5 Apps To Get Your Students Organized

Hello!

I hope the school year is off to a good start for your children.  If your family is at all like mine, the first few weeks of school carry a great deal of transition and challenges.  Many students find that they need help with organizing, time management, study skills, or some tough academic subjects.
To help your children be organized, here are some popular apps that also sync with your computer and other devices:
My homework (free)
Last year USA Today ranked this app as one of the “Best Back to School Apps”. It helps organize assignments and due dates and has a user friendly calendar to prioritize, track, and color code assignments. On the calendar you can also see anything that is due that day. If you’re on a budget or this is your first time trying an organization-focused app then this would be a great one to try.
istudiez pro ($2.99)
This app helps organize schedules and prioritize homework. You can also receive push notifications before assignments are due. It has 5 main functions; Overview, Assignments, Planner, Instructors, and Holidays. Students can include course schedules, plan study sessions, and prioritize assignments based on importance, among other uses. The app can also help students keep tabs on their academic progress by tracking their grades. Plus, this app can easily sync with all of your devices.
Evernote (free)

Take notes, track tasks, and save things you find online. You can also set up a notebook for every subject. It has a function that allows you to make multimedia notes with pictures and audio.
Evernote is a place to record and save all your thoughts, notes, and photos. Everything you do can be synced to the cloud so that you can get to all of it from your computer, smartphone, or tablet. It’s a very popular app that is continuously being updated with new features.
AudioNote ($4.99)

Audio note combines the functionality of a notepad and voice recorder to create a powerful tool that will save you time while improving the quality of your notes. You can sync audio with notes. This app is especially useful if your student has something quick that he or she needs to remember but doesn’t have time to type it. You can also free-hand draw an image on the screen, which can be useful for jotting down diagrams and pictures.
Google Calendar
My family loves Google Calendar! My daughters have their own calendars and they share them with me so I can help them prepare for upcoming assignments. You can organize your time, color code activities or tasks, repeat events, add notes, and view the calendar in different formats. You can also set up alarms for any upcoming appointments or due dates. Of course it syncs with all of your devices as well.
Of course, if your child prefers pencil and paper, writing down schedules and to-do lists and listing activities in a planner or on a large desk calendar also work.
As we all know, being organized saves time and increases productivity, so don’t put off this important task.
One more thing! We have a wonderful selection of tutors and academic coaches to help your children if needed. If they do need help, it is best to get it sooner rather than later, when they may be even more overwhelmed or fall behind. Call us today at 703-390-9220 or email me directly at Cherylg@tutoringforsuccess.com and we can get you matched with a qualified and experienced tutor in your home today!
Regards,
Cheryl

Back to School with Good Habits!

School has finally begun, and these first few weeks can be critical in determining your child’s academic success for the rest of the year. As most of us know, it takes time and practice to formulate good habits, whether it’s in our personal lives, or our daily work routines. Get things started off on the right foot with these tips for the best school year ever!

  • Organization is key!  At Tutoring For Success, we place a lot of emphasis on strong organizational skills, and for good reason! Sometimes it is the only thing standing between a mediocre student and an excellent student. Think about it: If your child is constantly missing assignments or unable to study for tests because she can’t find notes and homework papers, it’s likely to affect her grades. Teachers often require their own systems of organization, which is useful for students who don’t know where to begin, but the basics aren’t hard to assemble on your own. Have one or more three-ring binders, each with a personal hole puncher and multiple tabs for each subject. A notebook for writing down assignments and a separate homework folder should also be acquired and maintained. Little adjustments like these are a great way to foster good organizational skills in your student, and will pave the way for stronger habits overall.
  • Embrace technology! Cell phones and tablets don’t always have to be a distraction to students. While keeping in mind each teacher’s particular rules about such devices (often they are not allowed out during class time), see if you can use your phone to take pictures of notes, homework, or important announcements posted on the board. This can be especially useful if your child struggles with neat handwriting. Tablets can also be good for note-taking, and usually come with formats that neatly organize thoughts and ideas. For college students, bring a recording device and record your professor’s lectures (with their permission, of course) in order to supplement your studying later on.
  • Learn how to manage your time! An organized schedule is just as important as an organized notebook where your child’s academic success is concerned. As classes get underway, so do extracurricular activities, and before you know it, the work is piling up. Encourage your student to keep a calendar (either a physical one, or online), and factor each assignment and activity into their day. Be sure to keep track of things like exercise, sleep, and even free time to make sure that their routine isn’t suffering. When working on long-term projects, break things up into manageable amounts and spread these out over a series of days or weeks. This will prevent a last-minute panic or cram session the night before the due date. Studying is hard work, so students can reward themselves periodically with small breaks to refresh their brains, such as playing games on their phones, taking short walks, snacking, or just resting their eyes. This will help even the most insurmountable mound of homework appear less daunting.

