Category Archives: Study Skills Training

Ways Students with Learning Disabilities Can Improve SAT Test Scores

Students with learning disabilities may need extra help to study for college entrance exams. Your teacher and a tutor are great resources to consider.

Students with learning disabilities may need extra help to study for college entrance exams. Your teacher and a tutor are great resources to consider.

Studying can be quite a challenging task for all students because of reasons like lack of interest and short attention span. Studying is even more difficult when you combine the two reasons above with learning disabilities. Here are some tips on how students with learning disabilities can study better and hence, score good grades on big exams like the SAT.

Identify the Problem

The first thing to do is to pinpoint what the problem is. For example, the problem could be an extremely short attention span. If you know what the problem is, you can find the right approach to deal with it. If you spend most of your days studying but you are not getting the results you want, it could mean that you do not have the right study skills. Pay attention to yourself and find out what your problem is.

Organize Content You Need to Study

For exams such as the SAT, it is usually very taxing content-wise. There are a lot of materials and topics to study for. This can get very confusing and discouraging for a student with learning disabilities. The solution to this problem is to be very organized. List all the subjects and topics that are required for the SAT, and check them off one by one as you move along on your revision route. This way, you will feel like there is less clutter and things are more systematic.

Listen up!

Teachers are the experienced exam-takers. They are a great source for clues and tips for your big exam. More often than not, teachers may drop hints about important information on what to focus on and what to spend less time studying for. Try to pick out verbal cues from your teachers. Clues can be words such as “write this down” or “listen up”. When you hear your teachers say these verbal cues, be sure to write it down, mark it or flag the pages so that you know what you should be studying.

Don’t Forget the “Cheat Sheets”

Yes, there are cheat sheets available. They are located at the end of every chapter in your textbooks. These cheat sheets are called “chapter review”. Textbooks these days offer these review pages with questions you can answer. If you have trouble with chunks of texts in your textbooks, the important parts of the chapter will be highlighted in this review portion. Be sure to take note of what is mentioned in the review pages, and then go back to the chapter and read up on it again, this time, paying more attention to the new information you have just learned. The questions in the review sections are also helpful – they can help you see how much you have understood from reading the chapter as well as summarizes the entire chapter.

Tips on Balancing a Job and Preparing for the GED Exam

Getting your GED expands your job opportunities. Tutoring can help you pass the exam the first time you take it!

Getting your GED expands your job opportunities. Tutoring can help you pass the exam the first time you take it!

Taking the GED test is an important step for many who did not complete high school.  Passing this test certifies that your “General Education Development” is equivalent to a high-school senior who graduates through a traditional school system. For people whose education got interrupted for any number of reasons, they can obtain this equivalency and pursue further studies or career goals. Most employers and colleges consider the certificates based on passing of GED to be an equivalent of high-school graduation. The GED test is designed to test the capability of a candidate in Math, Reading, Writing, Social Studies and Science. Taking practice tests and then following up with study of the material equivalent to the school curriculum is the best way to get ready for it.

GED 2014 Version

GED tests have been revised several times since they were first made available. The last revision was in 2002 to bring it up to the latest standards in schools. Prior to this, it was found that a large majority of the test takers look at it as a means to access higher education. Only about 30% of the test takers considered GED certification as a means to better employment. This is contrary to expectations on which this test was introduced. It was thought a candidate with an education equivalent to a high school graduate will help open up employment opportunities. This test is expected to be revised in January 2014. It is being redesigned to better test for college preparedness. More importantly, the test will not be on paper any more but will be taken interactively on computers. This is a significant change for test takers.

Preparing for the GED

People planning to take the GED are those whose high school studies have been interrupted. They will have some catching up to do depending on how long they have been out of the school system or when their home schooling stopped. It is possible they may not be familiar with computers the way school students are. So, in addition to preparing for the Math, Science, Social Studies and the reading and writing, they must catch up with computer usage very quickly. If you are already using a computer on your job, this process will be much easier for you. The computer training does not need to be extensive. You simply need to be able to use the computer sufficiently to answer questions timely. The best strategy is to take online practice tests.

If you have a job, it is recommended you develop a study plan. You will need to balance the demands of your test prep with the time you must spend on the job. Whether you are brushing up and adding to your subject knowledge or preparing for the practice tests, private tutoring can help you score higher on your test. We offer private test prep tutoring here to students who want to pass the GED test the first time they take it. Contact us today!

