As summer winds down and the inevitable return to school looms, here are a few thoughts about helping make the new school year pleasant and successful.

Help Your Child With A Parent-Teacher-Pupil Partnership

(NAPSI)-For children to experience academic success and be happy in school, it helps to create a good child-teacher-parent relationship. Here are a few tips to building strong partnerships:

• Let your child develop his or her own relationship with the teacher first. It's important for your child to learn to develop relationships on his or her own to foster independence.

• Approach the relationship with respect. Create a problem-solving partnership, instead of confronting a teacher immediately with what's wrong.

• Remember how you liked (or disliked) your teachers. Your experience at school is likely to affect your attitude toward your child's teacher, so it's important to leave your own baggage at the door.

• Be patient. Relationships take time. Ongoing communication is a key factor in making this relationship work. Some children require additional attention or may simply need to be challenged more. In these cases, it can be a good idea to get additional after-school help.

Motivate Your Child to Success

childMotivating a child is activating his or her energy toward goal-setting and achievement. It is one of the most difficult tasks parents and teachers have to contend with. Every child has different motivation levels and there is no one universal formula which works with all children. "Motivating" is boosting personal growth and developing a positive character. The key is observing and understanding what works best for a particular child and then devising individualized methods for motivation.

One theory of motivation is goal setting, a concept which works with adults and children alike. This assumption is based on the belief that an individual can be stimulated to develop a drive toward a clearly defined objective. Achieving this goal is usually all the reward that is sought. An ideal goal for a child would be a situation with a limited timeframe between starting the pursuit for the goal and achieving it. A goal that would need a protracted timeframe is likely to be self-defeating. This is why some children are more easily motivated to learn to ride a bicycle, which can be done in a foreseeable period, rather than master the finer points of algebra, which can take an inordinate amount of time. A goal should be achievable, neither too hard nor too difficult. At both extremes the child would not be optimally motivated, as most children welcome a challenge. And yet, the child must know he or she has a better than average chance to succeed. A goal set for a child should be specifically defined, properly understood and not left open to interpretation. For example, a child may be motivated to achieve in the top three of the class rather than be merely told to secure the 'best grade possible'. Very few children would appreciate the effort required to achieve that goal. Here are a few suggestions in child motivation:

Help a child to develop a positive attitude toward school. A good education is the goal of every responsible parent. The child needs to perform well in class. Success requires a great deal of self-confidence. However, many children develop a negative attitude which can become a huge obstacle to good performance. Encouraging a child to develop a positive outlook toward school will inspire a positive attitude toward classes. A positive mindset is not only the key to academic success, but will also help a child in adapting and co-mingling with his or her colleagues and teachers.

Set an achievable goal for the child. Sometimes the goals that are set are so complex as to overwhelm the child. When setting a goal, break it down into several small tasks and explain to the child the importance and logic behind completing each task in a particular sequence. Each task may be assigned as separate goals. As an incentive, they should carry an appropriate reward on completion.

Build up self-esteem and self-confidence. At the outset of an assigned task, encourage the child by letting him or her know that you have complete belief and confidence in their ability to execute the task. Leave the child to finish the task without interruption unless absolutely necessary. When the task is successfully completed, be lavish in your praise. The child will develop confidence and will face other tasks with a positive approach.


"Hey Vivian,

I hope you are doing well, and I just wanted to say thank you. I just got my first test back the other day and I am very happy to say I got an A. All the work I did in Pinecone really is paying off and helping me. We are doing exactly what I just finished in Pinecone. I feel like tests are less stressful now, and I have a feeling I am going to do well this time. Thank you so much!"

- Tracy
Pinecone's Strategy

Pinecone's methodology is to run the two foundation programs of Math and Reading at a pace which allows the child to assimilate the subject matter and apply the new acquired skills to practical problem solving. The coaching is structured so that the child is able to reason for him/herself to achieve the highest level of comprehension. Regular practice and support instills self confidence and stimulates an eagerness to progress to the next level. Each student is groomed to anticipate and surmount hurdles consistent with present day education. The end result is a happy and confident child who is justifiably proud of his or her academic achievements.

For more details of this Bay Area teaching center and its unique, result-oriented teaching methodology please visit its website at Currently it offers some special discounts, details of which can be gotten by calling 408.270.4548.

About Vivian Hobbs

Ms. Hobbs is a qualified educator with an M.S. degree in Industrial Psychology and 30 years of experience in math and research design. Children's education and research into the best learning methods have always been at the forefront of her career.

Where can I learn more?

Pinecone Active Learning is on Facebook and can be followed on Twitter. For further information on enrollment and fee structure, please call 408.270.4548 or visit the center's website at

For more on its unique tutoring methodology, please click on

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