Tag Archives: Tutoring

Back to School

(Updated 8/5/16)

It is difficult to believe that September is rapidly approaching! Soon the lazy days of summer will be a distant memory. Our job now, as parents, is to prepare our children for their transition back to school. This transition is harder for some children than others. Starting the process early, by easing back into several fall routines, helps prepare your child and yourself.  Here are a few suggestions that are helpful in combating fall/school anxiety and stress.

  1. Have a solid bedtime routine – Children do best when they know what to expect and what is expected of them.  Summer bedtimes are generally later than the child’s fall bedtime.  Start the bedtime routine a little earlier each night.  Set up bath time, reading together and bed time now, so that by the beginning of school, regular bedtimes are re-established. Of course, your child’s bedtime is a personal decision and one that will be reflective of their age. Just remember that when your child is negotiating for more awake time, a sleepy child cannot learn to their full potential.
  2. General evening routine– Empower children to play a part in making their life and yours a little easier.  Let them help choose and set out their clothes for the following day.  To build independence children should pack their own backpacks with a parent check. Doing more at night will ensure a more relaxing and less stressful morning.  It’s always better for everyone to start the day with the right attitude and a smile.
  3. Develop a morning routine – Wake your child with enough time to eat a healthy breakfast.  Discuss healthy food choices and let your child help comprise the shopping list for their breakfast, lunch and snack items.  Also review the school menu, ensuring that if your child buys lunch, there is something they will eat and  enjoy.  You do not want your child to be distracted by hunger during the school day. An older child can begin displaying more independence in the morning.  Set or have them set their alarm clock. Encourage them to get themselves out of bed, washed, dressed and ready for breakfast. Of course, verbal reminders to move the process along will be necessary.
  4. Celebrate the beginning of school – Make the start of school an exciting time, rather than a dreaded one.  Buying new clothes is always fun!  Also, let your child select their own backpack and participate in buying school supplies when possible.  A little get together for friends, who were out of sight this summer, is a great way to get reacquainted. It relieves some social stress for the upcoming first day of school.
  5. Talk– School for your child may not have always been a positive experience.  Remind your child that this is a new year and lots of good things are about to happen.  Let them know you have confidence that they will always do their best and you are proud of them!! Make sure they know that their teachers are there to help them! Always remain positive when talking to your child about their teacher, school etc., even if you do not always feel that way.  Children will react negatively if you do.
  6. If possible, meet your child’s teachers – All teachers receive reports about their incoming students, but whenever possible, meeting your child’s teacher in advance relieves your anxiety. Take this opportunity to discuss your child’s likes and dislikes, any health issues/needs, best method of communication and any other pertinent information.

Taking a deep breath and implementing a few easy steps, will help you and your child get off to the new school year with the perfect attitude.

Wishing you and your children a great year! !! Enjoy all the wonderful learning adventures that await!!!

If you are unable to implement all of these strategies, prioritize the steps to make it work you.  For additional support on developing schedules and routines in your home please email Danielle Meyer at DEMTutoring@gmail.com. Tutors can provide an unbiased and professional approach to routine development in the home.

Happy Fall!

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Private v. Public School

I am currently in the middle of a placement discussion with a family. The public school no longer feels they can service the child adequately. The family is not understanding why they are not able to meet his needs. Particularly since no official diagnosis has been made. http://www.northjersey.com/news/133343638_Private_schools_call_their_success_hard_to_replicate.html?c=y&page=1
How can public schools evolve to meet a variety of student needs and testing demands? Is it possible? This may be a jumping off point to the needed education reform our country needs… particularly with special education. Would you send your child to a private school for $88,000/year to help better their education? Who should pay this bill?

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Benevolent – SAT Vocab

Benevolent (adj)- friendly and helpful. The benevolent boss gave each of his employees a large holiday bonus.

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Autism Program

What a great idea to help students with Autism!
http://www.nydailynews.com/news/brooklyn-autism-center-kids-one-on-one-article-1.988673

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Educating parents about developmental delays

I came across this article, http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/news/52788663-78/parents-health-autism-campaign.html.csp, that discusses a campaign in Utah to help parents become aware of developmental milestones. It is too bad this campaign is not nationwide. Many families may not be aware of the milestones their child should be reaching or how to get help. Check out the milestone check list – it is incredibly detailed from birth to age five. This can be invaluable information for a family and their pediatrician. Early Intervention is a key strategy to helping children who may have a disability. Be sure to advocate for your child if you think they need additional help. You know your child best!

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Classoom Crisis

How can we draw quality people to become educators and keep them in the classroom? How are we able to help our child if they are placed in a new teachers classroom? http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/44505094/ns/today-education_nation/t/classroom-crisis-many-teachers-have-little-or-no-experience/

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ADD/ADHD & Organization

Back to school time not only means that there is homework to complete, after school activities to enjoy, and tests to study for. It also means that there will be notebooks to organize, planners to write in, and a need to organize homework assignments and testing dates. How can we help our children do this successfully? The ultimate goal is for increased independence with this. After all, eventually parents won’t always be there (Gasp!). With this last sentence in mind, there has been a rising request for tutoring services related to the ADD/ADHD and executive function challenged child. I thought it would be appropriate to give a few ideas to families whose children struggle with this. This is by no means a comprehensive list. Just a few simple ideas that can get you started with organization and task completion.

–       Place a folder into your child’s bag… permanently. All correspondence and assignments go into this folder. Ask your child’s class or homeroom teacher to check it daily. This will avoid lost homework assignments or forms.

–       Use color coding. Example: all math items are yellow (folders, book covers, sticky notes).

–       Use visuals to match the words you speak. Make sure you have the daily schedule where it can be seen as well as discussed.

–       Remember to give structure. Kids need structure and consistency. Try to keep the routine similar daily and discuss any changes and note them on your written schedule. Remember structure!

–       Allow your child to ask for a “break.” If a subject or task is particularly difficult and frustrating set goals and allow a 1, 3, or 5 minute break. Use a timer for the break, discuss activities for the break (draw, walk around, dribble a ball…), and be aware of triggers.

–       Advocate at school – ask, or have your child ask, the teachers if there is a way to reduce the quantity of work to improve quality and understanding of the work. Teachers can modify the assignment to your child’s needs while still ensuring proficiency.

Hope this list is helpful. Do you have any other strategies you have found that work? Please share them with us.

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