Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Novel Prep Practice

Young writers need to start somewhere. Whether it is for a novel or a report or a research paper. Start with a Simple Sentence. Condense the idea into one sentence. What are you going to write about? (once sentence: go!)

Main Outline refers to novel writing. Who is the main character? What is their backstory? In what world, time, location does the story take place?  What is the biug problem/challenge/quest that the main character has to face? What trigger's them into action for this quest to solve the problem? What is the climax? What are all the loose ends you will need to tie up after? How should the story tentatively end?

All of this can change as you write! But this preparation helps get you started.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Fall Writing is HERE!!

September has arrived and school has started. Kickstart the learning with fun writing programs like our Young Writers Program that teaches Reading Comprehension, Vocabulary & Spelling, Grammar & Writing Conventions, and Novel Writing.

Children learn descriptive and persuasive writing skills, learn how to write dialog, and learn how to develop the plot for a story from start to finish. They will write their own short story from start to finish. They will edit this themselves and with peer editing.

Children also build confidence not just with a completed project as big as a story, but from the leadership roles they will take as they interview editors and artists and as a group choose an editor for the anthology they will publish and an artist to design the cover art. They follow this with learning about the publishing world and seeing their stories come together in a final published anthology. Then they investigate locations and decide on a place (making the arrangements themselves with guidance) for their very own Book Launch. They will be coached on how to greet people, how to host, how to introduce colleagues, how to engage their audience and read a selection from their story at this book launch.

This is a TRANSFORMATIVE experience for all students aged 10-17, even for adults who wish to do this program. Students with learning difficulties like Dyslexia and mild ADHD show MARKED improvement in language and learning, focus and concentration, and especially self-confidence.

Contact us if you are interested in this.

Or join us for NaNoWriMo!

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Summer and Beyond!

We are well into summer. Are you ready? It is important to have your child evaluated early so you know what their strengths are and what they are struggling with or what they need to improve on over the summer.

We host evaluation exams and specialize in English Language Arts: improving grammar, vocabulary, reading and writing in English.

Our best program is the Young Writers Program which applies all our tutoring knowledge but with the focus of teaching children and teens to write a story from the planning phase to the editing phase (skills they can use in any field of study). The end result is publication in an anthology, learning the publishing process and marketing themselves as they host their own book launch! Life skills that stay with them forever.

Let us know what interest you. or what your needs are.

Exam practice and evaluation:
$100 (by appointment)

English Summer Program:
$50/ half-day (3-hrs 9am-12pm or 1-4pm)
4 days per week (Monday thru Thursday)
2 week sessions:
- July 3-13
- July 17-27
- July 31 - August 10
- August 14-24

Young Writers Program $200/m September through May
* December is free for open writing practice
* June is free presentation practice and book launch

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Teaching Through Genres

If you missed our Facebook post, we have posted it here to help inspire you.

Looking for new ways to encourage reading and writing? Try tapping into a fun theme. Star Wars. Harry Potter. Marvel Super Heroes. Look for events around town that are part of your child's/teen's favorite genre.

Example: Maplestone Academy is a Harry Potter themed event that happens once a month for a year where your child could immerse themselves in the world of Harry Potter for that one day each month. There they will be challenged to problem-solve, learn bits of creative science, practice their reading and writing and comprehension... all within the setting of something totally fun!

Example: Montreal ComicCon is a huge science fiction/comic.fantasy convention that happens in July. Get your child/teen involved but reading about their favorite characters, learning how to cosplay, meeting actors, artists and writers in person! What a great way to inspire young learners!

Thursday, January 5, 2017

New Year Plan

We hope the holidays were good for everyone. We are preparing for summer, already! Report cards should be coming in very soon. Tutoring is available.

In the Summer, you can expect the exam evaluations to be available once more, as well as a summer writing program in English. Writing and grammar exercises with fun and exciting themes explored through innovative methods to inspire your child and improve their writing.

Young Writer's Program will be gearing up as well for a new round. 

Contact us for more information.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Things to do over the Holidays

As the holidays approach, parents often wonder what to do. How do they occupy their children on holiday? How do they keep their children strong academically without losing the momentum of the first half of the year? Here is some advice for literacy and writing:

Those movies they LOVE? Those movies all have books with MORE details, all the missing secrets that the movie-makers could not squeeze in. Can your child FIND those hidden moments? Read with them to do so.

If they like the computer, look for forums or writing groups. There are many places where they can post things they write and get quick feedback, interest, and comments. Let them write in their fandom, explore things they would never get to in class.

You could also easily have them start their own blog. Blogs are a great outlet for so many things, and they can write whatever they please on their own blog. ( or though this one you must monitor or help them set up)

Check out your local library. They often have age-appropriate programs.

Or volunteer at either an seniors' residence or the children's hospital where your child can read out loud to a patient or several. This form of practice is also a way to build both community and character.

Have a wonderful and happy holidays.

Friday, October 21, 2016

The Importance of Reading with Children, and What to do if they Struggle

When most of us parents think about reading with our child, we generally think it is an activity reserved for their younger years. Over time, we give them more and more autonomy to read, or not, as they prefer, and to do so alone. The difficulty with this mentality is that leaving it up to them can sometimes mean that it doesn’t happen at all, even for the purposes of doing homework.

Continuing to read with your child has many proven benefits, among them: an improved imagination, a stronger vocabulary, and better writing skills as they get ideas for stories of their own. By taking turns reading with your child you also improve their reading comprehension, and can pause to discuss difficult or more mature topics that come up. These discussions, and reflecting on the choices that the characters in the stories make also aid in developing a child’s critical thinking skills (would they have chosen differently? What would happen if they did X instead of Y?).  Finally, continuing to read with your child deepens the bond between you, and gives you special time daily to check in with one another and connect. 

But what happens when an older child struggles with reading? Their grades will suffer, they will lose their self-confidence, and they will often also distance themselves from those who are best suited to help them: their parents. Children with reading problems will instead develop counterproductive coping strategies, such as relying on the context of what they can hear friends and classmates discussing, and drawing their conclusions from that, rather than being able to do the work on their own.

Correcting the issue takes a great deal of patience, and time, from both parent and child. Rather than losing tempers, parents need to show over and over, that they are still on their child’s side, like a coach cheering on their successes, no matter how small. At the same time, parents need to be careful about patronizing the child, and not giving them reading material that is too simple or babyish. A great solution we’ve found is to introduce them to graphic novels. There is a visual element they can follow, but the words are just as important, and the excitement will keep them interested in reading more. Another great trick is to pick books on topics that already interest them. Think of what hobbies or sports they might already really like, and ask a librarian for a suggestion based on that. 

Here are a few other great ideas of how to encourage a child with developing their reading skills:
  • Limit reading time to 15 minutes.
  • If reading together is chaotic in your house, do it in a cafĂ©, or in a park. If that doesn’t help, try reading just before bed.
  • When preparing to read aloud, talk about the book beforehand to get your child interested in it.
  • Try ‘echo reading': read a sentence, paragraph or page aloud, and then get your child to read it.
  • Praise the reading, not the reader. ("I liked how you read on to find more information." Or “I like how you expressed that character’s emotions with your tone of voice.”)
  • Take opportunities to let your child order from menus, read recipe books or select from the TV guide.
  • Take time to play word games such as Scrabble or Pictionary.
  • No matter their age, read to them regularly.