Students taking AP and Honors classes are often well equipped to handle challenging content, but they are also likely to need extra levels of support to succeed. Why would this be so? Because getting good grades at this level requires students to master difficult concepts quickly, complete large assignments deftly, and consistently earn high marks on tests. To do well, a student must be able to apply a highly structured approach to note-taking, time-management, and studying in order to keep up and master extensive volumes of material.  Although most AP and Honors students don’t always need help in every class, it is common for them to need a tutor’s help in one or more subjects. Franklin recommends identifying an AP and Honors tutor who has content expertise and experience teaching the organizational skills required to succeed in higher level classes.  Franklin’s AP and Honors tutors specialize in their fields.  They have both an in-depth understanding of the material andthe ability to promote the organization and study skills their students need to master concepts, complete homework correctly, and strategically prepare for tests.

If your child would benefit from a tutor’s help to understand course content, get organized, budget time wisely, and identify efficient study techniques, then you should arrange access to support as quickly as possible. Honors and AP classes move fast. Any delays in arranging support can cause a backlog that makes catching up a challenge in itself. Once you have an AP and Honors tutor in place, you can adjust how often your child meets with his or her tutor.

Advanced and accelerated classes may be the most challenging classes, but they are also often the most engaging and interesting. Making sure your child has the support needed to do well in these classes will help him or her get the most out of them while earning their best grades.

 

Franklin offers specialized academic tutoring, AP and Honors tutoring, home school, test preparation, and educational therapy in Los Angeles and Orange County.

Contact us for more info!

Perhaps your child started the year off strongly, turning in all his or her work, getting As on tests and quizzes, and confidently informing you of how this class was under control. Or, maybe your child had a few stumbles out of the gate, and bombed a test or quiz, but you wanted to give him or her an opportunity to figure it out and steer the ship back to course.  What should you do if your child’s progress report is showing a B-/C+, or worse?

The good news is that it’s never too late to get your child academic support, and frankly the sooner, the better. Whether it’s because of difficulty with specific concepts, a change in the pacing of the class, or extracurricular demands putting added stress on your child’s schedule, he or she would benefit greatly from working with an experienced tutor.

Even if your child is maintaining a good grade, this can be a perfect time to address overall organization, time management and study skills as you approach the end of the semester. Often there are applications, school events and major projects due around the same time, and a combination of any of those factors can throw even the most prepared students for a loop. By proactively addressing those executive functions, you can help your child remain stress free going into the holidays.

 

John Posatko

Director of Education

Franklin offers specialized academic tutoring, home school, test preparation, and educational therapy in Los Angeles and Orange County.  Contact us for more info!

If you have a child in high school, you are probably wondering which college entrance exam is better, the ACT or SAT? Even though the number of “test optional” colleges is rising, most college-bound high school students take at least one or both the ACT and SAT.

There are rumors that the ACT is kinder or easier, but in practice both tests are equally challenging. Deciding which test best fits your child takes a little time and two weekends. Have your child take a timed, practice version of each test without preparing. Take the SAT one weekend and the ACT on another. There are several online versions of each test and it’s important to select a practice test you can grade or submit for free grading.

After the practice tests, look at your child’s scores. Did he or she naturally perform better or prefer one of the tests? Discuss what your child liked about each test and what was challenging. This should give you a strong sense of where your child should put his or her time and energy into preparing. This is really the best way to choose, but if your child has taken both tests and you are still unsure, consider these factors:

  • Is your child a fast reader? The ACT is a slightly faster paced exam. The SAT allows for an extra 10-20 seconds per question overall.
  • Is your child likely to memorize and apply math formulas correctly? The SAT provides formulae in the math section, the ACT does not. But if your child preferred Geometry, there’s more Geometry in the ACT. The ACT also has math questions related to trigonometry and logarithms.
  • Does your child prefer using a calculator? The SAT has a no calculator section which can cause anxiety in some students.
  • If your child needs accommodations, you may have your decision made for you. Both tests are offered with accommodations, but qualifying for accommodations differs and one test may be more suited to your child’s learning needs than the other.

If you are still stuck, consider creating a game plan for taking both tests – preparing for and taking them one at a time. This requires about 18 months so it’s not for everyone. Most teens need four-to-six months to prepare and another two-to-three months to officially take the exam twice.

