Category Archives: Tips for Parents and Caregivers

Have Fun (Not Fear) with Science Homework!

Don't be daunted if your child needs help with science homework. Use these tips to get help you both can use.

As a parent you want the best for your child. You want to help them and support them so that they achieve the best that they are capable of at all times. Education plays a huge role in shaping a young person and homework is a crucial aspect of school life.

Kids don’t like doing homework and often it is the parent’s responsibility to make sure they get it done. Getting your children into the habit early is the best way of helping them build on good habits and gives them a better chance of finding success.

So, sitting down with your child and seeing that they get their homework done is an important part of parenting. But what happens when your child brings home something you don’t understand? Science can be a tricky subject but you shouldn’t be afraid of getting involved.

Tackling Tricky Science

Science is a complicated and potentially confusing subject but remember you are doing this for your child’s welfare. You shouldn’t let your embarrassment impede their learning. Try and read ahead in your child’s textbook. Even if you are learning it five minutes before you help them learn it you are providing a great help.

If you wanted to go one step further, consider hiring a tutor to help your child learn more advanced science principles.

How to Keep Science Interesting

If you and your child are struggling to find science interesting, it is important to try and adjust the way you are approaching it. Remember what science is all about. It’s about explaining the world around you: how it works and why. Try and connect science and what you are reading on the page with the world around you. If it’s relevant, it is more interesting.

Look at gravity, plants, animals and the different reactions of fluids to temperatures. All of these, in addition to be being easily accessible, can be explained by simple scientific theories and calculations.

Technology Saves the Day!

If you are still struggling, either due to your own lack of knowledge or because your child is still not grasping scientific concepts, remember that all this information is out there within touching distance. If you do not understand a particular subject, you can Google it.

Online you will find all sorts of solutions theories and explanations. If you have a question, it is likely that someone has had the same question before and the answer is online. Always cover your bases by reading from a variety of sources.

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!

Improving Academic Outcomes for Children with Learning Disabilities

Parents can help a child with learning disabilities by understanding different learning styles and knowing how their child learns.

If your child has been diagnosed with a learning disability, you must be wondering what you can do to help. One of your biggest concerns is probably how they will cope at school.

Homework is an important part of the education process as it not only increases learning but also helps children develop good habits which will serve them in many ways in the future. Homework is also an area which a parent can help with and have some influence over. However, you need to be doing it correctly.

A parent’s role in helping their child study is not to make sure they get full marks, it’s about helping them help themselves. As a result, if your child has a learning disability, you must remember that you are not there to provide a cure or do the work for them.

The following tips are for parents of children with learning difficulties:

Focus on Strengths Not Weaknesses

It is imperative to remember that your child is not defined by a learning disability. One weakness is nothing compared to the multitude of strengths your child has in other areas. Focus on those strengths and use them to bolster interest and ability in the weaker areas. Encourage any academic area where your child excels and try to understand what it is about that subject that they enjoy. When possible, try to replicate the enjoyable elements across all subjects.

Make Sure YOU are the Expert on Your Child

It is a good idea to do your own research and keep up to speed with the options available to children with learning disabilities. Make sure you understand your child’s situation. What it means and what your options are should inform your course of action. Yes, it is great to talk to trained professionals like doctors and therapists, but remember that you owe it to your child to do your best for them. Understanding all the issues involved is a major step.

Be Prepared to Fight for Your Child

It is not nice to consider, but there are times when a child with a learning difficulty may be left behind. Whether it is due to understaffing or poor teaching, you must be prepared to have a grip on the situation and get involved when you need to. There’s no need to fight everyone and you have to be realistic, but be ready to embrace your role as a proactive parent. When you come up against obstacles remain calm and reasonable but stay firm and remember that you are fighting for the wellbeing of your child.

Take the Lead Yourself

Children follow their parents’ lead. If you take a positive approach to tackling a learning difficulty, your child is more likely to replicate. Always stay positive and constructive.

