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Summer Tutoring Newsletter Quarterly News
May 2008
Ramona Peace Palace
 Ramona Peace Palace
Dear Friends of Connexion,

We wish you Good Luck and Great Skill in these last
few weeks of school! When we were young
students, we wanted to get as far away from
academics as possible when June arrived... and
that is just what we did! What we did not know
(but wish we did) was that 3 months without any
kind of academic program set us back when school
resumed in the Fall. However, with very little
effort, students can stay sharp and enter next
year with a strong foundation!
Leap into Summer!

As we help our students prepare for their finals, we can almost taste the victory of
accomplishment and mom's lemonade on a lazy summer day.  Summer is a time to relax
and reward ourselves, but it is also important to balance fun with the opportunity to
get ahead. Research shows all young people will experience learning losses when not
involved in a summer educational program.  A study conducted by Harris Cooper PhD
shows that, "
On average, students lose approximately 2.6 months of grade level
equivalency in mathematical computation skills over the summer
"(Cooper, 1996).

Connexion Tutoring has a wide selection of summer programs with discount
, to help your student take advantage of this prime break from the bustle of
school activity.  Dedicating even just one hour a week to tutoring over the summer can
yield huge results for such a small investment.

Summer Special: We'll give you $100 for each pre-paid package of 10 hours of

Summer SunOur Programs
Suggested Frequency:
  1-2 hour per week.

Class Jumpstart:  Get a strong advantage over other

One of our expert staff will teach your student the main
topics of any tough class they will be taking in the fall.
Our tutors can work through the standard curriculum for
the class, and even contact your student's future
teacher to help develop a targeted program.  Learning
difficult concepts over the summer at the student's own
pace, and seeing them for the second time in the fall
can be the difference between a smooth semester and a
hectic struggle to learn a big load of new material.

High School or College Admissions:
Our College Cornerstone's program is a comprehensive
plan to help students with all aspects of the application process.  Please contact us for
program specifics.  It can be a headache to complete requirements for admission
deadlines during the year with the added stress of classes and extra-curricular
activities.  Summer is the right time to tackle this important project for your student's

SSAT / SAT / SAT II Preparation:
Connexion Tutoring has developed an innovative and effective toolkit for succeeding on
standardized tests.  Our program uses the student's unique learning styles to teach
test strategies that are catered to the individual.  Other SAT programs tend to teach
overall test strategies that do necessarily not work for every student.  Because there
are many different techniques for mastering standardized tests, our program is based
on teaching approaches that actually work for the individual by strengthening adding to
their own skill set, not replacing it!

Founder's Corner
Immersion: Parallel Lines and the "Aha!" Learning Experience

(Picture: One brain cell with vast connectivity!)
Ramona Peace PalaceParents often ask me, "What is brain-based learning?"
Brain-based learning is much more than just a concept or
teaching theory.  Instead of being an abstract philosophy,
it is fundamental to the learning process by seeking to
understand how the brain learns. The brain is a lot like
the other organs of the body (such as the heart or lungs)
in that it serves a natural function. Since the function of
the brain is to learn and it comes equipped with a set of
exceptional features, brain-based learning is organizing
education to optimize these features.  Our brain functions
in many more complex ways than just memorizing facts,
and therefore we cannot separate our teaching approach
from the innate brain styles of learning.  Assuming that
learning takes place primarily through rote memorization
of facts is a bit like looking at the moon and believing we
have understood the whole galaxy. There is much more!
The brain searches for connections on many levels of
learning to understand how new concepts relate to
previous experiences and find underlying value in the
usefulness of what is being learned. Educators need to orchestrate the learning experience to this
fundamental brain behavior so that education is, in the words of Leslie Hart (1983), "brain
compatible" rather than "brain antagonistic."

A simple example illustrating this distinction is the way in which parallel lines are often taught in
geometry.  Children experience parallel lines daily before ever taking a geometry class.  The
average student has experienced thousands of examples of parallel lines in their toys, windows,
fences, pictures and so on.  Yet, when the concept is taught in geometry, often the teacher will draw
lines on the board and the students will mechanically copy down an abstract definition into their
notes.  Since this concept is taught in a "new" way that doesn't consider previous learning
experiences, the brain will hardwire this abstract concept by creating new pathways and connections
in the brain. No effort has been made to use the rich connectivity that already exists in their brains to
give them the instant "Aha!" understanding of what parallel lines really are and how they are useful.
Teaching students to use their past experiences to identify with new concepts not only makes learning
easier and more applicable, but it also makes memorization and recall easier because the new
material is "cued" to previously stored pathways.

Currently mathematics, reading, writing, history, and science are often seen as separate disciplines
that are often unrelated to the daily life of the learner.  The brain seeks to make connections between
these disciplines to find meaning, purpose and applicability to the real world.  Brain-based learning, in
essence, seeks to teach in a way the brain can recognize and organize, by relating learning to
previous experience and finding the common information that unifies all disciplines.  This is the goal
of our holistic tutoring programs, and your tutor is the common ground that connects your student's
learning experiences together.

Every learning experience embeds information in the brain and connects this information with past
knowledge and future behavior.  Therefore, educators should primarily focus on expanding the
quality and quantity of ways in which a learner is exposed to content and context.  We call this
process, "immersion".  Brain research has shown that the more children can talk about what they are
doing (Cohen 1984) and the more their teachers use the appropriate vocabulary in teaching, the
greater the learning (Harste 1989, Moraes 1986).  The learner needs to be engaged in reading,
viewing, talking, listening, valuing, and acting.  We are happy to provide your student with new, rich
learning experiences and recognize the importance of regular tutoring to provide this immersion that
is so fundamental to the learning process.

Thank you for taking the time to read this edition of The Connexion Tutoring
Newsletter. We deeply appreciate your continued confidence in us, and we will
continue to provide you with the best tutoring service available.
Best Wishes,
Art Konrad & David Shamszad

Phone: 415.457.7433
Mailing Address:
Connexion Tutoring - P.O. Box 150875 - San Rafael CA 94915
Tutoring Center Address:
5643 Paradise Drive Suite 4 - Corte Madera CA 94925

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