Best Approach to Writing & Thinking - Middle & High School

At BriteMinds, we value the power of writing and its direct impact on a student’s success. Our goal is to support the development of critical thinking skills, which directly impact any written expressions, such as college essays and analytic papers. Starting with basic and fun writing activities, BriteMinds instructors aim for students to master more advanced writing strategies that will benefit them throughout middle school, high school, college, and beyond. 
 
BriteMinds instructors review the common five-paragraph essay format, helping students frame key points of arguments or experiences. Although students may at times turn to Google for inspiration, at BriteMinds we encourage them to tap into their own inherent experiences to cultivate conceptual development. For example, a student may be assigned to write an argumentative essay on a topic of their choice. Rather than research topics on Google, instructors would encourage the student to think about something they advocate for, believe in, or strongly oppose. Once they have an idea, the student and instructor would collaborate to develop it into a topic and thesis statement. 
Fun Halloween Activity for Children and Parents

Halloween is around the corner, and this holiday is a great opportunity to enhance imagination and creativity. Sprinkled with sweetness, BriteMinds encourages families to engage in creative activities that enhance everyone’s imagination, are intellectually stimulating, and inspire the child and parent to work together. Children love to see their parents being silly!

Activity: The Empty Box

Find a couple of empty boxes from any delivery company and make two robot costumes. First, have your child describe their ideas, the materials they need, decorative features, and the thoughts behind functional elements of the robot. Parents may ask, “Where did you get this idea? Have you seen this in any of your online games?” Then, the parent would describe their own idea of the type of robot they will build. Next step is to make the robots, during which children and parents will think together, paying attention to specific ways robots and cyborgs are already part of everyday life. Finally, write a brief character description or user’s manual of the two robots. Include their names, what they are made to do, specific abilities, and see how the two robots complement one another! Support your child by encouraging them to explore, discover, and engage, especially utilizing the last two years of their online experiences. 

This Halloween, try to avoid buying a costume for your child. Instead, have them unleash their creativity by making a homemade costume. You might be surprised at the ideas your child will come up with!
Advantage of an Online Academic Planner

Both physical and online planners are highly useful for developing Executive Functioning skills such as Organizing, Time Management, Planning and Prioritizing. There are several online resources that allow students to create a planner in their calendars, such as Google or Outlook.

At BriteMinds, instructors help students organize their planners, track completed and turned in homework, and show them how to input daily tasks, important events, and deadlines. For example, if the student has a test on October 25, they will write a study plan and the deadline for the test. Students can also plan things related to their personal life, not just academics. For more efficient planning and communication, parents and children may record family gatherings, travel plans, sport/birthday events, and/or meeting with a friend. When everyone knows where/what is going on, students will feel more organized, stress-free, and prepared for the upcoming weeks. This daily, weekly, and monthly schedule laid out in a physical or electronic planner needs to be reviewed frequently between children and parents in order for it to have a positive impact on performance.
Parent Support
Problem: “I have to tell my child the same thing a thousand times.”
Solution: See the reason for your child’s lack of response. Do you predict that they will not respond even before you ask them something? If yes, then find a better time or way to request the task, and make sure you have your child's attention. Start with good eye contact, then have them repeat any directive you make. If necessary, start the task together (immediately) to reinforce the timely response behavior. Acknowledge that you liked how your child responded in a way that makes them feel valued and important.
 
Problem: “My child does not work quickly enough.”
Solution: Time is not a natural concept for children. They often ‘waste’ time because they get stuck on a problem and need re-direction to continue. If help is not provided, they may begin to daydream during homework. Teach children how long one minute is by telling them, “I’ll start the timer at the moment you close your eyes. Open your eyes when you think one minute passed. If you get it exactly right, you get a reward.” Expand this experience by setting the timer for 5, 15, or 30 minutes to engage them in completing the homework. Unconditional feedback during the process of doing homework helps children stay focused, engaged, and confident! 
Referral Discount

Use the back-to-school opportunity to let a friend know about BriteMinds’ incredibly organized educational services. When you refer a friend and they become a BriteMinds member, you receive 20% off the next month’s tuition! Yeah! Have your friend sign up to receive our monthly BriteMinds Newsletter filled with practical, helpful, and valuable information.
Fun Math Trading Game for K-3rd Graders
Learn how to play this fun game with your child at home. This will help children learn about place values, counting, trading, and following directions. 
 
You will need a jar of colorful objects (such as cubes or counters), at least 12 pieces of each color, and a die. There may be 2-5 players. 
 
How to play the game:
1.     Set up the color piles as 12 red, 12 orange, 12 yellow, 12 green, and one blue.
2.     Every time you roll, always take from the red pile as many as you rolled.
3.     As soon as you have three red, you trade it for one orange. As soon as you have three orange, you trade it for one yellow, and so on.
4.     Whoever gets to the blue one first wins!
Thank you, BriteMinds!
I love seeing our children’s progress throughout the year! BriteMinds created individualized learning plans for both of our kids. They have been supplementing what they have learned at school and the test preparation has been very helpful. Watching the instructors enjoying their interactions with the children is the most rewarding experience we have had compared to other tutors we used. The kids have been learning how to learn, which is exciting as they are realizing that they are not just getting their homework done, but they are becoming more independent learners! We love BriteMinds and recommend to every caring parent to consider their services!" - M.P.