Taking Study Breaks Helps Improve Student Performance

Taking Study Breaks Helps Improve Student Performance

Brain Breaks Help Avoid Student Frustration

Students are feeling the pressure. Most have missed a lot of in-person school time and are very aware of being behind and needing to catch up. Parents, teachers, news media, social media, and other kids have been talking about “Covid learning loss” and how students’ test scores and grades have suffered. As a result, many students are feeling anxious and worried.

But has anxiety ever made anything better?

It’s important to remember that, though they may have ground to make up, kids also need a break. We as parents may be a little too focused on pushing our kids without allowing for the mental and physical fatigue that can result.

Taking Breaks Results in Better Performance

In “The Science of Taking a Break” researchers in various studies looked at the effectiveness of prolonged work or study periods without a break. One study had students perform the same repetitive, computerized task for 50 minutes. Not surprisingly, students who took breaks and had diversions from their studying actually fared better than students who didn’t take breaks.

Another study on “overlearning” showed that students who studied for a vocabulary test were divided into two groups. One group read the list five times. The other group read the list ten times. Students were given study breaks from five minutes to one month. Initially, students who took a one-day break had the best scores after 10 days. But after six months, the students who took a one-month study break performed best on the vocabulary test. And students who read the vocabulary list five times had the same results after six months as the ones who read the list ten times.

eLearning Inside presents four great reasons to take study breaks:

  1. To improve attention
  2. To improve productivity
  3. To retain information
  4. To reduce stress

The Right Way to Take Breaks

Whether it’s homework, online school, reading, or studying, it’s important for kids to take a break before frustration sets in. For grade-schoolers that is typically after 10 to 15 minutes of work. Middle schoolers and high schoolers can work for longer, 20 to 30 minutes without a break. This doesn’t mean it’s time to start playing and quit for the day.

  • A few minutes of stretching and deep breathing can help reset the brain and get students back on focus. Sometimes having kids listen to music or take a “dance break” is just the right reset button.
  • After longer periods of study, longer breaks are helpful. Given a choice, most students would spend their breaks on social media, or texting friends. And while it might be enjoyable, a recent survey by Huffington Post found that these activities can actually increase stress. And some really fun distractions online (like googling cat memes) end with kids being sidetracked for way too long and finding that study time has been wasted. Setting an alarm might be a good way to remind the student to get back to studying.
  • Exercising the body a bit during a break is a great alternative to getting (or staying) online. According to the Mayo Clinic, meditation is another way to lower anxiety and boost personal health. And many students (not just the kindergarteners) can benefit from a 10- or 20-minute nap.
  • Having a healthy snack break is also a great way to improve concentration and help enhance brainpower. Fruits, nuts, lean proteins and other healthy options are better than soda, chips, and junk food which can actually cause a crash.
  • Even picking up a physical book or magazine or newspaper can provide a helpful break that not only refreshes the mind, but also give eyes a rest from staring at an electronic screen.

Every student is different, and the type and duration of break time depends on the student’s age and individual needs. But incorporating breaks is an important part of studying for all students.

The Big Shift to Homeschooling

The Big Shift to Homeschooling

More Than 11% of Students in the U.S. are Homeschooled

The U.S. Census Bureau Household Pulse Survey has found that the number of homeschoolers has increased sharply to 5 million students. In April of 2020, 5.4% of U.S. households with school-age children reported that they were homeschooling. By fall 2020, that number had jumped to 11.1%. This represents true homeschooling and does not include numbers for children who were at home enrolled in virtual school.

Homeschool Groups Growing Rapidly

Homeschool groups and co-ops are reporting increased interest in their programs and some are even reporting that there is a waitlist for families who want to join. Traditional homeschooling, which has used similar methods to those used in public or private schools, is being joined by a variety of new homeschooling philosophies. The pandemic has seen the creation of “learning pods” where families who live near each other have their children attend “classes” in one of the homes, where the instruction may come from one or multiple parents. Some families adopt a less structured, or “unschooled” child-led approach to homeschooling. Some choose a hybrid structure called the University Model, where students attend a private school for 2 or 3 days a week, and then complete schoolwork at home, under the supervision of their parents.

Many parents admit that they are “making it up as we go” in order to find the model that works best for their child. The goal is to keep the child engaged and learning, and measure success by their performance on state-required standardized tests.

A Response to the Pandemic Provides New Opportunities

Many of the families who have chosen to opt out of traditional schools and begin homeschooling have done so as a response to the pandemic, and the forced virtual school they were suddenly faced with. Parents were able to witness firsthand what their child’s school day was like, and many parents saw their children falling behind in academics they used to be able to master.

