About Kate Dalby

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So far Kate Dalby has created 54 blog entries.

Creative Ways to Help Kids Learn

Creative Ways To Help Kids Learn by Laura Pearson of edutude.net

Every child learns differently, and it can be tough to watch them struggle in the classroom. Fortunately, you know your child best, and there are a number of creative ways you can help them tackle even the toughest subjects by providing at-home support. Learning disguised as fun can be particularly beneficial when it comes to catching and keeping their interests.

Hands-On Learning

According to Empowered Parents, many people learn by doing. As such, provide opportunities for your kids to tackle tricky subjects by trying our creative new problem solving approaches. For example, children can better embrace the idea of how fractions work by following a recipe. Help them pick out their favorite cookie recipe, shop for the ingredients (also using math skills to find the best deals) and then prepare a treat for the whole family. You can also base your allowance and household chore list on current math subjects – this will teach not only math concepts, but good budgeting skills as well.

Get Creative

Creative pursuits can help kids work both sides of their brains, and according to Bright Horizons, these can also help with overall development. Encourage your child to take up a musical instrument, enroll in an art class, or take them to a craft shop and let them pick out new materials to experiment with. Learn about different cultures through music, dance, and cuisine, or find the book version of their favorite movie and help them identify the different approaches the authors and filmmakers chose to take in their adaptations. This type of critical analysis can help kids in a number of different academic settings.

Go Outside

The natural world offers countless learning opportunities. Budding scientists can look at leaves and soil samples under a microscope, identify different bird species, and learn more about topography of various landscapes. Consider investing in a telescope to see the stars and learn about constellations, galaxies and black holes. Or boost their STEM skills through weather spotting and prediction. Encourage hands-on experiments at home – your child’s teacher can clue you in as to what’s being studied in the classroom and you can take things a step further at home. This demonstrates your involvement in their academic lives and your desire to help them thrive.

Read Together

Reading together with your child can be beneficial in a variety of ways, whether you’re focusing on textbooks or selections they’ve made from the library on their own. Reading together will help you become familiar with what they’re studying in school, and provide you with insights into what they’re personally interested in learning about. Stop and ask questions along the way and help your kids analyze, dissect, and understand what they’ve read. In addition to being an effective way to bolster skills in study areas where they might be struggling, this approach can help you address other societal topics kids may have a hard time understanding.

Disguise Learning As Fun

Sometimes parents need to take what they know about their kids and find creative ways to help them learn via activities they already enjoy. For example, there are many educational video games on the market – great for kids who are gamers. Maybe you have a child who enjoys shopping – there’s a great opportunity to teach math skills related to purchase price, sales discounts, and taxes. Kids can also help one another learn via “playing school,” an especially good concept for kids with sibs at home. Teaching someone else a skillset is a great way to learn more about it yourself.


Kids are well attuned to what their parents do, and if you’d like to model good educational practices, consider continuing your own education. Earning a degree in an educational field can help you advance your own professional prospects, while also giving you an inside track on what’s being taught in your child’s classroom. You and your child can set aside time to study together each day – they’ll likely be inspired by your commitment and come to recognize that learning is a lifelong pursuit.


We hope you’ve found these ideas helpful and that they will help your child succeed in school. Remember, it takes a lot of hard work to be successful, but with a little creativity and support from home, your child can achieve anything.


Introducing Flex Prep


Want to skip the classes and online group prep? Looking for a customized prep? Don’t despair! Flex prep is year-round tutoring ONLINE for the SAT and ACT.



Introducing Mindprint Learning Assessments

We are exciting to announce that Inspiring Test Preparation is now offering Mindprint assessments to determine the best approach to preparing students for standardized tests such as the SAT and ACT.


Mindprint is a self-paced online cognitive assessment. It was developed by scientists at Penn Medicine with a grant from the National Institute of Mental Health. It measures the ten cognitive skills most closely correlated to success in academics and on standardized tests. The Mindprint report  give tutors insights into the unique learning needs of each of their students and allows them to customize their instruction to maximize the efficiency and effectiveness of student outcomes. A practice test will tell you what a student got wrong; Mindprint will tell why and what you can do about it.

Mindprint Test Prep Reports are specifically designed to support students and tutors who are prepping for the SAT and ACT. The reports will tell you whether a student has a cognitive affinity for one test over the other and by how much. They will project potential scoring ranges for each test and each section and provide a worksheet to help tutors identify the areas of greatest potential improvement. They also map suggested test prep and learning strategies to each individual student’s unique strengths.


We are so persuaded that Mindprint will help us help you test more effectively, that we are, for a short time, offering the $199 assessment at a price of $95.

You will get Mindprint’s report and a private consultation with Kate Dalby to discuss the report and how we can help achieve better test results for your student.  There is no obligation for future services.  If you purchase a flex prep package, you will get a $95 rebate on that purchase.

To purchase an assessment,

click here. Enter student’s birth month & year in note to business.

You will receive a testing link within 24-48 hours.  Text Kate at 703-203-5796 if you don’t get a link.



What are the SAT Question and Answer Service and ACT Test Information Release?

From time to time students will be confused by their performance on their SAT or ACT.  They will say: “I don’t understand why my English score dropped”, or “I thought I aced the math, what happened”?

To better understand test performance, both College Board and ACT provide a service that allows you to purchase a copy of the test you took.  This service is not available for all test dates, but in 2020-21, SAT is releasing the tests for October, March and May, and ACT is releasing the tests for December, April, and June.

Both services provide you a clean copy of the test, your answers, and the correct answers.  I highly recommend you order the test if you wish to do further test preparation.  This can be done when you register for your test or after you get your scores.  You have up to five months after your test date to order the SAT; you have six months to order the ACT.

The name of College Board’s service is the Question and Answer Service.  (Do not confuse this with the Answer Verification Service available for all test dates and described on the same page).  Click here to find out more.

The equivalent product from ACT is called the Test Information Release.  To order your ACT test, click this link for further instructions.

For insight on why scores can fluctuate, read this article that discusses variability in the ACT Science scores.

For questions, write Kate Dalby at kvs@katedalby.com


Lighthouse Career Coaching – Deciding on a College Major and Career Path


There are more than 12,000 careers and 315 academic majors. No wonder so many students struggle to find their direction! An investment in career assessments will your student discover and select the study and employment options that “fit” them This insight will help them graduate on time, be happier and do better with their studies, and gain the experiences future employers will want to see in a new grad hire.

Let’s connect to schedule a free exploratory phone call.
You’ll learn more about how coaching will help you and decide if our styles
would match well as we work together on your goals.

Schedule a Call


Anne Keenan Shields

Anne Shields, CEO of Lighthouse Career Coaching, has 35+ years of career coaching experience with students and alumni at nationally ranked colleges. She will tailor her work to meet your student’s needs just as she has previously coached thousands of students–helping them choose a major, explore and test out career interests, choose and land internships and jobs, and decide when/if graduate school is the next best step.