Frontal Lobes and Other Challenging Topics

August 5th, 2017

“Smart But Scattered”

“The Explosive Child”

“Late, Lost, and Unprepared”

Confused by all the messages about how to best cultivate study habits in your teen or tween? Feeling at a loss about how to communicate with your frontal-lobe-challenged kid?

It’s hard to know which advice to follow. One piece we can tell you works almost 100% of the time: academic coaching or tutoring from someone other than you.

You don’t need to be a neuroscientist to know your teen struggles with, well, everything – and you bear the brunt of it as a caregiver. With the onslaught of hormones, and the prefrontal cortex developing at a glacial rate, your child’s executive functioning becomes almost non-existent. Planning, organizing, initiating, sustaining attention, regulating emotions, persisting, and self-reflecting – it might feel like your kid will never learn how to do any of these things.

Which is why delegating the academic piece to a tutor can mean the difference between rational, peaceful dinners, and dramatic shouting matches at home. It can reduce some of the tension and help students feel better about their academic selves, and also help you feel better about yourself as a parent.

Here at Classroom Matters, we know how important the fit is, so we take great care to match students with the right tutor. There is a strong mentoring component to tutoring –  let’s face it, no one wants to learn from someone they don’t like/respect. We also stress the importance of building executive function skills. In session, tutors teach and practice time management strategies, organization, note taking, test preparation, self-advocacy (how to get along with your teachers), and how to find motivation when it’s lacking. It’s not magic fairy dust. It’s slow, and sometimes painful. But the end result is students who are prepared to succeed in school and in life, and who possess the self-confidence to tackle their challenges and fulfill their dreams.

Which leaves you to do the same in your own life.

 

Taking Time to Reconnect Over the Summer

June 6th, 2016

“Children need the freedom and time to play. Play is not a luxury. Play is a necessity.” — Kay Redfield Jamison

“If there were no schools to take the children away from home part of the time, the insane asylums would be filled with [parents].” ~Edgar W. Howe

“If there were no summer vacations to take the children away from school for a few months, the insane asylums would be filled with teachers.” ~Tatiana Guerreiro Ramos

  • Go to the beach – even if it’s overcast and you have to bundle up just to sit by the shore – the family that shivers together stays together!
  • Volunteer – find something your child is interested in and do something as a family
  • Play in the rain
  • Reconnect with nature – go ahead, be a treehugger!
  • Have a family game night, once a week – just not with Cards Against Humanity
  • Do a family movie night – check out commonsensemedia.org to make sure you aren’t about to screen anything inappropriate
  • Build a fort indoors or out – even if the kids protest!
  • Bake cookies and have a lemonade stand
  • Stage a scavenger hunt
  • Make a photo album or a Family Summer journal
  • Have a tricycle race at the park – include yourself!
  • Investigate an ethnic grocery store and make lunch using interesting spices and kid-friendly international recipes
  • Visit a fire station
  • Collect rocks and paint them to use as paperweights or pet rocks
  • Go roller skating / roller blading – be safe!
  • Visit a zoo or aquarium to learn about animals
  • Run through the sprinklers – naked!

Have fun and read read read read read!!!