Our team often receives questions about pediatric neuropsychological evaluations – what they are, how to have them completed, and the value of having them done. This month, we are diving into the topic and sharing our insights and guidance from professional referral partners, focusing on what we would like parents to know about this resource.
The assessment covers different functions of the brain important for learning and communicating. It allows the diagnostician to be able to understand how each child's brain processes and understands information. Then the pediatric neuropsychologist works with parents to help put support or services into place to help their child experience success.
Neuropsychological evaluations for learning issues and/or differences include in-depth information in specific learning areas (reading, writing, math. etc.), including “what” the challenge is and “why” it is a challenge. This information regarding the “why” helps the student’s support team have more focused information to guide future tutoring/academic interventions.
Neuropsychological evaluations can be recommended for a variety of reasons, including:
- Helping determine a diagnosis for the student
- Assessing cognitive strengths and weaknesses
- Aiding in the planning of treatment or other intervention
How to Have an Evaluation Completed
If we refer a student for a Neuropsychological evaluation, they are given a referral to a trusted pediatric neuropsychologist who can complete the testing.
Once all tests are completed and scored, the neuropsychologist will take the feedback and put together a summary report of the results. This report will include recommendations as well as referrals to other professionals if deemed necessary.
Value of Neuropsychological Evaluations
All together, the information gathered through the evaluation will help to clarify a student’s strengths and needs, including any specific difficulties or diagnoses that are interfering with their progress academically or in other important areas of life.
Professionals recommend obtaining evaluations for a variety of reasons, including:
- Ability to intervene early to positively change the trajectory of a student’s progress academically and/or emotionally
- Serving as a guide for future interventions/recommendations
- Using as a source of advocacy for the student to obtain an IEP or 504 plan at school, educational placements, etc.
If you have any questions, please contact our team and let us partner with you to support your student and find the resources that are a best fit for them.
It is the season of standardized tests, and we often receive questions from parents and students about how they should approach the ACT and SAT. There are many factors to consider when planning for these exams, and this month our expert tutors are sharing their tips and guidance on how to determine which tests are best for you and your goals.
One reason to consider taking both the ACT and SAT is increased flexibility when choosing test dates. By opting to take both tests, you have more opportunities to test than you would by just selecting one. This can be particularly helpful if you are involved in activities or athletics that already take up a lot of your schedule.
An advantage of test prep is that in preparing for one test you are also preparing for the other. So even if you have been prepping specifically for the ACT, the work you are doing is also advantageous for the SAT. While the tests are not identical, preparing for one will help you prepare for the other.
Know Your Strengths
Keith Friedman, a Math Test Prep Tutor at TVT, shares an important testing consideration when it comes to math. He says, “Which test you should take might depend on how strong you are at math. Both the SAT and ACT have four sections, and they each have a reading and a language/grammar section. The difference is that the SAT has two math sections, while the ACT has one math section and one science. So the overall score of the SAT is 50% math, while the ACT is only 25% math.”
As you prepare for standardized testing, also look at the schools you are interested in and see if they have any preferences on the test scores they receive. Some schools will have no preference, while others may prefer the ACT or SAT (or both!) Researching this information in advance can help you determine how you should test moving forward.
In both the ACT and SAT there are unique (and different) elements to consider. For example, the ACT science section is broken into six short passages that are very visual (charts, graphs, etc.) As a result, students who tend to be visual or hands-on learners find this to be less challenging. In the SAT, the English section is nearly identical to the ACT. A difference, however, is that the reading comprehension section of the SAT often requires more mental stamina as the passages can be longer and require deeper critical thinking skills.
At the end of the day, preparing for and taking standardized tests like the ACT and SAT is a personal decision. Tutor Kate O’Reilly, shares her insights on the topic:
“Not sure which college entrance exam is right for your student? Have them take both the ACT and SAT early in their junior year to see which one they feel most comfortable with. Once that’s decided, the student can prepare and then retake their preferred test.”
Additionally, tutor Ann Wilson shares recent trends she has noticed:
“I used to recommend that students focus on the ACT first, since that test tends to be a bit easier and more predictable. However, since the pandemic, I’m seeing a more even split between students who prefer the SAT vs. ACT. This could be due to the fact that the SAT provides enough time to finish the test. Currently, I recommend students take both tests early in the testing season to see which one is best for them, and then plan to retake the better of the two, once or twice.”
