In many ways, Mary has been a mentor in my life since high school. Mary first helped me with SAT prep and the college application process which led me to attend George Washington University. She also helped me prepare for GREs for my Ph.D. program. I got into Maryland Medicine and received a Ph.D. in biochemistry and molecular biology. We connected again when Mary helped me apply for an MBA program at Johns Hopkins University. After I was married, Mary supported my wife as she prepared for the Series 65 exam. We have two young children now, and while there are very few people in life you can trust with your kids, Mary is one of them and she will soon begin working with my children. When I was younger, Mary’s teaching knowledge, patience and empathy mattered a lot. As an adult, her evolving skill set and ability to teach at all levels set her apart. Mary’s diagnostic abilities helped a kid with extreme dyslexia, who wasn’t supposed to graduate high school, acquire some of the highest degrees from the world’s leading universities. Mary can do it all.
Our 10-week course is geared towards parents and caregivers.
*topic sequence may change
Executive Functions: Our Brain's Conductor
The first introduction to executive functions and how they impact learning. We'll address setting up a study area for better learning and organization, how to promote independence in your student, and how to identify and manage school-related stress and anxiety.
How to Make it Stick: The Science of Learning and Why What We're Doing Now Doesn't Work
Week 2 focuses on research-based practices for improving learning and study skills, specifically how to prepare for tests and quizzes using active study strategies such as self-testing and practice. How to make learning "stick" and why what most people do doesn't really work.
Sleep, Nutrition, Exercise, and Calming the Mind: The Ultimate Happy Pill
Research shows nutrition, sleep routines, and stress all affect the developing brain. We give practical strategies to overcome challenges such as: refusing to cooperate in the morning, problems from not listening or not paying attention, 'losing it' over seemingly small situations, and resisting sleep or having difficulty sleeping.
Dropping the F-bomb: Why Failure is My Favorite Word
A look at why embracing failure and allowing children to make mistakes is a critical part of the learning process. Why being too highly responsive to a child's needs (helicopter parenting) can create fear of failure, where a child won't challenge him/herself academically.
How to a Build A Child's Capacity for Literacy & the Language of Math
We explore the science behind reading and how the neural basis for reading changes as we grow. Kids can make deeper meaning and basic inferences from what they read through concrete strategies. We will explore the language of math and the importance of reading comprehension for strong math skills.
The Teenage Brain: Yes! Your Teen is (Driving You) Crazy!
Between hormones, neurotransmitters, and the brain's rewiring, the teenage years often create a period of stress and emotional upheaval. However, these years also offer a wonderful opportunity to harness the brain's restructuring and strengthening connections that lead to empowerment. Learn how this rewiring affects mood changes, strange responses, irrational reactions, and other odd behaviors that are completely normal and necessary to grow into adulthood.
Never Good Enough: Cultivating a Growth Mindset
We will examine the impact of negative thoughts in kids and the importance of developing a growth mindset. Learn practical ways children can change the internal dialogue about not being good enough and language that encourages a growth mindset.
How the Brain Learns: A Deeper Dive Into Executive Functions
Continued discussion of executive functions and how the brain learns. Week 8 explores children with special needs, high intelligence, and learning disabilities. Learn tools to promote self-control through verbalization and the neural basis for these behavior patterns. Further discussion and tools for avoiding 'helicopter' parenting.
How to Calm Your Brain: Is stress our friend, foe or frenemy:
Are you stressed? Do you get stressed thinking about stress? Does the need to relax actually stress you out more? In our hyperbusy society, we all know a calm brain is more productive and supports a healthy lifestyle, but how can we achieve it? And what does that even mean? We will investigate healthy stress, behaviors that support a healthy sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system, and how to get out of our own way as we work towards our goals.
Defrag Your Brain: How to Manage Your Mind in a Distracted World
Further discussion of executive functions including the impact of anxiety and stress on children. How to identify stress and how children can calm their brain. Adults will learn to model a calm brain, even when faced with difficult situations. Topical discussion of distraction and its impact on productivity and effectiveness. Why we struggle with distraction, the impact of technology, and how to take cognitive control by simplifying and incorporating 'old school' activities.