“Homeschooling became a viable alternative for many parents who had considered it in the past or who were curious but never prompted to change,” William Heuer and William Donovan, authors of a new study on the shift, said in a summary of the Census Bureau’s research.

Parents have been concerned about many issues, including exposure to COVID-19, the lack of social contact, the concern over what was being taught at their child’s school, and the new rules and restrictions being put in place in order to return to in-person school.

Even working parents are finding ways to homeschool. Parents who have the option to work from home find that it can fit pretty seamlessly into their day. Some parents who have flexible work hours spend a half day with homeschooling, and then go to work. And some parents who have the option, bring their child to work with them and provide learning activities throughout the day while also teaching their child about their work.

Now That In-Person School Has Resumed, Are Homeschoolers Going Back to School?

It seemed reasonable to assume that a percentage of homeschoolers would choose to send their kids back to school this fall when schools reopened for in-person classes. So far, it’s not clear that this is happening. In Los Angeles public schools, for example, have actually seen a larger public school enrollment drop this fall compared to last fall.

The controversial mandates regarding COVID-19 vaccinations are almost certainly going to affect enrollment numbers. The governor of California has announced that all students in the state would be required to get the vaccine, and homeschooling may be the option that parents will choose who are reluctant to vaccinate their children.

The Chicago public school districts are also reporting that enrollment is down this year and local Catholic schools and other private schools are seeing boosts in enrollment. Seattle and West Virginia are reporting enrollment declines as well.

A Side Effect of Dwindling Public School Enrollment

School districts receive funding based on how many students are enrolled and attending school, so the drop in enrollment means a drop in funding. Last year school funding was frozen at the 2019/2020 spending level, but this school year funding will be based on actual headcount. And while fewer students should mean that less funding is required, it’s always difficult to adjust to a reduced budget.

The exodus from public schools can mean a positive educational change for families who have expanded choices and learning opportunities. The increase in homeschooling is evidence of the desire for change.

Homeschooling Parents Need Support

In addition to joining groups, co-ops, pods and other support groups, homeschooling parents are increasingly turning to tutoring to help fill gaps. While it may not be necessary or desirable to enroll their child in a part-time private school to help bolster the homeschooling curriculum, a once-a-week or twice-a-week tutoring session with a certified teacher can be a viable option.

You can find some local homeschool support groups here:

Homeschool.com

Home School Legal Defense Association

Homeschool World

Search online for “homeschool support groups near me” and you’ll find many local resources.

How Paper and Pencil Can Help Your Child Study More Effectively

How Paper and Pencil Can Help Your Child Study More Effectively

Help improve memory and retention simply by writing things down

You already know how much time your child spends using electronics. It’s easy to depend on automated calendars, reminders, appointments, and notes. But did you know that the simple act of writing these things down on paper helps to reinforce them and make them easier to remember?

It seems easier and faster to type things into a laptop or tablet, or even a phone, but various studies have shown that when we write things down, something actually happens in our brains that reinforces what we’ve written, and we retain the information much better.

There was a side-by-side study done earlier this year using fMRI neuroimaging to identify specific brain activation differences when we use paper notebooks versus mobile digital devices. Interestingly, the participants who filled in a paper calendar did it more quickly than those who used a tablet or a smartphone. In addition, the accuracy was much higher in the group who wrote notes down manually.

One hour later, participants were asked a series of detailed questions related to the personal calendars they had created and their brains were imaged during this process. There was significantly more robust brain activation and better memory recall in the group who wrote things down on paper. The conclusion? ”Use paper notebooks for information we need to learn or memorize.”

Get your child a day planner

A simple day planner book with a calendar section and a notes section can help your child enter due dates for assignments and projects, reminders about class schedules and extracurricular activities, and any appointments they may have. To make it even more useful, they can include birthdays, holidays, vacation dates, and more. The act of writing these things down will help them remember, but it also produces a handy reference where everything they have going on in their lives can be viewed at a glance, in one place. It also becomes a great way to check things off of a to-do list and refer back to past events and accomplishments. What was I doing on March 13th this year? Oh, there it is on my calendar.

Are there apps that can help you do those things? Of course! And that’s the problem. It could require multiple apps, making it harder to find the thing you’re looking for, and science has already shown that you’ll remember it better if you write it down. Is your child already making notes and writing down assignments using pencil and paper? Great! A day planner will help keep all of that information organized and easy to access.

