5 Really Good After-School Activities for Elementary Students (Perfect for at Home)

It’s difficult to keep your child engaged after school. We get it.

As a parent, you can easily worry about your child’s future because you dream they’ll become the person they’ve always meant to be. 

To help that dream become a reality, try some of these super-effective after-school activities you can do at home so they stay engaged and learn new skills: 

  • Enroll Them in an Academic Enrichment Class
  • Try LEGO Robotics
  • Play One of Their Games
  • Learn a New Skill Together
  • Read Together

The elementary years are critical to a child’s future success, so keeping your little one engaged with an active mind after school is key. 

Continue reading to learn more about some after-school activities you can do at home with your child. 

1. Enroll Them in an Academic Enrichment Class

Academic enrichment classes are not your standard after-school activity or tutor. 

It’s a great way for your child to stay engaged and excel in a subject they already love like robotics, math, English, writing, and more. These classes are creative and structured a little differently than your normal class.

Most academic enrichment classes are taught online or in-person by certified coaches who have years of experience in modern teaching methods. The course material and topics are modified to enrich each aspect of learning. 

Top academic enrichment classes for elementary students: 

  • Creative Reading & Writing
  • Journalism & Marketing Storytelling
  • Critical Math
  • Joy of Problem Solving
  • Coding
  • LEGO Robotics

After-school enrichment classes are meant to supplement what’s lacking in the current education system today.

Why do students need supplemental classes? 

K-12 students don’t often learn strong study skills like problem-solving, decision making, or goal-setting in class. That’s why academic enrichment classes are so important: They enrich a child’s learning experience with new ways to use their brain.

These enrichment classes are effective because they are hands-on and small: typically 4-7 students total in each class. This gives students and the coach time to learn from each other and progress to meet goals. 

At Excellerate Learning Studio, we offer online and in-person academic enrichment classes for K-12. Students will work with a live coach to improve on study skills in any subject to increase their grades and test scores. 

As the child progresses, we’ll build a custom learning roadmap to outline where your child could be heading towards and what classes they should be taking in order to complete future goals. 

View information about our classes here. Or search for “academic enrichment classes” in your city.

2. LEGO® Robotics Classes

We’ve written about the benefits of LEGO® Robotics classes before, but know that kids LOVE these types of classes. 

Robotics and STEM-related classes are always engaging and propel the mind, and LEGO® Robotics classes are no different.

Our LEGO® Robotics classes use the SPIKE Prime System, LEGO’s robotic brain, along with accessories. With this hardware and the computer technology to program the bot, your child will turn their creations into walking, moving machines. 

The common LEGO® Robotics classes are after-school and run 50 minutes in length across 32 weeks (a semester long). The average price is per semester, sitting at around an average of $1,500. 

Click here to take a look at our LEGO® Robotics classes or read more about the robotics program here.  

3. Play One of Their Games

Your child wants to spend time with Mom and Dad, simply put. 

That’s why you should spend time doing something they love and enjoy; you should play some of their video or board games! 

If your child likes Minecraft, try spending some time playing that after school together. If they like Dance Dance Revolution, get up and dance with them. Whatever it takes, do something with them.

Sometimes a break from academic life will engage your child’s brain even more and give them a sense of affirming. 

Nothing helps a child feel more supported and affirmed than spending time with their parents! 

4. Learn a New Skill Together (Or Teach One)

Some parents may not think of themselves as teachers, and that’s okay! Teaching your child about something you know can be very rewarding and keep them engaged in their education. 

If you can’t teach them something you already know, learn a new skill together. Learn something that will challenge you both so you can keep each other engaged. 

Some fun skills you can learn together: 

  • Fishing or hunting
  • Chess strategy
  • LEGO robotics
  • Building a homestead
  • Surviving outdoors
  • The process of building a home
  • The history of a certain culture
  • How to make a bracelet
  • How to dance
  • Learn a musical instrument
  • Study aviation & flight

Whatever it is, learn something with your child and have fun. It will stimulate both your minds and to get you away from phones! Not to mention great memories will come from it.

5. Read Together

As a parent, did you know you can bring books to life? 

Reading out loud with your child is one of the best ways for them to learn more about themselves and the world around them. It brings them more awareness of things they wouldn’t be exposed to outside of their independent reading schedule. 

Theres something about a parent’s touch and voice that comforts a child to make learning fun and fascinating. 

Here are some good books to read as a family:

  • The Penderwicks by Jeanne Birdsall- A fun summer adventure read.
  • The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings by J.R. R. Tolkien- Fantasy and adventure with a little bit of magic – something for everyone.
  • Pollyanna by Eleanor H. Porter- A book about the power of positivity and never giving up. 
  • The Chronicles of Narnia (series) by C.S. Lewis- Enjoy the magical land of Narnia as you read this classic book to your child or children!
  • Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt- A timeless story
  • The Giver (series) by Lois Lowry- Whether you’re old or young, this series is perfect for everyone to enjoy

Try reading a book on a topic or subject that excites your child. Maybe it’s sci-fi like Star Wars or a specific time in history. Really any reading time with your child is a wonderful way to spend time together.

The Benefits of After-School Learning For Kids

Good after-school activities can fill the aimless hours after school with a refreshed mental state. 

Here are five benefits of after-school learning for elementary school kids.

1. Better Social & Emotional Skills

When attending after-school programs, classes, or activities, kids are encouraged to join games, form new friendships, and start conversations, which help develop good social and emotional skills. 

Many of these programs can also help create a sense of belonging. Any after-school atmosphere will challenge your student and expose them to how the world works. They can meet new friends and try new things.

2. Homework Help

Many afterschool programs or classes have homework help. And if you sign your child up for one of our online academic enrichment classes, their education will be nurtured and new skills will be developed. 

