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  • math-homework

    Homework in general isn’t something that most kids enjoy. From my experience as a teacher, tutor and Auntie, math homework is by far the worst! Parents and children often grow frustrated and stressed out when working on challenging math problems at home, and this is something that I can definitely relate to. When I was in elementary school math was by far my least favourite subject. I can remember countless nights sitting at the kitchen table attempting math homework with my dad by my side trying to help me. Despite his best efforts 9 times out of 10 the night would end with us both completely frustrated, me in tears, and my homework not completed. It wasn’t until nearly 15 years later that my mindset started to change and math started to become not so bad after all.

     


     

    As a current teacher, I look at the curriculum and often think to myself that the content, and how kids are learning it, is so very different than what I remember as a child. Students in school now are taught multiple strategies and approaches to solving problems, whereas when I was in school (not really all that long ago) there was only one way to solve multiplication problems. While these changes encourage students to think outside of the box and provide them with more open-ended ways of solving problems, they can also be problematic when it comes time for parents to help their child with math homework. So, what can parents do about it? Here are some things that I wish my dad knew when he was trying his best to help me:

    math-homework-fun

    Math homework is more memorable when it’s fun!

    1. Make it Fun With Games

    Before cracking open the textbook or starting on the worksheets play some math games with your child. It’s important to “warm up” your math brain prior to starting math work. Frankly, many students find it hard (and not enjoyable) to go from an unrelated activity directly into “math mode.” There are endless math games that can be played with cards and dice, which most households have on hand. Your child may know some math games to play, otherwise you can easily find examples online. Once your child’s math brain is warmed up and they’re feeling positive, then start on their math homework.

    stay-positive-math-homework-1

    Be sure to build their confidence when it comes to math homework.

    2. Build confidence

    Stay positive, ALWAYS! Growth mindsets and positive feedback are essential for success. When a child sees that they can do something, they gain confidence in their abilities and are more open to tackling challenging problems. One very simple change that you can model in your day to day life is to avoid saying “I can’t.” Instead, add the word “yet” to this statement… “I can’t, YET.” This small little word can completely change how we approach problems, and this positive mindset goes a long way!

    3. Let them teach you

    It is entirely possible that the way your child is learning math is very different then how you learned it. It’s important to be open minded and willing to try new and different ways of approaching math problems. Encourage your child to be the teacher so that they can help you understand. When your child is teaching you be sure to listen carefully to their explanations, don’t interrupt, ask questions only when they are finished, and then you try it! By practicing together you are helping your child reinforce their learning.

     

    math homework strategies

    4. Different strategies are OK

    All students learn different ways and at different paces. It’s OK if they are still using their fingers or if they still need to skip count. While it’s important to encourage more efficient strategies you shouldn’t discourage the ones that they are currently using. Any strategy is better than no strategy at all!

     

     

    5. Ask a teacher

    If you and your child are still feeling totally lost, don’t panic! One night that homework doesn’t get finished is NOT the end of the world. Get in touch with the classroom teacher the next day by sending a note asking for clarification, and then try again the next night. Teachers appreciate that their students are getting extra help at home and sending a note back with an explanation and some examples is not too much to ask!

     

     


    nikki-math-expert

    Article Written By: Nikkilee D.

    Nikki has worked with hundreds of Scholars students, and has been an education coordinator at the Scholars Peterborough Centre for six years .  Nikki loves to travel, and has experience teaching in Africa, Calgary and across Ontario.

    5 Tips to Help Your Child Tackle Math Homework

    Homework in general isn’t something that most kids enjoy. From my experience as a teacher, tutor and Auntie, math homework is by far the worst! Parents and children often grow frustrated and stressed out when working on challenging math problems at home, and this is something that I can definitely relate to. When I was […]

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  • back-to-school-first-week

    Back to School is right around the corner! We’ve been hunting for the secret cure-all to make the back to school transition more manageable, but what if instead of using the last fleeting days of summer to prepare for school, we decided to enjoy that time? In fact, mom, dad, or guardian playing hooky from work the first week of school can actually make September a more productive month at home and work!

    back-to-school-quote1

     

    When parents are stressed, it often affects our kids, making transitions harder for everyone involved. Studies show that “parental anxiety causes children to be more anxious” and that 55% of parents say going back to school is stressful.

