Help Your Child Ease Into the School Year with Confidence

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by Emily Graham, Mighty Moms

Almost one-third of teenagers feel sad or depressed due to stress. School has become more and more nerve-wracking, even for younger children, as the pressure builds from all directions. There are classes, homework, tests, extracurricular activities, and sports, as well as the constant need to be cool and hang out with the right crowd.

Now the first day of school is coming, and that can be downright intimidating, especially if your child already suffers from anxiety. It’s going to take some extra effort on your part to ensure they get through it with as little stress as possible. Here are some tips.

Adopt the Right Attitude

Your goal is to calm them, not deliver lectures when discussing school. In fact, Chris Palmer, the author of Raising Your Kids to Succeed: What Every Parent Should Know, urges you to be caring, empathetic and supportive. Listen to their problems and worries while letting your children find their own solutions. Above all, be sure to show your unconditional love.

Make Sure They Stay Fit

Healthy habits relieve stress, says a wellness coach writing for Verywell Mind. There’s not much time left before summer ends, so get them exercising and eating well so it becomes a routine. Encourage them to work a physical activity they enjoy into their schedule while you plan meals packed with vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein. The last piece of the puzzle is a bedtime routine so they get enough sleep and wake up refreshed.

Get on Track Early

The first hour of the day sets the tone, so establish a morning routine that flows effortlessly from waking up to arriving at school with no hang-ups in between. Preparation starts the night before with packing lunches, laying out clothes, and even making breakfast. That will have the kids well-fed and looking good with no morning rush to set off their nerves.

Buy the Supplies They Need

They’ll struggle with work if they don’t have the right gear to get their homework done easily, and that leads to frustration. Start with the basics like a book bag, paper, pens, and binders before moving on to high-tech items like calculators. Among older students, more and more are carrying laptops to class, which are invaluable when researching and writing papers.

Stay Organized

It’s easy to fall behind with so many projects and papers to finish unless you have a system in place to keep your child up to date. A filing cabinet and labeled bins work wonders, along with Post-It notes to remind them what needs doing and when.

Learn Calming Strategies

Even if your child is prepared for the day, something is likely to get on their nerves, such as a classmate or a tough assignment. There are strategies to cope with this frustration, and using them properly could save a lot of trouble down the road. A writer at The Mighty recommends deep breathing, listening to music, and imagining a calm place to settle their nerves.

Talk to Them About Risks

Dangers lurk in between classes, especially for teens who may encounter classmates who smoke, drink, or use drugs. Your child may be tempted to do the same, either to deal with the pressures of school or just to be cool. Explain how this is never the right way to cope with anxiety, as it could lead to an addiction that ruins their health and their life.

Take It Easy

Classes start easy and get more difficult as the year progresses. This gives your child the opportunity to ease into their studies rather than take off at full throttle. Use this time to your advantage by encouraging good work habits and keeping to a schedule with enough breaks so they don’t get overwhelmed.

Healthy, organized, and informed, your child is ready to tackle the year with gusto. Any lingering anxiety should be manageable by staying positive and sticking to your routine. With a little effort, their school days will be as exciting as they are productive.

Image via Pixabay

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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.

How Do I Learn Best?

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by Dr. Charice Hayes, Founder

Have you or your child(ren) said, “I study, but I just can’t get it” or “I just can’t get what the teacher/professor is saying in the class?”

Perhaps your study habits or class attentiveness is not align with how you absorb certain information. Yes, learning styles can be good. However, a number of techniques maybe better, such as the use of mnemonics. This is can be very complex to teachers. Yes you want to be inclusive of every student. However, every student absorbs information differently. This is the main reason All 4 One Tutoring customizes each clients’ one-on-one tutoring plan, and our tutors are trained on research-based techniques. Feel free to leave a comment.

The State of Charter Schools

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by Dr. Charice Hayes, CEO All 4 One Tutoring

About a month ago, I read a report about how NAACP delegates and the National Board called for a decision to delay the expansion of charter schools. A task force was assembled called the Task Force for Quality Education. The Task Force gathered nationwide data on the state of charter schools and traditional public schools. Here is what the Task Force found:

  • From a Stanford University report, 37% of charter schools performed worse than traditional public schools.
  • Predominate white schools in predominate black communities discipline black students out of the schools.
  • Funds are drained from public schools. The money does not follow the student.
  • A lot of charter schools follow the franchise business model. A board operates the schools under contract, and the teachers are considered at-will employees.