Going back to school doesn’t have to be the rigorous chore your child might see it as. The start of a new year is the start of a new beginning: new friends to make, new things to learn, and new opportunities to grow and change. Armed with the right attitude and tips such as these, your children can be well on their way to a full and successful school year.

Summer Tutoring

At this time of year, students are typically exhausted and the prospect of doing academic work in the summer is not appealing.This is absolutely understandable.However, summer brain drain is real, and summer review, particularly in math and science, can give your children a boost for the upcoming school year. In addition, it is imperative to fit in some reading and writing.Here are my recommendations for keeping minds sharp this summer:

  • Take a break when school ends for some much needed brain relaxation.
  • Talk with your children about academic areas that may need a boost. Set up some review time, with or without a tutor, during some free slots in your summer.
  • Read for pleasure.
  • For high school students, do some practice SATs and ACTs.

Summer tutoring can actually be inspiring and motivational. We hope to hear from you!

www.tutoringforsuccess.com – (703) 390-9220

More About the Benefits of Summer Tutoring!

Deciding how your children should spend their summer can be tricky. While some kids love going to a variety of camps and daytime activities, many others find themselves bored and glued to video games or hours of TV. Whatever their schedule, studies have shown that it is common for students to lose 1-3 months of learning during the summer months. Learning Loss is no joke, especially for students who are prone to be unmotivated during the school year. Finding a summer tutor for your child can not only bridge the gap between the school years, but also keep him busy and learning during a time when boredom is always lurking.

Here are just a few ways that working with a tutor this summer can help your child:

  •  A tutor can help build confidence. If there is one or more subjects that a student has found particularly difficult, working with a tutor can allow him to catch up and even get a jump on new material before the school year begins. This approach will help your child start the next school year feeling confident and in control.
  • A tutor will encourage your child to read. Reading for pleasure is always beneficial for your child’s academic progress. The good thing about summertime is that she can choose to read whatever she wants. Discussing books with a tutor and even writing short essays or studying new vocabulary will keep your child learning and stimulated throughout the summer.
  • Adjusting to school will be easier. If you child has spent her vacation reading, learning, and reviewing with a tutor, getting back into the swing of things once school  officially starts will be easier than ever.
  • Summer is a great time to prep for the SATs and ACTs. If you have a high-school student who is preparing for college, meeting with a tutor to prepare for the SATs or the ACTs can help him get focused and ready. Students will have the leisure to prepare at their own pace, without the added pressure of additional schoolwork.
  • Close the gap. Are there areas that your child is weaker in than others? Math and writing are two of the biggest problem subjects for students of all ages. Instead of putting learning issues on the back burner during the summer, hiring a tutor can allow you to take an active role in bridging the learning gap for your child. Don’t wait for September to address problems! This will also reduce any anxiety your student might have about the upcoming school year.

At Tutoring for Success, we know that your summers are busy; family vacations, play dates, and camp schedules can make it difficult to plan for anything else. That’s why our tutors are flexible and willing to work with you and your child when planning sessions. Don’t let Learning Loss get the best of your family! Plan for the school year while enjoying your summer, and avoid stress, anxiety, and frustration when September finally rolls around.

Preparing for Final Exams

While the end of school is an exciting time for students, getting through final exams can be stressful. Regardless of how well your child does during the school year, prepping for finals is almost always a seemingly insurmountable task. Finals can also be a source of heightened anxiety given that they usually account for a significant portion of a student’s final grade. In order to avoid a stress-induced meltdown and many sleepless nights of cramming, here are a few tips that can help you and your child get a jump on preparing for finals in the coming weeks:

  • Break material up into manageable pieces. No good can come of opening a text book to page one and attempting to digest the entire thing in one sitting. You will not retain the information needed to pass your test, and you will absolutely stress yourself out in the process. Instead, try breaking up study material into smaller chunks, and tackle each bit one at a time. Oftentimes teachers will provide you with a study guide that helps with this tactic.
  • Make a list of things to review. Even if you don’t receive a study guide, you probably have some idea of what will be covered on the final. Go through your notes, textbook, and past assignments and make a basic list of everything that has been covered in class. This will serve as your guide to planning an effective study strategy.
  • NO CRAMMING. As already stated, cramming the night before an exam is counterproductive. Not only will you not retain the necessary information, but you will wear your brain out trying to remember too many things in too short a time. An exhausted, overworked student is useless come test day.
  • Be aware of important dates and deadlines. It’s a good idea to keep a calendar that lists when each final exam will take place. This will help inform your decisions of what to study for, and when. This is of course also useful for classes that require final papers or projects in lieu of an exam. Long-term assignments should be tackled just as you would a final test: carefully over time, broken up into manageable chunks.
  • Take final exams seriously! This sounds like a given, but finals are not to be taken lightly. They count for a large portion of a student’s final grade, and sometimes whether or not they pass the class at all. Make sure your child isn’t dismissing this as “just another test,” especially if they are new to the final exam experience.
  • Consider extra tutoring sessions. Regardless of whether or not your child is already working with a tutor, hiring one to help to prepare in the weeks before finals might be the best course of action. Tutors can help by giving their students individualized attention, as well as teaching them organization skills and test-taking strategies. Scheduled tutoring sessions will also guarantee that your child is devoting time to organized and effective preparation.

