Huntington Connects Connecting you to the latest news, tips and academic resources Tue, 11 May 2021 22:57:16 -0400 Zend_Feed_Writer 1.19.1 (http://framework.zend.com) https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog rss@huntingtonhelps.com (Huntington Learning Center) Huntington Learning Center What Parents of Younger Students Should Do About COVID-19 Learning Loss The COVID-19 pandemic has had a tremendous impact on children, both in school and otherwise. And as Huntington Learning Center notes, now that children are winding down their second school year that has been affected, the evidence is clear: learning loss is occurring.

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Tue, 11 May 2021 04:00:01 -0400 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/what-to-do-about-learing-loss-in-younger-students-2021 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/what-to-do-about-learing-loss-in-younger-students-2021 Huntington Learning Center Huntington Learning Center The COVID-19 pandemic has had a tremendous impact on children, both in school and otherwise. And as Huntington Learning Center notes, now that children are winding down their second school year that has been affected, the evidence is clear: learning loss is occurring.

“Standardized testing season is upon us, and we’re certain that the data will show that students have not made the gains they would in a typical school year. In fall 2020, NWEA reported that students made some gains in both reading and math since the COVID-19 pandemic started, although gains in math were lower on average in fall 2020 than in prior years. We’re now approaching summer, however, many months later, and the year has had continued disruption.”

Learning loss is very real problem that occurs over summer and other breaks when students are not in school, but a current concern among educators is COVID-19 learning loss. This affects both older students working at a higher level of rigor and younger K-3 students just beginning their academic journeys.

While Huntington has seen COVID-19 learning loss impact students of all ages, it’s important for parents of young students to look for signs of skill gaps widening. “It’s a good idea to get an academic evaluation of where your student is academically compared to where they need to be, and ideally, sooner than later. With younger children, the learning loss compounds quickly and can cause problems that are harder to correct later on in elementary school and into middle and high school. We encourage parents who see red flags to do something now as we are approaching summer. Those efforts will help their children acquire the skills they are missing and improve in the areas where they have slipped backward over the past year.”

What are some of those warning signs of COVID-19 learning loss? Huntington Learning Center suggests parents watch for these things:

  • A slide in grades and performance – If your student was doing reasonably well before coronavirus hit but has declined since, it’s a sign that they’re falling behind, having trouble with remote learning, losing motivation, or a combination of these things. Or, perhaps your student had school challenges before the pandemic and those difficulties have worsened.
  • Problems with focus – Remote learning has had an unintended side effect for many students, and that is worsened attention. If your student struggles to learn remotely or asynchronously and it has impacted performance, don’t let this go uncorrected as your child moves back into in-person school.
  • Change in demeanor – Every child goes through ups and downs, but the changes to take note of are an increasing tendency toward negativity, apathy or anger. If your child seems to have lost interest in school—and everything else—there may be several things going on, all of which need addressing.
  • Disorganization – Going back and forth from at-home learning to remote learning to asynchronous learning is not easy for many children. It can create chaos and make a child who is already disorganized even more so or transform a previously organized child into one who is more scattered. 

If you’re concerned that your child is struggling and the disruptions of the last year have made things worse, call Huntington. We can give your child an evaluation to determine whether they have any challenges or are missing important building blocks. Contact us at 1-800 CAN LEARN to discuss your child and how we can help.

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Tips for Choosing the Right Person for a College Letter of Recommendation Summer before senior year is a great time for college-bound students to request letters of recommendation. It gives the people students choose plenty of time to write a letter about them, and enough time for students to assemble their application packages in the fall when school resumes.

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Fri, 07 May 2021 04:00:01 -0400 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/tips-for-choosing-who-to-write-a-college-letter-of-recommendation https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/tips-for-choosing-who-to-write-a-college-letter-of-recommendation Huntington Learning Center Huntington Learning Center Summer before senior year is a great time for college-bound students to request letters of recommendation. It gives the people students choose plenty of time to write a letter about them, and enough time for students to assemble their application packages in the fall when school resumes.

But there is an art to choosing the right person for recommendation letters and setting them up for success. Here are a few tips for when you are ready to ask for letters:

  • Ask individuals who know your student well. When requesting letters, your student should ask teachers and mentors they have gotten to know throughout high school. It is okay if they only have the teacher for one school year, but the key is that the writer of the recommendation letter is able to speak to your student’s academic performance, work ethic, character, and willingness to persevere in the face of adversity – especially in the last year. If selecting a coach, consider a coach who has also taught your student in the subject for a more well-rounded review of their abilities.
  • Share the college/university guidelines with the letter writer. Every institution has their own specific preferences for recommendation letters. Some schools might ask for two letters. Some might ask for them to be submitted electronically. Your student should read the guidelines carefully and make sure the writers have all that information. Make sure your teen prints that information and puts everything into a file that includes the guidelines, your student’s resume, their contact information, and the deadline for the letter. Your student should give the file to the people they’ve asked to write the letter for them with plenty of notice.
  • Be appreciative. This is an opportunity for your student to show professionalism and gratitude, so insist that they write a thank-you note after the teacher or mentor writes the letter on their behalf.

  • Summer is a good time to reach out as well. If the end of the school year is busy and your student does not have time to make recommendation letter requests before the last school bell rings, encourage them to spend time over the summer deciding which individuals to ask. They could send those emails over the summer or as the school year gets closer. Even early admission/early decision applications are not generally due before October, so this is something to keep in mind if your student waits until summer to ask for recommendations.

There are also a few things for your teen to consider when choosing a letter writer. Here are a few tips to keep in mind:

  • If submitting more than one letter, go for variety. For example, choose a teacher and a supervisor for a part-time job.

  • If applying to a specific academic program, consider a teacher in a related subject. A student planning to become a doctor might ask the science or math teacher, especially if they persevered and flourished in that class.

  • When considering good letter writer candidates, don’t forget about class enjoyment. Did your student find the subject challenging but fulfilling? Make sure their growth in the time they have known the teacher is evident.

The recommendation letter process is around the corner. If you’re reading this article and thinking, “Does my student even know any teachers or mentors?”, it’s a good time to plant the seed. In high school, your student should establish relationships with teachers early. Encourage them to go into office hours, reach out for help, participate in class, and get to know the teacher as best as they can.

The letter of recommendation can be a great boost to your student’s college application. Remind your student of this so they can lay the groundwork for an excellent endorsement from a qualified mentor in their life.

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Tips for Your Students Who Need Summer Tutoring Do you have a few students who had some difficulties this year? There’s no question that the school year has not been easy for many, but the good news is that you can help your students by encouraging them to get summer tutoring help.

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Wed, 05 May 2021 13:54:47 -0400 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/tips-for-students-who-need-summer-tutoring https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/tips-for-students-who-need-summer-tutoring Huntington Learning Center Huntington Learning Center Do you have a few students who had some difficulties this year? There’s no question that the school year has not been easy for many, but the good news is that you can help your students by encouraging them to get summer tutoring help.

Here are a few tips to offer students and their parents as you wrap up the school year:

  • Let students know that no problem is too great to overcome. The year has brought unprecedented challenges, and you may have students who are trying, but their effort doesn’t show, and others who have become disengaged completely. No matter the situation, students need to hear from you that things will get better, and summer is a chance to turn things around. Positivity goes a long way.
  • Individualized help is best. One size does not fit all, and if a student had a hard time keeping up in the classroom, they will find the most success and improvement with a tutoring program that is customized to their specific needs.
  • Share that next year is a new chapter. That means that summer break is the best time for students to address learning issues, acquire any missing skills, get back on track with organization and time management, and feel good about themselves again.
  • Remind parents of the urgency. If you’re in contact with parents, let them know that while summer is a time to recharge the batteries, it’s also important that they don’t let COVID learning loss merge with summer learning loss. Students who have fallen behind this year need help so that problems do not become worse next year.

Summer tutoring help from Huntington can make a big difference in your students’ lives. Refer parents to us and we would be happy to help their children. We work with students of all ages to help them rebuild confidence, discover their motivators, and find lasting school success, using our proven one-to-one approach.

Parents can call 1-800 CAN LEARN to hear more about our customized learning programs.

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Students Can Travel ‘Anywhere’ They Want To Go with Huntington Learning Center’s 2021 Summer Reading Adventure Let the adventure begin! It's time to grab your passports and join Huntington for a summer-long journey where we let our imaginations run wild, and catch up on some of that reading we missed during this crazy school year. Stay on track to be reading at grade level this fall, and have FUN doing it! Reading Adventure is free and open to all families!

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Tue, 04 May 2021 21:00:16 -0400 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/huntington-learning-center-reading-adventure-2021-launches https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/huntington-learning-center-reading-adventure-2021-launches Huntington Learning Center Huntington Learning Center Huntington Learning Center, the nation's leading tutoring and test prep provider, announced the launch of its annual Reading Adventure titled ‘Anywhere you want to go!’ beginning on May 3rd and running through August. The Reading Adventure program is designed to keep kids engaged in reading during the summer months to avoid the potential effects of the ‘Summer Slide’ while sparking their imaginations to travel far and wide.

Reading Adventure takes place from May through August via participating Huntington Learning Centers nationwide and everyone is welcome to participate regardless of if you are a current Huntington student! This year Huntington is excited to share its suggested reading list and local centers can partner with schools and libraries to ignite a love of reading adventure.

"Huntington's Reading Adventure is our way of keeping students on track with grade-level reading skills during the summer months. After a challenging academic year that saw an increased risk of learning loss due to the global pandemic, we believe it’s more important than ever to keep kids engaged in learning through the summer months. It’s also important to make it fun,” said Anne Huntington Sharma, President of Huntington Learning Center. “Our Reading Adventure program is aimed at supporting skills as well as helping students develop a love for reading."

The Reading Adventure theme "Anywhere You Want to Go!" guides children to unlock limitless imagination, travel back in time or to distant lands, learn about real or fictional characters, and have some fun.

Students can enjoy filling their passports with titles from Huntington’s recommended reading lists in addition to books individual school districts and libraries are promoting this summer.

Readers also have the chance to win a gift card each week simply by following #HuntingtonReadingAdventure on social media and posting a quick recap of the book they're reading. Each post will be entered into a random drawing on Friday of each week and a winner will receive the prize.

To join the Reading Adventure, parents are encouraged to sign their students up by visiting  https://huntingtonhelps.com/reading-adventure to receive their summer passport!

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How Important is the College Admission Essay Right Now? The SAT/ACT have been made optional by many colleges and universities. Many colleges have adjusted their deadlines and requirements. But what about the college admission essay? Is it still important?

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Wed, 05 May 2021 13:40:57 -0400 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/how-important-is-the-college-admission-essay-2021 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/how-important-is-the-college-admission-essay-2021 Huntington Learning Center Huntington Learning Center As every parent of a college-bound high school student knows right now, the last 14 months have been filled with change—and the college admission process has certainly seen its share of impact. The SAT/ACT have been made optional by many colleges and universities. Many colleges have adjusted their deadlines and requirements. But what about the college admission essay? Is it still important?

Short answer: yes! The college admission essay remains one of the factors that colleges consider when evaluating applicants. The most recent (2019) edition of the National Association for College Admission Counseling’s State of College Admission report even says that while grades and academic achievement top of the list of factors that college admission teams consider when evaluating candidates, the next highest factor is the admission essay.

Lots of students use the Common Application (used by nearly 900 colleges and universities), which includes essay prompts. For the 2021-2022 application cycle, there are seven essay prompts to choose from, but the Common Application has also included an optional COVID-19 and natural disaster question in the “Additional Information” section where students can describe the impact of recent events on them, their families and their learning environment.

If your student is applying to a school that requires or strongly suggests an essay, encourage your student to treat the process seriously. This is their chance to share more about who they are, what they have overcome, their future goals and so much more.

With summer coming up, now is a good time for students applying to colleges in fall 2021 and spring 2022 to start thinking about their college admission essay. Teachers can review students’ drafts over the summer and students can come into Huntington Learning Center for help. As your student begins to work on the essay, here are a few tips to share:

  1. Aim for authentic. The essay is intended to share who your student is “off paper.” Your student should be themselves, not strive to sound like the perfect candidate or student. Sincerity goes a long way.
  2. Brainstorm appropriately. Your student has lived 18 (give or take) years and has many experiences that have shaped them. The essay should not be undertaken without proper planning and thought. Remind your student that this is their opportunity to discuss what has made them who they are and why.
  3. Remember that every word counts. Every school has different word count requirements for essays, but there are always guidelines to follow. In other words, your student does not have unlimited space to ramble and veer off topic. Your student needs to use their words wisely and make sure every single sentence is tight, coherent and important.
  4. Stick to best practices. As mentioned, planning is critical for creating a compelling essay! Remind your student to follow a detailed plan that looks something like this:
    • Build a timeline that includes first draft, teacher review, revision time, second draft, revision time, final draft, editing and proofing.
    • Treat the brainstorming process as part of the writing process. Your student shouldn’t “wing it” when choosing what to write about and diving into the writing.
    • When editing, make sure the essay addresses the prompt, is not generic, has no errors, leaves an impression, has a strong conclusion and paints the student in an accurate light.

Many students turn to Huntington over summer for help with their college admission essays and overall applications. If your student needs help editing or is struggling to get started, call us! We’ll work with your student to improve those writing skills so they can create a great college admission essay.

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Eight Ways to Support Your Child’s Reading Habit Developing reading habits among children takes persistence and patience on parents’ part. And with reading playing such an important role in a child’s education, Huntington Learning Center says that the effort is definitely worth it.

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Tue, 27 Apr 2021 17:52:58 -0400 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/eight-ways-to-support-your-childs-reading-habit https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/eight-ways-to-support-your-childs-reading-habit Huntington Learning Center Huntington Learning Center Developing reading habits among children takes persistence and patience on parents’ part. And with reading playing such an important role in a child’s education, Huntington Learning Center says that the effort is definitely worth it.

“Reading is indeed something children can enjoy throughout their lives, but it’s essential in school as well.” Huntington offers several strategies for a reading habit that will help your child develop this critical skill:

  1. Make time for reading. From a young age, encourage your child to read before bedtime. It’s a relaxing nightly ritual and one that your child will learn to appreciate as life and school grow more hectic.
  2. Help your child research the best books to start reading. The more your child enjoys reading, the more he or she will be motivated to do it. If your child hasn’t discovered a type of book he or she loves, keep looking. Get a librarian’s help too.
  3. Keep reading during summer breaks. When the last bell of the school year rings, some children stop reading for three months. Don’t let your child get out of the reading habit. Adjust the habit for summer break—maybe nightly reading becomes lunchtime reading, or you can establish a family post-dinner routine of reading together on the patio.
  4. Start a book club. Help your child start a book club with his or her friends, or do a parent-child book club with a few friends and their parents. Talking about books with others is a big part of the fun for many young readers. Book clubs give them the opportunity to relate books to real life and share something with peers.
  5. Keep going to the library. The library has evolved a lot in the digital age, but it continues to be a great gateway to literacy for children of all ages. Encourage your child to explore the library’s other types of reading material beyond books and get involved with events like book clubs and summer reading programs.
  6. Take the Reading Adventure*. Speaking of summer reading programs, get your child involved with Huntington’s Reading Adventure program. We choose age- and skill-appropriate books for children of all ages and abilities, and children fill out reading “passports” as they finish books.
  7. Create a home library. Help your child start a collection of favorite and to-be-read books. Give books as gifts and make regular outings to your local bookstores. Be sure to check out used bookstores and the bargain bins at chain bookstores.
  8. Be a good influence. Your child will take your suggestion to read more seriously if you practice what you preach. Research and find books you enjoy and make time for reading in your own life. Share with your child what you like about your latest book.

Children who develop the reading habit early are most likely to continue reading, but it’s never too late to become a reader. “At Huntington, we often see children who once hated reading become avid readers once they overcome challenges and build those reading skills. That transformation that results from individualized, caring instruction is powerful and can help a child fulfill their potential not only as a reader, but a student.”

For more ideas on developing reading habits or to learn how Huntington can help your child conquer any difficulties in reading, contact Huntington at 1-800 CAN LEARN.

 

Reading Adventure is a yearly Huntington Learning Center program launching May 2021.

 

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HUNTINGTON'S COLLEGE ADMISSION CALENDAR FOR HIGH SCHOOL JUNIORS AND SENIORS Spring is an important time for high school juniors and seniors planning to go to college – and Huntington has a 15-month college admissions calendar that guides juniors and seniors through the college journey.

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Tue, 27 Apr 2021 18:16:40 -0400 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/huntington-learning-center-college-admission-calendar-2021 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/huntington-learning-center-college-admission-calendar-2021 Huntington Learning Center Huntington Learning Center Spring is an important time for high school juniors and seniors planning to go to college – and Huntington has a 15-month college admissions calendar that guides juniors and seniors through the college journey. “Parents and their students have a lot to keep track of, so this checklist is good to keep on hand starting junior year,” says Eileen Huntington of Huntington Learning Center. She encourages parents to share it with their students and mark the calendar for these important college admission milestones:

SEPTEMBER-DECEMBER, JUNIOR YEAR

  • The PSAT/NMSQT (National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test) is usually given in October of sophomore and junior year.
  • Meet with your guidance counselor or Huntington Learning Center Director to decide which exam, the SAT or the ACT, is better to take.
  • Some students take the SAT or ACT in the fall of their junior year, while others wait until spring to test for the first time.
  • Take an exam prep course with Huntington (14-hour programs for one subject, 32-hour programs for all subjects, and premier programs available) at least 6-8 weeks prior to your testing date.

 

JANUARY-FEBRUARY, JUNIOR YEAR

  • Sign up to take the SAT (March, May, June, August) and/or ACT (April, June, July) in the spring/summer.
  • Take an exam prep course with Huntington (14-hour programs for one subject, 32-hour programs for all subjects, and premier programs available) at least 6-8 weeks prior to your testing date.
  • Meet with the guidance counselor to stay apprised of all college deadlines and plan courses for senior year, including Advanced Placement (AP) courses, if possible.

 

MARCH, JUNIOR YEAR

  • Start researching scholarships online and through the guidance counseling office.
  • Research pre-college programs or classes if interested.
  • Keep preparing for the SAT/ACT.

 

APRIL - MAY, JUNIOR YEAR

  • Keep preparing for the SAT/ACT.
  • Prep with Huntington for upcoming Advanced Placement (AP) exams.
  • Plan to visit colleges over the summer (or at a minimum, do some college research).
  • Contact colleges of interest to learn what preview programs they have for students during the summer before beginning senior year.

 

SUMMER BEFORE SENIOR YEAR

  • Take the SAT/ACT again to raise scores.
  • Visit and research colleges.
  • Research college scholarships and start taking note of requirements and deadlines.
  • Start working on admissions and scholarship essays.

 

SEPTEMBER, SENIOR YEAR

  • Pay attention to any early action/early decision deadlines (often as early as mid-October).
  • Pay attention to any scholarship application deadlines (often between October and March).
  • Request letters of recommendation needed for scholarships and applications.

 

OCTOBER, SENIOR YEAR

  • Pay attention to regular college application deadlines (often as early as January 1st).
  • Submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) on or after October 1st to apply for federal, state, and college-sponsored financial aid.
  • Retake the SAT/ACT one final time in the fall if you are planning to do so.

 

NOVEMBER, SENIOR YEAR

  • If you are applying regular decision, start assembling everything needed for applications and make sure to request materials from your school with plenty of notice (such as transcripts and letters of recommendation).
  • Keep an eye out for the Student Aid Report (SAR), which will come by email or mail.

 

DECEMBER, SENIOR YEAR

  • Double-check any college checklists to stay aware of all upcoming deadlines.
  • Review all financial aid materials you receive from colleges.

 

JANUARY – FEBRUARY, SENIOR YEAR

  • Finish and submit any final college applications.
  • Finish and submit any final scholarship applications.

 

MARCH – APRIL, SENIOR YEAR

  • Make sure all college application materials are submitted.
  • Keep an eye out for acceptance letters and other information.
  • Make a pros/cons list of each college and start getting serious about the college decision.

 

MAY, SENIOR YEAR

  • Choose a college and notify them of the decision (some might require a decision before May 1, but not all).

 

JUNE, SENIOR YEAR

  • Celebrate and plan for the future!

 

Huntington reminds parents that if their students need help navigating the college process, they can call Huntington. “We can help students raise their GPAs, understand the college process, prepare for the SAT and ACT, and much more,” she says. Call 1-800 CAN LEARN to discuss your student’s needs and Huntington’s services for college-bound students.

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Can Students Get Internships in High School – and What Kind? You’ve heard of internships in college, but what about internships in high school? What kinds of internships are out there? College certainly offers more types of internships, but there are still a variety of internships that your high school student should consider.

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Fri, 09 Apr 2021 04:00:01 -0400 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/can-high-school-students-get-internships https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/can-high-school-students-get-internships Huntington Learning Center Huntington Learning Center You’ve heard of internships in college, but what about internships in high school?

They do exist, and they are worthwhile! Internships help students learn about different careers, experience the workplace setting for themselves, teach them how to build professionalism and people skills, and so much more. Plus, as your student moves toward going to college, internships are excellent resume-builders.

What kinds of internships are out there? College certainly offers more types of internships, but there are still a variety of internships that your high school student should consider. Here’s an overview of the types of experiences for which your student might qualify:

Nonprofit internships:

Many organizations offer services to different groups of people for little to no cost. Working as an intern for such an organization presents a win-win solution wherein your student gains valuable experience and the nonprofit gains some extra hands. A nonprofit internship could provide your student a wider range of experiences too.

Cooperative experiences:

Some high schools offer programs to juniors and seniors to expose them to different career possibilities while still earning high school credit. The idea is to blend hands-on learning with classroom experience. A high school guidance counselor would know, so have your student inquire about these types of programs.

Summer internships:

Probably the most popular type of internship is the summer internship, from summer research experiences for budding scientists to engineering apprenticeships to cybersecurity programs that have students delve into this growing field. It just takes some digging to find these opportunities, so have your student go online to see what’s available.

Service-learning experiences:

Many high school students are still figuring out what they want to study in college, so getting an internship in a specific career area might feel premature. Service-learning, which combines community service with defined learning experiences, during spring, fall, and summer breaks is a good way to get hands-on experience and learn about different areas of the country or places in the world.

Where can your student find internships? Here are a few tips for how to approach the search:

  • Talk to the guidance counseling office.
  • Check out colleges nearby.
  • Call local businesses.
  • Ask family friends with businesses if they would consider a high school intern.
  • Search online for national and local programs.

With good grades and high SAT and ACT scores, your student’s resume will only be strengthened by an internship experience in high school. This is a great way to learn more about an area of interest that could be a potential college major and build valuable work experience. Encourage your student to explore what’s out there.

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Four Ways Students Can De-Stress and Maintain Their Mental Health Here are four suggestions you can make to help your students navigate the ups and downs of school as well as the added pressures of the current climate.

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Wed, 07 Apr 2021 04:00:02 -0400 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/four-ways-students-can-de-stress-for-mental-health-2021 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/four-ways-students-can-de-stress-for-mental-health-2021 Huntington Learning Center Huntington Learning Center Let’s face it: times continue to be stressful for many students. Here are four suggestions you can make to help your students navigate the ups and downs of school as well as the added pressures of the current climate:

  1. Refresh the routine. Routine is important and has fallen by the wayside for many during the last year. Remind your students that structure and consistency (with sleep and day-to-day activities) will minimize stress in their lives. Reinforce a good routine in your classroom, even when you’re teaching remotely.
  2. Encourage collaboration. One of the hardest parts of the last 14 months for many students has been the continued isolation. Find ways to get students connecting and working together when feasible.
  3. Remind students to step away from screens. The amount of screen time students have this year is overwhelming. Encourage students and their parents to limit computer time, since it can have an adverse effect on mental health.
  4. Tell students about school resources. Sometimes, students need support from professionals – this year especially. Let your students know about the counseling and support services that are available through school, whether they’re feeling anxious, sad, withdrawn, or all of the above. Remind them that you’re available to talk, too.

Lastly, the best thing you can do for your students right now is show understanding and patience. Now more than ever, students and their families will appreciate that you empathize with what they’re going through and recognize that they might be struggling in a multitude of ways. Taking that approach will ease your students’ worries and stress and remind them that no problem is too great to overcome.  

If Huntington can help, call us at 1-800 CAN LEARN.

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CLOSE ANY SKILL GAPS BEFORE THE END OF THE SCHOOL YEAR Are school challenges getting your student down? With the end of the school year in sight, many are looking toward summer break with excitement—but it’s important that you make sure your student finishes the school year strong. And that means closing any skill gaps.

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Tue, 27 Apr 2021 18:10:20 -0400 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/close-skills-gaps-before-school-ends-2021 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/close-skills-gaps-before-school-ends-2021 Dr. Raymond Huntington Dr. Raymond Huntington Are school challenges getting your student down? With the end of the school year in sight, many are looking toward summer break with excitement—but it’s important that you make sure your student finishes the school year strong. And that means closing any skill gaps.

Here are signs that students need help sooner than later:

  • They’re apathetic. They’ve given up entirely. Grades have worsened throughout the year and your student doesn’t seem to care. If you notice them talking negatively about school, or that they have stopped talking about school (and they used to), it’s a big red flag.
  • They’re distracted. The remote/hybrid school year has proven difficult for lots of students, but an unintended side effect of all this computer time for some is attention difficulties. If your student had trouble with this before and it seems worse than ever, it’s time to get help.
  • They’re angry. On the other side of the attitude spectrum is a student who is negative and angry more than usual. Watch for mood swings like this because they might stem from school challenges.
  • Homework trouble is nightly. Homework reinforces or extends classwork. When a student wrestles with homework on a regular basis and most homework sessions result in tears or serious frustration, it’s a sign that they’re not understanding class material.

If you know your student needs help, keep in mind that it isn’t too late. The school year is wrapping up, but your student’s learning should never stop. And if your child has struggled this year, there is no benefit in waiting to get them the help they need. With many states resuming standardized testing after a one-year reprieve, the snapshot of your student’s school performance might not look as you expect. You can help them get back on track—with Huntington.

Huntington programs are customized to each individual student—so, your child will receive the individualized help they need based on an academic evaluation of their strengths and weaknesses. That means if your child is struggling in math but doing well in reading, a learning program will be created that meets your child where they are. That program of instruction will address learning and subject-specific problems and make sure your child continues to succeed in subjects where they’re already doing well.

Call Huntington at 1-800 CAN LEARN to discover how our highly trained tutors can help your student become a stronger, happier student and close any of the learning gaps that appeared or widened during the last 13 months. We understand how difficult it is to see your child’s self-esteem diminish. We’ll help your student turn things around before the next school year.

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Five Test-Taking Tips for the SAT and ACT Spring and summer are prime SAT and ACT seasons. How can your student succeed on these important exams? By preparing, of course! here are several test-taking tips that will help your student achieve their best score.

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Fri, 02 Apr 2021 04:00:01 -0400 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/five-test-taking-tips-for-the-sat-and-act-2021 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/five-test-taking-tips-for-the-sat-and-act-2021 Huntington Learning Center Huntington Learning Center Spring and summer are prime SAT and ACT seasons, with many juniors preparing to take one or both of these exams for the first time, and many seniors signing up for one last chance to raise their scores before applying to colleges in the fall.

How can your student succeed on these important exams? By preparing, of course! Aside from studying the content (and focusing on areas where your student needs improvement), here are several test-taking tips that will help your student achieve their best score:

  1. Strengthen time management. The SAT and ACT are timed exams, so every second counts. One of the most important elements of success on either exam is the ability to manage one’s time. Your student should be familiar with the sections of the exam and what to expect as far as question types and approximate amount of time to be spent per question. That also means leaving time at the end to review the exam to ensure no questions were missed or skipped.
  2. Learn to narrow down answer choices. Your student should spend time studying different question types to start recognizing the kinds of answers that can be eliminated. For example, with multiple-choice questions, there are often answer choices that are obviously wrong because they contain words like “always” or “never.”
  3. Get better at focusing. If your student struggles to tune out distractions, it’s time well spent to learn how to concentrate in a high-pressure, test-taking setting. This takes repeated practice, so remind your student that taking multiple practice exams can be very valuable.
  4. Learn how to stay cool under pressure. Stress management is a key part of test-taking success, so remind your student to find ways to get and stay calm. That regimen could include positive self-talk, positive visualization, meditation, and deep breathing to still the mind.
  5. Write down important information before starting. A tried-and-true test-taking tip is to jot down essential facts and formulas as soon as an exam begins. The pneumonic device your student uses to recall an important math formula is taking up brain space, so writing those things down when the proctor says, “Begin,” is a good idea.

Last but not least, remind your student that while the SAT and ACT are important and can bolster a college application, their results are intended to help, not hurt. This year, many institutions moved to “test-optional,” which means that presenting SAT and ACT scores with college applications is not required – but it is still a good idea. Make sure your student has the right mindset about these tests. They are an opportunity to show your student’s strengths and override a GPA that might have been negatively affected by the challenging events of the last year.

If your student needs help, call Huntington! We’ll assess your student’s strengths and weaknesses, work with your student on building the skills mentioned in this blog, and help them become a more confident test-taker. With the best possible scores on the SAT and ACT, your teen’s college and scholarship options will expand tremendously. Let Huntington be your student’s guide!

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Four Ways Your Student Can Make the Most of Spring Break Spring break is coming up fast! Today the Huntington Learning Center blog shares four ways that you can help your student make the most of their time off.

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Mon, 29 Mar 2021 12:23:59 -0400 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/four-ways-students-can-maximize-spring-break-2021 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/four-ways-students-can-maximize-spring-break-2021 Anne Huntington Sharma - HLC President Anne Huntington Sharma - HLC President Spring break is that time of year that every student perennially looks forward to. Of course, this year travel and activities might look different; nevertheless, fun can be had. Perhaps it includes a week to travel, or time with friends; possibly going to the movies or the mall, or simply sleep until noon every day. Even though spring break can be a great time to rest and reset, it can also be an opportune moment to start or continue your college search, add an extracurricular to your resume, or even to get ahead on some assignments. Here are several ways that your student can make the most of their spring break this year.

 

Take a college visit - without leaving home.

Many parents and high school students set aside the week of spring break as an opportunity to visit several universities that they might be considering attending. With campus closures and travel restrictions coming into play this year, however, in-person visits may no longer be possible - but that’s no reason to delay your visit. Instead, set up a 2 or 3-day “College Tour” with your student, creating an itinerary for your virtual visit just as you would a real college trip. Join a virtual campus tour or information session, jump into a live chat with current students, or speak with an academic advisor about the school’s program. This focused, and totally virtual approach allows you to cover a lot of ground - figuratively, that is - in the college search, without having to leave your home or take up your student’s entire time off.

 

Learn a new skill or get involved in your community.

Spring break this year will certainly look different from years past. Help your student beat the boredom (and beef up their college application in the meantime) by tapping into thousands of free online learning courses to hone a new skill, or by encouraging them to take part in virtual volunteering opportunities with local or worldwide organizations. You’d be surprised how much your student can accomplish in just a week! Encouraging your student to explore enrichment outside of the classroom not only helps keep their mind engaged and inspired, but it looks great on college applications and can be very rewarding for your student, too. In fact, they might even find it’s something they want to continue doing after the break!

 

Take the opportunity to catch up (or even get ahead!) - your future self will thank you.

If your student has been struggling in their classes, take the opportunity that the slower pace of spring break provides to catch up - on their own time. Talk to your local Huntington representative about how our tutoring and test prep programs can help your student catch up. If your student isn’t behind, that doesn’t mean they can’t take advantage of the moment, too. Connect with your student’s teacher about coming assignments - maybe there’s a research project they could get ahead on or a book they know they’ll be assigned to read when they return. Getting ahead - even by just a few chapters - can make easing back into class much smoother, and can help set your student up for greater success the rest of the year.

 

Take time to reset and renew.

While we love to encourage our Huntington students to use their free time to the fullest, we also know that this is a very challenging time for them all - academically, emotionally, and mentally. That’s why it’s so important to encourage your student to charge their batteries during this time off, too. If weather permits, encourage them to get outside, take a virtual fitness class, try a fun new recipe, or meet up with friends in a socially-distant way. Taking time to disconnect and have a little fun can go a long way in helping your student to reset and renew for the months ahead.

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What to Do if Your High School Student’s Grades Have Been Disrupted by COVID-19 If your student fell behind while schools were closed in 2020 and has struggled with remote and/or hybrid learning, it’s not too late to fix things. Here’s what your student should do to address any low grades and get back on track.

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Fri, 12 Mar 2021 05:00:01 -0500 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/grade-disruption-by-covid-19-2021 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/grade-disruption-by-covid-19-2021 Huntington Learning Center Huntington Learning Center Life is getting closer to going back to normal, but the impact of the coronavirus outbreak last year is still being felt by many students – perhaps yours.

If your student fell behind while schools were closed in 2020 and has struggled with remote and/or hybrid learning, it’s not too late to fix things. Here’s what your student should do to address any low grades and get back on track:

  • Talk openly with teachers about what your student needs to do now.

  • If grades are an issue, there’s a good chance your student is missing a number of skills that are preventing them from progressing in one or more subjects. With many schools going to pass/fail grading in spring 2020, some students fell behind and it went undetected. Your student might still be there, struggling (and/or failing) to keep up. It’s time to arrange conversations with teachers to talk about where your student is having the most trouble and what to do about it.
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  • Reassess the study skills.

  • If your student was a freshman when schools closed, they were probably just getting used to high school-level academics. Study habits may have gone by the wayside, and perhaps your student never got back to good practices. Even sophomores, juniors, and seniors with a little more experience might need to adjust the way they study if their grades have dipped. Check in with your student to see if those study habits are lacking and determine a way to fix them.
  •  
  • Rebuild a good routine.

  • “Routine” might be an unfamiliar word nowadays. It’s not ideal for students to bounce between in-person learning, asynchronous learning, and synchronous learning. If the constant change has taken a toll on your student’s ability to stay productive, focus, and actually complete schoolwork, they probably need help establishing good practices and figuring out how to be an efficient student, whether learning in a classroom or in front of the computer.
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  • Remind your student that no problem is too great to overcome.

  • If your student has had a hard time in school over the last year, it may be affecting their self-esteem. Be optimistic and let your student know that with your support and the support of teachers, your student can and will get back to being a capable, confident, and independent student once again.
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  • Get help.

  • This year has been uniquely challenging, and if your student has struggled, the best course of action is to get tutoring help. But remember: not just any tutoring will do. Your student needs a program of instruction that is designed to help your student regain lost skills and strengthen weaknesses, tailored to them. Poor grades in high school can hurt your student’s chances of admission to college. Don’t wait. Get help sooner than later so your student can come out of the COVID-19 slide a stronger, more resilient student.

Huntington can help your student overcome any problem areas and improve their grades. We offer individualized subject tutoring that is intended to help each student achieve their individual goals. We help students improve in reading, writing, math, science, and many other subjects and skills. Call 1-800 CAN LEARN to hear about our tutoring programs for high school students, including our SAT and ACT prep programs.

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Researching Colleges Without Travelling How can you and your student research colleges when it isn’t feasible to hop on a plane or in the car to visit? Here are a few tips.

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Tue, 09 Mar 2021 13:48:13 -0500 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/researching-colleges-without-travelling-2021 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/researching-colleges-without-travelling-2021 Huntington Learning Center Huntington Learning Center In a normal year, high school juniors are quite busy during the spring, taking the SAT or ACT, sitting for Advanced Placement exams, and planning ahead to do some serious college research over their final summer of high school.

But summer 2021 is still uncertain, and for various reasons, your family might not be comfortable or able to travel yet for college visits – not to mention, many colleges still might not allow prospective students to visit campuses this summer. How can you and your student research colleges when it isn’t feasible to hop on a plane or in the car to visit? Here are a few tips:

Do as much as possible online.

For now, have your student research their top-choice schools on their list by visiting each college’s website. The admissions section will offer useful information about applying, but your student should also make sure to look over other important sections such as:

  • The About section
  • The Campus/Student Life section
  • Any club/activities pages that interest your student
  • Department- or school-specific pages

Find out what “virtual tour” alternatives colleges suggest for those who want to visit.

Universities and colleges have adapted in today’s environment, and it’s likely that they have a number of ways to explore their institutions without physically going there. Many colleges have created virtual tours of the campus for students, and some even offer live Zoom tours from current students and staff for something more interactive.

Check out other virtual events and activities.

In addition to virtual tours, most colleges and universities have a number of opportunities for students to navigate the college search process while social distancing. Make sure your student explores offerings that help students get to know schools such as:

  • Online information sessions
  • Live webinars about everything from different fields of study to campus life
  • Q&As with current students
  • Video chats with admissions counselors and academic representatives
  • Get-to-know-you videos about parts of college life and the admission process

Talk to current students or alumni.

Older siblings, older siblings of friends, or even students from your student’s high school who are in college now are great resources for an “on-the-ground” review of what a college is actually like. Certainly, the 2020-2021 school year has been anything but typical for college freshmen, but your student would be wise to talk to students at the colleges they are considering. Guidance counselors and admission officers at each college might be able to help arrange those conversations if there’s nobody in your circle of family and friends for your student to connect with easily.

As the coronavirus vaccine becomes more widely distributed throughout the year, your student will probably have the chance to visit schools in-person, but for now, there are options. Encourage your student to take advantage of the virtual tours and other content that colleges are offering. When it is practical to go on tours again, your student will have a good amount of research finished already, which will make their decision easier.

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Tips to Offer Parents for Helping Their Children with Math Remind your students’ parents that they don’t have to be mathematicians to help their children through math homework. Here are a few ways they can be effective.

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Wed, 03 Mar 2021 14:51:35 -0500 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/tips-to-offer-parents-helping-with-math-2021 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/tips-to-offer-parents-helping-with-math-2021 Huntington Learning Center Huntington Learning Center You’ve heard it before from parents: “I can’t help my child with math…I’m not good at it, either!” Remind your students’ parents that they don’t have to be mathematicians to help their children through math homework. Here are a few ways they can be effective:

  • Have children walk them through homework problems. Math is a subject in which it is easy to make careless mistakes. When children get answers wrong, parents should have them take them through the problems step by step.
  • Encourage writing down questions. If math becomes too advanced for Mom or Dad to help, parents can still serve as a sounding board and nudge their children to write down what exactly they don’t understand. Then, children can bring those questions to you for a more productive and focused conversation.
  • Ask about other strategies. In math, there are often multiple ways to do problems. Parents can offer alternatives if they have any they know well, but more effective would be to ask their children to share how else a problem might be solved and what they discovered when attempting the problem that way.
  • Use other examples. Parents can have their children go back to examples that teachers went over in class when struggling with homework. If a worksheet was based on problems covered in a textbook, it might be eye-opening for children to show parents how those problems worked and use them to figure out the ones they’re working on.
  • Suggest calling a classmate. Especially for middle and high school students, sometimes the best way to get help is to call a classmate. Parents should encourage this when it makes sense and their children feel comfortable doing so, as it can often be a quick way to get help.

As math becomes more difficult, many parents feel concerned when their children struggle because they’re not equipped to help. If you have a student who needs outside-the-classroom instruction and is also missing skills, refer them to Huntington. We’ll design a customized tutoring program to get them back on track, no matter what level of math their children are taking.

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Behind the Scenes of How Children Learn to Read A large focus in the life of parents with young children is helping them learn how to ready. While this may sound straightforward, the art of learning how or teaching to read is actually a rather complex process for children and parents alike.

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Wed, 03 Feb 2021 16:09:51 -0500 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/how-children-learn-to-read https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/how-children-learn-to-read Dr. Raymond Huntington Dr. Raymond Huntington If you are the parent of a young child, a big focus of your academic efforts right now is helping your child learn how to read. And while the process might seem simple, reading is a complex, multi-step process. It starts with the very basic teaching that certain symbols represent sounds, and those symbols—called letters—are grouped together to make other sounds. But reading quickly becomes more complicated, and it is important that early readers receive the right instruction.

What should that instruction look like? Here’s an overview of the basics of how children learn to read:

Systematic phonics

EdWeek shares that the National Reading Panel found that systematic phonics instruction leads to the “greatest gains in reading accuracy for young students.” That’s when students are taught the progression of letter-sound correspondences in a methodical way. Teachers help students understand the relationship between written symbols and their sounds.

Decoding

The next step toward mastering reading is decoding when children use small words or word units to figure out larger words. Learning to decode helps students recognize root words, prefixes and suffixes (for example, at is in cat and bat).

Phonemic awareness

Phonemes are the smallest units that make up spoken language, and they combine to make syllables and words. To learn to read, young children must learn to recognize the differences in sounds and break words apart into their phonemes. For example, pan is made up of the p, a and n sounds. It’s important that they recognize that some phonemes have multiple sounds, such as c, which can make a hard c sound or an s sound.

Fluency

Reading fluency is the ability to read with speed and expression without compromising accuracy. It comes with practice and of course relies upon the ability to recognize words on sight without having to sound them out part by part.

Comprehension

It goes without saying: children need to be able to understand what they read. Your child should be able to read a passage or chapter, answer questions about the who, what, when, where and why, make predictions about what might happen next, and summarize. Vocabulary development is an important part of comprehension.

There's More

There are other pieces to the reading acquisition puzzle, of course, such as the memorization of high-frequency words that appear often in texts and learning to identify letter patterns and recognize them when decoding unfamiliar words. It’s also important that children understand sentence structure and punctuation in order to get the context of that which they read.

Reading takes instruction and practice to master and it doesn’t come easily to everyone. When children have trouble with reading, it could be that they are missing important building blocks of reading and need focused guidance to rebuild those missing skills.

If your child needs to improve reading skills, Huntington can help. Call 1-800 CAN LEARN to hear more about our individualized reading instruction programs and how we can help your child boost these important skills as well as his or her confidence.

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Huntington Learning Center Celebrates Read Across America Day 2021 At Huntington Learning Center, we believe that strong reading and comprehension skills play a vital part in every facet of children’s education - not just in humanities classes, but in science and math as well. That’s why, on Read Across America Day, we’re encouraging parents and children to make reading together a daily habit.

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Tue, 02 Mar 2021 10:15:59 -0500 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/huntington-learning-center-celebrates-read-across-america-day-2021 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/huntington-learning-center-celebrates-read-across-america-day-2021 Anne Huntington Sharma - HLC President Anne Huntington Sharma - HLC President Growing up in the Huntington house, reading was a big part of our daily routine. From splitting up the newspaper sections in the morning to discovering new facts about the world, to ending the day with a few chapters at bedtime, my parents always encouraged reading.

These days, our family reading consists more of expansion proposals and franchisee training materials, but I have fond childhood memories. And, now my husband and I, in the Sharma house, make a point to relax and read for pleasure, especially on the weekends.

At Huntington Learning Center, we believe that strong reading and comprehension skills play a vital part in every facet of children’s education - not just in humanities classes, but in science and math as well. That’s why, on Read Across America Day, we’re encouraging parents and children to make reading together a daily habit. One great way to do this is to set aside 30 minutes of reading time as a family each day, and alternate who gets to choose that day’s reading. Whether it’s a novel, a magazine, or even a comic book, reading regularly helps your children expand their vocabularies and promote a rich understanding of language.

Parents can also encourage reading by tapping into their children’s hobbies and interests, which is an especially great strategy if your children may not be drawn to reading. Do you have an aspiring chef in the home? Choose a recipe together and have your child read it aloud while you make it together. Thinking about starting a backyard garden this summer? Encourage your child to research what kinds of plants grow well in your climate, then go to the store together and have them select the seeds to use. There are many fun ways to engage children in reading that do not involve sitting at a desk - or even opening a book!

Huntington offers a variety of great programs and fun ways to keep children excited about reading, including our free summer Reading Adventure program. Our individualized academic programs are great ways to build skills, confidence and motivation. Our programs have a proven track record to help children improve their reading and math levels by over two grade levels on average. Visit HuntingtonHelps.com for more information, and we hope you enjoy reading together as a family!

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Will Test-Optional College Admissions Stick Around Forever? Schools that embrace test-optional admission policies make standardized tests optional for freshmen applicants. In other words, students do not need to submit SAT/ACT scores to be considered for admission.

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Mon, 25 Jan 2021 12:39:49 -0500 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/test-optional-duration-2021 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/test-optional-duration-2021 Huntington Learning Center Huntington Learning Center If you’re the parent of a high school student, you may have at least heard the term “test-optional” in the last year. Schools that embrace test-optional admission policies make standardized tests optional for freshmen applicants. In other words, students do not need to submit SAT/ACT scores to be considered for admission.

How COVID-19 Affected Testing and Admissions

To make things easier, many colleges and universities announced in 2020 that they would not use test scores to make 2020-2021 admission decisions. In fact, the National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC) published a list of institutions—including some non-NACAC member institutions—that have stated they will not need standardized test scores or penalize students for the absence of them in admission decisions.

Instead, the colleges stated that they “endorse a student-centered, holistic approach to admission that will not disadvantage any student without a test score.”

Test-Optional Doesn’t Mean Test Blind

While many colleges are temporarily (or permanently) test-optional, it doesn’t mean that they are test blind (i.e., they won’t consider test scores even if submitted). Test optional is different in that schools will consider test scores of students who submit them.

This means that if students choose to submit test scores, test-optional schools will consider them as part of the admission process. As Boston College puts it, “for those students who do submit standardized testing results, we will use the scores as one component in our holistic review of applications.”  In other words, submitting strong test scores could prove helpful.

Will Some Schools Stick to Test-Optional?

Short answer: yes. In May 2020, the University of California system voted to suspend SAT and ACT testing requirements for many students through 2024 (for its 10 schools) and eliminate them for California students by 2025.

Some schools will be permanently test-optional going forward, such as Davidson College and the University of Oregon. Others are choosing to be test blind and not review standardized test scores at all, such as the University of San Diego.

If a School Considers Scores, Students Should Submit Them

Test optional is a hot topic among parents and students right now but at Huntington, we believe that SAT and ACT scores are still important for several reasons:

  • GPA/grades may not be as accurate due to school closures in spring 2020 and a unique fall 2020. SAT/ACT scores help students prove their skills and knowledge and offer a more standardized measurement of performance.
  • Taking the SAT or ACT will open up more opportunities for scholarships and grants and will balance out a lower GPA.
  • Colleges and universities also use SAT/ACT scores to screen students for merit-based scholarships.
  • SAT/ACT scores are sometimes necessary for full admission into colleges or programs within a school.
  • And lastly, SAT/ACT scores can strengthen students’ application packages when applying to highly competitive schools.

Bottom Line: Colleges Appreciate Information

Colleges want as much information as possible about applicants during their holistic admission process. If SAT/ACT scores are available to them, they will consider them and it could certainly give your teen a leg up.

To learn more about the college admission process and how to help your teen prepare for college and the SAT/ACT, call Huntington at 1-800 CAN LEARN.

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Six Questions for Parents to Decide When Children Need Tutoring Help School isn’t easy for every child. For some, it brings periods of challenges; for others, it is a constant roller coaster of highs and lows. Huntington urges parents to take this six-question quiz to see whether the issues their children are experiencing require intervention sooner than later

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Tue, 26 Jan 2021 13:10:23 -0500 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/six-signs-to-decide-on-tutoring-2021 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/six-signs-to-decide-on-tutoring-2021 Huntington Learning Center Huntington Learning Center School isn’t easy for every child. For some, it brings periods of challenges; for others, it is a constant roller coaster of highs and lows. Eileen Huntington of Huntington Learning Center reminds parents that ups and downs are to be expected, but there are some warning signs to watch for. “We often tell parents that when it comes to school, many children will encounter bumps in the road, but certain problems are bigger and need attention,” she says. Huntington urges parents to take this six-question quiz to see whether the issues their children are experiencing require intervention sooner than later:

  1. Does your child take a long time on homework? Of course, low grades are a red flag, but if your child generally takes a very long time to do homework, there could be several things going on. Your child might be struggling to focus, listen and pay attention in school. Or, your child might be apathetic and not giving homework the time it deserves, distracted by other activities.
  2. Are grades inconsistent? One week, things are smooth sailing. The next, your child gets several Fs. Again, all bad grades are obviously problematic, but if there are times your child does well and times he or she seems to struggle a lot, it could be a sign of a learning issue.
  3. Does your child seem to have trouble getting started? Procrastination is the culprit of many school problems, but it can be mean different things. Some put off school work because they dread it, while others simply have weak work habits. If your child often avoids studying or doing homework until the last minute or is always “almost done,” there could be a deeper problem.
  4. Has your child’s attitude taken a turn for the worse? Not all children come home from school excited and happy, but if your child has recently transformed into someone you don’t recognize, there might be academic and non-academic challenges at play. Pay attention to mood swings, a lack of caring, acting out or attitude problems (in class and at home).
  5. Does your child (still) struggle with reading? Parents take for granted that reading is a skill that most students have down by late elementary school, but if your child struggled with it years ago and you sense that the problems are still present, talk with the teacher. Ask if your child seems to have a hard time in class. Reading is an essential building block. Don’t ignore it if your child’s reading/comprehension skills are weaker.
  6. Is your child’s work ethic poor? Does your child seem disorganized in just about every aspect of life, including keeping track of homework, keeping a tidy room/desk and paying attention to details? Sometimes it takes maturity to improve these poor habits, but other times it requires helping children strengthen basic study and executive functioning skills.

Parents who answer “yes” to two or more of the above questions should call Huntington. “The sooner parents recognize and take action on school problems, the better,” she says. “Rarely do major school issues go away on their own. Pay attention to your child’s school habits, especially this year when most students are doing at least some school from home, and reach out for help if you have concerns.” Call Huntington at 1-800 CAN LEARN to discuss how we can help your child become a better, more confident student.

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Teaching Early Readers: Two Approaches If you’re an early elementary school teacher, you know that there are multiple ways to teach young readers. Here are two of the most common, and the differences between them.

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Wed, 03 Feb 2021 16:23:29 -0500 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/teaching-early-readers-2021 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/teaching-early-readers-2021 Huntington Learning Center Huntington Learning Center If you’re an early elementary school teacher, you know that there are multiple ways to teach young readers. Here are two of the most common, and the differences between them (as described by Education Week):

Balanced literacy combines language instruction and language exploration and encourages student independence. In a balanced literacy classroom, teachers might use:

  • Word walls to organize words by initial letter sound and mix single-syllable, multi-syllable, regular, and irregular words.
  • Leveled reader books to introduce students to repeated words and predictable sentence structure. This helps students figure out unknown words through context and images.

With balanced literacy programs, students learn some phonics, but the emphasis is on getting students into books. Readers are taught to use cues to figure out words and whether words make sense in context. Using pictures, they are encouraged to guess words.

Phonics instruction involves helping students learn to identify written symbols (letters) and what those letters sound like, as well as the combinations of different letters. Teachers help students begin to understand the relationship between written symbols and their sounds. Teachers who teach phonics often use:

  • Sound walls to group words with similar sounds (e.g. words that contain the “ay” sound, like pay, gray, say, play; words that contain “at,” like cat, bat, that, fat).
  • Decodable books that have high-frequency words and sounds and repeat those sounds (e.g. sentences like He hit the ball on the wall and saw it fall).

With phonics instruction, the focus is on understanding the rules of sounds and sound patterns, and students are discouraged from using context to figure out words. Instead, readers practice letter patterns and learn rules (e.g. what long “a” vs. short “a” means) to help them figure out how words sound. This often involves breaking words into syllables and sounding things out.

What the Research Says

Most children do not intuitively connect printed letters on a page to written sounds and must be explicitly taught how to recognize that certain letters represent certain sounds. This tends to be a more successful long-term approach than when students are taught to remember whole words, even if it appears that children who connect print to meaning pick up reading faster.

While teaching reading may seem simple to parents, you know well that it is not. Research shows that effective reading instruction is orderly and rooted in systematic phonics instruction. The process dives into teaching letter and sound combinations and helping students master these combinations in sequence. Read more about the science behind how children learn to read.

If you have any students who are experiencing difficulties learning to reading, refer them to Huntington, where they will be in good hands. We’ll get to the bottom of any issues and develop a customized, one-on-one learning program to improve reading skills using our proven approach. Reading is the foundation upon which all learning is built. Let Huntington help your students establish solid reading ability that will carry them through school and life.

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Why Some Children Lack Motivation (and How Parents Can Help) If you’ve ever noticed your child seeming lethargic or unmotivated, you’re not alone. At Huntington, we see many reasons students lose motivation, but here are a few of the most common.

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Wed, 03 Feb 2021 16:23:54 -0500 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/how-to-help-motivate-children-2021 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/how-to-help-motivate-children-2021 Dr. Raymond Huntington Dr. Raymond Huntington If you’ve ever noticed your child seeming lethargic or unmotivated, you’re not alone. As children progress through school, sometimes they become fatigued, struggling to find the “why” behind certain subjects or assignments. At Huntington, we see many reasons students lose motivation, but here are a few of the most common:

  • Because they’re struggling. When a student has a hard time with a subject, it can be hard to keep up the work.
  • Because they don’t see the point. If a student doesn’t find a subject interesting or relevant, it’s easy to withdraw or decide that working on homework isn’t worthwhile.
  • Because they lack confidence. It happens often: a student starts to struggle, grades suffer, and the student declares, “I’ll never be good at this,” and gives up.

What can you do if you notice your child is struggling to motivate? Here are a few tips:

  • Encourage a routine. For many, sticking to a routine feels good and provides a sense of accomplishment. Make sure your child has a good routine and that you uphold it at home (especially if doing remote learning this year). It does make a difference in keeping the learning on task and giving the day good structure.
  • Let your child take charge. One of the most common mistakes well-intentioned parents make is doing too much for their children. If you’ve been guilty of motivating your child by stepping in too often, too much, stop now and let your child take the lead. School is your child’s responsibility—speak of it that way and make sure your actions follow suit. Be on hand for support, but don’t be the leader.
  • Talk about your child’s goals. We’re big proponents of goal setting at Huntington, and for good reason. Children who set short- and long-term goals tend to be more motivated, eager learners, and are more likely to try things because they want to, not because they have to. Setting goals gives your child something to work toward. So, talk with your child about the future…high school…college…this year. What does your child want to accomplish? Talk about how your child can get there.
  • Set a good example. Your child sees what you do and often emulates it. Give your words meaning by practicing what you preach. Take on a 30-book challenge (read 30 books before the end of 2021) in 2021 and invite your child to join you. Take that online class. Go for that promotion at work. Show your child that learning and growing are exciting and fun activities and you might find that the inspiration rubs off naturally.
  • Remind your child that not everything is fun. There will be many times that your child lacks motivation because something simply doesn’t sound enjoyable. That science homework holds no interest and your child just doesn’t want to do it. Rather than commiserate with your child that science is hard and boring, talk about its value and how your child has improved in the subject over time. Remind him or her that everything in life requires effort, and sometimes the best lessons come from situations that require effort and grit.

Last and definitely not least, help your child find success in school, as that’s a big factor in motivation. If your child is struggling, it’s understandably going to be that much more difficult to maintain motivation. When you notice your child lacking the drive to keep at it in school, call Huntington. We’ll get to the root of what might be causing your child to withdraw (or not try as hard as you know he or she can) and we’ll put a plan of action in place to get your child back on track. Call 1-800 CAN LEARN if your child needs a boost.

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College Board Eliminates SAT Essay, Discontinues SAT Subject Tests On January 19, 2021, the College Board announced that it will discontinue the SAT Subject Tests as well as the optional Essay on the SAT.

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Fri, 22 Jan 2021 12:44:41 -0500 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/college-board-eliminates-sat-essay-and-subject-tests-2021 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/college-board-eliminates-sat-essay-and-subject-tests-2021 Huntington Learning Center Huntington Learning Center Attention, parents of high school students! There’s a big change coming to the college entrance exam prep world that affects your teens. 

On January 19, 2021, the College Board announced that it will discontinue the SAT Subject Tests as well as the optional Essay on the SAT.

For more detailed information, read below.

No More Essay on the SAT

The SAT Essay, which is optional, will be discontinued after the June 2021 administration of the SAT. Here’s some of the fine print:

  • Students who are registered for an upcoming SAT with the optional Essay will be able to test through June 2021, or they may cancel the Essay portion of the SAT for no change fee.
  • After June 2021, the SAT Essay will only be available where it is required as part of SAT School Day administration dates. Every school is different, so students are encouraged to check with schools about whether the Essay will still be available.

Does this mean that writing will no longer be measured on the SAT? Not exactly. The College Board has said that it will continue to measure writing and editing throughout other sections of the exam.

The reason for discontinuing the optional SAT Essay is that students have other opportunities to prove their writing abilities. In their words, “this change simply streamlines the process for students who have other, more relevant opportunities to show they can write an essay as part of the work they’re already doing on their path to college.”

SAT Subject Tests are gone 

The SAT Subject Tests will no longer be offered in the United States effective immediately. By eliminating these tests, the College Board hopes to reduce the demands on students. However, since the SAT Subject Tests are used internationally for a wider variety of purposes, they will be available for two more administrations outside of the United States: May and June 2021. In addition:

  • U.S. students who are registered for any SAT Subject Tests will automatically have their registrations cancelled and fees refunded.
  • For students attending a college that typically accepts or requires any SAT Subject Tests, it is recommended that they check the colleges’ websites for the most up-to-date information about application policy changes.

An Enhanced Focus on AP Exams

The primary purpose behind SAT Subject Tests has always been to offer students an opportunity to exhibit certain subject-specific knowledge or offer up additional evidence of their strengths in certain areas. Since Advanced Placement tests are widely available, the College Board says that Subject Tests are simply no longer necessary. AP courses and exams fulfill this need and allow students to show their skills through challenging coursework (and exam scores in particular subject areas).

What Should Your Teen Do Now? 

If you have a college-bound high school student, it’s important that your teen prepares as much as possible for the SAT as well as any AP exams, as they are the best chance to display subject strengths outside his or her GPA. Higher test scores mean more college options.

Huntington can help. We’re up to speed on the latest changes to the SAT and how the elimination of the Essay Test might impact your teen. If writing is a strength, there are other ways your teen can highlight this, including the AP exam—and Huntington can help your teen prepare for AP exams too.

Call us at 1-800 CAN LEARN to find out more about our customized exam prep programs aimed to help students study effectively for these exams and to master skills covered in high school. By the time your teen is ready to apply to colleges, he or she will be armed with the best possible academic resume.

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SAT/ACT Update: January 2021 With the state of the SAT and ACT changing constantly these days, it’s time for an update for your college-bound teen. Here are the latest test dates and other news that you need to know as your teen prepares to navigate the college admission process.

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Mon, 25 Jan 2021 11:02:31 -0500 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/sat-act-test-updates-january--2021 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/sat-act-test-updates-january--2021 Huntington Learning Center Huntington Learning Center With the state of the SAT and ACT changing constantly these days, it’s time for an update for your college-bound teen. Here are the latest test dates and other news that you need to know as your teen prepares to navigate the college admission process.

SAT updates

  • The remaining 2020-2021 SAT dates are March-June. Test dates are March 13th, May 8th, and June 5th.
  • The second half of 2021 offers four test dates. Those are August 28th, October 2nd, November 6th, and December 4th.
  • Optional SAT essay eliminated in June 2021. The College Board announced in January 2021 that they are discontinuing the administration of the SAT optional Essay on National test dates after the June 2021 test. Students who are currently registered, or plan to register, for an upcoming SAT with Essay will still be able to test through the June 2021 administration. Students who prefer to cancel the optional Essay portion of their SAT can do so in their online account, with no change fees, until the registration deadline. After June 2021, the Essay will only be available in states where it’s required as part of SAT School Day administrations. Students scheduled to take the SAT on a school day should check with their school about whether the Essay will be included.
  • SAT Subject Tests will no longer be offered in the U.S. SAT Subject Testswill only be available for international students in May and June of 2021.  International students who are currently registered for, or plan to register for, an upcoming Subject Test outside the U.S. can still test through the June 2021 administration.  International students who no longer want to take Subject Tests can contact Customer Service to cancel and receive a refund. U.S. students who are currently registered for an upcoming Subject Test will automatically have their registration cancelled and fees refunded.
  • Test centers are still closing and making changes on short notice. Test center data is updated every few hours on the College Board website, so it’s important that students check before their exams to ensure scheduled test dates will be held and make sure the College Board has current contact information. The College Board even advises checking on test day.
  • Plans for an at-home SAT offering are on hold for now. In 2020, the College Board suggested that it would offer an at-home SAT, but those plans are on hold for the time being.
  • The College Board has asked colleges to extend deadlines for receiving test scores. Most aren't requiring test scores for the upcoming admissions cycle and are extending deadlines and/or accepting scores after deadlines for students who choose to submit them. Check individual colleges’ websites for the latest information and their policies.
  • Seating capacity will be limited. Public health restrictions vary from state to state, so some exam dates might have limited capacity. The College Board suggests continuing to log back in to My SAT for updated capacity information.

ACT updates

  • The remaining 2020-2021 ACT dates are February-July. Test dates are February 6th, April 17th, June 12th, and July 17th (except in NY).
  • The second half of 2021 test dates have yet to be confirmed. They are likely to be in September, October, and December.
  • Test dates may be cancelled. ACT will notify students of any test center closures or capacity reduction due to COVID-19. The company continues to add as much capacity as possible, but things do change, so students should check their emails leading up to test day.
  • ACT still hopes to launch an online testing option in 2021. Although not currently available, students will in the future be able to take the ACT on a computer, at an ACT national test center.
  • Remote proctoring is also coming. ACT has plans to allow students to take the test online, at home, or at other convenient locations in the near future.

It’s wise to keep checking the College Board and ACT websites for the most current information, but here are a few tips for guiding your teen this spring 2021.

  • Prep for an upcoming exam. Juniors should take the SAT or ACT for the first time in the spring, and now is the perfect time to get started on a targeted test prep program.
  • Keep working hard in school. No matter what happens with upcoming test dates, the best way for students to prepare for SAT and ACT success is to keep grades up in school and keep working hard.
  • Take the exam regardless of colleges’ policies. Most colleges and universities right now are making SAT and ACT scores an optional component of the overall application package, but there are still advantages to testing. If your teen earns strong scores, they can boost their application and qualify for scholarships – and counterbalance a lower GPA (especially if the disruptions of COVID-19 have taken a toll on school performance).

Huntington is the test prep leader! For more information about the SAT and ACT and our renowned test prep programs, contact us at 1-800 CAN LEARN.

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BUILDING A STRONG COLLEGE APPLICATION IN A CHALLENGING ACADEMIC YEAR The 2020-2021 school year has been challenging to say the least. With that in mind, it is important for students applying for college to remember that the admissions process is in full steam.

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Tue, 12 Jan 2021 12:45:58 -0500 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/building-a-strong-college-application-2021 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/building-a-strong-college-application-2021 Anne Huntington Sharma - HLC President Anne Huntington Sharma - HLC President This has been a very challenging school year for students, with so much uncertainty creeping into day-to-day routines. Although it may feel like our lives have been put on hold, it’s important to remember that the college admissions process is still in full swing. If your student is applying to college this year, don’t let the COVID slide impact any opportunities.

New data is coming out every day showing that our children’s education has been profoundly impacted this year by the move to online learning - and not in a good way. GPAs have slipped, failure rates are going through the roof, and learning loss is rampant. Many students haven’t been able to dedicate time or attention to studying for standardized admissions tests, and many who had planned to take one have found themselves faced with test-date cancellations. 

Low (or no) test scores, lower-than-hoped-for GPAs, and the day-to-day stress of the pandemic are all contributing to a very challenging time for students when it comes to the college admissions process. If your student falls into any of these categories, it’ll be more important than ever to lean into the supplemental areas of the applications in order to build a strong case for your student. 

College admissions representatives are telling us that while grades and standardized test scores are still important (and if your student has high grades and test scores, they should certainly highlight them in their application), schools will look more leniently at those areas. This provides a great opportunity to dedicate time to bolstering other areas of your application - including your essay, which is a critical component; personal and academic recommendations; and volunteer and extracurricular activities. 

When it comes to the essay, most students will likely be sharing the impact that the pandemic has had on them this year. It is, after all, the hallmark of 2020. Therefore, it’s critical that your student finds a way to make his or her experience stand out. Can they experiment with the tone of voice, or the format of the essay itself? Do they have a unique twist or story that will be memorable to the reader? To perfect the essay, dedicate an extra editing session or two to the process, and get a few trusted sets of eyes on it as well, to gain additional perspective. Huntington’s tutors are available to help with the essay process, from beginning to end. 

Most college applications require anywhere from one to four letters of recommendation, typically written by representatives from your school such as teachers and counselors. We recommend students put recommendation requests in sooner rather than later. Many educators are finding themselves spread thin with the demands of remote teaching, so giving them some extra time may help them deliver a stronger recommendation on your student’s behalf. This year is a great time to go above and beyond with more recommendations; so, don’t be afraid to gather one to three additional ones from coaches, supervisors at a part-time job, volunteer supervisors, etc. Anyone who knows your student well and can speak to their strengths can be an asset to their application.

While many in-person extracurriculars have largely been cancelled this year, your student can still showcase how they spent their time to positively contribute to their community, to their school, or even just to their own personal growth. Did they pursue any creative hobbies? Get involved with political activism? We encourage students to think outside the box of what “extracurricular” can mean.

Finally, it’s important to remember that college admissions representatives may look at what’s NOT on your student’s application just as much as what is. It’s very easy to look someone up on social media, so make sure that your student’s social accounts are set to private and do not have any questionable content that may give an admissions representative a reason not to admit them.

Huntington Learning Center offers a variety of services to help students build the strongest college applications possible in addition to individualized tutoring and test prep programs. Go to HuntingtonHelps.com to learn more.

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Six Tips for Helping Elementary Students Build Strong Study Habits for Middle School Today’s students need to know how to study effectively from an early age. Here are a few methods and habits you can share with and teach them to fuel their school success.

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Mon, 25 Jan 2021 11:19:23 -0500 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/6-tips-to-help-students-prepare-for-middle-school https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/6-tips-to-help-students-prepare-for-middle-school Huntington Learning Center Huntington Learning Center Today’s students need to know how to study effectively from an early age. Here are a few methods and habits you can share with and teach them to fuel their school success.

  1. Previewing material – This is something you can do in class when going over new units or lessons. Show your students what you’ll cover in each class and give them an overview of the kind of homework you’ll be doing to reinforce learning.
  2. Note-taking – It’s not too early to start helping students become skilled at note-taking, as they’ll start to use this more and more in late middle school and high school. Teach your students about recording main ideas and organizing notes so they are easy to read and useful for remembering key information.
  3. Self-evaluation – As they progress through middle school, students need to be in tune with their learning preferences and styles. Encourage your students to think about how they study, what methods are effective, and what distracts them.
  4. Prioritization – Daily homework becomes easier when students learn how to quickly prioritize their tasks. Teach your students to divide their assignments every day into a few categories: due tomorrow, due this week, and coming up in one or more weeks. Encourage them to rank their highest priority (due soonest) items from most difficult and time-consuming to easiest. This helps students make the most of study time and deters procrastination.
  5. Planner use – Middle school is when students start using planners on a daily basis. Get your students into the habit of writing down homework each night and its corresponding due dates, and encourage them to refer to their homework notebooks every night.
  6. Careful reading – Students should learn to read all directions thoroughly, whether for assignments or test questions. It’s difficult to perform well in school when skipping over important details – and there are lots of details to pay attention to in middle school.

One final tip: remind students that frequent, shorter study sessions are always more effective than marathon studying when tests come up. The more you can train your students to keep up with daily work, the more you’ll help them lay the foundation for success in middle school and beyond.

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The Pros and Cons of Remote Learning Here are some of the biggest pros and cons to remote learning and lessons that both you and your child can take away from this unique time. 

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Tue, 08 Dec 2020 13:47:58 -0500 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/the-pros-and-cons-of-remote-learning-2021 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/the-pros-and-cons-of-remote-learning-2021 Dr. Raymond Huntington Dr. Raymond Huntington In many parts of the country, remote learning isn’t going anywhere just yet. It’s easy to think of the last 10 months as mostly disastrous when it comes to school and helping children learn, but there have also been some positives. Here are some of the biggest pros and cons to learning remotely and lessons that both you and your child can take away from this unique time:

Pro: It builds independence. It’s been a challenge, but one thing is certain: learning from home is built for students who are independent self-starters. For some children, remote learning may have taught them to lean on themselves to figure things out and get things done. And whether students are fast or slow workers, remote learning can allow them to go at their own pace.

Con: Some students might struggle with so much forced independence. Those who lack good study skills might find that learning at home is fraught with distractions. It can be difficult for younger students too, who need more hand-holding than older students. Make sure your child maintains contact with teachers. Insist on adopting good routines that minimize procrastination.

Pro: Remote learning brings the focus back to the learning. For some students, the classroom is a scary place where they feel insecure and uncomfortable and are reluctant to speak up. Remote learning might fit well for those who are overwhelmed in a typical classroom setting. If this sounds like your student, the simpler learning setup might allow your child to focus on learning in a way he or she hasn’t ever been able to do before now.

Con: There is less opportunity for interaction and collaboration. Of course, a big con of remote learning is that students miss out on the chance to engage with one another and their teachers in person. Working with others is still important, so remind your child that while this is a time to become more self-sufficient as a learner, it’s also a good time to reach out to peers in new ways.

Pro: It’s easy to get ahead/extend the learning. Some students might find the go-at-your-own-pace nature of remote learning to be exciting and fun. For those who are creative, it’s easy to find ways to take what is being taught in school and springboard to come up with other new ways to learn. Your child’s teachers might even make suggestions during this time when there is less (or no) time together in school. So, if your child wants to learn more about a topic, he or she has the time to do so.

Con: It’s easy to fall behind. Going to school remotely requires discipline and the teaching isn’t nearly the same as it is in a regular in-person setting. Children who aren’t intrinsically motivated naturally might especially find it hard to learn, stay on top of the work and maintain motivation. This highlights the importance of maintaining a routine and schedule, and again, embracing solid study habits.

Remote learning isn’t perfect and time will tell what the long-term effects of this method of learning are. But there’s no question that there are opportunities for your child to grow as a student and learner. Think of it that way and encourage your child to do the same, and you might be pleasantly surprised to find your child embracing an optimistic attitude and a growth mindset he or she didn’t have before.

Need support? Contact Huntington. We’ll help your child make the most of this time, build those study skills and continue learning.

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Evaluating Your Student’s Midyear Progress During the COVID School Year In a typical school year, it’s smart for parents to use the midyear report card as a chance to “take a pulse” on their children’s learning progress. This year the midyear report card will be more important than ever to your student's success.

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Tue, 29 Dec 2020 13:03:39 -0500 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/midyear-student-evaluations-during-covid-19-2021 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/midyear-student-evaluations-during-covid-19-2021 Huntington Learning Center Huntington Learning Center In a typical school year, it’s smart for parents to use the midyear report card as a chance to “take a pulse” on their children’s learning progress. This year, says Eileen Huntington of Huntington Learning Center, it’s more important than ever that parents pay close attention to their children’s grades since the start of the year.

“We’re still in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic, and it remains to be seen how students will be impacted long term by the spring 2020 school shutdowns and the remote/hybrid nature of school this year,” says Huntington. “But now that we’re in a new year and new semester, parents should take the time to evaluate where their children stand in school and make adjustments if needed for the rest of the year.” 

Here are a few tips for parents on how to best approach this midyear check-in:

  • Take note of progress. Even though many students might be off course currently, there are still grade-level standards that teachers are striving to help students meet. Use your child’s report card and other metrics offered by your school to make sure your child is progressing as he or she should. Make note of places where your child is struggling or behind and talk with teachers about expectations.
  • Ask the teacher about higher-level thinking skills. This year, many students are learning on their own more than normal and building their independence. This has pros and cons, but definitely means children have opportunities to strengthen those critical-thinking and problem-solving skills. Take note of how your child approaches homework and asynchronous learning. Talk with teachers about their perspectives too.
  • Pay attention to study skills. Never before have study skills taken on greater importance than right now. Low grades could point to knowledge gaps, but they could also indicate problems with organization, time management, focus and neatness. If your child’s at-home days are unproductive and heavy on procrastination, study skills development should become a higher priority.

The best thing to do right now, says Huntington, is have Huntington complete an academic evaluation of your child. “Academic evaluations are a great way to get a baseline of where students are in school as compared to where they should be,” Huntington explains. “During this school year, even good students might need help because they’ve fallen behind or aren’t accustomed to this method of learning. The evaluation pinpoints strengths and weaknesses and helps Huntington’s tutoring team develop a personalized plan to help each student achieve his or her goals.”

If you suspect or know based on grades and other benchmarks that your child is struggling, call Huntington at 1-800 CAN LEARN.

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Five Reasons Working with a Tutor Will Help Your Teen Perform on the SAT and ACT Some students are naturally strong test-takers, but for most, performing well takes preparation. That’s definitely true when it comes to the SAT and ACT, the tests your teen will take before applying to colleges.

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Mon, 25 Jan 2021 10:36:32 -0500 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/5-reasons-for-tutoring-on-sat-and-act https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/5-reasons-for-tutoring-on-sat-and-act Huntington Learning Center Huntington Learning Center Some students are naturally strong test-takers, but for most, performing well takes preparation. That’s definitely true when it comes to the SAT and ACT, the tests your teen will take before applying to colleges. The prep is worthwhile and will enable your teen to earn higher scores and improve their chances of acceptance at their target schools.

Here are five reasons working with a tutor will help your teen increase their SAT and ACT scores:

  1. Prep builds confidence. Practice makes better. The right test prep program will have your teen take several practice tests in order to get comfortable with the pacing and structure of these exams, so they feel less intimidating.
  2. Your teen will get familiar with the tests. The SAT and ACT aren’t like other tests your teen has taken before. They have several different sections and different question types. They are timed and require test-takers to move through questions at a relatively fast pace. A tutor will help your teen get to know these exams well, so that on test day, there are no surprises.
  3. There won’t be any guessing on what sections need attention. An individualized tutoring program is just that – individualized for your teen. That means your teen will receive customized instruction in the areas where they can improve and reinforcement in the areas where they are strong. That makes for quality test preparation and better test performance.
  4. Your teen will be up to speed on recent changes. Tutors familiar with the SAT and ACT will make sure your teen is completely informed of any recent adjustments to the test’s sections and how they are scored. Knowing that information can help your teen adjust their test-taking strategy and approach.
  5. Tutors spend time on more than just exam content. Making sure your teen has the knowledge and skills to perform on the SAT and ACT is a top priority for a test prep tutor, but it’s also important to focus on things like time management. Your teen will learn about time differences on each section, the amount of time to spend on different question types, and the best ways to narrow down answer choices.

If your teen is planning to take the SAT or ACT this year, Huntington can help prepare! We offer three different levels of SAT and ACT prep programs:

  • 14-hour program – Covers one subject area and four hours of practice tests. It is ideal for those with limited time to prep.
  • 32-hour program – Covers instruction across all subjects and eight hours of practice tests. Includes online, video-based prep that complements in-center instruction.
  • Premier customized program – Huntington’s most thorough program available, with a curriculum tailored to students’ needs and goals. Includes online, video-based SAT or ACT prep that complements in-center instruction.

Contact us at 1-800 CAN LEARN to discuss your teen’s college plans. We’ll help your teen achieve their goals and earn the highest score possible!

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Seven Ways College is Different From High School College is very different from high school. But how exactly? Here are seven of the biggest ways that the two differ to make your teen aware of.

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Thu, 03 Dec 2020 16:26:55 -0500 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/seven-ways-college-is-different-from-high-school https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/seven-ways-college-is-different-from-high-school Huntington Learning Center Huntington Learning Center You’ve been telling your teen for a while now: college is very different from high school. But how exactly? Here are seven of the biggest ways that the two differ to make your teen aware of:

  1. There’s no hand-holding. High school students are expected to manage all schoolwork on their own. This is also the expectation in college, but a big difference is that there are no parents around to remind, prod, or lecture. If your high schooler is not a self-starter by now, it’s time for you to take a step back.
  2. Teachers expect students to put in the work. In many ways, college has much less busywork than high school, but that doesn’t mean students get to take it easy. Like high school teachers, college professors expect students to keep up with all studying and homework so that they are prepared for exams – but unlike high school teachers, they won’t make sure of that. Staying on top of the work is up to college students, and it’s also up to them to reach out for help when needed.
  3. Your teen is in charge. For better or worse, your teen completely takes the reins in college, maybe for the first time. College requires independence and the ability to weigh and make decisions with confidence. It is essential that your teen is capable of problem-solving without the input of you or anyone else.
  4. Class expectations can vary widely. Some classes might have weekly quizzes and one final exam. Others might assign a large research project that carries throughout the term. Some professors might change their scope on assignments mid-semester. Although not a hard-and-fast rule, your teen should understand that classes in college might operate much differently from those in high school. Your teen will need to be adaptable and resourceful.
  5. Time management can make or break students’ success. Some high school students are able to limp along in high school with poor time management skills, but this will become problematic in college, when there are many social opportunities and a heavier workload. A homework planner system in high school is important, but in college, that system needs to be in place in order to minimize stress and procrastination.
  6. Students have much more freedom. One thing your teen is probably looking most forward to is the ability to do whatever they want in college! But with that freedom comes the expectation that your teen can successfully balance the want-tos and the have-tos and will take ownership and responsibility for their performance. The consequences of blowing off school are significant, so it’s essential that your teen remains focused on the important things and doesn’t get completely distracted by all the fun.
  7. The stakes are different. There’s no question that the stakes in high school are much higher than those in middle school, because students’ academic records can get them into college (or not) and affect their school and scholarship options. In college, your student’s progress and performance matter too, but for different reasons. Post-college, your student will get a job or continue on for graduate school. Your teen needs to use college as a chance to figure out the future.

