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I started my Physics course this Summer telling my students they are not allowed to say "I don't know," unless they can't read, listen to a recording, watch a video, or ask a question of someone more knowledgeable. When I was in school we did not have access to information like students do today.  In my humble opinion, students need to bulk up on two things like body builders do using supplements. What are those two things students need to bulk up with? Asking quality questions and learning how they learn.  Take for example, Google is an awesome resource, but if you ask the wrong question or use terms inappropriately, you will not get the answer you seek. Ask a bad question one gets a bad answer. Ask a wrong question one gets a wrong answer. Ask an incomplete question one may very well get an incomplete answer. Its that simple. Quality of questions is paramount and good questions come from meticulous vocabulary management. Therefore, students must become... read more

The Importance of Study Skills Study, as defined by Oxford Dictionaries, is the “devotion of time and attention to acquiring knowledge on an academic subject, especially by means of books; a detailed investigation and analysis of a subject or situation.” Merriam-Webster defines study as an “application of the mental faculties to the acquisition of knowledge”. My personal definition is a combination of both. To study is to devote time and energy/attention to gain an understanding and knowledge of a subject. Study skills, therefore, are the set of strategies that are used to adequately acquire and gain knowledge about a chosen topic or subject. When we possess these skills or strategies, we are able to increase the efficiency of learning. We are also able to increase the likelihood that what we are to be learning is retained in our long term memory for future use. Which brings us to the definition of learning. Learning is a lifelong skill, that when successful and... read more

Learning can definitely be fun if you find the individual's learning style. We all process and learn new information in various ways. You have visual, auditory and kinesthetic as the main learning styles but there are more. Some ways in which you can assist students in learning is by seeing, saying, feeling relating and memorizing along with repetition to name a few.   However, nothing is dead set, if it means me getting beach sand, tap dancing or even rapping in order to assist a student in understanding, that is what we could and should do. We have to get creative, move away from the chalk board and the worksheets. It is time to make learning interactive and fun.   Children who struggle with learning are very receptive if they feel as though they are having fun and that they are not going to feel stupid if they answer that question wrong. I encourage teachers and tutors who have a genuine passion for assisting children in learning to make it fun, fun, fun...

The Seven Learning Styles Visual/Spatial:You prefer using pictures, images, and spatial understanding. Aural/Auditory: You prefer using sound and music. Kinesthetic/Physical: You prefer using your body, hands and sense of touch Verbal/Linguistic : You prefer using words, both in speech and writing. Solitary: You prefer to work alone and use self-study Social: You prefer to learn in groups or with other people. Logical/Mathematical: You prefer using logic, reasoning and systems.   The Seven Learning Styles Visual/Spatial:You prefer using pictures, images, and spatial understanding. Aural/Auditory: You prefer using sound and music. Kinesthetic/Physical:  You prefer using your body, hands and sense of touch Verbal/Linguistic : You prefer using words, both in speech and writing. Solitary: You prefer to work alone and use self-study Social: You prefer... read more

While I was tutoring fellow students I noticed they did not want to do the actual work or look in the back of the book for definitions.  They sat there and waited until I gave more to an answer or told them additional info.  I told them that I would not just give them the answers because they would never learn that way.  But how I did change them to start actually doing their own work was to relate the subject to their everyday lives.  One student, who was a bagpipe player told me the cost of the bus, the amount of pay to play in a parade and other various expenses and I told him what you did there was basic accounting.  He seemed kind of amazed that he had been doing this the whole time, just not out of a text book.  Once I started relating his hobby to the subject he started being more interested and started doing more of his own work.  So I find that relating a subject to the students or make it conform to their everyday lives will make them want... read more

We all have one: that one subject that our brains just refuse to understand, and no matter how much we study or how hard we work, we never feel like we really truly GET what is going on.   For me, that subject was always Physics. No junior high or high school teacher could ever answer the unending string of "...but WHY?" questions that I needed answered before I could understand even the most basic concepts of our Introductory course. It wasn't that I couldn't understand, but rather that I wasn't being taught these ideas in a way that made sense to me.    As an adult, Physics is now actually one of my favorite subjects to read about because I have found some books written for people just like me, people who need explanations fulls of examples and explanations and lots of pictures! I may never discover black holes or split an atom, but I now know enough that I can understand the people who do those things. :-)     So,... read more

