Archive for the ‘summer educational tips’ Category

Summer Reading Ideas for Students

June 23, 2015

frogOne of the joys of having time off in the summer can be getting in some good leisurely reading without the pressure of homework and other after school activities. In fact, research has shown that children who participate in summer reading programs not only avoid the “summer slide” in learning, but they also score higher on reading achievement tests than those who don’t participate.

To get you started, there are any number of sources online that suggest good reads for your child, regardless of their age.

One group is the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC)—the world’s largest organization dedicated to the support and enhancement of library service to children. The ALSC, affiliated with the American Library Association, puts out an annual summer book list that is highly recommended by young readers from all over the country.

robotOther good summer reading sources include Goodreads ( and Scholastic ( Launched in 2007, Goodreads is the world’s largest site for readers and book recommendations.

dragonflySome Tips to Make the Most of Your Reading
In addition to just reading your books this summer, try a few additional activities to help you remember what you read and give the book more meaning for you. Here are a few neat ideas:

• Write a letter to the author or illustrator.

• Choose two people or characters from two different books who you think would be great friends. Why?

• Write a short story about what the character(s) would be doing one year later.

• Draw a map of the setting.

• Imagine you could interview the protagonist. What three questions would you ask?

• Redesign the cover.

• Write a short book review. Remember to include a few sentences describing the book as well as a few sentences about why you liked it—or didn’t.

• Choose one book location or setting to live in for a week—it can be fiction or nonfiction. Which book would you choose and why?

• Recommend a book to a friend or family member. Which title did you choose and why did you recommend it?

In addition to getting in some great reading, check out Optiminds tutoring programs to keep your brain sharp this summer. Optiminds has earned a reputation for helping students of all ages improve study, reading, math and cognitive skills. Our customized brain fitness programs take brain performance to new levels by strengthening nerve cells and improving cognitive power and concentration. Learn more about us by calling us today at (248) 496-0150 or by visiting us at:

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: And be sure to visit the Optiminds website at:

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:  Or you can contact Jane Stewart Ph.D. at (248) 496.0150 or 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: And be sure to visit the Optiminds website at:

Keep Children’s Brains Engaged This Summer

August 15, 2012

Summer vacation always seems to go by quickly. But from an academic perspective, three months off from school is a long time and can cause kids to lose some of their academic edge.

Research shows that the biggest impact on student academic achievement is made when families engage in learning activities that reflect the work children do in school. The summer break is an excellent opportunity for parents to reinforce their children’s learning and help prepare them for the year ahead.

You can help minimize learning loss over the summer months by staying engaged in your children’s learning.

Most public libraries have summer reading programs that are free and families can take advantage of other free library resources even if they don’t participate. If you know what books your child will be reading in the fall, you can help her by picking up other works by the same author or books from the same era. Have your child write a short book report discussing the novel she read.

Take your child camping near a lake, river or at a national park. You can introduce the forest, lake or wetland ecosystem to your child. Ask him what he knows about the food chain in the forest and which animals he can name from the ecosystem.

You might take the kids on a guided tour of a historical landmark or of the old part of a city. Choose a tour that introduces the history of the area or landmark and have a discussion with your child about life at that time. You can also take your child to a history or war museum and explore the different exhibits together.

Put aside some time for your kids to express themselves artistically. If they are interested in music or visual arts, get them an instrument or a paint set or take them outside to paint from nature.

And there is always the zoo or natural history museum.  Discuss the animals, their habitat, food and place in the ecosystem. If you are taking your child to a natural history museum, you can also introduce or discuss the science of evolution and the fate of extinct animals like the dinosaurs.

To give your child an additional boost, contact Dr. Jane Stewart at (248) 496-0150 or email her at: Dr. Stewart and staff help students of all ages improve their study, reading and cognitive skills—now at two locations: The Brain Development Center in Novi and Optiminds in Southfield.

You can learn more about the Brain Development Center at: and Optiminds at:

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