There are lots of review books and group classes. But the most efficient way to boost test scores is by working with a skilled, one-on-one test prep tutor who can hone in on the areas where your child needs help the most. Franklin has highly qualified test prep tutors with expertise in ISEE, SSAT, SAT, SAT Subject Tests, and ACT. Learn more about our Test Prep tutoring programs here. Ultimately, the test is only one of many parts of a college application. Neither fully encapsulates a child’s current abilities or future potential. No matter which test your child chooses, he or she will have a full and fulfilling life after high school.

 

Rachel Fisher, MA
Executive Director

 

Franklin offers specialized academic tutoring, home school, test preparation, and educational therapy in Los Angeles and Orange County.  Contact us for more info!

The term “helicopter parenting” has a negative connotation.  It conjures an image of hyper-anxious, authoritarian parents who won’t let their children just be kids. The reality of helicopter parenting, though, is that it can actually work. The New York Times recently published an opinion piece on the benefits of helicopter parenting.  Helicopter parents are best described as authoritative, not authoritarian. The key difference between the two is that authoritarian parents demand children do things a specific way, whereas authoritative parents provide a helpful framework for accomplishing tasks. You may want to ask am I a helicopter parent or a helpful parent?

If you feel that you may be a helicopter parent, ask yourself: Is my child succeeding? Are they happy about their performance in school ? If the answer is “yes”, then it frankly doesn’t matter how you characterize that level of support you’re providing. Most students need a high level of support throughout their academic careers, whether from parents, tutors, friends, teachers, or mentors. If the answer to the above question is “no”, then ask yourself: What am I doing that isn’t allowing my child to express his or her individuality, and to make mistakes?The  best learning experience can come from learning from mistakes in the context of a positive interaction with a parent.

The New York Times piece referenced an important element of being a helicopter parent, in that to be a proactive, highly-involved and supportive parent, you will be working hard and experiencing moments of heightened stress. The most important thing will be to maintain your own life balance, as that will be the model that your child follows. Don’t forget to take the time to see the big picture, and realize that as long as you and your child are trying your best, you are succeeding.

 

John Posatko, M.A.Ed.

Director of Education

Franklin offers specialized academic tutoring, home school, test preparation, and educational therapy in Los Angeles and Orange County.  Contact us for more info!

Some jobs require employees to relocate to another city, or even country, for a period of time. What should you do in this situation for your child, who may be in the middle of his or her school year? There are a few important items to consider for home schooling or distance learning programs, especially regarding the school of record, and the ability to transfer credit. We offer some options below on the best way to approach this unique challenge, as well as some key questions to start asking right away.

HOME SCHOOL OPTIONS &  DISTANCE LEARNING PROGRAMS

  1. Keep the current curriculum – This is by far the best option if it is available to you. Your child’s current school remains his or her school of record, and the curriculum stays the same as well. Most likely the school will be sending packets of material along with your child to complete and submit periodically during the time he or she is relocated. There’s a good chance you’ll need an instructor who can guide your child through the curriculum, unless you are confident in your ability to teach your child on your own.
  2. Umbrella accreditation by a homeschool – This option keeps the curriculum the same, but changes the school of record for credit tracking purposes. Some homeschools offer this “umbrella accreditation” if they approve the publishers of your child’s current curriculum and course outlines for each subject.
  3. Complete transfer to a homeschool – This is the most common option for families, since many schools require that a student attend at least part of the week to be considered enrolled. There are plenty of good homeschools that offer text, online and hybrid options for families, and that are fully accredited and reputable.

These are the steps to follow once you learn that your family may be relocating for a longer period of time:

  1. Inform your child’s school immediately and ask which of the options above make the most sense for your child’s situation. Do you have a definite return date? Would you like your child to return to that school? Does the school prefer any particular homeschool’s transcript over others? These are all important considerations to address early on.
  2. If you are choosing the alternate homeschool option, contact the homeschool itself and inquire about rates, timing, and options for instructors. Your child will most likely need someone in-person to work with them on the material, and some homeschools only provide online support.
  3. Plan backwards from your return date, if known, to map out a timeline of when your child will be finishing the work, going on trips, and returning to his or her current school. There will be at least a two-week period to get the transcripts transferred to and from the homeschool, so plan accordingly.