High school is a critical time in your teen’s development. Help your teen navigate this time of transition by letting them take charge, fail, learn, and adjust – which will get your teen ready for college. If you have concerns, call Huntington. We’ll help your teen become college-ready and prepare for this exciting stage.

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How to Help Your Teen Determine College Compatibility Choosing a college is a big decision that often brings both excitement and anxiety. With so many options available, your teen might easily become overwhelmed and hasty in picking. 

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Sat, 09 Jan 2021 20:31:46 -0500 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/helping-your-teen-determine-college-compatibility https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/helping-your-teen-determine-college-compatibility Huntington Learning Center Huntington Learning Center Choosing a college is a big decision that often brings both excitement and anxiety. With so many options available, your teen might easily become overwhelmed and hasty in picking. Compatibility is essential for your teen’s success and overall happiness in college. How can you help your teen find the best fit? Here are a few tips as they navigate the process:

  • Make a list of high priorities. Have your teen make a list of things that are important to them off the top of the head. It’s okay to think of the fun aspects of college as well as the academic factors. But don’t choose for your teen. Let them jot down what comes to mind as significant.
  • Think about the setting and location. Too often, students ignore some of the geographic factors that make a place comfortable and happy for them. Tell your teen to write down the type of college settings and surroundings that are appealing, acceptable, and unacceptable. Here are a few starting points if your teen gets stuck:
    • Weather – Year-round sun, humidity, four seasons, moderate climate, cold winters
    • Place – Large city/in the city, medium town, small town, rural setting, outskirts of a larger city
    • School campus – Spread out, small/cozy
    • Nearby activities – Mountains, beach or lake, downtown/city center
    • Distance from home – Drivable, a plane ride away
  • Consider the type of institution. Your teen should keep in mind that there are lots of different kinds of institutions: private, public, large, small, liberal arts, etc. Some specialize in a particular field of study (e.g. engineering or music). Some are single-sex (e.g. an all-women’s college) or have a historic student focus (e.g. Black or Hispanic) or religious focus (e.g. Catholic or Mormon). Make sure your teen thinks about whether these types of characteristics would enhance their college experience.
  • Explore college majors. Many students head to college without a major in mind. This is fine, but it’s important to start giving it some thought during the application process. Even if undecided, your teen can narrow down the kinds of things they are interested in—science or working with animals, for example—and look at schools that have a variety of undergraduate majors. Or, maybe your teen has a career path in mind already. That’s great, but make sure your teen has a backup plan in mind and that the schools on the list would accommodate a switch.
  • Strike colleges that don’t fit. After putting in all this effort to evaluate the many aspects of college, your teen must be smart about the next step: cutting colleges that don’t align with their needs and goals. Teens with seasonal depression might be wise to avoid schools in places with long, cold winters, just as those who are undecided on majors should make sure their top prospects have plenty of majors available. Encourage your teen to think through the things that matter and eliminate choices that don’t fit.
  • Get a feel for the campus vibe. Sometimes, a place just feels right. If possible, make sure your teen visits the colleges on their list to get a sense of the college culture, the other students, and the activity and energy of the campus. Sitting in on a class is a great idea if feasible, as is taking a guided tour led by a current student (so your teen can ask questions).

Your teen is going to college to prepare for a career path, so academics are a vital part of the decision. However, there are many other elements to consider regarding college compatibility. Have your teen think through priorities and goals, both academic and personal. That type of thoughtful approach will increase the chances that your teen makes a good choice.

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Colleges and Universities have gone and continue to go test optional - Here’s why students should take the SAT/ACT anyway. COVID has caused many colleges and universities to enact test-optional policies. While this may make it seem as though these exams are no longer necessary for your college application, there are still numerous reasons your student should consider taking one of these standardized tests.

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Sat, 09 Jan 2021 22:02:57 -0500 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/taking-the-sat-or-act-as-colleges-go-test-optional-2020 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/taking-the-sat-or-act-as-colleges-go-test-optional-2020 Anne Huntington Sharma, President of Huntington Learning Center Anne Huntington Sharma, President of Huntington Learning Center With COVID causing standardized tests to be postponed/cancelled, many colleges and universities have shifted to test-optional, test flexible, or test blind admissions models this year. With this in mind, many parents and students alike may think that standardized tests are no longer necessary for building a strong college application. While it may seem that way, the truth is that there are still many reasons your student should consider taking standardized tests. 

Test optional is just that - an option. Good test scores can still set you apart.

Test optional procedures mean that you have the option to submit, or not submit, your standardized test scores. If you choose not to submit, colleges say that you won’t be penalized on your application. But, solid test scores can help strengthen your application, even in a test-optional admissions environment. If you’ve taken the SAT or ACT, are happy with your scores, and meet or exceed the typical standardized test results required by the college you’re applying to, then you should still submit them. A strong SAT or ACT score can help balance out a lower-than-you’d-like GPA, as well. 

Many merit scholarships still rely on standardized test scores.

While many colleges and universities have made adjustments to their merit scholarship criteria (which usually consists of a minimum GPA and minimum SAT/ACT score), many still require standardized test scores in order to award financial support. If you plan to apply for merit-based scholarships, make sure you understand the requirements before choosing to forego a standardized test. 

Many college majors or programs may still require a test score.

Although the college or university you’re applying to may not require test scores going forward as part of the overall admissions process, if you’re planning to apply for a program where proving your knowledge of the subject is required for entry, you’re going to need a standardized test score. Before deciding not to take the SAT, ACT, AP or subject-specific test, check to see what the programs you’re applying to within the university require for admittance. 

While many colleges and universities are allowing for greater flexibility in test scores in order to accommodate the challenges presented by the pandemic, it’s clear that standardized testing will, for the foreseeable future anyway, continue to be an important part of building a strong college application. Even if the school of your student’s dreams doesn’t require the SAT or ACT this year, it’s still worthwhile to take it - especially if your student is a strong test-taker, or intends on applying for scholarships. 

If your child hasn’t yet taken the test but would like to, don’t delay - there is only one test date remaining for the SAT (12/5) and ACT (12/12) before most college applications are due in January. And it’s never too late to prep! Call 1-800-CAN-LEARN to learn how Huntington can help.

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What is Visual Learning and How Can You Teach it to Students? In today’s environment, where remote school is the norm in many places, it’s important to be mindful of visual learners when you plan your instruction. Here are a few tips on how you can do so.

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Thu, 03 Dec 2020 15:58:18 -0500 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/what-is-visual-learning-and-how-to-teach-it https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/what-is-visual-learning-and-how-to-teach-it Huntington Learning Center Huntington Learning Center Many students are naturally visual learners and thinkers, absorbing information best when they see it in front of them. Typically, visual learners:

  • like to take notes during class lectures to remember information better.
  • use visual aids and other tools (like whiteboards) to think through and draw out concepts and ideas.
  • like to read to themselves rather than being read to by a teacher.
  • remember what they read better than what they hear.
  • find to-do lists and planners helpful.

In today’s environment, where remote school is the norm in many places, it’s important to be mindful of visual learners when you plan your instruction. Here are a few tips on how you can do so:

  • Incorporate visual aids into your teaching. The more you combine instructional strategies, the more you can help students strengthen their different styles of learning.
  • Have students draw it out. Markers and whiteboards are a great tool to help students remember information and stimulate visual learning abilities.
  • Help students picture it. Students who learn visually are able to picture things to recall them – perhaps a passage in a book that they read or the place they were when they read something. Help students refine this by giving them visual cues that they can associate with what you teach.
  • Encourage note-taking. Notes are a critical study tool for students in college, so if you teach middle or high school, make sure you help students cultivate their note-taking abilities. Show them how to use notes to study effectively, too.
  • Always provide students something to reference. That might be a handout, an outline, or something else, but try to augment your verbal directions/lectures with something written or visual that students can refer to later.

Every student learns differently, and visual learning is an important and common learning style. Help your students boost this skill and you’ll be helping them tremendously in school now and going forward.

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Tips for Helping Students Rejuvenate Over Holiday Break There’s no question: the year 2020 is one for the record books and has brought many ups and downs. School has been challenging in new ways for children. So, this upcoming reprieve from the classroom, whether in person or virtual, is welcome—perhaps this year more than ever. 

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Wed, 02 Dec 2020 09:39:49 -0500 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/tips-for-rejuvinating-students-over-holiday-break-2020 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/tips-for-rejuvinating-students-over-holiday-break-2020 Dr. Raymond Huntington Dr. Raymond Huntington Parents, you made it. There’s no question: the year 2020 is one for the record books and has brought many ups and downs. School has been challenging in new ways for children. So, this upcoming reprieve from the classroom, whether in person or virtual, is welcome—perhaps this year more than ever. 

Here are several tips on how to help your child use these next few weeks to rest up and recharge the batteries: 

  1. Enjoy some family time. However you are celebrating your holiday, this time off from school (and work) is a great chance for you to spend time together as a family. Watch movies, play games, go sledding and go on walks. Set aside the stresses of school and the worries of the world for a little while and get back to focusing on what matters most: your family. 
  1. Have your child join in on meal prep. One wonderful way you and your child can spend time together these next couple of weeks is cooking! Cooking offers many learning opportunities: measuring and doing math, following directions, multitasking and paying attention to detail. Have your child research and choose a few recipes and take the lead on cooking for dinner. Find some online cooking tutorials that you can enjoy together. Stock up on some basic ingredients and encourage your child to experiment. 
  1. If your child enjoys reading but struggles to find time for pleasure reading during the school year, holiday break is an excellent time to binge a book or two. Read something together—perhaps a book that is also a movie—and plan a movie night before your child goes back to school. Reading is one of the best and easiest ways to help your child retain knowledge when school is not in session. It’s a perfect way to cure boredom and fun way to keep your child’s brain working. 
  1. Exercise is good for children in many ways, including improving their emotional well-being. If the semester was stressful and overly challenging as your child acclimated to remote or hybrid learning, he or she is in need of some calming activities— and exercise definitely fits the bill. Take daily walks. Find a YouTube channel with short workouts and take up a daily habit together. Get your child moving, which will release those endorphins into the body and help your child improve the mood, sleep better and boost his or her brain and body health. 

As you wind down the year, talk with your child about both the good and the bad that 2020 brought forth. Ask your child how you can support him or her in 2021 and what goals he or she wants to put in place to make it the best year possible. None of us knows exactly what the future will hold, but this break is a time to have open conversations about being optimistic and focusing on what we can control, not what we cannot. Help your child relax and enjoy—and make the most of this time off school.

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What College Readiness Looks Like There’s a term you’ve probably heard a lot before as a parent: college readiness. What does it mean? And how do you know if your child is on track for “college readiness” in school?

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Fri, 06 Nov 2020 13:15:01 -0500 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/what-college-readiness-looks-like-2020 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/what-college-readiness-looks-like-2020 Huntington Learning Center Huntington Learning Center There’s a term you’ve probably heard a lot before as a parent: college readiness. What does it mean? And how do you know if your child is on track for “college readiness” in school? Here are a few facts about what college readiness looks like as students progress through school:

Elementary schoolElementary school is the foundation for school success and an important time for parents to make sure their children are establishing good routines and habits. Here’s what college readiness means at this stage:

  • Students are aware of college and believe that it is a worthwhile goal and vital for their future.
  • Students are encouraged to make school a top priority in their lives, minimize absences, do homework and establish good study habits.
  • In the classroom, students embrace a positive attitude, listen well, work to earn good grades and recognize that these things lead to better grades.
  • Students explore college and careers through their school assignments.
  • Students meet or exceed grade-level standards for all subjects.

Middle schoolIn middle school, teachers have the goal of preparing students for high school. To do so, here’s what teachers are typically striving toward:

  • Students have good study, time management and organizational skills in place and use them to achieve school success.
  • Students know that college is important and have plans to attend, even if they aren’t sure what they will study one day.
  • Students understand that high school is more rigorous than middle school and are building the skills to take more challenging courses in high school.
  • In the classroom, students are engaging in higher-level thinking and working more independently outside of the classroom.
  • Students are able to link real-world skills to their classroom curriculum.
  • Students meet or exceed grade-level standards for all subjects.
  • Students set goals academic regularly and are comfortable working toward them.

High schoolHigh school is where the rubber meets the road when it comes to college prep. Achieving grade-level standards is obviously vital, but here is what it looks like to be college-ready in high school:

  • Students are independent and responsible about keeping track of homework and all responsibilities.
  • They are skilled at prioritizing and planning ahead on homework and studying.
  • They are adaptable and comfortable operating in new and uncomfortable situations.
  • Students are able to make arguments, supply evidence and support, and articulate their ideas and opinions clearly.
  • Students have strong academic habits, including studying efficiently, taking good notes, planning and prioritizing homework, and juggling multiple responsibilities.
  • Students have made or are making plans for the future, including college and a potential college major or career.

A college education is important, but the groundwork to be prepared to succeed in college starts from a young age. You don’t need to be touring college campuses and asking your fourth-grader what college majors are on his or her mind, but you should support your child in school, encourage him or her to work hard, make learning a priority and talk about the future. With this guide on hand, you know what it looks like to be on track for college readiness. Be the support system your child needs.

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Study Skills Your Teen Will Need in College Knowing how to study effectively is important in high school, but it’s even more crucial in college, where students are expected to manage multiple demanding classes and regularly prove their understanding of class material on quizzes and exams. 

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Fri, 06 Nov 2020 14:43:22 -0500 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/study-skills-your-teen-will-need-in-college https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/study-skills-your-teen-will-need-in-college Huntington Learning Center Huntington Learning Center Knowing how to study effectively is important in high school, but it’s even more crucial in college, where students are expected to manage multiple demanding classes and regularly prove their understanding of class material on quizzes and exams. Here are several study skills your teen will need in college and should work to strengthen throughout high school:

  • Note-taking – College professors deliver information in many ways, but a common one is through lectures. That means students need to be comfortable taking high-quality notes that they can use to study later on. There are many different methods that are effective, so students can adopt what works for them—whether that’s a more visual concept-mapping approach, the popular Cornell note-taking method or a method of their own creation. The keys to good note-taking are to summarize essential information in a way that jogs the memory on a topic, to translate a professor’s lecture into a usable study guide for later reference, and call out ideas, terms and concepts to study further.
  • Daily review – Daily review of notes and class material is the best way for students in college (and high school) to learn concepts well. Students who study a little each day for all subjects will know the information better than those who opt to cram only before tests. In many college classes, there is less graded homework, but that doesn’t mean students should skip it. It’s worthwhile to put continued effort toward learning by keeping up with reading, practice problems and other work that teachers assign—whether required or not.
  • Organization – Organization is important always, but in college, it becomes critical because school is more demanding and time-consuming. Students should embrace a reliable organizational system for keeping track of the tangible items—syllabi, notes, class materials, etc.—as well as all information coming to them through apps or any learning management platform. In high school, students should spend a little time each day tidying up the desk, filing away important papers, keeping the computer files organized and recording any upcoming due dates or tasks in the planner.
  • Time management – There’s a lot going on in college outside the classroom, so students who aren’t skilled at managing their many tasks and to-dos will miss out—or their grades might suffer. Students should use a planner or planner/homework app to keep track of all school work, and some sort of calendar—either printed or on the smartphone—to stay on top of their daily obligations, from school to work to anything else. 
  • Active listening and reading – College requires a lot of reading, so it’s vital that students are skilled at reading for understanding and comprehension. Active reading means being engaged with the text by continuously checking for understanding and taking notes for reference later (especially if reading dense material). Active listening is similar in that students must be able to tune out distractions, ask questions to clarify understanding and take notes to help themselves remember information later. 
  • Test preparation – It’s not uncommon for college professors to make tests the biggest component of students’ overall class grades. That means students must be able to perform well on tests if they want to earn good grades in college. Keeping up in classes is a big part of that, but it’s also useful for teens to work on developing study schedules and methods as well as stress management techniques as high school students. They should use SAT/ACT prep as an opportunity to become adept at deciphering question types and improving their test-taking speed. 

Whether your teen is headed to college next year or in a few years, you should encourage him or her to develop these essential study skills now. Having a solid foundation for success will make the transition to college-level academics easier and more enjoyable and allow your teen to focus on what really matters: defining and preparing for his or her future.

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Eight Tips for Making Your Students Feel Supported Without a doubt, teaching is an art. A passion for your subject is one important component, but most teachers are also deeply committed to helping their students develop as learners and people.

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Thu, 05 Nov 2020 13:47:48 -0500 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/eight-tips-to-make-your-students-feel-supported-2020 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/eight-tips-to-make-your-students-feel-supported-2020 Huntington Learning Center Huntington Learning Center Without a doubt, teaching is an art. A passion for your subject is one important component, but most teachers are also deeply committed to helping their students develop as learners and people. Your support can make a big difference in their lives both in and outside of school. Here are a few tips to make sure your students feel that support every day: 

  1. Recognize their distinct needs. Every student is unique and different. Recognize this and meet them wherever they are by adapting your instruction to their needs.
  2. Show interest in them as people. Your students have lots going on in their lives, and while your job is to teach them, a little effort to get to know them as individuals goes a long way toward establishing good rapport.
  3. Keep the door open. This year is unique in that you might not have the opportunity to see your students as often, but that doesn’t mean you can’t establish an open-door policy! Invite your students to reach out any time they have questions or concerns about school.
  4. Set policies and stick to them. Students will appreciate you being fair with all students and following through on what you promise. Be trustworthy. Don’t play favorites. Let students know that they aren’t all the same, but they all have the same opportunities in your classroom.
  5. Acknowledge their progress. The best message you can share with your students is that learning is a process that requires effort and involves making mistakes. Let them know when you see them growing and thank them for persevering through difficult times and topics.
  6. Set goals and revisit them often. Goal setting is a great way to keep students engaged and focused on your classroom goals as well as their own goals. Take time for this important exercise and celebrate when your students reach milestones.
  7. Make your classroom a safe place. Let students know that you want them to share ideas, ask thoughtful questions and take risks. Cultivate a classroom environment of mutual respect and support.
  8. Let them know you’re there for help. This year is difficult, with COVID-19 throwing many students’ lives off course in ways they never envisioned. Acknowledge that things are different and probably difficult for many, and remind students that you are part of their support system—whether they need extra help with school work or a referral to the school mental health team. 

Your students need your support this year more than ever! Set high expectations, let them know you care, get excited about their progress and offer them an encouraging learning community. They will benefit from these efforts and appreciate you for them.

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Tips for Teaching Children How to Get Organized When Doing School and Homework Organization is not a natural skill for many children, but one that makes it so much easier to do well in school, whether in person, remote or a hybrid model. Students who are organized have many advantages over those who are not.

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Thu, 05 Nov 2020 13:31:20 -0500 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/tips-for-teaching-children-how-to-be-organized-doing-homework https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/tips-for-teaching-children-how-to-be-organized-doing-homework Dr. Raymond Huntington Dr. Raymond Huntington Organization is not a natural skill for many children, but one that makes it so much easier to do well in school, whether in person, remote or a hybrid model. Students who are organized have many advantages over those who are not: 

  • They experience less stress.
  • They’re less likely to forget tasks and to-dos.
  • They’re better able to focus when it comes time to do work and meet deadlines.

School time/homework time is about learning and not getting situated and locating things. 

Children who are skilled at keeping their school binders and desks tidy have a leg up, but it’s also essential to have a solid organizational system in place for tackling homework (and daily school work). Here are a few tips on how to help children get and stay organized in all facets of their school lives: 

  • Develop a filing system for the desk at home. Desk trays, a small filing cabinet, folders and/or an accordion file can help children keep important papers at home, especially if they are doing a few days of remote school each week. And even for those who are attending school fully in person, it’s smart to have an at-home filing system for graded homework, study guides, syllabi, etc.
  • Don’t forget the digital filing system. Even before remote school became the norm for many students, lots of teachers are doing more and more via Google Docs and other digital learning platforms. The upside: less paper. However, it’s just as easy for children to misplace important digital documents, so they need to get organized with how they keep track of essential information so they can easily access it when they need it.
  • Support good routines for school work and homework. Structure and routines teach children the importance of being responsible and taking pride and ownership in their work, and most importantly, fuel school success. Routines for remote school as well as homework/independent work time encourage children to become more self-sufficient and task-oriented.
  • Teach children how to master the skill of prioritization. Prioritization helps children work efficiently and minimize procrastination. Here’s what that should look like:
    • Start with a master to-do list of all immediate tasks/assignments/homework and other things on the horizon (e.g. bigger projects or exams).
    • Every day, divide school work/homework into a few categories: for today, due tomorrow, due this week, due next week/coming up.
    • Every day, create a high-priority to-do list. When doing remote school, that list might include the for today items as school work and the due tomorrow items as homework.
    • Rank all other to-dos in order of importance. Children can then look over everything else on their lists and rank it from most to least important. Preparing for a test on Friday is more pressing than preparing for a project due next Tuesday, but the project still might require a little time—just not as much as test prep.
    • Rank everything from hardest to easiest. This might come naturally to some, but it’s a valuable exercise for others who struggle with “spinning their wheels” at homework time. Some might prefer knocking out shorter, easier work first before digging into more challenging studying. Others might want to focus on the most difficult things first and save the more rote tasks for last.
  • Show them how to break down big projects and assignments into smaller tasks. Prioritization is critical for creating daily work schedules, but it’s a good idea for children to create workback schedules for larger, more intensive projects. A detailed schedule can help keep children on track. Here’s an example for a research project with a February 15 deadline (and note the extra padding…students could certainly work faster): 
Choose topic January 10
Research compiled January 14
Create an outline  January 17 
Finish any additional research  January 19 
First draft  January 22 
Review and revise January 24 
Second draft January 25 
Have parent/peer review/edit  January 27 
Revise, third draft  January 29 
Get teacher feedback  February 6 
Revise February 9 
Fourth draft  February 11 
Final review and proof February 13 
Submit February 14 

 

With school being remote or partly remote for many children, organization is more important than ever—especially with information coming at children in so many different ways. Encourage your child to establish reliable organizational systems and practices that will help him or her thrive in school and life. And if you need help, call Huntington at 1-800 CAN LEARN. We’ll work with your child to develop habits and practices that are easy to stick to and certain to yield success.

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Five Growing STEM Careers Your Teen Could Explore STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) careers have experienced above-average growth in the past decade – double the growth rate of non-STEM careers, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

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Thu, 05 Nov 2020 14:35:56 -0500 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/five-growing-stem-careers-2020 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/five-growing-stem-careers-2020 Huntington Learning Center Huntington Learning Center As your teen is thinking ahead to college and beyond, it’s important to start having conversations about careers that might be of interest. And while you certainly want your teen to follow their passions and strengths, there’s a lot of value in choosing a stable path that is in demand and projected to continue growing after your teen will enter the workforce.

STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) careers have experienced above-average growth in the past decade – double the growth rate of non-STEM careers, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

Computer occupations and engineer occupations were among the types of STEM jobs that have grown the most, per a 2017 report, STEM Occupations: Past, Present and Future, but there are lots of other excellent choices for students who are strong in subjects such as math, science, computers, and technology.

Encourage your teen to check out these growing occupations when thinking about possible college majors:

  1. Statisticians – Number lovers can do the math and easily see the pros of a career as a statistician. It made the BLS’s recent top 20 fastest-growing occupations list (occupations with the highest projected change of employment between 2019 and 2029), boasting a whopping 33% growth rate – much faster than average. Median pay is $92,030. If your teen loves math, analyzing data, and applying statistics to solve problems, they should consider this field and a major in mathematics or statistics. Typical entry level does require a master’s degree.
  2. Actuaries – Actuaries often work for insurance companies, studying and calculating the possibility of risk for floods, fires, unemployment, or death, for example, to help those companies issue policies to individuals or businesses. It’s a great career for someone who is inquisitive and enjoys math and research. Great news if this is your teen: this career is projected to grow 18% between 2019 and 2028 and has a median pay of $108,350.
  3. Software Developers – Loving computers might make software development appealing right off the bat, but students who enjoy problem-solving and are the first to embrace new technology the second it hits the market make great computer science/programming majors – and later, software developers. Your teen could build the next great app or program life-changing machinery for the healthcare or military industry. Another fast-growing occupation, the outlook for software developers is strong: a 22% growth rate 2019-2029. Median pay is $107,510, and your teen could start in this field with a bachelor’s degree.
  4. Epidemiologist – If your teen loves the idea of working in the health care field on the research side of things, epidemiology might be worth a look. Your teen might start out getting a bachelor’s degree in public health or epidemiology and go on to earn a Master of Public Health. Job-wise, your teen might study infectious diseases, work for a federal agency like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or work for a public health system or hospital system. Job growth is projected at 5% between 2019 and 2029, and median pay is $70,990.
  5. Biomedical Engineers – That revolutionary medical equipment that saves lives? Those artificial joints that improve the lives of people with failing hips and knees? Those were designed and tested by biomedical engineers. Your teen could get a foot in the door of this great career by earning a bachelor’s degree in biomedical engineering or bioengineering. The career is expected to grow 5% between 2019 and 2029, and median pay is $91,410.

This is a small sample of the careers that might pique your teen’s interest. Rest assured, if your teen likes STEM subjects, is a critical thinker, and enjoys solving challenges, there are many excellent options available.

They don’t need to decide now, of course. Most important is to focus on doing well in high school (and the STEM-related subjects) and staying on track for college. If your teen wants to keep that GPA high in anticipation of applying to college soon, Huntington is always here to help. Call 1-800 CAN LEARN to discover our tutoring and test prep programs for college-bound students.

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Knowing When You Need to Refer Your Students for Outside Tutoring It’s easier for some students to get back on track than it is for others. When you know a student is struggling but you’re not getting through to them, referring them for tutoring might be the best way to help them.

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Thu, 05 Nov 2020 13:43:40 -0500 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/knowing-when-to-refer-students-for-outside-tutoring https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/knowing-when-to-refer-students-for-outside-tutoring Huntington Learning Center Huntington Learning Center This school year is certainly bringing its share of challenges for you as a teacher – adapting how you teach, supporting your students as they transition back into school after being out of the classroom setting for such a long time, and helping them regain lost skills, to name a few.

It’s easier for some students to get back on track than it is for others. When you know a student is struggling but you’re not getting through to them, referring them for tutoring might be the best way to help them. Here are a few signs beyond poor grades that it is time to do so:

They’re often behind. It’s natural for some students to have difficulty grasping concepts you go over in class from time to time, but if you see this more often than not, the issue needs further investigation. Some students might have learning issues, while others might have poor time management and study skills, or other challenges.

They are disengaged. When you notice students seeming hopeless or completely indifferent about school, there could be a variety of causes. Certainly, remote or hybrid learning could exacerbate the situation, making these students feel even more disconnected to school.

Work turned in is often incomplete or of low quality. Students who don’t know how to do things will struggle with asynchronous learning. If you’re seeing students turning in half-finished or poor-quality work on a regular basis, the issue could be gaps in skills that widened during COVID-19 and over the summer.

Work is missing altogether. Students who are forgetful about handing in work are probably disorganized, but the problem could also be underdeveloped study skills and gaps in knowledge.

You know they’re trying, but it doesn’t show. Some students turn in schoolwork and participate in class and in synchronous learning, yet their grades on quizzes, tests, and assignments are consistently low. It’s important to get to the root of the problem so these students are able to retain what they learn and prove that knowledge on assignments and exams.

Huntington is here to help your students this school year! We welcome the opportunity to work with teachers and schools when students need additional support on a one-to-one basis. Call 1-800 CAN LEARN to find out more about our customized learning programs for students of all ages.

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Seven Tips for Helping Children with Learning Disabilities If you have a child with a disability such as dyslexia, autism, dysgraphia, or an intellectual disability, it’s important that you get and give your child the help needed to succeed in school.

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Fri, 30 Oct 2020 15:01:00 -0400 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/helping-kids-with-learning-disabilities https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/helping-kids-with-learning-disabilities Dr. Raymond Huntington Dr. Raymond Huntington School isn’t easy for many children, but for those who have learning disabilities, it can be even more of a challenge. If you have a child with a disability such as dyslexia, autism, dysgraphia, or an intellectual disability, it’s important that you get and give your child the help needed to succeed in school. Here are several tips:

  1. Play to your child’s strengths. Although one subject or skill might be difficult for your child, something else might be a strength. Autistic children, for example, are often superior in a certain area (such as math or music) but have narrow interests. While that’s certainly a hurdle to overcome, you can help boost your child’s confidence and engagement in school by giving regular, multiple opportunities to do the thing(s) he or she enjoys.
  2. Get one-to-one tutoring. For many children with disabilities, attention issues are very common. Children who are easily distracted do better when a teacher is able to give them their undivided attention—as in a one-to-one setting. And for children with a disability like dyslexia, such a setting is critical to help the tutor focus on fluency, reading aloud and making corrections to reading in real time.
  3. Build brain breaks into learning. With focus being a common issue for students with disabilities, it’s key to find ways to make them feel like they’re taking a break while still learning. Actual breaks are helpful too, but tools like flashcards and math games can go a long way toward keeping your child engaged in homework and learning.
  4. Work with the special education team. You are probably already quite connected with school specialists that help children with learning disorders and learning disabilities, but regular meetings and calls about your child’s progress and success in the classroom are a good idea. Stay up to date on the modifications your child is receiving at school and what is working well (and what is not).
  5. Use a “chunking” approach to school work. Children with learning disabilities or deficiencies can easily become overwhelmed by too much information in front of them or long lists of multi-step assignments. During homework sessions, help your child break bigger assignments down into manageable daily steps. Doing so will help your child feel less stress and more focused.
  6. Encourage highlighting of information. When reading, highlighting is a useful reading comprehension tool. By highlighting important words or sections in a text, your child can refer back to the necessary information later on when needed—for studying for tests, for example.
  7. Help your child talk through ideas first. Writing assignments can be some of the most frustrating and difficult for children with learning disabilities. Children with dysgraphia, for example, have difficulty forming letters when writing and organizing their thoughts on paper. If your child is better at explaining things than writing them out, you can help by encouraging him or her to talk out loud before doing any writing. This helps with idea capture and minimizing frustration.

Of course, diagnosis is vital as well. If you know your child is struggling in school and suspect it might be due to a learning disability, reach out to your school, which can do academic and psychological testing to explore what’s going on.

And while diagnosis is essential, taking action to help your child is equally important. Whether your child has a diagnosed learning disability or another disorder or impairment such as Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, Huntington can help your child be successful in school. 

Our Academic Performance Coach program helps students by providing consistent, structured support throughout the academic year. From working on time management skills to test preparation, study skills to organizing daily assignments, our performance coaches can help your child stay on track this year.  Or perhaps you child needs assistance with Homework?  We’ve got that too.  Huntington Homework delivers one-to-one instruction with a Huntington certified tutor that will help with all K-12 homework needs including subject specific, projects and assignments, and more. 

Call us to learn more about our many of our one-to-one tutoring services that help children of all ages boost their grades and their confidence.

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Six Ways Teens Can Set Themselves Apart on College Applications Applying to college is more than just filling out an online form and sending off some transcripts. Your teen should consider it an opportunity to introduce themselves to colleges and make a compelling case for why they should extend an admission offer to your teen.

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Thu, 05 Nov 2020 13:59:17 -0500 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/six-ways-teens-can-set-themselves-apart-on-college-applications-2020 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/six-ways-teens-can-set-themselves-apart-on-college-applications-2020 Huntington Learning Center Huntington Learning Center Applying to college is more than just filling out an online form and sending off some transcripts. Your teen should consider it an opportunity to introduce themselves to colleges and make a compelling case for why they should extend an admission offer to your teen. With so many students applying to colleges, how can your teen stand out from the masses? Here are a few tips:

  1. Take challenging classes. Students who have the opportunity to take honors or advanced classes and succeed in them should absolutely do so. While grades and Grade Point Average (GPA) are at the top of the list of factors that colleges consider important, the strength of those classes matters almost as much. So, a B+ in Honors Chemistry is going to impress admission officers more than a B+ in a less challenging science class.
  2. Work hard and stay focused on grades. As much as you might like to tell your teen that grades are just one measurement of success, the reality is that colleges do care about your teen’s grades in high school – a lot. In fact, GPA and grades in college preparatory classes are at the very top of the list of factors that colleges weigh when looking at applicants.
  3. Show what your teen cares about in addition to school. Most students assume that a long list of extracurricular activities is going to excite colleges. Remind your teen: quality over quantity. Colleges want to get to know your teen as an individual with passions, drive, and interests. In other words, your teen should focus on showing colleges how they spent time outside of school and why those activities have been important and meaningful.
  4. Show commitment. Colleges are interested in students who are dedicated to school, their peers and families, their communities, and their passions. When it comes to activities, that means that your teen should be genuine about the things toward which they put time and effort (and not just do them halfheartedly to “look good” to colleges). Academically, your teen should always strive to do their best. High grades, improvement (e.g. raising a B freshman year to an A sophomore year), and balancing school with other things (e.g. a sport, a part-time job, and family responsibilities) all demonstrate commitment.
  5. Consider the SAT or ACT an opportunity to stand out even more. Many colleges are temporarily not requiring students to submit standardized test scores with their applications. But even if the college to which your teen applies doesn’t require SAT or ACT scores, it’s worth thinking about taking the exams if your teen has the time and drive to prepare well. A strong score can only bolster your teen’s overall application and qualify them for college scholarships. And if your teen wasn’t pleased with scores from the first SA or ACT attempt, consider registering them for an individualized test prep program with Huntington.
  6. Be thorough. If there’s a definite way for your teen to stand out in a bad way in the college application, it is to blow off directions, forget to fill out important information, or submit an essay with typos. Your teen’s application should be complete, informative, free of errors, and insightful (i.e. don’t let your teen submit an essay that just repeats the resume). Encourage your teen to put the best foot forward. Read our blog on guiding your teen through college admissions.

Applying to college is a big milestone in your teen’s life and something to take seriously. Remind your teen to give the process sufficient time and effort! If your teen wants that extra boost, contact Huntington. We can help your teen raise their GPA (and maintain it), earn strong SAT or ACT scores, improve those all-important test-taking and essay-writing skills, and much more.

Call us today at 1-800 CAN LEARN to discuss how we can help your teen succeed in high school and approach the college application process with confidence.

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Dos and Don’ts for the College Admission Essay ou’ve heard before that the admission essay can give your teen’s college application a boost, and it’s true. How can your teen make the admission essay the best it can be? Here are a few dos and don’ts.

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Thu, 05 Nov 2020 13:55:25 -0500 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/dos-and-donts-for-the-college-admission-essay-2020 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/dos-and-donts-for-the-college-admission-essay-2020 Huntington Learning Center Huntington Learning Center You’ve heard before that the admission essay can give your teen’s college application a boost, and it’s true. According to the National Association for College Admission Counseling’s 2019 State of College Admission report, grades and academic achievement are at the top of the list of factors that college admission teams consider when evaluating candidates. But the next highest on the list: the admission essay. 

How can your teen make the admission essay the best it can be? Here are a few dos and don’ts: 

Do be real. Your teen should think of the essay as an opportunity to speak directly to someone at the college or university to which they are applying. It’s appropriate to be authentic in sharing any events that have shaped your teen, obstacles encountered, and passions that are guiding your teen’s choices in major and college. Remind your teen: genuine is best. 

Don’t get too personal. Life has its ups and downs, and perhaps your teen has encountered difficult times that have been transformational. The best approach to the essay is to be sincere in sharing a meaningful experience, passion or interest, while keeping in mind that this is not the place to share anything traumatic or overly graphic or sad. 

Do use the essay space wisely. On some applications, your teen might get as little as a few hundred words for the essay. It’s smart to use this space to reveal something to the admission officer at the college that would not be obvious throughout the rest of the application. In other words, your teen should avoid repeating the resume or listing off accomplishments like the GPA and test scores. 

Don’t be generic. Using that essay space wisely also means your teen should strive to create an essay that is interesting and compelling and sounds distinctly like your teen. So, your teen should answer an essay prompt with a good story or poignant memory that includes vivid details and descriptions. They should not submit an essay that sounds like it could have been written by 1,000 other students. 

Do follow best practices for writing the essay. The best essays are well planned. Discourage your teen from diving into the essay without any forethought. Ideally, that plan should include these steps: 

  • Create a timeline of drafts, reviews (by a teacher), revisions, and proofreading.
  • Develop an outline with a clear introduction that addresses the prompt, a compelling middle with poignant details, and a conclusion.
  • Write a first draft with the detailed outline on hand. 

Don’t skip the most important step: editing! The essay needs to address the prompt provided by the college or university, of course. But have your teen review the essay to ensure it grabs the reader’s attention, flows well, stays on topic, includes descriptive details, and makes the most of every word. The essay should share your teen’s story through action and compelling language (The oars through the water every morning quieted my mind and inspired me to look inward to set goals for my future), not just by telling (Being on the rowing team was fun and motivating for me). 

Do have a teacher review. A vital step is having an outside reviewer read the essay. For most students, a teacher (or even better, a favorite English or writing teacher) makes sense, but your teen might choose a guidance counselor or family friend. While you’re welcome to give input too, encourage your teen to have someone outside of your household review. 

Don’t send that essay off without a final proofread. After writing, reviewing, editing, sharing with a teacher, and revising to create what feels like a final draft (and possibly repeating a couple of those steps), your teen should make sure to do a final proofread for correct grammar, spelling, and punctuation. 

The college admission essay is your teen’s chance to make an impression on colleges that goes beyond what the academic transcript says. Encourage your teen to take advantage by crafting something great. And if your teen needs help, contact Huntington. We will help your teen hone those writing skills for high school, the college admission essay, and college.

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Dos and Don’ts for the College Application The start of senior year brings a lot of excitement and a long list of to-dos for teens planning to go to college. Here are a few dos and don’ts that your teen should keep in mind.

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Thu, 05 Nov 2020 13:52:27 -0500 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/dos-and-donts-for-the-college-application-2020 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/dos-and-donts-for-the-college-application-2020 Huntington Learning Center Huntington Learning Center The start of senior year brings a lot of excitement and a long list of to-dos for teens planning to go to college. Here are a few dos and don’ts that your teen should keep in mind: 

  • Don’t ignore the college-specific details. Each college and university is unique, and your teen needs to pay close attention to what those institutions require of applicants. Deadlines will vary from college to college – and might be different from the last time your teen checked (pre-COVID-19). One college might require an essay while the other makes it optional. Encourage your teen to research those top few colleges’ admissions websites thoroughly and follow all application directions closely. 
  • Do give the admission essay plenty of effort. If your teen is applying to a college or university that requests an essay, it’s important that they invest the time into brainstorming and crafting a compelling, well-written essay and not simply come up with a topic and crank it out over a weekend. Have your teen take a look at our blog post on creating a strong essay that will stand out to admission officers. 
  • Don’t use the essay to simply repeat the resume. The essay is your teen’s chance to strengthen the overall application. It can help your teen stand apart and show that your teen is an interesting individual with ambitions who will contribute greatly to campus life and their future career. Make sure your teen gives it the attention and time it deserves and doesn’t write something that sounds like it could have come from any other student. 
  • Do be sincere. Your teen must keep in mind that their goal with the college application is to share all accomplishments (via the transcript with GPA, test scores, and resume) along with the challenges that have shaped them, passions for the future, and excitement about the college to which they are applying. If your teen tells that story and is authentic and honest in doing so, it will come through in the college application and supplemental materials. 
  • Don’t exaggerate or try to sound like someone else. Sure, your teen wants to impress, but embellishing accomplishments or flat-out lying isn’t the way to go. Similarly, your teen should avoid answering questions on any application with the mindset of trying to be someone “better” or gushing over the college or university. Instead, encourage your teen to simply share who they are and why the college needs to know that. 

This is a big year for your teen! Encourage them to approach college applications diligently. And don’t hesitate to reach out to Huntington if your teen needs support on the SAT/ACT or in school. This is your teen’s chance to finish high school strong. If we can help them prepare for college success, contact us at 1-800 CAN LEARN.

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Six Tips to Help Your Students Develop Stress Management Techniques School can be stressful – and this year, the adjustment to remote learning is making it even more so for many students. How can you help your students develop good stress management techniques to make this year the best it can be?

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Thu, 05 Nov 2020 13:40:37 -0500 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/six-tips-to-help-your-students-develop-stress-management-techniques https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/six-tips-to-help-your-students-develop-stress-management-techniques Huntington Learning Center Huntington Learning Center School can be stressful – and this year, the adjustment to remote learning is making it even more so for many students. How can you help your students develop good stress management techniques to make this year the best it can be? Here are several tips:

  1. Encourage the routine. A daily school and homework routine minimizes wasted time and procrastination, which are key causes of stress for students of all ages. Teach your students that establishing a set routine is the best way to take ownership of school and be successful.
  2. Develop an organizational system. Poor organization leads to lost work and unnecessary chaos. Show your students how you expect them to keep their binders and files organized and offer suggestions on how to keep up that system at home.
  3. Insist on planner use. The planner is a student’s essential companion. Have your students get theirs out at the start of class to jot down assignments, due dates, and other notes.
  4. Teach good study skills. Unfortunately, study skills don’t come naturally to most students. Offer guidance on how students should learn and retain material with repeated review sessions and other study tools and techniques. Remind students of the pitfalls that will hinder their success, including cramming and procrastination.
  5. Tell students that asking for help is okay. Stress is a very normal part of life but can be debilitating if not managed well. Remind your students that their health and well-being are essential to their happiness and success in school. Share the importance of reaching out to you or one of the school guidance counselors if they’re ever feeling panicked, sad, or overwhelmed.
  6. Share good ways to cope with stress. Good habits and routines will help your students tremendously, but it’s smart for all students to have a few methods of reducing stress when needed. A few proven stress reducers to share with your students include exercise, meditation, positive visualization, positive self-talk, and slow breathing. Reach out to your school psychologist to get ideas or handouts to give to your students.

The better your students deal with stress, the easier school will be for them – even when challenges arise. Help your students cultivate these stress management skills now so they are prepared for college and beyond.

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Helping Elementary Students Transition from Grade to Grade As your child moves through elementary school, you might wonder how you can be the most supportive. Here are a few tips for helping your elementary school student transition from grade to grade:

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Thu, 05 Nov 2020 13:17:48 -0500 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/helping-elementary-school-strudents-transition-between-grades-2020 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/helping-elementary-school-strudents-transition-between-grades-2020 Dr. Raymond Huntington Dr. Raymond Huntington The difference between kindergarteners and fifth-graders is pretty significant. As your child moves through elementary school, you might wonder how you can be the most supportive. Here are a few tips for helping your elementary school student transition from grade to grade:

  1. Promote organizational skills from the start. You might not realize it, but a big goal of the early elementary teachers is to help students cultivate strong organizational systems. Empower your child to take this seriously, whether by having one of your first-grader’s chores be to tidy the homework station and supplies each day or by having your fifth-grader use a planner and make to-do lists. Create a few ground rules for good organization like keeping a clean desk and bedroom and cleaning out the backpack each week. Then, in each grade, develop other chores and routines at home that support the teacher’s efforts to promote good organization.
  2. Teach your child to create and stick a routine. The later in elementary school your child is, the more he or she will be expected to work independently at home and in school. Discuss a good homework and nightly routine with your child. Talk about when your child is most alert and attentive to focus on homework and discuss how to arrange family time, dinner and extracurricular activities around the schedule. Revisit the routine when it seems to need a tune-up. Hang a family calendar and encourage your child to write due dates, activities and other obligations on it.
  3. Deal with skill gaps early in the year. Don’t let lingering gaps in knowledge grow bigger from grade to grade. At the start of each school year, it is important to check in with teachers to make sure your child has the knowledge he or she needs to succeed in the grade ahead. If your child isn’t on grade level at the beginning of the year, work with the teacher to correct any issues or contact Huntington to schedule an assessment.
  4. Talk about your role this year with homework support. Obviously, a child in first grade needs more hand-holding on homework than a child in fifth grade. Here’s a general guide that will help you offer the right level of help:

Kindergarten – Parents should be on hand for help during homework and model good homework practices such as neatness and following directions. Parents should read with their children nightly.

First grade – Parents should encourage their children to attempt homework independently. They should be available for questions and help. Parents should read to their children and have their children read to them as directed by teachers.

Second grade – Children should be doing homework independently with parents on hand for support. They should build reader independence but parents should continue to have their children read aloud to them.

Third grade – Parents should encourage their children to keep track of their own homework and school responsibilities and read independently and/or aloud to a parent each night.

Fourth grade – Parents should foster time management and organizational skills more than in past grades and encourage their children to and reach out for help when needed and read nightly.

Fifth grade – This year, parents should ensure their children have a good homework routine, good study routine, strong organizational skills (including planner use) and solid study skills for things like test preparation and school projects.

 

  1. Build study habits. By the time your child reaches fifth grade, he or she should be comfortable starting homework, finishing tasks without frequent reminders from you, managing his or her time, and setting goals for every homework session. Keep this in mind and remember that these skills are vital in middle school, so it’s never too early to nurture them in elementary school.
  2. Emphasize the learning. Grades matter, but in elementary school, your goal should be to motivate your child to learn for the sake of learning. Teach your child to adopt a growth mindset and continuously work on growing and improving. At the start of every year, talk with your child about what he or she wants to gain this year and revisit those goals and dreams often throughout the school year. The more you can ignite your child’s passion for acquiring new knowledge, the more your child will enjoy each grade and finish elementary school highly prepared for middle school.

Students grow and mature a lot between kindergarten and fifth grade (or sixth, depending on your school). Successful transitions from grade to grade require support from home. Nurture your child’s independence, continue to encourage good organizational and time management skills and support your child in the ways that your child’s teachers suggest. Ultimately, your role is to help your child become a resilient, adaptable student that can handle any transition, big or small.

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Tips for Fighting the Sophomore Slump he sophomore slump hits many students hard in a normal year—and this year could be worse than usual due to the added stress of social distancing, remote learning, and general uncertainty. How can you help your teen?

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Fri, 04 Sep 2020 11:28:48 -0400 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/fighting-the-sophomore-slump-2020 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/fighting-the-sophomore-slump-2020 Huntington Learning Center Huntington Learning Center This time a year ago, your teen was starting high school and looking ahead to the next four years of school with excitement and maybe a little trepidation. Freshman year ended much differently from how everyone expected, with stay-at-home orders, cancelled sports and activities, and remote learning.

The sophomore slump hits many students hard in a normal year—and this year could be worse than usual due to the added stress of social distancing, remote learning, and general uncertainty. How can you help your teen fight boredom and stay motivated during these strange times? Here are several tips:

  • Talk about it. Chances are, there’s a lot going through your teen’s head right now. Freshman year didn’t finish at all how they expected due to school closures and the coronavirus outbreak, and your teen is probably anxious about a variety of things. Open the lines of communication and encourage your teen to share what they feel about school and the year to come.
  • Set goals. We’re big proponents of setting goals at Huntington Learning Center, because the process helps students think and plan ahead and stay focused on what’s most important to them. Goal-setting can also help your teen get those wheels turning and motivate. Have your teen spend time these final weeks of summer creating a list of things they want to achieve during high school and this year, and a more current list of what to work on day to day to reach those objectives.
  • Reflect on last year. Before school closures, how was the year going? Were there areas that were a challenge for your teen? Subjects that emerged as strengths? Part of your teen’s mental preparation for a brand new year is looking back at the year prior to assess where your teen was doing a good job and where they could be doing better.
  • Start talking about college. Now is a perfect time to start talking about life after high school. Have your teen start making a list of college majors or career pursuits that are of interest as well as any colleges or universities. Nothing needs to be finalized now, but the exercise will give your teen something exciting to focus on, which will help mitigate feelings of apathy and disinterest that sophomore year can bring.
  • Remind your teen that sophomore year is important. This is a key year in high school, and one where your teen should start to think about PSAT/SAT and ACT prep, and success in any Advanced Placement or honors courses coming up. Remind your teen that just as freshman year was a transition year, sophomore year continues to build the foundation for the rest of high school.

Every new year of high school brings different emotions, but you can help your teen fight the sophomore slump. Be understanding and listen attentively to any concerns, and remind your teen that school is what they make of it. As your teen eases back into the school routine, stay positive and encouraging. It might look different from normal, but this can be a great school year.

Need support? Contact Huntington about our one-to-one tutoring programs for students of all ages. We’ll help your teen improve any weaknesses, bolster any strengths, and feel good about school this year and beyond.

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Tips for Helping Your Teen Make Freshman Year Great Freshman year is a time of transition, which might take your teen by surprise. How can you help them start high school off on the right foot and make it a successful year?

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Fri, 04 Sep 2020 11:21:00 -0400 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/tips-for-freshman-year-2020 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/tips-for-freshman-year-2020 Huntington Learning Center Huntington Learning Center In what probably feels like a blink, your child became a teenager and a high school student. Freshman year is a time of transition, which might take your teen by surprise. How can you help them start high school off on the right foot and make it a successful year? Here are a few tips:

  • Talk about the importance of grades. Middle school was a trial run in many ways, but in high school, grades truly matter. The Grade Point Average (GPA) is cumulative, which means that a low grade on that freshman year report card will stay with your teen for the remaining four years of high school. Talk with your teen about how critical it is to work hard from day one freshman year. Remind them that grades are one of the top factors considered by college admission officers.
  • Have your teen create a strong organizational system. There’s no room for poor organization in high school. Your teen will be responsible for staying on top of several classes, including all notes, assignments, due dates, and papers passed out in class. Set up solid routines at home like nightly tidying of their desk or workspace, and encourage your teen to create a system for keeping the backpack and binders organized. If your teen attended orientation and received a school agenda or planner, help them learn how to use it effectively.
  • Establish open communication. The next few years will be filled with change for your teen, and as exciting as that can be, it does bring some stress as well. And with many schools starting remotely, your teen’s high school career might not exactly be starting off how they envisioned. Assure your teen that you’re there to listen and offer support, whether school challenges arise or remote learning proves difficult.
  • Talk about when to ask for help. High school might have some bumps in the road, but your teen needs to realize that problems can quickly go from small to huge if left uncorrected. Remind your teen of the consequences of falling behind in high school and talk about how important it is to establish a good relationship with teachers. When your teen struggles, they should ask for help – sooner than later. If needed, you can explore one-to-one tutoring to correct any skill gaps caused by the COVID-19 slide.
  • Discuss a good routine. High school students have a lot on their plates. Your teen absolutely must become adept at managing their time by using a planner and calendar and a reliable organizational system. Talk about the best time for your teen to get homework done and how to manage the remote learning schedule effectively.
  • Incorporate some fun. High school is supposed to be filled with new opportunities to explore and meet new people. If your teen is starting out learning from home, it might not feel quite as exciting, so make sure you help them find ways to connect with classmates and get engaged in school life as much as possible. Maybe now is the time to explore a new passion or be creative about getting involved in the high school community. Be positive and encourage your teen to seize opportunities when they arise.

High school is an exciting new chapter and a chance for your teen to start fresh, ignite passions, and take initiative on creating their best future. Help your teen make it a great year in light of the unique circumstances.

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What Your Students Need in Their Teachers During Remote Learning During today’s environment of online learning, your students need more from you to navigate these trying times and feel confident in doing so. Here are a few essentials for creating a good remote learning environment for your students.

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Fri, 04 Sep 2020 11:13:42 -0400 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/teachers-during-remote-learning https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/teachers-during-remote-learning Huntington Learning Center Huntington Learning Center There are certain characteristics that all great teachers share, from passion for their subject to an ability to forge strong relationships with students, a commitment to helping students meet high expectations, and strong listening skills, to name a few.

And while these traits will always be important, during today’s environment of online learning, your students need more from you to navigate these trying times and feel confident in doing so. Here are a few essentials for creating a good remote learning environment for your students:

  • Focus on the learning – Last school year’s remote teaching plan came together with no notice and little planning, but if your school is returning to remote instruction this year, your students are in for a whole lot of new. As best you can, stay close to the teaching and try not to get sidetracked with getting students to become experts on new programs and online tools. The more you can direct your efforts toward helping students build knowledge and learn, the more comfortable they will be.
  • Positivity – There’s plenty to be down about right now, but that’s definitely not what your students need. Do your best to stay optimistic about how this year will go and remind your students that none of these changes are permanent. Ask your students how they intend to better themselves and others this year. Encourage them to reframe the challenges they’re facing as opportunities for growth.
  • Understanding – These days, flexibility is the name of the game. Be understanding about the circumstances that students are facing at home and the skill gaps that might exist due to school closures in March. Acknowledge that the way you’ve always done things might not work right now. Offer students choices and give them ownership, and remember to stay focused on your primary goal: to teach.

It's a challenging time to be a teacher, no doubt. Remind yourself why you joined this life-changing profession, and focus on making a difference. Now more than ever, your students need you to come through for them. Stay the course and you and your students will emerge stronger and better.

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Five Learning Problems that Demand Immediate Intervention Problems are part of growing up, but when it comes to navigating school, do you find yourself unsure when to step in and help your child and when to let him or her handle a problem alone?

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Thu, 05 Nov 2020 13:14:48 -0500 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/five-learning-problems-demanding-immediate-intervention https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/five-learning-problems-demanding-immediate-intervention Dr. Raymond Huntington Dr. Raymond Huntington Childhood has plenty of ups and downs. And for most children, school presents both opportunities to grow and challenges to overcome. Problems are part of growing up, but when it comes to navigating school, do you find yourself unsure when to step in and help your child and when to let him or her handle a problem alone?

Deciphering big problems from small ones isn’t always straightforward. Here are five types of learning problems that should prompt you to take immediate action:

  1. Trouble completing work – When you observe your child doing homework, does it seem like he or she often works on it for a long time but struggles to finish? Is your child a chronic procrastinator? Effort on homework should yield at least some good results, so if you notice your child putting in the work but not getting the grades or finished assignments to show for it, something is wrong.
  2. Angry and uninterested – If your child gets mad easily during homework or studying, that’s a red flag. Frustration is common and to be expected sometimes. However, if your child gets angry easily at school and during homework and that often leads to giving up altogether, it could be an avoidance tactic because your child lacks both skills and confidence. If you saw this worsen during remote learning last spring, it’s time to dig into what’s really going on.
  3. A bad attitude – A bad attitude could take many forms. Your child might make negative comments about school, teachers, difficult subjects and classes on a regular basis. Maybe your child frequently puts him or herself down. Mood swings are normal as children develop, but if these changes seem big and don’t go away, there’s a good chance that school challenges might be the main culprit.
  4. Constantly distracted – Digital tools and technology can be a big distraction for today’s students, but what about when your child is alone in a room with nothing to steal his or her attention other than homework? Does your child zone out on a regular basis or find ways to avoid doing homework no matter what? Do you have to nag and micromanage to get your child to do anything? Do teachers report that your child seems lost in class and cannot recall simple directions? These could be indicators of a bigger issue such as Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and are worth exploring further.
  5. Homework difficulty every night – The purpose of homework is to reinforce concepts taught in class, and while some homework is intended to be quick and other homework might push your child to attempt new material independently, pay attention to your child’s homework sessions. If it’s rare for a night to go by when your child doesn’t throw up his or her hands in frustration due to not understanding things, your child might be missing essential skills. This needs correction before the problem worsens.

If you notice one or several of these learning problems, call Huntington to help make your child’s back to school transition as seamless as possible. It’s not too late to begin getting your child back on track to close some of the skill gaps that appeared or widened during remote learning and over summer break. We’ll work with your child to get to the root of any problems and develop a learning plan that will help your child make this a better school year.

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Huntington Learning Center Announces Huntington Study Hall In-Person and Live Online Tutoring and Test Prep, Homework Help, Webinars, and Huntington Study Hall Are Here to Help

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Fri, 24 Jul 2020 11:34:03 -0400 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/huntington-expands-offerings-to-help-students-impacted-by-covid-19 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/huntington-expands-offerings-to-help-students-impacted-by-covid-19 Huntington Learning Center Huntington Learning Center The upcoming academic year looks very different for students and families from previous years, and Huntington Learning Center has been hard at work to develop additional resources to support families as they navigate the uncertain start to school this fall. Regardless of the environment and learning track you choose for your children, Huntington is proud to offer a variety of programs and resources that will help set students up for success this school year.

“At Huntington, we are working hard in real-time to evolve and elevate our programs in order to support students who have experienced a disruption in learning due to the pandemic,” said Anne Huntington, President of Huntington Learning Center. “As we have done for over 40 years, Huntington will continue to provide students with the best education possible no matter what situation comes our way.” 

Today, Huntington announced the addition to their remote and in-person learning capabilities: Huntington Study Hall, a new resource that offers students the opportunity to attend their virtual schools at an accredited Huntington Learning Center in a structured environment that is quiet, safe and clean, with certified teachers on-hand to help with their studies throughout the day. Huntington Study Hall is also available online with certified teachers. Because each school district may require different formats, Huntington will offer flexible scheduling options to accommodate the needs of each student. Individualized tutoring and test prep programs are also available to complement Huntington Study Hall. 

“Our family-run company has an unmatched track record of serving students across the country through our proven learning programs,” said Anne Huntington. “Our accredited programs and highly trained, certified teachers, are available via our live virtual tutoring platform, HuntingtonHelps LIVE, and in-person at our centers, all of which are adhering to CDC and government guidelines and following strict cleaning and social distancing standards.” 

Huntington offers skill-building programs, subject-specific tutoring, test prep for the SAT, ACT, and state and standardized tests, Homework Help and Huntington Advantage programs, as well as free weekly webinars. Because every child learns differently, Huntington recommends that students complete a comprehensive academic evaluation to find out where their academic strengths and weaknesses are, and enroll in a customized learning program designed to meet their individual needs.

Huntington helps. Call 1-800 CAN LEARN and visit www.huntingtonhelps.com to get started.

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Helping Your Child Cope with Uncertainty this School Year Kids with ADHD, who rely on predictability and routines to help regulate their attention, behavior, and emotions, may be struggling with feelings of uncertainty more than most.

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Thu, 05 Nov 2020 15:02:04 -0500 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/helping-your-child-cope-with-uncertainty-this-school-year-2020 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/helping-your-child-cope-with-uncertainty-this-school-year-2020 Dr. Mary Rooney, Ph.D. Dr. Mary Rooney, Ph.D. School is back in session and students, teachers, and parents are adjusting to their new remote, in-person, or hybrid school routines. For many students and parents, the stress of adjusting to the ‘new normal’ at school is compounded by the uncertainty related to school plans that are seemingly subject to change at any time. Kids with ADHD, who rely on predictability and routines to help regulate their attention, behavior, and emotions, may be struggling with feelings of uncertainty more than most.

Parents, who are struggling to cope with uncertainty related to Covid-19 on many levels, are faced with the difficult task of managing their own uncertainty-related anxiety while also trying to help minimize their children’s anxiety. While the uncertainty itself won’t be going away any time soon, there are many fairly simple things parents can do to help kids with ADHD cope with uncertainty surrounding school plans and schedules.

  • Talk with your child about their worries. Create an environment at home where your child feels comfortable talking about their worries and fears related to school. This means listening when they talk, validating and normalizing their feelings, and acknowledging that things are difficult right now. It’s okay to reassure your child, but avoid accidentally minimizing or dismissing their feelings with statements like, “Don’t worry, everything will be fine.”
  • Provide the big-picture perspective. During uncertain times, the anxiety felt by kids is driven in part by their inability to see the big picture. They don’t have the life experience or knowledge to truly recognize that our lives will eventually return to normal. Fill in this gap for your child by providing the big-picture perspective. Remind them of other times in history, times in their life, or times in your own life when things were difficult but got better eventually.
  • Focus on the facts. Uncertainty and worry stem from things we think might happen, not necessarily things that have actually happened or things that are true and factual. If your child’s worries are full of ‘what if’ questions, focus on the things that we do know with at least some degree of certainty. While there are many negative things in life that might happen, there is also a very good (and often much greater) chance that they won’t happen at all.
  • Be prepared for possible changes in school format or routine. Kids are less anxious during uncertain times when they feel prepared and have a plan. If you and your child are worried about abrupt changes from in-person to remote learning, then now is the time to create a plan for what your child’s remote learning routine and structure may look like. This includes plans for child-care coverage and tutoring help whenever feasible, plans for morning and evening routines (these should be very similar to what you are doing now), and plans for what your child’s remote learning desk and homework area will look like. Have your child help create these plans so they feel a sense of control.
  • Talk about all of the things that will not During uncertain times, there are many things that may change quickly, but there are also many more things that will not change at all. Help your child make a list of the important relationships, activities, and things that will not change regardless of what happens with school or with COVID-19 more broadly.

One of the biggest challenges that kids with ADHD will face this year is dealing with the uncertainty that comes with attending school during the pandemic. If your child’s anxiety is interfering with their life at school or at home, talk to their doctor, pediatrician, or therapist to get additional support and treatment.

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How Much Do Colleges Care About Extracurricular Involvement? Extracurricular involvement is a presumed resume booster that can help set a student apart – but how much? And do all colleges care about it?

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Thu, 03 Sep 2020 11:10:32 -0400 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/extracurricular-involvement-importance-2020 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/extracurricular-involvement-importance-2020 Huntington Learning Center Huntington Learning Center Most parents and high school students know that Grade Point Average (GPA) and SAT/ACT scores are at the top of the list of factors that colleges consider when evaluating applicants. But a student is much more than their data points, and colleges look at other elements, too. Extracurricular involvement is a presumed resume booster that can help set a student apart – but how much? And do all colleges care about it?

Let’s take a look at the National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC) 2019 State of College Admission report, which uses data collected from two annual NACAC surveys, one of which is designed to better understand admission processes at US colleges and universities.

Here’s a summary of their findings regarding extracurricular activities:

  • Extracurricular activities were considered “considerably important” by 6.4% of colleges surveyed. That’s low compared to other factors ranked of considerable importance. The top five factors on the list of 16 considerably important factors were:

Acceptance factors

% of colleges reporting acceptance factor as of considerable importance

Grades in all courses

74.5%

Grades in college prep courses

73.2%

Strength of curriculum

62.1%

Admission test scores (SAT/ACT)

45.7%

Essay or writing sample

23.2%

 

  • Extracurricular activities were ranked as “moderately important” by most colleges surveyed. In fact, of the 16 factors on the list, extracurricular activities came in number one of moderate importance, with 42.9% of colleges naming it moderately important. Close behind on the list of highest-ranked moderately important factors were: 

Acceptance factors

% of colleges reporting acceptance factor as of moderate importance

Counselor recommendation

40.4%

Teacher recommendation

40.2%

Admission test scores

37.1%

Essay or writing sample

33.2%

           

  • Private colleges consider extracurricular activities more important. The survey showed that private colleges placed relatively more importance on a number of factors, including extracurricular activities (and the essay or writing sample, interview, counselor recommendation, teacher recommendation, student-demonstrated interest, and work).
  • So do selective colleges. Selective colleges also rate extracurricular activities as being of higher importance, along with the essay or writing sample, counselor recommendation, teacher recommendation, and work.
  • Some colleges don’t consider extracurricular activities at all. Believe it or not, 18.7% of colleges rated extracurricular activities as unimportant. As far as other factors ranked as not being important at all, this is number 11 out of 16, with the SAT II ranked as not important by 77.8% of colleges surveyed. The fact remains that most, but not all, colleges surveyed say extracurricular activities are important.

So, do extracurricular activities impress admission officers? They can, but how much they matter varies from institution to institution. As you can see, extracurriculars are one of several factors on a long list of considerations. Grades and test scores matter most, and NACAC reports that this has remained true for decades.

While extracurricular activities are important, keep this in mind:

  • Quality over quantity. Not every student has the financial means or the time to commit to eight extracurricular activities. What admission officers care about when it comes to students getting involved is that they are passionate and committed. If that means your teen does one or two activities and demonstrates that these activities have been impactful and a priority over an extended period of time, that’s best.
  • School matters most. You might have a future Division I athlete or Broadway star on your hands, but no matter what your teen’s dreams are, encourage them to make school a priority. If your teen plans to go to college, the first thing admission officers will look at is their academic performance. That will be the “foot in the door” more than an extracurricular activity.
  • Think of extracurricular activities as a way to bolster the resume, not dominate it. Your teen’s high GPA and strong SAT/ACT scores will speak volumes about their potential. That resume of activities is an excellent way to show that they are dedicated and hard-working (and perhaps have an aptitude for something like a sport, instrument, or future career path).

Your teen should get involved with extracurricular activities that are enjoyable and offer valuable experience. College admission officers will notice their effort, and it could tip the scales in terms of an acceptance decision. No matter what, doing well in school is most important.

If your teen needs help raising those grades or preparing for the SAT or ACT, call Huntington to learn more about our Huntington Advantage and renowned SAT/ACT prep programs. 1-800 CAN LEARN

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Nine Things Students Need to Know About Taking the ACT Post-COVID-19 ACT has started to resume some semblance of normal as states are beginning to reopen in the wake of the coronavirus crisis. The ACT has made a few changes that some parents may have heard about, but the biggest difference to expect going forward is how the exam will be administered.

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Thu, 05 Nov 2020 13:11:51 -0500 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/9-things-about-the-act-post-covid-19 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/9-things-about-the-act-post-covid-19 Dr. Raymond Huntington Dr. Raymond Huntington In a typical year, college-bound high school students often take the ACT in spring of junior year and spend the summer studying to retake the exam a second time if they want to improve their scores. But 2020 was not a typical year, and everything has changed, including high school students’ test prep plans.

Luckily, ACT has started to resume some semblance of normal as states are beginning to reopen in the wake of the coronavirus crisis. The ACT has made a few changes that some parents may have heard about, but the biggest difference to expect going forward is how the exam will be administered.

Here are nine things that parents and teens need to know about the ACT:

  1. All students will be screened for COVID-19 symptoms and required to sit six feet apart. Test site administrators will be screened and required to wear masks and test sites will be held to CDC safety standards. Masks will be encouraged for test-takers.
  2. Testing will only take place at certain test sites. Only sites deemed safe and in accordance with CDC and local government “essential business” guidelines will be allowed to offer the ACT.
  3. If your student is registered for the July 18 ACT, he/she should have received an update about testing site closures. Test center availability and locations might change, but as of now, July 18 is still on. Your student should have information about whether the test center is open or closed. If your student cannot test in July, 3 test dates are available in September (12,13 &19) and registration for either date will be open on 7/27/2020.
  4. If your student’s exam date was cancelled, you have to re-register. ACT did not automatically re-register students, so your student should follow instructions that were emailed out, if he or she hasn’t already.
  5. At-home testing is coming soon. No dates have been decided, but ACT will make this available in late fall or early winter.
  6. The option to take one section of the ACT at a time will no longer roll out in September 2020. You might recall that earlier this year, ACT announced that students would be able to retake one or more section(s) of the ACT to improve their scores. With the focus on increasing testing capacity for students who need to take the full ACT test, this rollout is tentatively scheduled for later in 2021, but ACT will continue to monitor the test-center capacity situation and respond accordingly.
  7. Superscoring and online testing options will be available in September 2020. Two other changes slated for fall 2020 are still a go, however:
    • Superscoring, the ability for students to send their best ACT test results to colleges combined as one “superscore,” which shows the highest possible composite score across multiple tests and section retests.
    • Online testing with faster score results, the ability for students to choose between online or paper testing on national test days at ACT test centers (selected test centers initially, eventually expanding to all). The test is currently administered only on paper on national test dates. Students will receive scores as early as two business days after their exams.
  8. Remote proctoring is coming. ACT plans to roll out a remote proctoring solution on a limited basis in late fall/early winter. More information will be released at a later date.
  9. There are added national test dates for the rest of 2020. As of now, the ACT will be administered July 18, September 12 & 13, 19, October 10, 17, 24 & 25, and December 12.

 If your teen is taking the ACT this summer or later this year, call Huntington. We’ll help your teen prepare to earn his or her best score and get into the college of his or her choice. Contact us at 1-800 CAN LEARN to learn more about our individualized, flexible ACT prep programs, taught online and in our reopened centers.

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Scholarship Data Every Parent Needs to Know How do most students receive scholarships? Is it worth the time and effort to apply? Let’s take a look at some data on scholarships that might motivate your teen

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Thu, 03 Sep 2020 10:39:19 -0400 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/scholarship-data-every-parent-needs-to-know https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/scholarship-data-every-parent-needs-to-know Huntington Learning Center Huntington Learning Center There are lots of reasons parents encourage their teens to work hard in high school and earn good grades, and with college around the corner, increasing a teen’s potential for earning scholarships is certainly appealing. But how prevalent are scholarships? How do most students receive scholarships? Is it worth the time and effort to apply? Let’s take a look at some data on scholarships that might motivate your teen:

  • The average amount of grant and scholarship aid for all four-year institutions in the 2016-2017 school year was $12,250, according to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). Grant and scholarship aid consists of federal Title IV grants, as well as other grant or scholarship aid from the federal government, state or local governments, or institutional sources.
  • Average grant and scholarship aid was significantly higher for private vs. public institutions: $21,800 for nonprofit private institutions as compared to $7,370 for public institutions.
  • The average amount of grant and scholarship aid for all two-year institutions in the 2016-2017 school year was $5,090.
  • Again, that average was higher for private vs. public institutions: $6,490 for nonprofit private institutions as compared to $5,140 for public institutions.
  • According to College Board, postsecondary students received a total of $123.8 billion in scholarships and grants in 2014-15.
  • According to Sallie Mae’s “How America Pays for College” 2019 national study, families reported that 31% of the total cost of college was covered by grants and scholarships (the second-largest share of college costs to family income and savings, which covered 43%).
  • In the same study, 65% of families used scholarships to fund college. The overlap of scholarships and grants meant that 82% of families utilized free financial aid to pay for college.
  • That 31% equates to $8,177, and was made up of scholarships (3/5 of these funds) and grants (2/5 of these funds).
  • Per the Sallie Mae study, most scholarship money is awarded as a result of a financial aid process defined by the college and by state/local governments.
  • The Sallie Mae report shared that:
    • 61% of students who used scholarships received one from the college, with an average amount of $10,006.
    • 21% of students received scholarships from their state, with an average amount of $2,805.
    • 31% of scholarship recipients reported obtaining one from a community-based source, with an average amount of $2,882.
    • Among students who didn’t use scholarships to pay for college, most (two-thirds) did not apply for any.

As far as how to earn scholarships, your teen absolutely must fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, which is the “screener” for federal and many state scholarships, as well as other types of aid. But you might not realize that many merit-based scholarships are offered to students automatically, simply because they have strong SAT/ACT scores and GPAs. The University of Arizona, for example, offers incoming merit tuition awards to both residents and non-residents based on their test scores and GPAs. 

Here’s the bottom line: there are many scholarships out there available for all kinds of students. Scholarship funds primarily come from federal sources and colleges and universities themselves, but they also come from private sources and states. 

SAT/ACT scores, coupled with your teen’s GPA could qualify them for many different types of scholarships. That’s why it’s important that your teen work hard in school and seek help when needed. If your teen is struggling in a subject, or just wants to earn the best possible SAT/ACT score, call Huntington. We’ll help your teen increase their grades, motivation, and chances of earning college scholarships. 1-800 CAN LEARN

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Dos and Don’ts for Giving Praise to Students If you’ve been teaching for any amount of time, you know that students need encouragement. Praise is an essential part of that, but not all praise is effective, and some types of praise can actually do more harm than good.

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Thu, 03 Sep 2020 10:39:47 -0400 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/dos-and-donts-for-giving-praise-to-students https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/dos-and-donts-for-giving-praise-to-students Huntington Learning Center Huntington Learning Center If you’ve been teaching for any amount of time, you know that students need encouragement. Praise is an essential part of that, but not all praise is effective, and some types of praise can actually do more harm than good. Here are some dos and don’ts for giving your students praise that will help them in the short and long term:

  • Do praise effort. As a teacher, your goal is to increase your students’ skills, but it’s critical that you nurture their belief that their intelligence and abilities can be improved. So, when giving praise, rule number one is to praise effort, not end result. Stanford researcher Carol Dweck has been studying motivation among children and adults for over four decades, and she says that praising children for effort leads to stamina and resilience more so than praising intelligence or abilities.
  • Don’t praise achievements or traits. It’s important that teachers focus praise on the aspects that are within a student’s control. Congratulating a student for being smart or good at math does not acknowledge the hard work that it took to earn those accolades. The message to send is that effort is to be admired and that achievements do not come easily, no matter who you are.
  • Do use praise to encourage good classroom behavior. Praise can work wonders when it comes to reinforcing good behaviors and discouraging bad ones. A recent study in Educational Psychology led by Paul Caldarella from Brigham Young University found in a study of 2,536 students between ages 5 and 12 a positive, linear relationship between a higher teacher praise-to-reprimand ratio and stronger on-task behavior among students.
  • Don’t withhold praise while waiting for perfection. Everyone makes mistakes, which is how students grow and learn. It’s good for you to encourage your students to persevere when things don’t go their way and learn from their missteps. That’s part of the process and the best way for students to practice and hone different learning strategies and skills.
  • Do be specific. Specific praise of a student’s habits, processes, hard work, attitude, or similar things can affect how students feel about their own successes or failures. Such recognition can teach your students that they are in control of the outcomes they do or don’t achieve and help them make connections to which actions lead to success. So, instead of, “Great job getting that A on the assignment,” you might try, “I can see you put a lot of thought and time into this, which is why you earned an A.”
  • Don’t give praise for the sake of giving praise. Praise is best delivered when it is deserved. In other words, make note of when students go the extra mile or show grit when attempting difficult problems or tasks. But don’t inflate praise just to make a student feel good, as the lack of sincerity will show, and ultimately, the comments will be ineffective.

Praise is an excellent tool that can boost students’ motivation and self-esteem and encourage them to embrace a growth mindset, which is when students believe that they can increase their intelligence through their own efforts. Use it in your teaching strategies and you will notice a positive effect.

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Navigating Changes to the Standardized Testing System As we look ahead to the coming school year, families and educators can expect to continue to see a shift in the way learning is implemented across the US as a result of the ongoing COVID pandemic.

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Wed, 01 Jul 2020 08:49:00 -0400 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/navigating-changes-to-standardized-testing-2020 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/navigating-changes-to-standardized-testing-2020 Anne Huntington Anne Huntington Author: Anne Huntington, President

As we look ahead to the coming school year, families and educators can expect to continue to see a shift in the way learning is implemented across the US as a result of the ongoing COVID pandemic. From expanded online learning to extended school closures, the effects of the pandemic on our educational system will continue to unfold even as we enter the new academic year in the fall of 2020.  

No one has all of the answers as to what this coming school year will completely look like due to the pandemic, but at Huntington, we promise to stay ahead of the curve on the latest developments and how they’ll impact our students, and to continue to provide the best education possible. We know that the ‘COVID Slide’ is real, and that students may lose over a year’s worth of learning due to the disruptions from the pandemic, which is why it is important to continue to build academic skills throughout the summer to prepare for the upcoming school year and for upcoming standardized tests. 

One of the biggest changes we’ve seen is on the standardized testing front. SAT and ACT testing for our high school students has been disrupted by test date cancellations and postponements. Universities and colleges are rethinking how heavily they will weigh standardized test scores now and in the future due in part to limited access to exam dates and testing facilities. 

Even so, experts expect that testing will become widely available again as soon as August for the SAT and September for the ACT, so it’s important to make sure that test prep is part of summer plans for students preparing for college, which are typically rising high school juniors and seniors. Parents and high school students should check with their local SAT/ACT scheduling resources, namely the official websites for both tests because the information changes constantly. It is critical to have the most recent information on important dates like test availability and registration deadlines, many of which fall in the summer months. And, with high volumes of students needing to reschedule their exams, there is the potential that students may experience delays securing a future test date. Therefore, we recommend sophomores start to think about these exams to set themselves up for success as well. 

For our families enrolled in Huntington, we help them navigate this changing landscape to guide them to the right decisions - is a standardized test the right option, do we need to focus on grades, how is the college application looking, what are the student’s goals are some of the questions we go through. We help our students make sure they make the right decisions for themselves, because with so much disruption happening all around, we need to ensure our students know that we are here to help. 

Families and students should also familiarize themselves with the various application components for the student’s desired colleges and keep in touch with those admissions offices throughout the summer so the student is aware of any updates the school may decide to implement along the way. While many universities and colleges are beginning to embrace test-blind and test-optional policies, the SAT and ACT continue to be vital tools for building a strong college application. 

