Posts Tagged ‘cognitive camps’

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.

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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.

Holiday Gifts to Improve Cognitive Function

December 22, 2012

If you’re looking for gifts this holiday season that might help a loved one who is trying to improve their cognitive skills, you might want to look into some of the ideas that follow.

  • Crossword puzzle or Sudoku books
  • Hand-held video games such as Solitaire, or Bingo
  • Board games like Tri-ominos, Scrabble, jigsaw puzzles with large pieces, or games such as Life Stories or Reminisce.
  • Books on Tape or MP3 players

You can also go a step further and treat a loved one to an Optiminds program in 2013.

If you have a senior citizen on your list to Optiminds’ Senior Brain Fitness Classes, which we conduct weekly at our Southfield location. The price is a mere $10 per session. Give us a call at 248-496-0150 for current times and days.

Each summer, Optiminds holds its popular Cognitive Camp at Royal Oak’s Addams Elementary School. Camp sessions are available by the day or week beginning in late June through mid-August. Check with our office for prices and schedule for 2013.

And of course, you can always treat yourself or students in your family to Optiminds’ tutoring services to give you and them an academic boost that will pay off for years to come.

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 http://www.optimindsct.com.

Using the Summer to Boost Body and Brain Health

June 26, 2012

The brain is a part of the body and is affected by simply taking better care of our overall health. What better time than summer to engage in activities that boost booth physical and brain fitness, with benefits that can help you all year long.

Here are some things to consider to boost your overall fitness this summer, and positively affect your brain fitness as well:

Exercise—Physical activity increases blood flow and the release of serotonin into the bloodstream. More importantly, exercise promotes neurogenesis—the creation of new neurons. You might want to combine lots of team sports with an Optiminds brain training program to maximize neuron growth.

Drink water—They say approximately 60 percent of our body weight is water. It makes sense that consuming water is essential to keeping our bodies functioning well. And the brain is no exception. Keep all your tissues hydrated by drinking at least 64 fluid oz. of water per day.

Take a class—Acquiring a skill is different from learning in a classroom and uses different parts of our cognition. Take an art class, guitar lessons, or learn to play a new sport to give your brain a chance to stretch in a new direction.

Read a book—A great way to train your own brain is to read a book on a subject you are not familiar with. Your brain will get used to the subject matter and the author’s style, and by the end of the book you’ll find it’s easier to read than it was at the beginning.

Go outside—One of the best things about summer is that you can spend more time outside. Sunlight generates vitamin D which both the body and the brain require to work at their best.

Get a partner—Performing any exercise or healthy endeavor is always more fun and easier to stick with when accompanied by a partner, a coach, a trainer, or a friend.

Call Optiminds—Summer is a great time to take advantage of an Optiminds brain fitness program. Many of our clients have told us that our summer programs were the best thing they could have done for their child to help them do better in school. Be sure to check out our Cognitive Camp 2012 schedule on our website.

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: jstewart@optimindsct.com. And be sure to visit our website at www.optimindsct.com.

 

Reminder to Register Now for Optiminds Cognitive Camp 2012

April 27, 2012

Optiminds offers metro Detroit’s only summer camp for improving your cognitive skills. With sessions starting beginning June 25, it’s time to register for Optiminds Cognitive Camp! It’s a fun way to keep your brain in shape over the summer with programs individualized and tailored by skill level to students of all ages.

We’re offering weekly camps from June 25 to August 17. Camp hours are from 9:00 a.m to 12:00 noon. Note: no camp July 4. Our NEW LOCATION is Addams Elementary School, 2222 W. Webster, Royal Oak, MI 48073.

Camp sessions focus on multiple areas, including the following:

  •  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

Register at: http://optimindsct.com/doc/Optiminds2012SummerCampApplication.pdf

For more information about Optiminds Cognitive Camp, contact Dr. Jane Stewart at (248) 496.0150 or jstewart@optimindsct.com. Or Melanie Leavitt Weiss at (248) 417.1416.

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: jstewart@optimindsct.com. And be sure to visit our website at www.optimindsct.com.

Alzheimer’s Update

April 15, 2012

In the United States, some 5.4 million people suffer from Alzheimer’s disease. Of the ten deadliest diseases in the U.S., Alzheimer’s is the only one “without a way to prevent, cure or even slow its progression,” according to the Alzheimer’s Association.

At the same time, there have been great advances in understanding the disease and national policy has begun to move forward as well. In 2011, the National Alzheimer’s Project Act mandated a national plan to coordinate research efforts to fight the disease which is predicted to impact 16 million by mid-century.

Also in 2011, new guidelines were issued for diagnosing the disease for the first time since 1984. Highlights include the following points:

  • Alzheimer’s must be viewed in three stages, with the first stage beginning long before the initial symptoms are recognized.
  • Diagnosis ultimately will include cognitive testing and general neurological assessments, along with medical tests that show changes in the brain—as opposed to relying largely  on a doctor’s judgment and reports from the patient and loved ones.

