Test Anxiety: The Ins, Outs, and Everything In-between

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Test anxiety can be extremely difficult, some would even say paralyzing. And as we all know, testing before you’re ready or properly informed can create all kinds of problems in the future. As WellMind.com, a mental health and wellness awareness site says “While many people experience some degree of stress and anxiety before and during exams, test anxiety can actually impair learning and hurt test performance” But the good news is that there are several ways to help prevent test anxiety, and what’s more, there are even ways to help get rid of it for good!

Let’s start by addresses what test anxiety looks like and the behaviors that surround it before we dive into the ways that you can help students get out from underneath of it.

According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, symptoms of test anxiety can be physical, behavioral, cognitive, and emotional. That means that when students are preparing to take a test, if they suffer from this kind of anxiety then it will not always look the same with each student.

The physical reaction can include sweating, a dry mouth, butterflies in the stomach (yes, those are real!) shaking and in some extremely rare cases, students can also get physically sick if they are starting to test. The bottom line is that this kind of reaction, while it might seem dramatic from an outside perspective, is a major pain point for students everywhere. It doesn’t just come from one class or subject, it comes from underlying issues and it’s not always easy to address them if you don’t know where to look.

There’s also a long list of emotional symptoms that are directly related to test anxiety. It can cause low self-esteem, depression, fear of moving forward, anger, as well as feeling belittled or even belittled themselves. The physical symptoms of course can be alarming and scary to watch. But the emotional reactions are even worse because we can’t see them.

Now that we know what test anxiety can look and feel like for different students I every classroom, let’s talk about the ways that students can get a grasp on their anxieties and be able to study and take any test or exam without the smallest doubt in themselves or their abilities.

One small thing to take into consideration is being prepared. Of course, that sounds like an obvious answer, but sometimes that feeling that weighs most students down can be completely changed if they feel like they know exactly what’s going to be on the test and they have studied and gone over the information over and over.

Getting a good night’s sleep can also help relieve some testers feelings of the unknown. Being well rested can help with the focus of the test, and it also allows student to have a level and clear head. Again, while these solutions might seem very simple, they can and do work in a lot of cases.

Another solution, and this is a big one, is accepting mistakes. There’s a lot of pressure. Not just in a classroom and school setting, but once student get out into the real world, the path is not always going to be paved. So, a great thing to remind yourself or your child, is that no one is perfect and there is nothing wrong with that. You don’t have to get every answer right, but as long as you are focused and give it your all, you’re going to do great no matter what.

The last solution that is important to address and talk about is for students that feel like basic tips and helpful advice just isn’t enough. Having an emergency test anxiety plan is a solution that might just help those who are suffering from extreme anxiety. Basically, what this plan tells us is that there is a small list of things that induvial can do to really talk themselves out of having a kind of anxiety attack. This can be used in normal scenarios as well, but for the sake of this article, let’s think about the ways in would positively affect students. It’s just a small list of actions that one can take. Things like taking a deep breath, mentally telling yourself that you’re okay, accepting the anxiety as normally and not singling yourself out, and lastly, squeezing your hand into a small fist and then releasing it, all of these things are proven to help students who are really struggling during testing hours.

Overall, there’s no end all be all cure for test anxiety. The truth is, it happens to almost everyone at some point in time. The trick, and this goes beyond just testing, is that you as a student or as a parent, just have to find ways to manage it. And that can be as simple as sleeping well the night before. But taking care of yourself mentally and physically, as well as having ways to calm down once you have the exam in front of you, all of these things can really help.

 

Best Places to Study, No Matter Where You Live

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Studying for any subject or test can be extremely difficult if you have a hard time focusing. And while it might seem like there’s nothing that can help and no place to feel comfortable, it’s all about who you are and where you feel the most productive. There are tons of places, both public and private that can really set students into overdrive.

