Making Summer Count

Written by Amber Scotchburn. Posted in Uncategorized

Summer Learning Loss

Individuals, regardless of background, age, or aptitude, exhibit deterioration of skills after prolonged periods of inactivity of the skill. Research from the mid-1950s to the present consistently confirms this idea. Depending on the task, level of initial proficiency, and duration of inactivity, human beings forget skills and knowledge over time.  In terms of summer breaks from school, we call this the “Summer Learning Loss”.

Most students exhibit losses in math and literacy skills as a result of summer vacation each school year. Given the multi-step procedural process of many math skills, proficiency in math tends to decrease at a faster rate for students than literacy. There are devastating impacts of summer learning loss on student achievement to the individual child, as well to the schools as a whole since teachers need significant time at the beginning of each school year to mitigate these effects—time that could otherwise be spent on new instruction.

Summer learning loss typically has students performing, on average, approximately one month behind where they left off the previous school year.


Making Summer Count

There have been various studies conducted that give solutions to combat Summer Learning Loss. RAND Education’s research report, Making Summer Count: How Summer Programs Can Boost Children’s Learning (the RAND report hereafter), was commissioned by The Wallace Foundation to explore the following questions:

  • What is the extent of summer learning loss for students?
  • Can summer learning programs both improve student achievement and reduce summer learning loss?
  • What are the elements of effective summer learning programs?
  • What are the challenges and facilitators to implementing effective summer learning programs?

According to this report, the research is clear that summer learning programs can reduce or eliminate the effects of summer learning loss. Regular attendance in effective summer learning programs have the ability to improve literacy and math skills for students, foster social skills in students, improve relationships between adults and students, and combat the effects of summer learning loss. Following are some of the major findings from studies that evaluated outcomes associated with summer learning programs:

  • The average academic benefit to students outpaced the effects of summer learning loss. That is, participation in the examined summer learning programs helped students maintain or improve their skills and achievement levels relative to the average loss associated with summer.
  • The longer a student participated in the program, the higher a student scored on fall reading tests.

Read the full Report here:


Our goal at Tutoring…With A Twist is to help combat Summer Learning Loss. We do this through various Summer Programs that we offer.

Please contact us to learn more about what Summer Program that might be right for your child.




Learning & Physical Activity

Written by Amber Scotchburn. Posted in Uncategorized


Learning and Physical Activity

Every day we hear how we, and our children, need to be more physically active. The  Canadian Physical Activity Guide (CPAC) suggests that children need to accumulate at least 60 minutes of activity each day. They should also participate in vigorous activity and strengthening activities at least three days per week each. (http://www.csep.ca/CMFiles/Guidelines/CSEP-InfoSheets-child-ENG.pdf0).


This can help children with improved health, better scholastic achievement, better fitness, feel happier, maintain a healthy weight, improve self-confidence, and learn new skills.


The trick is how to actually incorporate learning and physical activity. Here are a few suggestions:


1.      Memorization (ie, memorizing times tables or spelling words):


a.      jump rope
b.      bounce a ball between you
c.      draw a table grid in sidewalk chalk and jump around


2.      Social Studies and English


a.      create a skit playing the roles of the major players
b.      make puppets and act it out
c.      create a full-sized ‘board game’ to learn and test facts
d.      body spelling – one child per letter
e.      language lights – consonants, vowels, verbs, nouns – with a cut out of a stop light – red is stop, yellow is jog on the spot, and green is do an activity that is assigned to each type of activity (touching toes, jumping jacks, hopping)


3.      Science
a.       take walks and experience the science of nature

Other Ideas Include:
·         preparing dinner (fractions, measures, etc.)
·         housekeeping (measuring, proportion, area, perimeter)
·         laundry (colours, classification, statistics, probability, fractions, percentage)
·         gardening
·         use walks to learn different things such as colours, vocabulary words in any language
·         scavenger hunts with problems written on the hints that need to be correct to win


·         prepare different multiple choice questions and have children shoot bean bags/balls at the correct answer


·         walking tour of Canada (www.goforgreen.ca)
·         different ‘walk around’ games that incorporate different types of movement to learn different types of facts  https://education.alberta.ca/media/318482/dpa8.pdf – Appendix 8/9
·         memory – put facts/matching words, equations and answers, etc. on 8.5 * 11 sheets of paper and have them jump, hop, etc. around to match them up.
·         use a similar idea for trivia by putting the cards in a pile at the other end of the room/drive
·         T/F Simon Says – if the fact is true – do some type of activity


The ideas are limited only by yours and your children’s imaginations. Don’t get overwhelmed with the amount of time you need to spend. Several 10-15 minute sessions are just as good as a long one. Do whatever you both enjoy. Participate with them and you will benefit as well. You will get exercise, have fun, and spend a great time bonding with each other.


