AVALON LEARNING CENTER
Omaha's Holistic Tutoring Service




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FAQS and Tutoring Tips 

Answers to Some Common Questions About Tutoring and
Ways in Which You Can Help Your Child Succeed at Home


 
 

                      FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT  AVALON TUTORING

If you have a question that is not answered below, please email it to: Info@AvalonLearningCenter.com

Q:  What is holistic tutoring?
        Holistic education can be summed up in three words:  1) balance, 2) inclusion and 3) connection.  It is based on an approach to
        learning known as the Perennial Philosophy which dates back to the days of Plato and is still highly effective today.   While
        holistic tutoring incorporates traditional teaching methods, it also acknowledges diversity and the relationship between the "one"
        and "the many".  In short, it is the exact oppositeof “one size fits all” instruction.  It seeks to achieve balance of the different yin
        and yang aspects of learning such as intuition and rationalization or instruction and evaluation and establishes the
        interconnectedness and interdependence of all types of knowledge. (i.e. how math relates to music or how science relates to
        history)  It is through these three elements- balance, inclusion and connection-that true understanding is achieved.

Q:  Do you work with students who have learning disabilities?
        Yes.  Many of the students we have tutored over the years have been diagnosed with learning disabilities such as ADD, 
         ADHD or dyslexia.  We find that students who are struggling with these diagnoses respond quite favorably to the Whiz  
         Kids Tutoring Program which integrates learning games with traditional teaching

Q:  Do you do testing?
        Avalon Learning Center administers both learning style evaluations and multi-intelligence assessments.  There are no
        additional fees for the testing, and they are available solely as a recommended option or on request.  

Q: How long will my child need tutoring?
        It is difficult to designate a specific length of time for a student’s tutoring program due to the diverse rates of learning that occur in
        students.  At the beginning of each program, a consultation is held to determine the goals that are desired for the student. Once
        the student has achieved those goals, a reduced maintenance program is recommended until the student’s level of performance
        is stable..  When stability is achieved, students may opt out of the program entirely or change the focus of their tutoring program.

Q:  What is meant by your “open door policy”?
         As Omaha's only holistic tutoring service, we do not obligate families with service contracts.  We operate completely on the honor
         system, and parents are invited to monitor their child’s tutoring sessions at any time.

Q: How do I go about getting my child started?
       The first step in initiating a program is to consult with the director regarding the academic needs of the child.  The second step is
        to establish a tutoring schedule by choosing from a list of available time slots those segments that work best for you.  The time
        segments you select are reserved exclusively for your child’s use as long as s/he is actively enrolled. The final step in
        getting started is simply to begin the program. 

Q:  Do you close for holidays and “snow days”?
     
In general, Avalon Learning Center observes  the OPS calendar for scheduling Christmas and Thanksgiving holiday breaks.  We
        are also closed the Monday following Easter and on Halloween.   For those students who are not enrolled in an Omaha Public
        School and whose Christmas and Thanksgiving breaks do not coincide with the OPS calendar, we remain open and available for
        tutoring.  We are also available to help any students who wish to receive tutoring during the holiday breaks.  In terms of “snow
        days”, if Omaha Public Schools are closed due to snow, we close as well.  Students who wish to attend tutoring appointments on
        “snow days” may do so by contacting their tutor or the director.

For OPS calendar, please click on the following link:     
  
http://www.nctq.org/docs/Omaha_UPDATED_District_Calendar_2015-2016.pdf


                                           TUTORING TIPS FOR HOME
            

  Have a designated study area. Select a special location in your home where your child can study with no distractions.  If there is no available space that can be reserved for the child to study quietly, declare an area "off limits" to everyone but the student until the homework is done. Check on the student periodically to monitor his or her progress or make yourself available by sitting quietly nearby.  It is of benefit to the student if you, yourself, also read a book or work on something such as a crossword puzzle.  By doing that, you will role model a "studious mindset" and also keep the child from feeling scrutinized.

  Do not give answers to questions.  Instead, try to guide the child to the answer by asking leading questions.  The student who is given an answer will not remember it as easily as the one who discovers it.   

  Check for misunderstood words. If your child does not understand something he or she has read, make sure that there are no misunderstood words in the lesson.  Look for words that are suspect and ask your child to define them.  If he or she cannot, have them look the word up in the dictionary before proceeding and make up two or three sentences that use the word.  Try to find any and all misunderstood words.    

  No television or distracting sounds. Under no circumstances allow your child to watch television or listen to music that includes lyrics while doing homework.  Both will be a drain on their focus and ability to concentrate.  You want as much attention as possible to be devoted to the lesson at hand. Also try to keep other environmental sounds such as vacuum cleaners, conversations and miscellaneous household noises to a minimum.

 Do provide background alpha music.  Background music such as classical music, music for relaxing or soft instrumentals can actually aid the student's ability to focus and concentrate.  For more information, refer to the "Articles" page on this website.

  Provide energy outlets for ADD/ADHD students.  Students who have been categorized as having ADD or ADHD may benefit from having an outlet for excess energy while studying.  A small rubber ball that they can squeeze in one hand or a plastic rolling pin that can be rolled with the feet are excellent ways of dispelling excess energy while they work without compromising attention to homework.

  Read 15 minutes (or more) a day.  It is very important that students who are struggling with reading spend at least 15 minutes each day reading aloud to someone.  Resist the temptation to tell the student what the word is when he or she is having difficulty with it.  Instead, ask the child to first spell it.  This will insure that the letters are being read in the correct order.  If the word is a compound word, cover each small word one at a time and have the student read the remaining word chunk that is visible.  When the student can read each small word with ease, have him or her put them together to pronounce the larger compound word. 

  Make sure the student is not hungry or overly tired.  If the student is hungry, provide a light and nourishing after-school snack.  In situations where the student is tired or sleepy, a short 20 minute nap can be beneficial.  Also check to see if the student is getting enough sleep at night and implement a "lights out" bedtime curfew to ensure adequate rest. 

 Use encouraging corrective statements.  Using phrases such as "That's wrong, try it again." instead of "You're wrong." will help the student retain his or her confidence to do the work while recognizing that errors have been made. While it is important to identify mistakes and have the student correct them, an effort should be made to distinguish the work from the student and refrain from personal comments. 
 
Silence is Golden.  When your child is asked to solve a problem or answer a question, allow them some extra time to think it through.  When you have reached a point where you feel like they should have come up with an answer, count to ten a wait a bit longer.  Often they will surprise you with the correct answer.