6 Tips to Prevent Summer Learning Loss

There’s nothing quite like the start of summer vacation. For most students, it’s the perfect opportunity to kick back, relax, and enjoy a three-month stretch of school-free bliss. While there’s obvious merit to using the summer break for some much deserved rest and relaxation, it’s also important that students stay sharp for the upcoming school year.

Summer learning loss is that potentially treacherous holiday gap in which a student might become fuzzy on the lessons he or she learned during the school year, letting slide all the knowledge he or she spent hours of energy acquiring in the first place.

At Achieve Academics, we’ve discussed the summer learning loss phenomenon before, but here we’ve compiled a helpful list of tips that may aid students in avoiding summer learning loss this season.

1. Dive into a Good Book

Reading for pleasure is a relaxing, entertaining way to unwind this summer, whether poolside or from the comfort of your couch. Diving into a good book stretches the imagination, exercises valuable reading comprehension skills, and builds vocabulary—all of which are lessons usefully applied in the coming school year.

2. Take a Summertime Field Trip

There are plenty of historical and cultural sites in and around the Plymouth area that are sure to spark a student’s interest, while allowing him or her to brush up on his or civic knowledge. Likewise, museums provide an ideal venue in which to engage a student’s senses and encourage curiosity.

3. Brush Up On Personal Finances

There’s no better way to instill healthy habits at an early age than by introducing a student to practical financial planning. Budgets, cash flow, taxes, savings, the stock market—all yield important lessons that can be utilized for a lifetime. Plus, learning to use these tools encourages students to apply math and reasoning skills in a real-world capacity.

4. A Summer Camp for All Interests

If summer camp is in the budget this season, it can be the perfect venue to get back in touch with academia, or perhaps to further explore an existing interest or hobby. Not only does summer camp provide a much-welcome social venue for young students, it also encourages exploration of nearly any subject under the sun. Does your student love marine biology? Water polo? Computer programming? Theater? No matter the taste, a Savannah summer camp of interest is surely out there.

5. Take a Hike

Studies show that regular physical activity can boost mood, energy, and motivation. Even if exercise doesn’t directly target academics, it can surely help develop positive body image, self-discipline, and a healthy route for stress relief. Shooting for just a half-hour a day of physical activity this summer can make a world of difference by the time the next school year rolls around.

6. Give Back to Your Community

Community service is a rewarding activity that allows young students to practice empathy, expand his or her horizons, and potentially learn new skills. No matter where a student chooses to volunteer this summer, engaging with your community in a meaningful way builds character and maturity, which also positively impacts a student’s self-awareness and discipline for the long term.

Taking advantage of these tips may be the key to creating a memorable summer—so that your student arrives at school this fall full of meaningful experiences, healthy habits, and sharper than ever. Don’t forget, there are plenty of summer learning options here at Achieve Academics, from one-on-one tutoring, to ACT and SAT test prep, to small class learning experiences. No matter a student’s learning style, academic level, or goals, there’s room to grow this summer at Achieve Academics.

Whatever your student’s academic needs may be, Achieve Academics has a summer program that can help. Contact us today at 763-559-8378, or via email at info@achieveacademics.com.



SAT Scores Cause a Scandal: There's More To Your Student's Score from the New SAT Than Meets The Eye.

Since the first scores of the New SAT were released last week, there has been a great deal of speculation and skepticism surrounding the scores, and quite frankly it is for good reason.  Although many students in Plymouth were thrilled to see scores better than they expected, the sheer numbers reported in and of themselves are actually a bit misleading, as the Washington Post reported in an article titled “Why your new SAT score is not as strong as you think it is.” 

At first glance, the scores from the new SAT appear encouraging.  However, the reality is that a score of 1300 for example on the new SAT, is not as strong as a score of 1300 on the past exam.  In fact, you need a calculator to adjust your new score, to the appropriate score of years past.  (Incidentally, there is also an app available through the College Board to help convert scores).  However, what the conversion calculators unanimously reveal is that the new scores don’t stack up to the old scores, and the discrepancy between scores can be as much as 80 points.   