As we wait for new testing opportunities to become available, we suggest that students focus on other elements of the application. Brainstorming essay ideas and putting together an outline is a great starting point, and Huntington’s certified teachers and tutors are prepared to help you navigate writing roadblocks along the way in addition to subject specific tutoring and homework help. Additionally, students can begin outreach to teachers, coaches, mentors and others for letters of recommendation, which can help bolster their application.  

We are currently enrolling students in our SAT, ACT and subject matter test programs, so connect with your local Huntington Learning Center to get your child signed up today for a better tomorrow.

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Combatting Learning Loss in the Summer Months The term ‘Summer Slide’ refers to the learning regression that students may experience while on school break during the summer months. This learning loss can cause students to fall a full grade level behind in reading and math, which makes it difficult for them to catch up when school resumes.  

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Wed, 01 Jul 2020 08:48:41 -0400 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/combatting-learning-loss-in-summer https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/combatting-learning-loss-in-summer Anne Huntington Anne Huntington Author: Anne Huntington, President

The term ‘Summer Slide’ refers to the learning regression that students may experience while on school break during the summer months. This learning loss can cause students to fall a full grade level behind in reading and math, which makes it difficult for them to catch up when school resumes.  

This year students are faced with a new challenge to their education: the ‘COVID Slide.’ This term refers to the learning loss from the disruption in education the pandemic has caused, a true education crisis that resulted in remote/distance learning, weeks without school, early school closures, challenges and obstacles with learning from home, postponements and cancellations of state and standardized exams in addition to technological issues and more. The ‘COVID Slide’ not only negatively impacted students’ learning, making them fall behind, but it has also been compounded by social and emotional anxieties that many students face when removed from their daily routines.  

To help students avoid the COVID and Summer Slides, we encourage families to get more involved in planning academic and enrichment activities throughout the summer, such as participating in a virtual summer camp, joining Huntington’s free Reading Adventure program themed ‘Anywhere You Want To Go!,’ or joining our Reading Live sessions on our Youtube channel.  For more ideas on how you can help students stay engaged in learning, we also offer free weekly webinars on topics like summer activities, tips for writing a great college essay, and helping children connect in a socially disconnected time, in addition to our virtual one-on-one tutoring offerings via HuntingtonHelps LIVE. 

At Huntington, students’ success has been our top priority for over 40 years, and we’re dedicated to providing every student with the best education possible. No matter the challenges we face in the days, months and years to come, we are here to help children learn.

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Updates on the SAT/ACT: What You Need to Know All students had their worlds turned upside down this spring, but for college-bound high school students, the sudden cancellation of the March, April, May, and June SAT and ACT dates caused even more uncertainty. 

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Thu, 05 Nov 2020 13:08:37 -0500 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/updates-on-sat-act-2020 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/updates-on-sat-act-2020 Dr. Raymond Huntington Dr. Raymond Huntington All students had their worlds turned upside down this spring, but for college-bound high school students, the sudden cancellation of the March, April, May, and June SAT and ACT dates caused even more uncertainty. 

Good news: both the College Board and ACT have laid out schedules for upcoming administrations of the SAT and ACT. Here’s what your teens need to know about their plans this summer and fall: 

Updates on the SAT 

  • There is a new September SAT. While the June SAT date has been cancelled, there will be a new administration of the SAT September 26.
  • The College Board will offer monthly administrations starting in August. Students are able to take the SAT every month through the end of the year, beginning in August. Those dates are August 29, September 26, October 3, November 7 and December 5.
  • Students who registered for the June SAT or Subject Test can transfer their registration. Students can choose any upcoming administration.
  • Students in the class of 2020 or 2021 get priority registration. Any students in the class of 2020 or 2021 that do not have SAT scores can register now for the August, September and October SAT or SAT Subject Test.
  • Registration opened May 28. Registration for the November and December SAT exams opened May 28, and the August, September and October test registration opens up for all on June 3.
  • Seating capacity might be limited. Public health restrictions vary from state to state, so some exam dates might have limited capacity. The College Board suggests continuing to log back in to My SAT for updated capacity (as the company adds more test center seats when they become available).
  • Two school-day administrations have been added. Those dates are September 23 and October 14. There has been a lot of interest in a school-day test option among the College Board’s state partners and district partners, so there could be more dates added soon.

 Updates on the ACT 

  • The June 13 ACT is still on in some places. Last week, ACT contacted all students registered for the June 13 ACT with an update on whether their exam centers are available and have capacity for them to take the exam. Test center cancellations are posted on ACT’s website.
  • If a test center scheduled for the June 13 ACT reduced capacity due to social distancing guidelines, 12th and 11th grade students received priority. Students in 12th grade were prioritized first, followed by students in 11th Thereafter, ACT looked at the order in which students registered when choosing which students would still be able to take the June exam.
  • Starting in July, there are four national test dates. Test center availability might change, but as of now, July 18 is still a go. Thereafter, the ACT will be administered September 12, October 24 and December 12.
  • Students have to re-register. If a student’s test date was cancelled, it is up to the student to re-register for a future date (or obtain a refund).
  • Starting September 2020, students can test online. For the September 12 administration, students have the option to take the ACT on a computer at an ACT test center.
  • At-home testing is coming soon. No dates have been decided, but ACT will make this available in late fall or early winter. 

As you know, things change daily amid this global coronavirus pandemic and they could change again in the weeks to come. Regularly check the SAT (www.collegeboard.org) and ACT (www.act.org) websites for most up to date information. For now, here are a couple of tips on what your teen should do in the meantime: 

  • Prepare over summer. Your teen probably has more free time than ever. Now is the time to focus on targeted test prep so that when your teen does take the SAT or ACT, he or she is prepared to succeed.
  • Don’t panic. If there’s any silver lining, it is that your teen is not the only one in this situation. If your soon-to-be senior was signed up for his or her first SAT or ACT and studied over winter, there’s a good chance he or she has lost some ground. That’s okay. It’s time to pick things back up this summer with a customized test prep program. 

Huntington is ready to enroll your teen for a summer SAT or ACT prep program. You can choose to have your teen work with one of Huntington’s experienced tutors online or in a re-opened center. We’ve helped tens of thousands of students achieve their best on these important exams and fulfill their college dreams. Contact us at 1-800 CAN LEARN to discuss our customized summer SAT and ACT prep programs.

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Keeping Homebound K-8 Students Learning with Online Tutoring With the coronavirus pandemic being far from over, many schools have already decided to close through the end of the school year. One thing is safe to assume: children will be learning at home for a while. And while remote/online school works for some children, it might be less ideal for others. The biggest concern many parents have: loss of learning.

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Fri, 10 Jul 2020 14:52:22 -0400 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/keeping-homebound-students-learning-online-2020 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/keeping-homebound-students-learning-online-2020 Dr. Raymond Huntington Dr. Raymond Huntington Right now, all of us are taking things day by day, hour by hour. With the coronavirus pandemic being far from over, many schools have already decided to close through the end of the school year. One thing is safe to assume: children will be learning at home for a while. And while remote/online school works for some children, it might be less ideal for others. The biggest concern many parents have: loss of learning.

What can you do to ensure your child continues learning while homebound? Offer him or her customized online tutoring. Here are some of the benefits of supplementing children’s school work with an online tutoring program of instruction:

  • Online tutoring will help children adapt. Very little about the way children are learning right now is completely familiar and comfortable. And for students who were struggling with one or more subjects already, learning on the computer creates frustration. Teachers are doing their best to deliver a great education to their students and adjust to this new method of instruction, but there will be bumps in the road. The more you can ease this transition—especially when you are busy working from home and trying to manage the household at the same time—the better for your child.
  • Children will learn what they need to finish the school year strong. There is no doubt that online learning makes it more difficult than ever for teachers to differentiate their instruction. It’s important that your child has what he or she needs to successfully complete the grade. Skill gaps take effort to close, and tutoring can help.
  • Learners will be prepared for next school year. There are plenty of challenges with the current online learning arrangement for students, but a big one is that many will fall behind. Supplemental tutoring will meet your child where he or she is and ensure your child isn’t missing essential skills for next year. At the end of the school year, teachers usually focus their efforts on preparing students for what is to come. This year, they’re in maintenance mode for obvious reasons. Tutoring will identify your child’s weaknesses and offer your child a plan to improve them quickly.
  • Children will improve their skills in tricky subjects. If children were getting low grades in any subjects before the coronavirus outbreak caused schools to close their doors, they’re still dealing with those issues now. Focusing on strengthening your child’s sense of responsibility, specific subject-matter knowledge and study skills will benefit your child while he or she is learning remotely—and in the future.
  • Tutoring puts this time to good use. If there is one thing everyone has more of right now, it is free time. By no means should children sit in front of computers all day long studying, but the hours of the online school day are significantly shorter than a normal school day. With a little extra effort and a customized program of instruction, you could actually help your child make gains during this time.

Augmenting what teachers are doing in the virtual classroom is a great way to make sure your child learns the content needed for the rest of this year—and next school year. Individualized instruction, even a little a day, will help your child mitigate learning loss, build skills and confidence, and feel optimistic about the future.

There’s a lot on parents’ plates right now: helping children navigate online school, making sure they are dealing with stress and anxiety in a healthy way, working, cooking, cleaning and more. Lighten your load by signing your child up for an online tutoring program. Huntington’s online instruction is available now. Visit www.huntingtonhelps.com or call 1-800 CAN LEARN for more information.

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HuntingtonHelps LIVE Provides One-on-One and Small-Group Tutoring and Test Prep Online As families everywhere grapple with a new school reality – remote, online learning for the foreseeable future – Huntington Learning Center is ready to deliver a flexible, comprehensive online solution.

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Wed, 29 Apr 2020 09:37:38 -0400 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/huntingtonhelps-live-full-service-online-tutoring https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/huntingtonhelps-live-full-service-online-tutoring Huntington Learning Center Huntington Learning Center As families everywhere grapple with a new school reality – remote, online learning for the foreseeable future – Huntington Learning Center is ready to deliver the same personalized learning services that students and parents have relied upon for 43 years, now in an online format. 

HuntingtonHelps LIVE is Huntington’s virtual tutoring platform that allows children to receive one-on-one and small-group tutoring and test prep services at home.  

Taught by Certified Teachers, All School Subjects Available 

HuntingtonHelps LIVE tutoring and test prep sessions are taught by the same certified teachers who work in Huntington’s brick-and-mortar centers. Current Huntington students as well as new students can get help using Zoom on a connected device, and teachers keep track of their progress. Subjects offered include: 

  • Phonics
  • Vocabulary
  • Reading
  • Writing
  • Math
  • Science
  • History
  • Social studies
  • Language arts
  • Foreign language
  • Study skills

 In addition to getting help with specific subjects and study skills, students preparing for upcoming Advanced Placement (AP), SAT, and ACT exams can schedule test prep sessions. 

The Same Trusted Process Delivered Online 

Huntington is the tutoring and test prep leader and has delivered individualized instruction to students of all ages for 43 years. HuntingtonHelps LIVE meets students’ needs today, when they are learning remotely and still facing the same challenges they did before the coronavirus outbreak caused schools to close their doors. 

Whether your child needs homework help, is struggling with one particular subject, or is preparing for the SAT or ACT later this year, Huntington can help. Here’s how it works: 

  • Comprehensive evaluation – We’ll get a snapshot of your child’s current skill level.
  • Pinpoint strengths and weaknesses – We’ll assess where to concentrate when tailoring your child’s tutoring plan.
  • Develop a personalized tutoring plan – Based on the results of our academic evaluation, we’ll develop a customized tutoring plan to meet your child’s needs and help them achieve their academic goals. 

COVID-19 Causing Major Academic Impacts 

Learning loss is an issue that parents hear about regarding summer break, but the coronavirus crisis has created a new problem for students. Research from NWEA, a research-based, not-for-profit that supports students and educators worldwide, shares some projections: 

  • NWEA states that a typical summer slide leads to declines of 2-3 months of learning over the summer break.
  • NWEA estimates that students will return in fall 2020 with roughly 70% of the learning gains in reading relative to a typical school year, and less than 50% of the learning gains (in some grades) in math – nearly a full year behind what NWEA observes in normal conditions.
  • NWEA calls the COVID-19 crisis a call to action for educators and policy makers, as they will need to support students, who will likely be behind academically, when school is back in session. 

As you consider these startling facts, keep in mind that Huntington can help your child keep pace with grade-level expectations and stay on track for next school year. This will minimize stress and ensure your child does not struggle when regular school resumes. It’s a worthwhile investment made easier by Huntington’s convenient online programming. 

Schedule by Calling Your Local Center 

It’s easy to get started using HuntingtonHelps LIVE. If there is a Huntington Learning Center in your area, call it directly. If your child is not a current student or you’re unsure which center is nearest you, call 1-800 CAN LEARN. Coming soon, you’ll also be able to schedule appointments for your child at www.HuntingtonHelps.com

Learn more about HuntingtonHelps LIVE at www.huntingtonhelps.com/online-tutoring.

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(VIDEO) ANNE HUNTINGTON DISCUSSES HUNTINGTONHELPS LIVE AND A POSSIBLE ACADEMIC SLIDE Huntington Learning Center President Anne Huntington joined WUSA9  on April 27th, 2020 to discuss online tutoring opportunities now available to help students combat a potential academic slide during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Tue, 28 Apr 2020 13:25:53 -0400 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/anne-huntington-talks-online-tutoring-and-academic-slide https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/anne-huntington-talks-online-tutoring-and-academic-slide Huntington Learning Center Huntington Learning Center Huntington Learning Center President Anne Huntington joined WUSA9  on April 27th, 2020 to discuss online tutoring opportunities now available to help students combat a potential academic slide during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Learn more about our HuntingtonHelps LIVE program and how it can help your student avoid an academic slide, call us at 1-800 CAN LEARN today.

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Get Your Child Reading Now with Huntington’s Reading Adventure Program Huntington Learning Center’s annual reading program launched last week, and it’s time to get your child reading! Reading Adventure is a fun and interactive way for students to enjoy reading during their downtime at home.

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Tue, 28 Apr 2020 17:13:06 -0400 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/get-started-with-reading-adventure-2020 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/get-started-with-reading-adventure-2020 Huntington Learning Center Huntington Learning Center Huntington Learning Center’s annual reading program launched last week, and it’s time to get your child reading! While schools remain physically closed due to the coronavirus pandemic, Reading Adventure is a fun and interactive way for students to enjoy reading during their downtime at home. The program incorporates supplemental activities and online resources. 

Reading Adventure is traditionally a summer reading program for Huntington students. This year, the program launched on April 22, 2020 and is open to all students, whether enrolled at a Huntington Learning Center or not. 

Fighting the “COVID-19 Slide” 

With the coronavirus crisis causing schools across the country to close their doors and move to remote learning, a new problem has emerged: the “COVID-19 slide.” Students of all ages are inadvertently being left behind, but Reading Adventure is one way to encourage students to read daily – and lessen the learning loss that is occurring nationwide. 

2020 Theme: Anywhere You Want to Go 

The theme of the 2020 Reading Adventure program is “Anywhere You Want to Go!” Readers are provided extensive reading lists with selections that expand their minds and build their love of reading. They receive a “reading passport” to fill with stamps as their journeys take them to different time periods and places, and they tap into their imagination along the way. The goal is to instill in all children a love of reading. 

Reading Live on Huntington’s YouTube Channel 

New this year, Huntington has expanded Reading Adventure to include additional online resources, including Reading Live, a program of weekly 30-minute reading sessions for different age groups: 

  • Mondays: Grades K-3
  • Wednesdays: Grades 4-5
  • Fridays: Grades 6-8 

Students can join the fun live on Huntington’s YouTube channel at 1:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, or replay episodes whenever they like. Visit www.youtube.com/huntingtonhelps for more. 

Win Prizes for Posting on Social Media 

Every week during Reading Adventure, participants have a chance to win a $25 gift card. Have your child post a short recap of the book he or she is reading on social media using the #HuntingtonReadingAdventure hashtag. Drawings for the winner take place each Friday! 

Tips to Make Reading a Part of your Child’s Life, Now and Always 

Reading is a fun distraction while your child is homebound, and it offers many long-term benefits. Here are a few tips to get your child to incorporate reading into the daily routine: 

  • Establish a reading hour every day. Maybe it’s in the evening or over breakfast. While you’re working at home, take a mid-day break and read your book at the same time as your child, or read to your younger child (or have him or her read to you) over lunch.
  • Get guidance in choosing books. If your child hasn’t taken to reading, it could be that they aren’t finding the right books. The school librarian is likely going to be very responsive during this time to offer recommendations and guidance, and you can also try online resources like Goodreads or the American Library Association book lists.
  • Make read-a-thons a regular thing. With more time at home, encourage your child to take advantage and plan a read-a-thon once a week, inviting siblings to join. As the weather gets warmer, these can be outside on a picnic blanket or on your patio.
  • Read some movies. Pick a couple of books with movie adaptations to read together, then plan movie nights. Talk with your child after finishing the book to get their insights, and again after watching the movie to discuss how the film and book compare.
  • Check out authors reading online. Many authors and celebrities are hosting live book and story readings online. Check out @SaveWithStories and @LaVarBurton (former host of Reading Rainbow) on Instagram and search the hashtag #OperationStoryTime on YouTube or Twitter for starters. 

Register your child for Reading Adventure today by visiting www.huntingtonhelps.com/reading-adventure. For online homework and tutoring help while your child is homebound, contact Huntington at 1-800 CAN LEARN.

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Does Your Child Need Homework Help? HuntingtonHelps LIVE Has You Covered! With children everywhere learning exclusively at home, all school work these days is “homework.” But is your child getting the support they need? Huntington Learning Center is here to ensure they do.

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Tue, 28 Apr 2020 17:03:46 -0400 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/huntingtonhelpslive-homework-help https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/huntingtonhelpslive-homework-help Huntington Learning Center Huntington Learning Center With children everywhere learning exclusively at home, all school work these days is “homework.” But is your child getting the support they need? Learning and school during the time of COVID-19 is quite different, after all. The challenges your child faced before schools closed haven’t gone away. In fact, those skill gaps might be widening as the days go by. 

What can you do to help your child learn and keep up with school work? Turn to HuntingtonHelps LIVE

HuntingtonHelps LIVE is Huntington’s virtual tutoring platform that allows children to receive one-on-one and small-group tutoring and test prep services from the comfort of home. So, if your child is struggling to… 

  • understand those Algebra problems
  • revise that paragraph to fix any grammatical errors
  • write a compelling argument essay
  • understand an assignment
  • organize their day and establish a good at-home school routine 

…Huntington’s certified teachers can help. They offer individualized homework help to students in grades K-12. You schedule an appointment and your child connects with the teacher on Zoom. It’s simple and streamlined, and your child receives the same caring instruction they would receive in our Huntington centers. 

Overcome School Challenges 

Schools are doing their best to keep children learning, but the reality is that children are losing knowledge during this time of remote learning. Another issue is that children who struggled before school closures are continuing to do so, but without the hands-on guidance in the classroom from their teachers. 

For these reasons, it is essential that you get your child the support they need now. If you are juggling work and other responsibilities, it’s difficult to add school support to your plate, especially if your child is missing essential building blocks or having a hard time understanding some concepts and topics. Huntington can help your child with specific subjects, create a personalized tutoring plan to cover multiple subjects, and build study skills. 

Tips to Help Your Child with School Work 

When it comes to helping your child be successful with remote school, many of the tried-and-true homework strategies are the same. Here are a few tips to ensure your child makes the most of each day and learns effectively: 

  • Encourage good communication. Your child needs to get used to communicating with teachers through email, chats, and posts. Guide them to read all communications from teachers, ask questions in a timely manner, and self-advocate when more guidance or support is needed.
  • Create a good school space. By now, you’ve probably tried to get into a routine, but if your child is still attempting to do school work in front of the television or has trouble keeping the school “station” organized, it’s time for a change. Set your child up in a place that is free of distractions and stocked with the supplies your child needs.
  • Fine-tune the schedule. Does your child have good habits in place? Are they getting enough sleep and scheduling time for school work? Make sure your child’s school hours are set for a time of day they are most productive and alert. And remember to encourage your child to take frequent breaks. Teachers do not want your child to sit in front of the computer from morning until night. Create a schedule that includes outside time, exercise, and non-screen time for activities like reading. Try Huntington’s Reading Adventure program.
  • Establish expectations about your availability. If you have a younger child who needs more support, but you’re also trying to work from home, set some ground rules for when your child can get your assistance. Consider scheduling work calls during the time that your child is reading and playing independently. 

These are trying times for all families with school-age children, but Huntington is here to help. Call us to learn more about scheduling regular tutoring sessions for your child to ensure they get the support needed to succeed with remote learning. You can help your child keep up and stay on track for next year with HuntingtonHelps LIVE. Learn more at https://huntingtonhelps.com/homework-help.

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How to Be a Resource for New Teachers in Your School If you’re a veteran teacher, you probably remember what it is like to be a newbie: scary, exciting, overwhelming, and all-encompassing. How can you be a resource to the new teachers in your building?

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Fri, 10 Jul 2020 13:08:55 -0400 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/being-a-resource-for-new-teachers-in-your-school https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/being-a-resource-for-new-teachers-in-your-school Huntington Learning Center Huntington Learning Center If you’re a veteran teacher, you probably remember what it is like to be a newbie: scary, exciting, overwhelming, and all-encompassing. How can you be a resource to the new teachers in your building? Here are a few suggestions:

  1. Make them feel welcome. Early in the year, introduce yourself and let your new colleague know that you’re glad they’re part of your teaching staff. Offer to show them around, or invite them to have lunch together during their first couple of weeks on the job. Get your colleagues in on the welcome committee, too.
  2. Give advice when asked. You’ve likely learned many of the lessons that new teachers have yet to learn. Let them know that you’re happy to share any of your experiences or insights when they need it.
  3. Share your tools for planning. Over time, you’ve probably found a few great online or other resources that help you with planning and being effective as a teacher. Why not share them with new teachers? They can do their own legwork, but sharing great websites and best practices with others ultimately improves student learning and makes your school stronger.
  4. Be willing to show new teachers how you do things. That might be how you organize your room, assess your students’ progress, or engage and build trust with parents. These are areas that new teachers will need to learn on the job, but having access to your expertise could make things much smoother.
  5. There’s plenty of opportunity for you to share what you know, but sometimes what a new teacher needs is a listening ear. Be supportive of new colleagues learning the ropes and acknowledge that the first year of teaching is one of the hardest. Your friendship and encouragement can make a world of difference!
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Huntington Learning Center Launches Its Reading Adventure Program Themed 'Anywhere You Want to Go' Huntington Learning Center, the nation's leading tutoring and test prep provider, is launching its annual Reading Adventure, a reading program designed to activate the love of reading and to engage students in stories and imagination outside the classroom. 

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Wed, 22 Apr 2020 09:57:39 -0400 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/huntington-learning-center-reading-adventure-2020 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/huntington-learning-center-reading-adventure-2020 Huntington Learning Center Huntington Learning Center Huntington Learning Center, the nation's leading tutoring and test prep provider, is launching its annual Reading Adventure, a reading program designed to activate the love of reading and to engage students in stories and imagination outside the classroom. Huntington's Reading Adventure has traditionally run during the summer months, but in response to the current pandemic, this year's program will begin on Wednesday, April 22, 2020, with the first "Reading Live" segment on Huntington's YouTube channel. Reading Adventure gives students the opportunity to read with our fun and interactive activities featuring a variety of online resources to enrich the adventure; and, for the first time, Huntington invites all students to participate -- whether or not the student is enrolled in a Huntington Learning Center program. 

"Huntington's summer Reading Adventure is one of our favorite annual programs and we seized the opportunity to invite students to participate before this school year is officially out. Now, more than ever, it is important to engage students with fun academic adventures," said Anne Huntington, President of Huntington Learning Center. "With the high rate of learning loss occurring because of the negative impact of the pandemic, there is a new term, 'COVID-19 Slide,' and we are here to stop the slide. It is critical for students to stay engaged in learning. Reading Adventure is one way to help students; of course, students need to practice all academic skills, not just reading, throughout the year to succeed."

This year's Reading Adventure theme is "Anywhere You Want to Go!" and invites participants to read books from extensive recommended reading lists that will expand their imaginations and help build a love of reading. Students will receive a "reading passport" to fill with stamps as they're whisked away to outer space, around the world and to different time periods.

Huntington has expanded its Reading Adventure program to feature additional online resources including "Reading Live," weekly 30-minute reading sessions targeted to specific age groups. Monday's "Reading Live" will focus on stories for students in grades K-3, Wednesday's "Reading Live" will focus on stories for students in grades 4-5 and Friday's "Reading Live" will be targeted towards students in grades 6-8. These "Reading Live" segments will bring stories to life and give students dedicated story-time. Join us on Huntington Helps YouTube channel starting this Wednesday, April 22, 2020, for the first "Reading Live."

Additionally, readers have the chance to win a gift card each week simply by following #HuntingtonReadingAdventure on social media and posting a quick recap of the book they're reading. Each post will be entered into a random drawing on Friday of each week and a winner will receive the prize.

To join the Reading Adventure, fill out the form at https://huntingtonhelps.com/reading-adventure and you will receive a "reading passport" to keep track of your travels.

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Back-to-School Prep in the Wake of Coronavirus Normally at the start of summer, parents of high school students seek advice about how to keep their teens on track for college and use summer as an opportunity to prepare for success in the next school year and beyond. After a spring of closed schools and remote learning, this summer, that back-to-school preparation looks a lot different.

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Mon, 20 Apr 2020 17:17:09 -0400 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/back-to-school-coronavirus-2020 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/back-to-school-coronavirus-2020 Huntington Learning Center Huntington Learning Center It’s safe to say that this summer will be unlike any other that you or your teen has ever experienced.

Normally at the start of summer, parents of high school students seek advice about how to keep their teens on track for college and use summer as an opportunity to prepare for success in the next school year and beyond. After a spring of closed schools and remote learning, this summer, that back-to-school preparation looks a lot different.

Feeling unsure how to help your teen get ready for the next school year in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak? Here are several tips:

  • Focus on skill acquisition. Schools across the country are handling remote learning differently, and while the remote setup might work well for some teens, it might not for others. If your teen struggled with online learning and you sense that he or she has fallen behind on important skills, it’s essential that you get focused on making up ground these next few months.
  • Get situated with your at-home learning space. In March, families everywhere were thrust into online/remote learning with no experience or preparation. While parents and teens alike did their best given the unique and sudden circumstances, summer is a good time to ensure your learning spaces at home are fully equipped and ready for any future remote learning that could take place in the months and years to come. If you hobbled through spring sharing your work laptop with your teen (and other children), now might be the time to shop for discounted tech that your family needs, get set up with WiFi at home and situate your home space.
  • Assess where your teen is with respect to grade-level standards. With most schools going to pass/fail grading and striving to simply keep students learning, it’s likely that many high school students are not where they need to be going into next year. The structure of the past spring was not a perfect replacement for regular school, after all. Those grade-level standards might get adjusted, but they might not. It’s important that you get your teen into a tutoring program this summer to evaluate what skill gaps might exist (and which ones might have widened).
  • Learn new study skills. Everything is new for today’s students, including how they learn, how they study and how they go to school. You should anticipate many aspects of this “new normal” remaining part of your teen’s educational experience going forward, whether he or she is an upperclassman or headed into high school. Make sure your teen spends time this summer honing some of the new methods of learning and doing homework that have been introduced lately.
  • Build responsibility and independence. The last several months likely have been the hardest on students who struggle with independence and self-advocacy and tend to procrastinate. Use summer to focus on building your teen’s sense of responsibility and ability to self-start and work independently.
  • Study for the SAT/ACT. If your teen was planning to take the spring SAT or ACT that did not happen, this summer is a perfect time to focus on these exams. With the slowdown of extracurricular activities and everything else, your teen has a rare chance to put a lot of attention toward these exams and doing his or her absolute best. A summer prep program is a wise investment to ensure your teen achieves a strong score.

Think of this summer as an opportunity for your teen to bolster skills that have suddenly become more vital than ever, to prepare for the future and get back on track. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, Huntington is here to help. We guide students to achieve their goals, both in our centers and online, whether those include planning for college, raising grades or building skills. Call us at 1-800 CAN LEARN today.

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Why Every Teacher Benefits from Having a Mentor Teaching is one of the most challenging and rewarding jobs there is, and it does take some acclimating to get into a groove. One thing that can help tremendously is having a mentor to turn to and learn from as you move through your career. 

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Fri, 10 Jul 2020 13:03:09 -0400 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/why-every-teacher-benefits-from-having-a-mentor https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/why-every-teacher-benefits-from-having-a-mentor Huntington Learning Center Huntington Learning Center Teaching is one of the most challenging and rewarding jobs there is, and it does take some acclimating to get into a groove. One thing that can help tremendously is having a mentor to turn to and learn from as you move through your career. Here are a few reasons you need one, whether you are a new or seasoned teacher: 

  • To navigate your many responsibilities. If you’re a new teacher, you’re learning right now that you have many responsibilities, some of which you maybe weren’t aware of previously. Someone with more experience than you can help you learn how to balance your job in the classroom with everything else on your plate. And this goes for the rest of your career as well—teaching is a journey, and it is nice to have someone to help you figure things out as you go.
  • To learn best practices for professional development. Professional development is important as a teacher, and it’s helpful to have others sharing with you what programs and classes have benefitted them the most. Your mentor can help steer you toward the most valuable ways to improve your skills and expand your knowledge.
  • To have someone with whom you can celebrate your milestones. Family and friends will always be happy for your career successes, but there’s nothing quite like having a colleague to turn to when you are excited about something or striving toward a goal. The mentor-mentee relationship is one of mutual respect and collaboration. Done well, it can be a real win-win for both you and your mentor, fueling your career growth. 

Finding a mentor early in your career can make a tremendous difference in your happiness and longevity. Find out if your school offers a formal program. If not, approach a teacher you admire about the idea. You (and your future mentor) will be glad you did!

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Supporting Your College-Bound Students During the Coronavirus Crisis Spring is normally an exciting and hectic time for high school students making plans for college. This year, things are a lot different, with the coronavirus pandemic affecting every aspect of daily life and business. 

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Mon, 20 Apr 2020 17:08:02 -0400 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/college-bound-students-during-coronavirus-2020 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/college-bound-students-during-coronavirus-2020 Huntington Learning Center Huntington Learning Center Spring is normally an exciting and hectic time for high school students making plans for college. This year, things are a lot different, with the coronavirus pandemic affecting every aspect of daily life and business. 

For your students who are off to college soon, stress is probably high. Here’s how you can be supportive: 

  • Remind them that this is temporary. It’s uncertain and scary, but it will not last forever. Yes, school is moving to a remote learning model for the next several weeks and the SAT and ACT have been postponed until summer. Yes, the home stretch of high school for seniors will be much different from what they expected. But all of this will be behind them at some point in the future. And thus far, colleges and universities are adjusting appropriately, so seniors can still expect contact about acceptance, financial aid, and more in the months to come.
  • Offer up a positive take. Right now, it is easy for students to feel like life as they know it is over, but for those getting ready for college, the delay in college entrance exam dates means they will have more time to prepare. This extra study time could mean better scores and more opportunities for juniors taking the SAT or ACT for the first time and starting to think about where they’d like to go.
  • College will still be an awesome experience. For seniors, the finality of everything right now and the loss of some of the end-of-year high school milestones that they were planning on are certainly upsetting. But your students have likely been looking forward to college, and there’s no reason to stop doing so. The high school class of 2020 will start college during one of the most memorable years in our world’s history. They will learn and grow from this experience and never take their ability to learn and go to school (or anywhere) for granted again. 

For juniors taking the SAT or ACT in June or July, test prep will help them work toward an important goal. Huntington can help. If your students want support while they prep for either or both of these exams, encourage them to call us at 1-800 CAN LEARN. If nothing else, your students can take advantage of their less hectic schedules and do something good for their futures.

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ADVANCED PLACEMENT (AP) EXAMS WILL BE OFFERED ONLINE IN LIGHT OF SCHOOL CLOSURES With the recent school closures, the College Board announced they are developing a new at-home testing option for the AP exams this spring. Students will be able to take the open-note exams on any device and will be given the opportunity to earn college credit for their courses.

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Wed, 08 Apr 2020 13:24:14 -0400 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/ap-exams-move-online-2020 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/ap-exams-move-online-2020 Huntington Learning Center Huntington Learning Center With the recent school closures, the College Board announced they are developing a new at-home testing option for the AP exams this spring. During this time, the College Board surveyed 18,000 AP students to see if they still wanted the opportunity to test this year and the overwhelming answer was yes! It is clear these exams are important to students who have been working very hard in their classes. Students will be able to take the open-note exams on any device and will be given the opportunity to earn college credit for their courses. Although the College Board recommends you do take the AP course to take the exam, it is not mandatory. This is a great opportunity for students to take these exams online and earn college credits.

Trevor Packer, senior vice president of AP and Instruction for the College Board said:

                 “We want to give every student the chance to earn the college credit they’ve worked toward throughout the year. That is why we quickly set up a process that’s simple, secure, and accessible.”

An Advanced Placement course is one of the most difficult courses a student can take during high school. Earning a qualifying score on the AP exams will expand student’s options, eliminate a required college course or students can begin taking upper-level college courses.

If your student is taking an AP course and preparing to take one of the online exams, Huntington can help you prepare with our online tutoring programs. Our individualized face-to-face tutoring will allow your student to get the best possible score and increase their college admissions chances.

Below are the primary exam dates from the College Board website:

AP Exams 2020 by Local Start TimesBelow are the primary exam dates. Makeup exam dates can be found below the Course Specific Exam Information.

Exam Start Times: Local times may vary depending on a student's geographic location.

Hawaii Time: 6:00 a.m.
Alaska Time: 8:00 a.m.
Pacific Time: 9:00 a.m.
Mountain Time: 10:00 a.m.
Central Time: 11:00 a.m.
Eastern Time: 12:00 p.m.
Greenwich Mean Time: 4:00 p.m.

Hawaii Time: 8:00 a.m.
Alaska Time: 10:00 a.m.
Pacific Time: 11:00 a.m.
Mountain Time: 12:00 p.m.
Central Time: 1:00 p.m.
Eastern Time: 2:00 p.m.
Greenwich Mean Time: 6:00 p.m.

Hawaii Time: 10:00 a.m.
Alaska Time: 12:00 p.m.
Pacific Time: 1:00 p.m.
Mountain Time: 2:00 p.m.
Central Time: 3:00 p.m.
Eastern Time: 4:00 p.m.
Greenwich Mean Time: 8:00 p.m.

Mon, May 11

Physics C: Mechanics

Physics C: Electricity and Magnetism

United States Government and Politics

Tues, May 12

Latin

Calculus AB

 

Calculus BC

Human Geography

Wed, May 13

Physics 2: Algebra-Based

English Literature and Composition

European History

Thurs, May 14

Spanish Literature and Culture

Chemistry

Physics 1: Algebra-Based

Fri, May 15

Art History

United States History

Computer Science A

Mon, May 18

Chinese Language and Culture

Biology

Environmental Science

Tues, May 19

Music Theory

Psychology

Japanese Language and Culture

 

Italian Language and Culture

Wed, May 20

German Language and Culture

English Language and Composition

Microeconomics

Thurs, May 21

French Language and Culture

World History: Modern

Macroeconomics

Fri, May 22

Comparative Government and Politics

Statistics

Spanish Language and Culture

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What Does Remote Learning Look Like During the Coronavirus Pandemic? Chances are, your school is getting you up to speed on what remote learning will look like during the time that students must stay home from school. Here’s what is going on in different schools and districts around the country.

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Mon, 20 Apr 2020 17:34:44 -0400 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/remote-learning-during-coronavirus-2020 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/remote-learning-during-coronavirus-2020 Huntington Learning Center Huntington Learning Center Chances are, your school is getting you up to speed on what remote learning will look like during the time that students must stay home from school—or maybe you’re already rolling. Here’s what is going on in different schools and districts around the country: 

  • Laptops for students – Some school districts are already working to distribute laptops that have been loaded with assignments to students, while others are working out those details now.
  • Paper packets – Some districts are providing younger students (kindergarten through first or second grade) paper assignments every couple of weeks, although this could change with the extension of remote learning into April.
  • Wi-Fi for all – For communities or homes without Wi-Fi access, schools are getting creative by encouraging families to drive to and park in school parking lots to access the internet and complete work there if needed. In other areas, schools are outfitting school buses with Wi-Fi to be used as wireless hotspots throughout their communities.
  • Live broadcast learning activities – Schools are broadcasting activities through group video and audio conferencing tools such as Zoom and WebEx. These tools allow teachers to continue lecturing and showing students how to do problems as they would do standing in front of them.
  • Posted videos for independent learning – It’s likely that many schools will have teachers post videos and assignments that students can access and refer to on their own time (which could be in addition to live lecturing via video conferencing). This will probably happen through a platform like Google Classroom. 

On March 20, 2020, Google introduced Teach from Home to help teachers during the coronavirus crisis. Schools will be figuring things out in the days and weeks to come and possibly introducing new tools over time. You and your students can expect some trial and error as district leaders work to determine the best way to ensure students can continue learning and progressing.

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How to Deal with Different Types of Learning Problems For some students, school doesn’t come easy. Here are a few common types of learning troubles and ways you can address them at home.

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Mon, 20 Apr 2020 16:23:33 -0400 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/helping-with-different-learning-problems https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/helping-with-different-learning-problems Dr. Raymond Huntington Dr. Raymond Huntington For some students, school doesn’t come easy. Some struggle with broad learning difficulties while others lack important skills, making it challenging for them to achieve grade-level expectations and get good grades. Here are a few common types of learning troubles and ways you can address them at home: 

  • Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) - There are different types of ADHD, and children can exhibit some or all of the typical symptoms, including difficulty learning, struggles with focus, hyperactivity and impulsivity. Having ADHD can make it difficult for children to complete tasks, stay organized with time and homework, keep themselves on track while working and pay attention. A few things parents can do to help:
    • Use a timer to help children stay aware of time and manage it better.
    • Stick to a routine so children know what to expect in the mornings and evenings.
    • Communicate regularly with the teacher about strategies that work in the classroom that parents can mimic at home.
    • Implement a reward system to keep children working toward continuous improvement. 
  • Disorganization - At a young age, being disorganized might seem like a small thing, but this can become very problematic when children reach junior high school. Disorganized students lose important things regularly, including homework and papers intended to come home to parents. They spin their wheels at homework time because they’re busy trying to find things they have misplaced and they do not write down homework assignments in their planners. A few ways parents can help:
  • Set goals and expectations and hold children to them.
  • Insist on the daily use of a planner to record homework assignments and check off nightly tasks.
  • Get children into a nightly routine of cleaning out binders and getting the backpack ready for school the next day. 
  • Reading problems - Reading problems can range from missing basic skills to learning disorders like dyslexia. Because school gets progressively more challenging every year, it is essential that parents do not ignore reading issues, even if they seem minor. While it is important to have an expert assess children who may be suffering from more than just typical reading challenges, here are a few things parents can do to help: 
  • Read nightly with children and pay attention to what causes them the most difficulty learning.
  • Reach out to teachers to get their observations on what might be happening in the classroom.
  • Get individualized tutoring help. 

The above is certainly not a comprehensive list of the types of learning troubles your child might have, and keep in mind that every child is different. The point is this: struggles are unique for each student. There is no one solution that works for everyone. 

Maybe your child’s grades seem to be sliding and you know he or she needs help, but you’re not sure what kind of help. Contact Huntington. We offer individualized learning programs that get to the root of each student’s problems. Our students turn to Huntington for a variety of reasons, whether they want to overcome learning problems, raise their grades, increase their confidence or all of the above. No matter what your child is dealing with, Huntington can help. Contact us today at 1-800 CAN LEARN.

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How is the Coronavirus Outbreak Affecting College Admission? The coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak has families scrambling for many reasons, and wondering how exactly this pandemic will affect their teens when it comes to college admissions.

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Mon, 20 Apr 2020 17:00:40 -0400 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/coronavirus-affect-on-college-admissions-2020 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/coronavirus-affect-on-college-admissions-2020 Huntington Learning Center Huntington Learning Center For many parents of high school upperclassmen, spring brings a lot of excitement. Juniors are taking college admissions exams for the first time and starting to get serious about college research, while seniors are close to making a decision.

Things are a bit different in 2020!

The coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak has families scrambling for many reasons, and wondering how exactly this pandemic will affect their teens when it comes to college admissions. Here’s what you need to know:

  • You might not be able to tour those colleges just yet. If you planned to take your teen to visit any college campuses over spring break, you likely know by now that most colleges have suspended tours, visits, and other on-campus events. Look into virtual tours instead, or consider making plans for the summer.
  • College fairs have been canceled. With the national ban on events of more than 50 people, it’s safe to assume that any college fair your junior was thinking about attending this spring is canceled. The National Association for College Admission Counseling canceled all of its remaining spring 2020 national college fairs.
  • Test dates have been canceled. The College Board canceled the March 28th makeup date for the March 14th exam date that many testing centers canceled. It also canceled the May 2nd The next SAT is scheduled for June 6th, 2020. The ACT rescheduled its April 4th date to June 13th, 2020. This is important for high school juniors to understand, since it affects their exam prep schedule and pushes them into summer.
  • Travel restrictions could affect international student enrollment. Applicants and enrollees in U.S. colleges and universities from students in countries like China might decline. This could change in the months to come, but it also might last into the foreseeable future and have an impact on college admissions competitiveness.
  • The move to online school could prove challenging for some students. Seniors trying to finish their high school careers strong, and juniors working hard to get to the finish line, might feel some disruption by the move to a distance-learning model. It’s essential that you support your teen through this transition, so that their grades do not slip during the adjustment period, which could affect college admission decisions.
  • Your financial situation could change. Without question, the coronavirus outbreak has had a big impact on the stock market. As you prepare to send your teen off to college later in the year, this might be a concern you could raise to the college or university financial aid office. Colleges often send financial aid packages to students and their families toward the end of March; it is a good idea to contact the college or university of interest if you want to confirm no changes to that date.
  • The admissions timeline could be affected when your student is unable to send requested documents to colleges or universities. Admission decisions often go out to applicants in March. Sometimes colleges seek additional information, such as final-semester high school grades or most recent SAT or ACT scores. If your senior is unable to get documents from the guidance counselor, they should reach out to the admissions department to make them aware and discuss options.
  • The deposit deadline might change. Some colleges and universities have already extended the typical May 1st admission response and deposit deadline to June 1st. This gives your senior a little extra time to make their college decision.

The coronavirus situation is constantly evolving, and colleges and universities are reacting accordingly. Contact Huntington with any questions, and reach out to the colleges and universities to which your teen has applied if you have concerns or questions about the admission timeline.

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(VIDEO) Anne Huntington Featured on Cheddar Anne Huntington, President of Huntington Learning Center, shares how her company is using technology to support both students and parents during the coronavirus.

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Thu, 09 Apr 2020 09:15:49 -0400 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/anne-huntington-featured-on-cheddar-2020-coronavirus https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/anne-huntington-featured-on-cheddar-2020-coronavirus Huntington Learning Center Huntington Learning Center Huntington Learning Center President Anne Huntington was featured on Cheddar on April 2, 2020 to share how Huntington Learning Center is leveraging technology to continue support for both students and parents during the coronavirus pandemic.

Learn how Huntington Learning Center can help keep your student up to speed during the summer months and all year long.

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Talking to Your Students During a Crisis The global coronavirus pandemic has affected every person and industry around the world. As a teacher, this obviously has a tremendous impact on you your students, and some might handle it better than others. 

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Mon, 20 Apr 2020 17:29:57 -0400 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/talking-to-students-during-a-crisis https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/talking-to-students-during-a-crisis Huntington Learning Center Huntington Learning Center The global coronavirus pandemic has affected every person and industry around the world, including education. Schools everywhere have moved to remote learning – or are in the midst of doing so. As a teacher, this obviously has a tremendous impact on you your students, and some might handle it better than others. 

This new normal might never feel normal, but all of us must find a way to take steps forward. How can you be helpful during this global crisis? Here are some tips on how to communicate with your students about it: 

  • Acknowledge the range of emotions. This crisis might be the most difficult thing many of your students have been through in their young lives. Some might be traumatized, while others might be doing fine. Recognize each day in your interactions with your students that you understand that everyone is dealing with the situation differently, and those feelings are valid. Be as positive as you can without dismissing the very real range of emotions.
  • Be honest about adjusting. No school in the country (or the world) has been able to prepare for remote learning as adequately as they would have liked. So, there will inevitably be some bumps in the road with teaching in this new way. Let your students know that you’re doing your best and that you want their feedback on how they’re grasping things –because helping them learn is your priority.
  • Invite students to share. If your class is using discussion boards during this period, allow time each day for them to share how they are feeling about current events. Many of them might appreciate having people outside their families to talk with about their fears and reactions.
  • Encourage students to reach out for help when they need it. If your school district has deployed counseling resources for students, make sure they are aware of them. This is a time of uncertainty, and many students will need help navigating the changes, ups, and downs of the months to come. 

The world today is vastly different from the world a couple of weeks ago. Your students need you to lead them in this time of crisis. Be the role model they need, remind them to keep connecting with you and others, and do your best to provide them a sense of routine as you move ahead with remote learning for the next month or more. More than ever, they will appreciate it.

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Helping Children Improve Attention and Focus Whether your child struggles sometimes with getting distracted or deals with a syndrome like attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, knowing how to rein in the focus is invaluable for every student.

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Fri, 27 Mar 2020 15:47:01 -0400 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/helping-children-improve-attention-and-focus https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/helping-children-improve-attention-and-focus Huntington Learning Center Huntington Learning Center Whether your child struggles sometimes with getting distracted or deals with a syndrome like attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, knowing how to rein in the focus is invaluable for every student. Here are several strategies that parents can work on with their children to help them improve their focus, prevent themselves from veering off task, and keep themselves on track:

Embrace routine. Students who have regular routines tend to be more successful academically and feel less stress. Work with your child to create and maintain a consistent daily schedule, from the time he or she wakes up to bedtime. This will help your child make the most of the hours in each day and successfully transition from activity to activity. 

Develop good sleep habits. Make sleep a priority for your child. According to WebMD, studies show that lack of sleep can prevent people from thinking clearly and slow down their thought processes. Your child will have a harder time focusing if he or she isn’t getting sufficient sleep each night. Lack of sleep can also negatively impact the memory, making it that much harder for students to commit that which they study to short- and long-term memory. 

Rely on checklists. As your child moves through each grade, the amount of work and things to keep track of will increase substantially.  It’s never too early to teach your child a simple organizational system for recording homework and upcoming project and test dates. This system will help your child minimize wasted time and make it easier to dive into work rather than waste time figuring out what he or she needs to do.

Encourage exercise. Research out of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign suggests that physical activity may increase students’ cognitive control, or ability to pay attention and result in better academic performance. Encourage your child to do jumping jacks before sitting down to do homework or take a brisk walk up and down the street before heading off to school each morning (or better yet, have your child walk to school if feasible).

Embrace the “one thing at a time” mantra. Many children find it hard to get started on tasks, procrastinating on homework because they struggle with prioritization. Have your child take each night’s list of assignments and rank them from most to least important. What is due tomorrow? Of those things, what are the most difficult (and therefore make sense to do earliest in the evening)? After the “due tomorrow” items, what’s left and when are those things due? Teach your child to tackle one task at a time, which will give him or her a sense of accomplishment with each completed item.

Pay attention to learning styles. Every child learns differently, and what works for one might not work for another. Take time to get to know your child as a student so you can adjust his or her studying environment as needed. Is your child more focused pacing while studying or curling up into a cozy chair? Does he or she work best working while listening to music? By reading and thinking out loud? By studying in a quiet room without any distractions?

As school gets more intense, your child’s ability to focus becomes an essential skill. If your child struggles to concentrate for extended periods of time or you notice him or her having difficulty completing difficult tasks, Huntington can help. We work with many children who face similar challenges and can help your child become a more attentive, successful student.

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The SAT/ACT Spring Dates Are Canceled…What Should Your Teen Do in the Meantime? The world is in flux right now, and the volatility is affecting both the College Board and ACT, which administer the SAT and ACT respectively.

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Mon, 20 Apr 2020 16:55:54 -0400 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/act-sat-cancellations-2020 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/act-sat-cancellations-2020 Huntington Learning Center Huntington Learning Center The world is in flux right now, and the volatility is affecting both the College Board and ACT, which administer the SAT and ACT respectively. Here’s what you need to know about these organizations’ responses to the coronavirus (COVID-19) situation: 

  • The College Board has canceled the May 2nd, 2020 administration of the SAT. Students will receive refunds for the registration fee.
  • Many testing centers around the country canceled the SAT on March 14th, 2020, due to coronavirus concerns.
  • The College Board also canceled makeup exams for the March 14th, 2020 administration, which were scheduled for March 28th. The organization will provide future additional testing opportunities to make up for the canceled tests. Information is to come soon.
  • ACT rescheduled its April 4th, 2020, test date to June 13th, 2020. All students should receive an email from ACT about the rescheduled date.
  • Students will not be automatically enrolled in the June 13th ACT date. They will need to follow instructions emailed to them to reschedule or receive a refund. 

To recap, the next opportunities for your teen to take the SAT and ACT are below: 

SAT

August 29, 2020 

ACT

June 13, 2020

July 18, 2020

 

Given this change, what should your teen do now? Here are a few suggestions: 

  • Continue with test prep. Teens who were scheduled to take the March or May SAT or the April ACT certainly have reason to be disappointed if they invested time into test preparation. It’s important that these teens retain what they have learned by continuing with a program of instruction that will help them maintain knowledge and be prepared when these exam dates come up in a couple of months. 

Start preparing now. The spring administrations of the SAT and ACT are commonly selected by juniors who are sitting for these exams for the first time. Perhaps this is your teen. If so, the delay in test dates will allow them to put more time into preparation if they have not had the chance to do so yet and were taking either exam as a “trial run.” Huntington’s online test prep can help. 

  • Keep checking your inbox. The global situation is changing rapidly by the day, so it’s important for you and your teen to stay apprised of what is going on. Make sure your teen checks email and the College Board and ACT websites regularly. 

At Huntington, we recognize that the events surrounding the coronavirus outbreak are very concerning. And if you have a teen who is at the start of or in the middle of the college application process, these things lead to stress and uncertainty about where your college-bound student goes from here. 

We’re here to help you adjust. Contact us at 1-800 CAN LEARN to discuss our customized SAT and ACT prep programs for high school students and how we can support your teen now and in the months to come. Our one-to-one, proven test prep programs are available for students online or at our centers, and we offer flexible scheduling and affordable pricing to meet your family’s needs.

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Three Tips to Get Your Students to Ask More Questions As students advance through the grades, some become reluctant to speak up for a variety of reasons. Here are three ways to encourage your students to keep asking questions.

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Mon, 20 Apr 2020 17:26:24 -0400 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/tips-to-get-students-to-ask-questions https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/tips-to-get-students-to-ask-questions Huntington Learning Center Huntington Learning Center If you teach kindergarten, you know how curious young children can be. They want to understand how things work and why, and they aren’t afraid to ask what they want to know. But as students advance through the grades, some become reluctant to speak up for a variety of reasons. Here are three ways to encourage your students to keep asking questions: 

  1. Don’t give the answers. Yes, your job is to teach, but deliver information and lessons in a way that invite your students to meet you halfway. Don’t just step in when they get confused; instead, show them what to do, step by step. When it makes sense, let them figure things out on their own, and be there to guide them. 
  1. Answer their questions with questions. There are times you’ll need to give your students answers, and there are times when you should urge them to think more deeply or approach problems in new and different ways. When your students want you to just answer or solve something for them, redirect them to come up with and test new ideas. Give them a few nudges in the right direction with your line of questioning. 
  1. Establish a classroom culture of respect. Make students feel safe to ask thoughtful, honest questions. Encourage everyone in your class to listen to their peers and give one another feedback. Be a good role model by asking questions of your students and facilitating conversation. It can be helpful to make participation and engagement part of students’ grades. 

Asking questions is an integral part of learning, but some students feel timid about doing so. Keep encouraging your students to raise their hands. Learning to think critically and question ideas will benefit them.

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HUNTINGTON LEARNING CENTER LAUNCHES HUNTINGTONHELPS LIVE TO PROVIDE ONLINE TUTORING CAPABILITIES NATIONWIDE Huntington Learning Center, the nation’s leading tutoring and test prep provider, announced today the launch of HuntingtonHelps LIVE, a virtual tutoring platform.

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Tue, 24 Mar 2020 14:37:25 -0400 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/huntingtonhelpslive-online-tutoring https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/huntingtonhelpslive-online-tutoring Huntington Learning Center Huntington Learning Center Oradell, NJ -- March 24, 2020 -- Huntington Learning Center, the nation’s leading tutoring and test prep provider, announced today the launch of HuntingtonHelps LIVE, a virtual tutoring platform now available to existing and prospective Huntington students across the country. This decision comes as schools and tutoring centers face temporary closures, leaving parents and students with limited educational resources. 

“Huntington’s mission has been resolute for the past four decades - and that is to give every student the best education possible,” said Anne Huntington, President of Huntington Learning Center. “We are navigating uncertain times, and although we are far from ‘business as usual’ at the moment, we will continue to provide K-12 academic programs, support and resources to the hundreds of thousands of students and families who depend on us.” 

Starting today, HuntingtonHelps LIVE will provide virtual one-on-one and small group tutoring and test prep sessions with Huntington’s certified teachers and are available to both current and new students by appointment. Subjects offered include phonics, vocabulary, reading, writing; math and science; history and language studies; homework help and study skills. Huntington also offers standardized test prep sessions for a variety of exams including Advanced Placement, SAT, ACT and state tests.

 Enrolled and prospective students are invited to start HuntingtonHelps LIVE by scheduling appointments with their local centers or by calling 1-800-CAN-LEARN. Soon, students will also be able to schedule sessions at HuntingtonHelps.com

Additional resources include Huntington Learning Centers’ webinar catalog. Available now is “Remote Learning: How to Keep Your Child Engaged” and launching on Thursday, March 26, 2020 at 1:00 pm ET is “Creating Structure at Home for Students with ADHD” with Dr. Mary Rooney from the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). Dr. Rooney will address important tips to help students with ADHD successfully learn at home during this time of transition. 

For more information, visit www.HuntingtonHelps.com

About Huntington Learning Center

Huntington Learning Center is the nation's leading tutoring and test prep provider. Its certified teachers provide individualized instruction in phonics, reading, writing, study skills, elementary and middle school math, Algebra through Calculus, Chemistry and other sciences. It preps for the SAT and ACT, as well as state and standardized exams. Huntington programs develop the skills, confidence, and motivation to help students succeed and meet the needs of Common Core State Standards. Huntington is accredited by Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools and Western Association of Schools and Colleges. Founded in 1977, Huntington's mission is to give every student the best education possible. Learn how Huntington can help at www.HuntingtonHelps.com.

 Press Contact: Madeline Mesa, madeline@mbpconsultants.com

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Preparing Your Child for Learning at Home With the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak causing schools across the nation to close temporarily, it’s probably on your mind: how will your child learn going forward? 

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Wed, 18 Mar 2020 17:27:51 -0400 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/preparing-for-learning-at-home https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/preparing-for-learning-at-home Huntington Learning Center Huntington Learning Center With the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak causing schools across the nation to close temporarily, it’s probably on your mind: how will your child learn going forward? 

It’s too early to tell whether school districts will transition their students to at-home, online learning for a couple of weeks or for the rest of the school year. However, there is plenty that you as a parent can do to prepare your child for the impending change. Here are several tips: 

  • Address the state of affairs. By no means should you scare your child with statistics and charts you’ve seen on the news, but remind them why schools have closed for the time being and what this might mean for your family. Answer your child’s questions the best you can about how your workplace is affected and what school might look like going forward.
  • Prepare your child for how school might be different. If your school district has not already worked up plans for distance, home-based digital learning, it likely will soon. Talk with your child about what that might look like, should your child need to learn from home for an extended period of time. You’ll learn more soon, but it might involve videos, a digital learning platform, checking in with teachers multiple times a day, and more.
  • Talk logistics. Online learning might sound simple, but if your child is home while you also work from home, you’ll need to discuss and address important things as a family, such as:
    • Where your child/children will do schoolwork
    • The time of day that your child/children should do their schoolwork
    • Screen/technology time rules to keep your child/children on task
    • Whether you have the tools you’ll need to support more than one child in the home (laptops and work space)
    • Boundaries for the online school day that are similar to the rules set by your school, such as no phone usage while doing schoolwork 

Last but not least, remind your child that this is all new, and it’s okay if it takes some time to get comfortable. The coronavirus epidemic is unlike anything we’ve ever seen before. It induces anxiety for many of us, and it might be stressful for your child. They will need to grow accustomed to the dramatic shifts that have taken place in such a short amount of time. 

Stay safe as a family and do your best to keep in mind that your child will learn a lot from this time – more than you realize. Together, you will get through it alongside your community, your child’s teachers, and classmates. If we at Huntington can help your child during this time, call us at 1-800 CAN LEARN.

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A Message From Our President Anne Huntington Wed, 18 Mar 2020 15:21:58 -0400 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/statement-from-hlc-president-anne-huntington-2020 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/statement-from-hlc-president-anne-huntington-2020 Anne Huntington - HLC President Anne Huntington - HLC President

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The Importance of Routine in the Classroom As a teacher, you know that the most successful students are those who are organized and efficient and who embrace solid routines. How can these routines positively impact students who are struggling and reinforce those succeeding?

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Mon, 20 Apr 2020 17:22:07 -0400 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/importance-of-routine-in-classrooms https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/importance-of-routine-in-classrooms Huntington Learning Center Huntington Learning Center As a teacher, you know that the most successful students are those who are organized and efficient and who embrace solid routines. In our work with thousands of children every day at Huntington locations around the country, we have discovered a few truths about routines and why they can mean the difference between a successful student and a struggling student. 

Here are some tips to share with your students and their parents: 

  1. Routines help students become independent and responsible. Routines put the onus on students to get things done, which instills in them a sense of responsibility. Such structure also encourages students to take ownership and pride in their work.
  2. Routines get students thinking about their goals and how they can achieve them. With routines in place, students will find themselves with more time for the things they want to do. Also, sticking to routines is all about self-discipline, and self-discipline is what it takes to reach any goal.
  3. As responsibility increases, so does students’ confidence. When you put your students in the driver’s seat and their parents reinforce that independence-building at home, they become more confident in their own abilities. Confidence means students are willing to ask questions and try new things, even if it means failing from time to time.
  4. Good routines minimize stress. Procrastination is a natural tendency of many students. Show yours that routines and a schedule help them make the most of their time, which gives them more time to enjoy their lives outside of school. Just like routines help your classroom run smoothly, they help students’ lives run smoothly too. 

Help your students establish good routines in the classroom and encourage them to stick with them. Your students might not understand the importance now, but as they progress through school, they will recognize that having routines in place for high school and college creates a solid foundation that will equip them for lifelong success.

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Huntington Learning Center Celebrates Mathematics and Statistics Awareness Month 2020 The month of April marks Mathematics and Statistics Awareness Month, and Huntington Learning Center is recognizing this important annual event.

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Tue, 17 Mar 2020 08:03:36 -0400 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/math-awareness-month-2020 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/math-awareness-month-2020 Huntington Learning Center Huntington Learning Center The month of April marks Mathematics and Statistics Awareness Month, and Huntington Learning Center is recognizing this important annual event. 

Mathematics and Statistics Awareness Month aims to increase the understanding and appreciation of mathematics and statistics. These disciplines play an important role in addressing real-world problems facing our society, including security, sustainability, disease, climate change, the data deluge and more. 

This annual program began in 1986 with a proclamation made by President Ronald Reagan to establish National Mathematics Awareness Week. The event was renamed in 1999 as Mathematics Awareness Month and moved to April and has been called Mathematics and Statistics Awareness Month since 2017. It now celebrates mathematics and statistics and the diverse researchers and students in these fields who are contributing to furthering discoveries, solving problems, and finding beauty in the world. 

Mathematics and Statistics Awareness Month is a program of the Joint Policy Board for Mathematics, which is a collaborative effort of the American Mathematical Society, the American Statistical Association, the Mathematical Association of America and the Society for Industrial Applied Mathematics. 

Eileen Huntington of Huntington Learning Center reminds parents that math and statistics are essential aptitudes used in so many different fields. “We recognize that math and statistics are integral to researching and solving worldwide problems and also are a big part of fields like medicine, technology, business, energy, manufacturing, biotechnology and others,” says Huntington. “Our goal in teaching children is to help them see the practical application of math and the power that it has to drive true innovations in today’s complex world. We’re pleased to join educators, parents, universities, schools and others nationwide to recognize this annual event and to encourage our communities to do so too.” 

Huntington offers parents the following tips to put math at the forefront of their children’s lives and remind them of its applicability in daily life and big-picture importance:

  • Get your children familiar with STEM (Science Technology, Engineering and Math) career opportunities.
  • Incorporate mathematical thinking into your conversations with your child.
  • Bring math into the kitchen, having your child measure, decide on appropriate mixing bowl size based on the amount of ingredients, convert recipes and more.
  • Get your child into your weekly fantasy football league, and have him or her follow along each week with fantasy points.
  • Have your child estimate the bill whenever you shop or dine out at a restaurant.
  • Involve your child in maintaining the family checkbook or family budget for essentials like groceries, bills, mortgage and more.
  • Have your child keep track of family data in a spreadsheet, such as everyone’s height, shoe size, hand size and hair length and create graphs every six months to identify interesting patterns.
  • Open a bank account for your child, encourage your child to earn and save money, and talk about the concept of interest. Discuss financial goals your child has for him or herself such as buying a car at 16 or saving for college.
  • Talk about how statistics are used to make predictions about weather, stocks and other things and have your child make a few predictions him or herself.

To learn more about Mathematics and Statistics Awareness Month, visit www.mathaware.org.

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SAT ACT Exams Postponed Due to COVID-19 As news around the United States continues to pour in about the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), the two largest college placement examination groups in the country have announced that they will be rescheduling or canceling upcoming testing dates.

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Wed, 18 Mar 2020 02:41:51 -0400 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/sat-act-exams-postponed-2020 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/sat-act-exams-postponed-2020 Huntington Learning Center Huntington Learning Center As news around the United States continues to pour in about the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), the two largest college placement examination groups in the country have announced that they will be rescheduling or canceling upcoming testing dates.

In a statement released on its website Monday, the ACT's noted that their exam scheduled for April 4th, 2020, would be postponed until June 13th. A notice appearing on the ACT's website at this time states:

"The safety of students and test center staff is ACT’s top priority. ACT has rescheduled its April 4 national test date to June 13 across the U.S. in response to concerns about the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19). All students registered for the April 4 test date will receive an email from ACT in the next few days informing them of the postponement and instructions for free rescheduling to June 13 or a future national test date."

Also, on Monday, the CollegeBoard announced the cancelation of the March 14th makeup SAT (scheduled for March 28th, 2020) exam as well as the May 2nd, 2020 regular SAT exam. As of their most recent update, the CollegeBoard States:

"In response to the rapidly evolving situation around the coronavirus (COVID-19), College Board is canceling the May 2, 2020, SAT administration. Makeup exams for the March 14 administration (scheduled for March 28) are also canceled.

Students who already registered for May, whose March test centers were closed, or who do not receive March scores because of any irregularities will receive refunds."

For more information from both the ACT and CollegeBoard's handling of the COVID-19 situation, see resources each has put forth to help guide current and future registrants.

ACT COVID-19 Resource Page

College Board Natural Disasters Resource Page

 

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Huntington is Monitoring COVID-19 Related State and Standardized Test Cancellations Tue, 31 Mar 2020 10:07:37 -0400 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/state-and-standardized-test-cancellations-2020 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/state-and-standardized-test-cancellations-2020 Huntington Learning Center Huntington Learning Center Last updated 03/31/2020 10:15:00 AM EDT.

Huntington Learning Center continues to monitor the national landscape as individual states continue to make recommended changes to their educational institutions and learning procedures. Below please find a listing of all national and state-level exams which have been postponed or canceled to date. Please bookmark this page and continue to return as we will be updating regularly.

 

National Exams:

Exam Date Scheduled Status New Date Resources
ACT April 4, 2020 Postponed June 13, 2020 ACT
SAT March 28, 2020 Canceled N/A College Board
SAT May 2, 2020 Canceled N/A College Board

  

State Exams Suspended or Canceled:

State Exam Status Resources
Alabama All Assessments Waiver by US DOE  
Alaska All Assessments Waiver by US DOE  
Arkansas All Assessments Waiver by US DOE  
California All Assessments Waiver by US DOE CA Governor
Colorado All Assessments Waiver by US DOE CO Department of Ed
Connecticut All Assessments Waiver by US DOE  
Delaware All Assessments Waiver by US DOE  
District of Columbia All Assessments Waiver by US DOE  
Florida All Assessments Waiver by US DOE FL Department of Ed
Georgia All Assessments Waiver by US DOE GA Department of Ed
Hawaii All Assessments Waiver by US DOE HI Public Schools
Idaho All Assessments Waiver by US DOE  
Illinois All Assessments Waiver by US DOE  
Indiana All Assessments Waiver by US DOE  
Iowa All Assessments Waiver by US DOE  
Kansas All Assessments Waiver by US DOE  
Kentucky All Assessments Waiver by US DOE  
Louisiana All Assessments Waiver by US DOE  
Maine All Assessments Waiver by US DOE ME Department of Ed
Maryland All Assessments Waiver by US DOE  
Massachusetts All Assessments Waiver by US DOE  
Michigan All Assessments Waiver by US DOE  
Minnesota All Assessments Waiver by US DOE  
Mississippi All Assessments Waiver by US DOE  
Missouri All Assessments Waiver by US DOE  
Montana All Assessments Waiver by US DOE  
Nebraska All Assessments Waiver by US DOE NE Department of Ed
Nevada All Assessments Waiver by US DOE  
New Jersey All Assessments Waiver by US DOE  
New Mexico All Assessments Waiver by US DOE  
New York All Assessments Waiver by US DOE NY Department of Ed
North Carolina All Assessments Waiver by US DOE  
Ohio All Assessments Waiver by US DOE  
Oklahoma All Assessments Waiver by US DOE  
Oregon All Assessments Waiver by US DOE  
Pennsylvania All Assessments Waiver by US DOE  
Rhode Island All Assessments Waiver by US DOE  
South Carolina All Assessments Waiver by US DOE  
South Dakota All Assessments Waiver by US DOE  
Tennessee All Assessments Waiver by US DOE  
Texas All Assessments Waiver by US DOE Texas.Gov
Utah All Assessments Waiver by US DOE  
Vermont All Assessments Waiver by US DOE  
Virginia All Assessments Waiver by US DOE  
Washington All Assessments Waiver by US DOE Washington BOE
West Virginia All Assessments Waiver by US DOE  
Wisconsin All Assessments Waiver by US DOE  
Wyoming All Assessments Waiver by US DOE  

  

States With Pending Exam Waiver Requests:

State Request Type
Arizona US DOE Waiver
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Five Interesting Careers That Use Math When it comes to your teen choosing a college major, it is always a great idea to start with his or her academic strengths and interests. Here are five careers that use math to introduce to your teen to get those wheels turning.

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Mon, 16 Mar 2020 08:12:14 -0400 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/interesting-math-careers https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/interesting-math-careers Huntington Learning Center Huntington Learning Center When it comes to your teen choosing a college major, it is always a great idea to start with his or her academic strengths and interests. 

Maybe you have a teen who enjoys math and seems well equipped for majors in the science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) subjects. That’s good news, but what if your teen cringes at the suggestion that he or she become an engineer, mathematician or math teacher? 

The best thing you can do is help your teen broaden the horizons and learn about other jobs that use math but aren’t as commonly discussed. After all, there are many careers where math is important, and your teen might not have considered them before—or even know about them. Here are five careers that use math to introduce to your teen to get those wheels turning: 

  1. Meteorologist – You’ve seen meteorologists on the nightly news for weather forecast reports, but there are also job options in research (working for government agencies, the National Weather Service or NASA, for example) and environmental arenas. Meteorologists often study topics like global warming, the atmosphere and ozone depletion. They use math every day to analyze and predict weather patterns and more. 
  1. Architect – A career in architecture blends math, problem-solving and creativity. Architects design buildings and spaces, using geometry and math to calculate different measurements. Math skills are also important when working with engineers to ensure buildings are properly constructed to bare loads and meet safety requirements. 
  1. Financial Planner – Maybe your teen loves those numbers and is excited by the concept of earning and saving money. If so, a career in something like banking or financial planning could be a lot of fun. Financial planning involves using math to help people determine how much money to save and allocate towards various financial buckets in their lives. The job involves creating models, using projections, analyzing numbers, budgeting and other similar duties. 
  1. Actuary – Actuaries use math and statistics to analyze risks and probabilities in a range of industries, from banking to healthcare, from insurance to the automobile industry. If your teen likes the idea of working with numbers, analyzing those numbers to identify trends and patterns, and developing models and databases, this career could be a great fit. 
  1. Cryptologist – In today’s digital world, cybersecurity is critical for many types of companies and organizations. Cryptographers and cryptanalysts create security systems that protect and encrypt sensitive information. These professionals are important for national security and safeguarding information in industries like finance and telecommunication. Math is essential in this career, as these professionals develop mathematical models as part of their jobs. 

The next time your math-loving teen says he or she does not want to become a math teacher or an engineer, point him or her toward one of the other options out there. There are many interesting and rewarding careers that use math. 

Here’s another scenario to consider: your teen is intrigued by a career that uses math but struggles with the subject. Don’t stand by and let your teen give up on a potentially great college and career path. Contact Huntington. We’ll work one on one with your teen to identify what skills he or she is missing and create a customized program of instruction. Then, we’ll help your teen improve those math skills and get ready for the math that awaits him or her in college and beyond.

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Tips to Make Parent-Teacher Conferences Productive Parent-teacher conferences are around the corner, and there’s a lot to do to get prepared. Here are several tips to keep your conferences positive and productive.

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Sun, 15 Mar 2020 13:08:37 -0400 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/making-parent-teacher-conferences-productive https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/making-parent-teacher-conferences-productive Huntington Learning Center Huntington Learning Center Parent-teacher conferences are around the corner, and there’s a lot to do to get prepared. Here are several tips to keep your conferences positive and productive: 

  1. Know exactly what you want to cover. With 15 or 20 minutes per family, it’s best to go into each conference with a clear agenda. Give parents a brief but comprehensive snapshot of how their children are doing in class. 
  1. Speak in specifics, not generalities. Be thorough in your overview of each student’s strengths, weaknesses, and progress in all subjects. Allow a little time for parent questions, too. 
  1. Have a folder of examples and data to share. Parents will be able to better digest what you tell them if you show them tangible examples of their children’s work. Think charts and graphs of test scores, samples of graded assignments, and other visual aids. 
  1. Offer actionable tips. Provide parents a list of ideas to work on at home with their children. If possible, use some of the examples of past work to explain what you are looking for from students, whether that is doing neater work or answering all questions thoroughly and completely. 

Lastly, end things on a positive note. Make parents comfortable by reminding them that you are there to help, that you invite them to reach out with any questions or concerns, and that your goal is to help their children succeed. That constructive and optimistic approach will keep your conferences focused on what matters most: your students.

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Five Ways to Convince Your Child of the Importance of College The way you talk about college can have a tremendous influence on your child. Here are a few facts to share with your child to convince him or her that college is an excellent idea.

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Sun, 15 Mar 2020 13:26:58 -0400 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/five-ways-to-convince-your-child-college-is-important https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/five-ways-to-convince-your-child-college-is-important Huntington Learning Center Huntington Learning Center The way you talk about college can have a tremendous influence on your child. Eileen Huntington of Huntington Learning Center encourages parents to take the stance that college is an investment that’s not just a good idea, but essential. 

“Parents have probably heard it before and it is true: they are arguably the biggest influence in their children’s lives,” she says. “If you want your child to go to college, talk about it in a positive way. Avoid the ‘Do this because I say so,’ approach, which can backfire and robs your child of the opportunity to make his or her own decisions.” 

What is a better way to go about it? Share some of the most compelling benefits of college education. Here are a few facts to share with your child to convince him or her that college is an excellent idea:

  1. College exposes students to new ideas and people. There is a lot to be learned at college, both in and outside of the classroom. Huntington suggests that parents who went themselves talk fondly of college, the friendships they made, the life experiences they gained and the personal and academic discoveries gained. Parents who didn’t go to college can still make a convincing argument that their children should by sharing what led them not to and why they doing so would have benefitted them. 
  1. College graduates earn more over the long term. Parents should show their children data from a source such as the U.S. Census Bureau on the earning potential of people with college degrees. Their Current Population Survey (2018) figures speak for themselves, showing higher earnings for those with college education: 

Educational attainment

Median usual weekly earnings

Unemployment rate

Doctoral degree

 $                   1,825

1.6%

Professional degree

 $                   1,884

1.5%

Master's degree

 $                   1,434

2.1%

Bachelor's degree

 $                   1,198

2.2%

Associate degree

 $                      862

2.8%

Some college, no degree

 $                      802

3.7%

High school graduates, no college

 $                      730

4.1%

 

  1. College graduates stand apart (and/or meet minimum requirements). While there are companies and organizations out there that do not require bachelor’s degrees, there are also many that consider a four-year degree the minimum job requirement. And even for companies that don’t outright say that college degrees are required to work there, having one will set an individual apart from others and open doors in the long run. 
  1. College helps young adults figure things out. It isn’t easy to choose a career and many people change careers at least a couple of times throughout their lives. The primary purpose of college, however, is to prepare people to make good decisions about their career paths. Huntington reminds parents that attending college is a great way for teens to mature and explore many options with the guidance of professors, career services staff and other mentors. 

Lastly, Huntington says that if you do all of these things and still find as your child nears college that the idea of continuing on after high school just isn’t appealing, call Huntington. 

“Sometimes children who struggle through elementary and middle school really hit the wall in high school and have no interest in discussions about the importance of a college degree,” says Huntington. “Huntington can help identify what’s really going on. Your teen could be missing skills that are preventing him or her from succeeding in most classes, therefore making school a frustrating and unenjoyable experience. The sooner you get help, the better for your child’s future.” 

Cal Huntington at 1-800 CAN LEARN to find out how to help your child be the best student possible and lay the groundwork for college.

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Reality of College Admissions Competitiveness Here are a few interesting facts from the National Association for College Admission Counseling’s 2019 State of College Admission report to help you understand college selectivity and how it affects your teen.

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Sun, 15 Mar 2020 14:06:53 -0400 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/college-admissions-competativeness-2020 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/college-admissions-competativeness-2020 Huntington Learning Center Huntington Learning Center How hard is it really to get into college? The answer: it depends. There are schools that are known for being much more selective and schools that are more accepting of all kinds of applicants.

Here are a few interesting facts from the National Association for College Admission Counseling’s 2019 State of College Admission report to help you understand college selectivity and how it affects your teen:

  • Same top factors for admission of first-time freshmen – Admission officers continue to care about the same things they have cared about for the last 20 years. The top factors for admission decisions are overall high school GPA, grades in college preparatory classes, strength of curriculum and admission test scores.
  • Admission factors vary depending on college type. While the top four factors mentioned above were reported by ALL types of institutions, institutional characteristics do impact those factors:
    • Private colleges placed more importance on the essay/writing sample, interview, counselor/teacher recommendations, demonstrated interest, extracurricular activities and work.
    • Public colleges valued admission test scores more highly than private institutions.
    • Smaller colleges gave more weight to the interview, teacher and counselor recommendations, and demonstrated interest.
    • Larger colleges tended to place more value on admission test scores.
  • More applications – The number of applications from first-time freshmen rose between 2017 and 2018. As shared in the State of College Admission report (and reported by the Higher Education Research Institute’s The American Freshman report series), 36% of first-time freshmen applied to seven or more colleges during the fall 2017 admission cycle.
  • Many students apply to selective schools – The most selective four-year colleges—those accepting less than half of all applicants—received 37% of all fall 2016 applications but enrolled only 21% of first-time undergraduate students. About 65% of first-time, full-time freshmen were enrolled in institutions with selectivity rates (the percentage of applicants offered admission) between 50% and 85%.
  • Increased average acceptance rate – If this all sounds daunting, here’s some good news: most schools select most applicants. Average selectivity rate was 66.7% for fall 2017 (the percentage of applications offered admission at all four-year colleges and universities in the U.S.). This is up from 63.9% in fall 2012.

Bottom line: yes, there are certain colleges and universities that are hard to get into. The eight schools that make up the Ivy League are notorious for their low acceptance rates as are other non-Ivy schools such as Duke, Stanford and Vanderbilt. But more students are applying to college (and more schools per applicant). This impacts institutions’ yield—meaning, the percentage of students that enroll out of those admitted.