Every student has the same amount of time in the day, but the key to improving your life and having time for the activities you want to do is to find ways to be more productive. First, putting all your due dates for your term assignments on a calendar, paper or digital, is an effective method of measuring out your time that you have to prepare. This way helps to manage the load in nice chunks. Finding out whether you are a visual, auditory, or tactical learner is also a great idea and is helpful in engaging with the material more easily and quickly. A quick, simple test can identify how information most easily goes into your brain. If you are a visual learner, you can “see” the information, so writing notes in charts and creating other visual representations makes the information organized in your brain. Using color codes in your notes is beneficial to map out information on the pages, such as using different colored highlighting pens or colored pencils to identify questions you... read more

Many students wonder how they can learn quicker, with a longer retention span, and better comprehension of the subject matter. The answer is simple. The way to learn and absorb the most content faster is by employing your personal intelligence style. So what styles are there? There are music, visual, interpersonal, nature, auditory, spatial, intrapersonal, and more. However, so many of us have been boxed into one method or structure of learning that we spend double the amount of time on learning a subject when it could take us only a few minutes if we learned it according to our true learning style.   A child that is auditory may not need to see the same vocabulary word ten times over if he just hears it spelled out once and repeats it. A student may find sudden success in learning that tricky multiplication table if he or she tries it to a song he or she wrote. A kinesthetic learner may find sudden focus when practicing a new activity outdoors instead of at a desk.   Whatever... read more

Physical activity — even something as small as fidgeting the hands — increases levels of the neurotransmitters dopamine and norepinephrine in the way ADHD medications do. Both chemicals play a key role in sharpening focus and increasing attention.   Attention “deficit” increases with the length, familiarity, and repetitiveness of a task. In other words, you tune out when tasks get boring!  An activity that uses a sense other than that required for the primary task — listening to music while reading a social studies textbook — can enhance performance in children with ADHD. Doing two things at once, she found, focuses the brain on the primary task. These sensory-motor activities are called “distractions.” But we call them fidgets — mindless activities you can do while working on a primary task. We’re not talking about wriggling in your seat. Fidgeting is more intentional. It’s pacing or doodling while on the phone or chewing gum while taking a test.   Fidgeting... read more

     It is extremely important that all students (and preferably their teachers) understand how they learn.  Once I realized that I learned best through reading and doing, education became easy for me, but I was in college by then.  Oh, how different things could have been if I had learned this early.  Teachers may realize it, my 6th grade math and English teacher knew it, but she never stopped to explain it to me.          The first time I meet a student I like to give them a Learning Styles Inventory like VARK which has printable inventories and a separate inventory for younger children or Education Planner which is geared toward the college bound and has some great resources for students, parents, and counselors.  Once I have assessed the student's learning styles I can gear all lessons to fit that particular student.         Teachers are forced to adapt lessons... read more

1. Colors help the brain absorb information better. It also makes any subject at hand more interesting and appealing to the eye. 2. Note taking should never be a duty, I like to incorporate fun ways to write out notes that'll help with memory. 3. Music to set a relaxing but stimulating mood for the student. 4. Every 15 minutes, students need a quick break from focus to keep their attitude positive and upbeat.  5. The finish line should always be promising and have a silver lining. I like to let my students have something to look forward to when they complete their task at hand. 

Why are there three types of learners? It is because we all are individuals who learn differently than others. Some students may use all three types of learning, while others can only focus on one type. If a student tells me that they must do their studying a certain way, I go with it and improve upon it. Kinesthetic is hands-on learning (building blocks, math tiles, interactive software programs, science experiments, word search or word puzzles, etc.) When entering Pre-K or Kindergarten, a teacher, along with specialists, finds what type of learner his/her students are in order to have them achieve as a student. Visual learners must have information in front of them in order to understand what the teacher is teaching. Hand-outs, SmartBoard, Active Board and pictures are good examples of what visual learners need to help them learn. If a student is a visual learner and has nothing to look at, the information will not be obsorbed and the student will be completely confused and frustrated... read more

