, your child not only has someone on his side helping him to grasp the material, but he now has a weapon to use against these negative attitudes.

Many students can easily name their favorite subjects as well as those that give them the most difficulty. It's easy to focus on the things that give us a hard time, while not remembering the areas in which our strengths lie. This is one of the ways tutoring can help. Your child's tutor should work with his or her strengths to help them study more efficiently, understand the subject, and improve his or her grades. Many times it's simply a matter of teaching them simple memorization rules or just giving them the time and one-on-one attention they need.

Many children, if given the chance to inquire about something they don't understand, will be able to comprehend the concepts instructed. However, they might be afraid to raise their hand in class for fear of looking stupid or it appearing as though they weren't paying attention. A common thought is, "Well, everyone else seems to understand it. There must be something wrong with me." Embarrassment and shame can be a heavy weight to carry. With a tutor, your child has no need to be afraid to ask questions. With private instruction, he or she is free to say, "I don't understand this," without the fear of judgment or chastisement.

How do you know if you or your child needs a tutor? Read and answer the following:

* Is your child losing interest in school?

* Have their grades gone down recently?

* Have you noticed a decline in their self-esteem?

* Does he or she have a hard time reading?

* Are they struggling to finish homework?

* Is there talk of wanting to drop a class?

If you answered yes to any or most of these questions, tutoring may be beneficial for your child. And don't forget, these are sometimes the less obvious signs. Quite often, simply opening up a dialogue with your child can reveal problem areas. Sometimes a child will admit to a parent that they've tried their best but they're just not getting it. This can be a clear indicator that your child needs assistance beyond what the school is providing.

So how does one go about finding an appropriate tutor? Start with talking with your child's teacher or instructor to see if they have any recommendations. Also, with the No Child Left Behind Act, your child may be eligible to receive free tutoring services. It's been estimated that less than 15% of those who are eligible actually taking advantage of these services. Other providers include private organizations as well as non-profit companies.

"My students increased their ACT score by 10 points!" - tutor, Madion, AL. To learn more about college prep tutors, click here:
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Friday, October 23, 2015

How Memories Form and How We Lose Them - Catharine Young

Think back to a really vivid memory. Got it? Now try to remember what you had for lunch three weeks ago. That second memory probably isn’t as strong—but why not? Why do we remember some things, and not others? And why do memories eventually fade? Catharine Young gives the basics on memory and memory loss.

Lesson by Catharine Young, animation by Patrick Smith.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Tutoring Can Help Your Student Succeed

Having a child who struggles to learn in school can be heartbreaking. Fortunately, there are many things you can do to help them succeed, beginning with hiring personalized, one-on-one assistance in their worst subjects. These professionals will help to boost your student's self-esteem and make them feel more prepared for their classes.

Grasping the Concept

Your child may have a difficult time understanding a particular subject, while others come more naturally to him or her. This is common-everyone has his or her strengths and weaknesses. Hiring a tutoring service in just the areas where your student needs extra assistance is a great way to keep them on track without overwhelming them or making them more confused. Talk to your school's counseling department and see if there are teachers on-hand who can give them extra lessons in areas where they seem to struggle most.

Rewards for Effort

Your student may never get straight As, but that doesn't mean you can't reward them for doing their best. Offer small prizes for turning all of their homework assignments in, for completing a tutoring lesson without complaint, or even for not getting any low grades on an assignment. As your child gains confidence in their work and realizes that you notice all of their improvements, they will continue to do well and create their own motivation to succeed.

Talking to Teachers

If tutoring and rewarding your student fail to get you the results you are hoping for, and you still see them frustrated over certain subjects, perhaps it's time to talk to their teachers. They may have an instructor who has a different teaching tool than your child understands, or maybe they sit next to someone in class who keeps distracting them. Talk to these educators to see what the both of you can do to help your kid be more attentive and successful in class. It may help to have tutoring done while they are in class, or it could be beneficial to move them to the front of the class where they can learn without interruption.

Other Ways You Can Help

One of the best things you can do as a parent is to avoid telling your kid that they should do better. Don't just tell them-show them! Offer them opportunities by getting them tutoring and providing a quiet place to study at home. Give them a schedule that they can adhere to so they are more likely to finish homework at a decent hour and allow them plenty of relaxation time so they don't always have their nose stuck in a textbook. These are ways you can make learning a better experience for your child.