If your teen is starting to think about college, remind him or her that fit is most important of all. Your teen should focus on finding the school that feels right where he or she can succeed. Colleges do not accept everyone—that is a reality. But if your teen works hard in school and puts forth effort to prove that to the schools to which he or she applies, those chances of acceptance are a lot higher.

If your teen needs help getting the grades up or with the college application process, call Huntington.

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Tips for Expanding Your Child’s Horizons with Current Events t a young age, your child’s world is small. But on any given day, there is a lot happening in the world outside your child’s bubble, which means many opportunities for expanding the mind and learning something new.

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Sun, 15 Mar 2020 13:32:31 -0400 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/tips-to-expand-your-childs-horizons-with-current-events https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/tips-to-expand-your-childs-horizons-with-current-events Dr. Raymond Huntington Dr. Raymond Huntington At a young age, your child’s world is small. He or she goes to school, comes home to do homework and heads off to any extracurricular activities. But on any given day, there is a lot happening in the world outside your child’s bubble, which means many opportunities for expanding the mind and learning something new. Here are a few tips on how to create opportunities for lessons from current events, which will teach your child new things: 

  • Subscribe to the newspaper. Whether you like The New York Times or your local newspaper, a morning habit of browsing the headlines with your child will be impactful—and memorable. Read it each morning over breakfast and hand your child stories that might be of interest. Build your child’s critical thinking skills by talking about interesting news and asking your child’s opinion. 
  • Check out CNN 10 each day. CNN 10 is a daily 10-minute show that shares international stories as well as why they are making news, who they affect and how the events fit into society. It’s a great way for you and your child to get an overview of stories with multiple viewpoints. Plus, the explanatory nature means even complex stories are understandable and digestible for your child. 
  • Talk about what’s going on at school. Chances are, your child’s teachers are bringing up current events in class, some of which might even be emotionally charged. Talk about them. Ask your child where he or she stands on different topics and how other classmates differ. 
  • Visit sites of importance in your area. Let your child see the world in action. Spend time at the state capitol or city hall, which is good exposure to different careers. If you live near a city with a financial district, take a walk around or seek out a tour. Explore other sites in your city that share its history and culture. 
  • Try podcasts. Teaching current affairs to your child while leading a busy life is a reality with podcasts. There are all kinds of newsy podcasts out there, many of which would be suitable for children or teens who want to stay up on world or local issues. Listen to one in the car that gives a quick daily update. 
  • Watch the news. When your child reaches an appropriate age, consider watching your local news or a national news channel together each night. This can spark important conversations in your house on everything from business to technology to global issues. The same topics are likely coming up at school as well. 

Lastly, keep in mind that your child benefits most of all from applying what he or she learns in school to the real world. So, if your child is studying past presidents in history class, it’s valuable to learn about current presidential news. If your child is taking a technology class, keeping up with some of the leading tech organizations in the world might give him or her new perspective. 

Look for opportunities to teach your child new things—and reinforce what teachers are teaching in school—through the events and news around you. That applied learning will enrich and augment your child’s education.

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Four Note-Taking Methods If note-taking isn’t a skill your teen possesses today, it’s critical that he or she develops it before heading off to college. Note-taking helps your teen retain information as he or she learns it and provides a useful reference for studying for tests.

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Sun, 15 Mar 2020 13:46:12 -0400 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/four-not-taking-methods https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/four-not-taking-methods Huntington Learning Center Huntington Learning Center If note-taking isn’t a skill your teen possesses today, it’s critical that he or she develops it before heading off to college. Note-taking helps your teen retain information as he or she learns it and provides a useful reference for studying for tests. It promotes active listening and engaged reading. 

There are many types of methods, from the simplest to the more complex. Here are several options with which your teen should become familiar: 

  1. Cornell note-taking – The Cornell note-taking method has students set up a page with a left-hand column for cues/questions, a right-hand column for notes and a bottom summary. The notes column is where your teen should write down what the teacher says in class and/or puts on the board (key ideas and essential details to remember later). The cues column is where your teen should jot down questions or list terms that are answered/defined in the notes column. 
  1. Outline method – Students who have written essays or reports probably know quite a bit already about outlining. The outlining note-taking method has students divide notes into main topics, subtopics and key points for each of those topics. Your teen should start notes with main topics and indent rows underneath for corresponding subtopics and key facts. Like this: 

Main topic

                Subtopic

                                Key idea 1

                                Key idea 2

  1. Concept mapping – Students who are visual learners might like the concept mapping method of taking notes. Put simply, key concepts and ideas are captured in boxes or circles and related ideas are connected with lines. A larger box in the center of a page might contain the main idea of the notes on the page, while smaller, connected boxes could include the topics and subtopics. 
  1. Charting method – Charting can be especially useful when students are taking notes while reading. It involves creating labeled columns—for example, equation, when to use and example—and rows to fill out those columns. The result is a set of notes that look like a table, making this method ideal for recording lots of information and making it easy to review later in a more succinct way. 

Whatever method of note-taking your teen uses, the same general rules apply: 

  1. Do not write down every word that the teacher says.
  2. Organize notes while writing them (or clean them up after class if needed).
  3. Do not forgo listening for taking detailed notes (and instead, take notes on the important things, not everything).
  4. Call out key ideas, questions and terms/concepts by boxing them, putting them in their own column or using some other approach. 

Your teen’s overall goal should be to translate what teachers cover in class (and what he or she reads in textbooks or online) into useful notes that are understandable. Having clear, clean notes will help your teen study effectively for exams and quizzes and keep up in class. Your teen can review those notes before each new class period to make sure he or she is familiar with significant concepts and can answer any important questions. 

Note-taking does not come easily to all students. If your teen needs help becoming a better notetaker and student, contact Huntington at 1-800 CAN LEARN.

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Five Tips for Teaching Gen Z Sun, 15 Mar 2020 12:18:55 -0400 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/tips-for-teaching-gen-z https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/tips-for-teaching-gen-z Huntington Learning Center Huntington Learning Center Today’s children, teens, and young adults are considered Generation Z (roughly ages 7 to 22, according to Bloomberg News). These digital natives spend lots of time on social media platforms and grew up using smartphones for just about everything. How can you teach them best? Here are several tips:

  1. Make lessons engaging. Generally, Gen Z students learn best when lessons are hands-on and require them to participate and interact with one another. They like kinesthetic learning and prefer it over sitting back and receiving information.
  2. Use apps to interact. These students move quickly, and they are used to having information at their fingertips. They are fast thinkers and want teachers to respond quickly to their needs. Try offering brief, meaningful feedback on homework assignments and responding to questions using a classroom app.
  3. Divide up classes into bite-sized chunks. Most experts agree that Gen Z students have shorter attention spans due to their “always on” nature and frequent interactions and connections with multimedia environments. The more you can incorporate short brain breaks into lessons, the better for your students’ retention.
  4. Get students involved. With Gen Z, lessons absolutely must be engaging. Begin lessons with something interactive rather than simply reading aloud while everyone listens. For an English research paper, for example, try rotating students through stations, with one station reading together through a text, another working on outline brainstorming (with your guidance), and another working on and sharing their introductory paragraphs.
  5. Take time to talk about appropriate sourcing. Gen Z considers Google an integral part of learning and relies on technology to answer all kinds of questions. While this generation is digitally literate, they need to understand how to determine whether a source of information on the internet is accurate and reliable. Teach them about inadvertent and intentional plagiarism as well as evaluating online sources for trustworthiness and correctness.

Your Gen Z students are visual, quick, and curious. Offer them daily opportunities to discover, create, and think critically in ways that are experiential and hands-on. 

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What Colleges Expect from High School Seniors It’s important for your teen to think not just about what to share with the colleges to which he or she wants to apply, but what those colleges are seeking from the high school seniors in their applicant pool. 

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Fri, 21 Feb 2020 08:59:04 -0500 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/college-expectations-for-high-school-seniors https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/college-expectations-for-high-school-seniors Huntington Learning Center Huntington Learning Center Everything has led to this: your teen is in the home stretch of high school and starting to think about the future—specifically college. Perhaps your teen has already begun the college research and application process, or maybe you’re just getting started. Either way, it’s important for your teen to think not just about what to share with the colleges to which he or she wants to apply, but what those colleges are seeking from the high school seniors in their applicant pool. 

To guide your teen along this journey, here are three things that colleges expect from high school seniors: 

  1. Effort - When your teen reviews the application requirements on colleges’ websites, chances are he or she will notice similar factors that colleges have at the top of their list of the most important: GPA, grades, rigorous classes, admission test scores, etc. Put simply, colleges want to see that students have given high school their all. They are looking for sincere effort, perseverance through challenging situations in classes, and a commitment to doing their best in school. 
  1. Self-discipline - By the time your teen is a college freshman, it is assumed that he or she is independent and has a strong work ethic. This will be evident in his or her grades and academic performance, but you should also keep an eye on your teen’s study habits and organizational skills. Time management is absolutely critical in college. You will not be around to make sure your teen studies and goes to class. Self-discipline is a must-have. 
  1. Promise - Yes, grades, strength of high school curriculum, and SAT/ACT scores carry more weight than anything else on an application, but colleges especially want to see students’ potential and promise. What did your teen do during his or her four years of high school to be better and make an impact on others? Was your teen a leader? Did he or she persevere in spite of unforeseen and uncontrollable challenges? The more your teen can show that he or she has a bright future ahead and will add value to any campus culture, the better. 

Of course, it is important for your teen to thoroughly read every college’s admissions website to make sure he or she is clear on what that college is looking for. There are many other aspects to the college application that matter as well, including a resume of extracurricular activities, teacher recommendations, counselor recommendations, and the admission essay. 

There’s no doubt that it can be overwhelming to apply to college. If your teen needs support or help or you are concerned that he or she might not possess all of the skills that are essential for college, call Huntington. We work with high school students every day to help them perform their best and get prepared to succeed in college, and we will to do the same for your teen.

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How to Help Students with Time Management Successful students know how to organize themselves and manage their time effectively.  If you have some students who seem to spin their wheels when it comes time to work or who frequently hand in late assignments, it might be time for a time management tune-up. 

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Wed, 19 Feb 2020 12:56:30 -0500 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/student-time-management-help https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/student-time-management-help Huntington Learning Center Huntington Learning Center Successful students know how to organize themselves and manage their time effectively. If you have some students who seem to spin their wheels when it comes time to work or who frequently hand in late assignments, it might be time for a time management tune-up. 

Here are a few tips for how to help your students improve their time management skills: 

  1. Make use of the planner. Hopefully your students are accustomed to using their planners, but if not, work on fostering that habit. Make it a daily practice at the start and end of class to have students record homework assignments and anything they have due that week or beyond. 
  1. Have students block out schedules. A day planner is very useful, but it’s also helpful for students to have a visual reminder of everything they have to do one week at a time. Encourage your students to use the hourly section of their weekly planner to record any sports practices or other commitments. Remind them that it’s a good habit to put everything on the calendar so they can quickly identify the best times for studying and relaxing. 
  1. Teach the art of prioritization. Your students have a lot on their plates. Teach them how to quickly divide homework into several groups: items due the next day, items due that week, and items coming up soon. Next, have them sort due-next-day work from hardest to easiest, which will help them visualize their priorities, decide on an order, and create to-do lists. 

Time management is essential for your students’ success. Help them nurture this skill in order to minimize their stress and avoid procrastination in school and all areas of their lives.

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Huntington Learning Center Recognizes Read Across America 2020 March is National Reading Month and Huntington Learning Center joins teachers, educators, parents, children and others around the country to observe Read Across America, created by the National Education Association (NEA).

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Wed, 19 Feb 2020 08:51:28 -0500 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/read-across-america-2020 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/read-across-america-2020 Huntington Learning Center Huntington Learning Center March is National Reading Month and Huntington Learning Center joins teachers, educators, parents, children and others around the country to observe Read Across America, the annual reading motivation and awareness program created by the National Education Association (NEA). 

Read Across America is the nation’s largest celebration of reading. This year-round program promotes big events on March 2, but is intended to motivate children and teens to read by offering events, partnerships and reading resources all year long. The Read Across America website provides a list of recommended books, activities, authors and teaching resources that represent an array of experiences and cultures. 

“One of our favorite aspects of Read Across America is the focus on making all children feel welcome and included,” says Eileen Huntington of Huntington Learning Center. “Read Across America encourages parents, teachers, educators and others to help children link books to their lives. Reading exposes children to so much: other cultures and ways of life, their place in the world, the impact they can have and much more. We appreciate the effort to promote the message that there is room in every community for all types of readers.” 

Huntington reminds parents that strong reading and comprehension skills are essential throughout children’s entire school experience. To persuade children to read, she offers these tips: 

  • Become regulars at the library. The library is the best free resource there is when it comes to exposing your child to literacy and reading. Check out activities and events for your child such as book clubs and summer reading programs.
  • Read with children from a young age. Help your child learn to associate reading with comfort and joy and think of it as a pleasing activity. Make it fun.
  • Read in front of your children. Establish a nightly reading habit of your own. Have family reading hour on weekends, where you all curl up on the couch with your books. Bring a book with you to your child’s piano lesson or sports practice and let your child see you enjoying reading in your free time.
  • Start conversations about reading. Ask your child what book he or she is reading and what’s great about it. What does your child think might happen next? What characters are likeable or deplorable? Listen and be interested any time your child wants to talk about books or reading.
  • Keep reading material on hand. Put a bookshelf in your child’s room and another in your family room. Give books as gifts and urge your child to build a home library of favorites.
  • Be flexible on what your child reads. It’s okay if your child experiments with different types of reading material. Literary fiction isn’t the only option—let your child check out that graphic novel or magazine from the library if he or she is so inclined. The key is to encourage your child to read and show him or her discover how entertaining it can be.

Learn more about Read Across America at www.readacrossamerica.org. For more reading tips and ideas, visit www.huntingtonhelps.com.

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Big Changes Coming to the ACT in September 2020 Beginning September 2020, the ACT will offer students more choices in not only how they take the exam, will help ensure that their scores more accurately reflect their academic knowledge, effort and future potential. Here are some changes taking place.

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Wed, 19 Feb 2020 14:09:18 -0500 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/act-test-changes-2020 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/act-test-changes-2020 Huntington Learning Center Huntington Learning Center You might have heard about the changes coming to the ACT in September 2020. The ACT will offer students more choices and help ensure that ACT test scores reflect students’ academic knowledge, effort and future potential. Here is an overview of what you and your teen can expect:

  • Section retesting – No longer will it be “all or nothing” when it comes to retaking the ACT (meaning, if your teen did well on three of the four sections but would like to increase his or her English section score, currently your teen must retake the entire ACT). Students will be able to retake one or more section(s) of the ACT to improve their scores. Keep in mind:
    • This is available to all students who have taken the full ACT test, offered seven times a year on the same date as the national ACT test.
    • Students can take up to three retests at a time, as many times as they like.
    • Section retests are offered online only and are identical in content and follow the same format as the full ACT test.
  • Superscoring – Students will now be able to send their best ACT test results to colleges combined as one “superscore,” which shows the highest possible composite score across multiple tests and section retests. ACT calculates the average of the four best subject scores from each ACT attempt. Example:
    • Your teen received the following scores on two different test dates:

 

Test date

English

Math

Reading

Science

Combined

June

28

19

21

24

23

September

24

20

22

20

22

           

The ACT score report will include your teen’s best-combined score of:

English

Math

Reading

Science

Combined

28

20

22

24

24

 

  • Faster results – Students can choose between online and paper testing. Those who choose the online method will get the results quicker—as early as two business days after the test date—allowing them to make faster decisions about retesting. The ACT organization contends that today’s students are more comfortable with online testing, but has no plans to do away with paper-and-pencil testing for those who prefer it.

A few things to keep in mind:

  • These changes begin with the September 2020 test.
  • Colleges have their own policies for admission and might only accept composite scores, not superscores. However, ACT will still supply colleges at least one full composite score with each superscore as well as the scores from the tests that are part of the superscore composite.
  • Pricing for individual section retests has not yet been announced but will be less than taking the entire test.
  • Students who take the ACT on a school day through their district or state can retest at an ACT test center on national test dates (but section retesting will not be available as part of ACT’s state and district testing programming just yet).
  • Starting in July, students who register for the ACT test in September 2020 will see which centers offer the ACT test online.
  • Online testing is available at ACT testing centers.

Huntington is ready to help your teen earn his or her best score on the ACT and make getting into that dream college a reality. Contact us at 1-800 CAN LEARN to learn more about our individualized, flexible ACT prep programs.

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Tips to Engage Students Through Multi-Media As a teacher, you’re always looking for ways to get your students’ attention and engage them in deeper thinking and learning. Using multi-media opportunities within your teaching can be an effective way to further engage and motivate your students.

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Wed, 19 Feb 2020 12:46:29 -0500 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/multi-media-in-the-classroom-2020 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/multi-media-in-the-classroom-2020 Huntington Learning Center Huntington Learning Center As a teacher, you’re always looking for ways to get your students’ attention and engage them in deeper thinking and learning. Today’s students demand more than information delivered via textbooks and lectures. They are quick thinkers and processors and have grown up with technology, which expands their learning options greatly. 

Teaching using multi-media can be very effective. Here are a few tips for how to do so: 

  • Enhance class communication. Encourage students working together in groups to communicate using tools like Edmodo or Schoology. Social media or other communication platforms let students continue working together after the school bell rings and give them a central place to share ideas and documents. They also serve as a hub where you can post information about assignments and deadlines. 
  • Amp up those presentations. Whether you use Google Slides or another tool in your classroom, there are lots of ways that you and your students can bring presentations to life with images, audio clips, iMovies or video clips, or even computer animation. 
  • Make better study guides. There are many apps and tools to help students create in-class quizzes, flashcards, and other study aids. Studying on the go becomes easier, and many students especially like the ability to track their progress on their smartphones. 
  • Use videos to teach. Apps like Educreations allow you to create video lessons that students can watch as homework or video tutorials they can use to study challenging concepts on their own. 

Using multi-media in the classroom has lots of advantages, but it takes effort. That effort is worthwhile, however, as multi-media can strengthen student learning and engagement, improve student-student and teacher-student collaboration, and make your lessons more exciting and interactive.

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What is an Academic Skills Gap and How Can You Fix It? School is not easy for every student, and when difficulties arise, parents don’t always know what to do. One of the most common—and most serious—issues that struggling students have is when skills are missing.

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Wed, 19 Feb 2020 08:43:02 -0500 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/fixing-a-skills-gap-2020 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/fixing-a-skills-gap-2020 Huntington Learning Center Huntington Learning Center School is not easy for every student, and when difficulties arise, parents don’t always know what to do. One of the most common—and most serious—issues that struggling students have, says Eileen Huntington of Huntington Learning Center is when skills are missing.

“Academic skill gaps are the missing links between what children need to know in a particular grade or subject and what they actually know,” she explains. “Left uncorrected, those gaps in knowledge grow bigger, and students’ lack of important skills make it difficult or even impossible to keep up with classwork or continue moving forward successfully in a subject.”

Here are a few tips on what to do if you suspect your child has one or more skill gaps:

  1. Observe carefully during homework time. What is tripping up your child? Is he or she functioning with some tasks and struggling with others? Watch how your child approaches homework and where specifically he or she gets stuck.
  2. Talk with the teacher. Get his or her insight on what is happening in the classroom and if it looks similar to what you observe at home. Perhaps your child has been absent on important days and needs to catch up. Your child could be having trouble focusing during instruction. Or maybe your child’s skill gaps stem back to last school year and are only getting worse this year. Have an open conversation about what you are both seeing.
  3. Talk with your child. Approach the conversation lightly, and ideally, not right after a frustrating homework session. Ask how your child feels during homework and in school. Your child’s perspective might surprise you and offer useful information that you can share with his or her teacher.
  4. Contact Huntington for help. Unfortunately, skill gaps will only grow if they are not fixed. Your child needs individualized instruction on the areas where he or she is lacking understanding or missing key foundational information. In math, for example, many skills build upon one another. If your child never learned basic concepts and his or her teacher is now on the more complex subject matter, your child is likely having a hard time completing work correctly (or at all).

Skill gaps happen for a variety of reasons, explains Huntington. “Sometimes children hide their knowledge deficits well in elementary school because they’re able to compensate temporarily for the skills they are missing,” she says. “Other times children cover up their learning problems with a bad attitude or by causing distractions in the classroom.”

Whatever the reason or situation, Huntington can help. “We will evaluate your child’s abilities, identify the skills he or she is missing (or weak on), and create a targeted program of instruction that will help your child get back on track,” says Huntington. “The sooner you act, the sooner your child will regain his or her confidence and self-esteem.”

Call Huntington today at 1-800 CAN LEARN.

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Eight Tips for Building Your High School Student’s Critical Thinking Skills There are many skills your teen will need in college but one of the most important is critical thinking. As a parent, what can you do to build your teen’s critical thinking skills and help him or her get ready for college?

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Wed, 19 Feb 2020 13:45:29 -0500 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/critical-thinking-skill-building https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/critical-thinking-skill-building Huntington Learning Center Huntington Learning Center There are many skills your teen will need in college but one of the most important is critical thinking. College professors encourage students to challenge assumptions and not just memorize information. They expect students to analyze, reflect and ask questions. 

As a parent, what can you do to build your teen’s critical thinking skills and help him or her get ready for college? Here are eight tips: 

  1. Ask your teen’s opinion. Whether you discuss the news or the latest movie you’ve watched together, invite your teen to share ideas. Then, when your teen communicates his or her point of view, talk about the “why” behind them.
  2. Let your teen solve problems. Resist the urge to step in and save the day when your teen can’t find something or is struggling with an assignment. Your teen experiences significant growth by figuring out the steps required to deal with adversity, major or minor.
  3. Talk about books and other reading material. If you hit a wall bringing up real-world or personal topics, try discussing what your teen is reading. Ask about the story, your teen’s favorite and least favorite characters (and why), and what your teen predicts is going to happen at different parts of the story.
  4. Teach your teen to take new perspectives. In everyday life, encourage your teen to think about things from his or her perspective as well as the perspective of others. Ask how those viewpoints differ and why your teen thinks so.
  5. Encourage your teen to dig deeper. In every situation, there is the information in front of us and the information one must either assume or determine (from further research or inferences). Instill in your teen a sense of inquisitiveness. Remind your teen not to accept everything as fact, but rather, investigate and think independently.
  6. Talk about the application of concepts. As your teen nears college, he or she is probably thinking about majors and careers. Point out how different subjects and concepts are used in life and in different kinds of jobs.
  7. Have your teen show you. Put your teen in the teacher’s seat and invite him or her to explain to you how he or she approached that math homework or opinion essay. Ask thoughtful questions that require your teen to articulate ideas and methods clearly.
  8. Talk through failures. As mentioned earlier, it is important for your teen to learn to solve problems independently. When your teen does struggle or fail, however, you can help reinforce valuable lessons by asking good questions, such as:
    • What happened?
    • Why did this occur? 
    • What were the consequences of your action or inaction?
    • If you could redo the situation what would you do differently? 
    • What did you learn from this?

No matter what career path your teen chooses, the ability to think deeply and critically is essential. Your teen’s teachers continuously promote this, but there’s a lot you can do at home as well to support their efforts. As a critical thinker, your teen will be better equipped to succeed in life far beyond high school and college.

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Five Tips for Teaching Your Students Work Ethic You’ve probably wished before that all your students would have an excellent work ethic. Students who work hard recognize that their future successes and failures are largely within their control and that the effort they put into their work is directly tied to outcomes.

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Wed, 19 Feb 2020 09:08:25 -0500 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/teaching-work-ethic https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/teaching-work-ethic Huntington Learning Center Huntington Learning Center You’ve probably wished before that all your students would have an excellent work ethic. Without question, it is a determining factor for long-term success. Students who work hard recognize that their future successes and failures are largely within their control and that the effort they put into their work is directly tied to outcomes. 

So, what can you do to teach your students a strong work ethic? Here are several tips: 

  1. Praise effort, not results. It’s easy to congratulate your students for those As and move along, but instead, take the stance that earning an A means a student was diligent about listening, studying, and doing homework. 
  1. Encourage students to take pride in what they do. Find ways to guide students toward personal satisfaction as they learn. Set the stage that you believe your students can succeed and give them some control over assignments. Consider allowing them to choose between essay topics or incorporate their personal interests into a science project. 
  1. Give them class responsibilities. Let your students know that they all play an important part in the classroom. Give them appropriate jobs, which helps you keep things running smoothly and gives them a sense of responsibility. 
  1. Set goals together. Have students set personal academic goals at the start of each semester. Set class goals together. Talk about how to break down bigger goals into smaller steps. This teaches your students how to work toward the things they want. 
  1. Teach time management. A productive student is a thriving student. Teach your students how to manage their time effectively, which combines self-discipline with goal-setting. 

Remind your students that so much is possible when they are motivated and persistent. The good work habits they establish today will carry them through life and guide them toward success in anything they choose.

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Four Tips to Encourage Reading in the Digital Age Wed, 19 Feb 2020 08:30:10 -0500 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/encouraging-reading-in-the-digital-age https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/encouraging-reading-in-the-digital-age Dr. Raymond Huntington Dr. Raymond Huntington Parents, as you know, today’s generation of students have grown up with technology. It isn’t an add-on or something they think about separately, but rather, it’s integrated into everything they do in and outside of school. 

Technology certainly offers many advantages to students of all ages, but does it lead to less reading? While some children choose scrolling social media and browsing the internet on their smartphones over other activities (including reading), there are many ways to promote reading while acknowledging that technology plays a big part in your child’s life. 

Here are several tips on how to encourage your “digital native” child to read more: 

  1. Make reading material accessible. A bookshelf in your home and/or your child’s room is a great way to help him or her start creating a home library, but if your child has a laptop or tablet, he or she can download an app from Amazon or Barnes & Noble for digital reading. That way, wherever you are, your child always has access to his or her book. If your child prefers a separate tablet for reading only, e-readers and gift cards for future e-books make great gifts. Bottom line: make it easy for your child to get books. 
  1. Help your child find books of interest. Today’s students seek stimulation. Their minds work quickly. If a book doesn’t capture their attention, they’ll abandon it for something that does. This is all the more reason to help your child find reading material that gets him or her excited. Reading-focused social websites like Goodreads are an awesome resource and don’t forget about the librarian, who can guide your child toward material based on his or her interests, age, reading ability and more. 
  1. Talk about the downsides of multitasking. There’s plenty of research out there that articulates why doing five things at once is less effective than concentrating on one (the American Psychological Association explains that “doing more than one task at a time, especially more than one complex task, takes a toll on productivity”). Help your child establish good habits by setting a time in your household for daily reading (and reading only) and having your child mute all phone and other notifications when reading. 
  1. Make reading fun. This is an age-old tip for a reason. Put simply, if reading is enjoyable, your child will want to do more of it. Make reading a part of your child’s routine so that it becomes a habit as he or she grows older, but also use reading to create memories as a family. A few nights a week, make hot chocolate or popcorn and have family reading night in the living room or on the patio in the summer. On your free Sunday evenings, head to your favorite local bookstore or coffee shop for some reading, then go out to eat or come home to make dinner together. 

Lastly, remember how important it is to get your child help if needed. Your child will never choose to read more or think of reading as relaxing downtime if it is a constant struggle. So, if you notice that your child receives low test scores, grapples with text that seems simple or resists every effort you make to encourage reading, call Huntington. We’ll assess your child’s reading abilities to see what might be going on behind the scenes that are preventing your child from becoming a reader. Reach us at 1-800 CAN LEARN.

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Four Important Considerations for Teens When Choosing College Majors Whether your teen has been planning their career since fourth grade or your high school junior is just beginning to review their options, the college major decision is a big one, and your teen could surely use some guidance.

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Fri, 31 Jan 2020 15:42:38 -0500 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/considerations-when-choosing-college-majors https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/considerations-when-choosing-college-majors Huntington Learning Center Huntington Learning Center Maybe your teen has been planning on a particular career since fourth grade. Maybe your high school junior is just now starting to contemplate the future. Or perhaps your teen has a few ideas of possible college majors and hasn’t yet decided which one to go with. 

The college major decision is a big one, and your teen could surely use some guidance. Here are four considerations for your teen to keep in mind: 

  1. Interests – Make sure your teen thinks about his or her interests. Maybe that’s being outside, working with children, helping others or working with numbers. Encourage your teen to talk with adult family friends and neighbors about what they do, and to start paying attention to the different types of fields and careers out there. It is fine for your teen to go to college with several ideas in mind, but it’s also good to start exploring fields and job duties that sound enjoyable and interesting. 
  1. Academic strengths – Your teen needs to do some research about the types of classes that different majors will require. If medicine appeals but science has never been your teen’s best subject, it might not be a great choice. Struggling through required courses could lead to a difficult college experience. That said, academic strengths alone shouldn’t drive your teen’s choice in major—and your teen should keep an open mind. Perhaps your strong math student has no interest in majoring in math. That doesn’t mean other math-related or math-adjacent disciplines aren’t worth a look, like medicine, healthcare, engineering or architecture. 
  1. Soft skills – Every job is different, and there’s so much more to a career than the day-to-day job duties. Your teen would be wise to reflect on what he or she is skilled at other than school subjects. For example, your teen might be great with people, an excellent communicator, a leader who is skilled at taking charge or an analytical thinker. Similarly, your teen needs to acknowledge that there are skills he or she doesn’t have or wish to strengthen. Someone who is people-driven and team-oriented, for example, might not be a good fit for an isolated job. 
  1. Stability – Salary matters, but stability matters more. Is projected demand for the fields and jobs in which your teen is interested strong? Realistically, most teens probably cannot visualize life 10-20 years after college, but they might one day have children, own homes and have a variety of financial responsibilities. It is smart to research the jobs for which each major will prepare your teen (and the career trajectory of those jobs) and how easily your teen will be able to support him or herself. 

Despite all of this effort, your teen might go off to college without a clear plan. Don’t worry—the first year of college consists largely of general education classes and lots of opportunities to explore. It’s still worthwhile to think about now, but there's no reason to push your teen into something that he or she will regret or end up changing later. 

This is your teen’s future, and the decision deserves plenty of attention. Open the lines of communication with your teen about college majors sooner than later. You’ll be glad you did.

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How to Fight Plagiarism in the Digital Age Plagiarism isn’t a new problem, but it has become a more obvious issue in today’s digital age, where a world of information is at every student’s fingertips, and it’s too easy to copy, paste, and save. How can you teach your students not to plagiarize and deter this unethical behavior? 

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Wed, 29 Jan 2020 16:38:41 -0500 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/how-to-fight-plagiarism-in-the-digital-age https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/how-to-fight-plagiarism-in-the-digital-age Huntington Learning Center Huntington Learning Center Plagiarism isn’t a new problem, but it has become a more obvious issue in today’s digital age, where a world of information is at every student’s fingertips, and it’s too easy to copy, paste, and save. How can you teach your students not to plagiarize and deter this unethical behavior? Here are a few suggestions: 

  • Educate them about it. Your students have grown up using technology, but don’t assume that they know what it means to plagiarize. Explain that stealing others’ work, intentionally or not, is cheating and will get them in big trouble. Give examples of work that has been improperly cited or copied verbatim (or close). Create a handout so that there is no confusion.
  • Give clear guidance. Articulate your expectations of students. Clearly, you don’t want them stealing paragraphs from the internet, but when and how should they cite sources? Are there situations where it is acceptable to incorporate ideas shared by others into one’s own work without crediting the source?
  • Discuss the consequences of plagiarism. Your school and/or district probably have guidelines in place regarding the punishment for academic dishonesty and plagiarism. Go over these rules as well as your own with students.
  • Use plagiarism checkers when grading. There are plenty of software tools and websites out there that will help you check that your students are not copying work from any published sources. Ask your school technology department if they have a recommendation or if your school already has a subscription to a tool.
  • Talk about the importance of not copying other students’ work, too. With social media and photo text messaging, it’s easy for students to help each other out with a quick snapshot of homework or notes. Let students know that you are watching for writing assignments and written responses that look identical or very similar and that the consequences of copying each other’s work are the same as plagiarizing published work. 

Ultimately, it’s important that you remind students that those who plagiarize are only cheating themselves. Establish rules, educate your students on best writing practices, and use tools to help you keep your students honest.

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Huntington Learning Center Recognizes Quality Schools in 2020 Catholic Schools Week is a joint project of the National Catholic Educational Association (NCEA) and the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. National Lutheran Schools Week is a celebration of the nearly Lutheran 2,000 preschools, elementary schools and high schools in the United States.

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Mon, 17 Feb 2020 13:16:50 -0500 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/national-catholic-schools-week-national-lutheran-schools-week-2020 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/national-catholic-schools-week-national-lutheran-schools-week-2020 Huntington Learning Center Huntington Learning Center At the start of a new year, the Huntington Learning Center applauds high-quality schools during two important scholastic observances: Catholic Schools Week and National Lutheran Schools Week (both Jan. 26 through Feb. 1, 2020).

Catholic Schools Week is a joint project of the National Catholic Educational Association (NCEA) and the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. The week became an annual event in 1974. The observance comes after NCEA introduced a second week in 2019 to recognize Catholic schools, which they called Discover Catholic Schools Week (November 17-23, 2019). This week is aimed to help schools connect with prospective families, educators and other community members to showcase the many great aspects of Catholic school education.

The traditional Catholic Schools Week in January-February 2020 includes assemblies and a variety of activities in and outside Catholic schools and churches. The 2020 theme of Catholic Schools Week is “Catholic Schools: Learn. Serve. Lead. Succeed.”

National Lutheran Schools Week is a celebration of the nearly Lutheran 2,000 preschools, elementary schools and high schools in the United States. Lutheran schools develop students’ love for and excitement about learning, work ethic, critical thinking skills and ability to work well with others. It is administered by the Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod, the second-largest Lutheran denomination. 

Eileen Huntington of Huntington Learning Center says that Huntington applauds all schools of excellence. “There is nothing that pleases us more than to see schools upholding rigorous academic standards and providing students an excellent foundation for college and life after college,” Huntington says. “Catholic and Lutheran schools have earned reputations for quality for their commitment to high academic standards. They prepare students to make an impact on their communities and be good and productive citizens. And they offer welcoming learning environments for a diverse body of students. We honor and appreciate the efforts of these schools this January and always.”

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Types of Writing Your Teen Needs to Learn Learning to write well is an essential skill that your teen will use just about every day in high school. As teens prepare themselves for college-level academics, they must be proficient and versatile writers, able to convey their ideas and arguments clearly and coherently.

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Fri, 24 Jan 2020 08:59:45 -0500 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/types-of-writing-your-teen-needs-to-learn-2020 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/types-of-writing-your-teen-needs-to-learn-2020 Huntington Learning Center Huntington Learning Center Learning to write well is an essential skill that your teen will use just about every day in high school. Most subjects incorporate writing into their curriculum, and all teachers have the expectation that students are adept at communicating this way. 

As teens prepare themselves for college-level academics, they must be proficient and versatile writers, able to convey their ideas and arguments clearly and coherently. But different assignments and projects call for different kinds of writing. Here are a few types your teen must master during in high school: 

  • Essays – The essay is very common in high school. Essays require students to analyze, speculate or interpret something from their own perspective. Depending on the goal, high school teachers assign a variety of essay types: expository, compare and contrast, persuasive and descriptive, to name a few. No matter the type of essay, your teen should be comfortable planning, writing, editing and revising his or her work by introducing and developing a topic and making any claims or opinions clear and compelling. Your teen must be able to establish the desired tone and bolster any claims with evidence and good reasoning. 
  • Fiction and nonfiction stories – Storytelling is another type of writing that your teen will learn in high school and something that will come up on those college admissions essays. Narrative techniques will help your teen paint a picture, introduce and develop characters and/or the setting, and convey concrete and abstract details to push a plot (or nonfiction story) forward. This kind of writing takes creativity and a lot of planning to bring words to life. Sensory language and the little details can make a tremendous difference in building tension, interest and/or excitement. 
  • Informative writing – With informative or explanatory writing, students introduce a topic, offer facts and examples, and incorporate details. Put simply, this type of writing is all about explaining something clearly (e.g. a complex concept) or answering a factual question. Your teen will be asked frequently throughout high school to prove his or her knowledge about different subjects in this type of format—in longer report form or via shorter responses. 
  • Project reports – The main purpose of a project report is to share research on an assigned topic. Research papers become especially important (and more common) in college. That said, your teen might have projects arise throughout high school wherein he or she is asked to research a topic, synthesize information and present it in the form of a cohesive, coherent report. 

Of course, this is just a sample of the kinds of writing that your teen will be exposed to in high school. There are also other types like reflective journal writing, book or story reports, lab reports in science classes, and more. Bottom line: knowing how to write effectively is absolutely critical in high school—and something that your teen must practice. 

The reality is that writing does not come easily to all students. If your teen struggles with it, contact Huntington at 1-800 CAN LEARN. We will assess your teen’s writing skills, identify what building blocks he or she is missing, and develop an individualized plan of instruction to become a stronger writer. The sooner your teen masters this skill, the easier high school course work will be—and the more prepared your teen will be for college.

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Five Things Your Students Learn from Field Trips If you’re all about allowing your students to learn by doing, keep in mind how beneficial field trips can be for them. Designed well, these outside-the-classroom experiences get students engaged and excited.

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Wed, 22 Jan 2020 11:21:49 -0500 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/five-things-your-students-learn-from-field-trips https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/five-things-your-students-learn-from-field-trips Huntington Learning Center Huntington Learning Center If you’re all about allowing your students to learn by doing, keep in mind how beneficial field trips can be for them. Designed well, these outside-the-classroom experiences get students engaged and excited – and not just to get out of the classroom. Here are five things your students will learn from field trips:

  1. How class teachings translate to everyday life: The topics your students read about in textbooks are brought to life when they have the opportunity to see those concepts in action, as they will on certain types of field trips.
  2. What kinds of jobs exist: There’s nothing quite like taking students on a field trip to expose them to the many types of careers out there and fields that they could work in one day. Before any field trip, you should take the time to share more about the people who work in those areas and why their jobs are important.
  3. How things really work in the real world: It can be hard for some students to fully grasp ideas just by hearing you discuss them. Reading about the railroad is interesting, but going to a museum to see how locomotives work and the behind-the-scenes details of the construction of railway systems puts it all into perspective.
  4. The importance of different cultural institutions: Whether you take your students to a historic place or a nature and science museum, this type of exposure to objects, artifacts, history, and other learning opportunities can have a major impact on your students.
  5. How they learn best: By their very nature, field trips are different from standard school days. Students get a lot of hands-on learning and absorb information visually, aurally, and kinesthetically. The trips might open students’ eyes to the learning styles that suit them well.

Field trips immerse students in new settings, which can be a lot of fun. Most importantly, they boost students’ critical thinking skills, stimulate their learning, and help them retain knowledge.

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Five Tips for Reviewing the Midyear Report Card It’s a brand-new year and a brand-new term of school. That means the midyear report card has come home, which might be a source of stress, a source of pride or a little of both. Here are some tips on what to look for in your child's mid-year report card.

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Mon, 03 Feb 2020 17:26:57 -0500 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/five-tips-for-reviewing-the-midyear-report-card https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/five-tips-for-reviewing-the-midyear-report-card Huntington Learning Center Huntington Learning Center It’s a brand-new year and a brand-new term of school. That means the midyear report card has come home, which might be a source of stress, a source of pride or a little of both. As Eileen Huntington of Huntington Learning Center says, this is a great time for parents and their children to have open and honest conversations about school.

“We always encourage parents to think of the midyear report card as much more than something they should read through and file away,” says Huntington. “The report card presents an opportunity to review children’s strengths, areas that need attention, study habits and so much more. Most importantly, this time of year is ideal for parents and children to talk about school.”

When reviewing the report card, Huntington offers parents these five tips:

  1. Focus on progress. Pay attention to progress indicators and benchmarks on the report card to see how your child is moving toward mastery of grade-level standards. Look at the report card prior to this one. How do your child’s grades in each subject compare to those on this report card?
  2. Talk about your child’s methods. What did your child do to earn that A in English? What led to the C in math? Grades are a measurement of your child’s knowledge, but it’s essential that you dig deeper to understand what your child is or isn’t doing to earn them—and keep up in school.
  3. Take note of any discussion about time management and organization. Some teachers put comments on the report card about these critical aptitudes, but if they do not, talk with your child about them. Have your child walk you through his or her approaches to staying organized and keeping track of all homework, due dates and other obligations.
  4. Gauge how your child feels about school. If you’ve noticed a lack of motivation or some negativity about school, open the lines of communication. What is causing your child’s indifference or frustration? Look to the report card for any comments from the teacher about your child’s demeanor and attitude too.
  5. Pay attention to any remarks about other skills. In today’s complex world, students need a range of abilities to succeed in the 21st-century learning environment. The report card might have a section assessing college-ready and career-ready aptitudes like higher-level thinking, problem-solving and comprehension skills.

Huntington reminds parents to reach out to their child’s teacher about the report card or attend midyear parent-teacher conferences. She adds the importance of being positive and keeping perspective. “Report cards might highlight trouble spots as well as areas of strength, but parents must remember that every student has ups and downs,” says Huntington. “One bad grade—or even several bad grades—does not define your child, and no problem is insurmountable. Whether your child is struggling a little or a lot, report card time is a ‘checkup’ and nothing to be afraid of.”

If your child had a difficult first half of the school year and you’d like to understand what’s going on more thoroughly, call Huntington at 1-800 CAN LEARN. We’ll assess your child’s current skills and identify areas where he or she might need additional help to get back on track.

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How to Get Teens to Read There are lots of reasons teens stop reading as much as they did at a younger age. How can you encourage your teen to read during middle and high school (and beyond)? Here are a few tips.

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Fri, 17 Jan 2020 07:53:47 -0500 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/how-to-get-teens-to-read https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/how-to-get-teens-to-read Huntington Learning Center Huntington Learning Center There are lots of reasons teens stop reading as much as they did at a younger age. Nightly reading is often assigned by elementary teachers as homework, and many parents read to their children during those years. This changes in middle school, however, when it is assumed that students are independent readers who need to read to learn—and not the other way around. Also, some teens never have grasped reading well, and would much rather do other things. 

How can you encourage your teen to read during middle and high school (and beyond)? Here are a few tips to help your teen get into (or back into) reading

  • Choose to read yourself. It can be hard to get teens off their smartphones, where the lure of instant access to games, social media and the internet is ever-present. If you’re always scrolling through your phone, however, it’s going to be hard to convince your teen that he or she should not. Set the phone down, pick up something to read and let your teen see you doing so. 
  • Have your teen read to younger siblings. The benefits of reading aloud are well documented, both for the reader and the person listening. If your teen has younger brothers and/or sisters who are learning to read, ask him or her to do the out-loud reading sometimes. 
  • Visit the library and the bookstore. Continue to make regular library visits part of your family routine, and have your teen check out events and clubs that the library has going on. Talk about new releases that interest you and books that you’ve treasured, and reserve them for checkout. Give books as gifts. 
  • Try different genres and styles. Any reading is good reading. If your teen doesn’t gravitate toward nonfiction, how about fiction? If novels aren’t capturing his or her interest, suggest comic books or graphic novels. Get the guidance of a librarian or bookstore employee, who are skilled at enticing readers of all ages with good book choices. 
  • Pick a family book to read. This works well at any age, but reading a book with your teen could give you something to talk about and bond over—and why not make those chats into something fun like a coffee outing, a walk or a hike? 
  • Correct any problems. If reading is overly challenging for your teen, chances are, he or she will not choose to do it during any free time. Talk with teachers and get your teen the individualized assistance necessary to help him or her acquire and strengthen those reading building blocks. When reading becomes easier, your other efforts to promote it will be more successful. 
  • Don’t force it. Be encouraging, but don’t panic if your teen isn’t a voracious reader. Many teens are busy, focusing on school, extracurricular activities and their social lives. Reading might temporarily take a backseat, but if you show your teen through your actions that reading has so much to offer, he or she might come back around later on. 

With so many other options competing for their time, many teens don’t continue reading on their own. However, reading is integral to learning and will always be important while your teen is a student—plus, it is an activity that can bring your teen happiness for the rest of his or her life. Be persistent and patient with your support, which will make a difference in getting your teen to choose reading as an enjoyable pastime.

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Do's and Don'ts for Teaching with Technology As you know already, technology can enhance your lessons and empower your students. But there are effective and less effective uses of technology in the classroom.

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Wed, 15 Jan 2020 14:53:42 -0500 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/dos-and-donts-for-teaching-with-technology https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/dos-and-donts-for-teaching-with-technology Huntington Learning Center Huntington Learning Center As you know already, technology can enhance your lessons and empower your students. But there are effective and less effective uses of technology in the classroom. Here are a few dos and don’ts: 

  • Do embrace technology that furthers student learning. Use tools that are relevant to what you teach and have a clear purpose. Talk with other teachers to learn what they use and how they find it beneficial.
  • Don’t abandon successful traditional teaching methods. Technology use for the sake of technology use isn’t the goal. Find ways to amplify your teaching with technology, not completely upend an approach that works.
  • Do use technology to make your administrative tasks easier. Many tech tools and apps allow you to be more efficient at what you do every day: grading, answering questions, offering research resources, tracking student progress, and more. Take advantage.
  • Do make sure any apps used do not replace deeper thinking. There are so many different learning apps available that can help students quiz themselves, reinforce concepts, and much more. But be sure these apps are used appropriately and not in place of other activities that facilitate deeper analysis.
  • Do use technology to engage students. Technology allows you to infuse exciting, dynamic content into your daily lessons. Digital storytelling, interactive lessons, live surveys – the list of options to transform your classroom is long.
  • Don’t consider technology an add-on. It’s easy to stick with what works, but be careful not to just do what you’ve always done plus add in some technology. Ultimately, technology should help you achieve learning outcomes and improve your instruction. 

Technology can strengthen your teaching and your students’ learning. Take the time to ensure any tools you use will help you to achieve your objectives and to be the most effective teacher possible.

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Six Ways Smartphones Enhance Learning The debate about cell phone use in school is ongoing and for good reason. While there is no doubt smartphones can prove distracting to some children, there are some very real benefits for children who own them.

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Wed, 15 Jan 2020 14:42:26 -0500 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/six-ways-smartphones-enhance-learning-2020 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/six-ways-smartphones-enhance-learning-2020 Huntington Learning Center Huntington Learning Center The debate about cell phone use in school is ongoing, and for good reason. As Eileen Huntington of Huntington Learning Center explains, there are many pros and cons of children having cell phones. “Because so many children use their cell phones—or more accurately, their smartphones—for so much more than making phone calls, they can be very distracting, whether children are in class or doing homework,” she explains. “However, there are also some very real benefits of having a smartphone. Huntington lists these six ways that smartphones can enhance children’s learning:

  1. Keeping track of homework – Many students like a paper planner, but keeping track of homework and project due dates is made easy with homework/planner smartphone apps. Because students often carry their phones with them wherever they go, it makes recording and checking in on daily deadlines and upcoming work fast and simple.
  2. Setting other reminders – The reminder/task functions on the smartphone are a great way for students to keep running to-do lists and add to them throughout the day. Your child can remind him or herself to do things like refill the pencil bag, attend that before-school club meeting tomorrow or request a letter of recommendation from a teacher for an upcoming scholarship application deadline.
  3. Looking up facts – The internet offers endless research possibilities for students. When teachers mention unfamiliar terms or dates, your child can quickly look them up without skipping a beat.
  4. Taking photos, video or audio of confusing concepts – Teachers move quickly sometimes, especially in high school. With permission, students can take photos of the board or video and/or audio clips of particularly confusing concepts to reference later when studying at home.
  5. Note taking – The reality is, most students are quick on their phones—much quicker than they are taking longhand notes. And apps like Evernote allow your child to capture ideas in his or her notes as well as video, web urls, photos and more. Then, your child can organize those notes in whatever way feels most logical.
  6. Accessing educational apps – Chances are, your child’s teacher uses at least a couple of learning apps, whether to remind students of assignments or share documents and assignment information. There are many excellent educational and learning apps out there, after all, that help students improve their study habits and be more organized, and bring teachers’ lessons to life. Smartphones make it easy for your child to access those tools when on the go.

Huntington reminds parents that while smartphones can be a distraction, they can also be an excellent learning tool. “The benefits that cell phones bring to the educational experience are undeniable,” she says. “As with all technology, it’s a good idea for parents to talk with their children about the importance of using their phones appropriately at school and always. Without a doubt, smartphones are a gateway to information, and if used appropriately, have the potential to enhance students’ learning.”

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Timeline of Changes to the SAT and ACT Have you ever wondered where the SAT and ACT tests came from? Or how long they’ve been used by U.S. colleges and universities to evaluate students for admission? 

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Thu, 16 Jan 2020 14:20:53 -0500 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/timeline-of-changes-to-the-sat-and-act-2020 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/timeline-of-changes-to-the-sat-and-act-2020 Huntington Learning Center Huntington Learning Center Have you ever wondered where the SAT and ACT tests came from? Or how long they’ve been used by U.S. colleges and universities to evaluate students for admission? Here’s a quick overview of the history of both exams:

The SAT

  • 1900 – The College Entrance Examination Board (today simply the College Board), a group of 12 colleges and universities, was formed to simplify the application process for students and college admission offices and administer annual exams to be used for college entrance evaluation.
  • 1901 – The first College Boards were administered in June at 67 U.S. locations and two European locations. Most test takers were from New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania, and more than one-third came from private schools, more than one-fourth came from public high schools and the remaining 13% were from other institutions.
  • 1923 – Carl Brigham published a book called A Study of American Intelligence, which concluded that American education was on the decline. He was hired to create an exam for Princeton University freshmen and Cooper Union, a New York technical College. The College Board subsequently hired Brigham to develop a test that could be used by many schools, which ultimately became the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT).
  • 1926 – The SAT was administered to high school students for the first time and replaced the College Board exam.
  • 1934 – Harvard University began requiring all candidates for admission to take the SAT.
  • 1947 – Educational Testing Service, a nonprofit organization, was founded by the College Board, the American Council on Education and the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching to take over testing activities for those organization’s exams, including the SAT, the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) and others.
  • 1994 – The SAT went through a major update, altering the verbal section, increasing passage-based reading sections and renaming a section Critical Reading. The Math section was also updated to include free-response questions and allow calculator use.
  • 2005 – The College Board revised the SAT to rename the Verbal Reasoning section as the Critical Reading section and add a Writing section. The score scale of the new SAT became 600-2400 (with three sections: Critical Reading, Math and Writing).
  • 2014 – The College Board announced plans to overhaul the SAT, the biggest changes since its 2005 update. The test went back to a 1600 scale (200-800 for math, 200-800 for reading), the essay became optional, a no-penalty-for-wrong answers policy was implemented, and the testing of obscure vocabulary words was removed, among other changes.
  • 2016 – The newly revised SAT was administered for the first time in March.

The ACT

  • 1959 – The American College Testing Program was formed to administer the ACT Assessment, which was designed to help students make better decisions about which colleges to attend and which programs to study, and provide information helpful to colleges in the process of admitting students. The exam was administered for the first time in November, with more than 75,000 students taking the exam.
  • 1989 – ACT introduced a revised exam, replacing the Social Studies section with a Reading section and renaming the Natural Science section as Science. Updates to the Math and English sections were also made and the overall ACT became longer.
  • 2015 – ACT changed its scoring methodology. Students began receiving four new subscores for STEM (science, technology, engineering and math), English language arts, career readiness and text complexity. In addition, the optional ACT Writing test changed, giving test-takers three perspectives on a topic and inviting analysis of those three perspectives.
  • 2019 – ACT announced that in 2020, students would be able to test online during national ACT test dates, take single section retests, and report their best individual section scores, also known as superscoring.

Of course, both the SAT and ACT have gone through many other changes through the years: splitting into different sections, addition/removal of various content, scoring methodology changes and more.

If you have a teen preparing to apply to colleges, we’ll help you learn everything you and your teen need to know about the SAT and ACT, including how to prepare effectively. Learn more about the current iterations of the SAT and ACT by contacting Huntington at 1-800 CAN LEARN.

History of ACT exam (ACT.org)

ACT timeline

History of the SAT (PBS.org)

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Transition Your Students into a Good Second Half of the School Year Motivating your students after the holiday break can be difficult. Many students struggle to get back into the routine. Here are a few tips on how to re-energize your students for the spring semester: 

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Wed, 08 Jan 2020 13:32:41 -0500 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/transition-your-students-second-half-of-year https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/transition-your-students-second-half-of-year Huntington Learning Center Huntington Learning Center Motivating your students after the holiday break can be difficult. Many students struggle to get back into the routine of homework and studying after a couple of weeks off, with the end of the school year in sight and their brains still in vacation mode. What can you do? Here are a few tips on how to re-energize your students for the spring semester:

  1. Ease into it. Plan out your first month back to school strategically, saving the more intensive work for a couple weeks into the term. If possible, use the first week back as a refresher on where you left off before holiday break.
  2. Engage your students in some planning. Set some goals as a class. You have milestones to reach between now and spring break (and the end of the school year), but invite your students to contribute their ideas on exactly how you’ll do so.
  3. Have students write personal goals. This can be a very inspiring exercise, getting students into the right mindset to make the most of the rest of the school year. Talk about the importance of setting SMART goals that are specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and t
  4. Clean up and clean out. Your classroom might not be as tidy and organized as it was at the beginning of the school year, and most likely, neither are your students’ backpacks, desks, and binders. Take some time to get your class organized and back on track as the year begins.
  5. Be enthusiastic. Your energy will be contagious, so share with your students what you’re excited about this semester, and open the discussion to learn about what they’re looking forward to as well. Talk about some of the fun projects or units you have coming up. Take a student-centered approach to get them engaged.

With a little effort, you’ll get this year off to a great start. Lay the foundation for success with some planning—and a lot of excitement.

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New Year, New Attitude: Helping Your Child Start 2020 Right For children who have experienced a bumpy start to the school year and adopted a negative attitude as a result, the new year is an opportunity to hit the reset button and change the attitude.

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Tue, 07 Jan 2020 11:08:52 -0500 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/helping-your-child-start-2020-right https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/helping-your-child-start-2020-right Dr. Raymond Huntington Dr. Raymond Huntington One of the best things about starting a brand-new year is the pervasive feeling of a fresh, new beginning. For children who have experienced a bumpy start to the school year and adopted a negative attitude as a result, the new year is also an opportunity to hit the reset button and change the attitude. Here are several tips on how to help your child start 2020 off right: 

  • Get to the root of the problem(s). Maybe your child has had a difficult time in one class. Maybe he or she doesn’t see eye to eye with some teachers. Or perhaps a subject that went well last year has suddenly become difficult this school year. Start off the year with an open and honest conversation with your child. Resist any judgment and simply listen. Knowing what has led to your child’s feelings of frustration and negativity will help you develop a 2020 action plan that you both feel good about.
  • Set goals or revisit goals set earlier in the year. The goal-setting process is valuable in so many ways. It encourages students to think about things they would like to accomplish in the remainder of the school year, and it helps renew their motivation. Sit down together to review any goals your child set at the start of the school year to see how he or she is progressing. Adjust them as needed and discuss how your child will take steps in the coming weeks and months.
  • Reflect on achievements last year. If the start of the school year has been a little rough, it’s understandable why your child might feel down or negative. Point out your child’s strengths. Talk about a few of the high points of the first semester of the school year (and even the end last school year). Even small successes are worth noting.
  • Refresh your child’s perspective. A recent report card with across-the-board bad grades is certainly grounds for concern, but it isn’t the end of the world—and it certainly isn’t a problem that cannot be fixed. Remind your child that talking about these issues and making a plan to correct them is the first step toward turning things around.
  • Instill resilience in your child. In school (as in life), problems arise all the time. The more you can teach your child to learn and grow from difficult times, the stronger your child will become. Remind your child that when confronted with challenges, he or she should take a deep breath, believe in him or herself, and persevere. That grit is a trait that will serve your child well in life.

Lastly, it is important that you have a good attitude about school as well. Your child witnesses how you react to and talk about school, and it rubs off. If your child is struggling, he or she likely feels worse about the situation than you do. Be positive, action-oriented, and most of all, supportive. Let your child know that education is important but his or her well-being is even more important. Together, you’ll make this year a great one. 

Huntington is here to help your child achieve his or her best and regain that self-esteem. Call 1-800 CAN LEARN to talk about how we can help your child make this year his or her best one yet.

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Six Life Lessons Teens Can Learn from High School High school is a period of tremendous growth for teens. They build upon the foundation of middle school and move toward college and adulthood, gaining academic and non-academic aptitudes that help them be successful and independent.

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Thu, 16 Jan 2020 13:13:49 -0500 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/lessons-learned-in-high-school-2020 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/lessons-learned-in-high-school-2020 Huntington Learning Center Huntington Learning Center High school is a period of tremendous growth for teens. They build upon the foundation of middle school and move toward college and adulthood, gaining academic and non-academic aptitudes that help them be successful and independent.

There are plenty of academic-focused skills teens will acquire and strengthen throughout high school—time management, prioritization and effective study skills, to name a few—but here are six life lessons that teens will hopefully learn during their time as high school students:

  1. Hard work is always worth it. Whether your teen wants to make the tennis team or earn all As, he or she will have to work hard. The dedication required to achieve a goal is incredibly valuable in and of itself. Good things come to those who put in the effort, and there is growth in the journey.
  2. A growth mindset is the best kind of mindset. In high school, teachers insist that students think critically when attempts to solve problems aren’t successful. They want them to keep trying new ideas, and they encourage taking risks and making mistakes so students can learn. Your teen will find that high school offers an opportunity to cultivate a growth mindset. There’s so much to learn in life. If your teen embraces this belief, he or she is going to gain a lot from high school and college.
  3. Character matters. High school is a time when children mature into young adults—and it’s important for them to decide who they want to be. Students with good character are dependable, ethical and own their mistakes. Character will help your teen build relationships, achieve his or her goals, lead others and live a meaningful life.
  4. It pays to get along with people. High schools are usually larger than middle schools, bringing together a wide variety of personality types. Couple this with an environment that pushes more autonomy and it becomes very apparent how essential it is that teens learn to work effectively with others. The ability to listen to and respect others’ opinions will serve your teen well in high school (and far beyond).
  5. Things change. Adaptability is one of the keys to happiness. In high school, friendships change, your teen’s passions and interests change, and circumstances change. This can be difficult to handle, but your teen will be better off if he or she learns to accept this fact and be flexible throughout life.
  6. Your teen is in charge. One of the most important takeaways from high school is that life is what we make it. Teach your teen to take control of his or her future and learn from successes and failures equally. What happens to each of us isn’t all about luck—it’s about effort, planning and a good attitude.

As your teen navigates high school’s ups and downs, be there for support. Remember that this period of life, while exciting and fun, can also be scary, overwhelming and tumultuous. Your teen, like all teens, will experience highs and lows and a range of emotions. Assure your teen that he or she isn’t in it alone and that with the right outlook, there is a great deal to be learned during the four years of high school.

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Teacher Tips to Get the New Year off to a Great Start Holiday break is behind you, yet your students still seem to be in vacation mode. What can you do to get things back on track quickly?

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Wed, 15 Jan 2020 14:44:41 -0500 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/tips-to-start-2020-great https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/tips-to-start-2020-great Huntington Learning Center Huntington Learning Center Holiday break is behind you, yet your students still seem to be in vacation mode. What can you do to get things back on track quickly? Here are a few ideas for how to re-energize students for the winter semester:

  1. Catch up. Talk with your students about what they enjoyed about their breaks. Make the transition a little smoother by easing into the work and giving students a chance to restore that camaraderie with their classmates.
  2. Set class goals. Surely you have an agenda for this semester, but rather than tell students what it is, talk through your objectives for student outcomes and get their buy-in. Invite student input where you can.
  3. Go over expectations. January is a good time to refresh students’ memories on class expectations and processes that you went over at the start of the school year. Share your expectations and consequences for not meeting them and trust your students to behave accordingly.
  4. Have students write their own goals. Some students might have already thought about their New Year’s resolutions – why not dedicate some class time to that process, too? The first week back to school, ask students to think about what they want to accomplish this semester, academically and otherwise, the steps they’ll need to take to get there, and how you as their teacher can support them.
  5. Tidy up. Get your classroom in order, and have your students get their desks, binders, and backpacks in order, too. Yes, you could spend your free time doing this, but getting your students involved gets them more invested.
  6. Survey students. What did they like about the fall semester? What projects or lessons were particularly engaging? Talk about things you’d like to do differently throughout the winter and spring and ask for their ideas.

Lastly, be enthusiastic yourself! Nothing is more inspiring than your own attitude, so if you’re eager and forward-looking, there’s a greater chance that your students will be, too.

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Your Teen’s Holiday Ready-for-College Checklist  Holiday break is a great time to make sure your teens are ready to attack the home stretch of high school in order to get ready for college. Here are a few tips on how your college-bound teen can make the most of this holiday break. 

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Tue, 31 Dec 2019 10:41:59 -0500 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/your-teens-holiday-ready-for-college-checklist https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/your-teens-holiday-ready-for-college-checklist Huntington Learning Center Huntington Learning Center Parents of high school juniors and seniors, listen up. Holiday break is a great time to make sure your teens are ready to attack the home stretch of high school in order to get ready for college. Here are a few tips on how your college-bound teen can make the most of this holiday break:

  • Visit college campuses. Juniors and even undecided seniors could take a couple of days to visit any colleges or universities in their state—day trips or afternoon visits (depending on the distance). Classes might not be in session, but you and your teen can still take a self-tour of campus and the town and visit with any personnel that are available (e.g. financial aid).
  • Register for the next SAT/ACT. The next 2020 SAT dates are March 14, May 2 and June 6 and the next 2020 ACT dates are February 8, April 4, June 13 and July 18. There’s still plenty of time for your junior to prepare effectively for the next exam if he or she is trying to earn the best possible score before starting those senior year applications. Seniors applying to schools with March or later application deadlines could retake the ACT one last time in February to raise that score.
  • Take an SAT/ACT prep course refresher. With the earliest SAT/ACT date being February, December is the perfect chance for your teen to dedicate some time to studying. Have your teen call Huntington to explore our three levels of exam prep programs: premier, 32-hour and 14-hour. He or she could even start the work over break when things aren’t as frenzied.
  • Work on college applications. Have your senior pay attention to those college application deadlines—some might be as early as January. Holiday break is a great chance for them to complete all application requirements, fine-tune those application essays and make sure all sections of their applications are complete or close.
  • Follow up on recommendation letters. Your senior might have already requested recommendation letters from a teacher or guidance counselor, but with some downtime on his or her hands, it’s wise to follow up. If an application is due February 1 and your teen is hoping to have all materials submitted by January 15, the timing to check in with the recommender is perfect.
  • Check on outstanding tasks. If your teen is using the Common Application, have him or her review the Dashboard to make sure there aren’t any outstanding items that might require follow up (such as transcript requests or essay questions to finish). If your teen isn’t using the Common Application, have him or her check the specific college requirements to make sure nothing has fallen through the cracks.
  • Refine that scholarship list. Some scholarship deadlines have passed already, but not all. Your teen should revisit that list of target scholarships to remind him or herself of deadlines and requirements and use the weeks of holiday break to work on applications. When school is back in session and life is hectic again, your teen will be glad he or she was proactive.

Encourage your teen to use holiday break to get ahead on all of the tasks on the horizon for college. Before school is back in session, it is a good time to do so—and the effort in and of itself will help your teen get into college mode and finish high school strong. 

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Six Tips for Building Your Teen’s Confidence Confident teens have a good attitude about school, are persistent and tend to weather the ups and downs effectively. What can you do to bolster your teen’s confidence? Find out here!

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Thu, 16 Jan 2020 13:13:31 -0500 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/six-tips-for-building-your-teens-confidence https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/six-tips-for-building-your-teens-confidence Huntington Learning Center Huntington Learning Center The teen years can be exciting, tumultuous and full of change. Some teens take it all in stride while others struggle with the impending life decisions and the overall stress of school. One of the best things you as a parent can do to help your teen is build his or her confidence. Confident teens have a good attitude about school, are persistent and tend to weather the ups and downs effectively. What can you do to bolster your teen’s confidence? Here are six tips:

  1. Let your teen struggle. Often, learning occurs when teens have to muddle through things and figure them out for themselves. Resist the urge to step in and fix problems for your teen. Over-helping with homework and problem solving does your teen no favors in the long run.
  2. Encourage goal setting. Goal setting is a valuable process for many reasons. It gets your teen thinking about the future, keeps him or her focused on how to achieve important endeavors, and guides your teen toward personal growth. That said, it is important that you let your teen own this process. It’s fine to get your teen’s wheels turning and offer ideas and support, but the goals themselves should be your teen’s—not your goals for your teen.
  3. Teach your teen to care about what he or she can control. Everyone tries and fails sometimes. Remind your teen to take pride in his or her efforts and diligence rather than focus solely on desired outcomes. Acknowledge the development that occurs when your teen puts in the work.
  4. Nudge your teen toward taking risks. Playing it safe all the time limits growth. Your teen might one day go on to start a business or have a job that requires frequent decision making based on different pros/cons and risk factors. Taking calculated risks and pushing oneself to try new things have advantages—and your teen will learn from any missteps.
  5. Put your teen in charge. Hopefully you have given your teen the opportunity to make decisions often throughout his or her life, but this is especially important in high school. Your teen needs to learn how to weigh options and be decisive—and also how to pivot to try new approaches after making poor decisions.
  6. Be a good role model. Mom and Dad, don’t underestimate the influence you can have on your teen every single day. Take pride in your accomplishments. Try something new and give it your best. Learn from your mistakes and share with your teen how you do so—and how you grow from the experience.

Confidence isn’t something that you can simply give to your teen, but you are in a great position to help him or her nurture and develop it.  Believe in your teen and express that faith in his or her abilities. The long-term benefits of a confident mindset are so great that your efforts are definitely worthwhile.

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How to Be a Transformational Teacher in 2020 You want to help students master content while also maximizing their potential, both in the classroom and life. Here are several tips to help you engage in transformational teaching practices that have a long-lasting, positive impact on your students. 

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Tue, 31 Dec 2019 10:41:44 -0500 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/how-to-be-a-transformational-teacher-2020 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/how-to-be-a-transformational-teacher-2020 Huntington Learning Center Huntington Learning Center In business, you often hear about transformational leadership, wherein leaders create a vision, inspire others to achieve that vision, and execute important change with buy-in from those around them.

So, what does transformational teaching look like? Research published in Educational Psychology Review describes transformational teaching as “creating dynamic relationships between teachers, students, and a shared body of knowledge to promote student learning and personal growth.”

Here are several tips to help you engage in transformational teaching practices that have a long-lasting, positive impact on your students:

  • Engage students in active learning. Your students should not be passive receivers of information; rather, they should be active participants in their own learning. Assign work and activities that invite them to explore ideas, analyze, synthesize, and articulate their thinking.
  • Aim for student-centered learning. Differentiate your instruction by paying close attention to students’ needs, abilities, interests, and learning styles. Give your students choices (when feasible) and autonomy. Foster their responsibility as self-directed learners.
  • Foster collaborative learning. Encourage students to work together, but also create experiences that give them opportunities to solve problems and discuss one another’s ideas. Allow your students to challenge themselves and their understanding of different concepts.
  • Whenever possible, have your students tackle complex problems independently and in small groups. Scaffold your lessons through good modeling activities, guiding them to be independent as learners.

You want to help students master content while also maximizing their potential, both in the classroom and life. Guide them, support them, and teach to them to think. The results will amaze you.

“Transformational Teaching: Theoretical Underpinnings, Basic Principles, and Core Methods” by George M. Slavich and Philip G. Zimbardo, Educational Psychology Review, December 2012

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Huntington Learning Center Announces Results Of SAT, ACT And Scholarship Survey For 2019 Huntington Learning Center, the leading tutoring and test prep company with approximately 300 locations across the country, recently announced the results of its annual SAT, ACT and scholarships survey for 2019.

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Mon, 23 Dec 2019 16:18:52 -0500 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/huntington-learning-center-announces-results-2019 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/huntington-learning-center-announces-results-2019 Madeline Mesa Madeline Mesa Huntington Learning Center, the leading tutoring and test prep company with approximately 300 locations across the country, recently announced the results of its annual SAT, ACT and scholarships survey for 2019. On average, students who participated in Huntington's standardized test prep programs reported an increase of 229 points on the SAT, and 5.4 points on the ACT. Additionally, Huntington students reported receiving over $71,000 in scholarships on average, up from $57,000 in 2018. Total scholarships awarded to Huntington students surveyed was $187 million, up from $140 million in 2018.

"We are incredibly proud of the achievements of our students, parents, tutors and franchisees over the past year," said Anne Huntington, President of Huntington Learning Center. "Our individualized programs have a proven track record of success, and we're honored to be able to have a positive impact on so many students' lives."

These scores bring to a close a year of celebration for Huntington, which in 2019 received top honors from Training Magazine for its employer-sponsored training and development programs. Additionally, Huntington Learning Center was named a Top Franchise by both Entrepreneur Magazine and the Franchise Business Review, and received top honors from Newsweek for its excellent customer service.

Also this year, Anne Huntington was named President of Huntington Learning Center, and was honored as Woman of the Year in Franchising by the Stevie Awards, as well as named to NJBiz's prestigious 40 Under 40 List and the Education Power 50 List. Anne and her mother, Huntington Co-Founder and CEO Eileen Huntington, were also named to Franchise Dictionary's 50 Women of Wonder List.

2019 was a period of notable growth and expansion for the company, which opened up more than 40 franchising opportunities across the Northeast region -- the company's most significant period of franchise expansion since its inception in 1977. To date, more than 50% of these franchise locations have been sold.

For information about Huntington Learning Center franchise opportunities, please visit www.HuntingtonFranchise.com or call 1-800-653-8400.

About Huntington Learning Center

Huntington Learning Center is the nation's leading tutoring and test prep provider. Its certified teachers provide individualized instruction in phonics, reading, writing, study skills, elementary and middle school math, Algebra through Calculus, Chemistry and other sciences. It preps for the SAT and ACT, as well as state and standardized exams. Huntington programs develop the skills, confidence, and motivation to help students succeed and meet the needs of Common Core State Standards. Huntington is accredited by Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools and Western Association of Schools and Colleges. Founded in 1977, Huntington's mission is to give every student the best education possible. Learn how Huntington can help at www.HuntingtonHelps.com and for franchising opportunities www.HuntingtonFranchise.com.

Press Contact: Madeline Mesa, madeline@mbpconsultants.com

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National Association for College Admission Counseling Changes Its Ethics Code The NACAC has made a decision to remove several provisions from its Code of Ethics and Professional Practice. Read on to find out what the removed sections covered and how they will impact your college-bound teen.

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Mon, 23 Dec 2019 16:59:53 -0500 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/nacac-changes-ethics-code-2019 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/nacac-changes-ethics-code-2019 Huntington Learning Center Huntington Learning Center If you’ve been paying attention to college-related news in recent months, you might have heard about the decision made by the National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC) to remove several provisions from its Code of Ethics and Professional Practice.

 

The NACAC was founded in 1937 and is an organization of more than 15,000 professionals from around the world dedicated to serving students as they make choices about pursuing postsecondary education. NACAC membership is voluntary, but members agree to uphold the Code of Ethics and Professional Practice in order to promote best professional college admission practices.

 

Acting upon an inquiry by the U.S. Department of Justice into these provisions’ violation of antitrust laws, NACAC’s Assembly voted at the 2019 National Conference in September to remove a few sections from its code of conduct. Why? To address the Department of Justice’s belief that those provisions inhibit competition among colleges for students.

 

Here’s what the removed sections covered:  

 

  • Offering exclusive incentives for early decision. Previously, the ethics code stated that NACAC member colleges must not offer incentives such as special housing, enhanced financial aid packages and special scholarships to early decision applicants or admits.

 

  • Recruiting first-year undergraduates who have committed to other schools. This section essentially prohibited member colleges from knowingly recruiting or offering enrollment incentives to students who are already enrolled or have declared their intent to enroll (or submitted contractual deposits) at other colleges. The code referenced May 1 as the point when enrollment commitments become final and mentioned the fact that colleges must respect those commitments. Two notable exceptions to the no-recruiting rule were when students were admitted from a wait list and the students initiated the inquiries themselves.

 

  • Recruiting transfer students. NACAC member colleges were not allowed to solicit transfer applicants from a previous year’s applicant or prospect pool unless the students initiated that transfer inquiry. Colleges were allowed to recruit transfer students if they first verified that the students were enrolled at a college that allowed transfer recruitment or the students were not currently enrolled.

 

Ultimately, the Justice Department argued that the above provisions restricted fair trade—or in other words, they prevented colleges from competing for students. Now that they’re removed, the recruiting practices of college admissions departments could change.

 

How might this impact your college-bound teen?

 

Time will tell, but you might see colleges more aggressively recruiting students even after they’ve already committed themselves elsewhere. If colleges want certain students, they might find creative ways to entice them with financial aid or housing. Some in the industry have even questioned whether we’ll see more high school seniors continuing to debate their college decision well into the summer before college begins.

 

However it all plays out, one thing is certain: it is always important for your teen to make him or herself an attractive college candidate by earning good grades, performing his or her best on the SAT and ACT, and developing a strong college resume. Every college wants to attract the best possible freshman class, after all. Remind your teen that it is essential to stay focused and finish high school strong, because colleges are paying attention.

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Life Advice to Share with Your High School Students High school is a transformative time for students. Your students will benefit most from your support and encouragement. Here are a few words of wisdom to share as they navigate the journey through high school. 

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Thu, 19 Dec 2019 12:08:20 -0500 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/life-advise-to-share-with-high-school-students https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/life-advise-to-share-with-high-school-students Huntington Learning Center Huntington Learning Center High school is a transformative time for students. There’s the obvious focus of preparing for college (and deciding if and where to go), and so many lessons to be learned along the way. Whatever subject you teach, keep in mind that your students will benefit most of all from your support and encouragement. Here are a few words of wisdom to share as they navigate the journey:

  • Be a sponge. The stress of planning out life is real, but your students should focus more on being open to learning new things and willing to stretch themselves.
  • Ask for advice. High school students don’t always realize how many knowledgeable people are all around them. Remind your students that reaching out to teachers, parents, family friends, and others will offer them many new perspectives.
  • Pursue sincere interests. Getting involved in something is worthwhile, but tell your students not to do so solely for the resume. They should join activities that sound like fun and interesting opportunities to grow and learn.
  • Don’t worry if you don’t have it all figured out. Some students have had their hearts set on a career path since they were eight years old, while others apply to college with no major in mind. Some students may even choose not to attend college in favor of a trade school or other path. Any of these scenarios is fine. Let your students know that high school and college are their chance to explore.
  • Be yourself. There are many social pressures in high school. Teach your students that fitting in isn’t as important as they think. Encourage them to look inward, not outward, to decide who they want to be, and to surround themselves with people who accept them as they are. They’ll be happier in the long run.
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Huntington Learning Center Announces Results of 2019 SAT/ACT and Scholarships Survey Huntington Learning Center recently completed its annual survey of college students about their SAT/ACT scores and scholarship dollars received. Read on to find out the results. 

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Tue, 31 Dec 2019 10:42:34 -0500 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/hlc-announces-results-of-2019-sat-act-survey https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/hlc-announces-results-of-2019-sat-act-survey Huntington Learning Center Huntington Learning Center Huntington Learning Center, a leading test prep and tutoring services provider, recently completed its annual survey of college students about their SAT/ACT scores and scholarship dollars received. Responses on ACT/SAT results (2019) were as follows:

 

  • Total scholarships awarded to Huntington students surveyed was $187 million, up from $140 million in 2018.
  • Of the students surveyed, scholarship offers averaged over $71,000 per student.
  • The average increase for students taking the ACT after completing a Huntington ACT prep program was 5.4 points. In 2018, the increase was 5.2 points.
  • The average increase for students taking the SAT after completing a Huntington SAT prep program was 229 points. In 2018, the increase was 226 points.

Eileen Huntington of the Huntington Learning Center says that Huntington’s test prep programs have proven successful for many years. “We take an individualized approach, which is highly effective because our programs are designed to meet students’ needs and not as one-size-fits-all curricula,” she says. “The upward success trajectory of our survey findings confirms what becomes very clear during one of our SAT or ACT exam prep sessions: customized learning yields better results.”

 

Huntington’s positive news comes as U.S. News and World Report shares that more students in the graduating class of 2019 took the SAT than ever before—2.2 million, a 4 percent increase from 2018. The increase is largely attributed to more states allowing schools to administer the test during the school day for free. More students from low-income areas and students whose parents did not attend college took the exam. Overall, median SAT scores (2019) for math and reading dropped slightly.

Huntington explains that while score fluctuations are to be expected year to year, good test preparation makes a difference. “When students have a good handle on their strengths and weaknesses and take the time to study carefully, they perform better,” she says. “At our 300 centers across the country, we have seen great improvement among students for that reason. Diligent, focused studying makes all the difference.”

