Beans and Baby Socks

13 03 2011

I’ve always been a better teacher than a cook. So the pinto beans which I had such great aspirations for…well, let’s just say that they never made it out of the pantry.

Months later, I had an idea to give these lonely, forsaken beans some much-needed time in the sun. I was in search of an activity that would motivate a reluctant leader, and decided to create a syllable counting beanbag toss game. Out of what, you may ask? Some baby socks my son never got around to wearing and the beans that never saw the bottom of my soup pot.

Baby Sock Bean Bags!

The result: a set of mini bean bags that fit easily into my tutoring bag, which will likely be used for teaching everything from phonemic awareness to multiplication facts.

As I sat there stitching the soon-to-be beanbags, I had to laugh at how not only is necessity the mother of invention, but also at how my old junk had been the inspiration for educational creativity.

Anybody can make a beanbag out of an old sock, but who besides a tutor would sit around her house on a Sunday night, wondering about how to turn a bag of 6-month old beans into educational gold?

Just goes to show that we here at ReLyt Tutoring have education on our minds, and will use a variety of new and innovative ways to educate our students!

Check back here for more creative ideas,and if you like what you see, give us a call to ask about how these tutors can inspire your kids to learn!


Professional Tutors, Affordable Rates?

1 03 2011

Do you wish that you could hire a tutor for your child but think that you can’t afford it? You’re not alone. Families all over the country see the need for their child to receive some extra help, but finances hold them back. Thankfully, tutoring does not have to break the bank – and here is why.

Why People Think Tutoring is Expensive
When it comes to tutoring, most people think of the “big name” tutoring agencies. You know who they are – the ones that advertise on TV and service hundreds – even thousands – of students. These tutoring agencies charge exorbitant amounts of money, and quite frankly they have created an unnecessary precedent for expensive tutoring.

Cutting out the Middle Man
The difference between ReLyt Tutoring and a tutoring agency is that we do not contract with tutors – we are the tutors. Most tutoring agencies act as a middle man, pairing tutors with students who need assistance. And while this has worked effectively for many companies, the tutors only receive a cut of what they charge. Families easily pay twice what the tutor is actually paid. The rest goes back to the company.

ReLyt Tutoring is a family-owned, family-run tutoring service. We have no middle man, so we charge a baseline price that simply covers the tutor’s salary and supplies – that’s it. No hefty fees – just a professional tutor for an affordable rate.

Professional Tutors
ReLyt Tutors are passionate professionals. We have taught in the classroom, around the world, and in a wide variety of tutoring scenarios. We know what it takes to help our students find success, and we care about each one individually. If you want to hire a professional tutor for an affordable rate, you have come to the right place – ReLyt Tutoring.

Presidents Day – A Celebration of America’s History

6 02 2011

Let’s face it – for most kids, Presidents Day is simply an excuse not to go to school. However, this national holiday was intended to be far more than a day for relaxation. For all our students who are looking forward to the day off, here’s a little info about the reason why school is canceled.

History of the Holiday
Originally celebrated as Washington’s Birthday, Presidents Day was instituted in honor of our nation’s first President in 1880 by an act of the United States Congress. Since then, the holiday has been celebrated every February, on the third Monday of the month. Until the 1980s most businesses were closed, as were the schools, so that Americans could suspend business in honor of our country’s Presidential heroes.

Notable Contributions
While every American President made significant contributions to the success of our nation, there have been a number of particularly notable ones throughout history. Just to name a few…

  • George Washington – Led America to victory and national freedom in the Revolutionary War
  • Thomas Jefferson – Wrote the Declaration of Independence and the greater part of the Constitution
  • James Madison – Signed the Treaty of Ghent, which ended the War of 1812
  • John Quincy Adams – Both the Erie Canal and the first passenger/freight railroad were completed during his Presidency
  • Andrew Jackson – The US was briefly debt-free for the only time in our nation’s history during his presidency
  • Abraham Lincoln – Ended the Civil War and Emancipated slaves
  • Ulysses S. Grant – Successful Civil War general
  • Theodore Roosevelt – The youngest President, taking office at age 42
  • Franklin Roosevelt – Kept Americans’ hopes alive during WWII
  • Harry Truman – Ended WWII
  • John F. Kennedy – The only President to win a Pulitzer Prize
  • Lyndon B. Johnson – Signed the Civil Rights Act
  • Ronald Reagan – Introduced “Reaganomics” to deregulate the economy, reduce government spending, and lower taxes
  • Barack Obama – America’s first black President

I admit it – I’m a Patriot, through and through. I’m proud to be an American and grateful for the rich heritage that our nation was built upon. But even I have fallen into the bad habit of seeing Presidents Day merely as a day for relaxation. This year, let’s try to do better – just take a moment on February 21st to remind our children that we enjoy freedom because others have gone before us and fought for it. Let’s let Presidents Day remain a celebration of America’s proud history.

Education: A Group Effort?

24 01 2011

As a parent, tutor, student, and classroom teacher, I have had the unique opportunity to experience all aspects of the educational journey. And while each of these responsibilities is individually important, it has become clear to me that the education of a child is not – cannot be – the responsibility of any one individual. It is essential that a child, his parent, his teacher, and his tutor all work together to accomplish this all-important task.