At TVT we have a team of trained experts who are happy to answer more questions about the ACT and SAT and put together a customized plan for your student to best prepare for either or both tests. We are proud to offer no contracts, but rather meet students where they are for prep. This could mean full prep, prep of only certain sections, or even just one or two sessions to answer questions. We are here for you to meet your needs and help you on the path to success. Learn more and get started today!
At The Village Tutors, we do not believe in a cookie-cutter approach - instead we are passionate about customizing a plan for your student that is tailored to their specific needs. This starts with pairing students with the right tutor who will best support their growth. We do not take this decision lightly. With over 18 years of experience working with families, our founder Suzanne Petree connects with each family individually to understand their story, concerns, and goals. This personalized approach allows us to help in setting each student up for success from the start.
Our tutors are truly invested in their students' growth and staying at the cutting edge of learning and education is extremely important to us. By establishing trust and credibility, we believe we’re able to cultivate meaningful, long-term relationships with our students and their families. The right academic partnership paired with a comfortable and nurturing environment allows for your student to naturally follow their tutor’s teaching method while building confidence and ensuring that each session is productive.
We understand that finding the right tutor can be an intimidating and overwhelming process for the whole family. We are here for you each step of the way to make this experience feel lighter, seamless, and less stressful. It is such a privilege to work with students over time and see their progress and finding the right fit is the first step. If you are interested in learning more, contact our team today. We would love to hear about your goals so we can recommend one of our expert tutors.
Find more success stories from our students and their families here.
School is beginning this month for many families, and while we understand the bittersweetness of saying goodbye to summer, we also find this an exciting time to usher in a new school year! For many of our students and their families, the beginning of the school year poses a time to assess what additional support will be helpful on the path to academic learning and success. Our team at The Village Tutors is honored to work with each of our students, and proud to offer support in many areas. Here are a few of the many services we offer, as well as links to learn more:
Available in-person and online, TVT’s unique approach to Test Prep is a distinct advantage for students. Standardized test preparation is available for the ACT, PSAT, SAT, GRE, HSPT/SSAT/ISEE, and many professional licensing exams. HSPT is offered the first Saturday in December. For 2022 it will be Saturday, December 3rd. At TVT, we have no contracts for test prep, but instead offer recommendations on the ideal number of sessions of test prep for each exam. We also host test prep though personalized, 1:1 instruction so students receive immediate feedback. Our tutors are all up-to-date on the latest test features and changes, so our recommendations and guidance are rooted in the latest information available.
Reading Challenges + Dyslexia
At TVT, we provide one-on-one, evidence-based support for students who struggle with Reading. Our flexible and compassionate approach for students with learning challenges helps to improve a multitude of areas including comprehension, spelling, fluency, writing, and handwriting. We have experience and training in working with students with dyslexia, ADHD/ADD and processing challenges, non-verbal, expressive, and receptive learning disorders.
On our website you will find a list of the multi-sensory, evidence-based programs our tutors are trained/certified in. We are committed to learning the latest teachings on reading support, and focus on continuing, best-practice professional development for our tutors. We are also well versed in IEPs, 504 plans and professional evaluations, and can offer support for accommodations, benchmarks, and terminology in these areas.
Math + Science/ Content Areas
Our tutors provide academic support in Math, including the following areas:
- Grade school and Middle school curricula
- High school Algebra I and II
- Alg 2 Trig
- Calc AB/BC
TVT can support general, college-prep, and honors/AP levels of math as well. TVT tutor Matt Wolszon has a great perspective, “Understanding the building blocks of mathematics and science can unlock a student’s curiosity and potential for a wide range of topics.”
Science tutoring includes the following at general, regular, and AP/honors levels:
- Earth Science
- Environmental Science
- Human Anatomy
We also provide specific study strategies and critical reading and writing skills for Social Sciences (History, Econ, Psych, Government, etc.) and Language Arts (Speech, English, Rhetoric, etc.) Foreign Language tutoring is also available for Spanish, French, and Italian.
Executive Function Skills Building + Homework Support
Executive Functioning is partially defined as being able to put “work before play.” We find that students often need coaching on how to create an environment that maximizes on-task behavior and minimizes avoidance behaviors like procrastination. Our tutors are trained in the Rush Medical/Neurobehavioral Center’s Executive Function Skills Building Program© to help students reduce anxiety and improve academic performance.
