Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Summer Tutoring?

School is almost out for summer!   As a parent, I'm sure many thoughts are running through your mind such as:
"How am I going to keep these kids busy all summer?"
"I cannot believe how expensive these summer camps are."
"Where should we take the kids for a summer trip?"
"I can't believe how much these kids eat!"

Has the question, "should my child do tutoring over the summer," entered your thoughts yet?  Maybe it should.  I'm guessing that for most students tutoring over the summer sounds like about the worst idea any parent has ever had in the history of the world!  Summer tutoring isn't as bad as it might sound at first.

1.  The pressure of getting good grades is gone!  A student can learn for the sake of learning.  There is no test on Monday, no report due, and no presentation for which to prepare.  A student can work on his math skills, reading skills, or writing skills without the academic year stressors.

2.  Your child might just get ahead!  Wouldn't it feel wonderful for your child and you to start the school year off with confidence?  Sometimes when students go back to school in August, they feel like they have forgotten everything.  They may have forgotten a lot (see reason #3).  If a student has had the opportunity to continually work on her math facts and arithmetic all summer long, the nervousness at the beginning of the year will be minimized significantly.  If a student finishes the year where she needs to be, she could work ahead along with her tutor to really be prepared for next year.

3.  Summer Learning Loss  is real.  Study after study has shown how much students forget over the summer months.  Just read the statistics below.

We would love to help your child over the summer months.  Please let us know how we can partner with your family to help prevent summer learning loss and start the next school year with confidence!

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Goals for you Elementary Aged Child

It's 2017! I'm sure many of you have already thought about your goals for the new year. It seems obvious at the start of the new year to come up with ways that we want to improve ourselves. But, what about our children? Have you spoken to them about their goals for the year? What would they would like to accomplish in the new year? Below are five different areas where elementary aged students can work on improving over the new year:

📚 Reading: Are you really reading with your first grader every night for at least 20 minutes? Really? Make this your goal for the new year. It is extremely important to do this one simple activity every night. Scholastic put out a study in 2015 stating,

" 41 percent of frequent readers ages 6 to 10 were read aloud to at home, while only 13 percent of infrequent readers were being read to."

This study shows how important it is to read aloud to your child. If you want your child to be a lifelong reader, then you must commit to this daily habit. 

Older elementary aged children who are confident readers should always be reading something. There is a book for every interest and personality. Time has a list of the top 100 books for children. Many of these are picture books, but not all.

📈 Math: Are your child's math facts under control? Mastering the basic math facts is essential to future success in mathematics. It is very difficult for a child to master long division if he does not know his multiplication facts. There are a multitude of websites that can help children master their math facts such as XtraMath.

🌎 Science: A great goal for science is to peak your child's interest in science. On a day off of school like MLK day, take your child to a science museum like the Museum of Nature and Science in Denver. Another option is to enroll your child in an after school science enrichment program like Mad Science.

🎨 Humanities: Encouraging art exploration for children is another important goal. In a school setting, children often do not have enough of an opportunity to explore their artistic side. Most of the school day is dedicated to preparing for standardized tests. Parents usually need to add art of some kind to their child's day after school. Many recreation centers offer art classes such as the Castle Rock Rec Center in Douglas County. Current classes being offered are KidsArt, cooking, drama, dance, scrapbooking and music.

Physical: Again, due to an emphasis of schools on testing, children do not have enough time during the school day for physical activity. Some children have one maybe two recesses a day of 15 to 20 minutes. Physical Education classes are dwindling. Students have PE about every three weeks or so. This is simply not enough physical activity. We are all aware that children (and adults) should get at least 60 minutes of physical activity each day. The answer is a sport of some kind. It does not have to be a team sport either. Swimming, archery, and skiing are all excellent individual sports in which children of all ages can participate. Recreation centers are the best place to start when looking for a program. Get your child involved in more physical activity for a lifetime of health.

If you need help with achieving these goals for your children, Aim for the Stars Tutoring would love to provide your family with the support it needs. We support families in their academic goals and in coming up with a plan for enrichment activities for families.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Miracle Morning: The Cure for Procrastination

The Miracle Morning!

Have you heard of it?  Have you heard of Hal Elrod, the guy who "came up" with this concept and wrote the book about it?  If you haven't heard of it, I'm here to tell you, you've got to read his book.  It is the cure for the procrastination problem sweeping the earth.  Well, maybe procrastination isn't exactly sweeping the earth, but it was certainly sweeping through my household.  Or more specifically I was suffering from it and so was my daughter.  

Enter, the Miracle Morning.  The basic idea is to get up about an hour earlier than usual every morning to do a series of six self improvement activities before your day begins.  There is a handy acronym that Hal developed to help you remember what you are supposed to do.  The activities are called Life S.A.V.E.R.S.

S if for Silence (meditation or prayer)

A is for Affirmations (think "I am the greatest!" -Muhammad Ali)

V is for Visualization (think vision boards popularized by the Secret and Oprah)

E is for Exercise (Yoga, running, weights, pushups, you pick)

R is for Reading (self help books, the Bible, something inspiring)

S is for Scribing(Writing) (gratitude journal, goals, journaling about your day)

So, what does this have to do with procrastination?  Everything!  Once you have your goals in the forefront of your mind every morning, the urge to procrastinate disappears.  How are you going to achieve your goals if you put off doing the things you need to do?  You can't.  If I want to accomplish something, I need to act on it.  I need to create the habits today to make me the person I want to be tomorrow.  The Miracle Morning does that!

How are you planning to achieve your goals and dreams for 2017?