Archive for the ‘tutors metro Detroit’ Category

The Benefits of Tutoring from Optiminds

July 16, 2015

tutoring1Often it is enough for most students to do well in school with a helpful teacher and an active parent at home. But sometimes, children can benefit from the one-on-one attention that comes from tutoring.

Here are some instances when individualized teaching can be a productive addition to a child’s studies:

  • your child’s grades and/or test scores seem to be gradually declining
  • your child has increased studies and busy family schedules
  • your child is having difficulty with a specific subject
  • your child consistently puts off projects and postpones homework

Your child could be experiencing anything from anxiety, to time management issues to a learning disability.

It may be time to look into an Optiminds tutoring program to help your student sharpen their brain 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.

Our professionals are trained to identify learning disabilities—such as ADHD, dyslexia, or a visual processing problem—and to deal with issues such as anxiety, impulsivity, distraction and stress. Our programs are designed to improve organization and problem-solving skills, memory, judgment, language and auditory and visual concentration.

Here are just a few of the many benefits of enlisting an Optiminds tutor:

  • Tutoring can help your child to improve study habits, cultivate self-motivation, and keep pace with upcoming assignments and tests
  • A tutor can help your child comprehend each subject at the current level to ensure grade advancement
  • When tutoring is successful, a child will become self-assured and have newfound confidence, which may lead to participation in the classroom
  • A specialized tutor can present information in a way that’s easier for a child with a learning disability to understand, which can then make school less difficult and more enjoyable

To learn more about our Optiminds’ tutoring programs, give us a call today at (248) 496-0150 and be sure to visit our website at: optimindsct.com.

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Optiminds Offers Customized Tutoring Programs

February 23, 2015

BoyManTutor3Optiminds specializes in customized tutoring programs for students of all ages. Based on a student’s unique requirements, these programs include brain fitness exercises designed to help improve cognitive skills and concentration.

If your child has a learning disability or needs to improve math or reading abilities—and even if he or she is getting good grades—tutoring can provide a powerful supplement to a child’s education.

If your child is struggling in school or has a learning disability, tutoring can help your student with their homework and with test preparation. A little extra one-on-one attention from the right tutor might be just the thing your child needs to learn or relearn important foundational material, or to reignite a spark for learning if your child is less than motivated.

While the obvious reason for seeking a tutor for your child is to help improve grades, tutoring can also help your child develop more effective study habits, including organization, creating a productive study space at home and using time effectively. Even if your child is doing well in school, tutoring can help him or her move ahead to more challenging material outside of the school’s curricula.

Sometimes children resist a parent’s well intentioned efforts to tutor them. With a tutor, the student gets an outsider’s perspective on material, which may be easier for the student to accept. Also, because most tutoring takes place outside of the classroom, it provides a less threatening environment that is more conducive to learning. For example, students who are quiet in the classroom are more likely to ask questions when working one-on-one with a tutor.

A good tutoring program grows with the student. Some children will need occasional tutoring after their grades improve and others may need extra help throughout their school career.

In addition to tutoring, Optiminds offers parent coaching and parenting programs designed to instruct parents on how to handle their child’s behavioral or educational issues. Giving parents the tools they need to make positive strides in their relationships as well as tools to steer their child in positive directions.

To learn more about Optiminds and our tutoring and parenting programs, call us today at (248) 496-0150 or visit us at: optimindsct.com.

Michigan Chooses the SAT Over the ACT

February 9, 2015

The State of Michigan recently announced that the SAT will be replacing the ACT as the State’s high school assessment test beginning in Spring 2016.

While the ACT has been the more popular of the two exams, most colleges and universities accept scores from both exams. The SAT is administered by The College Board and is respected and used around the country.

SATstudent1The SAT is being redesigned to align with the Common Core State Standards newly adopted by the State. Common Core is a set of expectations of what students should know to be college ready. This is one of the reasons for the State’s decision. In addition, the bid from the SAT was $15.4 million less than the ACT’s bid.

Students can get a taste of the new SAT by taking the PSAT beginning in October 2015. Students must take the PSAT if they want to be considered for a National Merit Scholarship. Because the PSAT has been redesigned to align with the new SAT, it will provide a crucial practice for the actual SAT.

Students will be able to take the redesigned SAT for free as part of the state high school exam. The cost to take the PSAT is $14.

A Joint Evaluation Committee consisting of a high school principal, a local school superintendent, a testing and assessment consultant and a vice president at a community college made the recommendation to choose the SAT. The final decision was made by the State Administrative Board made up of the governor, lieutenant governor, secretary of state, attorney general, state treasurer and state superintendent, or their representatives.

If you are looking for help in preparing for the SAT, be sure to give Optiminds a call at at (248) 496-0150. Our proven test prep instruction and skills can help you get the grades you deserve in both the SAT and ACT, as well as other placement tests. Learn more by visiting our website at: optimindsct.com.

Does Handwriting Matter?

January 23, 2015

cursive1Psychologists and neuroscientists say it is far too soon to declare handwriting a relic of the past. New evidence suggests that the links between handwriting and broader educational development run deep.

