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  • Learning from home can be tough.

    When your child is out of their normal learning environment, it can take them out of the learning mindset. But with the right plan and activities, your child can continue learning and developing their skills from home (while still having fun).

    Keep reading for tips, resources, and activities to keep your child busy and engaged with learning from home.

    10 At-Home Learning Activities For Kids

    1. Plan A Scavenger Hunt
    2. Hone your child’s attention to detail with a scavenger hunt close to home. If you have a backyard, this is a perfect place to hide items for your child to find. Give them an incentive like a tasty treat or letting them choose the next movie for family movie night.

    3. Cook And Bake Together
    4. Getting your child involved in cooking and baking has many benefits to their learning, and it’s also fun! Pull out an old recipe book or browse Pinterest for fun recipes for your child to help you with. Have them measure out ingredients or read off the directions for you so they can practice both math and reading comprehension.

    5. Try At-Home Science Experiments
    6. There are many at-home experiments on the internet that can nurture your child’s interests in all branches of the sciences. Don’t be afraid to get a little messy!

      Try one of these fun experiments:
      – Recreate the exploding volcano experiment
      – Make crystals with epsom salts

    7. Make Art
    8. Drawing and painting are a great way to develop your child’s creative side. It could be as simple as handing them a sketchbook and some pencils and telling them to go wild, drawing whatever their imagination dreams up. You can also sit in the backyard with them and paint pictures of the trees, grass, and sky. Drawing prompts are also a great resource if they need a little help thinking of something.

    9. Get Crafty
    10. Making something is rewarding for both you and your child. There are many ideas out there that you can make with stuff you already have around the house.

      Check out these resources with lots of fun craft ideas:
      Easy, 10-Minute Crafts for Kids
      16 Arts and Crafts Projects for Kindergartners
      26 Crafts for Elementary School Kids

    11. Take Turns Reading Aloud
    12. This is a fantastic time to get your child interested in reading. Have your child read a fun book out loud to you to improve both their reading and public speaking skills. Read something out loud for them too! Hearing you read can be very helpful for them to grasp more complex language depending on what type of books or articles you’re reading to them.

    13. Play Board Games
    14. Play fun board games like Monopoly, Scrabble, and Chess with your child. Board games help develop your child’s analytical and strategic skills when solving the challenges of a board game. Get your entire family involved to share the fun.

    15. Make A Garden Plot
    16. If you have the space for it, start a small garden plot with your child. There are many things that can be learned from something so simple. Like have your child determine the perimeter and area of the plot while you’re planning and digging it. Then get them involved in planting things. They can even start a plant journal for the plants in the garden to learn about growth cycles.

    17. Start Journaling
    18. Writing in a journal has shown to be therapeutic and helps to develop self-reflection skills in children. With your child off school, this is a great time to start. Give your child questions and prompts to answer in their journal each day and read them together when they’re finished.

      Check out these prompt ideas:
      53 Writing for Fun Journal Prompts For Elementary Students
      30 Creative Writing Prompts for High Schoolers

    19. Make A Pillow Fort
    20. Make use of that free time you incorporated into your daily plan and have some fun. Build a pillow fort in the living room, cuddle up, and watch a movie or read a book.

    Keep The Learning Going From Home

    While learning from home can be a new experience for students and parents, keeping your child engaged with fun, educational activities can help keep your child on track and ready to tackle school work with confidence.

    Remember, learning can (and should) be fun!

    Fun Learning Activities For Students To Do At Home

    Learning from home can be tough. When your child is out of their normal learning environment, it can take them out of the learning mindset. But with the right plan and activities, your child can continue learning and developing their skills from home (while still having fun). Keep reading for tips, resources, and activities to […]

    Read More  
  • Unexpected school closures or extended breaks can make things challenging for parents—especially when juggling work and other commitments on top of children being home full time.

    For many parents, taking over the role of teacher can be daunting in itself (especially when it happens unexpectedly). Add on top of it the challenge of keeping your child engaged while they’re not in the classroom, many parents are left wondering how to manage this new learn-from-home routine.

    With the right planning and a bit of support (that’s why we’re here!), you can keep your child on track while they make the switch to learning from home.

    How To Deal With Extended School Breaks

    There are a few things to keep in mind while your child is away from school for an extended period of time.

    Most of all, try to stick to normal routines as much as possible. These may be existing routines or new ones—the important thing is establishing a routine you and your child can stick to to create structure and organization out of a new situation.

    1. Create Daily & Weekly Plans
    2. A plan will not only help you take some control during unexpected circumstances, it will also help create structure for both you and your child.

      For younger children, these plans can include different activities (both mental and physical) to do during the day.

      For older students, this plan should include any home assignments or virtual classes, and dedicated times for particular subjects.

