Archive for the ‘reading skills training’ Category

Optiminds Cognitive Camp for 2014

May 9, 2014

Once again, Optiminds is offering our popular Cognitive Camp in 2014. The camp is a fun way to keep your brain in shape over the summer, and features individualized and customized programs by skill level.

New Location–This year, the camp will take place at the Optiminds office at 29688 Telegraph, Suite 400, in Southfield.

We are excited to be offering a new session this year—Expressive Writing: Stories and Poetry—that we are sure attendees will enjoy. Students will also have the opportunity to experience our regular Cognitive Camp lineup of classes, including:

  • Cognitive Training
  • Math, Science, Language Arts, & Social Studies
  • Social Skills
  • Reading Comprehension
  • PCI© Reading Program
  • Orton Gillingham© Phonics
  • FAST© Phonics Program
  • Critical Thinking and Problem Solving Using Puzzles & Games

Dr. Jane Stewart at Optiminds has earned a reputation for helping to improve the study, reading, math and cognitive skills of students of all ages. Please call us at (248) 496-0150 for Cognitive Camp hours and pricing. Or email Dr. Jane Stewart at jstewart@optiminds.com. Be sure to ask about our Family Discounts. We hope to see you there!

Visit the Optiminds website at: optimindsct.com.

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Monitoring Your Child’s Use of Media

February 23, 2014

KidsTech1Children today are spending an average of seven hours a day on entertainment media, including televisions, computers, phones and other electronic devices.

Studies have shown that the excessive use of media can lead to attention problems, school difficulties, sleep and eating disorders, and obesity. In addition, the Internet and cell phones can provide platforms for illicit and risky behaviors.

The American Academy of Pediatrics offers some recommendations that parents might find helpful in overseeing their children’s use of media and helping them make wise media choices:

  • Use established ratings systems for shows, movies and games to avoid inappropriate content, such as violence, explicit sexual content or glorified tobacco and alcohol use
  • Limit screen time and make educational media and non-electronic formats (books, newspapers and board games) readily available
  • Watch television with your children and put things you watch into context
  • Establish “screen-free” zones at home by making sure there are no televisions, computers or video games in children’s bedrooms
  • Turn off the TV during dinner
  • Children and teens should engage with entertainment media for no more than one or two hours per day, and that should be high-quality content
  • See that your kids spend time on outdoor play, reading, hobbies, and using their imaginations in free play
  • Television and other entertainment media should be avoided for infants and children under age 2. A child’s brain develops rapidly during these first years, and young children learn best by interacting with people, not screens.

Dr. Jane Stewart at Optiminds has earned a reputation for helping to improve the study, reading, math and cognitive skills of students of all ages. Learn more about Optiminds by calling Dr. Stewart today at (248) 496-0150 or email her at: jstewart@optimindsct.com. And be sure to visit the Optiminds website at: optimindsct.com.

 

Teaching a Love of Learning

October 16, 2013

lovelearning3It’s parents who play the biggest role when it comes to instilling a love of learning in their children. When children take joy in discovering new things, it will transfer to their schoolwork and boost academic achievement. Following are some things you can do to encourage your child to learn …

Connect what your children are studying to what is going on in their lives and the world; discuss a newspaper article or newscast that relates to subject matter they are learning in class.

Ask about what your children are learning in school, not about their grades or test scores. Have them teach you what they learned in school, in their own words.

Never discourage questions. Each time you answer your child’s questions, he or she is learning.

Be an example. If your children see you studying, reading and learning, they will “see” that seeking knowledge is normal behavior and they will want to imitate you.

Point out the new things you learn with enthusiasm. Discuss the different ways you find new information, whether you’re looking for gardening tips on the Internet or taking a night class in literature.

Focus on strengths, encouraging developing talents. Even if your child didn’t ace her math test, she may have written a good poem in English class. In addition to a workbook for math practice, give her a writing journal.

Introduce your children to science museums, natural history museums, zoos, historical sites, national parks, and even forests. Much of learning is achieved through experiencing.

Praise your child when you see him or her reading or studying. Let them know they are doing a great thing!

Educational DVDs and videos are great for introducing your children to new science and history topics; use the “pause” button to stop and discuss what you are watching and answer questions.

