Four steps to turn a bad mark into a learning experience

Take some time to think about it.

Nobody enjoys receiving hard feedback or a lower grade than expected. It can be disappointing, especially if you felt that you worked hard, and your marks do not reflect that. The first step to turning your grade around is taking some time to think about your mark and deal with the disappointment. It is okay to be disappointed when you didn’t get the grade you were hoping for. However, don’t stay stuck in disappointment, as this can lead to feelings of hopelessness. It might be harder to move on from the grade if you are angry and upset. However, if you take some time to deal with your emotions and accept the marks, it may help you calmly plan how to improve them in the future.

Look over the feedback figure.

Figure out where you went wrong.

Have a look at the type of mistakes you made. For example, were they silly mistakes due to time restraints or had you missed the point of the exam question? Alternatively, was your knowledge in the area lacking and could you work on improving this for next time. Once you understand where you went wrong, you can implement measures to avoid repeating the same mistakes.

Implement a plan to improve your marks in the future.

Getting low grades can be an important learning tool if we allow them to be. They can make us re-evaluate how we are working and make improvements. Keep in mind that everyone makes mistakes, and it takes focus to learn from them and do better next time.

Five things I would tell a younger me when it comes to studying

Five things I would tell a younger me when it comes to studying at high school

Sometimes when we are going through something (like high school) we have our faces pressed so hard to the glass it can be hard to see the bigger picture. Sometimes it is important to step back and take a moment to reflect. Here are 5 things I would tell a younger me. Plus one bonus tip.

1. Lots of people find the study and work hard.

During high school, I felt like everyone around me had a great system to keep up with their work and understood the content much better than I did. After high school, I realised that many people found studying and content difficult and that we were all trying to find a way to navigate a balance of studies with the normal stressors of life. Knowing that I was not alone allowed me to slowly find more confidence in myself a find a study system that worked for me.

2. Pacing yourself is important.

It can be hard to find a good balance between studying hard and overdoing it. But balance is key. The more we can find balance with our schoolwork, extra-curricular activities and social lives the more enjoyable the work can become because it doesn’t feel like every second of the day is spent on one thing. This balance can also help provide us with the stamina we need to get through all the work required, it’s a marathon, not a sprint.

3. There is more than one way to achieve your goals.

Often in high school, it feels like our final exams are the most important things in the world. And while they are important, if something goes wrong, there are often other ways and pathways we can take to achieve our goals. Always try your hardest, but it is not the end of the world (or your career aspirations) if you need to use another avenue.

4. Studying something you enjoy is a lot easier than studying something you don’t.

Picking your subjects is important and often impacts the future you wish to seek after high school. The more you choose topics that interest you, the more likely you are to engage and enjoy the content. This will make it easier to learn more effectively, and you will enjoy the study required for them.

5. Study with friends.

If you can, study with your friends. It is amazing how much a different perspective can help when you are stuck on a difficult question and can’t find a solution. Studying with friends can provide a less stressful and more supportive environment that allows you to enjoy the process more than if you were alone.

Bonus tip

High school is hard and you dont have to do it alone.

When I was in high school I had it in my head that asking for or needing more help to understand the content meant I had failed in some way. So, I stubbornly tried to do everything by myself which caused a lot of grief. I struggled for long hours over questions that could have been answered in minutes by teachers or tutors. I sat confused and angry at myself when I didn’t understand something, which was bad for my grades and my mental health. So, I would tell a younger me, there is absolutely nothing wrong with asking for help.

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Let’s Develop A Lifelong Passion For Learning

Let’s Develop A Lifelong Passion For Learning “My love is thine to teach. Teach it but how, and thou shalt see how apt it is to learn. Any hard lesson that may do thee good.” – William Shakespeare. What does ‘education’ mean to you? When they think of ‘education’, many people imagine a structured classroomContinue reading “Let’s Develop A Lifelong Passion For Learning”

Let’s Develop A Lifelong Passion For Learning

Let’s Develop A Lifelong Passion For Learning

“My love is thine to teach. Teach it but how, and thou shalt see how apt it is to learn. Any hard lesson that may do thee good.” – William Shakespeare.

