Award-Winning Local Tutors in San Diego & North County
More Info: 858-762-9770 Client Care: 858-792-8887
Award-Winning Tutors in San Diego & North County
Call 858-762-9770

Four Amazing Students From Across America

Some people are just amazing. They stand out, achieving things that can be simply hard to believe. It can induce envy in some people, but perhaps the best reaction is old-fashioned wonder. After all, the human race is the better for their awesomeness. Here are just five amazing young people.

Andreas Pavlou, Sewanhaka High School, Elmont, New York

Andreas, from a low-income family, edited his high school newspaper and was president of the student council. While still a young man his father passed away prematurely, leaving Andreas to help support his family.

One summer while still in high school, Andreas had an opportunity to conduct cancer research. As part of his work, he made new discoveries relating to breast cancer, including a very promising combination of gene therapy and drug treatment.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, he won the very prestigious Questbridge scholarship, which got him a full ride to college.

Shree Bose, Fort Worth Country Day High School, Fort Worth, Texas

Ms. Bose is another teen who, moved by the suffering of a loved one at the hands of cancer (in this case a grandfather), engaged in advanced research in an effort to find a cure. She asked every research center in her area to let her work but no one took her seriously -- except for the North Texas Science Health Center, which agreed to give her access to their labs plus mentoring.

She focused on the chemotherapy drug Cisplatin, and discovered that inhibiting a specific protein allowed the drug to be much more effective in killing cancer cells. She says, "For the over 240,000 patients diagnosed with ovarian cancer, this research will hopefully be able to reduce the recurrence rates in patients treated with particular chemotherapy drugs in the future."

Thanks to her work, Ms. Bose won numerous science prizes, scored an internship at the National Institutes of Health and was accepted into Harvard.

Athena Kan, River Hill High School, Clarksville, Maryland

While serving an internship at Johns Hopkins, Ms. Kan performed research into healthcare inequalities among minority groups, even presenting her findings at a medical conference. This inspired her to take an active role in the field of public health, founding a health fair called CHOICE (Coalition Halting Obesity in Children Everywhere). This brought together dozens of exhibitors -- ranging from nonprofits to private corporations -- along with free health screening. She also served on a county-level public health committee.

Ms. Kan received a full scholarship to Harvard.

Anvita Gupta, BASIS High School, Scottsdale, Arizona

Ms. Gupta combined an interest in computer science with a passion for biology by creating software that automatically identifies medications for diseases like cancer and ebola, thereby boosting research into new drugs.

Her achievement won her several high-level science prizes, including a presentation at the White House Science Fair. She also gained entrance to Stanford (computer science and biology).

As if that wasn’t enough, Ms. Gupta was struck by the dropout rate of girls in her AP computer science class, with three-quarters of the girls leaving the course. So she founded LITAS, a computer science club for middle school girls. The club, which is designed to increase female participation in STEM fields, has won sponsorship from Google, among other high-profile organizations.

Toward a Better Understanding: Dyslexia

Reading is a vital skill; it’s hard to imagine doing well in school, or in life, when reading and writing are a struggle. Yet people with dyslexia deal with this every day. It makes school more difficult, it makes socializing more difficult, and it damages self-esteem. People with dyslexia face many obstacles in life, but perhaps the worst is the assumption many people make -- that they have sub-par intelligence. This, however, is not the case, and while dyslexia can present many challenges, it does not preclude a happy, prosperous life.

What is dyslexia?

A common misconception is that dyslexia is a visual disorder in which the brain mixes up the order of letters when reading. This, however, is not the case. In truth, it is a neurological problem that affects the brain’s ability to process graphic symbols. It can also make it difficult to associate words and symbols with their accompanying sounds. Other symptoms can include difficulty in telling left from right, an inability to retain knowledge of spelling and pronunciation, shorter attention span, and, a higher rate of autoimmune illnesses. Furthermore, people with dyslexia have a higher rate of ADHD.

What causes dyslexia?

There are plenty of theories, but no one knows for sure. The current thinking leans towards a genetic source, since dyslexia often runs in families. However there is no firm evidence of this.

