Category Archives: Reading Tutoring

Why Omega Learning Teachers Are Special

Omega Learning® Center recognizes how important teachers are. We appreciate all of our teachers, tutors, and staff here at Omega Learning® Center. Here are our top reasons why Omega Learning® Center’s teachers are so special.

Omega Learning® Center tutors believe in:

  • Providing opportunity for growth
  • Building student confidence
  • Achieving academic success
  • Encouraging critical-thinking skills
  • Communicating directly with schools
  • Utilizing a tutoring system

Omega tutors are teachers. Our tutors are qualified, motivated, and certified teachers who care about your student’s success.

Omega tutors are educated. Many Omega tutors have master’s degrees and special education degrees, and all must complete the Omega training/certification program.

Omega tutors produce results. Omega tutors achieve results using our AIM Tutoring System®. The average academic growth is 2.2 years after completing our program.

Omega tutors are local. Our tutors live and work in our community. They believe in the power of a strong education and its value for your student’s future.

Omega tutors are dynamic. Our tutors engage their students and our OutpAce® curriculum, including auditory, visual, and tactile instructional methods to achieve accelerated growth and lasting results.

Omega tutors are connected. Omega tutors send daily email updates to our students’ parents and schoolteachers to keep everyone informed on their Academic Team.

Omega Learning® Center is AdvancED accredited nationwide and provides tutoring and test preparation services for grades K-12. To find a learning center near you, visit OmegaLearning.com.

Parent Action Plan 12th Grade

Senior year is a whirlwind of activities. This is a big year for your child as he or she balances schoolwork, extracurricular activities and the college application process. Use the suggestions below to help you and your child successfully navigate this important time.

Summer

  • Visit colleges together. If you haven’t already, make plans to check out the campuses of colleges in which your child is interested.
  • Ask how you can help your senior finalize a college list. You can help him or her choose which colleges to apply to by weighing how well each college meets his or her needs, for example.
  • Find out a college’s actual cost. Once your 12th-grader has a list of a few colleges he or she is interested in, use the College Board’s Net Price Calculator together to find out the potential for financial aid and the true out-of-pocket cost— or net price—of each college.
  • Encourage your child to get started on applications. He or she can get the easy stuff out of the way now by filling in as much required information on college applications as possible.
  • Help your child decide about applying early. If your senior is set on going to a certain college, he or she should think about whether applying early is a good option. Now is the time to decide because early applications are usually due in November.
  • Gather financial documents: To apply for most financial aid, your child will need to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). You’ll need your most recent tax returns and an FSA ID to complete the FAFSA, which opens Oct. 1.

Fall

  • Encourage your child to meet with the school counselor. This year, he or she will work with the counselor to complete and submit college applications.
  • Create a calendar with your child. This should include application deadlines and other important dates. Your child can find specific colleges’ deadlines in College Search. If your child saves colleges to a list there, he or she can get a custom online calendar that shows those colleges’ deadlines.
  • Help your child prepare for college admission tests. Many seniors retake college admission tests, such as the SAT, in the fall. Learn more about helping your 12th-grader prepare for admission tests.
  • Help your child find and apply for scholarships. He or she can find out about scholarship opportunities from the school counselor. Your high school student will need to request and complete scholarship applications and submit them on time.
  • Offer to look over your senior’s college applications. But remember that this is your child’s work so remain in the role of adviser and proofreader and respect his or her voice.
  • Fill out the FAFSA to apply for aid beginning Oct. 1.. The government and many colleges use the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to award aid. Now it’s easier than ever to fill out this form because you can automatically transfer your tax information online from the IRS to the FAFSA.
  • Complete the CSS/Financial Aid PROFILE®, if required. If your child needs to submit the PROFILE to a college or scholarship program, be sure to find out the priority deadline and submit it by that date. Read How to Complete the CSS/Financial Aid PROFILE.
  • Encourage your child to set up college interviews. An interview is a great way for your child to learn more about a college and for a college to learn more about your child. Get an overview of the interview process.