    It’s no wonder that parents feel overwhelmed when they are bombarded with new schedules, shopping for back to school clothes, accumulating new school supplies, making lunches, checking bus schedules, and finding daycare for before or after school. Having one parent or guardian take the first week of school off from work creates the opportunity to tackle the long “back to school to-do list” in the daytime instead of during precious family time in the evening. At the end of the day, the time adjustment means less stress for everyone—and having more time to talk about the school day when kids come home.

    backtoschool-quote2

     

    What can wait?

     

    Here’s a list of stress-heavy tasks that can wait until after their first week of school.

     

    • Back-to-school clothes: The weather does not magically turn cold the first day of school. Why not shop for just one special back to school outfit before school starts and do the rest while the malls are quiet in the first week of September? This allows you to save time and maybe get some ‘you’ shopping in as well!

     

    • Lunches: If you are the kind of parent or guardian who worries about meal plans or is on the latest bento-box craze, you are not alone; 50% of moms of school-aged children say shopping for and packing school lunches stresses them out. You likely have the basics in your fridge to make at least one or two lunches. Take week one off and leave planning these meals to the first day or two of school. You can even spend one day doing freezer meals making month one of the school year even less stressful!

     

    • Daycare & bus schedules: Alleviate anxiety about daycare and bus schedules by walking kids to and from the bus on week one. Consider introducing kids to daycare routines gradually over the week. You may want to take your child to school day one and two and have them only attend aftercare. Add in before-care routines at the end of the week, making morning transitions more manageable.

     

    • Extracurricular activities: Many extracurricular activities start week two of the school year, but you can still do a dry run for these activities by preparing snack plans and setting up drivers in advance. You can even use time week one to plan out the dreaded family calendar. Schedules are often not confirmed until week one anyway.

     

    Feeling guilty about taking the back to school week off? It is not just you and your children who will benefit from reduced stress when you take off the first week of school! 51% of parents say that the back to school season interferes with work and 44% say that they are distracted at work during this time. Taking time off week one and reducing stress means parents can ensure at-home plans are in place, resulting in less distraction and higher productivity for the remainder of September.

     

     

     


    Sources:
    The Intergenerational Transmission of Anxiety: A Children-of-Twins Study

    American Journal of Psychiatry 2015 172:7, 630-637

    Waban, MA Katie Bugbee in. “Back to School Stress and Anxiety – for Parents.” Care.com, Care.com, 2 Sept. 2015, www.care.com/c/stories/3216/back-to-school-stress-and-anxiety-forparent/.

     

    Why Mom Should Play Hooky the First Week of School

    Back to School is right around the corner! We’ve been hunting for the secret cure-all to make the back to school transition more manageable, but what if instead of using the last fleeting days of summer to prepare for school, we decided to enjoy that time? In fact, mom, dad, or guardian playing hooky from […]

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  • Scholars Education Centre Launches New Centre in Markham, Ontario

    On May 27th, 2017, Scholars Education Centre celebrated opening its eighteenth location in Markham, Ontario.  Scholars Education Centre would like to welcome Alysha and her mother Terri to the Scholars family.

    The grand opening family event was held from 12:00pm to 3:00pm.  Over fifty friends, families, and residents from the community attended the opening.  The event included face painters, a Lego area, balloons, a variety of appetizers, a grand opening cake, and an official ribbon cutting from councilor Alex Chiu.

    Scholars Education Centre Markham is located at 7080 Warden Avenue, unit B4 (north of Warden and Steeles).  The Centre is anchored by a variety of businesses, making it a great spot for parents and guardians to drop off their kids and complete errands and shopping.  The plaza contains a T&T Supermarket, Starbucks, Subway, TD Bank, Shoppers Drug Mart, Boston Pizza, and more.

    Scholars Education Centre provides tutoring in Markham for students of all ages, all grades, and in all subject areas.  The Centre employs Ontario certified teachers and qualified mentors and provides individualized tutoring plans that are customized to each student based on their unique needs.  Different from local competitors, the Centre provides a low student to teacher ratio to ensure a high level of quality and service is being delivered to each student.

    Currently, the location is running a grand opening special along with specialized summer programs for students looking to get caught up and ahead over the summer break.  Contact Terri and Alysha today for more information: 905-604-8511 or via markham@scholarscanada.com.

