Why won’t my child ask for help in class?

Tactics parents should avoid, and 3 powerful strategies to turn your child into a confident learner.

“My child won’t raise her hand in class! If she just asked her teacher for help, she wouldn’t be so frustrated with her homework.” If this sounds familiar, you are not alone. Asking for help is not easy for many bright, young students, especially in front of peers. The result can be long, disheartening homework sessions at night, or low test scores and a loss of self esteem down the road. The good news is, there are a few strategies which can make a huge difference:

  • Don’t Scold or Interrogate.

    • “Why didn’t you ask for help?” is a perfectly reasonable question, but it doesn’t teach your child the skills she needs to solve the problem.

    • The more uncomfortable or embarrassed a child feels, the less likely she is to have the confidence to ask for help from a parent or teacher when she has a problem.

Try these instead:

  • Role-play with your child to practice approaching a teacher for help.

    • Start by playing the role of the student, with your child playing the role of the teacher, and then switch.

    • Works especially well with young children.

    • Walking through what it’s like to ask for help shows your child that it’s nowhere near as stressful as they thought it would be, and they will start to realize that their teachers are happy to help.

  • Show them how to write an email to a teacher.

    • Model the email yourself first, but involve your child in the process.

    • Many older students already feel secure and familiar with the medium.

    • For hesitant students, avoids a lot of the stress and social pressures of a face-to-face interaction at school.

  • Location can make a big difference.

    • After school study halls aren’t the best environments for learning. With a mob of students asking for help, the child’s needs may not be addressed properly.

    • Try to arrange a teacher meet-up away from peers in a more relaxed environment. Comfort is an enormous factor in learning and problem solving.

Ultimately, one-on-one instruction is ideal. Whether it is with a teacher, a parent, or a tutor, one-on-one education is the best possible learning situation. It provides more opportunity for positive reinforcement and personalized, specific instruction in a relaxed environment. One-on-one instruction is the best, most comfortable way to learn for many students and generally leads to an academic career of confident problem solving and strong report cards. If you can make the time, the benefits can be academically life-changing for a child.

Ann K. Dolin, M.Ed., is the founder of Educational Connections Tutoring in Fairfax and Bethesda. Her award-winning book, Homework Made Simple: Tips, Tools and Solutions for Stress-Free Homework, she offers proven solutions to help make homework less of a chore for the whole family. Learn more at ectutoring.com.

Talk So Your Kids Will Listen

Over the last 20 years, I’ve worked with hundreds of parents facing all kinds of homework and study issues.  Many have been successful in dealing with these issues, but others have not.

Those who have made the greatest progress have done two things:  They have opened up lines of communication within their household and they have learned to talk in a manner that their child will listen to regarding their expectations.

 

The Power of Effective Praise

So often, real progress begins when parents learn how to praise their kids successfully.  Praise is an especially powerful tool when it comes to homework, but many parents get it wrong.  Research shows that kids who are praised for effort rather than intelligence develop the motivation to keep trying — an important determinant of success and one the child can influence.

Dr. Carol Dweck, a professor of psychology at Stanford University and a leading expert in motivation, conducted an oft-cited experiment on the effects of praise on 400 fifth graders.  One at a time, the children were given a fairly easy non-verbal IQ test.  The children were divided into two groups: Some were praised for their intelligence (“You must be smart at this”) and the others were praised for their effort (“You must have worked really hard”).    Later in the testing session, the same children were given a choice of tests — a more difficult test than the first test which they would learn a great deal from, or an easy one very similar to the first one.

 

Praising Effort Pays Off

Ninety percent of the students commended for their effort chose the more difficult test.  The majority of those praised for their intelligence chose the easy test.  Why did this happen?  Dr. Dweck said, “When we praise children for their intelligence, we tell them that this is the name of the game. Look smart and don’t risk making mistakes.”

 

Be Specific

Other studies have demonstrated that specific praise is far more effective than generalized acclaim.  When words are too general, children disregard their parents’ praise.   Hence, rather than saying “Good job on that paper!” to reinforce good behavior, try “I liked the way you transitioned from your first point to the second”.   Instead of “I’m so proud of you” to bolster self-esteem, say “You went back to check your work.  That extra step was a great idea.”

 

Use a 2:1 Ratio

One last thought about praise – use it in a 2:1 ratio when you wish to suggest ways to improve on an effort.   In other words, begin with praise, make your suggestion, end with praise.