Winter

  • Work together to apply for financial aid. Have your child contact the financial aid offices at the colleges in which he or she is interested to find out what forms students must submit to apply for aid. Make sure he or she applies for aid by or before any stated deadlines. Funds are limited, so the earlier you apply, the better.
  • Learn about college loan options together. Borrowing money for college can be a smart choice — especially if your high school student gets a low-interest federal loan.
  • Encourage your senior to take SAT Subject Tests. These tests can showcase your child’s interests and achievements — and many colleges require or recommend that applicants take one or more Subject Tests. .
  • Encourage your child to take AP Exams. If your 12th-grader takes AP or other advanced classes, have him or her talk with teachers now about taking these tests in May.

Spring

  • Help your child process college responses. Once your child starts hearing back from colleges about admission and financial aid, he or she will need your support to decide what to do. Read about how to choose a college.
  • Review financial aid offers together. Your 12th-grader will need your help to read through financial aid award letters and figure out which package works best. Be sure your child pays attention to and meets any deadlines for acceptance.
  • Help your child complete the paperwork to accept a college’s offer of admittance. Once your child has decided which college to attend, he or she will need to review the offer, accept a college’s offer, mail a tuition deposit and submit other required paperwork.

Omega Learning® Center is AdvancED accredited nationwide and provides tutoring and test preparation services for grades K-12. To find a learning center near you, visit OmegaLearning.com.

Source: https://bigfuture.collegeboard.org/get-started/for-parents/parent-action-plan-12th-grade

What To Expect on ACT Test Day

Good sleep? Check. Good breakfast? Check. Review our Test Day Checklist and get ready to test.

LEAVING THE HOUSE

  • Dress comfortably. Some test centers are warmer or cooler on weekends than during the week. Consider dressing in layers, so you’ll be comfortable no matter what the room conditions are.
  • If you’re unsure where your test center is located, do a practice run to see how to get there and what time you’ll need to leave to arrive by 8:00 a.m.
  • If you arrive earlier than 7:45 a.m., you might have to wait outside until testing staff complete their arrangements.
  • Bring snacks or drinks to consume outside the test room only during the break.

ARRIVING AT THE TEST CENTER

  • Report to your assigned test center by the Reporting Time (usually 8:00 a.m.) listed on your ticket. You will NOT be admitted to test if you are late.
  • Testing staff will check your photo ID and ticket, admit you to your test room, direct you to a seat, and provide test materials.
  • Be ready to begin testing after all examinees present at 8:00 a.m. are checked in and seated.
  • Please note that ACT may visit test centers to conduct enhanced test security procedures including, but not limited to, collecting images of examinees during check-in or other security activities on test day.

DURING THE TEST

  • Once you break the seal on your test booklet, you cannot later request a Test Date Change, even if you do not complete all your tests.
  • A permitted calculator may be used on the mathematics test only. It is your responsibility to know whether your calculator is permitted.
  • If your calculator has characters one inch high or larger, or a raised display, testing staff may seat you where no others can see the display.
  • Do not engage in any prohibited behavior at the test center. If you do, you will be dismissed and your answer document will not be scored. For more details about prohibited behavior at the test center, please see Terms and Conditions (PDF).  Note: For National and International Testing, you will be asked to sign a statement on the front cover of your test booklet agreeing to this policy.
  • Also remember that cheating hurts everyone. If you see it, report it.

TAKING A BREAK

  • A short break is scheduled after the first two tests. You will not be allowed to use cell phones or any electronic devices during the break, and you may not eat or drink anything in the test room.
  • If you take the ACT with writing, you will have time before the writing test to relax and sharpen your pencils.

FINISHING UP

  • Students taking the ACT (no writing) with standard time are normally dismissed about 12:15 p.m.; students taking the ACT with writing are normally dismissed about 1:15 p.m.
  • On some test dates, ACT tries out questions to develop future versions of the tests. You may be asked to take a fifth test, the results of which will not be reflected in your reported scores. The fifth test could be multiple-choice or one for which you will create your own answers. Please try your best on these questions, because your participation can help shape the future of the ACT. If you are in a test room where the fifth test is administered, you will be dismissed at about 12:35 p.m.
  • If you do not complete all your tests for any reason, tell a member of the testing staff whether or not you want your answer document scored before you leave the test center. If you do not, all tests attempted will be scored.

*ACT is a registered trademark of ACT, Inc., which was not involved in the production of, and does not endorse, this service.

