Category Archives for Educate

Kumon Math and Reading Center of Plano

Does your child need after-school Math & Reading assistance?

Would you like your child to excel in school? Is completing math and reading homework a war zone at home? Does your child struggle with test anxiety? Do you wish your child was more confident? Does any of this sound familiar?

If so, then Kumon Math and Reading Center of Plano is your answer.

Plano Owner, Shilpa Kumar says as fifth and seventh graders her two daughters surpassed every academic goal set for them. Acceptance to honors classes was a breeze, grades were at the top of their class, and still, they time to pursue piano, karate, and be a drill sergeant in the high school drill team. She says that our excellent school system did make a huge difference, but it was Kumon that put them on top of their game.

Kumon is an after-school Math and Reading program that unlocks the potential of children by motivating them to achieve more on their own.

After seeing the advancements in math and reading from her children, she moved from being a Kumon parent to Kumon instructor. She was a Texas certified Teacher and taught physics and chemistry for 10 years at Creekview High School and at Irving High School.   She saw her students struggle with calculations and simple manipulation of formulas due to a lack of fundamental knowledge. She realized that Kumon could help her own children get ahead, but also help struggling students like those in her classes to get caught up.

Kumon offers individualized instruction to develop each child’s ability to their maximum potential.

Instructors help each child self-learn through the Kumon worksheets by following step by step instructions. Students complete daily assignments specific to their current level of ability and advance once mastery is achieved. Through this process, students become self-learners studying ahead of grade level.

Kumon Plano

 

Since opening her center at 1501 Preston Road, the success stories she has witnessed have expanded well beyond her own children.  She has many students that started Kumon struggling math and reading but now are excelling in school.

Saair joined Kumon in 3rd grade. In the initial meeting, he told Shilpa he did not like math. After four years in Kumon, he has changed his mind about math and is now in seventh grade and working on twelfth-grade reading and tenth-grade math.

Sai was only three when he enrolled in the math program. Sai told her that he liked math and wanted to get ahead of his peers. After two and a half years, he is working on sixth-grade math, far ahead of his first-grade peers. Experiencing such results has been incredible, and she looks forward to continuing to develop the students in Plano for many years to come.

Give Shilpa a call at 214-299-2002 or come and see her for a free Placement Test to set your child on the path to success!

 

plano moms plano tx

I could NEVER Homeschool – a Plano Mom’s Story

The answer “We homeschool” is almost always met with, “I could never do that!” The response always makes me pause a second because there is really no good reply. I could mumble something like, “Oh okay.” I can ignore it and just move on in the conversation. Or, what I really want to do sometimes is answer with, “Not with that attitude!”

homeschool plano

It seems that people who aren’t in the homeschooling world truly don’t understand how we “put up” with our children 24/7. I have friends who homeschool and friends who do not homeschool. I do know that the ones who do not homeschool do look forward to school starting again. It’s their routine, it’s what they’re used to, it orders their life. For homeschoolers, we feel the same about keeping our children home to learn. Having them home all the time is our routine. We have found ways to make it ordered. Ways that make us look forward to August for different reasons….

Homeschooling moms aren’t super women. We don’t always have the patience of Job. Honestly, I think a lot of my public school mom friends have way more patience than I do! We are just used to doing things on our terms and at our family’s speed. That is truly the beauty and saving grace of homeschooling. Not answering to a school bell, not having to know the 12’s tables by Friday when your child is stuck on 12×6. Being able to say forget the Romans when your child want to skip ahead and devour books on WW2. Homeschooling doesn’t have the same stress and feel as not homeschooling does.

dfw homeschool resource plano

We do have our own stresses though! For one, our children are home 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Or at least they could be. I think most of us do put our children in activities whether it be academic or for fun. We are the primary person guiding and directing the education of a person or persons.

It’s a huge responsibility. Sometimes we notice issues like dyslexia a little bit late and then feel all the guilt for not catching it earlier. Sometimes we may be a bit jealous of the 7-8 hours other parents get with a child free home. But the pros have definitely outweighed the cons.

