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...

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By ticking this box you accept your details being used to arrange an appointment and arrange future classes with the teaching team.

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™

5Jun/12Off

Parents, Positivity and the exams – what are Your roles?

So we forget that it's not just the exam students who are stressed up and down the country today - so are their whole houses, family homes, parents and siblings - they have been walking on egg-shells for weeks now!

There have been many tears since the mock results and some schools may not have helped by sending home letters in the last few weeks advising students to drop down in levels - at this stage of the game that is pointless - no one should drop a level - JUST GO FOR IT!

Chances are you need the points at that level, so a "pass" Leaving Cert is no use to you - schools seem to be out of touch with this reality! So you have this shot make it a good one and if it doesn't work out then worry about what to do next but it's very important at this stage to remain positive and put all the doubts in a large black box well out of the way.

In 1925 Dr. Elizabeth Hurlock showed in a study that students who were prasied and encouraged got vastly different results from those who were not or were critisised...

By the end of the fifth day, the results showed:

Those given praise – 71% improvement
Those criticized – 19% improvement
Those ignored – 5% improvement

This is huge and has been known since 1925 so why are we still giving students such a hard time at such critical stages in the exam process? What I have to explain to parents on repeat loop at this time of the year is that your daughter or son is not the same person they were in February of this year - 4 months is a lifetime in the development of a person between the ages of 15 and 18... so much has happened, they have changed their appearance, their friends, their music taste and so on - they have been learning so much information and working so hard to understand how to study, how to answer questions and most of all they have learnt from their mistakes in the mocks! So why would you think they were the person they were 4 months ago and would get the same result now?

So steps of what you can all do for the next 2 and bit weeks:

1: Totally believe in your child - defend them to anyone who doesn't and stick up for them - It will mean the world to them!

2: Somehow mange to teleport them to where they need to be - stress free and for them to always be early - Know their schedule for them, they have enough to think about!

3: Just make sure they have nice clothes to wear, snacks, water, tool kit - batteries for their calculators - rememebr to just hand it to them! They won't remember their heads right now..

4: Feed them really well - all their favorite foods and make sure they eat well between the end of the exam and the start of the next or the start of study for the next day..

5: Make them finish at least 30 minitues to an hour before bed time - have some nice time, a walk is fantastic.

6: Make sure they don't sleep surrounded by study notes - clear the sleeping space.

7: Make sure they take off the first Saturday of the first exam week - it's a very intense three day start with major subjects and not always their best specialist subjects - they need to pace themselves for their good topics the following two weeks - it's a lot of pressure and they need to totally step out for one day! Go to the mountians, beach, walking, cycling, film anything just away from it all.

8: Let everything go - people become very controling of silly things when they are stressed - where did this go - why was this moved - ignore ... get siblings to ignore and not lose the plot too!

9: Repeat point one it's the most important one - believe in them - don't go on about alternatives right now - they have to go for their dreams in full right now and really see them to achieve this - the alternative is an August conversation not a June one!

10: Tell them they are great at least 50 times a day! more if you can squash it in ...

 

Dr. Naoisé.

 

 

 

14Jun/11Off

The Value of Going Back to Basics

This blog piece is written by Rachel Sneyd. Rachel is currently completing an undergraduate degree in History and Politics at Trinity College Dublin. She is a keen writer and has just submitted her first teen-fiction novel for publication.

The Value of Going Back to Basics

It might seem counterintuitive, but sometimes in order to help a student move forwards you have to go backwards.

The roots of seemingly big problems are often found in basic gaps in knowledge that occurred months or even years before. For whatever reason a student doesn’t fully master a piece of information or skill. They can’t keep up with subsequent work that relies on them having this knowledge and they fall further and further behind. Their confidence is eroded and they are too embarrassed to ask for help with something they should already know. A simple gap, like not having fully grasped factorising in fifth class, becomes a big problem, like not being able to do Leaving Cert algebra.

Identifying these gaps and taking the time to fill them in, even if this means going backwards in the curriculum, can allow the student to finally catch up with their classmates.

There is also value in going back to a level of work that the student finds more manageable. They finally get a chance to be good at the subject and their confidence is built up. A third year student who thinks they are bad at English can excel at first year year level comprehensions. They can gradually be moved up to second and then third year work, often without realising that the work is getting harder. They have the confidence to attempt work they would have thought was impossible and even more importantly they expect to do it well because they have gotten used to succeeding.

 

3May/11Off

Human Clock

This lesson was created by Ellen Kelly. She is in her final year studying Maths and Biology at NUI,Maynooth. She has always enjoyed maths and hopes to teach it at a secondary school level soon enough! however when im not pondering some maths problems or prepairing my classes she likes to relax with a bit of yoga. 🙂

For this lesson

  • Cut out the numbers 1-12 and place them around the table to resemble a clock face. (or you can get the students to draw the numbers on the table now that we can do that!)
  • Now simply ask each student to be either the minute hand or  the hour hand and given a time ask them to possition themselves appropriatley around the table.
  • This lesson can be easily adjusted depending on the number of students to a class and the eqiupment/space available to you.
  • For instance with only one student the clock hands can be cut out so the student can place them in; or with more than 12 students each one can be a number and stand in a circle representing the clock itself while the remaing students act as the clock hands.

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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