Why should parents be concerned about their children’s learning loss during the summer break? The summer brain drain is costly to parents and their children. This is especially true for elementary students who tend to lose one to six months’ worth of knowledge over the summer. Worse yet, the learning loss can be cumulative. Imagine the learning loss experienced by students by 12th grade.
It’s tempting to give our kids a mental break during the summer and worry about academics when school resumes. Why fix something that’s not a problem? Unfortunately, by the time we sense an academic issue, school is underway and moving forward at a rapid pace.
At ACE Tutoring, we often meet families who seek support for their students when they see a problem. Unfortunately, the academic issue occurred much earlier and only became evident when the students “hit a wall” or felt overwhelmed. A much better strategy would be using each summer to prepare for success in the fall. During the summer, students can plug in foundational skill gaps, review concepts missed during the past year, and preview courses for the upcoming school year. Visit www.acetutoring.com for summer camp programs, including Foundational Skills, Study & Organization Skills, Bridge Courses, and ACT/SAT Prep. We also have Middle School and High School Readiness Camps to help students transition confidently to 6th grade and 9th grade.
Please contact ACE Tutoring at 858-748-8873 or firstname.lastname@example.org to request a complimentary academic skills assessment (value of $75). We will sit down with you to review the results and discuss the best strategy to help your children reach their potential!
It is a situation every parent can relate to: the moment your child’s report card arrives home from school. Will it contain good or bad news? This is a typical scenario, and one that causes stress for both the parent and the student.
Damien Cooper, independent education consultant, discusses the problem of waiting for a student’s report card in his article A Solution to the Surprise Report Card, “From a parental communication perspective, the grades contained in the report card are ‘“too little, too late.’” The learning cycle for a given term is over, and the grades are merely cause for celebration or recrimination.”
When a student is struggling academically, waiting for a report card can cause the student to fall even further behind- and create skill gaps as materials become more complex. Cooper suggests that, “Since there is plenty of time to improve learning BEFORE grades are determined, the child needs a specific prescription detailing actions that need to be taken to improve.”
Unfortunately, by the time families adjust to the back-to-school routine, the first grading period has ended. So: what can parents do to ensure a more positive outcome on the NEXT report card?
Stay Informed- Most schools have an online interface where you can check your students’ grades, see their homework and other upcoming assignments, and keep track of their progress. If you are unsure of what the website is in your district, you can contact your students’ teachers and request that information. Teacher contact information can be found on the school’s website, under the Staff Directory.
By keeping an eye on your children’s grades before report cards are released, you will have much earlier notice if your student is struggling, and, allowing you to act promptly before they fall behind in school.
Communicate- communicating with the teacher, as well as your student, will help you determine if your student is struggling or behind in any concepts or subjects. Many students will simply respond that everything I “fine” when asked how school is going, so below are some questions to get them talking:
- Tell me about a moment today when you felt excited about what you were learning.
- Tell me about a moment in class when you felt confused.
- What was challenging about your day?
- What was the best thing that happened at school today? (What was the worst thing that happened at school today?)
Keep in mind that students who are struggling can hit a “wall” of frustration and will often avoid working on the subject whenever possible. Keep an ear out for comments like “I hate (subject/class)” “(subject/class is dumb/stupid” and “I am dumb/stupid”.
When students become frustrated with their inability to perform in a certain subject, they often lose confidence. Getting them the help they need early on will boost their confidence as well as performance in school.
Take Action- An academic assessment will provide a wealth of information on your student’s academic abilities. By testing their reading, writing, and math skills you can determine if their struggles are due to skill gaps from previous classes/years, or if it is strictly from their current materials.
Finding the root of students’ struggle in school is key to getting them the help they need to be successful. Struggling in an algebra class can be the result of a misunderstanding of pre-algebra concepts such as fractions. Alternatively, a low grade in social studies can be the product of poor reading comprehension skills.
Another possible reason for low grades could be poor study skills. Many students lack the organizational, note taking, and study strategies needed to excel academically. Indicators of this would be missing/late homework, low test scores, and stress.
Learning proper note taking skills, how to dissect textbook chapters and teacher lectures to get the most salient points, and how to apply multiple learning strategies will help to take the stress out of school.
Finding the right fit for your student’s supplemental learning will be the difference between a frustrated student and a confident student or between a bad report card and a good one.
ACE Tutoring provides more than homework help for task completion. We incorporate specialized training that enhances a student’s study skills, individualized programs tailored to each student’s area of concern, and supplementary work specifically made to reinforce skills practiced during the session. If you are concerned that your student may be falling behind in school, contact ACE today to schedule your student’s academic assessment!
