Report cards have recently been distributed and many area students and parents are disappointed with the grades earned for the second quarter and first semester. The first semester exam grades are not impressive, notably, in high school and some middle school academic courses. At this point, what intervention can be explored that might produce positive results?
Know Limit Learning Services is the new in-home tutoring service in town that offers a personalized one-on-one model to support the educational needs of students. The at-home tutoring franchise has opened in the Washington, DC/Northern Virginia area; however, the company plans to expand to Montgomery County, MD in Fall, 2011.
What makes the Know Limit Learning Services experience unique for students is their Building Block methodology. When a student seems confused about material, Know Limit Learning tutors assess where in the learning process a chain link was broken. They go back to the foundation and build up from there. Also, they use the student’s own books and materials, thereby working with the curriculum he or she is getting from the teacher. For many students, going to tutoring center can be stigmatizing. Know Limit Learning Services tutors visit students in the comfort and privacy of their homes. Also, when a tutor works with students in their own homes, he or she can assist students in optimizing their work spaces to become more organized.
Know Limit Learning Services has its own proprietary E-Tutoring technology that allows tutors to see and hear their students live anywhere in the world. When a tutor cannot meet with his or her student in person, due to inclement weather, illness or any other reason, this technology allows the two to work on material together remotely. The most unique feature Know Limit Learning Services offers in their E-Tutoring program is an online “white board,” that includes drawing tools tutors and students can use to create charts, graphs and diagrams. A tutor could upload an item from the Internet (a map of the United States for a geography lesson, for example), place an overlay over the state names and have the student complete the lesson by adding in the names him or herself. The white board information can be saved and referred to at a later date to check a student’s progress in a difficult subject area.
Kirk McLaren, President of the D.C. and Northern Virginia region of Know Limit Learning Services, offers the following tips to students in preparation for SAT/ACT/GRE exams and to reduce test anxiety:
1) Write Down Anxieties Before A Test- A recent study in the journal Science explains that students can greatly benefit from writing down their anxieties before taking an exam. The study suggests that releasing anxieties onto paper will clear students’ minds during a test and allow them to focus better.
2) Counter Anxieties By Writing Down Positive Responses- In a guide on how to reduce anxiety while taking tests, Claire Stone, MFT and Berkeley therapist, explains that it is beneficial to write down positive responses to the negative anxieties or thoughts that students write down. This will ensure that all the negatives will be cleared from students’ minds while taking a test.
3) Stay Physically Fit- According to Lesley Cottrell, an associate professor of pediatrics at West Virginia University , children’s physical fitness is associated with their academic performance. Students who stay physically fit during the week generally experience better test scores.
4) Maintain A Healthy Diet- There is a correlation between positive test scores and a healthy diet. Students should be sure to not take an exam on an empty stomach, and make sure they are eating the right foods. Joe Landsberger, author of the Study Guides and Strategies Web site, offers fruit and vegetables as a recommended option to reduce stress. Avoid processed foods, artificial sweeteners and foods containing preservatives, as they are considered “stressful foods.”
5) Get Enough Sleep- Many students struggle to get adequate sleep at night, but it is important that they try to get between seven and nine hours. According to psychologist John Markovich, “Sleep keeps students well-rested. It gives them a good attention span, along with a more stable mood, which increases concentration.” Getting enough sleep at night will help students focus while taking tests.
6) Study With a Friend- When possible, students should study with a friend or parent. This helps students understand the material better and learn from one another.
7) Use Aromatherapy- It has been proven that essential oils such as lavender and rosemary can stimulate the brain and improve concentration and learning abilities. Students can use this method by lighting a lavender candle while studying, helping them retain information easier before the test.