Dyslexia, unfortunately, is not temporary; it is a lifelong affliction.

Are people with dyslexia less intelligent?

Absolutely not! In fact, people with dyslexia are often unusually bright. Indeed there is a theory that suggests that, similar to the idea of a lost sense increases the sensitivity of the remaining senses, dyslexia may wind up sharpening other parts of the brain. In truth there is a long list of remarkable people with dyslexia who have attained stunning success, such as Steven Spielberg, Pablo Picasso and even Albert Einstein.

It is crucially important to recognize that dyslexia is not in any way a reflection of intelligence. Children with dyslexia especially need constant reminding of this fact, because chances are they will frequently feel like they are less smart than their peers.

What is the treatment for dyslexia?

At present there is no treatment or medication for dyslexia. There are, however, coping strategies that can work around the disorder. For instance, while it may be extremely difficult to make sense of the written word, people with dyslexia are likely to instantly comprehend when those same words are read out loud to them. Indeed this is a standard approach to dealing with dyslexia.

At the same time, there is a good chance that a young person with dyslexia may be gifted in other ways, sometimes spectacularly so -- indeed many people refer to dyslexia as a “gift” for this reason. The important thing to remember is that a diagnosis of dyslexia is in no way a sentence of doom. People with dyslexia can dream just as big, and make those dreams come true.

Helping Kids Deal With Disasters

Hurricane Katrina. Hurricane Irma. Hurricane Harvey. The Boxing Day tsunami. The Japan earthquake and tsunami. Wildfires, winter storms, terrorism, on and on and on. Terrible things happen in this world, people suffer, and among the hardest-hit, whether in person or simply by seeing it unfold on television, are children. These disasters can be deeply upsetting to kids, even traumatic. It therefore might be time to sit down and work with our young folk to really look at what’s happening, how to feel about it, and, most of all, how to address the feelings that are stirred up by these events.

“Why do these things happen?”

This is a huge question, and can be very difficult to answer. Young people gravitate toward “why” questions as they struggle to comprehend the deeper, philosophical implications of existence. As adults, we might struggle to explain these concepts in way a young person can understand. Indeed from the point of view of a youngster, most explanations offered by adults can be inadequate, whether based in faith, logic, emotion or all three. What’s needed is to communicate in simple terms, relying on making things relatable -- and on empathy.

A young person will have bad experiences. They will fall off their bikes, trip on a sidewalk, break a limb, have a food allergy, and any number of other troubles. Some of these things are the result of bad choices, and others stem from just plain old bad luck. We accept them as part of life, and chances are your young person will too. We also, hopefully, empathize with people who encounter accidents and troubles in their lives, just as we should those who survive a disaster.

When talking about disasters, it’s really a case of scaling up these understandable life events. They are much bigger and affect more people, but it’s still a case of life throwing things at us whether or not we want them.

It’s important to remember that disasters, like those small things that happen to kids, are not acts of judgement. They are things that happen in life and people who experience them don’t “deserve” the suffering they endure. People aren’t being targeted. It’s not personal, even if it can often feel like it is. In truth, all explanations are inadequate, especially to a young person. There simply is no perfect answer the question of “why.”

The good news is, there are billions of people in the world and very few of them ever experience a disaster. They live their lives and the closest they ever get to a flood or damaging hurricane is on television. Other people have experienced multiple hurricanes, earthquakes, tornadoes and so on, and have grown used to them. In other words, the odds of a young person ever having to face a deadly event are generally quite slim -- though it does pay to be prepared.

“What can I do about it?”

Taking personal action can be very empowering for a young person. For example, researching various scenarios and building a preparedness kit, finding evacuation routes, working with family members to ensure everyone knows what to do in the event of an emergency, identifying places to stay if you have to leave if something happens, even downloading specialized apps that can provide alerts and warnings. As long as you’re careful to ensure this preparation doesn’t ramp up anxiety, this can reassure young people by demonstrating personal agency in the face of something scary.

Above all, teaching young people that we needn’t be powerless in the face of disasters can help ease anxiety and keep things on a practical level.

“What if it happens here?”

