Fall 2011

November 10, 2011


School is in session, and students are busy learning,
reconnecting with friends and adjusting to the new school schedule!

Four Points Tutoring is also in full swing this new school year.  We had a productive summer and focused on assisting students with writing skills.  We offered both in home tutoring and writing clinics taught by professional writers in the Austin area.  As we move into the school year we turn our attention to the need of basic study skills, time management, along with mastery of core subjects.  We are training tutors to support our very popular Academic Coaching (study skills), and hiring extra staff as our programs and tutoring are in high demand!

If your student is interested in learning more about Academic Coaching please contact us to learn more.  As our testimonials reflect, this has helped countless students meet with success in the classroom. There is nothing more frustrating for students than to not know how to study and achieve their true potential.

The importance of sleep

As students transition from the carefree days of summer to the demands of the new school year many find it hard to keep up with the new pace and still find time for a good night’s sleep!  In fact a recent study by the Journal of School Health found that 90 % of students are falling short. While most families look at the obvious culprits (school/ extracurricular activities) few are aware of the link between social media and sleep deprivation in teens.

Doctor Donna L. Hamilton stresses the importance of keeping an eye on your student’s texting/sleep. Teen Texting Taking a Toll: Lack of Sleep May Impact School Performance and Mood

For years pediatricians and sleep specialists have encouraged parents to keep televisions and computers out of their children’s bedroom in order to support optimal health and wellness.   The preliminary findings of a pilot study might add another piece of electronic media to the list: cell phones. The study, conducted by physicians at the Sleep Disorder Center at JFK Medical Center in Edison, NJ found that almost 80% of students who texted or used other electronic media at bedtime had persistent problems falling asleep.

Presented at the 2010 annual conference for the American College of Chest Physicians, the findings indicate that texting and surfing the internet impact more than teens’ ability to fall asleep. “Children who engage in pre-bedtime use of technology have a high rate of daytime problems, which can include attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, anxiety, depression, and learning difficulties,” said Peter G. Polos, MD, PhD, FCCP, lead study author. “This is in addition to nighttime problems, such as excessive movements, insomnia, and leg pain.”

To understand the effects of communication technology on sleep, Dr. Polos and colleagues studied 40 students. The average age was 14.5 years old.  In addition to sleep and performance effects, researchers also found a gender difference in technology use.  Girls preferred to talk and text after hours, while boys preferred to surf the internet and play video games. “One of the most surprising findings of our research was the average number of texts and e- mails sent per night. It is significant that these
children are engaging in stimulating activity when they should be in an environment to promote sleep,” said Dr. Polos. The average number of bedtime texts sent during a month was an astounding 3,404.

Though these findings are preliminary, they suggest bedtime use of communication technology might have a significant adverse effect on adolescent’s sleep and their general wellness.  They also indicate a possible effect on teens’ ability to function optimally during the daytime. “The prevalence of insomnia and other sleep disorders is cause for great concern, given their
potential consequences on a child’s ability to function in school,” said David Gutterman, MD, FCCP, President of the American College of Chest Physicians. Several studies already indicate the negative effect of daytime sleepiness on adolescent health.  The National Sleep Foundation highlights research suggesting inadequate sleep puts adolescents at increased risk for unintentional injuries and death, poor school performance, lower grades, and increase mood disturbances 1.  Some studies also reveal correlation between sleep loss and drug use 2, 3. Fortunately, parents can promote healthy sleep habits for their children.  In addition to creating a healthy sleep environment and creating positive sleep routines, they can discuss appropriate sleep-time technology use with their children. Dr. Polos also suggests parents enforce guidelines for using technology.   “Using cell phones or computers, or surfing the Internet, with all the graphics and rapid responses, is more addictive, seductive, and interactive than passively watching television, said Dr. Polos. “The sooner parents establish appropriate times for children to use this technology, the better. “Sleep is largely habitual in nature,” said Dr. Polos. “If children begin this type of behavior, they may set themselves up for the need for external stimulation before sleep later in life. The effects of this can include sleep-onse insomnia, insufficient sleep, and daytime sleepiness.

Creating healthy habits now can help your children experience greater wellness throughout their life!

We wish all students an excellent
school year and hope that you will remember that we are the place to come for
all of academic support!





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