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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

When I first took the CBEST test, I went in without preparation. I past the writing section the first time; the other sections I scored just below 41. Since most test takers write extensively, they will pass the write portion of the test. However, there are test takers that struggle with writing and placing their ideas in written form. Back to Basics The CBEST test, you are given two essay prompts: The Writing test consists of two essay questions. One of the essay questions asks examinees to write about a remembered experience. The other question is designed to elicit expository prose that will permit writers to demonstrate their analytic skills (CBEST, 2013). You are only given two pages for each essay, so your writing must be concise and articulate. Recall the five paragraph essay: the introduction, one paragraph; the body, three paragraphs; the conclusion, one paragraph. Remember, you are not writing a thesis or dissertation, keep it simple. Most CBEST study guides... read more

Alegbra:   Algebra 2/Trigonometry:   Geometry:   Math A, Math B, Integrated Algebra, Other Math:   Chemistry:   Earth Science:   Physics:    

We all know we do better when we're well-rested than when we're not. Modern sleep research has started to uncover exactly why that's the case. In terms of memory, there are at least two important reasons to make sure you're getting enough sleep. First, we better remember what we learned the day before. This is because sleep plays an essential role in the conversion of short-term memory to long-term memory. Short-term memory relies heavily on a brain region known as the hippocampus (named after the Greek word for seahorse, given its shape), while long-term memory relies on a broad network of cortical association areas. When we learn new information, the hippocampus is very active, and when we sleep, it turns out that the activity of our hippocampus predicts how well we will remember what we learned when we wake up. Researchers have even found interesting ways to manipulate and improve this process. For example, in one study, experimenters paired the scent of a rose with a spatial... read more

At a conference in town earlier this year, I presented several panel discussions centering around the difficulty of defining and quantifying art. Our discussions in these panels got me thinking about literature, and how one of my main points could apply equally easily to much of the literature that students read in high school. The point in question is this: one of the defining characteristics of art, in my view, is that it is something that creates an emotional response in the viewer. Experiencing it changes you in some way. This is easy to see when the emotions are ones we generally see as 'positive;' if a play makes your heart swell with hope for the future, or a ballet duet makes you flush with the excitement of new love, or an epic novel makes your heart race with anxiety over the safety of the main characters, it's easy to argue that those works are art and have changed you. But what if the emotions you experience are more negative – what if a novel bores you, frustrates... read more

The complaints against WyzAnt’s 40% commission demands a response. Suppose a tutor with 15 hours of work time through WyzAnt charges $40 an hour. Of that amount, WyzAnt will automatically deduct $16. This deduction is based on WyzAnt’s commission rate, which is 40% for the first 20 hours of work time. So the tutor is not earning $40 an hour; rather, the tutor is earning $24 an hour. According to a number of individuals, WyzAnt’s 40% commission rate is too high, way above average. Some folks, oddly enough, have even posted complaints on other websites. Why? Here's some food for thought. 1. Twenty-four dollars an hour is higher than any state’s hourly minimum wage. 2. You can create your website for tutors and charge a lower commission. 3. If you tutor for an hour you will be paid $24. 4. If you don’t tutor for an hour you will not be paid $24. 5. Twenty-four dollars is more than zero dollars. 6. You don’t have to stay with WyzAnt, but before you leave... read more

I have been on WA now for several months (granted, through the summer months to start with), and although there were plenty of jobs that I would have accepted, I applied to several, and no one takes me up.  It is for any age Science, math, chemistry, physics, and I will also help with composition, English, etc  I get no one.  I double checked what makes a good job application, etc.  I double checked my profile. So is my price too high?  WA has not suggested nor given any guidance on any of these things, so I am asking you all. Thank you.

  For those of you who may have purchased Apple's spiffy $79 external CD/DVD burner (or Superdrive as they call it), it may not have worked when you plugged it into your older Mac. A lot of times a person's built-in optical drive fails, and they see the new external at the Apple Store. They naturally grab one assuming it'll work because they'll be using it with a Mac. Hopefully there's a "Genius" selling it to them who's going to ask which Mac they plan on using it with. I'd think probably not. It turns out it's only the fairly newer Macs that support it. When you plug it in, your older Mac might very well inform you that "This Apple External CD/DVD drive is not compatible with this Mac. Please go to Apple Support to read more." What they show you is a compatibility matrix that seems to makes no sense. I haven't compared every spec of every Mac they list, but 2009 seems to be the general cutoff.   Perhaps Apple requires USB 3, and... read more

All cancellations must be made in writing (through WyzAnt messaging) before 36 hours of the lesson start time. If you are cancelling for a reason other than illness or emergency, you will be charged the full cancellation fee equal to the full amount of the lesson.  If you are sick, ill, or not feeling well, you are eligible to receive a discounted cancellation fee ($15-$20, up to 1/2 of the full lesson fee) only if you choose to reschedule the lesson within 1 week (otherwise you will be charged the full cancellation fee equal to the full amount of the lesson). If there is a holiday or special observance, you are eligible to receive a discounted cancellation fee ($15-$20, up to 1/2 of the full lesson fee) only if you choose to reschedule the lesson within 1 week (otherwise you will be charged the full cancellation fee equal to the full amount of the lesson). If you have an emergency, no cancellation fee will be applied only if you reschedule the lesson within 1 week... read more

