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Do Brain Games Really Work?

Do Brain Games Really Work?

If you’re like most parents raising kids in this digital age, you are likely worried that your kid’s cell phone or tablet addiction might be wasting more brain cells than feeding them. But did you know that playing “brain games” on your phone or tablet can really work to boost brain development? Check out these 7 free apps for you and your children to keep their minds fresh and engaged through brain games:

  1. SAT Vocab by MindSnacks – Help your teenager prepare for this important college entrance exam (as well as the PSAT and GRE) through this free app. Broken out into 9 cool games, this app offers a new way to tackle an old problem: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/sat-vocab-mindsnacks/id494140836?mt=8
  2. Lumosity by Lumos Labs Inc. – This one is good for the entire family – offering a customized brain training program for each user! This app offers brain teasers, puzzles and other brain benders to help keep those synapses firing: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/lumosity-mobile/id577232024?mt=8
  3. Duolingo by Duolingo – Want to learn a new language while you take the train to work? Check out the Duolingo app, which offers easy modules to learning a new language (currently Spanish, French, Portuguese, German, Italian and English): https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/duolingo-learn-languages-for/id570060128?mt=8
  4. Today in History by Downshift LLC – For all of you history buffs out there (and maybe even the history phobic), here’s an app to give you insight into the past in a way that makes it still relevant: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/today-in-history-lite/id312028719?mt=8
  5. Mathemagics by Blue Lightening Labs – Even if math isn’t your strong suit, this app will help you improve your speed in completing mental math by using fun games and brain teasers. The app even offers math tricks that can be used in a variety of educational settings (think SAT and ACT prep!): https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/mathemagics-mental-math-tricks/id306586847?mt=8
  6. World Geography Challenge by Atom Games Ent. – Think of this one like Geography Jeopardy. Drag and drop names of countries around the world into their appropriate spot on the map. Hover over certain map segments to learn about new countries too: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.age.wgg.appspot&hl=en
  7. Brain Games 2 by thepapership – This is the second installation of an old favorite, Brain Games, which offers various games to help sharpen your critical thinking and logic skills while also boosting your IQ: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.thepapership.juegosmentales2

For more engaging, and longer-lasting, learning benefits, consider working with a tutor. After all, there’s no substitute for a personal interaction with a trained educator to help boost your student’s capacity for learning. And the benefits are endless – from better grades to improved self-confidence, inside and outside of the classroom. To find a highly qualified Club Z! tutor near you, call 800-434-2582.

Fall 2017 Online Test Prep Classes Forming Now!

Fall 2017 Online Test Prep Classes Forming Now!

Back to school season has officially arrived! For many families, this is the time of year where students are getting adjusted to early wake ups, managing homework and after-school activities, and preparing for important tests such as the SAT and ACT. It can be particularly challenging to manage all of these responsibilities for students with work commitments, hectic athletic practice and game schedules, family obligations, and heavy course loads. For these students, Club Z!’s online SAT and ACT test prep classes have proven to be a perfect fit! The Fall 2017 online test prep class schedule has been officially opened for registration – see https://clubztutoring.com/test-preparation/online-classes/ for more details.

What are Online Test Prep Classes?

Club Z!’s online SAT and ACT test prep classes offer students one (1) full-length diagnostic test, complete with video-based answer explanations and a projected score for the test, and twelve (12) hours of one-on-one, live online instruction from a top SAT or ACT tutor. Classes are generally offered monthly, with a once-per-week 3-hour course schedule. All sessions are recorded in HD for playback and additional review, adding even more flexibility for students with busy schedules.

What is Included with the Online Test Prep Class?

Students receive access to an online diagnostic test, measuring strengths and weaknesses on the exam. This test is designed to mimic the SAT or ACT to help students prepare for the actual test. In addition, detailed diagnostic reporting shows students how much time was spent on each question, which types of questions were commonly missed or skipped, and offers video-based instructional models with top tutors demonstrating how to correctly solve each question. In addition, students will receive live online instruction from a top test prep tutor. All curriculum and practice materials are available online, and instruction is delivered using a virtual classroom. The virtual classroom allows the tutor to communicate with the students using a combination of video, written chat, and the use of an interactive, instructional white board.

What is the Cost for Online Test Prep Classes?

