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TFALC Blog - The Family and Learning Center

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  • (858) 454-7303
  • Bonnie Weiss
  • September 21, 2018 07:33:19 PM

A Little About Us

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.

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    Vocabulary Development Over Summer Break

    Our knowledge of words shapes our connections with our environments. The limits of our vocabulary define the limits of our communication by changing what we can understand and what we can express. Some have even proposed that people in different cultures experience emotions differently based on whether they have a […] The post Vocabulary Development Over Summer Break appeared first on The Family and Learning...

    Our knowledge of words shapes our connections with our environments. The limits of our vocabulary define the limits of our communication by changing what we can understand and what we can express. Some have even proposed that people in different cultures experience emotions differently based on whether they have a way of labeling a particular feeling. Since vocabulary is so powerful, we should aim to help students build up word knowledge on a daily basis with vocabulary development.

    Vocabulary Development Over Summer Break

    During the school year, students often receive specific word instruction and develop word-learning strategies. They might learn to connect with new words by sketching visual representations, using the words to describe their own experiences, analyzing word parts, or creating semantic maps of information about new words. All of these activities help them link the new vocabulary to what they already know, which leads to easier recall and independent application.

    Summer break can also be a fruitful time of vocabulary development because most vocabulary emerges indirectly through repeated exposures to words in conversation and reading. For students who are not yet comfortable reading books on their grade level, listening to parents read or following along with audiobooks can be a beneficial part of their summer routine.

    When students listen to stories at their grade level, their vocabulary expands. Adults can pause briefly during read-alouds to explain new words and give other examples of their use. The most useful words can then be incorporated into conversations in the following days.

    By the end of the summer, students will return to school with the confidence to understand content on their grade level and express themselves precisely.

    The post Vocabulary Development Over Summer Break appeared first on The Family and Learning Center.


    School’s Out for Summer, Now What?

    Although summer can be a great time to take a break from the daily grind of the school year, it is still important to maintain a routine at home. In their blog post “How Not To Go Crazy With Your Kids Home This Summer,” Coffee and Carpool suggests 6 things […] The post School’s Out for Summer, Now What? appeared first on The Family and Learning...

    School’s Out for Summer, Now What?

    Although summer can be a great time to take a break from the daily grind of the school year, it is still important to maintain a routine at home. In their blog post “How Not To Go Crazy With Your Kids Home This Summer,” Coffee and Carpool suggests 6 things to do every summer day. If school’s out for summer, now what can parents do to keep their children in a routine?

    These suggestions are so much more than just ways to keep your children busy. Through these activities your children will be developing valuable and lifelong skills.

    • Learning Time and Reading Challenges keep your child’s brain engaged and prevent summer slide.
    • Morning Structure and Chores help build and reinforce executive functioning skills.
    • Free play and Fun help foster creativity, strengthen social skills, and provide the opportunity to try new things.

    Click here to read the full blog from Coffee and Carpool, and learn how to keep your sanity this summer while helping your child build critical skills.

    The post School’s Out for Summer, Now What? appeared first on The Family and Learning Center.


    Maximize Test Performance

    The end of the school year is filled with tests. Replacing ineffective study methods with effective ones can go a long way towards successful results, but sometimes it’s not quite enough. The way you take tests also impacts your scores. As with other aspects of learning, test-taking can improve through […] The post Maximize Test Performance appeared first on The Family and Learning...

    Maximize Test Performance

    The end of the school year is filled with tests. Replacing ineffective study methods with effective ones can go a long way towards successful results, but sometimes it’s not quite enough. The way you take tests also impacts your scores. As with other aspects of learning, test-taking can improve through the application of appropriate strategies.

    These tips can help maximize test performance:

    Starting

    If your test preparation involved memorizing essential formulas or rules, you should offload that information immediately on the top of the test or scratch paper. Doing a memory dump of key information before starting the test provides a reliable reference and frees up mental energy. Then, you should preview the exam to get a sense of its length and content. This helps you manage your time and start brainstorming relevant information.

    Problem-solving

    As you go through the test, you can continue to support yourself by taking a strategic approach. One option is a technique called “hard start, jump to easy.” Instead of completely ignoring the hard questions until the end when you are already exhausted, start with a hard question and work on it until you feel stuck. Then shift back to some easier questions and keep making progress. Come back to the hard question if you have an idea about it. Otherwise try some other hard questions in between the easy ones. This allows your brain to keep brainstorming solutions in the background without using up too much time.

    While working on individual questions, you want to make sure you fully understand what they are asking. The first step towards understanding the expectations is to read the directions. Underlining any key words in the instructions can keep you focused on the right task. If you keep annotating each question throughout the test, you are more likely to notice important details and stay on track. Keep an eye out for qualifiers like “always,” “never,” “all,” or “none.” Paying attention to these important details helps you correctly apply the information you have studied.

    Finishing to Maximize Test Perfomance

    Once you finish answering the questions, it is time to check your work. Try to do more than skim through and see whether you filled in all of your answers. Reread the questions and see if your answers make sense. There is no need to second guess your initial instinct, but do change your answer if you have evidence your answer is wrong, you realize you misunderstood the question, or you recall new information. After this final check, you can feel satisfied that you have completed the test to the best of your ability.

    The post Maximize Test Performance appeared first on The Family and Learning Center.


