Fostering Independence in Middle and High School Students

Fostering Independence in Middle and High School Students

n the fourteen years that I taught middle and high school, I saw the same scenario play out over and over. Well-meaning parents realized college was looming in the not-so-distant future, looked closely at their kids’ learning and study habits, and realized it was time to start fostering some independence. And of course, the logical way to foster independence is to take a step back, right?

Summer is a time for learning, too!

Summer is a time for learning, too!

School’s out for summer! It’s time to celebrate all the hard work that went into another academic year, and take a little break from the busy schedule that overtakes our lives during the winter.

But the break in the school year doesn’t – and shouldn’t – mean a break from all academic activity. In fact, wise use of the summer months can make or break the coming school year. The months of June through August offer a prime opportunity to catch up, work ahead, and otherwise prepare for the rigors awaiting in September.

Connections Updates-May 2017

Connections Updates-May 2017

It’s hard to believe that the end of the school year is already here. Wasn’t it just August? It was a busy year at Connections Tutoring, and we’re grateful for each and every family that chose to partner with us. Just because school is ending doesn’t mean we’re taking a break for the summer. There’s a lot to be excited about in the coming months.

Sleep, Academics, and ADHD: Not as Simple as it Sounds

Sleep, Academics, and ADHD: Not as Simple as it Sounds

Every parent knows the value of a good night’s sleep for their child. For many parents, this is easier said than done. Studies consistently show that as children transition to adolescence, the number of hours slept each night drops. Approximately 60% of middle school students sleep less than the recommended 9 hours per night on school nights and this figure rises to almost 90% among ninth grade students and to 95% by the end of high school. Given the changes in the body and brain during adolescence, as well as increased academic and social demands, shortened sleep duration has become an area of concern for many parents and schools.

15 Minute Reading Challenge

15 Minute Reading Challenge

I know reading with my kids is incredibly important. I’m an English teacher, for heaven’s sake.  I also know reading needs to happen every day. And I know that for quite a while now, I’ve been doing an awful job of it. Reading with emergent readers isn’t exactly fun, especially for someone with a secondary mindset. It takes lots and lots of precious time while the “to do” list sits on the counter and seemingly gets longer by the minute. So even though my six-year-old has been reading to me every day, I recently realized that my approach wasn’t doing him any favors.

The Power of Self-selected Reading

The Power of Self-selected Reading

There is great power in choice. This is true for adults, and it is true for young readers. When every book is chosen for a reader, by either a parent or teacher, or worse, when students are restricted to books within their reading level, motivation and interest are quickly lost. One of the greatest ways to empower young readers is to teach them to independently choose books they will love. This will set them on a path to becoming a lifelong reader.