Category Archives: Posts

“The Journey of Weirdness” – by Rainer (aged 6)

The Journey of Weirdness:

HikerA little boy was climbing a mountain in the snowy weather with all his supplies. He saw chameleons coming out of a rock.  This surprised him because he was climbing in Australia.  So, maybe they were sucked up in a tornado?  Next, he saw tweetie-birds. But he kept walking up the slope because his home was half-way up the mountain. He kept climbing past the witches’ hut, which he’d never seen before because it was not real. He was really surprised that day on his climb.

Rainer, aged 6

Leave a comment

Filed under children's Stories, creative writing, Posts, Student's Story, Uncategorized

“K” is for Kinaesthetic Learner

Bad StudentType ‘student’ into Fotolia and you have 14337 pages of pupils sitting quietly at their desk diligently working away.  DREAM ON.

We know all students are not alike because all children are not alike.  In a (teacher’s) perfect world all students would be just so, but …

Approximately 15% of the population are kinaesthetic learners and that means there will be no such thing as a quiet classroom.  Kinaesthetic learners just want to touch and feel everything.  Their friends are bruised because these learners just have to thump their mates.  Their homes are a mess because they have to pull everything apart, just to see how it works.  Does that sound like someone you married?

You can picture this in your husband, but how about your little one?  How do you know you have a kinaesthetic learner on your hands?  Well for starters their teacher will probably be calling you in to complain about how disruptive they are in class.  This student finds it difficult to learn through reading and writing.  They need the hands on approach so they do better in chemistry experiments, sports and acting.  They may not even be aware of their own movement and are easily distracted by the movements of others.

By the age of 6½ they are generally classed as under-achievers or worse still hyperactive.

What can you do with this learner?  For starters accept them for who they are. There is nothing wrong with them rather it is our education system that is not geared to accept 15% of the population.  As a parent, give them down time after an active session, and reward them for the tasks they perform.  These guys may be reward driven.  Kinaesthetic learners do best with images so paint them a picture of what you want from them. (For more information visit www.educ.uvic.ca)

Leave a comment

Filed under Building Better Students, Posts, Tuition Tips, Uncategorized

“J” is Just in Time

“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” 
 Nelson Mandela

Male Pupil Finding School Exam DifficultIs there a good time to seek out tutoring?  Does your son or daughter display any of these?

  • Lacks confidence with school work
  • Becomes distraught about going to school
  • Struggles with Maths
  • Reads without interest or understanding
  • Reads through punctuation marks or skip lines completely

Of course, these indicators are not the only signs for a cry for help.  Any change in behaviour or mood may be an indicator that moves you to further investigation.

One thing you should not do is shrug off these indicators as, “Oh, it is only a phase they are going through.” because chances are it is a phase they will not get through.  The cause, or trigger, of the change may vary from changing teachers to taking your children out of school for off-season holidays.  The latter has a considerable effect on children in Year 3, 5 and 7.

Years 3, 5 and 7 appear to be the years when new concepts are introduced in Maths, and probably other subjects.  But we, at the tuition room, see these years as the most influential to the student’s development.  Basically, a lot of new stuff is taught in Maths during these years.  Missing one or two weeks during the school period has a lasting and recurring effect on that area of knowledge through the following years.

Back to our original question, is there a good time to seek out tutoring assistance?

You would think Year 1 students would not require tutoring assistance, after all they have just started school and what have they learned?  Unfortunately, Prep is used to prepare children for Year 1 and it is at this stage they learn the simple things like singing the alphabet, counting to ten or twenty and spatial skills such as left, right, in front, under, first, second, last and inside and outside.  Even colouring in pictures helps to develop the fine motor skills required to hold a pencil to form letters while learning to write.  Sometimes children miss some concepts and this puts them behind during the first year because there is assumed knowledge in Year 1.  Yes, tuition does help to restore confidence to a Year 1 student.

It is always easier to help students who are in Year 2, 4 or 6 because these are the years before the next knowledge jump.  Catching them up in these years aligns their Maths knowledge for the next year jump in concept learning.  We have noticed the most distressed students who come to us are in Years 3, 5 and 7.

