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So as a college student, I write a lot of papers (and I mean a lot!)  I've technically been writing college papers for five years now so I've learned a few tricks and tools when I work with vocabulary that I'd like to pass along.  I've had professors give me handouts on their" do's and don'ts".  I've included the best of them.  Some of these may work for you, some of these may not.  Take or leave what you want. When I am writing a paper I always have open on my web browser dictionary.reference.com Why?  Because sometimes I want to check that I am using a word correctly.  The slightest misspelling can change the meaning of a word to something totally different and you don't want to have point deducted from a paper for something that is easily corrected.  If you are even slightly unsure, check it!  You can even check on the speaker button so it says the word out loud and you can compare it to the word you are... read more

Five tips for surviving the summer slump! 1. Spend time getting physical exercise - it keeps the brain active. 2. Read as much as possible - choose books that interest you, not just what might be on your school's summer reading list. 3. WRITE - write a journal about what you did during the summer, places you went, reflections on books you read. 4. Limit the time you spend on computer games. 5. HAVE FUN.

The most obvious answer is cost. If a tutor charges the same rate for one or four students, it becomes cheaper per hour as you increase students and share the costs with other families. It is often believed a tutor is best when working 1:1 with a student. In some instances it is well worth the time and money to have 1:1 tutoring and sometimes it is appropriate for students to study and do school work in small groups. What is not obvious is the dynamics of small group tutoring. In a variety of circumstances it is invaluable for students to learn how to study “what needs to be studied”. The acts of independence and self regulating behavior have far reaching benefits. Groups need to learn to share and take turns. This seems simple and yet there is the underlying tendency to allow the ‘smart one’ in the group to carry the burden of work. Assuming each student is in the class and has a different point of view/observation about what is happening in class, they should share... read more

So you are halfway through summer and you suddenly decided you are tired of going to the pool, or your usual crowd has become lame, and you are starting to wish it was time to go back to school already. What do you do? Your parents keep hassling you - asking you, "What's wrong?" All you can say is that you are bored! Step #1- Visit your local library - not online - in person. Check the library activities board for upcoming events for your age (adults too). Ask the librarian to help you find how to books of your favorite subject area- or a new area that you think could someday be added to your list of favorites. Some examples of books my children used to check out include: the basics of Karate (and other martial arts), books about drama, foreign language learning, how to make the best paper airplanes, how to draw cartoons, and how to do skateboard tricks. There are hundreds of books on subjects ranging from sports to arts and crafts, and from do it yourself handyman... read more

“If you want to become a better reader, you need to become a better writer. If you want to become a better writer, you need to become a better reader.” Reading and writing are integral parts of one another. Ask any published author what he or she wrote about and he or she will be quick to tell you most of their ideas came from what they’ve read. Literature, in whatever form, is about life. What do writers write about? Life. They write about what they know, what they’ve experienced or what someone they know has experienced, or how they imagine something happening. Whether its fiction or non-fiction, writing is about the experiences, people, places, and events we encounter in every day life or about what we imagine the characters we create or encounter experience and their perspective of those experiences. “Life” itself is a very broad topic – overwhelming is more like it. Think about it. Over the course of 23 hours and 59 minutes and 59 seconds, what do you experience?... read more

If you are homeschooling your children, as you know, this can be overwhelming sometimes. I can help design lessons in writing, English, grammar, public speaking, research and related areas. For first-time clients, I will be flexible with my rate. Review my profile at WyzAnt and let me know what questions you have - would love to help! Good teaching, Tim N.