Final exams don’t have to mean weeks of excessive stress, sleepless nights, and emotional meltdowns. Getting an organized start and sticking to a plan of action will help your child feel more at ease, and hopefully will encourage good study habits in the years to come.

 

703.390.9220. / www.tutoringforsuccess.com

Honoring the Missing Schoolgirls this Mother’s Day

This mother’s day, of course my mind is on my two teenage daughters, but I also can’t stop thinking about the lost Nigerian teenage girls. While our government has stepped in to help, we too can help by promoting education and heath for girls in Africa. Nicholas Kristof, an op-ed columnist for the New York Times, listed three ways we can contribute, which I have copied below:

“On Mother’s Day, let’s honor the Nigerian schoolgirls who were kidnapped by extremists and remain missing. Send a girl to school or help empower moms.

So here’s a challenge.

Mother’s Day is this Sunday, and, by all means, let’s use it to celebrate the moms in our lives with flowers and brunches. But let’s also use the occasion to honor the girls still missing in Nigeria.

One way is a donation to support girls going to school around Africa through the Campaign for Female Education, (https://camfed.org/); $40 gift pays for a girl’s school uniform.

Another way to empower women is to support Edna Adan, an extraordinary Somali woman who has started her own maternity hospital, midwife training program and private university, saving lives, providing family planning and fighting female genital mutilation. At http://www.ednahospital.org/, a $50 donation pays for a safe hospital delivery.

Or there’s the Mother’s Day Movement (http://mothersdaymovement.org/) which is supporting a clean water initiative in Uganda. With access to water, some girls will no longer have to drop out of school to haul water.

We inevitably feel helpless when terrible things happen, but these are practical steps to fight a blow against extremism while honoring some of those brave Nigerian girls who are missing — like Deborah, Naomi, Hauwa, Pindar, Mary, Monica, Grace, Esther, Aisha, Ruth, Saraya, Blessing, Gloria, Christy, Tabitha, Helen, Amina, Hasana and Rhoda. We may not be able to rescue them, but we can back them up.”
See Kristof’s whole article here: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/05/08/opinion/kristof-honoring-the-missing-schoolgirls.html?_r=1
mothersday

Shopping For Knowledge!

Well, finally, the gorgeous spring weather seems to want to stick around.School will continue for seven more weeks, and I’m sure the kids are counting.If you’re like me, you worry about what will happen to your kids’ brains during the 2 ½ months of summer while they enjoy their well deserved break from school.Keep in mind that learning is a continuous process.I’m not in school, but I learn every day by reading the newspaper and novels.Many people enjoy mind games and brain training games, like those found on Lumosity.com. Hopefully, many of us will have the chance to take our children to local museums and historical sites this summer.Learning and brain exercises of some kind should never take too much of a break. With that in mind, I wrote an article for The Washington ParentcalledA Field Trip to the Grocery Store, which you can view here:http://washingtonparent.com/articles/1405/1405-field-trip-to-the-grocery-store.phpHappy Learning!
jennifer_shopping

Homework Time: How Much is Enough?

When I was in college, I thought I needed to spend hours and hours studying, but it was too much time, and I ultimately wasted much of it wandering around the library, looking at unrelated books, and talking with friends. My first quarter grades reflected my lack of focus.  The second quarter, I tried a new approach.  I allowed two hours per day for homework and focused the whole time on my work.  The result was better attention and better grades.

How much time do your children set aside for homework and, most importantly, is it focused time? Do your children stay up too late doing homework?  Can you pinpoint the reasons?

  • One subject or problem is taking too long.
  • Student is wasting time, or not focused.
  • One or more teachers assigned too much work.
  • The student is procrastinating or avoiding one or more assignments.

Comment on this post using your Google account, and join in on the conversation! Let’s pinpoint the trouble areas with the goal of doing homework faster and more efficiently.

Subject Tutoring
Tutoring for Success provides in home tutoring services for students from kindergarten to college, with programs that are tailored to fit each student’s specific needs and goals.
Academic Coaching
If your child does well with each subject but struggles with organization, time management, homework completion, and focusing, an academic coach can help him do his best.
SAT and ACT Test Prep
To get accepted into a college of choice, it is imperative to strive to reach the highest scores you can. One-to-one assistance is the best way to target each student’s specific areas that need improvement.
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