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How to avoid the "freeze" during a quiz, test, or exam: First, let's talk about what "the freeze" is. The freeze is usually a sort of momentary panic, that makes it very hard to concentrate and focus and solve problems. Does that sound at all familiar? Many students experience it at least once in their lives, and some students face it frequently. When we have a moment of panic, our adrenaline kicks in. We go into "fight or flight" mode, and certain parts of the brain are chemically over-stimulated by the adrenaline. When we are in "fight or flight" mode, it is very hard to concentrate and do challenging problems like math and science problems. Sometimes it takes a long time to calm down and get the adrenaline out of our system. A strong panic can wipe out our best thinking skills for an entire test period, and give us a score that does not represent our actual level of understanding at all. We can actually know most of... read more

How to avoid the "freeze" during a quiz, test, or exam:   First, let's talk about what "the freeze" is. The freeze is usually a sort of momentary panic, that makes it very hard to concentrate and focus and solve problems. Does that sound at all familiar? Many students experience it at least once in their lives, and some students face it frequently. When we have a moment of panic, our adrenaline kicks in. We go into "fight or flight" mode, and certain parts of the brain are chemically overstimulated by the adrenaline. That makes it hard to focus.   When we are in "fight or flight" mode, it is very hard to concentrate and do challenging problems like math and science problems. Sometimes it takes a long time to calm down and get the adrenaline out of our system. A strong panic can wipe out our best thinking skills for an entire test period, and give us a score that does not represent our actual level of understanding... read more

Please let me know your experience, or any helpful information you may have regarding Parental Alienation in divorce (or post-divorce) cases. I am deeply concerned for the well-being of some children who may be victims of Parental Alienation. I have been told that this is a form of child abuse, since it can seriously impact a child's self-esteem. Research shows that children in divorce cases are under stress, and when one parent "vilifies" the other parent, it can cause emotional damage to the child, or children. If you can take a minute to comment or email me directly, I would greatly appreciate your assistance. Thanks in advance--I hope to hear from you soon.

Artificial flavorings and artificial colorings in food have been shown to make A.D.D. and A.D.H.D. worse, and even cause symptoms of ADD/ADHD in children who normally did not have those symptoms. One of the worst culprits is NutraSweet, or aspartame, which also goes under several other names. The makers of this artificial sweetener seem to change the name when one name gets a bad reputation. I encourage those who are interested to do further study on this subject. There is a great deal of information out there, and much of it has been written by research chemists and Medical Doctors. In 1994, a report was released that listed 92 symptoms associated with aspartame use. The report stated that aspartame accounted for 75 percent of all BAD reactions reported to the "Adverse Reaction Monitoring System." Some of the 92 adverse effects of aspartame ingestion include: Abdominal Pain Anxiety attacks Arthritis Asthma Asthmatic Reactions Bloating,... read more

When interviewing a prospective tutor, parents should ask about the tutor's skills and experience, and find out if the tutor truly enjoys teaching. When the tutor feels enthusiastic about the subject, and communicates well, the student has an opportunity to learn to enjoy the subject too. I recommend for parents to observe the first lesson to see the tutor's skills in action, and watch/listen carefully to future lessons when possible, to make sure the tutor has an encouraging, supportive attitude at all times. (Tutors should welcome and respond positively to the child's questions, and NEVER make the child feel "stupid," no matter what.) It is most important to have a safe and quiet place for studying, without distractions. I like to find a quiet table at a library, and work with students there. I welcome suggestions from parents, and I am always looking for ways to improve my teaching skills.

We've been told that each student tends to have a dominant learning style. In my experience, I would say that the Visual-Dominant Learning Style is most common (#1), then the Auditory Learning Style (#2), and then the Tactile or Kinetic Learning Style (#3). Some teachers seem to love talking a lot, so their students may get 90% of more of their information in the Auditory form. That is not good for some students. Other teachers and professors like to "put it all on the board," and let students do their own note-taking, and draw their own conclusions. There are some "teachers" who do not do very much explaining. Worst of all, a few teachers--at least-- actually discourage students from asking questions. (Amazing, but true, right?) Before I paint a picture that is too gloomy, please understand that I believe most teachers do a good job of teaching. Some teachers are great at their jobs. In typical classrooms, the visual and the auditory go together, so... read more

Congratulations to MADISON for her dedication and good grades in her challenging business classes. Madison, we're proud of you for doing a great job--it looks like you're going to get A's and B's in all of your classes. Since you are taking some very challenging subjects, passing them all and getting good grades is a praiseworthy accomplishment on your part!