When I worked for Kaplan, they required all private tutoring lessons to be two hours. That surprised me because I thought of lessons as one-hour affairs. However, I soon discovered that we could get through a lot more in one two-hour lesson than we could in two one-hour lessons. Why? For starters, each lesson always starts with a few pleasantries and takes a couple of minutes to get going. Furthermore, it usually takes 15 minutes or so for students' minds to warm up and perform at their best. So by the time we are at our best flow, if the lesson is only one hour together, we have often used a quarter to a third of our lesson time. In my experience, I've found that 90 minutes works well for most students (exceptions: young students, and students who begin tutoring very close to their test date). With 90 minutes, we can go through the warm up period and spend more than an hour at our most productive level. And 90 minutes isn't so long that it strains students' attention... read more

Math Student's Civil Rights   I have the right to learn Math (Math is learnable like other subjects) I have a right to make mistakes, erase then, and try again (Failure points to what I have not learned yet) I have the right to ask for help (asking for help is a great decision) I have the right to ask questions when I don't understand (understanding is the primary goal) I have the right to ask questions until I understand (perseverance is priceless) I have the right to receive help and not feel stupid for receiving it (asking for help is natural) I have the right to not like some math concepts or disciplines (i.e. trigonometry, statistics, differential equations, etc.) I have the right to define success as learning no matter how I feel about Math or supporters I have the right to reduce negative self-talk & feelings I have the right to be treated as a person capable of learning I have the right to assess a helper's ability to... read more

"Mom; Dad,  I'm bored!"  If that is the constant  complaint of your child this week of Spring Break, take heart. There's hope! For those of you in Houston, the Children's  Museum of Houston is offering admission for $12.00 this week. There will be special activities and exhibits to keep your children occupied and learning all week.   libraries are planning special activities such as reading clubs, often free of charge. These activities not only keep your children entertained, but they prevent the loss of learning associated with long school breaks, They can also provide , conversation starters over dinner. Give it a try.

AP Literature Open-Ended Prompt, 1975, #2: Unlike the novelist, the writer of a play does not use his own voice and only rarely uses a narrator’s voice to guide the audience’s responses to character and action. Select a play you have read and write an essay in which you explain the techniques the playwright uses to guide his audience’s responses to the central characters and the action. You might consider the effect on the audience of things like setting, the use of comparable and contrasting characters, and the characters’ responses to each other. Support your argument with specific references to the play. Do not give a plot summary. The Blanks Left Empty Narration is often the crux of the novelist's art. Through skillful use of narration and point of view, a novelist can make his readers acutely aware of not just the events of the novel, but the characters' opinions of those events. This makes it easy for a skilled novelist to deftly control how his... read more

The =CONCATENATE(x) function is one of the LEAST heard of functions in all of Excel. It allows you to combine multiple cells into one cell. There is no limit to how many can be combined, so =CONCATENATE(A1," ",B1," ") will combinie A1 with B1, and place a blank space in between both cells - if they are words that require a space in between. Concatenate Away! 

Translator: Google Translate is a great way to translate words and short phrases from your native language to English   Vocabulary Builder: Build your English vocabulary with fun worksheets               ****This is a "living" blog post that will be updated periodically.

During the school year, many of the students I work with have jam-packed schedules replete with extracurriculars, sports, and demanding classes. Adding test prep into the mix can complicate schedules even further. So why not take advantage of the time students have off during the summer to get ahead, so that when school resumes they won't have a heavy additional workload to worry about?    There are many reasons why summer classes benefit students. One of the most obvious relates to what is known as the "summer slide." Most students lose about two months of grade-level mathematical proficiency over the summer. In fact, in a meta-analysis of 39 studies that examined the effect of summer vacation on academic achievement, researchers found that summer break was detrimental for both math and reading skills, and that the amount of deterioration increased with grade-level.    Many times I work with sophomores and juniors in high school... read more

When your teacher says, "study for your test Friday," what exactly does he mean? It's a bit ambiguous, and many students do nothing at all. This lack of studying typically does not result in good grades. (There are, however, those few students who do not study and still earn a 100). The most basic form of studying is memorization. One will only find this on spelling tests. More than likely, you will need a system in place to effectively "study". I would recommend finding a study partner or small group with which to study. This works best with people of similar academic ability. This way you can also call each other daily to check homework, especially in math. Cornell notes are one tool that I would endorse. Classes called Avid use them extensively. Google will give you examples and directions on getting your notebook paper ready for taking Cornell notes. For younger students, there are several acronyms that help with reading comprehension. My... read more

To keep your brain sharp over winter break, the best thing you can do is read. Read widely!  If you typically only read mysteries, branch out. Read expository, comics, and newspapers. By doing this, you will stretch your mind, be exposed to new vocabulary, and comprehend new material.    In addition, keep your math skills sharp. Teach someone else what you just learned at school. This makes you the expert and cements your learning.    Finally, be inquisitive!  Strive to be a life-long learner. Sometimes schools do not motivate students to achieve this goal. Assigned reading takes away from the intrinsic rewards of reading self-selected material. Let's face it--it can take a lot of time to fulfill the demands of school. Did you know that the amount Anericans read after graduation varies widely?  On one end of the spectrum lies people who never read. On the other end of the spectrum lies people who read four books per month. Guess which... read more

To all the students who use the Answer section on this site, please refrain from asking inappropriate questions.  Seriously.  It is not as amusing as you believe it to be, and tutors who use the section do not find it amusing either.  It is also a very bad reflection of your maturity.  Your posts will be reported if you continue to do so.

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