Dealing with Back to School Anxiety

Going from long, lazy summer days back to the rigors of a classroom can be a bumpy road for your child. It’s normal for them to experience a range of emotions about returning to school. Though each child responds to going back to school differently, you can take steps to address jitters and make the transition time smoother. Could one of these issues be causing your child’s fears?

  • Life Changes
    Starting at a new school can present an especially daunting challenge. Similarly, if your child has recently experienced an upheaval at home, such as moving or divorce, he may be especially susceptible to feeling stressed about returning to school.
    If this is the case for your child, asking open-ended questions can give your child the space to figure out his own feelings. If he expresses a specific worry, you might say something like, “What makes you feel that way?” and see where the conversation leads.


  • Academic Challenges
    A new grade brings new challenges. Perhaps your child will be expected to do homework or write a research paper for the first time. With fears of not measuring up academically, the best defense is a good offense. Getting organized and establishing reassuring routines can go a long way to making a child feel competent.
    Rumors of a particularly hard teacher may fuel fearing or disliking a new teacher. Do help your child keep in mind that one person’s dreaded teacher can be another kid’s favorite. While it’s okay for your child to express her dislike of a teacher, she should be expected to remain respectful. You can encourage her to be open-minded and approach this as an opportunity to help her learn how to deal with a person she finds difficult.


  • Social Worries
    A new class roster can mean adjusting without friends who have provided a social base in previous years. Try to present this as an opportunity for your child to widen his group of friends, rather than a tragic loss of familiar faces. If possible, get the class list and set up a play date before school starts, so that your child will have a new friend to look for on the first day. Establish time for him to catch up with old friends too.
    A new school or classroom may spark concerns about finding friends at all. An outside class or hobby such as ballet or a sport can provide a conversation starter and the opportunity to meet kids outside your child’s usual circles. Talking to her about other challenging situations that she successfully navigated also boosts self-esteem.


  • Getting Help
    Most back-to-school anxiety is anticipatory. If the level and type of anxiety seems a marked departure from your child’s usual behavior and lasts well past the beginning of the school year, consider seeking outside help. Start by talking with his teacher. Next, a school counselor or psychologist can provide valuable tips and resources. Anxiety disorders do affect children and are often overlooked because such children do not tend to act out.


  • Be Supportive
    It is normal for every child to react to going back to school in her own way. This can make it tempting to apply your own experience to your child’s life. Although harkening back can provide insight, remember that your child is not you. Be calm and matter of fact. Listen and provide reassurance, but try not to heighten anxiety with old memories and good intentions.


In the end, the most important tool you can use is to know your own child. Observe the situation, but also try to keep it all in perspective. For most kids, back-to-school jitters will melt away as easily as summer slips into fall.




Rising Juniors Action Plan

Junior year usually marks a turning point. This is because for most students and families, it’s when college planning activities kick into high gear. Here are some things you can do this year to support your child and give him or her the best options.



  • Make sure your child meets with the school counselor. This meeting is especially important this year as your 11th-grader starts to engage in the college application process.


  • Encourage your child to set goals for the school year. Working toward specific goals helps your high schooler stay motivated and focused.


  • Help your child stay organized. Work with your 11th-grader to make weekly or monthly to-do lists to keep on top of the tasks required to get ready for applying to colleges.


  • Help your junior get ready for the PSAT/NMSQT in October. This is a preliminary test that helps students practice for the SAT and assesses their academic skills. Juniors who score well on the test are also eligible for scholarship opportunities.



  • Review PSAT/NMSQT results together. Your child’s score report comes with a free SAT study plan. This online, customized plan is based on your child’s test scores and can help him or her work on areas that need improvement.


  • Help your child prepare for college admission tests. Many juniors take college admission tests, such as the SAT and the ACT, in the spring so they can get a head start on planning for college.


  • Discuss taking challenging courses next year. Taking college-level or honors courses as a senior can help your child prepare for college work — and these are also the courses that college admission officers like to see.


  • Encourage your junior to consider taking SAT Subject Tests. Many colleges require or recommend taking these tests to get a sense of your child’s skills in a certain academic area. In general, it’s best to take a Subject Test right after taking the relevant course.