So how do we make it work? How are we able to homeschool when we are just ordinary people? Sheer determination. It’s the daily belief that how we have chosen to educate our child(ren) is the best way for our family. We don’t do it to snub others. We don’t do it to make public school moms feel guilty. We don’t do it so that we can give some sort of snobby response to the “I could never homeschool!” question. We do it for so many reasons that have nothing to do with anyone else.

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I still don’t really have a good answer to “I could never homeschool my children!” I don’t know if I should respond, “I could never send my children to public school!” Or if I should answer, “Not with that attitude!” Or if I should just smile and ask them a question about their life instead. Is there a good answer? Maybe. Maybe not.

I don’t think there needs to be a perfect, one size fits all answer because we all have picked how our children are educated for different reasons. How have you responded when met with, “I could never homeschool!” ??

This post is written by Kristina Roegner, a homeschool mom of 3. She enjoys sharing about homeschooling with others and is always happy to help local homeschoolers connect. Visit her website at www.dfwhomeschoolresource.com to see all DFW has to offer for homeschoolers.

Photo credits: from Kristina’s Facebook page

Why Dara chose a Private School for her Daughter – a Plano Mom’s Story

I feel like if you tell someone in North Texas “My child attends private school at…” people will look at you as if you have spoken a foreign language.

The schools in North Texas are superior for the most part so why on earth would anyone consider anything else? Needless to say I was not interested but my husband felt that we should consider it for various reasons. I can be very stubborn so I got the opinions from those I value most and together we decided to book some school tours.

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I remember saying “This is the dumbest most obnoxious thing we’ve ever done. It’s a complete waste of our time.” When I walked in the school we immediately noticed the security features in place and we were greeted by the most lovely front desk person you could meet.

As we toured the school I began to fall in love, it was how I remembered school and what I wanted for my children. It was warm, friendly, colorful and the kids were excited to learn, very polite and best of all shamelessly loving God.

The very last thing the admissions rep said to us was “I hope you see that our school is diverse, we have a director of diversity here and we work very hard to include all backgrounds.”

This was a big deal for us because because it showed she wasn’t afraid to address the concerns minorities may have. It was a long quiet walk back to the car but when Carl (my husband) asked me how I felt and what my thoughts were I gave him a defeated look and said “I love it”. I cannot believe I had been so naive and so wrong which means others could be too.

Going into this we wanted strong academics, a school that was competitive within TAPPS, PreK – 12th, diversity, not too far from home, parent involvement, a good lunch menu (I have a picky eater) and a school that could help increase our child’s faith.

As we toured other schools I learned that the DFW area has several school options to offer such as parochial, university models, single-sexed, Montessori, private with online options and special needs schools.

dfw private school plano

Our daughter (centered) and two schoolmates

Once we applied and were accepted I did what most moms do these days, I went to Facebook. Only I couldn’t locate a FB group that included DFW families enrolled in private school or seeking info on it, I mostly found school specific groups. I needed to learn more so I created a group called DFW Private School Families for those in private school or considering it. We have managed to build an online community where we can discuss thoughts, concerns, misconceptions and remain supportive of one another as well.

The things things group members often want others to know are not everyone who sends their kid to private school is rich or anti-public school.

Most parents in the group are working two or single parent homes and all are making a sacrifices of some sort daily.

If you were to ask me what to look for here’s what I’d tell you;

  • One of the biggest myths is that private school teachers aren’t accredited but this is not always true. The school itself often cannot receive a lot awards or accreditations if the teachers aren’t.
  • Private schools can offer various financial options to help with affordability.
  • Look for security measures such as lockdowns and definitely bullying prevention.
  • Staff tenure, private educators sometimes make less than public educators so you want a school where the teachers want to stay.
  • There’s no STAAR testing so how do they assess your child’s academic growth?
  • The curriculum in any school you consider should be challenging but homework shouldn’t consume your child’s life.

If you’re truly interested in a school you should attend the schools open house and ALWAYS tour during the school year. This wasn’t the original plan but we like where it’s headed.

