Category Archives: Tips for Parents and Caregivers

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.

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.

Expert Tips for Helping Kids With Science Homework

Parents should help their children with science homework but never do the work for them!

Parents should help their children with science homework but never do the work for them!

At all grade levels, students must take classes in multiple subjects. Science is usually one of those subjects. Science curriculum essentially includes general and environmental science at lower grade levels in addition to physics and chemistry in higher grades. Science as a subject has the capability to be fun as well as a nightmare depending on the student, teacher and circumstances. But the knowledge of science is important for a student to move ahead in life. As a parent, you can help your child with his science homework by using the following recommendations.

Make Yourself Available: When your kids have homework, take a few minutes to review each assignment. Make yourself available and brush up on the subject matter so that you can answer their queries whenever they require. Make your kids feel that they can turn up to you when they are in trouble. Be ready for this by getting online help from different sites and rebuild your knowledge of science so that you do not appear silly in front of your kids. This one recommendation will make your kids interested in science.

Motivate Your Kids: Science can be incredibly boring for kids. So, a bit of occasional motivation can come handy. Tell your kids stories of great inventions and scientists. For example, it might interest your child to know how Graham Bell invented the telephone or what experiments were conducted by Edison to discover electricity. Tell them about the hardships those scientists endured on their quest for scientific truth. Storytelling is a great way to motivate kids and encourage them when homework is tough.

Be an Inspiration:  Kids, especially young ones, look up to their parents. Parents are their first heroes. So, by showing how science has changed your life, your child will want to be just like you by learning scientific principles. Show them your interest in science and they will reciprocate!

Resist Completing Their Homework: Help your kids understand the homework and give them hints when needed. Provide suggestions for how to approach problems, but never give them the idea that you will complete homework assignments if they cannot.

Informal Field Trips: Take your kids to local museums, libraries, or zoos. Let them have a first-hand look on what they learn in books. Even amusement parks can help kids learn about scientific principles such as gravity and how rides work. For younger kids, make regular trips to the zoo and the natural history museum.

Help with Science Projects: A great deal of science homework involves take-home science projects. Here you have to resist your urge to do the project yourself. Help them, provide ideas to complete the project, but make them execute the ideas themselves. Take them places where the ingredients for their projects can be found, but push them to find the pieces and put them together themselves.

Science homework made for sleepless nights when you were a kid, so you should understand what goes on with your own child. A major difference is the more complex curriculum and amount of homework required of students today. So, keep your child company and provide encouragement so they do well and remain interested in science.

Improving Your Child’s Reading Skills

Children who develop an interest in reading at an early age perform better in school.

Children who develop an interest in reading at an early age perform better in school in all subjects.

Children who like to read tend to do better in school and, later, in life. It is not only necessary for gaining knowledge but also for building character. It opens up the doors to the unknown and helps strengthen decision-making skills. In addition to all the above benefits, reading positively affects cognitive skills. It is, however, necessary to start early. Nurturing an expectation of and interest in reading from an early age is a must. As a parent you should encourage your child to improve their reading skills. Here are some suggestions you can use to help your children take the plunge into the world of knowledge.

Provide a Foundation for Reading:  When you start emphasizing the benefits of reading to your children, focus on what they should start with. You have to be the one to put forth a preview of reading material. If your child is in elementary school or younger, he or she may have difficulty understanding the text they are reading. You need to lay a foundation for them. For example, if they begin with a science-themed book that depicts different animal species, explain how many species exist, the difference between them, and then let them read it. It will spur both understanding and interest. Moreover, talk about your own experiences, how you have seen some species in the museum or at the zoo or in another book you read on a similar topic.

Establish Dedicated Reading Time: Set a time and create a place your children will be automatically inclined to read. If you spend time watching TV or using your laptop, the audio- visual experience will attract your child more than a printed book which may seem dull in comparison. So it is advisable to refrain from watching too much sports or other programs on TV when you child is around.

Ask Them to Read and Think Aloud:  It is an age-old practice to read aloud. This creates an audio-visual effect in your brain cells which not only enhances memory but also improves cognitive ability. Thus always motivate your child to read aloud. Moreover if they are reading something wrong you will be able to correct them by listening to what they are reading. This is definitely a really good practice as an adult.

Encourage Role Reversal: Ask your child to read to you and help you understand what he has read. Let him play the teacher. This improves understanding in multiple ways. It assists in improving presentation skills and strengthens speaking capability. This can be a good parameter to assess the built-in skills of your child.  It definitely helps to increase their knowledge too.

Try to Make the Reading Experience Interesting for your child: Buy your children new books that are outside of the school curriculum. This increases your child’s interest on their quest for knowledge. Choose books based on their appearance and content. Always make sure reading material is age-appropriate. Your child’s interest will grow while their reading skills improve.

Your child grows up watching you. Be a good role model so you can influence your child’s interest in reading and learning. Be a voracious reader yourself in front of your child, and he will become one himself!

