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Right now, most students (and a good many teachers!) are counting down the days til school is over!  For those of us whose students have learning challenges, we are well aware that summer vacation means freedom from anxiety-inducing academic subjects.  However, these are the very students for whom it is essential that learning continue into the summer months.  Students who fail to continue to at least maintain the progress gained over the school year can actually lose ground over the summer - I've seen it happen.  So, if you want to keep your students' motivation alive during the warm weather months, it's vital to design summer learning that is truly unique to June, July, and August.   What is great about summer learning is that you can wrap it together with what is taking place in your students' lives - camping, being outdoors, gardening, astronomy - whatever is of interest to your student, you can turn into lessons in all subjects being taught. ... read more

summer vacation is the perfect time for starting to study for the fall college admissions tests.  It's also a great time to keep those math skills up so that you don't lose any of the skills that you learned last year.  So many students lose so much of the skills that they have gained in the past year, and math is just like anything else, don't practice and you'll lose all that you learned.

The most asked question that I hear at the end of every school year is, "What should ____ do over the summer? How do I make sure ____ is ready for next year?" If you can't have a tutor, then there are some things that you can do at home to best help your child.    I usually answer this question with READ! That is the best thing and helps close the most gaps, and your child only needs to read for 20 minutes a day.  That simple 20 minutes can help them gain thousands of words of vocabulary.  Now, after your child has read, I would suggest having them talk to you about the book or answering questions about the book.  If you need help finding comprehension questions, many teachers have created questions and quizzes, for free, online.  Just search for the book time and comprehension questions.    For math, I would suggest keeping up with the multiplication facts, no matter if the student is in middle school or high school... read more

Happy mid-April!   Can you believe the school year is already winding down? Because the end of the year is upon us, I am looking for some summer tutoring experiences with any student who is looking to gain some success over the summer! I love working with students in the summer months. Sometimes I even bring popsicles :)   Whether you want to increase a reading level, work on some extra writing skills, or just practice some great studying techniques, I am sure we can find success.    Please contact me via my profile for information! Thanks! 

It is all too tempting to throw the books out the window as soon as summer vacation hits. As a student, I understand that temptation but, as a teacher, I know that you're not doing your future-self any favors. The best, and most obvious, way to keep from losing everything you've just spent a whole school year learning is to read.   When it comes to school, reading is one of the most fundamental skills to have, because you're going to be reading things in every single class, at home, hanging out with friends, and so on. You're always reading directions, messages, and interesting information, so keep practicing that skill even when you're not in school. But the real value isn't just in reading the words on a sign or a menu or a text message: the real value (and a skill that even some adults haven't developed enough) is in thinking about what you're reading.   Netflix and movie stores are full of movies based on books. One good way to practice your reading... read more

Most teachers plan on needing to review basic subject-area content during the first few weeks of school. Why? Because most students need to refresh their memory after spending their summers swimming, playing video games, and generally going everything they can to avoid anything remotely resembling school work.   Summer enrichment doesn't have to look like regular schoolwork. Anything that gets your kids thinking will be helpful. This could be as simple as visiting a museum, a library, or a state park. Many museums offer free admission days - you just might have to call and ask. Most libraries offer free summer reading programs with incentives like gift certificates or small toys.   Going camping this summer? Challenge your kids to find ten different types of bugs (no, they don't need to pick them up and take them home!). Or ten different types of plants (again, no touching necessary). Challenge your kids to find similarities and differences between these ten... read more

Chances are you’re excited about school being out for summer…I couldn’t agree more! School gets so busy towards the end of the year. Testing, sporting events, concerts and other happenings can all take a toll on your child's practice routine. Once the dust settles from the end of school year festivities, kids with a less full calendar of things to do all too often become bored and need some ideas about how to best spend their time.   If you, or your child, are interested in maintaining or increasing music performance skills from the last day of school through the first day of school the most effective approach is through facilitating time spent on task. Of course, continuing music lessons is a great start! Your child’s private music teacher is the best resource for keeping your son/daughter motivated throughout the summer months. S/he should also be able to recommend outside performance opportunities to support your child’s efforts while introducing them to other students... read more

My students tend to be young adults in high school or college and even executives taking night classes or using online learning to attain more education. These learners are subject to “summer drift” at any point in the year.  It isn't just summer when I hear: “Wow, finals are over and all I want to do is sleep for about a month!” That is exactly what you shouldn’t do. You do deserve to rest a bit, but why let that fine scholastic edge you worked so hard to get, just go completely dull? Why would you want to work so hard next year to get BACK to where you are right now? Here are a few ways to stay sharper and avoid the fall train wreck we have all experienced: 1. Read tenaciously: Read everything available to you: newspaper (current events, where ever your interest may lead, etc) not only try, but Stretch: take a moment to ask your instructors what they might assign next, if they would assign you another project reading or otherwise. Besides,... read more