    In case you missed the grand opening event, view the video below to recap the fun filled day.  Thank you for everyone that attended the successful grand opening!

     

    Markham Grand Opening Event

    Scholars Education Centre Launches New Centre in Markham, Ontario On May 27th, 2017, Scholars Education Centre celebrated opening its eighteenth location in Markham, Ontario.  Scholars Education Centre would like to welcome Alysha and her mother Terri to the Scholars family. The grand opening family event was held from 12:00pm to 3:00pm.  Over fifty friends, families, […]

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  • summer-learning

    Every year, parents like Beth take the time to research summer camps, sports teams, and vacations that she plans for her children to participate in over the summer months.


    “What makes it easier is knowing that they will not fall behind in their learning over the summertime,” she says.


    Her son Drew is 11 years old, and Karlee is age 7. They both attend Scholars Education Centre each summer to ensure that they don’t experience summer learning loss.

    Summer planning and preparation is a difficult undertaking for parents. It’s challenging to find activities that engage children and provide them with the tools needed for success in the next school year. Parents consistently cite summer as the most difficult time to ensure that their children are productive (Duffett et al., 2004).

    “Scholars Education Centre provides our family individualized programming that is flexible around our busy schedules,” says Beth.

    We know that summer learning is a key issue for Canadian parents. Over the past 100 years, multiple studies have shown that, in North America, summer learning loss is real. Students that don’t keep up with studies experience a ‘Summer Slide’ (White, 1995).

    Over the summer break, students may lose two months of grade-level equivalency in math computation (Cooper, Nye, Charleton, & Greenhouse, 1996). Similarly, spelling skills are greatly affected and decay over time if they are not practiced (Cooper & Sweller, 1987; Geary, 1995).

    Research suggests it is not just remedial students that should seek summer learning opportunities. Rather, all students, regardless of academic skills, will benefit from summer learning to prevent loss of their academic knowledge.

    For many parents, a common dilemma is trying to prepare their children for the next grade without knowledge of what material will be learnt.


    “I don’t have the time to research the school curriculum and find out what they will be learning,” states Beth. “Scholars Education Centre mirrors our local school board content and uses Ontario-certified teachers to work with my children. It just makes sense.”


    Parents that focus on ensuring that their children receive quality summer learning should contact Scholars Education Centre today for a free, no-obligation assessment.

     

     

    Summer Learning Loss

    Every year, parents like Beth take the time to research summer camps, sports teams, and vacations that she plans for her children to participate in over the summer months. “What makes it easier is knowing that they will not fall behind in their learning over the summertime,” she says. Her son Drew is 11 years […]

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  • The more routine your life is, the more dull and repetitive your job, the more your brain needs a vacation. Neuroscientist Michael Merzenich of Posit Science and Scientific Learning, developers of brain fitness programs, gives some interesting insights into vacation time.

    “You can say that taking a holiday is a little bit like going back to childhood, when the world was full of wonder and everything you saw was full of things that you hadn’t expected or seen before, you had to calibrate it in your brain.”Our brain functions best when we are alert and stimulated by new and challenging situations.”One thing that happens in your everyday life is that things can become so predictable, so controlled, and you can live a little bit of a dream-like life,” Merzenich said. “Our environments, after all, are constructed so that we are relatively rarely surprised by what’s happening in them.”So what are the healthiest vacations for your brain? You want a different and challenging environment full of surprises and wonderment. Trips to foreign locations, a canoe trip to uncharted waters, and volunteering with a humanitarian organization are a few suggestions.The latest research validates the saying “A change is better than a rest.””Part of maintaining your basic vitality is contributing in a very fundamental way to sustaining learning rates,” Merzenich said. “In a sense, the more you engage your brain in ways that stimulate it, the more you’re doing to maintain your capacity to learn and to improve. It’s actually right at the heart of maintaining yourself in a fundamental sense.”

    So, revitalize your cognitive self and take that vacation!

    Take That Vacation… Your Brain Will Thank You For It!

    The more routine your life is, the more dull and repetitive your job, the more your brain needs a vacation. Neuroscientist Michael Merzenich of Posit Science and Scientific Learning, developers of brain fitness programs, gives some interesting insights into vacation time. “You can say that taking a holiday is a little bit like going back […]

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