Source: http://www.act.org/content/act/en/products-and-services/the-act/test-day.html

7 Tips To Prevent Homework Battles

1. Create a homework station.

It doesn’t matter whether there’s a space in your house set aside for homework or a portable homework station. Having a place to keep everything your kid needs for homework can help prevent organization issues and homework battles.

Help your child stock the homework station with paper, sharpened pencils and other supplies needed daily. When your child sits down to work, make sure they have enough light and few distractions. And when done, have them do a quick check to see if anything needs to be replaced for tomorrow.

 

2. Use checklists.

There’s something very rewarding about being able to cross a task off a checklist. You can help your child learn how good that feels as well as teach them how to keep track of homework. All he or she needs is a small pad of paper on which they can list their assignments for the day. As your child completes each one, they can cross it off the list.

 

3. Create a homework schedule.

A homework schedule can help your child set a specific time for studying (and schedule in breaks between subjects). Help your kid find a time of day when they are able to concentrate, when you’re available to help and when they are not in a hurry to get somewhere else.

A homework schedule can also help your child keep track of long-term assignments and upcoming tests. Use a large wall calendar to write down due dates and tests. Then your child can work backward to add in study days before tests and break projects down into smaller chunks.

 

4. Choose and use a homework timer.

Homework timers are a great way to help keep an easily distracted child on track. A timer can also give your kid a better sense of time.

There are many types of timers to choose from—what’s best depends on your child. If he or she is distracted by sounds, a ticking kitchen timer may not be the ideal choice. Instead, try an hourglass timer or one that vibrates.

There are also homework timer apps that you can program for each subject. And don’t forget that your phone probably has a timer built right in, too!

 

5. Use a color-coding system.

Using colored dot stickers, highlighters, and colored folders and notebooks is a great (and inexpensive) way to keep organized. Ask your child to choose a color for each subject. Have him or her mark assignment due dates and test dates on the calendar with a sticker of the right color.

Before you file homework assignments and study guides in the appropriate notebook or folder, use a highlighter or sticker to mark the page with the right color. That way if the paper falls out, your child will know what class it’s for.

 

6. Mix it up a little.

For some kids, studying is tough because they need to learn material in different ways. If your child is having a hard time with a writing assignment, help him or her talk it through or act it out first. Use vocabulary words in everyday conversation—even if you have to be silly about it.

For math, use household items to help them figure out problems. Teach fractions with slices of pizza, for example. And help your child learn spelling words by letting your child text them to you. You can even help  master new facts by setting them to music!

 

7. Check in and check up.

You can’t do your child’s homework for them, but you can make sure they are doing it. Checking in to see if your child needs help or just to let them know you’re around may ease their homework stress. And don’t forget to look over their work at the end of the day, too!

Omega Learning® Center offers Tutoring K-12 with certified teachers for every subject in school. Stop by an Omega Learning® Center near you.  http://omegalearning.com/find-tutors/ 

Source: https://www.understood.org/en/school-learning/learning-at-home/homework-study-skills/7-tips-for-improving-your-childs-homework-and-study-skills

8 Reading Tips for the Winter Break

Just because it’s winter break, doesn’t mean your kids should stop reading. These tips will help you keep them turning the pages

1. Give books as gifts. Whether it’s for Christmas or Hanukkah, a birthday, or any special occasion, novelty isn’t just a motivator for children — all of us like the shiny new thing we just unwrapped. It’s human nature, so why not use it to promote reading?

2. Tame the nagging dragon. I am a bossy mom. I am. I have to tame my natural desire to nag my kids a lot. When we nag — even if we are nagging about something fun — we suck the fun out of it. Don’t suck the fun out of reading by always suggesting your kids go read.

3. Don’t oversell books. “This is the BEST book ever!” Is it? Really? If we oversell the book we might end up falling flat. Instead, approach books as mysteries. “I heard this was really good, but I want to know what you think!”

4. Start a great book NOW. My 8-year-old and I are reading Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. Tonight he suggested we go to bed early every night so we can get 20 extra minutes of reading in … so he can watch the film during winter break. (But he’s gotta read the book first!) He’s eight and he’s suggesting we go to bed EARLY to read. I wish I could say that is because I am such a great mom, but it has more to do with J.K. Rowling being such a great author.