When is the best time to bring a student for tuition?  When you notice a change in behaviour that continues for more than two weeks.  There is generally a reason for that change and if it is related to learning then tuition may be your answer.  Having said that, it is never too late to seek out tuition.  We have had students in Year 8 that have received tuition to cover knowledge short falls from Year 5.  No, it is never too late to help a student who wants to be helped.

“It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop.” 
 Confucius

Leave a comment

Filed under Building Better Students, Learning, Posts

“I” is for Interest

“A man who limits his interest limits his life.” – Vincent Price

pretty young mother teaching her little kid childWe all want our children to do well in school and in life, but how do you ignite that spark that fuels a need for knowledge.  How does your child develop an interest in the world around them?

Well, for starters, let’s look at your environment.  After all, we shouldn’t put the responsibility for learning and growth upon the school system alone.  Children’s exposure to teachers and schools is small compared to their exposure to parents and home life.  So, let’s take stock of the most influential environment upon your child’s growth – you and your home.

Do you talk with your child or do you talk at your child?  Talking with your child encourages conversation and participation while talking at your child is more about giving instruction: “Don’t do that”, “Sit and be quiet”, “Go outside and play”.  Which type of parent are you?  Is most of your communication one directional, or do you urge a more open form of communication?  Do you talk with your child about the things you are interested in, such as books, movies, and gardening?

Do you have interests you can talk about with your children and your friends?  Your growth and learning doesn’t stop when you become an adult.  Your child is likely to become the adult you are because you are the major role model in their life.  Your continued growth doesn’t have to be purely academic.  Your interests, hobbies and activities continue to develop you as a person.  As an adult, have you continued to grow or do you come home at night and sit in front of the computer surfing YouTube or watching television.

How many books do you have in your life?  Look around your house and count the books on your bookcase.  What? You don’t have a bookcase.  Reading is still the best source of gaining knowledge.  It is a sad fact that today many households don’t have a library.  Their interests and knowledge are not on display.  I enjoy visiting people and scanning the titles on their shelves as it immediately lets me see the interests of the people who live there and gives a basis for conversation.  Many people will have a display case for their sports trophies and I consider bookcases as display cases for your knowledge.  Now, before you go thinking I am some sort of nerd, as well has having several hundred books, our household also has a movie library with several hundred movies.  Display your interests and talk about your interests.

Do things and show your child how you do things.  Involve your child in your interests, within reason.  If your hobby is your garden, then have them help with the weeding.  If you love live theatre, then take them to some live shows to expose them to the experience.  Just keep the experience relative to their developmental level.  Let your children see you reading at night instead of squatting in front of the television.  Being entertained by books offers a different intellectual experience to being entertained by X-Box.  If you are an X-Box kind of dad, you may just have to try a little harder.  Try playing board games that offer challenges and choices while playing to help with the thinking process.  Become involved with your children in thinking games and not just reaction games.

You must become your child’s best teacher.  From the day they are born your number one priority is to protect then and to prepare them.  The adult they become is the result of your influence as much as that of the school system they fall into.  Sometimes being a good parent requires learning new skills, but that is alright as learning new skills is part of life’s processes.  No-one is born knowing how to parent.  We learn some of it from our parents through their role modelling and we learn some from interacting with people as we grow up.  Though, having said that nothing will prepare you for being a parent, you just learn as you go along.  But you do have to learn.

Don’t overload your child.  Now, you don’t have to expose your child to everything at one time.  There is no need to fill every waking moment with experiences and knowledge.  You should allow down time so they may process what has been experienced, what has been learnt and to rest and recover.  Being a child takes a lot of energy and there is a need time to re-charge their batteries from time to time.  Build quiet times into their day when it is alright to sit and do nothing.  Remember, a tired child will struggle at school.

Be positive about their school experience.  “It’s alright mate, you have to go and there is nothing we can do about it.” does not send a positive message about going to school.  The school years are such a wonderful time of our lives and must be reinforced as such.  Don’t bring the woes of being an adult, or the problems you are experiencing upon your child’s fun years.  You can use their experience to bring some release from the pressures of your life.  Encourage them to become involved with school activities and then be supportive and join in with them at these events.  One of my most vivid memories is when my father and his friends turned out to watch me at my school rugby league game.  I played many games but that one I remember.  Don’t under estimate the importance of being part of their school experience.