Not everyone is going to excel at everything, and this may be true for your student. You can help them improve their grades and ability to accept new methods of learning by incorporating a tutor, scheduled homework times, rewards, and getting their teachers involved. This may sound like a lot of work on your end, but the result is that your child will feel more confident in their work and will perhaps even enjoy their academic experience.

When looking for professional tutoring, parents trust
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Saturday, October 17, 2015

Where Does Gold Come From? - David Lunney

Did you know that gold is extraterrestrial? Instead of arising from our planet’s rocky crust, it was actually cooked up in space and is present on Earth because of cataclysmic stellar explosions called supernovae. CERN Scientist David Lunney outlines the incredible journey of gold from space to Earth.

Lesson by David Lunney, animation by Andrew Foerster.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Reading Programs Can Provide a Good Foundation

The key to success in anything is a good solid foundation upon which to build. The foundation is going to set the stage for everything that comes after it. When it comes to education the needed foundation for learning is reading. The ability to read something, understand it, and retain that information is at the core of the entire learning process. For those students that are having problems and are struggling to lay down this foundation solidly assistance can be found in the form of reading programs. If you or your child are having problems with reading it is vital to get help as soon as possible to avoid compounding the problem and having it affect the ability to study and learn in other disciplines. Reading programs can be a good way to shore up this fundamental skill.

Having trouble reading can create a number of problems when it comes to school work:

1. Students who are having trouble with their reading skills fall behind easily and as they continue to slip further behind their classmates it becomes more and more difficult to catch up. A good reading program will teach your child not only how to read but how to read in such a way that the information can be understood and retained for later use.

2. Students who have reading difficulties also tend to suffer from more self-esteem issues. They are afraid to ask questions in class for fear of looking stupid in front of their friends and other classmates. Asking questions is second in importance to the learning process right behind reading. They tend to have more disciplinary problems in school, using bad behavior to cover up their academic deficiencies. They act like they are getting bad grades because it is the cool thing to do.

3. Students who find reading a struggling experience also tend to get overwhelmed easily and quickly reach the point where they are ready to give up. This can lead to a lifelong fear of failure and criticism leaving them completely unmotivated to attempt anything that might leave them in a vulnerable position in front of other people. Success later in life can be sabotaged quite early by deficiencies in reading abilities.

Another important aspect to keep in mind is that reading difficulties may also be a sign of a more serious underlying issue. Dyslexia and other learning difficulties are often hard to diagnose until a child gets older. Reading programs have specially trained tutors that may be able to spot any difficulties of this nature much sooner in a one on one setting that a teacher in a classroom just does not have the time to notice when dealing with a large group of students at the same time.

Everything begins with the core fundamentals as the essential starting point. Getting a good head start is important in assuring later success. Reading programs can provide this boost to get students back on track and up to speed with the rest of their classmates.

Anton Lebedev is the director of Plus Plus Tutoring, a private K-12 in-home tutoring service that offers reading programs in many areas.
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Sunday, October 11, 2015

Can You Solve the Prisoner Hat Riddle? - Alex Gendler

You and nine other individuals have been captured by super-intelligent alien overlords. The aliens think humans look quite tasty, but their civilization forbids eating highly logical and cooperative beings. Unfortunately, they’re not sure whether you qualify, so they decide to give you all a test. Can you solve this hat riddle? Alex Gendler shows how.

Lesson by Alex Gendler, animation by Artrake Studio.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Reasons to Hire a Private Tutor

Watching a child fall behind in school is tough. Parents constantly wonder what they can do to help their child succeed in school, but they don't know if hiring someone to help is a good idea. There are many benefits to hiring a private tutor to help kids overcome academic challenges.


When it comes to helping a child with their schoolwork, it is all about perspective. While parents and teachers may feel like they are doing everything they can to help the child, in reality, they may not be trying all avenues. A private tutor may have a fresh perspective or methods that work better for the child. Extended knowledge of a subject can also benefit the student and give him or her the upper hand when it comes time to take a test.