This post is written by Dara K. Tilghman, a Mom of 2. She has spent hours researching Private Schools around DFW and has some unique insight to share with Plano Moms. Her Facebook group is DFW Private School Families. Follow Dara on Twitter

For more another guest post about Home Schooling, click here

Enter our giveaway for a new Britax Infant Car Seat!

All Moms are concerned about protecting their families. For new Moms and Moms of newborns, toddlers and growing kids it is vital that we find out about child car seat safety and keep updated with new models that become available.

Children need to remain in the backseat until they are 13 – did you know that? It’s a great time to remind ourselves about important safety tips, attend a fun event and enter our Giveaway!

Remember when you were a new Mom with a Newborn Baby? Or are you Pregnant or have a Newborn and planning ahead to bring your baby home?

Britax new Endeavours Car Seat

You might be planning to upgrade your car if you are adding a 2nd, 3rd or 4th child (or even more!) to your family. It takes some research to find the right car for you! We see tons of Moms swapping their suggestions in our Facebook group.

In addition to a new Car, we also look for a new Car Seat for our Newborn. Britax is front of mind in terms of Infant Car Seat Safety. If you are considering an Infant Car Seat Purchase soon, there is no better time than to come and meet representatives from Britax during Child Passenger Safety Week at a unique event on September 20th

It worries me to think that studies show that nearly three out of four children ride in car seats that are either installed or used incorrectly.

Are you #RideShareReady?  What about if you need to use an Uber or are riding in a Taxi? Do you know how to install the seat you have correctly in someone else’s car without a base?

Be Rideshare Ready for Car Seat Safety

Having representatives ready to demonstrate car seat installations and share their child safety tips in one easy location is a great opportunity!

Join me and meet representatives at the #TestDriveParenthood event

at Park Place Lexus Grapevine on Wednesday, September 20 @ 11 A.M – RSVP here

You can leave rest assured that you are equipped with the latest know-how from Britax having seen the latest family-friendly Lexus models that are available. Britax are also going to be showing us the innovative brand new Endeavours Car Seat, which is packed with safety features.

Don’t go yet!

Thanks to the great folks at Britax and SheBuysCars, we have 1 Endeavours Infant Car Seat to giveaway worth $299

Want to win one of eight (8) Britax Endeavours infant car seats?

How to enter:

Plano Moms Giveaway

She Buys Cars Giveaway

Must be 18 or older to enter, US addresses only. No purchase is necessary to win. Void where prohibited. Must fill out Rafflecopter form.
Small print: Entries open until September 30. Contest open to U.S. residents only. The car seat prize value ($299), prize cannot be substituted for cash or other merchandise and cannot be shipped outside of the United States;

Still want to know more

Disclosure: All opinions are those of Plano Moms. This post may contain affiliate links and/or product(s) sent from companies or their PR team for editorial consideration. For more information, please view my disclosure policy.

A Local Mom’s Insight to Home Schooling

You made the decision to homeschool. Yet despite your resolve, all those first day of school photos got to you, didn’t they? We are on our fifth homeschool year, and they still give me a tiny twinge of something I can’t quite put my finger on. I always enjoyed school. Am I depriving my own children of the experiences? What about your own life? How are you going to survive?

One aspect of homeschooling that I think was the hardest to adjust to was finding friends. Most of my friends sent their children to school. Sure, we did after school playdates for a time, but they can’t go to the park mid day. They didn’t understand curriculum struggles and asked questions like “How are you going to socialize your children?” This question always amused me and still does because, well, we were at the park playing, wasn’t that socializing?

The first year we homeschooled, we joined a park play date co-op. I wasn’t ready to commit to an academic co-op yet. The park co-op was a bit awkward as all new things are. A lot of the moms knew each other so I felt like the out of place newbie. Thankfully, because it was the beginning of the year, there were other moms standing around equally as shy. My oldest, thankfully,  is super social. He started playing with a little girl about his age. Her mother was one of the other newbies so I sucked it up and introduced myself to my first homeschool friend, Deanna.

