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Why tutoring is the best part-time job

Looking for a part-time job? Be a Tutor!

If you are interested in getting a part-time job, there are so many options available to you – it’s often daunting trying to choose! Part-time jobs may require different skills sets, and range from less skilled jobs (washing dishes or flipping burgers), to the highly-skilled spectrum where formal education and experience is required, like business consulting or coaching.

Tutoring as a part-time job falls under the spectrum of skilled work. You need to be well educated yourself and have achieved good results to be able to help others as an academic tutor. Tutoring offers you many benefits as a part-time job – here are just some of them:

Being a tutor helps you develop your character and life skills

You will learn patience and empathy as a tutor, or develop these traits further. Some learners will grasp concepts more quickly than others, and all learners learn in different ways.

You will also learn or improve on your own time management and goal-setting skills as you assist your learners to do the same.

Tutoring grows your own knowledge base – you learn when teaching others

As much as you are teaching others, you will learn from them. This might not be in an academic sense, but in many other ways. Tutoring will “cement” your own knowledge as you teach key concepts, which may make the experience more enjoyable for you as well.Tutor value best part-time job

Being a tutor allows you to share the knowledge and wisdom you’ve gained so far in life

People who are a few steps behind you on the ladder of life will benefit greatly from the life lessons and academic achievements that you have already passed through. Learners may see you as a mentor and adviser. You can use your own experience to give them tips and advice on studying, managing stress, a study-fun balance and more!

Tutoring allows you to help others and make a difference in their lives

You will gain a great deal of personal satisfaction from being a positive force in the life of a learner and possibly a role model too. When your learner improves their marks, and gains a more positive attitude, you will feel like you’ve achieved something great. You surely have, as the impact you have made affects the academic future and ultimately, the life options of the learner. Make a difference as a tutor part-time job

Being a tutor improves your relationship-building skills and gains you friendships

You will be dealing with a variety of clients and learners, some of whom you may naturally relate to better than others! This will develop your communication and negotiation skills, both of which are important life skills to have.

You may end up having lifelong friends among the clients and learners that you tutor.

Tutoring will give you valuable experience to add to your CV

Being a tutor, like a teacher, is an honorable job which impacts the lives of others. You are required to demonstrate not only academic skills, but also responsibility, reliability, planning and commitment, which are all very valuable skills to potential employers in any field.

You will also be able to get valuable references from your clients if you deliver a great service, as well as from your tutoring company.Improve learners lives tutor part-time job

Being a tutor gives you flexibility

You can choose the days and times that fit into your schedule more so than most other part-time jobs, making this a job that fits into your schedule and doesn’t encroach on your study and leisure time as much as other part-time jobs, like being a waiter or cashier.

Tutor at a great hourly rate

Tutoring is a great way to earn income, at a much higher hourly rate than minimum wage. An hour of tutoring a week will allow you to earn the same amount as several hours’ in another part-time job. If you need a little extra income in your budget, tutoring regularly will give that to you without sacrificing a huge amount of time.

 

If you want a part-time job, and would love to experience all the benefits of tutoring, apply now to BrightSparkz Tutors and join the team!

 

Written by: Natalie Wilke, BrightSparkz Staff & Blog Writer

Why I Love Tutoring

If I had a dollar for every time someone had encouraged me to teach, well, I’d just have a dollar. Ever since I can remember, I’ve wanted to be a teacher. I admired my teachers throughout my schooling years; the good and the bad. There is always something you can learn from them, whether that be the content they taught in the classroom or the manner in which they handled themselves in tough or awkward situations. One can teach anywhere – it’s just a matter of creativity.

love tutoring

As a tutor, my job is to help a learner achieve their academic goals and guide them through their academic struggles. It truly is rewarding when you physically get to see how your efforts helped improve a learner’s mark on a test or report. The smile you get to see on your learner’s face as to how proud they are of themselves is really all the matters at the end of the day. I have learnt how to be myself through teaching. I don’t have to always know it all and be the ambassador of the subject. I love teaching because your learners want to feel as if you are both going through this journey together. You are helping them achieve something they want and the journey is much more important than the destination.