Summer is an awesome time to be a student - free time and less stress can help you clear your thoughts and really establish your goals. Regardless of age or reason, there is no better time than summer to really hone your skills. If you'll be applying to college in the coming school year, now is the time to really set your goals in stone and get working on those applications. Personal statements take time to craft and make perfect, and if you haven't caught on by now, let me repeat it: there is no time like the present to get started. The earlier you begin planning, the more prepared you will be when the application deadlines start rolling in, and ultimately, that means you will be less stressed and more likely to succeed. Or, if you're just someone looking to get better at a particular skill, you can think of summer as an "off season," of sorts. You have a ton of skilled professionals at your disposal to help you sharpen your presenting skills or communication... read more

Following are a few testimonials that have been provided by people who have seen and/or benefited from our language teaching skills and experience. Bovic L. taught French at the University of Indianapolis in 2004. It is my recollection that he did a very admirable job. He is a native speaker of French who has an engaging style and who is very interested in the success of his students. I might add that my wife studied with Bovic and was very pleased with his classes. He is a conscientious instructor who can adapt his teaching approach to reflect his students' learning styles. In summary, I believe that Bovic L. is an excellent teacher. Daniel B., Special Assistant to the Provost,University of Indianapolis I was Principal of Fall Creek Valley Middle School in Indianapolis/Indiana, when Bovic L. was a French teacher at the school. Bovic was a very competent teacher. He planned and delivered engaging lessons. He had excellent classroom management. Bovic was able to get... read more

For parents who are trying to do any of the following: 1. Engage your child in reading 2. Increase your child's reading skills (fluency, comprehension, rhythm, expression, tempo, etc.) 3. Increase your child's language acquisition, vocabulary, grammar skills, and spelling skills This blog post is for you!!! There are some really unique ways to help your child become a "reader." I myself wasn't a "reader" until about the age of 10. Up to that point, though I loved books and collected books and asked for books for birthdays/holidays, I was not a reading self-starter. However, I loved being read TO! At the age of 6, I took a great interest in Laura Ingalls Wilder's "Little House" books. Not only, was I fascinated with the time period (late 1800's), I also found a kindred spirit of sorts in Laura. She stood up for things in which she believed strongly, she was stubborn, and she was short! I found a heroine that was very much like... read more

Hello! Thank you for visiting my site! I have 8 years of language teaching experience. I taught for 7 years at Princeton University and 1 year at the University of Notre Dame. It is truly a joy for me to help people reach their academic and personal goals. Please contact me as soon as possible to inquire about scheduling a tutoring session with me. I specialize in language arts, particularly Spanish, French, and English. I also have experience tutoring people of all ages, and helping them prepare for standardized tests. I look forward to hearing from you soon! Best regards, Valerie

One of the more frustrating things about tutoring is when students or their parents want to treat tutoring like a quick fix. In other words, sometimes they want to meet the night before a test and cram for said test in hopes of getting a better grade. On the surface, this problem might work, but it treats the symptoms rather than the root of the problem. If you're going to take the time to invest in a tutor, then here are a couple of suggestions. First, try to catch the problem early. If you (or your child) is struggling in a subject, get help right away. Don't wait until you (or your child) feels that overwhelming feeling that comes when one is completely lost in information. The sooner a tutor can get involved, the better the tutor can help a student to stay on track. Work with your tutor to adopt a thorough approach to the subject. It is not enough to learn the facts of a subject, but also to learn the reasons behind those facts. If you want to do well in a subject,... read more

If you had asked my middle school students to describe our class routines, you might have thought I was their English teacher, not Social Studies. As a teacher and tutor, I’ve tried to pass on a legacy for the love of reading to my students. I often tell them, “If you can read, you can teach yourself anything.” In this article, I will give you some tips on how to get your children to read more, and more often. It’s Not Magic! Occasionally, parents visited my classroom to ask, “How do you do it?” They were usually referring to the success of my Friday Silent Reading routine. Each fall, I explained the importance of literacy to my students and said that practice is best way to improve reading skills. I told them that I expected them to bring a book of their choice to class every day, to read it if they finished all the day’s scheduled activities I’d given them, and that the first 20 minutes of class every Friday was reserved for sustained silent reading. Parents... read more

Unless you or your child attends a year – round school, summer vacation begins sometime in the next week or so. College students have read more pages than they thought humanly possible, taken many exams, written research papers, and stayed up way too late over the past 10 months. Parents of school – aged children have helped with homework, gone to parent/ teacher conferences, E-mailed teachers, and maybe volunteered for one activity too many. This article will help you understand the importance of continuing your/ your child’s learning over the summer and lists several suggestions on how to make the fall back - to - school transition much easier! Suffer No Setbacks Educational researchers agree that students need to continue their education over the summer or they stand to lose up to three (3) months worth of the previous year’s learning. Think about that for a minute. It’s like going to class from March to May for no reason! Unless you keep learning over the summer,... read more