Now, with summer approaching, many students are looking forward to a break from the daily grind of classes and homework.  Rightly so!  It's a lot on a child.  But one thing many teachers notice at the beginning of a school year is how much they have to review the previous section of their subject.  The break is great for letting a student have fun, but it also facilitates a loss of gained knowledge due to the passage of time.  As an student working toward an engineering degree, I started out at a high school level math, not because I'm incompetent in math, but because 7 years had passed since my last math class by that point. I chose to focus my energy in that area to prepare myself to get into the full swing of being a full time student in university.  If during this 7 years I would have taken the time to read up a little bit, run through a couple problems, and keep myself in practice with the skill, I wouldn't have had to start so far back. ... read more

Do you fear "learning loss" due to the lazy, hazy days of Summer? This may be the solution:   Even whilst relaxing on the beach you can take the opportunity to have a book close at hand. Just by refreshing your memory on a daily basis on those subjects that are eluding you, you will be able to keep the information "topped off' throughout the Summer and not have to dread going back to the classroom afterwards.

Once school is over, students are ready to toss away their textbooks in exchange for a swimsuit and towel. Who can blame them? The summer is a time for having fun and relaxing after a long year of hard work. However, this often means going back to school in a bit of a lazy-haze. Without five days a week of educational stimulation, it is easy to forget all the history facts, and numerical equations. So, how can we stay sharp but not miss out on all the fun?   My advice:    1. Read. Reading will always be a great way to keep your mind sharp, no matter what the book's content. Read a magazine or a book about pirates. No matter what, you are engaged and using your brain.   2. Games. There are tons of card and board games that are both fun and engaging. For example, Trivial Pursuit, Monopoly, and Yahtzee. Put down the remote and invite some friends over for a game.   3. Make a goal. Pick one skill or topic you want to learn more about... read more

     It is true that during the summer while students are enjoying themselves their brains can begin losing the information they learned in school the previous year. Some experts estimate that students can lose up to 33% of the material they had been taught in school only months before.       The best way to help students retain the information and material they learned is to have them reinforce it through practice. Students should be encouraged to read this summer at least one day a week. Allow them to choose a book they will enjoy even if it is a graphic novel. The most important thing about summer reading is the student is actually reading, so by selecting books they enjoy or find interesting the odds are better that the student will read the books or stories.  To practice other subjects there are free websites such as Mobymax which offer short practice in all subject areas followed by games to reinforce the learning. Students can also... read more

Most students are excited for summer vacation so they can relax, enjoy some sun and spend time with family and friends.  However, the brain is a muscle and therefore like any other muscle in the body it can become weak without consistent exercise.  Here are some tips to avoid summer learning loss:   Find an Educational Summer Program.  There are many summer programs in which students can participate to retain skills, learn new skills or gain exposure to various fields.  Many are hosted by companies, colleges/universities or non-profit organizations such as Project Grad or Upward Bound.  Some require a daily commute while others allow for students to stay with other participants for a couple of weeks;  some may even come with a stipend!  Ask your school's guidance counselor about summer programs in your area this fall so that you can begin applying early!   Engage in Summer Reading.  It doesn't matter whether you prefer... read more

Try to remember and apply what you learned during the school year over summer by looking and thinking at the world in those terms in car rides and other times that you are bored.  This will keep you sharp.  Also, take pride in certain abilities and keep reinforcing them with real life application.  In short, use your knowledge, don't lose it.

   Summer is a crucial time for students to continue their education. I know they have just finished up the school year and would love a break, but there needs to be some activity from the students. An easy way to keep your brain going is to actually study things you enjoy. Instead of sitting at home and going through your basic classes (Math, English, Science, etc), I suggest incorporating something you enjoy or find interest in. If you already enjoy a hobby then expand your knowledge in that field. Learning can take place in all fields. For instance, I have been wanting to learn more about light waves and solar energy, so I signed up for free classes on Coursera.com for the summer. They are basic courses with a light load of work, but I will most likely put more effort into these courses because I actually find them interesting.     Another excellent solution is games. Games are a great way to hold your students undivided attention with fun. There are... read more

1. Read a book! Before you finish school for the summer break, find out which books you’ll be reading next year. If you read them (or start reading them) over the summer, you’ll have much more time during the school year to reflect on the books. You will be able to provide clearer, more thoughtful responses because you’re not rushing through the book for the first time, but instead, reviewing it for a second time.  Or read any book you want! Reading over the summer will keep your mind fresh and keep your reading speed and comprehension up.  Find books online for free!  Or join a book exchange program!   2. Learn a language! Whether you want to strengthen a language you’re learning in school or just try something new, learning a language will keep you in the habit of reading, writing, practicing, and most importantly, learning. Pimsleur offers over forty different language courses (currently on sale for 30% off!) for a reasonable... read more

Hello everyone! I'm excited to announce that I was recently featured along with my student, Bayla, on the local news. Check out the clip below for the five-minute segment on how to prevent summer learning loss, also known as "brain drain."  A big thank you to WyzAnt for making this story possible!    Parents avoiding summer "brain drain"    

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