Teaching can be challenging, especially when it comes to motivating your learner. You see the potential they have, and they often hear about the potential they have, but they do not feel as though they’ve got what it takes. Living in such a busy and demanding time can often make us feel the time constraints on everything we do and we expect our learners to get things done and understood as fast as possible. Sometimes it’s okay to take a step back and sit with your learner to reflect on where they are emotionally, mentally and physically. Taking the time to help them stop what they’re doing and to spend a few moments to take a deep breath and talk about where they are in life can take away a tremendous amount of pressure from them. I find this exercise vital as it also gives me an opportunity to strengthen my relationship with my learners. It helps them see I am human just like them and it’s okay to feel overwhelmed. I encourage my learners to take baby steps as they work toward big goals and the proof is in the pudding.

I love tutoring because I am given the opportunity to help children achieve their best and inspire them on a personal and academic level. It excites me to see how energetic a learner becomes as soon as they understand a topic they struggled with. The determination and enthusiasm that stirs within a child is heart-warming. I enjoy getting to know my learners and to learn about life from their perspective. It brings me such a sense of joy to gain insight into their views and opinions about life. I can confidently say that I have learnt as much from my learners as they have learnt from me. That is why I love tutoring.

Written by Neeza Ramiah, BrightSparkz Tutor

Before You Break! Why Study Breaks Are Important

The Benefits of Study Breaks and How to Use Them Effectively

When faced with looming exams, it can often be a student’s first instinct to cram, pull all-nighters, or study for long periods of time uninterrupted. While this may work for a few students, studies find that studying without regular breaks can actually decrease academic performance and results. In addition, it can lead to anxiety, depression and insomnia! Research suggests that short mental breaks, doing something completely different, will actually help you to focus. Study breaks can improve retention and understanding over longer periods, as well as relax your mind.

Making study breaks successful

• Make a note of where you are stopping
• Set a time limit to your break, and stick to it
• Change your scenery
• Know yourself, and don’t start any activity that you could easily get lost in
• Get back to work as soon as your break ends, without stressing about how much there is left to do or procrastinating

What not to do in a study break

• Update your Facebook
• Phone or message a friend
• Anything to do with the subject you’re studying
• Start a new series
• The same thing you did in your last break!

What to do instead

• Exercise: take a walk, kick a ball around, or dance to your favourite song
• Meditate
• Nap for 10-20 minutes (any longer and you’ll just feel drowsy!)
• Make a (healthy) snack
• Read a book or magazine

How can BrightSparkz help?

Ask your tutor to help you plan your study timetable, as well as advice on what study methods you should use based on your Learning Styles Assessment. If you need extra lessons to help cement in some of the concepts you need to know for your exams, either contact your tutor, or get in touch with your BrightSparkz office to book extra lessons today (email Cape Town or Joburg). If you’re totally at a loss for how to study, book a Study Skills Crash Course with our Educoach! Click here to find out more.

Written By: Tessa Cooper, BrightSparkz Blog Writer

Surviving the NBTs: What you need to know

What you need to know about the National Benchmark Tests

The National Benchmark Tests (NBTs) are South Africa’s version of the SAT’s. These tests determine your academic readiness to enter university. The NBTs are necessary because of the variety of school curricula in South Africa, as well as the differences in the level of education provided country-wide. These tests therefore provide an even playing field – a national benchmark against which to score students. University admission and placement are determined by the NBTs.

There are two types of NBTs, and which test/s you need to take is determined by the university course you are applying for (most universities have this information available on their websites). The Academic and Quantitative Literacy (AQL) Test needs to be written by all applicants. The AQL tests language and mathematical literacy skills, and may be taken in both English and Afrikaans. The Mathematics (MAT) Test tests only mathematical skills. Both tests are multiple choice, and you will have 3 hours to write each test.