Show enthusiasm for your children’s interests and encourage them to explore subjects that fascinate them.

Dr. Jane Stewart at Optiminds has earned a reputation for helping to improve the study, reading, math and cognitive skills of students of all ages. Learn more about Optiminds’ customized tutoring programs by calling Dr. Stewart today at (248) 496-0150 or email her at: jstewart@optimindsct.com. And be sure to visit the Optiminds website at: optimindsct.com.

Tutoring for Children with Learning Disabilities

July 15, 2013

learndisability1If your child has learning disabilities or Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), they could benefit greatly from the one-on-one attention provided by a qualified tutor. Working in concert with parents and teachers, a tutor can help your child by reinforcing specific subject matter, helping with homework, suggesting improvements in organization and other study skills, and serving to bolster your child’s self-confidence.

A recommendation that your child might profit from working with a tutor often comes from a teacher or a school’s learning specialist or guidance counselor. But as a parent, you are the one who has the deepest insight into your child’s needs and may see the need for tutoring before the school does.

You may want to investigate tutoring for your child if you answer “yes” to one or more of the following questions:

  • Is there a particular subject or type of assignment that almost always gives my child trouble?
  • Does my child have difficulty studying effectively for tests?
  • Does my child have trouble with “executive skills” such as organizing, planning, or seeing a project through to completion?
  • Is my child unhappy or anxious about schoolwork?
  • Is completing homework a recurring battle in my family?
  • Has my child’s teacher (or guidance counselor or learning specialist) suggested tutoring?

Tutoring should not be solely about getting better grades. A tutor can also help your child improve skills and develop more effective ways to study and get their homework done. Your child’s progress depends on many things: the number of sessions, a tutor’s strategies, your child’s cooperation and mood, the assistance of teachers, and the help and support you provide as a parent.

Dr. Jane Stewart at Optiminds has earned a reputation for helping to improve the study, reading, math and cognitive skills of students of all ages. Learn more about Optiminds’ customized tutoring programs by calling Dr. Stewart today at (248) 496-0150 or email her at: jstewart@optimindsct.com. And be sure to visit the Optiminds website at: optimindsct.com.

Summer Learning Loss

June 28, 2013

summerreading1The American ideal of lazy summers filled with fun has an unintended consequence: If students are not engaged in learning over the summer, they lose skills in math and reading. For over a century, scholars have recognized that summer vacation is a period when students’ rate of academic development declines relative to the school year. Summer learning loss varies across grade level, subject matter, and family income.

Research shows that students typically score lower on standardized tests at the end of summer vacation than they do on the same tests at the beginning of summer vacation. According to a report by the RAND Corporation, the average summer learning loss in math and reading for American students amounts to one month per year. On average, students lose approximately 2.6 months of grade level equivalency in mathematical computation skills over the summer months.

Furthermore, the learning loss is cumulative, summer after summer. It has a tremendous impact on students’ success, including high school completion, post-secondary education and work force preparedness.

Dr. Jane Stewart at Optiminds has earned a reputation for helping to improve the study, reading, math and cognitive skills of students of all ages. Consider enrolling your child in Optiminds’ Cognitive Camp this summer to keep them mentally challenged. Or you might consider an Optiminds’ Reading/Writing or Math Strategies program.

Learn more about Optiminds’ customized tutoring programs by calling Dr. Stewart today at (248) 496-0150 or email her at: jstewart@optimindsct.com. And be sure to visit the Optiminds website at: optimindsct.com.

Reading Fiction Can Help Us Empathize with Others

March 15, 2013

womanreading2Over the past decade, academic researchers have gathered data indicating that reading fiction activates pathways in the brain that measurably help the reader better understand real human emotion—improving his or her overall social skillfulness.

For example, in study participants who were asked to read about characters setting a new goal, researchers detected activity in the pre-frontal cortex—a part of the brain involved with setting goals.

In another study, subjects were asked to guess the emotional state of a person from a photograph of their eyes. Researchers found that the more fiction people read, the better they were at perceiving emotion in the eyes, and correctly interpreting social cues.