Libraries 

This is a common one but with good reason. Being in a nice quiet environment can really boost creativity and help students make sure that they are doing nothing but the tasks on hand. It helps that most literary spaces like this have quiet hours, or even private student rooms that students can use anytime they feel the need. And the best part? Most libraries are free and open to the public. So, if you feel like you really need to conquer some big tests or start an essay, this is the place to go!

Coffee Shops 

While coffee shops do provide a great dinning and social scene, they can also be really great places to hit the books. Because coffee shops often times have free wifi, comfortable seating, as well as open tables so you can spread out, it’s the perfect solution to being able to maintain and build good study habits. The laid back environment might be just the thing you need to really start preparing for whatever task is around your corner.

Study With Friends 

It’s true! There’s power in numbers and when it comes to academic work, working with friends or even just peers who are in the same classes and working on the same subjects as you really helps. Not only can you bounce ideas off of one another, but you can also form solid study habits and be accountable when you don’t stick to them! Try forming a study group, picking a place, and attending weekly meetups to make sure that you and your study bubbies are following through.

Tutoring Centers

This spaces offer a variety of help, and a good place to focus on whatever it is that you need to accomplish is one of them! Centers often times have computer labs, study resources, as well as professional that have more insights on studying and how to get things done the best way depending on what you find helpful.

Food Halls 

While your city or area might not have a ton of these, if they do, places like this make studying even more fun! With large tables and vendors all over you can grab a caffeinated drinks or even a bite to eat (brain food of course) and get right down to it. These spaces are great because no one expects you to be in and out. So that means you have all the more time to get everything checked off on your list.

Depending on where you live, finding a place to study can be a huge list or a not so big one. But the whole idea is to get out of your comfort zone and allow yourself not to be distracted with the everyday hustle and bustle. If you find yourself losing attention wherever you are, try some place new. The possibilities are endless and when it comes to making sure that you have it all together on the day of the big test, it’s important to remember that studying doesn’t have to be a big, scary thing. And wherever you chose to learn, whether it be conventional or not, it’s all about what makes you the most comfortable!

 

 

2019 Year in Review

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by Dr. Charice Hayes, Founder
All 4 One Tutoring had a little comeback from its downs in 2018. We were able to expand and extend partnerships. We were also able to add to our staff. Here are some of things we were able to accomplish in 2019. 
Contracts/Partnerships

We continued our partnership with Eutaw Marshburn Elementary school in Baltimore City. We partnered with DEILAB and Smart Learning Solutions to run a STEM program once again for the 2019-2020 school year. 
This partnership is also with Promise Heights via the University of Maryland. Thank you to Principal Tiffany Cole at Eutaw Marshburn Elementary, Vice Principal Spears, and those at Promise Heights.
Our Board Chair, Thomas Hayes, was able to secure a steering committee position with STEMBoard. Over the summer, he was able to successfully help start a free Summer Scholar Program. A huge thank you to Dr. Jarvis Sulcer and those at STEMBoard.
In addition, Mr. Hayes was able to secure a contract with ThinkStretch. We will be able to support ThinkStretch’s mission of stopping the lost of learning through their proven program. Special thanks to Bruce Henson.
Maryland Collegiate STEM Conference
Myself and Board Chair, Thomas Hayes, were delighted to be presenters at the Maryland Collegiate STEM Conference. This event was hosted at Baltimore City Community College . We were able to showcase what we do as a company and show how STEM can lead to a successful career pathway.
Hiring 
Once again, we were able to hire staff. We hired an administrative assistant and a social media person, Leslie Clarke. We hired 4 tutors (both face-to-face and online). We also brought a blog content contributor on-board, Josie Griffith. Check out one of her blog posts here. We are looking forward to bringing more staff on-board.
Office Home 
Yes, we are still looking for an office home. Once again, this year has been an on and off process of searching for our office home. Hopefully, in 2020, we can secure an office home again.
Accounting 
Yes, with all of the good things that happened and promising things we hope to be fruitful, we are still at a 2% decrease for both income and net profit. It takes time, and it is a process, but we are still tactically working to support our strategic goals.
What’s Next 
As I stated in last year’s Year in Review, being the founder/owner of such a blossoming, rewarding, and empowering organization is an honor and will continue to be an honor. Working together as a team to achieve a common goal, manifests the ultimate success which allows us to contribute to positive social change. What we have planned for 2020 is:
  • to expand to the state of Georgia (still in the making and a goal).
  • to develop more on-demand courses (still in the making and a goal).
  • to increase our international client base.
  • to hire more staff.
  • to continue to develop more partnerships.
  • to be more involved in the community.
  • to find our office home.
  • to increase revenue and profit.
Special Thanks 
I would like to give a special thank you to those who have positively contributed to the company. From staff member, partners, and all other stakeholders. I’d also like to thank Chris McKenzey for providing monetary donations. He is the proud owner of Chrismckradio.com. Thank you to all who value what we do!
Let’s see each other prosper in 2020!! 

