Avoid Summertime Slip

Summer can be quite an important period of time that most families may not be utilizing correctly.  Summer is actually the period of time where academic skills and concepts that students have bolstered all semester long begin to dull the most, or “slip,” as summer in America is the longest academic holiday.  For students where this is especially problematic year to year, the summer is an ideal way to stay “in-practice,” review, and enrich.  After reinforcing concepts throughout the summer, the segway to new material is much more seamless.  This, in turn, creates a confidence that allows for these students to perform at their best.  This requires that regimented time is setup for the student to create realistic review goals for the duration of summer.

To avoid summertime slip students should first know which professor is teaching their upcoming fall course of interest. From there they can research old syllabi of the class or reach out to the professor and ask for what textbook they are going to be using. Once they have this information, students can get ahead start on the course by getting intimately familiar with the earliest content. All of the questions at the end of each section and chapter should be answered completely with key themes being understood.

Another powerful method of learning during summertime is project-based learning.  Check out this really informative article to learn more:




Stuck? The Power of Google Search


Google is a very powerful resource that is often underused by many students of today.  There is no shame in not knowing how to solve a problem, or even being completely baffled by a concept in general.  However, this should not be a reason to give up or quit if you haven’t at least done your due diligence and researched a little.  

If you are stuck on a math problem, or don’t understand a concept you were being taught in physics, or can’t seem to understand some rules you’re learning in grammar…look to Google.  Instead of giving up for the night and feeling that sense of frustration that comes with not being able to complete assignments, search Google for the general topic or rule you are reviewing  You will be surprised how quickly you can get help!  It is important to remember that searching is an art as well, so here are some tips to follow when trying to find what you’re looking for:

Effective searches use fewer words, not more:

If you want to look up how to solve the maximum height achieved by a projectile in your physics class, then you could probably get away with searching “how do I find the maximum height achieved by a projectile” in the search.  However, Google doesn’t search exactly what you typed in exactly the order you typed.  It will look for results that contain some, or all, of the words you typed.  The more words you type, the more narrow your results can become.  If you’re not careful, you will lose quite a few results.  Try searching “Maximum height projectiles” instead.  It captures the key words without unnecessarily narrowing your search results.

Think about how others might ask what you’re trying to find:

There are instances, though rare, when you search a topic and find no useful results.  Don’t give up!  Something as simple as changing the words in your search to either synonyms, or using more “common language” might make all the difference.

Laser Focusing Searches Using Search Operators:

It was mentioned above that Google doesn’t search exactly what you typed in the order that you typed it.  However, there are operators you can add to your search text that can force Google to do what you want!  Here are two to remember:

* (The Asterisk)

This will search google for your search string with anything it can find in place of the asterisk.  This is especially good for quotes you can’t remember completely.  An example would be “don’t put all your * in one basket.”  We all know the missing word is eggs, but this illustrates the power of using asterisks!

– (The Dash or Minus)

This will remove sites with the term you type after the dash from your search.  A helpful example is “jaguar speed -car” vs “jaguar speed.”  The second example would find both sites dealing with cars and animals, while the first would only find results relating to animals.