 

Eliminate Idle Threats

Helping your child with homework can bring out the worst in the best parents.  How many times have you wanted to say, “I’ve had it with you!  You’re grounded for the rest of the month.”   But idle threats made out of pure frustration are damaging to kids and add to our burden of parental guilt.  They also serious undermine a parent’s credibility.    What is needed to counter negative habits are rules that you apply consistently.  For example, if your rule is no video games until homework is done, institute a reward (games after work is complete) and a consequence (no games for the rest of the day) if the child plays the game before his work is done.   In order to make this work, the rule must be applied consistently every day.  When you demonstrate that you mean what you say, your child will beg and plead a whole lot less.

 

Give a Warning Before Consequences

Giving a child a warning before enforcing a consequence allows him to correct his behavior.  Be calm and matter of fact.  “This is your warning.  If you continue to doodle instead of completing your worksheet, bedtime is 8:45 instead of 9 pm.”  Say no more.  If you child responds after one warning, you’re golden.  Some children need two or three.  In advance, agree to a set number of warnings to help get your child back on track. Stick to that number.  State that you are giving a warning then walk away.  At any point when you see he is doing the right thing praise his effort.   Soon the need for repeating warnings should go away.

 

Try It for 21 Days

Even the smallest changes in the way you talk to your children can have huge effects.  For two days make a conscious effort to praise, eliminate idle threats and give warnings.  If you notice a positive impact in how your children respond to you, you’re on the right track.  Keep going.  The old adage “it takes 21 days to change a habit” is backed by research.  After three weeks, your efforts will pay off in big ways and a good habit in how you communicate with your kids will be established.

Our 5 Most Popular Articles and 2 Most Viewed Videos of 2011

Some topics really seem to strike a chord with parents. These articles appeared in past newsletters and received a big response from our readers.

  • 5 Homework Tips Every Parent Must Know
  • Have a Math Test? 6 Proven Solutions to Study Smarter
  • Parenting Styles and Why They Matter
  • Get Organized with the Latest Smart Phone Apps
  • Why is Learning Style So Important and How Can Kids Use it to Their Advantage?

Read these articles and view our top two 90-second videos:

  • Get Your Child Organized for School Success
  • The Right Words Can Be a Powerful Motivator

Should Parents Go Online to Check Their Kids’ Grades and Homework?

The iconic overstuffed student’s backpack is quickly becoming a relic of the past and as a result, the way parents oversee their children’s progress in school will never be the same.

Paperless Schools

With an estimated four out of five K-12 schools having some sort of presence on the internet, teachers are quickly turning to paperless web portals with names like Edline, Blackboard, Homelink and MyBackPack to make assignments, provide virtual handouts and communicate with parents.  The advantages to students and parents alike are many.  Students no longer have to retrieve reams loose pages from their backpacks.  And instead of relying on handouts and notices hand-carried by their children, parents now have a direct line of communications with the school staff.

 

The Dark Side to Portals

There is, however, a dark side to these portals.  The power of this technology gives parents the ability to tap into their child’s account, track assignments and take day-to-day control of when and how their children do their daily homework. I believe a certain amount of hovering is appropriate for elementary school student.  But as tempting as it may be parents to for access the portal and oversee the completion of homework each week, parents of middle school and high school students must largely resist this impulse. The most precious gift a parent can give to their child is the ability to confidently navigate life independently.

 

Going Online to Hover

I was taken aback recently to learn that a parent I work with in my tutoring practice taps into 16-year-old son’s school portal each day and prints out his assignments so they will be before him when he gets home from school.  When asked why, she responded, “If I didn’t he would never do them.”  I worry about this student once he goes to college because he has never developed the organizational and time management skills he will soon need for success.

 

What is the proper role for a parent in this age of school internet portals in overseeing the completion of homework and projects and studying for tests?   Here’s what I recommend:

 

  • Choice of System:  Expect that your student have a system in place to track assignments, projects, and dates of quizzes and tests.   It should be up to the student to determine which system works best for her.  Some students find that apps that run on smartphones or tablets are ideal for this application where they are permitted. Others prefer the old-fashioned assignment notebook.

 

  • Trust but Verify:  Trust that your child has completed his daily assignments and planned out those that are long-term, but be wise enough to verify.  This means that you may want to cross-reference what he says he has for homework against what is documented in the portal.  “Trust but verify” shouldn’t be daily, but should be used when a part has that uneasy feeling that work has gone undone.

