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Bex, Harper, tutor, Southend, Westcliff,

Christmas & New Year Closure

Christmas & New Year Holidays Closure Dates!

Bex Harper Tutoring & Coaching will be closed for the Christmas & New Year break.  Our break will be between Friday 20th December 2019 and Monday 6th January 2020 (inclusive). There will be no tutoring lessons or coaching sessions during this period, as Bex and our administrator, Hannah, will also be out of the office, on annual leave.

 

Contact

If you need to contact us via text or email or send homework via email, you shall receive a response on Tuesday 7th January when we resume our normal business opening hours. Many thanks for your patience.

 

Happy Christmas and New Year!

The Benefits Of Keeping Aquariums On your Mental Health 

It may not seem like an obvious choice at first. However, keeping fish and shrimp can have a positive effect on your mental health. This article explores these benefits and how fish can improve your home or your study space. 

 

Improving your mental health

Keeping fish or shrimp falls under ‘animalassisted therapy’. In most cases either dogs or cats are used in this type of therapy. However, fish can have positive effects as well.  The biggest advantages to fish (or any animal), is that they connect you with nature. A 2005 study showed that contact with nature can provide a populationwide strategy for the prevention of mental health issues.  

 

So, what is it about fish specifically that can help us with our mental health? As well as connecting us with nature, fish live in water, and water has many therapeutic benefits. Many people find the sound and visual effect of running water very calming. In fact, you can achieve the same effect just sitting and looking at the water in the sea or a lake.

 

Owning a tank

You can have all the benefits of fish and water by owning your own tank. Fish owners all state that overall the most stressful part of owning fish, is generally the initial set up. Yet, many owners agree that the benefits outweigh any of the initial stress. However, it is not always practical to own your own fish.  If you are unable to own your own fish tank, then you can still gain all these benefits by visiting fish. Maybe you have a local fishpond or aquarium? Even just the occasional visit has been shown to greatly improve a person’s mental health.  

BHTC vision and values

Bex Harper Tutoring and Coaching pride itself in putting clients’ mental health first. I strongly believe in the therapeutic benefits of fish, shrimp and water snails, which is why there is an aquarium in the BHTC study and coaching space. These delightful, calming creatures are, therefore, incorporated into our sessions, wherever possible. For example, in coaching, the relaxing sound of water flowing can relax you enough to explore areas of your life in greater detail.

In terms of tutoring, often children can be nervous about coming to a tutor for the first session and it provides common ground and opportunities for conversation that isn’t exclusively focused on them. This can help calm tutees and make them feel relaxed. BHTC also allows clients to bring their own slippers to wear, if they want to really feel at home!

 

If you would like a calming environment to learn or to re-evaluate your life and achieve your big goals, then BHTC is for you! Drop me an email (hello@bexharper.com) to find out more!

Your Words: Improve Your Child’s Wellbeing and Education!

I tutor English Language and am life coach. So I am very interested in language use. In particular, I am fascinated by how the language we use around children affects the way they perceive themselves and others. First, let’s explore a little some ideas I have come across recently. These are approaches that encourage your child to be resilient. Second, we’ll look at using gender-neutral language. Through this approach, you allow your children to believe in themselves, due to avoiding gender bias.

Growth Mindset Language

Growth Mindset is a theory from educational practice that states that children should not be praised for what they achieve, but how hard they work. Some people think this is impractical. They believe giving praise to children who never achieve high grades is creating an unrealistic view of the world for those children. However, my response to this view is twofold. Firstly, I believe strongly that the people making these claims do not understand growth mindset theory. Secondly, they also do not understand the potential damage done to the children’s confidence. If children get consistently low grades and also see others being praised instead of them, this increasingly makes them feel worse about themselves. 

Growth Mindset is saying “Well done for completing all the questions” when a child works slowly and doesn’t normally finish. It’s saying “Excellent! You remembered your folder today!” when a child manages to get organised, who doesn’t normally manage this. Growth Mindset literally makes kids want to keep doing the things you are praising them for. Then it starts to become automatic and you can start to set them new goals. “George, well done for remembering your folder today. Tomorrow I’d like to see you remember your homework!”