One can’t choose where and when a disaster will strike. Odds are anyone reading this will not have to deal with a large calamity, but it still might happen. To begin with, as discussed above, preparation, even simple things like mapping out escape routes or keeping a couple crates of bottled water (and some prepared food) can help enormously. At the same time, teaching the personal actions to take -- designating meeting places, fast-dial phone numbers, and so on.

Most importantly, teach young people to stay calm if something happens. A level head can easily spell the difference between survival and an awful outcome. Dealing with the fear ahead of time can help reduce anxiety overall. Certainly looking at catastrophic images on a screen can be terrifying, and anyone would be forgiven for thinking they would not be able to cope with such a situation.

It’s funny, though … when nightmares become real, ordinary people often find reserves of calm and courage they never knew existed. Best of all is the tendency to pull together in order to get through whatever is happening.

“How can I help?”

There are many ways a young person can help out. The most direct way is to donate money to not-for-profit organizations that are on the ground in disaster areas. Do note that some organizations are better than others when it comes to putting funds to good use, so be sure to research the places you have in mind for donations. Also, some organizations have specific causes, such as feeding homeless pets or supporting children.

To boost donations, your young person can start a local fundraising project that can not only fund a nonprofit but raise awareness as well. There are also volunteer opportunities in areas affected by disasters, as well as your local community. Public safety departments may benefit from help in their own disaster preparedness efforts, while organizations that help victims of all manner of suffering can always use assistance.

Young people can also undertake efforts to raise awareness of disaster preparedness with websites, community gatherings, presentations, videos and so on.

All in all, disasters can indeed be frightening, not to mention humbling. Individuals, however, needn’t live in fear of calamity. Preparedness, understanding and hard work can turn that fear into confidence and faith.

Helping Kids Deal With Disasters

Hurricane Katrina. Hurricane Ima. Hurricane Harvey. The Boxing Day tsunami. The Japan earthquake and tsunami. Wildfires, winter storms, terrorism, on and on and on. Terrible things happen in this world, people suffer, and among the hardest-hit, whether in person or simply by seeing it unfold on television, are children. These disasters can be deeply upsetting to kids, even traumatic. It therefore might be time to sit down and work with our young folk to really look at what’s happening, how to feel about it, and, most of all, how to address the feelings that are stirred up by these events.

“Why do these things happen?”

This is a huge question, and can be very difficult to answer. Young people gravitate toward “why” questions as they struggle to comprehend the deeper, philosophical implications of existence. As adults, we might struggle to explain these concepts in way a young person can understand. Indeed from the point of view of a youngster, most explanations offered by adults can be inadequate, whether based in faith, logic, emotion or all three. What’s needed is to communicate in simple terms, relying on making things relatable -- and on empathy.

A young person will have bad experiences. They will fall off their bikes, trip on a sidewalk, break a limb, have a food allergy, and any number of other troubles. Some of these things are the result of bad choices, and others stem from just plain old bad luck. We accept them as part of life, and chances are your young person will too. We also, hopefully, empathize with people who encounter accidents and troubles in their lives, just as we should those who survive a disaster.

When talking about disasters, it’s really a case of scaling up these understandable life events. They are much bigger and affect more people, but it’s still a case of life throwing things at us whether or not we want them.

It’s important to remember that disasters, like those small things that happen to kids, are not acts of judgement. They are things that happen in life and people who experience them don’t “deserve” the suffering they endure. People aren’t being targeted. It’s not personal, even if it can often feel like it is. In truth, all explanations are inadequate, especially to a young person. There simply is no perfect answer the question of “why.”

The good news is, there are billions of people in the world and very few of them ever experience a disaster. They live their lives and the closest they ever get to a flood or damaging hurricane is on television. Other people have experienced multiple hurricanes, earthquakes, tornadoes and so on, and have grown used to them. In other words, the odds of a young person ever having to face a deadly event are generally quite slim -- though it does pay to be prepared.

“What can I do about it?”

