Tag Archives: parenting

How to Balance Sports and Academics in High School

A 3.5+ GPA and Sports: How to balance sports and academics in high school

Many of my students ask how they can balance both sports and still maintain a high GPA. Maintaining a good academic record and meeting the obligations of an after-school sports team can definitely be a challenge. Many of you come home around 5 PM, starving and tired from a long day at school as well as a hot Irvine, CA afternoon running track, playing baseball or football. This feels like the perfect time to end the day; lie down on the couch, turn on the TV and relax. Unfortunately there is often much more to be done. English and math homework, studying for that big final on Friday and-if you’re a junior-that all important SAT or ACT prep. Is it even possible to make it work, to have the best of both worlds? Yes, but only with a list of priorities, excellent time management and probably a little help.


Let’s look at 6 ways that you can manage both sports and homework:

1. Know what you are getting yourself into:

Okay, so it’s that time again. You need to pick all of your electives for the next semester. You love sports and you want to be accepted to the college of your choice. Talk to the coach ahead of time and ask about the time commitment. More often than not sports require more than just the 3-5 PM practice and Saturday morning games. Find out if the coach is amenable to allowing extra study time for the week prior to midterms or final exams. Ask if there will be any big games the week before the SAT or your AP exams (first think about when you will be taking the SAT, of course).

If you find out that most athletes go out for pizza as a team on Friday nights, factor this in to your time commitment. Knowing the exact amount of hours is crucial to your study time table.

2. Time your standardized tests appropriately:

The SAT and ACT are offered several times a year (as are the SAT subject tests) but the AP exams are always in May. Think about what your schedule will be like in the spring if you have two AP tests, the SAT and sports. Consider getting the SAT out of the way earlier in the year so it doesn’t coincide with other academics.

3. Be flexible:

If your English teacher decides to hold a big test the day after the big game, there is nothing that you can do about it. The school schedule is set in stone and that’s it. Enjoy your free weekends while you have them so that you are prepared to spend Saturday and Sunday studying and training. That Friday night pizza after the game might be your only social activity for that particular weekend so enjoy it.

4. Choose a sport you LOVE:

After-school sports are a big time commitment so make sure that you really love what you will be doing. If playing catch with your next door neighbor as a kid is your favorite childhood memory, then playing on the baseball team might not even seem like work at all.

5. Get the right nutrition:

Both the mind and the body need energy. If you are training for a full season of football or running track each day after school, think about the calories you are burning (READ: “Eating tips for teens“). Add onto that the mental energy that your brain needs to stay alert and focus on learning functions and you have a very specific diet ahead of you. I’m not a nutritionist, and each body is different but everybody needs a balanced diet to meet these athletic goals. Make sure fruits and veggies are a big part of your diet, healthy carbohydrates and protein are also essential (and, no, donuts and brown rice are not the same thing).

6. Get help from a tutor:

Managing and prioritizing time can be a challenge. Ask family for help organizing your schedule and arrange for a private Irvine tutor to come to your home to help you stay on track with the academic stuff. Odds are your sport team practices over the summer. Not a problem. Our private in-home tutors work around your busy schedules. (READ: Ten Reasons Why You Need a Summer Tutor)

Try out these tips this season and hopefully both sports and studying will be a part of a manageable schedule.

tutor logo Self Discipline in 5 Steps | by TutorNerds  All blog entries are written by Tutor Nerds. Are you an education professional? If so, email us at info@tutornerds.com for guest blogging and collaborations. We want to make this the best free education resource in SoCal, so feel free to suggest what you would like to see us post about.

Orange County parents and students, listen up! Beat the summer slowdown with a private, in-home tutor. We work around your schedule so you can stay sharp while having fun in the sun. Read: 10 Reasons You Need a Summer Tutor. What are you waiting for? Call us.

 Self Discipline in 5 Steps | by TutorNerds  Teach.com

Emotional IQ vs. Intellectual IQ | by TutorNerds

Emotional IQ vs. Intellectual IQ: How do they compare?

Emotional IQ is the ability to handle complex, difficult and sometimes very sad situations. It is also the ability to navigate intricate social situations. Some children simply have a knack for socializing and are farther along than their peers (want your student to grow more confident and develop social skills? Try one of our in-home Orange County tutors). However, at the end of the day, emotional IQ comes with experience and time. A 35-year-old with a 110 IQ will almost always have a significantly higher emotional IQ than a 15-year-old with a 140 IQ. Some things just come with time.