For more information about Huntington Learning Center’s exam prep services and how they help students perform better on the SAT and ACT—and prepare for college success—contact Huntington Learning Center at 1-800 CAN LEARN or visit www.huntingtonhelps.com.

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Seven Life Skills Your Teen Needs for College The list of academic aptitudes and skills your child needs for college is long. But there are many other important life skills that teens need to succeed in the real world. Here are seven of them.

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Thu, 19 Dec 2019 12:07:26 -0500 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/seven-life-skills-your-teens-need-for-college https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/seven-life-skills-your-teens-need-for-college Huntington Learning Center Huntington Learning Center The list of academic aptitudes and skills your child needs for college is long. Whether your teen plans to become an engineer or an English teacher, those college professors expect that he or she has the subject-matter knowledge as well as fundamental 21st century skills like critical thinking and problem solving.

But there are many other important life skills that teens need to succeed in the real world. Here are seven of them:

  1. Money management – Teens go to college to prepare themselves for their future careers (in which they will make money), but it’s essential that they understand the basics of money management long before they set foot in the working world. At a minimum, talk with your teen about how to create a budget, why it’s important to manage to that budget, how to set financial goals (such as saving toward something) and why debt can be dangerous (especially debt racked up by credit cards).
  2. CommunicationEvery career involves communication in the form of writing, talking and non-verbal communication. Teens need to learn how to communicate their ideas and opinions clearly, but it’s also crucial that they are able to negotiate, build good working relationships through effective communication and diffuse conflicts when they arise.
  3. Listening – In addition to being able to communicate and express themselves, teens must be skillful listeners. Remind your teen that listening is not just about hearing people talk. It’s about focusing on what they are trying to communicate, processing it, watching for non-verbal cues and confirming understanding. Good listeners listen to understand, not just to formulate their own responses.
  4. Self-discipline – In college, teens no longer have parents telling them what to do and how to do it. It’s up to them how and when to study and whether to go to class or not. Do your best to take a step back in high school so that your teen can step up and take responsibility for his or her life—including school. You can support your teen from the sidelines by providing structure and encouraging the adoption of good routines.
  5. Self-advocacy – Self-advocacy goes hand in hand with good communication. In college, it is expected that teens will reach out when they need help or want to understand professors’ grading policies or something similar. Encourage your teen to be assertive and to take the initiative in high school to talk directly with teachers and guidance counselors about all things school-related.
  6. Decision-making – Without Mom and Dad around at college, teens are put fully in charge of their lives—quite possibly for the first time. This can be a rude awakening without practice, so the best thing you can do is offer your teen choices when appropriate. For big decisions, let your teen weigh his or her options and think through various outcomes. Be on hand for support, but make sure your teen learns how to navigate decision-making independently.
  7. Emotional intelligencePeople who are emotionally intelligent recognize their emotions as well as those of others and use that to guide their thinking and behavior. This aptitude is essential in college, and helps teens work effectively with others, build good peer relationships, solve problems and feel more confident as students.

The above skills are all related to school and/or productivity, but there are plenty of other life skills your teen will need, like basic kitchen and cooking skills, cleanliness, personal hygiene and healthcare, and navigational skills for driving around. The point is this: Don’t wait until a month before your teen goes to college to show him or her how to use the oven…or to work on fostering the above skills. In the very near future, your teen will need to operate independently in the world.

If you’re concerned that your teen lacks some of the essentials to succeed in college and beyond—such as time management, effective studying and organizational skills—or is missing important content knowledge, call Huntington at 1-800 CAN LEARN. We’re here to help your teen make the transition to college a successful one.

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Building Great Relationships with Your Students The more you foster good relationships with your students, the more your students will feel comfortable in your classroom. Here are a few tips to help you build quality relationships with your students.

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Thu, 19 Dec 2019 12:06:34 -0500 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/building-great-relationships-with-your-students https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/building-great-relationships-with-your-students Huntington Learning Center Huntington Learning Center At the core of a successful teaching strategy is a good teacher-student relationship. When students feel connected to their teachers, they’re more invested and willing to put forth effort, which leads to better academic outcomes. Here are a few tips to help you build quality relationships with your students:

  1. Get to know them. Remember things about them. Show interest in who they are as people outside of your classroom. Pay attention to the little things.
  2. Let them get to know you. Share a little about yourself so the relationship doesn’t feel one-sided. Be genuine.
  3. Ask their opinions. Treat your students with respect and show them by listening intently that you are interested in what they think and have to say.
  4. Establish a trusting relationship. Put them in the driver’s seat whenever possible. Let them try new things and encourage them to take some risks. Set expectations and always follow through when you say you’ll do something.
  5. Express your passion. Your enthusiasm for what you teach and for helping students learn can be both inspiring and contagious.
  6. Have fun. Make your classroom a vibrant and enjoyable place to learn. Find ways to make lessons more engaging and interactive.
  7. Remind them often that you’re there for help. Above all, make certain that your students know you care. Offer office hours throughout the week and encourage students to come in (or email you) if they need help or want to talk.

The more you foster good relationships with your students, the more your students will feel comfortable in your classroom. This enhances your teaching, making for more effective instruction and deeper student learning.

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Life After High School: Five Tips to Help Your Teen Be Successful While school is obviously very important, there are many aptitudes beyond the academic that children will need for college and life. Eileen Huntington offers several tips on how parents can get their children ready for a successful life after high school. 

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Tue, 10 Dec 2019 08:58:06 -0500 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/five-tips-to-help-your-teen-be-successful https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/five-tips-to-help-your-teen-be-successful Huntington Learning Center Huntington Learning Center Oradell, NJ – When your child starts kindergarten, college and the “real world” probably seem ages away. But those 12 years go quickly, and the preparation for life should begin sooner than later. Eileen Huntington of Huntington Learning Center explains that while school is obviously very important, there are many aptitudes beyond the academic that children will need for college and life. “As a parent, your goal should be to equip your child with life skills that he or she will use forever,” she says. “Academic abilities are essential, but there is so much more that your child needs.”

Huntington offers several tips on how parents can get their children ready for a successful life after high school:

  1. Teach them basic money management skills. An allowance is a great way to get children to grasp the concept of earning and accumulating money from a young age. Make sure you give your child opportunities to understand the value of money as well. Talk about what it means to earn a living and live within your means. When you go to the grocery store, bring your child along to comparison shop brands and items. Establish a family budget and show your child how you manage your income and expenses to it and save for various things.
  2. Talk careers early and often. It’s never too early for parents to start asking their children what type of career sound interesting. Encourage your child to talk with the adults in his or her life about how they got to where they are. As your child gets closer to high school, do research together on what strengths (academic and otherwise) might translate into different career possibilities.
  3. Don’t solve your child’s problems. Life and school have ups and downs. Children need to know how to approach problems methodically and with confidence and optimism. Be there to support your child, but don’t step in and fix problems. Encourage your child to take responsibility and ownership for school—and all that comes with it.
  4. Teach your child how to think critically. In everyday conversation, parents can teach their children to be curious and inquisitive. Invite your child to share with you how he or she analyzes problems and comes up with a variety of alternate solutions. When your child shows you homework, ask how your child came up with answers and what steps were taken to get there.
  5. Show your child how to be resourceful. In college and the real world, people are expected to figure things out sometimes. Your child will often be faced with periods of uncertainty and times when he or she is asked to do something completely new. Help your child nurture this ability by encouraging perseverance through challenges and creativity when one attempt is unsuccessful.

“Support your child as a well-rounded person,” says Huntington. “Vital life skills like problem-solving and creativity will take your child further in life than many other things.” For more tips on how to support your child as he or she navigates school and builds independence as a learner and person, call Huntington at 1-800 CAN LEARN.

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How the National Association of Colleges and Employers Defines Career Readiness What exactly is career readiness? Are the skills and aptitudes that students need for college similar to those that are essential for success in the real world? Find out how the National Association of Colleges and Employers defines career readiness and about the eight competencies associated with career readiness.

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Fri, 06 Dec 2019 10:15:52 -0500 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/nace-defines-career-readiness https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/nace-defines-career-readiness Huntington Learning Center Huntington Learning Center There’s so much for teens to do to get ready for college—both academically and otherwise. You’ve probably heard that college is more challenging than high school and you certainly know, maybe from personal experience, that college professors expect that students are intrinsically motivated. At Huntington Learning Center, we believe there are several traits that make a student college ready:

  • Independent
  • Adaptable
  • Resourceful
  • Skilled at studying/planning to study
  • Analytical
  • Skilled at prioritizing time and multiple responsibilities

At this stage of your child’s life, you’re focused on helping him or her become college ready. The goal of college, of course, is to prepare your child to enter the real world and succeed there. Yet, what exactly is career readiness? And are the skills and aptitudes that students need for college similar to those that are essential for success in the real world?

The National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE)* defines career readiness as “the attainment and demonstration of requisite competencies that broadly prepare college graduates for a successful transition into the workplace.” Based on research among employers, they defined these eight competencies as being associated with career readiness:

  1. Critical thinking/problem solving: Just like in college, where college professors invite students to express their ideas, analyze information and make connections, the workplace requires that people exercise sound reasoning to analyze issues, make decisions, and overcome problems. NACE explains that career-ready professionals are able to obtain, interpret, and use knowledge, facts, and data in this critical thinking/problem solving process.
  2. Oral/written communications: The ability to communicate is critical in every professional setting. NACE shares that those who are capable of articulating their thoughts and ideas clearly and effectively in written and oral forms are ready for the real world. People need to be able to write and edit, speak to others and express themselves.
  3. Teamwork/collaboration: In just about every workplace, people must be able to work with others. NACE says collaborative relationships with colleagues and customers are important, and people need to be able to work within a team structure and manage conflicts.
  4. Digital technology: Today’s workforce operates in a fast-paced, data-driven world. To be ready for that environment, people need to demonstrate effective adaptability to new and emerging technologies.
  5. Leadership: Whether people become CEOs or nurses, teachers or doctors, abilities such as leveraging the strengths of others to achieve common goals and using interpersonal skills to coach and develop others are very valuable. People with common leadership skills—using empathy to motivate others and delegating properly—tend to thrive.
  6. Professionalism/work ethic: Every industry, every job and every workplace benefits from employees who take accountability and have effective work habits. NACE explains the importance of punctuality and time management, as well as the impact of integrity and ethical behavior.
  7. Career management: To truly succeed in a career, people must be able to identify and articulate their strengths, knowledge and experiences. It’s also important that people know where they could grow professionally. Career-ready people are skilled at pursuing the steps necessary to advance their careers and self-advocating for opportunities in their workplaces.
  8. Global/Intercultural Fluency: The world is global. Today’s professionals should be respectful and appreciative of those coming from cultures, races and backgrounds different than their own. In life, people need to be able to demonstrate inclusiveness and sensitivity.

Being ready for college is the first step toward career readiness, and the two stages go hand in hand. If your teen is approaching college and you’d like to ensure he or she is prepared, contact Huntington at 1-800 CAN LEARN.

* NACE is the leading source of information on the employment of the college educated. The association forecasts hiring and trends in the job market, tracks starting salaries, recruiting and hiring practices, and student attitudes and outcomes, and more.

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Making the Most of School Through school, children learn about how to become independent people, how to work with others, the importance of discipline and more. In many ways, school is what your child makes of it—and the more effort he or she puts in, the more equipped your child will be for college and life success.

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Wed, 11 Dec 2019 08:54:19 -0500 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/making-the-most-of-school https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/making-the-most-of-school Huntington Learning Center Huntington Learning Center School is obviously a place for learning, but the experience is so much more than just classes and books. Through school, children learn about how to become independent people, how to work with others, the importance of discipline and more. In many ways, school is what your child makes of it—and the more effort he or she puts in, the more equipped your child will be for college and life success.

Here are several ways your child can make the most of school and the overall experience:

Get to know teachers. It may sound obvious, but both you and your child should spend time getting to know his or her teachers. They are your first point of contact at school and the people to turn to when needing help or guidance. Reach out to these individuals early in the school year and stay in touch—and encourage your child to do the same. A positive, communicative relationship with your child’s teachers will provide your child with the support needed to learn effectively.

Take advantage of the wealth of resources available. When your child is young, make sure you are in contact with the appropriate school staff members who can help your child acquire needed skills and stay engaged in the classroom. These people might include the librarian, gifted/talented specialist or reading specialist. As your child grows older, encourage him or her to take the initiative to seek out help when needed. Your child should always talk to teachers when questions or problems arise, as they can work with your child individually and make sure his or her needs are being met.

Look for character-building opportunities. Getting involved at school will benefit your child in numerous ways. Extracurricular activities are not only a wonderful way for children to get to know other students and have fun, they promote leadership skills, build organizational and time management skills, teach collaboration with all different types of people and teach children to balance multiple responsibilities outside of school.

Seek out a mentor. When your child is in high school, encourage him or her to find a teacher or coach who can serve as an informal mentor. Mentors can play an important role in a student’s support system in high school and can serve as a sounding board and confidant. They can help students navigate challenges and set goals, push them to advocate for themselves, and even offer college and career advice. 

Keep college and career top of mind. It is never too soon to start thinking about college—and your child’s primary and secondary school experiences lay the foundation for college and adulthood. Talk with your child about college from a young age and discuss different careers that might be of interest one day. Your child should talk with teachers and mentors about college and careers as well. Don’t forget to take advantage of any opportunities offered by your school or community for students to learn about college and the application process or explore careers.

A well-rounded school experience should include more than just the academics, so teach your child to make the most of school by utilizing resources available, seeking out help when needed, building relationships with teachers and others, and getting involved. As a bonus, you’ll find that by teaching your child to look for ways to enhance the school experience, you are encouraging independence, maturity, and self-advocacy. Teach your child today to make the most of school, and he or she will undoubtedly apply that same assiduous attitude in college and beyond.

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Five Things Your Students Will Remember About You The things your students will remember most about their time in your classroom aren’t the day-to-day tasks or types of homework assignments. Find out five things your students will remember about you years from now. 

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Thu, 05 Dec 2019 11:21:55 -0500 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/five-things-students-will-remember-about-you https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/five-things-students-will-remember-about-you Huntington Learning Center Huntington Learning Center As a teacher, you spend countless hours creating lessons, tidying your room, and grading homework. But the things your students will remember most about their time in your classroom aren’t the day-to-day tasks or types of homework assignments. Here are what students will remember about you years from now:

  1. How well you knew them. It’s nice to know students’ names, but you show them you care when you remember that they play a sport or an instrument, or that they grew up in another country. Show interest in your students as people. It means a lot.
  2. You believed in them. Build your students’ confidence by encouraging them to set goals and work hard toward them. Let them know that you see their potential. Talk to them about what they want for themselves and then discuss those ideas as realities.
  3. Your goal was teaching students to better themselves. Yes, your job is to teach students to master your subject, but it’s about more than that. Make it your objective to help students improve themselves and their abilities, academically and otherwise.
  4. Your classroom felt safe. The student who feels comfortable enough to contribute ideas is the student who is excited about learning and growing. Make your classroom a place where all ideas are valued and all students are listened to and respected.
  5. Your door was always open. Life is not easy for all students. The high school years in particular are full of change and can be tumultuous and stressful. Make sure your students know that you’re available as a sounding board when they need you, and that you are part of their extended support system.

If you want to be the best teacher possible, think about the impact you want to have on your students and how your daily actions shape that influence. You can change your students’ lives for the better by how you teach them – and how you treat them.

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Eight Holiday Break Learning Activities to Do with Your Child Holiday break is the perfect chance for your child to explore something new and relish learning for the fun of it. Find out about eight holiday activities for kids you can try over the break that will boost your child’s brain power.

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Thu, 05 Dec 2019 10:30:31 -0500 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/holiday-break-learning-activities https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/holiday-break-learning-activities Dr. Raymond Huntington Dr. Raymond Huntington For most families, holiday break is symbolic—you’ve reached the midway point of the school year and it’s time for a breather. However, that doesn’t mean your child should spend the next two weeks scrolling social media. Here are eight holiday activities for kids you can try over the break that will boost your child’s brain power:

  1. Reading – Don’t force your child to crack those textbooks, but do encourage him or her to choose a book (or several) to enjoy over break. Head to the library for an afternoon at the start of break to stock up. Consider reading something together to make it a fun family activity.
  2. Classes for fun – Look around and you’ll discover many fun holiday learning activities and classes for children over break. Your nearby recreation center, library or bookstore are good places to look for winter break classes and workshops on things like cooking, holiday crafts, writing, art or even sports.
  3. Museum hopping – Art galleries, history museums, and nature and science museums make ideal day trips for children of all ages. Check out those in your town for any special exhibits for the holidays. Holiday break is a chance to explore some of those lesser-known museums too, like a heritage museum or sports museum.
  4. Educational movies/TV – Who doesn’t love curling up on the couch around the holidays to enjoy some entertainment on screen? When you visit the library, look for interesting documentaries or based-on-true-events movies that might pique your child’s interest. Perhaps there’s a thought-provoking TV series (think science, animal and history channels) that your family could watch together over break.
  5. College research – If you have a high school student, holiday break is a great time to do some college research and/or preparation. That might include browsing college websites to start gathering information, reading up on financial aid or fine-tuning that admissions essay if you have a senior who is working on applications.
  6. Cooking – Many families do a lot of entertaining and hosting over the holidays, which means lots of food. And guess what? Cooking involves practical math skills such as measuring and shopping, and time management skills for the planning and preparation. Hand your child a cookbook and put him or her in charge of your holiday menu.
  7. Family history documentation – Your child could devote some time this break to creating a cherished book of family history. Have your child call or visit family members to ask about their childhoods or favorite holiday memories.
  8. Science projects – What is your child curious about? What’s going on around you? Have your child come up with a few things to track or measure over break (e.g. snow accumulation or hourly temperature). Have him or her research easy science experiments online that he or she can do with household materials and try a few a day.

Holiday break is the perfect chance for your child to explore something new and relish learning for the fun of it. Get creative. There are all kinds of ways for your child to keep her mind engaged over break while having fun at the same time.

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What Are Standardized Tests and What Do Those Test Scores Mean? Standardized tests have been around for a long time. While your child is in school, they will be tested and measured via some form of standardized test. Read on to learn about standardized tests as well as what scores mean and what standardized tests measure. 

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Wed, 27 Nov 2019 16:14:23 -0500 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/meaning-of-standardized-tests-and-their-scores-2019 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/meaning-of-standardized-tests-and-their-scores-2019 Huntington Learning Center Huntington Learning Center Raising children today means that you’re very familiar with standardized testing.

Standardized tests have been around for a long time but became especially noteworthy in the early 2000s with the passing of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2002, which mandated annual testing of students in grades 3-8 in every state and had punitive provisions for schools that did not make adequate yearly progress toward grade-level standards.

In 2015, No Child Left Behind was replaced by the Every Student Succeeds Act, which offers greater flexibility on standardized testing. Still, the fact remains: while your child is in school, she is going to be tested and measured via some form of standardized test.

What do standardized tests test?

To put it simply, they measure how students are progressing toward grade-level standards in core subjects including math, English language arts, science and social studies. Each state gives tests—often called statewide assessments—to students in grades 3 through 8 toward the end of the school year. Those exams are intended to provide an overall measurement of:

  • How your student is performing in key content areas.
  • What your student knows and what he needs to succeed in the future.
  • Whether he is on track toward building higher-level thinking skills such as writing and problem solving.

Across the nation, there has been a movement toward refocusing teaching on helping students learn and not preparing for standardized tests. So, the assessment of today is different than the assessment of several years ago. Students are spending less time taking tests, but states still place value on measuring what students know and what gaps exist (so they can determine how to close those gaps).

Types of assessment tests

When the Common Core State Standards were introduced in 2010, many states started using either the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) or Smarter Balanced tests that were aligned to Common Core. Things have changed since then, with only one-third of states using either test (as of spring 2019, according to Edweek.org). The other 32 states use tests that they designed themselves or purchased from another source, while three states give hybrid tests that mix their own questions with questions from PARCC/New Meridian or Smarter Balanced. Here’s a summary of the standardized 3-8 tests used in each state as of 2019:

State Name          3-8 Test

Alabama               Scantron

Alaska                   Performance Evaluation for Alaska's Schools (PEAKS)

Arizona                  AZMerit

Arkansas               ACT Aspire

California              Smarter Balanced

Colorado               Colorado Measures of Academic Success (CMAS)

Connecticut          Smarter Balanced

Delaware               Smarter Balanced

D.C.                        PARCC

Florida                   Florida Standards Assessments (FSA)

Georgia                  Georgia Milestones

Hawaii                   Smarter Balanced

Idaho                     Smarter Balanced

Illinois                    PARCC

Indiana                  ILEARN

Iowa                       Iowa Statewide Assessment of Student Progress (ISASP)

Kansas                   Kansas Assessment Program (KAP)

Kentucky              Kentucky Performance Rating for Educational Progress (K-PREP)

Louisiana              Louisiana Educational Assessment Program (LEAP)

Maine                    Maine Educational Assessment (MEA)

Maryland              PARCC

Massachusetts     Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System (MCAS)

Michigan               Michigan Student Test of Educational Progress (M-STEP), PSAT

Minnesota             Minnesota Comprehensive Assessments (MCA)

Mississippi             Mississippi Academic Assessment Program (MAAP)

Missouri                 Missouri Assessment Program (MAP)

Montana                 Smarter Balanced

Nebraska               Nebraska Student-Centered Assessment System (NSCAS)

Nevada                  Smarter Balanced

New Hampshire   New Hampshire Statewide Assessment System (NHSAS), *Performance Assessment of Competency Education (PACE) (some districts)

New Jersey            PARCC

New Mexico         PARCC

New York              New York State Assessments

North Carolina     North Carolina End-of-Grade Tests

North Dakota       North Dakota State Assessment (NDSA)

Ohio                       Ohio's State Tests

Oklahoma             Oklahoma School Testing Program

Oregon                   Smarter Balanced

Pennsylvania        Pennsylvania System of School Assessment (PSSA)

Rhode Island        Rhode Island Comprehensive Assessment System (RICAS)

South Carolina     SCReady

South Dakota       Smarter Balanced

Tennessee             TNReady

Texas                     State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR)

Utah                       Readiness Improvement Success Empowerment (RISE)

Vermont                Smarter Balanced

Virginia                  Standards of Learning (SOL)

Washington          Smarter Balanced

West Virginia        West Virginia General Summative Assessment

Wisconsin              Wisconsin Forward

Wyoming              Wyoming Test of Proficiency and Progress (WY-TOPP)

 

The most up-to-date information about testing in your state, including specific skills and subject areas that will be tested as well as any recommended or required high school tests (such as exit exams), is available on your state’s Department of Education website. For questions about how to help your child best prepare for success on any exam, standardized or other, contact Huntington at 1-800 CAN LEARN.

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Six Ways to Build Student Confidence Confidence is an important trait that you can help build in your students through your everyday interactions. A confident student has a much better chance of being successful in school and beyond. You might not be able to teach confidence, but you certainly can nurture it in each of your students. Here are six ways to do so:

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Wed, 27 Nov 2019 16:02:58 -0500 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/six-ways-to-build-student-confidence-2019 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/six-ways-to-build-student-confidence-2019 Huntington Learning Center Huntington Learning Center A confident student has a much better chance of being successful in school and beyond. You might not be able to teach confidence, but you certainly can nurture it in each of your students. Here are six ways to do so:

  1. Loosen the reins. Maintain control over your classroom environment, not your students. Let them take the lead on classwork and assignments, and take on a supporting role.
  2. Pump them up. Tell your students that you believe in them and their abilities often. The more you do so, the more they’ll believe it, too.
  3. Foster the development of a growth mindset. Let your students know that you believe that there’s always something to discover and that learning never stops. They’ll start to recognize that learning is continuous and that their potential is unlimited.
  4. Set goals as a class. There’s something very empowering about setting goals. Encourage your students to take control of their destiny by putting on paper the endeavors that matter to them (and the steps they’ll take to achieve them).
  5. Embrace the mantra “Let’s explore that.” When students ask questions, don’t just give them the answers. Have them delve into new topics. Ignite their curiosities.
  6. Point out their strengths. You don’t need to do so publicly, but find opportunities to let your students know when they do things particularly well or when you see them exerting extra effort. They might not recognize those attributes in themselves.

Confidence is an important trait that you can help build in your students through your everyday interactions. In doing so, you’ll have a lasting positive impact that will serve them well in life.

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Five Tips from Huntington Learning Center on Filling Out College Applications There’s a lot for students to do when it comes to preparing to go to college. Eileen Huntington of Huntington Learning Center reminds parents that the volume of to-dos increases substantially. As teens near the time when they need to submit applications, she offers five tips for working on those college applications.

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Wed, 27 Nov 2019 15:54:54 -0500 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/five-tips-on-filling-out-college-applications-2019 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/five-tips-on-filling-out-college-applications-2019 Huntington Learning Center Huntington Learning Center There’s a lot for teens to do when it comes to preparing to go to college. The journey starts early in high school, but as teens near the time when they need to submit applications, Eileen Huntington of Huntington Learning Center reminds parents that the volume of to-dos increases substantially.

 

“The college application is actually a substantial package of information that admissions officers use to evaluate students, so it’s important that teens allow plenty of time to assemble everything that will bolster them as candidates,” says Huntington. She offers five tips for teens as they work on those college applications:

 

  1. Develop a timeline and detailed to-do list. At a minimum, teens must be aware of SAT/ACT dates (and registration deadlines), college application due dates (regular and early decision/early action) and all deadlines associated with the other materials colleges might request (e.g. recommendation letters), which vary from college to college (see tip #2). The College Board’s college application checklist is a general list of the documents and tasks that most colleges need completed.  
  2. Look to the colleges themselves for application tips and requirements. Many colleges and universities use the Common Application for basic information, but most also require quite a bit of supplemental material. Teens would be wise to visit college or university websites to get a clear understanding of what they request of applicants (and to review any tips or resources).
  3. Establish an organizational system. Once teens identify schools to which they plan to apply and assemble all due dates and requirements mentioned in tips #1-2, they need to create files for each college—both hard copy and on their computers—to store all documents. Teens should update those college-specific checklists and keep them on hand.
  4. Follow all directions and be thorough. Yes, there are many tasks to complete in anticipation of college, but most colleges try to make things simple. Teens must review directions and the application steps provided on each college’s website carefully and thoroughly. Being diligent about following directions will prevent teens from skipping steps or submitting incomplete information.
  5. Devote time to the essay. If colleges recommend or require personal essays, teens should give them the attention they deserve. They need to choose appropriate topics that address the essay prompts, plan ahead to make the essay poignant and powerful, and write multiple drafts. It’s also important to allow sufficient time for editing, ask for feedback on the essay from one or more teachers, and do a final proofread of the essay before considering it final.

 

Last but certainly not least, Huntington reminds teens to put forth their very bet effort. “College applications are students’ best chance to prove to colleges that they deserve to be accepted for admission,” she says. “Students should seize that opportunity by showing that they’ve put in the work and by presenting themselves as strong candidates. Our advice to students is to work hard in school and get tutoring help when needed. Retake that SAT or ACT if they want to raise their scores. Ask for letters of recommendation from the teachers who see their potential, and give those teachers time to craft something compelling. Write a great essay. Then, pull it all together to create the best application possible.”

For more information about Huntington Learning Center’s services to prepare students for college success, contact Huntington at 1-800 CAN LEARN or visit www.huntingtonhelps.com.

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FAQs About Weighted vs. Unweighted GPA You probably have a pretty good idea of how your teen’s Grade Point Average (GPA) is calculated based on your own experience as a high school student. But these days, many schools weight GPAs, giving new and confusing meaning to the term “4.0 student.” Find out answers to some frequently asked questions.

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Mon, 25 Nov 2019 11:46:26 -0500 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/weighted-vs-unweighted-gpa-2019 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/weighted-vs-unweighted-gpa-2019 Huntington Learning Center Huntington Learning Center You probably have a pretty good idea of how your teen’s Grade Point Average (GPA) is calculated based on your own experience as a high school student. But these days, many schools weight GPAs, giving new and confusing meaning to the term “4.0 student.” Here are answers to some frequently asked questions to clear things up:

  • What is the difference between a regular GPA and a weighted GPA? A weighted GPA takes into account how challenging classes are, while an unweighted GPA does not. In other words, your student might receive up to 5.0 grade points for an Advanced Placement (AP) English class but only up to 4.0 grade points for a regular English class. So, a B in that AP class earns the same amount of grade points as an A in the regular class.
  • How do colleges compare students’ GPAs correctly? Because high schools across the country might have different policies for calculating GPAs, you might wonder: how do colleges compare students in an “apples to apples” way? Rest assured, they have their methods. Admissions officers scrutinize transcripts to look at the classes that students take and their rigor, and they probably recalculate weighted GPAs to their own scale.
  • How can colleges tell that classes are weighted? If your teen is worried about this, put him at ease: the marking system for weighted vs. unweighted grades will appear on the high school transcript. Some schools might include a school profile with the transcript that goes into even more detail on the grading scale, number of honors/Advanced Placement courses offered at the school, and the like.
  • What if a teen takes some regular classes and some honors/advanced classes? Your teen’s high school guidance counselor can explain how a GPA is calculated, but remember that each class’s grade is calculated based on its level. That might mean combining 4.0 grade points for four As in regular classes (16 total points), 4.5 grade points for an A in an honors class and 5.0 grade points for an A in an AP class: all As, but some worth more than others.
  • What’s a typical grading scale? Every school is different, but many schools go with each decile being a new grade. So, 90-100% = A, 80-89% = B, and so on. Some schools go with a +/- scale—for example, 97-100% = A+, 93-96% = A, 90-92% = A-, and so on.
  • What’s a typical marking system? Again, this varies school to school, but typically, unweighted classes receive 4.0 grade points for an A, 3.0 for a B, 2.0 for a C, 1.0 for a D and 0.0 for an F. Many high schools award additional grade points for Advanced Placement (AP), honors, International Baccalaureate (IB) or other college preparatory courses. Weighted classes might receive 0 grade points for an A, 4.0 for a B, 3.0 for a C, 1.0 for a D and 0.0 for an F. It is possible that AP classes will receive more points than honors or IB classes.

The GPA is a significant factor in college admission, but it’s also essential that teens also show colleges that they are challenging themselves in high school. A student who takes a rigorous class load and earns mostly As might seem like a stronger candidate to a competitive college than one who takes all regular classes and earns As and Bs.

As always, encourage your teen to work hard and push himself. And if you need support, contact Huntington. We’ll help your teen build the knowledge and skills to do his best in high school.

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How to Encourage Outside-the-Box Thinking in Students Whether you teach first graders or high school seniors, teaching students how to think outside the box in school and life will be a valuable tool you can impart. Your goal should be to encourage your students to let their innovative ideas flow without restraint. Find out a few tips on how to do so.

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Thu, 21 Nov 2019 09:16:35 -0500 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/how-to-encourage-student-outside-the-box-thinking-2019 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/how-to-encourage-student-outside-the-box-thinking-2019 Huntington Learning Center Huntington Learning Center Whether you teach first graders or high school seniors, teaching students how to think outside the box in school and life will be a valuable tool you can impart. But what exactly does that mean? Put simply, your goal should be to encourage your students to let their innovative ideas flow without restraint. Here are a few tips for how to do so:

  1. Ask open-ended questions. In the classroom, closed-ended questions (those with a right or wrong answer) halt discussion in its tracks. Phrase your queries in a way that invites students to share additional information (e.g. What do you mean by ___? Tell me how you feel about ___. Can someone add on to what Jennifer said?).
  2. Make yours a student-centered classroom. Yes, you’re the teacher, but put the students in charge of their learning. Give them appropriate autonomy and have them collaborate and work together often.
  3. Individualize learning. No two students learn alike, and your teaching approach shouldn’t be one-size-fits-all, either. Create lessons and assignments that require students to reflect on what they know and share that with you and their peers. Give your students daily opportunities to think on a higher level.
  4. Address the risks/downsides last. Don’t stop students from sharing or thinking through ideas because you foresee a few hurdles. Allow them to brainstorm without criticism, and save the risk assessment aspect of the exercise until later.

In today’s dynamic world, it’s more important than ever that you teach students how to be creative and arm them with the tools to solve problems, take risks, and innovate. Foster that kind of environment each and every day in your classroom and you’ll prepare your students for great things.

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2019 American Education Week Starts November 18, 2019 On November 18, 2019, American Education Week will kick off. Created by the National Education Association (NEA), this weeklong celebration of public education honors the professionals who make a difference in ensuring that every child in the country receives a quality education. Find out how you can celebrate the different days of American Education Week.

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Tue, 19 Nov 2019 13:26:44 -0500 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/american-education-week-2019 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/american-education-week-2019 Huntington Learning Center Huntington Learning Center The week before Thanksgiving, on November 18, 2019, American Education Week will kick off. Created by the National Education Association (NEA), this weeklong celebration of public education honors the professionals who make a difference in ensuring that every child in the country receives a quality education—from teachers to support staff, from communities to principals.

Communities around the country can celebrate the daily components of American Education Week as scheduled below:  

  • Monday, November 18: Kickoff Day – The nationwide kickoff, with activities and events at schools around the country.
  • Tuesday, November 19: Parents Day – A day for parents and/or other family members to join their children at school for a first-hand look at a typical school day.
  • Wednesday, November 20: Education Support Professionals Day – A day to honor the contributions of public support staff, such as instructional assistants, office workers, paraeducators, bus drivers, custodians, and security guards.
  • Thursday, November 21: Educator for a Day – A program in which community members are invited to school as “guest educators.” This day gives them the opportunity to get a feel for a typical school day, including everything from teaching classes to eating lunch in the cafeteria.
  • Friday, November 22: Substitute Educators Day – A day that honors the professional substitute educators who run classes when regular educators are absent.

American Education Week was founded in 1921 by the National Education Association and the American Legion as a national effort to raise public awareness of the importance of education. The week-long celebration is now co-sponsored by several other organizations as well, including the U.S. Department of Education, the National School Boards Association, the American Federation of Teachers and the American School Counselor Association, among others.

“Public schools are continually working to be better and to keep pace with the ever-changing world—and prepare students for that world,” says Eileen Huntington of Huntington Learning Center. “Public schools are open to all, and are worthy of celebration. American Education week recognizes the many people who contribute to educating our nation’s children. As part of that group, we at Huntington Learning Center are so thankful for our colleagues and communities for all that they do to support students’ academic achievements and give all children a quality education.”

Learn more about American Education Week at www.nea.org/aew. For more information about Huntington Learning Center’s services, contact us at 1-800 CAN LEARN or visit www.huntingtonhelps.com.

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What Colleges Look for in Applicants’ Extracurricular Activities Grades and strength of curriculum are top of the list of attributes that colleges look for in applicants, however, colleges also appreciate that “something extra” in students. Extracurricular activities are a great way for teens to build leadership abilities and fuel their passions.

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Fri, 15 Nov 2019 10:40:28 -0500 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/college-applicant-extracurricular-activities-2019 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/college-applicant-extracurricular-activities-2019 Huntington Learning Center Huntington Learning Center College is on the horizon, but your teen is looking to do more than just get in. He wants to set himself apart with an impressive resume, and possibly earn a few scholarships while he’s at it.

Grades and strength of curriculum are top of the list of attributes that colleges look for in applicants, but there is no doubt that admissions officers—especially at highly competitive colleges and universities—also appreciate that “something extra” in students. Extracurricular activities are a great way for teens to build leadership abilities and fuel their passions.

Your teen might be on a quest to identify the “best” extracurricular activities that will give her resume a boost. However, the reality is, college admissions officers aren’t partial to certain extracurricular activities. They’re simply looking to see that students are committed to those activities.

Here are a few attributes that colleges appreciate in extracurricular activities:

  • Passion – Above all else, colleges like to see extracurricular activities on resumes that demonstrate students’ excitement about something. So, whether your teen is an avid basketball player or a focused future engineer who founded the school engineering club, the key is that he is sincere about his enthusiasm for the endeavor. In fact, admissions officers would rather a student be committed to one or two activities than passively involved with six or seven.
  • Leadership – Admissions officers consider students with leadership aptitudes as positive contributors to campus life. Your teen’s involvement in a club or activity is much more meaningful when it is obvious how it made an impact—on the school, other students, the community and/or the world. Being a leader requires ardor, vision and values, which are qualities that make strong candidates for college admission.
  • Challenging – In reality, your teen isn’t likely to gain much from a club that doesn’t ask much of her. Instead, your teen should seek out activities that push her to be better, acquire a new skill or set a goal to strive toward. The student with a fear of public speaking who gets involved in debate club stands to grow a great deal.
  • Creative – There’s so much benefit in being able to explore ideas and think creatively, both in school and the real world. Colleges value commitment to lifelong learning, self-discovery and self-expression.
  • Career-Focused – Some students know from a young age what they want to do with their lives. If this sounds like your teen, encourage him to get real-world experience in the field in which he’s interested. If your teen goes to college with plans to major in biology and continue on in medical school, that volunteer work in the assisted living facility or part-time job as a nursing assistant will prove he’s serious.

What colleges especially want to see is that a student has selected certain activities for a reason. Encourage your teen to choose extracurriculars that mean something to her and dedicate her time and energy toward them.

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Four Benefits of Reading Aloud Teachers of young students often read aloud to them, but the truth is, it’s valuable to do so even with older students. Here are just a few benefits you and your child will find in this practice.

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Wed, 13 Nov 2019 11:06:00 -0500 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/four-benefits-of-reading-aloud-2019 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/four-benefits-of-reading-aloud-2019 Huntington Learning Center Huntington Learning Center Teachers of young students often read aloud to them, but the truth is, it’s valuable to do so even with older students. Here are four powerful benefits of reading aloud:

  1. You’ll model fluent reading. Hearing you read out loud shows students what fluent reading should sound like. You’ll demonstrate good pacing, proper pronunciation, how to pause for punctuation, and how to emphasize words in appropriate places.
  2. You’ll help students build their auditory learning style. Some students are naturally good listeners, while others could use the practice to strengthen their auditory learning skills. Reading aloud encourages your students to focus when you are speaking in order to retain what you say and apply it to what they already know.
  3. You’ll promote literacy and listening skills. Especially from an early age, reading out loud to students helps them acquire many of the building blocks necessary to read themselves. It also helps students grow their vocabulary because they hear a wider variety of words in use. When possible, have students read along with the book or printed paper in front of them. This supports weaker readers who can follow the text while listening to you and builds all students’ comprehension.
  4. You’ll bring stories to life. There’s nothing quite like reading aloud to bring your students together for a shared, special experience. When you choose a class book and carve out class time to read it, you instill a love of literature into your students and give them something to look forward to each day.

Whether it’s detailed directions for an assignment or a class novel, keep reading aloud to your students when it makes sense. The benefits are numerous!

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Five Signals That Your Child Has a Learning Problem For many children, school is not a straight path free of roadblocks. Ups and downs in school are inevitable, and some subjects and grades might go more smoothly than others.

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Wed, 13 Nov 2019 10:37:03 -0500 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/five-signals-your-child-has-a-learning-problem https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/five-signals-your-child-has-a-learning-problem Huntington Learning Center Huntington Learning Center For many children, school is not a straight path free of roadblocks. Ups and downs in school are inevitable, and some subjects and grades might go more smoothly than others.

As a parent, you do your best and follow your instincts when dealing with problems as they arise. But Eileen Huntington of Huntington Learning Center cautions parents to watch for signs that their children need more than typical parental involvement. “No child has a trouble-free school experience, but it’s important to be aware of issues that might have deeper roots and require more intensive intervention,” she says. Huntington lists these five signs of possible learning problems:

Sign #1: Poor comprehension – Poor reading comprehension can be a sign of many different learning issues. Pay attention to how your child completes reading and writing assignments. Does it take far longer than it should to read a page? Does your child have a hard time answering questions about books he or she is reading? Is your child’s writing often unclear with spelling and grammatical mistakes? 

Sign #2: Poor attention span – Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is most associated with a poor attention span, but even students not diagnosed with such an issue might need support improving their ability to focus and complete work. Take note of your child’s work habits while studying. Do you notice a lot of gazing out the window? Getting out the phone or surfing the internet when he or she should be doing something else? Working for only a few minutes before getting distracted? 

Sign #3: Difficulty retrieving information – There are several types of memory, all of which are essential for students to be able to store and retrieve information when they read and listen in class. Do you notice your child struggling to answer questions about material he or she has just read or forgetting information learned just recently? Do you see your child frequently leaving the room to get or do something only to return a moment later having forgotten what that item or task was? Or, does your child remember recent topics taught but have a harder time recalling topics taught a month ago? 

Sign #4: Weak organization and time management skills – While many children grapple from time to time with organization and time management, consistent difficulty planning ahead on homework, staying organized, and paying attention to details could be signs of something bigger. Specifically, your child might lack executive functioning skills, which are essential aptitudes that allow students to self-regulate and achieve their goals. 

Sign #5: Poor grades in language-based subjects – As mentioned, a poor grade in any subject should be a red flag that something is going on with your child in school, but if you observe problems with reading fluency, writing, spelling or recall, the scope of your child’s challenges is narrower. Your child could simply be dealing with missing skill gaps, or the issue could be something more complex like dyslexia. 

If you notice one or more of the above signs, or other red flags such as low self-esteem, apathy about school, or homework taking an exceptionally long time, contact Huntington at 1-800 CAN LEARN. We can assess what is going on with your child, identify the problems ailing him or her, and establish a plan of action to correct them.

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Four Tips for Talking to Teens About Student Loans and Budgeting Let’s face it, Mom and Dad. A college education costs a lot these days. It’s time to talk with your teen about how your family will fund his college education and other costs associated with living independently.

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Fri, 08 Nov 2019 10:19:40 -0500 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/talking-to-teens-about-student-loans https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/talking-to-teens-about-student-loans Huntington Learning Center Huntington Learning Center Let’s face it, Mom and Dad. A college education costs a lot these days. Even if you’ve been contributing regularly to your child’s 529 plan or another college savings account, you might not have enough funds set aside to fully cover the cost of college.

It’s time to talk with your teen about how your family will fund his college education and other costs associated with living independently. Here are a few tips as you broach this important conversation:

  1. Start with a discussion about college’s importance. Hopefully, you’ve laid the foundation already, but as your teen approaches junior year, it’s important to make it clear that college is important. With a bachelor’s degree, your teen will have greater earning power and more career opportunities. Even if your teen needs to pay for part of college, it’s definitely worthwhile.
  2. Create a college budget. Even if you’re funding your teen’s tuition and fees (or a portion), your teen needs to learn how to manage money and live within his means. That’s where a budget comes in. Have your teen create a simple spreadsheet and detail out the following:
    • All income sources, including financial aid funds, money from you, scholarship funds, work-study income, his own savings, etc. Some of these line items might be unknown until your teen receives a financial aid package, but build them into the budget anyway.
    • All expenses, including school expenses (tuition, books and fees), transportation expenses (e.g. gas or a parking pass), housing (e.g. dorm or rent), and any food, entertainment or other expenses (such as a cell phone). Address which of these costs will be your vs. your teen’s responsibility.

It might seem premature to create a college budget before your teen is in college, but getting a start on one will help him or her begin to grasp what kinds of costs your family will need to fund in the years to come.

  1. Go over the types of financial aid available to you and your teen. While the budgeting exercise is important, it helps to follow it up with some dialogue about options to fund all those expenses. The U.S. Department of Education Federal Student Aid website can help you estimate the amount of aid you might receive with FAFSA4caster. Take advantage of this tool to plan ahead. 

Generally, though, here are your and your teen’s options. You can take out federal parent loans (called Direct PLUS loans). And your teen can apply for federal financial in the form of loans, grants and work-study aid.

  • Federal student loans offer benefits that other types of loans (from banks or other sources) do not—namely lower interest rates and the delayed payoff time (until after college). There are four types of loans available to students with or without financial need.
  • Grants are free money awarded to students based on financial need.
  • Federal work-study provides part-time jobs to college students with financial need, allowing them to earn money to pay for school.
  1. Talk about other ways to reduce the cost of college. There are a number of ways students can reduce that college bill. Scholarships, of course, can help, so encourage your teen to work hard in high school and apply widely for scholarships large and small. They can add up. Working part-time during the school year is a great way to cover things like books or housing, and working full time over summer break can help your teen replenish the bank account for school-year bills. Your teen could even consider starting at a nearby community college and transferring to save big on tuition and housing (by living at home).

The key to the college cost conversation is to be transparent. The sooner you talk with your teen about what you will likely be able to contribute toward college and what will be expected of her, the better. While college might be on your teen’s mind, paying for it might not. Discuss the financial part of college early and often, which will help your teen prepare and encourage her to make the very most of the investment.

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Six Tips to Foster Student Creativity Creativity is a valuable trait that students will put to use in school and life. It helps them think outside the box, come up with innovative ideas, and take different approaches to solve problems.

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Wed, 06 Nov 2019 08:51:49 -0500 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/six-tips-to-foster-student-creativity https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/six-tips-to-foster-student-creativity Huntington Learning Center Huntington Learning Center Creativity is a valuable trait that students will put to use in school and life. It helps them think outside the box, come up with innovative ideas, and take different approaches to solve problems. Here are six tips to build student creativity:

  1. Ask their opinions. Invite your students to contribute their thoughts and ideas in class and give them the freedom to explore them. Phrase your questions in a way that sparks deeper thought. Urge students to question assumptions.
  2. Encourage risk-taking. Tell your students that you not only want them to try new things, you expect them to. Dismiss the notion that mistakes are bad. Remind your students that failure is how they learn and grow.
  3. Have them learn by doing. Project-based learning is a great way to get students involved in meaningful, active learning. Offer opportunities for your students to research complex problems and present their findings.
  4. Advise students to do what they love. It’s important to fuel your students’ creativity in the classroom, but it’s just as important to remind them that life is full of opportunities to learn and better themselves. Talk about your passions and push them to find their own.
  5. Talk about reading. Few pastimes spark the imagination like reading. Even if you teach an unrelated subject, invite your students to share what they’re reading and what they love about those books. Get them talking.
  6. Take a step back. Try not to hover or micro-manage the way your students do things. Let them try, fail, try again, and experiment.

Your students’ creative thinking could help develop solutions to the greatest problems of today. Establish a classroom environment that nurtures creativity, and you’ll benefit not just your students, but the world.

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Six Activities that will Help Your Child Hone Leadership Aptitudes Whether your child grows up to become a powerful business person, a teacher, or a doctor, the ability to lead people toward a goal and be a positive influence on others is invaluable.

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Tue, 05 Nov 2019 10:56:36 -0500 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/activities-to-promote-leadership-aptitude-in-chrildren https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/activities-to-promote-leadership-aptitude-in-chrildren Dr. Raymond Huntington Dr. Raymond Huntington There is such a thing as a born leader, but the truth is, you can cultivate leadership aptitudes in your child from an early age. Whether your child grows up to become a powerful business person, a teacher, or a doctor, the ability to lead people toward a goal and be a positive influence on others is invaluable.

Here are six activities that will help your child develop and strengthen those leadership skills:

  1. Volunteering at an organization that helps people. Leaders have empathy for others, and there is no better way to build children’s empathy than to put them in situations where they can help others who are less fortunate or need support. Empower your child to take action (or get involved in an effort already underway) when he or she sees something wrong in the community and wants to fix it.
  2. Running for student council. By its very nature, student council, whether in elementary school, middle school or high school, is a great way to show your child what it means to inspire change in an organization (a school in this case). Student council will also build your child’s public speaking, teamwork, and organizational skills.
  3. Joining a club and becoming an officer. Any extracurricular involvement will benefit your child in a multitude of ways, but taking on a position such as secretary or treasurer (or even president or vice president) is especially good for your child. Such a position will build your child’s sense of responsibility.
  4. Becoming part of a team. This could be a soccer team, a dance troupe, a glee club or something entirely different. A team environment helps participants cultivate their abilities to collaborate and work effectively with different types of people.
  5. Working with children. This might be most applicable when your child becomes a teenager. Whether it’s babysitting, assisting in a preschool art class or coaching a children’s team, working effectively with younger children requires many of the same competencies that leaders need. Your teen will learn how to manage disorder, get others’ attention and motivate children to work toward similar tasks and goals while building his or her patience in the process.
  6. Being in charge of something. At home, you can help nurture your child’s inner leader by giving him or her something to manage independently. Chores are one option but think bigger. Is there some part of your family’s “modus operandi” that your child or teen could take over? Do you have a family business with which your child could get involved?

Even if your child isn’t planning to become a Fortune 500 CEO, leadership development is extremely beneficial. Your child will grow up to be more confident, adaptable, resilient and capable. He or she will become more proficient at making decisions and listening to others’ ideas (and articulating his or her own). Encourage your child to engage in activities that nurture their leadership skills. The positive effects will be long-lasting.

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Five Characteristics That Predict College Success It’s impossible to guarantee that your high schooler will go off to college, excel in all subjects, graduate summa cum laude and embark upon an incredible career. But wouldn’t it be nice to know that your teen is on the right path?

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Fri, 01 Nov 2019 09:48:24 -0400 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/characteristics-that-predict-college-success https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/characteristics-that-predict-college-success Huntington Learning Center Huntington Learning Center It’s impossible to guarantee that your high schooler will go off to college, excel in all subjects, graduate summa cum laude and embark upon an incredible career. But wouldn’t it be nice to know that your teen is on the right path?

There are a number of benchmarks that are correlated with strong student performance, including a high GPA and taking challenging course work in middle and high school. But there are also certain characteristics that are common among students who do well in college and go on to become goal-driven, lifelong learners.

Here are five student characteristics that are predictors of college success and tips on how to build these traits in your teen:

  1. Resilience – College—and life in general—can be stressful at times. Teens must be able to deal with the everyday challenges and issues that arise in a mature, productive way. Take a step back and let your teen fail and experience disappointments, then help him reflect on what he learned from that failure. This will help your teen build mental toughness and grit that will serve him well later on.
  2. Perseverance – Students must learn that no accomplishment comes without effort and persistence. In fact, there’s a good chance that some of the role models in their lives had to work very hard to get where they are. Encourage your teen to set goals big and small—for college and beyond. Remind her that everything worth doing requires effort and dedication.
  3. Decision-making ability – College is a brand-new adventure and it requires that teens be independent. The ability to make decisions is essential in college. Talk with your teen about how to come up with multiple possibilities to solve any problem, weigh the pros and cons of each, and decide/act with confidence. Decision-making and problem-solving go hand in hand.
  4. Self-management – Self-management is vital as teens move into college. No longer will mom or dad be there to micromanage and keep them on track. You can cultivate this skill in your teen by encouraging her to embrace a growth mindset. Teach your teen to believe that she can always learn, improve and grow with effort.
  5. Self-advocacy – Hopefully, teens learn in high school how to ask for help and speak up when their needs are not being met. Colleges professors expect that their students will do so, so the more you can step back while your teen is in high school and put him in the driver’s seat, the better. If your teen doesn’t get the grade he wants on a test, for example, it’s up to him to talk to the teacher about how to close those knowledge gaps and retake the test, if possible.

One last tip for teens as they move toward college: establish a support system. College has its ups and downs. Your teen should feel comfortable reaching out to friends, teachers, family members, or a counselor or other mentor when he needs to.

And remember: Huntington is here for your teen as well! Call us if your teen needs help getting prepared for college and you want to ensure she has the skills and aptitudes to succeed.

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Seven Tips to Keep Your Day Organized and Productive Wed, 30 Oct 2019 12:24:35 -0400 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/seven-tips-to-keep-your-day-organized-and-productive https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/seven-tips-to-keep-your-day-organized-and-productive Huntington Learning Center Huntington Learning Center An organized teacher is an effective teacher. Here are eight tips to keep your classroom orderly and running smoothly:

  1. Create a daily folder. Whether you plan on the weekends or go into school early each day, spend time organizing what you will do in class each day of the week and putting any materials in a labeled folder for that day.
  2. Keep an agenda. A detailed agenda will keep your day from veering off course, whether you teach one class of third-graders or several class periods of math students.
  3. Set up inboxes for important papers. Pick a corner of the room where students can turn in completed classwork, completed homework, parent notes and other important papers in separate, labeled inboxes.
  4. Organize your desk. Your desk is an easy catch-all for all other paperwork. Get ahead of the clutter by labeling trays for grading, filing, distributing, reviewing, shredding, or other.
  5. Have a place for everything. Designate spaces for everything students use, from laptops to pencils, from books to disinfecting wipes. Use laminated posters to make it easy for students to glance at an area and see what belongs there.
  6. Label it all. Clean-up time is easier when students know exactly where you keep supplies and don’t have to ask you over and over. Use jars, tins, boxes, crates, baskets, or whatever you prefer to keep everything tidy.
  7. Spend time every day cleaning up. With 20 or more students a day in and out of your room (more if you teach a subject multiple times a day), it’s easy for rooms to get messy and disheveled. Even a few minutes a day putting things away and having students do the same will help.

The more organized you are, the better teacher you’ll be. Commit to organization and you’ll notice a big difference in your stress level and effectiveness.

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What Happened to the College Board’s “Adversity Score”? In May 2019, the College Board announced plans for their Environmental Context Dashboard, more commonly referred to as the "Adversity Score". In August, a revision to this plan known as "Landscape" was released. Read about this important update here.

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Wed, 30 Oct 2019 12:58:49 -0400 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/college-board-adversity-score-2019 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/college-board-adversity-score-2019 Huntington Learning Center Huntington Learning Center In May 2019, the College Board announced a plan to provide college admissions officers a dashboard that gives context to an applicant’s neighborhood and high school with that student’s SAT score reports.

Dubbed the “adversity score” by news outlets, the metric—actually called the Environmental Context Dashboard (ECD)—was intended to allow colleges to incorporate a student’s school and environmental context into their admissions process in a data-driven way. The ECD was designed to allow admissions officers the opportunity to view a student’s academic accomplishment in the context of where they live and learn.

Introducing Landscape

In August 2019, the College Board shared its plans to improve upon the idea of the Environmental Context Dashboard by revising and renaming the tool “Landscape.” Landscape will provide information about a student’s neighborhood and high school, helping colleges consider the context in the application review process.

The revised resource is intended to help admissions officers fairly consider every applicant. It does not replace the individual information included in a student’s application (such as GPA, personal essay and high school transcript). It also shows how an applicant’s SAT or ACT score compares to the scores of other students at the same high school.

Here’s a quick summary of the information presented in Landscape:

  • High school data, including city/suburban town types and rural town type
  • Senior class size
  • % of students eligible for free and reduced-price lunch
  • Average SAT scores at colleges attended by the three most recent cohorts of college-bound seniors at the applicant’s high school (who took College Board assessments)
  • Advanced Placement exams (participation and performance)
  • SAT and ACT test score comparison (of the student vs. average scores at their high school)
  • Neighborhood and high school indicators, including:
    • Predicted probability of students from the neighborhood/high school enrolling in a four-year college
    • Household structure (married/coupled families, single-parent families and children living under the poverty line)
    • Median family income
    • Housing stability (vacancy rates, rental vs. homeownership, mobility/housing turnover)
    • Education level
    • Crime

The College Board explains that colleges have long considered context about students’ high schools and neighborhoods when making admissions decisions. Landscape is intended to make this process easier and help admissions offers gather consistent information.

Learn more about the new Landscape tool and how colleges will use it at www.collegeboard.org.

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Five Tips to Get Students to Participate in Class If there’s one thing all teachers feel would make their jobs easier, it is student participation. Your job is to engage your students in learning, after all.

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Tue, 29 Oct 2019 13:38:45 -0400 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/five-student-participation-tips-2019 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/five-student-participation-tips-2019 Huntington Learning Center Huntington Learning Center If there’s one thing all teachers feel would make their jobs easier, it is student participation. Your job is to engage your students in learning, after all. That task is much easier when they are willing to share their ideas and ask questions.

How can you get more students to participate? Here are a few tips:

  1. Set the expectation. If you haven’t already, let your students know that you expect them to contribute to the class dialogue. You can certainly make participation part of their grades, but express your desire that they ask questions and offer their input and ideas.
  2. Get to know your students as individuals. The more you know about your students and their learning styles, interests, and motivations, the easier it is for you to get them involved and excited in class.
  3. Use technology. Today’s generation of students is accustomed to using digital tools and apps to augment their learning. They expect that their teachers will integrate those things into their educational experience.
  4. Lecture only when you have to. The more you talk “at” your students, the less involved they feel in the learning experience. Try cooperative learning techniques that get students participating, or flip your classroom and do activities in the classroom (vs. having students do them on their own at home).
  5. Break students into groups. Some students are more likely to open up to their peers. Small group work is a more comfortable setting for some students who feel intimidated speaking up in front of you and all of their classmates.

You set the tone for good participation in your class, so keep working on it. When you cultivate this type of environment, your students benefit greatly from that positive energy and encouragement.

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How Teens and Parents Can Use the Department of Education’s College Scorecard in their Research The United States Department of Education’s College Scorecard is an interactive tool that helps families gather critical information they need to evaluate colleges’ offerings, cost, quality, value and more. Read about its benefits here.

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Wed, 30 Oct 2019 12:50:33 -0400 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/using-the-college-scorecard-2019 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/using-the-college-scorecard-2019 Huntington Learning Center Huntington Learning Center There’s a lot that goes into the college decision. The more resources available to aid teens and their parents in their research, the better. The United States Department of Education’s College Scorecard is an interactive tool that helps families gather critical information they need to evaluate colleges’ offerings, cost, quality, value and more.

Here are a few ways you and your teen can use this tool to sort through all kinds of information about different colleges and make a smart college decision:

  • Search for schools by location. The College Scorecard offers the ability to select one or more states and/or one or more regions (e.g. Southeast, Southwest, Rocky Mountains). Your teen can then add those schools to a list to compare and further research them (more on this below).
  • Search for schools by program of study. First, your teen must select a certificate, two-year degree or four-year degree. Then, she chooses from a long list of programs. The search-by-program feature is ideal for teens who have specific majors in mind. If your teen wants to further refine that list, she can easily select other filters such as location, region or school size.
  • Find schools based on desired size. Whether your teen wants to look for all small (<2,000 students) schools in your state, all medium (2,000-15,000 students) schools with architecture or psychology programs, or all large (>15,000 students) schools that are public and located in New England, the College Scorecard lets users narrow by size plus other attributes.
  • Narrow down colleges based on a specialized mission or religious affiliation. Does your teen want to go to a school for women or men only? One that is a historically black college or university? One for students of a certain religion? The advanced search feature allows users to easily search for those types of schools.
  • Compare colleges side by side. Maybe your teen knows the few schools in which he or she is interested in. Search for a college by name, add that college to a comparison list, then evaluate several colleges thoroughly. However your teen searches for schools using the Scorecard, the comparison feature is an excellent way to get a snapshot of several schools at once. Your teen can even send a summary via email.

The College Scorecard makes it easy to search for colleges and universities, and also evaluate some of their essential data points. Here are some of the facts the Scorecard helps you and your teen learn (and compare) about colleges:

  • Average annual net price (after aid from the school, state or federal government, including only in-state cost for public schools)
  • Graduation rate (of full-time students who started at that school)
  • Salary after attending (10 years after attending the school)
  • % of full-time enrollment
  • Socio-economic diversity
  • Race/ethnicity
  • % of students paying down their debt within three years of leaving school
  • % of students receiving federal loans
  • Typical total debt after graduation (federal loans only and does not include private student loans or parent PLUS loans)
  • Students who return to the college after their first year
  • Outcomes eight years after attending
  • Typical SAT/ACT scores of admitted students

The College Scorecard can help you quickly compare colleges and universities on a variety of factors, but it is also important to understand that your teen’s situation is unique and figures like cost of attendance will depend on many different factors (like your financial position when applying for financial aid and any scholarships your teen earns, for example). Still, it is a great tool and one to use in addition to other methods of research, such as visiting colleges in person and going to their websites to collect information.

Check out the Scorecard at https://collegescorecard.ed.gov/. Questions about the college search? Contact Huntington at 1-800 CAN LEARN

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5 Tips to Give Your Student an Advantage There is no magic bullet to ensure that your child will be an excellent student who never experiences problems or challenges. However, there are several things parents can do to help your child stay focused and work more efficiently, thereby setting him or her up for success.

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Fri, 01 Nov 2019 14:01:40 -0400 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/five-tips-to-give-your-student-an-advantage-2019 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/five-tips-to-give-your-student-an-advantage-2019 Huntington Learning Center Huntington Learning Center There is no magic bullet to ensure that your child will be an excellent student who never experiences problems or challenges. However, there are several things parents can do to help your child stay focused and work more efficiently, thereby setting him or her up for success:

Work on basic skills.  If your child is struggling with basic concepts and this is causing problems in class and during homework, it may be time to investigate. Consider having your child assessed to get more details on what academic skills he or she may be lacking. Huntington Learning Center offers an academic evaluation that can pinpoint any student's needs based on their strengths and weaknesses.

Constant reading. A confident reader will find school to be easier overall. Reading is essential in every subject, and teachers will increasingly expect your child to offer opinions on and insight into the things he or she reads. Make reading a frequent family activity by carving out time on a daily basis and encourage your child to read for fun, both aloud and independently.  

Critical thinking. No matter what subject your child studies, critical thinking is an important skill that you can and should hone from an early age. Encourage your child to analyze, question and express opinions on books, articles, news and more. When reading stories, discuss the characters and main messages and have your child share his or her thoughts and ideas. Even with subjects like math and science, teach your child to think through problems and talk about the practical application of math and science concepts. The more your child develops such essential higher-order thinking abilities, the more capable your child will be as a student.

Establish guidelines. Clearly defined rules create a home environment conducive to maximum learning, eliminating wasted time and encouraging children to work more efficiently. On the other hand, a lack of structure can result in a child feeling unorganized and overwhelmed. Just as your child’s teacher does in the classroom, establish and maintain clear routines for study time at home. Once you have established and communicated those rules, hold your child to them. The less time spent on getting settled into homework, organizing or finding one’s things, the more time can be spent on learning.

Foster good study habits. Many children who are otherwise capable students are hampered by disorganization and poor study skills. Teach your child the basics, such as maintaining a neat workspace and backpack, embracing a system for tracking homework and projects (and their due dates), and making all study and homework sessions efficient. Ask for suggestions from your child’s teacher as well.

Finally, one of the most important things parents can do to benefit their children is to talk about school. It sounds simple, and it is—but study after study proves the positive effects of parental involvement on students’ long-term educational outcomes. Communication between parent and student improves not only student behavior and attendance but also affects student achievement.  A small amount of effort today will help your child build a strong foundation for school and life success.

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Seven Behavior Management Tips for Your Classroom You could spend a lot of time creating a great lesson and perfecting your teaching approach only to have it all undone because of a rowdy classroom. Here are a few tips to help with classroom behavior management.

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Tue, 29 Oct 2019 13:30:16 -0400 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/behavior-management-tips-for-your-classroom https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/behavior-management-tips-for-your-classroom Huntington Learning Center Huntington Learning Center You could spend a lot of time creating a great lesson and perfecting your teaching approach only to have it all undone because of a rowdy classroom. Here are seven behavior management tips that will put you back in charge and keep your students focused on learning.

  1. Establish a short list of class rules. Make sure your class rules cover the essentials but do not feel like you need to write a list of 50 rules. That might cause confusion or result in students ignoring them altogether.
  2. Share consequences and rewards. Rules do no good if students are unclear on the penalties for breaking them. Similarly, it’s important to establish a system for rewarding positive behavior and good role-modeling.
  3. Establish a seating chart. Seating charts help you retain control of the classroom but don’t be afraid to move students around periodically if you find some students talking too much or struggling to pay attention based on where they are seated.
  4. Create routines for transitions. Think of the moments in your classroom when students tend to get talkative and establish routines that keep things active and minimize disruptions.
  5. Incorporate brain breaks. Brain breaks are proven to help students regain focus and perform better after sitting or working for an extended amount of time.
  6. Correct bad behavior quickly. Don’t stop everything to deal angrily with one misbehaving student. Stay calm, give direction, and administer a consequence if the student continues to interrupt. Then, carry on.
  7. Praise good behavior. Acknowledge and thank the students who follow the rules and meet your expectations.

Every student has good days and not-so-good days. Keep these ideas on hand for the times when you need to get your students back on track and refocus on helping them succeed.

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Six Things to Pay Attention to on Your Child’s First Report Card of the Year Your child has been back in school for a month or two by now, which means there’s an important milestone coming up: the first report card of the year. Read about six important indicators to look for when reviewing your child's progress.

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Tue, 29 Oct 2019 13:08:36 -0400 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/six-things-to-pay-attention-to-on-the-first-report-card-2019 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/six-things-to-pay-attention-to-on-the-first-report-card-2019 Huntington Learning Center Huntington Learning Center Your child has been back in school for a month or two by now, which means there’s an important milestone coming up: the first report card of the year. As Eileen Huntington of Huntington Learning Center explains, the first report card is telling and significant. “Parents should give the report card much more than a glance,” says Huntington. “This early ‘checkup’ shares a lot about how children are progressing in all subjects so far as well as how ready they were or weren’t for the grade.”

As you review your child’s first report card of the year, Huntington suggests paying careful attention to these six things:

  1. The grades – Grades are the most obvious sign of how your child is doing in school. Look at both the grades themselves and the change in grades from last year. Did your child end sixth grade math with an A but now has a B- at the start of seventh grade?
  2. Teacher comments about behavior – Read all remarks about your child’s academic attitude and classroom behavior. Does the teacher mention concern about responsibility, self-control, ability to work well with others, aggressiveness or anything else? Does the teacher commend your child for his or her work ethic, attitude or team effort?
  3. Areas of strength – Remember that the report card isn’t just a tool for identifying problems. Take note of positive comments about your child as well. Your teacher gets to know your child on a different level, after all. He or she might notice aspects of your child’s personality and performance that are special or exceed expectations.
  4. Marks or comments about study habits and organization – Good study skills are essential, and the further your child progresses in school, the more important they become. Look for any indicators about your child’s study habits and organizational/time management skills (or lack thereof).
  5. Areas of progress – It’s only the first report card of the year, but the teacher might have included measurements about your child’s progress toward grade-level standards for the year or the semester.
  6. Notes about potential – Straight As looks great, but you must read between the lines a little on report cards as well. Did your child forgo honors English for regular English, receiving an A+ on the report card? Just as you do not want your child to be overly challenged in school, you don’t want your child to lose opportunities to reach his or her potential. A conversation with the teacher might help you better assess whether your child is being appropriately pushed.

Huntington reminds parents that the report card is just one tool to help them support their children. “Being involved as a parent and communicating frequently with teachers is absolutely critical,” he/she says. “It’s also vital that you establish a good working relationship with your child regarding school. Set expectations and support your child as a student by asking about school often. And when questions about the report card do come up, have an open conversation with your child as well as any teachers or guidance counselors.”

If the first report card of the school year had a few unfortunate surprises or you have other concerns about your child’s academic performance, call Huntington—the earlier in the year, the better. School problems rarely go away. The longer they’re ignored, the harder it is for children to catch up and rebuild their self-esteem.

Contact 1-800 CAN LEARN to learn more about Huntington’s customized instructional programs for students of all ages.

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Seven Tips for Writing the Common Application Essay Many colleges require students to submit an essay using one of the Common Application essay prompts. For 2019-2020, there are seven prompts to choose from, one of which is to share an essay on any topic of the student’s choice.

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Wed, 30 Oct 2019 12:32:44 -0400 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/seven-tips-for-application-essays-2019 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/seven-tips-for-application-essays-2019 Huntington Learning Center Huntington Learning Center More than 800 colleges and universities in the United States use the Common Application, which keeps the entire application process organized. Many colleges require students to submit an essay using one of the Common Application essay prompts. For 2019-2020, there are seven prompts to choose from, one of which is to share an essay on any topic of the student’s choice—even one they have written for another essay prompt.

The other six essay prompts cover a range of topics:

  1. A student’s background, identity, interest or talent
  2. Lessons learned from obstacles, setbacks, and failures
  3. A time when a student questioned a belief or idea
  4. Problem(s) a student would like to solve (intellectual, research, ethical or other)
  5. An accomplishment, event or realization that sparked a period of personal growth
  6. A topic or idea the student finds engaging and captivating

While some teens might immediately gravitate to one of these topics, others find the process of writing an essay overwhelming. Here are seven tips to help your teen approach the task methodically and create a poignant, powerful essay:

  1. Read all prompts thoroughly. We described the Common Application’s 2019-2020 essay prompts briefly above, but the first thing your teen should do is read them in full— and allow some time for them to simmer. Encourage your teen to have a pencil on hand in case any possible ideas pop into his head right away.
  2. Develop a schedule. The essay takes time and finesse. Remind your teen that it should not be the task that she puts off until a couple of weeks before the application is due. Encourage your teen to put together a detailed timeline that allows sufficient time for outlining, multiple first drafts, editing, getting feedback from a teacher and/or you or another family member, revising and proofreading.
  3. Too often, teens run with a topic because it is the first one for which they had a tangible idea. Many students select the “choose a previous essay” topic because it seems easiest. Encourage your teen to build in some brainstorming time. The point of the essay, after all, is to share a little about who your teen is and the qualities he possesses that would be valuable to the colleges to which he’s applying.
  4. Put pen to paper. Or fingers to keyboard! The point is that your teen should let some ideas flow before trying to write or edit too much. Yes, an outline is important, but for many students, it’s easier to get a few ideas out before circling back to what they have to create a logical flow.
  5. Infuse some structure. As mentioned, an outline is important once your teen has a topic idea and a few thoughts going. Encourage your teen to plan out 1) the overarching desired takeaway 2) the “hook” at the beginning 3) the supporting details that articulate the values or traits about your teen he wants to share 4) the conclusion of the story that brings things full circle.
  6. Show, don’t tell. Your teen has anxiety and has learned how to manage it? He should show how rather than simply say so—perhaps he found peace in the yoga mat. Remind your teen that the details of the essay are what make it special and unique. Whatever he is trying to share about himself and his experience, he should do so by using specific, vivid examples vs. generalities that could sound like any other student.
  7. Re-read after setting it aside for at least a few days. That timeline your teen develops is important for several reasons, but a big one is that it allows for reflection time. Your teen needs to read a close-to-final draft of the essay with fresh eyes to check for important things like:
    • How it flows.
    • How readable it is.
    • Whether it is entertaining/interesting to read.
    • Whether it has any obvious clichés.
    • Whether it is memorable.

The college admissions essay might not make or break your teen’s application package, but it can certainly set your teen apart. Encourage your teen to approach it thoughtfully and give it her best effort. When she’s holding a college acceptance letter in her hands, the hard work will have been worth it.

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What Students Need to Know About Advanced Placement Exams Many high school students are probably aware of the terms “Advanced Placement®” or “AP®,” and of course, those taking AP® classes understand that the courses offer a challenge for high-achieving students.

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Tue, 29 Oct 2019 13:21:54 -0400 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/what-students-need-to-know-about-advanced-placement-exams-2019 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/what-students-need-to-know-about-advanced-placement-exams-2019 Huntington Learning Center Huntington Learning Center Many high school students are probably aware of the terms “Advanced Placement®” or “AP®,” and of course, those taking AP® classes understand that the courses offer a challenge for high-achieving students. But it’s worth reminding students important details about the AP® exams and how performing well on these exams could benefit them. Here are five things to share:

  1. AP® exams take place every May. Exams take place at high schools and exam centers only once a year. Students can get more details from the guidance counseling office.
  2. Students can take the exams more than once. If a student takes an exam and doesn’t earn their desired score, they can retake it. The student’s score report will include scores for all AP® exams taken unless the student requests that one be withheld.
  3. Exams are scored on a scale of 1 to 5. The final score for each AP® Exam offers a recommendation about how qualified students are to receive college credit and placement. Every college makes this decision differently. In 2018, the mean AP® exam score was 2.89.
  4. Students can get college credit or placement for good AP® scores. As mentioned, each college makes its own decisions about what scores receive credit or placement. Generally, students who earn a good score on an AP® exam might be able to skip a course that a college requires for its general education requirements.
  5. AP scores shouldn’t hurt a student’s chances for admission. Colleges consider a wide range of factors when admitting students, including the strength of their curriculum. So, while taking AP® classes should bolster the application, a low AP® exam score isn’t likely to harm an applicant’s admission prospects.

To learn more about AP scores and what they mean, students should meet with the guidance counselor at school and visit www.collegeboard.org.

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Teaching Children Financial Literacy as a Way to Build Practical Math Skills Before parents send their children off to college and into the real world, there are many skills they must ensure they have. One that is increasingly important, though not always top of mind, is that of financial literacy.

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Tue, 29 Oct 2019 13:02:14 -0400 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/financial-literacy-to-build-practical-math-skills-2019 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/financial-literacy-to-build-practical-math-skills-2019 Huntington Learning Center Huntington Learning Center Before parents send their children off to college and into the real world, there are many skills they must ensure they have. With so many academic skills taking front and center, Eileen Huntington of Huntington Learning Center says that financial literacy isn’t always top of mind for parents.

“Managing personal finances is a skill that children need in life,” Huntington says. “The great news is that when parents make the effort to educate their children about saving, budgeting, spending, credit and more, they’re also building their children’s practical math skills.” She offers parents these ideas:

  1. Open a savings account for your child. Take your child to the bank to open his or her first bank account. Show your child how to record deposits, withdrawals, and interest in the register and explain how compound interest works as the account grows. Check with the bank on whether they offer any handouts or workshops for children who are just starting to save and learn about money basics.
  2. Give an allowance. An allowance is one of the best ways to give children practical examples of what their relationship with money will be like in the future. Perhaps you can establish that different types of chores earn different wages and leave it up to your child how much money he or she wants to earn each week. Then, encourage your child to set aside money for saving, investing, and spending, and take him or her to the bank every month to make a deposit.
  3. Discuss the difference between saving and investing. Speaking of saving and investing, talk with your child about what each of these means. Explain that saving is setting aside money for safekeeping for the future while investing is trying to grow that money. Talk about the various ways to grow money. Explain how certain investments are riskier, and thus, earn greater returns. You might even share your monthly savings account statements vs. your monthly 401(k) statements to show your child the difference.
  4. Have your child help you update the family budget. If your family uses a budget—either a spreadsheet or through an app—have your child help you update it each week or month. Alternately, have your child create a budget of his or her own, starting with all income sources (e.g. allowance, birthday money, part-time job income) and listing out any expenses (e.g. clothes, gas money). Share a high-level version of your household budget and how you decide how much to save and invest every month.

Just as children need to think about career paths and their viability before they go to college, they also need to build their financial literacy. “When parents teach their children about budgeting, credit, income, and paying different expenses, they’re also strengthening their ‘money math’ knowledge, including concepts like decimals, percentages, and reasoning,” says Huntington. “These are skills children will put to use and appreciate in adulthood, and the earlier you teach these ideas, the better.”

For more information about Huntington’s math and other subject tutoring programs, call 1-800 CAN LEARN.

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Freshman Year Checklist to Get Ready for College High school is a brand-new experience for students, and it may take some time to adapt. One surprise for many students is the importance of getting off on the right foot and staying the course.

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Fri, 04 Oct 2019 08:53:59 -0400 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/freshman-year-checklist-before-college-2019 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/freshman-year-checklist-before-college-2019 Huntington Learning Center Huntington Learning Center High school is a brand-new experience for students, and it may take some time to adapt. One surprise for many students is the importance of getting off on the right foot and staying the course. Poor grades will haunt your teen later, as colleges look at the cumulative grade point average when considering applicants. In other words, your teen starts building that high school resume from day one of high school.

Here’s a freshman year checklist to keep you and your teen on track:

  • Talk about college. If you haven’t yet done so, freshman year is the time to start talking about the future, what it takes to get into college and what your teen might want to study. Frame up college as a given and encourage your teen to start laying the groundwork early.
  • Set goals. For some, the idea of college feels too far away. A tangible task that will help your child think about college and how to get there is setting specific, measurable goals for this year and beyond.
  • Start researching college majors. Discuss the possibilities. What subjects did your teen enjoy in middle school? What careers sound intriguing?
  • Start researching and visiting colleges. A little online research will help your teen start getting familiar with your state’s schools and any others. On breaks, visit those nearby if feasible. You can also check out the National Association for College Admission Counseling to learn about college fairs in your area. 

Here are this year’s to-dos that are your teen’s responsibility:

  • Focus on school. Freshman year is a big change. Your teen should work hard, stay organized, do all homework and reach out for help early when problems arise.
  • Visit the high school guidance counselor. Early in the year, have your teen pay a visit to the guidance counseling office. Those professionals can share information about college readiness tools used by their office (e.g. Naviance) and help your teen make a plan for high school.
  • Get involved. High school is full of opportunities! Have your teen check out clubs, sports and activities to start building that extracurricular resume and making the most of high school.
  • Become familiar with Advanced Placement (AP) classes and tests. Some high schools offer AP classes for freshmen. If this isn’t on your teen’s radar and should be, it’s a good idea to reach out to the AP coordinator to learn more.
  • Collect information about SAT Subject Tests. The guidance counselor’s office can give your teen information about SAT Subject Tests and which colleges typically recommend them.
  • Ask for help. If your teen struggles in the first month or two of high school, it’s important that he reach out to teachers for help.
  • Build up strengths. If your teen has big goals to go to a prestigious college or simply wants to advance in one or more subjects, it might be worthwhile to explore subject tutoring to help her capitalize on those strengths.
  • Explore summer learning opportunities. Your teen could use summer after freshman year to do a pre-college program or internship program for high school students. Even activities like community service are great ways to build a resume and start exploring career possibilities. 