The National Benchmark Tests test your ability to apply prior knowledge in a way designed to test problem-solving and lateral thinking. The results will indicate your likelihood of being able to succeed academically at tertiary level. These results are sent directly to the university/universities you have applied to. As a result, you will only need to write one set of tests, even for multiple applications. For more information on what is in the tests, click here.

When do I need to write?

This will be determined by the date that the course you are applying for needs the results by (this will be on the university’s website). The NBT test schedule provides the date that each test’s results will be sent to the various universities. This normally takes about a month, so make sure you plan ahead!

Where can I write?

There are a variety of venues in each province that host the tests, as well as in most countries neighbouring South Africa. For a full list, please see venues. If you live in a remote location, you will need to apply to the NBT Project to have a venue set up near you, or you can apply to be a remote writer.

What are the costs involved?

To write one NBT costs R80. To write both (must be written on the same day) will cost R160. You can pay on the EasyPay website, or you can visit an EasyPay Paypoint (like Pick N Pay, Shoprite or Checkers). You will need to register for the NBTs before you can pay.

How can BrightSparkz Tutors help?

While no past or sample papers are available for the NBTs, and specific course material is not available, extra tutoring lessons in maths and languages can help you! If you want lessons specifically for this reason, please let your BrightSparkz client consultant know, so that they can find the best tutor for your needs. Find a tutor here.

If you live in a remote location, and need to write a remote test, BrightSparkz can also help you to find an invigilator to oversee your NBTs. Find an invigilator here.

 

Written By: Tessa Cooper, BrightSparkz Blog Writer

The Brains Behind BrightSparkz

“Purpose is the reason you journey. Passion is the fire that lights your way.” 

It’s been 10 years since the humble beginnings of a few flyer handouts and informal tutor recruitment. As we celebrate our decade milestone, the brains behind BrightSparkz get personal – sharing some insights into running a business, their various challenges and achievements, as well as a snippet of what we can expect from BrightSparkz in the future. 


Amy Stockwell (Johannesburg)
“I completed a BSc. Physiotherapy degree before moving from Cape Town to Johannesburg at the end of 2006 to do my year of community service, while also planning the expansion of our Cape Town tutoring business to Gauteng. In 2009 I completed a Post Graduate Diploma in Business Management through the Wits Business School, and quickly realised that business was my passion. In 2011, I stopped practicing physiotherapy, got married and started dedicating all my time to BrightSparkz Tutors. Our family grew in May 2015 when we were blessed with our baby boy, so my time is currently best spent on being a mom and supportive wife to my husband, who is a competitive cyclist and mountain biker. When I get time of my own, I enjoy running 10km and 21km races.”


Dominique Oebell (Cape Town)
“I completed a BSc. Physiotherapy at UCT in 2006, and worked part-time as a physiotherapist while we were establishing BrightSparkz Tutors. In 2013, I obtained a Post-Graduate Diploma in Business Administration at the UCT Graduate School of Business, and while it was initially Physiotherapy that developed a lot of empathy in me and a passion to make a difference, I believe that its entrepreneurship and education that can really improve people’s lives. In my free time I love spending time at the beach, walking my dogs, and reading books that inspire me to be a better person. My faith life is also really important to me, and that keeps me centered when things get stressful!”


Q1: Where did you get the idea from to start a tutoring company and what took it from an idea to an actual business? (What was your greatest motivation to get started?)

I started tutoring in primary school and continued into my university years. In third year I was unable to take on more learners, but still tried to help to find suitable tutors for parents who contacted me. This is where the idea was born. After some research, we realised that there wasn’t much out there in terms of home based one-on-one tutoring, and that parents really needed this type of service.  AS

Q2: What would you say to people who aren’t fired up about what they’re doing or studying?

I would advise them to not settle on that career (although sometimes it is wise to learn what you can from a field and to use it to your advantage in a transition period), and to keep exposing themselves to different job environments or fields, to discover what makes them tick. Once they have discovered this, to start meeting people and growing their network of individuals who operate in these fields or environments. This is a great way to learn more about a field, but also to be made aware of new job or business opportunities that arise within those fields.  DO

Q3: What advice would you give people who have or are thinking about starting a business?