Tips for Helping Teens in Foster Care with Homework

Teens in foster care benefit from tutoring as well as structured homework time.

Teens in foster care benefit from tutoring as well as structured and consistent homework time.

It is common for youth in foster care to be behind their peers academically. Although younger children may be more willing to spend time on homework, teens in foster care may rebel against foster parents or guardians who try to get them focused on academic goals. In-home tutoring can provide the motivation teens need to do well in school. Tutors with experience working with kids who are several grades behind where they should be can boost a child’s confidence and get them thinking about their future.

However, a tutor cannot be with your foster child all the time. There are steps you can take to provide an environment conducive to learning. Here’s how foster parents and guardians can help teens with homework without turning these after-school study sessions into a dreaded war of wills:

Be Organized

Homework hour is all about making sure your teen has sufficient time to complete assigns while he still has energy. Make sure your chores are completed beforehand so she has your undivided attention if she needs it. Turn off the television and eliminate other distractions that can interrupt a teen’s concentration. Actions counter to these recommendations send a message to your child that homework isn’t a priority.

Be Consistent

Establishing a reliable routine is just as important as helping your teen with homework. Set a designated time and place for schoolwork. Have everything your child needs at hand, including reference books, a computer, dictionary, and writing paper. Your child has a limited attention span, so don’t waste it by having him hunt around for an eraser.

Take a Break

After school, give your teen some downtime before hitting the books again at home. Have a healthy snack while chatting about her day at school. Discover what she learned in class and if she faced problems during a particular lesson. Reassure her that homework reinforces learning. This is your opening to start the day’s assignments.

Learn the Lesson

Nothing frustrates a teen more than a difficult homework assignment and nothing annoys you more that not being able to help her. Take time to study the material before trying to teach your child how to find the correct answers. If you don’t understand the lesson, find someone who does. An in-home or online tutor can provide assistance when you need it.

Think Outside the Box

Learning should be fun. Change settings by doing homework at the library instead of at home. Experiment with various methods of imparting the same knowledge to your child and see which ones work best to help her understand her homework.

Limit Homework Time

Your teen has spent almost an entire day in school, learning many subjects in a closed classroom environment. At home, keep homework time between 15 to 20 minute increments. Forcing your tired child to spend longer than 20 minutes on homework may produce resentment against extra assignments and discourage learning in general.

Offer Constructive Feedback

If your child has a tough time with a particular task, be patient and suggest different approaches to the problem instead of berating his inability to find a solution. Remember that homework is practice for what your child has already learned in class. Go through the lesson with her briefly before taking another shot at the answer.

Monitor Progress

Keep tabs on your teen’s progress in school. His struggle with homework may point towards learning difficulties during class. Discuss the issue with his teachers or attend parent-teacher meetings to find out more about the teaching methods employed in school and ways you can help at home.

Tutoring can help teens in foster care catch up with their peers and prepare them for graduation. Contact us today if your teen needs tutoring!

How Online Tutoring Can Make Positive Inroads in Educating Children

Online tutoring is a convenient and effective way for students to get the academic help they need.

Thanks to the developments in technology, it is possible to pursue education through the internet in the form of online tutoring. Students learn their subjects in a virtual environment, which is much different from the traditional tutoring setting. Where the student lives does not make a difference because students can learn and study anywhere as long as they have Internet access.

Online tutoring can help all types of students.  Students struggle in school for various reasons. A particular subject might prove to be tough for some students, while some students will require more time to grasp a subject. These factors are easily addressed with online tutoring.

Following are reasons to consider this type of tutoring:

Tutors are Available for Various Subjects

First and foremost, learning through the Internet provides your child with the ability to learn many subjects conveniently and effectively. The student can change the subject with each tutoring session or get help in the same subject with multiple online tutoring sessions. Many students tend to find a particular subject hard to grasp. With online tutoring, students get to spend as much time they want on a subject.

Excellent Education Right in Your Home

Traditional education has a pattern, which some might find de-motivating. You have to attend classes that are time-limited which might interfere with your child’s learning. Online education provides your child with the freedom to choose their own schedule and learn right from home.

Quality Teachers Make Learning Fun

Online teachers are highly qualified. When learning through online tutoring, your child can discuss one-on-one with these teachers who provide instruction. It is often easier for your child to learn in this type of setting. Tutors are experienced in their subject areas and know how to interact with different types of students. In a one-on-one session, your child will be provided a comfortable environment where he or she will feel comfortable discussing the subject. It is not possible in a traditional classroom where a single teacher has to handle thirty or more students. They are not be able to address students individually.