      Your plan can include:
      – A daily schedule (include breaks, lunch, and free time!)
      – Lessons plans for subjects to cover each day
      – Meal plans to accommodate more meals at home for your child
      – Fun mental and physical activities

      Looking for more tips? Check out these resources:

      Helping Your Child With School Work At Home
      Fun Learning Activities For Students To Do At Home

    3. Stick To A Routine
    4. Children, especially young ones, thrive on routine and can feel lost or distressed without one.

      Stick to your normal school day routine as much as possible to maintain normalcy in your child’s life:
      – Get them up at the same time everyday
      – Get them dressed and ready like they’re going to school
      – Pack or prepare a lunch with your child
      – Create “class hours” for your child to dedicate to different subjects everyday

    5. Prepare Your Childcare Provider
    6. If you are working at the time of school closures, make sure you prepare your childcare provider with homework your child needs to complete or any other expectations you may have about what your child does during the day.

    7. Set Expectations With Your Child
    8. Don’t let your child treat school days like a vacation where they sit in front of the TV or lay in bed all day. Set the expectation that your child will spend certain times of the day studying and completing school work.

      The daily schedule you have created will help keep your child on track here. Setting the expectation of regular study hours during the day from the get-go can help avoid potentially frustrating arguments later.

    9. Prepare Lesson Plans
    10. Knowing what your child should be learning at their grade level and preparing a rough daily lesson plan is key to keeping them up to speed in their school work. For many parents, this is something you’ve never had to do before.

      To help, Scholars provides a daily email newsletter with lessons, activities, and other educational materials for each grade group. Sign up for the newsletter here!

    11. Prepare For Virtual Learning Expectations
    12. During an unexpected school closure, some schools are set up for online learning or virtual classrooms. Find out if this is the case for your child’s school and make a note of the class schedule, which platform they’re using, and any technical expectations (like webcam and microphone)

      Many teachers continue to make themselves available for teaching and additional support for their students. Find out how you and your child should be communicating with teachers for things like updates, course work, and assignments from home.

    Resources To Help Learn From Home

    Having a wealth of learning resources at your fingertips can help you find something to keep your child entertained.

    Here are some of our favourite resources to help you keep your child engaged and learning during unexpected school closures.

    Scholars Is Here To Help!

    Having your kids home from school unexpectedly can be a new and uncertain time for many parents, but creating structure and sticking to a routine can keep everyone on track.

    If you’re looking for some additional help, Scholars now offers flexible online tutoring for all subjects from kindergarten to grade 12 to help your child stay on top of school work while school is out.

    Check out more Scholars resources:
    Fun Learning Activities For Students To Do At Home
    How Parents Can Help Kids With Homework (& Make It Fun, Too!)

    How To Keep Your Child Engaged During Extended School Breaks

    Unexpected school closures or extended breaks can make things challenging for parents—especially when juggling work and other commitments on top of children being home full time. For many parents, taking over the role of teacher can be daunting in itself (especially when it happens unexpectedly). Add on top of it the challenge of keeping your […]

    Read More  
  • Science class is full of opportunities to learn—but to many students, science class can seem like more of a chore than an enjoyable learning experience. If your child feels this way, they could be missing out on all the fun the sciences have to offer.

    Science is a necessary part of the school curriculum but there is an opportunity to make it so much more by connecting it to life beyond the classroom. Learn how you can encourage your child to apply science outside the classroom and grow to love it!

    Every Child Is A Scientist

    The basis of any science is curiosity and children have that in abundance. Nurture that curiosity to encourage an interest in the sciences and take note of what your child gravitates toward. Do they like animals? Do they like mixing ingredients to see the result? Maybe they like building things or figuring out how they work? These interests could eventually lead them down high-demand career paths in the future.

    Science is all around us whether we realize it or not. Physical reactions while cooking, the physics of building a house, why animals do the things they do—these are all examples of everyday science. Teaching your child to recognize the impact science has on their everyday life can make them appreciate it more.

    Here are 14 ways you can nurture those interests and get your kids interested in science.

    How To Encourage Interest & Help Your Kids With Science

    1. Interact With Animals
    2. Domesticated animals have so much to teach your child about biology, evolution, and animal behaviour. For example, explore how your family dog evolved from wolves through centuries of domestication using internet resources like fun videos or articles.

    3. Explore The Outdoors
    4. Even your backyard is a great place to explore how different parts of the ecosystem work together. For example, a squirrel and an oak tree. The squirrel relies on the oak tree for food and shelter while the oak tree relies on the squirrel’s help to spread its acorns for new oak trees to grow.

    5. Subscribe To Science Magazines
    6. Reading science journals and magazines are a great way to learn about different areas of science. There are many publications that are either geared towards non-scientists or children that would be a great place to start. For example, Owl Magazine has a different publication for each age group and includes information on science, technology, engineering, art, and math.

    7. Get Cooking
    8. Cooking is science! Observe physical reactions that come from heating food or chemical reactions between different ingredients. It’s also a lesson in biology! For example, yeast is actually a tiny living organism that helps to make bread rise or ferments things by feeding on simple sugars.