Starting a business is the easy part. Maintaining it and “finishing” well is the hard part! Knowing why you want to start a business is key. Many experts in a field assume the logical next step is to start their own company but what they don’t realise is that the skills that make them a great employee are not the same skills that will make them a great entrepreneur. They start with great enthusiasm, with ideas of being their own boss and having their own time, only to realise that often the initial investment of time and energy (and money) can be much greater than expected.

Knowing what your customers needs are, as well as how many players are already in the market, is also critical. It doesn’t matter how well you bake bread – if no one is needing home-baked bread, or there are already 5 people baking bread in your community, your business will fail (unless you can provide something that no one else is, that your customers are needing, of course!).  DO

Q4: The world has changed a lot in the last 10 years, particularly in the area of technology. What is BS doing to leverage the technology we have available to us to better serve and educate learners?

It definitely has! BrightSparkz started using a very manual system until we knew exactly what our needs were, and had our first custom system built in 2011. This is something we are in the process of upgrading, and have also been developing a mobile responsive system that we are currently rolling out with our tutors, and will extend to clients later in the year.

We also introduced BrightSparkz Mobile Maths and Science in 2014, which is a platform that allows learners to access user friendly resources via their PC, tablet, or smartphone. The program caters for both CAPS and IEB learners, by dividing the Maths, Physical Science, and Natural Sciences curricula into comprehensive sections. It’s a great tool to help children and their tutor work through and consolidate the Maths and / or Science syllabus for the year, especially in preparation for tests and exams.

One of our missions is to automate as much as we can without taking away the personal touch from our service, as this is something that is still extremely important to us.  AS

Q5: Do you think the gradual move to online education and self-education is a positive one? Is BS responding to this transition is any way?

There are pro’s and con’s to every change in society, but we have never before had access to so much information as we do in the digital era, and that opens up opportunities for learning to many more people. One can learn anything without traditional limitations of space, time, and money. That said, there is still incredible value in face-to-face time with a tutor/teacher/facilitator, and there seems to be a higher level of accountability in face-to-face or blending learning environments. I think the challenge for online education service providers still lies in how to motivate individuals effectively, specifically children and teenagers. 

We are currently positioning ourselves in such a way that we are able to grow with the changes that are changing the landscape of extra-curricular educational services. Online tutoring via Skype is something we already offer, as well as additional tools such as online whiteboards and learning platforms are just a few of our tech plans for future. However, we believe strongly in a blended learning approach, and will always incorporate the human element into our service offerings regardless of how the tech landscape changes, as we believe this is still what our customers are wanting.  DO

Q6: What have been some of the greatest challenges, and greatest achievements over the past 10 years?

Persevering with this business has probably been the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life! There have been so many times when I’ve wanted to throw in the towel and trade it in for a job! But after a good cry and a pep-talk from my family, I determine what needs to change and I keep at it. Being able to celebrate our 10-year anniversary is a huge milestone for us! We have learnt many lessons and have experienced many setbacks, yet I’m proud of the excellent service standards we maintain and of our current team of staff who work really hard to attain this. We’ve had many challenges in the areas of staffing, navigating company restructuring, and in getting our business processes up to speed with competitors who use more sophisticated technology. In some areas, we’ve had to work really hard to catch up and although we have not yet “arrived”, our hard work is paying off and we’ve been able to secure contracts with larger educational institutions, publishers and even film production companies.  DO

Q7: How is BS trying to intentionally deal with the challenges faced by South African learners?

One of our primary goals is to eventually make tutoring accessible to as many South African learners as possible, regardless of their socioeconomic backgrounds. Part of our planning this year is to officially launch our corporate sponsorship program, in order to extend our reach in this regard. We have previously worked with numerous foundations who assist in identifying learners showing potential and who would otherwise not be able to afford assistance. This is something we are extremely excited and passionate about, and look forward to partnering with organizations who value education as the key to the future, as much as we do.  AS

 

“No one can be sure of what changes, big or small, lie ahead. One thing is certain, our journey is not over.”