Students create personalized plans with their tutors to increase productivity and experience genuine success in school. Support can include keeping their backpack organized, using a planner, or creating a sustainable system of organization. By establishing a routine and learning organizational skills and time management strategies from our certified experts, students are set on a path for success with these critical life skills.
College Consulting + College Support
Similarly to test prep services, our College Consulting services are highly personalized, 1:1 sessions with an expert college consultant, Ann Wilson. She is well informed in many areas related to college including acceptance trends, schools where local students have been happy (or not), opportunities for merit scholarships, and more. Popular areas of consulting include:
- Sessions to determine areas of interest, possible majors, and school climate preferences, followed by research-based recommendations for schools that may be a good fit
- Guidance in writing college essays and personal statements
- Help completing the Common or Coalition Application, individual college applications, and scholarship applications
Once our students are in college, the support can continue through our College Support services. Students can regularly meet with a tutor via Skype or FaceTime to review grades, set schedules, discuss study strategies, and problem solve. Especially for students who struggle with executive function skills, partnering with an expert to set routines and maximize physical and emotional health is proven to contribute to overall happiness and success.
Serving our students and our community is at the heart of what we do at The Village Tutors, and we are proud to offer many services to support academic and learning success. Here is a full list of all of the services we offer, and if you are ready to get started to set your student up for a productive school year, you can contact us. Cheers to a great 2022-2023 school year!
For our high school students and their families, we know how important it is to consider test prep for the ACT and SAT.
The Wall Street Journal recently published an article sharing that while college-entrance exams are optional for many schools, some students are opting to take the exams as a way to stand out amidst other applicants. With record competition for college admission and variances in testing policies, the article encourages students to test in order to showcase their abilities in a way that some applicants might not. As Suzanne Petree, The Village Tutors founder, likes to note, “test scores are a part of a student’s compelling story.”
At The Village Tutors, we take a unique approach to test prep that we are thrilled to share with our students. Key features of our test prep offerings include:
Most tutoring centers require contracts locking students into a fixed number of sessions and a fixed price. That is not the case with us. Instead, we recommend 8 sessions to cover all areas of the test – 6 for the reading and 2 for math sections. We can adjust sessions needed based on a student’s needs. Some students come to us to only work on a certain section of the test.
Test prep at TVT is an individual approach, with 1:1 sessions for every student, so feedback is immediate. We know that students learn and prepare in different ways, so one of our exceptional test prep tutors will work with you directly throughout your prep. You can complete test prep both in-person and online. We have specialized tutors for the reading sections and others for the math section, so you are working with experts. An added bonus of working with a test prep tutor is that a student’s critical reading and math skills are strengthened, which in turn positively impacts their schoolwork.
3.Up-to-Date on Test Features & Changes
We can offer advice on which test to take, how many times to take the test, and when to take it. A large part of test preparation is having quality resources and guidance to support you as you study, prep, and then practice. That is the way your student gets the best results. We recommend the Official ACT Guide published by Wiley and the Official SAT Guide published by College Board as practice books. They are both available on Amazon.
Now is the time to start thinking about test prep, to provide ample time for learning and practice. We also offer test prep for the HSPT, SSAT, and ISEE-entrance exams for private high schools. Contact our expert tutors today to learn more about TVT’s unique approach to test prep. We are proud and honored to work with our students, with the goal of customizing our approach to help each student improve their score. Learn how we can partner with you to meet – and exceed – your goals!
As we enter another summer and all of the excitement that comes along – family vacations, gathering in the community together, later bedtimes! – our team is reflecting with gratitude on all of the students and families we have the privilege to serve.
We are thankful for the trust you place in The Village Tutors, every day, to support and guide your child’s learning experiences. From our youngest students preparing for kindergarten and learning how to read, to our blossoming high school seniors beginning college, and finally, our college students blazing new and exciting trails, it is our honor to work alongside them and be a part of their educational journey.
Thank you for trusting us to provide specialized expertise in support of your student’s education, and providing us the opportunity to continue to do what we love! We could not have imagined when we started this business 18 years ago the number of families we would impact while cultivating deep relationships.
Enjoy these months and everything the summer has to offer!