The end of the school year is coming very fast! We need to ensure that our children and students are readily prepared for the tests that are coming. Through extra vocabulary practice, increased reading times, as well as checking for reading comprehension is very important. It's also important to start thinking about next year. If this had some rough spots, that could be avoided next year. We need to work together! If you child was specifically having issues in one subject area, we could take the summer time and ensure that they are more comfortable and even advanced in that subject area. Contact me ASAP if you are interested in having your student tutored this summer!

When working with children (especially 7 and below) it can be vital to their memory retention to take a break every thirty minutes. I have had great success with my younger students who become stir crazy after half an hour of reading by leaving the study are and going outside or in a space where we wont bother others and doing some physical activities. Since time is a concern it is important to only do this for ten minutes or so. Sometimes we run and play tag, or we will do some jumping jacks, or just do some silly dancing. When the student returns they are feeling a little more refreshed, lighthearted, and ready to continue. That being said, it is very important to make it clear that the activity is is only supposed to be for a few minutes then it's right back to studying. I hope this helps! Miss Jessica

This Spring and Summer, why not invest in yourself or your child? Effective written communication is key to success in the competitive academic and career markets. Get help with Getting Started with Writing, Discovering Writing Topics, Finding Focus Responding to Writing Assignments Reading for Comprehension and Understanding - Retaining Key Concepts, Theme, and more ... and, of course, that always challenging concept of Grammar. I teach Grammar as Tools ... not Rules. Looking forward to hearing from you and hearing about your tutoring needs. See my profile for more information and my Subject Qualifications. - Tim published writer & poet, teacher, tutor

If I could go back in time and give myself some advice ... Well, that's quite a questions. And the answers are not as easy as one might think. We are who we are based on the lessons we have learned over time. If we didn't make mistakes, we would not learn. We might avoid a pitfall here and there, but we wouldn't learn the lessons behind the lessons - the root cause, as it were, for why it was a mistake in the first place. However, one piece of advice I would like to give myself in the past is this: listen to the advice you are given. As I look back, I was given some great advice by a lot of people while I was growing up. Some of it, thankfully, I not only listened to, but took to heart. Some I didn't. When I analyze those things I have done in the past that turned out to be mistakes, I can almost always trace the root of a bad decision back to not following the advice someone had given me earlier. So, with that in mind, I would like to share two of the best pieces... read more

YES YOU CAN! And it’s, hands down, the best way to learn a language. I thought I’d write this post in response to the news that six elementary schools in Metro-Atlanta will begin dual immersion language programs in Spanish, French and Chinese. http://www.globalatlanta.com/article/26210/schools-get-15000-for-language-immersion-programs/ Here are some tips on how to learn a language through immersion, based on my own experience learning Chinese in the US and abroad: • Don’t insist on perfection – whether in pronunciation, grammar, or anything else – until after several months of second language immersion have passed. “Warm up” to the language by taking in the sounds, rhythms, and basic vocabulary of your new language, especially in the beginning. • Re-learn your native language. It’s super-difficult to learn a second-language when you don’t have a firm anchor, in terms of spelling, syntax, grammar rules, etc., in your first. THIS IS WHERE A LOT OF SECOND LANGUAGE... read more

The aim of college is to inspire critical thinking in student writing - the kind of critical thinking that enables students to make independent claims derived from texts having to do with some of the most pressing issues of our time. Many times students find themselves wondering just how to achieve this in writing - they want an A, B, C plan for writing. This does exist, it's just not the same for every student. What I encourage other tutors to do is provide guidance to college students on how to communicate their ideas to the world with confidence and clarity, stop regurgitating/summarizing, and be part of solutions through the act of writing. Many times I encourage students to bring their own experiences into writing and I encourage my colleagues to help their students do the same. It is by taking this kind of focuses approach that we can help college students learn about subjects they might be defensive about, become more clear and organized, and become better readers,... read more

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