Here are some findings from recent studies on handwriting:

  • Children learn to read more quickly when they first learn to write by hand; and they remain better able to generate ideas and retain information.
  • Writing activates a unique neural circuit in the brain. There is a core recognition of the gesture in the written word, a sort of recognition by mental simulation that seems to make it easier to learn.
  • Printing, cursive writing, and typing on a keyboard are all associated with distinct and separate brain patterns — and each results in a distinct end product. When children composed text by hand, they not only consistently produced more words more quickly than they did on a keyboard, but expressed more ideas.
  • It now appears that there may be a difference between printing and cursive writing — a distinction of particular importance as the teaching of cursive disappears in curriculum after curriculum.
  • For adults, typing may be a fast and efficient alternative to longhand, but that very efficiency may diminish our ability to process new information. Not only do we learn letters better when we commit them to memory through writing, memory and learning ability in general may benefit.
  • New research suggests that writing by hand allows students to process a lecture’s contents and reframe it—a process of reflection and manipulation that can lead to better understanding and memory encoding.

Optiminds offers customized tutoring programs for students, including students who are home schooled. We have earned a reputation for helping to improve the study, reading, math and cognitive skills of students of all ages. Learn more about us by calling us today at (248) 496-0150 or by visiting us at: optimindsct.com.

Researchers Still Don’t Know If Cognitive Benefits of Playing Brain Games are Long-Term

January 9, 2015

Brain research has been a very active field in recent years and we continue to learn new things about our brains all the time.

braingames1Scientists now know, for example, that the brain remains malleable even into old age, taking in new information, processing it and sparking new neurons. We also know that any mental workout—from learning a new language to playing computer games—produces changes in the neural systems that support acquisition of the new skill.

But while there is data to support that people who play brain games, for example, get better and faster at playing them the longer they participate, what is not yet known is whether or not these abilities are able to be transferred to everyday, real-world tasks.

As researchers continue to study whether or not activities such as playing brain games have long-term cognitive benefits, it’s good to know that if you find brain games enjoyable, playing them certainly can’t hurt. The best way to keep minds sharp is to remain active and engaged—and that includes physical activity, reading and socializing with friends.

Optiminds offers customized tutoring programs for students, including students who are home schooled. We have earned a reputation for helping to improve the study, reading, math and cognitive skills of students of all ages. Learn more about us by calling us today at (248) 496-0150 or by visiting us at: optimindsct.com.

Games That Help Enhance Cognitive Skills

December 9, 2014

inchimalsResearch shows that learning skills can be taught—and therefore improved. So if you are looking for some ideas this Christmas for games that will help your children’s learning skills while providing hours of entertainment, here a few affordable ideas to get you started:

For ages three years and older:
Inchimals—Good for teaching young children basic addition, subtraction and measurement skills while reinforcing their ability to count. Includes 12 wooden blocks and a spiral-bound, dry-erase notebook with 100 puzzles.

For ages seven years and older:
Kanoodle—two brain-twisting solitaire games in a pocket-sized case. Kids use combinations of colored connected beads to construct designs from the enclosed puzzle book. Because the game is portable, kids can Kanoodle anywhere.

Double Bananagrams—This award-winning word game needs no pencil, paper, or board. It’s great for travel and with 288 tiles, this version of Bananagrams can be played with up to 16 people.

For ages eight years and older, one or more players:
Bop It—This modern-day, handheld version of “Simon Says” stimulates social interaction plus thinking and motor skills. It also helps children listen and follow directions. Comes in many versions and makes an excellent family or travel game.

Looking for a tutor in the metro Detroit area? Optiminds offers customized tutoring programs for students, including students who are home schooled. We have earned a reputation for helping to improve the study, reading, math and cognitive skills of students of all ages. Learn more about us by calling us today at (248) 496-0150 or by visiting us at: optimindsct.com.

The Effects of Multitasking on Learning

November 23, 2014

multitask2When today’s students are studying, it’s common for them to also be texting, emailing, and posting on Facebook and other social media sites. And while is the social and emotional world young people live in today, scientists and educators are concerned that multitasking while learning can put students at a disadvantage.

Evidence from psychology, cognitive science, and neuroscience suggests that when students multitask while doing schoolwork, their learning is far spottier and shallower than if the work had their full attention. They understand and remember less, and they have greater difficulty transferring their learning to new contexts.

That is because these multitasking operations are actually quite mentally complex. They draw on the same mental resources—using language, parsing meaning—demanded by schoolwork. Under most conditions, the brain simply can’t do two complex tasks at the same time, unless the two tasks are both very simple and don’t compete with each other for the same mental resources. But if someone is listening to a lecture while texting, they are engaging in two very demanding tasks, each of which uses the prefrontal cortex of the brain.

Researchers offer this bit of advice if you have a multitasking student:

Do 15 uninterrupted minutes of homework. Then take a “tech break”—two minutes to text, check websites and post on social media to satisfy the craving for electronic communication. Then it’s back to the homework for another 15 minutes.

