Getting Perspective

A blog by Ray Rosen, Owner of Education Perspective.

Name: Education Perspective

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Summer Time Isn’t Slump Time

What have you done so far this summer vacation? I’m sure much of it has been filled with barbeques and sunscreen but don’t forget to spend some time doing something for your academic future. Summer is a perfect time for high school students to start a college search. Here are some tips and ideas for utilizing some summer downtime:

1. Make a list of your top college choices and plan at least one campus visit before the school year begins.
2. We all know that college is an expensive investment. While online this summer, investigate some scholarship websites. There are literally thousands of scholarship opportunities and you will be surprised at the diversity of requirements. These days, scholarships are awarded for hobbies, special talents, and unique interests in addition to academic performance.
3. Volunteer for organizations that you care about. This looks great on your academic resume.

I know that students have earned a vacation after working so hard this last year but do consider spending some time in the remaining summer weeks looking toward and planning for your future. Just think how much time it will save you once your back in the classroom!

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Tuesday, July 14, 2009

How Summer Tutoring Can Benefit Your Student

Tutors are not just for the school year anymore. While summer vacation offers families some much needed time off, it can prove a difficult gap for some students to overcome when school begins. Summer tutoring is a great investment for any student. And, vacation offers a unique time of year for creative tactics – a chance to engage a student in a subject outside of the confines of classroom walls and textbooks.

Summer tutoring can be helpful in the following ways:

1. Struggling in a subject. If your child had difficulty in a subject during the school year, chances are they will encounter the subject matter again once school begins. For instance, a student who struggled in pre-Algebra will see ALL of that information again with Algebra I and II; as well as on the SAT. When you compound difficulty in a subject matter with a several month gap of learning, students forget what they learned and the struggle begins all over again. Even if he/she is not failing, this is a good time to find a tutor to get your child up to speed and support them as they continue with the course.

2. Keep focused and maintain good study/organizational habits. This can ensure that content and skills aren’t lost or forgotten during a long break.

3. Get a jumpstart on next year. If your child typically struggles in an area, such as math or science, it is helpful to set them up with a tutor before the course starts. The tutor can pre-teach them so they will already have some background knowledge when they enter the class. So much more is expected of students today and the pace for many courses is very fast. Getting a headstart may relieve the anxieties of just trying to keep up.

4. Ease the transition to middle and high schools. For students starting a new year in an entirely new environment there can be many obstacles. You can help your rising sixth or eight grader with a study skills and test preparation tutor. This way they can have a first day that will be way less overwhelming. Additionally the tutor can start the student on the road to organization that will benefit them for the entire year.

5. Refresher on foreign language. A tutor can refresh content from a previous class in order to get your child ready for a related course. For example, the tutor can review Spanish before your child takes Spanish II in school. This is particularly helpful if there is a substantial gap in time in between the courses.

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Thursday, July 9, 2009

Summer Reading Keeps Students on Track

This is the time of year when I receive phone calls from clients who want to know how they can keep their child on track this summer and not lose those crucial strides they made during the academic year. The answer is simple – READ. Now, getting a student on summer vacation to read may not be so simple.

Research consistently shows, over and over again, that children who read during the summer do much better in school when it starts again in the fall. And, children who do not read during the summer demonstrate a significant loss of information and skills.

The most important element of your child’s summer reading program is you and your enthusiasm for reading. Be proactive and track down a summer reading list from their school or local library. Also, ask your child if their teacher sent home a recommended summer reading list at the end of the school year. Many libraries also sponsor summer reading clubs and programs which award prizes and incentives for participants.

If there isn’t a summer reading program available to you, or if you are going to be traveling, you can easily create your own. Have your child help from the very start to help excite them. First, make a list of books to read this summer. You can begin by picking a favorite author or a subject. Then, create a calendar of summer reading events and plan special weekly reading activities with your child. Don’t be afraid to incorporate magazines and websites into your program as well. No matter what, keep reading fun and integrate it into a joint activities whenever possible. For instance, prepare for a nature hike on a nice day with guides from your local library; visit some historical sites and have your child research it prior and be the tour guide; have them help with the cooking by reading recipes and writing your grocery shopping lists; or, let your sports fanatic read the newspaper aloud to you.

Enjoy your summer and keep reading!

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