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As I get closer to finally finishing all of my teaching licensure tests and certifications, I have really realized where my passion lies within the subject of English: literature. To be honest, I am not a huge fan of poetry – when it comes to the world of sonnets, haikus, limericks, and anapests, I have to really put my thinking cap on and analyze the poem to understand it. I enjoy editing papers and getting into the science of grammar and punctuation, but that doesn’t get me fired up. What I absolutely love thinking about, analyzing, and dissecting is classic literature, and reading literature throughout my life ultimately helped me realize that I wanted to teach it to students and make it interesting for them. Ultimately, I am making a point with this post, I promise. But let me explain a little bit first. I almost flew off the handle last night when my friend’s little sister (who is 16 years old) said that she hated the book The Catcher In the Rye. I was appalled. When I was... read more

I will be the first to admit I wasn't always a great student when I was in school. In regular school, my own folks couldn't help me with my homework as neither parent had finished high school. They tried, but it was too much for them. So I really struggled through grade school and then high school. In college I struggled once again. I was smart, but I just couldn't understand some subjects the way they were taught, which honestly seemed all backwards to me. Science was a particularly difficult subject at the time. Try as hard as I might, I just could not seem to make sense of anything I was learning. Then everything changed when a relative suggested I get a tutor. I looked around and found a great tutor. What a difference he made in my life. Suddenly, the things he did to help me made me realize that it wasn't me that had a problem; it was the way the subject was being taught in school. He helped me to create a context for what I had to learn, and gave me a logical order for everything... read more

Happy Thursday! Today, I am writing my thoughts on the importance of reading over the summer vacation for high school and college students. I know that it is mid-summer and the last thing that anyone wants to think about is reading one of the classics or a treatise on a historical event. BUT, by keeping the mind engaged you are keeping your creative juices flowing and not wasting some of the precious time needed to be prepared for those SATs, ACTs, or your next round of college classes. It is important for the incoming freshmen about to attend college for the first time, who may not have been exposed to many of the classic works of Literature that you will encounter in your first couple of semesters of your college career. Many colleges and high schools also have lists of “required or recommended reading.” Getting a head start on some of the lengthy tomes that you will be working with is a good idea. You might also be surprised to find out that you enjoy the stories and novels... read more

In today's world where everything is about our accomplishments, and time is of the essence, it really helps to get a tutor. I don't think I would be where I was today if I had not had the benefit of a tutor in some of my college subjects. A good tutor can help you to have more confidence and success as you move forward with your goals and dreams. Working with a good tutor can make a world of difference for you. Why not give it a try today?

Summer learning loss can affect everyone. Teachers must spend quite a bit of time in the beginning of every year reviewing to get students past the summer slump. There are a variety of ways you can keep yourself or your child from losing to much ground over summer. One of the best ways to keep the brain sharp and active is to keep reading both fiction and nonfiction literature at or above grade level. Even if it is only 25 minutes a day, you will keep the reading skills sharp and continue to learn new things. I also found out that Barnes and Nobles is offering a free new book reward to children who read 8 books. You can check out their website or visit the nearest store for more information. Whether in a cool place during the heat of the day, or as part of the night time relaxation, reading for 25 or more minutes is possibly the best time investment you can make. There are also many kinds of puzzles you can practice solving such as Suduko to keep the math and problem solving skills... read more

Updated Summer Availability: Mon: No Available Sessions Tues: No Available Sessions Wed: After 3:30 pm Thurs: After 3:30 pm Fri: After 1pm Weekends: 10am-5pm (Some flexibility required for recurring weekend sessions due to prescheduled out of town obligations) Please message me to inquire about setting up a tutoring session! Having your payment information on file will allow us to begin more quickly.