Subject Area Specialization

More often than not, the student needs help in one or two subjects, and he simply isn't getting the help he needs in the classroom. It isn't because the teacher is inadequately teaching the subject. The disconnect is often due to the limited time available. One-on-one instruction allows the student to ask questions and gain a better understanding of the challenging subject matter. With tutoring, the instructor will be available to one student for the entire duration of the lesson, and only that subject will be covered during their time together. It also gives a shy child the opportunity to ask the questions that they are afraid to ask in class.

Tailored to the Child

Instruction is tailored to the child. That means that if a child has missed some key points, the instructor can help him get caught up with the rest of the class. If a child is bored in class, and not paying attention as a result, the instructor can take the opportunity to give the child a bit of a break in order to get him back on task quickly. In some instances, more information can be covered in a short time frame as the instructor can tailor the sessions to the exact learning pace of the child.
In addition to tailoring the lesson plan, the student will be in an area with fewer distractions from classmates and friends.

Picking the Private Tutor

The best benefit of hiring a tutor is that the parent chooses the individual who will be teaching their child. In school, the administration puts kids in classes where they think they will work best. However, this doesn't always work, and they can't change once the year has begun. With a personal instructor, if a style or personality is not working for the student, the parents can get someone that does.

When a child fails to grasp a concept, it can be devastating for the student. It damages a child's self-confidence and makes them feel as though they are just not smart enough to do the work required of them in school. In most cases, that simply is not true. A private tutor can provide the individualized attention needed for the child to learn and recover the confidence to succeed both in the classroom and in the world at large.

To learn more about their options for a private tutor, Greater Boston residents should visit
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Monday, October 5, 2015

What Makes the Great Wall of China So Extraordinary - Megan Campisi and Pen-Pen Chen

The Great Wall of China is a 13,000-mile dragon of earth and stone that winds its way through the countryside of China. As it turns out, the wall’s history is almost as long and serpentine as its structure. Megan Campisi and Pen-Pen Chen detail the building and subsequent decay of this massive, impressive wall.

Lesson by Megan Campisi and Pen-Pen Chen, animation by Steff Lee.

Friday, October 2, 2015

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.

With education being a crucial part of our child's development and future, it is essential that we do all we can in order to help in their education. By utilizing a tutoring service, students will not only receive the additional help and support they need, but also the confidence needed to excel both in school and their career.

Jason Kay recommends reading tutoring service reviews to find the best option to help your child.
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Tuesday, September 29, 2015

How Smart Are Dolphins? - Lori Marino

Dolphins are one of the smartest animal species on Earth. In fact, their encephalization quotient (their brain size compared to the average for their body size) is second only to humans. But exactly how smart are they? Lori Marino details some incredible facts about dolphins.

Lesson by Lori Marino, animation by Zedem Media.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

A Math Tutor Can Provide a Good Head Start

A math tutor can be very beneficial to your child, especially if they are struggling to keep up with their class and having trouble understanding the material being taught in class. Math class provides more unique challenges than his other classes and just because he is doing very well in all of his other subjects doesn't mean that the problems he is having with math aren't real. A math tutor will be able to provide help and support that can give your child a good head start in a tough area of study. A math tutor will be able to work at your child's pace, focus his attention on particular problem areas, provide your child with opportunities for success, and speed up the learning process for your child.

When being taught in a classroom environment, the material is going to be presented at the same speed for every student in the class. Teachers have a certain amount of information that must be presented in a certain amount of time and cannot always give special attention to an individual student. This can present a problem for a student that needs a little bit of extra time to understand the concepts that are being taught. A math tutor can adjust the speed at which the material is covered, slowing down when your child is having some difficulty and speeding up at other times when your child is quickly grasping the subject matter.

Math is a subject that presents difficulties that other classes do not. There are no facts in math, just concepts. And each of those concepts are an important building block in the one that comes after it. If your child fails to understand even a small part then his struggles are just going to be magnified as time goes on. A math tutor will be able to focus on the individual aspects that your child is having trouble with. Your child may not even be aware just exactly where the problem lies and what it is he doesn't understand. His tutor will be able to discover these areas and help him focus on them correctly.

Success isn't something that just happens, it is something that is learned. Small successes build confidence and lead to bigger successes. Without the pressure of his friends and classmates watching him in school, your child's math tutor can guide him along and provide him with opportunities to succeed without the fear of failure. In the long run, this will not only benefit your child in his math class but in other aspects of his life as well.