  • Encourage your child to take AP Exams. If your 11th-grader takes AP or other advanced classes, have him or her talk with teachers now about taking these tests in May.




  • Search together for colleges that meet your child’s needs. Once you have an idea of the qualities your child is looking for in a college, help him or her enter these criteria into a college search to create a list of colleges to consider applying to.


  • Help your child research scholarships. This form of financial aid provides money for college that doesn’t need to be repaid.


  • Attend college fairs and financial aid events. These events allow you to meet with college representatives and get answers to questions. Your child can ask the school counselor how to find events in your area.


  • Help your child make summer plans. Summer is a great time to explore interests and learn new skills — and colleges look for students who pursue meaningful summer activities. Help your high schooler look into summer learning programs  or find a job or internship.


  • Visit colleges together. Make plans to check out the campuses of colleges your child is interested in.



Get College Ready Now

One reason that working hard in high school is important is because it prepares you for college-level courses. At many colleges, accepted students must take placement tests in subjects such as reading, writing and math to see if they’re ready for college-level work in those areas.

When you take a placement test, your results may show that you can skip some introductory courses. Or they may show that you need more preparation for college work. If this is the case, your college may require you to take remedial courses.



What Are Remedial Courses?

Remedial courses are catch-up courses, also called developmental or basic-skills courses. They don’t provide credits that count toward your degree. But they do give you the opportunity to improve your skills so you can tackle college-level work and succeed.


Save Time and Money

If you don’t need to take remedial courses in college, you’ll save time and money. You’ll be able to start right away on classes that interest you and that count toward your degree. This means you’re more likely to graduate on time and save money on tuition costs.


How to Get College Ready

How can you avoid having to take remedial classes? To start, talk to a school counselor once you enter high school and find out which classes colleges look for. Then take college-prep classes in a variety of subjects. While key subjects like English and math are important, colleges also value classes such as foreign languages and computer science.


Further Steps

Here are some other important steps you can take to make sure you’re ready for college:

  • Choose challenging courses. The work will be closer to what you’ll experience in college.
  • Ask for help if you need it. If you’re struggling in a class, talk to your school counselor or teacher.
  • Make sure you have time for your schoolwork. Cut down on extracurricular activities if you feel like you’re spreading yourself too thin.
  • Take advantage of any courses your high school offers in skills such as taking notes, studying and doing research.
  • Stay focused during senior year. You’ll be able to get into the rhythm of college classes more easily if you keep working hard during your last year of high school.



10 Tips for A Higher SAT Score

There is a lot of advice floating around about improving your SAT score. A lot of advice, although solid, is either very obvious or very general, such as “take a lot of practice tests” or “study vocabulary.”

Here are ten specific tips to boost your SAT score, in no particular order. Some you may have heard before, others you probably haven’t.


1.Build your own vocabulary list using past tests.

Get a little composition book where you can write down and define every single unknown word you encounter on College Board practice tests. At around eight tests, you will start to notice that many of the difficult vocabulary words have already appeared on previous tests. The test-makers seem to “like” certain words, and those words come up over and over again. For example, you need to know what “ambivalent” means because it shows up on nearly every test (it shows up on around three quarters of tests).

Like the old saying goes, “Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me!” If you take the SAT and miss a question because you didn’t know a word that you’ve seen before, shame on you! Every time you encounter an unknown word you have an opportunity to learn it. Write it down, define it, and periodically review your growing vocabulary list.


2.For Critical Reading passage based questions, experiment with different strategies.

There is not a one size fits all approach to passage based questions. Ideally, a student should be able to read a passage once and comprehend it thoroughly enough to answer many of the questions without having to refer back to the passage. However, this level of reading comprehension takes a long time to develop, and some students find themselves in a situation where they only have a few months to study before taking the SAT.

These students need to experiment with different strategies. Try reading the questions first, and then referencing the passage. Or skim the passage first, focusing on the first and last sentences of each paragraph, and then tackle the questions. If you aren’t seeing improvement with one method, try another. Don’t believe anyone who insists there is only one right way to tackle passage based questions.


3.Know your special triangles.