What does ‘education’ mean to you? When they think of ‘education’, many people imagine a structured classroom or lecture experience, usually at school or university. While that is certainly an important part of it, it is not the be-all and end-all. At Evergreen Tutoring, we believe that education is synonymous with learning new things, self-improvement, and achieving goals. That is why we are believers in the education for life principle. Meaning that it is always beneficial to learn new concepts, challenge yourself, and aim for self-improvement, regardless of whether you are a student just entering high school, just graduating university, or well established into your career. Because there will always be some knowledge, you can learn to help you understand innovative ideas and work towards self-improvement.

Why education goes beyond the classroom

The skills you are taught at school and university are vital, and will help you achieve a range of goals. For example, the fundamental principles of mathematics can help hone valuable life skills such as setting and sticking to budgets. While English studies will help you communicate fluently, eloquently, and without unnecessary repetition.

However, we at Evergreen are committed to helping everyone achieve their learning goals. We work with mature age students to help them build valuable skillsets for a number of important things, such as:

Improving general communication skills.

Have you ever had to type an important work email, and you sit behind your desk for half an hour, just thinking about how to write the first sentence? Should I say “have to” or “must”? Should I write “sincerely” or “cheers”? It is easy to get so caught up in the minor details that we can’t see the forest for the trees. At Evergreen, we have skilled tutors who help students learn important writing skills that may extend beyond the classroom setting.

Developing an appreciation for new models of learning.

The world has changed so much in the past two years, and many people are finding that they have to move with it, or risk feeling left behind. With countless businesses now working from home, and classroom’s being taught via Zoom and Microsoft Teams, some people may feel there is a steep learning curve for keeping up with things. We at Evergreen are constantly adapting our practices to account for this.

So, we can help students develop a wider appreciation of learning, and help them find new ways to engage with texts, lessons, and ideas.
We have found that often when a student feels they can’t ‘understand’ something, the issue is not with their comprehension. It is with how information is being delivered.
We work with students to help them find a way to engage with texts that works for them.

Find a strategy that works for you

One method for actively developing an appreciation for lifelong learning is finding a strategy that works for you. When it comes to learning, there is often strictly no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ method. Rather different approaches to doing things. What approach works well for one student may not work so well for another, who may be more receptive to an alternative strategy. At Evergreen, we believe no approach is ‘better’ than another; you know what strategy is best for you? The one that works!

Remember, even exalted people universally regarded as the top of their field developed unique strategies to doing things. This includes engaging with texts, understanding mathematical principles and communicating with people. For example, the great William Shakespeare was born in 1564, and wrote many of his plays based on real-life historical people in the 1590s and 1600s. Students sometimes ask if his historical plays, such as Antony and Cleopatra and Julius Caesar,are ‘accurate’. Those people lived in the first century BC, over 1600 years before Shakespeare’s birth, and probably didn’t speak in either Iambic Pentameter or Elizabethan English.
Shakespeare understood a key principle of learning and engaging with people:
Do so in a way that works best for you (Shakespeare found it easier to write in Elizabethan English than Latin).

Contact us to get started on achieving your learning goals

Exam study tips 

Exam study tips  It can often feel overwhelming and stressful trying to balance studying for all your subjects when studying for exams. Having strategies in place to lower stress levels and improve productivity can allow you to achieve the most out of your exams. Make a plan. (And stick to it!) Initially, making a studyContinue reading “Exam study tips “

Why you should read your English early

Why you should read your English early and how to remember them


Each year level is usually prescribed a book or text in high school, which will be studied throughout the year.

Even though the holidays are a time for fun, one of the best things you can do (especially in years 10, 11 and 12) in helping you prepare for the new school year is to read your prescribed English text before school resumes.

These texts can be hard

So why? There are many reasons to get ahead of your English text nice and early during the school holidays. Often English texts can be long and complicated. They are full of many hidden messages that need to be pulled apart and reflected on. By starting the text early, you can take your time and start getting your head around the different messages in the text.