This option is excellent for children who struggle with homework or need an adult to make them do it on time. By making the kids do their homework right after school, we teach them responsibility and help them form good learning habits. Statistics say that 68% of children who go to after-school classes or tutoring improve their homework completion and become more active in class.

3. Learning Can Become Fun Again

After-school programs offer a different approach to learning. Children can relax a little more and work in groups or with the family. They can focus on the topics they enjoy the most like STEM, the arts, writing, or music. 

After attending some sort of after-school activity, around 60% of children behave better in the classroom, and 1 in 2 students improves their math and reading skills. In general, students become excited about learning, improve their attendance, and have higher graduation rates.

Final Thoughts: Online Academic Enrichment Classes

After-school learning will have a positive impact on elementary school kids. 

One of the best after-school activities is signing your child up for academic enrichment classes. It takes the pressure off of you while providing your child with a fun and personalized learning experience. 

Check out our list of online academic enrichment programs by clicking here. You can be anywhere in the United States and take classes with us.

Our students are trained by kind and experienced certified coaches and professors that guarantee grade and test score improvements. 

Enroll your child today, start your free trial, or call us with any questions at 312-820-4578.

Is After-School Tutoring Effective? A Breakdown of Tutoring for Kids (K-12)

Is after-school tutoring a good option for your child? What if they are already doing well in school? Should you still consider it?  

Yes, after-school tutoring programs are effective for most students. Students typically see an 18-30% increase in score percentiles after completing a full semester with a group or 1-on-1 tutors.  

The right after-school tutoring program can motivate and increase your child’s confidence and will-power exponentially, but it has to be the right fit.  

If you are curious about after-school tutoring programs for your child, we’ll give you an overview of how it works, what it costs, the benefits, and what your options are.

At Excellerate Learning Studio, we offer online private or group tutoring for K-12 students. Our certified coaches and professors teach math, creative writing, coding, robotics, and more.

Click here to view our online tutoring services.

How Effective Is After-School Tutoring?

As educators, we’ve seen incredible success and grade improvements from our students who have enrolled in our online group and private tutoring. 

We pulled some data from our online Math and English tutoring classes to see how well our students have performed. See the table below.

Math Percentile Increases

Student Tutoring Type Starting Percentile Ending Percentile Difference
#1 Group Classes (Online) 50 80 30
#2 Group Classes (Online) 58 93 35
#3 Group Classes (Online) 79 99 20
#4 Group Classes (Online) 53 75 22
#5 Group Classes (Online) 94 99 5
#6 Group Classes (Online) 65 82 17
#7 Group Classes (Online) 87 93 6
#8 1:1 Classes (Online) 66 72 6
#9 1:1 Classes (Online) 66 79 22

English Percentile Increases

Student Tutoring Type Starting Percentile Ending Percentile Difference
#2 Group Classes (Online) 19 56 37
#6 Group Classes (Online) 52 64 12
#7 Group Classes (Online) 88 91 3
#8 1:1 Classes (Online) 77 69 -8

From the data presented, you can see our students start out in a specific percentile (a score that indicates where the student stands in comparison to other students). Then, you can see where they scored after the semester was over. 

For example, Student #1 started in the 50th percentile in Math (50% percent of the class scored lower than them, and 50% scored higher than them). Not that impressive.

But after a semester of online group tutoring, they scored in the 80th percentile. That’s a difference of 30% in just a couple of months! 

If you take all the student’s scores, you’ll see their scores rose an average of 18-30%. This is big stuff! 

The College Press created an infographic that outlines the top benefits of the effectiveness of tutoring on academic improvement. Below are some of the top stats from them and other sources. 

Top Tutoring Stats: 

  • 8 out of 10 improved their test scores after going through tutoring (College Press). 
  • Human tutoring results in 35% higher test scores and software-based tutoring (College Press).
  • Tutoring may be an effective way to help students improve their academic skills, stay in school, and/or graduate from high school (U.S Department of Education).
  • Students who were tutored did 60% better on tests after strategic tutoring (Diversity Project).
  • Math tutoring improves scores by an average of 4-6 percentage points (College Press).

The effectiveness of after-school tutoring depends on various factors, such as:

  • The child’s overall interest in the subjects
  • The child’s motivation
  • The parents’ availability to help
  • The tutor’s skills and experience

The most important factors usually boil down to the tutor themselves and whether they can build a good enough relationship with their student to inspire academic success.

Is Online Tutoring Effective Too?

Yes, online tutoring can be just as effective as in-person tutoring. Students typically are more comfortable at home, and the sessions can be recorded for future reference. However, online tutoring does have its drawbacks. 

COVID-19 paved the way for a new era of online learning and working for the whole family. This comes with pros and cons. 

Pros of Online Tutoring:

  1. Super convenient
  2. Better choice of tutors
  3. Organized resources
  4. More comfortable being at home
  5. Lectures can be recorded

Cons of Online Tutoring:

  1. Little or no face-to-face interaction
  2. Possibility of a bigger workload and a lack of confidence in technology can lead to further inequality
  3. Intense requirement for self-discipline
  4. Even more intense requirement for self-direction

At Excellerate Learning Studio, we offer affordable online private and group coaching sessions for K-12 students. We teach strong learning skills and habits not taught in our education system today. Each parent receives a custom roadmap tailored to their student’s specific needs that are proven to get results.

View our online coaching services by clicking here. 

Why Is After-School Tutoring For Kids Important?

Tutoring can also help your child improve their attitude and motivation. A good tutor can act as a true friend who encourages your child to stay focused and make progress. It’s hard for teachers and even parents to step into this “friend role” because children often view parents and teachers as authority figures, which makes it harder for true motivation to occur within the child.  

