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In the Christmas frenzy of gift buying, holiday parties, and end of the year work quotas, parents groan about how to keep their children occupied over winter break. Many parents seek babysitters, daycare, and family members to watch their kiddos.  But there is a way for you to complete your tasks while simultaneously offering your child emotional nourishment: Involve your child in your shopping! At this point, you might envision your child meandering out the door of Marshalls or the Apple Storewhile you frantically scour for a must-have gift. But shopping with your child doesn't have to be a dreadful experience.  The secret to enjoying -- yes, I said enjoying -- this time together is this: If your child is under age 8, put them in the shopping cart! TALK TO YOUR CHILD WHILE YOU ARE SHOPPING.   GIVE HER/HIM ONE SPECIAL TOY. ASK HER/HIS OPINION ON THE COLOR OF AN ITEM YOU ARE CONSIDERING.   TALK ABOUT THE TEXTURE OF THE ITEM.   ASK YOUR CHILDTO... read more

It certainly is not uncommon for people in society to watch the news and become enraptured by the sheer force and devastation of deadly hurricanes that inflict upon local communities. However, as soon as the news coverage stops addressing the hurricane, the majority of the country's population returns to their normal lives and is entirely unaware of the devastating economic effects of the storm, which sensational news stories often do not cover. In 2012, Hurricane Sandy began far from New York City on the eastern coast of the United States. Hurricane Sandy was by no means an ordinary hurricane. After a short amount of time that few foresaw, Sandy hit New York City, and the storm devastated the city with chaos and destruction. Sandy caused many deaths and injuries, and many people who were living in inundation zones were forced to evacuate. Moreover, the hurricane caused numerous homes to be lost, as well as loss of power/electricity, healthcare, education, and transportation; as well,... read more

My goal as a tutor is somewhat paradoxical: I want to lose my job. In the best possible way, of course: I help my students develop skills that make my services  unnecessary.  it doesn't matter how confused a student is when they come to me, I know that with some instruction, reinforcement and encouragement, any student can develop the study and self-advocacy skills necessary to do well in their classes, on their own. One of the most powerful study skills in their new arsenal is notes.   Notes have incredible power to not only help a student complete their homework, better understand the content, and remember their lessons.  Note taking skills can be built up in layers to address these goals.   Layer one: My notes help me do my homework because they are organized and thorough.   One thing my students struggle with is the misperception that their notes need to look exactly like their teachers' notes. This is particularly bewildering... read more

Everyone on Wyzant wants to teach. All have something important to offer. I believe I have something that is unique. Instead of just presenting material, which we all do, I not only present the lessons that build skills I've added something. That something is the step by step process, that is in print, and is 85% visuals and 15% copy. My students can then go back to an Illustrator or InDesign lesson at any time and review every topic covered during the lesson. We all know that copy heavy textbooks are problematic, videos are just next to impossible to follow, and audio only, well you see my point.            I have just published a book on how to create a digital color wheel  This book was created because -- Graphic designers and design educators face many common challenges in their professions. First, althoughit is not normal for any working professional in the field of graphic design, advertising, fashion,... read more

General - All sessions are billed in 5-minute increments. - All sessions will be charged beginning at the scheduled start time, unless I am late, in which case, the session time will begin when I arrive and charges will be assessed accordingly. - If a session goes past the scheduled end time, you will be charged until the session is complete, in 5 minute increments. If you need a session to end “on time,” simply let me know. - If I choose to end a session early, for example, because we covered all the necessary material--or any similar event--then I will charge you for only the actual duration of the session, in 5-minute increments. - If you choose to end a session early, for any reason, you will be charged for the full scheduled session. - Unless otherwise agreed, all sessions will be schedule for 2 hours. For more explanation, see my TutorFAQs. - Sometimes, it is necessary for me to have my 6-year-old daughter with me when I tutor. She is very well-behaved... read more

Rhetoric is the tool of influential oratory polished by elegance and the light of ability to use language persuasively; misleading those willing to accept what is being presented is true, even if the undertone is not.

I have edited 3 magazines intermittently from 1972. At present I am assistant editor for an on-line magazine coming out of London, England. I published my home study piano course in 1991 that has an enrollment of 200 students. I have one book now at the publishers and hopefully another should be ready for publication in the New Year.

Sometimes I work with students who perform well during our lessons, but who struggle when it comes to actually taking the test. It turns out the reason for this might be genetic.    When we experience stress, our prefrontal cortex is flooded with dopamine. Some of us are coded with a gene that slowly removes the dopamine, while others have a variant that rapidly removes it. The prefrontal cortex is critical for planning and decision-making, and it performs best when an optimal level of dopamine is maintained. Normally, on many cognitive tests, people with the slow variant of the gene perform better. But in stressful, high-stakes situations the opposite happens: those with the fast variant do better. Thus people with the slow variant have been dubbed Worriers, and those with the fast variant, Warriors.    However, being a Worrier does not mean you will inevitably be a victim of chronic underperformance in stressful situations. In one of the studies... read more

Writing is an essential skill your students should develop. It will be important regardless of the professions they aspire to have in the future. However, teaching students how to write can be a problem. Alyssa Stevenson, Content Strategist at EdugeeksClub advises educators, "Pupils all hate writing assignments, so you’ll have to find a way to make this skill attractive to them." Below are 10 apps to help you out in making learning a lot easier: 1. Kid in Story Book Maker Developed by Locomotive Labs, this tool makes your childhood dream of being in a storybook a reality! Kid in Story Book Maker lets you take a picture for the background and allows you to insert an additional picture of the user. You then get to create a narration for your own story. 2. Write about this This app encourages kids and adults alike to harness their writing skills by providing a wide range of colorful and engaging photos to write about. Each photo has 3 levels of prompts... read more