Reduce your stress

In addition, waiting to read the text until school starts can often put on added workload and stress when added to your other school work and commitments. It is also common for many schools and teachers to have expected you to have read the text before school starts so that they can start work on the text straight away. So by getting onto it early, you will thank yourself later!

How to remember them after you finished reading

So how do you remember the text? While you begin to read the text over the holidays, one of the best resources to help you throughout the semester is to do chapter summaries! Chapter summaries are short paragraphs you create that summarise the text’s key points. These are helpful when looking back to undertake your essays and assignments about the text. It also helps consolidate your knowledge, ensuring you can summarise the most important parts of the text. This will then translate well once you get to your assignments.
Google and research can assist you to enhance your notes as well- you have time throughout the holidays to use additional resources to delve deeper into your text!

Quotes

Don’t overwhelm yourself

No one is expecting you to read the book in one night. The best tip is to read one chapter at a time. Or set yourself a certain amount of pages to read per day. Then make sure you set some time aside to compile your chapter summaries! For example, you may choose to read one chapter and then spend 20 minutes writing a summary and adding any relevant quotes you found.


Getting ahead of the English text, is the most stress relieving thing you can do to lighten your workload once the year starts! This advice can also translate to any other texts of study you have – whether it be a play or movie. You can also get ahead of the game by watching/reading these and summarising them.

Good luck and happy reading!

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What is the difference between year 10 maths and year 10 A maths?

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Science ideas for the school holidays

Science isn’t just for the classroom! It is to encourage passion and wonder in bright little minds!

Science can be so much fun, and it is easy to get children thinking when it comes to science experiments in activities you can do over the school holidays (or even the weekend!).

YouTube is a great resource. There are so many videos of methodologies for a variety of safe and fun school holiday science activities. In these videos, they usually list the ingredients, method and an explanation as to what is happening. If you go through this video before doing the experiment with your child, you will know what questions to ask them.

1. Slime.

Slime is all the rage these days, and there are many videos online which explain the science behind slime. Make some slime with your children, see what they think about different textures, or the way different ingredients react. Get children to think about or predict what they think will happen as they go through the process of making slime. Change certain ingredients and see if their hypothesis changes as you change the method. Slime can not only be a good experiment for young children, but older students can explore concepts such as polymerisation.

2. Crystals.

There are many different online methodologies available on making at-home crystals. Some are also holiday-specific, for example, there are recipes available for candy-cane crystals. Once again, encourage children to think about what is happening. Predict how long the process will take and changes based on the conditions. Crystals can also be an opportunity to explore the concept of crystallography. You can also elaborate on older students in investigation atoms and their arrangements.

3. Lava lamps.

Many videos explain how to make at-home ‘lava lamps’. It is a fun experiment to do with children. You can also add some colour learning theory while using the food colourings. For older children, the lava lamp focuses on the concept of density. You can get students thinking of why the lava effect occurs. Oil will float, as it is denser than water, causing the lava lamp “bubble blob” effect.

4. Mentos Volcano.

Yes, okay, this one is messy but it’s a classic. Doing this outside on a hot summers day, with a hose on standby, is so much fun. Get them thinking about what they think will happen as you add in the ingredients. Also, get them thinking, would it work with other lollies, why or why not?

5. Invisible ink.

There are also plenty of videos online that involve creating invisible ink. This can be a fun activity to do, (not much mess involved.). Invisible ink experiments usually involve lemon juice. The basis of the experiment is that lemon juice contains carbon compounds that are colourless at room temperature.

6. Bouncy egg

Another fun experiment to try is the bouncy egg experiment. This experiment turns an egg into a “bouncy ball”. There are also many videos showcasing this experiment on YouTube. The premises of the experiment involves the calcium carbonate shell of an egg undergoing a chemical reaction when placed in vinegar which reacts with the calcium carbonate to produce carbon dioxide. This can be a fun experiment for chemistry students to write out the chemical reaction.

7. Rainbow milk science experiment.

This is a pretty one. This experiment focuses on surface tension. There are also plenty of videos online showcasing this experiment, which is quite mesmerising.