Remember that Every Child Learns Differently

There is no blueprint for how an individual learns and those with learning difficulties are no different. Some people learn best by seeing or reading, others by listening, and still others by touching or acting it out. You should try to identify how your child learns best and incorporate that into the way you help them with their homework. It may also be worth reaching out to their teachers and asking them to do the same.

Education is For Life, Not Just School

Depending on the severity of your child’s learning disability, you are going to have different goals and ambitions. The one thing to remember is it is not necessarily all about academic success. What you are helping your child to do is learn to cope in the best possible way so they can be successful adults. Learning how to interact socially and how to live their own life is just as admirable a target as good grades and high SAT scores.

How Foster Parents Can Get Elementary-Aged Students Interested in Science

Science homework does not have to be a chore for students or parents. Use expert recommendations to engage elementary-aged students in science.

Science homework does not have to be a chore for students or parents. Use expert recommendations to engage elementary-aged students in science.

Like math, science is a daunting subject for many children. Some feel intimidated while others are simply not interested. Parents often assume that they need to be rocket scientists in order to help children with their homework. In fact, foster parents can easily learn about science alongside their elementary-aged foster children when using the following methods:

Have Fun with Experiments

An easy way to solidify science concepts in your child’s mind is to capture her attention visually by running simple experiments at home. For instance, if your child’s science homework is about the change of an object’s physical state, help her understand this by showing how liquid transforms into vapor when you put a kettle of water to boil for hot chocolate.

Extend Science Lessons into Your Backyard

Show your child that what she has learned in school really exists. Point out the different clouds in the sky that affect weather changes (earth sciences), or help her identify the insects in your garden (life sciences) when you go out for a walk together. Helping your child with her science homework often requires taking class lessons outside the classroom.

Participate in Science Projects

Science projects are an effective learning method for any child. Test your child’s knowledge of underlying concepts by asking leading questions about the science projects assigned to her. Avoid building the projects for her. Instead, provide the materials she needs to create her project efficiently.

Use Mind Maps

Review the topic summary for the day’s science homework with your child before starting. Make sure your child knows what is expected of her when she addresses the task at hand. If needed, draw a colorful mind map linking critical points with key subject matters under that particular topic. Visualizing the topic in a mind map enables your child to pinpoint exactly where she may be having trouble when completing her homework.

Visit a Science Fair or Museum

Add science fairs in the vicinity to your calendar or take your child on a trip to the nearest museum to pique her curiosity in this subject. A major challenge when doing science homework with your child is to retain her interest in science as being more than just a subject to learn in school.

Play Interactive Science Games

Interactive science games are a great way to help your child with her science homework. Surf through the internet to find many free topic-related science games. Some games offer multiple choice answers that reinforce your child’s memory about a certain subject. For example, to go on to the next level in a game for life sciences, your child may be required to name the key features of an animal. If you are hesitant about going online, set a time every week for a game of science trivia with your child and the rest of the family.

Hire a Science Tutor

Sometimes children in foster care learn better from a tutor.  A science tutor can make homework time fun and exciting while help your foster child bridge identified learning gaps. Science tutors at Educational Tutorial Services are trained to help youth in care meet academic goals. Contact us today to learn about our in-home tutoring services!

Practical Science Homework Advice for Parents

Parents can help their children with science homework even if they do not know the material themselves.

Science is a subject that can be fascinating for kids at school, but there are times when children of all ages may need some help and guidance with this subject. As is the case with all subjects, kids will often have science homework and from time to time may need some help and guidance from you as a parent in order to get the homework completed successfully.

As a parent, you will naturally want to be able to offer this guidance and helping hand when it comes to your child’s science homework. This doesn’t mean that you have to be a whiz at science yourself – even if you are unfamiliar with the subject, there are various ways in which you can help your child.

