Groza Learning Center

The Importance of Kindergarten

kinesthetic-learner

Every year, in the United States the 21st of April is the official celebration date of National Kindergarten Day.

Why April 21 you ask? Well, it is the birthday of the German educator Friedrich Fröbel, who founded the first play and activity institute called kindergarten in 1837. (Kindergarten’s actually a mid-19th century German word literally meaning “children’s garden.”) 

According to Fröbel, young children should follow their own interests and freely explore them. That’s why kindergartens include singing, dancing, and creative play.

Why is Kindergarten Important For A Child’s Development?

Kindergarten is important to students’ success and helps children adjust to elementary school, as well as their success in later years.

Kindergarten learning also lays the groundwork for learning in later grades.

According to developmental psychologist John W. Santrock, children experience rapid growth of their frontal lobes between the ages of three and six. This is the area of the brain that regulates organization, planning, and maintaining attention.

 Researchers believe that kindergarten teaches skills like patience and perseverance and that learning these skills early contributes to later success as an adult.

Kindergarten goes a long way in the overall development of your child. It develops your child’s social, emotional, literacy, and fine motor skills, which they need to build during their lifetime. During this period, children learn by engaging their senses of hearing, sight, smell, and touch. 

What Age Should Kids Start Kindergarten?

Historically, the starting age for kindergarten has varied widely. In the past five years, both states and districts have pushed the minimum age to start kindergarten up so that more and more kids are at least 5 years old when they start school.  In California, a child shall be admitted to a kindergarten maintained by the school district at the beginning of a school year, or at a later time in the same year if the child will have his or her fifth birthday on or before September 1st.  By law, all children must be in compulsory schooling by their 6th birthday. (Please check your state’s requirements for age and cut-off dates.)

Kindergarten Introduces Your Child To New Ideas, Helps Develop Problem-Solving Skills,

Along With The Following Skills:

  • Learn to coordinate and cooperate with fellow studentsWhat do kids learn in kindergarten?
  • Become more aware of his surroundings
  • Respect for others and start understanding others feelings
  • Develop language skills, numeracy, and reading stories
  • Making friends
  • Receptible to new concepts and ideas
  • Build confidence
  • Improve communication skills
  • Express their creativity through art, drawings, and dance
  • Develop academic skills like reading, writing, and counting

 Furthermore, survey results show children who attend kindergarten classes tend to have better cognitive skills, higher IQ, better understanding, improved social interactions, and develop a deeper love for learning. 

How To Choose The Right Kindergarten Program For Your Child?

Choosing the right kindergarten school will enrich your child’s learning experience. An excellent kindergarten program would offer your student a variety of learning experiences that are fun and learning-oriented at the same time.

An article in Psychology Today reported that a good teacher and the quality of early education make a huge difference. They conclude that early education is a very good investment.

10 Tips for Choosing a Kindergarten Program.10 Tips for Choosing a Kinder Program?

  • Half-Day or Full Day
  • Are you interested in Public, Private, Private Homeschool, Small Learning Pod?
  • What has been your response to Covid-19? What policies/protections do you have in place? How do you keep kids safe from infectious diseases?
  • Do the school’s educational philosophy and values match your family’s? 
  • What background checks do you run on prospective employees? 
  • School proximity
  • School transportation, e.g. bus schedule
  • Special interests like language, arts, and alternative programs
  • School curriculum structure.
  • Talk to other parents in the community. Does the school have a good reputation?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

10 Ways to Prevent Summer Learning Loss

Summer Learning Loss

All students experience some form of summer learning loss during the vacation months when they may not participate in many educational opportunities.  Furthermore, experts agree that this year’s learning loss will be exasperated due to the negative effects of distance learning.  Sadly, they are anticipating a significant decrease in student achievement come fall 2021.

In fact, according to research from Northwest Evaluation Association, “30% of literacy and 50% of math gains could be lost” due to the transition to online learning.

Don’t panic, this does not mean your child is doomed. The summer is a perfect time to catch up and get ahead.

FACTS ABOUT SUMMER LEARNING LOSS:
Summer Learning Loss

• Only about 10% of children in the United States do educational programs or learning services during the summer months.

• According to a Johns Hopkins study regarding summer learning loss, students can have on an average two months or more of learning loss during their summer vacation.