Writing Essays: A Helpful Guide

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Writing essays, no matter what the topic, can be really stressful. Even if students have a good idea of what an essay should look like, it doesn’t always come across the page as it should. But writing, like anything else, is a process. And there is bound to be some trial and error. The good news is that there are tons of ways that students can apply different writing tips to whatever projects and essay they are currently working on.

Chose a topic Carefully

This sounds like a non brainer, but sometimes when students feel like there are too many topics to chose from, they can get overwhelmed to say the least. Depending on the topic and the class that the essay is for, there’s a lot of creative freedom here. Which means that picking a good, solid topic to write about can actually increase work flow, and make students more confident when they start writing. The better the topic, the more interesting the writing, and the better the finished product will be!

Care About Your Topic 

This one is a little tricky especially when students are writing an essay for a class or subject that may not be their strong suit or even their favorite. But that’s why it is so important to explore all options that are offered and really pick a topic that speaks to them personally. Even if it’s something that they might not love, they should at least like it. It will reflect in the entire writing process, and will give students something more to think about them just rewriting information. The more you can care about something, the more than you want to learn about it right? Well, writing an essay is no different from practicing something that you love and want to get better at!

Outline and Then Outline Again

Creating a solid plan helps with anything related to the academic world. Meaning that students who have a good, strong plan to help with writing will have a more balanced and neat essay overall. This is especially helpful for students who have a hard time just getting started. Having a clear and tangible outline for an essay means that students can focus more on the information that they are creating, rather than getting caught up in if their ideas make sense and if they are presented the information in a clear and conscience way.  Outlines can look very different. Students can make lists with bullet points, they can draw diagrams, or even just start with a title, a thesis or main point, and then create different ideas and points to bring up. The rest will fall into place because their thoughts are already there!

Pay Attention to Flow and Structure 

One of the hardest parts of writing a good, strong essay is the way that topic and the main points are presented within the essay. This all has to do will the flow and the look of information. Really, what it means is that everything could be in place, but if the essay and the writing itself is choppy or mixed up, then the overall work will seem like there was very little effort put into it and the grade students receive will reflect that. So another helpful tip to consider is just slowing down and making sure that that essay is actually saying what students are trying to convey. It doesn’t take much, but it does take time.

Read Drafts Out-loud 

This idea goes along with the one mentioned above. But again, one of the things that makes a good essay is the way that writing sounds and looks on the page. So, drafting and reading essays and content out loud can really help assist students when they want to make a good polished piece of writing. Reading essays out-loud can help with everything from length to diction to the choice of topic. This is one of those little things that doesn’t seem like it would be important, but trust me. There’s nothing worse that knowing what someone is trying to say but not being able to get the main points from a piece of writing because it’s chaotic.

Drafting 

Rough drafts aren’t just something that teachers use as a tool. Drafts can be really helpful with the overall essay and writing process. Printing different sections and being able to look at them on the page can be really helpful for students who have trouble with keeping everything organized within an essay. This is also a good way to make sure that the spelling and grammar of whatever essays students are dealing with is in the best shape it can be.