Taking personal action can be very empowering for a young person. For example, researching various scenarios and building a preparedness kit, finding evacuation routes, working with family members to ensure everyone knows what to do in the event of an emergency, identifying places to stay if you have to leave if something happens, even downloading specialized apps that can provide alerts and warnings. As long as you’re careful to ensure this preparation doesn’t ramp up anxiety, this can reassure young people by demonstrating personal agency in the face of something scary.

Above all, teaching young people that we needn’t be powerless in the face of disasters can help ease anxiety and keep things on a practical level.

“What if it happens here?”

One can’t choose where and when a disaster will strike. Odds are anyone reading this will not have to deal with a large calamity, but it still might happen. To begin with, as discussed above, preparation, even simple things like mapping out escape routes or keeping a couple crates of bottled water (and some prepared food) can help enormously. At the same time, teaching the personal actions to take -- designating meeting places, fast-dial phone numbers, and so on.

Most importantly, teach young people to stay calm if something happens. A level head can easily spell the difference between survival and an awful outcome. Dealing with the fear ahead of time can help reduce anxiety overall. Certainly looking at catastrophic images on a screen can be terrifying, and anyone would be forgiven for thinking they would not be able to cope with such a situation.

It’s funny, though … when nightmares become real, ordinary people often find reserves of calm and courage they never knew existed. Best of all is the tendency to pull together in order to get through whatever is happening.

“How can I help?”

There are many ways a young person can help out. The most direct way is to donate money to not-for-profit organizations that are on the ground in disaster areas. Do note that some organizations are better than others when it comes to putting funds to good use, so be sure to research the places you have in mind for donations. Also, some organizations have specific causes, such as feeding homeless pets or supporting children.

To boost donations, your young person can start a local fundraising project that can not only fund a nonprofit but raise awareness as well. There are also volunteer opportunities in areas affected by disasters, as well as your local community. Public safety departments may benefit from help in their own disaster preparedness efforts, while organizations that help victims of all manner of suffering can always use assistance.

Young people can also undertake efforts to raise awareness of disaster preparedness with websites, community gatherings, presentations, videos and so on.

All in all, disasters can indeed be frightening, not to mention humbling. Individuals, however, needn’t live in fear of calamity. Preparedness, understanding and hard work can turn that fear into confidence and faith.

Making Healthy Choices For the New School Year

Once classes start and the demands of school start setting the daily rhythms of education, it’s easy to lose track of the many decisions, big and small, that can affect how well the year turns out. Doing well in school, though, depends on much more than going to class and studying hard. It’s also important to ensure that every student makes the healthiest choices possible, and this in turn requires looking beyond teachers, grades and homework.

Maintain a healthy diet

We all know the basic components of a healthy diet: lots of fruit and vegetables, go easy on the snacking, avoid processed foods and so on. As a society we tend to give these ideas lip service, but a balanced diet will not only give a boost to a student’s physical well-being, but a happy spin-off will likely be better grades as well. A healthy lifestyle improves energy levels, concentration, cognitive ability, memory and more.

There are countless reasons to stick to a healthy diet; better grades are just part of the picture.

Be aware of, and take care of, your mental health

Millions of people have mental health issues. It’s certainly nothing to be ashamed of, but it is something to take seriously. A diagnosis of depression, for example, or an anxiety disorder, or any number of possible issues, is nothing to take lightly. No one should try wishing away a diagnosis -- not only is doing so impossible, but it can be dangerous.

Any student with a mental illness should always be aware of it, and keep it in mind in a non-judgemental way. Make sure all the necessary support is present, up to and including medication. It’s not a terrible mark upon a person’s soul, it is just a component of who they are. Staying on top of it will help make sure the school year progresses smoothly and happily.

Understand stress and how to cope with it

Stress is a huge part of life for people of all ages, but it can be especially difficult for young people. Essentially, stress is a physical response to high-pressure situations, and the effects of that stress response can be very damaging to our health. For students, this can cause sleeplessness, headaches, problems concentrating, reduced motivation and more. We all react to stress differently, so every student should learn to recognize the symptoms of stress and develop a strategy for coping with it.

Do not underestimate the impact that stress can have on a young person’s studies -- developing a coping strategy should always be a priority. Not only will this help with grades, it will provide an incredibly useful skill that will provide benefits well beyond school.