Top Reasons Why a Tutor is Important for Kids:

  1. Improves their weaknesses (the areas they struggle with) 
  2. Boosts subjects they already do well in
  3. Helps with confidence & motivation 
  4. Builds critical thinking skills
  5. Establishes a good study routine
  6. Increases test scores

Tutoring Is Beneficial for “Gifted” Kids Too

If your student is gifted (they can perform at higher levels than other students), should tutoring be off the table? 

Most students are gifted in one or two subjects, but not all. Gifted students struggle in class and with learning. Tutoring can help gifted students balance out any weak areas and build confidence in the subjects that might not be their favorite.

Cognitive, problem-solving, note-taking, and time-management skills are all areas in which most gifted students still need support.

At Excellerate Learning Studio, we offer online and in-person group tutoring sessions for K-12 students. Math, creative writing, coding, literacy, and creative projects are what we teach.

Students who enroll in our online after-school tutoring program with our certified coaches see huge test score improvements! Click here to learn about our services.

How Much Does Academic Tutoring Cost? 

Academic tutoring typically costs between $10 and $125 per hour. Private 1-on-1 tutors are more expensive, while group tutors are more affordable. Prices also vary depending on location, academic level, and tutoring experience. 

We put together a table that outlines private tutor rates per grade, along with what you can expect to pay for their experience level and age. 

Tutoring Rates Per Hour Elementary School

Experience Level Rates per hour
Low

Graduated high school top of the class. 1-3 years of experience.

$10-$25
High

ESL certified.

Bachelor’s degree. 

10-20 years of experience. 

$20-$45

Tutoring Rates Per Hour Middle School

Experience Level Rates per hour
Low

Part-time teacher.

3-6 years of experience.

$15-$30
High

Ph.d. holder. 

Bachelor’s degree. 

13-25 years of experience. 

$30-$48

Tutoring Rates Per Hour High School

Experience Level Rates per hour
Low

Part-time teacher.

5-13 years of experience.

$25-$50
High

Master’s degree. 

13-25 years of experience. 

$45-$125

 

Rates pulled from Thumbtack, Superprof, and Care

How Do You Find a Good Private Tutor? Our Best Tips.

Not all tutors are the same, so it’s important to proceed with caution when choosing a tutor for your child. 

We have compiled a list of qualifications you should look for in academic tutors.

Qualifications For Academic Tutors

  • Educational background
  • Good reference
  • Ability to relate to students (age-appropriate approach)
  • Professionalism (being on time, timely communication, consistency, etc.)
  • Being able to accommodate the student’s learning style and needs
  • Consistent training and professional development

We even recommend setting up a meeting with the tutor before hiring them to get a better understanding of who they are and if they will be a good fit for your child.

What Does Academic Tutoring Look Like? (Grades 1st-8th)

There are differences in academic tutoring per grade level. As your student gets into more in-depth studies, tutoring can be more complex and focused. 

Academic tutoring for an elementary student usually consists of covering a range of general subjects. Within those, the tutor will tackle various topics and ideas. 

1st Grade

  • Language: Reading with understanding, learning how to generate and organize ideas to form sentences, and communicating opinions orally. 
  • Math: Learning mental arithmetic, addition, and subtraction, as well as learning about geometric figures and pictographs.

2nd Grade

  • Language: Reading with clear comprehension in order to answer questions about the texts, using complete sentences, and giving shorter oral presentations to improve public speaking.
  • Math: Introduction to more advanced concepts, such as area and perimeter, bar graphs, and multiplication. The things the children learn in grade 1 are expanded. For example, they learn how to order whole numbers to 100 now, whereas, in grade 1, they knew how to order them to 50.

3rd Grade

  • Language: Fluent reading, learning how to take part in group discussions, researching topics and presenting them, and using complete sentences to now form paragraphs.
  • Math: New advanced concepts, such as distance, mass, and volume, identifying patterns in number sequences, ordering whole numbers to 1000, and learning about how minutes, hours, days, months, and years are all connected.

4th Grade

  • Language: Improving speaking skills, proofreading their own work by learning the right techniques for it, and learning how to summarize passages of various texts.
  • Math: Introduction to percentages, decimals, and fractions, long division, learning about all sorts of graphs, ordering numbers to 10,000, and learning more about time (telling time to the nearest second and how years relate to decades and centuries).
  • Science: Learning about the influence of humans on the environment, the properties of light and sound and how they travel, and rocks and minerals, among other things.

5th Grade

  • Language: Writing essays, reading books and writing reports on them, giving presentations using visual aids, and peer proofreading/correcting work.
  • Math: Ordering numbers up to 100,000, adding and subtracting decimals, learning to do simple equations, investigating probability (using fractions), and measuring temperature, perimeter, area, and volume.
  • Science: Learning about technological advances, the human body and its systems, physical vs. chemical matter, sources of energy, energy use, and how to conserve it (alongside other resources).

Starting with 6th grade, most junior high or middle schools divide students into accelerated math, language, or both based on their school grade and assessment tests.

We have included a breakdown of what is covered in tutoring from a general standpoint for grades 6th-8th below. 

6th Grade

  • Language: Analyzing poetry and writing short stories, discussing select passages after identifying them correctly, and speaking fluently and clearly for class presentations. 
  • Math: Multiplication and division of decimals, ordering numbers to 1,000,000, solving linear equations (simpler ones), learning about the order of operations, angles, and how to measure them. The student should also learn about finding the mean, median, and mode in a list of numbers, as well as how percentages, fractions, and decimals are all connected.
  • Science: Learning about biodiversity and all sorts of organisms (as well as classifying them correctly), electricity (static and current), the Solar system, and space exploration in our history.