Congratulations to CHRIS, for getting A's in some very challenging business courses. You are taking a heavy load of classes, plus you have other multiple responsibilities. You deserve a lot of credit for your good work in your Information Systems, Financial Accounting II, Management, and other classes. You're headed for success. Keep up the good work!

I'm sure you've noticed this--For some reason teenagers in general, especially young men, tend to "resist" when their mothers ask them to do something. Even when they do obey, they seem to have an attitude of "dragging their feet" sometimes....It might be a subconscious part of growing up. I'm not sure why, but I do remember feeling that way when I was a teenager too. So sometimes it really helps to have a coach or tutor or someone else do the "pushing" that is needed. (And it can give moms a break, so they don't have to be the only ones doing all the pushing...Moms, you deserve a break once in a while too.) :) I encourage--push--my students to put in more effort before our sessions, doing as much as they can on their own, which saves time & money and also lets the students build confidence that they can do more "self-starting" in the future. Comments are welcome--I'd like to hear your thoughts and feedback on this. Thanks,...

As you may know, I am a big fan of the well-known author and brain specialist, Dr. Daniel Amen. He mentions in several of his books that Physical Exercise is good for the brain. I have read of research studies that showed a clear correlation between IMPROVEMENT in students' test scores in math and science, and their level of physical activity (for example, when math class followed PE class, the students had significantly higher scores). Maybe we should schedule PE before all math classes in our schools. What do you think about that idea? This morning I read an online article on the myhealthnewsdaily site, entitled "6 Foods That Are Good for Your Brain," and another article about how Physical Exercise helps maintain healthy brain in older adults too. The second article, "For a Healthy Brain, Physical Exercise Trumps Mental Workout" was found under Yahoo News. The remainder of this note is quoted from that article: Regular physical exercise appears... read more

Even the best teachers are not perfect. Thinking back to my own experience with my previous teachers, I realize that some of them had a bad day now and then. Or maybe I was the one having a bad day. In either case, it seems that most classrooms have some distractions* from time to time. Once I got "off track" during a lesson, it was really hard to catch up. *Examples of distractions include situations where other students are moving or making noises, my own worries about friends or school, family concerns, being hungry, needing to go to the restroom, looking for a pen or pencil, or needing to sharpen a pencil, etc. There are many sources of distraction. Even "fear of failure" can be a distraction! During those distracting moments, we probably missed out on some element of a lesson, and that created a GAP--maybe a critical missing piece of our learning process. One of the goals of working with a tutor is to fill in those gaps, so we can do our best... read more

Playing a math game. Following a recipe. Building a science project, robot, or electronic kit... These are some ways to use hands-on learning activities to make science and math more interesting. This summer, for example, I have been using some new modules that include electronics/science of electricity, automotive engine technology, solar energy labs, etc. for "gifted", "average", and "special needs" students. And everybody loved the new study lessons. Even the ADD/ADHD students (myself included) stayed interested during entire lessons. I think we need more of this sort of thing in the schools. What do you think? If hands-on learning can keep the attention of ADD/ADHD students, it can work for other students too! I enjoy watching students learn through interactive games that utilize technology. For example, we like to race the clock and fill in math and science puzzles. There are many active ways to make learning more interesting, and before... read more

A few keys to success in school (for people with or without A.D.D.): We need to concentrate on taking notes in classes, and possibly use a digital recorder to record some classes. (That makes a tremendous difference for many of my A.D.D. students, because they can "go back and listen" to things they missed when distractions occurred.) Examples of distractions include when other students are moving or making noises, worries or concerns**, being hungry, needing to go to the restroom, looking for a pen or pencil, or needing to sharpen a pencil, etc. There are many sources of distractions. Even **fear of failure** can be a distraction! What about memory problems? Actually all of us have trouble with remembering from time to time--it's part of being human, right? Heck, even computers have memory problems occasionally, so it seems that some degree of "forgetfulness" is basically a universal condition. Some good news for A.D.D. students: If we are... read more

I was reading what another WyzAnt tutor said, and I realized that he and I have the same attitude towards tutoring: We cherish each and every student, and enjoy working with them, but we don’t necessarily want to build a long-term relationship with them. I compare this situation to birds learning to fly. They need help at first, but it is important for them to learn to be self-sufficient, and learn to handle the challenges on their own. My goal is to help you to get on track, fill in some "gaps," and then let you "fly" on your own, when you are ready. In the future, if more help is needed with a new challenge, I am always glad to help. As John from California said, "Many students were never taught the basic concepts behind their courses. Because of that, the entire course can be a struggle for them." That problem does not just happen out West. I have found that to be true here too. If you were never taught the basic concepts, we will... read more

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