Tag Archives: tips for parents

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!

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.

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.

6 Tips for Parents When Helping Children with Homework

 

Children who do not have structured homework time are more interested in play than learning.

Every parent wants their child to be successful and homework is an important part of a child’s education. Homework is not simply an extension of school it is also designed to help a student get used to working individually outside a school environment. The ability to work outside the classroom is something which will stand them in good stead in future years – whether that is in further education or in working life.

These 6 top tips will help you as a parent understand how you can best help your child with their homework.

Tip #1 – Remember why you are helping them

As a parent you need to remember that the primary goal of helping your child is to help them learn habits that will assist them in life. The secondary aim is to help them understand the topic being studied. At no point is it about helping them get full marks on a test by telling them the correct answers.

It is better for a young student to get something wrong but understand why they got it wrong than it is to score full marks but not understand the subject matter fully.

Tip #2 – Consider a reward system for getting homework done by a certain time

A reward is not the same as bribery. Children should be encouraged to do their homework because they have to rather than because they’ll be rewarded. However, it is acceptable to reward them for completing certain tasks by a certain time. This will help your child learn that it’s better to not leave things to the last minute.

Tip #3 – Create the right environment

Making sure your child has the right environment to study in is one of a parent’s key responsibilities. Sitting at a table or desk is likely to help as it will feel similar to a classroom. It is best to try to ensure a quiet environment with as few distractions as possible. Turn the television off and try to keep younger siblings out of the room.

Tip #4 – Have a ‘homework time’

A good habit to get into is to have ‘homework time’ at the same time every day. This will help children come to understand that homework is something that needs to be done. If they get used to homework being part of their routine they are more likely to get on and do it without kicking up a fuss.

Tip #5 – Save easiest for last

Another trick is to encourage your child to do the hardest homework first. This way they are tackling the trickiest elements while they still have loads of energy and it is a good habit to form for the future.

Tip #6 – Keeping up to speed with progress

It is important to continue to check the marks your child is receiving for their homework. This will indicate if the approach you are taking is paying off. It also shows your child you are interested in their education.

Helping Your Child with Reading

 

Children who like to read do better in school.

Reading with your child is incredibly important for a number of reasons. Learning to read from an early age is an essential step in all education. Reading is an intrinsic aspect of education regardless of the subject. A child who learns to read at home will be at an advantage when it comes to schoolwork.

Reading with and to your child is also an excellent bonding opportunity as you spend quality time with them in a learning environment.

The Research

Reading Is Fundamental (RIF) published research early this year that noted only one-third of parents read bedtime stories regularly with their children on a nightly basis, and half the parents surveys believe their child spends way more time watching TV or playing video games than reading.

The key reason for not reading with a child was given as ‘lack of time’. Clearly, as working adults we lead busy lives, but is there anything we can do to make it easier to read with our kids?

A Little and Often

It’s best to read little and often, so try to put aside some time for it every day. This will also become a crucial bonding period. A little bit each day will quickly become a daily activity and an interest shared. Ten minutes before bed every night is not much of a commitment to make.

Set a Good Example

It is a well-known fact that children model their parents. If they see mom and dad regularly reading, they will be more likely to do the same. It will reduce any negativity towards books as being boring or dull. In addition you could talk to them about what you are reading and encourage them to do the same. Try and share thoughts, ideas, and hopes to do with the books you are both reading.

Simple Tips for Helping Your Child to Enjoy Books

Look for books on topics that you know your child is interested in. If they like trains, look for books which feature trains. This will help them to get excited about reading.

  • Make sure that children’s books are easily accessible in different rooms around your house.
  • Surround them not only with books but all sorts of reading materials. Magazines, newspapers, non-fiction will all help your child get used to the written word.
  • Read to your children and have them read to you. Not only will this be a nice bonding moment for you and your child it will help foster an interest in the material and the act of reading.
  • If English isn’t your family’s first language, you should make sure you buy dual-language books. Or split the reading between the different languages.  You should not restrict reading to just the one language.

Use these tips to engage your child in reading and you will have a reader for life!

Getting Children to Do Math Homework

Engaging children in math outside of the classroom makes them more interested in doing well on math homework.

Homework is an important part of a child’s education and as a parent you can play a vital role in that process. However, when it comes to math homework a lot of parents struggle as much as their children.

Let’s be honest, math is not everyone’s favorite subject and the very thought of trying to understand your son or daughter’s math homework can be a fairly demoralizing prospect.

But you cannot let your own dislike for math hinder you. It is important for your child to know you are there for them. You cannot afford to let your own fear affect your ability to help your child. Math can quickly become a child’s least favorite subject and by not encouraging them from an early age because of your own weaknesses you are increasing the chances of passing those deficiencies onto your children.

Fortunately there are a number of tricks and techniques you can use to ensure you are doing your utmost to assist with your children’s math homework.

Make It Interesting and Relevant

Try to make math as much fun as possible. Use games, puzzles and jigsaws to interest your children – you may even have fun yourself.

As with all learning if you are enjoying yourself you learn more quickly. Math doesn’t have to be all boring numbers and equations. There are a number of ways you can make it interesting and it’s important to show how we use math skills in everyday life.

  • Point out the different shapes to be found around your home.
  • Take your child shopping and talk about the quantities of anything you buy.
  • Let them handle money, get use to denominations, and see out how much things cost.
  • Play games involving numbers, such as card games, darts, or board games like Monopoly.
  • Use times of boredom and monotony as the perfect opportunity to get them thinking. The classic example is playing mental math game on long journeys.
  • Check with your child’s school for any specific information which would be useful. If their teachers are using a particular method it might be sensible to maintain that pattern.

Example of a Fun Math Game to Play

The following is a game suitable for all ages. It can be played at any time in any place.

Simply pick a number and then ask for those participating to take turns suggesting the ways that number can be reached.

For instance, if you chose the number 20, someone could suggest 10 x 2 as a possible solution.

Other example answers include

  • 200/10
  • 19+1
  • 21-1
  • 40/2

This game is suitable for all ages as the greater your understanding of math the more complicated your answers can become. There are also an unlimited number of responses and the whole exercise really gets your brain working!

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.

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.

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.

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.