Here's a method that is helping students lock in those AR, ER, and IR verbs! So, you nod your head a lot and smile while your instructor explains how to conjugate verbs but you really, really aren't getting how they work at all! Sound familiar? Although you might be puzzled, there’s actually a reason that Spanish verbs have different endings for each tense. Well, are you ready to learn? First of all, why do we even need to change the ending of the verbs in Spanish? Answer: so that people know who in the world we are talking about! In English, we have those wonderful pronouns like “I, you, he, she, it, we, and they” tell us what or who we are talking about. We pretty much use them all the time - yep, can't live without them. The good news is, we also have them in Spanish! The difference is that in Spanish we have the choice to use them or not. We have choices people, choices! When we change the ending of the verb in Spanish that's how we know who or what... read more

It is very good that you are thinking about teaching your child about essays, as they are going to have to do a lot of them when they get to college and university. And, even though the education system puts emphasis on knowledge, the fact is that they are judged on how well they display and express that knowledge, and that is often done via the essay. So, starting them fairly young is important, but you must also remember that they are not yet to the standards of Niccollo Machiavelli or Jane Austen. So, be gentle with your essay lessons. Do not be too harsh with your child The last thing you want to do is make writing a nasty or negative experience for your child. If they experience anything negative then it will impact your child for the rest of his or her life, and you will probably end up visiting him or her in prison when he/she reaches thirty, so that you can look at his/her newest prison tattoo. Start by giving them enjoyable writing experiences This... read more

To everyone who may not know please begin to gather your tax documents for 2015 and begin the process of submitting the FAFSA (even if you think that you may make too much money for your college student to receive free student aid!) Submit the FAFSA as quickly as possible so that your college students do not miss out on the potential free money for their college education.

The Economist recently published an article with some surprising research findings about stress. Contrary to popular belief, stress is not always bad, nor is it the amount of stress that matters. Rather, the key determinant of its impact on performance and health is largely psychological.    In one study, researchers divided a set of GRE test takers into two groups. Saliva samples were taken to establish baseline stress levels for all participants. Then one group was told that stress during practice exams is natural and can improve performance, while the other group just took the test. Saliva samples were taken at the end of the exam, and the results from both groups indicated similar levels of stress. BUT, the group that had learned stress can be helpful scored higher on the practice test (and, several months later, on the actual GRE) than those who just took the test.    Even more impressively, in 2012 a group of researchers scoured through... read more

Over the years, I have noticed that many students do not like to take their practice test scores at face value. When students get scores below their goal, the temptation to rationalize is strong.   "On Test Day, I will take it much more seriously, so I'm sure my result will be higher."  "I was distracted during XYZ sections, so my score on those isn't as accurate as it could be." "I only really focused on the Math sections, that's why I didn't do as well on the others."  "I made a lot of careless mistakes."   I'm not saying these are excuses - it's possible that they are accurate explanations - but even still, thinking this way will not serve you well.    For starters, if you're not taking your practice tests as seriously as you would the actual test, that's a problem. The whole point of practice tests is to prepare you for the real thing, so you should treat them as if they... read more

I can't speak for every tutor, but I know that if you work with me I have certain expectations of you in order to ensure that you will see the greatest possible improvement in your score. Luckily, they are really quite simple, and adhering to them makes a huge difference. I've attached a PDF version to summarize my Top 5 Test Prep Essentials that you can download, but I will review each of them below too.    For starters, I may be stating the obvious, but you absolutely must complete all homework assignments. All my assignments are tailored to your current performance and designed to help you achieve your goal score. Many students aspire to achieve dramatic improvements, and I fully believe such improvements are possible. BUT, in order to achieve such goals, it is imperative that you complete every homework assignment. If there is a notable gap between your current score and your goal score, that is perfectly ok, but it makes the homework that much more important... read more

Ellen's Rules for Effective Time Management, Part 2 3. Know when it’s time to take breaks. Spending a good chunk of time on one subject is good; it helps you settle into a rhythm and lets your brain get into the correct frame of reference for the subject. But there exists a horizon beyond which no progress can or will be made. It’s the point at which your brain has become over-saturated with the current material, and if you continue on you’ll just end up working yourself into circles of frustration. In paper writing, it’s the point at which anything you wrote would make sense to you regardless because you’ve been reading the same few paragraphs to yourself for hours. In math, it’s the point at which you will just end up confusing yourself more and more as you try desperately to work it out. When that moment arrives, you know it’s time to take your break. 4. TAKE BREAKS. I don’t care how much work you have, there’s always enough time for a fifteen-minute break... read more

What's Your Mindset? It May Shape Your Future! Successful students: "I go to tutoring and I practice a lot. I do many extra problems before each test. I am ultimately responsible for my own learning and success. I need to spend as much time as I need until I can work through all of the problems that will be on my test. The material is hard, but that means I need to dedicate more time and energy to learn it." Advanced: "My teacher doesn't teach well at all, but that's okay with me. I have my textbook and can check out additional books on the subject matter to study myself. I don't even need my teacher. Everything I need can be found in either the library or on the internet (KhanAcademy.org, PurpleMath.com, etc.)." Unsuccessful students: "I go to tutoring, but I don't like to practice and work on additional problems, especially if I have to do them all by myself. I blame my teacher and tutor. They suck and demand too much from me. I... read more

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