Freshman year is pivotal. Make sure your teen starts off strong. If your teen needs SAT or ACT prep or general guidance on how to be successful in high school, call Huntington at 1-800 CAN LEARN. We’ll share more about our tutoring and exam prep programs and how you can support your child best.

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Tips to Become a Better Note Taker One of the most important study skills for high schoolers who will soon be college students is note-taking, which helps students succinctly capture what their teachers cover in class so that they can review that information more in depth later.

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Thu, 31 Oct 2019 14:57:14 -0400 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/tips-to-become-a-better-note-taker https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/tips-to-become-a-better-note-taker Huntington Learning Center Huntington Learning Center One of the most important study skills for high schoolers who will soon be college students is note-taking, which helps students succinctly capture what their teachers cover in class so that they can review that information more in-depth later. Good notes will help your student better process information when studying independently, thereby enhancing his or her learning. However, many teachers and college professors assume that students will learn this important skill on their own—so there’s a good chance that your teen will not receive explicit instruction on the topic in a class along the way.

Here are several tips to share with your student on how to take good notes that will support his or her learning:

Keep notes organized – Notes should be succinct and well organized. Your teen can take notes in a notebook or on index cards or use another system. Whatever method he or she prefers, the notes should contain enough information so he or she can quickly pull out the main points of the teacher’s lecture. If the teacher begins his or her lecture by stating four main areas he or she will discuss, your teen should write those down as a summary. Then, he or she can outline each of those areas with key points, additional resources that the teacher suggests reviewing later, phrases or words to study, and the like.

Record key points – When teachers lecture, they usually give verbal cues to students on important points and key ideas that they are trying to get students to understand. Your student should realize that it is less important to take down every word that a teacher says and more important to note topics that the teacher emphasizes. Students shouldn’t forget to jot down examples that support those points, too.

Pay attention to the teacher’s style. No two teachers present material exactly alike, so your teen will need to learn different note-taking strategies depending on his or her teacher’s approach. Some teachers may not write anything on the board and instead will only hint at the information they want students to pay particular attention to, while others may provide an outline of their lecture to guide students as they follow along.

Don’t stop listening. Many students may follow a teacher’s lead and jot down whatever he or she notes as the most important points, then tune out. However, your student should listen carefully as his or her teacher explains each of those points. Writing down a few additional thoughts may help your student check his or her understanding and will help him or her recall the information later.

Review and tidy notes within 24 hours. Taking notes only to set them aside until it’s time to take a test weeks later isn’t effective. A better strategy is to review those notes—along with the class textbook—within a day or two of class, which will help keep the material fresh and give your student an opportunity to clarify any abbreviations or unclear points he or she may have written down quickly. Cleaning up and/or rewriting class notes will also help your teen continually improve his or her note-taking abilities. 

As with any academic skill, it may take practice for your teen to become a skilled note taker, and he or she may create his or her own strategy and method that is different from those of classmates. Encourage your student to seek guidance from one or more teachers, too, as they may offer valuable suggestions on how to organize and best use notes. Most important is that your student finds an approach that helps him or her study—and learn—more effectively.

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Questions to Ask Your Students to Get Them Thinking About Post High School Education As a teacher, part of your job is to get your students thinking about the future. And while some high school students already know what they might like to study after high school, others don’t have that kind of direction.

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Wed, 02 Oct 2019 09:05:21 -0400 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/post-high-school-education-questions-2019 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/post-high-school-education-questions-2019 Huntington Learning Center Huntington Learning Center As a teacher, part of your job is to get your students thinking about the future. And while some high school students already know what they might like to study after high school, others don’t have that kind of direction.

You can help get your students’ wheels turning by asking the right questions. Here’s a shortlist to weave into class conversations throughout the school year:

  1. What do you do in your free time? For some students, that might include volunteering with children, playing a sport, or playing an instrument. Those activities could help your students identify what types of activities they enjoy, like working as part of a team or mentoring others.
  2. What topics get you excited? Encourage students to contemplate what topics, subjects, and current issues in the world pique their curiosity and make them feel energized. Those areas could be budding passions that later turn into career interests.
  3. What subjects are strengths? Students don’t always see how a subject translates into different career paths, but this is one of the best starting points for students without many ideas.
  4. What adults do you know who have cool-sounding jobs? An aunt who is an attorney or a family friend who owns a business are great resources. Encourage them to ask the adults they know what they do and what they like about it.
  5. What kind of lifestyle are you seeking? Too few students reflect on what is important to them in their life long-term when choosing career paths. It is early, but teens would still be smart to consider things like whether they want to travel or climb the career ladder as they weigh options.
  6. Do you like/dislike the idea of graduate school? Some jobs require advanced degrees, such as an attorney, doctor, or veterinarian. Students don’t need to decide on graduate school now, but it’s good to think ahead.
  7. Where do you see yourself after college? This is the ultimate college admissions interview question, so it’s good for students to ponder it throughout high school. Students might not have the answer figured out now, but pondering the question is worthwhile.
  8. Is a traditional four-year college the right fit? A post-secondary education program such as a vocational school prepares people to work as a technician or in various jobs such as a trade or a craft. If students are looking for more practical skills and a quicker pathway to the workforce, this might be the best choice.

No matter what subject you teach, your students will benefit from a little effort to prepare them for the future. That class time is definitely time well spent!

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Why Individualized Tutoring is More Effective Than Group Tutoring If you know your child could benefit from the help of a tutor, your next decision is what type of setting is going to be most effective Learn why individualized tutoring offers the greatest benefit.

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Tue, 01 Oct 2019 10:40:27 -0400 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/individualized-tutoring-vs-group-tutoring https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/individualized-tutoring-vs-group-tutoring Dr. Raymond Huntington Dr. Raymond Huntington You’ve seen several red flags, including a decline in grades and a poor report card. Maybe your child has asked you for homework help but you can tell your child has big skill gaps and you feel unequipped to help him or her close them. If you know your child could benefit from the help of a tutor, your next decision is what type of setting is going to be most effective: a one-to-one or group tutoring setting?

At Huntington, we are proponents of individualized tutoring for students for a variety of reasons:

  • One-to-one tutoring programs are customized for each student’s needs. In a one-to-one tutoring session, the teacher determines what to cover based on the student’s specific needs and goals. The curriculum is designed to address each student’s challenges. Sessions are built specifically around the student.
  • Students can’t get lost in the crowd. Just like in a classroom with many students, students in a larger group tutoring session can fade into the background by avoiding asking questions or engaging the teacher. Not so in an individualized tutoring program. Students get the help they need because they are the sole focus.
  • The programs scale according to students’ growth. Because an individual tutoring session is designed around each student’s areas of weakness, there’s no risk of students getting left behind. Tutors will not move ahead to a new concept without ensuring their students master the essential building block skills first.
  • Students learn more than just school skills. A quality subject tutoring program focuses on more than the academic skills your child needs for success. At Huntington, for example, we strive to help students boost their self-esteem and turn around any negative feelings they might have about school. Our goal is to help students become motivated self-starters who are confident in their abilities.

Signs it’s time for tutoring

So, when should you call Huntington? When the grades have fallen, of course, but here are several other signs your child needs personal tutoring help:

  • Your child lacks study skills. Watch for sloppy or incomplete notes from class and a haphazard approach to nightly homework. Take note if your child seems to make things harder on him or herself by succumbing to distractions or failing to set up good habits during homework and studying.
  • Homework takes way too long. Tasks that you know should be quick take a long time because your child gets distracted or easily confused. Observe how your child spends his or her time and how long it takes to get going when he or she sits down to do work.
  • Your child doesn’t care. If your child once enjoyed school and now seems lazy and apathetic about the idea of learning, there might be something going on behind the scenes. There’s a reason for that lack of effort. You need to find out what it is.
  • Your child’s typical nightly routine: avoid. If procrastination and avoidance have become the nightly norm, your child is probably be struggling with school material. Avoidance is easier than slogging through something difficult or asking for help.

Call 1-800 CAN LEARN to learn more about Huntington’s one-to-one student tutoring plans. We work with children of all ages to identify and target their areas of weakness so they can get back on track in school.

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Sophomore Year Checklist to Get Ready for College The second year of high school is when many students start thinking more seriously about college. While college applications are still a ways off, it is still important to keep an eye towards that goal. Read some helpful sophomore year tips

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Fri, 27 Sep 2019 10:07:37 -0400 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/sophmore-year-checklist-getting-ready-for-college https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/sophmore-year-checklist-getting-ready-for-college Huntington Learning Center Huntington Learning Center The second year of high school is when many students start thinking more seriously about college. Your teen won’t be filling out applications or anything just yet, but it’s important for you and your teen to stay on track with this sophomore year checklist:

  • Talk about the cost. It’s a good idea to begin researching scholarships and the cost of the colleges and universities of interest to your teen and discuss your family budget for college.
  • Start researching college majors. It’s not too early for you and your teen to talk about the possibilities. Open the floor—what subjects does your teen enjoy? What careers sound intriguing?
  • Start researching and visiting colleges. A little online research will help your teen start getting familiar with your state’s schools and any others on his or her mind that are further away. College fairs are an excellent way to explore as well. The National Association for College Admission Counseling hosts college fairs all over the country, and the guidance counselor is also a good resource for local college fairs or college visit days. 

Here are this year’s to-dos that are your teen’s responsibility:

  • Keep up the grades. If freshman year was a little tumultuous, your teen should consider getting individualized tutoring help. It’s important to turn things around quickly because your teen’s grades do matter in high school.
  • Register for the PreACT. This is essentially a practice ACT test for sophomores. Your teen can contact the guidance counselor to learn more about administration dates and if it is available in your area.
  • Register for the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT). Like the PreACT, this is a practice test for sophomores—and juniors—and it is also is the qualifier for National Merit Scholar programs and other scholarships. Your teen should talk with the guidance counselor to get PSAT dates.
  • Take Advanced Placement (AP) classes and exams. Sophomore year is often when more AP classes are available for students. If he or she hasn’t done so already, your teen should consult with the guidance counselor about classes and exam dates.
  • Cultivate good relationships with teachers. Your teen might be asking them for recommendation letters in the next year or two, so that sophomore year is a great time to start building those relationships.
  • Stay on top of SAT Subject Tests. Some colleges request/require them to show subject mastery, but many students mistakenly assume they should wait to take them as upperclassmen. Your teen should take them as soon after the corresponding class as possible. The guidance counselor can advise your teen on which, if any, to take.
  • Explore summer learning opportunities. Your teen should use the summer before their junior year to explore career possibilities or do something resume-building and productive. Maybe your teen wants to get involved in community service or start something entrepreneurial. Encourage him or her to get creative. 

If your teen could use tutoring, SAT or ACT prep, or general guidance on how to be the best high school student possible, call Huntington at 1-800 CAN LEARN. We’ll share more about our learning and exam prep programs and how to help your teen be successful in high school.

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Understanding Your Unmotivated Student You have a smart child who seemingly does not care about school. His or her grades are suffering, but he or she seems indifferent about making a change—despite the fact that your child knows that school is important. How can you help?

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Mon, 30 Sep 2019 14:50:00 -0400 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/understanding-your-unmotivated-student https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/understanding-your-unmotivated-student Huntington Learning Center Huntington Learning Center You have a smart child who seemingly does not care about school. His or her grades are suffering, but he or she seems indifferent about making a change—despite the fact that your child knows that school is important. Not only does he or she not put forth an effort, your child consistently shuns responsibility, procrastinates and seems incapable of working independently.

If any of this sounds like your student, you may be at a loss as to what to do. How can you help, and more importantly, how can you correct this behavior moving forward?

According to Bright Minds, Poor Grades, by Dr. Michael Whitley—a clinical psychologist specializing in motivational difficulties of children, adolescents and adults—underachieving students are unlikely to change on their own. The first step for parents to help their children overcome underachievement is to identify the personality characteristics that they lack—self-discipline, independence and a sense of responsibility, for example—as well as their patterns of underachieving behavior. How can you help your child become a motivated, independent student—whether he or she is a chronic procrastinator and or a social butterfly who considers school merely an opportunity to be with friends? Consider these tips, as derived from Dr. Whitley’s 10-step program to conquer underachievement:

  1. Establish trust. Let your child know that starting immediately, you expect the truth when it comes to school and grades. In return, you must avoid nagging and long lectures. Let your child know that your motivation is to help him or her become independent at school and capable of overcoming any issues that arise.
  2. Set goals. Have your child define specific goals for each of his or her classes—what grades does he or she want to receive? Accept your child’s goals, even if the bar is set low.
  3. Have your child lay out his or her game plan. Talk with your child honestly about how he or she plans to earn the “goal” grades. Get a clear picture of the study schedule he or she plans to adhere to, the steps your child thinks he or she must take, and more. Persevere even if your child seems apathetic about the discussion.
  4. Note any problems. What is standing in the way of your child achieving his or her goals? Talk about your child’s perspective on and attitude about those roadblocks. Ask for specific examples, but do not judge—simply gather the information.
  5. Make the connection between problems identified and goals set. Help your child see the patterns that result from certain behaviors and the relationship between problems and consequences.
  6. Develop a plan to solve the problems identified. Put your child in the driver’s seat. What ideas does he or she have to fix the problems that have led him or her in the past to experience school problems? What issues might arise to steer him or her off course? Have your child set the plan of action, including detailed steps.
  7. Review the plan thus far, including decisions, successes and failures. Ask your child to reiterate the steps of the plan, the setbacks that arise when he or she does not follow through or do his or her part, and the resulting consequences. Reiterating the plan helps your child recognize how his or her own decision making leads to success or failure.
  8. Talk about it. Have your child talk through his or her feelings about the plan forward. Remind him or her to feel proud each time he or she follows through on the plan developed. It is also okay for your child to feel conflicted or even annoyed about giving up the thing he or she wants (an activity or hanging out with a friend, for example) to meet the goals of his or her plan.
  9. Ask for a final recap. Have your child restate his or her commitment to doing what he or she has agreed to do.
  10. Take the time for follow-up. Did your child do what he or she is supposed to do to avoid the problems that have ailed him or her in the past? If not, what happened? Have your child walk you through the situation step by step. If the goal is to start homework before dinner, check-in each day. What happened in between coming home from school and dinner? By following up, your child will begin to notice how his or her decisions affect his or her goal achievement. Slowly but surely, your child will learn to recognize his or her tendencies and take responsibility for them.

If you suspect that your child may lack some of the skills necessary to succeed in school, it is important to address the issue right away. Your child may need targeted help to address problem areas so that he or she is capable of performing at grade level. If you need help, call Huntington to discuss our academic evaluation and one-to-one programs for students of all ages. 

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Eight Great Brain Break Ideas Did you know that brain breaks are proven to improve student productivity, problem solving, and overall attention? Here are eight brain break ideas to incorporate into your classroom routine when your students need to refocus and reenergize.

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Wed, 25 Sep 2019 08:32:13 -0400 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/eight-great-brain-break-ideas-2019 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/eight-great-brain-break-ideas-2019 Huntington Learning Center Huntington Learning Center Did you know that brain breaks are proven to improve student productivity, problem solving, and overall attention? Here are eight brain break ideas to incorporate into your classroom routine when your students need to refocus and reenergize:

  1. Do yoga stretches. Put on some soothing music and lead students through a few stretches and breathing exercises. Shoulder circles, cat and cow, tree, and ragdoll are some simple moves that will get your students revitalized.
  2. Flip water bottles. Keep a few half-full water bottles around for your tween and teen students, who are probably familiar with the bottle-flipping trend that overtook the internet over the last few years. Clear a few desks and line up in rows to have your students try to flip and land water bottles upright.
  3. Go outside. If you have a little more time for a break, take the class outdoors for some vitamin D. Lead them through a few group exercises like jumping jacks or just let them relax and talk.
  4. Bust out the beach ball. Keep a blown-up beach ball on hand and have students toss it around, challenging them to keep it from touching the ground or walls. Better yet, make that three beach balls to keep airborne.
  5. Line up by ____. Get students interacting and moving by giving a criterion and having them line up in order. For example, your students could line up by height, age, or alphabetical order of first or last name.
  6. Play Simon Says. Have everyone stand up and play this classic, and make it fun and active. For example, “Simon says take five big steps across the room on your knees. Simon says try touching your foot to somewhere above your waist.”
  7. Play Human Knot. Divide up into groups of five or six, have everyone put one hand into the circle to grab the hand of someone else, and then do the same with their other hand. The goal: untie the knot without letting go.
  8. Stand up. Short on time? Have everyone stand up. Let your students move around and socialize or start a conversation by asking what TV shows your students are watching or what they’re doing over the weekend.

Sometimes, the best way to engage your students is to give them a quick break. You’ll build camaraderie and boost their brain functions at the same time. Ready, break!

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Junior Year Checklist to Get Ready for College Fri, 20 Sep 2019 08:39:06 -0400 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/junior-year-checklist-to-prepare-for-college-2019 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/junior-year-checklist-to-prepare-for-college-2019 Huntington Learning Center Huntington Learning Center In the journey toward college, junior year is pivotal. This is when your teen should start buckling down and doing serious work to get ready: registering for college entrance exams, preparing for those exams, researching college options and much more. There’s plenty to do between now and next summer. Here’s a checklist to keep you and your teen on track:

  • Schedule a time to talk with the guidance counselor. This goes for both of you. The guidance counselor likely has a list of college to-dos and deadlines for the school year. Your teen should also discuss the best classes to take to stay on the right course for college.
  • Take your teen to college fairs. The National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC) College Fairs all around the country are a great option to learn more about different colleges and universities and their campus lives, majors and more. The NACAC website says each fair draws representatives from 175 to 400 colleges.
  • Start having more serious conversations about what your teen seeks in a college. Your teen should approach the college conversation with diligence and care. Discuss the aspects of college that might matter to your teen, including location, student body size, variety of majors and campus life.
  • Talk about the cost. Now is the time to begin researching college scholarships and financial aid. The U.S. Department of Education’s Federal Student Aid website is a great resource, as are the websites of the colleges’ financial aid offices.

And here are several to-dos that are your teen’s responsibility

  • Sign up for the PSAT/NMSQT in October. Registration is handled through the guidance counselor. More information is available at www.collegeboard.com.
  • Discuss and sign up for any Advanced Placement (AP) classes. Your teen should talk with the school AP coordinator about upcoming dates for AP exams and which, if any, to take.
  • Visit the guidance counselor. This is the year when your teen must stay in good contact with the guidance counselor, who can keep share what is on the horizon for college and make sure your teen is doing everything needed.
  • Register for the SAT and/or ACT. Spring before senior year is a good time to take these exams for the first time, but your teen might even want to do so in the fall. Upcoming SAT 2019-2020 dates are October 5, November 2, December 7, March 14, May 2 and June 6. Upcoming ACT dates are October 26, December 14, February 8, April 4, June 13 and July 18, 2020.
  • Develop an SAT/ACT prep plan. Now that your teen is an upperclassman, it will take discipline to find time to study for the SAT/ACT. This must be a priority, though, so encourage your teen to call Huntington. We offer three levels of exam prep: premier, 32-hour and 14-hour programs.
  • Make a list of colleges of interest. Early junior year, your teen should make a list of colleges and start doing some research (some might even be at career fairs or high school campus visit days this school year). Then, your teen can narrow this list throughout the year before doing more intensive exploration the summer before senior year.
  • Keep a list of important milestones from high school. These poignant moments and turning points in your teen’s high school experience might come in handy when it’s time to start applying to colleges and working on the personal essay for those that require one.
  • Create a resume. Your teen will continue to add to the resume graduation nears, but it’s a good year to start putting one together in anticipation of applying to colleges.
  • Build good relationships with teachers, coaches or other mentors. Your teen should make letter of recommendation requests early senior year, if not sooner. Remind your teen that letters are best written by teachers and others who can confidently speak to your teen’s abilities, ethics, character and more. If your teen doesn’t have strong relationships with teachers yet, this is the year to cultivate them.

Want to help your teen navigate the college research process successfully? Need help getting your teen prepared for the SAT/ACT, SAT Subject or Advanced Placement exams? Call Huntington at 1-800 CAN LEARN to learn more about our learning and exam prep programs.

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How to Uncover Learning Problems and Help Correct Them Mon, 30 Sep 2019 14:39:00 -0400 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/uncover-learning-problems-and-correct-them https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/uncover-learning-problems-and-correct-them Huntington Learning Center Huntington Learning Center “I hate school.”

If you’ve ever heard those three words come out of your child’s mouth, you’ve probably felt sad and helpless—wondering what you can do to make things easier for your child. However, what you may not fully understand is the meaning behind and complexity of your child’s declaration.  For many children, academic struggles tend to snowball into a variety of other problems, such as self-esteem and behavioral issues and more.

What’s actually going on

In his book, “Why Don’t Students Like School?” cognitive scientist Dan Willingham discusses how the mind works and what it means for the classroom—and notes that “if schoolwork is always just a bit too difficult for a student, it should be no surprise that she doesn’t like school much.” For students to enjoy school more, Willingham says, they must consistently experience the satisfaction that comes with successfully solving a problem. Without the proper foundational skills, however, students are ill-equipped to do so. 

Children are naturally curious, but it’s also a natural inclination to give in to frustration, tune out and give up if schoolwork is too difficult for them. Certainly, each child’s circumstances are different, but most school problems can be attributed to a child becoming disengaged with and/or overwhelmed by the work that is expected of them. And as problems persist, children feel hopeless that they will ever be capable of doing better.

Discovering the problem

While it is important to communicate with your student and his or her teacher, it may take deeper digging to get a good understanding of what exactly is causing your child to struggle. You’ll need to identify specifics about your child’s academic performance, then analyze further.

For example, if reading is hard for your child, it’s important to pinpoint what skill gaps are causing him or her to fall behind grade level. Is your student struggling to differentiate and hear individual letters and letter blends? Or is the problem spelling and vocabulary? At Huntington Learning Center, teachers perform an academic evaluation of every student, which provides detailed information about a student’s academic strengths and weaknesses and is a starting point for instruction.

Correcting the problem

Unfortunately, there is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all approach to tutoring. Therefore, targeted instruction is the best method. You will have the best chance of success in helping your child succeed in school if you pinpoint and correct the specific underlying challenges.

Keep in mind that it may take time for such a program to yield results. Your child will need to put in the effort and you will need to keep in touch with your child’s teacher, tutor and your child. It may surprise you, but your child may even welcome the assistance, as he or she will finally be able to get the help he or she needs.

If you continue to hear your child complaining about school, don’t wait to seek help. The sooner you step in and develop a plan of action, the sooner your child will be able to catch up in class, raise those grades and boost his or her confidence.

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What You Need to Know About Project-Based Learning Have you heard about project-based learning? Edutopia defines it as “a dynamic classroom approach in which students explore real-world problems and challenges and acquire a deeper knowledge.” This innovative methodology encourages students to think on their feet and collaborate to produce projects that present what they learned.

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Wed, 18 Sep 2019 13:16:10 -0400 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/what-you-need-to-know-about-project-based-learning https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/what-you-need-to-know-about-project-based-learning Huntington Learning Center Huntington Learning Center Have you heard about project-based learning? Edutopia defines it as “a dynamic classroom approach in which students explore real-world problems and challenges and acquire a deeper knowledge.” This innovative methodology encourages students to think on their feet and collaborate to produce projects that present what they learned.

Sound intriguing? Here are a few things you should keep in mind:

  • It requires preparation. Project-based learning is student-led, but it requires a lot from you as the teacher. Projects you assign should be open-ended, but you must ensure that the problems or questions you have students work on are tied to content standards and establish clear learning goals.
  • You’ll achieve the best results when projects connect to the real world. Pose a complex question or challenge, and then let your students loose. Think of the project as something that might take place in the workplace. Your students must engage in critical thinking and communication and work together to come up with a solution.
  • It’s best to get students involved in the creation. Sam Houston State University’s Center for Project-Based Learning explains that students find projects to be “more meaningful if they play a creative role in the construction and planning” of them. Take on the role of facilitator. You’ll see your students transform.

Project-based learning puts students in positions where they apply classroom knowledge to their lives and the problems they will face in the real world. There are many resources out there to learn more, including Edutopia, Buck Institute for Education’s PBLWorks, and Sam Houston State University’s Center for Project-Based Learning, among others. Do your research and get started!

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Six Valuable School Resources for Parents and Children Thu, 19 Sep 2019 12:07:55 -0400 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/six-valuable-school-resources-for-parents-and-children-2019 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/six-valuable-school-resources-for-parents-and-children-2019 Huntington Learning Center Huntington Learning Center Every school year has its ups and downs. When your child is struggling, you may feel overwhelmed and unsure of what to do to help. Eileen Huntington of Huntington Learning Center reminds parents that there are many resources available right in their child’s school. “Obviously parents know that they should reach out to the teacher when school becomes difficult for their child, but there are many other staff members at a school whose job it is to nurture students’ development,” Huntington says. Here are six valuable school resources for both parents and children:

  1. Guidance counseling office – The guidance counselor provides academic, personal and post-graduate advising services. That includes crisis intervention, helping students work through social issues, drug and alcohol intervention, and counseling for students who are dealing with personal matters. It also includes helping high school students select the right course load and prepare for post-secondary education and their careers and giving them advice and information about standardized tests, the ACT and SAT, the Advanced Placement program and other exams.
  2. Mental health team – Mental health teams in schools often include school psychologists, nurses, social workers, and other staff. Generally, these teams are intended to meet the needs of the whole student. Every school district is different, but you can expect this team to offer guidance on things like identifying educational disabilities, intervening with serious mental health issues, and more.
  3. Special education – Special education serves students who might have an Individual Education Plan or qualify for other special education or 504 services. This team will support the needs of students who have developmental delays, emotional disorders and other learning challenges.
  4. Technology team – Technology and the internet are integral to student learning. Your school’s technology teacher or department is a great resource for both students and parents. This department might host classes or webinars on topics such as internet and social media safety, bridging the technology gap between home and school, and how parents can support today’s learners in the digital age.
  5. Gifted/talented services– Students who stand out as having exceptional abilities and potential for academic achievement might be identified as gifted and talented and referred to this school specialist team. Working with your child's teacher, this team will foster your child’s learning and growth. If your child is identified as such, you’ll want to get to know this individual or office, as they can work with you on how to best support your advanced learner at home.
  6. Resource center for families – Some school districts around the country cultivate and develop student achievement through a resource center for families. Ask your school whether such a resource center exists, as it might offer parent development and training programs, parent groups, educational resources, instructional services for students and families, and more.

As a parent, you want to help your child flourish in school as much as possible. “Take advantage of the resources at your school,” says Huntington “After all, they are there for the benefit of your child.”

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Senior Year Checklist to Get Ready for College If your teen graduates next spring and intends to go to college, there’s a lot for your teen to do this school year (in addition to keeping up those grades, of course).

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Fri, 13 Sep 2019 16:45:28 -0400 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/senior-year-checklist-to-get-ready-for-college-2019 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/senior-year-checklist-to-get-ready-for-college-2019 Huntington Learning Center Huntington Learning Center This is it: the culmination of high school! If your teen graduates next spring and intends to go to college, there’s a lot for your teen to do this school year (in addition to keeping up those grades, of course). Here’s a checklist to keep you and your teen on track:

  • Fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). You and your teen should complete this form as soon as possible after October 1. Check with the colleges to which your teen is applying to confirm their college financial aid deadlines.
  • Review the Student Aid Report (SAR). The SAR will arrive via email within a couple of weeks of submitting the FAFSA. This is what colleges your teen listed on the FAFSA use to determine eligibility for financial aid. It’s essential that you make any necessary corrections to the information on this report as quickly as possible on the FAFSA website.
  • Explore an SAT or ACT prep class. If your teen is intent on improving that SAT or ACT score, Huntington can help. Check out our SAT prep and ACT prep programs for students who seek to improve on one or more SAT/ACT sections or raise their overall score. 

While the above tasks involve both you and your teen, here are several to-dos that are your teen’s responsibility:

  • Visit the guidance counselor. There’s so much to keep track of during senior year. The guidance counseling office is a great resource for information. Encourage your teen to stop by early in the school year to ensure your family is on track with all college-related tasks.
  • Register for the SAT or ACT one final time. If your teen wants to raise a score, fall is the best opportunity to do so before college deadlines come up. The February ACT exam is a last-chance option as well, depending on colleges’ application deadlines (the SAT isn’t offered in January or February).
  • Register for all required tests. Those include the SAT, ACT, Subject Tests and Advanced Placement exams.
  • Narrow the list of colleges. Your teen should decide on the top colleges on his or her list and collect all important information, such as application deadlines, application requirements (e.g. letters of recommendation or admissions essays) and scholarship/financial aid deadlines.
  • Request any letters of recommendation. Colleges that require such letters will expect them with your teen’s application package, so it is important for your teen to make such requests of teachers/counselors as early in the school year as possible.
  • Work on the essay. If a college requires it, your teen should give the admissions essay sufficient time and attention. It’s best to have a teacher review and edit the essay before it goes into the application package.
  • Start completing all applications in the fall. Early decision/early action deadlines can be as soon as November 1. Regular application deadlines tend to vary, but could also come as soon as January.
  • Assemble a list of all scholarship possibilities and start applying. Many scholarship deadlines fall between October and March, so by mid-fall semester, your teen should begin submitting those applications. Read our blog post on how to tackle the scholarship search.
  • Review acceptances and make a decision. Together, you and your teen should review and compare financial aid packages when they arrive in the late winter/early spring and discuss what college is the best fit from a financial perspective. Then, your teen must make his or her decision based on the factors of most importance (those might include location, field of study and cost) and notify his or her college of choice.

Need help getting your teen prepared for the SAT/ACT, SAT Subject or Advanced Placement exams? Want to help your teen finish high school with a strong report card? Call Huntington at 1-800 CAN LEARN to learn more about our learning and exam prep programs.

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Four Tips to Boost the Quality of Your Teaching There’s no question that teaching is an art. It takes time to get into a good routine, but it’s important to continually refine your methods.

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Fri, 13 Sep 2019 17:27:27 -0400 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/four-tips-to-boost-the-quality-of-your-teaching-2019 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/four-tips-to-boost-the-quality-of-your-teaching-2019 Huntington Learning Center Huntington Learning Center There’s no question that teaching is an art. It takes time to get into a good routine, but it’s important to continually refine your methods. Here are four tips for how to boost the quality and effectiveness of your teaching:

  1. Focus on essential college skills. Your students need skills like critical thinking and perseverance just as much as subject-matter knowledge. Take time every day to teach your students how to analyze, discuss, think at a higher level, and problem-solve. The lasting impact will help your students far beyond their time in your classroom.
  2. Ask for feedback. Your best source of information about how you’re doing is your students. Establish an open dialogue with them to solicit feedback on your approaches to different topics. Ongoing informal feedback on what is and isn’t working will help you make tweaks throughout the year (rather than waiting until any formal end-of-semester assessments).
  3. Solicit peer feedback. Even if your school does not have a formal peer-teacher feedback program, you can ask trusted colleagues to observe your teaching and offer their comments on areas where you are most effective and where you could improve. Administrator reviews are valuable, of course, but evaluations from your peers might offer new insights.
  4. Continue to seek new knowledge. Talk to your colleagues about what they’re doing in their classrooms. Follow education blogs for fresh ideas. When selecting professional development courses, choose carefully, focusing on those that will ignite your fire and help you learn new skills and grow as a teacher.

You hold your students to a high standard. Set the bar high for yourself as well! The impact will be noticeable, and your students will reap the benefits.

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Six Reasons Your Teen Might Need Huntington this School Year For some students, learning doesn’t come easy. School and homework are daily frustrations and a major source of stress at home. And the further these students get in the school year, the worse the problems become.

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Fri, 13 Sep 2019 16:23:38 -0400 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/six-reasons-your-teen-might-need-huntington-this-school-year https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/six-reasons-your-teen-might-need-huntington-this-school-year Huntington Learning Center Huntington Learning Center For some students, learning doesn’t come easy. School and homework are daily frustrations and a major source of stress at home. And the further these students get in the school year, the worse the problems become.

Sound familiar? It might be time to get help for your student. Here are six reasons your teen might need Huntington this year:

  1. To pinpoint and correct problems – Taking a broad-brush approach to fixing school issues will not be effective long term. At Huntington, we don’t believe in one-size-fits-all tutoring. All programs are customized to meet the unique needs of each student. Our teachers start by pinpointing teen’s precise areas of weakness so that we can develop programs that correct those areas.
  2. To close the skill gaps – Your teen brings home a bad test grade or poor report card, but what’s really going on? There are likely many contributors, but skill gaps are a common issue we see at Huntington. Skill gaps occur when teens are missing important knowledge that they need to progress in a subject. For example, geometry problems will prove difficult for a teen who still struggles with basic algebra and other skills reaching back to middle school. We identify these gaps through an Academic Evaluation, then build an individualized learning program.
  3. To facilitate an attitude change – When school isn’t going well, many students become pessimistic about learning altogether. Huntington’s primary goal is to help children make substantial gains in school, but our learning programs are about more than that. Our teachers will identify the root cause of your teen’s learning difficulties and tackle them one by one. The more we guide your teen toward success, the better she feels—and the faster she lets go of those negative emotions. With college on the horizon, bolstering this type of persistence and independence as a learner is very important.
  4. To give your teen a boost in motivation – All children have periods in school where they lose steam temporarily, but if your teen has seemed less and less engaged in school for a while, tutoring can make a big difference. For some, the lack of motivation stems from frustration and embarrassment. It’s easier to give up than continue to fail. For others, homework that is too difficult—because they lack the skills to complete it—seems pointless. No matter the source of the problem, Huntington can help. As your teen gears up for college-level academics, we’ll help your teen become more engaged and motivated to learn and push him or herself.
  5. To help your teen feel happy again – When school is challenging, it’s very easy for teens to experience a range of emotions. Some become highly self-critical and lose self-esteem, while others shut down completely. A tutoring program tailored to your teen’s needs can transform him for the better into a confident, enthusiastic student who is eager to learn and eager to go on to college.
  6. To set your teen on the path to lifelong success – You might think of tutoring as a short-term fix, but the benefits your teen will gain in the Huntington program will last a lifetime—into college and beyond. Your teen will emerge as a more optimistic student who perseveres when faced with any challenge and isn’t afraid to self-advocate. That alone is worth the investment.

If last school year was difficult for your teen or you simply want to help your teen get off to a great start this year as college nears, call Huntington at 1-800 CAN LEARN. We help students of all ages fulfill their potential in school and life and can do the same for your teen.

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Great Apps for Teachers Teaching in the digital age certainly has its advantages. There are many apps out there for everything from math to science, class communication to language arts. 

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Fri, 13 Sep 2019 17:18:49 -0400 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/great-apps-for-teachers-2019 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/great-apps-for-teachers-2019 Huntington Learning Center Huntington Learning Center Teaching in the digital age certainly has its advantages. You can teach digitally native students in a format with which they’re very comfortable, connect with students outside of the classroom, keep your class organized, and much more.

There are many apps out there for everything from math to science, class communication to language arts. Here are a few to check out:

ClassDojoClassDojo is a communication app for teachers, parents, and students. It has tools for giving directions, playing class music that fits any activity (focus or free time), generating student groups, monitoring class noise, encouraging collaboration, and more.

Blackboard – Blackboard’s app, Bb Student, lets students view their prioritized events and actions, visualize their course timeline and important information, access their grades in real-time, engage in real-time video conferencing or chats, and much more.

Seesaw – Seesaw makes it easy for you to have a handle on what your students are learning and how they are progressing toward school goals while engaging parents in their learning. Students can save portfolios of their work that you share with parents. You can keep those portfolios over a student’s entire career to track their progress and keep a record of their learning.

Kahoot! – Kahoot! lets you create and share learning games with your students. You can make your own or search its database for other Kahoots to play or alter, and assign Kahoots as part of homework.

Remind – Remind is a simple way to communicate with your students and parents. You can send home updates for parents and encourage students to reach out to you via the two-way messaging feature.

Looking for other great apps? Reach out to your school district’s technology department for recommended apps with which they might be familiar.

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Preparing Your Child for Back to School Success Going back to school does not have to be stressful for your child. In fact, a little effort now makes the transition easier—and your child will feel more motivated and ready to make it a great school year.

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Fri, 13 Sep 2019 14:51:17 -0400 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/preparing-your-child-for-back-to-school-success-2019 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/preparing-your-child-for-back-to-school-success-2019 Dr. Raymond Huntington Dr. Raymond Huntington Going back to school does not have to be stressful for your child. In fact, a little effort now makes the transition easier—and your child will feel more motivated and ready to make it a great school year. Here are suggestions on how to prepare your child for going back to school this fall:

  • Plan a few fun outings to gear up. Take your child out to lunch and to shop for school supplies and a first day of school outfit or two. Sometimes, picking out a backpack and new school supplies makes things fun, helping children ease into the idea of school.
  • Spend time setting goals for the fall semester. At Huntington, we often talk with students about the importance of goal setting. This process helps children get into the right frame of mind for learning and focused on working hard toward the future. Encourage your child to reflect on last year and think about what to could improve this year. Have him or her write down those goals and a few steps to take to reach them.
  • For high school students, talk about college. Help your teen keep the big picture in mind by having regular conversations about higher education and career plans. What does your teen find interesting from an academic and career standpoint? Discuss visiting their guidance counselor early this fall to ensure your teen is aware of and on the right track with all of the college to-dos.
  • Talk about the importance of staying organized. Organization is the key to doing well in school, and it all starts with developing a good system for keeping track of homework and test and project dates. If you have a younger child, consider a simple homework notebook, while a student planner or smartphone planner app might work best for your middle or high schooler.
  • Remind your child about good time management practices. If your child has gotten a little lax with any sort of routine over summer break, it’s time to start discussing what a typical school day will look like. Together, start putting important dates on the family calendar, such as school orientation and back to school night. As the school year gets underway, have your child show you how he or she will block off time in the hourly schedule of his or her planner and record important dates and deadlines.
  • Encourage your child to advocate for him or herself. You’ll do your child a big favor if you teach him or her how to communicate well with teachers and peers. The sooner your child takes ownership of his or her education, the more equipped your child will be to address problems correctly with the help of you and teachers.
  • Be enthusiastic. Be a good role model for optimism. Remind your child of the great parts about school, whether that’s seeing friends again, making new ones or getting back into a daily routine. Be positive and frame up the new school year as an opportunity for growth, learning and adventure.

Need more guidance on how to prepare your child for back to school success? Contact the Huntington team for more back to school ideas. We will share our best back to school tips, plus more about how Huntington’s one-to-one learning programs will help your child be efficient and effective with homework and studying and achieve his or her potential.

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Getting Your Child Ready for Middle School The move from elementary to middle school can feel like an enormous leap to a child and includes a variety of academic, social and other changes. Read about some tips to ease the transition.

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Mon, 23 Sep 2019 13:30:04 -0400 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/getting-your-child-ready-for-middle-school https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/getting-your-child-ready-for-middle-school Huntington Learning Center Huntington Learning Center The start of a brand new school year is always a little exciting, yet anxious, for most students, but if your child is about to begin middle school—or already has— it may be even more so. The move from elementary to middle school can feel like an enormous leap to a child and includes a variety of academic, social and other changes. Here are six tips to prepare your child for a smooth transition to middle school and set the stage for a great year—and overall middle school experience:

  1. Promote organizational skills. Work with your child to establish and maintain a solid organizational system. If your child has historically kept a messy desk, room or backpack (or all of the above), it’s important to correct those bad habits by creating some ground rules on keeping the desk tidy, where schoolwork goes when it comes home and where to keep important school paperwork. Remember: your child may take up to eight different classes with eight different teachers. That means significantly more homework and paperwork to keep track of. Good organization is critical in middle school.
  2. Work on time management. In middle school, your child will be expected to manage his or her own schedule, which means keeping track of assignments, handing in homework on time and more. Teach your child to use a planner or notebook to write down each day’s to-dos and responsibilities and keep track of longer assignments. At home, keep a family calendar in an accessible place and encourage your child to write important due dates, activities and other obligations on it.
  3. Teach your child to prioritize. Along with time management is the essential ability to prioritize. In addition to requiring much more from your child academically, middle school offers many new social and extracurricular opportunities. It may be difficult for your student to decide what to get involved with, so help him or her learn to set goals and rank priorities from the very first day of school. During homework time, your student should make a list of the most important tasks in order to keep him or her focused and on task. When it comes to choosing outside activities, have him or her create a schedule that allows sufficient time for homework and sleep and teach him or her now that it is important not to overcommit oneself to too many things.
  4. Hand over the reins. Like many well-meaning parents, up to this point in your child’s school career, you may have helped him or her stay organized on all fronts by giving frequent reminders and other help. Now is the time to communicate to your child that just like you have a job, his or her job is school. Your child must take ownership of his or her school work and grades, and he or she must understand that the choices he or she makes will have consequences—good or bad.
  5. Help your child discover how he or she learns best. Middle school is a time for your child to more closely examine how he or she learns. Perhaps your child has already begun to think about this in elementary school, but if not, help him or her recognize what subjects and lessons are easier and harder and why. Talk about the various learning styles and help your child begin to appreciate his or her own preferences. Knowing this information will help him or her greatly as he or she begins to take a more active role in his or her education and learning.

Encourage your child to speak up. Middle school teachers are charged with helping students become more independent, critical thinkers and inspiring them to be engaged learners. Your child will gain the most from his or her middle school experience if he or she puts effort toward getting to know his or her teachers and showing initiative in the classroom. He or she can do this by asking questions, seeking help after school and being an active participant in the classroom.

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Four Tips to Engage Your Students in a Brand-New School Year There’s a lot to do as you prepare for a new school year: getting the classroom ready, organizing your materials and plans, and brainstorming the best ways to engage your students both behaviorally and cognitively.

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Fri, 13 Sep 2019 17:08:56 -0400 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/engage-your-students-in-a-brand-new-school-year https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/engage-your-students-in-a-brand-new-school-year Huntington Learning Center Huntington Learning Center There’s a lot to do as you prepare for a new school year: getting the classroom ready, organizing your materials and plans, and brainstorming the best ways to engage your students both behaviorally and cognitively. Here are a few tips as you design this year’s learning activities:  

  1. Share what you learned over summer. Your positive attitude can have a big influence on your students. Come in excited and your enthusiasm will inevitably rub off on them. Spend time developing a list of your takeaways from any recent professional development or personal projects that pertain to student learning. What are you eager to share with students this year?
  2. Give students some control. Empower your students by telling them that they are in charge of their learning. As the school year gets underway, start setting goals and have students come up with their own, as well as steps to achieve them. When possible, invite ideas and input. Rather than dictate, encourage dialogue.
  3. Guide students toward competence. The more you can guide your students toward success, the more motivated they will become. You cannot control students’ work ethic, but you can provide clear, well-thought-out direction in class and offer support and encouragement as students work toward skill mastery. Nurturing students’ sense of competence helps them feel more engaged in the next task.
  4. Commit to building good relationships. Show your students you care. Make your classroom a place where they feel like they belong and are treated fairly. Most of all, make it your class mantra that improvement and learning something new (and not simply obtaining high grades) is success.

This year, refine your student-centered instructional approach to promote higher student engagement. You’ll see your students become more focused and willing to participate, which will result in a richer class experience and greater levels of student success.

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Six Scholarship Resources Your Teen Should Check Out If you have a high school junior or senior who is about to start applying to colleges, cost and financial aid might be top of your mind. One of the best ways to lower the cost of college, of course, is by earning scholarships—and the more your teen applies, the greater chance he has of securing some scholarship money.

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Fri, 13 Sep 2019 16:05:47 -0400 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/six-scholarship-resources-your-teen-should-check-out https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/six-scholarship-resources-your-teen-should-check-out Huntington Learning Center Huntington Learning Center If you have a high school junior or senior who is about to start applying to colleges, cost and financial aid might be top of your mind. One of the best ways to lower the cost of college, of course, is by earning scholarships—and the more your teen applies, the greater chance he has of securing some scholarship money. Here are several scholarship resources to explore: 

  1. High school guidance counselor – Hopefully your teen’s high school encourages students to meet regularly with the counseling office—and you should do the same. Doing so helps your teen stay apprised of all things college, including scholarship tools your teen can use to research and apply for scholarships. Guidance counselors have lots of experience helping students find and get scholarships. They are also the best source of information about local scholarship programs, community foundations and other resources that you won’t learn about on the scholarship search engine websites. 
  1. Teachers – Your teen shouldn’t assume that her teachers are solely focused on what happens inside their classrooms. They are connected to the local and national education community and might know more than your teen realizes about scholarships and how to get them. When the time comes, your teen should also lean on her teachers to review and edit her application essays and write recommendation letters for scholarship and college applications. 
  1. College websites – Just as your teen should stay in touch with guidance counselors and teachers and visit the high school website regularly to ensure he’s up-to-date on local scholarships, it’s a good idea to check out colleges’ financial aid pages for information on any merit-based scholarships. If your teen is certain about his major, make sure he visits the department or school section of the website too to look into any field-of-study scholarships. A direct phone call is also worthwhile. 
  1. Fastweb – Fastweb gives students access to its database of more than 1.5 million scholarships worth $3.4 billion in funding. Your teen simply creates a profile and the site matches her with scholarships for which she might be a candidate. She can also manage deadlines and keep track of applications. 
  1. Big Future – This is the College Board’s scholarship search platform, which offers much more than a scholarship search engine: financial aid information, a college comparison tool, a tool to help students explore careers and majors, and more. But the scholarship engine is searchable by scholarship category and lets users filter categories by a variety of criteria (ethnicity, GPA, test scores, etc.). Big Future has access to scholarships, financial aid and internships from more than 2,200 programs, totaling nearly $6 billion in funding. 
  1. Cappex – The name Cappex originates from the phrase “College Application Exchange,” and the database connects students to colleges that might be a good fit based on various recruitment criteria. It matches students with eligible scholarships from its multi-billion-dollar database and provides them with direct links to apply. Teens can also search for scholarships manually by category to uncover scholarships that might still be a good fit, even if their profile doesn’t show it. 

The students who put in the time are the ones who are the most successful with securing scholarship money. Encourage your teen to treat the scholarship search—and the college application process—like his job during the last half of high school. His chances of success will go up significantly, and the effort will definitely be worth it.

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Avoiding the Pitfalls of Group Classwork Fri, 13 Sep 2019 17:01:55 -0400 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/avoiding-the-pitfalls-of-group-classwork https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/avoiding-the-pitfalls-of-group-classwork Huntington Learning Center Huntington Learning Center Despite your best intentions and careful preparation, sometimes group assignments go haywire. Maybe your students don’t work well together. Perhaps your efforts to foster collaboration don’t always translate to student productivity. Here are a few common pitfalls of group classwork and tips to avoid these issues:

  • Pitfall: Uneven workload. There’s no getting around it: some students put more work into group projects than others. You can avoid this problem by setting clear expectations upfront. Elementary students might do best with assigned roles, while older students should work from a group grading rubric that includes guidelines for sharing the duties. Try incorporating anonymous peer reviews into the project so students know they’ll be assessed for their efforts (or lack thereof).
  • Pitfall: Disorganization. Putting students together with different learning styles and ideas can cause a little chaos, making it hard for some to use class time wisely. You can greatly streamline group work by developing a timeline of milestones so that students know what they should do and by what date. If you prefer, give them the assignment details and have them get together to develop this schedule of deadlines on their own.
  • Pitfall: Groupthink. Sometimes students in a group agree or keep quiet to avoid conflict. The problem with groupthink is that not everyone contributes or has the chance to put those critical thinking skills to work. To avoid this, talk with students about compromising and good listening. Consider holding periodic meetings with groups and inviting each student to share how the group came to its decisions.

Mitigate the cons of group work with some proactive effort and your students will reap the gains. The best thing about group work, of course, is that it prepares students for the real world, where teaming up with others is a common occurrence. Set expectations and model good practices in your classroom and your students will benefit.

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FAFSA FAQs for Parents of Teens If you’ve got a college-bound teen, you’re probably at least a little familiar with the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), but do you know how this application can affect your teen’s future?

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Fri, 13 Sep 2019 15:55:25 -0400 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/fafsa-faqs-for-parents-of-teens https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/fafsa-faqs-for-parents-of-teens Huntington Learning Center Huntington Learning Center If you’ve got a college-bound teen, you’re probably at least a little familiar with the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), but do you know how this application can affect your teen’s future?

Here are some frequently asked questions about the FAFSA and the process of applying for and getting federal student aid:

What is the FAFSA? The FAFSA is an application, but it is also your family’s gateway to getting financial aid to pay for college. Your teen cannot get federal student aid (such as federal grants, work-study, and loans) if they don’t complete the FAFSA. And many states and colleges use it to determine student eligibility for state and school aid, too.

When should we complete the FAFSA? For the 2019-2020 school year, students and/or parents can apply between October 1, 2018 and June 30, 2020. For the 2020-2021 school year, students and/or parents can apply between October 1, 2019 and June 30, 2021. Keep in mind, however, that many states and colleges have earlier deadlines for state and college aid. Your teen should check with the college to be sure.

Who is eligible to receive financial aid? The FAFSA website lists the specific, detailed requirements, but generally, students must hold a high school diploma or General Education Development certificate and be enrolled in an eligible program as a regular student seeking a degree or certificate, maintaining satisfactory academic progress. They must be U.S. citizens or eligible noncitizens with Social Security Numbers, not be in default on any federal student loans, not have any convictions for the possession or sale of illegal drugs, and register with the Selective Service System if male and not currently on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces.

What do students need to complete the FAFSA? Students and/or parents need a Social Security Number or Alien Registration Number, federal income tax returns, W-2s, and records of taxed or untaxed income, bank and investment records, and an FSA ID, which parents and students can create at https://fsaid.ed.gov.

When are state student aid and college aid deadlines? They vary from state to state, college to college. It’s best to contact the colleges your teen is interested in attending to find out for sure.

Should my teen apply to colleges before completing the FAFSA? Applicants have to list at least one college that will receive their FAFSA information, but they don’t have to wait until they have applied to list a school. Your teen should list all schools they’re interested in (up to 10 are allowed). If your teen later considers a new school, they can submit a correction to the FAFSA online.

Are grades a factor for financial aid? They are not. However, students must maintain satisfactory academic progress to continue receiving federal student aid. Each school has its own policy for what that means (typically a minimum GPA and number of credits per year), so check with the college.

Does my teen have to apply one time only? No, your teen needs to submit the FAFSA every year. It is possible that the aid package awarded to him or her will change after the first year. Your teen also needs to make satisfactory academic progress in order to remain eligible for federal aid. In other words, students who earn poor grades in college are putting their financial aid eligibility at risk.

Once we’ve applied, what happens? Your teen’s application will be processed by the U.S. Department of Education within 3-10 days. After that, your teen will receive a Student Aid Report (SAR), which summarizes the information provided on the FAFSA and includes an Expected Family Contribution. Colleges use this figure to determine federal and nonfederal student aid and to create student award packages.

How is the Expected Family Contribution calculated? This federal formula considers your family’s taxed and untaxed income, assets, and benefits (like unemployment), as well as your family size and the number of family members in college that year. Expected Family Contribution is not an amount of money your family is required to pay for college or the amount of financial aid your teen will be eligible to receive.

For more frequently asked questions and detailed information about federal student aid the FAFSA, visit https://fafsa.ed.gov.

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Adjusting Your Teaching for Different Students To reach all students where they are, you must adapt as needed, paying attention to learning preferences and styles as well as the challenges students face.

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Fri, 13 Sep 2019 16:55:23 -0400 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/adjusting-your-teaching-for-different-students https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/adjusting-your-teaching-for-different-students Huntington Learning Center Huntington Learning Center If there is one universal truth in teaching, it is that no two students learn the same. To reach all students where they are, you must adapt as needed, paying attention to learning preferences and styles as well as the challenges students face. Here are a few tips on how to support your students with individualized instruction:

  1. Survey parents and students. At the start of the year, conduct an email survey of parents to learn a little bit about each student, their challenges, strengths and weaknesses. Do an in-class survey of students to get their perspective as well, as it might differ from what their parents say.
  2. Pay attention to preferences. Make note early in the school year of your audio, visual and kinesthetic learners (and students who learn effectively in multiple ways). Teach students about this too so they can recognize their own preferences and better advocate for themselves.
  3. Arrange your classroom into different environments. Some students study best in silence; others prefer a little action. If possible, have a quiet corner, a group of desks where students can put up cardboard walls to visually block distractions, and some sort of collaboration area for students who want to work with others.
  4. Develop scalable assignments. Create lessons that allow you to alter the same assignment based on students’ varying abilities. Tier up or down depending on students’ needs.

With two dozen or more students in the classroom at a time, helping each student learn and grow is no small task. Differentiate your teaching and materials when possible. Your students will strengthen their higher-level thinking skills, start to take more responsibility for their own learning, and be more engaged overall.

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Guiding Your Uncertain Teen Toward College When you’ve put money away in that 529 plan and talked with your child for years about college, it might feel like a punch to the gut when your teen suddenly declares that they aren’t interested. What can you do?

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Fri, 09 Aug 2019 14:56:38 -0400 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/guiding-your-uncertain-teen-toward-college https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/guiding-your-uncertain-teen-toward-college Huntington Learning Center Huntington Learning Center When you’ve put money away in that 529 plan and talked with your child for years about college, it might feel like a punch to the gut when your teen suddenly declares that they aren’t interested. What can you do? Here are a few tips to guide your uncertain teen toward the pursuit of higher education:

  • Talk about the higher earning potential. As teens become more independent, the appeal of a more comfortable living might be a good way to nudge them toward college. After all, it’s been proven over and over again that workers with bachelor’s degrees earn more than those with high school diplomas. This Bureau of Labor Statistics report shows that the median weekly earnings of a worker with a bachelor’s degree is $461 higher per week than a worker with a high school diploma.
  • Talk about the big difference in unemployment rates. College or no college, your teen will need to support him- or herself as an adult, and it’s a lot easier to be employable with a college degree. The same BLS report mentioned above shows that the unemployment rate of workers with high school diplomas is 4.6%. Those with bachelor’s degrees, on the other hand, boast an impressive 2.5% unemployment rate.
  • Discuss the fact that college is where self-exploration happens. A common complaint among uncertain teens is that they don’t know what they want to study or do for a career. While it would be great if your teen were decisive about the future, college is the time to self-exploration and discovering interests. If your teen hasn’t gravitated toward a high school subject, in college, they’ll be pleased to discover a range of interesting majors that go beyond the typical English, math, and science disciplines they’re used to—from exercise science to philosophy, from graphic design to political science.
  • Share that even some college is a smart idea. At a minimum, your teen should give college a try. The fear of the unknown might be holding them back, but the truth is, they aren’t alone. College can seem as nerve-wracking as it is exciting. But the fact is that the earning potential of a high school graduate with at least some college education is higher than that of a student with no college at all. Encourage your teen to commit to one year of college. Chances are, they’ll find it valuable – even enjoyable – by the end of those nine months.
  • Make it sound fun. If your attempts to elevate college’s importance flop, try the easy route. Tell your teen that college is a great time. There are new people to meet and many activities and clubs with which your teen could get involved. College campus life is vibrant and exciting. Your teen will get the chance to explore newfound passions and do things on their own for the first time. It is the perfect opportunity to reinvent themselves.

You might not be able to change your teen’s mind overnight about college, but be persistent and patient. Offer your advice and encourage your teen to be open-minded and do a little soul-searching. College will benefit your teen in numerous ways. Do your best to convince your child it is worthwhile!

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Ideas to Revitalize Your Teaching Practices If you have been teaching for some time, it is easy to get into a routine, but it’s just as easy to fall into a rut. Whether you’re seeking better ways to reach your students or need to infuse a little energy into your processes, we have a few tips to help you out.

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Fri, 13 Sep 2019 16:48:13 -0400 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/ideas https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/ideas Huntington Learning Center Huntington Learning Center If you have been teaching for some time, it is easy to get into a routine, but it’s just as easy to fall into a rut. Whether you’re seeking better ways to reach your students or need to infuse a little energy into your processes, here are a few tips to revitalize your teaching practices:

 

  • Choose professional development that really lights you up. Yes, PD is required, but when possible, pick classes that are relevant for your position and current challenges. Good PD classes can also get you thinking about new ideas, introduce you to innovative practices, and help you figure out how to apply evidence-based research into your practices.

 

  • Take the initiative to learn from your peers. The other teachers in your building are some of your best resources. Pick their brains. Talk with others about what they’re doing, and share what you’ve been working on as well. Talk with your principal about instituting some sort of peer coaching program, formal or informal.

 

  • Build bridges across your school district or with other schools. In addition to collaborating with teachers within your building, find ways to establish connections with teachers in other schools. Seek out ways to visit other schools to observe their practices.

 

  • Infuse technology into your teaching. The opportunities to bring technology into the classroom today are seemingly endless. Spice up your units and lessons by taking a virtual field trip somewhere or by incorporating blogging, an app, or other tech tools. Get ideas from your school’s technology teacher or see if he or she might like to co-teach a lesson.

 

  • Read teacher blogs for new ideas, tips, and resources. There are many excellent ones out there that will get your creative juices flowing and get you excited about teaching and making an impact on students. Whether you seek instructional inspiration or technology tips, there are many blogs that can help you.

 

Need a boost? Try one or several of the above. You’ll get this school year off to a positive start, and your students will notice the difference!

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Do Digital Distractions Result in Poor School Performance? Learning in the digital age is a frequent topic of conversation here at Huntington Learning Center, and it certainly raises a lot of questions. For parents who grew up without technology so readily accessible like it is today, the main one is: do electronics help or hinder my child’s school performance?

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Fri, 13 Sep 2019 14:43:44 -0400 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/do-digital-distractions-result-in-poor-school-performance https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/do-digital-distractions-result-in-poor-school-performance Dr. Raymond Huntington Dr. Raymond Huntington Learning in the digital age is a frequent topic of conversation here at Huntington Learning Center, and it certainly raises a lot of questions. For parents who grew up without technology so readily accessible like it is today, the main one is: do electronics help or hinder my child’s school performance?

Here are a few interesting observations about the negative impact of internet-enabled electronics—laptops, tablets and cell phones—reported from several recent studies:

  • A 2016 Psychological Science study recorded college students’ laptop internet use in class and found that nonacademic internet use (e.g. social media, videos, email and online shopping) was frequent and inversely related to performance on the subject’s cumulative final exam—regardless of interest in the class, motivation to succeed and intelligence (full article: “Logged In and Zoned Out: How Laptop Internet Use Relates to Classroom Learning”). In other words, even if a student was interested in a subject and deemed intelligent (based on other test scores), the use of the internet in classes had a negative impact on his or her final exam score.
  • The same study did not find that accessing the internet for academic purposes was related to any benefit in performance. In other words, even if a student went on the internet during class for something academic in nature, doing so didn’t benefit his or her final exam score.
  • A 2019 study in Educational Psychology: an International Journal of Experimental Psychology found that students’ exam performance was poorer for the material taught in classes that allowed electronic use than those that did not (full article: “Dividing attention in the classroom reduces exam performance”).
  • The same study also found that students in the device-permitting classroom that did not use devices still scored lower, which points to the likelihood that such students were distracted by devices around them.
  • A 2013 study in Communication Education found that of students who watched a video lecture, took notes and took quizzes afterward, those who did not use their mobile phones wrote down 62% more information, took more detailed notes and were able to recall more detailed information from the lecture than those who did use mobile phones during the lecture (full article: “The Impact of Mobile Phone Usage on Student Learning”).
  • The same study found that the students who did not use their mobile phones during class scored a full letter grade higher on a multiple-choice test than those who actively used their mobile phones.

While there’s no question that the internet and electronic devices that connect us to it have opened up a world of possibilities for learning and knowledge acquisition, the research is clear: digital distraction is a real problem for today’s students.

What can you as a parent do to ensure your child’s school performance does not suffer because he or she uses a cell phone and/or laptop regularly (in class or outside of it)? Here are a few tips:

  1. Teach your child about the importance of concentrating during set periods of time and also taking mental breaks while working. This practice improves focus and retention and encourages your child to separate school work and screen time.
  2. If your child doesn’t need the computer or phone while doing homework, he or she should set them aside.
  3. Teach your child how to set rules for study/homework time and hold him or herself accountable to those rules.
  4. Encourage your child to establish short-term objectives for every homework session. Having a to-do list to work from will help your child stay on task and avoid digital distractions.

If your child is struggling to focus, it may be that he or she needs help developing a good study system—and it’s certainly possible that something else is going on. Call Huntington at 1-800 CAN LEARN to learn how we can help your child become a more efficient, productive student in the digital age.

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How Your Teen Can Make Senior Year Great After working toward a future that seemed far off, the time has finally come for your teen to graduate high school and head to college and into the real world. After all of your teen’s hard work leading up to this point, it’s important for them to finish strong.

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Fri, 09 Aug 2019 14:26:02 -0400 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/how-your-teen-can-make-senior-year-great https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/how-your-teen-can-make-senior-year-great Huntington Learning Center Huntington Learning Center For most parents, the arrival of a teen’s senior year of high school comes with a lot of both excitement and trepidation. After working toward a future that seemed far off, the time has finally come for your teen to graduate high school and head to college and into the real world.

After all of your teen’s hard work leading up to this point, it’s important for them to finish strong. Here are several tips to help your teen make senior year great:

  1. Don’t slack off. Understandably, many teens lose motivation toward the end of high school. Help yours avoid this by reminding them to stick to a routine and study schedule, continue to think about and refine future goals, and keep in mind that college admissions officers do review final high school transcripts. They will not hesitate to revoke admission if a student’s grades drop significantly.
  2. Focus on the future without losing sight of today. Your teen might be over high school and ready to move on to the next exciting stage in their life, but there’s still a lot of work to be done. It’s more than just keeping up in school and maintaining the GPA, too. Senior year has a lot of social opportunities and milestones to celebrate. Your teen needs to keep studying, doing homework, and devoting time to college tasks.
  3. Create a college task calendar. There’s a lot to keep track of senior year, for both you and your teen. Print out Huntington’s senior year college application calendar, which will help your teen stay on top of all college-related deadlines from fall until graduation.
  4. Maintain good relationships with teachers. Teachers can serve as mentors, write recommendation letters, and offer a wide range of guidance and advice for students as they navigate the end of high school and prepare for college. Make sure your teen is getting the most out of those relationships by participating in class, visiting teachers outside of class, and putting in the work.
  5. Commit to time management. By now, your teen should have a good handle on what it takes to succeed in school. They must stick to the time management and organizational system that has served them well in high school. This will become even more critical in college.

Lastly, your teen should remember that there are many resources available during senior year. Teachers, guidance counselors, and school staff know that senior year is busy, stressful, and important. They have ushered many students through this time and are more than willing to help your teen stay on the path to success. Encourage your teen to reach out to them and you when needed.

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Five Ways to Help Students Develop a Growth Mindset Students with a growth mindset believe that they are capable of increasing their knowledge and growing their intelligence. The outcome can be remarkable, resulting in students who are more motivated, happier, and undeterred by failure.

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Fri, 09 Aug 2019 11:39:59 -0400 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/five-ways-to-help-students-develop-a-growth-mindset https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/five-ways-to-help-students-develop-a-growth-mindset Huntington Learning Center Huntington Learning Center Are you teaching your students to embrace a growth mindset? Students with a growth mindset believe that they are capable of increasing their knowledge and growing their intelligence. The outcome can be remarkable, resulting in students who are more motivated, happier, and undeterred by failure. Here are five ways to help your students develop a growth mindset:

  1. Talk about how to tackle problems. Encourage your students to think of challenges as opportunities to learn, and mistakes as milestones on the path toward growth. When one attempt doesn’t work, have your student rethink it, adjust, and try another.
  2. Share pitfalls of the fixed mindset. Talk to your students about how a fixed mindset can put them at a disadvantage in school and leave them feeling disappointed and dissatisfied. Students with fixed mindsets avoid taking risks because they are afraid of mistakes. They give up easily because they’d rather shirk hard work.
  3. Celebrate progress. Just as you tell parents, grades are the result of effort. Explain to your students that what you want to see most is sincere commitment to do their best. When a student acquires a new skill or raises a grade, take notice.
  4. Adopt the class mantra, “There’s always something new to learn.” Tell students to stay curious. Encourage them to ask questions, and dedicate class time to seeking answers. The more you engage your students in learning for learning’s sake, the more you help them strengthen their growth mindsets.
  5. Reframe failures and struggles. To the student who wants to give up, say that learning requires persistence and practice. To the student who claims he is bad at something, point out that he’s still figuring it out and will get there. Whenever possible, help your students turn those fixed mindset claims into growth mindset statements.

When you infuse these concepts into your teaching, you build life-long learners. Tell your students to dream big, work hard, keep at it when something is difficult, and support each other.

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Guide to Your Teen’s Freshman Year of High School Middle school is officially behind you and your teen. You both have been preparing for this transition to high school for a while. Here is a quick guide to help you and your teen through their freshman year of high school.

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Tue, 13 Aug 2019 09:05:50 -0400 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/guide-to-your-teens-freshman-year-of-high-school https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/guide-to-your-teens-freshman-year-of-high-school Huntington Learning Center Huntington Learning Center Guide to Your Teen’s Freshman Year of High School

Middle school is officially behind you and your teen. You both have been preparing for this transition to high school for a while now, but here’s a quick guide to help your teen make it great:

  • Talk about the change. There’s no question: high school is vastly different than middle school. You’ve probably been having conversations throughout eighth grade, but this summer is a good time to remind your teen that it’s OK to be uncomfortable for a little while. The adjustment period is something every high school freshman goes through, so your teen isn’t alone.
  • Get organized. This is a tip for both you and your teen. Your teen must work on organizational skills, particularly if this was a weakness in middle school. He or she needs a reliable system for keeping track of homework, assignments, and upcoming test and project due dates, and a good filing system for paperwork. For your part, hang a family calendar in a central location. Designate a study space in the home and stock it with supplies. Set up inboxes near your home’s entry point where your teen can drop important papers for you and graded assignments or other papers that he doesn’t need to carry to and from school.
  • Go over time management essentials. High school academics are more rigorous, so it’s important that your teen learns how to be as efficient as possible with his or her time. Especially if your teen plans to get involved with sports or extracurricular activities, she will need to schedule her time diligently and become adept at avoiding distractions. Learning to prioritize homework each night is vital. Learn more about developing a foolproof time management system.
  • Talk about self-advocacy. Remind your teen that high school teachers expect independence. Your teen, not you, should speak up for himself or herself in high school. You can support from the sidelines, but if your teen feels he’s falling behind in class, it is up to him to reach out to the teacher to find ways to catch up and clarify any confusing areas. Bottom line: if your teen needs help or advice, he should ask for it.
  • Encourage relationship-building with teachers, staff and the guidance counselor. It is essential that your teen establishes good relationships with teachers from the start of high school. Your teen should pay attention in class, ask questions and visit the teacher whenever she needs help. Regular visits with the guidance counselor and other support staff are also important to keep your teen on track toward graduation and do everything required for college.
  • Make sure your teen gets enough sleep. Many high schools start classes earlier than middle school, and the schedule adjustment can be painful for teens. Insist that your teen make sleep a priority. He or she will feel more alert overall and focus better in school and when doing homework.
  • Discuss your teen’s goals. Maybe it feels early to bring up college, but your teen’s performance in high school matters—and will have a big impact on where she can go to college. Start talking about the future. What subjects does your teen like in school? Does she have any careers or college majors in mind? Plant the seeds now by having these conversations, which will get your teen planning ahead in her mind as well. 

High school brings many changes to students’ lives, and making the transition from middle to high school can be both nerve-racking and exciting. Open the lines of communication with your teen this summer and discuss some of the above. You will find that doing so mentally prepares both you and your teen for the impending change.

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What You Need to Know about SAT Adversity Score Wondering what exactly to expect regarding the Adversity Score (also known as the Adversity Index)? Huntington discusses the three different components.

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Thu, 25 Jul 2019 08:43:42 -0400 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/what-you-need-to-know-about-the-sat-adversity-score https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/what-you-need-to-know-about-the-sat-adversity-score Huntington Learning Center Huntington Learning Center The SAT Adversity Score is supposed to give context to an applicant’s SAT score by rating his or her neighborhood and high school.  The College Board, which administers the SAT, recently introduced its Environmental Context Dashboard (ECD), but it quickly became known as the “Adversity Score”. The College Board claims this score “allows colleges to incorporate a student’s school and environmental context into their admissions process in a data-driven, consistent way”.

The Adversity Score does not alter SAT scores or take into account a student’s personal characteristics beyond their test scores. Instead, it aggregates publicly available information about schools and neighborhoods. It has three components:

  1. Students' SAT scores can be seen within the context of the 25th, 50th, and 75th percentile of SAT scores from their high school.
  2. Information on the high school, including senior class size; percentage of students who meet federal eligibility criteria for free and reduced-price lunch; rurality/urbanicity; average first-year SAT score of colleges students from that high school attend; and the percentage of seniors taking an Advanced Placement exam and other information about AP scores and exams.
  3. Contextual data on the neighborhood and high school environment, which is calculated using data drawn from a combination of publicly available sources (e.g. U.S. Census Bureau and National Center for Education Statistics).

The goal is to allow them to view a student’s academic accomplishments in the context of where they live and learn. Whether college admissions officers decide to consider the Adversity Score is up to them. The College Board claims the information is not intended to replace or contradict existing information about schools and neighborhoods. It will refresh its Adversity Score’s underlying data each year.

The tool was piloted for use by admissions officers at 50 colleges and universities in 2018-2019.  This fall, the College Board will expand the pilot to more than 150 colleges in a research partnership and continue to shape the tool. It will become broadly available in 2020.

Anecdotal feedback from the initial pilot is that the Adversity Score helped colleges recognize hardworking students who care about school but might come from an environment that made it difficult to fully thrive. Some admissions officers reported that the Adversity Score helped them contextualize college entrance exam scores within a high school to give a better idea of what success looks like in a certain area.

More information about the Environmental Context Dashboard – aka Adversity Score – is available on the College Board website.

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Four Ideas for Building Students’ Persistence If there’s one skill that will help your students long-term, it is persistence. Students who persevere through challenging work are better equipped for college, and they are able to maintain a positive attitude no matter what life throws their way.

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Fri, 09 Aug 2019 11:26:08 -0400 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/ideas-for-building-student-persistence https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/ideas-for-building-student-persistence Huntington Learning Center Huntington Learning Center Four Ideas for Building Students’ Persistence

If there’s one skill that will help your students long-term, it is persistence. Students who persevere through challenging work are better equipped for college, and they are able to maintain a positive attitude no matter what life throws their way. Here are a few tips for building this aptitude in your students:

  1. Promote problem-solving skills. Give students difficult problems, and then teach them how to tackle those problems in different ways. When one attempt doesn’t work, encourage them to brainstorm another approach. Talk to your students about coming up with multiple ways to solve any given problem.
  2. Push students appropriately. Help your students stretch to their limits, and tell them that you believe they’re capable of anything to which they put their minds. Don’t be afraid to make your students a little bit uncomfortable. This is where true growth happens.
  3. Bring up examples of people who never gave up. There are many prominent figures to reference – people who persevered in spite of roadblocks and achieved their goals. Share them often. Talk to your students about how their dreams will not come easy, but that doesn’t mean they should set them aside.
  4. Teach students to embrace a growth mindset. Share with your students that their abilities can be developed with effort, and teach them to continuously seek out new knowledge. Encourage them to embrace challenges, not to shy away from them. This helps your students stick to things even when they get hard.

Persistence is essential for long-term student success. Make your classroom one where students feel safe to take risks, push themselves, and make mistakes and learn from them. They will grow as students and people as a result.

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Five Trusted Exam Prep Tips for All Students Few students love studying for tests but knowing how to do so effectively can transform their academic career. There are certain practices that make exam prep of all types more productive and successful.

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Mon, 12 Aug 2019 08:07:39 -0400 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/five-trusted-exam-prep-tips-for-all-students https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/five-trusted-exam-prep-tips-for-all-students Huntington Learning Center Huntington Learning Center Few students love studying for tests but knowing how to do so effectively can transform their academic career. Eileen Huntington of Huntington Learning Center says that there are certain practices that make exam prep of all types more productive and successful. “Some students freeze up when it comes to test preparation, even if they actually understand a subject,” says Huntington. “There are several things students can do when studying to consistently improve their performance on exams and prove their knowledge.”

She offers these exam prep tips taught by Huntington:

  1. It’s essential that students make a plan to study smart by allocating their study time appropriately. Reviewing areas that they know well and ignoring those they don’t is likely to result in a grade that’s lower than it could have been. The best approach is to use any review sheet or overview of what will appear on the test as a starting point.
  2. Create a study schedule. The single-most important exam preparation tip from Huntington: be consistent with study time. The best way to do this is to create a detailed schedule leading up to an exam date. This deters procrastination, spaces out studying, and keeps students focused on material that will be covered on their test. A study schedule helps students maximize study time and minimizes stress.
  3. Prepare the space and the mind. To study effectively, students must get into the right mindset and prepare their space for studying. This means removing any distractions, getting comfortable and flipping that switch to study mode. Students should print out the study schedule and gather any needed supplies (e.g. highlighters and sticky notes) while setting goals for each study session on what to cover.
  4. Use practice exams whenever possible. Taking practice tests is one of the best ways for students to get familiar with question types, test length, and material. If available for practice—as in an SAT or ACT exam prep course, for example—students should take advantage.
  5. Don’t shortchange the sleep. Busy students often forgo sleep for studying when they’ve got a big test coming up, but sleep deprivation can lead to worse academic performance. Late-night/all-night cram sessions make it hard for students to focus well and recall information.

 

Huntington explains that preparing for tests and quizzes does not come naturally to all students. “We see often that even bright students struggle with exam prep because of the inherent pressure that it brings,” she says. “It’s important to correct those poor test preparation habits early so that by the time students get to college, they’re better equipped for success.”

To learn more about how Huntington helps students of all ages adopt essential study skills, including effective exam preparation, call Huntington at 1-800 CAN LEARN

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From Summer Brain to School Brain: Six Tips to Get your Child Back-to-School Ready If your child has enjoyed a leisurely summer of trips to the pool, sleeping in, hanging out with friends and operating on a more relaxed pace than during the school year, you both may be dreading the end of summer, when the backpacks come back out and the routine is back in full swing.

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Wed, 24 Jul 2019 16:42:56 -0400 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/six-tips-to-get-your-child-back-to-school-ready https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/six-tips-to-get-your-child-back-to-school-ready Huntington Learning Center Huntington Learning Center If your child has enjoyed a leisurely summer of trips to the pool, sleeping in, hanging out with friends and operating on a more relaxed pace than during the school year, you both may be dreading the end of summer, when the backpacks come back out and the routine is back in full swing. Don’t fret, however. There are a number of things you can do to prepare for a new school year. During the last few weeks leading up to the first day of school, you can help your child make a smooth transition from summer brain to school brain by following these tips:

Move back the clocks. Gradually adjust bedtime and wake-up time to be more consistent with a typical school year schedule. If the evening routine has gotten out of whack during the summer, attempt to re-establish some semblance of structure—a set dinnertime, bedtime and reading time will help your child begin to get back into a school-year frame of mind.

Load up the backpack. Pull out those school supply lists and head out shopping—and bring your child along. Many teachers provide classroom lists before the school year begins to ensure each student arrives on the first day of school equipped with the tools and supplies they will need. Don’t forget to restock the desks at home and have your child clean and organize his or her homework space to get it ready for regular use again.

Read up. If your child hasn’t been reading much this summer, the end of summer break is an ideal time to start. Take your child to the library once a week and re-establish a nightly reading routine, letting him or her choose the books. You might consider pulling out some of last year’s reading material or assignments (or even books that he or she has already read) as a refresher.

Write once a day. Find ways to incorporate writing into your child’s daily activities as school draws nearer. It may be difficult to convince a middle schooler to write a series of essays about summer vacation, but get creative. Write letters to the grandparents. Get your child to help you create a summer scrapbook about a special summer vacation or some fun family outings you’ve had together. Give your child a new journal for the brand new year and encourage him or her to start filling it with the things about which he or she is excited or nervous.

Set goals for a brand new year. Have your child think about and write down several goals for this school year. They can be academic objectives or other things—improving a grade or trying out for a sports team, for example. Talk about any challenges he or she faced last year and how to approach this year differently if needed. You could even establish some rewards for your child to earn if he or she meets small milestones along the path toward his or her goals.