Founder, The Village Tutors
And to my most “esteemed” Village Tutor team, my deepest appreciation…
Maura Abernethy Patrick Hohe Nancy Parkinson
Michael Baron Mia Javanshad Ian Michael Peterson
Beth Bean Pam Keseric Loren Shinn
Molly Branda Peter Kralovec-Kirchherr Mimi Skala
Sandy Brantner Laurie Koshgarian Kyle Soller
Cindy Charters Katie Kramer Jill Suter
Jenny Cushing Susan Kroese Bill Tanguay
Haley Chrestionson Lynn Lach Kelsey Taylor
Emily Fister Lynn Lanese Michelle Vranicar
Keith Friedman Alex Laws Kate Vogts
Leo Gabrek Cynthia Mapel MJ Westlund
Haley Garvin Katie McDevitt Paula Whitelaw
Marjean Gonzalez Marcy McKay Ann Wilson
Sarah Gonzalez Regina Melbourne Matt Wolszon
Camille Harris Lisa Miller Maureen Wygonowski
School is almost out for the summer, which is a really exciting time for our students and their families! For many students, especially incoming freshmen, we often receive requests for additional grammar support prior to beginning high school. We’ve actually recently received so many requests that we’ve decided to offer The Village Tutor’s High School Grammar Bootcamp to meet our community’s needs!
TVT’s Grammar Bootcamp is a basic grammar review for your high schooler before they begin their freshman year. The summer class will focus on the 4 units that many college prep high schools in our area cover during freshman English classes. While it is modeled off of and geared primarily towards Benet students, any student looking to boost their grammar skills and knowledge is welcome! TVT’s own appointed “Grammar Gal”, Lynn Lach remarks, “These basics of grammar are the building blocks for understanding how to write well-structured and coherent sentences. Have a strong foundation and writing becomes easier to organize and revise.”
Curriculum will cover a review of the parts of speech, and then an in depth focus on the following:
-Parts of the sentences
-Phrases (prepositional, appositive, participles, gerunds, infinitives)
We will also focus on diagramming all of these concepts to ensure students have a strong foundation and understanding.
As TVT tutor Haley Burridge Chrestionsen shares, “Grammar is an important tool used to appropriately communicate to one’s audience. Whatever a student wants to be, they will need to learn proper grammar in order to communicate efficiently.”
Here are all of the details you need to know to register and get started:
Class Dates: 4 meetings from 6:30pm – 8:00pm on Mondays beginning 6/20 (6/20, 6/27, 7/11, 7/18) with no class on 7/4
Location: In-person at The Community House in Hinsdale (sessions will also be available via Zoom.)
Instructor: Lynn Lach
We have limited availability, however if we receive enough interest we may add a Tuesday daytime session as well! Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more registration information.
The reality is that the end of the school year is next month. Many families are planning their summer calendars and for some students, summer schooling and additional learning support is on the docket. At The Village Tutors, we are here to support students (grade school through college) all year long, and math and science are popular areas of support in the summer.
Seeking Summer Support
We support all content levels in the areas of math and science. Even if your student is not taking a dedicated summer school class this year, some students like to review the previous year's concepts and then work ahead in their upcoming class. As Beth Bean, math/science tutor at The Village Tutors says, “Summer math and science enrichment can be very beneficial, particularly to those students who are not as comfortable with the STEM subjects. Entering the classroom with previous exposure to the math and science curriculum for that school year can take some of the anxiety away from learning these concepts and hopefully make them more enjoyable and interesting.”
Our tutors offer academic support in the following areas:
-Grade school and middle school curricula
-High school Algebra I and II
-Alg 2 Trig
-College level math
-College level science
Partnering with a qualified tutor today is a great way to help your student throughout their summer schooling, and/or set them up for the best possible success for the next school year. Our mission is to empower students and help them on their academic journey, and our math and science tutoring options are a great way to achieve this.
How to Get Started
If you are ready to begin tutoring for your student, reach out to us today to set up an appointment. We would love the opportunity to listen to your student’s unique needs and advise how we can best support them to reach their goals. At The Village Tutors we are proud to support students at all content levels in the areas of math and science. We welcome the opportunity to partner with our students to help them successfully complete summer school programs and set a strong foundation for the next school year. As Peter Kralovec-Kirchherr, math/science tutor at TVT says, “I really enjoy tutoring all levels of math, from Algebra 1 through Calculus. I also tutor all levels of science, with a particular focus on Physics. Students are more relaxed in the summer.”
Contact us today to learn more and get started!