    9. Buy A Microscope
    10. Study the microscopic world with an inexpensive USB microscope. This will allow your child to understand how things are constructed like the fibres that are woven together to make their clothing.

    11. Watch Movies
    12. There are dozens of movies and documentaries out there that are educational and make science more appealing to kids. There have been many movies about space and our environment recently, try some of those. Use your discretion on what’s appropriate for your child’s age.

    13. Grow Something
    14. If you have a garden, go digging! Plant easy-to-grow plants like beans and have your child study how they grow and what resources are needed for the plant to live.

    15. Try Science Experiments At Home
    16. Go search for some experiments on the web. You’ll find dozens (if not hundreds) of ways you can do science experiments with your child.

    17. Play Science Video Games
    18. We’re not saying to let your child play hours of mindless games but games that explore aspects of science. For example, Minecraft is a game based on real scientific principles—your child explores different environments, learns about resource management, and even applies simple physics and engineering.

    19. Explore Space
    20. Start stargazing! There are many things you and your child can learn from the night sky. Work on identifying constellations or learn about all the planets and moons in our solar system. There are also many video games and apps that introduce fun ways to explore outer space.

    21. Watch Fun Videos
    22. With the increased popularity of Youtube over the years, many educators and scientists have taken to the platform to share their knowledge. Crash Course Kids is a perfect example. They offer videos on engineering, physics, space, environmental science, and so much more.

    23. Focus On Learning, Not Grades
    24. Science is as much—if not more—about the journey to the answer than the answer itself. Apply this to their in-class learning too by focusing more on what they’re learning rather than their grades. Make a point to discuss what they learned each day in class and get excited about it with them!

    25. Observe Natural Phenomena
    26. Seasons, weather, and the night sky are all natural phenomena that are relatively simple to observe with your child. For example, observe clouds and explain that they’re condensed water vapour. Print out a chart to help identify different types while you go watch the clouds.

    27. Science Toys & Kits
    28. Amazon has an entire section devoted to STEM toys for different age groups. From building blocks to home chemistry sets, there is something to help foster your child’s interest in the sciences.

    Get Kids Excited About Science & See The Benefits For Yourself

    Even if science wasn’t your strength in school, you can still get your child excited about science! This is an opportunity for you to renew your curiosity as well, and set an example for your child to follow. Nurturing their natural curiosity is a great way to encourage a love of the sciences—and when your child loves what they’re learning it can only positively impact their grades.

    Want to further their science studies? We have dedicated tutors ready to help with biology, chemistry, and physics as well as a full STEM program.

    Scholars also offers free learning resources for parents with our daily newsletter. Sign up now to receive lessons, activities, and other educational materials so your child can keep learning from home.

    14 Ways To Get Kids Interested In Science

    Science class is full of opportunities to learn—but to many students, science class can seem like more of a chore than an enjoyable learning experience. If your child feels this way, they could be missing out on all the fun the sciences have to offer. Science is a necessary part of the school curriculum but […]

    Read More  
  • A mother helping her young daughter read a book by a window.

    Getting your children to do their homework can sometimes be a chore—especially if it’s a challenging subject for them. There is no one secret formula to motivate your child or any single method that works for everyone, but there are ways you can help your child while making the experience a little smoother—especially with looming school closures.

    Read on for some homework tips for parents and ways to make it more fun!

    Tips For Parents Helping With Homework

    Do You Have Enough Time To Help?

    Raising a family in today’s busy world can mean you don’t always have time to spare. Before you start helping your child with homework, be sure you can carve out enough time to help them on a consistent basis. If you can’t, consider enlisting outside help like one of your child’s peers, teachers, relatives, or a tutor.

    Do You Understand The Material?

    As adults who have passed the same subjects your child is now exploring, we might be inclined to believe we know it all. Understanding how to help your child with homework comes from understanding what the homework is covering. Can you remember everything you learned about algebra in the 5th grade? Chances are you can’t recount all the details. It’s okay to be a bit rusty, but don’t try to explain something you’re not sure about. This could confuse your child further and cause frustration for both of you.

    Are You Prepared To Do Your Own Homework?

    Leading off of the last point, relearn what you can. Read help articles or watch YouTube tutorials to see if you can refresh yourself on the subject and understand the material enough to help your child. There are so many resources on the web that you can use to your advantage—making the learning a shared experience between you and your child!

    How To Help Your Child With Homework

    Believe it or not, there are ways to help your child enjoy or at least tolerate homework time. We’ve gathered a few ideas to get started:

    1. Be Consistent
    2. Children, especially young ones, need consistency and routine. Aim to make homework time the same time every day but be flexible when unexpected events occur, such as illnesses. That said, it’s better to stick to the same schedule as much as possible to establish good homework habits.

    3. Understand The Struggles
    4. If your child is struggling with a subject it can be frustrating and might come across as grumpiness. Talk to your child and try to get to the bottom of their difficulties and be supportive. See what you can do to help—whether it’s researching the topic on your own or seeking outside resources.