Letting your child choose the planner and pencil or pen they want to use with it helps them to be invested in the new process. Tip: using a pencil makes it easier to edit and update. Helping them get started, and offering suggestions and support will help it become a successful transition.

Dependence on electronic devices

If you need any more reason to encourage your child to learn to use handwritten calendars, planners, and notes, consider this information from Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital: “We have become increasingly dependent on our devices, and now, more than ever, we are using our devices to communicate, get information and remain in contact 24/7. This lends itself to feeling anxious or stressed when we don’t have that source close by at all times.”

One of the negative outcomes of the pandemic has been the hugely increased amount of time children spend on video games, social media, and electronic devices in general. Many parents had to relax their rules about how much screen time their kids could have because suddenly everything was online, the kids couldn’t go to school and couldn’t get together with friends. Data shows that children’s screen time has doubled this year as compared to the year prior.

Returning to in-person school will be an important factor in weaning kids off of their addiction to electronic devices. Providing them the memory-enhancing tools of pencil and paper to incorporate into their daily habits will help retrain their brains and create a lifelong tool that will improve their lives.

Newsletter | October 2021

Newsletter | October 2021

Overcoming Learning Loss

Dad reading with kids

4 Ways Parents Can Improve Learning

  1. Parents who foster a love of reading in their children provide one of the most essential elements in their academic success.
  2. Keeping a positive perspective, even when kids are struggling or failing, is essential.
  3. Turning ordinary daily interactions into teachable moments is also helpful.
  4. And keeping in touch with your child’s teacher means that all of you are working as a team to help your child succeed.

Read more about Overcoming Learning Loss…

Did you know?
  • 6 additional minutes of reading per day can significantly improve kids’ reading performance
  • Children who read at least 20 minutes a day are exposed to almost 2 million words per year
  • Over 80% of teenagers don’t read for pleasure on a daily basis
  • Harvard Family Research Project: Parent involvement is the number one predictor of early literacy success and future academic achievement for children
  • University of Sussex scientists: Reading a book or newspaper for just 6 minutes lowered people’s stress levels by 68%
  • Yale University Study: People who read books for 30 minutes a day lived longer than those who read magazines or newspapers
  • University of California study: people with a 9th grade or higher literacy level are 4 to 5 times more likely to maintain mental capacity with age
  • The three most-read booksThe BibleQuotations From Chairman Mao Tse-Tung, and Harry Potter
  • Love the way books smell? That’s called “bibliosma

Reading Books

More Interesting Facts About Reading

21 Captivating Reading Statistics and Facts for 2021

5 Benefits of Reading

6 Scientific Reasons You Should Be Reading More

60 Incredible Facts About Reading and Books

Books Build Brains

20 Not to be Missed Facts About Reading


TutorUp can provide the one-on-one academic support your child needs to make up for COVID learning loss.

Call 877-888-6787 for details!

Overcoming Learning Loss

Overcoming Learning Loss

How to Catch Up

Teachers are experienced in dealing with the annual learning loss that happens every year over summer break. When the new school year begins in the fall, it takes a while to get students back to the level they were at when summer break began, and teachers have methods to achieve that.

This school year, teachers and students are not only facing the normal slump after summer, but many students have fallen much further behind due to distance learning, school closures, technical challenges, and other disruptions due to the pandemic. The normal catch-up activity that most teachers use during the first few weeks of school is not going to bridge this gap and bring all students up to grade level.

What Researchers are Reporting

The Institute of Education Sciences Regional Educational Laboratory Program (IES/REL) recently published the results of research on K-12 learning loss during COVID-19. “Taking into account research on summer learning loss, Kuhfeld and Tarasawa (2020) project that as a result of recent school closures and an array of contributing stresses and trauma caused by the coronavirus pandemic, student academic achievement will decline in greater proportions than the average trajectory from summer learning loss. They also conclude that when some students return to in-person instruction, they will be particularly behind in mathematics. Among several recommendations, Kuhfeld and Tarasawa suggest providing resources and support to families and students, especially around mathematics, where the steepest declines often occur over summers and with interrupted school time.

Intensive Support and Multiple Years of Individualized Attention is Needed

A brief by Allensworth and Schwartz (2020) “is one in a series aimed at providing K-12 education decision makers and advocates with an evidence base to ground discussions about how to best serve students during and following the pandemic.” Allensworth and Schwartz stress the effectiveness of what is known as “high-dosage tutoring”, which is up to two hours daily, directly tied to classroom content.