 

Interested in one-on-one tutoring in the comfort of your own home? We can make that happen for you! Feel free to get in touch with us here.

 

Written By: Ashleigh de Jager, BrightSparkz Blog Writer

Supplementary Exam: Everything You Need to Know

**Pass your Supplementary Exams! New clients get R100 off until 31 July!**

If you’re a 2018 Matriculant looking to be accepted into a tertiary institution or hoping to become employed, passing Matric and receiving your certificate is one of the essentials. However, due to various circumstances, Matric exams may have been an overwhelming struggle for you, resulting in you not meeting the minimum requirements to pass Grade 12 and step into your planned future. But all is not lost – you may qualify for a supplementary exam (now called a second national exam), allowing you a second chance to pass your failed subject/s.

Supplementary exam vs Rewriting your Matric

If you didn’t get the results you were hoping for in Matric, you qualify to write a second national exam (previously called supplementary exams) in the year immediately after your Matric final. You can also re-enroll for your Matric year, and retake the end of year exams, up to 5 years after you completed Matric. If you Matriculated more than 5 years ago, you can apply for an Amended Senior Certificate. All second national exams (for supplementary exams and Amended Senior certificate exams) will now be written in June, while re-enrolling in Matric will mean you take all Matric exams again (mid-year, prelims and finals at the end of the year).

Do I qualify to write a supplementary exam?

According to the Department of Education you qualify for a supplementary exam:

  • If you did not pass Grade 12 but need to pass 2 subjects to obtain your NSC. You can register to retake any number of subjects for your supplementary exam. However, you need to have written these subjects during their final year exam.
  • If you were medically unfit or had another special reason for being absent for an exam.
  • In the instance of a death in your immediate family, you may register for the supplementary examination.
  • If you provide evidence that you qualify for admission to a higher education institution/occupation but do not satisfy the requirements, or if you are one requirement short in meeting the minimum admission requirements for higher certificate, diploma and bachelor degree programs, you can register for supplementary exams. 
  • In a case where an irregularity is being investigated, provisional enrollment for supplementary examination may be granted, pending the outcome of the investigation.
  • If you were unable to write or complete one or more of the National Senior Certificate examination question papers for reasons other than illness or injury. The school principal will need to submit a report to the Head of the assessment body.

How do I register for a supplementary exam?

  1. Contact the Department of Education, via your school.
  2. Applications will close in January 2020. But avoid any further stress and register as soon as possible, after receiving your results.

The supplementary examinations usually take place in June 2020, however, the 2020 dates have not yet been finalized, so keep an eye on the media releases posted on the Department of Education website, as well as updates posted via our BrightSparkzSA Twitter page and BrightSparkz Tutors Facebook page.

 

2018 IEB EXAMINATION RESULTS WILL BE AVAILABLE

03 JANUARY 2019 at Midnight

2018 NSC (NOT WESTERN CAPE) EXAMINATION RESULTS WILL BE AVAILABLE

04 JANUARY 2019 at Midnight

2018 NSC (WESTERN CAPE) EXAMINATION RESULTS WILL BE AVAILABLE

05 JANUARY 2019 at Midnight

Individual results available at schools and www.education.gov.za

 

If you’d like to receive an instant Email or SMS as soon as your results are released, sign up via the eNCA website – the official partners of the Department of Basic Education (DBE) and the Independent Examinations Board (IEB) for 2019 Matric results.

*For answers to other frequently asked questions about supplementary exams, visit: http://www.education.gov.za/Curriculum/NationalSeniorCertificate(NSC)Examinations/tabid/338/Default.aspx

How do I prepare for my supplementary exam?

  • Past Exam Papers

Past exam papers are some of the best form of revision. Get access to a number of papers for various subjects via YOU Online or directly from the Department of Education’s examinations page.

  • Tutoring

This is also an excellent time to consider tutoring. Our tutors will assist you with those difficult sections of work you just can’t seem to grasp on your own. They will help ensure you cover all the material needed before your rewrite. You will improve your chances of improving your marks by getting support systems in place well in advance.