Intellectual IQ is the potential a person has, at any age, to achieve academically and to understand higher levels of thinking.

Gifted children (READ: GATE Testing) can find themselves in really tough situations if their adult counterparts expect them to have an adult emotional IQ. A 5-year-old has had 5 years of life experience, not 10 or 20 or 55. Even if their intellectual IQ is 130+ (the “gifted” cutoff), they still need time to grow and learn about emotional situations. Let’s look at some real life examples.

Emotional IQ vs Intellectual IQ: Example One

A second grader has an intellectual IQ of 135 but the emotional IQ of a seven-year-old. Her reading level is three grade levels above that of her peers and she easily gets bored with second grade books (Have you considered an Irvine private tutor for your child’s reading abilities? Check out: Reading Tutoring). It would be easy to give the child a fifth grade reading level book, but this could potentially be a big mistake. It’s really important for teachers and parents to look at the content of the higher level books and think about whether or not the student is emotionally ready to handle the content.

How would a second grader, no matter what their IQ, respond to learning about the Holocaust for the first time from a book? How would they respond to reading about the West Nile Virus in the newspaper? Content and skill are two very different things. It’s important to challenge a gifted learner intellectually while maintaining socially and emotionally appropriate content. Check out what these parents had to say about these books: ProTeacher.net

Emotional IQ vs Intellectual IQ: Example Two

A sixth grader, who happens to be gifted at math and has a 145 overall intellectual IQ, is struggling socially. Because he has a high IQ, he is expected to understand social situations that juniors and seniors in high school can handle. Just because he is a math whiz, doesn’t mean that he is able to have a relevant conversation with students five or six years his senior. Perhaps when they are 30 and 35-years-old respectively, the social situation will be quite different but a sixth grader will still needs to socialize with sixth graders, even if they are in different classes. I recommend that parents arrange time outside of school for their gifted child to spend with children their own age and have plenty of opportunity to just relax and have fun being 11-years-old.


Emotional IQ vs Intellectual IQ: Example Three

A gifted child is asked to handle the academic workload of an adult. Many advanced and gifted learners are asked to not only take on the skill level of much older children or adults, but also adhere to the time table of an adult. Most of us sit down and concentrate at a desk for 8 or more hours a day and we have learned to cope with it. As adults, we know when to take breaks, when to get up and walk around and when to simply power through it. Children, no matter how smart they are, are not accustomed to sitting down for more than six hours in a 24 hour period. The beauty of childhood is to spend time outside, spend time with friends, and use the imagination. Adulthood will come all too soon enough and it is important that gifted children get time to simply be children. They need to laugh, play and have fun like all children.

Bottom Line

It’s essential to assess emotional IQ along side with intellectual IQ. The bottom line is that each child will have a potentially vast difference in their intellectual abilities. Some will be musicians, some will be engineers, and others will be artists or dancers. But a six-year-old is a six-year-old and emotional IQ generally doesn’t vary by more than a year or two if the child is under 18.

tutor logo Is your child twice exceptional? All blog entries are written by Tutor Nerds. Are you an education professional? If so, email us at info@tutornerds.com for guest blogging and collaborations. We want to make this the best free education resource in SoCal, so feel free to suggest what you would like to see us post about.

Orange County parents and students, listen up! Beat the summer slowdown with a private, in-home tutor. We work around your schedule so you can stay sharp while having fun in the sun. Read: 10 Reasons You Need a Summer Tutor. What are you waiting for? Call us.

 Is your child twice exceptional? Teach.com

Kindness Clubs for Kids | TutorNerds

A Positive Social Experience For Your Child

We could all benefit from a little kindness, don’t you think? What if we told you parents, through organization and involvement, could help bolster kindness in schools? Now that we have your attention, Orange County, read on to learn more.


Many elementary and middle schools already have a Kindness Club in place. If so, inquire with the principal or AP at your child’s school. His or her teacher may also have connections to school clubs. These clubs have popped up throughout southern California, and across the country, as a positive response to bullying and other social issues at schools. If your local school is not currently participating in a Kindness Club, now would be a great time to suggest it to the principal or school district or even start your own. If your little one attends a private school, you could arrange for an after school gathering through the PTA.