Tutoring… With A Twist tutors not only support learners in every subject area; we also support them with a predetermined life-skill. By helping learners develop the tools they need to succeed in the classroom, we also help them develop the tools to succeed in life.



Why not teach to the Test…

Written by Amber Scotchburn. Posted in Uncategorized

When I graduated from my Bachelor of Social Work and knew that profession wasn’t for me a natural leap was into teaching as the four years of communication skills and relating to people would make me a perfect candidate for a teacher…right?!

I’ve always taught my students first, rather than the curriculum from the very moment I entered my first classroom. And project based learning again is what I did from the get-go as well. And this was almost 20 years ago. I cannot imagine teaching any other way.

This article is a great summary of why teaching to the standardized tests and having subject specific classes is NOT the way to go! While that is our system, Tutoring With A Twist​ is here to fill in the other gaps!

“We really need a rethinking of education and a redesigning of our system, so it prepares our children for the future with the skills that are needed for today and tomorrow. For education to promote character, resilience and communication skills, rather than just pushing children through ‘exam factories’ or teaching to the standard tests.”



Highly Creative People…

Written by Amber Scotchburn. Posted in Uncategorized

“Most of us have two lives. The life we live, and the unlived life within us. Between the two stands Resistance.”

Great article about highly creative people…I’m sure you know someone like this!


Tell us what you think :)!


The Twist…explained :)!

Written by Amber Scotchburn. Posted in Uncategorized



Let’s sum up the Twist, in Tutoring…With A Twist like this!We treat every child we meet like this iceberg. We don’t only work with what we see on the surface, we dig digger and unravel all the layers.

It’s what makes The Twist so unique but it’s also what has our tutors so passionate about the work that they do.




Using Media Effectively…

Written by Amber Scotchburn. Posted in Uncategorized



In our house, we have some pretty tight restrictions around media. For instance, our children have to do something active to earn their media time. And then once it’s earned, they only get an hour of media on weekdays. And, Sunday’s it’s a no-media day.

So, anytime I see an opportunity where I can combine one of their passions, which is media, with one of mine, which is education, I jump on it!

In this case, I have found excellent examples of how we can use media to further our children’s education. These links might not be applicable to where your child is at in their education at this moment in time. I invite you to use the thought behind why something was chosen to help your child find something that is applicable to them!

And, if kids are already spending time on media, why not make it educationally relevant?!

Watch Educational Video’s at Home & then do “Homework” in Class

There is a school that has the students assigned video’s to watch at home as their homework. The video’s contain the information that will be discussed the next day in class, as well as that will be assigned work on! I LOVE this idea. It captures every learning style!

In tutoring, we have had our students watch youtube video’s on concepts they don’t understand. By them previewing these video’s before the tutoring session, they’ve had a chance to assimulate the information. Think of it like marketing, how many times do we need to see/hear a message before it sticks?! Why not do this with education?!

Read more here:

Minecraft…Used for Molecular Chemistry, Creative Writing, Quantum Physics and City Planning

How many of you have heard of Minecraft?! Did you know that kids can glean amazing facts from playing it?! If not, you’ve heard it here first!

Read these articles and see how you can start applying this in your home and/or in your child’s classroom.

Read more here:

Go to MindecraftEdu here:


Review the Alphabet with Minecraft & Somebody That I Used To Know Tune

Have a child that needs to learn the alphabet or review it?! Enjoy!



Life Skills: Engagement & Passion!

Written by Amber Scotchburn. Posted in Uncategorized



Imagine if everybody replaced judgement with love. At Tutoring…With A Twist, we meet every client where they are at and re-engage their passion for learning through that!

ps=As an adult, this works for me too…just sayin!



Passion & Education!

Written by Amber Scotchburn. Posted in Uncategorized




Does your child like horseback riding?! Does your child not like math as much they like horseback riding?! At Tutoring…With A Twist​ we want our learners to feel engaged in the subjects they are taking and we do this by connecting it to their life’s passions!

See this link between horseback riding & math :)!




Life Skills: Homework, Favourite Subjects, Friendship!

Written by Amber Scotchburn. Posted in Uncategorized

homework eating dogs at dinner
Looking at your child’s homework will be a great start to having a conversation about school. What subjects do they like/dislike? What topics within those subjects do they like/dislike? Do they have a friend at school that helps them with their work?

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