7th Grade

  • Language: Reading texts with meaning and finding comparisons and connections, learning how to write multiple paragraphs by clearly organizing ideas and adjusting their flow, independent revisions, and learning about literary devices.
  • Math: Expanding knowledge acquired in other grades, learning more about ratios and proportional relationships, geometry, statistics, and probability. 
  • Science: Learning about matter and its physical characteristics, pure substances and mixtures, heat, and how matter transforms into different states.

8th Grade

  • Language: Learning how to analyze writing techniques, how authors convey meaning through different text presentations, how to determine the meaning of an unknown word, and writing all sorts of texts, including reports, short stories, and poems.
  • Math: Learning about the general formula of an arithmetic sequence, the Pythagorean Theorem, how to evaluate an expression by using order of operations and the distributive property, solving word problems with proportions and ratios, and learning about experimental and theoretical probabilities. 
  • Science: Learning about hazardous materials and how to handle them safely, diffusion and osmosis, and organelles in both animal and human cells. The student should also get familiar with the periodic table of elements and other physical science topics, like machines. They will also learn how elements and compounds react to form new compounds (albeit with different properties).

Does Your Child Need Tutoring? Here’s How to Find Out

Maybe you’re not sure if your child needs a tutor or not. We get it; it can be a big unknown. At times you’re excited about your child’s potential, and at other times you’re worried. 

We’ve listed some of the top signs your child might or might not need a tutor.  

Signs Your Child Needs a Tutor

Signs  Do They Need Tutoring (yes or no)?
No interest in learning (clear apathy toward school) Yes
Unable to pass a certain test (performance goal) Maybe
Disorganized without any clear study habits  Yes
No/low self-esteem in regard to homework and academic success Yes
No motivation to do homework or study Yes
Inability to transition well into another school or grade Yes
Needs help completing homework and keeping busy after-school No

No one knows your child better than you. It’s vital to pay close attention to their behavior and patterns to best determine your course of action. 

Top Skills Students Will Gain From After-School Tutoring

1. Self-Sufficiency

The skills the child has learned through their tutor should encourage self-directed learning. Through the various strategies the tutor implements throughout the process, the student should learn how to pace their learning.

2. Social and Emotional Learning Skills (SEL)

The more confidence the child gets through tutoring, the better their social skills will be. With a confidence boost, even a generally shy child may start to form more meaningful relationships with their peers. The child may become a better communicator, more motivated, and sure of their abilities after tutoring. 

3. Life and Study Skills

The tutor should be able to explain how time management works regarding the child’s studies. Perhaps even more important is the idea of teaching the student how to study smarter, not harder. Among other things, this includes:

  • Showing them why tackling the most difficult subject is beneficial. This should improve the effectiveness of the whole study session.
  • How setting a specific goal for a study session keeps them focused. Without a goal, there’s no direction.
  • Why it’s necessary to have a set studying routine, this helps them avoid procrastination and makes each session more productive since it’s a regular part of their schedule.

4. Critical Thinking

The student can certainly improve their critical thinking skills. They will slowly hone the ability to think in a rational, organized way by building a solid relationship and covering a range of topics in each class. As a result, connecting ideas, concepts, and topics should become their forte that will prove useful in school but also in life.

Summary

Struggling at school may just be a phase your child is going through, or it is a problem you need to face head-on. 

If there are some clear signs that they may need a tutor, parents shouldn’t hesitate to provide after-school tutoring as soon as possible. Not only will a tutor be able to recognize any weak points in the child’s education, but they will also give them the tools and strategies needed to thrive as they go through the grades. 

At Excellerate Learning Studio, we offer online and in-person group and private sessions for K-12 students that teach strong learning skills and habits not taught or used consistently in our education system today.

Each parent receives a custom roadmap tailored to their student’s specific needs that are proven to get results.

Learn more about our tutoring services here, or start your free trial with us here. Or, feel free to contact us directly with your question by phone at 312-820-4578 or by email at welcome@excellerate.studio.

How to Develop Study Habits in Your Child (The 4-Step Process that Gets Results)

It’s up to the parents to help develop proper study habits in their children that will be useful to them over the course of their academic life.

But how can parents develop good study habits in their children? 

First, identify any roadblocks or weaknesses that might be preventing a healthy study lifestyle for your child. Second, create consistency in the after-school routine with homework, reading, and study skills. Third, be present with them during their study time and not overbearing. Finally, set two to three goals with your child and evaluate the progress after a one-month period. 

We know it can be a battle to help your children with their studies, so we wrote this post explaining how you can help develop good study habits. Keep reading if you’re interested!

Overview:

  • How To Develop Good Study Habits in Your Elementary Student
  • How To Develop Good Study Habits in Your Middle Schooler 
  • Techniques To Improve Your Child’s Overall Study Habits
  • The 4 Step Process: Explained
  • Summary

How To Develop Good Study Habits in Your Elementary Student

Here are some simple ways to help your elementary student develop good study habits:

  • Get organized
  • Designate a study area
  • Develop a study plan
  • Teach growth mindset
  • Review test-taking strategies
  • Practice active listening
  • Reward good study behavior
  • Set goals with them each month

Elementary students can be easily distracted and have a hard time focusing on their schoolwork, especially when they are new to the school environment and have difficulty prioritizing work and play. Learning how to study well during this stage in life is crucial to the academic success of your child in the long run. 

This will take some work and dedication on your part. You’ll need to keep track of your child’s progress, encourage them, and also address their weaknesses. An example would be if you recognize that your child has trouble sitting down for a long time; consider carving out longer study sessions but with more frequent breaks.

Teaching your child to organize their study space and prioritize their tasks is equally important. In a proper, stimulating environment, your elementary schooler is sure to get more work done because there will be no distractions to divert their focus. If your child knows which tasks to tackle first, they’ll be far more effective in their work.