8. Vegetable battery.

Sounds crazy, I know. But this one is a good experiment for physics students. It involves looking at how electricity is conducted, which is important when studying circuits

Overall, these are just a few of the science experiments available out there. But there are many more. Utilise google and YouTube. There are endless videos and blog posts describing numerous activities for children and students of all ages.

It is important to ensure you keep the student thinking about why things are happening. What is the best question a scientist can ask? Encourage questions, and you will have a flourishing scientist in no time. Happy experimenting!

Tips for making the most out of each expermiment.

Ask the students questions like, do you think it would still work if we changed this? What would happen if we did this instead? Then try changing different things throughout your experiment. Get them thinking and researching why certain things cause a change whilst others don’t. In other words, get them to hypothesise. A hypothesis is a key component in science. A hypothesis, in simple terms means “what do you think is going to happen when we do this”. Ask them this question before every experiment. Get them to explain their methodology and their outcomes. Science is fun because we get to think and question. Let’s go through some ideas for some science-related holiday fun for both primary and high school aged children.

Are you looking for a tutor to help your child understand these science concepts in greater depth?

We have a group of experts p[assionate about science who can help you out. Contact us on 0409 083 909 today or send us an enquiry, and we will call you!

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complex questions

How to break down complex questions into simpler parts

1. Determine what the question is asking from you by looking at the command word. A few common examples of command words include ‘list’, ‘state’, ‘describe’, ‘compare’, ‘explain’, and ‘discuss’. This list of command terms progressively increases in complexity, and thus your responses are also required to be more extensive. Also, note the amount of marksContinue reading “How to break down complex questions into simpler parts”

How to increase vocabulary

Increasing your vocabulary is easier than you think.

Writing can be hard… it is difficult not to use the same words over and over again. But the repetition of the same words can make our work seem dull and uninteresting. Moreover, limited vocabulary can hurt the marks we receive for an essay.

Let’s discuss some ways you can improve your essay writing vocabulary.

Reading.

This one may sound obvious, but those who read more usually have a much larger vocabulary. Try finding some books that interest you, whether that be fiction or non-fiction. If you come across words in your books that you think are interesting and useful, then write them down. Keep an ‘interesting vocabulary list’ or a ‘word journal’ with the definitions of each word. Ideally, it would be good to start including these words in your spoken and written vocabulary. That way, when it comes to writing your essays, you will have a list of words you are comfortable using and the memory of how to use them correctly

Use a Thesauruses

You may be able to find synonyms for words that you find yourself repeating in your essays. If you find you have particular comfort words (words you find yourself falling back on time and time again), use the thesaurus to compile a list of words that mean the same as your comfort word. For example, if you find yourself using the word ‘however’ a lot in your essays, your list might look like this:

– However
– Nonetheless
– Notwithstanding
– Yet
– Despite

This gives you a list of words you can use interchangeably with the word ‘however’. It is important to remember when you increase your vocabulary, you do not need to hunt with the longest words in existence. Sometimes simple words like ‘yet’ are perfect for your sentence. When we improve our vocabulary, we don’t need to sound like we ate the dictionary. We just need to have options, so we aren’t saying the same words on repeat. So, in short, when you use the thesaurus to improve your vocabulary, consider the smaller words as well

Word journal.

I know I mentioned this earlier, but be sure to add any word you come across in day to day life that you think may come in useful. Maybe the teacher has said a word which you want to write down. Maybe a TV show character said a word that you thought is unique and may be useful for your essay writing. Keeping a journal with a variety of interesting words is a great way to have quick access to a variety of words when the time comes to write an essay.

Learn a new word each day.

This may sound silly, but these days there are plenty of ways to learn a new word each day. You can buy “word of the day calendars”, but there are also apps and websites which allow you to access a brand new word each day, with a definition. Over time this will help increase your vocabulary.

Play word games.

Games like scrabble, boggle, crosswords or word apps on your phone can help you increase your vocabulary. Continue challenging yourself with these games and try and learn as many new words as possible.

Overall, increasing your vocabulary does take work. But there are many ways to make it fun. Make a fun little challenge with yourself, and you will find your vocabulary increasing in no time.