I only went back to that park co-op one more time. Deanna and I decided we hated being new and struck out on our own. Our children got along fabulously as did we. Then they moved away, and I may have cried. Hopefully your first homeschool friends won’t move away so quickly!  Making friends with Deanna’s family encouraged me to try again. Finding these gems of homeschool friends isn’t hard, it just takes a bit more effort than you may be used to.

 

One thing I can promise you, is that you will find friends.Good friends. Fast friends. Friends you can call in the middle of the day and get it. Friends who help you rationalize why you decided to homeschool and who remind you that one bad day or week doesn’t mean you should throw in the towel.

If you’re lucky your first homeschooling friends may find you. You may have to awkwardly introduce yourself to someone. They may awkwardly introduce themselves to you. I’ll let you in on a secret, we’re all a bit awkward in the friend making department! I have usually let my children gravitate towards others and then I start the first date like ritual of talking to a random stranger. But I have also made some amazing friends this way.

Next year about this time of year, you’ll see the first day of pictures again. That little weird twinge won’t be as big. Instead of second guessing yourself, you’ll  text one of your homeschool friends about going to the park later that day. Then you’ll lie back down and try to grab a few more zzz’s before you try to to make your child understand long division.

This post is written by Kristina Roegner, a homeschool mom of 3. She enjoys sharing about homeschooling with others and is always happy to help local homeschoolers connect. Visit her website at www.dfwhomeschoolresource.com to see all DFW has to offer for homeschoolers.

5 Tips For Parents of Language Learners

As parents we want our children to be successful in life; and so we teach them skills that we believe will help them achieve their goals. That includes learning a new language. Foreign Languages are an important tool in our growing multicultural world.

How do we help our little language learners in this journey? And what do we do if we cannot speak the language they are learning?

The Language Institute has taught languages for over 25 years, and here are their top 5 tips for parents of Language learners.

1) Talk, Read, sing and play

Talk, Read, sing and play in both the native language as well as the new language being learned. It is no secret that children learn through play and interactive activities. If your child is learning a language that is new to you, do not hesitate to ask the teacher for online resources.

2) Follow-up classroom learning

Repetition is the key to learning! Our advice is to review the class notes. It helps to review the notes, even if it’s just flipping through your child’s notebook and ask what he/she did in class.

Encourage your little language experts to talk to you in the language they are learning. While the students are in class, basic commands are enforced in the language they learn. For example: Hello, Please, Thank you, Listen, Repeat, I want…, and more.

 

3) Be curious about what they know

Encourage your little language experts to talk to you in the language they are learning. While the students are in class, basic commands are enforced in the language they learn. For example: Hello, Please, Thank you, Listen, Repeat, I want…, and more.

 

4) Add language learning to something they already like

A lot of children have a favorite movie or toy, and most time they know the words and songs. Some toys come with different language settings, and you can also find movies (or segments of a movie) in different languages. These are tools that can be used in the language learning process.

5) Learn

For parents who do not speak the language that the child is learning, consider learning it too. When you know the language you can help your child learn… and they can help you learn too!

Most importantly, ENJOY EVERY STEP OF THE PROCESS.

For more information, Check out the Dallas International School or contact (972) 991-6379.

Get the Back to School Advantage with Explore Horizons

Now that school is almost back in session, are your kids prepared? Have your kids been doing many academics on their time off? Explore Horizons is here to help.  Send kids back to school with an advantage and be a step ahead of the game with Explore Horizons!

The main concern of parents and teachers of the long summer break is that all the of the hard work and knowledge of the previous school year will drop from a long summer of doing nothing. Yes, kids deserve some time off, but they also need to keep up with their academics to keep up with their learning.

Explore Horizons is designed as an ongoing supplement to a school education and enables children to keep their brains active all year around.

 

My daughter was able to try out Explore Horizons for 1 month this summer and I was thrilled for this opportunity for her. I was so impressed with the entire program offered at Explore Horizons. I have been an educator for the last 17 years and I can say the program and skills taught are directly on target.

