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As a student myself, I have some pre-back-to-school rituals that I practice each year to help me get back into learning mode without struggling. Here are some of my tips that I hope you find helpful: 1. Get into your new routine ahead of time: If you’re used to spending your summer days sleeping until noon, a good way to keep from feeling fatigued once school starts is gradually working your way back to waking up at an earlier time. For the month of August, or the few weeks remaining, try waking up an hour and a half earlier than you normally would. It’ll give your body time to adjust to the new schedule gradually, rather than all at once. 2. Don’t stress about materials: Sometimes it’s easy to get organized ahead of time. Some teachers will tell you what materials you’ll need, others don’t. If you don’t know what you’re going to need, don’t stress! Just bring a notebook and one folder to school with you on the first days of class. Collect everything, and when you... read more

As summer comes to an end, most students are trying to pack in the last bit of fun in the sun. If you haven't done much studying this summer, take advantage of your final moments of free time to read a book for fun (hopefully outside) or to play fun games that also challenge you to think.  If your back to school list/schedule shows you what books or subjects you'll be studying, take the time to find out what it is you will be learning about. For reading subjects, skim through the books or read online summaries. For math and science, explore the amazing online study tools available. This will help to prepare you for the year ahead and maybe even get you excited to learn.

With the technological push drowning us with zillions of interactive make-life-easy options, people are loading up on technology like sugar during WWII! Kids have Wii's, iPads, smartphones, 4G connections, Kindles, and more. And that's at home! Many schools have joined Mission Technology in an effort to help children remain engaged in the classroom amidst our changing world. People think if they have the latest technology, they're the 'best on the block'! People believe that technology helps make reading and math easier for kids and communication easier for adults (which means gossip). People believe that if their HDTV streams Netflix movies while they check their online dating account using their ipad, and upload pictures using their smartphone, they've hit the mother load! While others allow their little ones to paint, sans the paint and the teens get to facebook and tweet and instagram on their smartphones until they fall asleep! Here's the truth. Unbalanced technology... read more

Breaks from school are usually much needed and enjoyed. We get to spend time with friends and family, take that vacation that we've been planning for the past 6 months or just simply get to relax. While winter break is fun, we don't want to come back to school thinking "Huh? What is all this again?" Here are a few great ways to remain refreshed while over winter break.   1. Read a book. A couple weeks from school is a great opportunity to delve into a new world. Whether it be a mystery book or action-adventure novel, reading is a great way to keep your mind sharp. You have the chance to expand your vocabulary, discover new things and you can do it all at your own pace! Studies show that reading is not only good at keeping your mind sharp but it's healthy for your body overall. Reading is something that we do, it's an action and therefore some muscles in our body our working. It increases our attention span and makes us feel less sluggish... read more

One of the toughest parts of high school, for me, was trying to get through challenging subjects in high school. Here's my top five tips for those of you who are struggling in a class, regardless of subject:   1) Find a tutor How could I possibly make a list like this without promoting myself, as well? Find a peer who is not only talented in the subject, but is also willing to help you. Having someone your own age instruct you on a topic is easier to relate to.   2) Attend Class Don't skip class if a subject is challenging. Buckle down and be in class if you want to succeed.   3) Participate in Class Of course, if you attend class and zone out the entire time, the benefits of actually going dwindle significantly. Ask questions, complete homework, and participate in class discussions to get the most out of your time in school.   4) Refuse to Fail Speak with your teacher before or after class to get extra help and to... read more

When addressing general learning - especially in K-6 - we must keep in mind that subjects cannot be separated from one another. An obvious example is science, which requires mathematics, writing, and usually reading. Mathematics word problems, of course, require skill in reading and logic. If we consider social studies, we quickly realize that reading, writing, science, and math concepts are usually necessary for appropriate learning experiences. The common element in all our learning is, of course, language, which we began learning before we were even born. As we grew and learned, we imitated our parents' oral language and learned to associate words with things we observed in our environment. Eventually, we began learning to read, which is simply associating written symbols with oral language. Reading opened us up to a variety of learning, but we had to practice reading on its own, for its own sake, as well as in the other subject areas. This is why schools nowadays often... read more

