7 Ways to Help Your Student SUCCEED in Math!

Hey there! Today I'm excited to share with you some great tips and tricks for making math successful! So many of the students we see at Yellow Wood struggle with math, especially with math facts or word problems.  These are a few things we do and have found helpful! 

1. 100 Board Games! 

The Hundred Board is such a great resource for math! There are several ways we use this at Yellow Wood to help students gain number sense and learn to visualize the number line in their mind! This is especially great for skip counting and memorizing multiplication facts!

Step 1:

Say you want to skip count by three's (or practice your multiples of 3). Put your hundred board in a page protector and use a dry erase marker to circle 3, 6, 9... etc through the 100 board. 

Step 2:

Circle all the multiples of 3, but now start at the end of the board! (remember, you won't always start at 100. For 3's you'll begin with 99)

Step 3:

Now here's where it gets a little tricky. Take a BLANK hundred board and put it in a dry erase sleeve. Since we're practicing 3's, we'll decide where 3 is and write it in. Do NOT let your student write in all the numbers. They can count through to see where the number would be, but eventually you'll want them to see the pattern and not need to do this. So write in 3, 6, 9, etc. all the way through 99!

You can follow these steps with every number. Younger students can practice filling in the 100 board first before starting skip counting. But students as early as kindergarten can practice skip counting by 2's, 5's, and 10's! 



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Why Does My Child Have So Much Trouble with Coordination?

Does your child have difficulty with activities that require coordination and balance? Do they often bump into things or are "clumsy" in general? It may be because of today's reflex: The Tonic Labyrinthine Reflex! This reflex helps a child build their core muscles and is part of the reason why tummy time is so important! Without enough tummy time, some children will retain this reflex instead of integrating it and will have trouble with coordination and spatial awareness especially! They may also have a hard time with sequencing activities, like telling a story in order, or memorizing things like the days of the week, the alphabet in the right order, and organizing things into the right categories. Retaining this reflex also causes poor core stability and so these kids may have trouble with posture and balance.  


So what if your child still has this reflex? Did you know you can FIX this? It's easy and fun with our primitive reflex exercises! If you're interested in learning more, check out our parent workshops! We'd love to help ! 

Is it Dyslexia or a Retained Primitive Reflex?

As we continue our series in Primitive Reflexes, today we'll be talking about the Assymetrial Tonic Neck Reflex. This reflex helps baby sleep safely by moving their arm out of the way when sleeping on their stomach. If they move their head to the other side, that arm will move out of the way. It also helps baby's eyes track from side to side. 

If a child still has this reflex, they'll often show signs of poor balance, right/left confusion, letter and number reversals, and will skip over words or lines while reading. They may also have a hard time expressing themselves on paper or have poor handwriting. 

These symptoms also line up with a diagnosis of Dyslexia! We've found that by integrating this reflex, children make gains in their reading abilities, coordination, and more! It's amazing how symptoms of Dyslexia can be diminished or even disappear through simple movement exercises! 

To learn more about how to integrate reflexes, check out our online workshop! 

5 Ways to Engage Your Student Through Movement!


At Yellow Wood Tutoring we are passionate about helping children succeed by strengthening their bodies and minds! There is such an important connection between movement and learning. In our classes you'll see students doing primitive reflex exercises, sitting on yoga balls, and playing with fidget toys. Allowing students to move and play while learning is vital to a good learning experience!

Need ideas on how to implement movement at home? Here are a few! 

1. Bounce a ball while working on memorization! Use whatever your student is learning: the alphabet, multiplication facts, the presidents... bounce the ball back and forth or dribble it and try to rhythmically say the facts. This helps the brain make a stronger connection with the information, AND it makes it more fun! 

2. Trade out a traditional chair for a yoga ball during homework time! Sitting on a yoga ball allows kids to get their wiggles out, which actually helps the brain focus on learning because you keep their sensory systems occupied. It also stengthens their core, which is helpful for senquencing skills too! 

3. Jump on a trampoline! This engages the proprioceptive sense, allowing the brain to focus and make a better connection to what the student is learning! Similar to bouncing a ball, this is great for memory activities! You can jump on a trampoline while listening to a story, doing oral math, or practicing spelling words!

4. Play doh! Who doesn't like play doh? You'd be amazed how much teenagers even enjoy fidgeting with play doh while focusing on homework. With young kids you can practice spelling with play doh too!