When education was disrupted by Hurricane Katrina, school and academic leaders in New Orleans observed that losses in mathematics were the most dramatic. Students returned to school more than two years below grade level on average. They found that it often took multiple years of individualized attention to make up those learning losses.

It’s difficult to predict how long it will take for students to recover from pandemic-related learning loss, but it is certain that providing individualized support in the form of tutoring will be a major factor. Not every student needs that high-dosage tutoring for multiple hours every day. For many, a couple of sessions a week in a one-on-one environment with a teacher is sufficient to regain lost ground and reinforce new content.

What Can Parents Do?

One of the most effective learning activities parents can do at home with their children is to read. Reading aloud to your child, helping them read aloud, discussing what they read are all ways to help. Professor Gail Nelson from Cleveland State University points out that with younger students, the emphasis is on learning to read and with older students it’s reading to learn. She also points out that finding ways to engage your kids in activities in the home can help turn things like cooking or setting the table into teachable moments. Essential skills like measuring, counting, fractions, quantities, following instructions, and telling time are just some of the basic components that can be incorporated into home activities.

Staying positive and keeping in touch with your child’s teacher(s) is key in supporting their progress. While it’s become the popular description for how the pandemic has affected education, the term “learning loss” is itself a negative. Increasing your child’s confidence and helping them feel calm, safe, and secure helps them focus on academics. Some teachers recommend playing educational games as a break from additional schoolwork. What’s important is to help nurture the positive and fun aspects of school and learning, and not make it feel like punishment or somehow the child’s fault if they need some additional academic help.

TutorUp Provides 1-on-1 Online Tutoring with Certified Teachers

We believe that the best tutoring experience is one where a student and teacher spend time one-on-one, focused on the individual challenges and solutions that are specific to that student. For that reason, all of our tutoring sessions are individualized, and all of our tutors are certified, experienced classroom teachers. It’s not enough to be a subject matter expert to be a tutor. You also need to know how kids learn, and how to teach.

We can match your child with the right tutor today.

Students behind in Math and English

Students behind in Math and English

Pandemic disruptions caused significant learning loss

A recently published study by McKinsey & Company reveals that after a year in remote and hybrid learning, students in the United States have fallen behind significantly. Assessment tests showed the biggest loss is in math, averaging 5 months behind, and English following at 4 months behind.

Keeping in mind that this is an average across the whole country, there are many school districts and populations that have actually seen far greater losses in learning. These studies also showed that Black and Hispanic students ended the 2020/2021 school year 6 months behind.

Kids are recovering from isolation

If you have a school-age child, you know that academic loss isn’t the only harm our students have suffered during the pandemic. Thirty-five percent of 16,370 parents surveyed across every state in America said they were “very or extremely concerned” about their child’s mental health. Roughly 80 percent of parents had “some level of concern” about their child’s mental health or social and emotional health and development since the pandemic began.

Chronic absenteeism and a sharply increased dropout rate have contributed to the learning loss crisis. Further, the survey suggested that 17 percent of high school seniors who had previously planned on attending postsecondary school have now abandoned those plans. Most have joined or are planning to join the workforce, and many state that the cost of postsecondary education is the main reason.

While remedies are already in place in some areas, and programs and plans are being developed to help address learning loss, attendance, and the dropout rate, the cumulative effects of the pandemic can have a long-term impact on this generation of students.

What can parents do?

The McKinsey & Company research “suggests that parents underestimate the unfinished learning caused by the pandemic.” Forty percent of the parents surveyed thought their child was on track academically. More than half of parents “think their child is doing just fine.” Statistics from assessment tests tell a different story.

Parents who recognize their child’s dilemma, and are committed to doing something about it, are choosing a variety of remedies and innovations: tutoring, summer school, enrichment programs, homeschooling, district-sponsored “recovery programs”, hybrid models of in-person plus remote learning, homeschooling, learning hubs, and even holding their child back a year.

The case for tutoring

Though not the answer for every child, personalized one-on-one tutoring is one way parents are choosing to get their kids re-engaged, on-track, and academically successful. At TutorUp, all of our tutors are certified teachers with classroom experience. It’s not enough to have a tutor who is a subject matter expert if they don’t also have training and experience in how to assess, adapt, innovate, motivate, measure, and provide the individual and personalized instruction each child needs.

Following a chaotic year-and-a-half of a mixed bag of school experiences, teachers will not only have their hands full trying to reach each student at their level of ability, but they are all dealing with quarantine restrictions, an uptick in positive COVID-19 cases, and worry about their own health.

Will teachers – even the most well-meaning – be able to help their students in the classroom make up for all of the learning loss?