 

  • Weekly Meetings:  Something that works well for many parents is to schedule a regular meeting with your student Sunday after dinner where they can update you on her progress during the past week and when and their plans for the week ahead.   Your student should be able to easily rattle off what is to be done if their assignment book and planner is up to date.  If he can’t maybe he needs some extra support.

 

In the end, portals are highly effective means of keeping track of assignments, tests, and other communication.  They should be used primarily by students, not by parents who insist on going online to hover.  And if you find yourself in a power struggle over homework, consider enlisting the help of one of our top tutors to help!

Posted by Ann Dolin, M.Ed.

This Season’s Best Student Stocking Stuffers

Thinking of a last-minute gift that will make learning fun? Take a look at our recommendations for stuffing your kid’s stocking with gifts that will be both popular and educational.

E-readers such as Amazon’s Kindle or Barnes and Noble’s Nook – All ages
E-readers are perfect for students of all ages. They have internal dictionaries that make learning new vocabulary words a breeze and students can highlight text, bookmark pages, and take notes with the click of a button. Reluctant readers will often find themselves caught up in the novelty of reading on an electronic device while struggling readers will love the large font and narrow margins options.

A subscription to Time for Kids – Grades K to 6
Getting your child involved in the world is fun with this interactive news source. Time Magazine for Kids features articles written not only for kids, but by kids. Both the online and print format are filled with timely, appropriately written news articles that will both inform your child and spark dinner time conversation. Available in four age groups: K-1, 2, 3-4, and 5-6.

Livescribe Pen – Grades 6 to College
If your child wants to be a more efficient note taker, here’s the solution! With the Echo™ smartpen from Livescribe, students can record everything they hear, say and write, while linking their audio recordings to their notes. They can quickly replay audio from their Livescribe paper, a computer, or a mobile device –all with a simple tap on the handwritten notes. It’s never been easier to take notes and stay organized.

A Personalized Journal – All ages
Even if your child isn’t keen on writing, starting a dialogue journal with them, in which you and your student respond to each other and share your thoughts, is a great way for kids to think of writing as a relaxing, pleasant experience and opens the lines of communication between you and your child. Older kids may find a personal journal to be a way to wind down from the demands of the school day.

Perplexors Logic Puzzle Books – Grades 3 and Up
Going on a long car or plane trip this holiday season? Need activities to keep your kids entertained while on holiday break from school? These challenging Perplexors build logic skills and student confidence with a new scenario on each page.

And finally…A Great Private Tutor!
Thinking of getting some help for your child next semester? Whether your child could benefit from reading, writing, or just math tutoring, don’t wait until the New Year to arrange it! Now is the time to contact the Educational Connections office to ensure you will find a tutor who fits your child’s learning style and academic needs.

No matter which gifts you choose to give this year, Educational Connections wishes you and your family a very happy holiday season!

When Homework and Perfectionism Collide

Does your child erase and redo homework over and over again until it’s just right?  Is anything less than 100% not good enough?  Welcome to the world of perfectionism, where unrealistic expectations are daily and unrelenting.  Perfectionists engage in frequent hypercritical self-talk, bringing themselves down and creating a whole lot of stress within the family.  With these children, the goal is to change their mindset.  Begin by using the following techniques:

 

Reward efficiency, not grades

Studies show that the majority of perfectionist children have parents that are demanding and overly critical.  Although this certainly isn’t the case with every child, it’s important for parents to pay attention to how they act and react when it comes to grades.  Let’s say your daughter brings home a 90% on a writing project.”  Instead of saying, “This is good, but you could have had a 100% if you had a stronger thesis statement.” Consider “Way to go!  You worked hard on this project, but didn’t spend too much time revising it.  It turned out just fine!”  Instead, praise your child’s efficiency when she gets her work done in a timely manner without redoing it multiple times.

 

Help to make a homework plan

When it comes to homework, perfectionists sometimes procrastinate because they fear the work they will produce won’t be good enough.  Having a homework plan helps them to feel in control and more confident.  Encourage her to start with an easy task followed by a hard one, and to repeat this sequence (easy, hard, easy, hard). In essence, she’s easing herself into homework by starting with something she likes.  Later, she’s rewarding herself after a tough assignment with an easy one.

