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The Family & Learning Center provides a unique type of one-on-one tutorial intervention called Educational Coaching. Our blog provides educational tips to improve your child’s study habits.
Website Added: September 21, 2018 11:33:19 PM
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What Makes Something Scary: Paying Attention to Details in Scary Movies

It’s that time of year when many of us enjoy a good scare. We visit haunted houses, dress in creepy costumes, and watch scary movies. What makes something scary? From the Stranger Things TV show to The Conjuring movies, effective horror is always about making connections to the audience and […] The post What Makes Something Scary: Paying Attention to Details in Scary Movies appeared first on The Family and Learning...

What Makes Something Scary: Paying Attention to Details in Scary Movies

It’s that time of year when many of us enjoy a good scare. We visit haunted houses, dress in creepy costumes, and watch scary movies.

What makes something scary?

From the Stranger Things TV show to The Conjuring movies, effective horror is always about making connections to the audience and using precise attention to detail. Critical thinking strategies can be applied to any activity, including making horror movies.

Paying Attention to Details

Take a look at these two clips below. One is an upbeat, everyday scene at the office. The other is a scary version of that same scene. Pay attention to the details of the scary scene. What makes it scarier? Make a brainstorm map and analyze what exactly makes that scene frightening, at least in comparison to the first scene.

There are plenty of details that make a horror movie or even a Halloween haunted house walkthrough scary. One of the most important details to take note of is the use of the unknown. Many horror film directors are amazing at visualization. In addition, they also play around with the concept of visualization. They know that what a person visualizes through the direction of their own imagination is far scarier than anything that can be shown on screen. That is why great horror directors create scenes where your imagination can fill in the blank!

Critical Thinking Strategy

Another significant detail as to why certain scene is scary is the set up for anticipation. The critical thinking strategy of making connections comes into play here very well. If you’re shown a dark room, your mind will make connections to spine-chilling things that are associated with the dark. This is a result of what we’ve come to know, through media and even personal experiences, about the dark. What we can’t see is very haunting because we do not know what’s lurking in the darkness, which is why turning on all the lights in a dark room makes us feel instantly better.

Critical thinking strategies can be used anywhere and everywhere, not just in an academic setting. Contact The Family & Learning Center today to learn how we can help you improve your critical thinking skills.

The post What Makes Something Scary: Paying Attention to Details in Scary Movies appeared first on The Family and Learning Center.



TFALC Educational Coaching Reviews: Family Feedback

At The Family & Learning Center, we are privileged to work with amazing students and their families. They trust us to make a difference in their learning and education. Educational Coaching teaches students the skills and strategies they need to become successful learners. Students learn how to learn, with tools […] The post TFALC Educational Coaching Reviews: Family Feedback appeared first on The Family and Learning...

At The Family & Learning Center, we are privileged to work with amazing students and their families. They trust us to make a difference in their learning and education.

Educational Coaching teaches students the skills and strategies they need to become successful learners. Students learn how to learn, with tools that they can apply to reach their potential in any educational situation.

Educational Coaching Reviews

Over the years we have received letters, emails, and cards from our students and parents about their positive experiences with Educational Coaching. They talk about how students are more confident and capable, with the tools they need for their future. Listen to their responses as read by our Director, Bonnie Weiss, the Educational Coaches, and our Office Manager.

Are you still deciding if Educational Coaching is right for you? Want to hear more feedback? Read our Raving Reviews or watch this video directly from TFALC Students!

The post TFALC Educational Coaching Reviews: Family Feedback appeared first on The Family and Learning Center.



3 Efficient Memory Strategies to Help you Learn

The brain is complex and powerful, but it doesn’t always work the way we want it to. Sometimes we forget things or find it difficult to remember certain details or concepts. Try using these 3 memory strategies to help you learn more efficiently. There are three types of memory: Short […] The post 3 Efficient Memory Strategies to Help you Learn appeared first on The Family and Learning...

3 Efficient Memory Strategies to Help you Learn

The brain is complex and powerful, but it doesn’t always work the way we want it to. Sometimes we forget things or find it difficult to remember certain details or concepts. Try using these 3 memory strategies to help you learn more efficiently.

There are three types of memory:

  • Short term
  • Working
  • Long term

Short term memory deals with the information you’re receiving now (like the information in this blog), and it only stays in short term memory for 15 seconds at most. Anything we remember for more than 15 seconds is in our long -term memory, and it can possibly stay there for a lifetime. Working memory is the information you’re working with right now or the “in-action” memory. What you remember depends on if that information gets stored in your long-term memory well enough that you’re able to recall it when you need it.

There are several ways to get information stored in your long-term memory in a way you can recall it well. Here are three strategies that can help you remember:

Visualize It

In advertising, the visual is important because it’s what the client will probably remember the most. Visualizing the concept or an example of the concept in action will help solidify it. This means you understand it, and that makes it easier to remember. Visualizing the information and drawing it out on paper can help you even more because it gives you further interaction with the information you’re trying to learn.

