Tag Archives: tuition

“K” is for Kinaesthetic Learner

Kinaesthetic Learner 3Not everyone learns the same way, and that creates problems in classrooms and at home.

As a generalisation, there are three types of learners: auditory, kinaesthetic, and visual.  These are the main channels of learning.  It’s a generalisation because, a person is more likely to be a combination of two (or more) rather than simply one, as in being purely an auditory learner.  How do you identify a kinaesthetic learner?

Kinaesthetic learners just want to touch and feel everything. As adults, their mates give them plenty of personal space because they just want to playfully thump them all the time.  Their house is a mess because they just want to collect and pull everything apart, just to see how it works.  Putting it together again may be another matter.  Does this sound like someone you married?

It is easy to identify an adult kinaesthetic learner, but how do you identify it in your child?

Well for starters, their teacher will be strongly suggesting you attend Parent Teacher Nights, so they can discuss how disruptive this young pupil is in the classroom.  They fidget, leave their seat to touch things, move things and find it difficult to sit and learn.  They may not even be aware of their movements as they are easily distracted by the movement of others, and want to investigate.

This student needs a hands-on approach to learning so sitting in class and listening, reading from a book, or even taking notes from the whiteboard is not the best way for them to learn.  They will respond better when learning is through participation, such as in chemistry experiments, or building a model. These students do well in sports, drama and live for school lunch breaks.  By the age of seven, they have been categorised as being an under-achiever, or worse still, hyperactive.  But fear not.

Being a kinaesthetic learner is not a problem, as approximately fifteen percent of the population are kinaesthetic learners.  The problem is our education system is geared towards auditory and visual learners, and kinaesthetic learners are the speed bump in our systems road to education.  What can you do?

For starters, accept them for who they are, healthy active children.  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 and give them regular breaks while studying.

Your student is likely to become an actor, dancer, physio-therapist, massage therapist, surgeon, mechanic, carpenter, P.E. teacher, athlete, farmer, etc.

The point is, be patient, give them space and let them grow…

 

XtraMile Tuition Strategies makes learning fun again

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“Smells of fire” by Harry (aged 8)

Harry 2One night I left the stove on at my stinky house and I was woken by the unfamiliar smell of fire and hoary rubbish that I left on the table. By the time I got to the kitchen, I smelt the fire cooking a stale apple core and a decayed banana peel that smelt gross, and the dog food that smelt nice. The fireman said, ‘’You smell like you haven’t had a bath for 6 months!” and I said, “That’s true”. He sprayed rusty water on me with his big water hose until I smelt as lovely as a rose. While the fire brigade was busy washing me, my house was busy turning into a vessel of lovely ashes.

Harry, aged 8

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“Jonah’s Bad Day” by Harry (aged 8)

Angry treeThis morning, my friend, Jonah, who is eight year’s old, like me, shot a nerf-bullet to get his mate’s attention in the wood-house. They were both at Jonah’s family’s Californian farmhouse, just beside the magic tree. The bullet hit the magic tree in the face just as it was waking up and that hurt it a lot and it caused the tree to fall. The tree dragged itself up and then whacked the old wood-house into lots of bits of wood until the barn didn’t exist anymore. Jonah and his mate called 000 and the ambulance took them to the hospital.

Harry, aged 8. 

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 “The Farm Horse” by Dardo (aged 9) 

Plough HorseOn one rainy day in the middle of Brisbane, Joseph my school friend, bought two acres of farm land.  The very next day he was out in the field sowing pumpkin seeds in the damp soil when he spotted an enormous prancing horse running across the seeds he had just sowed. He was very happy because the structure of the equestrian creature was perfect for pulling the plough which meant he could do more in less time. To his surprise the horse was already very experienced with pulling the plough and so they were ready to do a day’s labour together. With the help of his mighty horse my school friend became a successful farmer.