Students Can Clearup Doubts Before Exams

Finally, students can address any questions they might have before exams. Getting answers to last-minute questions can boost the confidence of students before they have to go to school. Many students simply do not feel comfortable asking questions in class or talking to their teacher after class. Online tutoring is a safe place for students to get the help they need!

Beyond In-Home Tutoring: Ways to Help Your Teen Improve Math Skills

Take advantage of all of the resources available to help your teen improve math skills today!

Take advantage of all of the resources available to help your teen improve math skills today!

Math is one of the most challenging subjects in school and a source of endless nightmares for teens and parents alike. Parents who have struggled through their own bad experiences with math may resist helping their teens who need help with math homework. Although in-home tutoring can certainly address your teen’s immediate need for homework help, there are steps you can take to help him improve his math skills outside of formal learning sessions.

Use Math Daily: Show your teen how math is important in everyday life by proposing numerical questions regularly. Take her grocery shopping and have her estimate the total cost before you actually check out. Ask her to calculate the final cost of a sale item when you take her to the mall. Using math daily trains your child to think numerically, laying a good foundation for solving math questions in school and later in life.

Make Math a Priority: Give her practice worksheets on days she doesn’t have math homework. There’s no one way to approach a mathematical problem. If your teen is stuck, help her work at it from another angle or us a different approach like drawing a diagram. Work the problem as thoroughly as possible.

Skip the Problem: Math problems should only take a minute or so to complete, and homework assignments shouldn’t take longer than 20 minutes to complete. Let your teen know it is okay to skip a problem and return to it after she has completed the remaining problems. Spending too much time on a problem causes your teen to become frustrated which can result in unnecessary errors.

Refer to Examples: Go through the math lesson for the day with your teen and look at sample problems that she may have done in class. Refer to the sample when your child starts her homework and guide her towards the solution without actually telling her what to do.

Make Memory Aids: Math is all about numbers and formulas that may be too overwhelming for your teen to retain. Make memory aids that she can review at a glance to remind herself of how a particular problem should be solved.

Learn, Practice, and Practice Some More: Practice makes perfect. Assisting your child with homework reinforces class lessons but without regular review, your teen may still forget what she has learned. Set time aside to go over the week’s key math lessons. A brief oral test can indicate how well your teen understands the math concepts she is learning.

Encourage Group Study: Teens are extremely social. Let her invite some friends over to figure out the math homework together. Help them stay on track by leading them in a discussion of the questions and their proposed solutions. Praise their efforts and reward them with a snack and free time once they’re done with their homework.

Take Advantage of the internet: Educational websites provide a wealth of information and resources you and your teen can use. If you are having trouble with a particular math problem, find help by searching the Internet using keywords in the math problem. Never copy solutions from the Internet, but use them to help your teen better understand a problem and its solution.

Our math tutors have experience providing homework help to teens. Learn more about in-home tutoring for teens by contacting us today!

Practical Advice When Learning through Online Tutoring

Online tutoring will only benefit students who are serious about learning and have strong time management skills.

Though online tutoring is extremely beneficial, students still need to put in the effort to make sure grades improve. Consider the following advice when considering online tutoring.

Learn Time Management

To succeed in school, you need to practice time management. You opted to learn online because you felt it could help you out. But, it might not, if you cannot manage your time effectively. Since you will be learning through the Internet, you might not think it requires you to be as serious as you would need to be if you met a tutor face-to-face. You might feel like watching television or playing a video game. This is when you need to learn how to discipline yourself and set a time period where you are going to make yourself study. No matter the tasks or personal commitments you have, you will want to follow your tutoring schedule to ensure you get the expected results.

Retain Course Content

Sometimes you will find yourself not able to recollect what you learned several weeks or even days ago. When that is the case, you will want to rewrite what is being taught in your own words. When you write in your own words, you are able to retain what you learned in an efficient way. You can try out different methods to see what will work for you. Some students like to rewrite material immediately following a tutoring sessions while others prefer to wait a day or so.

Remain Motivated

When you are learning through online tutoring, you might find it difficult to remain motivated, especially if you feel you are needing to review the same material over and over again. Participating in a small group might be exactly what you need to stay motivated. You can always change tutors if your tutor is not engaging enough.

Online tutoring is a fun way to learn. When you stay focused on your tasks, you are headed in the right direction.  You have a better chance of succeeding when you get serious about your learning!