Group Things Together

When you group information or concepts, it’s easier for the brain to store. The brain likes to organize information, so placing the information into categories before you study them will help your brain remember them much more easily. Let’s say you have 50 vocabulary words to memorize. If you chunk those words into five groups, your brain will see it as 5 chunks rather than 50 individual vocabulary words. Grouping things together before studying will help the process of getting the information into your long-term memory.

Tell a Story

Think about the interesting stories you hear. Are they ones about every day, normal events with nothing out of the ordinary? Nope. Create an amusing, memorable story, and plug in the information you are trying to learn. The more ridiculous or vivid the story is, the more memorable it will become. Make the story relatable to your own life as well, in order to make the details you want to remember or learn stand out.

The Educational Coaches at The Family & Learning Center can help your child find the memory strategies that work best for him/ her! Contact us today to schedule a complimentary consultation.

The post 3 Efficient Memory Strategies to Help you Learn appeared first on The Family and Learning Center.



Purpose in the Lesson: Finding Reasons for What We Are Learning

It’s almost time for that final bell to ring that will free you from your desk. The last thing you’re thinking about is the purpose of the lecture. That pesky seconds hand on the clock seems to be pecking away at the time slower than usual. The history teacher’s lecture […] The post Purpose in the Lesson: Finding Reasons for What We Are Learning appeared first on The Family and Learning...

It’s almost time for that final bell to ring that will free you from your desk. The last thing you’re thinking about is the purpose of the lecture. That pesky seconds hand on the clock seems to be pecking away at the time slower than usual. The history teacher’s lecture sounds like the perfect lullaby. Your brain is thinking about what new TV show you should start next because there’s so many to choose from. Then you hear a magical word that shakes your brain awake: “test.”

You would have paid attention better if you knew the lecture would be covered on the test. However, you are supposed to be paying attention regardless. Finding motivation to stay on task or listen in class is difficult for many students. This is true particularly for a class that you don’t have any immediate interest in. This is why it’s important to find the purpose in the lesson.

Finding the Purpose

Ask yourself this question: why are we learning this? There won’t always be a clear purpose as to why you’re doing something or learning a particular lesson in school. Sometimes you have the create that purpose.

For example, what exactly is the point of geometry proof tests? If it’s not directly helpful, then you must be flexible in finding a way that the activity is meaningful. Geometry proof tests are an exercise in problem solving. Your brains is working to search for the answer based on certain rules. The more it exercises, the stronger it gets. It also helps with emotional control because solving Geometry proofs can be frustrating.

Questions to help you find purpose in the lesson:

  • How does it help you directly?
  • What can you relate it to?
  • What skills does it improve?
  • Can this lesson help you learn about yourself or others?

Make Connections to the Lesson

Think about how you can connect the lesson to your life. Connect it to what interests you, current events, or the people around you. This will make it at least a little interesting, and guide you to find a purpose for the lesson. In addition, engaging in the conversation is also beneficial. Ask your teacher questions and clarify your understanding to make further connections.

The post Purpose in the Lesson: Finding Reasons for What We Are Learning appeared first on The Family and Learning Center.



5 “Boring” Books Made Interesting with Flexible Thinking

Just because something was written a long time ago doesn’t mean it’s going to be boring or irrelevant. However, there are some books out there that are a little more difficult to get through than others. The best way to approach these books is with cognitive flexibility. We need to […] The post 5 “Boring” Books Made Interesting with Flexible Thinking appeared first on The Family and Learning...

5 “Boring” Books Made Interesting with Flexible Thinking

Just because something was written a long time ago doesn’t mean it’s going to be boring or irrelevant. However, there are some books out there that are a little more difficult to get through than others. The best way to approach these books is with cognitive flexibility. We need to open our minds with flexible thinking so that we can get the most out of these books, and so we don’t fall asleep!

The Great Gatsby

Some call it a melodramatic, overrated piece of literature that doesn’t have much to offer. Many would agree. It’s a book that’s still on rotation in high schools across the United States, and many students tend to think it doesn’t say much. Rich people throw parties and do rich people things, and there’s a car crash in the end. Who cares?

Flexible Thinking: Look at it this way…

The Great Gatsby is all about the deconstruction of the illusion that is the American Dream. The book expresses that there is no American Dream of being a “self-made man” because you’re born into a certain class with certain privileges. Do you agree or disagree? Whatever you think is where the conversation starts and is what will make this book a more interesting read.

Oh yeah, there’s also a love story in there. Think about this: Is Gatsby really in love with Daisy or who he imagines Daisy to be? Going even deeper, you can discuss whether or not that still counts as love.

Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

It’s been called episodic, racist, and illogical, but it comfortably sits on the list of great American Literature. Huck goes on plenty of adventures, and it can be overwhelming and even confusing at times. Not to mention it can be difficult to read because of the slang used. At first glance, the theme could be interpreted as running away to do as you please when the going gets tough, which isn’t very motivational.

Flexible Thinking: Look at it this way…

This novel deals with the complexities of morality. Should I leave a note with my information if I hit a parked car? Is it right to keep something that was given to me by accident? We contemplate what’s right and wrong every day, and so does the main character in this book. Huck has plenty of moral quandaries that he must deal with and in reading what he does, we can reflect on how we would handle the situation. It’s a healthy exercise in defining morality and ethics.

Grapes of Wrath

This classic novel has the ability to induce sleep. This can be a tough book to get through, particularly because it gets very descriptive and wordy. In one scene, it describes a turtle crossing the road. Yes, you read that correctly. Not exactly what most people consider exciting or remotely interesting. Although it can be a useful tool to whip out for those nights when you can’t get to sleep, there is an interesting perspective for this classic novel.

Flexible Thinking: Look at it this way…

There is a major theme in the book that is very relevant today and that is the conflict of the haves and the have nots. The novel draws a line through the population, dividing the privileged from the poor, and paints that out to be the primary source of pain and corruption in the world. It may take some effort to get into, but it’s a classic because of its relevance.

The Lord of the Flies

The premise of this book is interesting, but the way it is written is what gets the harshest critique. Author William Golding’s writing has been described as monotonous, and some say you’ll be drowning in symbolism early on. It’s not the most entertaining book to read, even if the premise of a group of boys stranded on an uninhabited island sounds interesting.

Flexible Thinking: Look at it this way…

The entire book provides us with a breakdown of the human condition. There’s a never-ending conflict between being civil or savage within all of us. Some people like to keep it real and will approach scenarios without a filter, and others tend to be more rational and safe. And then there’s all the gray in between. The ideas that the characters represent are far more interesting than how the story is told. Through this book, Golding expresses that humans are intuitively evil, which makes the book quite fascinating.

Walden, or Life in the Woods

Walden, or Life in the Woods is pretty much how you think life in the woods would be. There’s no plot, no emotion and not too many characters. It’s stripped of any humor, drama or suspense, although, it’s not a book that’s meant to be exciting. It contains detailed observations of nature by someone that’s, well,…in nature. Author Henry David Thoreau writes about leaves and dirt in detail.

Flexible Thinking: Look at it this way…

This is a contemplative piece as it brings up questions that we don’t normally think about on a daily basis. Thoreau breaks down wisdom, which can’t be found in school, and compares it to knowledge and common sense. He even talks about existence and what living is really all about. Technology is also discussed, especially in terms of how it has sped up life so much. Sound familiar? Although Thoreau does get preachy, he’s preaching about the joys of life.

The post 5 “Boring” Books Made Interesting with Flexible Thinking appeared first on The Family and Learning Center.



How to Avoid Ineffective Study Methods

How do you study? That’s an important question that we should all think about. It doesn’t matter if you’re learning something in a classroom setting or at the office. The way you study is important. Quality studying will allow information to get stored in your long-term memory in a way […] The post How to Avoid Ineffective Study Methods appeared first on The Family and Learning...

How to Avoid Ineffective Study Methods

How do you study? That’s an important question that we should all think about. It doesn’t matter if you’re learning something in a classroom setting or at the office. The way you study is important. Quality studying will allow information to get stored in your long-term memory in a way that it can be easily retrieved.

However, there are popular methods of studying that just don’t cut it. Learn how to avoid these ineffective study methods:

Re-reading the Text

Simply re-reading the text is not a good study method because a lot of the information isn’t being absorbed. Re-reading the text isn’t enough; you must also interact with it. When you interact with the text, you’ll dig deeper into the concepts and reach an understanding of them. Here are some ways that you can interact with the text: annotate as you go along, create questions based on the information you read, make an outline of the content, or create flashcards for the concepts covered.

Highlighting Text

Highlighting the text is part of a good studying method but it doesn’t work very well on its own. First, you have to highlight only key words and phrases from the text. Highlighting full sentences is not effective. Think about it this way: make the valuable information stand out. If you’re highlighting more than the key words and phrases, then it will feel like you’re simply coloring the text. After you highlight a page, the second part is paraphrasing the vital information with a few notes. This allows your brain to interpret what you just read and helps you make sure that you understand it.

Looking at the Solution

This one is primarily addressing math and science. When you have the solution in front of you, it seems like the problem makes sense. This is merely an illusion of competence. You may see how it works, but to truly understand the solution, you must re-do the problem. It is also beneficial to find similar problems to do so that you can apply the concepts you learned. Always strive to be an active learner because being passive is a waste of time.

Do you practice any ineffective study methods? Contact us to find out how you can improve your study methods to get the most out of the material.

The post How to Avoid Ineffective Study Methods appeared first on The Family and Learning Center.



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