Review last year’s work. If you have some of it saved, spend a little time each day reviewing math concepts, spelling words and the like from last year. Older students could review chapter summaries from their prior year textbooks to re-familiarize themselves with what they learned in the previous grade. Even 10 minutes a day will help refresh your child’s memory on what he or she knows. 

Just a few small steps will help your child make a successful transition from vacation mode to school mode. With a little effort in the final few weeks of summer, your child will be mentally prepared—and ready to make it a great school year by the time the first bell rings.

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How to Get Your Child Thinking About the Future Not all children know exactly what they want to be when they grow up. And while it’s perfectly fine if your child doesn’t talk about potential careers right now, it can’t hurt to encourage him to start exploring possibilities.

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Fri, 09 Aug 2019 11:05:15 -0400 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/how-to-get-your-child-thinking-about-the-future https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/how-to-get-your-child-thinking-about-the-future Huntington Learning Center Huntington Learning Center Not all children know exactly what they want to be when they grow up. And while it’s perfectly fine if your child doesn’t talk about potential careers right now, it can’t hurt to encourage him to start exploring possibilities. In high school, it becomes especially important to have these conversations—don’t assume your child will discover the path for him without a little research along the way.

Here are a few tips on how to get your child thinking about the future—both college and career:

Start asking questions. Ask your child more than just what subjects she enjoys most in school. How about jobs that sound intriguing or fun, or topics that pique her curiosity and make her want to learn more? If your child doesn’t have ideas, help her brainstorm a bit. Go online together to check out possible careers that might blend your child’s love of math and music. Talk about the pros and cons of working in different fields and jobs.

Talk about college as a definite plan. You want to make sure your child goes to college? Talk about it like it’s not optional. That way, your child will believe that college is on the horizon and begin making plans to get there. This is also a good opportunity to impress upon your child the importance of working hard in school to get into a good college and prepare for the rigors of college academics.

Visit colleges. If there is a college in your town or close by, take your child there for strolls or picnics, to sporting and theater events, or any opportunity to expose your child to the collegiate environment. Check out any camps or classes for children. Take your child to visit your alma mater if feasible, and point out your dorm and the buildings where you spent time learning and taking classes.

Try lots of different things. You never know what activity or pastime will light your child’s fire. Get your child involved with a nonprofit. Have him shadow family friends at their jobs. Go to music concerts, lectures and movies as a family. If your child has the chance to do something unique, encourage him to go for it.

Get involved in extracurricular activities. Encourage your child to try out different clubs and activities in and outside of school—even those that seem like a departure from his usual choices of pastime. Debate team, student government and the school newspaper are obvious career-relevant options, but your child might discover his passion as a peer tutor, in the choir or the recycling club, or working as a teacher’s aide.

Take a strengths finder. College career centers are a great resource to help students explore their strengths, determine career-related interests, and find career choices. But there are all kinds of different strengths finders out there that will help your child understand herself and guide her in a direction even earlier. Do an online search to see what you find.

Remember: you are your child’s greatest influence and can help guide him toward promising college majors and career paths—or at least help him formulate ideas. Talk about college in your home. Make it sound exciting and worthwhile. Invite your child to try new things, delve into ideas, ask big questions and seek to find the answers. Start early, and by the time your child reaches high school, he’ll be eager to plot his future.

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Six Tips for Creating a Positive Learning Environment You became a teacher to make a lasting difference in the lives of young learners. One of the best ways to have an impact is to create a positive, encouraging learning environment in which students feel cared for and supported.

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Fri, 09 Aug 2019 11:18:51 -0400 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/tips-for-creating-a-positive-learning-experience https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/tips-for-creating-a-positive-learning-experience Huntington Learning Center Huntington Learning Center You became a teacher to make a lasting difference in the lives of young learners. One of the best ways to have an impact is to create a positive, encouraging learning environment in which students feel cared for and supported. Here are six tips on how to do so:

  1. Develop good student relationships. Be friendly and upbeat. Treat your students as individuals. Ask questions about their lives to get to know them better, and encourage them to get to know each other as well.
  2. Build good school-home connections. Your relationship with parents is important, too. Send home an email and/or note early in the year. Let parents know how to reach you, your expectations and plans for the year, and how much you are looking forward to helping their children grow this year. Invite any input on how their children learn best and how you can make this year a great one.
  3. Put your trust in your students. Give them a say on certain decisions. Set your expectations and rules and then let them know that you believe in their ability to hold themselves accountable.
  4. Guide your students toward discovery. Don’t give them the answers. Pose the questions, and then invite them to solve problems. Offer encouragement every step of the way, but put them in the driver’s seat when possible. Have them explain concepts to each other and to you – and congratulate them when they figure things out on their own.
  5. Make students feel like valuable contributors. Everyone’s ideas matter in your classroom, and everyone deserves respect. Encourage students to voice their opinions and offer their input and thank them for being brave enough to do so.
  6. Share why you love your subject. There’s nothing quite as convincing about why a subject is interesting as a passionate teacher. Don’t be afraid to tell your students what you enjoy about different subjects and why learning got you excited when you were their age.

A positive learning environment will get your students fired up about learning. Take steps to make your classroom a nurturing, comfortable place, and your students will reap the many benefits.

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Five Essential Tools for your Teen’s Off-to-College “Toolbox” When it comes to packing, he or she may be focused on dorm décor and clothes, but there are a number of other intangible items your teen will want to remember to bring along when he or she begins the college journey.

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Wed, 24 Jul 2019 16:48:49 -0400 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/five-essential-tools-for-your-teens-college-toolbox https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/five-essential-tools-for-your-teens-college-toolbox Huntington Learning Center Huntington Learning Center It’s almost here: your teen’s departure for college. When it comes to packing, he or she may be focused on dorm décor and clothes, but there are a number of other intangible items your teen will want to remember to bring along when he or she begins the college journey. Don’t forget these all-important tips and tools for the brand new college student:

List of college resources – Don’t let your teen lose track of that college directory and handbook at orientation. As he or she learns to be an independent adult, your student may need access to the support services and other resources on campus designed to make his or her college experience a good one. Be sure he or she knows how to get a hold of the academic advisor, faculty advisor (if assigned one yet), tutoring center and other resources. If your teen has a learning disability, he or she may want to have the phone number and location of the disability support services office available. Think ahead—what else might your student need? Where is the closest computer lab? How can he or she form a study group with students in his or her dorm or major?

Good study habits – Is your teen equipped with the study skills to succeed at college? If he or she is disorganized, now is the time to work on improving this skill. Other skills, such as problem-solving, goal-setting, persistence in achieving those goals, and focus are also so important. Off on his or her own for the first time, your teen will need to think critically, make decisions and learn from his or her mistakes.

Time management – Time management is arguably one of the most critical skills your teen will need to do well in college and in his or her career. At college, your student will have many choices on how to spend his or her time. Having the discipline and ability to prioritize all of the things in his or her life is crucial to your student’s academic success—and overall happiness. You can begin working on this before your student leaves for college by keeping a family calendar, encouraging your teen to maintain a planner, and spending a little time together each night to go over any assignments due the next day or within a week and talk about any projects further out on the horizon.

Financial basics – While it is less of an academic tip—but no less important—your teen must be financially responsible and savvy enough to take care of him or herself. Can he or she balance a checkbook? Have you equipped him or her with the “street smarts” to know not to max out a credit card or disregard bill due dates? If your student is paying for some of his or her education, be sure he knows how to access resources such as the financial aid office, too.

An understanding of work-school balance – College is an exciting journey for your student, and he or she should stay focused on the pursuit of his or her education. However, while your student should work hard in school, there is more to college than studying, and it is healthy to seek balance. By encouraging your student to lead a well-balanced life in high school—making time for school, family, friends and any other priorities (volunteering, work, activities or other hobbies)—you’ll also be helping to set the foundation for a successful college experience.

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Seven Benefits of Your Teen Getting a Summer Job If there’s one thing every teen wants, it’s a little extra spending money. Without a doubt, a summer job has a big financial advantage for your teen. There are also a wide variety of other benefits they will find come with this experience.

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Fri, 09 Aug 2019 10:45:33 -0400 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/seven-benefits-of-your-teens-summer-job https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/seven-benefits-of-your-teens-summer-job Huntington Learning Center Huntington Learning Center If there’s one thing every teen wants, it’s a little extra spending money. Without a doubt, a summer job has a big financial advantage for your teen, but here are seven other benefits:

  1. Earning money boosts your teen’s independence. A summer job helps your teen grow from a child who is completely reliant on you into a young adult capable of starting to support himself. With an income, your teen can start becoming a little more self-sufficient, saving for things she wants. That gives her a feel for independence from you and your pocketbook.
  2. Work instills a sense of pride. Extra spending money will give your teen a little more freedom, but it also fosters your teen’s sense of self-worth and self-respect. No longer does he need to ask you for money every time he wants to make a purchase. He’ll feel empowered and proud of his hard work and growing bank account.
  3. Your teen will gain life skills. Filling out job applications, learning to make a strong impression in an interview, working with customers and dealing with different management styles—these are real-world tasks and skills. Your teen might not realize how much that summer job is actually preparing him for scenarios he will face in life.
  4. A job teaches responsibility. By its very nature, a job requires your teen to be accountable by showing up somewhere on time, being dependable, fulfilling job duties and striving to do a job well. Teens who earn money also realize its value and begin to understand what it takes to accumulate those paychecks.
  5. Work nurtures your teen’s fiscal responsibility. Learning to save and manage money are important lessons your teen learns from working. Your teen might even choose to invest some money into a certificate of deposit or high-interest savings account, which cultivates good habits for adulthood.
  6. Working will help your teen learn to manage his time. If your teen wants to maintain his social life, put some effort toward college applications and also get a part-time job over summer, he’ll need to learn to prioritize his activities. That requires good time management and learning about a healthy work-life balance.
  7. Your teen will be exposed to different fields. Some jobs might spark a passion in your teen—like working at a bookstore, in a hospital or in a hospitality setting. You never know when your teen might discover a possible career path.

There are many advantages to your teen getting a summer job, and best of all, a summer job won’t interfere with school and your teen’s extracurricular and other obligations like an after-school job would. So, let him apply away and explore the options. The commitment will be good for him!

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Tips For a Great First Day of School The new school year will be here before you know it. Start this school year the right way, putting your students at ease and setting the tone for a positive year. 

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Fri, 09 Aug 2019 11:12:04 -0400 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/tips-for-a-great-first-day-of-school https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/tips-for-a-great-first-day-of-school Huntington Learning Center Huntington Learning Center The new school year will be here before you know it. Start this school year the right way, putting your students at ease and setting the tone for a positive year. Here are a few tips to make the first day of school great:

  • Greet everyone individually. Ease everyone’s nerves and offer a warm, personal welcome to each student who comes through the door. Introduce yourself and ask each person’s name, repeating them as they are spoken.
  • Break the ice. Make everyone feel a little more relaxed with a few fun name games or activities that get everyone acquainted. This helps new classmates remember one another’s names, too.
  • Share classroom rules. Set expectations right away for how your classroom will run and what is and isn’t acceptable student behavior. Talk about your classroom management rules and the consequences for breaking them.
  • Go through the routine. Post the daily schedule somewhere central and review it once you’re finished with introductions. Your everyday routine is key to keeping your students on track – make sure they learn it quickly!
  • Run through any FAQs. Often, students want to know the basics right away, like when to use the bathroom, where to hand in homework, and what activities are allowed after classwork is finished.
  • Establish your procedures (and hang them in a visible location). If you want your classroom to run like a well-oiled machine, you need to explain your classroom procedures and practice them. Go over them on the first day and reinforce in the weeks to come.
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How to Help Your Child Embrace Reading This Summer The school year is packed for most children, so summer is a welcome break from the routine of homework and studying. One of the best summer pastimes and easiest ways to mitigate summertime regression is reading.

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Fri, 09 Aug 2019 15:07:13 -0400 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/how-to-help-your-child-embrace-reading-this-summer https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/how-to-help-your-child-embrace-reading-this-summer Huntington Learning Center Huntington Learning Center The school year is packed for most children, so summer is a welcome break from the routine of homework and studying. One of the best summer pastimes and easiest ways to mitigate summertime regression, says Eileen Huntington of Huntington Learning Center, is a daily reading habit. “As school gets increasingly more time-consuming and rigorous, children who once enjoyed reading start to see it as just another ‘have to’ instead of something they like doing for fun,” she says. “But with its slower pace, summer is the perfect time for parents to help their children reignite their love of reading.

How can you help your child embrace reading this summer? Huntington offers these tips:

Check out summer reading programs. Summer reading programs through your local library are book store make reading fun, offering children rewards for reaching certain goals and building a sense of community among readers. Check out Huntington Learning Center’s Reading Adventure Program, which is going on all summer long. Children choose books from a pre-selected book list and earn prizes for meeting reading goals. Online, look at programs like the Scholastic Challenge, “Read-a-Palooza,” which invites readers to enter their reading online and complete weekly reading challenges.

Stock the home library. Help your child start his or her very own book collection and designate a space in the home as the cozy reading corner, complete with a bean bag and bookcase. Make trips to the bookstore a special treat (keep an eye out for sales or memberships) and start becoming regulars at your local used book stores.

Springboard from another passion. If it feels easier said than done to hand your child a stack of books to start reading over summer and expect success, try a different approach. Begin with your child’s other passions. If your child is a basketball player, for example, perhaps autobiographies on favorite players might appeal. Your local librarian is a wealth of information, so be sure to ask for ideas.

Get recommendations. On that note, choosing books haphazardly isn’t the best way to find books your child will love. Seek recommendations for the best summer books and good vacation books to read—from the librarian or bookstore employee and on websites like Goodreads.com and the Young Adult Library Services Association book finder.

Bring books and reading into your life. During school, homework, activities and other things might take center stage. But now, it’s summer—an ideal time to relax a little. So, make reading a nightly family tradition. Gather on the porch or patio after dinner with drinks and books for 30 minutes of reading time. Read the same book as a family. Choose a book-turned-movie and make plans for movie night when you all finish. And of course, make frequent trips to the library and bookstore.

It’s simple: the more your child reads, the better he or she will become at reading. And Huntington reminds parents that the best way to encourage reading is to get children to consider it an activity of choice. “Reading for pleasure often takes a backseat as children grow older and other activities dominate their attention,” she says. “However, summer presents a great opportunity to remind children what a wonderful activity reading really is. Find ways this summer to incorporate reading for fun into your lives, and you’ll notice your child choosing to do it more.”

To learn about Huntington’s summer reading program or how Huntington helps students become stronger readers, call 1-800 CAN LEARN.

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Four Creative Ways to Pay for College Mon, 08 Jul 2019 11:51:40 -0400 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/creative-ways-to-pay-for-college https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/creative-ways-to-pay-for-college Huntington Learning Center Huntington Learning Center The cost of college is on the rise, and if you have a high school student or a younger child who is starting to talk about college already, chances are you’re thinking about how you will fund your teen’s education.

 

Obviously, you should apply for financial aid by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and your teen should search for scholarship opportunities. But aside from you both taking out loans and tapping into your own savings, how else can you afford the price tag of higher education? Here are four creative ways to pay for college:

 

  1. Explore prepaid tuition plans. The number of states that still offer prepaid tuition plans has dwindled over the last decade, but these plans do still exist. You can lock in today’s tuition rates for your child for the future. The risk, of course, is that your child might decide not to go to college. But many plans account for this possibility, so if you’re comfortable with the fine print, you can save big money this way. Take the Maryland Prepaid College Trust for example. If tuition increased 20% from the year you purchased your contract, the prepaid college trust would still pay that higher tuition. This program even lets you change the beneficiary on your account or delay using the funds if your child decides not to attend college right away.

 

  1. Join the military. If your teen has ever considered serving our country, here’s another powerful incentive to do so: she will get funding for college. Check out the Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC), a program in which students attend school full time and receive financial assistance to cover their education costs. Eligibility and benefits vary depending on the branch of the armed services, but the benefits are great. Once your child graduates, she’ll have a commitment to serve on active duty in the military. The upside, of course, is a guaranteed job right after graduation and a generous ROTC scholarship.

 

  1. Start at a community college. One of the most affordable ways to earn a bachelor’s degree is to start at a community college and then transfer to a four-year school to finish there. All across the country, states offer guaranteed transfer programs, which allow students to earn their first two years’ worth of college credits at a community college and be guaranteed to transfer into most any four-year colleges in that state as juniors. Going this route could save you and your teen tens of thousands of dollars.

 

  1. Seek employer reimbursement. There are many corporations out there that offer tuition reimbursement as part of their benefits packages. Take Starbucks for example, which gives it part- and full-time employees 100% tuition coverage for a first-time bachelor’s degree through Arizona State University’s online program. Chipotle and Home Depot offer tuition reimbursement for hourly and salary employees too. If your teen is willing to work part time and go to college, it’s worthwhile to research corporations with tuition reimbursement programs.

 

Even if you’re willing to help fund your child’s education, it can’t hurt to explore the options to reduce the cost and likelihood that your child will have to go into debt. Remember to complete that FAFSA as soon after October 1 as possible the year that your child is a senior, which will ensure your teen is considered for federal assistance in the form of loans, grants, and work-study. Encourage your child to get to know the guidance counselor in high school, who will share information about scholarships and offer other ideas. It takes a little effort, but you can reduce the cost of college. Do your research, and feel free to call Huntington for tips and advice!

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Five Resources for Professional Development It is always a good idea to improve yourself as an educator. Whether you are seeking an online community of teachers where you can exchange ideas, or a site with articles, tech tips, lesson inspiration and more, here are several resources worth exploring.

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Tue, 09 Jul 2019 19:51:19 -0400 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/resources-for-professional-development https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/resources-for-professional-development Huntington Learning Center Huntington Learning Center It is always a good idea to improve yourself as an educator. Whether you are seeking an online community of teachers where you can exchange ideas, or a site with articles, tech tips, lesson inspiration and more, here are several resources worth exploring:

  1. Edutopia offers teacher development resources and other tools and articles that help teachers implement project-based learning, social and emotional learning, comprehensive assessment, integrated studies, and technology integration.
  2. TeachThought grows teaching through thought leadership, professional development, resource curation, curriculum development, podcast publishing, and collaboration with organizations around the world.
  3. Annenberg Learner distributes multimedia courses and workshops to help teachers keep current on the content they teach. Professional development resources provide teachers with research on the most effective teaching strategies and their connection to national education content standards, as well as tips on practical, classroom application.
  4. KQED Teach offers a collection of free professional learning opportunities focused on digital media. Educators can build skills in digital storytelling, data visualization, and critical media use to support all curriculum areas.
  5. Teaching Channel highlights inspiring and effective teaching practices in America's schools, offering a library of videos to teachers free of charge.

 

Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash

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Homework Strategies for Different Types of Homework You’ve heard before that there’s no such thing as “one-size-fits-all” learning. The same is true for study and homework strategies. Homework nurtures students’ time management skills and their ability to complete tasks.

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Mon, 08 Jul 2019 09:43:16 -0400 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/homework-strategies-for-different-types-of-homework https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/homework-strategies-for-different-types-of-homework Dr. Raymond Huntington Dr. Raymond Huntington You’ve heard before that there’s no such thing as “one-size-fits-all” learning. The same is true for study and homework strategies. The responsibility factor is a big part of homework and one of its primary benefits. Homework nurtures students’ time management skills and their ability to complete tasks. But the primary purpose of homework is to reinforce what teachers teach in the classroom.

The U.S. Department of Education describes four common types of homework: practice, preparatory, extension and integration. At Huntington, we help children of all ages become better students. Here are some of the strategies we teach for tackling different homework types:

Practice – Practice homework is the most common type you’ll see come home. It is intended to bolster classroom learning and help students master specific skills. So, just as the name implies, the key to success with this type of homework is to keep practicing. A few tips for children:

  • Nail down the basic skills that are the underpinning for more complex skills.
  • Learn from mistakes by going over missed class problems or test questions.
  • Always consider homework to be required, not optional.
  • Dig into the steps. In math, for example, children must understand the “why” behind steps and not just the rote “how.”

Preparatory – Like it sounds, preparatory homework introduces concepts and ideas that will be covered in class in the near future. Common preparatory homework examples include learning vocabulary or reading a textbook chapter before the content is to be discussed the next day. A few tips for children doing preparatory homework:

  • Take notes of the main ideas of passages and bring them out when the topic is covered in class.
  • Write down questions that arise while completing homework. Ask those questions in class the next day.
  • If stumped on a problem (math or science, for example), circle it and write down a few reasons why the problem is confusing.

Extension – Extension homework is often assigned when teachers want to challenge a student with opportunities to apply what they have learned to something new. A few tips for children doing extension homework:

  • Be resourceful, looking through notes or the textbook for strategies on how to solve a problem or additional information that might be helpful for homework completion.
  • Think about concepts in different ways and from different angles. This helps children engage in different ways of mental processing.
  • Take a problem-solving approach to new and unfamiliar material. Children should think about what tools and information they already have that might help them tackle a problem.

Integration – Integration homework requires students to apply different skills to a single task (e.g. book reports or larger projects). A few tips for children doing integration homework:

  • Be organized and keep track of all research and information.
  • Plan thoroughly and effectively, with milestones for multi-step projects.

Here are a few best practices to make homework time more productive and successful, no matter what type of homework:

  • Establish the spot. Consistency is important and helps children get into good homework routines. Designate a place in your home for homework, whether that’s the kitchen, dining room or your child’s desk in her room.
  • Designate a time. Some children focus best right after school, while others are most alert after dinner and activities. Figure out the best time of day for homework and do your best to set and keep a schedule.
  • Commit to organization. A homework center with the supplies your child needs to be productive helps children get to work when it’s time to do homework. Your child should spend a few minutes at the end of each homework session tidying it up for the next day.
  • Spend time creating a game plan. Your child should go through his planner before starting homework to look over all assignments for the evening and rank them in order of priority. This will keep homework time on track and eliminate procrastination.
  • Limit homework help. Resist the urge to take a lead role in your child’s homework or step in to show your child how to do homework. Your child should take the initiative and assume responsibility. Make sure your role is as a supporter.

Is your child stressed and struggling with homework on a daily basis? Huntington can help. Call us at 1-800 CAN LEARN to talk about how we can help your child master homework and become a stronger student.

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Seven Essential Study Skills Your Teen Needs It’s important that your teen develop those study skills sooner than later—both for success in high school and in college.

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Mon, 08 Jul 2019 11:18:20 -0400 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/essential-study-skills-your-teen-needs https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/essential-study-skills-your-teen-needs Huntington Learning Center Huntington Learning Center With college on the horizon, there’s a lot for your teen to think about: getting good grades, maintaining a strong GPA, creating a solid college resume and more. It’s important that your teen develop those study skills sooner than later—both for success in high school and in college.

Here are seven study skills that are critical in high school and will prepare your teen for the rigors of college:

  1. Learning preference self-awareness – As teens progress through high school, class work gets increasingly difficult, and things step up even more in college. Ideally, teens need to know how they learn most effectively and when they focus best. Knowing their learning styles and preferences will also help them achieve optimal learning.
  2. Critical thinking – In high school and college, teachers expect that students are able to think methodically and critically and are capable of analyzing and evaluating what they read and hear.
  3. Active listening and reading – Active reading means being engaged with the text, not just by reading but by doing “self-checks” for understanding and jotting down notes for reference later. Active listening requires tuning out outside factors (and any internal “mind chatter”) as well as paraphrasing and asking questions to clarify understanding.
  4. Prioritization – Prioritization helps teens make the most of their time and get homework done more efficiently. Teens should divide homework into categories, such as due tomorrow, due later this week, and due next week or this month. Then, they should rank homework from highest to lowest priority and hardest to easiest—every night. Learn more about prioritization.
  5. Test-taking aptitude – There are many ways teens can improve their performance on tests. A study schedule, some mental preparation, a few stress management techniques and plenty of practice deciphering question types can make a big difference in test scores and test-taking confidence.
  6. Organization and time management – Time management is vital for keeping organized with homework, classes, extracurricular activities and more. Teens should put a planner to use in which they can record their goals, detailed schedule and daily to-dos. Learn more about the components of a foolproof time management system.
  7. Note-taking – Teens should be comfortable taking notes in an organized way. Good note-taking involves writing down sufficient information to understand main points, summarizing key ideas and noting important examples.

High school is a time when teachers expect students to take responsibility for their learning. That means less hand-holding at a time when the workload and subject-matter difficulty are increasing. Bottom line: your teen needs to develop good study skills to achieve his best in high school and beyond. The sooner he does, the better equipped he will be—and the more prepared he will feel—to do well in college.

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Five Teacher Tips for Fostering Kindness You care about your students’ long-term well-being. So, teach them not just to achieve but to treat others well along the way. Here are a few tips to help teachers foster kindness in their classrooms.

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Tue, 09 Jul 2019 19:39:58 -0400 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/teacher-tips-for-fostering-kindness https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/teacher-tips-for-fostering-kindness Huntington Learning Center Huntington Learning Center The primary focus of your job is to guide students toward learning and prepare them for the next grade – and the real world. You might also work on cultivating students’ “soft” skills like perseverance and communication, but there’s something else that matters: kindness.

The Center for Creative Leadership’s white paper, “Empathy in the Workplace: A Tool for Effective Leadership,” shares that empathy is positively related to job performance, while countless other experts cite kindness as an asset of some of the world’s most successful people.

You care about your students’ long-term well-being. So, teach them not just to achieve but to treat others well along the way. Here are a few tips to cultivate kindness in your students:

  1. Lead by example. As always, your example speaks volumes. Treat your students with respect and compassion. Be a good role model for what it looks like to genuinely care for others.
  2. Teach them to find the good in others. Encourage your students to build up classmates, friends, and peers, even with small gestures like a smile or a compliment a day. This has mutually positive benefits on both sides.
  3. Talk about understanding. That’s what empathy is all about – putting yourself in another’s shoes. Teach your students to take others’ perspectives and keep an open mind as they learn about the world and different people and cultures.
  4. Set expectations for high ethics. Discuss moral issues as they come up. Ask students what they stand for and how they “walk the walk” in their daily lives.
  5. Explain how actions affect others. Selflessness is at the root of being a kind person. Talk to your students about how they can have a positive (or negative) impact on others.

A culture of kindness in your classroom will nurture students’ development of empathy, self-esteem, and more. This positive environment will strengthen your students as individuals and future leaders.

 

Photo by Sandrachile . on Unsplash

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Nine Things to Know About 529 Plans A 529 plan offers a range of tax and other benefits for parents putting away money for their children’s college education. You might already know this if you have one set up for your child, but if not, here are a few essentials about this excellent college savings plan.

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Fri, 09 Aug 2019 14:29:56 -0400 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/nine-things-to-know-about-529-plans https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/nine-things-to-know-about-529-plans Huntington Learning Center Huntington Learning Center A 529 plan offers a range of tax and other benefits for parents putting away money for their children’s college education. You might already know this if you have one set up for your child, but if not, here are a few essentials about this excellent college savings plan:

  1. The 529 plan’s biggest benefit: tax-free growth. Earnings on 529 plans’ contributions grow federal tax-free. Earnings are taxed when the money is withdrawn for college.
  2. Many states offer a full or partial tax deduction or credit for 529 plan contributions. Over 30 states offer this opportunity for each year you contribute to the 529 plan. State income tax benefits vary in different states, so it’s best to check with your financial advisor on the rules.
  3. Mom and Dad have control over the plan. You, not the named beneficiary of the 529 plan, stay in control of the 529 account you open. That means you can make sure your child uses the account for college costs.
  4. Everyone can take advantage. There are no income limits, age limits or annual contribution limits on 529 plans. However, there are lifetime contribution limits, which vary by plan (ranging from $235,000 to $520,000).
  5. Funds can be used at college or K-12 schools that charge tuition. The full value of your 529 plan can be used at any eligible college or university, including some international institutions. As of January 2018, 529 plan savings can also be used to pay for tuition expenses at private, public or religious elementary or secondary schools, up to $10,000 per year, per beneficiary.
  6. Yes, 529 plans affect college financial aid, but not much. Assets in 529 accounts owned by a parent are considered parental assets on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The first $20,000 of parental assets aren’t counted in the Expected Family Contribution (EFC) calculation. If you save more than that, a maximum of 5.64% of parental assets are counted (as compared to other student assets, which are counted at 20%).
  7. What does that mean? Higher EFC means less financial aid. So, while 529 plan funds increase your EFC, it’s minimal, especially compared to other student assets. Also, qualified 529 distributions to pay for college expenses are not included in the base-year income that reduces college financial aid eligibility each year. And 529 accounts owned by a grandparent, other relative or family friend have no effect on a student’s FAFSA.
  8. If you don’t use the 529 plan funds for college, there are some penalties. The good news is they’re minimal. If you withdraw from a 529 plan for something other than college costs, the earnings are subject to a 10% withdrawal penalty (and an additional 2.5% state tax penalty in California). Your contributions will never be subject to tax or penalty (because you make contributions with after-tax dollars).
  9. There are exceptions to the 529 plan withdrawal penalty. The 10% penalty is waived if the 529 plan beneficiary passes away, becomes disabled, receives tax-free assistance (like a large scholarship), receives tuition assistance from an employer (there are some rules to this, of course), or attends a U.S. military academy.

College is expensive. The 529 plan is an excellent vehicle for college savings, and investing in one earlier in your child’s life means you benefit from compounded earnings. Contact your financial advisor with questions and to learn about the best 529 plan options in your state.

Information referenced from savingforcollege.com, an independent resource for parents and financial professionals. You can learn more about 529 plans’ tax benefits at www.irs.gov.

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Guiding Your Teen During the College Admission Process Whether your teen is knee-deep in college viewbooks and applications or he or she is just beginning to explore his or her college options, the college admission process can easily instill fear and anxiety in the calmest of parents and teens.

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Thu, 18 Jul 2019 13:13:22 -0400 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/guiding-your-teen-during-the-college-application-process https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/guiding-your-teen-during-the-college-application-process Huntington Learning Center Huntington Learning Center Whether your teen is knee-deep in college viewbooks and applications or he or she is just beginning to explore his or her college options, the college admission process can easily instill fear and anxiety in the calmest of parents and teens. “It’s not uncommon for parents to become obsessed micromanagers when their teens start evaluating colleges—feeling compelled to push them in the ‘right’ direction or even take over the process,” says Eileen Huntington, co-founder of Huntington Learning Center. “The parent plays a vital role in the college search and selection process, but should be more of a partner than an organizer.” Huntington offers these tips to successfully guide your teen through the college admission process:

 

Give up some control.

In your teen’s junior and senior years, many decisions will need to be made—about the college traits that are important to you and your teen (location and school size, for example), the best date to take the SAT and/or ACT and even which colleges to visit. Establish with your teen the types of decisions you are comfortable letting him or her make alone as well as those you must make together. Give your teen opportunities to explain the reasoning behind his or her viewpoints and decisions, and trust the decisions he or she makes, even if it you disagree with them. Doing so allows your teen to mature and learn to be more responsible for his or her choices.

 

Guidance is good. Overinvolvement isn’t.

There’s a lot to the college admission process, and it’s important for parents to be supportive, stay aware of important deadlines and get familiar with the financial aid process. However, your teen must take ownership of his or her college admission. While you should be on hand for questions and be a part of decisions that impact the family, you shouldn’t write your teen’s college application essays or fill out his or her applications. Ultimately, your teen is the one who will be attending college—not you.

 

Help your teen find a great fit, not just a random choice.

Remember that the college admission process is an opportunity to assess your teen’s academic strengths, personality and potential field-of-study interests, and find colleges that are best suited to him or her. Set realistic expectations at the outset—an expensive, highly competitive film school may simply not be possible given your budget and/or your teen’s GPA and test scores—then take a proactive approach to evaluate the choices.

 

Foster good communication.

The college admission process can be stressful for every member of the family, but regular, healthy communication can minimize conflicts and bring you and your teen closer together. Establish the best way for the two of you to stay in touch throughout the process. Understand that you will not agree about everything, but be sure your teen understands when your input is required and when you expect him or her to make decisions independently. And always encourage your teen to talk with you about his or her fears, questions and aspirations.

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Four Ways for Teachers to Rejuvenate This Summer Students need a break after an intense school year, and so do you! Even if you have professional development plans or other education goals while you’re not in school, it is essential that you take time to rejuvenate your mind and recharge your batteries.

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Mon, 08 Jul 2019 10:13:24 -0400 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/ways-for-teachers-to-recharge-during-summer https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/ways-for-teachers-to-recharge-during-summer Huntington Learning Center Huntington Learning Center Students need a break after an intense school year, and so do you! Even if you have professional development plans or other education goals while you’re not in school, it is essential that you take time to rejuvenate your mind and recharge your batteries. Here are a few tips:

Make a summer reading list. Just like you tell your students, summer is the best time to rediscover your love for reading for the fun of it. Make a list of pool reads and commit to unplugging and reading a little bit each day.

Exercise. We all know that exercise is good for the body, but study after study shows that it is good for the mind and the soul, too. Start walking, hiking, or practicing yoga. You’ll feel better and be glad that you did.

Reflect on the year. Within a week or two of school ending, take a notebook and head to your favorite coffee shop for some reflection. What worked well last year? What didn’t?

Set goals when your mind is fresh. After reflecting on the year, set a few goals. What would you like to improve or change next year? How will you make those changes and what milestones can you set to ensure you do?

Summer is your chance to breathe in between school years and give yourself a much-needed mental break! Use the time well so that when the next school year comes, you feel excited and ready to make it a great year.

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(VIDEO) Anne Huntington Discusses the Summer Slide with Live on Lakeside Anne Huntington joined Live on Lakeside on June 18, 2019 to discuss important ways to avoid the summer slide this year.

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Thu, 20 Jun 2019 15:17:48 -0400 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/anne-huntington-summer-slide-2019 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/anne-huntington-summer-slide-2019 Huntington Learning Center Huntington Learning Center Anne Huntington Joined Live on Lakeside to discuss ways parents and students can avoid the summer slide in 2019.

Learn how Huntington Learning Center can help keep your student up to speed during the summer months and all year long.

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Seven Tips for Helping Elementary Students Transition to Middle School If your child is just finishing elementary school, you’ve probably heard it all year: the transition to middle school is a big one. Huntington Has some suggestions on how to make that transition easier for them.

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Mon, 08 Jul 2019 09:34:33 -0400 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/elementary-to-middle-school-transition https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/elementary-to-middle-school-transition Huntington Learning Center Huntington Learning Center If your child is just finishing up elementary school, you’ve probably heard it all year: the transition to middle school is a big one. “Classes are more challenging, teachers expect more, and there’s more homework, responsibility and pressure overall,” says Eileen Huntington of Huntington Learning Center.

How can you help your child navigate this major change? Huntington offers these seven tips:

  1. Set expectations. Give your child an idea of what’s to come. Talk regularly about the specific aspects of the school experience that will be different, including:
  • Size of school
  • New surroundings
  • Number of students
  • Number of classes
  • Amount of homework
  • Teacher expectation changes
  • Grade point average
  • Discipline and behavior expectations

 

  1. Focus on time management. It’s time to get serious about curbing those time-wasters and bad habits. Work with your child on establishing a daily routine and scheduling time for everything: school, sleep, dinner, homework, extracurriculars and free time.
    Discuss the importance of planning out study sessions and prioritizing homework assignments.
  2. Work on the organizational system. Good organization goes hand in hand with time management, and students who embrace both perform better academically and are less stressed. Invest in a large binder with folders for each subject to keep everything in one central place. At school, have your child divide the locker into shelves/slots for books, take-home folders and leave-at-school folders. At home, an accordion file, stackable letter trays or a file cabinet will assist your child in keeping track of graded homework and everything else. Also, these apps for digital organization are worth a look too: iStudiez Pro, Todoist, RescueTime and Scanner Pro.
  3. Build independence. Up to now, you’ve probably played an integral role in school. It’s essential that your child begins to take full ownership of his or her school work and grades and feel the impact of any and all choices, both good and bad. As best you can, step back as your child moves into middle school. Put your child in charge.
  4. Empower your child. A big part of being independent is learning to advocate for oneself. In middle school, teachers want students to participate in class and come forward when they don’t understand something. If your child’s teacher doesn’t grade a test correctly or mistakenly marks him or her absent, it’s on your child, not you, to point out those things. With teachers, those early first impressions matter.
  5. Take a tour. Many middle schools offer orientation programs for incoming students that include school tours and other valuable information sessions. Take advantage of this opportunity if available. If there’s nothing formal in place, call the school to ask about tours and any informal mentoring programs that could help your child.
  6. Teach your child to recognize when to ask for help. In middle school, it’s still critical that you keep the lines of communication with your child open and watch for any warning signs that he or she might be struggling. However, your child needs to be self-aware enough to identify when he or she needs help. Start talking about how to manage stress and a heavy workload and what to do when your child feels overwhelmed.

Middle school is a whole new ballgame, and it’s important to help your child prepare. “Don’t worry, though,” adds Huntington. “A little effort goes a long way to get students ready. Lay the groundwork now and your child will have a successful middle school experience.”

About Huntington

Huntington is the tutoring and test prep leader. Its certified tutors provide individualized instruction in reading, phonics, writing, study skills, elementary and middle school math, Algebra through Calculus, Chemistry, and other sciences. It preps for the SAT and ACT, as well as state and standardized exams.  Huntington programs develop the skills, confidence, and motivation to help students succeed.  Founded in 1977, Huntington’s mission is to give every student the best education possible.  Learn how Huntington can help at www.huntingtonhelps.com. For franchise opportunities please visit www.huntingtonfranchise.com.

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Ultimate Summer SAT/ACT Prep Plan So, your college-bound student is starting to think about taking the SAT and/or ACT this summer—for the first, second or even third time. A summer exam prep plan is definitely in order.

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Mon, 08 Jul 2019 10:57:30 -0400 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/ultimate-sat-act-prep-plan https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/ultimate-sat-act-prep-plan Huntington Learning Center Huntington Learning Center So, your college-bound student is starting to think about taking the SAT and/or ACT this summer—for the first, second or even third time. A summer exam prep plan is definitely in order. Here’s an example of an SAT/ACT prep plan for your teen (based on Huntington Learning Center’s exam prep program):

Week one: Choose the SAT or ACT.

  • Take an initial evaluation test.
  • Choose either the SAT or ACT based on the results of the evaluation (and any college preferences).

Week two: Get a baseline score.

  • Take a full-length, timed practice exam to get a baseline score.
  • Develop a targeted study plan based on strong and weak areas identified in the practice test.
  • Create a study schedule by exam section and sub-section and study according to customized prep schedule (# of days depends on exam timing and goals).

Week three: Start to work on different problem types and keep studying.

  • Get familiar with multiple choice, student-produced response questions, improving sentence questions, etc.
  • Continue to study according to a customized prep schedule.

Weeks four/five: Focus on time management, get familiar with how the SAT/ACT exams are scored and keep studying.

  • Work on exam time management by learning the structure of the exam and building skills like how to rule out obviously incorrect answers.
  • Learn about scoring and adjust test-taking strategies and pacing accordingly.
  • Continue to study according to a customized prep schedule.

Week six: Review progress.

  • Take a full-length, timed practice exam.
  • Adjust study schedule based on results, if needed.
  • Improve on question types where the lowest practice scores are received.
  • Continue to study according to a customized prep schedule.

Week seven: Continue improving weaker areas.

  • Improve on question types where the lowest practice scores are received.
  • Continue to study according to a customized prep schedule.
  • Review test-taking strategies and stress management techniques in the week leading up to the SAT/ACT exam date.

Week eight: Take the SAT or ACT!

This is an example of what your teen’s ultimate summer SAT/ACT prep study plan could look like, but at Huntington, we do not believe in one-size-fits-all learning—or SAT/ACT exam prep. Each prep program is developed based on a student’s specific needs, goals, strengths, and weaknesses. Call 1-800 CAN LEARN to learn more about Huntington’s individualized exam preparation services.

 

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Reading Milestones for Early Readers As children become better and more independent readers, parents can help guide them along in their reading and literacy development. Parents need to understand the progressive reading “building blocks” and guide your child toward mastery of each of them.

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Thu, 18 Jul 2019 13:10:05 -0400 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/reading-milestones-for-early-readers https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/reading-milestones-for-early-readers Huntington Learning Center Huntington Learning Center As children become better and more independent readers, parents can help guide them along in their reading and literacy development. Parents need to understand the progressive reading “building blocks” and guide your child toward mastery of each of them. Here are some of the key reading milestones as your young reader advances through elementary school:

 

Decoding – Once students learn phonics—the sounds of letters and letter combinations—they move on to decoding, in which they use small words or word units to figure out larger words. Learning to decode helps students recognize root words, prefixes and suffixes. For example, a child who can read up can more easily read cup and upon.

 

Word recognition – In kindergarten, children spend a great deal of time learning high-frequency words (often called sight words). These are vocabulary words that appear often in books and other literature. Memorizing them and being able to recognize them instantly is one of the keys to achieving reading fluency. Examples include the, that, an, him, her, into, like and come.

 

Spelling – In the early grades especially, your child will learn how different letters are associated with different sounds and how words are composed of letters. Part of spelling involves learning about the sounds that vowels and consonants make as well as other letter combinations, including:

  • Blends (such as fr, sp and bl, for example)
  • Digraph sounds, or pairs of letters that make a single sound (th, sh and ng, for example)
  • Diphthongs, or two adjacent vowels (au and oi, for example)

 

Young readers also begin to identify letter patterns and recognize them in unfamiliar words (such as the short a sound in cat and hat and the long i sound in bite and kite).  

 

Punctuation and mechanics – In order to read (and write) well, children must understand the parts of a sentence, how sentences are formed and what punctuation means.

 

Comprehension – As your child begins to read to him or herself and to you, the ability to comprehend what he or she reads is critical. Your child should be able to read a passage or chapter, recall details about what happened, and make predictions about what might happen next.

 

Fluency – Reading fluency is the ability to read quickly, smoothly and correctly. As your child progresses through elementary school, he or she must improve his or her reading fluency and be able to recognize words on sight without having to sound out every letter or chunk.

 

Here are a few simple ways you can help your child improve his or her reading skills:

 

  • Point out patterns. As your child learns to decode words, point out words that rhyme, words that contain the same prefixes and suffixes, words that build on other words, and similar patterns.
  • Read aloud. Continue to read aloud to your child even when he or she can read independently.
  • Mix it up. Have your child read aloud to you and silently to him or herself. Read to your child. Have him or her read to a sibling or family member. And read a variety of material types.
  • Encourage questions. As you read together, ask your child periodically to summarize what a story or passage means. Ask about the theme of the story, what he or she thinks about the characters and what they might do next, and what he or she does or doesn’t like about the story.
  • Teach your child to relate to stories. Comprehension involves self-reflection. Encourage your child to compare situations in stories to those in his or her own life. Ask whether your child knows any classmates or friends who are similar to characters in the stories he or she reads.

 

As your child advances through school, he or she will continue to strengthen the reading basics. Aid your child in learning the fundamentals now so that he or she will soon have the skills to succeed in school and enjoy this wonderful pastime for the rest of his or her life.

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Eight Test-Taking Tips to Share with Students Whether you teach English, math, or any other subject, you have to give tests – and to succeed in your class, students need to get comfortable taking them. How can you help students become better test-takers?

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Mon, 08 Jul 2019 10:06:24 -0400 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/test-taking-tips-to-share-with-students https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/test-taking-tips-to-share-with-students Huntington Learning Center Huntington Learning Center Whether you teach English, math, or any other subject, you have to give tests – and to succeed in your class, students need to get comfortable taking them. How can you help students become better test-takers? Here are eight tips to share with them:

  1. Work on getting “in the zone.” Every classroom has distractions, but students must learn how to tune them out. This takes some trial and error, but encourage your students to work on figuring out what works for them.
  2. Jot down formulas or key information. It’s a good idea for students to write down any formulas or quick mnemonic devices they’ve memorized in the margins of their tests once you say “Begin.”
  3. Become skilled at pacing. One of the simplest tips you can share with your students is how to pace themselves. Students should estimate the minutes per question (and section) they can spend and do this quick calculation before starting any test.
  4. Mark the tough questions. Once students have a time budget in mind, they can keep themselves on track. That means they should circle any difficult questions and come back to them rather than waste time struggling.
  5. Read the directions. Students should always remember that reading directions is a must—on any test or assignment.
  6. Read the questions carefully. Doing so is the best way to eliminate obvious wrong answers and use time efficiently.
  7. Practice stress management. Tests can be very stressful for some students. Teach your students simple strategies to calm down and clear their heads, like deep breathing, stretching/standing, and positive visualization techniques.
  8. Allow for time at the end to review. It’s always good practice for students to review tests when finished to ensure that no questions were overlooked and to double-check or complete any problems about which they weren’t certain initially.

Remind your students of these tips and strategies throughout the school year. These practices will help them improve their test-taking abilities and confidence!

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Tips for Creating a Great Resume for College Applications If your teen is starting to think about college, it’s also a good time to work on developing a resume.

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Mon, 08 Jul 2019 09:34:54 -0400 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/creating-a-great-resume-for-college-applications https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/creating-a-great-resume-for-college-applications Huntington Learning Center Huntington Learning Center If your teen is starting to think about college, it’s also a good time to work on developing a resume. As Eileen Huntington of the Huntington Learning Center explains, resumes are valuable for many reasons. “Teens can use the resume to prepare for college interviews, to share with people writing them letters of recommendation and much more,” she says. What should teens include on their resumes? What should be avoided? Huntington offers these tips:

  1. Make it brief. Even the most involved, standout high school junior or senior should limit the resume to one front-and-back page.
  2. Format well. A resume should be scannable and easy to read. It’s important to divide it into sections (separated by headers) and make use of bullets, bolding, and italics where appropriate.
  3. Focus on the most important elements. For a high school student, the education section of the resume should be the primary focus, but don’t leave out other important content. Here’s a possible template:
    • Contact information – Name, address, phone number, email address
    • Education section – Graduation date, weighted grade point average, and SAT/ACT scores
    • Valuable skills section – Software proficiency, foreign languages, etc.
    • Extracurricular activities – Any sports, clubs, activities or volunteer work
    • Work experience – Any for-pay work experiences, including employer name, job title, responsibilities, and recognition
  4. Highlight character traits and work ethic. The purpose of a high school resume is to augment, not repeat, the college application. Thus, teens should highlight their skills, passion, work ethic and leadership skills through the jobs and other activities they list.
  5. Highlight accomplishments. Again, it is important for teens to use the resume to showcase their strengths to colleges as well as teachers/mentors writing recommendation letters for them. That means including any achievements, awards or other recognition on the resume (e.g. not just Chess Club, but Chess Club, Four-time district champion, 2016-2019).
  6. Show course work not on a high school transcript. That includes any college prep courses, college courses, academic camps or training programs, certifications or similar.
  7. Consider a summary section. Some teens might want to include a career summary or a personal summary. This section calls out a teen’s goals and best traits/assets and can be a great resume addition.

Lastly, Huntington shares with parents that the resume helps teens reflect on their high school careers and prepare for the next step in their lives. “As teens get closer to college, it is so important that they put their best foot forward and feel confident talking about their strengths and assets,” she says. “Encourage your teen to invest the time into developing a great resume, as it will help get him or her into ‘professional mode’ and prepared to show colleges his or her very best.”

About Huntington

Huntington is the tutoring and test prep leader. Its certified tutors provide individualized instruction in reading, phonics, writing, study skills, elementary and middle school math, Algebra through Calculus, Chemistry, and other sciences. It preps for the SAT and ACT, as well as state and standardized exams.  Huntington programs develop the skills, confidence, and motivation to help students succeed.  Founded in 1977, Huntington’s mission is to give every student the best education possible.  Learn how Huntington can help at www.huntingtonhelps.com. For franchise opportunities please visit www.huntingtonfranchise.com.

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How to Create a Scholarship Game Plan Parents of high school students have plenty on their minds, but at the top of the list is paying for college—and for good reason. While many families plan on taking out federal loans to help cover the cost, teens should absolutely apply for scholarships.

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Mon, 08 Jul 2019 10:44:48 -0400 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/how-to-create-a-scholarship-game-plan https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/how-to-create-a-scholarship-game-plan Huntington Learning Center Huntington Learning Center Parents of high school students have plenty on their minds, but at the top of the list is paying for college—and for good reason. The cost of college has risen steadily for the last three decades.* While many families plan on taking out federal loans to help cover the cost, teens should absolutely apply for scholarships. That “gift” aid (free money) can make the cost of college a little or a lot more affordable.

There are thousands of scholarships out there that can come from many different sources: the federal government, state government, colleges and universities, private organizations, nonprofits and even businesses. It is definitely worthwhile to search and apply for scholarships, but in a methodical, organized way. Here are a few tips on creating a scholarship search game plan:

  1. Create a spreadsheet for tracking research. Before teens start researching scholarships, it’s a good idea to develop a system for keeping track of them. Many of the popular scholarship engines out there have a dashboard of their own that allows students to manage their scholarship matches and application progress, but it’s wise for teens to have their own database too since they might apply to different scholarships from different sources. A simple Google Sheet or Excel spreadsheet will do the trick.
  2. Research. Too often, high schoolers disregard the idea of scholarships, thinking they’re reserved only for the highest achieving students. However, there are scholarships for students from many backgrounds with various skills and in different niches. Students should do their research, keeping several things in mind:
    • Get to know the guidance counselor.
    • Sign up for any college platform or email list recommended by the high school guidance counseling office (such as Naviance), which is likely to be the best way to keep on top of deadlines for scholarships the school advertises.
    • Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), which is used by both state and federal agencies (and colleges use the FAFSA’s Student Aid Report to determine the financial aid award they offer, which might include scholarships).
    • Keep small scholarships in mind, as they tend to be less competitive and can add up quickly.
    • Start early, as many scholarships require elements like letters of recommendation and essays.
    • Find ways to be efficient, like reusing/revising personal statements and essays to fit similar but slightly different scholarship applications.
    • In addition to the guidance counselor’s office, there are many other places to look for scholarships:
      • Scholarship databases like scholarships.com and fastweb.com
      • Local foundations, community organizations, businesses and civic groups
      • Library resource desk
  3. Dedicate time each week to scholarship research. There are lots of scholarships available to students, but those who earn them are dedicated and diligent. Teens should make time every week for researching scholarships and applying to those for which they’re qualified.
  4. Log progress. Teens should update their scholarship spreadsheet regularly, which will keep deadlines top of mind and keep them motivated to continue the effort. Here’s an example of how a tracking system might look:
Name Provider Website Deadline Award Criteria Other Status
Johnson Scholarship ABC Foundation ABCFoundation.com 11/1/2019

$5K - $10K per year for tuition + fees

in-state schools

3.75 GPA New Freshman,

Top 10% of class

Average SAT 1300

Average ACT 30

 

Letter of rec

Interview required

Requested letter from Ms. Smith 8/10/2019

Started online application 9/1/2019

Applying for scholarships takes effort, but the task is much less stressful when teens stay organized. Parents, encourage your teens to approach the job in a disciplined way, which will make it easier to apply widely and streamline the application process.

 

* “Trends in College Pricing 2017,” published by the College Board, states that over the past three decades, the dollar increases in published tuition and fees (in 2017 dollars) ranged from $1,550 (from 1987-88 to 1997-98) to $2,690 (from 2007-08 to 2017-18) at public four-year institutions and from $5,860 (from 1987-88 to 1997-98) to $7,220 (from 2007-08 to 2017-18) in the private nonprofit four-year sector.

 

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5 Signs Your Student Needs Tutoring Outside of School It’s probably pretty obvious when a student is struggling in class, but as you know, getting that child help sooner than later is crucial.

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Mon, 08 Jul 2019 09:59:14 -0400 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/signs-your-student-needs-outside-tutoring https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/signs-your-student-needs-outside-tutoring Huntington Learning Center Huntington Learning Center It’s probably pretty obvious when a student is struggling in class, but as you know, getting that child help sooner than later is crucial. Here are a few signs that one of your students needs tutoring help:

  1. The student is very behind. When students fall behind, it becomes increasingly difficult for them to catch back up, especially if the class moves at a fast pace. Also, falling behind tends to be a cumulative problem that worsens with time.
  2. The student is disengaged. Students who are disruptive, uninterested, or even angry often have something else going on that requires addressing. It could be that they’re embarrassed about their school struggles. Apathy is a big red flag that shouldn’t be ignored.
  3. The student performs poorly on tests and quizzes. When a student’s homework grades are acceptable but they get low test grades, you might be dealing with poor exam prep and study skills.
  4. The student struggles to work on pace. Some students work quickly while others take their time. This is to be expected, but if you have a student who consistently takes longer than seems reasonable to do tasks, supplemental tutoring might help them learn where they can be more efficient and build skills they’re missing.
  5. Your efforts to reach the student aren’t working. Maybe you’ve tried talking with a student and his parent, but your attempts have been ignored or met with resistance. A customized program of instruction that addresses the student’s areas of weakness might be just what they need.

Have a student who you feel could benefit from one-to-one, individualized tutoring? Refer parents to Huntington: 1-800 CAN LEARN. We’ll talk with them about how we help children of all ages raise their grades and their confidence.

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Six Activities to Keep Your Child Learning this Summer It’s summer break and children around the country are celebrating. While your child certainly deserves a break from the daily grind of homework and studying, it’s important to keep that brain active to avoid regression, the loss of academic skills that is so common over long breaks from school.

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Thu, 20 Jun 2019 15:01:30 -0400 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/six-activities-to-keep-your-child-learning-this-summer https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/six-activities-to-keep-your-child-learning-this-summer Dr. Raymond Huntington Dr. Raymond Huntington It’s summer break and children around the country are celebrating. While your child certainly deserves a break from the daily grind of homework and studying, it’s important to keep that brain active to avoid regression, the loss of academic skills that is so common over long breaks from school.

What can you do to keep your child learning over summer break? Here are six ideas from Huntington Learning Center:

  1. Read daily. A regular reading habit is quite possibly the best and easiest way for children to retain their reading skills over summer and avoid the dreaded “summer slide.” Make reading a part of your nightly summer routine. Check out Huntington’s Reading Adventure program and any summer reading programs at your local library, and visit the library often. And consider setting goals and rewards for your child for summer (e.g. dinner at a favorite restaurant for every book finished).
  2. Start a journal. You might not be able to convince your child to practice essay writing over summer, but a journal is a fun way for your child to keep track of the things he or she does, trips, and more. Browse the bookstore for themed journals with daily prompts if you think your child might benefit from a little nudge. Some of those memories and moments might prove useful later on when your child is seeking inspiration for college entrance essays.
  3. Play learning games. No matter how old your child is, there are all kinds of games out there that are fun to play and teach valuable skills and knowledge at the same time. Research online for websites with popular games but don’t forget classics like chess, checkers, all kinds of card games, Apples to Apples, Scrabble, Risk, and other board games.
  4. Get out the puzzles. Puzzles are a fantastic way to pass those hot summer days. Even if your child isn’t into the traditional jigsaw puzzle, there are lots of variations. Look for metal and wood disentanglement puzzles, tangrams, box puzzles, Tetris puzzles, speed cubes and interlocking ring puzzles.
  5. Embrace summer science. There are many ways for your child to use the outdoors to learn about the weather, how things grow, living organisms and more. Start a garden and put your child in charge of researching and planting fruits, vegetables and flowers that grow well in your climate. Have your child chart the weather and track how it changes over summer. Encourage your child to watch for birds and animals in the yard and pay attention to their behaviors. Science and summer go hand in hand!
  6. Save and invest. If your child is planning to earn money this summer, why not take him or her to the bank to open an account and learn about the different savings options available? Search for an online class that will teach your child the basics of saving and earning interest. Check out the tools and information at Northwestern Mutual’s The Mint.

The great thing about summer is it offers an opportunity to explore curiosities and learn for learning’s sake. It’s okay if you can’t get your child to crack a math book—there are lots of ways for children to deter learning loss and enjoy themselves in the process.

Need more ideas? Call Huntington at 1 800 CAN LEARN to learn about our customized summer programs for kids that help children of all ages catch up or get ahead in school and boost their confidence.

 

About Huntington

Huntington is the tutoring and test prep leader. Its certified tutors provide individualized instruction in reading, phonics, writing, study skills, elementary and middle school math, Algebra through Calculus, Chemistry, and other sciences. It preps for the SAT and ACT, as well as state and standardized exams.  Huntington programs develop the skills, confidence, and motivation to help students succeed.  Founded in 1977, Huntington’s mission is to give every student the best education possible.  Learn how Huntington can help at www.huntingtonhelps.com. For franchise opportunities please visit www.huntingtonfranchise.com.

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Tips for Researching College Scholarships With school on break, summer is a great chance for high school students to dedicate time to the college search, including looking for scholarships. The process of finding and applying for scholarships takes commitment and effort, however.

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Thu, 20 Jun 2019 14:51:03 -0400 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/researching-college-scholarships https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/researching-college-scholarships Huntington Learning Center Huntington Learning Center With school on break, summer is a great chance for high school students to dedicate time to the college search, including looking for scholarships. The process of finding and applying for scholarships takes commitment and effort, however. Here are a few tips for teens on how to approach the task this summer:

 

  • Repeat this mantra: “The scholarship search starts freshman year.” Teens should start thinking about college freshman year—and how to pay for it through financial aid and scholarships. Early on, they should visit the guidance counselor to ensure some of the notable/local college scholarship programs are on their radar. They should also start to browse websites like Scholarships.com and Fastweb.com and the College Board’s Big Future scholarship database.
  • Talk to alumni who earned scholarships. Word of mouth can be an invaluable search method. Parents should encourage their teens to talk with friends (and friends of friends), older siblings and others in their high school network about how they approached the scholarship search. That could turn them onto possibilities they weren’t aware of previously.
  • Create a spreadsheet. A Google sheet or Excel spreadsheet is a helpful tool to keep track of any scholarship research. Teens should include the scholarship name, scholarship provider, website, application deadline, criteria/eligibility information, award amount and any documentation required. It’s also wise for teens to include a column for ranking each scholarship in terms of how qualified they think they are (to help them prioritize when they start applying).
  • Create a timeline. The college application process ramps up significantly junior year, and it can be helpful to use summer break (even if your teen is just a soon-to-be sophomore) to start planning ahead. Many scholarship deadlines fall between October and March, so fall of senior year is a good time to start applying. That means by junior year, teens should have a working list for scholarships to which they plan to apply.
  • Be open to the possibilities. Sure, that full-ride scholarship that a local foundation gives out to students in your state might be most appealing, but teens shouldn’t disregard smaller scholarships. They are likely to be less competitive and lesser known—and nabbing several of them adds up quickly.
  • Search online and locally. As mentioned above, there are several scholarship websites where teens can start exploring what’s out there, but every community and every state has local scholarships too. Teens should check out the websites of big employers in town, community organizations and nonprofit organizations. A visit or call to the local library or community center is also worthwhile.
  • Start working on the essay. For many students, the essay is the most dreaded part of the scholarship application. Teens who are headed into senior year should check to see whether the scholarships they’re considering have released essay prompts yet and start brainstorming ideas. Those who are starting sophomore and junior year in the fall can still use summer to make a list of experiences, role models, life lessons and personal growth moments that could be essay-worthy topics.
  • Start thinking about teachers who could write recommendation letters. Summer break offers the opportunity to reflect on the year, including the teachers and other mentors who were influential and helpful (great people to keep in touch with). Teens can keep a list of these people for when the time comes to start requesting recommendation letters.

 

Many teens assume scholarships are reserved for only the top-tier students with impeccable academic and extracurricular records, but that’s simply not true. The truth is, there are many scholarships available for all kinds of students. Encourage your teen to take advantage of the slower pace of summer to do some research and dedicate time toward this effort.

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How to Make Smooth Classroom Transitions One challenge all teachers face is managing transitions from one activity to the next. That down-time can turn into class chatter and throw you completely off course.

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Thu, 20 Jun 2019 14:26:04 -0400 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/making-smooth-classroom-transitions https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/making-smooth-classroom-transitions Huntington Learning Center Huntington Learning Center One challenge all teachers face is managing transitions from one activity to the next. That downtime can turn into class chatter and throw you completely off course. What can you do? Here are a few ideas for making those transitions smoother:

 

  • Establish a “stop talking” cue. This might be ringing a bell or calling out a chant. Teach your students what this means early in the year so that they understand that your expectation when it happens is for everyone to be quiet and listen.
  • Give time reminders. Abrupt changes are difficult for many students. Give five- and ten-minute warnings before you ask students to clean up or switch to something new.
  • Have a plan for the early finishers. Students work at different paces. Let students know what they should do if they finish a task before others. This will help avoid such students getting fidgety and disturbing their peers.
  • Develop routines. If you’ve been teaching for a while, you probably have routines well established. Take a good look at your day, though. Are there times where students are more disruptive or talkative than others? Consider giving a refresher on your expectations or trying a new routine.
  • Use transitions as quick brain breaks. Sometimes, no matter how well you plan a transition, your students might need a breather. Use it as a chance to move around, do some jumping jacks, or take a quick walk up and down the hall. Hitting pause for a moment will do your students good.

 

Managing transitions well is an important classroom management technique. It’s all about setting expectations and holding students to them. Do that, and you’ll notice that your classroom runs more effectively and your students remain engaged.

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The Importance of Writing Skills for College Students In just about every subject, professors assign essays along with many other writing assignments. But beyond the fact that students are expected to do a lot of it in college, why else is the ability to write so important?

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Thu, 20 Jun 2019 14:46:43 -0400 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/writing-skills-for-college-students https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/writing-skills-for-college-students Huntington Learning Center Huntington Learning Center You and your teen already know how important writing skills are in high school. It probably comes as no surprise that they are just as critical in college. In just about every subject, professors assign essays along with many other writing assignments. But beyond the fact that students are expected to do a lot of it in college, why else is the ability to write so important? Here are six reasons:

  1. Communication is vital in today’s world. It’s a digital world where communication skills matter—and writing is at the core of strong communication. No matter what students go on to major in at college (and what they intend to do after they graduate), they will be expected to express their work clearly, concisely and coherently in writing.
  2. Writing helps students refine ideas. In college, students are often asked to do research and formulate arguments and present that information in written format. This prepares them for the real world, where professionals in many industries must do this on a daily basis—when emailing colleagues and creating and sharing reports, for example.
  3. Good writing leaves a strong impression. Like it or not, these days, many people are judged by their writing because so many introductions in the real world are made via email or similar. Quality writing will make students stand out (and bad writing will also make them stand out, but not in a good way).
  4. Writing skills prove workplace readiness. The goal of college, of course, is to prepare students for their future careers—and communication is consistently ranked as one of the most valued traits by all types of employers. Having an aptitude for writing earns people credibility, no matter what field they’re in.
  5. Having writing ability shows professionalism. Great leaders are often great writers, capable of inspiring others and instigating change with their words and ideas. Even on a more practical basis, professionals must be able to write emails, reports, memos and letters that are clear and effective. Students who hone their writing abilities in college will be better equipped as professionals.
  6. Poor writing gets ignored. Rambling essays…confusing emails…wordy titles…disorganized papers: these will get ignored by a professor, just as poor writing in the workplace will get disregarded as unimportant and irrelevant. Whether a student plans to become a journalist, business professional, teacher or engineer, it’s essential to learn that writing well means getting heard and noticed.

It’s crucial that your teen has good writing skills and techniques before she sets foot on a college campus. If your teen needs support throughout high school, call Huntington. We’ll help your teen hone those imperative writing abilities and become a more confident writer before she heads off to college.

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Tips for Teaching ADHD Students School can be a struggle for students with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). As their teacher, how can you make things easier and less frustrating for them and for you?

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Thu, 20 Jun 2019 14:22:22 -0400 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/tips-for-teaching-adhd-students https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/tips-for-teaching-adhd-students Huntington Learning Center Huntington Learning Center School can be a struggle for students with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). As their teacher, how can you make things easier and less frustrating for them and for you? Here are a few tips and techniques:

 

  • Get to know students individually. ADHD doesn’t look the same for every student. Talk with your students about what methods they’ve tried to focus, and pay attention to what works best for them.

 

  • Incorporate brain breaks. Sitting for long periods is difficult for any student, but especially those with ADHD. Recognize when your students become fidgety, disruptive, or distracted and take those moments to move, which is critical for getting students back on track and re-engaged.

 

  • Set expectations. For many students with ADHD, the visual and audio reminders of the time (and how much time is left to complete tasks) is the best method of time management. Throughout the day, let your students know what they must accomplish (e.g. a worksheet) and by when (e.g. using a timer).

 

  • Embrace the checklist. Checklists can be a lifesaver. Incorporate them into transition time, working time, and preparing-the-backpack-for-home time, and encourage students to create their own checklists to have on hand during homework.

 

Huntington works with students who have ADHD every day and helps them focus on improving their areas of weakness, developing study skills, and developing reliable methods of staying focused. As you work toward classroom success, feel free to refer parents to Huntington as well. Our customized tutoring programs are effective with students with ADHD because we use targeted strategies based on evidence-based practices. Call 1 800 CAN LEARN to learn more.

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The Importance of Personalized SAT/ACT Test Prep When it comes to teens preparing for success on the SAT or ACT, here’s something parents need to know: not all test prep programs are created equal.  And one of the most important things parents should look for when evaluating companies that deliver test prep courses is whether the program meets students’ distinct needs.

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Tue, 21 May 2019 09:12:16 -0400 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/importance-of-personalized-test-prep https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/importance-of-personalized-test-prep Huntington Learning Center Huntington Learning Center When it comes to teens preparing for success on the SAT or ACT, here’s something parents need to know: not all test prep programs are created equal. And one of the most important things parents should look for when evaluating companies that deliver test prep courses, says Eileen Huntington of Huntington Learning Center, is whether the program meets students’ distinct needs.

“Because no two students are exactly the same, the SAT/ACT prep course each student takes shouldn’t be the same either,” says Huntington. “Huntington test prep programs are successful because they are customized to each student. Taking a one-size-fits-all approach to test prep results in some students getting left behind.”

Huntington shares several reasons that parents should seek out personalized SAT/ACT test prep for their college-bound teens:

Every student has different strengths and weaknesses. An area of strength for one teen might be an area of weakness for another. Thus, a “broad brush” approach to preparing a group of students for the math test of the SAT is unlikely to work well for everyone. The content of what is taught and the methodology must be tailored to each student’s abilities.

Every student learns at a different pace. Just as classroom teachers differentiate their instruction in the classroom, test prep teachers need to take into account that every student has unique challenges. A great SAT/ACT test prep curriculum will be efficient, focusing on areas where teens need the most help and delivering the content at a pace that works for them.

Not all SAT/ACT tutors have the same qualifications. Too often, parents assume that hiring any experienced tutor of high school students will work when it comes to helping their teens prepare for the SAT or ACT. Not true. It’s essential that teens work with qualified teachers who are experienced teaching to the SAT and ACT. These teachers know the tests inside and out and understand that to achieve the best results, they must adapt their tactics and study plan, depending on the student(s).

A personalized SAT/ACT test prep program begins with a practice test. It’s difficult for an a test prep teacher to be as effective with students when they don’t first administer a diagnostic evaluation in the form of a practice exam. A full-length, timed practice test not only gives students a true feel for what the SAT or ACT is like, it gives their test prep teacher a baseline for instruction. With detailed results, a teacher can develop an SAT/ACT prep program that addresses all weaker subject areas thoroughly.

Huntington says that Huntington’s excellent track record with college entrance test prep is due to the learning center’s individualized approach, but parents should rest assured that Huntington SAT/ACT test prep is both specific and thorough. “When we work with a student, we cover all the bases,” she says. Making sure students are ready for each section and subsection of the exam is a big part of that, but we also cover essentials like improving their speed under pressure and stress management. The point is simple: the best test prep program is detailed and addresses students’ individual needs and goals.”

About Huntington

Huntington is the tutoring and test prep leader. Its certified tutors provide individualized instruction in reading, phonics, writing, study skills, elementary and middle school math, Algebra through Calculus, Chemistry, and other sciences. It preps for the SAT and ACT, as well as state and standardized exams.  Huntington programs develop the skills, confidence, and motivation to help students succeed.  Founded in 1977, Huntington’s mission is to give every student the best education possible.  Learn how Huntington can help at www.huntingtonhelps.com. For franchise opportunities please visit www.huntingtonfranchise.com.  

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Eight Resume-Boosting Experiences for Your Teen This Summer If your teen complained about being bored last summer, it’s time to reframe the thinking. Summer break is a perfect opportunity to gain experience and better oneself.

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Thu, 20 Jun 2019 14:41:38 -0400 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/resume-boosting-teen-summer-experiences https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/resume-boosting-teen-summer-experiences Huntington Learning Center Huntington Learning Center If your teen complained about being bored last summer, it’s time to reframe the thinking. Summer break is a perfect opportunity to gain experience and better oneself. Here are a few great uses of time that will benefit your teen and strengthen her resume:

  1. Get an internship. Internships are one of the best ways for teens to get practical experience and exposure to a real-world professional setting. Though more common in college, many organizations hire high school interns too. Have your teen talk with the guidance counselor to learn about what might be available in your area.
  2. In every community, there are all kinds of organizations in need—and these organizations rely on volunteers. This is a perfect way for your teen to get experience and grow as a person. Look to the high school clubs for ideas, but the local nursing home, animal shelter, and community center are also likely to have options.
  3. Build skills. Subject-matter knowledge is essential in college, but there are other aptitudes your teen needs for success like communication, speaking, and writing. Contact Huntington about using summer to help your teen build skills like these.
  4. Try something totally new. Encourage your teen to get out of his comfort zone and learn something new. Explore academic camps on everything from marketing to programming. Check out a new hobby, instrument, sport or activity.
  5. Work on a personal project. If there’s one thing teens have a lot of in summer, it’s time to explore passions. Formal experiences and jobs offer the chance to learn, but your teen can also create her own learning experiences. Create a blog. Do a photography project. Research something. There are many possibilities if your teen gets creative.
  6. Learn a language. Your teen might take a foreign language class during the school year, but summer is a good time to do some online learning. Check out Rosetta Stone or Babbel for starters.
  7. Take a college class. Your teen might not get excited about the idea of summer school, but college classes will challenge him in new ways. Check out local colleges for high school-specific programs and community colleges that welcome high school students.
  8. Prepare for the SAT or ACT. Strong scores on the SAT/ACT make teens more impressive applicants for their colleges of choice—and make them stand out as students. And there’s no better time than summer to take a prep course at Huntington.

Summer is a great chance to relax and recharge after the grind of a busy school year, but for college-bound teens, it’s also an opportunity to learn, grow and build the resume. Encourage your teen to use this break wisely. When the time comes to apply to college, she will be glad she did.

Huntington Learning Center works with high school students every summer who are eager to become better students. We focus on all kinds of academic subjects as well as essential study skills like organization and time management. Contact us to learn more about our learning programs for high school students.

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Establishing a Great Learning Climate Every day, you strive to guide your students toward greater learning. How can you foster a climate that pushes students to grow and learn?

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Thu, 20 Jun 2019 14:18:19 -0400 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/establishing-a-great-learning-climate https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/establishing-a-great-learning-climate Huntington Learning Center Huntington Learning Center Every day, you strive to guide your students toward greater learning. How can you foster a climate that pushes students to grow and learn? Here are a few tips to create an effective classroom and learning climate:

 

  • Encourage questions. Students who are engaged are poised to learn, and asking questions is a big part of that. Invite meaningful, thoughtful questions. These help students solidify their understanding, think about what they learn as they learn it, and strive to continue their discovery journey in your class and beyond.
  • Adjust to your students. No two students learn exactly the same way, so meet your students wherever they are. Acknowledge that everyone has different strengths and needs, and let students know your goal is to support them as individuals.
  • Make your classroom a safe place. All students should feel welcome, comfortable, and empowered in your classroom. Demand respect from students for you and for one another.
  • Emphasize the process, not the end result. Teach students the value of learning and get them to “buy in” on its importance. Let them know that you expect effort and participation, which in turn is likely to lead to higher grades.
  • Embrace a positive attitude. Believe that your students are capable and tell them that you have confidence in their abilities. Set and communicate high expectations, and give students the support to meet them. Show your students you care and want to help them learn.

 

Teaching is a complex process. The classroom atmosphere you cultivate has a tremendous impact on your students and your ability to stimulate learning that lasts.

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Huntington Learning Center Launches 2019 Reading Adventure Program Summer break is a perfect time for children to establish or renew a reading habit, which is why the Huntington Learning Center is launching its annual summer reading program, Reading Adventure.

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Mon, 20 May 2019 12:51:34 -0400 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/huntington-summer-reading-adventure-2019 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/huntington-summer-reading-adventure-2019 Huntington Learning Center Huntington Learning Center Summer break is a perfect time for children to establish or renew a reading habit, which is why the Huntington Learning Center is launching its annual summer reading program, Reading Adventure. 

Reading Adventure introduces children to high-interest reading material and gets them excited about reading. Running from May to August, the program is for students from kindergarten through eighth grade. Students choose books from Huntington’s pre-selected book lists, which offer a variety of high-interest choices by grade level and reading ability. Students then record what they read in their “reading passport,” sharing their opinions and observations about each book. 

Reading is an easy way for students to mitigate learning loss over summer break, Eileen Huntington of Huntington Learning Center. “The goal of Reading Adventure is to show children how fun and exciting reading can be, but the major benefit we see with children who participate in the program is that they retain their reading and literacy skills during the months they aren’t in school, she says. “As with any skill that takes practice, students who read regularly become better at it, which makes it something they’re more likely to continue to do. Reading Adventure makes reading enjoyable and benefits children at the same time.” 

Huntington shares that getting children to read over summer is easier than parents think. She offers a few tips on how to get their children reading during the break: 

  • Make an effort to find “best fit” books. What are your children into and excited about? Find books on those topics if your children seem uninspired when choosing their own reading material. Librarians are a great resource that can help you search genres and point children toward high-interest books.
  • Read together. Sometimes, the best way to get children reading is to let them see you doing it too. Make family reading a relaxed nightly tradition.
  • Set goals and establish small rewards. There’s nothing wrong with using a little bribery to motivate children to read more. An ice cream outing or sleepover with friends for every two books finished might be just the incentive a child needs.
  • Find a nearby used bookstore. Wandering through any bookstore is stimulating and enjoyable, but there’s something uniquely special about used bookstores. Take your children to one in your town and let them loose. The prices are low but the sense of discovery that accompanies every visit is high.
  • Subscribe for newspaper delivery for the summer. These days, reading the newspaper to get your daily or weekly news is a novelty that many children might find fun. Reading the paper over coffee and orange juice could be a summer morning tradition with the early risers in your home—or save it for night time (with hot chocolate, of course).
  • Read some blockbusters. Try choosing and reading a family book-turned-film together, then plan a movie night later this summer. There are lots of great options for children and teens out there, like Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, The Chronicles of Narnia, Harry Potter, and The Lightning Thief, to name a few. 

To learn more about the Huntington Reading Adventure program, contact Huntington Learning Center at 1-800 CAN LEARN or visit www.huntingtonhelps.com. 

About Huntington

Huntington is the tutoring and test prep leader. Its certified tutors provide individualized instruction in reading, phonics, writing, study skills, elementary and middle school math, Algebra through Calculus, Chemistry, and other sciences. It preps for the SAT and ACT, as well as state and standardized exams.  Huntington programs develop the skills, confidence, and motivation to help students succeed.  Founded in 1977, Huntington’s mission is to give every student the best education possible.  Learn how Huntington can help at www.huntingtonhelps.com. For franchise opportunities please visit www.huntingtonfranchise.com.

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Six Things to Look for in an Exam Prep Program College entrance exam scores are a significant factor in admission too. Make sure your teen prepares effectively for the SAT or ACT with an exam prep program.

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Thu, 20 Jun 2019 14:35:16 -0400 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/six-thing-for-an-exam-prep-program https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/six-thing-for-an-exam-prep-program Huntington Learning Center Huntington Learning Center Applying to college is exciting and nerve-racking for teens. All of the hard work of high school becomes incredibly important as teens bring it all together—the transcript, grade point average, letters of recommendation and more—and assemble their applications.

College entrance exam scores are a significant factor in admission too. Make sure your teen prepares effectively for the SAT or ACT with an exam prep program. What should you look for when selecting one? Here are six musts:

  1. Customized for each student – Studying for the SAT or ACT is made easier when teens know their individual strengths and weaknesses and can focus their study plan. Parents should make sure that their teens receive a diagnostic evaluation at the start of any exam prep program. That assessment of subject-matter knowledge and skills will serve as the baseline for the study program.
  2. Structured and scheduled – The most effective exam prep program will be scheduled based on teens’ precise needs in each exam subject and overall score goals (which might be driven by their college of choice). Certain subjects might need more attention than others, and thus, more time and focus.
  3. Highly knowledgeable teachers – Studying for the SAT and/or ACT is different than studying for a regular test. It’s best to work with tutors who are trained in college entrance exam prep. Teens will learn the best working with tutors who know the exams well and understand both the unique structure of each exam and the best strategies for exam preparation and success.
  4. A focus on test-taking strategies for each exam – The SAT and ACT are similar in what they cover, but there are many distinctions teens need to understand in order to adjust their approach to each exam. For example, students cannot use a calculator on the SAT math test. And in the reading test, students get 22.5 more seconds per question on the SAT than on the ACT. Bottom line: knowing such differences (and how to approach different parts of the exams) is critical.
  5. Test practice – The best test prep programs incorporate full-length, timed, practice exams. These help teens get comfortable pacing themselves on different question types and allow them to get a feel for the actual exam setting.
  6. Prep materials for outside practice – Let’s face it: to boost their SAT/ACT scores, teens need to put in the work outside of the hours they’re with their exam prep tutor. Additional resources and materials help teens practice questions and focus on areas/subjects on their own time.