5. Take lots of movement breaks! We change classes every 30-45 minutes at Yellow Wood, and each time our students get up, move around, and do a quick exercise. This keeps the blood flowing and give the brain a minute to process the information it received in the previous class! It's tempting to make kids sit until all their homework is done, but you may find this is not as productive as taking frequent breaks! 

I can't wait to hear how these suggestions work out for your homework time! Let us know by commenting on this post! Enjoy! 


Why is copying from the board so tricky?

Today we'll be talking about another primitive reflex - the Symmetrical Tonic Neck reflex. It usually shows up around 6 months old, and helps babies practice rocking back and forth on their hands and knees - a skill they'll need in order to crawl! It typically is integrated by 11 months. 

A child who has a retained STNR (meaning it stuck around longer than it should have) may have poor posture, and have a hard time with hand-eye coordination. They may also struggle with tasks like writing from the board! The reason is that this reflex also trains the visual system. When a baby rocks back and forth, they look up and down over and over again. This strengthens their visual tracking system. If this strengthening doesn't happen, it can be very tiring for children to look up at the board and back down at their paper! Even looking up at the teacher and then back down to write notes can be tricky! 

Simple exercises can help integrate this reflex and make these tasks easier! 

To learn more about integrating primitive reflexes, check out our online workshop! 

My Story

Hey there! I thought now would be a good time to share a little bit of my story for those who don't know me! 

My name is Laurie Geary, and I started Yellow Wood Tutoring in 2013. I've lived in 5 states, I'm married and have two adorable kids, and I have 3 younger siblings who are in high school and college. All the family I've mentioned have helped form and refine my vision and goals at Yellow Wood. My business story is deeply personal and directly relates to those I hold dear. 

Growing up I pretty much always had a drive inside to be a teacher. In middle school I attended an amazing school in NH that sparked my interest in starting a school of my own, but I always thought that would be "someday" after teaching for a couple decades. 

After I graduated from Asbury University with degrees in Latin and History, I began teaching at a private school. Around that same time, two of my siblings had been diagnosed with dyslexia and/or ADHD, and I was experiencing through them for the first time what it was like to truly struggle in school. I helped out with their schooling process, and I tutored a few other kids from my school who also were struggling. I found that helping these students was extremely rewarding, but I felt like I was flying blind. We were studying for tests, catching up on homework, and praying it would be enough for them to feel successful and get decent grades. It helped, but it definitely wasn't a solution. 

Someone mentioned a cognitive therapy to me, and I was immediately curious. Rather than accommodating learning disabilities, this program helped FIX the issue through intensive cognitive training. I went to their training and was blown away. This was the answer I'd been looking for. 

I began tutoring using this new program along with a few others I found, and I named my program "Success Training". The goal of Success Training is to strengthen weaknesses in cognitive skills, executive functioning and social skills so that students can find success. The next school year I had my first "class" of home school students at Yellow Wood Tutoring - 7 students ages 12-15. We met twice a week and did English, history, Latin, and "Success Training" together. My two youngest siblings were also in this class. The progress we saw in that year with the learning struggles present was profound. Students' confidence was boosted, reading became easier, students were researching and writing. 

I should mention that this same school year (2013), I had my first baby, Zeke, 6 weeks before school started. It was a rough delivery, but he was a healthy happy boy. Around 4-5 months of age though, we noticed a few things were not quite right. At a neurologist appointment, we were told he likely had Cerebral Palsy. He also has strabismus, which causes eyes to cross. Our world was turned upside down. Suddenly life revolved around therapy and doctor appointments. It was our new normal. But, it was amazing to think about how God was providing for our son through the business I'd started. The cognitive therapy we provide will be very important for his development as he gets older. 

Our next schoolyear (2014), I hired a couple tutors to help and we opened our doors to 15 students. This year we had ages 10-17. We grew so quickly that we ended up moving to a new building midway through the year and are still in that building today on Main st. in Wilmore. 

This year (2016) we've grown to 24 students in our home school program ages 5-18 and a handful of private tutoring clients as well. We have 7 tutors. My Zeke is 3 and thriving! He has speech apraxia, CP, and strabismus, but is making steady progress in all areas. He'll start at Yellow Wood in kindergarten! My journey as a special needs parent has allowed to me to understand first hand what our clients experience. My little girl, Zoey is a year old and a spunky little thing. She already helps her brother out and bosses him around. 

I can't wait to see where God will take this business next. The progress and change we see in our students every day makes all the hard work totally worth it.