How You Can Help with Science

Whether or not you are good at science yourself, there are a number of ways in which you can help your child when it comes to their science homework. Some tips to help include:

  •  Get appropriate materials: Depending on the level and grade your child is at, make sure that he or she has access to plenty of educational materials relating to science. This includes appropriate textbooks and reading materials.
  • Use the Internet: Encourage your child to use the Internet in order to carry out research relating to their science project. Don’t do the research for them but be on hand to guide them. This is a great way to access useful information as well as to get them into the habit of conducting online research for education.
  •  Study with a friend: Subjects such as science can be more fun to tackle with friends, particularly if it is a practical assignment. Therefore, you may want to suggest your child study with a friend but you should also make sure you are on hand to guide and help them if they need it. This is a great way of encouraging kids to share their knowledge and help one another understand.
  • Look at specialist help: If you feel that your child is falling behind with a specialist subject such as science, it may be worth considering focused help provided by a tutor. This could prove to be a valuable investment that can help your child to get on track with science and help them to better understand the subject as well as to cope with homework assignments more easily.

Don’t Do the Work For Them…

A key thing to remember is that while you should always be willing to provide your child with support and guidance with their science homework, as a parent you need to refrain from actually doing it for them otherwise this will have an adverse effect on their overall learning and understanding of the subject.

Academic Help for Children Who are Visual Learners

Visual learners can find everyday homework difficult to complete, especially if involves a lot of text. Expert tutors can help your visual learner with homework in way that allows her to attain more of the material she learns.

Visual learners can find everyday homework difficult to complete, especially if it involves a lot of text. Expert tutors can help your visual learner with homework in a way that allows her to retain more of the material she learns.

Although most students use all of their senses during the learning process, most prefer one over the others. The brain uses different channels to gather information about the world. This means your goal is to discover what channels are mostly used by your child and help him use that to his advantage. Here are some tips for parents whose children are visual learners.

Get Equipped

One of the first things to do dealing with a visual learner is to get properly equipped. This means when you pick workbooks for your child, you should pick the ones with many pictures, diagrams and other visuals in them. Get a chalk board or pen board and use it in your studies with the child. Tablets are great teaching tools for visual learners. Draw a picture or a diagram whenever you can to support your verbal explanations. Use pictures, bright colors and other visuals when helping your child with homework assignments.

Use Video Lessons

Nothing beats a good visual for a visual learner. This definitely is a case of when a picture is worth thousand words. Understand that your child’s brain is searching for pictures and it singles them out to learn from them. So, using videos is a strong tool you can leverage during study time. You can use educational cartoons for younger kids or use educational PC games for older ones. Online tutoring can be highly beneficial for visual learners because of whiteboards and other teaching tools used by tutors.

Teach Your Child to Work with Text

No matter how much your child likes pictures or other visuals there is no way they can learn by them alone. They still need to know how to work with text and how to make it a more memorable source of information. Here is one good tip for the parents. Get several highlighters and teach your kid to single out key thoughts and sentences of the text by highlighting them. This is how you create visual anchors in the text and help your child memorize and learn more information from reading words.

Use Gestures to Communicate

Verbal communication can also be hard for visual learners. So, when you are trying to teach something to your kid with words, use your hands and your entire body to support your words. You may help your kid to memorize certain things easier, if you back your words up with signs. Your child is more likely to remember you “talking” with your hands than what you said in words. This is another reason visual learners benefit from online tutoring – tutors use video to communicate with students.

As you see, these practical tips for parents can make your study times easier and more fun. You can learn to “speak the same language” with your child and avoid frustration when you communicate. When you need extra help, contact us for a private or online tutor that can provide the learning environment your visual learner needs to excel in school.

When Your Child Needs Math Help

You don't have to be a genius to help your child with his math homework.

While math is a vital part of the school curriculum for kids of all ages, there are some children who struggle with this particular subject more than others. Math is one of those subjects that some people are naturally brilliant at while others may really struggle to get their heads around it. However, perseverance and the right support can help kids who need a helping hand with their math.

At school, this helping hand naturally comes from the teacher, as kids can speak to their teacher for clarification or guidance with math issues they are struggling with. At home, on the other hand, it is usually the parents who will provide this guidance, offering support and help when their child is doing their math homework.