• According to Summer Learning Loss.org ,“Two-thirds of the ninth-grade achievement gap can be explained by unequal access to summer learning opportunities during the elementary school years.”

• According to a study at the Johns Hopkins Summer Learning Loss program, 56% of children actually want to participate in educational opportunities throughout the summer.

• Research indicates that teachers can spend between 4-6 weeks teaching children the material they have forgotten over the summer.

Half an hour to an hour set aside daily can help students close learning gaps and perform at higher levels during the upcoming school year.

TEN TIPS TO AVOID SUMMER LEARNING LOSS:

Here are some tips to help you help your child avoid summer learning loss.

1. Read with your children, to your children, and encourage reading alone. Many libraries and businesses provide summer reading incentives, from certificates to prizes and gift cards.

2. Get a copy of the recommended summer reading list from your school district. If you cannot, most libraries will have one available to you. Note the names of authors your children enjoy and go back for more.

3. Use incentives to get them involved in academic programs. Reward their involvement with a special day, event or even have them work toward a special toy or video game they want.

4. Participate in activities that you cannot fit in during your normal year, like going to the park or museum. Many museums offer free family days throughout the summer months making this an inexpensive learning opportunity. Other interests could include cooking or gardening, which help children with basic math and science skills.

5. Write letters. It helps children with handwriting and spelling skills as well as organizing their thoughts. Use prompts for children 4 years and younger.

6. Get children involved in the travel planning; everything from the costs to the mapping and activities when you arrive provides learning opportunities, keeps them involved during the travel, and teaches basic life skills.

7. Start a summer journal or scrapbook. These activities help children with basic writing, organization, and math skills (for example, cutting out the shapes for pictures in the scrapbook).

8. Discuss age- appropriate current events. A great learning opportunity is finding one article in the newspaper that a whole family could discuss at dinner time. Read letters to the editor and talk or write about your thoughts.

9. Set a schedule for children and be sure to include both downtime and learning activities.

10.Use the web. There are many learning sites online with everything from coloring (teaching color recognition to young children) to math, reading, and even science programs.

 

If you are looking for an Educational Summer Camp for your child, consider Groza Learning Center!

Our Programs are offered in-home, online, and in-center.Summer Learning Camps

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For more information, call or email our office at 310-454-3731 or [email protected]

Summer Camp programs have limited space.

Book Today!

Partner Spotlight: Groza Learning Center

Canva-Woman-in-Red-Coat-Holding-Notebooks-and-Coffee-cup

As an experienced education partner, Laurel Springs recognizes that when it comes to learning options, one size does not fit all. Whether our partners want a comprehensive education program or to augment their curriculum with a few select courses, we help them find the best solution to suit their specific needs and student populations.

This additional academic support is one of the reasons why Groza Learning Center has chosen Laurel Springs to be a trusted partner for over six years. Tatyana Yukhtman is Director of this center located in Pacific Palisades, CA that offers tutoring, test prep, and other learning support to both full- and part-time students. She recently shared more about the kind of programs Groza provides and how partnering with Laurel Springs benefits all involved.

Groza Learning Center

Growing With Groza Learning Center

At Groza Learning Center, students work one-on-one or in small groups with a dedicated teacher either at the California center, at a student’s home, or online. In addition, the following programs were created to fully ensure each student and family had their unique learning goals met:

  • A program to help parents monitor their child’s learning progress
  • An in-person program for students with learning differences
  • Guiding students through their current school curriculum either online or in-person
  • Providing more time for students to master a certain subject

So, what makes Groza different from other learning centers? According to Ms. Yukhtman, “besides our 20+ years of experience in education working with students from gifted to the ones that have superpowers of ADD, ADHD, Autistic, Learning Differences, etc., to students who just need someone to listen and hear them… We believe that every student is unique, which is why we provide educational experiences that meet each student’s individual needs and we match each teacher with the student.”

Groza students not only receive the right amount of academic support, but they’re also given the tools necessary to strengthen their life skills and become more self-sufficient, strong, and self-confident learners. “For many of our students, we provide Academic Management, Executive Functioning, Foreign Language Classes (French, Spanish, Latin, Russian, Mandarin, and Japanese), and Study Skills. Our credential and experienced teachers work with each student based on their learning style, whether the student is gifted or has learning differences.”