Our ACE team works hard to help students utilize effective study skills. We also encourage families to take an active part in their children’s academic progress. Here are some practical tips found on www.Parents-and-Community to empower parents at home.
o There are probably many ways that parents can offer direct homework help, whether it's teaching numbers and letters, practicing reading, or helping with projects. Keep abreast of classroom activities and homework.
o Parents can keep in touch with teachers to make sure their children are finishing their homework. They can ask their children if they have any homework and make sure they set aside enough time to do it.
Provide a good work space
o Provide a clean, quiet work space to read or do their homework. Even if it is a simple table and chair, children will concentrate better with a defined place to study.
Find a tutor
o If parents cannot directly help with homework, locate a tutor to help their children and answer any questions.
We are proud to be San Diego Public Library’s Summer Reading Partner! Participants of the 2017 Reading by Design program may pick up their prizes at participating libraries and Summer Reading Partners. Register by clicking on this flyer or go to www.ACETutoring.com/contact-us/ and type "summer reading" in the comments section. Happy reading!
ACE Tutoring of Poway has a new home and will be hosting an OPEN HOUSE on 6/1/17! We will have two special speakers at the event. One will be ACE Tutoring co-owner Steve Eggers. Steve has 20+ years’ experience in SAT & ACT prep and regularly holds talks at North County schools regarding the college-prep process. At our Open House, he will outline everything you need to know about your child’s upcoming college entrance exams. We will also have the owners of College Bound Consulting of Poway, considered experts in everything college bound, to discuss key details and time-lines for your college-bound student. They have extensive knowledge of colleges throughout the U.S. and will help you clarify the college admissions process.
Enjoy Refreshments, Raffle Prizes, & Valuable College-Bound Information!
The event will take place on Thursday, June 1st, at 6:30 p.m. at our new learning center at 14870 Pomerado Road. However, don’t have your friends use GPS, just tell them it’s on the north end of the Target/Pomerado Plaza near the Original Pancake House.
Creating your children’s summer schedule can feel overwhelming given the immense number of summer camp options. During the planning process, consider questions including:
1. How would your family’s other commitments and vacation plans affect the amount of time available for summer camps?
2. What is your budget for summer activities?
3. Which blend of activities best suits your children?
a. What would they enjoy doing?
b. What do you feel is important for your children to learn this summer?
As a starting point, search options online. One great source of information, San Diego Summer Camps 2017, lists the types of camps available:
- Art Camps
- Sports Camps
- Academic Camps
- Residential Camps
- Specialty Camps
If you are interested in boosting your children's academic skills this summer, be sure to check out the summer camp specials in your community. Some organizations offer free services to give families a chance to experience programs that might suit their children.
Good luck with your planning and enjoy a fabulous summer!
It’s that time of year! Many students in middle and high school have important tests or final exams approaching.
Parents often express frustration that their children receive high marks on homework, but struggle on exams. There is a big difference between completing the homework (which many teachers just check off if students have submitted the assignments) and being properly prepared for exams. To be ready for exams, students must: (1) thoroughly understand the underlying concepts and (2) know how to work the problems (particularly for math and science classes).
Here’s a handy checklist to help you guide your children:
1. Glean as much information as possible on what the test is going to cover. If the teachers are not specific, encourage your children to go to the teachers after class and ask for more details or examples. Doing so lets the teachers know that your students are motivated to perform well. Parents can always email the teachers for clarification of test topics if needed.
2. Have your children write in their planners: (1) the day the test will be given, (2) exactly what it will cover, (3) the days and times they will study for the exam. By and large, most children do not spend enough time studying for exams. For example, if they have a test coming up on Friday, they should write in their planner when they are going to study for it each evening Monday through Thursday. Consistent studying produces better retention and understanding than last minute cramming.
3. Students must commit to the habit of reinforcing understanding of concepts and thoroughly preparing, much in the same manner they would prepare for their sports events! If they spend 8 hours in a week preparing for their next game, it should make sense for them to spend at least half that amount of time studying for the upcoming test. Right?
At ACE Tutoring, we help our students with all the above priorities, including ensuring that they thoroughly understand the material and helping them develop their study plan. We recommend that students schedule test prep. sessions (in addition to their regularly scheduled sessions) several days in advance of the exam date. In theory, students know they must study sufficiently. In reality, life gets in the way of study time, especially when students juggle extracurricular activities. Studying in a focused learning environment yields much better results than “studying” sporadically or last-minute at home.
Confidence is KEY. If your children know what the exam will cover and thoroughly prepare for it, they will be able to take the exam with confidence and earn high marks.
Does your child need help with basic study and organization skills? Click here to learn more about our Study Skills 101 program. If you would like to receive more information about our programs or to schedule an individual consultation, please contact the ACE Tutoring center closest to you.