 

How Can Parents Use Growth Mindset Language?

Praise your kids who don’t normally do their chores, when they do them. Growth mindset is almost like the opposite of nagging. Children love praise. Nobody likes to be told off, but it is necessary sometimes. However, try to limit your nagging or telling off to a ratio of 1:5 – with 5 lots of praise for every nag! Use language like: “Well done for being kind to your sister and sharing with her” or “Great job that you wiped your feet before coming in today!” In particular, with education, you can praise children for completing their homework and taking an interest in their after-school clubs. 

A little goes a long way! They will start to believe in themselves!

 

How You Can be a Language Role Model

Don’t say to your kids “I wasn’t any good at maths, ask ____”. Studies have shown that kids can interpret this as “Well if Mum / Dad isn’t good at this, how will I be?” You can be a language role model by saying to your kids: “Okay, shall we research this online and see what we can find?” or “Do you find maths harder than other subjects? Do you want a tutor to support you and make you really confident?” This way, you are actively helping to find a solution without putting yourself down. You are not telling your child “I feel anxious about this and can’t help”.

 

Avoiding Gender Bias

Many studies have shown how little girls mostly get compliments that reflect their appearance. For example: “you’re so pretty” or “your dress is beautiful”. Boys, on the other hand, get complimented on how well they do things, rather than expressing their emotions or how they look. To improve your daughter’s chances of doing well, praise her for things that she accomplishes as well as how she looks! Likewise, boost your son’s confidence by commented on both his great achievements and decisions, but also how well he expressed his feelings. 

 

Moving Forward

This is just a whistle-stop tour of how language can help your child. If you are looking for coaching or a tutor to help boost your child’s confidence, then drop me a message to see if I can help! Email hello@bexharper.com for more information.

Revision Time!

It’s time to revise! Don’t panic! Check out:

Good luck! 🙂

Film and Nostalgia: Representations of History Course Review

Guest Post by Sandra Martin

WEA Billericay Branch – Spring Course

Film and Nostalgia: Representations of History

Tutor – Dr Bex Harper
Scene:

A cast of around 30 men and women from their mid to late twenties and ……!
Seated, facing a screen, wide-eyed in anticipation. Unsure what the next 8
weeks will involve. A plethora of bodice-ripping tear- jerkers? A potted history
of the world courtesy of the film industry? Think what the film ‘Troy’ did for
our knowledge of the magnificent Greek civilisation hmm?!

Enter stage left:

Our Director/Producer Bex whose in-depth enlightenment of how film
techniques are used to portray events, emotions, relationships and
environments ensured that we will probably never view a film in quite the
same way.

Bex helped us to really see the importance of things that we may not have
noticed in our viewing. For example, so many different camera angles used as
devices to show so much more than the things in shot, such as the
power/vulnerability of characters, historical setting, and of course emotions.
She chose 4 films for scrutiny. The first being Howard’s End, which we soon
realised was so much more that a beautifully filmed rural idyll and which some
might call a stereotypical nostalgic film?

Secondly, and about as different from Howard’s End as you could choose, was
the brilliant Good Bye Lenin!, a film set in the last years of the GDR ,when
history was being made, but focussing on the life of one family. Bex’s guidance
through this film showed us how a film can show nostalgia and heritage in such
a very powerful way that the viewer can identify with even though the events
were far removed from their own lives. It was a film that was a great discovery
for most of us and during the 4 weeks we studied it, I for one couldn’t wait for
the next session.

After a session viewing clips from, and discussing The Help – a film set in the
south of the US around the time of the Civil Rights movement, we moved on to
our final film The King’s Speech, set in the years leading up to WW2 and
centred on the future King’s struggles to master a speech impediment which
could hinder his role as sovereign.