    5. Don’t Limit Study Spaces
    6. A comfortable child is easier to work with. You don’t need to sit on hard dining chairs to get homework done. Plop down on a comfy couch or sit on the bed with their homework—switch it up! A change of scenery can help stimulate the brain and make the homework experience smoother.

    7. Separate Spaces For Siblings
    8. Wrangling multiple kids and getting them to concentrate on their work is a challenge. Giving them separate study spaces in the house can help reduce bickering or distracting chatter. Check in with each child every now and again and help out as needed. If one child needs more attention, try staggering each child’s homework time if possible.

    9. Have Some Snacks
    10. We all love a good snack. Prepare a tray of healthy snacks like sliced apples or cheese and crackers to munch on while you and your child work through their homework. This can go a long way to help make homework time more enjoyable.

    11. Make Breaks Fun
    12. Taking breaks can allow ideas to set in and are a good way to reset if your child is getting frustrated. Ease stress by making study breaks fun or relaxing. Take your child on a walk around the block to enjoy some fresh air or play a game or two of Go Fish with a deck of cards.

    13. Reward Effort
    14. Prepare a reward for your child to work toward. It could be something bigger like a trip to the zoo if they complete all their homework every week for a month. Or it can be as small as giving them a little extra TV time if they work through a difficult assignment.

    Need A Little Extra Homework Help?

    Life gets busy and parents don’t always have enough time or knowledge to help with homework. That’s okay! Raising a family isn’t easy—they say it takes a village for a reason. If you’re struggling to give your child the assistance they need, we can help.

    Scholars Education Centre offers after school programs to help with homework in general or help in a specific subject. Try a free hour of tutoring for free and see if it’s right for your child.

    How Parents Can Help Kids With Homework During School Closures (& Make It Fun, Too!)

    Getting your children to do their homework can sometimes be a chore—especially if it’s a challenging subject for them. There is no one secret formula to motivate your child or any single method that works for everyone, but there are ways you can help your child while making the experience a little smoother—especially with looming […]

    Read More  
  • Two students building small robots under the supervision of a teacher.

    Advancements in science and technology have become part of our everyday lives—there is a growing need for students to have a strong foundation in technology, math, and science to be successful in the future. Unfortunately, fewer and fewer students are developing a strong understanding of these subjects.

    STEM is an acronym for science, technology, engineering, and math. STEM education can help bridge gaps in learning and help prepare students for success in the classroom and beyond. Keep reading to discover what STEM is and 7 reasons why STEM learning is important in early childhood education.
     

    What Is STEM Education?

    Instead of focusing on science, technology, engineering, and math individually, STEM education combines them into an integrated, real-world learning experience.

    The future will have a need for many STEM-related jobs to keep up with constant technological innovations. As a result, there is a greater need for students to focus on these areas of learning to better prepare themselves for future success.

    STEM programs are usually very hands-on to give students the opportunity to apply their learning, but there are many other benefits of STEM education in early childhood education.
     

    Why Is STEM Important In Early Childhood Education?

    1. It Sets Foundation For Future Learning

    Science, physics, and math are tough subjects for many students. An introduction to STEM in early education helps students better prepare for more difficult courses in high school and post-secondary education.

    2. Encourages Creativity And Imagination

    STEM learning involves more than just one solution to a problem. Unlike traditional textbook learning, STEM encourages students to think outside the box to develop creative solutions to problems.

    3. It Teaches Foundational, Transferable Skills

    STEM education encourages students to build core skills that are essential for future success in school and beyond. Some of these skills include:

    • Critical thinking
    • Teamwork
    • Trial and error experimentation
    • Problem solving
    • Independent learning

    4. It Features Blended Learning

    STEM education extends far beyond what is taught in the traditional classroom. Since science, math, and other tech-related subjects are taught independently in school, STEM offers students the opportunity to pull knowledge in each of these subjects to solve the problem at hand.

    5. There Is A Growing Need For STEM-Related Jobs

    Since technology is ever-evolving, many jobs in the future will require knowledge of math and science. A solid understanding of these subjects can help students better prepare for their future careers and give them a leg up in the job application process. Our STEM program gives students the opportunity to learn applied skills like coding, engineering, design, and experimentation while having fun designing and building robots.

    6. Encourages Knowledge Application

    Since STEM is so hands on, it encourages students to apply their knowledge to develop solutions. Instead of standard textbook and written work, STEM education is an opportunity for students to practice what they are learning and apply it to real-world problems.

    7. It Helps Students With Certain Learning Styles

    Some students learn best by reading or listening, while others learn best by doing (kinesthetic learners). These hands-on learners benefit from experimentation, making STEM education an excellent way to learn, process, and remember information.
     

    Help Your Child Learn Better With STEM

    STEM education is an important part of a child’s learning. More than just a required class, STEM encourages a child to apply his or her learning and build confidence in difficult subjects like math and science.

    Register your child in our STEM tutoring program today!