Where Laurel Springs Comes In

For a learning center that already provides students with so much support, what else can a family ask for? Well, there’s a lot more, actually. Part of the personalized learning structure that both Groza and Laurel Springs provides caters to students from many different backgrounds, with a variety of scheduling needs, and who pursue a host of different passions.

“Over the years we have had the privilege of working with students who are looking for a flexible school schedule and rolling enrollment while having an ability to grow and excel academically and personally. Among our student body, we have students who travel the world with their parents, students who are in [the] entertainment industry, students athletes, or students who are looking for a part time or a full time alternative schooling program. We strive to provide our students a curriculum option that meets their needs…a WASC accredited, college prep, online and text-based [options], with courses approved by the NCAA and the University of California a-g. We appreciate that Laurel Springs provides our students the curriculum that we are looking for and more.”

Not only does Laurel Springs prioritize a student’s needs, but we also support our partners with a multi-faceted approach including guidance, progress reports, and more. It’s what keeps partners like Groza coming back for more. “We love having an opportunity to have a trusted partner in our corner. One that meets our goals for the family and that we feel comfortable referring.”

Tips For Mid Year Homeschool Transition

Tips For Mid Year Homeschool Transition 1

Here’s the good news, mid-year is the perfect time to transition to homeschool! Whether you’re considering transitioning due to the current pandemic, your child is falling behind, not being challenged, struggling with on-line learning, has learning differences, or any other justification, here are tips that will help make the shift more manageable.

Deciding to homeschool is a complex one, and the switch often causes parents to feel anxious and overwhelmed. However, realizing the benefits of homeschooling, such as customized curriculums, continually updated educational plans for optimal learning, 1:1 or small group instruction, and flexible schedules, often makes the process worthwhile.

Thankfully, if this process seems daunting, there are experts you can turn to that are well versed in homeschooling and who can help make the transition seamless.

Homeschool

Homeschooling 101:

1) Be aware of your state’s homeschooling rules and regulations.

Many states require:

  • Notification of your intent to homeschool to necessary officials.
  • Specific subjects that need to be covered.
  • Assessments for academic progress. 
  • Parents who homeschool have a highschool diploma or GED.
  • Record keeping and submission of students progress.

2) Withdrawing your child from their current school:

  • Contact your child’s school and school district to notify them of the change.
  • Make sure that every entity is notified correctly and on time.
  • Obtain all records and transcripts needed from your current school.

3) Explore Curriculum Options:

  • Research available curriculums to identify which work best for your family’s needs and match your child’s learning style.
  • Take into account your child’s educational goals, strengths, and weaknesses.
  • Join local homeschool groups and social media groups to help answer questions.

4) Create an Optimal Learning Environment:

  • Designate a space where your child can learn according to their specific learning style.
  • Remove distractions.
  • Gather all supplies, books, teaching materials in advance.
  • Create and follow a schedule.
  • Set Goals!

Be Patient

While you are navigating this new adventure, remember to be patient with yourself and your child until everyone gets used to the change. Without a doubt, you will encounter challenges, uncertainty, and many questions but know that it will get easier, and the gratification of watching your child reach their full potential will be priceless.

 

Groza Homeschool Parent Testimonial

“He says he has done more reading in 2 days than he has in 9 months on Zoom!-eeek!!

Reading is really something he resists doing so he'[s making up for lost time;)

Aside from that, interacting with friends and teachers has made all the difference and he absolutely loves it. We are very fortunate he has this opportunity.”

How to Build Successful Learning Pods

Learning Pods 2

What is a Learning Pod?

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, many school districts across the country are continuing with remote learning for the 2020-2021 school year. Parents worry that their children are not advancing academically or socially since they lack in-person teaching and are isolated from their friends. Learning pods to the rescue!  A learning pod — also referred to as a pandemic pod, teaching pod, learning bubble, or micro-school — consists of a small group of children receiving guided education outside of school through a parent, tutor, or hired teacher.

How to Build a Learning Pod:

Parents considering forming learning pods should consider the following questions: 

1.What are your academic goals?