Get in touch with us via our supplementary exam page and we’ll set you up with a tutor who will be there with you every step of the way.

We want to see you succeed, and assist you in achieving the marks that you not only need, but are capable of.

What do I do if I don’t qualify to write a supplementary exam?

If you don’t meet the criteria for a supplementary exam (listed above), you have the following options:

  • Re-enrol for the NSC at a school without delay, if you are younger than 21 years old. Enrol as a part-time candidate at a Public Adult Education Centre, if you are older than 21
  • Register for the Senior Certificate (SC) examination which is a school leaving qualification for adults and out-of school learners
  • Alternatively, if you were not successful in your examinations, you could consider vocational education and training. There are 50 Public Further Education and Training (FET) colleges across all provinces of South Africa comprising over 300 campuses or teaching sites.

 

Find out more information, or book a tutor for your supplementary exams now!

Still not sure if a supplementary exam is for you? Read our blog article to decide!

Supplementary Exam Infographic Supplementary Exam Tutor

 

 

 

Written By: Ashleigh de Jager, BrightSparkz Blog Writer (containing inserts from the DoE website)

Managing the New School Term

“What I learn today doesn’t make yesterday wrong, it makes tomorrow better”.

Just as the stress of the exam season has subsided, the stress and anxiety that comes with a new school term starts to arise. We understand that a new school term can be daunting for both children and their parents, and while it cannot be avoided, there are those unnecessary stresses that can be combated.

 

How to combat unnecessary stress and make the most of the home-stretch:

  1. Keep a routine

Keeping a routine is one of the most promoted yet underestimated and underused pieces of advice. Having a routine makes many of the things in our lives that would otherwise be unpredictable, completely predictable – which then puts them in our control and minimizes the stress potentially attached to them. We also often underestimate how much time we waste during a day that can quite easily be spent on a productive and beneficial activity, had we had a thought out schedule and anticipated it. For example, packing a book and reading in the car in early morning traffic or on the way home is a great time to get your reading done when you would otherwise be doing nothing anyway. This also frees up the time you would have spent reading, and can now be spent on other things – allowing you to achieve a lot more, in less time. Where are you wasting time that could possibly be better spent if you had a schedule and planned for it?

  1. Set goals and daily tasks

How would you like to finish this year? What would you like your report to look like when you hand it to your parents? If you aren’t proud of where you are academically, then it’s time to start deciding where you would like to be, and what you need to do in order to get there. Set some long-term goals for yourself, and then determine what steps need to be taken each day that will get you closer towards your long-terms goals. This requires discipline, and sometimes saying no to other activities that a probably way more fun, but I can promise that you won’t regret it when you receive that report card at the end of the term.

  1. Prepare in advance

If you are anything like I was at school, you probably wait until the very last minute to do everything: to get out of bed in the morning, to do your homework, to start assignments. And as I’m sure you’ve already discovered, this inevitably always ends in a last minute rush that sends your stress levels through the roof! Let’s try getting out of procrastination station this term and start preparing for what will be coming, and keep coming, whether we prepare for it or not. Something as simple as packing your bag the night before can do wonders for a good start to the day, and will even help you to sleep better.

  1. Don’t fall behind

Having to catch-up a day or two’s work may sound like no big deal, but what happens when a day or two rolls over into a week or two? We understand that getting home after a full day of school to sit down and spend more hours on homework can be exhausting, and quite frankly, entirely unnecessary. But homework is here to stay whether we like it or not, and fortunately, has not killed anyone yet. The best way to avoid homework stress is to get it out of the way as soon as possible. After you’ve arrived home from school and had something to eat, dedicate the next hour or two (depending on your Grade and workload), to complete that day’s homework. If you’re able to, you can even move ahead with certain tasks or exercises if you know there will be some days where you might have less time to do homework due to sports etc. This leaves the evening free to do things that you enjoy, without having the guilt and anxiety of what’s still waiting for you in your school bag hanging over your head.