    STEM Education: What It Is & 7 Reasons Why It’s Important

    Advancements in science and technology have become part of our everyday lives—there is a growing need for students to have a strong foundation in technology, math, and science to be successful in the future. Unfortunately, fewer and fewer students are developing a strong understanding of these subjects. STEM is an acronym for science, technology, engineering, […]

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  • School refusal is more than your child not wanting to go to math class because they don’t like math; it’s a deeper and more complex issue that should be addressed, especially if it’s a common occurrence. These anxious behaviours can occur in about 5% of children during their school years, so it’s not uncommon and you’re not alone in finding a solution.
     

    What Is School Refusal?

    School refusal is when your child uses different reasons (real or fabricated) to avoid going to school. It could be them telling you they’re sick and need to stay home or even outright refusing to go to school. This kind of behaviour can also be called school avoidance. Simply put, your child wants to dodge situations that cause them distress.
     

    What Does School Refusal Look Like?

    These behaviours and the reasons behind them can cause symptoms that are common amongst students suffering from anxiety. Your child may experience:

    • Headaches
    • Stomachaches
    • Nausea
    • Dizziness

    Some symptoms may affect your child on school days then they feel completely fine on weekends. These can be very real physical manifestations of their school refusal anxiety and not just made up excuses.

    While school refusal allows your child to escape situations that upset them, it is a temporary solution for their anxieties. Read on to learn why school refusal happens and what you can do to help.
     

    Why Does School Refusal Behaviour Happen?

    Whether this is a consistent behaviour or it just started up out of the blue, take a step back and consider why it could be happening. Here are some reasons your child could be anxious about going to school:

    • Academic pressures and fear of failure
    • Anxiety about a test, presentation, or social activity
    • Physical or emotional bullying
    • Separation anxiety with a parent
    • Disruption at home (moving, divorce, etc.)
    • Not getting along with a teacher or peer

     

    Tips On How To Deal With School Refusal

    School refusal can be a very frustrating experience for both you and your child, resulting in feelings of discouragement if left unaddressed—but there are ways to address and manage it. Consider these tips when working out a unique solution for your child:

    1. Take action immediately
    2. If this behaviour happens once every 3 months or so, it’s not a chronic issue and can be attributed to something temporary. You should still discuss it with your child when it happens but if this is a more frequent issue, it’s time for you to take action.

    3. Rule out medical issues
    4. If your child is complaining of headaches, stomachaches, nausea, dizziness, etc. it’s best to take them to the doctor to first rule out if there is anything medical going on. If your doctor suspects it is a form of anxiety, ask them ways to help manage it or point you to resources that can help. This does not always mean medication but includes learning coping strategies for both you and your child.

    5. Uncover their reasons
    6. Having a frank but calm conversation with your child is a good place to start uncovering their feelings. Depending on your child’s age, they may not be able to communicate the reasons they’re avoiding school. It could be one simple temporary issue such as an upcoming test or it could be a set of complex issues like being the target of bullying or disruption at home. List possible reasons and ask open-ended questions to narrow down the list.

    7. Be emotionally supportive but firm
    8. Missing school is not ideal, so it’s important to get them back in class as soon as possible. School refusal is very much an emotional reaction and your child needs support from you. Address your child’s fears or make a plan with them to address their concerns.

    9. Practice problem solving and conflict resolution
    10. Social conflicts or academic problems can cause a lot of anxiety and contribute to school refusal. Strengthening problem-solving and conflict resolution skills can be a great way to help your child help themselves long-term. Use real or fictional scenarios and work with them to come up with solutions. Solutions can be how to react when a bully confronts your child or how to handle criticism on school papers and tailor them to your child.

    11. Don’t give special treatment
    12. When your child stays home from school it can be hard not to make a fuss over them. It’s important that your child is not given special treatment or they’ll see it as a reward for this behaviour, which can perpetuate the issue. A way to combat the rewarding feeling is making their time at home as school-like as possible. This means no screen time or staying in bed unless they’re genuinely sick.

    13. Talk to your child’s teacher
    14. Your child’s teacher is with them for hours a day and in situations you don’t usually see. This gives them insight into daily behaviours and interactions with others that you may miss. Ask the teacher if they’ve noticed anything in the classroom or outside at recess that is concerning or out of the ordinary.

    15. Advocate for your child
    16. If the issue is stemming from bullying or conflict with a teacher, speak up. Your child can’t always advocate for themselves or they may be afraid to do so especially if the issue is with someone of authority. While school refusal anxiety is usually a mental health issue, it can stem from a real physical safety concern such as threats of violence from a bully. Talk to the teacher and principal to work out a solution.

    17. Set a routine
    18. Those suffering from different forms of anxiety benefit from predictable routines. It lets them know what’s going to happen instead of stressing over unknowns. Keep an eye that the routine isn’t too rigid or it’s overscheduled as this can stress your child out more. Find the balance that works best for your family.

