Use Your Break Wisely!

December 13th, 2015

Oh the weather outside is frightful

Use Your Winter Break Wisely!

Ok the weather is pretty nice…blue skies for days…Ahhhh. Winter Break! A time to relax, eat, hang out with family, and celebrate. You should definitely do all of those things… (here comes a but)…(drumroll please)…

BUT

You should ALSO use your break wisely! Open that backpack and do some studying over Winter Break. It’s been a long, hard semester, and you do not want to spoil all that you have put into it by slacking right before finals. With the biggest test of the semester right around the corner, many of you already have a study guide or an idea of what your final will look like. Use that!

 

You can start making flashcards for vocab. That’s something you can do with Mariah Carey belting out “All I Want for Christmas…is an A!” and it’s been proven that listening to music while studying can improve your performance on the test!

 

You should make a detailed outline with flow charts, timelines and pretty colors. This will refresh your memory of the topics and provide a beautiful study guide you can use once finals week arrives.

 

Grab your old tests or practice tests, and retake them, checking your answers as you go. This will help you decide where you need to allocate the most time for studying, and where you can skim a bit because you already have a good handle on the material.

 

DO NOT simply run your eyes over every single chapter in the book, or every single page of notes you’ve written. This is a waste of your time. Rereading is a passive activity, plus it is much too general. With so much material to cover, you are better off zeroing in on what’s important (hint: what’s on the study guide or what was on old tests).
Have fun over break, but spending the entire two weeks binge-watching Parks and Rec for the 3rd time will come back to haunt you when finals week arrives! Put in a few hours over break and I promise you’ll thank yourself later!

 

Time Management

June 17th, 2015

Time management is an important skill that all students need to learn. Excellent time management skills will help students be more productive and less stressed. Managing their schedule will keep students from drowning in their work and activities and becoming overwhelmed.

 

A great first step to making time management easy is using a planner. Writing down all of their assignments will keep students from freaking out that they forgot an assignment or do not remember what day their upcoming test is on. Planners are also great for giving a visual layout of the upcoming week. This helps students see exactly what they need to get done and by when.

 

Setting reminders and alarms in your phone also works really well if you are forgetful. For many students simply writing something down is not enough. Set an alarm a few days before a test or quiz so you know to start studying. Or set a reminder for a certain time in the day to start working on your homework.

 

 

An important part of time management is making room for everything. Between school, projects, sports, community service, and a social life, the average teenager has a lot on their plate. If they know they have a lot of practice on certain days each week, they should plan to have that night’s homework done early. Students should not take on more obligations than they can comfortably handle. They will become too stressed out and do poorly at everything. Large amounts of stress impacts a student’s grades as well as their overall health.

Enrichment and Test Anxiety

May 5th, 2015

Jacob comes in once a week for enrichment tutoring with his tutor Charlsey. Jacob picks up on most of the material he learns in class right away, but has trouble with second-guessing himself while doing his homework. He also gets very nervous while taking his tests. His test anxiety negatively impacts his scores on tests.

At Study Hut, he works on reviewing math concepts. Together, Charlsey and Jacob work on his homework. Charlsey makes sure that Jacob is doing the problems correctly. The reassurance that he knows what he is doing boosts Jacob’s confidence. Charlsey also sends him home with extra practice work to do between their sessions and his tests so that he does not forget any of the material they went over.

Together they also go over Jacob’s biology classwork. Sometimes his teacher does not clearly explain confusing topics, such as the difference between meiosis and mitosis. They practice drawing and labeling diagrams of different cell structures and complex processes like DNA replication and cellular respiration. Drawing out the diagrams rather than looking at them helps students remember content more vividly, due to their muscle memory working along with their regular memory. Writing out the processes in their own words also helps students understand confusing and complex processes better.

His weekly sessions at Study Hut have helped ease Jacob’s anxiety. He is no longer stressed when he goes into tests because he has practiced the problems so many times.  He got a 4 out of 4 on his last common core standards test!

Agenda

May 2nd, 2015

An agenda book is an important tool in keeping your student on top of assignments. Not only does keeping an agenda help manage assignments, it also helps students with time allotting skills and helping them plan out their study habits. However, simply having an agenda does not instantly give a student all these benefits. They must use it correctly.

First, your student should be using their agenda book every single day they have school. Every upcoming assignment, test, or project should be written down in their agenda book.   When they get home at night or get to their tutor, they know exactly what they need to get done that evening. Checking with friends can take a long time, and sometimes friends have inaccurate information.

Being able to see their upcoming week will help students with planning ahead. They will not fall into the trap of studying for tests last minute or saving big projects until the night before. Planning ahead is a valuable life skill that students should develop sooner rather than later.

Assigning designated sections for each class makes a big difference in keeping organized. If your student simply jots down what problems are assigned but does not note the class those problems are for, things can get confusing the next day when they don’t remember which set is for Physics and which is for Calculus.

Keeping an agenda will help even the most disorganized student stay on track. You can help by asking to see their planner each day and making sure that they are writing in it.

Enrichment

January 27th, 2015

A lot of younger students may not need as much regular help with homework and assignments as high school students, but enrichment can be just as important. Enrichment helps students solidify the concepts that they learned in class. It also helps them get ahead of their classmates so they are more prepared for the next step.

 

Tutors will always go over any of the current homework the student has by going through problems that they have not solved with them and checking the student’s work on problems they have already finished. Reviewing the material makes sure that the student has a full grasp on the concepts that they are expected to know in class. Next, they try more difficult problems that take their concepts to the next level. Doing more challenging practice problems boosts student’s confidence and makes the problems they have been doing in class seem like a piece of cake.

 

Many students also work ahead with their tutors. This is especially helpful for student’s whose learning styles do not mesh with the teaching style of their teacher at school. They will go through the lesson and do example problems as well as a few practice problems. Learning the content before the material is presented in class gives students the confidence they need to participate in class discussions without being afraid of getting a wrong answer. It also makes sure that the student has someone one-on-one guiding them to make sure that they completely understand the key concepts they need to succeed.

Creating a Productive Workspace

January 26th, 2015

The beginning of a new semester is the perfect time to change any poor study habits that you slipped into last semester. A few minor changes can make all your study sessions more efficient, so you can spend less time studying and more time on other things. One of the key factors to making sure that you stay focused on your work is having a great environment.

 

You should start with a space that is free from distractions. This can mean different things for different people. It could be a room at home that is quiet, a library, or a coffee shop. If you cannot keep focused on work when you are working with your friends, then going with them to the library is not a good fit. Keep your space clear from anything that you do not need to complete your work like magazines, your cell phone, or anything that you could zone out and play around with.

 

You should also make sure that your workspace has everything you need to get the job done. Extra pencils, a calculator, and plenty of scratch paper are great things to keep around. If you have a home set of textbooks that you do not bring to school you should keep them at your workspace as well. Make sure that you have enough light to do your work. If you work somewhere too dim, you will get sleepy. Alternatively, if your light is way too bright you will quickly get a headache.

Retaining Information Over Winter Break

December 11th, 2014

For some students, their fall semester finals do not happen until after they return from winter break. This is frustrating because a lot of information can be lost over the two weeks that school is not in session. If you are a student at one of these high schools, here are some ways you can make sure that you do not forget any material over the break.

 

Make sure you at least glance over material you have learned every day. Do a few review problems for math and go through your vocabulary flashcards for foreign languages or English. This does not have to take very long and is very effective at keeping the material fresh in your head.

 

If you have homework assigned over the break, do not save it until right before you go back to school. Either try and get it done in the beginning, or before you even go on break, or work on a little bit every day. If you do not look at it at all until the Sunday before school starts again, the concepts will likely be fuzzy and you will be really stressed trying to finish it up the night before.

 

Create a study plan if you know which classes will have the more difficult finals. This way you can start your studying, and know exactly what to do. It will make it easier to do your studying when you have a clear end goal in sight, and starting your studying early will make those A’s even easier to reach!

 

Winter break is also a great time to go over any concepts you never really got the grasp of but skimmed over because the class kept moving.  Review them with a tutor who can help teach you and make the connection that you are missing.  This way you will fully understand before you get to your final!

Studying for Finals

December 11th, 2014

There is no one size fits all formula for studying for finals. There are definitely a few tricks that are universal in helping you maximize the time and effort you put in.
First things first, make sure that you study in an environment where you will not be easily distracted. Places like your bedroom, your friend’s house or in the living room with the television on are all riddled with distractions that will quickly get you off track. Pick somewhere that you know you will focus, whether it is the library, a coffee shop, or a quiet room in your house.
To make the most out of the time you put in studying, make sure that you have a study plan. This should include which topics you are having the most trouble with, any material from earlier in the semester that will be on the test, and definitely any questions that the teacher specifically mentioned will be on the final.
Pay attention in class leading up to the final. Your teacher will usually drop hints and be very specific about what will be on your upcoming test. Many teachers like to take questions directly out of notes that they have gone over in class.
Do not save all of your studying for the night before the final. Numerous studies have shown that cramming does not do you any good, and pulling an all-nighter will negatively impact your ability to remember info as well as your performance on the test.
Do not forget to take care of yourself during all the stress of finals. A well-rested and happy student is a productive student!

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!

 

 

Summer Test Prep Classes

July 7th, 2014

With summer underway and the Independence Day holiday weekend behind us, our enrichment programs at Study Hut are in full force, and learning is back on the agenda.

Tonight we begin our ACT small-group course, which runs Monday and Wednesday evenings for the remainder of summer.  Our SAT small-group course also begins tomorrow evening, and runs through the rest of summer on Tuesday and Thursday evenings. Students are excited to learn concepts that they either missed in high school or have not yet learned, and they are even more eager to go over their practice tests and learn time management and question prioritization strategies for both the ACT and SAT.  Students in previous classes at Study Hut Tutoring have learned all about the tremendous benefits of having an ACT tutor or an SAT tutor in their corner.

Whether a student needs help with SAT math, critical reading, writing, or some combination of these, having a top Study Hut tutor has shown to make a huge difference in students’ scores.  Our small group ACT and SAT classes have helped to earn students an average of over 200 points of improvement from their original scores, and many students improve 300 or more points.

At the Hut, we strongly suggest making a game-plan early so as to ensure that your son or daughter has the maximum amount of time to make the gains that he or she desires.  The test preparation process is, after all, about opening as many doors as possible, both for college and for opportunities beyond.

If your son or daughter has not yet taken a practice SAT or ACT, now is the time to see where you stand.  We offer free full-length SAT and ACT diagnostic tests, and we also provide free consultations to parents and students after the test so that you can fully understand your results.  Please email info@studyhut.com today to sign up at any of our beach-front locations.