Tutoring is often a choice parents make as a reaction to finding out that their child is struggling in school, or possibly even failing a subject. As parents realize that even the most conscientious students are suffering learning loss through no fault of their own, they are choosing to enlist tutoring support to help bridge the gap.

We can help your child succeed!

Newsletter | October 2021

Newsletter | September 2021

Back in School – what’s the scoop?

Students behind in math

Students are 5 months behind in Math and 4 months behind in Reading

recently published study by McKinsey & Company reveals that after a year in remote and hybrid learning, students in the United States have fallen behind significantly. Assessment tests showed the biggest loss is in math, averaging 5 months behind, and English following at 4 months behind.

Learning loss isn’t the only side effect

Roughly 80 percent of 16,870 parents surveyed had “some level of concern” about their child’s mental health or social and emotional health and development since the pandemic began
read more…

Did you know?
  • The U.S. Census Bureau estimates that about 3.3% of students in the U.S. were homeschooled before the pandemic. That number is now at 11.1% or 5 million.
  • By the end of 2018 (the last available figures) more than 3.3 million students in the U.S. attended charter schools.
  • There are almost 35,000 private schools in the United States, serving 5.7 million PK-12 students. 78% of these are religiously-affiliated schools.
  • Enrollment in community colleges, other two-year college programs, and four-year colleges is down while the dropout rate in high schools is up.

Call 877-888-6787 for details!

Uncertainty Persists for the New School Year

Uncertainty Persists for the New School Year

Just when you thought you and your family could return to “normal” for the new school year starting this month, the Delta variant of the COVID-19 virus has become a major disruptor. This will be the THIRD school year that is affected by the pandemic in one way or another.

While most school districts across the country are still planning to start back to school with in-person classes, teacher’s union leaders in many states are backing away from that commitment and are talking about returning to remote learning in light of increasing numbers of positive cases, especially among children. Children under the age of 12 are still not cleared to receive the vaccination, and the spike in cases is worrisome. While it’s not likely that in-person school plans will get scrapped, as COVID-19 cases rise, some parents are having second thoughts about in-person learning and there is increased interest in virtual school options and homeschooling.

The CDC encourages all K-12 staff and students to wear masks inside school buildings, regardless of vaccination status, however enforcement of this recommendation is decided on a district by district basis. Some states are mandating mask-wearing indoors while other states are banning such mandates, leaving the option to the individual. While many are reluctant to mandate a return to mask-wearing in school, the controversy over the issue is becoming more heated.

The White House has weighed in and released a Fact Sheet about Reopening Schools and Rebuilding with Equity. They claim that “almost 90 percent of educators and school staff are now vaccinated” and they are calling on school districts and pharmacies in the federal pharmacy program to prioritize vaccinations for students age 12 and older. They are also providing federal money to support COVID-19 testing in schools. It will be months, though, before the FDA might approve the vaccine for children under 12.

It’s a rapidly changing situation, and is likely to continue to cause some confusion about what to do. As parents struggle with the conflicting news reports and recommendations, they are also weighing the risk factors of returning to in-person school against the known benefits.

How Learning Loss Figures In to the Situation

We know that many students have fallen behind academically and will almost certainly have anxiety about that and how they’re going to get caught up. The Washington Policy Center reports that a new study from McKinsey and Co “shows students are four to six months behind in reading and math.” The report further states that “unless students can recover these losses, the impact on their lives could be permanent.” High school dropout rates are up, and enrollment in public schools has dropped.

One of the driving motivations to return to in-person learning is the academic loss students have suffered as a result of inconsistent and often inadequate remote learning options. Added to that is the tremendous loss suffered due to the lack of socialization and the lack of extracurricular programs and sports activities. There’s just no question that students learn better in school, and it is critical to their emotional and psychological well-being to be able to return to normal school programs.

But what’s it going to be like for them to return to school after the last year and a half of upheaval?

With many thousands of school districts in the US, and a variety of local and state rules that govern them, students across the country will have vastly different “back to school” experiences. For the many students who are going to struggle to get back to “normal” and recover from the learning loss, they’re going to need some extra help, support, and patience.

How Tutoring Can Help

More than ever, teachers are going to be overwhelmed with the new school year starting. Not only do they have to cope with the regular “summer slide” and the effort to get kids acclimated to sitting in a classroom again, but they also have a whole host of new responsibilities related to the pandemic and health and safety issues.

Added to that, they will have students at greatly varied levels of competence in every subject. Some students did well with remote learning and stayed pretty current with their grade level. Many, many students did not do as well and have a lot of remedial ground to make up.

