Get Fit for the Holidays

by Carol Tulisalo

Do you know what I do?

I have helped people lose weight. How cool is that?!!  😀 Families lives & legacies have been changed! What a blessing! If you want a program to help you lose weight, mine works!

But that’s NOT what I want to be known for – even though that’s great – seeing people find some improvement on the scale, feel better about themselves, have more energy, less joint pain…..that’s all GREAT stuff!

But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. This company has big dreams and a big vision!

I want to help people dream. Do you dream any more?! I want to help you see more options…More possibilities. I want to walk with you in hard times…to be an ear you can turn to. I also want to celebrate your great times…your achievements….your joys! 

I want to help you and your family make ends meet when you think you are out of answers. It’ll be even more fun when you not only make ends meet – but you start seeing possibilities that you have never dreamed you would have!

I want to be a difference maker. A grave robber. A dream giver. I have answers that can save lives (and I have answers completely unrelated to my business that can save souls. I would love to point people to the One who can save.)

Do you need to lose some weight? Super. I can help. Do you want someone who will walk with you through this life and encourage you and help you as you make a difference in others lives? I would be so honored to be there!

DM me if you want to make a change in your health….if you want a supportive community to lift you up…if you want to help others…if you want to help others AND your finances. It would be such a joy to help you. Let’s just talk about your goals. Do you have any? 

(I didn’t…..I do now….Can you tell?) ☺️❤️

Look forward to talking with you!

Carol Tulisalo

Puttin’ on the Litz

Recently, The Test Experts supported the 2nd annual Gwinnett County Library Gala! Hosted by the Gwinnett County Public Library Foundation, the Gala raises funds for the library system and raises awareness about current activities and events. The 2019 Gala was hosted by Star 94’s Jenn Hobby and featured gourmet dining, live entertainment, and a silent bid auction. New York Times Bestselling author Diane Ackerman was the keynote speaker featuring her new work, The Zookeeper’s Wife. The Test Experts is a proud supporter of the Gwinnett County Library System!

The Test Experts Instructors, Josh McKay and Hayden Angay, with their spouses.
Jenn Hobby and gourmet dining
Author Diane Ackerman

Math Accommodations for Students with Dyslexia

Students with dyslexia not only struggle with Language Arts but also struggle with Math. Oftentimes, teachers assume that dyslexia will not affect students in the same manner in Math as in Language Arts. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Dyslexia affects reading, writing, math, and rapid word retrieval while speaking. Here is a great article that addresses specific Math accommodations for students with dyslexia. Click here to read the full article.

Dyslexia Dash

This year, the Dyslexia Dash is on October 19, 2019 at the Perimeter Mall. There will be a festival afterwards with tables of sponsors. The Test Experts is a sponsor this year. We will be available to discuss issues about dyslexia for students of all ages. We offer Orton-Gillingham lessons and ACT/SAT test prep for older students as well as advice for 504 accommodations that can apply to the ACT/SAT test. We also offer multi-sensory Orton-Gillingham based lessons for younger students that help with fluency and automaticity.

This race is a 5K that is a Peachtree qualifier. There is also a kid 1 mile walk/run. There will be a raffle, and t-shirts are available for purchase. This race is part of the International Dyslexia Association of Georgia. The IDA is a non-profit organization that helps students and families become more aware of the resources for dyslexics and provides information for different events. For more information about the Dyslexia Dash, click here. To learn about our Dyslexia Program, click here.

Dyslexia Dash 2019
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Creating A Learning Space For Your Child

Photo credit by Unsplash

Parents can help their kids succeed in school by creating distraction-free areas where they can study and read. Let’s learn what you’ll need to get started.

Creating a Study Space

Your purpose is to set up a study space with few distractions and the best tools at his fingertips. Here are some great suggestions on how to do that from

  • Give your child a space that’s not too comfortable. You want him alert rather than relaxed. That means an upright padded chair is better than a lounger!
  • Provide a desk and chair that are at an appropriate height for him. The desk should be waist-high and his feet should be able to be flat on the floor.
  • Make sure the desk is not cluttered and has enough room for textbooks and notebooks. Buy one with drawers and use organizers to help.