You will frequently encounter math questions where the “key” is realizing that the triangle in question is a special triangle. If you feel you can go no further on a triangle question and find yourself thinking something like, “there’s not enough information!”, always check to see if it may be a 30-60-90 or 3-4-5 triangle (for the latter, remember that any ratio of 3-4-5 works, like 6-8-10 or 30-40-50).

You can also try splitting the triangle in two to see if it forms a special triangle. Also, know how to calculate the diagonal of a square. Yes, some of this information can be found at the beginning of each math section, but if you’re out of practice it won’t do you much good!


4.Never leave any multiple choice questions blank.

Never, even if you can’t eliminate any answer choices. The College Board tells us that a person who leaves the entire test blank and a person who blindly guesses on every question will, on average, receive the same score. But a person who leaves blanks runs the risk of incorrectly bubbling in the rest of the answers (e.g. student leaves question 12 blank, and accidentally fills in the answer for question 13 in the bubbles for section 12, and so on).

Moreover, because raw scores are only whole numbers, certain quarter point deductions for incorrect answers will not affect your score due to a rounding-up effect. For instance, imagine a student who knows the answer to every single question in Critical Reading, except the very last one, and furthermore is unable to eliminate any answer choices. This student currently has a raw score of 66 and has a 1/5 chance of guessing the correct answer and receiving a perfect raw score of 67. On the other hand, this student has a 4/5 chance of guessing incorrectly, and reducing his raw score to 65.75. But since raw scores are only whole numbers, this would be rounded up to a 66, meaning that guessing in this case would carry absolutely no risk (A 65.50 would also be rounded up). Due to this rounding effect that, a person who leaves nothing blank has a slight score advantage over the person who leaves some questions blank.


5.Read, read, read—especially topics that you don’t find particularly interesting.

Even students with mediocre scores on the passage based reading sections do fairly well on passages that they find interesting. Many high school students are accustomed to skimming material that they find boring or uninteresting and therefore quickly lose attention when they encounter such a passage on the SAT. If you find yourself reading the same sentence over and over again, this is probably what’s going on. As interest wanes, so does focus.

One way to retain focus is to engage in active reading (for instance, notating the passage as you read it). A better way is to increase your attention span through practice. If you struggle with science passages, then go to the science section of the New York Times website, download some science articles. Read with the goal of keeping focus, and increase your speed as you progress. Periodical articles are ideal because their difficulty approximates that of most passages.



6.If you’re stuck on a math problem, start writing.

Write anything: label the diagrams, draw a picture or plug in numbers. Try expanding, factoring or simplifying expressions. Often students will leave a math question blank and say “I’m stuck” but they will have little or nothing written on the page. Write down what you know and see if anything comes from it. Many times something does. Often there are hidden patterns in the question that we miss until we start writing things down.


7.In your essay, consider the opposing point of view.

Graders of the essay appreciate writing that sounds mature. An easy way to demonstrate mature thinking is to acknowledge the opposing point of view to your thesis. Don’t agree with the other point of view, merely acknowledge that it exists and is reasonable, but that your thesis is superior for whatever reason. You can do this in your conclusion paragraph or in a separate paragraph before your conclusion.

If your thesis is something like, “Hard work is essential for success,” you can say something along the lines of, “While it is true that lazy people occasionally attain success, these instances are rare, and are usually the effect of pure luck or extraordinary natural ability. The overwhelming majority of successful people are successful because they worked hard at it.” This is a simple, powerful formula to follow and most students don’t do it. Hence, it’s a great way to distinguish your essay from the hundred other essays your grader will read.


8.Always show your work.

Careless, silly mistakes often turn great scores into good scores. Students rightly feel that they can do a lot of the simpler math in their heads, and they usually can. Unfortunately, this also frequently leads to silly mistakes, especially on questions that have multiple steps. Even if you are confident that you can perform all the steps of a math question in your mind, do yourself a favor and spend a few extra seconds writing the numbers down.


9.Use official tests to practice with.