Method:

Our sessions were so much more than us, as the audience, viewing while the
Director Bex led – we broke off into small groups for discussion and then
regrouped to share our views after each clip. This technique enabled us to
pursue in depth what nostalgia and heritage in film meant, not only to us, but
in the portrayal of life events in film.

A thoroughly enjoyable and enlightening course.

– Sandra Martin, Student
Easter break means easter eggs!

Easter Holidays: Closure Information

Easter Holidays Closure Dates!

Bex Harper Tutoring & Coaching will be closed for the Easter break between Saturday 6th April and Monday 22nd April 2019 (inclusive). There will be no tutoring lessons or coaching sessions during this period, as Bex and our administrator, Hannah, will also be out of the office, on annual leave.

 

Contact

If you need to contact us via text or email or send homework via email, you shall receive a response on Tuesday 23rd April, when we resume our normal business opening hours. Many thanks for your patience.

 

Revision

Good luck with your exam revision over the Easter period! Don’t forget to build in little tea breaks to eat those lovely Easter eggs!

Bex, Harper, tutor, Southend, Westcliff,

Christmas and New Year Closure

Bex Harper Tutoring and Coaching wishes you a Merry Christmas, a Happy New Year and a fantastic 2019! We will be closed on the following dates:

22nd December 2018 to 2nd January 2019 (inclusive)

If you need to contact us via text or email, you shall receive a response on 3rd January.

Creating a Routine of a Regular Spelling Practice

Spelling is one of the fundamental elements in primary education that kids are faced with. Examined on the SATs papers in Year 6, through to being part of the marking criteria for GCSE, spelling matters. Create a regular routine of getting your child to sit down and learn the spellings. Whether it be by writing them out, or saying the letters of the words in funny voices, it needs to be done.  Here are some spooky suggestions to get you started for the half-term break!

Check back each week for regular resources – for both spelling and maths!

If you are needing more help with English or maths, have a look at getting a tutor!

maths algebra practice

Group Coaching Workshops

Bex Harper Tutoring and Coaching is launching some new group coaching workshops for this summer – one is aimed at children going into Years 5-7 and the other is aimed at parents who have children of all ages. Please feel free to get in touch with any questions you might have. See below for full details!

 

Stretching for Secondary: Success Workshop

Studying for the 11+, doing SATS and starting secondary school can be immensely stressful for many children. This workshop looks at the key skills children going into Years 5-7 must develop to be able to increase their chances of success at secondary level. I have closely observed both the relationship between language, beliefs and actions in my coaching practice and the patterns of achievement being closely linked positive mindsets as a private tutor, school teacher and lecturer.

 

This coaching programme, aimed at students about to go into Years 5-7, is suitable for those high flyers who suffer from feeling anxious or worried about their performance and making mistakes, as well as those who feel that they are unprepared to begin their secondary adventure.

The workshop will:

  • help them to understand how to prepare for exams.
  • help them to understand how to cope with exam stress and anxiety.
  • provide them with a mindfulness tool kit.
  • give them experience of being coached in a group setting.
  • develop skills such as teamwork and critical thinking.
  • teach them life skills to make friends in new settings.

This workshop only has a very limited number of places, so make sure to book well in advance.

Dates and times: Wednesday 29th August 2018 (2.00pm -5.00pm)

 

 

Unlocking Potential: Parents’ Coaching Workshop

This workshop is designed specifically for parents who want to know how best to encourage and assist with their child’s learning and educational growth. I have closely observed both the relationship between language, beliefs and actions in my coaching practice and the patterns of achievement being closely linked positive mindsets as a private tutor, school teacher and lecturer. Because of this, and because no-one is too old to learn and grow, I have constructed this workshop specifically for parents who wish to aid their children.

We will:

  • learn about language patterns and how they affect the way we think and perceive ourselves.
  • learn how values, self-talk and self-confidence develop from a young age and the impact these have on progress in school.
  • discuss current problems and solutions children and teens face in school today.
  • how you can support your children and teens in building their confidence.
  • how you can foster reflective behaviour patterns in your children and teens, so that they self-reflect on their progress.
  • discuss praising for effort rather than for achievement and the benefits of this.