One on one attention just is not possible in today's educational system. A math tutor can provide that personal aid and instruction in a way that will allow your child to learn in the manner that suits him best. The learning process will be sped up as the skills the tutor teaches him make the concepts he is trying to learn seem easier and easier.

If your child seems to be stumbling a little in his math studies, then a tutor may be the solution. Math is a very important field of study but unfortunately many schools simply cannot afford to give a struggling student all of the help that he needs. A math tutor can provide your child with that help and give him a good head start in math.

Anton Lebedev is the director of Plus Plus Tutoring, a tutoring service that has math tutors available in many locations.
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Wednesday, September 23, 2015

The Mathematical Secrets of Pascal’s Triangle - Wajdi Mohamed Ratemi

Pascal’s triangle, which at first may just look like a neatly arranged stack of numbers, is actually a mathematical treasure trove. But what about it has so intrigued mathematicians the world over? Wajdi Mohamed Ratemi shows how Pascal's triangle is full of patterns and secrets.

Lesson by Wajdi Mohamed Ratemi, animation by Henrik Malmgren.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Three Tips for Improving Learning For Kids

Help your child shine at school with three easy tips you can do as a parent to raise a successful student! Although it might feel like ages ago to you (and hundreds of years to your little one), sharing your own encouraging school experiences can help put your kids at ease about any issues they may be encountering on a day-to-day basis. Find out two more tricks to put in your positive parent tool belt to help improve different learning tools for kids with this Parents video!

Thursday, September 17, 2015

When to Use "Me", "Myself" and "I" - Emma Bryce

Me, myself, and I. You may be tempted to use these words interchangeably, because they all refer to the same thing. But in fact, each one has a specific role in a sentence: ‘I’ is a subject pronoun, ‘me’ is an object pronoun, and ‘myself’ is a reflexive or intensive pronoun. Emma Bryce explains what each role reveals about where each word belongs.

Lesson by Emma Bryce, animation by Karrot Animation.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Three Ways Tutoring Can Help Your Child Succeed

Every child needs individual guidance in order to thrive in the classroom. Tutoring gives many children the extra support they need to learn the relevant material and keep up with their classmates. Many parents think that tutoring is all about helping their kids raise their grades or pass a class. However, there are actually many other benefits to hiring a tutor.

1) It raises your child's self-confidence.

Children who struggle in school frequently suffer from low self-esteem. They see low grades or failed tests as a clear indicator of their potential, which means they cut themselves short. In the worst of situations, children apply this negative mindset to other areas of their lives as well. After being labeled a "bad student," by teachers, peers, or themselves, they may doubt their overall skills or abilities. This is a negative trap for children that can lead to depression, behavioral problems, or a number of other issues.

Individual tutoring gives students the tools they need to succeed. The teacher will customize his or her approach to suit the needs of each child so that success is possible, no matter the details of the situation. Children are encouraged to find answers, and individual successes are always celebrated. Tutored students feel better about themselves, knowing that they do have the power and the intelligence to learn and even excel at academics.

2) It opens the door for your child to have healthy social interactions and more friends.

Traditional school environments often draw attention to students who are falling behind their peers or who struggle in the classroom. Unfortunately, this means children who fall into this category may be negatively judged by their peers. Sometimes, these students are separated from the class and put into special education groups or partnered up with other kids who have a hard time keeping up with the class.

When your child sees a tutor, he or she will be able to address learning difficulties outside the classroom and will have a better chance at keeping up with classmates. This will limit the chance of being singled out and allow your child to participate on the same level as classmates.

3) It positions your child for success later in life.

Tutoring not only solves the immediate issue of learning the relevant subject matter, it also gives children a new way of thinking about learning. In the future when something seems difficult, kids can problem-solve and look for a new way of addressing the situation and developing a solution. They learn the critical skill of not giving up when a problem presents itself. This is a powerful tool for the future as they mature and face college and work life.

Do you think your child could benefit from tutoring? Huntsville, AL, parents can get their kids help by hiring a tutor from the Tutor Doctor. For more information, visit:
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Friday, September 11, 2015

Do Animals Have Language? - Michele Bishop

All animals communicate. But do they have language? Michele Bishop details the four specific qualities we associate with language and investigates whether or not certain animals utilize some or all of those qualities to communicate.