5. Have a book exchange. For younger kids you could call it a playdate, but older ones might prefer to have it deemed a party. The activities are the same. Everyone brings a book to trade. This is a great way to re-gift any books that were gifted to your kids that they already own, or have no interest in reading.

6. Make time to do nothing. Think about why you read at the beach or on vacation or on a plane. Because there is nothing else to do. I adore reading but life gets busy and sometimes I need it to slow All. The. Way. Down. before I remember to snuggle up with a book. Why do we expect anything different from our kids? Start planning do-nothing-days for your kids to push them back to the bookcase.

7. Pack books for the planes, trains, and automobiles if you travel over the break. Whether you pack a bunch of heavy books or fill up your eReader, have them ready and they will get read.

8. Slow down and let your kids see you reading. Not only will it be good for you to slow down in general, but kids who see their parents read for pleasure are much more likely to read for pleasure themselves.

Source: http://www.scholastic.com/parents/blogs/scholastic-parents-raise-reader/8-tips-getting-your-kids-to-read-over-winter-break

10 Study Tips for High School Students

College is hard and adapting to a new environment, culture and workload can make the transition to campus harder than students expect. But students who build strong academic habits now can alleviate some of the pressure. U.S. News collected tips from experts to help students find out which study skills and routines will help teens become star college students.

1.Ask for Help: College freshmen are often uncomfortable reaching out to their professors or tutoring services. Get in the habit of seeking  help when you need it now, and don’t wait until you’re falling, which may be too late to make a difference. Reach out to your teachers and take advantage of any tutoring or support services that your school provides. It can help you build the confidence and practice of asking for help that you’ll need in college, experts say.

2. Block Off Time to Study Outside of Class: You really have to force yourself to set that time aside and devote that time to understanding and trying to comprehend new material. Students may need to spend an hour or two  on college course work outside for each session. Getting in the habit of scheduling time to study will pay off in the long run.

3. Use Your Peers: Your classmates can help you better understand your material, experts say. Work with your classmates to absorb your lessons and build the communication skills you’ll need to survive group projects in college.

4. Get Organized. Encourage students to look through their syllabus, find out when exams and major assignments are due and work backwards to determine when to start working. Allow time to reach out for help if you need it.

5. Go to Sleep. Staying up late to binge-watch Netflix will be even easier to do when you leave home, but pulling all-nighters in college and downing energy drinks to cram for an exam can negatively affect your grades.

6. Eliminate Distractions. Technology can be a great study took, but if you get lost every time you log onto Snapchat or Twitter, it may be time for you to disconnect.

7. Maintain Your Health. College is stressful. Eating right and staying active will  help you keep your mind sharp. Students tend to do better when they have at least some sort of exercise incorporated into their daily activities.

8. Track Your Habits. Do you study better in your room or at the library? Do you need visual aids or recorded notes? Do you need more study time for math than English? Being self aware can  help students create a schedule that matches their needs. They need to be aware of their weaknesses and strengths coming in and they should know after high school what courses were the hardest for them.

9. Stop Procrastinating. Sometimes it’s not even that they’re struggling with academic content. They’re just not organized and they’re not managing their time effectively. For that reason, they could do poorly in certain courses. Students who wait to the last minute to study or do assignments score worse than their more prepared peers.

10. Work on Your Soft Skills. Read, write and learn how to work in teams. These tasks will help you build the communication and critical thinking skills that will help you ace your classes.

http://www.usnews.com/education/best-colleges/slideshows/10-college-study-tips-that-high-school-students-can-master-now

How To Overcome Test Anxiety

It’s test day. You accidentally left your pencils and pens at home, you spilled coffee on yourself rushing to the exam room after missing your alarm, then you sit down and get hit by the worst case of the butterflies ever. Your stomach hurts and you can’t concentrate on the questions in front of you. Can anything else go wrong?

Most students feel nervous before exams — especially the biggies, like standardized admissions tests, midterms and final exams. A little stress during an exam is good — you need some adrenaline to get you motivated to work through a test. But too much anxiety, as the all-too-familiar scene above illustrates, is not a good thing.

Besides making your test-taking experience miserable, too much anxiety can hurt your test performance. Below are some ways to help overcome test anxiety.

