Archive for the ‘tutors’ 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.

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.

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.

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.

About Parent Coaching

September 9, 2014

parentcoach2Optiminds founder Dr. Jane Stewart realizes that often parents need help too. Optiminds offers parent coaching and parenting programs designed to instruct parents on how to handle their child’s behavioral or educational issues.

Parent coaching gives parents the tools they need to cultivate a better relationship with their children and steer them in positive directions. A parent coach addresses issues such as problems with routines and transitions (morning and night, for example), power struggles, parental anger, discipline, homework challenges, chores, and “disrespectful” behavior.

Coaching starts with creating a parenting plan followed by supporting parents as they implement the plan.
Because children and families can be complex, the parent coach helps the parents solve problems as challenges arise. Parent coaching looks forward, deals in the present, seeks to educate, and does not diagnose. Parent coaching uses tools and the most current research to help you gain the skills you need to parent your child.

You may benefit from parenting coaching if you experience any of the following:

  • You have had the same fight with your child over and over, and you are physically and mentally exhausted.
  • You know that what you are doing isn’t working, but you don’t know what else to do.
  • You have had the same conversation over and over with your partner or yourself.
  • You are beginning to feel hopeless about your parenting life.
  • You have read stacks of parenting books without any long-term success.
  • You want to get on the same parenting page with your partner.

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.

Some Facts About Home Schooling

August 16, 2014

homeschool1The U.S. Department of Education defines homeschooled students as: school-age children (ages 5–17) in a grade equivalent to at least kindergarten and not higher than 12th grade who receive instruction at home instead of at a public or private school either all or most of the time.

According to the National Home Education Research Institute, approximately 4 percent of the school-age population in the U.S. was homeschooled in the 2011–12 school year. That amounted to more than 2 million U.S. students in grades K-12.

The rates of homeschooling were highest in rural areas where 4.5% of students were homeschooled. The homeschooling rate was 3.2% in the city, 3.1% in the suburbs and 2.7% in towns.

Parents choose to home school their children for a variety of reasons, including:

  • a concern about the environment (safety, drugs, negative peer pressure, etc.) of other schools
  • a desire to provide moral instruction
  • dissatisfaction with academic instruction at other schools
    a desire to provide religious instruction
  • a desire to provide a nontraditional approach to child’s education

Other reasons include: family time, finances, travel and distance, having a special needs child or a child with physical or mental health issues.

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.

Teaching Your Child Critical Thinking

June 23, 2014

criticalthink2Children can begin to learn critical thinking very early. Critical thinking is a skill that elevates thinking beyond memorization into the realm of analysis and logic. It is about knowing how to think, not what to think.

Here are some things you can try with your children to get them used to thinking critically, a skill that will serve them well throughout life:

  • Ask open-ended questions that don’t have one right answer. This encourages children to respond creatively without being afraid of giving the wrong answer. They will begin to see themselves as problem solvers.
  • Teach your child to find patterns and connections in everyday things—at the park, watching TV, different shapes in road signs, etc.
  • Help children develop hypotheses. Ask them, “If we do this, what do you think will happen?” Or, “Let’s predict what we think will happen next.”
  • Categorize and classify things, such as sorting laundry or Legos. Classification requires us to identify and sort based on a set of rules. After classifying something, follow up by asking your child what the similarities and the differences were with the groups that were created.
  • Help your child consider the pros and cons of a situation and make a decision, even if it is a wrong decision. Then ask your child how they feel about their decision and what would they do differently next time.
  • Instead jumping in to solve problems all the time, ask your child some questions and provide enough information so he or she doesn’t get frustrated, but not so much information that you solve the problem for them.
  • Encourage your child to do research, to look for more information about a topic. You could help them search for information on the computer, at the library, or by asking mom or dad.

Optiminds has earned a reputation for helping to improve the study, reading, math and cognitive skills of students of all ages. We also have specialists in college counseling and athletic college prep counseling on our staff. Learn more about us by calling us today at (248) 496-0150 or by visiting us at: optimindsct.com.

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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