Not all SAT and ACT prep programs are created equal. If you decide your teen needs individualized help, make sure you invest in a proven test prep program that has helped many high school students perform their best.

Huntington’s SAT and ACT preparatory programs are individualized for each student’s needs and focused on guiding students toward achieving success. For more about our process, exam prep curriculum and more, call us at 1-800 CAN LEARN.

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Five Tips to Take the Stress Out of Parent-Teacher Conferences End-of-year parent-teacher conferences can make some parents nervous – and they might be stressful for you too, particularly when meeting with parents of students who are struggling.

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Thu, 20 Jun 2019 14:14:40 -0400 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/five-steps-to-remove-stress-in-parent-teacher-conferences https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/five-steps-to-remove-stress-in-parent-teacher-conferences Huntington Learning Center Huntington Learning Center End-of-year parent-teacher conferences can make some parents nervous – and they might be stressful for you too, particularly when meeting with parents of students who are struggling. Here are a few tips to put parents at ease and make conferences constructive:

  1. Be prepared. Know exactly what you want to discuss, and have a timeline to cover the essential topics. Provide parents evidence of their children’s progress and performance (e.g. a portfolio of recent work and test scores) to keep the conversation focused.
  2. Share efforts since your last meeting. If you’ve talked with parents previously about any issues, address what you’ve worked on since your last conversation/conference. Ask parents what they’ve tried at home as well.
  3. Communicate your goals. It’s not easy for parents to hear that their children are having problems. If you have to broach this topic, do so in an action-oriented, confident manner. Let parents know you’re committed to helping their children, share your plans to do so and ask for their input.
  4. You might already know about some of the contributing factors that are causing a student to struggle. Making parents feel heard and understood will go a long way toward moving things in a positive direction.
  5. Listen well. Many parents expect you to do most of the talking during conferences, but it’s important to let them talk too. Ask if they have concerns or ideas as you approach the end of the year. This information will help you make arrangements for a smooth transition to the next grade and future teachers.

After conferences, follow through with any next steps you discuss, whether that’s connecting parents with additional school resources or executing an action plan to finish the year strong. Need support? Call Huntington to learn more about how we work with teachers to help children learn.

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Six Benefits of Teens Working Part Time Understandably, many parents want their teens to focus first on their academics and extracurricular commitments, but there are so many benefits for teens who work a part-time job.

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Mon, 20 May 2019 17:28:13 -0400 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/six-benefits-of-teens-working-part-time https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/six-benefits-of-teens-working-part-time Dr. Raymond Huntington Dr. Raymond Huntington Most parents agree that there’s value in teens putting effort toward something other than classes and homework. Sports, clubs and volunteer work are awesome resume boosters that teach worthwhile life lessons. 

However, there’s another activity that deserves some attention: working part time. Understandably, many parents want their teens to focus first on their academics and extracurricular commitments, but there are so many benefits for teens who work a part-time job. Here are six of the most notable: 

  • They’ll learn about money. Before teens go to college, it’s essential that they learn fiscal responsibility. Mom and Dad won’t give an allowance forever, and high school is the prime time for teens to learn about budgeting, investing and saving for things they want (e.g. clothes, concerts and doing things with friends) and need (e.g. college textbooks). 
  • They’ll become skilled at time management. Teens who want an income have to give up at least some of their free time. That means they need to be diligent about scheduling time for homework, sports/other practices and other to-dos, and adept at keeping a very organized planner. These skills become even more important in college, when the workload and expectations increase significantly. 
  • They’ll learn work ethic. Even the act of researching jobs and going to interviews requires motivation and follow up. And once a teen has a job, he or she will inherently learn what it takes to perform well in different industries and how to meet and exceed the expectations of managers with different styles and personalities. 
  • They’ll gain skills that aren’t taught in school. Performing well in school requires effort, but skills learned on the job in a restaurant or retail setting, for example, are valuable in a different way. Many jobs that are available to teens involve regular interactions with customers. They’ll need good listening skills, empathy, patience and more. Often, these jobs are in fast-paced settings too, so teens will become pros at working efficiently under pressure. 
  • They’ll put their academic knowledge to use in the real world. Many of the duties of jobs in the retail and restaurant industries (where teens often work) involve technology (e.g. using a point of sale system) and math (e.g. preparing customer bills and making change). Office work is also a great way for teens to apply academic skills to the real world—skills like typing, reading, developing spreadsheets and writing. 
  • They’ll gain exposure to different careers and industries. Teens who are convinced they want to become doctors might explore opportunities to work in doctor’s offices or hospitals—and while they are unlikely to interact directly with patients, even working in that environment is excellent experience. Any job that gives teens an idea of what a post-collegiate career they’re considering is actually like is a job worth taking. 

Teens who work part time develop many indispensable skills that translate directly to life. While it is wise for a teen to make sure a job won’t interfere with school priorities and the ability to lead a balanced life, a job with reasonable hours and expectations offers many lasting and positive advantages. 

About Huntington 

Huntington is the tutoring and test prep leader. Its certified tutors provide individualized instruction in reading, phonics, writing, study skills, elementary and middle school math, Algebra through Calculus, Chemistry, and other sciences. It preps for the SAT and ACT, as well as state and standardized exams.  Huntington programs develop the skills, confidence, and motivation to help students succeed.  Founded in 1977, Huntington’s mission is to give every student the best education possible.  Learn how Huntington can help at www.huntingtonhelps.com. For franchise opportunities please visit www.huntingtonfranchise.com

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Making the Best Use of the College Counselor at Your Teen’s High School Your teen might be vaguely aware of the counseling office at his high school, but less aware of what the staff in this office does to help students prepare for the college search and application process.

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Mon, 20 May 2019 15:30:51 -0400 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/leveraging-your-teens-high-school-college-counselor https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/leveraging-your-teens-high-school-college-counselor Huntington Learning Center Huntington Learning Center Your teen might be vaguely aware of the counseling office at his high school, but less aware of what the staff in this office does to help students prepare for the college search and application process. Here are a few tips to share with your teen to make sure he is taking full advantage of the counseling office’s services:

  • Visit early. Too often, teens make the mistake of visiting their counseling office as juniors but not before. Freshmen and sophomores would be wise to drop in early to talk about their goals (e.g. their dream colleges and careers) and what it will take to reach them. The goal-setting process can be impactful, inspiring students to work hard and stay motivated.
  • Learn about on-campus college visits. The high school guidance counseling office frequently arranges college visits right on campus. Teens who are in the know can take advantage of this and learn about colleges that they might not otherwise hear about or be able to visit in person.
  • Take advantage of nearby college fairs. If there are college fairs in your area, the counseling office will be the first to have information. This is another great way to learn about a variety of different colleges and universities without having to travel to them. Teens can start exploring options and get a feel for what different types of colleges are all about.
  • Talk about the SAT and ACT. The counseling office keeps students informed of upcoming SAT and ACT test dates, registration details and sites in the area. Counselors can also advise students on how the exams are structured, their similarities and differences, and which exam might fit them best.
  • Prepare to be successful in college. There’s preparing to apply for college and then there’s preparing for college-level academics. The counselors at your teen’s high school are trained to educate teens about what the high school-to-college transition will be like so when they set foot on a college campus as freshmen, they feel ready.
  • Learn about financial aid. One of the biggest areas of concern for parents and teens regarding college is the cost. The counseling office is an invaluable source of information for families and can share more about the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), how to find and apply for scholarships, and so much more.
  • Stay apprised of college-related activities all four years. Arguably the best thing about the counseling office is its commitment to keeping students and parents informed about all events, to-dos and deadlines. Every school is different, but this office helps students register for college and career exploration web resources (e.g. Naviance), set academic goals, explore careers, gather valuable information about colleges and the application process, and much more.

At Huntington, we encourage high school students to make the most of the resources at their disposal that will help them make plans for college and achieve their dreams. The counseling office is there to advise students on choosing classes, but they can do so much more—like provide information about college admission tests and registration, support students on their journey to college, and offer information for students and parents about paying and planning for college.

Huntington is also here to assist you. Contact us to learn more about how we help teens succeed in high school and get ready to do the same in college: 1-800 CAN LEARN.

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Apps to Keep Students Organized Learning in the digital age has many advantages, and the plethora of apps out there to support students is a big one. Here briefly review a few of the best apps for your students to stay organized and focused.

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Mon, 20 May 2019 15:40:57 -0400 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/apps-to-keep-students-organized https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/apps-to-keep-students-organized Huntington Learning Center Huntington Learning Center Learning in the digital age has many advantages, and the plethora of apps out there to support students is a big one. Here are four popular apps that will help your students stay organized and on track with homework, deadlines, grades, and more: 

Evernote (for taking/organizing notes) – Evernote lets students collect their notes (typed and handwritten), articles, websites, and other research in one place. It’s great for managing projects, capturing ideas, and staying on top of deadlines and tasks. 

iStudiez Pro (for keeping track of homework, grades, and the schedule) – iStudiez Pro helps students manage their schedule, homework, and grades in one place. Tasks can be sorted by date, class, and priority. The planner helps students organize classes (and all details) and share their detailed schedule with Google Calendar or other calendar apps. 

RescueTime (for time management) – RescueTime is all about minimizing wasted time. It tracks how much time is spent on different websites, social media, email, or in other applications. Then, it provides detailed productivity reports. Students can block distracting websites and set up alerts for when they spend too much time on a website or other activity. 

Scanner Pro (for de-cluttering/minimizing paper) – ScannerPro works with Evernote. Students can quickly scan and save digital versions of any paper document. It uses optical character recognition so students can easily extract words from those scans. So, for the student who loses papers easily or wants to simplify and digitize their life, it’s a great tool. 

Obviously, these are just a few options—there are many other apps out there that your students might want to use instead. Encourage your students to research apps that will help them keep organized, which will lead to better grades and productivity.

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Huntington Learning Center Celebrates Educators on National Teacher Day The Huntington Learning Center will celebrate National Teacher Day on May 7, 2019, alongside educators, students, parents and communities around the country.

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Mon, 20 May 2019 12:40:39 -0400 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/national-teacher-day-2019 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/national-teacher-day-2019 Huntington Learning Center Huntington Learning Center The Huntington Learning Center will celebrate National Teacher Day on May 7, 2019, alongside educators, students, parents and communities around the country. National Teacher Day is an annual celebration and part of Teacher Appreciation Week (May 6-10, 2019), sponsored by the National Education Association (NEA). 

Huntington is pleased to recognize the important role that teachers play in the creation of strong communities and the lives of children, says Eileen Huntington of Huntington Learning. “We have teachers to thank for growing and shaping children and helping them realize their callings in life,” she says. “Teachers build future leaders. They inspire children. And of course, they equip them with the skills and knowledge they need in life and their future careers. During Teacher Appreciation Week and National Teacher Day—and all year long—we applaud their commitment, hard work and passion.” 

Huntington offers parents several suggestions to honor and thank teachers during National Teacher Day and Teacher Appreciation Week:

  • Have your child to write a thank-you note to any current and past teachers sharing what he or she loves about school and the teacher’s class.
  • Write one of your child’s teachers a note of appreciation—or even one of your past teachers who had a positive impact on your life.
  • If you own a retail business or restaurant, offer teachers a discount on their purchases on National Teacher Day.
  • Organize a week of lunches for the teachers at school.
  • Thank a teacher on social media using the #ThankATeacher hashtag.
  • Show your solidarity with teachers by wearing red on Wednesday, May 8, and sharing a photo on social media using the #WearRedForEd hashtag.
  • Post and share a story about great teachers in your life on Facebook or Snapchat. 

National Teacher Day is a longtime celebration and started in 1953 thanks to the encouragement of Eleanor Roosevelt. Congress declared March 7, 1980, as National Teacher Day, and in 1985, the NEA voted to move the event to May. 

Learn more about National Teacher Day at www.nea.org/grants/teacherday.html.

About Huntington

Huntington is the tutoring and test prep leader.  Its certified tutors provide individualized instruction in reading, phonics, writing, study skills, elementary and middle school math, Algebra through Calculus, Chemistry, and other sciences. It preps for the SAT and ACT, as well as state and standardized exams.  Huntington programs develop the skills, confidence, and motivation to help students succeed and meet the needs of Common Core State Standards.  Founded in 1977, Huntington’s mission is to give every student the best education possible.  Learn how Huntington can help at www.huntingtonhelps.com. For franchise opportunities please visit www.huntingtonfranchise.com.

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What You Need to Know About SAT Subject Tests You’ve obviously heard about the SAT, but what about the SAT Subject Tests? These exams are college admission tests on specific subjects. Students can choose the tests that best showcase their strengths and weaknesses.

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Mon, 20 May 2019 15:26:49 -0400 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/important-things-to-know-about-sat-subject-tests https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/important-things-to-know-about-sat-subject-tests Huntington Learning Center Huntington Learning Center You’ve obviously heard about the SAT, but what about the SAT Subject Tests? These exams are college admission tests on specific subjects. Students can choose the tests that best showcase their strengths and weaknesses. The SAT Subject Tests measure students’ knowledge at the high school level.

Here are a few things you and your teen need to know about these exams:

  • There are 20 SAT Subject Tests available in five subject areas. Those areas are Mathematics (2), Science (3), English (1), History (2) and Languages (12). Each test is one hour long, multiple choice and scored on a 200-800-point scale.
  • Exams are offered on the same days as the regular SAT. That’s six times a year, although not all 20 tests are offered on every date. The Language and Listening tests are only offered in November.
  • Students cannot take the SAT on the same day they take an SAT Subject Test. However, students can take up to three SAT Subject Tests on a single test date.
  • Students can use the SAT Subject Tests to prove they are ready for certain majors or programs. Colleges and universities sometimes require or recommend one or more SAT Subject Tests when they want to get a sense of students’ readiness for a particular subject or program. A student interested in majoring in math, for example, might choose to take both Mathematics Subject Tests as a way of highlighting this subject strength and interest on their application.
  • The SAT Subject Tests offer the chance to highlight several subjects not tested on the SAT. There are Math and English Subject Tests (subjects covered on the SAT), but there are also Subject Tests on science, history and 12 different languages. For students interested in pursuing majors related to these subjects, SAT Subject Tests might be a good idea, especially if students already possess a high level of knowledge in those subjects.
  • Preparation is different than it is for the SAT. Like the SAT, the SAT Subject Tests are based on what students learn in high school. However, these tests go deeper into a subject. Thus, it can be helpful to prepare individually for these tests, even though the best method (as with all standardized exams) is to work hard in high school classes.
  • Want to find out if a school requires, recommends or considers SAT Subject Test scores? Call their admissions office or visit their website. Very few colleges/universities in the U.S. require SAT Subject Tests (Massachusetts Institute of Technology, California Institute of Technology, certain colleges/schools within Cornell University and Harvey Mudd College are among them) but some schools recommend submitting such scores (e.g. Harvard, Georgetown, Brown). The best and most current source on this, of course, is the college/university itself.

Huntington helps students perform their best on the SAT and the SAT Subject Tests. We know how to help students prepare effectively for these exams. Questions? Call us to learn more about our test prep programs. 1-800 CAN LEARN.

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Five Characteristics of Highly Effective Teachers You got into teaching for a reason: to make a lasting impact on students’ lives. So how can you do that? Here are some of the common traits and characteristics of the most effective teachers.

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Mon, 20 May 2019 15:37:51 -0400 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/characteristics-of-highly-effective-teachers https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/characteristics-of-highly-effective-teachers Huntington Learning Center Huntington Learning Center You got into teaching for a reason: to make a lasting impact on students’ lives. So how can you do that? Here are five characteristics of the best, most effective teachers:

  1. A passion for the craft of teaching and for helping students learn is essential to being an influential teacher. The best teachers let their enthusiasm show in the classroom. They aren’t afraid to share why they love a subject, and that excitement is often contagious.
  2. Excellent teachers want their students to learn. That means they’re always willing to take the time to help them understand something and overcome challenges. They are committed to guiding students toward greater learning.
  3. Compassion is important in teaching. And a patient, kind disposition is likely to be more successful than one that is more authoritative in nature. That’s not to say teachers cannot be strict and hold students to high standards. However, teachers can create great outcomes when they get to know their students as individuals and show them that they care.
  4. Some students are more naturally motivated than others, but great teachers are good at connecting all types of students to a subject. They try to make subjects interesting, of course, but they are also skilled at convincing students of the value and importance of learning. They pay attention to how their students respond to their methods and adjust when needed.
  5. Embracing a growth mindset. Every teacher wants their students to believe that they are capable of growing their skills and knowledge if they put in the effort. When they embrace this stance, it rubs off—and they will see increased student growth and motivation.

Learning isn’t easy for all students, but the more you can make your classroom a safe space where students are treated as capable learners, the more effective you will be.

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Best Ways to Support Your Reader at Home All parents want to give their children the tools to be successful in school, but did you know that making reading a priority is arguably the most essential academic skill?

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Mon, 20 May 2019 12:01:57 -0400 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/supporting-your-reader-at-home https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/supporting-your-reader-at-home Huntington Learning Center Huntington Learning Center All parents want to give their children the tools to be successful in school, but did you know that making reading a priority is arguably the most essential academic skill? “Reading skills help students expand their vocabulary, improve their attention span, become stronger communicators and so much more,” says Eileen Huntington of Huntington Learning Center. How can parents support their readers at home? Here are several tips:

  • Suggest books and other reading material. Encourage your child to create a home library so that he or she never runs out of material to read. Librarians are a great source of information and can offer all kinds of suggestions based on children’s interests and abilities, and websites like Goodreads are another good place to get book recommendations.
  • Let your child see you reading. Often, children emulate their parents. If your child never sees you reading for pleasure, your suggestions to pick up a book for fun might seem disingenuous. Read alongside your child. Make it fun, setting out a plate of treats and serving up tea or hot chocolate. Incorporate reading into your nightly family routine.
  • When reading together, embrace best practices for reading comprehension. If you’re reading to your child or having them read to you, use the following process for boosting reading comprehension:
    • Preview the text before reading (especially when reading a textbook).
    • Pause to check in after every page for understanding and to discuss confusing parts of questions.
    • Summarize main takeaways at the end of each section or chapter.
    • Reflect on lingering questions and interesting information at the end of each chapter.
  • Make connections to other parts of your child’s life. When talking about books, encourage your child to think beyond the words on the page. Ask questions to get him or her thinking about the main characters and their motivations, how the story relates to anything in real life and if the story or people in it seem familiar.
  • Record daily reading. Your child’s teacher might require you to do this anyway. If the teacher does not, it can serve as a motivator to give children a weekly reading chart on which they can mark off days they’ve read and for how long, or even a book journal. Consider small incentives for certain goals reached (such as an ice cream outing for each book completed).

Last and most important, be sure to provide help if you notice your child struggling with reading. “Sometimes it’s obvious—your child has difficulty reading aloud or it seems that his or her reading comprehension is especially low,” says Huntington. “Other times it’s harder to tell. If you suspect your child needs is missing fundamental reading building blocks, call Huntington. We’ll assess your child’s reading skills, determine what is causing problems, and develop a customized program of instruction to help your child become a better reader.

About Huntington

Huntington is the tutoring and test prep leader. Its certified tutors provide individualized instruction in reading, phonics, writing, study skills, elementary and middle school math, Algebra through Calculus, Chemistry, and other sciences. It preps for the SAT and ACT, as well as state and standardized exams.  Huntington programs develop the skills, confidence, and motivation to help students succeed.  Founded in 1977, Huntington’s mission is to give every student the best education possible.  Learn how Huntington can help at www.huntingtonhelps.com. For franchise opportunities please visit www.huntingtonfranchise.com.

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How to Keep Grades Up Throughout High School There’s a lot of truth to the statement that high school is when students’ grades really start to matter. Middle school lays the groundwork and helps students establish good study habits, but high school is when things count.

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Mon, 20 May 2019 15:22:30 -0400 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/keeping-grades-up-through-high-school https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/keeping-grades-up-through-high-school Huntington Learning Center Huntington Learning Center There’s a lot of truth to the statement that high school is when students’ grades really start to matter. Middle school lays the groundwork and helps students establish good study habits, but high school is when things count. Teens’ performance (i.e. their academic record) will impact where they go to college, whether they are eligible for scholarships and much, much more.

So, what’s the secret to keeping up those grades? The simple answer is effort, but in reality, it’s a bit more complex than that. Here are five tips for teens striving to keep that GPA high all through high school:

  1. Put school first. Students who treat high school as their highest priority will have the best chance of success. Yes, achieving balance is important, and teens should make time for family, friends and things they like to do (e.g. a favorite sport or club). However, high school is a commitment that requires daily studying and homework—and perseverance when things get difficult.
  2. Get the most out of class. Going to class and paying attention while in class are two obvious musts to do well in high school, but it’s not just about showing up. Teens need to use active listening techniques, participate in class discussions to solidify their knowledge, and take notes that help them retain knowledge later on (which makes for more effective studying).
  3. Be organized. Strong organization is the not-so-secret weapon of high-performing high school students. This includes planner use and maintenance, solid time management, prioritizing of assignments during homework time, and of course, organization of the backpack, locker and any papers kept at home (or stored in a Google Drive or similar). Learn more about how to help children be more organized.
  4. Become a skilled note taker. Effective notes will help students retain information delivered in class and prepare well for quizzes and tests. But not all notes will serve students well. Teens should practice good note-taking habits: by recording meaningful facts, grouping ideas, using their textbook and more. Read more about good note-taking strategies for high school students.
  5. Use teachers as a resource. In high school, students need to make a shift from passive to active learner if they haven’t yet done so. A big part of that is self-advocating to ensure their learning needs are met. Teens should establish relationships with their teachers—and not just for show. They should take advantage of any study sessions and reach out to teachers when they need help.

There’s no doubt that the bar is higher in high school and your teen will need to work hard to keep up and even harder to excel. Rest assured, your teen will do well if he puts forth the effort and embraces these tips. The report card will show those efforts, but even better, your teen will become a more independent, proficient student in time for college.

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Four Tips to Take the Stress Out of Homework Time Some parents find homework time to be the most stressful part of the day, but it doesn’t have to be that way. If you’ve heard from any parents that homework is causing a lot of anxiety and arguments, it’s time to do something about it.

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Mon, 20 May 2019 15:34:43 -0400 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/tips-to-take-the-stress-out-of-homework https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/tips-to-take-the-stress-out-of-homework Huntington Learning Center Huntington Learning Center Some parents find homework time to be the most stressful part of the day, but it doesn’t have to be that way. If you’ve heard from any parents that homework is causing a lot of anxiety and arguments, it’s time to do something about it. Here are a few tips to share with your students’ parents to make things easier on the whole family:

  1. Time your children. It’s a big red flag when your students take a long time on homework and don’t have the grades to show for that effort. Give parents an idea of what’s a reasonable amount of time to spend on homework and encourage them to keep an eye on how long their children are working.
  2. Teach prioritization. Students who struggle to rank their homework in order from most important/due soonest to least important/due later will find themselves taking far longer than needed to do homework. A simple handout explaining how parents can work with their children to review and rank tasks at the start of every homework session will help.
  3. Encourage a routine. Children today lead busy lives, but the more parents can guide their children toward a consistent daily routine, the better. Maybe that means homework happens after school or before soccer, but the key is to establish and stick to a schedule. This promotes good time management skills and gives children greater control over their days.
  4. Develop an organizational system. Staying organized is essential to de-stress homework time, and involves several components: using a planner (or planner app), keeping to a schedule, and keeping track of all important papers and materials required for homework. Again, a handout for parents could be useful as they try to keep their children on track at home.

With a few adjustments, parents can transform homework time from an angst-inducing battle into just another part of the nightly routine. Pass along your best tips for making homework time run more smoothly at home, and you’ll most likely notice a positive difference.

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What is Emotional Intelligence and Why Does Your Child Need It? You may have heard how important emotional intelligence is for students as they navigate school, but what is emotional intelligence?

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Mon, 20 May 2019 11:54:40 -0400 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/important-of-emotional-intelligence-in-children https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/important-of-emotional-intelligence-in-children Dr. Raymond Huntington Dr. Raymond Huntington You may have heard how important emotional intelligence is for students as they navigate school, but what is emotional intelligence? Simply put, it involves the ability to understand one’s own feelings as well as the emotions of others. Children and teens with high emotional intelligence tend to be more mature and responsible. Here are some of the other reasons children need emotional intelligence:

To be able to relate to their peers better. The ability to understand, communicate and work with others effectively will benefit children tremendously.

To learn to read social situations. Knowing how to read social cues and body language is a life skill many of us take for granted. Children who are more emotionally intelligent are adept at reacting and responding to others in different scenarios.

To foster responsible decision-making. With emotional intelligence comes the ability to make decisions thoughtfully and learn from those decisions by weighing consequences and how different actions can impact different people.

To become more skilled at tackling problems. When people are emotionally intelligent, they have greater empathy for others’ perspectives and can more easily resolve conflicts. They’re also able to solve problems methodically and thoroughly.

To build leadership competencies. The world needs great leaders and emotional intelligence is an essential trait of a great leader. These individuals are good at building relationships based on trust and mutual respect. They listen well and know how to make others comfortable enough to share their ideas and input. Because they are skilled at relating to people, they are also good at building teams and motivating others.

So, how can you work on raising an emotionally intelligent child? Here are several tips:

  • Help your child develop his self-awareness. Encourage your child to be more mindful and more willing to take note of his emotions, good or bad, and talk and think through those feelings. Invite conversation. Encourage self-reflection.
  • Nurture the development of good friendships. Children should recognize the difference between healthy and unhealthy friendships. Teach your child what to expect of all friendships and how to be a respectful, encouraging friend to others.
  • Build your child’s confidence. To cultivate emotional intelligence, help your child become comfortable with who he is and the decisions he makes in life.
  • Help your child think critically. Because emotional intelligence is all about recognizing one’s emotions and reactions and those of others, it also requires trusting one’s feelings and conclusions about different people and situations. Make sure your child feels empowered to use his perspectives to make decisions.
  • Teach self-regard for strengths and weaknesses. There’s great value in acceptance. Teach your child to be realistic about who he is and confident enough to believe he can improve on those weaker areas.

It’s a fact: students who possess emotional intelligence often outperform their peers. Teach your child to develop his and you will set him up for success in all aspects of life.

About Huntington

Huntington is the tutoring and test prep leader. Its certified tutors provide individualized instruction in reading, phonics, writing, study skills, elementary and middle school math, Algebra through Calculus, Chemistry, and other sciences. It preps for the SAT and ACT, as well as state and standardized exams.  Huntington programs develop the skills, confidence, and motivation to help students succeed.  Founded in 1977, Huntington’s mission is to give every student the best education possible.  Learn how Huntington can help at www.huntingtonhelps.com. For franchise opportunities please visit www.huntingtonfranchise.com.

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Avoiding Senioritis After three and a half years of hard work, it’s easy for teens to lose motivation as they near the end of high school. Once teens achieve their desired SAT/ACT scores, apply to colleges and decide which one to attend, it’s understandable that they might assume that the hard work is behind them.

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Mon, 20 May 2019 15:10:46 -0400 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/avoiding-senioritis-in-students https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/avoiding-senioritis-in-students Huntington Learning Center Huntington Learning Center After three and a half years of hard work, it’s easy for teens to lose motivation as they near the end of high school. Once teens achieve their desired SAT/ACT scores, apply to colleges and decide which one to attend, it’s understandable that they might assume that the hard work is behind them.

Reality check: the final semester of high school really is important. So, parents if your high school seniors seem to be losing steam, here are a few things to share that should help them get back on track:

Explain that college admissions officers do pay attention to final semester grades. What teens might not realize is that if their grades decline significantly after they’ve accepted admission to a college, they’re at risk of getting their admittance revoked entirely. In fact, many colleges even state in their admissions letters that admission is contingent on students’ continued successful performance until high school graduation. Expect that colleges will review the final high school transcripts of all admitted students.

Talk about their goals. Many students hit ruts along the academic journey. It can be helpful for such students to take a step back and think about what they’ve been working toward. There’s nothing wrong with releasing some of the pressure once students have selected a college and are making plans for their future careers. However, a reminder of what’s in front of them can be the boost students need in the home stretch of high school.

Most Advanced Placement (AP) exams are in May. Teens taking AP classes with the intention of sitting for the corresponding AP exams must keep up with class work if they want to perform well. The AP exams are given in the first two weeks of May. The AP program has two important benefits. First, students earn college credit by scoring high enough on AP exams. And second, AP classes actually help prepare students for college because of their similarity to college classes as far as structure and rigor.

Think about college class placement. Some colleges and universities require students to take one or more placement exams in subjects like math, reading, writing and foreign languages before they finalize their freshman year schedule. These tests measure what students have learned in high school, making it all the more important for teens to get as much out of their remaining classes as possible. Slacking off and getting placed in unchallenging classes (or even remedial classes) would be a disappointing way for a student to begin college—and long term, a waste of money.

Bad habits now could translate into a rough start at college. Doing the bare minimum (or not even that) could be a tough habit for students to break. Teachers are working diligently to prepare their second-semester seniors to succeed in college. Teens should take full advantage and soak up all of the knowledge and study skills they possibly can.  

Senior year is an emotion-filled time for many teens. The culmination of so much hard work, anxiety and contemplation about the college decision can easily lead to senioritis. Remind your teens why they should stay focused and finish their high school careers strong. When they get to college and begin the next chapter of their lives and feel motivated and well prepared, they will be grateful that they did.

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Can Brain Training Exercises Help Your Students? Maybe you’ve heard of brain training and wondered what it is, and if it could benefit your students. Certain mental exercises are very effective at developing cognitive skills.

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Mon, 20 May 2019 15:07:53 -0400 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/brain-training-exercises-for-students https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/brain-training-exercises-for-students Huntington Learning Center Huntington Learning Center Maybe you’ve heard of brain training and wondered what it is, and if it could benefit your students. Put simply, brain training is working out your brain. Certain mental exercises are very effective at developing cognitive skills. Students can boost their memories, sharpen their focus and concentration levels, increase processing speed, and more.

The great news: your students can build their cognitive strength with just a little effort each day. Here are a few simple things to encourage your students to do in class and at home:

Try the Pomodoro method. Have students set a timer to work uninterrupted for 25 minutes, then take a break for five. This is a great way to build the attention span. Start with even shorter periods if needed.

Develop time management. Believe it or not, building executive functioning skills like time management boosts the brain. Spend a few minutes every class going over your minute-by-minute agenda, and encourage your students to keep detailed schedules and planners.

Build the working memory. Develop your students’ memorization skills and attention span. Card games are a great way to hone these abilities, and students who develop their organizational skills also consistently strengthen their working memory.

Have students use tools to streamline daily routines. Checklists, homework charts, and planners are helpful aids for all students and build cognitive abilities like memory and brain speed.

The brain is like a muscle that can be strengthened. Help your students do so and you will give them much more than subject-matter knowledge. You’ll equip them with skills for life.

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How to Help a Child Overcome a Poor Grade At some point or another, every student brings home a poor grade on an assignment or a test, which can be a real blow to the self-esteem. It is understandably difficult to see your student struggling and feeling badly about school, but here are several things you can do to help your child overcome a bad grade or dip in school performance.

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Thu, 16 May 2019 11:03:08 -0400 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/overcoming-a-poor-grade https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/overcoming-a-poor-grade Huntington Learning Center Huntington Learning Center At some point or another, every student brings home a poor grade on an assignment or a test, which can be a real blow to the self-esteem. It is understandably difficult to see your student struggling and feeling badly about school, but here are several things you can do to help your child overcome a bad grade or dip in school performance:

Be supportive, not angry. Let your child know that you’re there for support and you want to help him or her—whether this is a small or growing problem. When a bad grade comes home, resist the initial urge to yell or punish him or her. It’s understandable that you may feel concerned or angry, but your child probably feels as bad as you do about his or her school struggles. First, have an open, non-judgmental conversation with your child about what happened.

Determine whether you’re dealing with a one-time problem or a deeper issue. Has your child had problems with this particular subject or skill in the past, or is this a new issue? Talk with your child about what went wrong on the assignment or test. Does he or she understand what mistakes were made and how to correct them?

Look for signs elsewhere. Occasional bad grades happen to all students. Consistently low grades and test scores, however, are worth investigating further. How is your child during study and homework sessions? Does he or she take far more time than seems reasonable to complete work? Is his or her work sloppy or disorganized? Has your child regressed in a certain subject since the prior year? Do tests seem to make your child anxious?

Remind your child that failure is a part of life. It may be hard for your child to understand without the perspective that you have, but let him or her know that making mistakes is how we learn. Share a story of a time when you or a favorite aunt or uncle struggled in school. Let him or her know that you do not expect perfection, and that this is an opportunity to strive for improvement.

Focus on the future. Try not to dwell too much on a poor grade or test score. Instead, figure out the best way for your child to overcome any difficulties in order to earn a better grade next time. Be sure to involve your child when developing that plan of action. Teach him or her to set goals, lay out steps to achieve those goals, and work with you and his or her teacher to tackle problems as they arise.

Ideally, you should take these steps before your child’s school difficulties spiral into big problems. However, it is never too late to help your child turn things around and repeal any serious damage to his or her confidence and academic record. Huntington Learning Center works with students who have been struggling for a few months, students who have been struggling for years, and everyone in between. Whether your child needs help in math, science, reading, writing or another subject, Huntington’s experienced, certified teachers can design a customized, tutoring program that makes an impact. If you suspect that your child needs help and you’re not sure where to begin, call us at 1-800 CAN LEARN.

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Celebrate National Library Week April 7-13, 2019 Huntington Learning Center is pleased to join schools, teachers, librarians and community members in celebrating National Library Week, an observance sponsored by the American Library Association (ALA).

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Mon, 20 May 2019 11:50:50 -0400 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/national-library-week-2019 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/national-library-week-2019 Huntington Learning Center Huntington Learning Center Huntington Learning Center is pleased to join schools, teachers, librarians and community members in celebrating National Library Week, an observance sponsored by the American Library Association (ALA). This annual event, held April 7 to 13, 2019, also incorporates daily celebrations to honor some of the most important library workers and announces the release of important publications: 

  • State of America’s Libraries Report release, which includes the Top 10 Frequently Challenged Books of 2018 (Monday)
  • National Library Workers Day (Tuesday) - Recognizes staff, users, administrators and friends of libraries
  • National Bookmobile Day (Wednesday) - Honors the professionals that make bookmobile outreach possible in their communities
  • Take Action for Libraries Day (Thursday) – A national library advocacy effort 

For 2019, the ALA has chosen a theme of “Libraries = Strong Communities.” The Honorary Chair of 2019 National Library Week is Melinda Gates, who is co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. She has invested more than $1 billion through her foundation’s Global Libraries initiative to enhance the power of libraries to promote literacy and improve lives. 

Eileen Huntington of Huntington Learning Center says that all types of libraries (school, public, academic and special) are important in society, adding that libraries can transform communities. 

“At Huntington, we frequently suggest that parents and children make library visits a regular part of their lives,” she says. “Libraries are gathering places that offer citizens many resources to learn and better themselves. Of course, libraries also help parents lay the foundation for their children’s lifelong literacy and appreciation of books. National Library Week is an important celebration to all of us at Huntington. We encourage our students and their families to support our nation’s libraries this week and always.” 

National Library Week was founded in 1958. In the mid-1950s, the ALA and the American Book Publishers formed the National Book Committee, which aimed to encourage people to read in their leisure time. That committee developed a plan for National Library Week, which promoted the support and use of libraries around the country. 

While libraries are great places to check out books, magazines and other reading material, Huntington reminds families of the many other uses of libraries: 

  • As a meetup spot for students working on group projects or studying
  • For computer access
  • To participate in leisure activities (such as a cultural organization or meditation class)
  • To access media (movies, music, audiobooks, etc.)
  • To take free or low-cost classes on a wide range of topics, such as computer use, completing taxes and creative writing
  • As a social gathering space
  • For clubs, reading groups and other organizations
  • As a resource for gathering information on starting a business
  • For meeting spaces 

To learn more about National Library Week and this year’s theme, visit www.ala.org/nlw.

About Huntington

Huntington is the tutoring and test prep leader. Its certified tutors provide individualized instruction in reading, phonics, writing, study skills, elementary and middle school math, Algebra through Calculus, Chemistry, and other sciences. It preps for the SAT and ACT, as well as state and standardized exams.  Huntington programs develop the skills, confidence, and motivation to help students succeed and meet the needs of Common Core State Standards.  Founded in 1977, Huntington’s mission is to give every student the best education possible.  Learn how Huntington can help at www.huntingtonhelps.com. For franchise opportunities please visit www.huntingtonfranchise.com.

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FAQs About the Differences Between the SAT and ACT Exams College just around the corner for your teen? There’s a lot to do to prepare, including take college entrance exams. When it comes to choosing the SAT or ACT, you might wonder how these exams differ and whether one is “better” for your teen than the other.

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Mon, 20 May 2019 15:14:29 -0400 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/differences-in-the-sat-and-act https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/differences-in-the-sat-and-act Huntington Learning Center Huntington Learning Center College just around the corner for your teen? There’s a lot to do to prepare, including take college entrance exams. When it comes to choosing the SAT or ACT, you might wonder how these exams differ and whether one is “better” for your teen than the other. Here are a few FAQs that will help you and your teen understand the differences between them:

  1. What do the exams measure? The SAT focuses on the skills that matter most for college readiness and success. The ACT measures skills that are most important for success in postsecondary education and that are acquired in secondary education. Both exams measure what students learn in high school.
  2. Are the sections on the SAT and ACT the same? Both exams have reading and math tests. The ACT has an English test and optional writing (essay) test, while the SAT has a writing and language test and optional essay. The ACT has a science test while the SAT has science elements throughout every section of the test.
  3. Is one exam longer than the other? Testing time on both exams is similar: three hours (plus a 50-minute optional essay) for the SAT and two hours, 55 minutes (plus a 40-minute optional essay) for the ACT.
  4. Can students use a calculator on the math portions? The SAT has a calculator section and a no calculator section on the math test. On the ACT, students can use a calculator on the whole math test.
  5. What are some of the other differences in the math sections (other than the calculator)? The SAT’s math test is 80 minutes and 58 questions, while the ACT’s is 60 minutes and 60 questions. On the SAT, some formulas are provided to exam-takers. Math is half of the total SAT score and just 25% of the composite ACT
  6. How many questions are on each exam? There are 154 questions on the SAT and 215 questions on the ACT. So, that’s a big difference between the SAT and the ACT: the amount of time per question. SAT exam-takers get an average of one minute, 10 seconds, per question, while ACT exam-takers get just 49 seconds per question on average.
  7. Are both exams accepted at all U.S. colleges?
  8. How often are the exams available? Both the SAT and the ACT are offered seven times a year. For the 2018-2019 school year, SAT dates were/are August 2018, October 2018, November 2018, December 2018, March 2019, May 2019, and June 2019, and ACT dates were/are September 2018, October 2018, December 2018, February 2019, April 2019, June 2019, and July 2019.
  9. What are the score ranges? On the SAT, total score range is 400-1600 (reading/writing is 200-800 and math 200-800). The essay test is scored on three dimensions, with scores ranging from 2 to 8. The composite is calculated by averaging scores (1-36 points possible on each of the four subject tests: math, science, English and reading). Writing is a separate score that ranges from 2 to 12.
  10. What is the best way to prepare for the SAT and ACT? Taking challenging courses in high school is the best way to prepare, since both exams are focused on what students learn in high school. Beyond that, individualized test prep guided by a customized study plan is the best way to get ready.

Huntington can help! Contact us at 1-800 CAN LEARN to discuss how we can help your college-bound student prepare for the SAT or ACT.

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Tips to Teach Your Students About SMART Goal-Setting If you encourage your students to set goals, make sure they’re SMART goals. SMART is an acronym for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Timely.

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Mon, 20 May 2019 15:05:28 -0400 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/tips-to-teach-your-students-about-smart-goal-setting https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/tips-to-teach-your-students-about-smart-goal-setting Huntington Learning Center Huntington Learning Center If you encourage your students to set goals, make sure they’re SMART goals. SMART is an acronym for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Timely. Here are a few tips to share with your students as they engage in this valuable process:

  • Specific – Avoid any vague terms. Define the goal as clearly as possible and make sure you outline the who the goal involves, what is to be accomplished, where, and why it is a goal for the student.
  • Measurable – Students need to track their progress so that they know they’re making headway (and will know when their goal is achieved).
  • Achievable – Achievable goals are within the realm of possibility—meaning, students have the resources they need to take steps toward them. The goals must be realistic, and students must have control over the actions that are necessary to reach them.
  • Relevant – Goals must have a purpose. In other words, your students should think about whether the goals they set are worthwhile. They should be linked to their long-term visions for themselves.
  • Timely – A clearly defined timeframe with specific milestones/due dates is important for any SMART goal.

Share an example of a SMART goal like the one below:

Because I want to major in engineering in college (relevant), I want to increase my math grade to a 90% between now, October 10, 2019, and December 15, 2019 (specific/timely) by attending 90% of the Tuesday morning study sessions and spending 15 minutes each weeknight reviewing class notes, in addition to completing any assigned homework (measurable/achievable). 

Questions about setting SMART goals? Contact Huntington.

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Matching Learning Styles to Study Tools As your child matures into an independent student, he or she will continue to refine those all-important study skills. Throughout school, students employ a variety of tools when studying, however, what works for one student may not for another.

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Wed, 03 Apr 2019 14:18:18 -0400 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/matching-learning-styles-to-study-tools https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/matching-learning-styles-to-study-tools Huntington Learning Center Huntington Learning Center As your child matures into an independent student, he or she will continue to refine those all-important study skills. Throughout school, students employ a variety of tools when studying, however, what works for one student may not for another. Help your child enhance his or her study sessions through the use of the right tools for his or her learning style.

There are many different types of learning styles, but one common way to categorize learning preference is through the senses: visual, auditory and kinesthetic. Here are descriptions of each and the types of tools or devices that may aid such learners in their study sessions.

Visual learners generally like to see or read what they learn. Students who learn visually often take detailed notes, watch people intently when they are speaking, have vivid imaginations and are good at remembering places or people. They also tend to understand concepts better when a teacher writes them on the board or draws them out.

Study tools for visual learners:

  • Visual aids, such as diagrams, pictures, maps, drawings and charts
  • Flash cards and other visual memory devices
  • A blank notebook or blank paper for drawing out ideas and concepts visually (in order to aid in the student’s comprehension)
  • Written directions for assignments and projects
  • To-do lists
  • Day planners in which to record assignments, appointments and other tasks
  • White boards

Auditory learners learn best by listening and verbalizing concepts aloud. In class, these students may not necessarily need to watch the teacher to comprehend his or her lessons or lectures, provided the subject matter is being discussed in sufficient detail. They prefer to study by reading aloud and talking to themselves and they may be good at remembering the information they hear. Classroom lectures are a comfortable form of learning for these students and many auditory learners ask a lot of questions to reinforce their understanding of things.

Study tools for auditory learners:

  • Tape recorders for classroom lectures
  • Handheld dictation machines to record and play back concepts and ideas
  • Mnemonic devices to help with memorizing facts and information
  • Audio books
  • Study groups
  • Text to speech software, such as NaturalReader (naturalreaders.com)

Kinesthetic learners like to be active participants in the learning process, whether through hands-on activity or some other active endeavor. Such students learn best by doing and enjoy manipulating materials and objects as part of the learning process. In the classroom, these students may need to stand, move around or doodle while listening to lectures. Long periods of reading may make them fidgety and/or cause them to lose focus.

Study tools for kinesthetic learners:

  • Note taking
  • Highlighters to highlight while reading or reviewing
  • Stress ball or other ball (tennis ball or baseball) to play with while studying
  • Interactive tools tied to studying, such as Quizlet, an online study software or Google SketchUp, a drawing and 3D modeling tool
  • Standing desk
  • Stationary bike or treadmill (to use while reading)

Remember that a student might prefer a certain learning style for one task or subject and another style for a different task. Also, tools that work for one type of learner may also work well for another type, too. It’s always good practice to try out different study approaches and tools and talk with your child’s teachers for additional ideas and suggestions. Encourage your child to explore his or her own learning preferences through the use of different tools and techniques so that he or she make the most of every class and study session.

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Help Your Elementary School Student Develop Critical Thinking Skills In today’s complex world, it is not just important, but imperative that children learn to think critically—and not just learn to memorize facts and figures. Although there is a lot of information at every grade that children need to learn—the mechanics of reading and writing, mathematics, science and much more—it is essential for young learners to gain plenty of practice reasoning, questioning assumptions, considering the logic of various ideas and solving problems independently.

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Wed, 03 Apr 2019 14:11:51 -0400 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/develop-critical-thinking-skills https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/develop-critical-thinking-skills Huntington Learning Center Huntington Learning Center In today’s complex world, it is not just important, but imperative that children learn to think critically—and not just learn to memorize facts and figures. Although there is a lot of information at every grade that children need to learn—the mechanics of reading and writing, mathematics, science and much more—it is essential for young learners to gain plenty of practice reasoning, questioning assumptions, considering the logic of various ideas and solving problems independently. How can you help foster your elementary-age child’s critical thinking skills? Here are several exercises and suggestions to put into practice in everyday life, which will serve your child long after the school days are over.

 

Employ the Socratic Method. The Greek philosopher Socrates questioned his students continuously and encouraged oppositional debate among them to get them to think critically and generate new ideas. Most elementary school children go through a phase (or several) in which they ask a lot of questions. The next time you’re asked, “Why?” try answering with, “What do you think?” or “What do you know already and what do you need to know to solve your problem?” Instead of answering questions outright, encourage your child to try to answer them for him or herself. Teach your child to listen to others’ ideas, always keeping in mind that often, there is more than one right answer to a question.

 

Sort things and recognize patterns. Any activity in which a child is asked to identify a pattern is one that helps build critical thinking skills. This could be as simple as sorting laundry or organizing toys during daily chores, or playing thinking games such as chess, puzzles, tangrams, pentominoes or Sudoku. When driving around town, ask your child to name the shapes of the signs he or she sees. Have him or her look for patterns in the grocery store (for example, how many price signs end in $0.99 versus $0.50, etc.). Or challenge your child to predict the next item in a series (if driving through a neighborhood where all the streets are named for trees, for example, have your child guess what the next street might be).

 

Talk about facts versus opinions. Teach your child about the difference between things that are true and always true (your child has two eyes, for example) and things that cannot be proven true 100% of the time (your cat is the best pet ever). You can talk about this any time, even when watching television together. After commercials, ask your child what statements the commercial made about the product being advertised; then ask whether the statements were fact or opinion, and how he or she knew the difference. You can also discuss who made the commercial and why, analyzing the company’s point of view versus the consumer’s. 

 

Summarize stories whenever you read. When you and your child read together, ask him or her to summarize what happened at the end of each chapter or major section of a book. The ability to recap the major points of texts is an important critical thinking skill that your child will use again and again as a student—from elementary school through college. If you get a newspaper at home, look at headlines together each morning and ask your child to guess what the story will be about.  Then read the story and decide if the headline did a good job of summarizing the information. Ask your child to write his or her own headline for the story.

 

Deliberate and discuss. The next time you and your child do not agree on something, give him or her the opportunity to persuade you to see his or her side. Don’t worry—this does not have to mean that every rule in your house is negotiable. However, it is important to teach your child to back up his or her ideas and arguments and think about why he or she believes or does not believe things. Push your child to think about his or her arguments carefully. In addition, an important part of thoughtful debate is learning to see things from other people’s points of view.

 

Analyze like a scientist. Urge your child to think like a scientist and apply the scientific method to anything and everything. The main components of the scientific method are observation, developing a hypothesis, prediction and experimentation. Teaching your child this practice of thinking will give him or her the tools to think through issues and figure out solutions to all kinds of problems.

 

Embrace the practice of critical thinking in your household and in all that you do, encourage your child to be a curious student of life. In doing so, you will teach your child to be resourceful when tackling school and other problems, which will help him or her gain confidence, perceptiveness and a lifelong love of learning.

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Should Your High School Student Seek an Internship This Summer? When teens get to college, something they’ll hear often from professors and the team at the college career center is how important it is to get work experience. Enter internships, which offer many important benefits.

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Wed, 10 Apr 2019 08:49:48 -0400 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/should-your-high-school-student-seek-an-internship-this-summer https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/should-your-high-school-student-seek-an-internship-this-summer Huntington Learning Center Huntington Learning Center When teens get to college, something they’ll hear often from professors and the team at the college career center is how important it is to get work experience. Enter internships, which offer many important benefits:

  • They give students practical experience in a field and an idea what a career in that field might be like.
  • They offer students the opportunity to experience a professional workplace setting firsthand.
  • They are the perfect “test run” for a career, giving students the chance to try out an industry or job type with minimal risk.
  • They establish students’ connections with real-world professionals who could serve as mentors as they navigate their professional journeys.
  • They help students build their resumés and their skills.

Getting an internship is a great idea…but are internships reserved for college students? Definitely not! There are many programs and options for motivated high school students. Internships are an ideal way for high school teens to get a head start on researching possible college majors and career paths—plus the experience looks awesome on a college application. 

Parents, here are some tips to offer your high schoolers as they engage in an internship search:

Visit the guidance counselor. The guidance counselor’s office might have lists of internship opportunities and local resources for internships. High schoolers should stop by regularly and make sure they’re registered on any internship websites or email lists that the guidance counselor recommends.

Check out nearby colleges. Colleges, universities and community colleges often have formal internship programs (many science related) for high school students. Colleges’ websites are a good place to start, and students can reach out to specific departments/programs as well. Some colleges and universities even invite students to live on campus for the summer. Two examples:

  • Stanford University’s Cardiothoracic Surgical Skills and Education Center Stanford Summer Internship exposes high school students to careers in science, medicine and public health.
  • Boston University’s Research in Science & Engineering (RISE) program invites high school juniors to conduct scientific lab research.

Make a list of companies. Because there are more internships available to college students, high school students need to be diligent…and creative. Parents should encourage their teens to look not just for formal internship programs but also companies and organizations in their local area that interest them. High school students can approach organizations directly with a resumé and a cover letter expressing their desire to gain professional experience (explaining their specific area of interest). Many companies might be willing to create an internship position for an ambitious teen.

Create a resumé. Speaking of resumés, teens who are serious about finding internships definitely need resumés along with cover letters that they can customize as they apply for (or inquire about) internships. The resumé must include sections for education, GPA (unless the GPA is low, then omit it), interests/objective, any work experience and any special qualifications (e.g. communication skills or particular subject strengths).

Look nationally. High school students looking for a transformative internship experience should consider big companies with reputable internship programs for high school students. Here are just a few examples:

  • Microsoft has several summer high school internships.
  • Bank of America offers a Student Leaders program that places students into internships.
  • The Smithsonian’s Youth Engagement through Science internship program has several options for rising high school students in the Washington, D.C. metro area.
  • NASA has several internship options for students in high school.

There are lots of summer jobs out there for teens, but an internship will benefit your high school student tremendously. With college on the horizon, it’s not too early for your teen to think about creating an impressive, well-rounded application package. Combine a strong GPA and an academic record of challenging classes with a quality internship experience and your teen will definitely set himself apart.

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Seven Tips for Using Google Classroom Does your school district use Google Classroom? If you’re not familiar, Google Classroom is a free tool that’s included in G Suite for Education.

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Wed, 10 Apr 2019 09:13:42 -0400 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/7-tips-for-using-google-classroom https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/7-tips-for-using-google-classroom Huntington Learning Center Huntington Learning Center Does your school district use Google Classroom? If you’re not familiar, Google Classroom is a free tool that’s included in G Suite for Education. It “helps students and teachers organize assignments, boost collaboration, and foster better communication.”

Every teacher wants to find ways to make teaching more productive and meaningful. Huntington offers a few ways to put Google Classroom to work:

  1. Share information, such as assignments, materials, and questions with students and other co-teachers.
  2. Manage multiple classes and share posts across classes (including announcements, assignments, or questions).
  3. Co-teach with up to 20 other instructors at a time.
  4. Enrich class assignments by adding YouTube videos, PDFs, or other materials you pull into Google Drive.
  5. Improve communication by starting and managing class discussions, sharing resources, giving real-time feedback, and engaging students in the class discussion stream. Parents can also sign up for an email summary of their students’ work.
  6. Integrate your work with other Google tools, like Google Docs, Calendar, Drive, Gmail, and Forms.
  7. Keep your students organized by encouraging them to track class work and materials, share resources with classmates via the class stream, submit assignments, and keep track of grades.

There’s a lot you can do with Google Classroom. Visit https://classroom.google.com to explore the possibilities and make your classroom more effective.

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Seven Reasons Your Teen Needs an SAT/ACT Prep Course The SAT and ACT are arguably the most important exams in a high school student’s life. It pays to prepare! But here’s something to keep in mind: there are several must-haves when it comes to effective preparation and many teens are ill-equipped to approach the task correctly on their own.

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Wed, 10 Apr 2019 08:41:52 -0400 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/7-reasons--your-teen-needs-an-sat-act-prep-course https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/7-reasons--your-teen-needs-an-sat-act-prep-course Huntington Learning Center Huntington Learning Center The SAT and ACT are arguably the most important exams in a high school student’s life. It pays to prepare! But here’s something to keep in mind: there are several must-haves when it comes to effective preparation and many teens are ill-equipped to approach the task correctly on their own.

Here are seven reasons to enroll teens in an SAT/ACT prep course:

  1. To work with skilled teachers. Find a well-designed exam prep course that is taught by an experienced tutor. Ideally, that teacher will have significant SAT/ACT exam prep experience and great training and hold state certifications. Teachers like this know how to help students succeed on the SAT/ACT.
  2. To get an organized study plan in place. The problem with students studying on their own for the SAT/ACT is that they might be spending too much time on one area and not enough on another. It’s natural for students to want to focus on subjects they know well, but no two students should study exactly the same way. A customized exam prep course will ensure each student’s needs are met and goals considered.
  3. To get a clear picture of each exam’s structure. Before a student dives into studying, it’s important to understand how the SAT differs from the ACT, especially if that student plans to take both exams. Organizers of SAT/ACT prep courses can also guide students toward the exam that fits them best and aligns with the preferences of the college(s) to which they’re applying, if applicable.
  4. To customize their study plan. Great prep courses start with individualized study plans that are created based on students’ practice SAT/ACT scores. This initial assessment identifies students’ strengths and weaknesses on the exam(s) they are taking. A customized study approach and schedule is more likely to help students improve where they need to improve. Students rarely need to study the same amount for all exam sections, after all.
  5. To learn trusted test-taking skills and strategies. The SAT and ACT are not structured or scored the same. A quality exam prep program will guide students through good strategies for answering different types of test questions, knowing how each type is graded.
  6. To improve speed. There’s no getting around it: students don’t have the luxury of time during the SAT and ACT. These exams are timed and students are expected to move quickly from question to question. Too often, students struggle with this aspect of these exams. A good prep program teaches students to improve their speed and become adept at narrowing down answer choices fast so they make the most of their test minutes.
  7. To get actual test-taking practice. An initial practice test is important to ensure students focus their studying on the right areas, but prep courses usually incorporate multiple practice tests into their curriculum. This is valuable, as practice tests get students comfortable with the structure of the SAT/ACT and give them the opportunity to practice those test-taking skills.

Whether your teen is taking the SAT or ACT for the first time or has taken these exams before and wants to boost those scores, Huntington can help. Call us to learn more about our proven approach and to find the Huntington SAT/ACT prep program nearest you: 1-800 CAN LEARN.

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Tips for Teaching Students Mindfulness Today’s students live busy lives, and the hectic pace and many demands can often create stress. Teach your students to be more mindful, which will help them feel calmer, more grounded, and more attentive.

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Wed, 10 Apr 2019 09:07:22 -0400 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/tips-for-teaching-students-mindfulness https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/tips-for-teaching-students-mindfulness Huntington Learning Center Huntington Learning Center Today’s students live busy lives, and the hectic pace and many demands can often create stress. Teach your students to be more mindful, which will help them feel calmer, more grounded, and more attentive. Huntington offers a few tips for embracing mindfulness that you can share with your students:

  • Focus on yourself. A big part of mindfulness is bringing awareness to your actions, like your breath, movements, and reactions.
  • One thought at a time. We all have a lot to think about. It’s important to declutter the mind periodically, observing every moment and staying “in” those moments while they are happening.
  • Pause and look around. Mindfulness is also about paying attention to what’s around you: sounds, sights, smells, and other people. Train the mind to stay with and commit to each thought, even if briefly.
  • Acknowledge the past, but don’t dwell. Past experiences and difficulties offer the opportunity to learn and grow, but they shouldn’t interfere with our forward momentum in life. Teach the mind to recognize things as they occur, but accept what cannot be changed. Focus on the present.

Mindfulness has many benefits, from decreased stress to increased information processing speed, from better focus to improved communication. Encourage your students to adopt some of these practices and watch them become stronger, more effective students.

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Four Tips for Teaching Your Child Internet Safety The internet opens up a world of educational opportunities, but it’s important for parents to err on the side of caution in today’s uber-connected world.

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Mon, 20 May 2019 11:45:22 -0400 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/teaching-your-child-internet-satefy https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/teaching-your-child-internet-satefy Huntington Learning Center Huntington Learning Center The internet opens up a world of educational opportunities, but it’s important for parents to err on the side of caution in today’s uber-connected world. “Today’s students have grown up with technology and are very aware of the internet’s many avenues to discover and learn,” says Eileen Huntington of Huntington Learning Center. “However, it’s essential that parents are up on best practices in digital safety and that they educate their children on the dangers of the internet.”

Huntington offers parents these internet safety tips:

  1. Talk about the risks. Naivety online can be downright dangerous. It’s important for parents to make sure their children know that some people on the internet might pretend to be helpful or nice when they are not. They need to understand why they should never share personal information with anyone online. And it’s also essential that children recognize that their online behavior is just as important as their “real world” behavior. Parents and children need to talk about the risks of sharing too much on social media and the fact that embarrassing themselves online could come back to haunt them when it comes time to apply to colleges.
  2. Avoid playing spy. It’s tempting for parents to want to control their children’s every move and spy on what they do online. Eventually, however, this only promotes a household culture of mistrust. Also, as children grow older, they will become savvy enough to figure out how to hide what they’re doing. A better approach is one where parents communicate with their children about house rules and expectations regarding technology and cyber safety. Even when monitoring their children’s online activity, parents should respect their privacy.
  3. Invest in parental control software. It’s a smart idea to install a parental control tool that monitors all of your family’s internet-connected devices. There are lots of options out there (check out Qustodio, Net Nanny, and Norton Family for starters), but make sure whatever you choose lets you control device usage, filter content to block access to inappropriate websites and keep a detailed log of web activity.
  4. Create a contract. Setting expectations is an important step toward holding children accountable, and a contract can help do that. Make sure your internet/digital safety contract addresses the following:
  • Never giving out personal information (including name, phone number, address and school name) online
  • Rules for online use (time limits and times of day)
  • Never giving out passwords to anyone, even friends
  • Never sending people pictures without checking with parents first
  • Being a good online citizen and never doing anything unethical or mean online
  • Never making plans to meet someone in person that your child met online
  • Talking to mom and dad about any inappropriate or uncomfortable online interactions that your child is a part of or witnesses

Lastly, Huntington urges parents to keep the lines of communication open. “We live in a time when people get hurt and scammed online every day and even damage their lives by making poor choices online,” she says. “Parents, teach your children internet safety from an early age and talk about it often. The more you educate your child now, the better equipped he or she will be to stay safe online as a teen and young adult.”

About Huntington

Huntington is the tutoring and test prep leader. Its certified tutors provide individualized instruction in reading, phonics, writing, study skills, elementary and middle school math, Algebra through Calculus, Chemistry, and other sciences. It preps for the SAT and ACT, as well as state and standardized exams.  Huntington programs develop the skills, confidence, and motivation to help students succeed and meet the needs of Common Core State Standards.  Founded in 1977, Huntington’s mission is to give every student the best education possible.  Learn how Huntington can help at www.huntingtonhelps.com. For franchise opportunities please visit www.huntingtonfranchise.com.

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Six Musts When Requesting Recommendation Letters At some point in your teen’s life, it’s likely that he will need to request a letter of recommendation. Many top-tier colleges and universities require or strongly encourage applicants to submit such letters.

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Fri, 15 Mar 2019 14:03:31 -0400 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/requesting-recommendation-letters-how-to https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/requesting-recommendation-letters-how-to Huntington Learning Center Huntington Learning Center At some point in your teen’s life, it’s likely that he will need to request a letter of recommendation. Many top-tier colleges and universities require or strongly encourage applicants to submit such letters. Or, your teen might need one for a scholarship, internship or pre-college program application.

These letters can seriously bolster your teen as a candidate, so it’s important to take them seriously. Huntington offers a few essential guidelines for requesting recommendation letters:

  1. Build relationships. Before teens even get to the point where they need letters of recommendation, they should work on cultivating good relationships with teachers and superiors. That means being engaged in class, being a good classmate or teammate, and giving all endeavors, from school to extracurricular activities to part-time jobs, their very best effort.
  2. Ask the right person/people. It’s imperative that students request letters from appropriate teachers/mentors. They should ask individuals who know them well enough to speak to their academic performance, character and willingness to persevere in the face of adversity. High school students should avoid asking for recommendation letters from the teacher who doesn’t know them very well or the guidance counselor they’ve only visited once during high school. Also, it’s important to pay attention to the guidelines offered by the college (or scholarship or other organization), as the committee reviewing applications might want the writer to focus on certain traits, such as the student’s communication or critical thinking skills.
  3. Give some background. Many teachers/coaches/mentors are willing to write recommendation letters, but students shouldn’t assume those people know everything about them. They have lots of other students, after all. When requesting the letter, students should provide a resume if they have one (or a list of their accomplishments and activities) and a little background that the teacher might not know, such as their career plans or personal background.
  4. Allow plenty of time. Teachers and other recommenders are busy people and will likely receive requests from other students too. They need time to think about and write every letter requested of them. Giving notice is a good idea, and the earlier the better. Students might even consider making a “soft request” via email to confirm the teacher/other individual is willing before following up with a more formal request after they agree to the task (with all of the aforementioned details). Again, students should make sure the teacher has the application deadline (and recommendation letter, if different).
  5. Share any specific guidelines. Students can make things easier on the teacher/counselor/other individual that they ask by providing a rundown of the guidelines of the letter of recommendation. They should also include the application deadline and the website where the letter should be submitted or the address where the letter should be mailed.
  6. Be appreciative. Last and certainly not least, high school students should write thank-you notes or emails to the people who write letters of recommendation for them. Doing so shows their professionalism and appreciation and can help strengthen those relationships for the future.

There’s an art to requesting recommendation letters. Encourage your teen to take this seriously, as arming those individuals from which they request letters with all the right information will result in a well-written letter that articulates your teen’s best assets.

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Tips to Minimize Digital Distractions One of the unfortunate realities of teaching in the digital age is the volume of distractions. From smartphones with all kinds of tools and games to many different types of social media platforms, there are lots of ways for students to get sidetracked in class and when doing homework. What can you do?

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Fri, 15 Mar 2019 13:53:28 -0400 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/tips-to-minimize-digital-distractions https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/tips-to-minimize-digital-distractions Huntington Learning Center Huntington Learning Center One of the unfortunate realities of teaching in the digital age is the volume of distractions. From smartphones with all kinds of tools and games to many different types of social media platforms, there are lots of ways for students to get sidetracked in class and when doing homework. What can you do? Huntington recommends the below tips to offer your students:

Set and stick to a schedule. The more your students structure their days, the better they will be at minimizing wasted time – including technology time. Encourage them to develop a detailed daily schedule that blocks out time for all of their have-tos as well as their want-tos, including online and phone time.

Establish classroom expectations. You must outline rules for digital devices, including when students are allowed to have their phones out in the classroom and when they are prohibited.

Encourage parents to set rules. Your students are only with you for part of each day, so make sure you communicate your classroom expectations to parents. Hopefully, this will inspire some rules and guidelines for responsible phone and technology use at home as well.

Help students build good habits. Try teaching the Pomodoro method, which has students set a timer to work for 25 minutes and then take a break for five minutes – a simple but effective way to maximize productivity. Those short breaks can be used for checking social media and replying to texts. The benefit: students will grow accustomed to staying focused when it’s time to work.

Suggest helpful apps. There are many tools that can help students be more aware of what they spend their time on and quit wasting it on unproductive activities. Check out RescueTime , a program which runs in the background of computers and mobile devices, and SelfControl for starters.

There’s so much to distract students today. Help yours embrace good habits so that the many digital tools and devices out there help and do not hinder their lives.

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Huntington Learning Center Celebrates Mathematics and Statistics Awareness Month 2019 During the month of April, the Huntington Learning Center is celebrating Mathematics and Statistics Awareness Month.

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Tue, 17 Mar 2020 08:03:15 -0400 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/math-awareness-month-2019 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/math-awareness-month-2019 Huntington Learning Center Huntington Learning Center During the month of April, the Huntington Learning Center is celebrating Mathematics and Statistics Awareness Month.

This annual, nationwide event aims to increase the understanding and appreciation of mathematics and statistics. These two subjects play an important role in tackling pressing problems of our time, such as the data deluge, internet security, curing and treating diseases, and other worldwide issues.

Mathematics and Statistics Awareness Month began in 1986 when President Ronald Reagan issued a proclamation to establish National Mathematics Awareness Week. His goal was to encourage the study and utilization of mathematics and remind Americans of the importance of this basic branch of science in our daily lives. The celebration is a collaborative effort of the American Mathematical Society, the American Statistical Association, the Mathematical Association of America and the Society for Industrial Applied Mathematics.

Eileen Huntington of Huntington Learning Center says that Huntington has proudly celebrated Mathematics and Statistics Awareness Month for many years. “We’re delighted to once again join educators, students, schools and other groups in elevating discussions about math’s importance for the progression of our economy and society,” says Huntington. “When working with children who are struggling with math or want to get ahead in the subject, we remind them why math knowledge is essential—not just in school, but in life. We’re pleased to join in this annual event and to encourage the families we serve to do the same.”

Huntington reminds parents to show their children that mathematics and statistics are a part of daily life and many things they do and enjoy. She offers these tips:

  • Talk about careers that require math and statistics knowledge.
  • Have your child estimate the bill whenever you shop or dine out at a restaurant.
  • Have your child help you calculate weekly statistics during fantasy football season.
  • Have your child maintain the family checkbook or family budget.
  • Talk about the role that math/statistics has played in major events like space shuttle launches and sharp rises and falls of the stock market.
  • Show your child sports statistics online or in the newspaper and have your child track his or her favorite athletes’ or teams’ data.
  • Create graphs to track fun family data, such as the weekly height of everyone in the family, the amount of snowfall or rainfall throughout the year, or the number of times your family eats out in a year.
  • Anytime you cook, get your child involved in measuring ingredients, checking temperature and setting timers.
  • Plan a family road trip, and have your child calculate drive time, planned mileage, estimated cost of gas and more.
  • Open a bank account for your child, encourage your child to earn and save money, and talk about the concept of interest.
  • Make predictions and talk about how statistics are used to make all kinds of predictions, like developing weather forecasts and analyzing stocks.

To learn more about Mathematics and Statistics Awareness Month, visit www.mathaware.org.

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What Can Tutoring Do For Your Child? There are many benefits to tutoring besides increased grades. For over 40 years, Huntington has helped thousands of students flourish as a result of tutoring. Find out some of the advantages tutoring can have on your student.

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Fri, 15 Mar 2019 08:26:07 -0400 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/what-can-tutoring-do-for-your-child https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/what-can-tutoring-do-for-your-child Huntington Learning Center Huntington Learning Center If your child has ever failed a test or struggled through one or more subjects or classes, you’ve probably thought about looking into tutoring programs that could help. Eileen Huntington, co-founder of Huntington Learning Center says that most parents recognize the obvious benefits of tutoring, but there are many other positive results as well. “Individualized tutoring can help children fill in any learning gaps and raise their grades,” says Huntington. “The great news is that there are so many other wonderful byproducts of tutoring that can have a lasting impact on a child and help shape his or her future for the better.”

Huntington shares some of the positive things that tutoring can do for your child:

Foster independence. Children who struggle to keep up in the classroom often feel helpless and stuck, unable to complete tasks on their own. When they receive individualized instruction and develop the “building blocks” needed to progress in their learning, over time, they will feel empowered and more comfortable taking ownership of their education.

Improve self-esteem. Most children who struggle with school for an extended period of time begin to feel worthless and embarrassed, thinking of themselves as stupid or incapable of learning. The right personalized tutoring program will start to yield positive results, leading a child to feel relieved and even proud of his or her newfound abilities.

Renew interests. When children seem indifferent or angry about school, they might be masking their struggles to understand basic concepts and their feelings of frustration about even the smallest tasks. Tutoring will help pinpoint the root of any academic problems so that parents and teachers can take action. Once a child begins to feel more capable and confident, he or she will also remember what it feels like to be interested in learning.

Motivate. For children who repeatedly struggle in school, it’s a daily challenge to muster up the motivation to put effort toward homework or assignments. Sadly, these students tend to feel that no matter how hard they try, they will fail. A customized program of instruction will help a child become a better student, and as a result, allow that child to experience the positive feelings associated with acquiring new knowledge. Soon, that child will feel more inspired to work harder and persevere when things are difficult.

One of the best things tutoring can do for your child is prompt him or her to feel more optimistic about school—and happier overall. “When children are able to finally understand something that has historically been difficult for them, it’s an immediate boost to their confidence and feelings of self-worth,” says Huntington.  “Without a doubt, tutoring is a wise long-term investment in your child that you as a parent will see paying dividends for years to come.”

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What Does it Really Take to Get into the Ivy League? So, what does it take to gain acceptance into one of these colleges? High grades, class rank and outstanding standardized test (SAT and ACT) scores top the list of requirements. A rigorous high school curriculum and an impressive resume of extracurricular activities are also essential. But beyond those things, there are the intangible elements that make certain students stand apart from others.

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Fri, 15 Mar 2019 13:57:55 -0400 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/what-does-it-really-take-to-get-into-the-ivy-league https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/what-does-it-really-take-to-get-into-the-ivy-league Huntington Learning Center Huntington Learning Center If your teen is a high achiever, the Ivy League might be on her radar. Officially the name of an American intercollegiate athletic conference, the Ivy League consists of eight private colleges and universities: Brown University, Columbia University, Cornell University, Dartmouth College, Harvard University, the University of Pennsylvania, Princeton University and Yale University.

These schools are known as some of the best and most prestigious in the world and consistently top rankings by U.S. News & World Report and other notable ranking institutions. For students who value academic excellence and reputation, they are the gold standard.

What it takes to get in to the Ivy League

So, what does it take to gain acceptance into one of these colleges? High grades, class rank and outstanding standardized test (SAT and ACT) scores top the list of requirements. A rigorous high school curriculum and an impressive resume of extracurricular activities are also essential. But beyond those things, there are the intangible elements that make certain students stand apart from others.

Tips to strengthen those chances of acceptance

Many brilliant students apply to Ivy League schools each year, and just a small percentage are accepted. Teens must demonstrate to their schools of choice that they have the potential to do incredible things. If your teen wants her application to shine, here are some tips that come from the Ivy League institutions themselves:

  • Show your potential. Teens must show that they have reached not only their academic potential, but their personal potential. They must put their initiative, motivation and steadfast dedication to achieve certain goals on display right in their application package.
  • Take full advantage of school offerings and look beyond school walls for more. Teens who challenge themselves as much as possible at their high schools and take it upon themselves to look for additional learning opportunities (e.g. through independent study or local colleges) prove that they are highly motivated.
  • Show your leadership. Genuine commitment to one’s activities is important to the schools in the Ivy League. Teens who are dedicated to and care deeply about certain pursuits and have taken on the additional responsibility to assume leadership roles in them will stand out.
  • Demonstrate character. Ivy League schools extend admission to students they believe will make a notable impact and difference on campus and in the world after they graduate. Teens should try to show who they are and what they stand for in their applications. They should share how they will contribute in the classroom and take advantage of the unique experience offered at their school of choice.
  • Get the best recommendations. There’s no question that Ivy League schools appreciate the recommendations of teachers, counselors and other mentors when considering candidates’ overall potential. For this reason, teens need to take the decision on who to ask for such letters very seriously. Those individuals are tasked with helping admissions officers understand teen’s promise, intellect and strengths.

Admission into the Ivy League is highly competitive. If your teen has her sights set on attending one of these elite schools, it will take a great deal of hard work and dedication—as well as that “something extra” that makes your teen’s application exceptional.

Encourage your teen to put in the effort in high school—from day one. Huntington can help in several ways:

  1. Supplemental tutoring to help your teen get ahead in every subject and build on those academic strengths.
  2. SAT and ACT prep to help your teen score higher on these important exams.
  3. Study skills development to develop your teen’s essential organization, time management, executive functioning and test-taking skills, which will make your teen a stronger student overall.

Call Huntington to learn more about how we can support your teen’s Ivy League dreams. Our tutoring and test prep programs will set your teen up for success!

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Tips for Building Students’ Essay Writing Abilities Do your students know the basics for writing effective essays? Here are a few simple tips to offer, which can be applied to all essay types:

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Fri, 15 Mar 2019 13:41:52 -0400 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/tips-for-building-student-essay-writing-abilities https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/tips-for-building-student-essay-writing-abilities Huntington Learning Center Huntington Learning Center Do your students know the basics for writing effective essays? Here are a few simple tips to offer, which can be applied to all essay types:

Know the goal. Can you ever overstate the importance of reading the directions? Remind your students that they must adjust their approach depending on the type of essay they’re writing and its purpose. For example, there’s a big difference between a persuasive essay presenting an argument and an expository essay meant to compare and contrast ideas.

Outline first. It’s always best to plan out the essay structure before writing, jotting down some thoughts for the introductory paragraph, body paragraphs, and conclusion.

Fine-tune the introduction. Whether writing an opinion piece on a certain law or a story about a personal experience, students must hook the reader right away. The first few sentences need to grab the reader’s attention, and the first paragraph should conclude with a thesis that frames the rest of the essay.

Teach the importance of editing. A first draft of an essay should never be the final draft. Students must learn to review and edit their own work. Teach students to check that they’ve achieved the following before finalizing their essays:

  • No spelling or grammar mistakes or other errors
  • Clear and vivid examples
  • Word and sentence variety
  • Logical flow from paragraph to paragraph
  • Concise sentences
  • Avoidance of passive voice
  • Overall clarity (answers the question posed)

Becoming a good writer takes practice. Help your students build these skills now so that they are ready for the onslaught of college essays that will be required of them in a few years. They’ll thank you for it!

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Helping Your Teen Approach the College Search Process College planning is a highly involved process. If you and your teen are feeling overwhelmed by the many aspects of this important decision, it’s best to take a deep breath and remember: one step at a time.

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Fri, 08 Mar 2019 16:16:12 -0500 https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/helping-your-teen-approach-the-college-search-process https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/helping-your-teen-approach-the-college-search-process Dr Raymond Huntington Dr Raymond Huntington College planning is a highly involved process. If you and your teen are feeling overwhelmed by the many aspects of this important decision, it’s best to take a deep breath and remember: one step at a time. Here are a few tips on how to choose a college and find great fit.

Make a list of programs of interest. Teens should look for colleges that offer academic programs of study that match their goals and interests. It’s fine to still be undecided about a major, but it’s still a good idea for teens to start brainstorming. That way, they will focus on colleges that offer them plenty of options. A student who is interested in some sort of business path, for example, would be wise to make sure any colleges on his or her list offer a variety of business majors.

Consider academic goals. Maybe a student wants to apply to medical schools in a few years. It’s critical that he or she lays the groundwork now by choosing a reputable college for the bachelor’s degree. Other students might have dreams of prestigious careers in highly selective fields, which might make their college choice all the more important. Parents should talk with their teens about their career goals to ensure they find the right college to match their desires and aptitude.

Assess the value/price. For every family, cost is a major factor when it comes to evaluating colleges. Teens and parents should start researching federal financial aid (www.fafsa.ed.gov is a good place to start) and each college’s financial aid processes and options. It’s also essential to have a conversation about budgeting and how much of their education costs teens will be expected to cove