Buy a used, unmarked copy of the Official SAT Study Guide for 10 bucks on Amazon. This book contains ten practice tests. If you need more practice, look for previous versions of College Board’s “official” SAT prep books. Some will object that these old tests are obsolete because they were created before the 2005 update of the SAT. On the contrary, they still make excellent practice; just skip the analogy and Quantitative Comparison sections (also, be aware that these older tests do not have a Writing section). Make sure you read the product description and only buy unmarked used copies!


10.Create a collection of mature sounding words and phrases to incorporate into your essay.

According to the College Board, a six level essay “exhibits skillful use of language, using a varied, accurate, and apt vocabulary.” Most students use very dull diction on their SAT. Some students try to incorporate so called “vocab words” into their essays, but do so in a way that sounds forced or contrived. When you come across words or phrases in your reading that you think could be incorporated into your essays, jot them down, review them, and incorporate them into your practice essays. A word like “perfunctory” can impress!

Avoid Summer Brain Drain

It’s called the “summer brain drain,” and it’s affecting students of all ages. During the long, hot months away from school, kids lose knowledge when they don’t engage in educational activities over the summer vacation. On average, students lose approximately 2.6 months of grade level equivalency in mathematical computation skills.

For students who do not continue their education throughout the summer undergo major repercussions of learning loss all the way up to high school. By not being able to fill skill gaps, it becomes more difficult for them to stay on track and fall behind. Over one million students in the class of 2010 failed to graduate with a high school diploma. Currently, the national graduation rate stands at a dismal 75 percent, due in part to the 15 million youth unsupervised after the school day ends and an additional 24 million in need of supervision during the summer.

The “summer brain drain” can be prevented by keeping kids learning — it is never too early or too late to start during the summer.  Omega Learning® Center offers highly effective summer programs that can ensure a strong academic foundation by improving core reading, math, and writing skills. Omega Learning® Center also have highly qualified certified teachers to help your student stay sharp this summer. By filling the skill gaps, teaching validated study skills, and providing your student to build vital critical thinking skills, Omega Learning® Center can bridge the gap for many students to succeed for the new school year.






Teacher Appreciation Week

Happy National Teacher Appreciation Day from Omega Learning® Center! In honor of National Teacher Appreciation Day, we want to thank all of our tutors at Omega Learning® Center! We appreciate their dedicating, hard-working, and loving support that helps make a difference in every child’s educational future. Here are the top 6 reasons why Omega Learning® tutors are special. 


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


2.Omega tutors are educated.Many Omega tutors have master’s degrees and special education degrees, and all must complete the Omega Certification Program.


3.Omega tutors produce results.Omega tutors achieve results using our AIM Tutoring System®. The average academic growth is 2.6 years after completing our program.


4.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 child’s future.


5.Omega tutors are dynamic.Our tutors engage their students and use auditory, visual and tactile instructional methods to achieve lasting results.


6.Omega tutors are connected.Omega tutors communicate with hundreds of teachers daily directly with schools through our software system to help you achieve success.


7.Omega tutors believe in education.By providing opportunity for growth, building student confidence, and encouraging critical thinking skills, our Omega tutors help students achieve academic success.



Omega Learning® Center offers Tutoring K-12 with certified teachers for every subject in school. Find a center near you!


5 Ways to Stay on Track this Summer

How to make your summer count

It’s important to take a break, relax and have some fun over the summer, but it’s also a great time to do something that will interest and challenge you. Here are some suggestions for ways to make your summer worthwhile.


1. Get hands-on experience

Make the most of your summer by getting hands-on experience in the real world, whether through a paid job, volunteer work or an internship. Summer work allows you to develop new skills and looks good on a college application. It shows that you are a dedicated, goal-oriented person — and one who’s likely to succeed.


2. Take a class

Consider exploring an interest that you don’t have time for during the school year. It may mean learning a new language or gaining in-depth knowledge in a favorite subject, such as chemistry. Get more information about summer learning programs at Omega Learning Center.


3. Join or form a book club

Participating in a book club is a great way to become comfortable sharing your thoughts in a group setting, a common activity in college classes. You can also work on organizational and leadership skills if you help create the reading list or set up some of the meetings.


4. Keep a journal

Keeping a diary or a blog is a great way to boost your writing skills. You may even find the perfect topic for a college-application essay as you write about a vacation you took or your experiences at work or with friends.