Maintain a healthy work-life balance

School is important. It is. But living is important too. It may seem logical to believe that devoting 100% of our time and energy to a given task will ensure a successful outcome, but the truth is that people need to relax. They need family, friends, hobbies. Striking the right balance between the demands of school and the outside pursuits that bring happiness will go a long way to achieving academic success. And like so many other healthy habits, finding that balance while still young will establish habits that will bring benefits throughout life.

Back to School: Time to Get Organized!

It’s important to be organized. It’s extremely important to be organized for school. Study after study has shown that students who are properly organized get better grades, have less stress, and just generally do better in life. Along with less stress, an organized student is likely to have more confidence and more free time to pursue outside interests like athletics, arts and hobbies. Best of all, if you can get organized for school and stick with it, you’ll probably have better odds of a good working life once school is done. Here are some tips you can get started with even before the school year begins.

Keep your supplies sorted

It may seem mundane, but ensuring you have all your school supplies standing by and ready to go is important. You don’t want to be searching for printer paper the night before a report is due! Keep track of absolutely everything needed for your schoolwork, from pens and pencils to paper, highlighters, binders and so on, and make sure you’ve always got enough of it. This applies to your computer as well -- make sure everything’s working properly, the software is humming along, and that everything is properly backed-up.

Be aware of any extra resources you might need

Some courses require special supplies, such as books, research material, software and so on. Read your course description carefully, and make sure you know ahead of time what you might need to pull together as part of the course. Don’t be left scrambling at the last minute!

Set up a calendar and make a note of, well, everything

There are lots of free apps and websites that will let you create a digital calendar you can access anywhere, but it can also be handy to have a large section of your wall set aside for big paper calendars that allow you to see the whole school year at a glance. Put down everything you can find related to school: tests, assignments, field trips, holidays, just everything. What’s more, schedule your work before those events, so that you’re always studying and working in advance, calmly, confidently.

Setting up a thorough calendar at the start of the year is probably the most important thing you can do to de-stress. Yes, it can be scary to see it all in one place, even frightening, but you’ll see it’s just a case of working through everything bit by bit.

Create a study space that’s all yours

Set aside a space for doing your schoolwork and respect it. A desk, properly-lit, decorated according to your taste, will help you get things done. It’s critically important to respect that space -- don’t let it get piled high with junk! Keep it clean, make it a precious little corner of the world that’s all your own. Also important: keep all your work organized. A bookshelf, filing cabinet, incoming and outgoing trays, whatever you need. You don’t want your work getting misplaced, lost or forgotten.

Establish rhythms for your life

You’d be surprised how much a daily routine can reduce your stress. Knowing ahead of time when you’re supposed to get up, when you’re supposed to do homework, when you’re supposed to eat, rest and so on, can be very comforting. The same can be said for weeks, even semesters. This sort of organizing will make sure you have the time to study ahead for your classes, and make note of any areas of your schoolwork that require extra attention (or the help of a tutor).

Keep your daily life organized

Us humans need a lot of upkeep. We need to be washed, dressed, fed -- and sometimes we need medical attention too. It’s important, therefore, to keep the “daily living” part of your life organized. Keep a steady supply of any toiletries you need, such as makeup, toothpaste, shampoo and whatnot. Also keep an eye on your physical health, especially ensuring you’re on top of any medication you require.

Live a healthy lifestyle

If you’re not physically healthy, your schoolwork will stuffer. Live as healthy a lifestyle as you can, getting lots of exercise (not just gym class!), eating a healthy diet and proper, regular meals. Try to cover all the major food groups and avoid snacking -- and if you must snack try to keep it healthy. Yes, processed foods like chocolate, potato chips and so on can be tasty and (temporarily) satisfying, but they should only ever be a small part of your diet.



 

Set aside time for socializing and relaxing

There’s more to life than school. While minding your responsibilities, you also need to be a well-rounded person with a full life. That means yes, it’s okay to spend time with your friends just hanging out, chatting, gossiping, and laughing. Friends play an important role in de-stressing. Relaxation can also be found in a hobby or two. Even just lying in bed and listening to music can bring peaceful rest.