Lesson by Michele Bishop, animation by Avi Ofer.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Three Reading Strategies for Kids

Reading for kids is one of the most powerful tools your child can learn, and as his parent there are certain things you can do to facilitate him becoming a little bookworm! One of the three reading strategies Parents suggests is collaboration with your child when it comes to reading practice, no matter his age. Start out reading aloud to him as a baby and as he grows, encourage him to begin sounding out words and reading back to you. Your child's reading skills will begin to soar as you continue encouraging him to practice reading every chance he gets!

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Can You Solve the Bridge Riddle? - Alex Gendler

Taking that internship in a remote mountain lab might not have been the best idea. Pulling that lever with the skull symbol just to see what it did probably wasn’t so smart either. But now is not the time for regrets because you need to get away from these mutant Can you use math to get you and your friends over the bridge before the zombies arrive? Alex Gendler shows how.

Lesson by Alex Gendler, animation by Artrake Studio.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Helping Your Child Succeed At School

Set your kids up for success in the classroom by allowing them to become more independent at home! Your child is just learning to depend on herself to complete a variety of tasks while at school, so don't set her back at home by waiting on her hand and foot, says first grade teacher Heather Meisner. See what other parenting tips she recommends for making your kid a star pupil in this Parents video!

Sunday, August 30, 2015

The Physics of Playing Guitar - Oscar Fernando Perez

Guitar masters like Jimi Hendrix are capable of bending the physics of waves to their wills, plucking melody from inspiration and vibration. But how do wood, metal, and plastic translate into rhythm, melody, and music? Oscar Fernando Perez details the physics of playing the guitar, from first pluck to that final shredding chord.

Lesson by Oscar Fernando Perez , animation by Chris Boyle.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Parenting Tips for Helping Your Child With Homework

Homework can be scary for kids, especially when they're just starting out in their early school years. Help your child combat homework anxiety by making homework a team effort! Even something as simple as sitting with your child while she does her homework can make a huge difference. See what other tips teachers recommended to Parents for homework help, and watch as your child strengthens her study skills!

Monday, August 24, 2015

Could We Actually Live on Mars? - Mari Foroutan

There's a lot of talk these days about when and how we might all move to Mars. But what would it actually be like to live there? Mari Foroutan details the features of Mars that are remarkably similar to those of Earth — and those that can only be found on the red planet.

Lesson by Mari Foroutan, animation by Nick Hilditch.

Friday, August 21, 2015

5 Things You Should Know About Tutors

There are many aspects to being a tutor that many people probably do not think about. Most people believe a tutor is just a teacher working a little extra to make some money. That may be true of some tutors, but others take extra steps, such as keeping in touch with parents several times a month, contacting teachers of the students to get their input as to the areas that need to be worked on, and just an overall caring for the student and his/her academic work and family. However, there are some things that seem to be missed or not considered about the tutor and tutoring.

The first is that anyone and everyone who is a current student can benefit from having a tutor. The student does not have to be falling behind or failing a class to need a tutor. In fact, it is well before that point that a tutor should be enlisted to help. From the beginning of the class is even better. Why? Because tutors can help the student overcome hurdles and stepping stones and make sure that the student understands the concept completely. In fact, a tutor can be the difference between a "B" and an "A" as the final class grade.

Individualized tutoring focuses only on you the student. Unlike classrooms, the tutor is devoting their time just to the student. There is no one else. She/he gives the student the individualization that is unavailable in the classroom and will continue working with the student on a problem or concept until that student understands the concept completely.

Tutors are educationally well rounded. While many tutors focus on certain areas of expertise, this does not mean that they do not understand other area. What it means is they are the most comfortable in the areas they tutor. Many tutors hold college degrees, and to get those degrees a wide range of classes must be completed and passed. So a math tutor probably has a degree that is heavy into math and logic, while a reading or writing tutor will probably have a degree in English.

Tutors care about their students. Many tutors enjoy their work and truly care about the academic career, even if it is only starting out, of their students. They love the excitement the student feels while being tutored. They love the moment the light comes on and the student grasps a hard concept and sometimes even squeals with excitement. For many tutors this is the best part of the job.

