22Aug/17Off

Exam results and college courses – Where do they lead? Dr Naoisé O’Reilly

2001-09-27Didn't get the results you expected, worked for, deserved or needed in the exams? Worried that you won't get your top choice course? What are your options now? Find an alternative path, one that you will make you happy long term.

Over the years I have seen a few interesting correlations. Students, who don't do mocks do better - go figure? Those who have a backup plan and are relaxed do better. The career path matters more than the study hours put into exams. Having a goal is crucial to success in education.

My pet hate is how many people start a college course which they drop out of or never use as a career. So many students spend so much time in education unhappy.

I believe everything in life happens for a reason - 9 times out 10 if you didn't get the course you had applied for it probably wasn't for you anyway! Hard to believe I know when your 17 but with years experience of working in education I now see things very differently to what I did on my own results day - hard to believe that I was disappointed with over 500 points! I could have done almost any course I wanted in the country that day except the one I had picked - and now I know I never would have been satisfied in life... I did 3 A-Levels after which turned out to be a strangely good decision. It opened up doors later in life for me and it gave me the basis to top my eventual course choice in college. Who would have known?

What I aim to do with our students is to show them their best path, someone recently called me a life balance architect because I provide the road map. Your career should suit your personality and the way you process the world. How do you really learn effectively? What is the best environment for you? What's the best career? What's the easiest route there for you that you will enjoy?

Everyone has to follow their dreams and I would like to see them do this from as early an age as possible, I start at 18 months! The career might be a highly academic one that needs many traditional school subjects or it may be one that is totally outside the box and needs many skills not covered currently in mainstream education. Most of all of should be a journey you enjoy. My simple ingredients for success in education are; do what you love, what you are good at and in a way you enjoy.

Link for an appointment:

http://www.confidenceclub.ie/book-appointments/

This short video I recorded at the Irish Times Higher Options Conference in RDS explains why profiling is so important for Students as early in their education life as possible. It's a few years old now but the same message still stands! Exams, college, and education should lead to a fulfilled life. Not a sense of dejection and a list of mistakes made.

Dr Naoisé O'Reilly

 

 

18Nov/13Off

Using Audio Books to enhance focus, comprehension skills and vocabulary for dyslexic spectrum students

I got my first cassette player at the age of 7 - I still can clearly remember all of the books I listened to over and over. I started using my first cassette recorder at the age of 12 in secondary school to record all my lessons so I could listen back to them - I upgraded to a MP3 player/recorder by college!

Now as a dyslexic adult I insist on reading daily to keep up my skills and I'm secretly chuffed at having read 27 books this year! 

However I still listen to audio books for series that I feel are beyond my reading and I feel that I would miss out on... 

I prescribe audio books for younger students like a medical doctor. For younger students who are book-phobic it gets them into reading and liking books - they don't realize what the are missing out on! It also helps with focus and relaxing the brian. I will talk about this more in my future sleep patterns article. The biggest thing I learned at 7 was that I could memorize the story by listening - it thought me the auditory compensation skills that I still rely so heavily on - in college my fellow students were fascinated that I could remember word for word the lectures despite no notes as I wasn't able to ever take dictation. I would later correct all my class mates notes as I used them for my degree as I have had the time to take the lecture in and understand it rather than worrying about writing. So audio books teach us how to focus while just listening. 

Many dyselxic spectrum students struggle with comprehension. Again with audio books we can learn to focus on the context of writing and reading. We learn what to expect from lanuage and where it goes best together. This later helps us while we are reading - it's like we go into auto pilot working out the text from the context without even realizing what we are doing! 

Lastly a great benefit of audio books is learning words! Like many dyslexics I simply didn't have the words to say or write at an early age as I wasn't learning them from books. We all know the students who talk better because they read or are read to or they spend more time in adult conversations - they always stand out as being more "educated" to us.  Dyslexics quite often are seen as poor at communication as they speak a lot in "things" and "stuff" and other small bity words to fill the gaps of what they are trying to say. Audio books can help to fill these gaps very quickly!

As dyslexics all have huge imaginations I always recomend books that open up new worlds - or even better are like the world you live in only differently. This is why Harry Potter has got more dyslexics to read than any other series ever. 