ACE Tutoring of San Marcos continues its tradition of providing a FREE FINALS PREP CAMP for SMHS and MHHS students. It will be held this coming Friday, December 9th. Students may choose time slots ranging from 3:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. In order help you properly prepare, we recommending sticking around for two hours. You can receive finals prep help in any science, math, English, History, or Spanish class. You may choose one or two subjects to study. In addition to the prep, our expert tutors will send you off with a study plan for your finals. This prep camp will help improve your grades on your finals!
Registration is on a first-come first serve basis so be sure to register today! Space is very limited. Note this is for new students only. Current clients will be accommodated using their regularly scheduled hours. To register, click this link or visit www.acetutoring.com and click the Finals Prep icon on the front page.
Steve and Anh Eggers, owners of ACE Tutoring learning centers in San Marcos and Poway since 2004, are conducting a contest to celebrate the launch of their 3rd center: ACE Tutoring of Carlsbad! Name the ACE Tutoring eagle mascot for a chance to win a FREE iPad®:
(1) www.acetutoring.com/contest (on desktop)
(2) www.tabsite.com/smrt219605 (on mobile devices)
Winner to be announced by November 30.
As a protective parent, I fear for the mental and emotional health of our children as they push themselves to extreme levels in their pursuit of academic excellence. While a Director of a learning center, my staff and I supported brilliant 9th graders trying their hardest to handle the pressures of AP calculus, physics, chemistry, etc. Though extremely bright, these students had the emotional state and mental stamina of their peers. Yet, they took courses at the college level at the age of 14 or 15…not to mention that these students also faced the tremendous challenges of transitioning from middle school to high school. I worried for them and gave them as much encouragement as possible. My tutoring sessions (rare since my role as Director did not allow for much tutoring time) with the students included tips on effective study skills to manage school and life priorities. Sometimes, the overworked students just needed a few peaceful moments to ground them and put all the pressure into perspective before they tackled their schoolwork. Most days, I literally had a line out the door consisting of frazzled students who needed a quick hug, a word of encouragement, or honest feedback on their work. My office became a haven where we had candid discussions without judgement.
For all those students who are in the same pressure filled boat, I wanted to share these tips that a psychology teacher handed out as a guide to his class. I found some of them unconventional and almost comical, but worth a try. :)
Some of the tips that made me smile:
· Pet a friendly dog or cat (as opposed to a ferocious one)
· Clean out your closet (wonder how many students would do this even if desperate to cope with stress)
· Play patty cake with a baby (ideally one with sufficient motor skills)
I appreciate this teacher’s caring for his students. It’s not all about the grades all the time. Somewhere in the pursuit for excellence, kids deserve a chance to be kids. For moral or academic support, give me a call. Everyone needs help now and then, especially in today's competitive academic arena.
Confidence is KEY on this test. You have to go in believing that you will do well on this exam. In fact, you will do your BEST ever!
· You have been prepping nearly all summer, if not longer, to get ready. You ARE ready!
· The scores you see here at ACE are just practice meant to build mental stamina and improve skills. What I see with our students, on average, is a 1-4 point(s) increase on the actual test compared to the best score on practice exams. Think positively! You got this!!
· IF you are nervous, take a moment to write out a positive note to yourself in your car before you take the exam. Mindset is everything on these long standardized exams.
· During the test: take moments to breathe, collect your thoughts and regroup during the exam. Your focus on the last question is just as important as your focus on the first question.
· Tackle that exam like you know exactly what to do. Again, confidence is HUGE! Use your strategies, write in your test booklet, etc.
These tips are KEY to a good test result. Don’t sacrifice all this time you have spent studying by staying out too late Friday night!
o Get a good night’s rest (go to bed at a normal time for you).
o Don’t cram with ACT facts the night before the test. Since you have studied for weeks, a last minute study cram session will only make you tired and confused.
o Eat a healthy low carb, high protein breakfast. Bring snacks and water with you to keep you alert and focused.
o Get all of your materials (calculator, pencil, snacks, watch, etc.) ready the night before so if you do run into a few snags in the morning, you are prepared.
o Wake up early and arrive early. Being early helps you feel prepared and relaxed.
Of course, you’ll get a special gift from ACE this week to take with you to test day. :) We are proud of each of you for doing this program and can’t wait to see results! We know you will do an awesome job!
As parents and educators, we emphasize strong study skills including note-taking. We’d like to share some information to encourage students to get back to the basics of effective studying.
Attention, Students: Put Your Laptops Away
As laptops become smaller and more ubiquitous, and with the advent of tablets, the idea of taking notes by hand just seems old-fashioned to many students today. Typing your notes is faster — which comes in handy when there's a lot of information to take down. But it turns out there are still advantages to doing things the old-fashioned way.
