Creative Tutors of Allen-Lovejoy

Category: Curriculum

Oct 28 | Ways Parents Can Help Improve Reading Skills

There are several things that parents can do to help improve their children's reading skills. Some of these include:
* Having a family reading time each day where each family member sits down and reads for at least 15 minutes. Research shows that just 15 minutes of practice can help with reading fluency for developing readers.
* Make sure there are many kinds of reading materials in your home. Reading menus, weather reports, movie listings, in addition to books and magazines help develop reading skills.
* Make sure you go to the library with your children. Make sure they see you read and check out books as well.
* Find out what reading skills they need to master at each grade level. You can get this information from the school curriculum or from the TEA (Texas Education Agency's) website.
* Make sure there is reading material in every room in the house. Also, don't forget to have some books in the car as well.
* When your child is reading aloud, notice if they can sound out words, know sight words, use context to identify unknown words and understand what they read. Get help quickly if they seem to be having difficulty.
Creative Tutors in Allen/LoveJoy can help with any difficulties at any age. Reading is key to understanding science, social studies and math problem solving so it is very important to get help as quickly as possible.

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Dec 26 | During the Holidays-Use Everyday Things to Help Teach Math

While the children are home for the holidays, there are many ways to help reinforce math concepts. Here are a few I use:
* Cooking- you can reinforce fractions and measurement. Discuss how many cups are in a pint, how many pints in a quart,etc. Even young children can meausre a half of a cup for you!
* As you are driving- teach your child rate by pointing out speed limit signs. Explain that 50 mph means that you would actually travel about 50 miles in an hour.
* Money- Using money is a great way to teach fractions and percent.
Since there are four quarters in a dollar, then one quarter is 1/4 or 25%, two quarters is 1/2 or 50%.
* Allowance- When children are given an allowance for doing developmentally appropriate chores, this gives parents an opportunity to teach them about money management. You could have three containers labled save, give, spend. You can teach them to save 10%, give 10%, and spend the rest (or however you chose to do this). It teaches money management as well as fractions and percent.

Math can be fun when we incorporate it early and help children see the need for it.

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Nov 12 | Five Money Concepts to Teach Children

There are many things children learn in school and one is how to count money. However, there are so many other things they need to know.
1. Save for a rainy day
From the time children are old enough to want to buy toys, books, clothes, they should be learning how to save for them. An allowance is a good tool to help with this. They may want something that costs $50.00 and they get $5.00 a week. It then becomes a choice whether they will spend on less expensive items or will save for that big ticket item in the future. Your child may find that immediate desires pass but the satisfaction that comes from saving money last indefinitely.

2. Work hard for your money
Help your child make the connection that money isn't something freely given, but it is earned through hard work. If you choose to give an allowance each week, it may be tied to chores they do around the house so they can learn that if work is not done, there is no financial reward. Age appropriate chores and rewards are key. Younger kids can help with simple things like setting the table, where doing the job well is not as important as seeing the job through. Older kids can take on harder jobs, such as cleaning their room, doing the dishes, or mowing the lawn, in exchange for greater compensation. You may even encourage them to begin offering their services around the neighborhood.

3. Understand a budget
Young children don't realize that Mom and Dad have a limited amount of money to spend each month. But learning what a budget is and why you need one is a very important lesson for them to learn. You can even use Monopoly money to help them see how much money is spent each month on food, bills, the house, savings, charitable organizations, etc. It is important for them to have a broad sense of how adults divide up their money each month. Encourage your child to start a budget of their own. Part of their allowance could go to savings, charity, and some for fun. Help your child identify what he/she values and budget his money accordingly.

4.The Power of Compound Interest
An easy way to teach compound interest is to put a penny on one side of a table, to represent an account bearing compound interest, and a dime on the other side of the table to represent an account bearing simple interest. Ask your child which will grow to a dollar in fewer steps: the penny, if you double it at each step, or the dime, if you add an additional ten cents at each step. The penny, presenting compound interest, will have grown to $1.28 by the eighth step. The dime has become only 80 cents and the difference will continue to widen. What starts out as a little bit of interest will, given enough time, eventually become an enormous amount. The earlier you start saving, the better.

5. Beware of Credit
Children need to learn at an early age that credit cards are not free money. You can give age appropriate lessons in how credit works.
If they want an item that costs $20, agree to lend them the money under the following terms:
*There is a grace period of one week, after which the interest will start to accrue
*The interest rate is 20% each week
*The minimum payment is $5 (or whatever his/her allowance is)
If your child only pays the minimum, she will end up paying $10.13 more for the $20.00 item over a seven week time period and sap their allowance each week. This is sad but not much different than what happens from credit card companies.

Adjust any of these lessons to suit your child's age and circumstances. Teaching your child about money and how it works will pay off now and later!

Taken in part from

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Sep 11 | Helping Students with Visual and Perceptual Memory

According to the National Center for Learning Disabilities, students with visual and perceptual difficulties often struggle with long and short term memory. These memory difficulties often cause problems in spelling and reading comprehension. Teachers and parents can give support by implementing the following stategies:

  1. Give instructions (oral and written) in short, precise steps.
  2. Read out loud. Children with visual processing difficulties often learn best when instructions and topics are both written and discussed.
  3. Break down reading assignments into small sections of material.You can use a "cut out" window to help them focus on small bits of information at a time.
  4. Use index cards and study cards to gather and organize information.The process of writing words, definitions, and math facts strengthens comprehension and memory.
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Sep 05 | Arts in Education Week is Sept. 11-17

The week of Sept. 11-17 has been declared Arts in Education week. Help promote and showcase the immense role Arts education has in America! Art education helps produce successful and college-and career-ready students.

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Cherrie Kilby | Manager

Meet Cherrie Kilby | Manager

Cherrie Leggett Kilby graduated from Southwestern University with a BS in Education and has taught in elementary and middle school for over twenty years in the U.S., Taiwan, and Japan. In addition she has taught English as a Second Language in China. Cherrie pursued a Master's degree in Education with reading as her area of specialty. She continues to teach special needs students at the elementary level and also teaches reading at the local community college. Cherrie was a tutor for Creative Tutors when it was first founded and loved working with the families she met. She wanted to continue to make a difference and started working as an area manager in 2005.   

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