Each 12-hour course costs $499 USD, offering a concentrated SAT or ACT prep program at an affordable price point. There are no refunds for missed sessions; however, students can watch lesson playback online, or receive a link to the recorded session if the student is unable to attend live. The average score increase for students completing the online course is 150 points on the SAT and 3 points on the ACT.

Enrollment in a Club Z! online class does not automatically register the student to take the SAT or ACT. Students must register to take the SAT or ACT directly. Registration may be available online or via regular mail, and students may request accommodations for either exam during registration. Upcoming SAT test dates include October 7, 2017, November 4, 2017, and December 2, 2017. Upcoming ACT test dates include October 28, 2017 and December 9, 2017.

To view the Fall 2017 course schedule, or to enroll in a course, visit https://clubztutoring.com/test-preparation/online-classes/ or call 800-434-2582 today.

PSAT Prep – Get Ready Now!

PSAT Prep – Get Ready Now!

The primary test date for the 2017 PSAT/NMSQT is Wednesday, October 11th. If you’re not familiar with this particular test prep acronym, PSAT is short for Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test (or pre-SAT) and NMSQT is short for National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test. Most US students take this test during their 10th or 11th grade year in high school, as a matter of general course curriculum. Students who receive top scores are eligible to receive scholarship funds for college through the National Merit Scholarship Program.

The National Merit Scholarship Program

The National Merit Scholarship Program uses the PSAT/NMSQT as a screening tool of approximately 1.6 million US high school students. Approximately 50,000 of the top scoring students on the PSAT/NMSQT are eligible for recognition and/or scholarship funds through the National Merit Scholarship Program. Roughly two thirds of the qualifying students will receive a letter of commendation recognizing their academic achievements, while the remaining one third will be named as semifinalists and continue on for a chance to earn one of three scholarship funding awards. In order to advance from semifinalist to finalist (and receive one of three scholarship awards), students must submit additional qualifying documentation, such as academic records and a recommendation from the school principal. Students must also take the actual SAT exam in order to validate their PSAT scores, as a condition of being considered for finalist status. Finalists are ultimately awarded a $2,500 National Merit Scholarship, a college-sponsored Merit Scholarship (if the finalist has been accepted to college at that time), or a corporate-sponsored Merit Scholarship.

What Subjects Are Tested On The PSAT/NMSQT?

The PSAT/NMSQT follows nearly the same format as the SAT exam, with the exception of being a shorter test. The PSAT/NMSQT is a 2 hour and 45 minute test, while the SAT is 3 hours (plus an additional 50 minutes with the optional Essay).  In addition, although scored on a common scale score with the SAT, the PSAT/NMSQT has a maximum possible score of 1520 vs the SAT’s top possible score of 1600. The two tests are the same in terms of what subject material is covered, with both measuring student performance in Reading, Writing and Language, and Math. The PSAT/NMSQT has a total of 139 questions to be answered in a total time of 165 minutes; the SAT has a total of 154 questions to be answered in a total time of 180 minutes (without the optional Essay) offering slightly less time per question than the PSAT/NMSQT.

Why Prep Now?

With a little more than a month before the national primary day of PSAT/NMSQT test administration, students still have time to complete an intensive test prep program to help them perform their best on test day. Comprehensive test prep programs should include content review in Algebra, Geometry, Trigonometry, active reading, data analysis and standard English conventions, and strategy development for best addressing each of the types of test questions, pacing, and overcoming test anxiety. Z Prep!, the test prep division of Club Z! In-Home Tutoring, offers in-home and online test prep for PSAT/NMSQT and SAT, with top tutors and proven strategies for maximizing test scores. For one-on-one, in-home test prep, call 800-434-2582 to connect with a tutor nearest you. Or register today for the September SAT group online class, which starts Saturday, September 9th and will continue through Saturday, September 30th.

Club Z! Expands Services to Include Online Test Prep Classes and On-Demand Homework Help

Club Z! Expands Services to Include Online Test Prep Classes and On-Demand Homework Help

For more than 20 years, Club Z! Tutoring has worked diligently to become North America’s premier in-home tutoring and test prep company, offering one-on-one tutoring in all subjects, for all grade levels, in the comfort and convenience of the student’s home. In recent years, Club Z! also added online tutoring and test prep services to its repertoire of educational services to better meet the needs of its students, and to complement the growing presence of technology in the classroom. Club Z!’s online tutoring and test prep services have been very well received, leading the tutoring firm to announce plans for expansion of its online services this fall – the addition of SAT and ACT classes and on-demand homework help.

