Supporting the work of the tutor at home

October 17th, 2011

Tutoring for tomorrow’s schooling

Investing in your child’s future is both wise and commendable, but what exactly will
that future require from the next generation of adults? Forward thinking planning today can
reasonably be expected to pay off big dividends if you identify all the tricks and then avoid
missing any. Tutoring helps shore up gaps in your son or daughter’s education the same way
a professional athlete improves speed or batting skills. The way parents support their child’s
education, both in school and supplemental lessons, can be improved by taking into account
what’s known about tomorrow’s world of learning.

Contrary to nostalgic views, at no time in history have education standards been higher,
subject areas more demanding, and means of instructional delivery more diverse. Your
commitment to augmenting your son or daughter’s academic skills through tutoring largely reflects these realities. The probability that your student’s
post-secondary education will be a hybrid of a traditional and online school is high and should be taken into account when considering what
comprehensive strategies you, as a parent, can use to sustain learning. Here are some tips on how
to help your child’s educational experience in and out of the classroom.

No drama tutoring time

Tutor and student have a finite time to maximize their combined focus on a specific skill
during tutoring sessions. Arriving at the tutoring facility on time—at least 5-10 minutes early—
your learner’s mental attitude should be ready for learning. Helping to make every minute count
by clearing your schedule of potential conflicts immediately prior to leaving for tutoring can help
immensely. There’s no question that your agenda is already busy and tutoring is a sacrifice of
premium time, but blocking out some quiet time before leaving with plenty of margin built in
helps set the positive mood for the intense learning you expect and for which you’re paying.

Give your child an active role

One of the biggest shocks that college freshmen face when they arrive at college is that no
one makes them study. For many, college is the first time they’ve had to meet the expectations of
their own educational needs. Tutoring, while not the only instance for this practice, provides both
you and your learner the chance to make independent studying a good habit. Involve your child
in all communications with the tutor about his or her progress and areas of concern. This doesn’t
mean that a parent simply trusts that things are going well but that the parent encourages their
child’s full participation in determining learning objectives and problem solving when obstacles
arise in the tutoring session.

Trust but verify

The relationship between the tutor and your student must be one of mutual respect for the
task and for one another’s role. As a parent, you have the right to expect such a relationship
and the obligation to make sure all parties understand this. Sometimes, legitimate conflicts of
personality simply make the paring of one particular tutor with your child unworkable. Should
this happen, reaffirm with your child their role of active cooperation with their tutor, while at the
same time acknowledging that a better match is in everyone’s interest. From there, constructively
approach your tutoring company’s management, and involving your child in the process, arrange
to have another tutor assigned after ascertaining that the matchup is right.

Looking forward

While it’s your checkbook that pays for the service, it’s your child who, ultimately, has to
buy into his or her own learning. By involving your student in the process and allowing him or
her as much autonomy as possible in making the outcome of tutoring their own, you’re not only
preparing for this semester’s next grading period or an upcoming test, you’re teaching your child
how to engage a lifetime of learning.

What Sets Study Hut Apart

October 11th, 2011

You sit, minding your own business. Suddenly, you feel a twinge of unease crawl up your spine. A feeling as if someone, or something, is watching you. You shake it off. Clearly, you’re just being paranoid right? You look back down at your desk. And then… IT HAPPENS. Suddenly, tiny Tialde, mild-mannered 2nd grader is throwing paper around the office, laughing hysterically, and running out of here as fast as he can!

WHAT JUST HAPPENED?!

You just found yourself victim to one of the Study Hut’s new competitions: who can keep their room the cleanest in exchange for pizza! Actually, you’ve found yourself victim to the inevitable aftermath of such a challenge: who can mess up everyone else’s room enough so they don’t get pizza! This, the first of many new challenges being formed around the Hut, is part of a new initiative starting up this semester. Now, at first glance, this may seem like meaningless prankerism (trust me, it’s a word) and time-wasting nonsense. But it’s actually a piece of what sets the Study Hut apart.