Looking for more help increasing your vocabulary?

If you would like someone on one help with someone who can help you build your vocabulary while refining your skills in other subjects you are interested in reach out to us on 0409 083 909.
Or you can send us an enquiry and we will contact you!

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Exam study tips 

Exam study tips 

It can often feel overwhelming and stressful trying to balance studying for all your subjects when studying for exams. Having strategies in place to lower stress levels and improve productivity can allow you to achieve the most out of your exams.

Make a plan. (And stick to it!)

Initially, making a study plan/routine allows you to visualise when all your exams are going to occur and how long you have to study for them. Spending some time visualising the work that needs to be done can save time in the long run. Once you have a plan written up, set some goals you wish to achieve during your study period. This might include how many hours of each subject you wish to work on a week, or the number of topics you wish to cover in a given time frame.

An important aspect of this step is to make your goals achievable. Often, we want to set big goals, but the key to exam study is stamina. If we work too hard at the start, we can burn out, which can lead to achieving less overall.
So, try and set achievable goals and allow you to work at a steady and consistent pace throughout your entire exam study period.

Create a study space

Another tip to help this process is having a designated space to complete your work that is limited in distractions. If you are a visual person having a wall to put up notes and revision can be really helpful when trying to remember tricky content.

Walking past a sticky note on the wall a couple of times a day can help improve your memory retention for content you wish to remember. Another tip during study periods is taking regular breaks and, if you can, spending some time outside in fresh air, which can help to relax and destress.

Figue out what works for you

When studying, many different techniques can work for different people, so it’s important to find a style of study that works for you. For example, some people like to learn through rewriting content, others like to draw diagrams, and others like to watch video content. Once you find a method that works for you, use it and pay close attention to your course content.

Practice exams. Do as many as you can!

Also, don’t be afraid to ask for help. There are often many people around us who would be happy to help. Sometimes, we need a different perspective to understand a tricky question.

Overall, while exam study periods can be very stressful, it is important to remember that they end, and hard work is often rewarded. Good luck

Reach out

How to increase vocabulary for essay writing

How to increase vocabulary for essay writing

Essay writing can be hard… it is so difficult not to use the same words over and over again. So let’s discuss some ways you can improve your essay writing vocabulary and nine words you should start using now.

  1. Reading. Ok, now this one may sound obvious, and you have probably heard it a million times before, but those who read everyday have a larger vocabulary. Try finding some books that interest you, whether fiction or non-fiction. If you come across words in your books that you think are interesting and useful, write them down and try to use them in a conversation. Keep an ‘interesting vocabulary list’ or a ‘word journal’ with the definitions of each word. Then, when it comes time to write your essay, you have access to a unique list of words.
  2. Use a dictionary… old school. These days dictionaries are both physical and online, but they are a great way to find new words. The thesauruses is even better, as you may be able to find synonyms for words that you find yourself repeating in your essay.
  3. Word journal. I know I mentioned this earlier, but be sure to add any word you come across in day to day life that you think may come in useful. For example, maybe the teacher has said a word which you want to write down. Maybe a TV show character said a word that was unique and may be useful for your essay writing. Keeping a journal with a variety of interesting words is a great way to have quick access to a variety of words when the time comes to write an essay.
  4. Learn a new word each day. This may sound silly, but these days there are plenty of ways to learn a new word each day. You can buy “word of the day calendars”, but there are also apps and websites which allow you to access a brand new word each day, with a definition. Endeavour to use this word at least once in a sentence during the day. Over time this will help increase your vocabulary.
  5. Play word games. Games like scrabble, boggle, crosswords or word apps on your phone can help you increase your vocabulary. Continue challenging yourself with these games and try and learn as many new words as possible.
  6. Write down the words your teachers are repeatedly using in reference to a text or movie. Not only will this increase your vocabulary, but if your teacher is constantly using a set of words in reference to a set text, it is important to remember them. This is because you will be expected to use these words in your essays. For example, if your film is Rear Window, the word voyeurism is one you must understand and be able to incorporate into your essay writing for the topic.