 

 

Each child is assessed to their individual needs and then progresses from their own unique levels in the area of math, reading, and writing.

 

The entire program is on the computer and is so interactive and engaging. No child is bored in these sessions! A staff member is close by at all times assisting and redirecting as needed and guiding the children through the lesson while offering positive reinforcement and encouragement.

 

 

Here are some facts about Explore Horizons:

  • For children of all abilities from pre-k through 8th grade in math, reading, and writing.
  • Aligned with the Texas curriculum so it correlates to STAAR so children will be successful
  • Lots of enrichment opportunities
  • Open 7 days a week
  • NO appointments needed, drop in basis (so nice for working parents!!)
  • Personalized learning plan for every child
  • Feedback for Parents at EVERY visit
  • Rewards/Postive Feedback/Acceleration System/Recharge time

I really can’t say enough good things about this facility and program. I didn’t know really want to expect when we first went for our consultation and free assessment but my expectations were blown away! The staff members were all so positive and supportive. They were eager to help and so uplifting to every single child in that room. The recharge time is such a great idea and really gives the kids some time to relax and just have fun!

The staff members were all so positive and supportive. They were eager to help and so uplifting to every single child in that room. The recharge time is such a great idea and really gives the kids some time to relax and just have fun! I also loved the attention the staff members give each parent at pick up. They read over a short report of the day’s session to really explain what was worked on. It was great to hear!

After 4-6 weeks in the program, parents will sit down with a staff member and go over a report which gives a full evaluation of progress. It was very detailed and I could really tell and see what my daughter had been working on and made progress on.  As a parent, this gives you a great idea of where exactly your child is and what they need more help with. This is great to show classroom teachers too! At this meeting, you can make goals for the next month’s session!

My daughter had a fabulous month and learned so much at Explore Horizons! I know she’s ready to tackle this next school year now and is fully prepared.

Would you like your child to be ahead of the game and ready for the school year? Make your appointment now with Explore Horizons for your free assessment. If you mention Plano Moms, your child will get one free hour of enrichment!

 

 

 

Help Your Child Learn Math Concepts

If you ask most parents to describe the way their children are learning math at school, you will hear a lot of frustration and confusion. “I have a college degree and I don’t understand the first-grade homework!” some parents say. “Why can’t they just teach it the way I learned it?” others ask.

The idea behind the Texas state standards (TEKS) used in today’s elementary schools is that children will develop mathematical thinking. They will have number sense and be able to understand what they are doing when they solve math problems, not just the rules for solving them. They will be able to approach problems in different ways and find multiple solutions.

The difficulty, of course, is that in a classroom of 20 or more children of varying abilities, on a time schedule and preparing for tests required by the state, is that children don’t have enough opportunity to use the hands-on materials that they need to develop this mathematical thinking. They need to be able to derive and discover concepts for themselves so that they will remember them long term and start applying them to other situations.

 

Growing IQ is not a tutoring center, but an enrichment program that yields long-term results. The highly trained and well-qualified teachers can help the children who struggle with math, and can also take the children who excel at math to new heights. They approach math from the perspective that math is in the world all around us. It’s not a separate subject only used at school- it is a key part of art, music, nature, technology, science, engineering, cooking, and so much more.

At Growing IQ, students come for two-hour sessions once a week and they are usually not ready to leave. Students play games, create art and crafts, build things, explore math manipulatives, and listen to music. All the while teachers use math vocabulary and guide children toward the concepts that will build their foundation of math. They also teach spatial reasoning, logical analysis and critical thinking, skills important to success in math (and all learning) but not addressed by school standards.

 

At Growing IQ, children are given that time and opportunity.