    19. Consider therapy
    20. Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is a short-term psychotherapy method that has been proven to help those suffering from anxiety and children dealing with school avoidance. CBT is a treatment used for more severe cases but it’s a method to consider if there is not a direct action to alleviate the anxiety. It’s a structured form of therapy that helps your child identify thought patterns that are triggering their anxiety and learn strategies to replace those negative thought habits.

     

    Don’t Be Afraid To Ask For Outside Help

    School refusal anxiety can be an incredibly complex issue and, if left unchecked, can get worse quickly. While it’s not uncommon, it is a distressing and disruptive problem for your child and your whole family.

    If you feel overwhelmed or under-equipped to handle it, it’s always okay to ask for help. Your child’s school is a great place to start. Many schools have access to resources including referrals to specialists that can help you and your child learn how to handle school refusal.

    What Is School Refusal And How To Help Your Child Overcome It

    School refusal is more than your child not wanting to go to math class because they don’t like math; it’s a deeper and more complex issue that should be addressed, especially if it’s a common occurrence. These anxious behaviours can occur in about 5% of children during their school years, so it’s not uncommon and […]

    Read More  
  • Young male student holding head and looking out over piles of books.

    Studying hard is often considered necessary to earn high grades. In some ways it is, but when it becomes excessive it can actually be harmful to your child physically, mentally, and academically. As your pre-teen transitions to high school or as your teen prepares for college, it’s important to start encouraging healthy study habits so they don’t burn out.

    Keep reading to discover 4 effects of overstudying and different ways you can help your teen break the pattern of poor study habits.
     

    4 Common Symptoms Of Overstudying

    It’s important to note that these signs can look different for every child. You should always take your child’s normal demeanour and habits into account while you consider these symptoms.

    1. Changes In School Performance
    2. Overstudying can cause mental distractions and make it difficult to retain information. Not being able to focus during class and not being able to retain new information can seriously affect your child’s grades and participation in the classroom. If you notice your child is studying a lot but their grades are dropping, it’s a strong sign they’re studying too much (or not studying properly).

    3. Withdrawing From Social Activity
    4. This is the most noticeable symptom of overstudying. Withdrawing can take many forms. Your child could be spending more and more time closed off in their room. They could stop socializing completely or socialize noticeably less. You may notice your child struggles to find time to participate in activities or hobbies they normally enjoy.

      Keep in mind, while these are definitely symptoms of overstudying, they can also be a sign of other challenges your child is facing. It’s imperative that you talk to your child to rule out any other issues.

    5. Changes In Sleeping Habits
    6. Studies have shown that a lack of sleep can actually hinder the productivity of studying. This means if your child is overstudying (and sacrificing sleep to do it), they’re actually making less progress. If you notice your child is prioritizing studying over a good night’s sleep then it’s time to intervene.

      Sleep deprivation is detrimental to your teen’s ability to focus and process information, which can negatively impact their grades. Sleep deprivation can also lead to your child being more irritable than usual, leading to more frustration and stress around their school performance.

    7. Complaints Of Headaches Or Stomach Aches
    8. The stress of overstudying can show real physical signs— headaches or digestive issues—and can lead to long-term health issues. Physical health concerns can be a sign of advanced stress from overstudying. If the concerns causing them continues, it can lead to long-term physical (and mental) issues.

     

    How To Avoid Over Studying

    1. Practice Time Management
    2. If your teen is planning out their homework and study tasks effectively, there should be no need to overstudy. If they do feel the need to overdo it in order to get everything done, then it’s time to look at what all they have on their plate. Have they taken on too much responsibility? Extracurriculars might have to take a back burner until a better schedule can be planned. They might need to be eliminated altogether if they’re not a priority.

    3. Prioritize Sleep
    4. Sleep is not an optional activity—and it’s especially critical for teens. If your child is managing their time effectively then sleep should be put high on their list of priorities, if not the highest. Teens need between 8 and 10 hours of sleep per night to be at their best. Being well-rested can help keep feelings of stress at bay by regulating the hormones that cause them. This means they need to make an effort to have better sleep hygiene by cutting out screen time before bed, getting some exercise, and reducing caffeine intake.

    5. Take Study Breaks
    6. Taking small 5 to 15 minute breaks every hour while studying can help refresh your teen’s mind. This allows them to process the information they just learned. This helps the brain retain more by not being overstimulated with the constant intake of new material. Taking these breaks also allows renewed focus—making your teen’s study sessions more effective.

    7. Set Realistic Goals
    8. Having unrealistic goals can add to stress and make your child feel the need to overstudy. It’s good to sit down with them and chat about their goals and adjust them.

      An example of an unrealistic goal could be raising their grade in physics from a 50 to a 90 percent between midterm and finals. Encourage them to set ambitious goals, while distinguishing between ambitious and unrealistic accomplishments—or else your teen could end up putting too much pressure on themselves. Teach your child how to set SMART goals: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Time-Based.