Club Z! Vice President, Cari Diaz, offered this about the new online services, “We’re very excited about our online test prep classes and online homework help. Our tutors, both in-home and online, are top-notch educators who truly enjoy helping students succeed. In fact, with our in-home tutoring model, students often improve a letter grade or two after just a few weeks of tutoring. But it’s not uncommon for a student to need a little extra homework support in between weekly tutoring lessons, or to need more flexible options for SAT and ACT Prep. That’s why we are confident that these new online services will help us better meet the needs of the families we serve.”

On-Demand Online Homework Help

Starting Monday, September 18, 2017, Club Z!’s new online, on-demand homework help will offer virtual tutoring in math, science and Language Arts for students in grades 4-12. The on-demand homework help program will be available Monday through Thursday from 6 pm to 10 pm Eastern initially, but Club Z! plans to expand access in the first quarter of 2018. New and existing in-home tutoring clients can add the unlimited online homework help for as little as $99 per month. But as an extra incentive, families who are currently enrolled with Club Z! for a minimum of 3 hours per week of in-home lessons will receive the added online homework help program for FREE!

Club Z!’s online virtual tutoring platform has easy-to-use pen and paper-like capabilities. Students can easily upload homework assignments and work through problems using real-time audio and video, a digital whiteboard, and screen and document sharing. In addition, all of Club Z!’s online tutors must meet the same stringent vetting requirements as their in-home counterparts – including a thorough reference check, validation of teaching credential and relevant tutoring experience, and successful completion of a criminal background check.

Online SAT and ACT Classes

Club Z! online tutors will use this same virtual classroom platform to offer small group online ACT and SAT prep classes beginning September 3, 2017 for ACT and September 9, 2017 for SAT, respectively. These online test prep classes will be offered on Saturdays and Sundays each month, in 3-hour lesson blocks, throughout the 2017-18 school year. Students that enroll in one of Club Z!’s online test prep classes will receive a comprehensive diagnostic test with projected score and detailed answer analysis, access to a full suite of online curriculum and assignments, 12 hours of live online instruction with a top test prep tutor, and all sessions are recorded in HD for future playback and added review.

Results from the summer 2017 pilot classes were very positive. Adds Diaz, “The weekend classes really help meet the demands of our families with busy schedules. Many of the clients who enroll in our online classes are student athletes or have other extracurricular or work commitments, so the weekend scheduling, and the opportunity to watch the recorded playback of the lessons, offer big advantages to these students and their families.”

For information on how to enroll in an online test prep class, visit https://clubztutoring.com/test-preparation/online-classes/. Or to find an in-home tutor near you, call 800-434-2582.

Learn High School Study Skills with Club Z!

Learn High School Study Skills with Club Z!

If you’re the parent of a teenager, you know how important proper study skills are to your student’s success in the classroom. But getting a high school student to embrace good study habits is often easier said than done. Club Z! offers a proven study skills curriculum to help your student learn study skills to last a lifetime. This curriculum program, Learning built to Last, is designed with high school students in mind, with relevant tips and strategies that your student can use well into college. Whether your child is going to start his/her first or last year of high school this fall, summer is the perfect time of year to learn high school study skills with Club Z!

Proven Study Tips

No one can argue the importance of proper study skills for kids. Being able to take good notes, engage in active reading, develop study and memorization techniques, and prepare adequately for upcoming tests and quizzes are all essential skills that students need in order to do well in school. However, these skills are not often taught in a classroom setting. Students are just expected to learn them somewhere along the way. So how can you help your child improve on these important skills for the upcoming high school year? Here are a few tips for success:

  • Turn off the “noisemakers.” As most parents can readily attest, children are drawn to the television like bees to honey! When it’s time to study or get homework done, it should be a no-brainer to turn off the television. It’s also wise to remove access to other possible distractions such as mp3 players, cell phones and the internet (unless of course the internet is required for the project at hand). You know your children best – if a little music helps them focus and stay on task, then moderation is the key. And of course it couldn’t hurt to invest in a set of headphones!
  • Pick a specific area at home for studying and school work. A really critical component to successful studying is to identify a space where your children can focus, free from distractions. This often means that the best place for them to study isn’t always the place of their choosing (i.e. on the couch in front of the television – see Tip 1). Ideal spaces may include your child’s bedroom or the dining room table. For whichever area you select, be sure to set the stage for success by ensuring that there is adequate desk space and lighting. Most desks for young people don’t really have sufficient space to spread out materials such as textbooks, workbooks, planners, scratch paper, resource materials, etc. A table that allows for all necessary supplies and other essentials can make a huge difference in your child’s study time!
  • Set a consistent schedule and realistic expectations. Balancing homework, extracurricular activities, and family life can sometimes seem harder than herding cats, as the saying goes! But as difficult as setting a consistent schedule may be, it can pay dividends for your child’s productivity and the family’s sanity. One simple step is to try to organize the household so that dinner is served at a standard time during the week. Once dinner is over, you can designate that time as study time. Of course homework can always be done before dinner if your schedule permits, but providing a predictable schedule for everyday activities like dinner and baths makes it much easier for your children to plan their day and meet expectations in the classroom and at home. Speaking of expectations, it is important to consider your child’s developmental level and attention span when setting the amount of time for homework. A high school student can generally remain focused on a single task for 90 minutes or more. But it’s still important to allow your student to take breaks as needed – you can even plan them as rewards for finishing a section of the work.
  • Get organized. Get a large calendar, one that allows space for jotting down things in the daily boxes. Rip it apart so that you and your child can sequentially mount the school months for the current semester. For example, you can tear off September, October, November, December and January and mount them from left to right across one wall. Have the child use a bold color highlighter or felt tip pen to mark exam dates in one color, reports that are coming due in a different color, etc. For students with “smart” cell phones, there are several free calendar applications with multiple useful features that can also easily be used to highlight important dates and set reminders. Academic planners are strongly encouraged. This can be a simple pad of paper or even a free application on your child’s phone or tablet (if applicable). This allows students to jot down assignments and set reminders for due dates.
  • Encourage your child to go above and beyond what the assignment calls for. One of the most common misconceptions about doing schoolwork is that you simply need to complete the assignment; when in reality, you need to do much more to learn and retain the information you’re reviewing. In order to build these strong study habits and lifelong learning skills, encourage your child to do things like take notes while reading a chapter, learn to skim material for important information, pay attention to tables and charts, summarize reading passages in his/her own words, make flash cards for quick review of important information like key dates, formulas, etc. You can also help by making sure that the important materials and resources are in ready supply. This includes highlighters, pens, pencils, erasers, blank note cards, rulers, and scratch paper.
  • Take strong notes. Effective note-taking is a skill that most students struggle to master. Many feel as if they have to write down every word the teacher says, while others have difficulty figuring out which concepts are important enough to write down and end up with very little information at the end of class. All students can benefit from learning how to take effective notes. Many students find an outline version of note-taking to be easy to adopt. Outlines allow students to arrange information from general to more specific. Students can
    create outlines using any symbol or form they find helpful, whether formal (i.e. Roman numerals) or informal. And well prepared teachers present their material in a format that lends itself to outline form. An outline is only one form of effective note-taking. Students should be encouraged to find the format that best suits their learning styles and preferences. Students may also wish to rewrite notes, particularly if a lot of material was covered and the student had a hard time writing quickly and organizing the information appropriately. Rewriting notes can be an excellent review of the subject matter. However, rewriting notes isn’t worth the time unless they are used for review and recall of important information.

Learning Built to Last Study Skills Program

If your child could benefit from a study skills program, Club Z!’s Learning Built to Last series may be the answer. This proven study skills program helps students listen better, read better, and study better. It includes a learning style diagnostic and a learning inventory to help students better understand how they best learn. In addition, the Learning Built to Last program also:

  • Helps the student understand study skills in terms of his/her own interests and experiences.
  • Explains why strategies work and puts them in a bigger context with real life examples like movies, musicians, sports and video games.
  • Doesn’t read like a traditional textbook. The tone is conversational and the pages are full of pictures and stories, which appeals to teens.
  • Plays to the adolescent mindset by emphasizing personal style and providing students with options so they can find a system they like.
  • Uses hands-on activities as much as possible.

Again, summer is the ideal time to develop these lifelong study skills. For more information, and details about our summer Learning Built to Last specials, call 800-434-CLUB [2582].

 

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