MAKE SURE YOU’RE PREPARED

Whatever you do before an exam, do not cram the night or morning of the test. Doing so not only increases your pre-exam anxiety, but it isn’t usually effective in helping you study. Instead, space out your studying over at least a few weeks’ time. Study no more than two to three hours in one sitting before taking a break.

Besides studying, being prepared for your exam means having all the test materials you need ready to go on the day of your exam. Pack your pencil case, zip-top bag, or small pouch with whatever supplies you need for the test. This might include pencils, pens, a calculator and your school ID. Lastly, get to your test on time or early to avoid extra stress.

TREAT YOUR BODY WELL

Getting enough sleep and eating well in the days leading up to an exam, and on the morning of an exam, can go a long way in keeping anxiety at bay. A lack of sleep and nourishment can mess with your hormones and leave you frazzled before your exam. Always eat breakfast on the morning of an exam, and if you are allowed to bring water and a snack for a longer test, do so (because we all know how annoying rumbling stomachs are).

Exercise can productively help you alleviate some of the stress you may naturally experience before the test. Try going for a 15 to 30 minute walk the morning of your exam to help clear your head.

BE CONFIDENT

A little confidence can go a long way in helping you relax before a big test. When you walk into the exam room, visualize yourself getting through the exam with ease. Take deep breaths and think about all the preparation you’ve done that will help you succeed.

TAKE THE TEST STEP-BY-STEP

Once you’re working on the test, focus on getting through one section at a time. If you find yourself getting stuck or anxious about one section, move onto the next part then return to the unanswered questions at the end. Continuing to progress through the exam will help keep you relaxed.

Never panic if you can’t figure out the answer to a question, especially the first time you see it. Remember, you can always return to a question if you don’t know the answer right away. Other questions on the test may jog your memory or you may remember a fact as you cruise through the rest of the exam. Essentially, when it comes to test-taking, just remember to keep calm and carry on!

Omega Learning® Center offers Tutoring K-12 with certified teachers for every subject in school. Stop by an Omega Learning® Center near you.  http://omegalearning.com/find-tutors/ 

Source: http://college.usatoday.com/2016/07/02/how-to-overcome-test-anxiety/

How To Become A Super Reader

As parents, you have superpowers when it comes to your children, because they pay a lot of attention to almost everything you do. They look to you for how to act, what to say, what to like, and everything in-between.

When it comes to reading this is especially true. And it’s an amazing opportunity to use your superpowers for the good of helping your children become super readers. Here’s how:

1. Read Anything!

Sounds simple, I know. But let’s face it. Reading is contagious. You don’t have to like reading long books to inspire your children to read too. You can show your enjoyment by reading your favorite magazine, recipes from a cookbook, or a flyer for a garage sale.

Just by demonstrating an enthusiasm for reading in lots of forms, you will help your children discover the same joy for themselves.

2. Change What You Read

Another way to model good reading habits for your kids is to refresh your own reading choices — like trying a new genre. Always read biographies? Try a mystery bestseller next. Love fiction? Give a graphic novel a go. And when was the last time you picked up a collection of poetry?

By showing our kids all the different ways you engage in reading — whether it’s novels, newspapers, or the back of a cereal box — we give them more opportunities to see themselves as readers.

3. Create a “Yes” Environment

When your child wants to read another book by the same author, a new comic in the same series, or a book he’s already read over and over and over again, say yes! Your child’s reading habits might seem quirky at times, but the most important thing is accepting them with unconditional support and encouragement.

4. Pay Attention

Be aware of your children’s reading achievements every step of the way, however small. This teaches them how much you understand it’s something to truly celebrate! Notice and affirm those moments your children chooses to read! Engage with them when your children talk about what they’re reading. And when they’re old enough to read independently, ask them to read-aloud to you.

Source:http://www.scholastic.com/parents/blogs/scholastic-parents-raise-reader/4-ways-to-help-your-kids-become-super-readers

Tutoring Success Story

Ben was an average student who was active in sports, but he lacked the motivation and organizational skills to succeed in class. His parents knew that once Ben starts falling behind in class, he stops trying altogether. When Ben ended up with poor grades on his report card, Ben’s parents decided it was time to seek academic help.