For one thing, research shows that laptops and tablets have a tendency to be distracting — it's so easy to click over to Facebook in that dull lecture. And a study has shown that the fact that you have to be slower when you take notes by hand is what makes it more useful in the long run.
In the study published in Psychological Science, Pam A. Mueller of Princeton University and Daniel M. Oppenheimer of the University of California, Los Angeles sought to test how note-taking by hand or by computer affects learning.
"When people type their notes, they have this tendency to try to take verbatim notes and write down as much of the lecture as they can," Mueller tells NPR's Rachel Martin. "The students who were taking longhand notes in our studies were forced to be more selective — because you can't write as fast as you can type. And that extra processing of the material that they were doing benefited them."
Mueller and Oppenheimer cited that note-taking can be categorized two ways: generative and nongenerative. Generative note-taking pertains to "summarizing, paraphrasing, concept mapping," while nongenerative note-taking involves copying something verbatim.
Read more at http://www.npr.org.
First, there is no exact answer to this because it depends on many circumstances including the students’ course load, sports, activities, and other commitments.
In general, sophomores will be offered the opportunity by their schools to take the PSAT (Practice SAT) in their sophomore year. This is an excellent opportunity for students to see where they stand. At this point, they usually realize they will need some help preparing a year before taking the “real” exams. Colleges do not consider the PSAT for admission so it’s harmless (other than exhausting a few brain cells during the exam). If your students miss the opportunity to take the PSAT at school, they may take the practice exam at ACE Tutoring. Contact us to schedule a complimentary PSAT.
Keep in mind that spring of 11th grade is the most stressful for students as they prepare for class exams, finish projects, and study for their AP exams as well as their final exams. If possible, we recommend that students prepare for their ACT and SAT exams during the summer between 10th and 11th grade. By the end of 10th grade, most students have taken all the coursework needed to help them on the exams. By following this timeline, students can focus the rest of the school year on their all-important 11th grade GPA. This is the last year that colleges utilize for calculating students’ GPA for purposes of admission. The next best time to prep is early in the fall semester of 11th grade. By prepping during that timeframe, students can still take the late fall (October – December and/or early spring (January – March) exams. This will still keep them clear of the late spring crush.
Finally, I cannot stress enough the importance of critical reading in preparing for the exams. We recommend that students read regularly in grades K-12. Ideally, students should read at least 30 minutes per day. In our 20+ years of supporting college-bound students, we’ve noted a direct correlation between how much students read and their college entrance exam scores.
If you have any questions regarding college entrance exams, please email us at email@example.com or visit our website www.acetutoring.com for more information including upcoming exam dates.
It's time to gear up for the new school year! Please contact your ACE center to submit your fall tutoring schedule. http://www.acetutoring.com/contact-us/
School start dates: PUSD Tues. Aug. 16, CUSD Tues. Aug.30, and SMUSD Mon. Aug. 29. Review your school district's calendar and these back-to-school tips.
As educators and parents, Steve and I discuss how we can cultivate our child's interest in technology in a positive and educational way. We were so proud to watch our 8 year old daughter's presentation of her first website design! Special thanks to Herbie Smith and Lynda McDonell of SMUSD for their caring and support of the children's thirst for knowledge about technology.
Reminder: register tomorrow for the ACT and review the upcoming registration deadlines for the SAT! SAT-ACT bookmarks are ready for pick up at your local ACE Tutoring center. Ask about a prep. plan while you're there.
Think about this: your social profile could impact you for years to come! Students, recruiters and admissions reps will look at your social network! There's now a site you can compose a "profile" of who you are to colleges and include in your apps. Think; "LinkedIn" for students! Get on board with: https://www.zeemee.com/
A long-time friend of ACE, Chris White was recently featured in an article by Common App! If you are seeking advice about the SAT, ACT, classes to take in high school, come see us here at ACE! We can help get you on to "The Road To College".
Applying to UC? Read about the changes at http://universityofcalifornia.edu/news/applying-uc-changes.
Have other questions about the college-bound process? Contact us at http://www.acetutoring.com/contact-us. We love helping students with their goals to enter their dream schools!
#ucapplication #tutoring #collegebound
Steve Eggers, co-owner of ACE Tutoring, presented Twin Oaks Ele. Principal (Mrs. Silvia Ventura-Jacobsen) and PTO (Lisa Moon) with a $300 check to match funds the PTO raised from the Laser Tag event. ACE Tutoring San Marcos has also pledged to donate 10% of tuition for any Twin Oaks student who attends ACE 2016 Summer Camp programs. Take advantage of already reduced summer rates AND raise money for TOES school PTO! Check out http://www.acetutoring.com/programs to review the awesome programs to give your children a boost in their reading, writing, and Common Core math skills.
#summercamp #twinoaks #pto #commoncore #tutoring