How You Can Help

If your child needs help with math homework, there are a number of ways in which you can help. This includes:

  •  Clarify their understanding: You need to get an idea of exactly what your child doesn’t understand about the question or assignment. It may be that he or she understands part of it but is struggling with a specific aspect. So, clarify their understanding by asking your child exactly what he or she needs to do and where the problem is.
  •  Break down the problem: Kids may struggle with a math question or assignment because they are looking at the bigger picture, which can be quite daunting. By breaking the question down and going through it section by section, it can be easier for kids to understand and solve.
  •  Don’t pass on your nerves: Many parents find that helping kids with math can be daunting, as sometimes they do not understand the problem themselves. Do not let you kids see that you are struggling or worried.
  •  Use the Internet: Don’t be afraid to use the internet or online tools to help your child. You should let your child look up the information but sit with them to guide them. This will not only enable them to get help but will get them into the habit of online research for educational purposes, which will become increasingly important as they grow older.
  •  Consider hiring a tutor: If you feel that your child has a big obstacle to overcome when it comes to math, you may want to consider hiring a tutor for additional support and assistance. This can help bring your child up to speed with math if he or she is falling behind compared to the rest of the class.

Addressing Concerns Over Progress

Also, remember that while helping your child with math homework you can gain a better understanding of their progress with this particular subject. If you are worried about your child’s progression with math, speak to their teacher to see what he or she recommends.

What to Expect From a Private Tutor

A private tutor can make all the difference to your child's success in school (and beyond).

A private tutor can make all the difference to your child’s success in school (and beyond).

Education is a major determinant of both an individual’s productivity as well as growth of the economy. Private tutoring is a popular way for parents to ensure the academic success of their children. Those who are not familiar with it may wonder whether it actually increases parental choices and if it helps a student achieve more in their academic pursuits. Private tutoring plays an important role in the education of today’s student. It involves giving extra instructions to students who wish to improve their aptitude and who also wish to become more knowledgeable about a particular subject.

What Is Private Tutoring?

Private tutoring can be defined as a form of tutoring where the student pays the tutor their fee and the tutor in turn provides supplementary instructions to the student in a particular academic subject. In other words, it is a form of private education in which instruction is provided on an individualized basis. Such instruction is perceived to be better than what a student receives when studying at a typical school.

This form of supplementary education is provided to students of all ages, including those who are studying at the upper-secondary level as well as those who are preparing for university examinations. Even those who are studying at primary as well as lower-secondary levels can benefit from this form of education. What’s more, private education is a growing phenomenon and more and more students are now opting for it.

No Secret Techniques

Before paying for private tutoring it is important to keep in mind that there are no secret techniques and magical methods that are going to work for every student for every subject and in every kind of environment. This is because the tutor has to use different teaching methods to suit the learning abilities of different students. Each student is unique and will only learn the subject provided the tutor uses the right teaching method.

For this form of supplementary education to be effective, it is important for the tutor to make his student feel comfortable and relaxed. Children (and adults) generally learn better when they are comfortable and relaxed. Feeling comfortable and relaxed helps the student to fully concentrate on their studies. They are able to give their studies their total undivided attention.

Assess Student’s Comprehension Level

A good tutor is one who assesses the comprehension level of his student and then teaches them in a manner that suits that comprehension level. In addition, the tutor will plan the lessons so that the instructions are not imparted on an ad-hoc basis but in a prearranged manner. To ensure that the teaching is effective, the private tutor must also use his creativity when teaching. If the tutor makes the mistake of teaching the student in a sterile and dry learning environment the results will be disappointing.

Private tutoring is only effective if the teaching methods used are effective and creative. The student should be taught in a fun way. The tutor must keep the student’s interests in mind when teaching them a subject. So, if the student reveals an interest in music then the tutor should use music mnemonics as learning tools. Last but not least, the tutor should always treat his student with utmost respect.

Turning Young Children into Enthusiastic Readers

With the right encouragement and support, young children will love reading.