Here are the top nine words you should start including in your vocabulary today:

  • Anecdotal
  • Furthermore
  • However
  • Endeavour
  • Incorporate
  • Moreover
  • Similarly
  • Contrast
  • Conversely
  • Compelling
  • Significantly
  • Notably
  • Demonstrates
  • illustrates
  • Subsequently
  • Affective
  • Unbiased
  • Problematic
  • questionable

Overall, increasing your vocabulary does take work. But there are many ways to make it fun. Make a fun little challenge with yourself, and you will find your vocabulary increasing in no time.

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When should I start preparing for my exams?

When should I start preparing for my exams? Why?

Exam season can be a very overwhelming time, no matter what age or year level you are in. Exam season often brings us a variety of emotions… let’s talk about when you should start preparing for exams and why, with some hints and tips.

Now, I cannot predict what date you are reading this article, but I can tell you the time to start preparing for exams is TODAY. Now don’t stress, let’s talk about this.

Start preparing for your exams today

Reading this halfway through the year?

Haven’t done this or are you reading this article a little later in your study journey? Don’t panic. The best time to start preparing for your exam is today. You can still use the above tips. Go through your learning objectives, use them as a guide on what to focus your study on, and write summary notes. This will allow you to have a more thorough understanding of what you are expected to know to start working on some practice exams.

In summary, it is never too early to start exam preparation. The earlier you start, the less stress and more time you will have later down the track. The most important thing to remember is to take breaks, be kind to yourself and do your best. You’ve got this.

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Should I do six year 12 subjects?

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Developing pencil grip

Developing your child’s pencil grip

As teachers, we are frequently approached by parents who are concerned about their child’s awkward pencil grip. If left ignored, pencil grip issues can have a negative impact on a child’s academic achievement in school. When children sense that they are falling behind, it can cause worry, disappointment, and low self-esteem, causing them to fall even more behind.

In saying this, it is important to note that pencil grip acquisition is developmental. Therefore we will focus on pencil grips for 5–6-year-old children in this post.

Correct pencil grip

What Is a Good Pencil Grip? 

A good pencil grip allows a child to:

• be able to move their fingers efficiently rather than wrist/arm

• be able to write neatly, and for prolonged periods of time

Although there is no definite right or wrong way to hold a pencil, several Occupational Therapists and Educational Bodies endorse the tri-pod grip. By the age of 5 or 6, children should be able to employ this grip. The tri-pod grip involves placing the pencil between the thumb and index finger, with the middle finger resting on the pencil. This grip is chosen because it allows the learner to have better pencil control and provides for more comfort and longevity when writing.

Teaching Pencil Grip 

Your child may find proper pencil grip unusual at first, but they will grow used to it. If you assist them, many children will begin with a proper grasp and then transition to what they are used to.

How often do you have to stop your child and fix their pencil grip? As often as you can without causing them undue discomfort. Pay attention to your child’s signals, and don’t press too hard.

Some tips to help you succeed:

Car story: Explain when demonstrating the grasp in the form of a family in a car. In the front, the parents are seated, while three children are seated in the back. Instructions that are presented in a pleasant and relatable manner help children remember and understand them.

Set a good example: by doing a lot of writing and colouring in front of and with your kids. The more they see you do it, the more likely they are to follow.

Pencil grip activity

Pegs: Pinching and squeezing clips, pegs, tweezers, or even tongs help build hand muscle strength.

  • Have your child use pegs to pick up pom poms and move them into a bucket or sort them into groups by colour or size. Have a race to see who can do it the quickest!
  • Make a caterpillar! Cut out the shape of a caterpillar’s body and draw a face on one end. Have your child clip pegs to the body as the caterpillar’s legs.

One last piece of advice: It’s difficult to modify a child’s habit of holding a pencil incorrectly for years. Even if it is a bit less efficient and tidy, children may nevertheless write fast and cleanly with an improper pencil grip.

You’ll have to decide whether adjusting their placement is worth the extra effort and inconvenience. If your child’s pencil grip is working well for him or her, making a change is unlikely to be worth the stress it will cause you and your child. Make the best decision you can.

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