Remember to give your child a goal to work for. An example of this would be to tell them that they’ll be able to play video games or meet their friends if they do a specific amount of schoolwork in a specified time span. Rewards will give them something to strive for and ensure they work harder than usual.

How To Develop Good Study Habits in Your Middle School Student

Briefly, here are ways to help your middle school student develop good study habits:

  • Create your own study guide
  • Study cards
  • Stay organized
  • Dedicate a space in your binder/folder for each class
  • Use agenda books
  • Don’t procrastinate
  • Find a consistent study space

Middle schoolers may have more experience in school environments, but that doesn’t mean all of them have developed good study habits.

You need to identify what study-related problems your middle schooler is dealing with. If it’s a lack of organization, buy them a planner or teach them how to use an online calendar on the phone, encourage them to write down their responsibilities, and make lists. It might help them to see a visual representation of their work, and checking things off the list is usually satisfying.

If your child is struggling due to distractions, teach them to dedicate a specific time to nothing but studying. During this study hour, they’ll need to put away their phones, turn off any TVs or other sources of distraction, and focus solely on their schoolwork. 

It’s important to talk to your child and let them make decisions about their own studying. Middle schoolers are old enough to start recognizing their problems and finding out potential solutions. By letting them do that, you encourage them to actively work on their own study habits.

A List of Techniques To Improve Your Child’s Overall Study Habits

If you want a more specific and detailed list of techniques that will help your child develop good study habits, look no further. We’ve compiled some of the best ones, as well as their overall benefits.

Techniques Benefits
Create a designated study space Such an environment encourages studying and minimizes distractions.
Teach them how to keep a planner Your child will have a visual representation of their work and stay organized.
Help them break down their work into more digestible chunks Your child will have an easier time studying if their schoolwork isn’t overwhelming.
Teach them how to take notes Writing down what’s important in the material will help your child memorize it.
Encourage frequent but short breaks Breaks will re-energize your child.
Show your child that you’re willing to help They will have an easier time studying if they know there is someone to assist them.

The 4 Step Process: Explained

Developing good study habits in your child is not easy, and it will take time and dedication. Follow this 4 step process for developing good study habits in your child to guarantee results. 

  • Identify problems and weaknesses
  • Teach your child to set learning goals
  • Be present during their learning but don’t interfere
  • Evaluate learning with your child

Step 1: Identify Problems and Weaknesses

Before you start developing good study habits in your child, you need to ask yourself why they aren’t there in the first place. What exactly is preventing your child from studying and reaching their full potential? Is it the environment they work in, or do they lack some clear goal and the skills necessary to achieve it?

There could be several problems at play simultaneously, making this step more difficult, but if you can identify as many problems/weaknesses as you can, you can resolve them and reach your desired result.

Step 2: Teach Your Child to Set Learning Goals

Your child needs clear learning goals, or they will lack direction and motivation. They also need to understand that this step is the most important part of studying. The two of you can define their learning goals together, but as your child gets older, they should be able to do it by themselves.

The learning goal shouldn’t be too broad. For each study session, your child should have a specific, easily reachable goal. Studying math is simply too vague and undefined. Here are some examples of more appropriate goals.

  • Think positive and stay focused on homework
  • Do two pages of math homework
  • Read three chapters of a book at night
  • Study for two hours without any distractions each night
  • Learn five new words and how to spell them 

Step 3: Be Present During Their Learning But Don’t Interfere

The younger your child is, the more assistance they will require, but you should start letting them work alone as much as possible. Be there for any questions, or in case they get stuck but don’t hover over their head or interfere if they didn’t ask for it.

As your child grows older and becomes better at studying, your help won’t be as necessary as before. You should still be open to any questions and ready to assist when they ask you to, but there is no need to go further.

Step 4: Evaluate Learning With Your Child

Once the study session is over, it’s time for evaluation.

Things to look for and go over in the evaluation process include some of the following:

  • How much work did they complete?
  • How long did it take for them to complete their homework? 
  • Was the homework done correctly?
  • Do you believe they are comprehending the assignments well?
  • Are you noticing a lot of eraser marks? (this could indicate they struggled a lot on a certain area)  

At Excellerate, we have put together a Daily Success Plan for your child to fill out. It’s a great way for your child to visualize their progress and a great way for parents to keep track of the progress as well. 

You should encourage your child to think about their own studying habits and the improvements they could implement. The Daily Success Plan will help them become more independent and self-directed in their learning, which is the ultimate goal of every parent.

Summary

Developing proper study habits is perhaps the most important thing your child can do during their academic life. As long as they know how to study and understand what’s best for them, they’ll have little to no issues at any stage of their education.

It’s best to start working on good study habits as soon as your child starts school. You’ll save both yourself and your child a lot of trouble later.

LEGO® Robotics Classes in Glenview

Searching for lego robotics classes in North Chicago or the surrounding areas? 

Excellerate Learning Studio offers in-person LEGO® Robotics Classes made for 3rd-8th graders. It’s local, safe, and fun! 

To enroll your child or learn about pricing, click here. 

Continue reading to learn more about the program. 

What is a LEGO® Robotics Class?

A LEGO® Robotics class teaches STEM education and valuable life skills such as problem-solving, creative thinking, and communication. Classes are typically after-school and run 50 minutes in length across 32 weeks (a semester long). 

In the semester-long class, your child will use materials provided by LEGO® SPIKE PRIME (the new robotics system) which are Legos controlled by the PRIME brain. 

In Lego robotics classes, your child will use all the standard LEGO® pieces they are familiar with, but the magic happens when the “SPIKE PRIME System” is connected along with other attachments and accessories.

In each class, your child will learn how to design, build, and program a LEGO® robot and make their creations come to life in front of their eyes! There’s honestly no better way to expose your kid to the STEM field.

How Much Do LEGO® Robotics Classes Cost?