Reading is a vital part of your child’s upbringing, as it aids their education, creativity, and imagination. Reading is something that a child should want to engage in for pleasure as well as for educational reasons, but not all kids are at the same level as their peers when it comes to reading.

Any parent that feels their child may be experiencing issues when it comes to reading should take action to try and rectify the problem as soon as possible. Being able to read properly will enrich your child’s life in numerous ways, which is why it is so important to find ways to improve their reading skills.

Tips to Build Reading Skills

Being a good reader is vital to your child’s academic achievements but is also a vital part of their upbringing, as it can feed their imagination, release their creativity, and enrich their lives.

If you want to help improve your child’s reading skills, there are a number of ways in which you can do this, including:

  • Read to your child daily: Younger kids love nothing more than to have a parent read to them. In addition to providing them with the pleasure of storytelling, this will also help to increase their interest in reading as well as improve their reading comprehension.
  •  Provide plenty of material: In order to increase your child’s interest in reading, make sure you provide them with plenty of reading material. Also, try to provide them with a diverse array of reading material so that they develop a taste for different genres as they grow older.
  •  Make reading a family activity: You can help to encourage your child to read by making this a family activity. So, you could put aside half an hour each day or every couple of days where everyone settles down with a book to read.
  •  Take your child to the library: While many people now read books on e-readers and online, kids are often fascinated by the shelves full of books at the library. Make the most of your local library and take the kids along to choose their own books.
  •  Get your child to read to you: Reading to your child is an important part of increasing your child’s interest in reading. However, you should also start getting your child to read to you, even if it is just a few paragraphs at a time. This will encourage your child to focus more on what he or she is reading as well as enabling you to monitor their progress.

Aiding Your Child in the Long Run

These tips can help make reading more fun for your child as well as help to increase their interest in reading as they get older. This in turn can improve reading comprehension, which will aid your child both academically and personally over the years. By utilizing these tips, you can help your child to develop an interest in reading that will aid them both during their time in school and for many years to come.

Creating the Right Learning Environment for Children with Learning Disabilities

An environment conducive to learning can help students with learning disabilities focus on their homework.

While all children need a little help and guidance with their homework from time to time, those who diagnosed with learning disabilities may require more support than most. For the parents of students with learning disabilities, it is important to be aware of ways in which this guidance and help can be provided without the parents actually taking over.

It is just as important for students with learning disabilities to be able to understand the work that they are doing at home as it is for those without learning disabilities. Parents need to find ways to help their child while still ensuring that he or she is the one that does the work.

Ways Parents Can Help

There are a number of ways in which you can help children with learning disabilities when it comes to their homework:

  • Establish a homework schedule: It is a good idea to develop a routine and establish a schedule. This increased organization can help your child get into a routine when it comes to completing homework and also means that you can ensure you are around when homework is being completed.
  •  Eliminate distractions: The last thing a child with learning difficulties needs is a load of distractions such as televisions, radios, and lots of noise. Therefore, make sure you set up a quiet area where your child can study in peace and focus on what needs to be done.
  •  Arrange regular breaks: If your child has a particularly lengthy homework assignment to complete, make sure you arrange regular breaks. This can help to increase focus and concentration, particularly for those who have ADD or ADHD.
  •  Hire a tutor: It can be highly beneficial for a child with learning disabilities to have extra support from a professional. You will find a number of tutors with experience and expertise in supporting those with learning difficulties, so this is an option you may want to consider for your child.
  •  Don’t pressure: Although you may be keen for your child to get their homework assignment completed on time, you may find that a child with learning disabilities reaches a saturation point where he or she is simply unable to take in any more. If this happens, make sure you don’t pressure or force your child to continue, as this could do more damage than good. Instead, write a note for the teacher explaining the situation.

Creating the Right Environment

These are a few of the ways in which you can make homework assignments easier for your child to tackle. Remember, children with learning disabilities can become distracted more easily, which makes it all the more important to create the right environment in your home. A big part of helping your child will be to both establish a routine and create a space in the home that is conducive to learning.