I get it. We're all busy, and when we're not busy, we don't want to use our downtime to study. Over the years of my own learning, I've found that the hardest step is just getting myself to sit down and work sometimes - I'd rather do a thousand other things. But studying doesn't have to be time-consuming. In fact, you can do it without taking time away from whatever else you have to do. Although "real" learning isn't memorization, we do actually have to memorize sometimes: vocab words, formulas, measurement conversions, or special right triangles. But sitting down for a long study session of these sounds about as exciting as cleaning public toilets. Fear not. I have three solutions that I share with all of my students. First, find your downtime. When are you doing a menial task that doesn't use any brainpower? Driving, washing dishes, vacuuming, getting ready in the morning - during all of these activities, my hands are busy, but my brain isn't. (Don't worry... read more

Summer is here for many Bay Area families, and for those with kids entering high school or even middle school, now can be a great time to get a head start on SAT practice. OK, sure, it's also a good time for water slides, beaches, friends, and all the things that make summer wonderful, but an hour or two spent getting familiar with test question format now can give your student an extra boost when it comes time for the real thing. It is this tutor's opinion that the PSAT is being given far too late to identify weaknesses and make appreciable differences in many students' scores. With increasing pressure to take APs and make good grades while being a stellar athlete or drama superstar, it becomes harder with each year of high school for kids to devote the proper amount of time to SAT practice. And, that's what doing well on the SAT boils down to: pattern recognition. With each completed practice test, problem set, and sample essay question answered, your child will "have seen... read more

Barron's SAT Critical Reading Workbook 14th Edition [Paperback] Sharon Weiner Green $9.99 Aug. '12 ISBN-13: 978-1438000275 ----------------------------------------------------------------------- Barron's SAT Writing Workbook, 3rd Edition (Barron's Writing Workbook for the New Sat) [Paperback] George Ehrenhaft $9.99 Aug. '12 ISBN-13: 978-1438000329 ----------------------------------------------------------------------- -- OR -- ----------------------------------------------------------------------- Barron's SAT, 26th Edition (Barron's Sat (Book Only)) Ira K. Wolf Ph.D./Sharon Weiner Green $12 Pub. Aug, '12 ISBN-13: 978-1438000190 ** Has Both English & Math Sections** * OPTIONAL, but helpful if you will use them Barron's SAT Vocabulary Flash Cards [Cards] Sharon Weiner Green (Author) $9.99 ISBN-13: 978-1438070865 ----------------------------------------------------------------------- * While there are also available CD-Roms... read more

I struck up a conversation with a home-schooling mom the other day. Parent of a middle-school student, she told me I should talk to middle school parents about this topic because, as she put it, “We don’t know what we don’t know.” In my blog post “Test Prep Students 1: Before Our First Session, Please,” I mentioned planning ahead to give yourself more time to prepare. Since then, I’ve come to believe that you can’t have too much time to prepare, regardless of what you are testing for * High school graduation (Minnesota GRAD) * College National Merit Scholarships (PSAT/NMSQ) * Advance college credit (AP, CLEP) * College admission (ACT, SAT, TOEFL, IELTS) * Professional licensure (such as the Minnesota Teacher Licensing Exam—MTLE) * Graduate school admission (GRE, GMAT, and again TOEFL or IELTS). Students as young as 12 or 13 can successfully answer many of the ACT Questions of the Day (QOTD) http://www.act.org/qotd/ and SAT QOTD http://sat.collegeboard... read more

Summer is a good time to prep for the ACT. The pace can be regular but relaxed, there's time to cover all subject areas, and practice tests can be spaced out. You can get results from the September ACT just in time for most early decisions! Upcoming ACT Dates: September 8, 2012 (register by 8/17/12) October 27, 2012 (register by 9/21/12) December 8, 2012 (register by 11/2/12) Upcoming SAT Dates: October 6, 2012 (register by 9/14/12) November 3, 2012 (register by 10/5/12) December 1, 2012 (register by 11/6/12)