SheKnows also suggests that parents make sure the area is well-stocked with the supplies your child needs so he doesn’t have to worry about broken pencil points or running out of paper while working.

A Creative Touch

You should also set up the study space in a way that makes it welcoming and encouraging but not distracting. Decorate it with fun but helpful tools, like a cute number line and alphabet strip, or add solar system wall art. Get your child involved in setting up the desk. Here are more ways you can decorate a study space from Modern Monticello.

You can also motivate your child by creating a vision board for him so that he can plan and meet academic goals. Learn how at

If You Don’t Have Extra Space

An extra room or corner of an unshared bedroom will be the best place for a study area, but if that is not available, there are other options for setting up a study space.

  • recommends you search for an unused closet, corner, or nook where your child can be away from high traffic and loud noises.
  • You can also redecorate or re-arrange your child’s bedroom to accommodate a study area. Use space-saving furniture, such as fold-down shelves.

If your child needs to work in a busy space, you can schedule designated “quiet times.” Create blocks of time when all distractions, like TV and loud play, are quieted so he can concentrate. If that’s not possible, he can also use noise-reducing headphones to block out the sounds.

Need more inspiration? Here are 27 work and study area ideas from This Old House.

Setting Up A Reading Nook

Another great way to help your child improve his literacy skills is to set up a reading nook that will encourage him to read more frequently.

What you’ll need:

  • Proper lighting.
    BuildDirect says that natural lighting is best but to remember to keep a lamp for nighttime and overcast days. These should “provide enough light to read by but not be glaringly harsh.” Use light bulbs no greater than 60 watts.
  • Comfortable space.
    Reading nooks should be very comfortable (as opposed to homework spaces). That means they are far simpler to set up and maintain. The right pile of pillows can be inspiration enough for a child. You can also decorate this space with art that spikes your child’s imagination.
  • Privacy.
    Reading is challenging with too many distractions so make sure your child has the privacy to be on his own and reading what he wants.
  • Room for storage.
    You want it to be near a selection of books so that he can choose what he wants to read. While a bookcase is what most parents will choose, The Barefoot Mommy blog states that kids are more likely to choose a book when they see the cover. Find a way to display books to entice your child to read.

Creating the right space for your child to read and study will encourage him and can improve his academic success without his realizing it

The Test Experts adds new Instructor, James Cortez

The Test Experts has added James Cortez to its talented pool of instructors. James is the first instructor added who went to North Gwinnett High School (Approximately 80% of The Test Experts students attend North Gwinnett).

The Test Experts founder, Josh McKay, said about James, “we are so excited to have another Instructor who can tutor math and science at the highest level. James is a great addition to the team.”

James earned a B.S in Physics and a B.S. in Applied Mathematics from Georgia State University. He made a 35 on his ACT and has many years of experience tutoring for High School and College level Math and Physics, as well as experience teaching Physics I and II at Georgia State University for both algebra and calculus-based courses.

Partnering with Grand Fit Education

The Test Experts (TTE) has now partnered with Grand Fit Education to bring you even more great college admissions services. TTE has been providing superior ACT and SAT Test Prep in Gwinnett, Forsyth, and Fulton counties since 2015. Grand Fit Education provides comprehensive college planning, including high school course selection, college list creation, essay writing, and financial aid planning. TTE Founder Josh McKay said, “It’s a natural fit to pair our strengths to provide the most comprehensive services to our students. Allison is great at what she does and we’re excited to be able to offer her services to our students.”