You’re children spend all day in a very ordered environment. They’re told where to sit, when to stand, how to speak, and what to do. To be fair, in a classroom of 30 children, such order is necessary. But the Hut doesn’t exist just to replicate school. We’re not here to just provide an environment that students just have to come to due to bad grades. We’re here to provide an environment that students want to come to (to help improve bad grades!) Initiatives like this promote better communication among tutors, which leads to better tutoring, and smarter students. And involving the students, like we did Tialde, promotes the idea that this is a place where that they can look forward to coming too. Most students here know most, if not all the tutors: not just the one they work with. They come here because the Hut is a place where people know you, get the work done, and have help in the process.

Plus, you get to occasionally throw paper around in exchange for pizza. That’s awesome.

The Study Hut is THE place to do school work

September 29th, 2011

I’m sure there are plenty of tutoring spots in Hermosa Beach, Manhattan Beach, Redondo Beach and countless more in the south bay but I’m in inclined to believe that few can measure up to The Study Hut in Manhattan Beach.  Many parents struggle with where to send their children to get some help.  They try to give their children a leg up so they maybe they won’t have to struggle as much in the future.  The choices for giving a child an advantage can be mind boggling at times. There are so many places making claims about improving grades and how they will accomplish this amazing transformation in your child.  They make promises of making them an “A” student over night. The truth is there is no magic formula.  There is no making your child an overnight genius. Change comes with work and constant work to boot.  The work is a communal project; it can’t come in a tutor session alone.  Now, this is the place where the real separation comes into play. Other places say they will change the culture your child has developed but only care about what occurs in the tutoring session only. However the dedicated folks at the study hut aka the hut make sure to communicate with the parents on the work which is accomplished and needs to be accomplished on a nightly basis.  They call home and let parents know their child still have 3 hours worth of work left and work to develop strategies to make sure this isn’t the norm. They make sure the culture created at the hut also becomes the culture the student sees at home.  Because it takes a village to raise a child, no matter how big or small the village might be.

 

 

The Purpose of Good Tutoring

September 27th, 2011

One of the biggest misconceptions about tutoring is its purpose. Many a time, students will come expecting one of three things: that we’re here to do their homework for them, that we can help them cram 5 chapters of material in one night for a test tomorrow morning, or that they’re done for the night the second their tutoring sessions over.

Needless to say, these ideas are false. Tutoring is not, nor ever shall be, a substitute for actual, nose-in-the-book work. We’re not here to do the work for you, teach you short cuts, or help you simply “skate by”. That might help you get a decent grade on tonight’s homework assignment, but you’d be in major trouble the first time a quiz came along. And we’re not here just to help you with the next test, or tomorrow’s assignment. Here, our focus isn’t to teach you the material. It’s to teach you HOW TO STUDY the material. Our major goal is to make it so that you don’t need us anymore. We want to get you to a point where you know how to break down a chapter, write an essay, compose an outline, and solve an equation without someone looking over your shoulder. But, of course, if you still need our help, we’ll still be here to help you again. Doing well in school is not a sprint. It’s a marathon.

Time and time again, the students that I’ve seen do the best are the one’s working before the come in, and ready to work after they leave. They’re the students who have already read and outlined the chapter, but are coming in to help with understanding it. They’re the ones who just spent an hour and a half working with me, and are already putting together a plan for what they’ll work on at home. These are the students who are not only preparing themselves for tomorrow, but for the rest of the year.

Tutoring is meant as a supplement to your learning. If you rely on it completely, without putting in the extra work, it’s not going to be effective. But if you truly work your butt off, utilizing as many advantages as you can (including tutoring at the good ol’ Study Hut), you’re going to see the kind of change you want.

Falling through the Cracks

September 19th, 2011

It is not uncommon to have your local public schools fill each classroom to the brim. In a sea of 30 plus students, it’s a wonder that kids tend to fall through the cracks. The curriculum is set for each grade and the teacher attacks the lesson plans daily. In the process of introducing materials to students, a few common trends occur. The brainiest of the class rise to the top, and the material is easy for them. The lower regions of the concur phenomenon are lost and require special attention in order to not fall behind. The public school system provides after school programs, tutoring and extra time for the ones who fall behind. So where do the brainiest pupils go? They tend to finish before the class and end up staring at the ceiling, or paper. At times they tend to help other pupils who stare at them in a bewildered stare after given a recent assignment.
As recent college graduates, our tutors have experienced both extremes. We know either one is not preferred and honestly quite extreme. Here at the Hut we accept both types of students. In one corner the brainiest students come in and we push them even further than they thought they were capable of. We do this so well that in many cases they go home pondering how we managed to stump them. A particular student who has recently has been striving to be a better scholarly example is our very own Asher. Having fallen through the cracks at his school, we took this first grader under our wing and amplified his skills with every hour session. We are proud of Asher and are so very content with his improvement over the past few sessions. Upon entering first grade this year, his teacher noticed his improvement in math and has now placed him in the second grade math class! He is rock star here at the Hut!!! Students such as these are the types of students we love to help. I mean after all, we strive to better your student or bust.

The Importance of One-on-one Tutoring

September 12th, 2011

There is a huge difference between what a student gets out of a classroom and how a student benefits from one-on-one tutoring sessions. A school teacher has to cater his lesson to a group of students, from many different backgrounds, learning styles and interests. While our teachers do phenomenally well at one of the toughest jobs, a student that receives one-on-one tutoring, catered to their needs, makes leaps and bounds academically.

First, they can gain a tutor that relates to who they are. This is important. Many students have a difficult time studying subjects that to them, are irrelevant. Having a tutor that they can relate to helps students understand: if their tutor feels the need to know it, maybe they should know it also. A musical student? Perhaps the tutor has a music background and understands why mathematics is still important for someone in that field.

One-on-one tutoring also allows for the lesson to be catered to a student’s particular learning style. Some students are visual learners, who need charts and diagrams of the concepts to really grasp them. Others need repetition to help them retain the information. Some students benefit from more example problems and the ability to ask questions throughout the practice. One-on-one tutoring really helps a student grasp the subject in a way that is most beneficial to them.
Lastly, a tutor can really get to know their student. Who they are as a person, their interests, families and events going on in their lives, all affect their academics. We get to know their aspirations, other stresses they are dealing with and who they are outside of the classroom.

There is no substitute for a good teacher. However, the benefits of one-on-one tutoring are invaluable for a student’s academic achievement.

New Things Happening at the Hut!

September 8th, 2011

Since the opening of our Manhattan Beach facility we have strived to deliver a location where your student can receive great one on one tutoring. The Study Hut has been through many expansions and changes throughout the years. We don’t believe in keeping the same environment as time changes, we believe in being creative, growing and changing our facility in the best interest of our students. Changes have been very prominent this fall season at the study hut. The addition of our new jungle room in the upper portion of our facility is brighter and has a colorful labyrinth atmosphere. As your student walks in to the main room of the Hut they are greeted by one of our friendly managers sitting on a lifeguard tower, ready to instruct where each student should go. If it hasn’t been obvious, here at the hut we strive to create a fun and creative environment in order for our students to feel at home and welcome. An active and creative environment aids in learning capabilities and will not only change the way your student views studying, but will help incorporate a fun quality to their everyday scholastic responsibilities. To top off two room changes, our lookout room is in progress in becoming the new “Captains Quarters”. The new pirate room will certainly transform our mediocre beige walls into a flashback in time on a ship. It’s due to these changes that the Study Hut has become a wonderful asset to any local or non local student in the Los Angeles Area. Thematic rooms, creative environments and a positive attitude among our recent college graduate tutors is what make the Hut a wonderful place to be a part of. We encourage all students to come in and see what all the fuss is about. We will always strive to make your homework and difficult subjects look like a piece of cake.