Given that teachers will have 20-30 students or more, it will be difficult to provide any kind of one-on-one attention to students who really need it.

Personalized, one-on-one tutoring can make the difference for many students. It is a safe environment for a student to ask questions and get individualized help without being embarrassed in front of classmates. A tutor who works with one student at a time can provide undivided attention and get more accomplished in one tutoring session than in a week’s worth of classes with a roomful of students.

Would Your Child Benefit from One-on-One Tutoring Help?

TutorUp tutors are all certified, experienced, background-checked classroom teachers. They know how to teach. And all of our sessions are one-on-one, personalized for your child’s specific needs. We currently offer all online tutoring sessions, so there is no concern about contagion or social distancing. Talk to a matching specialist today to help you connect with the right tutor. We’ll help your child excel.

Newsletter | August 2021

Newsletter | August 2021

Back to School???

First day of school

Uncertainty Persists for the New School Year

Just when you thought you and your family could return to “normal” for the new school year starting this month, the Delta variant of the COVID-19 virus has become a major disruptor. This will be the THIRD school year that is affected by the pandemic in one way or another.
 
What’s it going to be like for students returning to school?
read more…


Do Over Year

Thinking about holding your student back for a year?

Regardless of whether your child is returning to school in person, or may still be doing school remotely, a lot of parents are considering a “do-over” year.

What are the pros and cons of a “Do-Over” year and what options do you have?

read more…


Tutor Spotlight

Check out our Tutor Spotlight!

We’ve started a new blog category so we can shine the spotlight on our tutors. We’re just getting started, so check out the first few spotlights we’ve published.


TutorUp can provide the one-on-one academic support your child needs to make up for COVID learning loss.

Call 877-888-6787 for details!

The “Do-Over” School Year

The “Do-Over” School Year

There’s a lot of conversation happening about whether or not parents should be allowed to give kids a “do-over” school year because of the year they lost to the pandemic and remote learning. This is one way parents and schools are hoping to target learning loss due to COVID 19 and the restrictions that were imposed on learning.

Some call it “unfinished learning” but none question the fact that student learning has suffered. The general consensus among parents, students, teachers, and administrators is that course failure rates soared, schoolwork has suffered, motivation has tanked, attendance has bottomed out, and studies have tried to quantify the learning loss students suffered this past school year.

Parents have always had the right to request that their child repeat a grade, or delay starting kindergarten for a year, and every year many choose to do that. The deadlines to make that request vary in each state.

Here are some of the states that are embracing the idea of a do-over:

  • The state of Pennsylvania passed a bill this summer “that would allow parents to give their kids a do-over extra year of school to make up for the 2020-21 year disrupted by COVID-19 pandemic closings and operating changes”. One parent expressed it like this, “Virtual just did not work, he didn’t really have a kindergarten year – he lost a year of school.”
  • The state of Kentucky is putting together a bill that would allow high school students to have a do-over year. Senator Max Wise, sponsor of the bill, says “There’s been everything from frustration, to seeing mental health issues, to seeing opportunities taken away from their child. I look at this with a heart for kids and the year lost, and the opportunities that have gone with that.”
  • In California, students who earned a failing grade are now allowed to retake their grade level and change letter grades to “pass” or “no pass”. Assembly Bill 104 allows students to catch up and avoid penalties for learning loss during the pandemic.
  • Ohio lawmakers are proposing a measure to allow students to retake classes in order to boost their grades and restore eligibility for sports. While this could present funding and implementation challenges for school districts, if the state senate passes the measure, schools would be forced to allow it.
  • Washington state created a bill allowing high school juniors and seniors to stay in school for a “bridge year” to catch up on learning and missed extracurricular activities. That bill is currently with the Senate Rules Committee.
  • New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy signed a bill that permits parents, guardians, and any other person having custody over a child in grades K-8 to repeat last year’s grade.
  • Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed a bill allowing Florida parents to request to hold their child back for “academic reasons”.

Some of the drawbacks of a “Do-Over” year

Three million students are “held back” per year in the United States and there is a large body of research indicating that holding a child back in school is associated with poorer academic outcomes. Grade retention can be associated with an increased likelihood of dropping out of high school or a decreased likelihood of finishing college. However, other studies found that there were short-term social and academic benefits of grade retention.

These negative impacts have not been studied as related to a COVID do-over year, and the negative impacts are merely “associated” with grade retention. It has not been shown that grade retention causes the negative impacts.