Spring Break is right around the corner, and now more than ever we hear parents and teachers saying that it is challenging to keep students motivated. A lack of motivation often leads to procrastination – with students leaving assignments until the last minute, not preparing for exams well enough in advance, and often feeling a general sense of detachment from schoolwork. We understand that this lack of motivation can be frustrating – for both students and parents – so our expert team of tutors share their insights as to how to best set priorities to remain motivated and avoid procrastination.
Create a Schedule
For those students who have a difficult time planning for long assignments or preparing well enough in advance for an exam, it is important to create a schedule to properly prioritize time. Creating a schedule is a part of executive functioning, a practice we define as being able to put “work before play.” Executive functioning is a critical skill that many students need coaching on in order to create an environment that maximizes on-task behavior and minimizes avoidance behaviors.
Fortunately, there are many fun ways to create a schedule to help students stay organized. As Laurie Koshgarian of The Village Tutors says, “To begin, you first need to break the assignment or task down into sizable chunks that are appropriate for the student’s age. For younger students, we often then make a GET READY – DO – TASK chart like the one below. This chart is a digestible and visual way for students and families to see what work needs to be done and when.”
Partner with an Executive Functioning Expert
Sometimes for students and families, attempting to tackle organization challenges alone at home is not enough. That is why the team at The Village Tutors has prioritized executive functioning trainings and education in order to offer sustainable resources for families. The Village Tutors are trained in the Rush Medical/Neurobehavioral Center’s Executive Function Skills Building Program © in order to support the topics of priorities and procrastination.
For some students, struggles with priorities and procrastination look like having difficulties keeping a backpack organized, not using a planner, or not having an effective system to stay organized and keep track of assignments. These students often have challenges turning homework in on time and find themselves stressed and overwhelmed by their schedules and due dates. Working with an executive functioning expert offers students the opportunity to create a personalized plan to focus on increasing productivity and experiencing success in school.
Improve Habits and Study Skills
As a part of the executive functioning services, The Village Tutors teaches students how to be more thorough in homework completion and create notes to aid in understanding. These important skills help students to develop a long-term understanding of creating priorities in work completion, while also not leaving work to the last minute. The team acts as mentors and partners to build confidence in students and support their development of independent work habits.
By teaching students how to better prepare for assignments and exams, they are subsequently empowered to take ownership over their work. This ownership and pride leads to an increase in prioritization, and a decrease in procrastination. Over time, these necessary skills help students to be more focused in their schoolwork and less anxious overall about what is expected of them.
The Village Tutors is proud to support students and families by offering executive functioning skills support. To learn more, see the services information on the website.
2022 is already proving to be a year of changes, and recent announcements about the SAT are no exception. The controversial standardized-testing exam, which many colleges and universities are removing (or considering removing) as an admission requirement, announced significant changes beginning in Fall 2024. Here’s what you need to know…
What is Changing – and Why?
Many areas of the SAT are receiving updates or enhancements, in an effort to streamline the exam, offer greater access, and reduce opportunities for cheating. Current updates that have been announced include:
-Reduced time of the test from 3 hours to 2 hours
-Embedded digital calculator
-Scores released within days of taking the test versus months
What Does This Mean for Your Student?
We understand that so many changes can be daunting for students and their families. Our team is actively following these updates and will continue to share information as we receive it. For now, a few of our experts provide their thoughts and recommendations.
Matt Wolszon, a TVT math tutor, says, “With the new SAT allowing a calculator throughout, calculator proficiency and efficiency will be more applicable now than in the previous version of the test. Additionally, with the updated SAT in an adaptive format, scores will most likely better reflect the amount of information a student has mastered instead of any advantages previously reflected for test-takers who excel at strategically guessing.”
It appears that the changes to the SAT directly address the challenges students have been facing during the pandemic – difficulty maintaining focus and reading for extended periods of time. As tutor Ann Wilson shares, “Many students state they have trouble focusing for three hours and do not like reading on paper. Since students spend so much time on screens, a digital test will feel more familiar to them and play to how their brains are wired. This may aid in taking the SAT, but will it prepare students for college?”
The updates to the SAT continue to be rolled out and announced, so there is still much to learn about the enhancements. Some of the questions on our team’s minds include,
-Will colleges view the updated SAT as an equal to the current ACT, or will the SAT be considered easier and not as relevant?
-How will colleges compare the SAT to the ACT, in order to convert one score to the other?
-Is this updated SAT a new test altogether?
We will continue to provide updates as we receive them. In the meantime, if your student is ready to begin standardized-test prep, see our services here.