The last thing one should remember is that the tutor is human. While tutors know many answers, sometimes they get stumped too. This does not mean they can't help. This means that they will go the extra mile to understand or find the information and pass it along to their students. So keep in mind, that if you give the tutor what you want to focus on for the next session, she/he will have made sure they understand it, and will be able to help the student understand.

Tutors work well more than most people. For the tutor must prep before each session which usually take between 1-3 hours depending on the level of the student, the subject, and the length of the tutoring session. They do not just show up to the session unprepared. They work hard for the student and expect the student to work hard for them. It is a partnership that has no bad endings. With hard work and patience, on both parts, the relationship can be academically rewarding to the student, and rewarding to the tutor as well.

I was a freelance writer for over 15 years. I home-schooled my children for about 7 years and tutored for about 3 years. In June of 2012, I received her MFA in Creative Writing and am currently working on my Master of Arts in English Language and Literature. I have written hundreds of articles, academic essays, literature reviews and criticisms and general articles. I love the written word and find joy in helping students get excited about learning. Afraid your child is falling behind in school? Get information to help your child not only catch up but get excited about it too. []
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Tuesday, August 18, 2015

How X-rays See Through Your Skin - Ge Wang

Originally discovered by accident, X-rays are now used about 100 million times a year in clinics around the world. How do these magic eyes work? Ge Wang details the history and mechanics of the X-ray machine and CT scanners.

Lesson by Ge Wang, animation by Pink Kong Studios.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

The Academy 4's - End of Year Review

As The Academy 4's prepare for graduation, enjoy a look back at their enrichment-filled year.

Not only did they use the scientific method and learn about osmosis, they also learned to read and count to 100's by 10. We made handmade soap and learned how our body fights an infection.

If you are looking for a place to ensure the academic success of your 3 or 4 year old, please contact The Academy at (707) 474-4710.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

The Benefits of Good Posture - Murat Dalkilinç

Has anyone ever told you, “Stand up straight!” or scolded you for slouching at a family dinner? Comments like that might be annoying—but they’re not wrong. Your posture is the foundation for every movement your body makes and can determine how well your body adapts to the stresses on it. Murat Dalkilinç gives the pros of good posture.

Lesson by Murat Dalkilinç, animation by Nadav Arbel.

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Sign Up Your 3-5 Year Old for The Academy Kids!

Join The Academy of 21st Century Learning in Vacaville this Fall for our Pre-K program, The Academy Kids! 

We are offering 2 classes, focused on what your child needs to learn - from letters and sounds to sight words and blends. It would not be Academy Style if we did not include STEM lessons - like Osmosis, Motion, Animal Habitats, and more!

For more information, please call (707) 474-4710 or email

Thursday, August 6, 2015

How Blood Pressure Works - Wilfred Manzano

If you lined up all the blood vessels in your body, they’d be 60 thousand miles long. And every day, they carry the equivalent of over two thousand gallons of blood to the body’s tissues. What effect does this pressure have on the walls of the blood vessels? Wilfred Manzano gives the facts on blood pressure.

Lesson by Wilfred Manzano, animation by Fox Animation Domination High-Def.

Monday, August 3, 2015

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.

Tommy Thompson III The Way to A In-home Tutoring []
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Friday, July 31, 2015

When to Use Apostrophes - Laura McClure

It’s possessive. It’s often followed by S’s. And it’s sometimes tricky when it comes to its usage. It’s the apostrophe. Laura McClure gives a refresher on when to use apostrophes in writing.

Lesson by Laura McClure, animation by Karrot Animation.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

The Top 9 Things to Consider Before Hiring a Tutor

Hiring a tutor for your child or for yourself can be both a confusing and complicated matter. There are at least 2 million tutors in the United States. These individuals may be independent private practice tutors, or they may work for a larger practice, a franchised practice, a community program, a faith based program, or a school based initiative. Whether volunteer or paid, all tutors should abide by the standards of practice and code of ethics as set forth by the National Tutoring Association. All tutors should be trained and certified in the professional practice of tutoring.