Allison Grandits is an Independent College Counselor and the owner and founder of Grand Fit Educational Consulting LLC. Grand Fit minimize the stress associated with researching and deciding on college. She works one-on-one with her students and their families and is passionate about teaching students how to take ownership of the college process. Allison has a B.S. in Psychology and a M. Ed. in Professional School Counseling from the University of Georgia and is currently obtaining a Graduate Certificate in College Consulting from University of California-Irvine. Allison is a member of HECA (Higher Educational Consulting Association), SACAC (Southern Association of College Admissions Counselors), and has visited over 60 colleges around the country. She is the perfect choice to help guide your High School student through the often arduous college selection process.

Both companies will remain independent, but they will offer joint packages providing a one-stop shop for both test prep and college planning services to their students.

How to Bring Art into the Lives of Children with Learning Disabilities

Children with learning disabilities often have a hard time expressing themselves and coping with challenges in their daily lives. Art can give these children the power of expression and help them deal with the world in their own way. Plus, getting involved in the arts helps kids fine-tune their motor skills, improve their focus, and even elevate their mood. Whether they enjoy painting, sculpture, photography, or music, art can be a valuable tool in any child’s healthy development.

Take a Trip to the Museum

According to Parents, you can introduce toddlers to art by taking them to an art or sculpture museum. Keep them engaged by examining all angles of the shapes, statues, and paintings. Encourage your child to tell you what they see and talk about what is going on in the art piece.

For older children at the museum, find artists that kids can imitate, such as Pollack or Kandinsky. This will give kids the confidence that they can create art even if they can’t paint or draw realistically. Ask children what kinds of stories they see playing out in different paintings, and what different elements of the painting may symbolize. Motherly recommends familiarizing your children with specific art styles or artists before going to see them at the museum so your kids can get excited about seeing the paintings in person.

Create a Home Studio

One of the best ways to get kids involved in the arts is to set up a home art studio. Dedicated art spaces are ready for children at any time, giving them an easy opportunity to express themselves or soothe anxiety. Kids should be able to leave unfinished art here to pick up again another day without feeling pressured to finish their piece all at once. Grab a table or desk and equip it with various materials like different-colored papers, glue, crayons, and markers.

Add a standing or wall-mounted easel so kids can paint. You may want to spread a drop cloth on the ground to catch any paint drips. If you don’t have the space for a dedicated art area, set up an art caddy with supplies so your kid can grab it and get creative wherever they like. Most importantly, this art space should feel welcoming and be inviting.

Try a Pottery Class

One of the best things about pottery is that there are no rights or wrongs for doing it. Clay is so versatile and self-repairing that kids can create whatever they want without fearing they’ll make a mistake. Pottery is great for developing hand-eye coordination and problem-solving skills in special needs kids. This is because kids have to assess how to make the clay, and figure out how to make it do what they want it to do. It forces them to think ahead and plan, both of which are valuable life skills. Shaping clay can even increase self-esteem for hesitant kids as they take command over their art and understand how to fix their own mistakes.

Have Fun with Textile Art

Kids can also have a lot of fun with textile art. Have them create stories by drawing on paper so they have a template to follow when cutting out fabric pieces. Kids will love feeling the different textures of the fabric as they put their masterpiece together. Sewing is another fun option for kids. They can sew pieces of fabric together or onto a fabric-lined cardboard backdrop, or follow a child-friendly tutorial or video to learn basic skills and create works of art. The possibilities for creativity are endless with textiles!

Make Art Adaptive and Accessible

If your child has motor challenges, creating works of art may be difficult and frustrating for them. You can help them, but just be sure that they take the lead and only give them as much help as is necessary. Try modifying your art centers with special scissors or by wrapping rubber bands around paint brushes to increase grip. Some children may need angled work surfaces or rounded crayons that are easier to grasp. Make whatever adjustments necessary to allow your child to enjoy the creative process!

Art is a great way to cultivate life skills for special needs students. Letting their imagination and feelings drive their art gives them a tangible way to express what is on their mind. This can help them learn how to communicate their emotions and develop social skills. Try various mediums, and have fun creating things with your child. You may even discover an art enthusiast within yourself!