It depends what state you live in, but most in-person LEGO® robotics classes have a registration fee of $100 or more, along with a monthly fee of $175-$300. So you might be all in at $1,500 for the semester

Excellerate Learning Studio’s LEGO® Robotics Classes are an investment of $195 per month with a $100 registration fee, which is competitive for the greater Chicago, Glenview, and Lincolnshire areas. 

Click here to enroll your student in our LEGO® Robotics Classes located in North Chicago.

What Types of Classes are Offered in LEGO® Robotics?

There are typically three levels of LEGO® robotics classes you can enroll your kid in. The most common levels are Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced. 

The majority of classes are for beginners who have little to no experience with Legos or robotics. For those who have already participated in Beginner classes or have had previous exposure to the SPIKE PRIME system, the Advanced classes would be a better fit.  

We offer three levels of LEGO® Robotics Classes. Our three levels are: 

  1. Robot Trainer Lab (Beginner): For students who have never been exposed to LEGO® robotics.
  2. Robot Engineering Lab (Intermediate): For students who have been exposed to robotics in the past.
  3. Robot Design Lab (Advanced): For students who are ready to compete at high levels of competition.

Each class runs 32 weeks long and starts each Fall, Spring, or Summer. 

What is LEGO® Robotics & Coding?

Image source: https://youtu.be/l4DVDkybznU

LEGO® is well known in the educational toy sector for inventing their customizable building block system. Kids of all ages build structures, objects, and practically anything they want out of their block system. 

Lego’s goal with their building block system was to spark a love of design, building, and creativity for future professionals such as engineers and architects. And now, Lego has applied this thinking to the fields of robotics and coding through their LEGO® SPIKE PRIME partnership. 

One of the best things about LEGO® robotics and coding is that while each SPIKE PRIME kit allows users to create and code 5 different types of robots, there is a whole community springing up around the product to create new types of robots and designs. There are plenty of custom enhancements and new plans that can be created which challenge your child’s skills and imagination. 

For example, this dad built a race car out of the PRIME system and Legos. It’s super cool by itself, but it also drives! He built a motor system which controls the front wheel drive. Check out the video below to see how it works.


 

 

Top Benefits of LEGO® Robotics for Kids

Image source: https://www.lego.com/en-us/categories/coding-for-kids

If you’re curious about LEGO® robotics for your elementary student, there are so many benefits!

Hopefully we can convince you it’s worth the investment for your child. We’ve listed our top benefits below. 

It’s REALLY Stinking Fun. 

The number one benefit of enrolling your student in a LEGO® robotics class is that they are just so much fun! There are only a few children in the world who wouldn’t jump at the chance to design, build, and program their very own robot. 

Building with Legos is fun by itself, but turning creations into robots that can walk, talk, and think is even better! 

It Exposes Your Child to STEM. 

As a parent, you already know the value of teaching your kid STEM subjects. The more you expose your child to STEM-related fields, the better our world will be. And God knows we need more innovators and smart folks right now!

By investing in LEGO® robotics education now, you can give your child an opportunity to improve their future in terms of career choices and life paths. It’s not your job to force them into a future career, but it is your job to expose them to as many options as possible.

It Builds Life-Skills Necessary for Your Child’s Educational Success. 

You want your student to learn real-life cognitive skills like critical thinking, problem solving, and decision making, right? Then LEGO® robotics classes are your answer! 

Studies show that there is a significant increase in students’ critical thinking and social skills with robotic-based learning and the LEGO® system. This is primarily attributed to the “playful game environment,” according to Barbra Caci and the Department of Psychology at the University of Palermo.

This playful game environment works the child’s abstract and concrete thinking, as the robot can be pieced together in multiple ways. This also brings in if…then rules to help make decisions and solve problems. 

LEGO® robotics classes are also perfect for developing high-level communication and group working skills. Three to eight students are in each class, so your child will be motivated to share their point of view while also learning how to compromise with others. 

Your child’s creativity will excel too. They will be forced to find creative solutions to the problems that they encounter. Sometimes this means making mistakes, and other times it means hitting it right on the head. Either way, what they learn from the process will be pivotal to their growth.

Choose Excellerate’s Local, In-Person LEGO® Robotics Classes

At Excellerate Learning Studio, our in-depth LEGO® Robotics Classes run at two locations: Glenview, IL, and Lincolnshire, IL. 

At both locations, your child will use the Legos they’ve already come to know and love while combining it with the SPIKE PRIME system. 

We offer three classes: Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced. If your child is completely new, perfect, we can teach them! If they’ve already had experience, even better, we can teach them also!  

Classes last 32 weeks and run in 50-minute sessions. They are led by our expert coaches who are trained in robotics, coding, and educational systems.

Enroll your child in Glenview, IL, and Lincolnshire, IL. LEGO® Robotics Classes by clicking here.

Google Calendar for Families (A How-To Guide)

Google Calendar is one of the best free resources for busy families who want to get and stay organized.

For families, Google Calendar is mainly used for keeping track of routine weekly activities like chores, homework, and family events. Each member of the family can have their own account with access to manage and view the family calendar. 

If your goal is to keep your family organized this year, continue reading and we’ll teach you how to use Google Calendar for your family: like parents, kids, and even pets (if you’re into that).

What is Google Calendar?

Source: https://www.apptoto.com/integrations/google

Google Calendar is a free calendar app for your desktop and phone to keep track of and schedule daily, weekly, and monthly activities or tasks. You can schedule your whole life with this digital calendar and share your schedule with your family or friends. 

Google calendar is 100% free to use and works well with all the other Google apps like Drive and Google Meet. 

You can access Google Calendar through your smartphone, tablet, or computer device. Just search for the app on your phone’s app store or search for it in Google.

Is Google Calendar Good for Families?

