Archive for the ‘vocabulary skills’ Category

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: And be sure to visit the Optiminds website at

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: And be sure to visit the Optiminds website at

Early Tutoring Can Be a Real Asset

September 22, 2012

An important resource in ensuring your child’s academic success is getting the help of a tutor. Dr. Jane Stewart offers tutoring services for students of all ages at her two locations—Optiminds in Southfield and The Brain Development Center in Novi.

Tutoring used to be thought of primarily as a remedial tool. If a student was struggling or made some mistakes  along the way, working with a tutor was a way to get help and make a fresh start. But nowadays, working with a tutor is often treated like having an academic personal trainer and, as such, is enlisted by even the best of students. Good students know how to take advantage of the possibilities of good tutoring and to get started early in the semester before trouble starts.

With the new school year just getting underway, here are some reasons why starting tutoring early can help:

  • Real learning takes time and starting early gives your student a chance to learn concepts slowly and solidly.
  • By being proactive, your child has a chance to grasp foundational concepts on which more difficult work is built.
  • Student and tutor have time to get to know one another and establish the rapport that can make a difference in how they work together.  The more a tutor works with your child, the more they get to know strengths, weaknesses, and learning styles.
  • Early work means that early homework assignments will be done correctly. This translates to a higher grade average and less jeopardy occurring later in the semester.
  • A tutor will hold your student accountable for completing work.
  • A tutor provides constant feedback on the work, which helps a student stay on track with subjects.
  • Tutoring builds confidence in a person’s learning abilities, increasing motivation to continue to do well.

Dr. Jane Stewart specializes in helping people of all ages improve their study, reading and cognitive skills at two locations: The Brain Development Center in Novi and Optiminds in Southfield. Contact Dr. Jane Stewart at (248) 496-0150 or email her at:

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

Make Optiminds Your Personal Tutor

May 12, 2012

Are you or your child struggling at school? Maybe all you need is a little tutoring from Optiminds.

Optiminds is a professional tutoring service that has been helping students of all ages improve their academic skills. We serve the metro Detroit area, including Southfield, Bloomfield Township, Royal Oak, Oak Park, and Farmington Hills.

It’s a fact that most schools today are not equipped to handle the individual demands of every student. Optiminds’ success is based on an approach comprised of customized, individualized exercises designed to stimulate targeted areas of the brain.

We tutor in math, writing, reading and speed reading. Our programs focus on everything from problem-solving, critical thinking and time management to study skills and test preparation. This includes ACT Prep, ACT Math Prep and ACT Reading Prep.

“This program has given me the tools to manage school, work and homework with less stress and more organization,” says Sally, a high school student who completed an Optiminds tutoring program.

If you are looking for experienced tutors in metro Detroit, give us a call today at (248) 496-0150 or email us at:  Dr. Jane Stewart at Optiminds has been helping people of all ages improve their cognitive, memory and learning skills. To learn more, be sure to visit our website at

Optiminds—Professional Tutoring Services in Metro Detroit

March 16, 2012

Optiminds is a professional tutoring service serving people of all ages in the metro Detroit area, including, Berkley, Bingham Farms, Birmingham, Bloomfield Township, Farmington Hills, Franklin, Huntington Woods, Lathrup Village, Oak Park, Redford, Royal Oak, Southfield and West Bloomfield. 

We will identify problem areas and design a customized tutoring program to help your student in a wide range of areas, including these key areas:

          Reading Comprehension and Vocabulary

         Writing and Grammar

         Logical Thinking

         Algebra, Geometry

         Test Preparation (including SAT and ACT tests)

 Dr. Jane Stewart at Optiminds has been helping to improve the study, reading and cognitive skills of clients of all ages. Find out more about Optiminds brain fitness programs and cognitive skills training by calling us today at (248) 496-0150 or email us at: And be sure to visit our website at

Optiminds Cognitive Camp—2012 Schedule

March 6, 2012

We are pleased to announce the Optiminds Cognitive Camp schedule for 2012. Weekly camps will begin on June 25, 2012 and run through August 17, from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. There will be no camp on July 4.  

Here’s what’s new for 2012: 

We have a new location at: Addams Elementary School, 2222 W. Webster Road, Royal Oak, MI 48073.