  •  All-day coverage
  • Academic support
  •  Enhancement of remote learning
  • Learning through play

2. Are your children going to be safe? 

  • Are the other families following the same social distancing practices? 
  • Do you have adults available to lead the pod, or will you hire a private teacher?
  • Where will your learning pod be held?
  • Will you require regular testing for everyone?
  • Will you have mixed grade pods?
  • If so, are you familiar with the pros and cons of mixed grade learning pods?

Learning Pods

The Pros of Learning Pods:

  • individualized learning plans
  • minimizing health risks
  • flexible hours and days
  • socialization
  • helps kids stay motivated
  • higher concentration
  • greater confidence
  • higher course completion
  • greater engagement
  •  mental health
  • support for working parents
What parents need to be aware of :
  • Choosing the right curriculum can be stressful.
  • Researching state homeschool requirements can be confusing.
  • Is someone ensuring that your teacher is following proper CDC guidelines and social distancing protocol?
  • Does your teacher have all the necessary credentials?
  • Do you have a substitute if your teacher becomes ill or quits? 
  • Do you have insurance for all students and teachers in your home in case someone gets injured?
  • Are you receiving updates and progress reports from the teacher? 
  • Is your child learning at their pace and to their academic ability?
  • Learning Pods do not always work well for high school students since, being in the same grade does not necessarily mean you are taking the same subjects.
Groza Can Provide a Safe Alternative:
  • Fully Vetted, Experienced, Insured Teachers/Tutors.
  • 18+ years of reputable history in providing personal tutors. 
  • Learning and Grade Level Assessments
  • Customized Learning Plans
  • Customized Curriculum 
  • Learn from the safety of your home with an in-person or online teacher
  • Learn in our center, which follows strict CDC guidelines
  • Full transparency with detailed academic updates for parents
  • Regular COVID testing for teachers and staff
  • Peace of mind

 

For more information about our Learning Pods and Homeschool Programs:

Call: 310-454-3731

Email: [email protected]

Grow With Groza

 

 

Private School Admissions

Online-tutoring-girl 1

Is the ISEE or SSAT optional?

A personal experience for you and your family is always one you can hold to heart and look back on.  An experience in which you feel comfortable, safe, and reassured.  An experience in which relationships are deeply developed and open conversations are encouraged. Undoubtedly, this experience is one a parent might be seeking for their child when applying for a private school yet, with current world situations almost everything has shifted away from normalcy, and the same should be expected when applying for such schools. Questions about how the admissions process has changed, and requirements for ISEE and SSAT are on the table for discussion.  Parents and students alike need to be mindful of such changes. The road ahead isn’t completely straight, yet with proper guidance and knowledge it will  be easier to navigate.

Private School

Admission Changes:

Private schools expect the best from their students, and the students applying are already stepping up to that expectation. This means that private schools are choosing the best students from an already elite group of students, and these schools conduct this process in several ways. Traditionally, incoming students completed an entrance exam, whether it be an ISEE or an SSAT.  Addionally, students were required to submit an essay and have an interview. However, for the 2020-21 school year many private institutions have decided to due away with standardized tests. The onset of  COVID-19 altered the admissions  process forcing tests, interviews, orientations, and tours to take place virtually.

ADMISSION TESTING REQUIREMENTS 2020-2021

According to the LAIS the following schools:

WILL NOT REQUIRE or CONSIDER ISEE-SSAT:

  • Archer School for Girls
  • Berkeley Hall School
  • Brentwood School
  • Bridges Academy
  • The Buckley School
  • Campbell Hall
  • Chadwick School
  • Country School
  • Crossroads School for Arts & Sciences
  • de Toledo High School
  • Heschel Day School
  • Marlborough School
  • Marymount School
  • New Roads School
  • Oakwood School
  • Rolling Hills Prep
  • Sinai Akiba Academy
  • Turning Point School
  • The Wesley School
  • Westside Neighborhood School
  • Wildwood School
  • Willows Community School
  • Windward School

TEST-OPTIONAL POLICY:

  • Calvary Christian School
  • Episcopal School of Los Angeles
  • Harvard-Westlake School
  • Milken Community Schools
  • Mirman School
  • Sierra Canyon School
  • St. Matthew’s Parish School
  • Viewpoint School (CSS Character Skills Snapshot required)
  • Vistamar School

WILL HAVE SCHOOL-SPECIFIC ADMISSION TEST:

  • Archer School for Girls
  • Windward School

COMMON TRANSCRIPT REQUEST FORM:

Please note that the Common Transcript Request Form will ask for the last 3 years of each applicant’s school record, to include “an official transcript of all grades and evaluations, testing results, and information regarding disciplinary actions at your school for the 2018-19, 2019-20, and 2020-21 academic years.”