Online Tutoring: Advice for High School Students

Online tutoring can benefit high school students in many ways, including preparing them for college.

By the time you reach your junior year of high school, you should be giving some serious thought about college. While not everyone is cut out for college, your ability to earn more over an entire lifetime is directly related to achieving that college degree.

Unfortunately, many high school students are simply not prepared. More than one-quarter of high school students who took the ACT in 2012 fell short of college prep standards in the four areas deemed critical by the ACT, and 60 percent of high school students fell short in two of those areas.

The Demands of College Prep

Let’s face it: college entrance requirements are becoming more competitive with each passing year. With such pressure on you, it may be downright impossible to keep up with everything that the life of a high school junior or senior demands. That’s where online tutoring comes in.

A lot of the academic struggling you might be facing could be the result of failing to grasp some of the concepts being thrown at you in class. Another aspect may be the demands of extracurricular activities or a part time job. Even the extra paperwork involved with all of those college applications may prove to be too much. Online tutoring can help with some of these issues, helping you with study skills, reinforcing the academics learned in school, and basic time management.

How Online Tutoring Can Help

Online tutoring is just like hiring a private tutor, except you work online with your tutor, who may be hundreds of miles away. The flexibility of online tutoring means that you can add this service to your already busy schedule, getting the help with what you need, when you need it. Your tutor can help you improve your grades, raise your GPA, and even help you do better on those ACTs or SATs. Higher grades and test scores may just mean the difference between getting accepted into your first choice, or having to settle for your second (or third or fourth) choice school.

To be honest, the academic study skills that you develop now, while still in high school, will translate into college success. Online tutoring can help ensure that you are comfortable with college-level work, proficient in the skills you need, and the habits of successful students everywhere.

Laying the Proper Foundation

It might not seem like a big deal right now, but success in school can make all the difference in your future. Getting good grades in high school can translate into getting accepted into the right college environment, which eventually could mean the difference in the type of career you have. Online tutoring could just be the best weapon you have now for ensuring that your future is everything you want it to be.

General Study Tips for Students in Elementary School

Students excel in school when they have proper support at home.

Good habits are best developed early. The same rule can be applied to elementary school. What a child learns in the early grades is a foundation for the rest of their educational experience. The same idea can be applied to a child’s study habits. It is never too early to impart the necessity of good study habits, and a few simple tips should start your child on the path to school success.

Tip #1: Parents should serve as a role model for children.

If you can, help them with their homework. Many parents are busy and finding the time to sit down with a child can be difficult, but parents should always stress the importance of completing homework as a way to reinforce the concepts learned in school.

Tip #2: Organization is the key to success.

This may sound trite, but it holds true. Encourage your child to keep papers from one subject separate from those in other classes. Multiple folders, color coded and arranged in a binder should prove helpful. Children should be encouraged to have all of the supplies they may need — pencils, erasers, glue sticks, crayons — all in one place, such as a pencil box. Many teachers encourage students to keep these supplies at school. If that is the case, make sure that these same supplies are available at home. Some schools now provide each student with an agenda book. Encourage your child to use it every day for writing down homework assignments and upcoming tests. This allows you and your child to stay on top of when things are due, and gives plenty of time for test preparation.

Tip #3: Find a convenient and dedicated space for doing homework and studying.

You might have been able to do your homework while sitting on your bed, but that was high school or college. This is elementary school, and young children can easily be distracted. Using the dining room or kitchen table, or a desk if your child has one, allows for the space one needs to have all their material at the ready and allows the parent to oversee that the child is on task.

Tip #4: Make homework and studying a routine part of each day.

Let’s face it, no one wants to spend seven hours cooped up in school and then come home and do their homework. However, homework and studying are vital components of the learning process. Your child may not want to come home and immediately start on their homework. If so, let them have some down time, but make sure that homework time is a part of the routine every day.

Tip #5: Don’t be afraid to ask for help.

Students, once they start falling behind, may be afraid or embarrassed to ask for help, and then only fall further behind. Teachers are generally available through email or a phone call, and their job is to teach your child. Let them know if your child is having difficulty with certain subjects and make your child’s education the cooperative process that it should be.

 

Study Tips to Help Students Excel in High School

Using proven study tips can help students achieve academic goals.

In high school, the pressure is on. Good grades and extracurricular activities are all geared towards getting into the college of your dreams. With the extra work load of advanced classes and, for many students, a part-time job, the need to effectively complete assignments and study becomes harder still. However, a few pieces of advice can help any student do better in school.