The Art of Studying for Tests

May 12th, 2011

From 3rd graders to high schoolers to college students, there seems to be a major misconception about what it truly means to “study for a test.” The common definition seems to be “that thing you do the night BEFORE you actually take a test.” And you know what? Sometimes that works. If you’re studying spelling words, or memorizing a list, studying close to the test is definitely beneficial. But let’s face it, high schoolers and collegiates: you’re not studying for spelling tests any more. The subjects you’re working on are harder, and the ideas you’re learning are more complex. The material has changed, so the way you’re studying for it has to change too.

Here at the Study Hut, we try to find out tests dates as soon as is humanly possible. Most tests require AT LEAST a week of prep time to be truly prepared (especially if you’re in an AP or Honors class).  Some tests require more, some less. Of course, as the class goes on, you’ll discover how much time you need to prepare. But that amount of time is NEVER one evening. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and you can’t guarantee a good grade off one night of studying.

My most successful students are the ones that make a plan, and follow through with it. For example, I recently had a student who had a Social Studies chapter test coming up. He wasn’t doing particularly well on tests, so we set up a plan. We set aside a certain amount of time each night so that he’d be studying only one section at a time. That way, the night before the test, HE HAD ALREADY STUDIED THE WHOLE CHAPTER! All he had to do that night was review the concepts he was having trouble with and strengthen his understanding. No cramming, no headaches. And he did markedly better on his test! He broke the work down into manageable bits over the course of a week, instead of stuffing everything into his head the night before. And it made all the difference.

West LA feelin’ the Hut

March 29th, 2011

This blog goes out to all the Hut peeps and all the potential Hut peeps that live in West LA and surrounding areas. At Study Hut, we’ve been shocked at how many new parents and students have been calling our brand new El Segundo office from towns other than El Segundo. Specifically, Westchester, Playa del Rey, West LA proper, and Hawthorne have been feeling the Hut. The buzz has been awesome on the internet, where many current clients and new clients alike have been clicking on www.studyhut.com to learn more about our services, and to set up tutoring appointments in El Segundo.

Just this morning, we signed up two new students. The first is a young man in the 5th grade from Eucalyptus Elementary in Hawthorne. I spoke to his mother on the phone, and he needed a tutor to help him with math concepts, and also with science tutoring. The second new student needed help with advanced algebra at Westchester High School. The mother really liked that our tutors are young and local, and she liked that many of us have degrees from Loyola Marymount University.

I am officially announcing our first blog promotion. The first parent or student from St. Bernard High School in Playa del Rey to call the El Segundo Study Hut for tutoring (310-648-8526) will get two free hour-long tutoring sessions. We can tutor almost any subject, and we are looking to spread some positive vibes at St. Bernard, since two of our best students ever used to drive all the way to our Manhattan Beach location back in the day. Best of luck to everyone!

You Are Not the Subjects You Study

March 28th, 2011

As a parent, you know that your child is a complex individual, full of surprises. You know their dreams and aspirations, their fears and dislikes, what influences and what motivates them. You know that though they may grow bored at school, frustrated with teachers or affected by their peers, that if someone could find the key to tap into your child’s potential they would shine as brightly as they do in your eyes. It is this uniqueness that we try to cultivate. There are a few special ingredients that make Study Hut such a sweet place to learn and one of them is that we recognize each student’s individuality. Tutors are paired students that allow us to foster genuine connections and have a real positive influence. That’s why we enjoy being tutors. While many of our tutors can teach multiple subjects, Study Hut takes the time to place students according to their personality and ambitions. Seeing our students strive for the same goals we’ve have sought to attain inspires us and we pass this inspiration onto our students.
A real understanding of who your child is also helps us tutor more effectively. Biology becomes a basketball team, physics becomes skate boarding and statistics becomes the probability the Lakers will win the championship (100%, of course!) Students are no longer just another face in a sea of students but part of the Study Hut family. Every child learns differently, and relates differently. Parents know this for their children; tutors should know this for their students. We don’t just teach a child, we teach your child.