Updated August 28, 2020

How To Prepare:

During these uncertain times having a plan b or c is always a good option.  For those applying or in the admissions process for an independent school, ISEE and SSAT scores definitely stand out from the criteria even if they are not mandatory.  So, what should one do if in a situation where they must take this test?  Test prep and tutoring centers are always a go to when in any academic struggle, and Groza Learning Center specializes in  strengthening test taking skills, increasing confidence, and boosting scores.  While this time may be different, Groza Learning Center is here to help guide families through the process.

Private School ISEE Action Plan: Lets get Prepared

Private School ISEE Action Plan: Lets get Prepared

What is ISEE?

Getting into the right private school can be an incredibly confusing process for parents and students.  Similarly, registering, applying, and testing can often feel daunting and frustrating.  The first step, research and select schools you would like to attend.  The second, register and prepare for the ISEE.  The ISEE, or Independent School Entrance Examination, is a test that students are required to take to gain admission into private schools in the United States.  Therefore, if  you want your child to attend a private school, they will most likely have to register and test for the ISEE as part of the admissions application.

ISEE Test Dates for Private Schools:

Students may register to take the ISEE one time in any or all of three testing season

  • Fall (Aug.-Nov.)
  • Winter (Dec.- Mar.)
  • Spring/Summer (April-July)

 Note: Most private schools require ISEE official scores be submitted between Dec-Jan

Levels of ISEE:

  • Primary Level (entrance to grades 2-4)
  • Lower Level (entrance for grades 5-6)
  • Middle Level (entrance for grades 7-8)
  • Upper Level (entrance for grades 9-12

How is the ISEE structured?

  • Quantitative Reasoning
  • Verbal Reasoning
  • Reading Comprehension
  • Mathematics Achievement
  • Essay ( The essay portion is unscored and sent to the schools you apply to) 

How Can Groza Learning Center Help?

The importance of preparation is truly the key to success during this time, which is why Groza is here to create a clear path for your child and provide the necessary guidance along the way, online and in person. Grozas’ award winning program prepares students for the ISEE by introducing tricks and strategies to attack each question, reinforcing important academic concepts, instilling disciplined work habits, and building confident test taking skills.   Furthermore, you will likely notice an improvement in your child’s current grades since the ISEE contains math and verbal material that intentionally goes beyond most students’ comprehension level .  As a result, your child’s overall education will be enriched with valuable skills that will benefit them well beyond the ISEE. 

Our Recommendations for success:

  • Apply to at least 3 schools
  • Start your preparation as early as possible
  • Take a practice test to establish your benchmark 
  • Identify strengths and weakness
  • Work with an education specialist who can identify and strengthen weak areas 
  • Leaving plenty of time to prepare and improve
  • Consistently complete independent home work to insure retention and understanding
  • Repetition – Repetition- Repetition

 

Let’s Get Real! Which School Does My Child Have A Chance To Attend?

Private School

It’s fall, and by now you’ve narrowed your list of schools to ones you’re interested in applying to. So, reality check! Now’s the time to step back and honestly evaluate which one is the best match for your child and which one does your child honestly have a chance for admittance.

Since no two schools are created equal, it’s critical to consider your child’s personality AND their academic record. Some kids will thrive in a more expressive, hands-on experiential education while others need a more structured setting. Knowing your kid’s learning strengths and weaknesses, your family’s goals and values, as well as cost, location, class and school size, are all part of the mix.

But reality check here, you also need to know what the school is looking for. For example, Harvard Westlake and Brentwood require near-perfect scores, so it doesn’t make sense to waste time or money if the grades aren’t there.

Help yourself ace this process. Go to the Open House tours so you can check out the vibe, the facilities, and meet the staff. Because families become part of the private school’s family, the school will want to get to know you as well.

And since this is an enormous decision for your entire family, here’s another reality check, you may want to get expert advice. When it comes to helping you with all aspects of this sometimes overwhelming process from mock interviews to practice tests, Groza Learning Center offers all the services you need to succeed.