1.  Time management is your most important skill.

Frequently, a high school student comes home with what seems to be an insurmountable amount of homework. “How am I ever going to get it all done?” they ask, and then wind up being unable to complete any of it because of disorganization. Simply being able to pause, and plan out what needs to be completed in the available time should see every assignment completed, with spare time left over for all-important socializing and recreation.

2.  Work on your studies every day.

Cramming and pulling all-nighters may seem like the cool thing to do, but they are counterproductive. Simple things like reviewing your notes each night can keep the material fresh in your mind, retained in your memory and eliminate the need for panicked last-minute attempts to memorize everything.

3.  Stay organized.

It is very easy to become overwhelmed with the amount of paperwork, textbooks and notebooks that high school requires. Keeping it all organized will better allow you to find needed information so that you can use it for studying. Also, nothing tanks your grade faster than missed homework assignments. Adding a bunch of needless zeros into your grade can drop an A down to a C (or worse) very quickly.

4.  Participate in class.

This may sound like common sense, but when you actively participate in class discussions and activities, you retain more of the information that is being presented. Contributing to the class and paying attention will have your mind thinking about the material, not just passively absorbing information that will soon be forgotten.

5.  Set goals for yourself.

No one plans to fail, but committing yourself towards a desired end will motivate you to try your best to make those goals a reality. Just remember to make sure that you set reasonable goals. Setting an unreasonable goal will only result in failure. If this happens, you will be even more frustrated and disappointed. Figure out a good set of goals, and work hard to achieve them

6.  Learn how to take good notes.

Being able to follow a discussion and jot down the most important points is one skill that you will definitely need in college. High school allows you the opportunity to learn and refine this skill. Your teacher can always help you improve your note taking, and comparing notes with other classmates can reinforce important concepts.

High school is an important time in your education. Parents and teacher expect you to work independently and complete assignments on time. With the right attitude and the belief that you can do well, these study tips can help put you on the path of high school success.

Tips to Help Students with Learning Disabilities Study

Students with learning disabilities do well with the right supports and study skills appropriate to their learning style.

Learning disabilities can be challenging for students, but they are not impossible barriers to education. With the right supports, every child can learn. When it comes to studying, coping with a learning disability often means finding the right strategy for the student. The right strategy and a lot of patience can mean the difference between success and failure. The following tips can help parents and students succeed.

Tip #1 – Get organized.

School often means an overwhelming amount of paperwork. Helping your child keep everything organized goes a long way when it comes time to study. Having separate notebooks and folders for each class allows important papers to be at the ready when it comes time to study. Have a dedicated space for homework and studying at home, and make it a routine part of every day.

Tip #2 – Know how your child learns best.

Everyone learns differently. Some children are visual learners, some are kinesthetic learners. You know your child better than anyone else, and know how he or she thinks. Playing to your child’s strengths will help reinforce classroom material and make retention easier.

Tip #3 – Break it down.

Children with learning disabilities often do not know what to study, let alone how to study. These children need explicit information. Talk to your child’s teacher about the specific areas to concentrate on for tests, and review your child’s text books to see what information is being taught.

Tip #4 – Make learning familiar and fun.

One of the best ways to remember facts is to come up with anagrams, word associations, and silly phrases that stick in the brain. Do you remember how to spell “arithmetic”? Maybe not, but you might be able to remember that “A Rat In Tom’s House May Eat Tom’s Ice Cream.” There are lots of memory devices available to help children remember all sorts of complicated facts.

Tip #5 – Develop test taking strategies.

Sometimes, being able to pass a test is about strategy. When it comes to answering questions, teach your child to concentrate on the answers that they are sure of, eliminating some of the choices. With multiple choice questions, remember that one answer is usually obviously wrong. Read the question and answer carefully in order to narrow down the possible correct answer.

Tip #6 – Look at the big picture.

Parents of children with learning disabilities are often focused on the immediate goal. Getting through the third grade may be challenging enough as it is. But the most important thing to remember is that you are preparing your child for the rest of his or her life. Being successful in life requires a healthy, positive attitude and the willingness to work hard. These are attributes that are not measured on tests.

School is difficult enough for most children. Children with learning disabilities often have to work twice as hard, but they can succeed. Set goals, stay positive, and stay focused on what is most important, and your child will succeed not just in school, but in life.