Lastly, if you would like to discuss any of these options with us here at Franklin, we can help! We have homeschooling options as well as plenty of expertise in school placement for families new Los Angeles and Orange County.

 

John Posatko

Director of Education

Franklin offers specialized academic tutoring, home schooling, test preparation, and educational therapy in Los Angeles and Orange County.  Contact us for more info!

There has been a lot of research over the years on how students take a step back in their academic progress and have somewhat of a slide over the summer. Some studies show that students lose up to three months of their grade level equivalency, with math skills taking the hardest hit. Anecdotally, you can probably think of a few moments when your child was a little rusty at the start of the school year. How can you help your child prevent the summer slide, and still take the time you all want and need to relax and have fun?

The first step is to identify the subjects that your child currently has the biggest challenges with. Those will most likely be the subjects that he or she will need help getting up to speed on in September. The next step is to look for any enrichment opportunities offered by camps, local libraries, volunteer groups, or foundations in your area. For example, if your child consistently struggles with math or science concepts, there are great STEM-themed camps going on throughout Los Angeles at various times in the summer. If your child struggles with history or English, think about signing him or her up to a Shakespeare workshop. Chances are, these activities will present the material in fun and engaging ways that don’t feel like schoolwork. Often, you can sign up for these camps by the week and some, by the day.

If you have travel plans, look ahead to what kinds of enrichment activities you can take advantage of while you are on the road. Heading to another country? Why not plan a trip to some culturally and historically enriching locations, or help your child strengthen his or her foreign language skills. Taking a road trip across the U.S.? Take a few moments during the trip to look up historical landmarks and book a guided tour with a professional.

If your child has an open schedule during the summer, it is a good idea to bring in a highly specialized tutor to work on any summer reading projects or assignments. An academic manager is a highly specialized tutor who can help your child pace his or her work, and prevent the rush to finish the week before school starts. In addition, if your child has an interest that verges on the academic, such as music production, a highly specialized tutor could work with your child to create a podcast, or research and write about a favorite musician. Let us know how Franklin can help you find a great tutor for the summer. We work seven days a week, year-round, to help children develop a love for learning. Let’s keep your child’s progress moving forward!

On behalf of everyone at Franklin, I hope you have a fantastic summer!

 

John Posatko, M.Ed.
Director of Education

 

Franklin offers specialized academic tutoring, home school, test preparation, and educational therapy in Los Angeles and Orange County.  Contact us for more info!

It’s hard to believe the school year is ending so soon. In many ways, the start of the 2018 – 2019 schoolyear seems like it was eons ago. In other ways, it feels like the first days of school were only last month. We’ve watched our children develop skills, strengthen friendships, and explore their interests.

I am grateful for the chance to see my children’s voices emerge in their writing – even when it meant staying up late or reading several editions. I am also grateful to see their hard work translating into their understanding of process – even when they didn’t achieve the hoped-for score on a test.

My children, and yours, have spent another year becoming more of who they are. It’s is a privilege to get to know them and understand them better. It’s also amazing to think back to what they were like as infants and toddlers and finally understand why they responded in certain ways. Those early years make much more sense now.

Whether your child is just beginning, in the middle of, or reaching the end of his or her academic career, may these moments at the end of the school year be filled with appreciation for the accomplishments your child has achieved over the past nine or ten months.

Accomplishments come in many forms and sometimes the smallest achievements have the biggest impact on how our children perceive themselves and their ability to navigate their lives. It’s important to acknowledge all of the steps forward our children take because there are many, many steps on the path to adulthood. May your children and mine, find that path supported by the family, friends, and caring adults they need to stay motivated and keep going.

 

Rachel Fisher, MA
Executive Director

 

Franklin offers specialized academic tutoring, home school, test preparation, and educational therapy in Los Angeles and Orange County.  Contact us for more info!

By now you and your child should have a general idea of what his or her final grades will be for this semester, barring an unexpected score on a final exam or project. If you have not had a conversation with your child about his or her grades yet, now is a good time. When June rolls around, it may be too late to have a meaningful discussion around the subject, since summer and its many distractions will be well underway.

How should you talk to your child about grades? Think back to what your parents told you about the grades you received on your report card. Was there something positive and uplifting you remember about those conversations, or were they anxiety-inducing? Did your parents punish you, or set healthy expectations, boundaries, and support to help you set yourself up for success the following year? Now is the time you can establish positive patterns for your child’s development of responsibility and accountability that will help him or her child throughout their academic career and beyond.