So how do you know who will be the best fit for your student? Who will deliver the services best suited for your student's needs and goals? Tutors not only deliver content information, they motivate, coach, challenge, and provide feedback to students. Well trained and experienced tutors work with the student's overall study skills, not just the academic assignment at hand.

Hiring a tutor should be approached in the same manner as hiring any other professional. Ask questions, look carefully at references, and use your instinct as to whether this tutor is a good fit for your student. Your student should be present at the initial interview so that you can receive feedback from your student before making a final hiring decision.

Ask about the following . . . .

* Credentials - Don't be afraid to ask for proof of credentials, i.e. transcript copies, copies of state teaching certificates, tutor certification, proof of other specialized training. Ask the tutor to provide a complete resume.

* A Tutorial Plan -- Give the tutor a list of your concerns and goals for your student. Ask the tutor to offer a basic plan for how he or she will assist your child. How will the tutor conduct an initial assessment of your student's academic needs and challenges? How will success be measured? When will feedback be provided to you and/or the student's teacher?

* Letters of Recommendation -- Make sure that the letters speak to the person's ability as a tutor and not just matters of general character. Letters should be current and include full contact information for the person making the recommendation. Above all, make the calls necessary to verify these recommendations.

* Demonstration -- Watch the tutor guide your student through a small portion of one lesson. How does the tutor approach the student? Where does the tutor sit; does the tutor respect your child's personal space? How is the tutor's intent conveyed to your student? Does the tutor write on your student's paper or does the tutor allow the student to make corrections as needed? Is your student allowed to ask numerous questions? Is the tutor patient, professional in mannerism, tone of voice and information delivery? Does the tutor give your student time to process and answer the question before offering the solution? Does the tutor offer sincere praise?

* Fees - Ask the tutor for a detailed pricing plan, i.e. how many sessions at what cost per session. Be sure you are clear about payment requirements, rules about missed appointments, and miscellaneous fees for testing and materials.

* Location -- Where will the tutor meet your student? At your home with supervision? In a public place such as a library? In a dedicated learning center? Tutors should never meet with your student in a location where there is no other adult present.

* Insurance -- Does the tutor carry professional liability insurance? Has the tutor been recently background checked?

* Professional Affiliations - To what professional association does the tutor belong? How does the tutor participate in the overall improvement of the tutorial practice? Does the tutor stay current regarding innovative methods and strategies?

* Additional Questions -- How long have you been tutoring? Why do you enjoy tutoring? How many students are you currently working with? When do you become frustrated with students? How do you communicate with a student who clearly isn't "getting it"? How do you define your role as the tutor? What is my role as the parent? How will you communicate with my student's teacher(s) and how often?

Finally, if any red flag sends off an internal warning signal, do not hire that tutor. You are the person who knows your student better than anyone else. You and your student must feel comfortable in this tutorial relationship. The bottom line is that no matter who recommends the tutor, interview more than one tutor if you have any nagging thoughts in the back of your mind when making the hiring decision.

Parents do you know the TOP 9 things to consider before hiring a tutor?
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Saturday, July 25, 2015

Where Did English Come From? - Claire Bowern

When we talk about ‘English’, we often think of it as a single language. But what do the dialects spoken in dozens of countries around the world have in common with each other, or with the writings of Chaucer? Claire Bowern traces the language from the present day back to its ancient roots, showing how English has evolved through generations of speakers.

Lesson by Claire Bowern, animation by Patrick Smith.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Does Your Child Need Math Help?

How can you tell the difference between when your child is just having a little trouble understanding the material being presented in his new math class and when he really needs math help? There are several signs that you should be looking for that may indicate that his problem is serious and isn't going to go away on its own. If your child is lost and confused, is suffering from a lack of motivation, is pretending to be sick in order to avoid school, gets anxious at the thought of a test, or gets upset when you try to help then it may be time for you to consider getting him some math help.

If your child is lost and confused when faced with a new subject then he may need some help taking those first few steps and getting a solid foundation built in order to continue making progress. This type of situation arises especially at the time when a student is beginning high school. It will likely be the first time that he is faced with any type of advanced math study. It is very easy to be confused by a new subject and math is exceptional in this respect because it is different than any other subject, being both cumulative and conceptual in nature. If he is lost in his new studies he can benefit from a little math help.