Teen Homework Help: Essential Tips for Parents

Teens require a different level of homework help than younger students. Consider hiring a tutor if you are having difficulty providing the homework help your teen needs.

Teens require a different level of homework help than younger students. Consider hiring a tutor if you are having difficulty providing the homework help your teen needs.

Homework has been a requirement since the concept of education and public schooling was formalized. It involves the process of bringing work from school to home for further study and practice to improve upon what has already been taught in the classroom. Today, with the influence of globalization, the pressure to excel academically for teens is immense. The role of parents and guardians is equally crucial. Even if you feel overwhelmed, helping your teen with homework is necessary. We have provided a few pointers to help parents who have teens that are struggle with homework on a regular basis:

#1: Create Homework Space: Whether tour teen may be a genius or an average student, she needs to be able to work on homework that is quiet and free of distractions. Each teen is different so find out what works best for your child. A desk may be needed for some teens while others prefer to work on the floor or on the couch. It is important your teen is comfortable but not so comfortable they fall asleep.

#2: Involve Yourself: Your teen may initially resist your help, but you still need to take steps to know about your child’s academic life. Teens with supportive and encouraging parents do better in school. They strive to achieve higher grades. And, they look forward by developing plans for their future.

#3: Establish a Homework Schedule: Being overly strict can be counterproductive with teens. It is important to all kids to participate in after school activities. Balance that free time with scheduled homework time. Even if he does not have homework that needs to be completed, he can spend that time studying or reading. Follow-through and stick to the schedule so your teen understands how important his education is to you. Build in break times so when they learn is retained.

#4: Lead by Example: You can always take time yourself to do your own “homework”. Bring work home from the office so you both have something to do during the designated homework time. Your teen will see how important learning is and how it affects job prospects.

#5: Keep in Contact with Teachers and Tutors: A tutor can provide great help to teens. But you need to remain involved. Communicate regularly with your teen’s teachers and tutor so you know if he is making progress or needs additional help in a particular area.

Even the most successful parents agree that parenting teens can be difficult. By establishing a few rules, you can make homework time go smoother. Teen tutoring is available and can provide the extra help your child needs if you are not able to assist with more challenging homework assignments. Contact us today for additional information!

Getting the Most from In-Home Tutoring if Your Child has Learning Disabilities

Students with learning disabilities can benefit from in-home tutoring as well as routine homework time.

Students with learning disabilities can benefit from in-home tutoring as well as routine homework time.

Homework is intended to be review for children learn in school. By practicing new concepts and principles, children are better able to remember and apply them. For students with learning disabilities, homework time can be frustrating. In-home tutoring is an excellent way to help your child complete assignments and build on knowledge learned in the classroom.

But you should not rely 100% on in-home tutoring to help your child. There are ways you can turn homework time into a success even if the tutor is not present.

Make a Homework Calendar

With the help of your child’s teacher, establish a homework calendar for your child with columns for the day’s assignments, your comments and the teacher’s notes. Make sure that your child comes home with the calendar every evening and returns it to his teacher the following day at school.

Prepare In/Out Folders

Get two folders of different colors and label one “Homework In” and the other “Homework Out”. Explain to your child that all assigned tasks for the day go into the “in” folder to bring home. Teach your child to place all completed homework into the “out” folder every evening to hand in to his teacher the next morning.

Establish a Routine (and Stick to It!)

Children with learning disabilities thrive on consistency. Fix a set time and place for homework and stick to this schedule as much as possible. Abrupt changes in routine may upset your child and distract her from doing her homework.

Divide and Conquer

Review the homework with your child first before starting. If your child has a short attention span, break the homework down to manageable chunks that your child can work through one at a time without being easily frustrated.

Adapt Homework to Your Child

No two homework assignments are the same. Adapt the task to your child’s ability to finish it alone or with your help. Depending on child’s specific disability, begin with easy homework to build her confidence. If your child loses interest quickly, then get longer homework out of the way first before taking a break.

Know When to Stop

There’s a limit to your child’s ability to concentrate, especially at the end of a long school day. Take short breaks for your child to recharge and recuperate. If she keeps hitting roadblocks, then it’s probably time to call it a day. Make a note on the homework calendar informing her teacher of the situation and revise the incomplete homework another day.

Make Homework Accommodations

There are times when you may need to make certain accommodations to assist your child with her homework. Read an assignment to her or explain how to work out a math problem according to what she’s learned in school. Focus on the importance of understanding the lesson instead of simply getting her homework done.

Ensure Open Communication

Have regular meetings with your child’s teachers to keep abreast with her learning problems in school. Being aware of your child’s struggles is half the battle won. If you see little improvement in your child, don’t hesitate to ask for extra help through tutors or education specialists.

Following these recommendations help leverage the benefits of in-home tutoring. Your child can meet or exceed academic goals when everyone works together!

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!

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!