      For some pre-teens and teens, it’s difficult to express how they’re feeling. They may have a hard time opening up and saying “I’m stressed and this is why”—so it’s important for you to take the time to talk with them.

      Ask probing, open-ended questions to uncover what has them feeling the need to overstudy in the first place. When that issue is uncovered, here are a few ways you can help them manage the stress and create healthy study habits as they move into high school and prepare for college.

     

    Start Forming Healthy Study Habits Now

    Instilling healthy study habits in children as they progress through grade levels is ideal, but it’s never too late to start forming the ability to study more effectively. Good study habits will carry them through college or university and into their career when you aren’t there to guide them as much. Providing support now will help them get a routine in place so these habits become second-nature.

    If you feel overwhelmed and not sure where to start, ask a teacher or one of the school’s guidance counsellors for support and tips on talking to your teen. If you need more hands-on help, Scholars Education Centres offer Study Skills Programs to help teach your child to study effectively and healthily. We offer a free trial hour or assessment to determine your teen’s unique needs and goals so we can help them find balance and become more efficient with studying.

    How Much Studying Is Too Much: Effects Of Overstudying & How To Prevent It

    Studying hard is often considered necessary to earn high grades. In some ways it is, but when it becomes excessive it can actually be harmful to your child physically, mentally, and academically. As your pre-teen transitions to high school or as your teen prepares for college, it’s important to start encouraging healthy study habits so […]

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  • A mother helping her young daughter read a book by a window.

    Learning to read can be difficult for some more than others. For kids with learning challenges like dyslexia, it can be downright frustrating and discouraging. But challenging doesn’t mean impossible! There are many ways to overcome the challenges associated with this learning difficulty.

    What Does Dyslexia Look Like In Children?

    Dyslexia is marked by a child’s inability to recognize sounds and relate them to words and letters. Breaking down and learning new words (commonly referred to as “decoding”) can be especially challenging.

    While this does make it more challenging to learn, it’s important to recognize that dyslexia does not mean your child is not smart or won’t be able to read. Helping kids with dyslexia read just means a different approach to learning.

    Continue reading to learn about multisensory learning and how it helps children with dyslexia learn to read.
     

    Learning With Dyslexia: Multisensory Structured Language Education (MSLE)

    MSLE is a method of teaching that helps the brain learn languages by associating sounds and words with other senses. This method for learning with dyslexia looks a bit different than it would for the average child, but is proven to teach children with dyslexia to improve their reading skills.

    While MSLE takes many forms, this teaching method should always be structured and repetitive to form habits. Programs that use processes from the Orton-Gillingham approach are preferred for their highly-structured and gradual language learning. This approach uses visuals, sounds, and touch to help with memory and learning language rules.

    This method can help overcome many of the learning challenges your child faces, creating greater confidence in their reading abilities. It’s important to work with teachers and other educational supports to see what works best for your child and practice it at home too!

    Repetition And Consistency Are Key

    A key part of an MSLE program is repetition, consistency, and structure. This is something that you as a parent needs to get involved with as well as your child’s teachers. Make sure you’re practicing at home whenever possible, especially during school breaks. Ask your child’s teachers for different activities that have worked well with your child in the classroom and apply them at home. It could be reading out loud to them, giving them extra help on their homework, or practicing word games.
     

    Help Kids With Dyslexia Read With These Fun Activities And Easy Tips

    Using games and different methods to make reading easier for a dyslexic child goes a long way to easing frustration and building skills and confidence. Show your child that reading doesn’t have to be a frustrating activity with these tips:

    1. Play Word Games Using Apps

    Word games are a fun way to ease some of the frustration while learning to read with dyslexia. The Google Play Store (Android) and the App Store (iOS) both have categories for word games, so take your pick!

    2. Read Line By Line

    If your child has trouble reading paragraphs line by line, use a ruler to cover the next line. The next line can look crowded and make reading more difficult. Hiding the next sentence allows your child to focus on the current sentence.

    3. Use Dyslexia-Friendly Fonts

    Reading printed or digital documents that use certain fonts can help kids (and adults) with dyslexia. Plain, sans-serif fonts like Helvetica, Verdana, Arial, and even Comic Sans appear less crowded and easier to read. Using larger font sizes also helps!

    4. Use Touch Techniques For Memory

    Using different sensory techniques in games is both fun and effective. Touch techniques can include writing letters in sand or shaving cream, cutting letters from sandpaper, or using letter blocks. This helps your child associate letters and sounds with the feel of the letter. It also helps improve muscle memory when writing, so your child can recall more easily. Plan activities like this outside classroom time so your child is always practicing.

    5. Tap Fingers To Learn Sounds Combinations

    Finger-tapping has proven to be effective at teaching how sounds are segmented and joined together to make words. Your child can decode new words by tapping out the letter sounds using fingers.

    For example, the word “cat”; the student makes the hard “c” sound and taps their index finger to their thumb. Next, they make the “a” sound and tap their middle finger to their thumb. Then the “t” tapping their ring finger to the thumb.