  1. Go over your work each day

One of the best ways to ensure that you’re able to keep up with your workload is by spending some time each day (+- 30 minutes) becoming familiar with what is new. This allows everything you learnt during the day to be processed and reinforced in your brain, which not only increases your ability to recall the information (memory), but also helps you to identify parts of your work you don’t fully understand. You can then spend some time making sense of the work you don’t understand, or make a note to have your teacher or tutor explain it to you. Making sure you understand your work daily also helps ensure that you don’t fall behind as previously mentioned.

  1. Still make time for the things you enjoys most

Have you ever heard that saying: “Too much of anything is a bad thing”? You may assume that cutting out sports and any other extra curricular activities will give you more time for academics, and therefore improve your marks, but truthfully, it’s going to end up costing you far more than is necessary. Creating a balance in your life is very important and cutting out the things you enjoy most will most likely result in resenting what’s left – school and homework. While academics are incredibly important, so is your health and fitness, and it has actually been proven that keeping active and making time for the things you enjoy will positively impact other areas of your life as you develop increased energy and better concentration. But remember, in order to make time for the things you enjoy, you’ll have to have a routine to determine what amount of free time you do and don’t have.

 

How BrightSparkz can help:

  • Private tutoring

BrightSparkz Tutors offers one-on-one, subject specific tutoring that takes place in the comfort of your own home or a venue of your choice. Tutors aim to identify the gaps in knowledge, while simultaneously facilitating learning through lots of practice, revision of theory, and interactive discussion of the subject matter.

Our tutors are unique individuals, who are selected carefully based on their specific strengths in their chosen subjects.  They not only have excellent knowledge of the subjects they tutor, but also a passion for tutoring and helping learners reach their potential.

  • Online Platforms

BrightSparkz Online is an award-winning online Mobile Maths and Science app tailored to South African learners from Grade 8 – 12. It covers all content for Maths, Natural Science, Physical Science and Chemistry, and is suitable for both CAPS and IEB learners. The app provides top quality resources, breaks up these curricula into manageable sections, and is an excellent way to supplement your child’s one-on-one lessons. Register for a free trial here

  • Study Skills Crash Course

BrightSparkz Tutors has partnered with an outstanding Educational Psychologist who offers a fantastic Study Skills Crash Course, designed to benefit Grades 8 – 12 in particular, in order to help your child make the most of their education and tutoring. Find out more or book a Study Skills Crash Course here

 

It’s never too late for your child to start combating stressful habits and taking control of their education. But neither you nor your child have to do it alone – BrightSparkz Tutors are ready to help. Just click here, provide us with your details, and we’ll get right onto looking for the most suitable tutor for your learner’s needs.

 

Written By: Ashleigh de Jager, BrightSparkz Blog Writer

So You Think You Failed a Matric Subject: What Next?

Your Options If You’ve Failed a Matric Subject

Passing Matric is essential; it is the culmination of twelve years of education, and a basic requirement to access tertiary education. Many employers are reluctant to hire those without a Matric certificate, and if you have failed a Matric subject, things may seem pretty bleak.

Fortunately, you may qualify for a supplementary examination (i.e. a Matric re-write), allowing you to have a second go at the subjects you failed. According to the Department of Basic Education website, you may qualify for a supplementary exam if you:

  • Were medically unfit on the day of the exam;
  • Do not meet admission requirements for Higher Education;
  • Experienced personal problems such as a death in the family; or
  • Failed a maximum of two subjects

If you meet these criteria, and want to register for a re-write, then contact the Department of Education, via your school.  The deadline to register for a supplementary exam is usually mid-January, but it is best to register as soon as possible after you receive your results. The supplementary examinations now take place in June. The 2020 dates have not yet been finalised so keep an eye on the media releases posted on the Department of Education website once the Matric results are released.