5. Read the news

Reading is the best way to build your vocabulary, expand your knowledge and learn to analyze text. Reading newspapers and magazines — in print or online — keeps you informed about important current and world events. You might even discover a new passion if you stumble across the right story.



Summer S.T.E.A.M. Camps

Educators across the world are thinking S.T.E.A.M…. with the “Arts” playing a critical role.  Traditionally the trendy S.T.E.M. catch phrase has represented the academic areas of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math.  Recent studies have led educators nationwide to the conclusion that it is crucial to provide our students with an interdisciplinary education that brings the arts and sciences together, especially at an early age.  And so the term S.T.E.A.M. has become the latest educational focus. The concept of S.T.E.A.M. (and not just S.T.E.M.) is becoming a household catch phrase, as more parents and educators are learning the importance of nurturing both sides of the brain, and creating the critical-thinking skills our youth will need in their economy.

Problem-solving seems to have a new definition, as students are encouraged to look at a problem through different perspectives and find a solution through varying means. Parents across the country have expressed agreement that our students understanding the growing “creative and innovative” economy represents America’s future.

The abundance of S.T.E.A.M. Summer Camps being offered by early adopters also signals an increased role for the Arts in education and an opportunity for cutting-edge educational companies like Omega Learning® Center to lead its competitors in this educational trend! It is apparent that our students are challenged with a rapidly developing world of technology and in order for American students to stay competitive in a global environment; S.T.E.A.M. skills will certainly need to be strengthened. More and more teachers are promoting project-based learning as the norm, as opposed to the “exception” and so the S.T.E.A.M. camp idea becomes a great place to start.

The numerous types of S.T.E.A.M. summer camps represent a totally new approach to learning this curriculum. “K-12 education is being reinvented through the integration of sciences and arts, creating a stronger, more intuitive foundation for our students,” says Kimberly Smith, Omega Learning® Center Co-Founder and CEO. With tutoring centers across the US, Omega Learning® Center partners with 5-15 public and private schools per franchise territory and sees first-hand the challenges facing our schools, teachers, students and communities. “Today, students need to think more creatively, express themselves with confidence, and understand the real-world application of the math and reading concepts they are learning in school,”  Kimberly Smith continues.

Omega Learning® Center is launching S.T.E.A.M. Summer Camps in 2018 to help students jump start their education for the school year. Omega’s summer S.T.E.A.M. Camps will provide fun, hands-on learning activities in the areas of Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics. Students will develop new skills, expand creative thinking, foster team building, and meet new friends. In Omega’s AdvancED® accredited learning environment summer camp students benefit from small-group instruction led by certified teachers.

Depending on the student’s grade in school, activities may include Math Games, Hands-On Science Activities, Art Projects, Speech/Presentation, Creative Problem Solving, as well as learning about Robotics and Computer Technology.  Omega campers are divided into like-minded grade clusters to better tailor activities, instruction, and curriculum content for a more engaging and fun experience!  And upon completion, each student will be presented with a certificate for the successful completion of the Omega Learning® Center S.T.E.A.M. Summer Camp, building confidence for a lifetime of success!  Visit to find a center near you.

We need S.T.E.A.M. based education. S.T.E.A.M.-based education explores emerging concepts like “divergent thinking skills” and “intuitive instructional plans.” Both terms promote more creativity from both teacher and student. Environments that promote such learning include tutoring centers, small-group classrooms, hybrid schools, and academic camps.  It is believed by many that our global competitive edge and our ability to solve real world problems will emerge from the proficiency of our students in developing these S.T.E.A.M.-based skills.

Omega Learning® Center believes this “different” way of teaching and learning is an inherent part of the company’s mission statement, “to provide customized instruction that achieves each family’s educational goals.” Leading this educational trend since 2005, Omega Learning Center has promoted curriculum that is enrichment-based, the instructional materials that are multi-sensory, educational programs that develop intuitively, and progress that can be measured. “A child’s experience is limited, yet their abilities are vast,” says Kimberly Smith. “At Omega Learning® Center students thrive when they are given the tools and encouragement to think creatively. When you combine that with the fact that our tutors are provided the flexibility to creative an intuitive instructional path the possibilities are limitless.”