 

Switch gears

If you see that your child is spending an inordinate amount of time on one homework assignment, switch gears.  At this point there are three choices.  The first is that she can either quickly finish it up with the mindset that it just has to be good enough.  The second is that she can take a much-needed break away from all homework, and the third is to switch subjects and go back to that assignment later with a fresh frame of mind.

 

Stick with a schedule

Starting homework at the same general time each day helps to reduce procrastination.  It’s perfectly fine to help your child get started if needed.  Take a few minutes to discuss the assignment and watch your child begin before you leave the room.  More important than a start time is an ending time for schoolwork.  Many students will correct and revise their work well into the evening.  Have a family policy such as, “All homework must be completed by 9pm.”  Remind your child that the final product just has to be “good enough.”

 

Empathize, do not criticize

Try to steer clear of comments like, “Stop worrying about that,” or “You don’t always have to be perfect.” Instead, empathize with her insecurities.  “I can understand why you’re worried about reciting your poem.  All of the children will be in front of the class, too.  You’ll be part of a group,” or “I realize that you want to correct your paper, but at this point, your essay has all the qualities the teacher expects according to the directions.”

 

Quell test-taking anxiety

For many, perfectionist characteristics spill over to preparing for exams and test-taking.  Studies show it helps when students write down their worst fears right before the test. Students who do this perform just as well as their non-anxious peers.  But students who do not take the time to jot down their anxieties perform poorly compared to the other two groups.  Taking time to release worries can make a big difference when it comes to test-day performance.

 

Know when you need outside help

For some children, perfectionism is just the tip of the iceberg.  If your child’s symptoms are interfering with homework completion on a regular basis, consider seeking therapy.  A good therapist can tackle the “all-or-nothing” and “worst case scenario” thinking that hampers your child.  Better yet, she will give you the strategies to make sure these perfectionist qualities don’t spiral downward.  Perfectionism can be embedded in anxiety.  It’s important that it is treated so that it does not result in depression or other mental health disorders.

 

Ann K. Dolin, M.Ed., is the founder and president of Educational Connections Tutoring and Test Prep in Fairfax, VA and Bethesda, MD. In her award-winning book, Homework Made Simple: Tips, Tools and Solutions for Stress-Free Homework, Dolin offers proven solutions to help the six key types of students who struggle with homework. Numerous examples and easy-to-implement, fun tips will help make learning less of a chore for the whole family. Learn more at anndolin.ectutoring.com or ectutoring.com.

“Tech Breaks” Can Help Students to Focus on Homework and Finish Faster!

I’ve always been interested in research-based ways to help students complete their homework more efficiently.  As parents, it’s our natural instinct to say things like “Turn that off!”, “Stop texting”, or “Facebook can wait.  Do you have to check your account while doing homework?”.  But in reality, our kids may “need” their technology and perhaps rewarding themselves in a disciplined way may just help them to focus a little bit more.

Author and psychologist Larry Rosen suggests some counter-intuitive solutions for students who are being distracted and overwhelmed by numerous tech gadgets and applications. Among them: a “tech break,” in which students are allowed to spend 15 minutes or so focusing only on technology — checking social-media sites, texting or watching videos on YouTube. Rosen suggests this disciplined approach allows students 15 minutes of tech time for each 30 minutes of focused study.

Here’s a great article on the topic from Hechinger Ed.  Read on!

Psychologist Larry Rosen laments the fact that technology is driving us all to distraction. This past weekend, he spoke at a Hechinger Institute seminar for education reporters, which focused on how digital media are transforming teaching and learning in U.S. schools.

In a forthcoming book, iDisorder, Rosen argues that all our tech gadgets and applications are turning us into basket-cases suffering from versions of obsessive-compulsive disorder and attention-deficit syndrome.

“Kids are thinking all the time, ‘Oh my god, who texted me? What’s on Facebook?’” says Rosen, a professor at California State University-Dominguez Hills. He says the average computer programmer or medical student can only stay focused on a task in front of him- or herself for three minutes.

Rosen has suggestions for fighting back, and some of them are counterintuitive. Instead of resisting the urge to text, check Facebook or watch a YouTube video, Rosen says just do it. That’s right: Cure the tech disorder with a dose of more technology!

Rosen calls it a tech break. But rather than taking a break from technology, you give yourself permission to embrace technology for a particular amount of time, be it one minute or 15. “It works amazingly,” he says.