The Role of the Parent
As a parent, I understand the importance of my own interaction with my child. It is my responsibility – and my joy – to read to my child, to encourage him educationally, and to foster an atmosphere conducive to learning in my home. For the parent of a school-age child, it is also important to regularly communicate with the educators in his life. Through consistent communication with teachers and tutors the parent is able to keep up with her child’s educational needs and to strive for common academic goals.

The Role of the Teacher
Having been a teacher, I can appreciate the unique challenges presented in the classroom. The 15, 20, maybe 25 students, who are all looking at you with expectant eyes, together represent an exhausting variety of needs. Though she will try, the teacher cannot be expected to meet them all. Thorough, accurate presentation of information is the key responsibility of a teacher. She must use the best educational strategies and techniques available to fill the minds of her students with the knowledge that they need for life.

The Role of the Tutor
For a variety of reasons, there is sometimes a disconnect between the information presented in the classroom and the complete understanding of the student. It is thus the responsibility of the tutor to bridge the gap, presenting educational concepts in innovative ways that speak to the unique needs of the child. The tutor must be flexible, organized, and communicative with all involved persons (i.e. parent, teacher) to provide the most effective remedial assistance.

The Role of the Student
Perhaps the least talked-about responsibility is that of the student. Just as the teacher must teach, and the parent must communicate, the student is responsible for putting his head in the game and taking ownership of his education. Even at a young age, he must recognize his need for active participation in his education, if success is to be attained. He must come prepared, alert, and ready to learn.

When the student, the teacher, the parent, and the tutor each individually strive to fulfill their responsibilities, you have the ideal recipe for educational success in the life of a student.

Learning Styles Demystified

9 01 2011

In the academic world, you hear a lot about learning styles. But how do they really work? And how do they play into your child’s education?

What are Learning Styles?
Coined in the 1970s, the concept of learning styles has been described by a number of notable educators. Perhaps the most well-known model used to explain this idea is the VAK model, which describes 3 distinct learning styles:

1. Visual
2. Auditory
3. Kinesthetic

Visual learners have difficulty digesting a concept unless it is presented in some form of pictorial arrangement (i.e. a picture, diagram, or chart). This is not merely a preference, but for many students, a legitimate need. Without adequate visual representation, visual learners struggle to concretely grasp the concept.

Auditory Learners take in the world of learning through their ears. What is spoken in the classroom sticks in their minds and can typically be easily recalled. This type of student will often study out loud, repeating concepts to themselves in a whisper or a sing-song voice.

Kinesthetic Learners desperately need to move, to touch, and to experience learning. They need to walk as they study multiplication or to spell out vocabulary words with letter manipulatives. Touching and moving is not an excuse for this student, it is his means of experiencing what he is trying to learn.

Sometimes, an R is added to the model (VARK) to indicate a distinction for students who learn best by Reading/Writing. This type of learner will likely have the easiest time in a traditional classroom, as he absorbs information through the books that he reads and the notes that he takes.

What Kind of a Learner Am I?
If you were to explain a concept to someone, how would you do it? Would you draw a picture? Read them a portion of a book? Act out a scenario? One of the easiest ways to tell what kind of a learner you are is to evaluate how you best communicate information. Typically, the way that you explain something will indicate how you best learn.

What Do Learning Styles Have to do with Tutoring?
While every responsible teacher does their utmost to meet the needs of their students, the reality is that given the constraints of the classroom, it can be difficult to teach to all of the learning styles at any given time. A professional tutor knows how to evaluate a student’s learning style and provide instruction that speaks to the way in which the student learns best – consistently. This is what ReLyt Tutoring seeks to do. By providing personalized instruction, we are able to meet the needs of each student to spur them on to educational success and a love for learning!

A New Year, A New Start

1 01 2011

It’s hard to believe that it’s 2011, but even more difficult to believe that the school year is already half over. For many students, looking back over the first semester brings a sense of accomplishment. However, for struggling students, the semester ahead may seem like a torturous stretch of dreaded academics.

At the year’s half way point, students typically have a good idea about how they are doing academically. They know if things are going well, or if they need help. For those who find themselves academically drowning, now is the time to holler for a life preserver.

Whether it’s Algebra or English that is stressing our your student, a professional tutor can provide the needed relief. By providing personalized instruction that builds on existing strengths, students can find success and a sense of accomplishment as they begin to make headway in troublesome subjects.

Take the first step in establishing positive patterns for a healthy educational future. Let ReLyt Tutoring help you light a passion for learning, and start off the New Year with an academic bang!

The Truth about Box Tops

9 12 2010

Lots of people think that collecting Box Tops is a waste of time. After all, they’re only worth $0.10 each, and you have to keep them somewhere, and well…it just seems like more trouble than it’s worth.

The truth about Box Tops is this. If there are 500 kids in a school and each of them clipped and turned in 10 box tops, their school would receive $500 to use for whatever needs they have. If each of those kids clipped and turned in 20 box tops, the total would be $1000. And so on.

It seems like every time I go to the store I find more items that contain Box Tops. I recently found one on a carton of eggs, and the other day I discovered one on a plastic cover purchased from the local office store. In just a few short months our family has collected about $20.00 worth of Box Tops – just from clipping them from items that we had already purchased.

Imagine how it could help your child’s school if you spent the 5 seconds that it takes to clip a Box Top. Over time, the numbers add up, and it makes a HUGE difference! Want to support education? This is an easy way to get started.