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A great way to keep your kids' utilizing the skills they learned in school this past school year, is a daily planning and reflection activity!   During breakfast, or any other convenient time in the morning, ask your child to write down three (3) or more things they have to do that day (i.e., chores, bathing, etc.).  Then have them write down three (3) fun things they want to do that day.   Have them write down what they eat throughout the day, and things they did for exercise.   At the end of the day, have them add up the activities they did, the number of food items they ate, and anything else they want to add to the mix.  Have them subtract their age from the total.  If they are old enough to know multiplication, have them multiply the original sum by 7 (days in the week), and then divide it by their age.  The result will be different for everyone; but, it'll keep their brains working!   This is also a good... read more

Parents oftentimes do not know what to do when their young adults cannot learn the information for school. Parents may try to explain it in a manner that their young adults will understand it. They oftentimes will not be able to grasp what is being taught, and the parents may become frustrated. Parents may even make negative comments to their young adults  when you have not been hired yet and perhaps even after they hire you when you are there (which really does not do their young adults any good whatsoever!).   As you progress with your tutoring of young adults by listening, answering questions, and explaining in more detail, giving encouragement when the young adults need help and giving praise when deserved have some very positive repercussions. They will feel better about themselves, and they will feel better about what you are sharing with them, because you are breaking down the barrier of "I can't learn this" and "I can't do this"... read more

If you adopted or tried to adopt a child in 2014, you may qualify for a tax credit. If your employer helped pay for the costs of an adoption, you may be able to exclude some of your income from tax. Here are some things you should know about adoption tax benefits. Credit or Exclusion. The credit is nonrefundable. This means that the credit may reduce your tax to zero. If the credit is more than your tax, you can’t get any additional amount as a refund. If your employer helped pay for the adoption through a written qualified adoption assistance program, you may qualify to exclude that amount from tax. Maximum Benefit. The maximum adoption tax credit and exclusion for 2014 is $13,190 per child. Credit Carryover. If your credit is more than your tax, you can carry any unused credit forward. This means that if you have an unused credit in 2014, you can use it to reduce your taxes for 2015. You can do this for up to five years, or until you fully use the credit,... read more

Tutoring students for several years, I have realized that the relationship my students have with their parents plays a major role in their success with me and in school. I find that parents who are supportive, yet assertive and set clear boundaries and expectations of success for their children, breed motivation in their children's educational work. Parents certainly need to be assertive and care for the progression of their child's success and education. It's important. I post this blog because I want to help parents be encouraging in a kind and empathic manner in which their child can feel supported and proud of doing what it takes to do their best to succeed. Talk to your child. Ask about their struggles. Ask him/her about how the tutoring lessons are going. Are they connecting with the tutor in a beneficial/educational way? Do they feel the tutor cares about the child's wellbeing? Are they grasping concepts?    Connect with your children and be supportive... read more

There are many resources available to parents and families.  I am a proponent of online activities.  Khan Academy is a great resource for everyone to get involved with practicing learned skills and content at the same time offering lessons on new material. In addition, anytime real-world situations are presented, students are able to apply skills and content learned during the school year.  Parents, give your child a current "situation" to problem solve, i.e., balancing a budget, planing/building a garden, journaling/setting written goals for an upcoming event, etc.

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