Discover your learning style and use it to your advantage

Research suggests that our brains have different ways of learning. In fact, only a minority of people thrive in the standard, one-size-fits-all approach employed by most skills. A simple quiz can help you discover how best your brain absorbs and retains knowledge. Once you’ve got that figured out, you can change how you study and tackle your assignments, working with your teachers to emphasize your learning style. It might well give your grades a major boost!

Monitor your stress and mental health

Our society still struggles to discuss mental health without judgement. However, our inner lives are a crucial part of our identity, and it’s absolutely critical to keep an eye on your heart and mind if you’re to succeed in school (or life). Don’t bottle up your feelings! Make sure you have someone responsible to talk to, such as a parent or counsellor. Stress, especially, can be horribly destructive if left to fester, no matter where it comes from (family, friends or school). There are many tools, even apps, to help you track your stress levels. Developing a healthy approach to stress and emotional struggles can be incredibly empowering. Indeed it can improve your odds of living a life that’s long, healthy and happy.

Get some sleep!

It’s impossible not to underestimate how important it is to get a good night’s sleep. Our brains need to rest and recover from the day, and if they don’t get that rest they have trouble functioning. Avoid staying up too late! It should be a top priority to get a good night’s sleep as often as possible. This is one of the best things you can do to keep your grades up.

Remember: you got this!

School can be tough. It can. But you can do it!. Make sure you remind yourself regularly that you’re fully capable of doing what you need to do. You’re stronger than you think you are! Staying organized is an excellent way of proving that.

Back to School: Pick a Hobby!

Hobbies may seem frivolous, or silly -- or maybe just a waste of time. But when so much of life’s energy is dedicated to the challenges of school, jobs, family and more, a hobby can be a source of happiness, confidence and relaxation. Hobbies, therefore should be seen as an asset -- a valuable part of a complete life. But how does one go about choosing a hobby?

1. Think about how you like to spend your time

Do you like to listen to music? Maybe sing? How about reading? Drawing? Or sports? Are you fascinated by computers? Nurturing a pastime you enjoy is a great place to start. It can be a bit overwhelming to consider all the possibilities, especially when one considers the options provided by digital technology, which allow anyone with a computer to dabble in fields as diverse as robotics, fashion design, publishing, filmmaking, and architecture.

So poke around, look inside yourself, figure out what grabs your interest. You might surprise yourself!

2. Don’t be afraid to experiment

When we think of ourselves, we often use labels or stereotypes. This can be very limiting. Even at an early age we can easily be summed up by ourselves or others (athletic, or artistic, or shy, or social). Don’t let this stop you! Get outside your comfort zone and try new things. You might just stumble across activities you love but might not ordinarily have tried.

3. Remember, hobbies are supposed to be fun -- they’re not jobs!

It might be tempting to think strategically about hobbies. For instance, you might think of how certain hobbies might look good on a college application, or perhaps provide networking opportunities. Try to avoid this way of thinking. After all, the point is to find an activity that will give you a break from all of life’s serious endeavours. Focus on finding something that is fun and relaxing. You don’t want your hobby to feel like a chore -- ideally time should fly by when you’re doing it.

4. Be sure to respect your hobby

Try to dedicate a space in your room for your hobby: a space on a shelf, a part of your desk, a part of your wall. By ensuring your hobby has a physical place in your life, you help ensure it has a place in your life. A hobby all too easily fades away if it’s not cherished.

5. Don’t be afraid to share your efforts

One of the great things about a hobby is the social component. It’s great to meet people with similar interests and passions. Even if you’re working alone, it should be easy to find groups online who can offer support, advice and tips. With any luck, family and friends will provide support as well.

6. It’s okay to change your mind

You’re probably going to go down some blind alleys. You’ll try something for a bit, find it’s not to your liking and call it quits. That doesn’t make you a bad person! The important thing is to not give up on the idea of a hobby. In other words, if you try something and don’t like it, then try something else!