If your child is truly struggling in math class it can lead to a lack of motivation on his part toward school work in general and toward math in particular. If you notice that all of his other homework seems to be getting done quickly but that his math book seems to just sit there unopened then that is a very good sign that he needs math help. It is human nature to avoid anything that makes you feel uncomfortable.

Does he wake up in the morning and tell you that he is sick in order to get out of going to school. Faking an illness is usually a symptom of more than just a dislike for school. There are almost always underlying issues and if you have already noticed that he is having trouble in math class then it will be a very good idea for you to get him some math help.

Does he wake up on the morning of a test and really is sick to his stomach? This is a sign of anxiety and should be taken very seriously. Getting him some math help will put him at ease and allow him to relax and score better on the test.

The only group of people that your child is more afraid of thinking he isn't smart than his friends is his family. If he refuses the help that you offer him with his math homework it is a very good indicator that he is having struggles. Just be sure that he doesn't believe you are going behind his back when you get him some math help.

If you have any question that your child may be having difficulties in math class then you should be seriously considering getting him some math help. Everyone can use a little help occasionally and when he is no longer struggling to understand his course work he will thank you for getting him math help.

Anton Lebedev is the director of Plus Plus Tutoring, a private tutoring service that provides math help.
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Sunday, July 19, 2015

Why Do Blood Types Matter? - Natalie S. Hodge

It’s often said that despite humanity’s many conflicts, we all bleed the same blood. It’s a nice thought, but not quite accurate. In fact, our blood comes in a few different varieties. Natalie S. Hodge defines the four major blood types and sheds light on why some bloods can mix while others cannot.

Lesson by Natalie S. Hodge, animation by Brad Purnell.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Struggling in a Subject? - 5 Reasons to Get a Tutor

Tutoring is a fast growing tutoring industry because learners need extra support due to many factors that may impact classroom instruction. Tutors are a great way to help bridge the gap between the classroom and student achievement. Individuals who are struggling in any subject should consider to get a tutor for the following five reasons:

1. Innovative Learning Activities: Tutoring is considered a supplemental educational service, which means that tutors must seek innovative teaching and tutoring techniques to ensure that learners are able to master concepts from teaching resources that have not been used. Most tutors develop their own curriculum or find learning resources that learners have not seen in the classroom resulting in increased student achievement and effective tutoring sessions.

2. Get Personalized Instruction: Individuals who seek tutors are able to work with them one-on-one or in small groups. While small groups work and have many benefits to learners, the best type of tutoring scenario is one-on-one instruction because tutors are catering to the learner's needs. If individuals are struggling in a subject, then they should opt for a tutor who conducts individual tutoring session to get the best bang for their buck and data-driven tutoring sessions.

3. Ask all the Questions You Like: Tutors are very friendly and allow learners to ask all the questions in which they like so that they are able to better understand the material and truly help the brain make a connection. Individuals should ask all the questions that they need to get the most out of a tutoring session and these questions provide rich data to help tutors make data-driven decisions to ensure that learners are learning in tutoring sessions.

4. Affordable and Quality Instruction: Depending on the subject, tutoring can be expensive. However, there are ways to find affordable and quality tutoring sessions. Individuals looking for a tutor should look at their experience, call references, and check out success rates to determine if it is feasible to pay the tutoring rate for tutoring services. It's very important to focus on affordability, then quality to determine if specific tutors should be hired to help either you or your child. The bottom line is that most tutors are affordable and do provide quality services and individuals do not have to use them long-term. However, it is recommended that all individuals finish out the recommended tutoring program to see real results.

5. Increase Confidence in Learning Again: Tutors are a great way to help learners build their confidence again. Tutoring is a platform in which learners are able to take their time and make mistakes without penalty. Tutors are able to focus on each individual client rather than several groups of learners. Individuals who are struggling in any subject should consider hiring a tutor to help them become a better learner and gain more confidence in their learning abilities.

Alicia Holland-Johnson, EdD, is a proud mother of two beautiful daughters and an educator with ten years of teaching experience at all levels, including university teaching. She also works as a professional tutor at iGlobal Educational Services, Inc. ( ) and a consultant in the education industry. Her passion is helping individuals believe in themselves and go far. To receive a free special report, join the blog at
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