As Eileen Horng, a parent of two students said: “My two children have been taking classes at GROWING IQ for more than three years now. The difference is in the approach to math. GROWING IQ does not focus on math concepts per se; learning math concepts is a positive by-product but not the purpose of the instruction. Rather the focus is on how to reason, problem solve through experimentation, and apply past learning to new situations.” Eileen is a former elementary school teacher and has earned a Ph.D. in Education from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). She was also formerly the Director of Research, Assessment, and Accountability for the Redwood City School District and Associate Director for the Institute for Research on Education Policy and Practice (IREPP) at Stanford University. She is currently an independent education research consultant.

Growing IQ also offers a revolutionary toddler program called Math Music Motion (M-cubed or M3) that is focused on child development from a neurological perspective. M3 will help your child become a curious, creative learner, critical thinker, and problem solver! The curriculum is designed to cross-correlate both Math and Music to stimulate the different parts of the brain and its functions leading to the development of interconnected pathways which promote higher IQ, improved mental functioning, academic advantage and the development of many important skills. Motion encompasses a great portion of both gross & fine motor skills allowing for complex relationships to form between environmental stimuli, and the body’s reaction to color, pattern, sound and much more.

For more details, please look at their websites www.growingiq.com & www.mathmusicmotion.com and facebook pages https://m.facebook.com/GrowingIQ.Math/ & https://m.facebook.com/MathMusicMotion/ to get an idea of what they do. Check out Growing IQ’s 5 themed weeks of fun summer camp.

Growing IQ can help any child become a mathematician! Call or email them to schedule a free trial class for your child and remember to mention ‘PLANOMOMS’ to get 20% discount for life. This offer end 30th September 2017.

 

Plano Schools

If you are new to Plano or just have younger kids it’s a good idea to learn a little bit more about Plano schools. Plano schools are structured a little differently from other surrounding school districts. Here is some more info about Plano schools that might help you.

Early Childhood Programs: Plano has a number of options that you might not know about for preschool aged children.

  • There are 3 Early Childhood centers that your child could attend based on where you live around Plano. These are tuition based and are 5 days a week for children of age 4 before September 1st.
  • State and Federal Programs. If you meet the criteria stated, your child could attend one of the early childhood centers for free.
  • Full Day Pre-K: This is for families that live only in the Christie, Huffman, Jackson, Memorial and Thomas elementary schools. If you do not know what school area you live in check this school finder.
  • PreSchool for Children with Disabilities: PPCD is a special education program that serves children 3-5 with disabilities. You have to qualify to attend but some children go for speech and other like social and emotional delays. The cost is free after a child turns 3 years old.
  • Senior High Learning Centers: This is a tuition based preschool for children ages 3-5. The schools are located at each Senior High School and along with teachers, high school students interested in teaching help assist and work there. For more information check out their website. 
  • Plano Family Literacy: This is a full family educational program. It will assist in teaching the adults and children in the family. There are specific requirements for this program including low income and limited English.
  • Head Start: A federally funded program for children ages 3 or 4 and the families that meet low income guidelines.

Elementary: Once your child turns 5 (on or before September 1) they are ready to start Kindergarten and one of the local elementary schools.  These schools will be for grades Kindergarten- 5th grade.

Middle: Middle school serves grades 6-8th.

High School: This is for grades 9-10th only.

Senior HighSenior High Schools serve grades 11-12. Plano has 3.

Academy Programs: In the last few years, Plano has incorporated some academy high schools for some qualifying students. Right now there are 3 academy programs at different locations across Plano.

Finally, there is a program called Special Programs for PISD. Special programs serve students that are referred by an intervention team from their home school, that need some special behavioral training and assistance. For older students, they help with at-risk students that are in danger of dropping out or students that need some accelerated instruction.

 

Plano Library Storytime

Plano has several libraries across the town. Each one offers some kid-friendly events that are usually free! Before you make your plans for the day check out the schedule for each library across town for library story time.

Here’s a daily schedule of our libraries and the events they offer this Spring.

Library Hours
Monday – Thursday
9 a.m. – 9 p.m.
Friday
9 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Saturday
10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Sunday
1 p.m. – 5 p.m.

 Over the summer, the libraries will hold special events and fun kid activities so check the website for the summer schedule!