Ode to My Manhattan Beach English Tutor

March 29th, 2016

We have been there. You know your student is bright, and you know they’re trying their best, but that just doesn’t translate when you or their teachers read their work. You can tell they have the right idea, but that idea is hidden behind incorrect spelling, poor grammar, and sentence structure that even you know is wrong. Whether they need help outlining an essay, drafting a presentation or just editing their final project paper, a Manhattan Beach English tutor at Study Hut is here for them.

A Study Hut English tutor is itching to help out your student. Having been through countless writing blocks of college-level research papers, essays, and even dreaded poetic prose projects ourselves, we understand what your child is going through. The process is sometimes overwhelming. Sometimes you think, “Well, I’m good at math, so I’m just not going to get English.” Not true. They don’t have to win the Pulitzer Prize to be considered a good writer! Each Manhattan Beach English Tutor at Study Hut believes every student can get to a point in their writing skills where they feel comfortable with any English work they produce.

Manhattan Beach English Tutor

In the classroom, memorization is king. Writing itself is a very singular process, and when they are assigned a take-home essay suddenly they are on their own to apply what they learned in school. Having a one-on-one English tutor will make writing assignments less daunting. They now have someone to bounce their ideas off of, and share their drafts with no judgment. We want to help build a solid foundation of writing skills for your student to be able to write well in any situation.

We will sit down with your student and do a quick diagnostic of what they need. Once we know where the problem is, we go to work! A session in action looks like two peers discussing ideas, rephrasing, questioning to get to a deeper analysis—it’s honestly quite fun.

Thankfully, we have English tutors at every Study Hut office.

Contact your local Study Hut today!

A Study Hut Writing Session

March 10th, 2016

Study Hut can provide more than subject tutoring. In a Study Hut writing session, our expert, college educated tutors can boost a student’s writing skills. Writing is an essential skill that must be comprehended in order to have success in a higher level of learning.  It is also an important tool that helps an individual express themselves with text.  Like all skills, writing, must be practiced in order for one to be great at it.

 

During a Study Hut writing session, that very idea of practice is stressed. Often, the appointment will start with exercises dealing with strengthening vocabulary because building a strong vocabulary is necessary to be a good writer. This might include reading something new, finding synonyms/antonyms for given words, writing definitions, or filling in the blank with the appropriate word provided particular clues. These exercises are important because a diverse vocabulary illustrates an individual who is well versed and can express themselves clearly.

 

Next, the tutor may show the student examples of graded essays. Together, they will analyze the essay, critiquing the essay as a teacher would, so the student learns to be an active editor.  This also shows the student what good, bad, and mediocre essays look like so they can get an idea of what to utilize and what habits to avoid.     

 

This could be followed by a writing practice. The student is asked to respond to a prompt provided by the tutor. This activity can range from focusing on writing a proper thesis statement, to organizing a paper from intro/body/conclusion, depending on the time allowed with a certain student and their needs.  

 

Overrall, in a Study Hut writing session there is an unwavering focus on technique and organization that will enhance the student’s ability to respond to prompts that will help them in all facets of writing.

A Study Hut Writing Session

Spring Break Essays

April 20th, 2015

Spring break is supposed to be a time for students to relax and enjoy a week or two off from the monotony and stress of school.  Unfortunately, some teachers do not see it that way and choose to assign homework anyway.  One student, Ken, came in for help on a monstrous essay that his teacher had assigned him over his spring break.  

 

Not only was this paper assigned over spring break, but the prompt was difficult and vague.  On top of that, Ken’s teacher told him that the grade for this paper would be put into the grade book forty times.  This caused Ken a lot of stress.  Ken and his tutors Charlsey and Laura brainstormed ideas for his thesis and concepts he could use for his supporting arguments.  The group session was very helpful because the three were able to bounce ideas off each other.  After Ken had a clear plan for his essay, he was able to draft an outline and have it looked over before he went home to find concrete details and develop his arguments.  



After taking a few days to flesh out his essay, Ken brought it back to revise and fine tune it with his tutor Richard.  They worked through the complicated topic to ensure that Ken did not have any logical fallacies in his arguments.  Richard read through the essay to make sure that Ken did not make any grammatical mistakes.  After hours slaving over his essay, Ken finally had a finished product he was very happy with, and could enjoy the rest of his now stress-free spring break.  

Transitioning to High School

February 22nd, 2015

George comes into Study Hut every week to work with his tutor Allie. Allie has been George’s tutor since he began coming to Study Hut. This year George made the tricky transition from middle school to high school. With Allie’s help, keeping his good grades was a breeze. She taught him how to balance all the work that came with his new course load.

Allie and George mostly worked on Geometry and English. Like most students, George was having difficulty grasping the concept of graphing. Plotting the points on and x and y graph was easy enough, but learning all the different forms of equations and finding the x and y intercepts were hard. Allie explained the difference between point-slope form and slope-intercept form. Point-intercept form is useful when you are only given two points on the line and no other information. However, slope-intercept form is more useful. You can immediately find the slope of the line and the y-intercept from a line’s equation that is written in slope-intercept form. Allie also showed George how to find the x-intercept of a line. To find the x-intercepts, you plug in zero for y and then solve the equation for x.

Allie also helped George develop his essay writing. She taught him the proper structure for a five-paragraph essay, as well as ways to create a strong thesis statement. They also worked on creating smoother transitions and engaging commentary for his concrete details. George did amazing and received all A’s and one B his first semester.

Study Hut Successes

November 3rd, 2014

Study Hut may specialize in helping students conquer their most difficult classes and acing all their tests, but it’s just as rewarding every time they get an awesome grade. We tailor each session to our individual students and the different needs they have, whether it’s a big math test tomorrow or a last minute essay they forgot to do for English.

 

One of our students, Abrianna had been struggling in a few of her classes. She started coming in to Study Hut twice a week and working with our tutor, Brittany. They started with the basics, like making sure that all of her homework was done every night, but moved on to more complex things like study skills. Brittany taught Abrianna how to study more effectively and different tricks to help her remember the information better. All of their hard work paid off! Abrianna got an A on her most recent science test, which raised her grade in that class up to a B. She is working hard to improve all of her other grades as well.

South Bay Tutoring

 

Another Study Hut regular, Olivia, completed her lead capstone project at Palos Verdes High School this week! She was one of only twenty students picked out of two hundred chosen to present their projects. She researched and analyzed how the film Blackfish has affected the treatment of whales. Olivia worked diligently on her project for weeks, and came in regularly to Study Hut to double check for any errors she had made with her English tutor, Laura.  Olivia came out on top of her class!

 

 

The BIG Secret to Preparing for finals

June 11th, 2014

Title: The BIG Secret to Preparing for finals

 

Do you have any friends who seem to breeze through their finals? While your friends are chilling out, are you stressing out?

 

How do they do it!?!

 

They know something you don’t know.

 

Don’t tell anybody, but I am about to let you in on a big secret. This secret will quite literally change your life- it can make you healthier, less stressed out, and happier.

 

Here’s the secret to properly preparing for finals: stop cramming.

 

That’s right, to ace your finals and to be less stressed out about them you need to stop cramming. Cramming up to the last minute pulling marathon all nighters is an inefficient and unhealthy way to study.

 

Instead of cramming, you need to spread out the work. Starting now, you should take a bit of time (not too little but also not too much) to begin reviewing old notes, problem sets, and exams. The key is for this to be a regimented and manageable review process. If you stick with it and do a little bit each day you will not have to do a lot the weekend before your exams.

 

 

The bottom line is that you are going pay now or pay later in terms of preparation.

You can coast now and “pay later” with caffeine-fueled evenings reviewing a semester’s worth of materials in a few days. This is the “drinking from a fire hose” approach. Not fun.

Or you can “pay now” by doing a little bit of preparation each night and spreading out the workload into something more manageable. Being well rested and healthy indisputably helps you perform better exams, this approach of spreading out the work means you will be able to cover more material in a smart way.

 

An additional benefit of being ahead of the curve when it comes to preparation is if you come across any questions you can ask friends or instructor for extra help and advice.

 

As Mark Twain (or maybe Agatha Christie) once said, “the secret to getting ahead is getting started.” There is no time to wait, start this process now without the unhealthy late-night heroics, and your mind, body, and report card will thank you.

Buckle down and prep for Finals in advance

November 26th, 2012

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.

PV AVID Finals tutoring

January 11th, 2012

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.

Avoid the Last Minute Summer Reading Cramming

July 29th, 2011

I remember when I was a Mira Costa high School student, summer just starting, tried to forget about school as much as I could.  This behavior is quite common among high school student.  This ultimately would result with most of my friends and I spending the last weeks of summer reading non-stop all of our assigned summer reading books.  As my family usually chooses to go on our family summer vacation during those weeks, my memory of those vacations is marred with memories of: If Beagle Street Could Talk, The Crucible, An Affair to Remember, One Flew Over the Cookoo’s Nest, and the other books our teachers said we needed to read.

Looking back I wished I started reading those books earlier in the summer.  There was no real need to wait so long.  I have heard kids make the excuse that if they start reading early in the summer they won’t remember the details and promptly fail the “rigorous” summer reading tests.  While that line of reasoning seems quite logical, it’s also been accounted for by the Mira Costa English teachers.  The summer reading tests are very simple short multiple choice exams, asking easy basic plot questions; the point is to just make sure that the taker simply had read the book.   Over the first few weeks class time is spent reviewing the summer reading books preparing the students for a more involved analytical essay.   So there is no advantage of cramming all the reading in the last weeks of summer.  Instead, start those books right now.  Read when you can.  Find your-self with a spare hour or two at home with no plans?  Spend some of that time on your summer reading.  By reading a few hours at a time throughout the whole summer you can easily avoid cramming them all at the end.  And in my case, I could have enjoyed my summer vacations much more.

Finals are coming our way

May 31st, 2011

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.