“We will all be role models in our children’s lives.  We don’t have that choice.  The choice we do have is whether we are a positive role model or a negative role model.  That is our choice.” – Peter Kenyon

Leave a comment

Filed under Building Better Students, Learning, Posts

Students’ Stories – The Missing Magic

MagicianI didn’t not know my dad could do magic until he made chickens appear and he could make stick insects talk.  One day his magic was gone.  He told everybody but no one believed him.  Luckily my stick insect could still talk.  But then he remembered that he left his magic in a muddy puddle.  The next day he got his magic back.

By Dardo (aged 8)

Leave a comment

Filed under Childrens Story, Posts, Short Story, Student's Story

The Nice Teacher at the Fete – Jemima (aged 8)

TeacherWhen the last sounds of the Children’s laughter for the good chapel service faded away, Miss Lenet cleaned up her classroom for the toy shop at the fete.  She was the kindest teacher in the school and every kid liked her.  That night a robber stole all the toys in the class room.  The next morning she didn’t know what to do.  The older kids that were in her class a long time ago heard about it and they made toys which they took to their old teacher for the shop.  At the fete the kids laughed all day.

By Jemima (Aged 8)

Leave a comment

Filed under Childrens Story, creative writing, Posts

Childrens’ Stories – The Jewels of Mermaid City – Sarah (aged 9)

mermaidIn the morning when it was very cold, Sunday-Sarah, the mermaid, was swimming happily in the blue water deep under the sea.  She had just remembered her evil sister was coming with an army of strong mermaids to take the very powerful jewel from her.  Sunday-Sarah had a plan to shut down Mermaid City to prevent Wilhema-Beth and her group of fighting mermaids from attacking.  Sunday-Sarah pressed the lock down bell so the sharks swam up to the very top where the army gathered.  As Wilhema-Beth went down to get the jewel, she saw sharks, her worst fear.  She led the army away from Mermaid City.

By Sarah (aged 9)

Leave a comment

Filed under Childrens Story, creative writing, Posts, Sarah, Short Story

Children’s Stories – The Wizard of Othello – Geoffrey (aged 10)

WizardIf there was one thing that Othello Flamel loved, it was his house of mysteries that he inherited from Clocal Flamel, his grandfather.  Othello Flamel was a twenty-two- year-old alchemist who loved exploring his house of mysteries and learning all kinds of spells and enchantments.  One day, two wart-hoggers with great swords attacked and he slaughtered one but the other fled and sounded the alarm, calling thousands, and creating a racket that awoke a rock elite and the wart-hoggers blamed Othello who knew he had to do something.  He remembered the key of safety given to him by his grandfather, which could blow back enemies with the energy and speed of one hundred million kilometres per hour.  If there was one thing Othello loved, it was that key of safety that got him out of trouble.

By Geoffrey (Aged 10)

Leave a comment

Filed under Childrens Story, creative writing, Learning, Posts, Short Story

The Little Bear – Jemima (aged 7)

Little BearOne day a little bear named Mia didn’t know what to do in winter so she went to her mum and said  “Mummy what do we do in winter?”  Mia was a little brown bear with a beautiful flower behind her ear and Mia’s mum was a big nice pretty bear who loved to make blue berry pie for herself and Mia to eat.  The day after Mia asked her mum what they do in winter, Mia said “Where are the other bears going?” and her mum said “They are going to hibernate in a big cave and we are going too.”  Then Mia said “We need to go now mum please” and her mum said “OK then let’s go to our cave where your dad is.”  One day a little bear went to her cave with her mum and dad and hibernated in a big dark cave.

By Jemima (aged 7)

Leave a comment

Filed under Childrens Story, creative writing, Posts, Short Story

The Dragon That Awoke – Luca (aged 12)

DragonLong ago when dragons ruled the world, a big blue egg cracked open and Fredrich emerged in a cave. He was a big, black dragon with red eyes and razer-sharp fangs.  The first thing he did was cause mayhem on the town people because it was in his dragon blood to do such a thing.  Next he ate 12 people, 4 sheep and one rabbit.  Long ago when dragons ruled, a young dragon called Fredrich fell asleep.

Leave a comment

Filed under Childrens Story, creative writing, Posts, Short Story