It seems that when we read fiction, we have the time and opportunity to think deeply about the feelings of others, really imagining the shape and flavor of alternate worlds of experience. Scientists see a significant relation between the amount of fiction people read and their empathic and theory-of-mind abilities.

Theory of mind is the ability to interpret and respond to those different from us—colleagues, employees, bosses, customers and clients. It helps us understand others’ points of view—to be empathetic, a trait that is essential in any collaborative enterprise, and certainly in today’s globalized economy.

If improving your reading is on your agenda this year, Dr. Jane Stewart at Optiminds offers customized programs to help readers of all ages improve their skills and comprehension.

Dr. Jane Stewart at Optiminds has earned a reputation for helping to improve the study, reading, math and cognitive skills of students of all ages. Learn more about Optiminds’ customized tutoring programs by calling Dr. Stewart today at (248) 496-0150 or email her at: jstewart@optimindsct.com. And be sure to visit the Optiminds website at: optimindsct.com.

Sign Up for Optiminds Summer Cognitive Camp

March 8, 2013

We know it isn’t even the first day of Spring yet, but we are already planning our Optiminds Cognitive Camp schedule for 2013.

Of course, our sessions will include our core areas of focus:

  • Cognitive Training
  • Math, Science, Language Arts, & Social Studies
  • Social Skills
  • Reading Comprehension
  • PCI© Reading Program
  • Orton Gillingham© Phonics
  • FAST© Phonics Program
  • Critical Thinking and Problem Solving Using Puzzles & Games

And new for 2013, we will be including “Expressive Writing: Stories and Poetry.”

Cognitive Camp runs from June 24 to August 9, from 9 a.m. to 12 Noon. (No camp on July 4) Camp location is at Addams Elementary School at 2222 W. Webster Road in Royal Oak. Camp fees are $50/day and $200 /week.

We are also currently organizing a Cognitive Camp with Activities that would be a full-day program, running from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Addams Elementary. But we need a commitment of 10 students per week to make this happen. So if you are interested, please let us know as soon as possible. The cost: $100 a day or $400 for the week.

Some of the fun activities we hope to offer in the Cognitive Camp with Activities are:

  • Dancing
  • Cooking
  • Cheerleading
  • Crafts
  • Sports

Also new this year—Ask us about our Early Drop Off service.

We can’t think of a better way to keep your brain in shape over the summer!

You can register for Optiminds Cognitive Camp online by clicking on the “Cognitive Camp Registration” link on our home page at: optimindsct.com.  Or you can contact Jane Stewart Ph.D. at (248) 496.0150 or jstewart@optiminds.com. Please return your application with a $50 deposit to: Jane Stewart, 2127 Marywood, Royal Oak, MI, 48074.

Dr. Jane Stewart at Optiminds has earned a reputation for helping to improve the study, reading, math and cognitive skills of students of all ages. Learn more about Optiminds’ customized tutoring programs by calling Dr. Stewart today at (248) 496-0150 or email her at: jstewart@optimindsct.com. And be sure to visit the Optiminds website at: optimindsct.com.

Tutoring Can Help Foster a Love of Reading

February 22, 2013

boysread2Helping a child become a reader is one of the greatest gifts that an adult can give, a gift that continues to pay dividends throughout life. Children who acquire strong reading skills at an early age often enjoy a more successful academic experience.

But getting children to read is becoming more difficult with the proliferation of movies, television shows, computer games, sports and after school activities vying for kids’ attention today.

Instilling a love of reading comes as much from reading to your children when they are very young as from your child’s own confidence in his or her reading skills. If you feel that your child may need help with their reading skills, tutoring is a great way to support and cultivate a love of reading. And remember, reading skills can be improved at any age.

Dr. Jane Stewart at Optiminds specializes in tutoring reading at all levels. Dr. Stewart and her staff will develop a customized, results-oriented reading program tailored to your child’s needs. One-on-one instruction in a comfortable atmosphere will quickly help improve your child’s reading performance, comprehension and vocabulary. With newfound confidence in their reading abilities, your child will be well on their way to becoming an avid reader.