How to Choose a Tutor For Your Child

At the start of a new school year, it’s all too easy to fret and worry about your child’s academic success. The good news is, you and your child don’t need to face these worries alone. A skilled tutor can really help a student develop new skills and abilities they never knew they had. In fact, a tutor can make a world of difference in a young person’s life. Choosing a tutor, however, can be challenging, so here are a few tips that might help.

Does my child really need a tutor?

It can be difficult to acknowledge your young person’s academic weaknesses, but it really shouldn’t be. Every human being has weaknesses (as well as strengths). In fact, be glad, because identifying areas that need help is the first step in overcoming those areas. In truth, however, a smart parent doesn’t just hire a tutor to boost grades in problem classes. A good tutor has the skills and experience to help your learner in countless ways. The goal should always be about far more than boosting grades -- it should be about helping your child find excellence in school and in life. A good tutor can help you make that happen.

How can a tutor help my child?

Struggles in school can set up an awful cycle. A learner feels disappointed, then starts to feel increased stress, then starts to lose confidence, then starts to decline academically, and round it goes. A good tutor can help break that cycle. Not only can problem areas be addressed, but the student can learn to cope more effectively with obstacles. Breaking the chain of insecurity and shame can empower a young learner tremendously, equipping them for lifelong success.

What’s more, a dedicated tutor offers much more than academic know-how -- ideally they will not just help your student learn specific subjects, but learn about how to excel in school. This includes study tips, lifestyle changes, organizational improvements and more.

What if my child has an exceptionality?

A huge percentage of young people have learning exceptionalities such as ADHD, dyslexia and so on. Happily, society is gradually abandoning the stigma associated with these challenges. Even better, a growing body of knowledge can equip parents and students alike with the information they need to find a path to educational excellence no matter what issues they may have.

Good tutors have a full understanding of every exceptionality under the sun, and can offer coping strategies and study skills that will not only get them through school but achieve inspiring and amazing feats of academic excellence.

What exactly should I look for in a tutor?

It’s important to be a bit choosy. Sometimes a high schooler with skill in a needed subject area will get the job done. But for the best outcomes possible, it’s important to find a tutor who has a great many skills that go beyond academic subject areas. The best tutor is someone who understands all the complex and overlapping aspects of student life and can help your learner improve not just in one subject area but help them develop as a person. This requires skills, training and experience.

How important is a tutor’s personality?

Don’t underestimate personality. At Tutor Doctor, we employ a tutor matching system that helps connect students with a tutor who is the best fit possible. It’s critically important for student and tutor to connect. This helps the student relax, de-stress and concentrate. Good tutoring is a collaborative effort, and that means everyone involved will have to work as a team -- not just student and tutor but parents and teachers as well.

The most important characteristic is heart. An experienced tutor understands just how much a young person can be transformed with the right sort of help. Imagine an adult thinking back to their school days and pondering the many things they wish they’d known back then. Well, a good tutor will give your student all the tools and knowledge they might otherwise miss.

7 Smart Tips For Back-To-School Shopping

Like clunking machines gearing up in basements across the land, the approach of a new school year is getting families making their preparations for the start of school. This inevitably involves shopping -- you’ve almost certainly spotted the sales. But before you rush out and start spending, a few tips might just make the process a bit easier (and maybe a bit cheaper too).

 

1. Remember -- it’s a teachable exercise

Back to school shopping is a great way to teach your youngster about smart money management. Involve them in every step of the process, from beginning to end. Get them looking at items online, comparing between different stores. Walk them through the steps in this post, and possibly offer them a small cash prize (or extra item) if they find good deals.

 

2. Make lists

Before anyone looks for anything, draw up lists of what’s needed. Go class-by-class. See if you already have the necessary supplies. Do a “need” list first to make sure nobody ends up empty handed when school starts. Nothing is too basic to write down, including stuff like pencils, pens, erasers and paper. After that’s all done, if there’s money left over, start thinking about the more fun stuff, like clothes, apps, gadgets and so on.

It’s also important the items on your list match any list sent home by the school. Teachers can sometimes be very specific about what is required for their class, so make sure you’re syncing up with those requirements.

The ultimate goal is to know what you’re looking for before you start shopping. This makes it harder to indulge in expensive impulse shopping. Indeed this is a good tip for adults too!

