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Guiding Your Child to Academic Success

By Rhonda Caldwell, Owner, Advanced Educational Services, LLC

 As we embark on the beginning of another school year, you may be wondering if your child will be able to perform academically and make the grade. Perhaps through experience you’ve known that your child struggles with each new grade and the academic challenges it presents. Know that you are not alone in worrying about your child’s academic performance. All parents want their children to succeed in school, but it’s not always easy to know if they are – or to know what to do if your child isn’t doing well academically. 


Does my child need a tutor?


There are a few recommended ways to determine if your child needs additional academic support outside of the classroom.


1)    Student Performance: If your child consistently struggles in one ore more subject areas, he may need a tutor. For example, reading comprehension might be difficult for your child and show up in poor performance when solving math problems or summarizing science experiments.  Your child may improve his study habits but there is still no change in his academic performance. A tutor can help guide and focus the student’s study time and help identify problem areas. On the other hand, tutors can also help the student who is doing well academically and is in need of a greater challenge. For the Lewis family of Prince Georges’ Count, Maryland, a tutor to help their student-athlete continue to excel was just what they needed. “Our daughter is an excellent student, but she is also a student athlete and, therefore, her study time has to be used to her best advantage,” explained Mrs. Lewis. Hiring an in-home tutor helped their busy student focus on study time and realize her full academic potential. 

2)     Teacher Recommendation: A suggestion for tutoring may be offered after a child’s teacher has had the opportunity to work with her in the classroom, assess her knowledge level, and allowed her to demonstrate her knowledge through projects and assignments. Mr. Legendre, a parent of a third grader, found a tutor for his son based on a teacher’s recommendation and feels its been very beneficial in helping his son transition to a new school year. “We have been working with the tutor during the summer and are looking forward to a great start in the new school year,” says Legendre.

3)    Parent Observation: A parent is a child’s first teacher. You know your child best, and know when he is working at his best level, when he is putting forth the least effort, and when he sincerely doesn’t understand his work. While you do know your child well and want what is best for him, it is imperative that you remain objective when considering whether your child needs a tutor. You might consider information from other sources – grades and teacher comments, for example – in conjunction with what you observe at home. Ms. Fields, a parent of a fourth-grade student did just this. “I had noticed my daughter struggling in reading comprehension and spoke with her teacher about my options to address the challenge,” she says. “We agreed that a tutor would be the most effective way to provide her with the additional help she needed.”

4)   Student Request: Just as parents observe the need for a tutor; children are likely aware of their own performance and where they may be struggling. A student recognizes when she masters a concept or subject and when she lacks understanding of the material. Children may not be self aware or mature enough to request assistance, so parents should be attuned to comments from the child about his or her performance or enjoyment of school.


What should I consider when selecting a tutor?

It is important to consider all of the following when selecting a tutor.


1)   Qualifications: Is the candidate a certified teacher? College student? Volunteer? What is the tutor’s academic training and background?

2)   Experience: How many years has he/she taught?  Worked with children? At what age and grade levels?  What challenges has he/she encountered and how were they handled?  What successes have been experienced in those years? What is the candidate’s teaching style in working with students?

3)   References:  Ask for a minimum of three current or previous client referrals, and then be sure to contact them to discuss the candidate’s style, experience, professionalism, as well as the student’s experiences.

4)   Vested Interest: This area is more challenging to address in that you want to try to identify the level of vested interest the candidate has in children and their academic success. By asking questions related to students, parents, and academics the candidate’s position on interest should be made clear. 

We are confident that you will find AES services and tutors to meet, at minimum, or more often exceed these expectations.


Assess your decision!

Once the tutor has begun to work with your child, be sure to talk to your child regarding the content of the session and her comfort level with the tutor.  In addition, talk with the tutor regarding the session content, your child’s performance, and how you can support your child, academically, during the days when tutoring is not provided. Always remember, an academic investment in your child pays dividends for a lifetime!!

Learning Can be Fun – Even in the Summer!

By Rhonda Caldwell, Owner, Advanced Educational Services, LLC

Now that the school year is winding down, our minds turn towards the cool breezes and warm sun of the summer.  Our children have done their best in school and everyone, teachers included, is ready for a break.  For many parents, it is important to maintain some degree of academic enrichment during the summer.  We want to ensure that our children do not “lose” the academic gains they have made during the school year; yet, at the same time, we don’t want our children to feel as if they are in the midst of the school rigor during the months of June, July, and August.

There is a way to strike a balance and I call it SUMMER FUN!

S – Set reasonable academic objectives and timeframes for accomplishment. For example:  Child entering 1st grade – weekly reading objective of 20 minutes shared reading time per night; creating a “New Words I Learned” dictionary by August 1; and reading at least one, age appropriate poem, biography, and fairytale by  July 15. 

U- Understand that there will be days when your children are tired and unwilling to put   forth their best effort – after all, they need a break too!

M – Maintain focus on one or two subjects – primarily the core subjects of Reading – with a comprehension component- and Math.

M – Make sure you incorporate interactive experiences including museum trips, picnics, and amusement parks.  Keep in mind that learning is not limited to a structured environment – it takes place any and everywhere!

E – Engage your child in the learning process.  It is good to balance their independent work the guided practice.

R – Remember it is the summer, so balance the amount of time spent on academics and the amount of time for fun.  It is okay if there is more fun time than academic time; the goal is to enrich without overwhelming.

F – Find out if there are any subjects your child would like to jump start before the new school year.  This helps to ensure buy-in and a willingness to continue to learn.

U – Utilize your friends with children in the same grade or age range and consider creating a “mini academic camp.”

N – Now is the time to relax and enjoy the learning process as it unfolds!

Once you have decided to incorporate academic enrichment into the summer experience, you will be surprised at the abundance of opportunities to teach, learn, and grow.  These opportunities, also called “teachable moments,” are created wherever you are: family road trip, museum, farm, lake, beach, and more.  The best thing about teachable moments is that they do not require a planned lesson, but a willingness to share information and experiences with your child, as well as a willingness to ask questions that require more than a “yes” or “no” response.  Challenge your children to analyze a related situation or evaluate an outcome.  No matter what the age, our children will rise to the occasion and may even surprise us with their responses.  It is important for us to make it a habit of incorporating thought provoking questions whenever the opportunity presents itself – and when it comes to raising children, the opportunity is always presented.

Now that we’ve taken a closer look at what “SUMMER FUN” can be, we’re ready for school to dismiss and summer to begin!  The benefits of summer academic enrichment far outweigh the challenges when you consider the fact that your child will be ahead of his peers in the upcoming school year. So sit back, relax, and enjoy the summer while maximizing all of the learning opportunities it brings.

ACTIVE Kids in the Summer!

By Rhonda Caldwell, Owner, Advanced Educational Services, LLC


As parents, let’s keep our children academically ACTIVE this summer:


A-always remember to strike a balance between academics and summer fun so our kids feel as if they have had a “break” from the rigor of school.


C-continue to practice Math facts/formulas/problems as well as reinforce reading and comprehension skills.


T- take time to reinforce organization skills; they will be needed when school begins in the fall.


I-invent creative stories, with your child, and include a variety of characters, settings, and plots.


V-vary the activities and locations of activities to avoid boredom; outdoors is always a great place to explore and have fun.


E-enjoy watching your child continue to learn and grow to new levels of academic success!

Our Mission:

Enrich each student's academic life Educate Parents Enhance the community
Advanced Educational Services, LLC
12138 Central Avenue, # 873, Mitchellville, MD 20721 301.322.2418 f ax 301.322.6410 info@aestutoring.com

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