Cognitive skills are the underlying brain skills that make it possible for us to think, remember and learn. They allow us to process the huge influx of information we receive each and every day at work, at school and in life. Cognitive skills include a wide variety of abilities that are necessary for analyzing sounds and images, recalling information, making associations between different pieces of information, and maintaining focus on a given task.

Dr. Jane Stewart at Optiminds has been helping to improve the 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: jstewart@optimindsct.com. And be sure to visit our website at www.optimindsct.com.

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: jstewart@optimindsct.com. And be sure to visit our website at www.optimindsct.com.

Be a Seeker of New Things

February 13, 2012

One way to continue to improve your cognitive skills is to seek out novelty. It’s no accident that geniuses have a tendency to constantly seek out novel activities and learn new domains. Einstein, for example, was skilled in multiple areas.

When you seek novelty, several things are going on. First of all, you are creating new synaptic connections with every new activity you engage in. These connections build on each other, increasing your neural activity, creating more connections to build on other connections—learning is taking place.

Novelty also triggers dopamine, which not only kicks motivation into high gear, but it stimulates neurogenesis—the creation of new neurons—and prepares your brain for learning. All you need to do is feed the hunger.

Researchers in Sweden found that after 14 hours of training working memory over 5 weeks’ time, study participants showed an increase in the dopamine receptor associated with neural growth and development. This increase in plasticity, allowing greater binding of this receptor, is a very good thing for maximizing cognitive functioning.

So it pays to continually seek new activities to engage your mind and expand your cognitive horizons. Learn an instrument. Take an art class. Go to a museum. Read about a new area of science. Be a knowledge junkie. 

If you are interested in growing your brain, Optiminds can help you improve your cognitive skills—the underlying brain skills that make it possible for us to think, remember and learn.

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: jstewart@optimindsct.com. And be sure to visit our website at www.optimindsct.com.

The Rationale Behind Cognitive Training

October 13, 2011

For some time now, Optiminds has been offering programs and techniques designed to help prevent cognitive loss and strengthen cognitive abilities in mid and later life.

Research shows that the normal aging process is strongly associated with brain changes that lead to a weakening of some select cognitive domains in healthy people. As more baby boomers become seniors, it’s no surprise that there is a growing interest in finding methods to “keep our brains sharp” by maintaining or enhancing cognitive performance.

As we discover more about the human brain, ongoing scientific advances support the potential for neural connectivity in the brain to be malleable throughout the lifespan, and the capacity in late life for neurogenesis—the development of nerve tissues.

Observational evidence suggests that throughout adult life, there may be opportunities to protect and even enhance brain and cognitive function through prudent attention to modifying factors such as lifestyle, work and recreational choices, exercise, diet, health management and even by other means such as cognitive training..

Dr. Jane Stewart at Optiminds has been helping people of all ages improve their cognitive and memory skills. Find out more about Optiminds programs by calling us today at (248) 496-0150 or email us at: jstewart@optimindsct.com. And be sure to visit our website at www.optimindsct.com.

Common Symptoms of Alzheimer’s Disease

October 6, 2011

Most of us joke or tease about memory loss as we get older. But memory loss that disrupts daily life is not a typical part of aging. It may be one of the signs of Alzheimer’s, a fatal brain disease that causes a slow decline in memory, thinking and reasoning skills.

Every individual may experience one or more of these signs in different degrees; and one symptom alone does not necessarily indicate that a person has Alzheimer’s or dementia. If you are concerned about symptoms you or a loved one are having, following is a list of some of the more common symptoms of Alzheimer’s.

  • Memory loss that disrupts daily life
  • Challenges in planning or solving problems
  • Difficulty completing familiar tasks at home, at work or at leisure
  • Confusion with time or place
  • Trouble understanding visual images and spatial relationships
  • New problems with words in speaking or writing
  • Misplacing things and losing the ability to retrace steps
  • Decreased or poor judgment
  • Withdrawal from work or social activities
  • Changes in mood and personality
  • Money trouble
  • Difficulty communicating
  • Wandering
  • Repetitive speech or actions
  • Seemingly purposeless activity
  • Loss of initiative and motivation
  • Don’t recognize family and friends
  • Loss of motor skills and sense of touch
  • Difficulty dressing
  • Disregard for grooming and hygiene
  • Forgetting meals
  • Inappropriate behavior
  • Delusions and paranoia
  • Verbal and physical aggression
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Clingy or childlike behavior

Dr. Jane Stewart at Optiminds has been helping people of all ages improve their cognitive and memory skills. Find out more about Optiminds programs by calling us today at (248) 496-0150 or email us at: jstewart@optimindsct.com. And be sure to visit our website at www.optimindsct.com.


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