Sundays are days to be lazy, to hang out with friends, to read books or swim in pools or play outside. Today is an exceptionally hot Sunday in early June. Since I got up, I've been holed up in my home office, working on tutoring. Even though I've spent the past nine or so hours (with breaks for shrimp tacos, diet Coke, and ice cream) working, I haven't actually had any students today. I realized that not many people are aware of the "behind the scenes" of tutoring (well, at least of good tutoring), and it's gotten me to think a bit about the concept of having an "hourly rate." Realizing that mine is one of the higher rates on WyzAnt, I thought I'd share a bit of the "secret life of a (good) tutor," so you might have a better idea of what you're getting for your money. Although I work very hard during our tutoring sessions to make them as productive and educational as possible, it's everything I do when you aren't around that helps me do that. Before... read more

School is finally over. You are looking forward to some well earned rest and relaxation. You are not focused on the fall PSAT and the spring SAT and ACT. BIG MISTAKE! The summer before your junior year is the time to start preparing for the SAT and ACT. It is important to recognize that the single greatest advantage to early preparation is the repetitive nature of SAT and ACT questioning. The greatest predictor of score improvement on the SAT and ACT is practice. While it is important to learn the most efficient techniques for attacking questions, practice will ingrain these methods and good habits in a student so he or she can develop the necessary intuition to perform well. Only sufficient time and experience will allow a student to develop this intuition to the point where it becomes second nature. By beginning your SAT and ACT preparation early, you will avoid the last minute anxiety that besets many students who are forced to take the SAT and ACT 3, 4, or 5 times... read more

As a public school teacher on a traditional academic calendar, I will have flexible day-time hours available starting June 14! I am willing to work with students in all areas of English language arts on middle and high school levels. I can also help with writing and proofreading for college work! Don't forget that I can also work with students who need help with MLA format and other research skills!

Some students forget their skills and knowledge of subjects during the summer because they do not practice and receive tutoring. Other students maintain or increase their skill and knowledge during the summer by practicing and receiving tutoring on their subjects(s). To help maintain skill and knowledge level, many parents and students are having me provide tutoring during the summer for one or both of the following reasons: 1. tutoring for reviewing current subjects for practice and maintenance or enhancement of knowledge and skill levels 2. tutoring on upcoming subjects for learning so that when the student starts back after the summer, not only are they still at an enhanced skill and knowledge level for current subjects, but they can master the upcoming subjects from the beginning because they have received a preview and practice during the summer. Starting on May 30, the parents are having me tutor their student(s) in various subjects on one the following frequencies:... read more

This post is for most if not all standardized exams. The number one issue I see with the majority of students who are preparing for these major and critical exams is that they do not spend enough time prepping. For example, obtaining a tutor a week or even three weeks before the test date is probably not going to do much to increase your scores, especially if you are meeting up with a tutor for only an hour or two per session, given your current score (pre-test). Here's my take. If you know that you will take one of these major exams (All High School AP exams included), please start months if not at least three months ahead of time. This is when you should start thinking seriously about what you need to obtain a 5 on most AP exams. What you should do is get a pre-test of how you're doing, thus you would know your strengths and weaknesses as it pertains to the test you plan to take. From here, I would work with the student to create a schedule to fit their time/financial... read more

Recently, after I tutored two of my favorite students to prepare them for upcoming tests in Pre-Algebra and Geometry respectively, I received positive reinforcement for the importance and value of customizing the tutoring approach, information, knowledge transfer, and tutoring style. After the first tutoring session, I was approached by three people as I was waiting for my next student: 1. An elementary school teacher – she complemented me on my knowledge and tutoring style, and asked me for my information to refer students to me for tutoring. 2. A parent seeking a tutor for their daughter – he complimented me on my tutoring style, my patience, and my problem solving ability, He said, “I saw how you tutored him and I want you to tutor my daughter the same way” He booked a tutoring session for the next day. 3. An adult student preparing for a standardized test – she worked at the café, came over and said that she saw me tutoring the student and saw how he was excited... read more

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