Making Sure The Point is on Point

Another simple and helpful tip to think about when drafting essays is to make sure that whatever your main point or augment is, that there’s a call to action and you keep using information and details to back that up. Most of the time, it’s not the writing that is poor, but it’s simply that the main focal points are not backed up by details and organizational writing. This is something that can turn an okay essay into something really great! And once students do it once, it’t not all that hard to do it again. And practice, of course, makes perfect!

There are a ton more way to make the essay process a little smoother. But again, it all depends on what works best for the student in question. While these tips make might more sense for some students who just need to start somewhere, they can also be applied to any and every student. The most important thing to remember when thinking about writing essays, is that these tips are universal. It doesn’t matter if it’s a history paper, a college essay, or even a book report. Any and all of these little things can make a world of difference.

Writing doesn’t have to be this huge, scary thing. even if students are hesitant and think that they can’t write a good essay because they are not “good writers”. Every student can learn the writing process and write some really amazing stuff!

Highly Effective Study Habits

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Everyone knows that studying can be a hard thing! That’s no secret of course. But when it comes to the ways that help students get back on track, there’s a ton of ways, big and small, that can really make a difference. While most of them might seem like pure common sense, there are always plenty of small things that parents and teachers might not have thought about.

 

Getting Organized 

This one seems very obvious, but getting prepared in this way can help with everything before and after studying! Knowing where all materials and papers are makes study easier and overall less stressful.

Knowing the Expectations

No matter what the subject, it never hurts to make sure that students are ahead of the curve. So, when getting ready to break out the flash cards and practice tests, make sure that you know what’s going to be on the exam before you even start studying!

Having a Study Area 

This might seem like a study hack that doesn’t seem too important. But having a space where students can concrete without any outside noise is sometimes all they need to really absorb the information. When they can really get down to it, you’d be surprised how much more confident they can be going into testing in general.

Study Groups 

Having more than one person to study with can really help students! It doesn’t matter the size, but having peers around to make sense of the information, whatever topic it might be, really does help.

Bring Nothing You Don’t Need 

When preparing to study, one of the best things that students can do for themselves is just eliminate distractions. No phones, no computers, nothing that will take attention away from the information that they need to take in.

Use Memory Games 

Gamification can really help when it comes to making studying more effective and even more fun. Try making notecards and then flipping them all upside and playing the game where students have to guess the content of the card. It might seem like a little bit of waste, but it’s proven that small things like this simple game can actually improve students test scores.

Note Taking 

When trying to student for anything, students should always refer back to notes. Meaning that instead of trying to study new information, it helps to go back to what they have already written down and go from there.

Don’t Study Too Much at Once 

This goes a long with the key habit mentioned above. When studying, students should not try and take in too much information at once. They have to be able to focus on one thing if they want to make any progress.

Having a Specific Study Time 

Most of the time, students know when and where the test is going to take place and they also know well in advance. So, making a study plan and practicing that study plan over and over at the same time of the day really helps the student remember everything from vocabulary words to history dates.

Overall, there are a million ways to make studying better. Mostly it depends on the student and how they learn best. You can always ask teachers or even tutoring professional what they think will work best for the specific student.

 

 

 

8 Signs Your Child Needs a Tutor

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Ever considered tutoring as an option to help your son or daughter succeed in school? Not sure where to look, where to start, or who to talk to? As parents, you want the best for your child, no matter what that entails.

But if you’re confused and trying to find a jumping off point, here are some important signs, some small and some a little bigger, that your student might benefit from getting just a little extra help outside of the classroom!

Slipping Grades 

No mom or dad likes to see a red marked report card. But sometimes, when a child’s grades are slipping, it’s not something that can be easily fixed or mended with a little extra study session. If you notice that your child is bringing home grades that are low or not as high as you know they are capable of, it might be time to start thinking about exploring tutoring options. It might be just one subject, or even one topic within a class that they are struggling with. And remember, it’s nothing to be ashamed about. More and more parents and looking for different ways and resources to help their students be the very best they can be.

