Sunday, June 28, 2015

The Benefits of a Bilingual Brain - Mia Nacamulli

It’s obvious that knowing more than one language can make certain things easier — like traveling or watching movies without subtitles. But are there other advantages to having a bilingual (or multilingual) brain? Mia Nacamulli details the three types of bilingual brains and shows how knowing more than one language keeps your brain healthy, complex and actively engaged.

Lesson by Mia Nacamulli, animation by TED-Ed.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Founder's Message - The Academy of 21st Century Learning

The Academy of 21st Century Learning transforms lives by uniting the academic standards of reading, writing, math, science, foreign language, and study skills with creativity, leadership, art, and music.

By focusing these abilities through curriculum targeted to the sciences, technology, engineering, and mathematics, our students will become much more competitive when seeking higher educational opportunities and competing in the global marketplace.

Conveniently located in the Nut Tree Center in Vacaville, and serving the needs of students and families from locations throughout Solano and Yolo Counties (Fairfield, Winters, Woodland, Dixon, Suisun, and Davis). The Academy is a new place for learning! Our energetic instructors, many with degrees from UC Davis, provide expert and state-of-the-art, STEM-based tutoring. We are also proud to offer summer programs, counseling, SAT/ACT prep, and many other academic services to our students from Kindergarten through High School.

Come join us and be a part of the fun and excitement at The Academy!

Monday, June 22, 2015

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.

At times when budgets are tight, it is essential to make the sound decision regarding your child's education. Learn when using a private tutoring service may be prudent. Whitefish Study Center, located at 121 Wisconsin Ave, Whitefish Montana 59937, offers private tutoring in Whitefish, you may contact them at (406) 270-0900 for more information.
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Friday, June 19, 2015

The Math Behind Michael Jordan’s Legendary Hang Time - Andy Peterson and Zack Patterson

Michael Jordan’s legendary slam dunk from the free throw line has been calculated at 0.92 seconds of pure hang time. But how many seconds could Jordan have gotten were he doing the same jump on Mars? Or Jupiter? Andy Peterson and Zack Patterson share the math equation behind hang time.

Lesson by Andy Peterson and Zack Patterson, animation by Oxbow Creative.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Sign Up for One of Our STEAM Summer Camps!

Don't let this year's learning evaporate under the summer sun!

The Academy of 21st Century Learning
Voted Best Tutoring Center in Solano County
Located in Vacaville at the Nut Tree Plaza, near Peet's Coffee

Saturday, June 13, 2015

6 Ways to Prevent Summer Learning Loss

Did you know that many kids experience a phenomena called Summer Learning Loss every year? Essentially, they forget the information they learned in the previous school year over the summer months. In fact, studies have shown that kids lose an average of over 2.6 months worth of math skills in the summertime. For kids that were already struggling in a subject like math, this means that they will start off the next school year even further behind.

During the summer months, kids are less likely to practice any time of mathematical computations. Most will not practice math skills outside any formal classroom setting. Other subjects such as reading, also show a learning loss as well. In reading, students will lose an average of 1 month of learning.

Think of your favorite sport. Pick your favorite basketball, football, or soccer player. What would happen if they did not continue to train and exercise during off-season? They would then return to their sport and experience a lag in their performance. The brain is no different. It too, needs to be exercised.

So how can you keep your kids learning over the summer? Here are a few simple ideas:

1. Purchase educational workbooks. These are available at most bookstores and many cities also have special teacher supply stores that carry great learning material. These products are geared towards different grades so you can customize to your children's level. It is recommended that your children do at least an hour a day.

2. Visit your local library. Find some books with topics that interest your child so that they are really engaged in reading. The library is a great place to promote the love of reading! Reading comprehension is highly important and most states have standardized testing based off of reading scores. Your librarian can suggest grade-level appropriate books that will keep your child's attention with the text.