First, talk openly and honestly about what each grade reflects about this year’s effort. Did he or she receive an A in Math because of all the hard work put into studying for tests and quizzes? Was that B- in History due to incomplete homework assignments? What about that miraculous A- in AP World History – was that due in part to getting a tutor second semester or submitting several extra credit assignments? Further, talk about the implications for next year’s course schedule. Do these grades indicate your child’s classes are at the right level? Maybe they indicate your child is ready for more challenging coursework, Honors or AP classes. Or perhaps, your child struggled and would do better in a class that moves at a slower pace? For parents of high school students, it’s important to discuss how this semester’s grades will affect his or her overall GPA and which colleges will be sensible to target.

These discussions can be fraught with tension and emotion, and that is OK. The best thing you can do as a parent is to try to separate your expectations for success from your child’s. If you focus on what your child wants to get out of the rest of his or her school years, you will be able to foster a healthy response to his or her performance. Sometimes that means framing the discussion about how to approach this coming summer. Did your child not get the grade he or she wanted in English? How about trying a tutor over the summer to help with a summer reading project? Getting your child tutoring over the summer is a great way to prevent the “summer slide” and set them up to achieve their best next year.

As always, we are here to help. To inquire about getting support over the summer, or to ask about how you can talk to your child about end-of-year grades, call our office at 310-571-1176 or email franklinservices@franklined.com.

 

John Posatko, M.Ed.

Director of Education

 

Franklin offers specialized academic tutoring, home school, test preparation, and educational therapy in Los Angeles and Orange County.  Contact us for more info!

Did you forget that May 7th was Teacher Appreciation Day? Don’t worry – there are plenty of ways to show your child’s teachers that you value their service. Modeling appreciation fosters healthy communication, perspective and gratitude in children, and helps them navigate all types of interpersonal dynamics that they’ll encounter throughout their academic careers.

The most obvious way to show teacher appreciation is to purchase a simple gift, like a box of chocolates, a small plant, or a gift card to a local coffee shop. All teachers appreciate this kind of gesture, and it is perhaps the easiest to put together. At this busy time of year, it’s also the most logical and practical option. If you have time to spare, however, you can help your child make a gift at home, like a picture collage or a batch of brownies that his or her teacher can share with other teachers. In addition to being more personal, a homemade gift is usually less expensive, and teaches your child to be resourceful with the things they have at home.

One way to show appreciation that is often overlooked is a hand-written note from your child. To many teachers, this is the most personal and impactful gift they can receive from a student. It shows that your child put valuable time and thought into expressing his or her appreciation, and it is an opportunity for your child to be vulnerable and authentic – two traits that will come in handy for years to come. Did your child’s teacher put in extra time to teach an especially difficult concept, write a recommendation, or go out of their way to teach an important non-academic lesson? A personalized note is a great way to respond in kind.

We at Franklin know how much work you do as the parent, and how many balls you have to juggle and hats you have to wear on a weekly basis. If you forgot to show your child’s teachers that your family appreciates them – don’t fret! It’s never too late to show them you care. If you would like to discuss how we can help you and your child navigate the remainder of the school year, please call 310.571.1176 or email FranklinServices@FranklinEd.com.

 

John Posatko, M.Ed.

Director of Education

 

Franklin offers specialized academic tutoring, home school, test preparation, and educational therapy in Los Angeles and Orange County.  Contact us for more info!

 

As we head into the last few weeks of the school year, life is a jumble of final projects, tests and end-of- year parties. Summer vacation is so close! It’s easy to get caught up planning for the fun and get caught off guard with how rapidly big project due dates and big test days are approaching. With final grades approaching, there can be a lot of assignments piling up, which can be overwhelming for students.  Sometimes being overwhelmed also seems like procrastination.  We offer some test taking tups and tricks for students who feel stuck.