This is also an excellent time to consider tutoring, to assist you with those difficult sections of work and to help you cover all the material needed before you write your exam. By getting support systems in place well in advance of your Matric re-write, you will improve your chances of improving your marks and passing your subject. It is important to know, however, that it is also up to you to pass, so start observing good study habits: make up a timetable; give yourself a good, clean, well-lit study area, away from the hustle and bustle of the house.

Get in touch with us soon (don’t wait until the last minute) and we’ll get you set up with a tutor who will be there with you every step of the way. We want to see you succeed, and assist you in achieving the marks that you want to get!

 

Written by Conor Engelbrecht, Maths & Science Tutor

Help Reduce Your Child’s Exam Stress

BrightSparkz’ Top Tips for Reducing Exam Stress

This time of year is busy on all fronts, and if you have children of school-going age life gets just that little bit more hectic as you help them navigate their exam and study workload, and the exam stress that inevitably goes along with it!

Here are 5 tips to help you and your child cope with exam stress during this busy season:

  1. Encourage routine – this includes study time, mealtimes, bed times, as well as making some time for fun and exercise!
  1. Have healthy snacks readily available – Chocolate, energy drinks, and coffee all result in fatigue and spikes and dips in blood sugar levels and concentration. Instead, have a supply of healthy snack options like fruit, nuts, popcorn and ensure they drink lots of water!
  1. Create a study space – Teen bedrooms are not the neatest of places! Try and find an alternative study space (as uncluttered and distraction-free as possible) which can be turned into a “study-zone”.
  1. Provide support – this goes beyond just offering academic support. Emotional support and encouragement goes a long way to boost confidence and positive feelings. Offer to make a cup of tea from time to time, or PVR their favourite show for later 🙂
  1. Planning ahead – Have a calendar on the wall with all upcoming exam dates. Don’t rush to get to school on the morning of the exam – pack the night before, and leave enough time margin to get to school early.

All that’s left is to make sure you keep a smile on your face 🙂

Good luck!

From us on the BrightSparkz Team

Understanding Dyscalculia – Part 3

Our two previous blogs discuss dyscalculia in detail. Now that we know a little bit more, what can we do to help our learners?

Tutor tips (For the tutor and the parents):

  • Use concrete examples that connect math to real life. For instance, use examples that include their favourite things or shopping. This helps to strengthen your learner’s number sense.
  • Use visual aids when solving problems. Draw pictures or move around physical objects. Teachers and tutors can refer to this as “manipulatives”
  • Assign manageable amounts of work so your tutee will not feel overloaded
  • Review a recently learned skill before moving on to a new one, and explain how the skills are related
  • Supervise work and encourage your learner to talk through the problem-solving process. This can help ensure your tutee is using the right math rules and formulas
  • Break new lessons into smaller parts that help to show how different skills relate to the new concept
  • Let your tutee use graph paper to help keep numbers lined up or in columns
  • Use an extra piece of paper to cover up most of what’s on a math test so your tutee can focus on one problem at a time
  • Playing math-related games helps your learner have fun and to feel more comfortable with math
    • Answer fewer questions on a test and allocate more time for your tutee to finish a test
    • Record lessons and lectures
    • Use a calculator in class
  • Boost confidence:Identify your tutee’s strengths and use them to work on (or around) weaknesses. Activities that tap into your tutees interests and abilities can help improve self-esteem and increase your learner’s resilience. Try to pace yourself during your tutoring sessions and do not use more than one strategy at a time. This makes it easier to tell which ones are producing a good result and which are not
  • Help your learner keep track of time:Whether it is a hand on the shoulder, a few key words or an alarm; have systems in place to remind your time-challenged tutee when to start the next activity.
  • See what it feels like:Try to experience what it is like to have dyscalculia. Acknowledging that you understand what your learner is going through is another way to boost his or her confidence and to improve your own level of understanding
  • Be upbeat:Let your tutee know when you see him or her do something well. Praising effort and genuine achievement can help your learner feel loved and supported. It can also give your tutee the confidence to work harder!
  • Support, patience and understanding are key!

If you would like a tutor to assist your child or learner, contact BrightSparkz Tutors today!