3. Visit museums, zoos and other historical sites. Help your child learn about history by living it as a hand-on experience. Don't forget summer learning opportunities locally, in addition to your library. Check out museums, the zoo, aquariums, concerts and parks that you don't usually get to attend during the school year. Have them keep a journal (writing skills!) of their activities, and perhaps e-mail friends and relatives about what they are doing (again, stealth writing practice!)

4. The Internet can be your friend! Check out safe, parent-approved Internet sites. Many will offer crafts, worksheets, and even power-busters to keep the brain moving! Many lessons are broken down by grade level making it simple to cater to your child's needs. There are also websites that allow the child to 'play' when in reality, they are learning! This is also a great opportunity to bring in new material that will prepare them for the next grade level!

5. Check out your local newspaper and community! Most communities will hold writing camps, editor-in-training seminars, art and dancing classes and more. Log on to your city website and see what is being offered within your community.

6. Enroll into a summer tutoring or teaching program. For children that are struggling academically, summer can be the perfect time to address it with a customized tutoring program. The summer months are an excellent time for your child to fill in learning gaps or zoom ahead with enrichment activities at supplemental learning centers, or via tutors or last year's teacher. Your child's teacher is an excellent resource to give you ideas for summer books to read and math workbooks to complete in between play and television watching.

These ideas will help your child build up more confidence, and prepare them to start the new school with a bang! This is the opportunity to both stabilize and advance your child, what are you waiting for?

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Wednesday, June 10, 2015

How to Detect a Supernova - Samantha Kuula

Just now, somewhere in the universe, a star exploded. In fact, a supernova occurs every second or so in the observable universe. Yet, we’ve never actually been able to watch a supernova in its first violent moments. Is early detection possible? Samantha Kuula details the science behind an early supernova warning system.

Lesson by Samantha Kuula, animation by Nick Hilditch.

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Summer School - Ways to Prevent the Summertime Backslide

Worried that your children will forget everything they learned over the course of the summer months away from school? You may have more reason than you think to fear the summer brain drain according to a study by Duke University's Dr. Harris Cooper, a leading expert on summer learning loss. He writes that long summer vacations "break the rhythm of instruction, lead to forgetting, and require a significant amount of review when students return to school in the fall."

According to Cooper's study, students' overall achievement test scores drop by about one month, on average, over summer vacation. Skills in mathematics and spelling usually take the biggest hits, with math skills suffering almost a 2.6 month loss in achievement.

Suffering the most are children from lower socioeconomic backgrounds, who are presented with less opportunities to practice math and reading skills over the summer months than their more privileged peers. Their reading comprehension skills suffer the greatest, and their losses add up to a 2 year achievement gap by the time they enter their middle school years.

There are steps that parents can take to help their children learn and even get ahead over the summer months. Some "Summer Educational Tips" will help transform the break from structured learning into an opportunity for students to sharpen their skills through fun and interactive ways. Follow these tips and send your children back to school smarter and more confident than when they left!

1. Take frequent trips to the library and register your child with a library card. University of Florida's Richard Allington notes that the best predictor of summer reading loss is a lack of books at home and limited access to library books, so keep a good selection of high interest, level appropriate books around the house. Schedule a consistent "reading time" daily for your child.

2. Attend thematic programs at the library. Libraries often host a great variety of summer programs for kids that celebrate reading.

3. Talk to your child's teachers and ask them what your child will be learning next year at school. This way you can tie in family trips with next year's curriculum to create a more meaningful hands-on experience. For example, if your child will be studying a unit on the civil war, plan a visit to Gettysburg.

4. Give your child a gift card to a bookstore, or give books as gifts.

5. Check out audio books from the library for your child to listen to stories in the car.

6. Consider Summer Tutoring: Tutoring services, such as in-home tutoring, can help children catch up or get ahead with one-on-one tutoring in the home. Take advantage of the summer months to remediate or accelerate your child in areas like reading comprehension, mathematics, writing or SAT/ACT test prep.