You can download the Harry Potter Audio Books directly from http://www.pottermore.com/

The next series I love is the Dark materials or Northern Lights series as I see them by Phillp Pullman. These can be found on iTunes, Audible and the BBC http://www.bbcshop.com/audiobook-boxsets/phillip-pullman-his-dark-materials-trilogy/invt/9780563529286

For every young student I recommend Dr. Seuss - He is amazing. The app store for the iPhone and iPad has some amazing interactive audio book apps - The Star-Belly Sneetches is still my favorite.

For older students I recommend the Twilight sage, any of the Agatha Christie books or plays, Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh, Dick Francis & Felix Francis, Donna Leon books, Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling. Boys will probably enjoy Frederick Forsyth or John Le Carre which may be too difficult to read. For both when older any books by Dan Brown or The Cuckoo's Calling by Robert Galbraith can be good debating books on larger world issues.

Happy listening,

Dr. Naoisé O'Reilly    Expression Developist™

3Sep/13Off

How to Start/Setup a Homework Club

Over the last 4 and bit years since I set-up The Homework Club I have received a huge number of inquires as to how to go about setting up a simpler and successful operation within other schools or locations. So I have decided that it is time to start imparting the knowledge to others. What are our secrets to success? Why do all of our students do so well? How do we turn around students lives in a few hours? How do we help them to revise productively? How do we offer them extra support outside of their normal classes? How do you set-up an operation that is as award winning as ours and get the results we get?   

For a full consultation and advice session that will suit the school or educational establishment you're working within please complete the booking form below. It makes no difference to me what age your students are as I currently work with students from 5 to 72 years of age and I work internationally as far as America, New Zealand, Dubai to the UK, France and of course Ireland.   

We also have worked extensively with ADD, ADHD, Dyslexia (whole spectrum), Dysgraphia, Dyspraxia, Aspergers, Autism Spectrum.   

Simply fill in the form below & choose the time of your appointment & we'll be delighted to guide you through your steps to success...

Your Name*

School Address*

Your Country*

Phone Number*

Your Email*

Stage in Education*

Referral from an Organisation*

Areas where help needed setting up*

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10+10=? 

19Aug/13Off

Leaving Cert results 2013, A year later – the transformation of The Homework Club to Confidence Club

So it is one year on - our first state exams results since transforming The Homework Club into Confidence Club and I have been asking myself what are the real results? 

In the past I found myself dancing around the real issues with students - as parents and students alike thought they were attending some form of "grind school" we spent more time by stealth in the background getting to the real reasons behind what was going on ... it was often a case of me waiting for an opportunity in the hall to chat casually to a student or waiting for the chance when a parent collected their charge. 

Now it is all a lot more straight forward and upfront - which means less time waiting for the chance to talk about what is really happening. All too often the maths result or other challenge is just a factor in what is really happening in a young persons life. 

This means a year later I can say that we have worked with real people, real problems and in record time. Many of the students I have met have required no more help from me or my team after the initial hour and a half meeting. Their whole lives have improved not just the "maths problem" or the "english essay rows". The time my team have spent in peoples house has been less that we would have needed in the school for greater return. 

All round as what we do is not conventional in anyway it didn't make sense to continue with a conventional school model. I felt often that we had a revolving door as we got results too quickly and now we get them even quicker with a wider spectrum of people. 

Another change for me is that I have often felt that we work with students that everyone else has washed their hands of - now we work with the really outside the box stories that no one has thought of! I truly enjoy the challenge and nothing has ever shocked me. I think there is no way now we can be seen as a simple "grind school". 

I'm looking forward to what this year brings and all the amazing young people I will meet along the way. 

Dr. Naoisé

Expression Developist™

4Jan/13Off

Helping Dyslexics to write within an hour

Even if I don't want to be pigeon-holed as a dyslexic specialist I can't help but attract many dyslexic students to help! I currently work with a range of dyslexic students from the ages of 5 to 55.

It is an absolute joy to see someone effortless write their first page in an hour. I remember only too well how hard it was for me!

 

 

Point of Blog

Our motto is that "we don't do normal". Everyone who comes to The Homework Club is different and is here for a different reason. It's not important if they are dyslexic, have reduced hearing or simply don't "get-it". This Blog is about creative teaching that suits everyone, all of the time! No one needs to be "special". The work is done in groups, so students avoid stigma and don't feel only they need help!

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