School districts are concerned about the financial impact of large numbers of students repeating a grade, and the staffing requirements to accommodate the change. The American Rescue Plan, however, provides $7 billion in funding, a portion of which is supposed to be devoted to helping students overcome learning loss due to the pandemic. School boards are also proposing budget increases to help pay for the new do-over proposals.

How can Tutoring help?

It’s clear that students improve academically when they are given one-on-one tutoring support. This is even more obvious after a school year like the one we just experienced. The COVID learning loss is real, and the evidence shows that tutoring can help students catch up and excel.

Tutoring may even be the best alternative to keeping a child back in school, or letting them have a “do-over” year. With one-on-one tutoring support, students get the kind of personalized attention they can’t get in a classroom, and that support could make the difference.

Before deciding whether or not your child would benefit from repeating a grade this school year, talk to one of our tutoring specialists to see how our online tutoring with only certified, experienced classroom teachers can help your child succeed.

877-TutorUp (877-888-6787)

Meet Tutor Mary Rose

Meet Tutor Mary Rose

We recently asked Mary Rose to share some information about herself, and this is what she wants you to know about her:

“Hello, I’m Mary Rose! I have been tutoring for 20 years now and it’s truly been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. I’ve helped so many students achieve their academic goals year after year, and I know that YOU are more than capable of making the same or better progress with the right help.  Being able to take part in your development and success is an honor and a privilege.

I graduated from Potsdam University in New York with a Dual Bachelor of Arts Degree in math and education. Four years after receiving my dual diploma,  I graduated from The University of Albany with a Master of Science Degree in reading. I specialize in  Math and tutor middle grades, high school and college students in Algebra 1, Geometry, and Algebra 2.  For the past two years I have tutored SAT and ACT for hundreds of students and helped them achieve significant score gains. Further, I am a  certified Health/Life Coach.

I love to stay fit by practicing yoga, rowing, biking and lifting weights.

I am a published author of one children’s book and teacher article, and I am a co-author of three children’s books. I am a mother to two girls.  I love animals and would love to own a snake and spider!”

Mary Rose currently calls Georgia home, where she is certified to teach grades 5-12. She’s also certified in the state of New York. Working primarily with students on test preparation for the ACT English, Reading, Math, and Science tests, and the SAT Verbal and SAT Writing tests, Mary Rose also teaches Math, Geometry, and Trigonometry.

Check out Mary Rose’s TutorUp Tutor Profile.

Meet Tutor Mary Rose

Meet Tutor Peter G.

Peter is a certified special education teacher who has been teaching Reading, Literacy, Writing, Math, and U.S. History for many years in elementary school and he has experience with many different types of students. His graduate degree is in Psychology.

Peter is certified both in his home state of New York, and in New Jersey and spent 27 years teaching in the Bronx. Most recently, he has been working with students on the Spectrum, teaching reading, reading comprehension and writing.

A tennis enthusiast, and former tennis teacher, Peter spends his free time playing golf, bowling, and playing chess. Here he is on a private tour of the U.S. Open.

Check out Peter’s TutorUp Tutor Profile.

Meet Tutor Mary Rose

Meet Tutor Luis F.

Luis is one of our TutorUp tutors who works with seniors in high school, preparing them for college. He has years of experience helping students achieve their highest possible scores on the ACT and SAT tests for English, Reading, and Verbal. In addition, he tutors seniors in Economics, European History, World History, U.S. History, English, Reading, and Writing.

Currently living in New Jersey, Luis is certified to teach in his home state as well as in New York, Connecticut, and Pennsylvania.

Luis incorporates effective mentoring approaches to his tutoring that were acquired from his college years. His greatest challenges have been helping students with book reports, college essays, and research for advanced degrees. Luis has spent a decade in private tutoring and hopes to continue in this field. When Luis is not preoccupied with a lesson, he enjoys reading about history and technology.

Check out Luis’ TutorUp tutor profile.

Newsletter | August 2021

Newsletter | July 2021

Vacations, Day Trips – Have fun and learn something at the same time!

Harrell House Bug Museum

Need some great recommendations?

It’s July and you may still be thinking about a summer vacation with the kids. If you haven’t already got your summer plans all set, and you’d like to do something fun and educational, we’ve got some great ideas for you.
 
Whether you plan to pack up the RV and hit the road, or you want to drive/fly to a specific destination, these are some of our favorite spots that are fascinating for young and old travelers alike.
read more…


Thinking it’s too late for summer school?