Optiminds offers customized tutoring programs for students, including students who are home schooled. We have earned a reputation for helping to improve the study, reading, math and cognitive skills of students of all ages. Learn more about us by calling us today at (248) 496-0150 or by visiting us at: optimindsct.com.

Digital Devices Can Affect Our Ability to Focus

October 23, 2014

While about 4.5 percent of American adults are estimated to have ADHD, many more of us say we constantly feel scatterbrained, unfocused and unable to remember things.

The ability to focus is a secret element to success that often gets ignored. And yet, there’s probably never been a time in our history when we’ve had as many distractions threatening our ability to pay attention to things.

digitaloverloadWhile today’s computers, tablets and smartphones offer many opportunities to increase learning, they can also be distracting to students. Research shows that if students don’t learn how to concentrate and shut out distractions that come with the use of digital devices, they’ll have a much harder time succeeding in almost every area.

The brain is the last organ of the body to become anatomically mature; it continues to grow until the mid-twenties. Young students need to build up the neural circuitry that focused attention requires. Psychologist Daniel Goleman believes that they need to be able to both use digital devices smartly and have the capacity to concentrate when they need and want to. “The more you can concentrate the better you’ll do on anything,” he says, “because whatever talent you have, you can’t apply it if you are distracted,”

According to Goleman, “The circuitry for paying attention is identical for the circuits for managing distressing emotion. The attentional circuitry needs to have the experience of sustained episodes of concentration — reading the text, understanding and listening to what the teacher is saying — in order to build the mental models that create someone who is well educated.”

He advocates for a daily “digital sabbath”—a period of time when kids are not distracted by devices at all. He’d also like to see schools building exercises that strengthen attention, like mindfulness practices, into the curriculum.

Optiminds offers customized tutoring programs for students, including students who are home schooled. We have earned a reputation for helping to improve the study, reading, math and cognitive skills of students of all ages. Learn more about us by calling us today at (248) 496-0150 or by visiting us at: optimindsct.com.

Physical Activity Improves Children’s Thinking Skills

October 16, 2014

kidsexerciseThere is increasing evidence that being active helps not just children’s waistlines but also their brains.

A recent study published in Pediatrics shows that 7- to 9-year-old children who run around and play for at least 70 minutes a day demonstrate improved thinking skills, particularly in multitasking, compared to children who aren’t as active.

For the study, researchers looked at a nine-month after-school program during which students spent 70 minutes running around and playing tag, soccer, jump rope and other games. In one multitasking test, children were shown a character on the screen and indicated with a thumb press whether the character was a certain color and a certain shape. Children who participated in the program were significantly faster and more accurate at identifying the color and shape than children who weren’t exercising.

Scans of the children’s brains showed increased brain activity during the task, in a network known to correspond to paying attention. Interestingly, the changes in brain activity correlated to the amount of time kids spent in in the program. The more times they attended, the greater the change.

Exercise encourages the brain to work at optimum capacity by causing nerve cells to multiply, strengthening their interconnections and protecting them from damage. Animal tests have also illustrated that during exercise their nerve cells release proteins known as neurotrophic factors. One in particular, called brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), triggers numerous other chemicals that promote neural health, and has a direct benefit on brain functions, including learning.

Optiminds offers customized tutoring programs for students, including students who are home schooled. We have earned a reputation for helping to improve the study, reading, math and cognitive skills of students of all ages. Learn more about us by calling us today at (248) 496-0150 or by visiting us at: optimindsct.com.

Optiminds Offers ACT Test Timer Watches

October 9, 2014

TestTimerWhen it comes to taking the ACTs, your student can use all the help he or she can get.

Optiminds has been helping students prepare for ACTs and SATs, and now we are offering a product that helps test takers manage one of the most difficult and stressful issues about taking these tests—the timing.

The ACT Pacing Watch by Testing Timers is a digital watch and timer with preset times and specific markers for the English, math, reading, science, and writing test sections of the ACT college admissions and placement test.

The timer displays both total time used and total time remaining for each specific section, and has blinking markers that move around the periphery of the timer face to provide a graphical representation of where the student should be in that section.

All you have to do is pick a section and start the timer. The watch shows the total time for each section, and a countdown with the time remaining. There is a readout that shows how far along in the test you are with a small blinking light so you can tell if you are behind or ahead.

Students can use the watch to practice for their ACTs and SATs as well as when they are taking the actual tests.
The ACT Pacing Watch complies with ACT and the College Board (the company that distributes the SATs) test room requirements for noise-free and vibration-free watches and timers, with no computing functionality.

Get your ACT timer and watch to help your student prepare for the ACT test. Call the Optiminds office at (248) 496-0150 for more information.

Optiminds offers customized tutoring programs for students, including students who are home schooled. We have earned a reputation for helping to improve the study, reading, math and cognitive skills of students of all ages. Learn more about us by calling us today at (248) 496-0150 or by visiting us at: optimindsct.com.


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