Dardo (aged 9)

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“Alligator” by Dardo (aged 9)

AlligatorWhen John and Jeff came to the ditch on the way to school, Jeff slipped and hit his head on a stick.  The ten-year-old twins were alike in many ways as both were playful and blonde.  John came down to Jeff to remove the stick from his head when suddenly a vicious alligator burst from the water and chased them up the slope and all the way to school.  The teacher opened the window and through a baton at the alligator and the kids ran into the school room.  The teacher said, “That’s what happens when you’re late for school’.

Dardo (aged 9) 

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Students’ Stories – The Puppet (Nikita – aged 10)

Sock PuppetIt was just after lunch and Bang!  The puppet knocked over the bookshelf which fell on top of the new television.  She had straight yellow wool for hair with black sewn-on buttons for eyes and inside her long pink dress was my hand.  Mum stomped into the room as the puppet grinned but it was me that Mum shouted at.  When Mum turned her back, the puppet jumped on the counter, ripped the paintings off the wall and tipped over the bowl of fruit.  After lunch, I took the puppet off my hand , picked up the mess and mopped the floors.

Nikita (aged 10)

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“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

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“H” is for Help

Education concept: Student and Time to Learn with optical glassA decreased ability to concentrate, confused thoughts, motivation low, increased irritability, grumbling, quarrelsome, overly sensitive to criticism, anxious or depressed.  This may sound like a typical teenager but they are also signs a coach watches for in athletes.

Good coaches recognise the signs of over-training and adjust their athletes’ schedule so the next phase of over-training, burn-out, doesn’t occur.  A great coach will not let these signs develop because they know how to pace the training sessions without over-stressing the athlete.

What has fitness training to do with students?  Burn-out may occur in any person in any profession at any age.  Many parents don’t realise how much pressure they place on their children when they load up their awake time with sports training and competition outside of school hours.  Some students are playing two sports a season.  Some parents don’t realise they may be setting their child up for burn-out later that school year because they haven’t planned sufficient recovery time for their student.

If you are a parent who encourages outside sports for their children, then you should consider these three things:

  1. Training and playing sport is tiring, very tiring.
  2. A tired student will find it difficult to concentrate in class.
  3. In today’s world, a person has a much better chance of achieving a high income with good grades than becoming a highly-paid athlete.

An over-committed student who finds it difficult to concentrate in class will eventually fall behind on their grades.  They may require the help of a coach, an academic coach.

We have many athletic students attend our tuition room because of the reasons mentioned above.  When they do attend, we ask parents to consider dropping one activity before introducing a program of tuition.  There is no sense in adding to an already over-loaded timetable.  Nothing will be achieved.  The tuition, depending upon the grade the student is in, will probably take one full year to bring them aligned with the class.  That is only one season of any one sport, so they will not miss much when dropping one activity to replace it with tuition.

As an academic coach (with a long background in fitness training) I watch for signs of over-training in our students and act on it.  Sometimes that action will be to remove tuition from the student’s time-table if nothing else is removed.  We do this for the well-being of the student.

But you don’t have to be a sporting student to fall behind.  Sometimes a high achieving student places themselves under unnecessary pressure because they have not learned to budget time or to study correctly.  A student like this will benefit from some one on one guidance so they may learn from an expert how to research and produce assignments, or how to prepare for secondary school exams.

So, as the school year progresses, watch for signs that indicate your student may not be keeping up and is silently crying for help.

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“Blood Eater” by Ari (aged 8)

dragonLong ago Blood-eater was a dragon who lived on an island that was surrounded by monsters and volcanoes that spewed out lava.  Blood-eater was a green villain who sucked blood from superheros.  He saw police on his island and got scared but he remembered he could suck blood out of the police.  Then the police shot the bullets that makes dragons good and he hugged the police.  Blood-eater went back home to his island of monsters and waited until the good bullets wore off.

Ari (aged 8)

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Snowy the Chimp – Alex (aged 8)

Snowy the ChimpOne night Snowy the chimp squeezed through the bars of the metal of his cage at the zoo.  He felt happy because he escaped.  As soon as he got to the forest he was climbing up trees very high so he could eat fruit.  He made his house at the top of the trees.  Snowy the chimp lived in the forest for the rest of his life.

Alex W (aged 8)

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