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Archive for July, 2011

Year 13 – what to do with your summer

Wednesday, July 27th, 2011

If you are in Year 13 (Upper Sixth) then this is a great time for you – your A Level exams are over and you have a few weeks ahead where you can relax before your exam results come in and you get a job or go off to university.  Because it’s been such a hectic few months you might not have thought about what you’ll do over the summer (and we know there are a fair few of you who’d like to do absolutely nothing!). But by now you may have had a few weeks to chill out and be looking around for something to do.

This might be your last chance, at least for a while, to fill your time with some interesting and career enhancing activities. Before you know it you’ll be in the world of work or finding your way at university. Here are just a few suggestions to fill your time over the next few weeks.

1.      Work experience

If there’s one thing that employers say time and time again about choosing someone to work for them it’s that they want someone with experience. You can have all the qualifications in the world but even a few weeks experience in your chosen sector could make the difference between landing your dream job or walking away disappointed. It’s also a great chance to try out different jobs and turn your hand to a variety of jobs before you pick your ‘career’. Lots of companies would love to have someone enthusiastic and hardworking over the summer to help them out. It’s fairly straightforward to get some work experience – just think about the kind of companies you want to work for – and then drop them an email, call them or go and see them in person. It’s a good idea to get a basic CV together and be ready to answer questions about why you want to do work experience at that company. If you don’t have a career or specific company in mind then doing any kind of work will give you valuable skills in timekeeping, responsibility and self-motivation.

2.      Take a day trip to Uni

If you are going to Uni in September then you’ve probably already visited your University – but how long did you spend there? A few hours? How about jumping on a train with a few mates and really starting to get to know the place you’ll spend the next 3 or so years. It can give you a real head start before your course begins and give you vital information like where the supermarkets are!

3.      Volunteer

At 121 Home Tutors we happen to think volunteering is one of the most rewarding and enriching things you can do with your time. There are hundreds of volunteering opportunities in the UK and abroad – and there’s something to suit everyone – from building schools in Africa, to fundraising to helping out at events. You can find information here

4.      Learn a new skill

Chances are you’ve been so busy the last few months you’ve had no time to just concentrate on you and what you like. When was the last time you learnt something that you really enjoyed? The holidays are the perfect time to join a club or class and develop or polish up a skill – from Zumba to learning French – check out Plings for classes, events and things to do.  There’s always the option to work one to one with a specialised tutor.

5.      Travel

If you’ve done A Levels languages what will you do with them now? How about taking those skills and enjoying everything that another country has to offer? Check out options like Interail and turn your holiday into an adventure.

If you’d like to know more about learning a new skill over the summer then contact us at 121 Home Tutors – we offer one to one language tuition including French and Spanish across Manchester and  Cheshire.

Exams are over (for now!)

Thursday, July 14th, 2011

The exam season is finally over and it’s time for teens to take a well-earned rest. But then they have six (or more) long weeks stretching ahead of them and hours and hours of time to while away. The summer holidays are a great opportunity to catch up and/or work on areas where students might have struggled this academic year.

This is the perfect time for Year 9 students who are going into their GCSE years to work on subjects they’ve struggled with. If your child is in Year 9 and will start working towards their iGCSE (often in independent schools and perceived as harder than a traditional GCSE)  then summer tutoring can help them get a headstart.

And if your child is in Year 10 or 12 then they’ll be on their way to final GCSE and A Level exams in the next year – this is the summer that could make all the difference to how they enter one of the most important years of their life.  Summer catch ups and study aren’t just for those who’ve struggled a bit, it’s a chance for every student to get ahead or just make sure their brain doesn’t turn to mush in the space of six weeks.

It might seem daft to say that students can fall behind in such a short space of time – but in a month and a half (even longer for independent and boarding schools) the skills they’ve built up during the year can quickly disappear. It means they often start the year struggling to find their feet.  When we talk to parents and students we find the areas they most struggle with at the start of the year (after the long summer break) are modern languages (so French, Spanish etc), Maths and Science. It’s usually because these are the trickiest subjects for most students and all of these subjects combine using complex skills with learning a lot of knowledge. So for example they have to develop skills such as writing up experiments or solving equations alongside taking in knowledge of names of compounds or lists of vocabulary and noun formations. So how can we help them stay on top without destroying all the fun of the summer holidays?

The secret is to find fun ways of engaging the brain without making it feel like learning.

  • If your child is learning a language, maybe French or Spanish, then visit the country for a trip or holiday. Encourage them to use the language but also know that just being around it will utlise their skills (such as reading and comprehension).
  • Visit museums and exhibitions – places like MOSI (The Museum of Science and Industry in Manchester) aren’t just for young children. There’s stuff for children of all ages (and even better it will entertain them for a whole day).
  • Keep them reading – encourage them to read their favourite books, invest in some new reading material and if they are willing get them to cast an eye over their textbooks.
  • Use the resources you have for educational purposes – yes they are probably already permanently glued to the television or internet, so encourage them to find programmes relevant to their study (Braniac for Science for example).
  • Think about using a private tutor – tutors don’t have to teach in a classroom style and an hour or two a week could be just what your child needs to go into the next year brimming with confidence.

If you live in Greater Manchester Cheshire and you’d like to find out more about how summer holiday tutoring can help your child –in tricky subjects like Maths, Science and modern languages –get in touch with 121 Home Tutors.

Do I really need a tutor for my primary-aged child?

Friday, July 8th, 2011

This month we’re exploring tutoring for primary school children. The idea of tutoring very young children makes some people nervous – to them it smacks of hot-housing and they’d prefer to keep their children as children. We absolutely agree that kids should enjoy their childhood. But we also hear from parents how trouble at school and falling behind can dramatically affect their child’s confidence and impact across all their subjects (even when they only struggle in one). At 121 Home Tutors we work with children of all ages – from the first few years at primary right up to A Level and University and we know early intervention can make the difference between a child who loves school and one who you have to drag out of bed every day.

So what kind of tutoring can we offer to primary school children?

  • Primary tutoring in literacy and numeracy (across Manchester and Cheshire including Knutsford and Macclesfield)
  • Primary tutoring in mental maths (across Manchester and Cheshire including Knutsford and Macclesfield)
  • Primary English tutoring (across Manchester and Cheshire including Knutsford and Macclesfield)
  • Primary Maths tutoring  (across Manchester and Cheshire including Knutsford and Macclesfield)
  • 11+ (Eleven plus) tutoring (across Manchester and Cheshire including Knutsford and Macclesfield)

Why would you consider private tutoring for your primary school child?

1.      You want to get them into a selective state/grammar school with an 11+/entrance test.

2.      Your child needs individual support in a specific area.

3.      Your child has needs (such as learning difficulties) and their learning would benefit from the support of a private tutor.

4.      Your child is one of the youngest in the year and seems to be struggling.

5.      Your child isn’t responding to teaching methods in a big class, even though you know they are capable.

6.      Your child lacks confidence in a subject.

7.      You’d like to educate your child at home and need some support.

8.      Your child is ‘acting out’ about school/they seem unhappy at school.

9.      You want to enhance your child’s experience at school.

10.  Your child is bored or not challenged enough at school.

If you’d like to know more about primary school private tutoring and tuition in subjects including English and Maths then contact 121 Home Tutors. We have primary level tutors across Manchester and Cheshire (including Knutsford and Macclesfield).