Dr. Jane Stewart at Optiminds has earned a reputation for helping to improve the study, reading, math and cognitive skills of students of all ages. Learn more about Optiminds’ customized tutoring programs by calling Dr. Stewart today at (248) 496-0150 or email her at: jstewart@optimindsct.com. And be sure to visit the Optiminds website at www.optimindsct.com.

The Leadership Benefits of Reading

February 8, 2013

Deep, broad reading habits are often a defining characteristic of our greatest leaders.

Steve Jobs is said to have had an “inexhaustible interest” in William Blake. Winston Churchill won his Nobel prize in Literature, not Peace). President Harry S. Truman read every book in the library named after him in his hometown of Independence, MO, before he died in 1972.

Many business titans are or have been avid readers, believing that reading cultivates the knowledge, habits, and talents to improve their organizations, as well as their own personal effectiveness.

A larger vocabulary, more world knowledge and abstract reasoning skills are just a few of the leadership benefits of reading. Reading is one of the quickest ways to acquire and assimilate new information; and reading a wide variety of things is good for creativity, exposing leaders to insights in other fields that might lead to innovations in their organizations.

Reading novels can improve empathy and understanding of social cues, allowing a leader to better work with and understand others. Reading can also increase verbal intelligence, making a person more adept and articulate when communicating with others.

You might want to try reading one book this year in three areas outside your comfort zone. If you are working on a problem in one field, seek out books in other fields to see if there are applications that might cross over to your profession. Share favorite books with co-workers to encourage discussion and new ideas.

If improving your reading is on your agenda this year, Dr. Jane Stewart at Optiminds offers customized programs to help readers of all ages improve their skills and comprehension.

To learn more about Optiminds brain training and tutoring programs, call us today at (248) 496-0150 or email Dr. Jane Steward directly at: jstewart@optimindsct.com. And be sure to visit the Optiminds website at www.optimindsct.com.

When to Consider Tutoring for Your Child

November 25, 2012

With the school year getting underway, many parents are looking for ways to help their children gain an academic edge whenever possible. Not long ago, needing a tutor was viewed as a sign that a child couldn’t keep up with his peers. Today, tutoring is an accepted—even expected—part of middle and high school education. Parents are often surprised to learn how common tutoring is, not only for children who are behind academically or have a learning disability but also for those who are bringing home good report cards.

Some points to consider if you are trying to determine if tutoring is right for your child:

Kids who are gifted are prime candidates for tutors because they are often not challenged enough in the classroom. A tutor can create a customized program that is both challenging and stimulating to help renew your child’s enthusiasm for learning if it has fallen by the wayside.

With states requiring testing of students every year in reading and math from grades three to eight, many parents are using tutors to improve their child’s performance. Often the scores from these exams are used to determine whether a child gains admission to a selective public middle or high school or whether a child is put on a vocational or academic track at school.

There is a higher expectation today to know more at earlier ages. Because standardized tests are so important, schools start prepping kids for them sooner. As a result, many middle school children are doing what once was considered high school work, while many high schoolers are taking college-level courses. Tutoring can help students keep up with things and meet the challenge of these higher expectations.

Tutoring can help fill in the gaps in classroom curriculum. Some states no longer emphasize spelling or grammar since that knowledge is not required for state tests. As a result, middle school children may know the definition of SAT vocabulary words such as “perambulate” and “quiescent,” but they don’t know how to spell such basic words as “independence” or when to use commas or semicolons. Parents turn to tutors to help their kids bone up on these fundamentals.

With competition to get into a good college so great today,  many families turn to tutors to help boost grades and SAT scores. If your teen is preparing to take the SAT this year, a tutor can help them prepare for the exam, identify types of problems they will encounter, and equip them with essential test-taking skills. Often, scholarships are directly linked to a student’s SAT scores. So it makes sense to invest ahead of time in tutoring so your child does better on the SAT and has a better chance at qualifying for a scholarship.

When it comes to tutoring services in metro Detroit, Dr. Jane Stewart at Optiminds has earned a reputation for helping to improve the study, reading, math and cognitive skills of students of all ages. Learn more about Optiminds’ customized tutoring programs by calling Dr. Stewart today at (248) 496-0150 or email her at: jstewart@optimindsct.com. And be sure to visit the Optiminds website at www.optimindsct.com.


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