    6. Teach Long-Term Strategies

    While it’s most critical to address dyslexia early in your child’s life, it’s not a challenge that goes away. That’s why it’s important to teach your child long-term coping strategies including how to ask for help and advocate for themselves. Teach these strategies early on and it will become second-nature to them in their adult life.
     

    Your Child Can Thrive With Dyslexia

    You may feel a little disheartened if your child is diagnosed with dyslexia—but it’s not the end of the world! Many successful people have been dyslexics like Albert Einstein, Richard Branson, and Keanu Reeves. Dyslexia does not mean your child can’t reach their full potential. It can be frustrating for both of you but it’s important that you support them in their learning and give emotional encouragement. Reward their efforts, recognize strengths, and celebrate achievements to build their confidence in their reading skills.

    Children with dyslexia often respond better when taught in small groups or individually. If your child needs more attention, our tutors are fully certified and experienced in teaching those with learning challenges. Book your free assessment today and see results with Scholars Education Centres!

    Helping Kids With Dyslexia Develop Reading Skills

    Learning to read can be difficult for some more than others. For kids with learning challenges like dyslexia, it can be downright frustrating and discouraging. But challenging doesn’t mean impossible! There are many ways to overcome the challenges associated with this learning difficulty. What Does Dyslexia Look Like In Children? Dyslexia is marked by a […]

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  • Parents and kids alike may feel uncertain about what the fall is going to bring. A whole new grade level means new friends, a new teacher, new activities and new challenges. In some cases, a new year may even mean a new school. While these changes are exciting, they can also feel overwhelming. Here are some tips to help you ease into the year ahead.

    Get back into school-year sleeping patterns

    If your family stays up longer and sleeps in later throughout the summer, now might be a good time to start adjusting sleep schedules. It doesn’t have to be abrupt though—pushing bedtime ahead five to 10 minutes each night, depending on how off-schedule you are, means you’ll be back to regular bedtime by the time school starts.

    Calm first-day jitters

    Your child may be experiencing some first-day anxieties, especially if starting a new school, or moving from elementary to middle or high school. Sometimes it helps for kids to know what the routine will be, and to be fully prepared. This article provides a lot of good information about planning for the first day. You could also consider a shopping trip to get a first-day outfit that makes your child feel confident.  

    Make a morning checklist

    Mornings can feel like the most hectic part of the day. Want to encourage your children to get ready independently and (relatively) quickly? Make a morning checklist they can hang on their wall, as a way to encourage them to go through the routine independently. If you want to take it further, you could consider also include a reward chart, and make a small treat available after a full week of successful mornings. 

    Build your schedule

    Do you have swimming lessons to book? Sports teams to sign up for? Maybe your child’s birthday party is coming up in the fall? Have you booked your fall tutoring sessions yet? Making your family’s fall schedule now may help you and your family feel more prepared for the coming weeks.

    Scholars will help your child kickstart their school year. Find a tutor today.

    How to Transition to the Year Ahead

    Parents and kids alike may feel uncertain about what the fall is going to bring. A whole new grade level means new friends, a new teacher, new activities and new challenges. In some cases, a new year may even mean a new school. While these changes are exciting, they can also feel overwhelming. Here are […]

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  • Talking to Kids about Climate Change

    Most kids have heard a whole lot about climate change from the news, or at school, or just from overhearing adult conversations. But do they know what climate change is? Parents can sometimes forget that kids are absorbing things from the world around them, and sometimes they might need a little extra help to understand and not feel afraid.

    Explain what it is in a child-appropriate way

    Sites like this one have many wonderful resources to explain what climate change is in a way that kids will understand, and include games and videos. Kids picture books can be another great resource for talking about climate in an understandable way.

    Avoid the freakout

    Being a small kid in a big world can feel scary. When you talk about climate, communicate a message of action and hope. If kids know that they can do something to help, it inspires them to be responsible citizens and makes them feel less scared.

    Discuss changes the family can make with your child

    Could your family make small changes like eating less meat, turning off electronics, walking instead of driving short distances, and switching from paper towels to cloth napkins? It may feel like a small or insignificant thing to make a small change in your household, but it’s not. Not only do these actions help the earth, but they also teach children to be conscientious about the choices they make in their day-to-day lives.

    Make a plan to raise money for an environmental cause

    Donating some money through a garage sale, lemonade stand or a saved-up allowance to a climate change organization or another environmental group can help kids feel generous and like they are contributing to the cause.

    However you decide to tackle these conversations with your child, it’s important to have them. Knowledge will empower your children and make them feel less afraid and give them a sense of the power they have to change the world.

    Talking to Kids About Climate Change

    Most kids have heard a whole lot about climate change from the news, or at school, or just from overhearing adult conversations. But do they know what climate change is? Parents can sometimes forget that kids are absorbing things from the world around them, and sometimes they might need a little extra help to understand […]

    Read More