Yes, Google Calendar is perfect for busy families who want to become organized. Each member of the family can have their own calendar and share it with others. Parents can also assign and remind their children of any events, chores, or assignments. 

Anyone on the family calendar can see, access, and edit the Google Calendar in case something is canceled or something last-minute comes up. 

Google Calendar for families works best if each person has a Google account. Then calendars can be shared with each other. If you don’t want each child to have their own calendar, we do have an alternative way of making it work. 

Most parents use a Google family Calendar for: 

  • Assigning chores
  • Setting reminders for homework assignments
  • Noting birthday parties
  • Noting after-school events
  • Scheduling fun family trips
  • Teaching time management and organizational skills

Google Calendar is a great tool for helping your child learn time management and organization. At Excellerate Learning Studio, we can not only teach these skills and principles to your child, but we can help you use tools like Google Calendar to enforce their training even after school is done.

Learn about our online academic enrichment classes by clicking here. 

How to Create a Google Account (Desktop)

Follow these steps below if you’re on a desktop.First, create a Google Account by heading to www.Google.com, then click the Sign In button in the top right-hand corner.

Second, click the Create an Account button. It will be below the email box.

Finally, once you have an account, navigate to the top right-hand corner, click the six squares icon, then click Google Calendar.

How to Create a Google Account (Phone)

Follow these steps below if you’re on a phone. 

First, head to the Google or Apple app store and search “Google Calendar.” Then click Download.

Second, sign in or Create an Account.

How Do You Create a Family Calendar on Google? 

It works best if each parent and children have a Google account. However, there is an alternative and easier way if you don’t want to go through that hassle.

Once you, the parent, have created an account in Google, you’ll have a blank canvas on your account. But let’s change that!

Step 1: Create a New Event

On the parent’s account, create a new event. It doesn’t matter what you call it, just go ahead and create a test event by clicking anywhere on a date or by clicking the +Create button. For this example, we will call this event “BBQ.” 

Step 2: Add Event Details

Select the date, time, and location of the event.

You can also repeat this event if you’d like. Just click the Does Not Repeat section to customize. Then click Save.

Make sure to also set reminders as well. 

Step 3: Add New “Child Calendars” (Optional)

If you don’t want each child to have their own Google account, here’s where you can add different “Child Calendars.”

This works best if you, the parent, have one Google account and it’s a shared calendar you have on a home desktop device. Each child will have their own color and be able to access the one calendar. These “calendars” act almost like tags. 

For example: a 🔵 blue calendar is for Jack and a 🔴 red calendar is for Jillian. First head to the Settings tab near the top right-hand corner.

Then, find the Create New Calendar tab on the left side. Input your child’s name.

Finally, click Create Calendar.

You’ll notice now that you have two new calendars/tags added: Jack and Lillian.

Step 4: Assign Your Child to the Event (Share Your Calendar)

If you created separate calendars for your children, simple head back to the event you created and click the Edit icon.

Then, assign it to one of your kids. Google automatically creates the event for the account that is signed in (so that would be you).

The color of the calendar will change based on the calendar/tag it’s assigned to (a mustard color for Jack).

If you want each child to have their own Google account with their own separate calendar, you will need to share their calendars with you. Login to your children’s account first. 

Then, go to Settings, click their calendar name (for this example the child’s name is David), then click Share with Specific People.

Finally, type in the name or email of you (the parent) and give yourself full permissions.

4 Creative Ways to Use Google Calendar for the Family

There are multiple cool ways to use Google Calendar for your family. We’ve listed four of our favorites.

1. Use Multiple Calendars

Sometimes one calendar/tag isn’t enough or can become quite overwhelming. Adding calendars and putting them into categories will make things a little more clear.

For example, you might want to break events up into categories like:

  • School
  • Entertainment
  • After-school activities
  • Sports
  • Fun Family Events
  • Chors

2. Display Your Calendar on a TV in Your Home

It’d be awesome to display your family’s calendar for all to see on a widescreen tv at home. It’s almost like taking old-school principles and repurposing them into a modern way. 

With one glance, everyone will know what’s coming up for the week and the and the colors that represent each child or category. 

3. Add Reminders

If you’re someone who likes to host family events and parties, then use the Google Calendar to invite your guests.

Instead of sharing a text or calling each person, you can invite them to your event using the family Google Calendar service. That way, everyone can know the details, share their comments, and RSVP. 

4. Sync Every Device

You should sync your Google Calendar with every device you own, which will maximize your alertness and organization.

Google Calendar works on all Apple, Android, tablets, and desktop devices.

Conclusion

The Google Calendar is a great tool for busy families who want to keep everyone in the loop and organized.

And if you value family organization, you most likely value your children’s education and future success. 

At Excellerate Learning Studio, we offer group and private lessons for K-12 students that teach strong learning skills and habits not taught in our education system today. Each parent receives a custom roadmap tailored to their student’s specific needs that are proven to get results.

Click here to learn about our online and in-person educational programs.

What To Do If Your Child Is Struggling in School (An Education Specialist Explains)

What can you do to help your child who may be struggling in school?

I have two decades of experience in education curriculum, professional development training, parent engagement, youth leadership, and more.

So when parents approach me about this issue, here’s what I would say:

There’s typically some underlying reason that leads our children to struggle in school. And our job as parents is to find out what that is. You can do this by helping your children solve and come alongside them and affirm they have your support in finding a solution.

If your child is starting to get frustrated with a topic that doesn’t make sense, take study breaks to help refresh their mind. Always reward good behavior to give them motivation, and implement any changes in their life that will help their study habits. 

Continue reading to uncover how you as a parent can help your child with their academics.

