Learning to Work to One’s Potential

April 30th, 2010

Yesterday was a busy Thursday. In fact, every school week there is a busy Thursday, whether you come to Study Hut Tutoring or not. With tests and quizzes, homework and projects, six classes of papers going in and out of the backpack everyday and all your friends jammed into one classroom, the task of managing a workload is impossible. Am I right? Let us take a quick look of how this impossible situation appears when our 8th grader Corey sits down for his tutoring hour. Corey is a very sharp student who is able to breeze through his pre-algebra assignments. He is very capable in other areas too. He is maintaining a strong grade in social studies, however, his grades dont reflect his intelligence.

So what is the matter? What do we do? How can we bump up these “C” grades up if Corey doesn’t need help with the actual subject matter? Lucky for Corey, the Study Hut knows exactly what to do. After speaking with his mom, I know she is frustrated with Corey’s sluggish performance around the house. So now Corey is at Study Hut, sitting down with me. The first thing I do is look at his daily planner. It is a bad sign when the whole thing is blank. The planner is the tool that fosters accountability, so if the planner is blank, Corey isn’t even accountable with himself, let alone with parents, teachers, and his tutor. The next step is manually going through the backpack. This is crucial to set the record straight and explain the reasoning and utility of behind using the daily planner.

After all, why do something if it doesn’t serve a greater purpose, save time, or help in the short term and in the long term. Young students are no different. You would never do a lot of things the right way if there was no direct or indirect benefit. After digging through every subject and organizing the folder, we see that there is a pile of old, completed work that can go into a folder and can be stashed away at home in the closet. The other pile was larger than I would like. This pile had a ton of incomplete work. Our plan from here on out at home everyday and at tutoring is as follows:

1)Write in the planner for every subject, during each class period, every week.

2) take notes each class period, everyday

3) make a list prior to tutoring of what we will be working on at Study Hut, and what will still have to be done at home.

4) Make one study tool (flashcards, outline, study guide, practice test) for each class each week.

5) show all of this to the tutor to remain accountable during bi-weekly tutoring sessions.

These simple tasks will, and have already started to, pull grades up, increase accountability, and lead to domination.


April 14th, 2010

After missing a few consecutive days of school due to illness, a local Manhattan Beach Middle School Student (who shall go unnamed) was inundated by a surge of school work. Having missed many critical days of instruction, his class left him behind and he didn’t have the study skills to catch up on his own. He failed his first quiz after returning and wrestled with hopelessness and despair.

He met his teacher after school, but still couldn’t quite understand the lessons completely. Lacking confidence in his understanding of the material, he turned the tv on…and yes, mom was well aware. Stressed and working a full schedule herself, his mom was unable to help him understand his math concepts and therefore she couldn’t help him catch up. Struggling to keep his head above water, the student was desperate to find help. After talking to some teachers and parents, Mom heard about the Study Hut… and not a moment too soon!

After only two hour-long visits, the student caught up on all his school work, and felt confident working with the material. After two more visits, he was able to get ahead of the curve by mastering the math concepts from the chapter that his class had yet to cover!

Working with the same tutor each session, the student was able to master his homework as well as develop concrete study skills that he will use for the rest of his student career. Today, his scores and self-esteem are on the rise his and new study skills have given him the confidence to study on his own.

After a month of working with a personal tutor at Study Hut, he’s come from teetering on the brink of failure to blossoming. His scores have risen steadily and now he is a leader in class.

…Study Hut to the Rescue!

High School Entrance Exams: HSPT, COOPS, TACHS, ISEE

April 30th, 2009

Tests are a fundamental part of the schooling system. They are the only standardized way to assess the progress of the school as well as the student.  Besides regular core curriculum tests there exist many widely
used state standardized tests that serve a number of purposes, primarily determining a student’s merit for acceptance into a higher grade level.   Read the rest of this entry »

Students entering High School next year

April 1st, 2009


One-on-one summer program for 8th graders entering High School
As the end of the school year nears, it’s time to start thinking about the transition into a new high school. Bigger classes, different teachers for different classes, more homework, and more difficult material can be overwhelming if a student is not prepared to handle the stress of a new high school. Now is the time for eighth graders to sharpen their organization skills and develop new study tactics so they can stay on top of their work as they smoothly transition into ninth grade. Read the rest of this entry »