    Time to Finish Strong

    Persistence, stamina, perseverance, grit. In the final months of the school year, students need this drive to keep trying when confronted with challenges, failure, and exhaustion. It’s time to finish strong! Not yet… Persistence relies on a growth mindset. Having a growth mindset means seeing mistakes as learning opportunities and […] The post Time to Finish Strong appeared first on The Family and Learning...

    Time to Finish Strong

    Persistence, stamina, perseverance, grit.

    In the final months of the school year, students need this drive to keep trying when confronted with challenges, failure, and exhaustion. It’s time to finish strong!

    Not yet…

    Persistence relies on a growth mindset. Having a growth mindset means seeing mistakes as learning opportunities and believing in the potential for improvement. When a growth mindset directs people’s actions, they are more likely to persevere through challenges. A leading researcher of motivation referred to growth mindset as using the “power of yet” instead of being “gripped in the tyranny of now.” For example, a student might get stuck thinking about how right now he does not understand his chemistry unit. If he thinks instead that he does not understand it yet, he can encourage himself to try different approaches, research the concepts, and reach out for help.

    I can do this.

    Developing a growth mindset leads to more positive self-talk. Sometimes people find it easier to encourage their friends and loved ones than to encourage themselves. If they consider how they would encourage someone else, they can start replacing negative self-talk with supportive thoughts. Teaching students about positive self-talk can help them persist through discouraging moments and stressful situations.

    Stepping towards goals

    To maintain a growth mindset, it helps to be aware of long-term progress. At The Family & Learning Center, we often reflect with our students on their strategy use and the concrete outcomes. After a test, students reflect on beneficial strategies, unhelpful strategies, and areas to target for improvement. By refining their approach, they learn from their performance to make sure their effort is effective over time. Positive results in the long run motivate ongoing hard work.

    When a student is working towards a long term goal, they can also sustain their motivation by setting steps along the way. As the end of school approaches, students benefit from spreading out finals studying and chunking big projects into smaller pieces. Getting a reward at the end of each step can help students who have a hard time with goal-directed persistence. Then they can continue giving their best effort all the way through the last day of school, and finish strong.

    The post Time to Finish Strong appeared first on The Family and Learning Center.


    Tips to Avoid Summer Brain Drain

    It’s that time of year when we suddenly have those sunny evenings that quickly lead into summer! Summer is an ideal time for supporting kids’ individual interests and needs, but can also lead to summer brain drain. Outside of the classroom, they are free to learn and play in summer […] The post Tips to Avoid Summer Brain Drain appeared first on The Family and Learning...

    Tips to Avoid Summer Brain Drain

    It’s that time of year when we suddenly have those sunny evenings that quickly lead into summer! Summer is an ideal time for supporting kids’ individual interests and needs, but can also lead to summer brain drain.

    Outside of the classroom, they are free to learn and play in summer camps, explore outside, and develop academic skills that require extra support. We are especially lucky to live in an area where there are an abundance of summer learning activities.

    Unfortunately, many kids end up losing ground over the summer without the consistent reinforcement of classroom practice. A recent Brookings research review found that summer learning loss “wastes” much of the knowledge students have worked hard to gain during the school year. Some studies show kids lose as much as two to three months of math and reading skills by the end of summer.

    Avoid Summer Brain Drain

    Avoiding summer brain drain does not need to be stressful. Learning can be mixed into playing board games, planning a vacation together, or cooking meals. With the flexibility to choose high-interest reading material, kids can find books from the library about topics they enjoy, try out some graphic novels, and read magazine and news articles. Older students can develop their executive function skills and explore their interests through summer jobs or volunteer opportunities.

    Strengthen Math and Reading Skills

    In order to maintain and strengthen specific math and reading skills, researchers recommend offering evidence-based instruction with hands-on and engaging activities throughout the summer. This is exactly what we aim to do at The Family & Learning Center as we plan individualized sessions for each student who spends part of her summer here.

    In addition to reading and math support, we also offer perceptual reasoning training, standardized test prep, writing development, study skills instruction, and back to school prep. To gather more information or register for summer sessions, please click here for our summer learning program page.

    The post Tips to Avoid Summer Brain Drain appeared first on The Family and Learning Center.


    2019 Summer Program Registration is Underway

    With summer just around the corner, The Family & Learning Center is once again preparing for our annual Summer Educational Development Program. During the summer months, intensive training programs are offered for students in need of remediating, strengthening, or enriching their learning skills. Click Here to Register Summer Program Schedule […] The post 2019 Summer Program Registration is Underway appeared first on The Family and Learning...

    2019 Summer Program Registration is Underway
    With summer just around the corner, The Family & Learning Center is once again preparing for our annual Summer Educational Development Program. During the summer months, intensive training programs are offered for students in need of remediating, strengthening, or enriching their learning skills.

    Click Here to Register

    Summer Program Schedule

    Our summer program runs from June 10th through August 23rd. Flexible scheduling options are available. Sessions begin at 8:30am, 10:30am, 1:30pm and 3:30pm and are two hours long.

    Three scheduling options are available:

    • Monday through Friday for a total of 10 coaching hours in the week.
    • Monday, Wednesday, Friday for a total of 6 coaching hours in the week.
    • Tuesday and Thursday for a total of 4 coaching hours in the week.

    How to Register

    For additional information about our summer program and registration, please visit our Get Started page, or call 858-454-7303.

    Session times are reserved on a first-come-first served basis and fill quickly. Early registration is recommended.

    Click Here to Register

    The post 2019 Summer Program Registration is Underway appeared first on The Family and Learning Center.


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