How to improve speed reading to get better grades

When reading homework piles up and there is little time to read all of it, increasing your reading speed can help with school materials. Speed-reading is used widely in academic schools to help students get better grades and improve reading comprehension. But how can students struggling with schoolwork master this study skill?

Whether it is science or math, accelerating your reading comprehension can increase your understanding of extensive chapters or workbooks. Applying these simple methods of concentration, determination, and consistency, can help students in school.

1.  Use fingers or pen to scan the text for particular keywords

In fact, many textbooks already may have list of important concepts to know, either at the end of the chapter or part of the exercise section. Write these down and have them handy when you read the chapter. Avoid using highlighter as you read. They tend to interfere with your concentration.

2.  Make questions based on title, subtitles and headings

When reading long chapters or heavy amounts of text, it is best to review the content before starting to read it. And formulate questions about the content. Many chapters are written based on an outline. Use it to your advantage to pose questions as you’re reading.

3.  Use sub-vocalization and skip over simple words

When we read to ourselves, we read just the words of interest. For instance, simple words like ‘the, a, an, but, for’ and other sight words are easily glanced through by our brains. So, only focus on the main phrases or specific words.

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4.  Avoid regression and concentrate

The old saying: ‘Silence is golden’ is certainly true in this case. The more concentrated you are as you speed-read, the better improvement in your reading comprehension.

  • Avoid cell phone interruptions, set it to silent or put it aside as you study.
  • Avoid loud noises like television or music.
  • Avoid listening to music with your iPod or other device. If you’re reading the text on your computer, iPad, Kindle or other electronic device, simply turn off any distractions momentarily.

5.  Incorporate good eye coordination for better reading

Whether you need eye correction or not, your eyes are the passage to your understanding. As many sportspeople use blinders on horses’ eyes to keep them from distractions and to focus on the path ahead, the same principle is applied to when reading the text. Your eyes need to be focused and determined on the material and no other disruptions should take place. Practice makes perfect. Get your eyes used to scanning the text even before starting speed-reading.

Of course, speed-reading, as a study skill, is not for every student. Like all study skills, it takes time and practice to master it. So don’t give up if it doesn’t work for you the first few chapters. As a final tip, a fresh mind learns better without distractions, daydreaming, and interruptions.

Do you use speed-reading in your study time?

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Ten tips on how to hire a tutor for your child

hire a tutor

A tutor is more than an educator. A tutor is a mentor, a teacher, and a cheerleader for students striving to improve their grades. Educators push students to become independent thinkers and problem solvers. Tutors offer more insights to their students struggling in a specific subject area.

In fact, they complement what they learn in school. They can give the ability and knowledge for struggling learners, which otherwise would be difficult to learn. As a matter of fact, the Merriam-Webster dictionary defines a tutor as

“a person charged with the instruction and guidance of another…”

But when parents and caregivers are concerned about how to hire a tutor, they may not know where to begin to get the proper help for their children. One way to get information is their schools or libraries. But sometimes, these resources may not be enough.

Hire a Tutor: Tips to Get the Best Help Possible

As children struggle with homework or other school projects, this is a sign to parents to hire extra academic help. Parents can find the following tips a good way to hire a tutor.

1.  Has the educator for your child passed a background check?

Parents need to be secured that the tutor teaching their children has passed a criminal background check. And many of them, working for an agency, will give one. Parents can find safety information usually in their profiles or personal websites. If ever in doubt, investigate and ask questions about your tutor.

2.  Does he or she have any tutoring experience?

Where have they taught? What types of subjects do they teach? Do they have experience in a particular age group? Furthermore, these and many other questions are later addressed with the tutor. But experience can come from a volunteer opportunity or a paid assignment. Whether the tutor has experience, it is up to the parents to decide if they are a good fit for their family.

3.  Does the tutor have a professional degree? 

Many parents want their children tutored by professionals in their field. So, ask your tutor about their professional education. And, many of them would already have that information included in their profiles, too.

4. Does the educator have any testimonials or student reviews?

Not only are background checks, ability, and academic degrees essential considerations when you hire a tutor, but reviews are also an important part of the hiring process. The experience of other students is a great indicator of how well the tutor can get along with your child. Many of these personal testimonials are easily accessible to parents. Tutoring agencies display these reviews along with their profiles. Parents can also find personal statements at the tutor’s website.

hire a tutor

Hire a Tutor: Fees, Experience, and Study Habits

5.  Are tutoring fees clearly displayed?

Investing in your child’s education is just as important as their college education. And when it comes to hiring a tutor, it should not be a guessing game. Tutoring fees need to be clearly stated either through a tutoring agency or the tutor’s personal website. Fees should stay reasonable and accurate.

6.  Does the tutor offer good study habits?

Children learn about study habits from school or their educators. A tutor should be no different. When tutors give good study skills, it ensures your child can benefit from these habits. The organization, completing projects on time, and setting study time are all excellent habits every child need to learn.

7.  Is the educator punctual and professional?

When tutors are late or miss an appointment, these are poor indicators of a serious commitment from the tutor. Does the tutor give reminders about tutoring sessions or calls when he or she is running late? Does the tutor provide at least two different ways (email and phone) to reach him or her?