Poor Time Management 

Ever notice that your child can’t seem to get something done on time? If it’s a homework assignment, a fill in study guide, or even a book report. Poor time management skills might seem from the outside looking in like just another hurdle to get over. However, in reality, poor time management might be a precursor to something bigger ahead. If you notice your child is presenting with any of these small issues and want to help, consider looking into tutoring methods outside of the additional classroom activity.

Confusion About Projects 

No matter what the subject, kids all learn, thrive and grow differently. It’s important to ask questions but it’s even more important to get really good answers. If your student has a certain subject or topic that seems impossible for them to tackle, they might be struggling more than you know. Confusion about take home projects, essays, math problems, all these road blocks are not just red flags concerning your child’s education, but they are also a tell tale sign that your son or daughter needs a little more help.

No Progress 

If there seems to be something slowing your child down, it might be another sign that they would benefit from private, public, or online tutoring. If there is little to no progress being made within classes and subjects, it might be a good idea to think about having a conversation with your child about where they are and where they would like to be. It’s all about taking in one step at a time, but if there’s something that you know can be fixed with a little extra practice or a little more time, then think about exploring tutoring options in all the forms that it comes in. When there’s a will, there’s a way!

Bad Attitude About School 

It’s normal for kids to have mixed feelings about school. However, the goal is to teach them and let them excel in a safe and educational environment. If your son or daughter dreads school, complains constantly every morning or afternoon, or even makes up reasons and excuses as to why they don’t want to go or are not looking forward to going, that is a serious sign. Perhaps it’s time to start thinking about the bigger picture or problem. If students hate school, it might have something to do with the ways that they are struggling academically. It could come in the form of temper tantrums, long and drawn out fights, or even faking sick. Whatever problems you have experienced, it’s all completely normal if your child feels like they are failing.

Lack of Confidence 

Even as adults, we all struggle with self image and having the ability to believe in ourselves no matter what. But with kids, it can be much worse. If you son or daughter appears to be lacking or losing confidence, it might have something to do with their school environment and how much they believe in themselves when it comes to a variety of subjects. While it might be a difficult question and or conversation to have, it’s one that is well worth it. Being able to be confident in what they are learning and how they are learning will lead to a higher success rate for all kinds of students.

Trouble Concentrating 

If you as a parent notice that your child seems to be having trouble sticking to one thing or getting a point across, it might be time to consider tutoring. Not only will getting outside of classroom assistant really help your student get extra help and support, but it’s also an amazing tool to help them really show what they are made of. The more that a child sees his or her own positive progress and growth, the more that they will actually want to focus in school. One step at a time and little by little, your child will be able to retain more information. Even if it’s just a couple of in person or online sessions. Once your son or daughter puts in that little extra effort, you’ll be amazed with the results and so will they!

Hopelessness 

As parents, you know when there’s something really wrong with your child. Even if it’s something small, like a change in attitude or behavior, there’s something to be said about a whole pile of small things turning into a very serious problem. One of the signs that your child might need a little help academically is if you see them portraying a sense of hopelessness. This might look like giving up on homework, not following through with an essay or out of class project, or even getting down on themselves when they’re sitting at the kitchen table studying for a test. Kids express emotions in all kinds of different ways. And it’s important, as we all know, to pay attention to those signs. Something as simple as getting them an instructor that is not a teacher figure can really help.

No matter if you’ve read this list and can relate to one or all of these signs, each and every one is important to take note of. If your child seems to be having more trouble than not lately in regards to school, it might be time to do a little reading and research yourself.

Talk to your sons and daughters, talk to their teachers, and find out just how much or how little help or motivation they might need to get the job done. School can be challenging in all kids of ways for all different kinds of students. But it doesn’t have to be! Learning should be fun! And your child should be excelling in school. And if tutoring can help help your students true into the very best versions of themselves, then start that journey together today!

 

 

 

7 Benefits of Online Tutoring Parents Will Want to Consider

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We all know that one of the most important thing for a child to have access to when they are struggling academically are resources. Weather that be a parent, a mentor, a good group of peers, or in this case, an amazing tutor.