Frequently Asked Questions   What do you do to help make learning fun? This depends on the subject and the student's age. I have created Jeopardy games, given play money/candy as rewards for answering correctly, played board games (while studying), gathered books on subjects that interest the student, and much more.   Do you offer any guarantees? Yes, I am not satisfied until you are. If your child receives a grade on a test/quiz that is below a "C" then I will review the material with the student at no charge.   Can you guarantee my child will improve? I can assure you that I will give your child all the tools necessary to improve their grades. It is ultimately up to the child to improve.   What are the typical grade improvements you see? Most children will improve a minimum one letter score within only a few weeks of tutoring.   Do you offer ongoing tutoring rates? Yes, students who meet a minimum... read more

The best part about tutoring is you have a student's brilliant mind all by themselves to help them explore and enhance their own understanding and analysis of the world around them.  If you can find the spark within the student, the passion that ignited them, there is no stopping them from learning and growing in excellence in academia.  I truly love to see a student's eyes light up when something complicated is connected to a story, a poem, or a simple anecdote from life scenarios.... once students see they can learn by connection, integration, and story telling from their own world, they become empowered to love and create the world around them!  Welcome!

1) MEANINGFUL: Ensure that it is the most meaningful to the client/student. Get to know your client/student, and the skills strengths and currently less strong areas. Build up both areas of skills and strategies in a positive manner.   2) ENJOYABLE: Allow learning to be enjoyable. It can be, even when preparing for a deadline or important examinations. Turn it into a game. Research shows that students, both kids and adults, learn faster and retain more if it is enjoyable. This can only happen if the tutor actually loves to learn and to see the student excel.   3) OWNERSHIP AND LEARNING PREFERENCES FOR FASTER COMPREHENSION: Provided the goals are being reached within the required time frame, allow the client/student to choose (or even create if the individual desires to) which preferred ways the client's goals can be reached. Ownership of the learning process, even if it is part ownership, enables clients to learn faster and to retain more. While not ignoring... read more

I normally tend to teach by relating to things seen in common life.   Theories to practical day examples in easy and simple wordings.   My goal is to get the message across, after all we are learning to build our intellect, think and apply it in our daily lives.   I believe everyone has the ability to succeed in what they put their hearts into.    All it takes is a little bit of patience (alot of it in the beginning), developing curiosity into thinking further about it ( thats where I come in), alot of practice, which leads into mastering the subject ( leading to develop a passion in the subject, who becomes a familiar friend).  

Monday, December 9, 2013   More families are looking for alternatives to traditional public schools. School closings and teaching faculty reductions are leading to over – crowded classrooms that don’t seem to meet all student’s needs. Home schooling is one educational option available to families seeking an alternative to their local public school system. This article highlights four things that will help you get your home school off to a good start while meeting all of your student’s educational needs. 1. What can you teach successfully? As an adult, chances are you can remember that one subject you were good at in school. Whether it came naturally for you, or you simply studied hard and still remember the content, you probably know the subject well enough to teach it to your home school students. However, you should still take some time to decide whether or not you can teach the subject to your students. Unless you have teaching experience as a classroom... read more

Tutoring / teaching doesn't have to be boring.  A good teacher / tutor, is one who can make a lesson feel like it is not a lesson, but, it is, a lesson.  Deep.  Here are my five "outside" the box tips that help make learning fun.   1. Personalize the lesson for each student. 2. Within the lesson, incorporate what the student likes and is interested in. 3. Humor.  Got to have humor.  4. Lessons should be "outside" the box style of lessons.  Not just blah, blah, blah lessons. 5. Creativity, imagination, and most of all, different.  Basically the same as tip #4. * 4 and 5 are similar, does this still count as 5?  Please?   Learning takes place anywhere. Who said you can't have fun learning?  I sure do...    

Understanding your child's / student(s)' learning styles is one of the most important factors in helping them reach success.  At the end of the day, why else did we become parents or teachers but to watch the next generation learn?  The problem is that we often assume that everyone learns and processes information the same as we do.  If they don't, does that mean there is something wrong with THEM?!  Absolutely not!! Respecting and building on the natural learning style of the learner, in my opinion, is the most important role of the tutor.   In my day, everything was pretty much done by taking turns reading aloud.   The problem for me was that I was not good at processing information while reading aloud nor was I savvy at auditory processing.  For several years I was treated as though something was wrong with me and given that I had an older sister who processed information "normally," I internalized that message for a very... read more

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