While the best advice is to review and practice without being rushed, some of us need to feel the heat to get our act into gear. There is a surge of energy that happens when study or working time is condensed. DON’T give up. There is plenty that can be done up until very last minute. DO take five – thirty minutes to create a strategy for tackling what needs to be accomplished:

Create a calendar highlighting each test and project due date

For tests – review of what will be covered and within that material – determine which topics are already understood or mastered, which topics will be mastered with a quick review, and which topics are remain confusing. If half or less than half of the topics are still confusing, bring in an expert tutor to explain them quickly and efficiently. Invest in an extra tutoring session to review the areas already mastered, this ensures these areas are covered, gives your kid a little extra practice, and can catch any gaps your child didn’t realize were there.

For projects – review the rubric for the assignment and compile all needed materials. Determine which components involve your child’s strengths and help your child move through those as efficiently as possible. Work collaboratively with your child to complete the components your child struggles with. For example, if your child has slowly emerging written language skills it is likely hard to organize his or her thoughts. Ask your child for his or her thoughts about the project/thesis/author/plot and take notes on what is shared. Number these ideas in a word or Google doc so the two of you can easily cut and paste all your child’s thoughts into an order that makes sense. This step also helps you both confirm whether all the discussion points from the rubric have been addressed. Then, take dictation while your child narrates what he or she wants to say using the ordered list as a guide.  Once drafted, your child can proofread by reading aloud with your assistance if needed. Help your child revise and publish the final draft.

Good luck!

 

Rachel Fisher, M.A.

Executive Director

 

Franklin offers specialized academic tutoring, home school, test preparation, and educational therapy in Los Angeles and Orange County.  Contact us for more info!

Blog

Do AP and Honors students need Tutors?

Students taking AP and Honors classes are often well equipped to handle challenging content, but they are also likely to need extra levels of support to succeed. Why would this be so? Because getting good grades at this level requires students to master difficult concepts quickly, complete large assignments deftly, and consistently earn high marks […]

Read more

When to get a tutor

Perhaps your child started the year off strongly, turning in all his or her work, getting As on tests and quizzes, and confidently informing you of how this class was under control. Or, maybe your child had a few stumbles out of the gate, and bombed a test or quiz, but you wanted to give […]

Read more

ACT or SAT?

If you have a child in high school, you are probably wondering which college entrance exam is better, the ACT or SAT? Even though the number of “test optional” colleges is rising, most college-bound high school students take at least one or both the ACT and SAT. There are rumors that the ACT is kinder […]

Read more

Helicopter Parent or helpful parent?

The term “helicopter parenting” has a negative connotation.  It conjures an image of hyper-anxious, authoritarian parents who won’t let their children just be kids. The reality of helicopter parenting, though, is that it can actually work. The New York Times recently published an opinion piece on the benefits of helicopter parenting.  Helicopter parents are best described […]

Read more

Home schooling options for families who travel

Some jobs require employees to relocate to another city, or even country, for a period of time. What should you do in this situation for your child, who may be in the middle of his or her school year? There are a few important items to consider for home schooling or distance learning programs, especially […]

Read more

How to Prevent the Summer Slide

There has been a lot of research over the years on how students take a step back in their academic progress and have somewhat of a slide over the summer. Some studies show that students lose up to three months of their grade level equivalency, with math skills taking the hardest hit. Anecdotally, you can […]

Read more

Reflecting on the 2018 – 2019 Schoolyear

It’s hard to believe the school year is ending so soon. In many ways, the start of the 2018 – 2019 schoolyear seems like it was eons ago. In other ways, it feels like the first days of school were only last month. We’ve watched our children develop skills, strengthen friendships, and explore their interests. […]

Read more

How to Set Healthy End-of-Year Expectations with Your Child

By now you and your child should have a general idea of what his or her final grades will be for this semester, barring an unexpected score on a final exam or project. If you have not had a conversation with your child about his or her grades yet, now is a good time. When […]

Read more

It’s Never Too Late to Show Teacher Appreciation

Did you forget that May 7th was Teacher Appreciation Day? Don’t worry – there are plenty of ways to show your child’s teachers that you value their service. Modeling appreciation fosters healthy communication, perspective and gratitude in children, and helps them navigate all types of interpersonal dynamics that they’ll encounter throughout their academic careers. The most […]

Read more

Test-taking Tips and Tricks

As we head into the last few weeks of the school year, life is a jumble of final projects, tests and end-of- year parties. Summer vacation is so close! It’s easy to get caught up planning for the fun and get caught off guard with how rapidly big project due dates and big test days […]

Read more