7. Research has revealed a direct connection between learning to play a musical instrument and an increased aptitude in mathematics. Consider introducing your child to music lessons over the summer.

For more information on how to make the most of your child's summer, call Club Z! In-Home Tutoring Services. Club Z! provides one-on-one, in-home tutoring in all subjects pre-K through adult. To reserve your summer tutor, and ensure that you child doesn't lose any academic momentum, call Club Z! at 866-44-TUTOR or visit today!
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Thursday, June 4, 2015

How Do Dogs "See" with Their Noses? - Alexandra Horowitz

You may have heard the expression that dogs ‘see with their noses.’ But these creature’s amazing nasal architecture actually reveals a whole world beyond what we can see. Alexandra Horowitz illustrates how the dog’s nose can smell the past, the future and even things that can’t be seen at all.

Lesson by Alexandra Horowitz, animation by ProvĂ­ncia Studio.

Monday, June 1, 2015

Summer Tutoring: A Good Idea

As we end the current school year, like every year, we find ourselves waving good-bye to quite a few students for the summer. Understanding the need for rest and relaxation, we aren't surprised. But, as many parents contemplate whether this is a good idea or not, I am often asked, "Should we take a break over the summer?" The answer is a resounding NO!!!

The reasons are simple and clear:

Work ethic is lost.

Finally, students have become used to being academically challenged. They have spent a whole year doing homework, practicing for tests, and using their brains to get them through the day. All of a sudden, they are just allowed to stop being academically stimulated. During the summer, the little brain exercise they could get is suspended. This is very detrimental to a child especially if the child already struggles with school. They have built this tolerance to doing school work, but after the summer, the tolerance is lost and they become lazy towards their learning all over again.
Children simply forget.

If you have children, or know any children, one thing most parents understand about kids is that they forget. They can remember the latest song lyrics, or the characters of their favorite TV show, but if you ask them to find the volume of a cylinder, or recite their multiplication tables, they have a problem. I love my son to no end, but I also know that most of the time, he can't remember anything more than a minute past his own face. Now, give him a month or two. The concept is long gone. If your child is not like this, consider yourself lucky. Your child probably doesn't need tutoring.

If they are already behind, you are losing the chance to catch up.

Parents often hire a tutor to get them caught up to the skill level they are supposed to be. If a child is still behind by the time summer hits, wouldn't it be a good idea to keep them engrossed during the summer and possibly get them where they need to be before the next year? During summer, they have no other distractions, and they can focus on one thing catching up. A worse scenario is to start the next year still behind and have the teachers pull the class ahead, leaving the student behind in the process. At that point, the child is back where they started, but they could have avoided this if they took the chance to catch up or even get ahead during the summer.

America is falling behind.

In the current global economy, many of the available jobs that are open are high-skilled, high-intellect jobs. Americans are losing out to other countries in these jobs because the other countries are out-performing us academically. If you take a look at some of these countries like Singapore and Finland, there is no such thing as summer break. Their students are used to rigorous academic study because they are conditioned to be students all year-round. This also means that they are used to working all year-round, kind of like the way they will have to work as adults. We have to start reconditioning the mental work ethic of our children, or we will continue to fall further behind in the rankings. Just watch "Waiting for Superman" from director Davis Guggenheim, a documentary that gives some startling information about the state of education in America. It was unsettling. A solution presented among others in the movie is that our students need to be going to school for a longer time during the year, not taking two-month breaks. Many schools are doing this and are creating excellent results.

The best way to keep a child's intellectual stamina up and to increase their learning retention is to keep them learning. If you have hired a tutor you are pleased with, I recommend you keep them in tutoring to protect your investment. Otherwise you may be starting from scratch when they come back.

Please check out this article from the National Summer Learning Association for some of the research on Summer Learning Loss. Remember that the children need all we can give them before it is too late. Extra tutoring can only help them, not hurt them. More education will build them more opportunity.

- Jamal L. Burt EBO Educational Services, LLC -  770-288-8595
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