Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Handling ADHD: Tips from Teachers



What do Howie Mandel, Justin Timberlake, Richard Branson, Michael Phelps and Jim Carey have in common? They have all been diagnosed with ADHD. Knowing that successful people not only cope with ADHD, but use all that energy and enthusiasm to fuel their careers can be a wonderful motivator for students and parents. With a few tips from the experts, you can find an academic solution that helps your students to shine.
Talk to your teachers
This is the most important step in the process. Your teachers will have experience dealing with ADHD students and they can help to set up a routine at school and communicate with your student in a way that they both find helpful.
Speak to your teacher about where to place your student in the classroom to minimize distraction.
Communication is key for your student to get the most out of every class so make sure that you speak with your teachers regularly to discuss issues or upcoming assignments and tests.
Routine
Try to perform daily tasks at the same time as this helps to focus energy and gives a pattern to the day that will help you and your student to stay organized and on top of homework.
Communication
Students may seem willful but often they just get distracted when you are speaking with them. When giving instructions or directions, use concise language and keep it short. Ask your student to repeat instructions to ensure that they have heard you.
Visible Schedules
Make sure homework tasks, assignments and upcoming tests and exams are listed on a schedule that is very accessible. Use a white board in the kitchen, or a smartphone app or a calendar in the bedroom; anything to help remind your student of the tasks that need to be completed.
Homework space
Ensure that the space where your student studies is well lit, quiet and free from distraction. Ensure that other siblings don’t offer additional distractions and that there is an environment conducive to learning.
Regular bedtimes
Ensure that your student gets enough sleep or they may have trouble concentrating in class.
Break it down
When students begin to feel overwhelmed by a particularly big task or when they feel like they have too much to do, help them to break down complex tasks into smaller, more manageable pieces. Set out a schedule with each small task written down to show that it’s manageable. Focusing on small short term goals will help to keep them focused and involved. 

Tutor Doctor Longmont's one to one learning is ideal for children with ADHD.  We take time to learn your child's needs and match a great tutor to fit those needs.  Contact us today!

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Bad Grades? Here’s what to Do



If your student is getting bad grades, you want to be supportive, but you also want to ensure that their academic performance improves. While it’s natural to get upset by bad grades, your student may lack the skills they require to do a better job. You can help them to take responsibility for their academic performance and provide them with the much-needed tools to get the job done.
What’s the problem?
Every student has a bad test from time to time, but if you notice a marked decline in a particular subject or in overall grades, it’s time to take action. First speak with your student to try to ascertain what the problem is. Don’t be discouraged if they can’t tell you; it may be that they just don’t know why they aren’t doing as well as their fellow students.
Speak with their teachers; your teachers are the best resource for finding the root of the problem. Problems may range from getting distracted in class, not being organized, lacking study skills or simply forgetting to complete assignments. You should also investigate the possibility of social issues like bullying.
Fixing the foundations
If your student has gaps in their knowledge, then the more their teachers build on these foundations, the less they will understand. If you suspect that this may be the issue, then get an in-home tutor to evaluate your student’s knowledge. They will be able to tell what kind of an understanding they have of the subject matter and help to fill in the gaps.
In-home tutors are able to work individually with your student so that they are able to catch up and show rapid improvement. They are also able to work in a situation where your student feels comfortable and confident. As they progress, they will feel more confident, and will be more likely to ask and answer more questions. They may be too intimidated or shy to ask questions in class.  
Study skills
Teachers don’t always have the time to teach both the course material and study skills. Your student may need help with the way they study. Start by asking your tutor or teacher to ascertain what learning style suits your student best. Then show them how to convert their course materials into a format that is more accessible to them. For example, if your student is a visual learner, they can remember material by creating a mindmap, flashcards or an inforgraphic. Ensure that your student knows how to properly study, summarize and revise and how to estimate how much time they should leave for studying.
Get organized
Being organized isn’t something that comes naturally for most students. If your student often forgets about assignments and tests, loses items or doesn’t hand work in, they may need help with organizational skills. Find a calendar that works best for them. This can be a diary, a smartphone app, a whiteboard; anything that helps them to member important upcoming events.
Ensure that you check their calendar every day and help them to fill in the tests, exams and assignment’s they have coming up. Block out time between extramural activities when they are set to do their homework or study. Ensure that they have enough time to complete their schoolwork and help them to prioritize tasks.  

Need a better school year? We can help! Contact Tutor Doctor Longmont today. 

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Early Signs of Dyslexia




Does your student struggle academically? If they are taking a long time to read, do their homework or keep up in class they may have dyslexia. Dyslexia is a very common learning disorder which makes it difficult for students to read, interpret words and recognize symbols. Some students may be able to read, but won’t be able to make sense of what they are reading or remember facts they have read. Other students may feel physically ill when they read with symptoms ranging from headaches to nausea.
As you can imagine, these symptoms can make it very difficult for dyslexic students to cope in a classroom situation. Luckily, there is much that can be done to overcome this learning disability. Your student’s brain is simply wired differently and once you understand how to present information in a way that makes sense to them, you will be able to help them to communicate effectively and keep up in class. Early detection means you can get your student the help they need as soon as possible. Here are some of the main telltale signs:
Late talkers: Most dyslexic students will have had a delay in learning speech. Of course they will master this eventually, but they will still mix up words or sounds and may use the wrong words in sentences. They may have speech impediments which especially affect the way they pronounce R’s, L’s, Ms and Ns.
Switching the order of numbers and letters: All children will mix up numbers and letter when they are in kindergarten or in the lower grades. But with dyslexic students this problem persists well past the first two grades. If you notice that your student is having real trouble reading, you may want to get them assessed.
Dyslexic students may also experience trouble learning the order of letters in the alphabet or being able to count correctly. They may experience trouble learning to spell correctly.
Dyslexia also affects the student’s ability to recognize symbols and numbers. This means that your student will have trouble solving rudimentary math problems.
Copying: Students who are dyslexic find it difficult to copy written text from books or from the board.
Dominance: Dyslexic students often use both hands interchangeably and take a long time to settle on a dominant side. This means that they will have trouble telling left from right and may have poor coordination. This can translate into poor handwriting too.
It can be very frustrating for you as a parent to see your student excelling in most areas, but falling behind in classes that involve reading or math. You know that they are smart, but if they just can’t seem to keep up and display signs of dyslexia, get them assessed by a developmental psychologist. Not only can they offer a diagnosis, they can also help you and your student to overcome their learning disorder and excel academically. 

Tutor Doctor Longmont provides academic support with children with special needs. Our one to one learning approach is ideal. Contact us today for a free consultation.