They went to Omega Learning® Center first, where Ben was given an academic assessment called the Woodcock Johnson IV. The academic assessment showed skill gaps in math calculation and applied problems, which required more advanced critical-thinking skills. Once Omega realized which academic areas Ben needed to improve on, Omega’s certified teacher built him a customized tutoring program specifically for him with remediation and individualized instruction. Ben had the same tutor each week and his tutor worked with Ben’s schoolteachers, keeping them informed on the progress Ben was making at Omega.

After completing Omega’s math program with multi-sensory instruction, Ben increased his math and science grades from “C’s” to “A’s” in school and his post-program assessment showed a 2.6 year increase in math calculation skills!

Omega Learning® Center can help your student achieve academic success this school year. Omega’s tutoring programs include but not limited to reading, math, science, writing, test prep, SAT prep, ACT prep, homework help, study skills, and more!

Click here to find an Omega Learning® Center near you.

5 Ways to Reduce Test Anxiety

The average student feels at least some level of anxiety before an important exam. But for some individuals, that stress can be severe.

As schools administer an increasing number of standardized and high-stakes college admissions tests, it is important to learn how to combat that anxiety. The following five strategies can help you overcome exam-related stress.

1. Breathe: Close your eyes and take three deep breaths.

Pause a moment after inhaling, long enough to mark the change from in to out. Then exhale evenly and fully before beginning again.

Breathing may sound too easy to be useful, but deliberately expanding your chest to take a deep breath relaxes your muscles and encourages them to work normally again. As a bonus, the increased flow of oxygen helps energize your brain. Best of all, this technique takes only a moment, so use it just before your test begins or during a particularly difficult section.

 

2. Set aside time for Yourself: You may feel a tremendous pressure to dedicate every waking moment to studying, but it is still important to allot part of your schedule to resting and reconnecting with the people you love.

Go on a walk to enjoy the fresh air, eat dinner with your family, play with your pets or brew a cup of tea.

This is not permission to procrastinate. Research show that your brain requires time to integrate knowledge. If you never slow the flow of information, your mind becomes saturated at a faster rate than you can store new data.

Downtime is a prescription for becoming more focused and capable, when used in moderation. Set a time if you must, but do not neglect your joy, especially while preparing for an important exam.

 

3. Exercise: Multiple studies have proved that physical exercise is a remarkably effective antidote to stress.

Like the breathing exercises outline above, exercise prompts you to focus on your body rather than your worries.

Many students carry their stress in the bodies, and exercise moves your muscles, increases blood flow and works out a good percentage of body knots. When you return to studying, your focus will be much improved.

The most useful side effect of increased blood flow is the increased circulation that extends well beyond the end of your exercise session. Blood carries oxygen, and your brain must have oxygen to work properly while you review. Nothing will decrease your test stress faster than realizing that you are learning and making progress.

 

4. Sleep: There is a persistent and damaging myth that pulling an all-nighter indicates your seriousness when preparing for an exam.

In truth studying all evening is the worst possible response to anxiety. Not only is it nearly impossible to remember material read at 3 a.m., but a lack of sleep clouds your mind the next day and perhaps into the week beyond.

Worse, fatigue damages your resilience. Stress is hard on your body. Breathing exercises, downtime and exercise can alleviate the effects of anxiety, but none of them will  be as effective as sleep.

Sleep is how short-term memories formed while studying become long-term memories that can be recalled during test-taking.

 

5. Take control of your preparation: Too often, academic stress comes from feeling a lack of control over a situation.

While other people will be writing the test questions and grading your answers, you have the power to prepare. Creating a schedule with concrete goals will give you a sense of progression as you complete required tasks before the big day.

For example, if a student is struggling with preparation for the verbal section of an exam, give them a goal of memorizing a list of 500 vocabulary words over the course of two months. It sounds like an intimidating and ambitious goal, but when broken down into pieces, the student realized that 10 words per day was a very achievable task.

At times, stress is unavoidable, especially when preparing for major exams. A little stress is a strong motivator, but a lot of stress is harmful and hurts your performance. Use the techniques outline above to keep your balance.

Omega Learning® Center also offers remediation and test prep. Our tutors help your student efficiently study and prepare for tests using study skills including validated test-taking strategies, improving listening skills, note-taking skills, and time management.

Click here to find an Omega Learning® Center near you.

Source:http://www.usnews.com/education/blogs/college-admissions-playbook/2014/05/26/5-ways-to-reduce-anxiety-on-test-day