Finding Focus: How to Find a Distraction-Free Learning Area for Your Children

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by Susan Good retirededucator.org

Learning how to focus on the task at hand can take years to perfect, and for many kids across the US, it can be difficult to find a good balance between school work and homework. Moving from the classroom to all the distractions that home offers can be jarring, leading to a decline in grades and poor self-esteem. That’s why it’s so important to help your child find a distraction-free zone to do schoolwork in, whether it’s in a room that is isolated from the rest of the house or just a desk where they have room for all the tools they need to learn.

You can also make other areas of your home more conducive to learning, such as adding a reading nook that has good lighting and comfy chairs to sit in. This is especially helpful for kids who aren’t automatically drawn to books, and it can help them find a love of literature that will help boost their experience in school.

Keep reading for the best tips on how to create a distraction-free zone for your kids at home.

Find a Quiet Space

Whether the learning area you create is in a room by itself or is simply an organized desk for homework, it should be a quiet space that won’t allow for interruptions. This is especially important if you have more than one child. Look for an area that is away from the main part of the house, or one that can be closed off easily for privacy and quiet.

Create a Reading Nook

Even kids who don’t necessarily love to read will enjoy having a space of their own to sit and look through the books that interest them, so creating a reading nook could benefit your child greatly. Add a comfy chair or pillows, strong lighting, and storage for books, and make sure it’s in a spot that will give your child a little privacy, as it’s difficult to become engaged in a book when there’s a lot going on around us. Make sure you look for books that are both educational and fun, on topics that interest your child. If you’re unsure of how to get started, you might consider hiring a professional to come in and remodel the area; click here for more information.

Set a Schedule

Now that you have the space, it’s a good idea to set a schedule for your child to do his homework or to study. It can be hard to get into a rhythm when there are so many other things going on, such as soccer practice and afterschool activities, so help your child find a routine that will benefit him on a daily basis. Once he gets into the habit of starting homework at a certain time, he’ll be more likely to stick with it throughout the school year.

Turn Off the Devices

Whether your child loves the TV, computer, tablet, game system, or smartphone, it’s important to set rules about when he can use them when school is in session, as they can be a pretty big distraction. The area where he studies and does homework should be device-free, although some studies have shown that classical music played at a low volume can be beneficial for kids who are trying to focus on tasks.

Creating a distraction-free zone for your child can have multiple benefits, especially if he has a learning disability or finds it difficult to concentrate at home, where there are so many opportunities to do anything other than learn. It’s also important to make sure your child isn’t hungry, thirsty, or tired when he sits down to do homework, as being uncomfortable can be a distraction in itself.

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Going Over Homework

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by Dr. Charice Hayes, CEO

Over the past few years, we have been asked by potential clients and clients for our tutors to go over homework. Our response to that is that we don’t go over homework, but we provide homework assistance/help. Let’s explain.

-Going over homework does not instill skills for autonomy.

-To promote autonomy, we promote and use effective research-based modeling.

-Once a client displays independence with that skill, he/she will be comfortable with doing his/her own homework assignment.

All of our tutors are trained in research-based techniques. We are in the business of not only improving content/skill level and grades, but character too.

What Are You Going to Do Winter Break?

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by Dr. Charice Hayes, CEO

I’d thought that I should contribute/write the last couple of blog posts of 2017. It’s been an exciting and yet another progressive year for All 4 One Tutoring. I will write about that in our last post of 2017 next week.

Right now, a lot of students (whether college or school-aged) are on winter break. Parents, I’m sure that you have some wonderful activities planned for your child(ren). 🙂 College students, I’m certain that you’re excited about starting the next semester on your journey of earning your college degree in addition to getting a little rest after taking finals. 😌 I’d like to give you some ideas and things you can do over the winter break that will be fun but still incorporate learning.

Well, I think that one of the most important things you can do over the winter break is visit your local public library.

Yes, you can read books there and check audios, books, and DVDs out. However, most public libraries have scheduled engaging activities each month. Some libraries have activities for specific age groups.

I know it’s the holiday season and the malls and stores will have GREAT after Christmas sales. However, use your mall and store trips as a real-life learning experience. Parents of school-aged children, you can create math/story problems in your shopping experience. College students you can create/do something as well. Here are a few examples:

1. Macy’s has a Ralph Lauren shirt on sale for $19.99. You look at the price tag and the shirt was originally $49.99. What is the percent of decrease in the cost of the shirt? (This problem is typically geared toward middle-schoolers.)

2. Macy’s has a Ralph Lauren shirt on sale for $19.99. You look at the price tag and the shirt was originally $49.99. How much money will you save? (This problem is typically geared toward elementary students.)

3. Macy’s is one of your favorite stores, and you want to know why customers buy the things they do. You can research shopping behaviors and understand how products are priced. (This is typically geared toward college students who are majoring in business administration, marketing, fashion merchandising.)

Now, you’ve received all of these nice things for Christmas, and you have to make room for them. You may be getting ready to bring in the new year and want to clean your closet and drawers out. Winter break may be the perfect time to do so. While you’re cleaning out your closets and drawers, think about donating your unwanted items to a charity.

Usually around the holidays and winter break, I see a lot of people at the movie theater. Well why not use this activity as a learning experience? Parents of school-aged children, you can have your child(ren) discuss/write about the setting, the plot, the characters, and what he/she enjoyed the most about the movie.

I know a lot of you have, will receive, or give video game consoles for Christmas. Yes, some of the games are educational and engaging (e.g. Minecraft). However, why not spark some interest in creating your own video game and/or app? This would be an awesome thing to start to think about and begin the planning stages on winter break.

I hope that I’ve really sparked your interest in doing some, if not all, of these activities. You can even take the ideas I’ve given you and cater them to your liking.

Book Release

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by Staff Contributor

Did you know that our CEO, Dr. Charice Hayes, published a mini-book of poems, quotes, activities, and worksheets? You’re in for a treat! This mini-book, entitled To Get You Through, has 4 folds. Dr. Hayes gives us some empowered poems in which we can apply in our every day life. Dr. Hayes also gives us poems from her childhood. After each chapter, there are journaling and reflecting activities. At the end of the book there are inspirational and motivational worksheets.

The book is great for personal use, motivational workshops, seminars, and even high school and college courses. To Get You Through can be purchased on Amazon, and Barnes and Noble.

Another Proud Moment! 

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by Staff Contributor 

Just in time for National Poetry Month! All 4 One Tutoring is very excited and proud of our CEO, Dr. Charice Hayes. With the hectic role of running All 4 One Tutoring, she also takes time not only to teach others but write books. How exciting is that!!!

 Dr. Hayes just published a short book of empowering poems and quotes titled To Get You Through. This books encapsulates inspiring quotes and poems to keep you motivated and on path to whatever are your goals and desires. You can purchase the book at Barnes and Noble online. You can even download it in your Apple iBooks.

Dr. Hayes is also the author of two children’s books Tommy and His Cars and Tomasito y Sus Coches. These books can also be purchased in iBooks and barnesandnoble.com

Study Tips 

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by Intern 

Studying is an integral part of learning. We have 3 core study tips that can help our clients and anyone else be successful. 

Motivation- You are to be receptive and motivated towards whatever content/material you are studying. If you say, “I hate algebra,” chances are that you’re not going to approach or be receptive to algebra to your fullest capacity. 

Time-management- It’s not really how much or long you study but what you get accomplish at a level you are comfortable with the content/material.

Teach it- Get someone who doesn’t understand the content/material and teach it to him/her. This forces you to organize and remember. Explaining a concept can really make you have a better appreciation of it. 😊