Here’s why: If your brain keeps thinking about a text message you need to return, it’s better to send that text to get the nagging impulse out of your head. Once you stop thinking about sending that text, then you’ve literally freed up space in your brain to focus on more important things, like solving the global energy crisis or creating world peace. Or, just getting that research paper done.

The trick is to be disciplined and only take tech breaks at predefined intervals. One example would be to work hard for 10 minutes, and then allow yourself one minute to check email. For a child doing homework, Rosen suggests rewarding the child with 15 minutes of tech time for each half-hour of focused study. Rosen advises giving the child an option of spending the 15 minutes immediately or accumulating it for later use. After all, you need more than 15 minutes to get into a good video game.

Rosen’s theory has interesting implications for schools. Would kids be more focused and productive if teachers told students to take their cell phones out of their lockers and check their texts in the middle of every class?

Fortunately, there are other effective ways to reset the brain. Rosen lists a bunch: listening to beautiful music, looking at art and practicing yoga. Or going outside for a hike.

Upcoming Parent Presentations in Your Area!

These workshops, presented by Ann Dolin, are free and open to the public!

Thursday, November 15th 7pm – Cunningham Park Elementary, Vienna, VA
Starting Off on the Right Foot: 10 Powerful Solutions to Ensure a Stress-Free School Year

Wednesday, November 16th 7pm – St. Charles School, Arlington, VA
5 Proven Strategies for Raising an Academically Successful Student

Thursday, November 17th 7pm – Chesterbrook Elementary, McLean, VA
Homework Made Simple: Tips, Tools, and Solutions for Stress-Free Homework

Tuesday, December 13th – 9:30am – Wolftrap Elementary, Vienna, VA
Homework Made Simple: Tips, Tools, and Solutions for Stress-Free Homework

Thursday, December 15th – 7pm – Woodson High School, Fairfax, VA
ADHD Boys vs. Girls: Does Gender Matter? Patricia Quinn, MD — Part of the Parent Link Seminar Series

Take a look at additional workshops or book a presentation at your school!

Why Is Reading So Hard for Some Kids?

Picture two students, side by side, reading a fairytale from a storybook.  One student easily reads with expression and enthusiasm, “Once Upon a Time”.  The other student slowly reads “On up a tim.”  Both students live in the same neighborhood, have educated parents that read to them at night, and were exposed to literature at a young age.  So why can the one read and the other cannot?  Is it a fairytale story to think that reading is a natural process?  The answer is “yes”.

How Prevelant Is the Problem?

Almost 20% of children have a reading problem that impacts their ability to learn to read through traditional teaching methods. Most reading instruction in American classrooms is taught through the whole language approach where students are expected to learn to read naturally through exposure to literature.  While this methodology works with many students, it doesn’t work for all.  Critics of the whole language approach state that students also need phonics-based instruction.

Reid Lyon, the former head of National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, makes a valid point by questioning why there are so many illiterate adults and children if reading were a natural process.  According to a recent article in TIME magazine, there are almost 3 million students in special education classes specifically because they cannot read.

Most have a reading disorder, such as dyslexia.   In many instances, the student demonstrates strong reading comprehension, but there is a specific glitch in sounding words out (decoding). Because reading is a combination of decoding and comprehension, a student’s decoding skills are vital to the reading process. To learn to decode a student needs to be able to understand that individual sounds make up words.  Thus, a reading disability that is not based in comprehension is occurring at the basic letter/sound level.  Students aren’t able to quickly pull apart sounds and blend them together.  And interestingly, because reading and spelling are related, a red flag for dyslexia is poor spelling.

What’s Causing Such Difficulty?

Scientific data points to specific neurobiological differences between normal readers and those with dyslexia.  Brain scans show that those with a reading disorder process information from the frontal lobe, while normally-functioning readers process information from the posterior region, the part of the brain that makes reading automatic.  When this occurs, students compensate by relying heavily on memorizing words because they can’t sound them out fast enough.  While this compensatory strategy helps get kids through a school year, without proper treatment, these children flounder as they encounter new, more challenging text.  As students age, they will continue to struggle to decode, however, this does improve with time.  The most significant residual effect of their untreated reading problem is very slow reading.

What Can Be Done?

Twenty years of research demonstrates that we can remediate almost all reading disabilities.  Assessment of a student’s letter/sound knowledge as early as the kindergarten and first grade is key.