Some schools have already launched their summer school programs, and if you didn’t get signed up, you may have missed the window of opportunity. And there’s also a good chance that the summer programs near you were filled up, and your child may be on a waiting list and has missed out.

If either of these scenarios apply to your student, you can still provide a learning experience that will have a positive impact on your student’s academic performance by signing up for some online tutoring this summer. Learning loss from COVID is evident across the country. Summer learning loss just compounds the problem. So to make sure your student gets an academic boost instead of an academic loss, dedicating a bit of summer vacation time to tutoring is a great idea.

read more…


Three ways to keep your child learning this summer with TutorUp:

Individual sessions

Packages with multiple sessions that never expire (more affordable)

Or a monthly subscription (our best pricing!)

Call 877-888-6787 for details!

Combine Fun and Learning on Vacation – Educational Vacation Ideas

Combine Fun and Learning on Vacation – Educational Vacation Ideas

It’s July and you may still be thinking about a summer vacation with the kids. If you haven’t already got your summer plans all set, and you’d like to do something fun and educational, we’ve got some great ideas for you.

Whether you plan to pack up the RV and hit the road, or you want to drive/fly to a specific destination, these are some of our favorite spots that are fascinating for young and old travelers alike.

Glen Rose, TX

Dinosaur Valley State Park in Glen Rose, Texas features actual footprints of the dinosaurs that once roamed the entire central Texas area. These are some of the best preserved dinosaur tracks in the world. In the riverbed, you can walk in the footprints left by Sauropods and three-toed Theropods. There’s a 70-foot tall Apatosaurus and a 45-foot tall Tyrannosaurus Rex to greet you at the entrance to the park. The area is home to many hiking and biking trails, great fishing spots, and multiple places to ride horses.

Nearby is the Fossil Rim Wildlife Center, which is an 1,800 acre endangered species research and conservation center. There are over 1,000 animals from 50+ species and you can tour the center in your car or in a guided tour jeep or safari vehicle. There’s a children’s animal center where kids can get hands on, and there’s an on-site café and Lodge, cabins, and a bunkhouse for those who want to stay overnight.

Waco, TX

Keeping with the dinosaur and fossil theme, about an hour away from Glen Rose is the Waco Mammoth National Monument. This National Park Service site is home to fossils of 24 Columbian mammoths and other mammals from the Pleistocene Epoch. This is the nation’s first and only recorded evidence of a nursery of ice age Columbian mammoths. While you’re there, be sure to visit the Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum and the Dr Pepper Museum.

Santa Fe, NM

Among the many amazing, educational, and fun places to visit in Santa Fe, you’ll find the Museum of International Folk Art which is home to the world’s largest collection of folk art. For a memorable side trip, families should visit the Taos Pueblo, built by Anasazi Indians over 1,000 years ago and still home to Puebloan people. This is one of the oldest continuously inhabited communities in the United States. Of course, you’ll have to make time to visit the Santa Fe Children’s Museum and the fascinating Harrell House Bug Museum.

Nashville, TN

Planning a trip to Music City? Be sure to visit the 42-foot replica of Athena at the Parthenon and learn a bit about Greek mythology and the early history of Nashville. You can also visit the Nashville Zoo which has recently opened a state-of-the-art animal hospital with a public viewing area so you can watch actual veterinary procedures. You can learn about the award-winning Fisk Jubilee Singers at the historically black Fisk University. The National Museum of African American Music is a new venue in Music City that just opened. Your visit to Nashville needs to include Belle Meade Plantation to learn about the history of horse breeding, and visit the historic Civil War battlefield at Franklin. Although this is a kid-friendly property, the Journey to Jubilee history of slavery which provides visitors with an understanding of what the times were like from the African-American viewpoint, is not recommended for kids under 12.

San Diego, CA

The world-famous San Diego Zoo is a great destination for the whole family, featuring 100 acres housing over 12,000 animals of more than 650 species. The Japanese Friendship Garden is a cultural center that educates, engages, and inspires people of diverse backgrounds about Japanese culture and community legacy. Old Town features 15 historic buildings, shops and a trolley tour. And older kids will be thrilled by a tour of Whaley House Museum, featured on the Travel Channel’s America’s Most Haunted.

Cooperstown, NY

Summer is baseball season, and the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown is a great spot to visit. Cooperstown also features the Fenimore Art Museum (former estate of author James Fenimore Cooper), free lawn concerts by the Glimmerglass Opera, a petting zoo at the Farmers Museum, and nearby lake Otesaga for swimming, boating, and picnicking.

For tons more educational places to visit this summer, check out these great lists: