Mike works with his student Jack on Calculus at Study Hut every week. Most of the time Jack already knows his material, and together they just work on reinforcing the concepts so that Jack will have a solid foundation for the new material he will be learning. Mike says that it is incredibly rewarding to work with Jack because Jack asks in-depth questions and wants to go beyond the content he has been learning in class. Jack asks about the real world applications of what he is learning and if there are different ways to do his problems.

Once they have gone through Jack’s homework for the night, they explore Calculus more in-depth. They try working backward from the end of the problem to the beginning. Mike and Jack try to find multiple different ways of deriving the same formula and approach it in their own way.

Mike also works with his student Ken on Algebra 2 and Chemistry. Ken has a busy schedule with commuting to school, playing on the tennis team, and keeping up in all of his challenging classes. Together he and Mike still have time to discuss the real-world applications of the math he is learning, and how it is important in every day life. Coming in to Study Hut a few times a week makes the excessive amounts of homework more manageable. Studying with his tutor and reviewing concepts he is confused about on his study guide also helps Ken prevent himself from getting too stressed out. He is able to do all his after school activities and have an awesome GPA.

The four weeks between Thanksgiving and the winter holiday break can be the toughest lap of the academic race for many students. Everyone loves to buckle down and cram for the “last lap” before Finals in January, but this “second-to-last lap” in December is brutal. With tons of distractions, from family coming into town, holiday shopping, and making sure to enjoy the holiday spirit, it comes as no surprise that many students have a tough time focusing on their tests and assignments.

But this is not the time to be distracted. In fact, this is the most crucial season of all. These four weeks are a perfect time for teachers to play catch up. Oftentimes, teachers will try to cram in two full chapters or units during this brief period, and the effects on students’ grades can be tremendously impactful. Some students will be distracted and choose to focus time and energy on interests other than school. These students will pay the price come January, and many grades will be far too low going into the break to be brought up. Other students will realize the incredible opportunity in front of them. They will buckle down, hit the books, and earn excellent grades on the tests, quizzes, and assignments offered.

For math classes, including geometry, algebra, trigonometry, and calculus, the methods and concepts discussed this month will probably be the toughest content you will see on your first semester Final Exam. Keep this in mind, even if you are feeling overwhelmed by the material. If you can master these tough concepts now by studying in advance and working with your tutor, your holiday break will be significantly less stressful, and your Finals preparation in January will be a much easier process. This holds true for other classes too, including history, Spanish, English, biology, chemistry, physics, and even your elective classes.

Study Hut Tutoring and our entire team are ecstatic to announce that the Study Hut Foundation has officially opened its first office. For those of you unfamiliar with the Study Hut Foundation, it is the non-profit arm of Study Hut. Our mission is simple: to provide additional educational opportunities to underprivileged students.

We signed the lease on Friday, and we will begin getting the office ready for studying and tutoring by January 1st. This process will include everything from buying tables and chairs, to sharpening pencils and filling the candy bins….hehe….The office is located in Lomita (very close to Harbor City as well) and is located on Narbonne Avenue, right across from the public library. We will be serving students from many neighboring cities, but the convenience factor is definitely there for Narbonne High School students, so we will be working closely with counselors, teachers, and administrators. We are seeking students who need the help most, and also those who are most eager to use the assistance in a positive way.

The first goal of the Study Hut Foundation is to bring some of the same college preparatory services that we provide our current Study Hut students to less fortunate students in the local area. This will benefit the entire community, and will provide additional opportunity to local students who show the potential and desire to achieve. We will provide scholarships for subject tutoring in math (algebra, geometry, trigonometry, calculus, precalc, etc.), science (biology, chemistry, physics, etc.), English, writing, reading comprehension, history (European history and U.S. history), government, economics, psychology, Spanish, French, and more. Additionally, we will offer SAT prep, ACT prep, and other test prep services, all free of cost.

Our team will consist of current tutors, as well as volunteers from local high schools and universities. We will specialize by subject, and we aim to provide the best service possible at the best possible price (free)!
For those of you interested, we will be adding a page for the Study Hut Foundation to our website shortly, and there will also be opportunities for donations and support in the near future. Stay tuned!

Time for our team to take off the party hats and roll up their sleeves. The Foundation is here!

Study Hut tutors could not be more excited for the big Finals push. We have students from AVID coming in for private tutoring all week, but we also have a huge event scheduled for Saturday. As in years past, we will be hosting an all day tutoring and study session on campus at Palos Verdes High School. We will have access to multiple different classrooms, and tutors will get to go into different rooms and help students with the specific subjects they need most help with.

This year, there will undoubtedly be math tutoring, science tutoring (including biology tutoring and chemistry tutoring), history tutoring, from World History and EHAP to U.S. History, Government, and Economics tutoring. Math tutoring will include algebra tutoring, geometry tutoring, algebra 2 tutoring, pre-calculus tutoring, trigonometry tutoring, and maybe even some calculus and FTS tutoring.

We will also, of course, have English tutoring, writing tutoring for students with an upcoming final paper, Spanish tutoring (all levels), and probably a few other subjects as well.

The event is free (and required!) for all AVID students, and speaking from past experience, it is an extremely productive event for all students involved. The teachers always come to support, supervise, and offer their knowledge as well.

And best of all, we are getting El Taco Man ordered, so he will be showing up with his cart, and all the tacos any young man or woman can eat. Does it get any better than this? I think not. See you on Saturday.

Advanced Placement courses are a great option for students who can handle more challenging coursework and want to earn college credit or add sparkle to their college applications. AP courses also provide an opportunity to get a more in-depth perspective on subjects that students might find themselves interested in but would, otherwise, be unable to study at school.

The decision to take one or more AP classes is an important one because of the additional work and study time that is involved. The best way to guarantee success in an AP class is to have a plan for staying on top of coursework and to stick to that plan. Students should have a designated chunk of evening time to devote to their AP subject(s).

More importantly, students should have a dependable person to consult about difficult concepts, especially before exams. Whether this person is a friend who is also taking the class, a parent or a tutor, having someone to keep you on top of your study plan is the key to success.

Study Hut has many AP veterans in all subjects, so don’t hesitate to drop in if you need a study buddy or a sympathetic ear. Getting an outside tutor can help organize your daunting coursework, plan how to study for upcoming tests as well as pop-quizzes, and learn how the AP test itself can be conquered. We can help you with everything from AP Calculus to AP Spanish, and we will match you with a tutor you like, respect, and get along with.

Finals are around the corner and to best aide in tackling these challenges is to know your test taking strategies and to be well prepared. Make sure you study the material, get help if you need it (a Study Hut Tutor can save you from stress!), and follow these steps to approaching your exams.

Know how to approach essay questions. Carefully read each essay prompt and start with the easiest one. This will help build your confidence and get you to start relating your ideas to the topic. Once you have a starting point, brainstorm keywords and topic sentences. Next formulate a plan or rough outline and start writing. Use complete and clear sentences, and make sure you follow the standard essay format by introducing your topic, present supporting ideas with facts and examples, and summarize the main points.

Improve your math score. When studying math in Homework sets or performing on test make sure you are clear, complete, and thorough. Always write down the equation you need for the problem before you start the problem. Always label your vertices, axis, variables, and answers clearly. When studying for the final go back through the chapters in the book and study the examples at the beginning of each chapter taking notes on key points. Always draw a picture or diagram when you can and always show all of your work when writing the solution to a problem.

Always check your answers. Even if you know the answer is correct double check. All it takes is a incorrect sign on the front of a number to be the factor between an A and a B on a test. You may have read the question wrong or made a careless mistake.

Go over all returned tests. If teachers are courteous enough to return your previously graded tests they can be a great opportunity to acknowledge and correct your previous mistakes. Go over the questions you missed, write down the correct answer, and study related material. You never know if you’ll see the same question again on a midterm or final exam.

AP tests are right around the corner! Exams kick off bright and early on the morning of May 2nd. Most AP teachers have practice AP exams scheduled, either during class time or on weekends, but it’s crucial at this point that you master the layout of the tests. Each test has a dramatically different format, so be sure to research those which you’re taking on the College Board website. How much time do you have? How many questions? How long should essays be? These questions can all be answered online or in an AP review book, which will also provide hints for test day.

The most important thing to keep in mind before embarking on a four-hour-long AP journey is to not become overwhelmed. Yes, it is easy to get swallowed up by calculus equations or to drown in AP euro’s sea of knowledge. But if you take the material section by section, you certainly will be able to rise to the challenge. Break down the material you’re learning into manageable chunks so that you can learn specific topics that have been difficult for you. Flip through your textbook and jot down the concepts with which you have struggled most throughout the school year. Focus on learning those concepts, and all that you’ve learned during the year will fill in the gaps. Your tutors at Study Hut are all well informed regarding both layout and content of the AP tests, so take advantage of them as an important resource for studying. If need be, go to your teacher with questions. Don’t be worried about asking for help! You’ll be surprised how many people are willing to support you.