While in person tutoring is the ideal solution when a child is faced with difficulty learning a particular subject, having trouble completing assignments, or preparing for a big test, there are also many other resources that can assist a child’s growth and development in and out of the classroom.

One of those very important tools is online or cyber tutoring. Let’s take a look at seven ways that online skill coaching can be the perfect solution for you and your child!

We can start with the most obvious benefit of helping your child through difficult classes, coursework and test prep.

Availability

Everyone has a busy life, there’s no way around that. And while traditional in person tutoring session are proven to be effective, the timing and the circumstance doesn’t always work out for every family. Travel time is basically eliminated when choosing the remote option. So, whatever a family and student has going on, there’s always someone there to lend a helping hand.

Value

Another important benefit to consider is value. When you chose remote or online coaching for your child, you are able to have much more control over who and what and where and how your child is learning. Outside research comes into play here, but that means that you as a parent can become more involved in your son or daughter’s education. And isn’t that what we all want? A way to know that you played a significant role in helping you child succeeded in whatever way matters to you the most? When making the decision that seems right for you and your family, you are able to hand pick who assisting and providing educational support.

Convince

            This one goes without saying, but it matters more than you would think! Having a hassle-free way to make sure that your child is going to excel is the classroom is the whole point of getting him or her out of classroom help anyway, right? But with digital tutoring platforms, you don’t have to worry about taking time out of your busy day. You can make sure that your child in on track while you do the rest of the things on your to do list Pretty awesome, right?

Advancements in Tech

            This one is a little more involved that the above listed, but none the less, maybe one of the biggest and best reasons to consider online educational help. When using sites and online models, your child is exposed to a whole new set of skills. From using online video software, to screen sharing, to electronic white boards, your student is not only learning something new, but is able to understand programs that his or her peers might not have had the chance to play around with. So, not only are they getting the help that they are already need and that you have been searching for, but without even realizing it, you are helping them add another skillset that can be expanded on in the future. The nature of learning is to never stop questioning and interacting and with digital tutoring, you are allowing your child to explore a whole other of thinking that may not be provided within a traditional classroom setting.

Being Close to Home

             The way that students interact in schools and centers is very different from the ways that they behavior at home. It’s only natural that the ways they learn would be different too. Being close to home can and will help students who are losing focus within a new environment get back on track. Not only are they learning, but they are doing it from a place where they know how to interact and of course, you as a parent are there to make sure that they are excelling.

No Social Pressure

            It’s no secret that we all get distracted from time to time. And with children it’s no different. One of the major benefits of online course and classroom assistance is that your child has nothing else to do beside the task at hand. Even centers that focuses on student and tutoring solo interactions will not be able to completely eliminate outside pressure. If a student is attending out of school sessions, it’s not always because they are struggling academically, but more that they are thriving socially and therefore have other things on their mind when trying to complete lessons or tasks. With online tutoring, there is no distraction and no pressure from peers. There is only a list of tasks that need to be completed and skills to be worked on.

One on One Instruction

             This point may seem to borrow from the latter, but consider the benefit of only having one person teach one student and not a classroom full of them. Online instruction helps create an important bond between student and educator. It builds trusts and allows there to be a personal connection, one that is sometimes lost if a tutor or teacher has too many students or is simply overworked. One on one instruction allows for the student to really open up and grow academically when they know that they are going to be meeting with the same person, at the same time every session.

Whatever the reason you are looking to make changes to your child’s educational activities, there is no right or wrong answer. In person centers have just as big and amazing impact as online sessions. You as a parent should not feel swayed in one direct or the other because getting your child back on track and learning is one of the most important choices you can make for them. However, there is something to be said about the benefits of nontraditional or online and digital tutoring services and resources.

If in person and center focuses settings work best for you and your child, then of course continue on that path. But for those families and parents that need a little bit more time in time or a little more freedom, give online tutoring a chance! You might be surprised at just how effective it is!