Hire a Tutor: Progress reports, Materials, and Learning Experience

8.  Does the tutor provide assessments or progress reports?

When you hire a tutor, you also need to consider progress reports and testing. Besides the regular school testing, the tutor should also give parents with assessments or progress reports. A good educator makes sure parents are up-to-date to the progress of their children.

9.  Does the tutor provide current materials?

Tutors need to be current with the teaching methods and materials required for each age group. When tutors are current with their teaching materials, it also ensures students are also up-to-date with the curriculum.

10.  Does the educator supplement the learning experience?

When tutors supplement the learning experience with more resources, it opens up to more opportunities. Learning about math or reading can come from music or art and not just textbooks. When a tutor supplements the lessons, it provides a different point of view.

Tutoring complements, educates, and motivates students to learn and be better. Improving student grades is just one function about tutors. Moreover, parents need to be ready on how to hire a tutor with these simple ten tips.

If you need any additional information about Spanish4Kiddos Tutoring Services, you can learn more in the Tutoring section.

7 ways to help children with homework

Exercise is an activity to improve health, but people often do not consider the brain as a muscle that needs exercise. In fact, children will not even regard homework as part of exercising your mind or building your mind with knowledge. But that is what it does.

Homework helps children improve in study skills, time management, responsibility, problem solving, and diligence. What is learned in class needs to apply. And schoolwork does just that – it helps build the necessary learning skills to handle future tasks. How can parents and educators help?

We often see homework as another duty that must be completed. Yet, we rarely see this as an opportunity to help children build essential study skills to become independent thinkers. Although there are subjects that parents cannot help with, there is help. Assistance can be provided in many ways: other family members, online help, or hiring a tutor.

Among the great aid that is available to parents, these tips can also help them to help their children with homework:

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1.  Provide a well-lit study area 

When a designated area of study is available for children to do their homework, students are more encouraged to learn. Their own table or desk with an adequate chair promotes paying attention to their work, whether it is simply doing math problems, reading, or answering science questions.

By doing schoolwork, it builds on the knowledge presented by the teacher in class. As students work on problems and questions, it should emphasized the concepts and understanding about the lesson the teacher is trying to present.

When you apply the knowledge learned, the concept is recorded in your brain. The brain is capable of storing information learned in useful ways. And when you are able to do homework, you help your brain to memorize information.

2.  Avoid distractions

Loud noises like television, music, sirens can all contribute to not do homework. Prevention is key to allow students to accomplish their schoolwork. Parents can make sure television or music is not part of their study area. Headphones should also not be allowed during the study session. Distractions only delay finishing homework and promote lack of responsibility.

Libraries and separate rooms are excellent ways to encourage students to finish their homework. Many libraries are capable of having individual study rooms. Reservations may sometimes be required. For older children, sometimes studying with a partner can motivate other students to complete their work.

3.  Build a routine or study schedule

Schedules are great ways to reinforce the need to do homework. Just as your brain is capable to store useful information, it also has the ability to sense when you need to learn. By following a routine, students, especially younger ones, will tend to comply with parents to finish their homework.

In fact, young children between the ages of 5 and 7 need 10 to 20 minutes of homework time. Children between the ages of 8 and 10 require at least 30 to 40 minutes. And children between the ages of 11 to 13 require 60 minutes or more, depending on their level of work. High school and college students many even need more structured study time.

4.  Break up the workload

When tasks involve research or extensive studying, make sure students know to break the work in sections to alleviate the burden of finishing the homework. If possible, allow 1 or 2 hours per week to finish the school task until the project is completed.

Agendas and calendars are great tools to encourage students to jot down their goals to complete a project. And many of these organizational tools are now available as apps for mobile phones or other devices.

5.  Provide a reward system

When projects and homework are finally completed, rewards are wonderful incentives for students. For younger children, examples of incentives could be stickers, small toys, playing at a local game venue, or just simply playing with their best friends. For older children, some incentives would depend on their wants.

The decision to follow good grades and completing schoolwork with rewards should be set by the parents. Reward systems are wonderful ways to encourage students, at any age, to motivate them to finish it.

6.  Assist to a minimum

Parents should resist the temptation to finish their children’s work. Not only does this present an opportunity for them to reject homework, but it also shows lack of commitment. Explaining to them that schoolwork is a matter of responsibility may not be easy. But parents should sit down with them to help them understand unfamiliar concepts. And allow them to figure out the proper answer. But when parents lack the knowledge to assist their children in their work, asking for help early can prevent future frustration.

7.  Look out for struggling learners

Even though homework is part of every student’s duty, struggling excessively to finish it should be handled early. As soon as parents see their children struggle in any form of learning, early intervention is key for their success. Parents can find resources for homework help at their local libraries, online, or by hiring a tutor.

Local libraries are great ways to begin to look for sources to help struggling students. But some libraries may be overwhelmed. Online help is another tool to help parents to seek quick information. But hiring a tutor is the most valuable resource parents can have. Tutors are experts and educators in their field to motivate students to succeed.

Spanish4Kiddos tutoring services has helped numerous children to overcome learning struggles. If you need any information about my tutoring services or credentials, please don’t hesitate to contact me. And the greatest compliment I can have from my readers is you shared this article. Thank you.