Overview

  • My Child Is Struggling in School: How Can I Help?
  • Signs Your Elementary Student is Struggling in Academics
  • Signs Your Middle Schooler is Struggling in Academics
  • Signs Your High School Student Is Struggling in Academics
  • Possible Reasons Your Child is Struggling Academically
  • An Academic Learning Program Designed To Help Struggling Students

The Top Ways You Can Help Your Struggling Child in School

It’s primarily your child’s responsibility to get back on their feet and put some extra work in, but that doesn’t mean you can’t do anything to help. Your assistance may prove extremely useful to your child. 

Here are a few ways that you can help. 

Validate Them

Children in grades 4-12 will need your help in validating how they are feeling and what is happening in their life. 

All it takes to get started is a simple conversation with your child to dig to the root of the problem. Be careful not to show any anger or disappointment in this conversation. Try to be empathetic, calm, and approachable so that your child would feel comfortable talking to you and feel safe that you won’t judge them.

Reach Out to Their Teachers

Teachers have likely noticed that your child has been struggling and may be able to point out exactly what the issue is.

After talking with your child and the teachers, you can come up with a way to tackle this problem together.

Set Clear Goals and Desired Outcomes

Before making any drastic changes, it’s important to reflect on what works and what doesn’t. Strategizing and discussing the desired outcome will help your child feel more ownership of the changes. With your guidance, your child will learn how to set realistic goals and earn a sense of achievement when goals are met.

Implement Necessary Changes

Start by designating a specific time for homework with no distractions. During that time, your child won’t be allowed to use their phone or other devices, go out, or watch TV. You should get involved, too. Check the homework once it’s done to make sure they are doing their assignments correctly. When homework is done too early or there is no homework, that’s a perfect time to supplement it with reading time.

Reward Good Behavior 

Reward your child when they make progress. This creates an additional source of motivation for your child. Some examples of rewards would be allowing them to go see a friend after their work is done, play video games, or watch some TV. The goal is to build internal motivation rather than just a quick fix.

Signs Your Elementary Student is Struggling in Academics

The sooner you notice that your child is struggling to catch up with their schoolwork, the better. These problems will not go away on their own, and without immediate attention, the problems will continue to grow. 

Children aren’t always open about their struggles in school. They may feel that you’ll punish them for not being good enough, or they may simply be embarrassed. Whatever the case, it’s important for you to learn to recognize the early signs that your child is struggling. 

Here are a few common ones:

  • Refusing to talk about school
  • Misbehaving in class

Your Child Refuses to Talk About School

Up until a few weeks ago, your child was more than happy to tell you about their schoolwork, classmates, and teachers. But now things have changed. When you ask them about school, you often receive vague answers or outright refusal to talk. Pay close attention to what your child does talk about. It’s possible they are only refusing to talk about certain subjects and not school in general.

What’s causing this shift in behavior? It’s safe to assume that there is some kind of a problem at school. You’ll clearly need to investigate further and find out exactly what it is and if it’s performance-related.

Misbehaving in Class

Children who don’t understand their schoolwork get bored which often leads to misbehaving. So if you start receiving complaints from teachers about your child’s behavior, don’t just punish or scold them. Take a look at their grades and overall performance to get some deeper insight on what is causing the ill behavior. 

Signs Your Middle Schooler is Struggling in Academics

Like the younger kids, there is a possibility your middle schooler might not wish to talk about their challenges in school. 

Here is one sign you may notice in your child:

  • Works on homework for too long

Working on Homework for Too Long

You might be happy to see your child work diligently on their homework. But before you start celebrating, pay attention to how long they’re doing their homework. If they spend an hour on a single task, they are clearly struggling. 

The fact that your child is still willing to work is certainly a good thing. You can help them out before they fall too far behind.

Signs Your High School Student Is Struggling in Academics

High schoolers are just as unwilling to talk about their school struggles as any other students. They might be even more dismissive of the topic than others simply because they believe they are old enough to handle things on their own. 

Here are a few signs to show that your high schooler is struggling:

  • Irritability
  • Changes in social habits

Irritability, Especially When Discussing Schoolwork

Teenagers are known to be fairly irritable, so you might not make much of their refusal to discuss schoolwork but you shouldn’t dismiss it. Try to talk to them and gauge where the problem is, or check in with their teachers. That might give you some necessary insight into why your child is often in a bad mood.

Changes in Social Habits

If you notice that your child is unusually quiet or withdrawn, you might want to look into it further. Some teenagers are naturally more withdrawn so it’s only alarming if it is out of their norm. This can be a telltale sign of your child struggling academically. 

Possible Reasons Why Your Child is Struggling Academically

Once you can determine why your child is struggling academically you are better able to help them out, but it can be hard figuring out exactly what the problem is. 

We have gathered a few reasons that could be the cause of your child’s struggles and possible solutions to consider.

Reasons Solutions to consider % of students who experience this
Stress Don’t over schedule, ensure good sleep, serve healthy diets, incorporate daily exercise, & model self care Nearly 45%
Slow at learning Practice specific skills, work on planning and organization, talk to the school  N/A
Special educational needs Give your child some undivided attention, be an advocate for your child, keep goals clear 14.4% (of kids under the age of 18)

The best thing to do for your child is to listen to them and pay close attention to their behavior. You will be amazed at what you learn about your child by simply listening and watching.

An Academic Learning Program Designed To Help Struggling Students

If you feel that your child needs extra help overcoming their academic struggles, you should look into one of Excellerate’s academic programs. These programs quickly gauge your child’s knowledge and then set specific goals to help measure their progress. 

Aside from helping children become better at subjects they are struggling in, Excellerate also teaches them how to take notes, manage their time, and self-regulate. All these skills come in handy at various stages of their education.

What’s more, the program is specifically adjusted to your child’s needs, and the teachers are academic coaches with years of experience in the field. Your child will receive the best possible education that is sure to help them catch up with their schoolwork in no time!