3. See what you can buy in bulk

A box of pens or a pack of printer paper will almost certainly be cheaper if purchased at a big-box office supply store than at a drug store. Take the same approach to buying other bulk items like socks or binders. Food items too, especially snacks, are often cheaper when bought at a bulk store. Keep in mind that just because it’s at a bulk store doesn’t mean it’s automatically cheaper -- watch those prices!

4. Put a value on recycling

Students may not like hand-me-downs, but you’d be surprised what you can get from friends and family if you ask around. Indeed your student may have items from the previous year, such as binders and notebooks, that can be used again. When shopping for school, as with shopping for anything, saving money is a valuable skill.

5. Understand the value of quality

There may be some things your young shopper just has to have. But it may also be that whatever that item is, it’s cheap, flimsy and likely to be discarded soon. It’s important to remember that getting good value for your purchases is a value all on its own. The last thing you want in your life is another round of back-to-school shopping in the middle of the school year!

6. Minimize conflict

There may be rifts, so pick your battles. Emphasize compromise. After all, this is a time when your young students will be exercising a bit of personal sovereignty -- put another way, they’ll be feeling like a bit of a grown-up. So give them a bit of maneuvering room in making their choices.

7. Always be on the lookout for deals!

Join social media groups, scan the flyers, check the group coupon sites. Be aware that some states offer “holidays” from sales tax before school starts. Think about putting off shopping until after school starts, when the prices drop. Put your kid on it! Ask them every day if they found anything new.

Saving money is a fantastic habit to have, and back to school shopping is a great time to get that practice going!

It’s Time to Get Ready For Going Back to School

“What, already?”

You betcha! It’s never too soon to start talking about returning to school. Indeed when you get right down to it, the earlier the better. Kids can get upset about the prospect of their summer being “ruined” by having to think about school, but that presents a teachable moment. School should not be seen as an awful thing, and with a bit of work you might just be able to soften your kid’s outlook. As you’ll see, sooner is better than later.

Remember: School is year-round

Once upon a time, practically every teenager went out for summer jobs -- but this is no longer the case, with the number of high schoolers doing so dropping from two-thirds in the 1970s to less than one-third today. There are a few reasons why this is happening, but probably the biggest reason is the fact that high schoolers now attend school year round, including the summertime. The warm season has become a time to boost grades, pick up extra credits and so on.

In other words, it’s soon going to become unusual to view summer as a time off from school (and arguably that time has already arrived). And even if your youngster isn’t attending to school obligations every summer, they should at least be thinking of school, reading intensively, familiarizing themselves with the fall courses, exploring careers and more.

Talk now, talk often about school

School shouldn’t be a scary subject. It’s a part of life -- a huge part of life. Think about being a student as having a job. Now there are great jobs and terrible jobs, but anyone thinking they could get through life without working won’t have an easy time of it. So school is inevitable, but does that make it bad? After all, school is just the starting stage for all that follows.

School, work, hobbies, friends, hope, fear -- all of it adds up to what we call life. School is just a part of it. Accepting that will go a long way to reducing a student’s anxiety.

Identify your child’s fears and work to reduce them

Not everyone feels anxiety about school, but for those who do, that anxiety can make life much harder -- or even dangerous. But there’s no single template when it comes to fear and anxiety. Everyone has their own perceptions and their own responses, and furthermore a young person’s anxiety is likely to change over time.

Talk to your child. Be friendly, supportive, non-judgemental. Try to find out what their fears are, not to mention their insecurities. Don’t just say everything’s all right, really talk through the fears and compare them with your own school experiences.

It can also help to make sure your youngster doesn’t feel alone. Whatever struggles they may have, whether socially or academically, help and support will be available. Whether it takes the form of one-on-one tutoring or an increased number of hugs, they will not be alone.

The key is to normalize school. When you really think about it, there’s an awful lot about school that might seem strange and alien, but helping your youngster accept, and even embrace that strangeness can help them relax.

Older Posts >>
Convenient In-Home Tutoring
Please fill out the form below and we will get back to you right away!