This workshop only has a very limited number of places, so make sure to book well in advance.

Dates and times: Wednesday 29th August 2018 (6.00pm -9.00pm)

 

More information about the workshops

Location: The Tuition Pod, at The Holy Trinity Church Hall in Southchurch

Investment: £35.00 for each workshop

For enquiries or to book your place, please email: workshops@bexharper.com

Please also check out my workshop for students in Years 10-13!

N.B. For the workshops to go ahead, there must be at least 4 people registered on each one.

Dealing with Exam Stress and Anxiety

Lots of people suffer with exam stress and anxiety but here are a few ways you can help prepare yourself for exam season. If you are in the midst of university finals, GCSE and A-Level exams, or if your children are preparing for the 11+ exams, there are a few things to keep in mind:

  1. Time out – Whilst studying is important, it is even more important to keep a healthy work-life balance. What this means is making sure you take time out of your week to do things you enjoy, such as sport, music, relaxation and watching your favourite shows. Particularly the night before an exam, you do not want to be studying, but making sure your bag is packed for the day and that you are sure you have everything you need, and then do something enjoyable, before getting an early night.
  2. A healthy diet and lifestyle – making sure you drink plenty of water and eat plenty of fresh fruits, vegetables and that you get enough protein, is important for your exam-ready brain. Often when we are stressed, our bodies crave sugar, caffeine or alcohol. Whilst we feel our bodies want these, it is actually the sensation that it provides for our bodies that we crave – the energy boost or the feeling of relaxation. Instead make sure you fuel your body with foods that will benefit you, and drink plenty of water.
  3. Aromatherapy – Many will agree that lavender essential oil can be relaxing, but some say rosemary helps with concentration and memory, too. I know many people who have taken a cotton handkerchief with them to an exam that they have previously dabbed lavender and rosemary oil on to keep them calm. Either way, make sure avoid essential oils if you are asthmatic or pregnant and check with your doctor if you are concerned.
  4. Breathing exercises and meditation – apps like Headspace which teaches meditation, and apps or Youtube videos of nature sounds (rainfall sounds, ocean waves, etc) can be calming and allow you time out from your daily life. Giving yourself just 5-10 minutes a day can be very beneficial to your health.
  5. Exercise – exercise is extremely important for realising the feel-good hormones that relieve stress and improve your mood. Exercise has been proven to help combat depression and anxiety and recent research has found that exercise that involves being immersed in nature has an even bigger effect. So hiking, camping, beach walks, digging over the allotment, gardening, visiting botanical gardens and other outdoor fitness activities such as running can greatly improve your mental health. Remember to always check with your doctor that the exercise you do is suitable for your physical health.
  6. Sleep – Making sure you are well rested and have plenty of down-time before bed is essential. The blue light from our computer, TV and smartphone screens sends a signal to the body that tells us to be awake. So apps like f.lux or Twillight can help dim your screens and get you ready for bed. Try to avoid watching anything too exciting, scary or mysterious before bed so you won’t be wondering as you try to sleep who the killer is in your latest crime drama! Try taking a hot bath, reading before bed and make sure you have a light snack, such as a banana or some toast, and a small glass of water before bed to avoid hunger and dehydration.
  7. Be prepared – Don’t stay up late the night before an exam. Be sure to start your revision with plenty of time (weeks or even months before your exam) and stop the day before at no later than 5pm. Have a nice dinner and do something relaxing and enjoyable with friends or family in the evening, pack your bag and make sure you get an early night.

 

Good luck and please feel free to get in touch if you feel you would benefit from tutoring or coaching by emailing me: hello@bexharper.com

 

 

N.B. Whilst I am an experienced tutor, teacher and coach, I am not a therapist, counsellor or mental health professional. If you are concerned about your mental health, always speak to your doctor, or if you are having suicidal thoughts, please contact a suicide helpline.