As summer comes to an end, we see the crazed effects that the back to school season brings with it, a chaotic maelstrom of bodies flying about through the campus bookstore, the enduring lines of disgruntled faces waiting to be served by the cashier, a babe crying while the mother withstands the impatient glances around her. If you are anything like me, you would cringe at the thought of having to waste precious time engaging in such a tediously wretched task. And in today's world, who has the time for such things? With such a strong emphasis in our society placed on productivity and efficiency, it is unfavorable to squander that which we have so little of. So what is the solution to this problem? It comes down to these two factors, time management and technology. Anticipating back to school preparations, weeks ahead, will save you stress and time. Give yourself a cushion to fallback on just in case any unforeseen predicaments take place. Schedule a time in your day... read more

Preparing to go back to school: Make a list of basic supplies you would need A few weeks into school you may need a specific item for some teachers Get your circadian rhythm in order! (Meaning: wake up on school time for about 2-3 days before school actually starts!) Set your alarm clock the night before or even the day before. If you get your backpack and clothes ready the night before, you can use the extra time you have for something fun.

     Going back to school can be a nervous experience for some students, particularly if it is a new school with different subjects and a whole new cast of teachers. To relieve this nervousness, students only need to gain insight upon the school and its curriculum. A student should attain a class schedule for their grade level and prepare for it accordingly. Sometimes, doing a quick review repetitiously for even 5 minutes a day can give the student some basic knowledge. That is the key, repetition. Whether we think something is working or not, subconsciously the knowledge is being attained. A psychological study suggests that if a student were to do a quick review before sleeping at night, that their mind will still be working on the subject while you are unconscious. Your brain is always working even in a state of rest. Some of my best ideas and problem solving have come from working on an assignment before I rested, and allowed my brain to process and have... read more

You can prepare for school, even if you have only a few minutes to spare.  First, start to get up as early as you need to go to school. If your bus arrives at 8:30, you should give 60 - 75 minutes to get ready and eat a good meal.  If you're waiting for a school bus or someone to take you to school, crack open the books that you're going to read from. Preview the material and try to learn the vocabulary of your courses.  If some concept looks intimidating, keep a note about it and ask a teacher, parent, or someone you trust to explain it.  Or google it!  When you have homework, make it a priority to get it done.  If it is hard to score high on your homework, don't worry about it.  Just do your best.  But do keep a record of your mistakes and errors.  The earlier you're able to identify your mistakes and errors, the earlier you can take action to correct them.  And this can help your confidence.   Confidence is... read more

Parent's often ask me what their children should do to start the school year off on the right foot. I polled teachers and came up with a Top Ten list that you should review in order to ensure your child starts the school year off right.  1. Stay Organized! 2. Help your child set Personal Goals for the school year. 3. Notice weaknesses and get help ASAP. 4. Start a proper bedtime schedule & make breakfast a priority. 5. Remind your child to report bullying. 6. Acknowledge good behavior. 7. Encourage pleasure reading. 8. Participate in extracurricular activities. 9. Build relationships with your child’s teachers. Early & Frequent contact is a must! 10. Know your child’s friends! ALWAYS MAKE TIME FOR FUN!

Is your preschooler ready for kindergarten? It seems like every state, school and teacher wants different skills from your preschooler! There are different areas of development that parents need to think about before they answer this question. The first is cognitive, which some people think is the only area of development. They must know the letters of their name, count to 10 and name 8 colors. The next area is motor development. Children should be able to write their first name, cut out a circle and jump with both feet. Next area is social development. Children should have at least one friendship, follow rules and routines. The next area is their self help skills. They should be able to take care of all bathroom needs, be independent from parents and take care of their belongings. This is just a guideline and if you are asking this question then it is better to be cautious. Children start school at 4,5 and 6 years of age. All develop at different rates. Some may have special... read more

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