Many children who participate in such a club starting at an early age can benefit from so many positive social experiences. For example, they will be less likely to stand by while bullying occurs, be less likely to be bullied themselves and potentially stop them from becoming a bully. One local club is called “It’s Cool to be Kind”, this is such a great name because it sets the precedence that indeed it is cool to be a nice person and, alternatively, it’s not at all cool to be mean or cruel.

The Random Acts of Kindness Foundation (RAK) suggests a few ways you and your kid can participate in kindness at school. For instance, make T-shirts together as a group so that your kid can show his or her commitment to be kind, or organize food or clothing drives to help less fortunate children.

One thing that I really enjoyed doing with the children at school was completing a group art project. Kids can get a bit nervous about letting a classmate finish a picture that they had already started, and we had to work through a lot of normal social issues during these projects. It forced the kids to learn how to share; how to ask for the materials nicely and how to give compliments to each others’ finished projects. A great way to help them share is to put out only enough materials for ¾ of the students participating. This way, they can practice asking for things nicely and saying “please” and “thank you”.

If art isn’t your thing, baking projects can be tons of fun for young kids to work on together. Plus, at the end there are a couple dozen good old fashioned chocolate chip cookies to share. Cooking projects can also lead to school bake sales where the money earned can be donated to a good cause or to purchasing T-shirt supplies for the club.


Another great activity for the kids to do with their clubs is to visit an animal shelter – check out the city of Irvine, CA, Animal Shelter page. The Animal Rescue League of Berks County, Pennsylvania allows kids 6-13 to visit the cats in their shelter and read to them. You may have already seen the adorable YouTube video, so why not do something similar right here in Orange County? Also, if you happen to have a high-schooler at home, many of these activities can count as volunteer hours towards graduation and college admission.

The Random Acts of Kindness Foundation recommends that you keep it simple. One of the main points is to realize how easy it is to just be nice to somebody, whether they are a friend or not.

Below is a list of ideas to help your kids get started with kindness. Some come our private Orange County tutors at TutorNerds and some from RAK:

1– Give out candy or fruit to all your teachers (don’t leave anyone out).

2- Leave a “thank you” note for your school’s custodian since s/he cleans up every night

3 – Encourage your child to say phrases like “great effort” or “good job” at all sport activities for young kids.

4 – Help an older person to cross the street (this helps kids understand how important it is to take care of our elders) as well as thanking US military service men and woman and veterans for their services.

5 – Work on lending a helping hand. This could be a small gesture such as giving a piece of paper to a classmate who has just run out or a very big thing like volunteering at your local homeless  shelter.

6 – Hold the door open for someone who has their hands full.

7 – Do a project together. This could be something similar to the art and baking projects mentioned above or something very simple like having the kids make a snack together or help each other fit all of those books into their back pack at the end of the school day.

8 –  Form a study group. If your little one excels in English, find a study buddy who excels in math and let them help each other out.

9 – Have the kids do a small cleaning project together. Taking on responsibility together can be a great start to kindness in general.

10 – Create a star chart (or heart chart or smile chart) and reward your kid with a small gift or treat when they reach a goal. I recommend starting with 10 stars for K-2nd older kids.

Another really important way to help those little guys learn to be kind to others is for them to be kind to themselves. High school aged teens have so much to go through with AP classes, SAT prep and college applications. So, it makes it even more important for younger children to learn how to pace themselves and be able to give themselves little breaks in between tasks. Many children will be more likely to participate in a sport or academic activity if they know it’s okay to fail, as long as they can learn from that experience, and do a better job next time. Being kind to one’s self makes it easier to help out others.

Whatever you decide to do, or whichever club your kid decides to join, kindness can be integrated into any activity. A simple nice word or small gesture can make a huge difference at the end of the day!

Working with over 1,500 Orange County students to achieve success has been a great pleasure to us at TutorNerds. Our college educated private Irvine tutors know the importance of a simple “thank you.” Working one-on-one with a mature, kind tutor sets a great standard for your student. Contact us today for your TutorNerds summer tutor.

tutor logo California State Common Core Standards |TutorNerds All blog entries are written by Tutor Nerds. Are you an education professional, in Orange County, CA, or other relevant blogger? If so, email us at info@tutornerds.com for guest blogging and collaborations.

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