That means that students who were counting on a specific score to lock in admission to a certain school are liable to find out they need a higher score than they thought.   Consider the example of student Bill Jones.  Bill believed he needed a 900 total SAT score to fall in line with the Median Score of Incoming Freshman at West Virginia University in 2015. However, with the new SAT scoring system, Bill actually needs a 980 score.  Likewise, at Penn State, where the 2015 Median Score of Incoming Freshmen was an 1190, students taking the new SAT need to score 1260 for the score to carry the same weight. 

Confused yet?  You’re not alone.  At Achieve Academics, we predicted that there were going to be some hiccups and obstacles and problems with the new SAT.  A change of this magnitude simply wasn’t going to go off without a hitch, which is why we continue to recommend that high school students in Plymouth take both the SAT and the ACT for the foreseeable future.   

The ACT has become the more popular of the tests in recent years, and with such big changes to the SAT, it is highly advisable that students preparing for college study take the ACT in addition to the SAT, until this scoring is better understood.  As a private tutoring and test prep services company serving the Plymouth area for a number of years, at Achieve Academics our sole goal is to ensure your student performs their best in school, and on all college prep tests they choose to take. 

In the meantime, if you are struggling to understand what your student’s new SAT score means for them, in regards to college admissions, feel free to contact us anytime at 763-559-8378, or via email at info@achieveacademics.co

The March 2016 SAT Scores Are Finally Here! What's Your Next Step?

In this day and age, it is increasingly common to turn to the Internet and digital platforms to resolve life’s daily tasks and conundrums. Though plenty of web services make life easier or more efficient, one particular digital area’s true value still remains to be seen: online tutoring. Though some online tutoring services tout cost efficiency and accessibility, can education via the Internet work as effectively as the time tested and proven face-to-face tutoring model?

There are plenty of reasons that students and their families seek out tutoring services, often to prep for major college admission tests like the SAT or the ACT. In addition to choosing the college admission test that’s best for a student, it is just as important to determine the delivery method by which a student is best served. Even online tutoring courses that promise real-time online SAT or ACT support from teachers tend to come up short when it comes to lasting results. Though a quick online course may modestly boost scores, it is no match for a small group or private one-on-one tutoring where actual, in-person tutors can strategize alongside a student and cater to his or her specific strengths, weaknesses, learning style, and goals.

Personal Tutoring With a Professional Tutor

In fact, one of the most effective tools a tutor can employ is the bond forged between teacher and student which is built through spending time with one another. When trust is built between a tutor and his or her pupil through a small group setting or one-on-one study, comfort and communication result—which ultimately paves the way for the formation of positive and lasting study habits. A good tutor doesn’t evaluate from afar, via a screen located potentially thousands of miles away. Instead, the face-to-face, interaction between tutor and student puts the student at the center, and the ensuing strategy and set of goals are developed from a personalized starting point. While the nuances of test prep can get lost in translation when utilizing an online tutoring service, an experienced tutor can assess a student’s needs, progress, and long-term retention, and adjust along the way, when they are personally and routinely meeting with the student.

While online tutoring can be good at providing free generic instructional help and repetitive practice exercises, they also use generic approaches, not keeping in mind a student’s learning style/ difference/ psyche. An experienced tutor teaches a student how they can personalize and make the strategies and concepts their own. Using verbal and nonverbal cues, they diagnose and assess a student’s unique learning style, resulting in improved learning skills and self-confidence. Online programs have yet to bridge that human touch.

The College Board will be extending the regular registration deadline for the 6/4/16 SAT until 5/11/16. Please contact us to learn about our small group and private one-on-one tutoring options.

At Achieve Academics, we seek to meet the needs of each and every student, no matter his or her goals, interests, or academic background. Through one-on-one personalized tutoring and small group classes, we address the individual learning needs of all students, especially during the critical end of the year stretch. Finishing strong during final exams keeps transcripts and GPA’s on track, showing teachers and future college admission committees that a student is consistent and serious about his or her education. Whatever your student’s academic needs may be, Achieve Academics has a summer program that can help. Contact us today at 763-559-8378, or via email at info@achieveacademics.com.