The good news: after AP exams, classes tend to wind down and become much more relaxed. All your studying right now will pay off if you’re able to get college credit, pass out of entry-level classes, or even just have a head start on future material. Take the next few weeks seriously, and you will reap the benefits. Your focus and hard work now will pay off.

A friend of mine recently asked me what I like about tutoring. I thought it was a strange question, because to me it feels to me like the perfect part time job. When I told him this he just shook his head and said that he was so glad that he didn’t have to read Jane Eyre or touch a geometry problem for the rest of his life. That made me smile, because his job – car salesman – is something that I know I would absolutely hate. It’s good to know that there’s an ideal job out there for everyone, and that it’s different for everybody.
So what is it that I love about tutoring? What is that drives me to help my students, makes me review statistics and calculus at home, causes me to dream up new explanations and tutoring techniques while I drift off to sleep at night?
It’s really two things. For starters, I genuinely find high school math and science genuinely interesting. A lot of people like sudoku and word problems. Me? I like SATs and word problems. There’s a puzzle behind every exam and homework assignment; when you sit down pencil in hand it is a battle of wits between you and the teacher. Although I must no longer take those tests myself, it is still a vicarious pleasure helping my students wrestle with a tough problem, turn their mental gears, and finally achieve that eureka moment.
Secondly, I really like helping people. That sounds cliche, but it’s the truth. When I was in school I struggled with a lot of my subjects and fell behind. It’s the worst feeling, and one we are all familiar with. Who hasn’t had that dream where you’re taking an exam for a class you’ve never attended? Well my students are still going through that, and I love be able to hoist them back onto dry land.

I’ve only been a tutor at Study Hut for two weeks, but I am most impressed with my students who are well-organized. What does a well-organized student do? They fill out their agendas with all their homework and upcoming tests/quizzes. They fully take advantage of their planners. They bring in all their books and homework worksheets to the tutoring session (those that do not have the correct materials, just end up wasting time by having to call someone to bring the book or having the tutor waste time figuring what the student has to do). The well-organized students are able to get more from their tutoring session because they have a plan for what to do before they even show up to study hut. They know what classes they have homework in and are able to assess their weakest subjects so that we can spend the session working on that subject.

One of my most organized students is Tim, a junior, from Mira Costa High. Tim mainly comes for help in Geometry and Chemistry. While he may not know how to do the problems at first glance, after an explanation of the concept behind the problems, he is able to work out similar problems by himself. One of the main reasons why Tim is able to do this is because he writes down all his work on paper. I constantly stress to my students to show all their work because if they get the wrong answer, they can go back and pinpoint exactly where they made a mistake. This enables the student to make a mental note of the mistake they made and not make it again in the future. Tim also comes to each session with an attack plan on what to do during the session and he always knows whether he has an upcoming quiz or test.

In all, to stay ahead of the game that is school, one needs to be organized by making full use of the planner and to show all relevant work when doing homework!

For older students the incentives are easier to see, better math skills lead to higher grades. For younger children the final incentives of productive studying are harder to see, which is why we sometimes need to provide an extra boost of encouraged learning with a small piece of candy for a correct answer. Getting students in the mood to learn, and to appreciate their education can be one of the hardest things to accomplish as a tutor.

When the students learn how useful math can be to them and how they can apply specific math skills to real-life situations, they work harder and perform better. Mathematics revolves our daily lives. Teaching kids about everyday uses of math helps them to better understand the real world around them. Some examples of everyday uses of math included: problem solving, budgeting money, time management, calculating tips and tax, memorizing important number data i.e. phone numbers and locker combinations, and estimating distances and weights. These real world skills have major benefits towards the academic success of an individual, and can lead to a greater success in careers that you might not expect to be math-intensive such as, agriculture, law, business, politics, psychology, and music.

Daily mental math exercises to help keep your brain active are a great way to stay on top of your mathematical game. Solving puzzles and exercises such as, suduku or homework problem sets, keeps your mind sharp and ready to tackle any challenge. Mathematics may seem to be an underrated subject, but it has lasting influences in our lives everyday. From the moment we wake up to check the clock, to the number of hours we work each day to make a living, we are constantly surrounded by numbers.