“A modern education is rigorous, but takes the “whole” student into context in development. A student may simultaneously, as opposed to solely, be a scholar, athlete, artist, and public speaker,” Kimberly Smith adds.  “In addition to seeing a trend towards project-based learning in public schools, the problems themselves are beginning to revolve around the context of S.T.EA.M. to provide a broader, more meaningful learning experience.” Omega Learning® Center is AdvancED accredited nationwide and provides tutoring and test preparation for grades K-12. To find a center near you, visit

Exciting Summer Programs

Summer Reading Enrichment

Help your student discover the love of reading and writing this summer with Omega Learning® Center’s enrichment-based OutpAce® curriculum. Omega’s certified teachers help students develop and improve the fundamentals of reading and writing. Our highly-effective summer program includes sight words, fluency, vocabulary, comprehension, grammar, language arts, and writing skills. In our AdvancED® learning environment students build vital critical-thinking skills needed for Reading and math application.


Summer Math Enrichment

Math can be fun! Omega’s certified teachers help students develop and improve fundamental math concepts including basic calculation skills, math facts fluency, word problems, and math reasoning. Through Omega’s enrichment-based OutpAce® curriculum, students build vital critical-thinking skills needed to apply their knowledge to more advanced, multi-step math concepts. Preview fall math curriculum and get a jump start on the upcoming school year at Omega Learning® Center this summer!


Kindergarten Success

Benefit from individualized instruction by certified teachers this summer and help your child become fully-prepared to begin Kindergarten and achieve success throughout Kindergarten. Omega’s caring, certified teachers help young learners, ages 4-7, build vital critical-thinking skills and develop the fundamentals of reading, writing, and math. Omega’s certified teachers use auditory, visual, and tactile teaching materials to optimize the learning experience. Omega’s program builds the confidence and skills needed for a lifetime of success!


SAT/ACT Boot Camps

Omega Learning® Centers offer customized Test Prep camps during the summer that are designed to target and improve your student’s scores in math, reading, writing, and vocabulary. Omega’s teachers provide strategic remediation, mock testing, guided instruction, and strengthened critical-thinking skills.


Summer School

ALL High School Math courses are available at Omega’s Summer School! Earn credit recovery at Omega Learning® Center this summer. Students benefit from Certified Teachers and a low Student:Teacher ratio. Omega Learning® Center offers flexible scheduling and affordable pricing. All centers are AdvancED® Accredited.


S.T.E.A.M. Camps

Students develop new skills, expand creative thinking, foster team building, and meet new friends. In our AdvancED® accredited learning environment, summer camp students benefit from small group instruction led by certified teachers. Upon completion, each student will be presented with a certificate for the successful completion of the Omega Learning® Center S.T.E.A.M. Summer Camp.



Summer Programs may vary. Call center for availability.


Keeping Kids Off the Summer Slide

Something is waiting for many children each summer and their parents don’t even know it’s out there. It’s called the “summer slide,” and it describes what happens when young minds sit idle for three months.

As parents approach the summer break, many are thinking about the family vacation, trips to the pool, how to keep children engaged in activities at home, the abrupt changes to everyone’s schedule—and how to juggle it all. What they might not be focusing on is how much educational ground their children could lose during the three-month break from school, particularly when it comes to reading.

Experts agree that children who read during the summer gain reading skills, while those who do not often slide backward. According to the authors of a report from the National Summer Learning Association: “A conservative estimate of lost instructional time is approximately two months or roughly 22 percent of the school year…. It’s common for teachers to spend at least a month re-teaching material that students have forgotten over the summer. That month of re-teaching eliminates a month that could have been spent on teaching new information and skills.”

Summer slide affects millions of children each year in this country—but it doesn’t have to. Omega Learning® Center offers highly effective summer programs that can help your student improve core reading, math, and writing skills to ensure a strong academic foundation. Omega’s highly qualified certified teachers can have your student stay sharp this summer by filling the skill gaps, teaching validated study skills, and helping your student build vital critical thinking skills needed for success for the new school year.

Omega Learning® Center offers Tutoring K-12 with certified teachers for every subject in school. Find a center near you!

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