As an organization, All 4 One Tutoring LLC we have tapped into providing services to charter schools. We run a very successful after-school program at the Empowerment Academy in Baltimore, Maryland. We help fill in educational gaps and do activities and projects that help prepare students for college along with helping them have a smooth transition into high school. My take on the report is that I agree that the charter school sector needs to align financial transparency with consistent accountability.

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.

Bridging the STEM Gender Gap in the Classroom

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by Laura Pearson

@laurapearson1

Despite scoring higher than their male peers in problem solving related to engineering and technology, girls continue to be underrepresented in STEM fields. While this is an issue well beyond the scope of an individual classroom, teachers have an important role to play in balancing the STEM gender gap.

Throughout elementary and high school, girls participate in science and math at approximately the same rate as boys, with some exceptions. While girls are just as likely as boys to take advanced classes in mathematics and chemistry, they’re less likely to enroll in computer science or engineering courses. And that same trend carries over to higher education.

Although the overall statistics look roughly equitable, with women earning 50.3 percent of science and engineering bachelor’s degrees, women’s participation varies significantly across different fields. While women account for more than half of all bachelor’s degrees in the biological sciences, they only receive 17.9 percent of computer science degrees, 19.3 percent of engineering degrees, 39 percent of physical science degrees, and 43.1 percent of mathematics degrees, despite representing nearly 57 percent of all college students.

According to Scholastic, girls’ participation in science starts dropping off in junior high, and the trend continues into high school and college. Since data shows that the difference isn’t in ability, researchers believe there’s something else at play. The National Science Foundation suggests much of the STEM gender gap can be attributed to a sense of belonging; specifically, that a lack of exposure to successful women in STEM causes girls to doubt their own abilities and opt for fields with larger proportions of women instead.

Elementary, middle, and high school teachers play a critical role in keeping girls in STEM.
By intervening before a stereotype threat takes hold, it’s possible to build girls’ confidence and keep them on track toward in-demand careers. Rather than teaching girls in a different way than boys, teachers should craft an approach that makes STEM welcoming and accessible to all. Here are a few ideas to get started:

1. Highlight potential career paths in STEM. Students can’t always connect the schoolwork in front of them to its real-world applications; even if they do understand its value, they likely aren’t aware of the full scope of career options available to them.

2. Incorporate lessons about accomplished female scientists and engineers in curricula. Research shows that exposure to same-gender experts provides girls with a sense of belonging. Rather than restricting lessons to historic women like Marie Curie, discuss women who are making a difference in today’s world.

3. When planning cooperative exercises, distribute class groups to have an equal balance of boys and girls. Assigning at least two girls to a group eliminates the feeling of being outnumbered, which can encourage increased participation.

4. Make sure lesson plans around STEM topics don’t only include stereotypically masculine topics. At the same time, teachers shouldn’t cater exclusively to female students and risk alienating males. Instead, opt for topics with broad appeal and real life relevancy. For example, a lesson plan that bridges a popular career with math, science, English, social studies and home economics skills. For more ideas, try Science Buddies’ topic selection wizard.

Diversity is essential for producing innovation in science and technology. When STEM fields draw upon a broad pool of perspectives and life experiences to solve complex problems, progress is made that much faster. When it comes to girls in STEM, the problem isn’t ability, but rather persistence in a field where they’re the minority. Overcoming the challenges of being a woman in STEM requires girls to feel confident about their place in science and engineering, and teachers are primed to plant those seeds of success.

Image via Unsplash

Six is the Number

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by Dr. Charice Hayes, CEO

All 4 One Tutoring™ has made it to 6 years in business. Just to think 6 years ago we were solely an online tutoring company mostly servicing international clients. Now 6 years later, we offer so much more (face-to-face tutoring, after-school programming, professional development and training, and writing services). Thanks to a team of people, we were able to expand our services both in B2C (business to consumer) and B2B (business to business).

According to Forbes, 7 out of 10 new small business employer firms survive at least 2 years, half at least 5 years, a third at least 10 years, and a quarter stay in business 15 years or more. All 4 One Tutoring made it over the 5 year mark as a small business. We have so much in store over the next 4 years when we’ll be in our 10th year of operation. Thank you to every tutor, teacher, manager, and partner who have played an integral role. Happy 6 Years in Business!