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BlogaMental Educational Blog


Lori J. Skurka, M. Ed.
President and CEO
EleMental Learning, LLC



 BlogaMental is where you can read and discuss musings by Lori J. Skurka, Founder, President, and CEO of EleMental Learning as well as our tutors and staff.  The topics we discuss are a mixture of current educational hot buttons, timeless observations about the trials and tribulations of raising school-age children, and some lighter fare as well.  Feel free to jump in and join the discussions!


Tell us what you think! Post a comment to one of the stories below!

BlogaMental is no longer allowing our blog readers to add comments at the end of the posts.  Why, you may ask?  Here's why: approximately 90% of the commenters were spammers, posting links back to their e-commerce sites selling counterfeit designer apparel and accessories...or sometimes certain types of "love aids" if you get my drift.

Combing through these comments and deleting them was just no fun.  So, good-bye spammers!  If something we wrote is interesting to you, feel free to comment on our Twitter page or our Facebook page.


 P.S.  What do you call someone who doesn't pass gas in public?   A PRIVATE TUTOR!


At this point in time, this is not the world's most frequently updated educational blog.  We are often too busy pursuing our "day jobs" to sit down and write inane musings.  And, while some pundits suggest that guest bloggers, ghost bloggers, and other nefarious ploys can be utilized to generate content on our behalf, that has always seemed a little disingenuous to us.

In any event, we have always enjoyed reading the comments that people write here in response to our blog entries.  Until recently.  Of late, we have been getting carpet bombed by spam commenters who write clunky entries in the comment generally followed by a hashtag hyperlink to some third party website.  It seems like most of these third party websites specialize in the sale of counterfeit goods...(think "fake Gucci purses" and the like).

So while coming here and reading comments from our loyal followers has always been a joy to us -- and will continue to be -- we've been finding too many lumps of coal in our stockings lately from...

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EleMental Learning, the leading provider of private tutoring services in Chicagoland, is pleased to announce the addition of six new tutors in Illinois. Each of these tutors in Chicagoland are actual state-certified teachers with real classroom experience.  A hallmark of EleMental Learning's Chicago tutoring service is that all of our tutors are actual trained educators. Please read further to learn more about these new tutors' great backgrounds and qualifications!


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We're nearing the end of the kids' two week Holiday Break. The kids have been fully inundated with new iPads, iPods, Androids, PCs, video games, and other e-devices that probably have some educational and future occupational benefit but which also tend to turn the kids into zombies in the near term.  If I had a dollar for each time one of my kids absent-mindedly said "just a minute..." when I instructed them to turn one of those items off...

The good news is that we've taken advantage of several of the mini-camps offered through the local YMCA to keep the kids active during the break.  Our kids focused primarily on swimming, but there were also opportunities for the kids to sample basketball, ballet and other forms off dance (Zumba is a current favorite), and other sports and activities.  It may be a little late now, but I highly recommend that parents take advantages of programs like this -- at the YMCA, through their local park district, or other local organizations [just check out your local paper's upcoming activity calendar!] -- to keep the kids active and engaged in something other than electronic nonsense during these breaks from school. 


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Today EleMental Learning, New York's premier provider of private tutoring services, is pleased to announce the addition of five new tutors to our New York state tutoring crew. Each of these five new tutors in New York are actual state-certified teachers with real classroom experience.  A hallmark of EleMental Learning's New York state tutoring service is that all of our tutors are actual trained educators. Please read further to learn more about these new tutors' great backgrounds and qualifications!

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The internet is awash with purported purveyors of online tutoring.  Some are legitimate, well staffed services dedicated to the provision of professional distance tutoring.  Others can be as clunky as someone with a Twitter handle and a Paypal account offering to guide your kid through the next test, project, term paper, or standardized exam for an arbitrary fixed fee.  The technologies utilized are quite varied as well.   While most adults of a certain age have accepted the legitimacy of online commerce, distance learning, and e-tailing, online tutoring resides at the nexus of all three of these web 2.0 applications.  It beckons the questions:  when choosing an online tutor, how do you choose among the myriad choices, what are you hoping to achieve, and how will you measure success?

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BlogaMental, the tutoring blog of EleMental Learning, has been on extended sabbatical.  During this time we've been out learning the ropes of internet marketing, social media, and cross-marketing every which way till Tuesday.  It took a while to get through our thick skulls, but eventually we realized that the place we wanted to blog and muse was RIGHT HERE under our own roof!  So we're back.  Discuss amongst yourselves. Rinse.  Repeat.

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As I typed the title of this post I stopped to wonder how many of today's adolescents would have resisted the urge to put the preposition at the end of the phrase -- i.e. 'A Lot To Be Thankful For'.   I continue to worry about the texting and video-gaming culture America's future leaders are growing up in.  No, actually, the culture in which they are growing up!

Anyway, we've made it through mid-term conferences and at this point most parents have a pretty good feeling for where their kids are stacking up in the classroom.  Even if you've learned that your child has a bit of an uphill climb in order to achieve classroom standards, he or she still has something for which to be thankful.  That of course is you--a parent who is spending time on this site in a search to find what is best for the child's progress.  You taking the time to read this means that you care more about what's best for your kids than the average Joe.

Two of my three children are school age, and their conferences generally went...

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Article Citation: "To Address Behavior Issues, Preschools Turn to Therapy", Wall Street Journal, 9/9/09, written by Sue Shellenbarger.

Link to original article:

Interesting overview of the controversial new push, now offered in 29 different states, to embed mental health workers directly into preschool classrooms.  These professionals work directly with students needing extra therapy or counseling to address behavioral issues at an early age in order to help them integrate better and improve their emotional well being.

Without addressing the funding issue, which we understand to be a fluid and changing situation under new governmental directives, this seems like a wise approach from an educator's standpoint.  Providing hands-on mental health counseling directly in the preschool...

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Attention parents, tutors, students, teachers, administrators, and anyone else passionate about educating the youth of our nation!

We've got one simple question to ask you:  What's Buggin' Ya?

If there's one constant in today's crazy world, it's change.  What is the educational controversy du jour in your household, your school district, your state, and in the national headlines?  What's got steam shooting out of your ears?

Let's hear from you.  Topics that get a lot of spirited debate may be used as fodder for future EleMental Learning editorials.  Or we may just sit back and watch sparks fly.  We'll see what happens! 

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