We have new lower pricing–$50/day and $200/week. A $50 deposit is required with your application.

Optiminds Cognitive Camp sessions are available by the day or week. Following is a sampling of areas to be covered in camp sessions:

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

Optiminds Cognitive Camp is a fun way to keep your brain in shape over the summer! For more information contact Dr. Jane Stewart, Ph.D. at (248) 496.0150 or Melanie Leavitt Weiss at (248) 417.1416.

Click on this link for the Registration and this link to view the Optiminds Cognitive Camp Flyer. 

Dr. Jane Stewart at Optiminds has been helping to improve the study, reading and cognitive skills of clients of all ages. Find out more about Optiminds brain fitness programs and cognitive skills training by calling us today at (248) 496-0150 or email us at: And be sure to visit our website at

Tips for Improving Your Vocabulary–Part 2

January 26, 2012

In our January 16 blog post, we posted the first part of some great tips for improving your vocabulary. Here we present five more great tips to help you strengthen and polish your vocabulary. Most importantly, you should pick the methods that YOU enjoy the most, and use them regularly as you take your vocabulary to new levels of success. 

Five More Tips for a Better Vocabulary

  •  Circle or highlight words in your dictionary. The next time you happen to visit that page, you’ll be unconsciously reviewing the word you learned last time.
  •  Subscribe to a word of the day service. Be sure to use your new word the same day. Share it with a friend whenever you can.
  •  Try out new word games, and find friends to play them with regularly.
  • Be goal-oriented; have specific targets to hit as you build your vocabulary, and be sure to reward yourself when you achieve them.
  • Use your imagination when you learn a new word; play with it and bring it to life in your mind. This is how children learn and you can do the same. It will help you remember your new words almost effortlessly.

Dr. Jane Stewart at Optiminds has been helping to improve the study, reading and cognitive skills of clients of all ages. Find out more about Optiminds brain fitness programs and cognitive skills training by calling us today at (248) 496-0150 or email us at: And be sure to visit our website at

Tips for Improving Your Vocabulary–Part 1

January 16, 2012

Have you ever been in a conversation with a peer or boss and didn’t understand what they said due to a deficiency in vocabulary? For most of us, it can be a bit embarrassing to have to ask what a word means in every day conversation. A good vocabulary can serve you well throughout life—whether writing a paper for school or dealing with your boss or coworkers.  

We now know that the brain continues to grow and regenerate throughout adulthood, so there is nothing stopping any of us creating a killer vocabulary at any age. And there are a number of easy things you can do without resorting to trying to memorize the dictionary! Whether you’re a student taking graduation exams or just an ordinary person trying to improve your vocabulary, you can slowly build the necessary skills and increase your word usage during everyday conversations.  

When you start to work on building your vocabulary, it’s really important to have fun. Having a great vocabulary, and constantly building it, is something that can be a very beneficial habit rather than a chore.  

Following are the first five of the top ten suggestions for ways to build your vocabulary enjoyably. The remaining five suggestions will be posted in our January 26 blog post. 

Five Suggestions for Improving Your Vocabulary

 Find things you enjoy reading. Read widely, perhaps trying out reading material that is in a different style than you would normally pick. But don’t force yourself to read material that genuinely bores you. 

  • Look out for new words as you read. Make a game of guessing at their meaning, then looking them up to see if you were right. You can learn a lot about a word from the context in which it is used, but it’s important to make sure you get the correct definition as well. 
  • Listen for new words when people speak. Remember them and look them up later. Or better still, ask when you don’t know what they mean. Most people will love to share their knowledge and will think better of you for wanting to learn than if you just pretend to understand. 
  • Use one of the powerful software products available today to train yourself in important vocabulary power words in a fraction of the time it would take you by more old-fashioned means.
  • When you learn a new word, find an opportunity to practice it as soon as possible. If you don’t find a conversation to use it in, how about using it in an email to a friend? Or you could even just use it when you talk to yourself!

 Dr. Jane Stewart at Optiminds has been helping to improve the study, reading and cognitive skills of clients of all ages. Find out more about Optiminds brain fitness programs and cognitive skills training by calling us today at (248) 496-0150 or email us at: And be sure to visit our website at

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