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Summer is here! School is out for many of you, and I bet you have already said: Let The Fun Begin! True, summer is the time for fun and relaxation. But did you know that you can lose significant academic ground during the summer if you do not work a little reading and math into your summer fun? It's true! Your synapses and dendrites(branched part of nerve cell that promote learning, retention of information) can suffer greatly during your summer hiatus. If you do not pick up and read a book for two or more months, those branches break off, and don't grow back; this means that you have lost some important information. Reading a book or two of your choosing (of course,with parental assistance for the younger ones) and doing a little math, will keep you in 'the loop' during the summer. So, have fun during summer break; enjoy the lazy hazy days of the season, but don't forget: You return to school in August or September, and you want to be ready to hit the... read more

It is one of the basic facts of life: Reading is the key to success! No matter what the level of competence in a given area, it can be improved by merely reading more information about it. Too often, we cheat ourselves because we don't take the time to explore the many facets of a subject in which we have an interest. This lack of exploration deprives us of the knowledge and expertise that could be obtained just through the act of reading. Reading, so vital to all that we do, is not nearly given the credit or respect it deserves. Everything we do during the course of a day, a life, is enhanced as we read more about whatever it is we do. Writing, communicating through written words, is improved significantly as we read a wide variety of information,and of course, whatever improves writing, also fosters clearer, and more critical and analytical thinking. As we realize the importance of reading daily and widely,and begin doing more of it, we will also begin to... read more

Writing poses problems for many, and as a high school English teacher for several years, I have seen the various types of writing challenges. In my years of teaching all levels of high school English: Advanced Placement English Literature and Composition, Honors English, Regular English,and all other levels, Gifted, Basic, I have found that the act of writing, whether at the highest level or the more basic, can generally be improved when the writer takes time throughout the writing process to read aloud what has been written. More often than not in my experience as a teacher, students have written entire essays without once stopping to actually read what has been written. In failing to perform this very basic but vital step throughout, the writer is deprived of a very valuable editing tool: hearing what has been written. This built in tool,when used consistently, will assist the writer in thinking more clearly,and when the thinking becomes clearer, the writing... read more

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