Too often the excuse of a developmental lag is given and that eventually Johnny will “catch up”.  Statistics state that 76% of students with an untreated reading problem never do catch up.  Waiting to seek help is not the answer.  When help is given in 4th grade rather than in kindergarten when weaknesses were first spotted, it takes four times as long to improve the same skills by the same amount.  Although it may take longer to remediate a reading problem in a middle or high school student, we do know it can be done.

One-to-one reading instruction or small group instruction is considered the best approach. Explicit instruction is the most powerful way to improve reading. The focus should be on decoding, fluency, and ultimately, comprehension.

In the 1930s, Dr. Samuel Orton and Anna Gillingham developed an approach to reading, a ‘course of action’ if you will, to provide reading instruction.  Their method is still the gold standard used today.  The Orton-Gillingham approach is multisensory (instruction taps into the visual, auditory and kinesthetic domains) because this approach aids the processing, retention and application of information.

Although scientific evidence proves that reading is not a natural process for many, obstacles can be overcome.  With the right instruction, these students will be able to open up their books and be whisked away to magical lands.

Have a Math Test? 6 Proven Solutions to Study Smarter!

Let’s face it, math is different.  The study skills and processes your child has used in other subjects won’t necessarily serve her well when the time comes to prepare for a big math test.

What is the best way to study for math tests?  Our language provides an important clue.  We don’t say “do the history” or “do the English”, but we do say “do the math.”  Thus, it goes without saying that the first step in doing well in math is for your student complete her assigned homework problems on time before every class.  For the gifted few, this will be enough.  For the vast majority, this is only the beginning.  Here are some key steps to ensuring success on that big test:

  1. Pull It all Together
    Students can’t wait for the last minute.  Well before the big test, they should begin by gathering up all quizzes (and answer sheets or solutions given in class), homework, class notes and other study aids.  These problems will make the foundation for a practice math test.
  2. Find Areas of Weakness
    Next, your child should go through everything that has been graded, including homework and quizzes, and write down all the problems where credit was lost for other than obvious mistakes in calculation.  Questions from the math teacher’s quizzes, tests and study packets or even better yet – old versions of the test to be taken – are the ideal source for these practice tests because teachers so often recycle questions.
  3. Create a Practice Test
    The third step is to create a practice test using the problems just gathered and to work through it, problem by problem.  There’s no doubt that this takes time.  It is easy to forgo preparing a practice test because of the work involved in pulling it together, but it’s the best investment when it comes to studying for math.
    Testing yourself repeatedly before an exam teaches the brain to retrieve and apply knowledge from memory. If you are facing an Algebra test, practicing the problems is far better than simply rereading notes.  The very act of writing a question and solving a problem also helps cement information in the brain.
  4. Use the Internet
    For students who aren’t willing to go the extra mile, consider one of the best websites out there for math.  Khan Academy, has placed 2,600 10-minute videos on math and science subject on its own You Tube channel.  When troubled by a math concept, there’s no better, more engaging place to go on the internet.
  5. Test Day Jitters
    Even when students are fully prepared, anxiety can be a huge burden on test day. An estimated 35 percent of students are so nervous before high-stakes tests that it impairs their performance. Reducing stress on the day of the exam can prevent choking under pressure, says Sian Beilock, an associate professor of psychology at the University of Chicago.  Anxious students should set aside 10 minutes beforehand to write down their worries. She and a fellow researcher tested 106 ninth-graders for anxiety before their first high-pressure exam, then asked half of them to spend 10 minutes writing down their thoughts right before the test. The anxious kids who did the writing exercise performed as well on the test as the students who had been calm all along. But anxious students who didn’t do the writing performed more poorly.
  6. Get Help
    If you find that as a parent, you’re not the best teacher for your child, consider hiring a tutor to teach these study skills.  A tutor comes to the table as a skilled and objective third party, without an emotional history with your child.  One-to-one attention can make the difference between grasping the material and falling further behind.

Just remember that math is a different animal from other subjects, but with just a few adjustments to studying, your child will be much more successful in the long run.

Ann K. Dolin, M.Ed., is the founder and president of Educational Connections Tutoring and Test Prep in Fairfax, VA and Bethesda, MD. In her award-winning book, Homework Made Simple: Tips, Tools and Solutions for Stress-Free Homework, Dolin offers proven solutions to help the six key types of students who struggle with homework. Numerous examples and easy-to-implement, fun tips will help make learning less of a chore for the whole family. Learn more at anndolin.ectutoring.com or ectutoring.com.

By Ann Dolin, M.Ed.