A Perfect Tutoring session

March 19th, 2014
“A perfect tutoring session is a thing of beauty. There’s no formula for recreating it every time, but it happens more and more often at Study Hut these days. Tutors and tutees are in mid-season form by this time in the year – the early-semester inertia long past and the end-of-semester burnout still months away. We’ve settled into the school year, developing our own rhythms and rapports with all our Study Hut students. It’s perfect tutoring season.

No two perfect sessions look exactly the same; there are too many contributing factors to consider. Some students are panicked, struggling to finish cramming for that test they kept putting off; some students are relaxed, looking forward to another weekly session with the same tutor they’ve been working with for the past 6 months; some are on their way to SAT tutoring, dreaming of the day they will strut their stuff at college, applying all their Hut study skills to everything from Bio 101 to Shakespearean sonnets to intramural softball. Some are terrified at the mere mention of numbers, others are enthralled by the simple joys of deriving or integrating. Still others are history sponges, seeking to soak in as many dates and elections and revolutions as possible, baffled by some of their peers’ classic refrain: “Why do we have learn this? It already happened.”

This variety is what makes working at Study Hut so engaging. It is a constant process: evaluating a student’s interests and needs, weaknesses and strengths, passions and quirks. Only by getting to know each student – asking them about their day, their favorite color, and their life’s goals – can we craft these elusive perfect sessions.

As we begin to understand our tutees, we get better at tailoring our sessions to their own specific needs and goals. This is the constant process of creating perfect sessions. We may not achieve perfection every time (and some students may make it more difficult than others), but even when we fail we do pretty good job at making learning happen.”

Hope this is useable and feel free to make any changes you want!

Top 10 reasons why our students love coming to The Study Hut!

March 11th, 2014

We interviewed multiple students in our office today and here are the top 10 reasons why our students love coming to the Study Hut!

1. I love coming to the Study Hut because the tutors are all really easy to talk to which makes it easy to ask questions when you’re confused. – Charlotte

2. I love coming to the Study Hut because the tutors help to keep me organized and help me prepare for upcoming things in school. – Nikki

3. I love coming to the Study Hut because it has a laid back but very productive atmosphere where I feel comfortable. – Pratt

4. I love coming to the Study Hut because I’ve been coming here for years and the people who work here are like family to me. – Isabelle

5. I love coming to the Study Hut because I have many friends here and my subjects become more clear after my sessions are over. – Josie

6. I love coming to the Study Hut because it has helped me to improve my grades. – Isabella

7. I love coming to the Study Hut because it has great snacks and healthy foods like Apples and Bananas that I can have during my tutoring sessions. – Alex

8. I love coming to the Study Hut because the tutors make learning fun and easy to understand. – Ben

9. I love coming to the Study Hut because they have locations in the area which makes it convenient since I can choose which location I want to go to depending upon where I live. – Nicole

10. I love coming to the Study Hut because they help me not only with regular tutoring but they also help me with my SAT training. – Alex

Learning How to Study

December 9th, 2012

It happens all too often: we pour ourselves a cup of coffee, sit down in front of our computers and books, ready to study, but find ourselves staring blankly at the blinking cursor. When it comes to studying, a lot of us don’t even know where to begin. This is not an issue of motivation; it is simply that we have never learned how to study. Sure, teachers give us all the information we need in class and we take copious notes, scribbling dates and facts down in our notebooks furiously. But what do we do when it comes time to remember all those little bullet points at the end of the semester? At the Study Hut, we specialize in the science of how to study. It may seem trivial, but we have found that most students really have no idea where to begin when it comes to preparing for exams. Unfortunately, this is something that can damage your grades irrevocably. Often final exams are worth fifteen or even twenty percent of your final grade. So what should you do, you might ask. Here are a few pointers to help you stay on track:

 

1) Flashcards are your friend. Sure, they’re annoying and seem to take forever, but just think: most of the time, once you’ve finished actually writing them out, you already remember them!

 

2) Define your terms. The best way to instantly forget something is to not understand it to begin with. When you are learning about a new concept or reviewing an old one, have a dictionary close at hand. That way, when you read over a word that doesn’t even look like English, you can figure out what it means and make it stick.

 

3) C.M.T.W.F.Y.: Create Mnemonics That Work For You. When you are desperately trying to remember something and it’s just not happening, try some mnemonics. Often times, if you create a silly song or jingle, the information will permanently imbed itself in your brain. Don’t believe me? This writer learned the quadratic formula over a decade ago and I still remember it perfectly. Why? I learned it to the tune of “Pop Goes the Weasel.” It may sound stupid, but it really works!

 

Of course, nothing can replace one-on-one tutoring for educational roadblocks, but with these simple tips, you should be on your way to A’s. Final exams can be scary and intimidating, but there is no reason why you can’t seize the opportunity to boost your grades! So go pick up your pencils and crack open those books! Good luck and happy studying!

 

Summer Study Skills

August 1st, 2012

It’s summer time! The much anticipated vacation time, where school becomes a distant memory, and the beach and the sun the relevant priority! While vacation time is extremely important in rejuvenating the academic soul, a total abandonment of study and study skill practice can prove harmful when the first day of school arrives. Over the summer, it is highly recommended that a basic study routine be established to keep up the academic brain. If you know you have a difficult subject encroaching the following school year such as chemistry or physics, setting a designated time aside each day to familiarize yourself with the content before class actually begins can give you a head start when school begins. Here at Study Hut we can help you maintain and continue developing your study skills through individual one on one sessions where one of our expert tutors can help design an introductory approach to any academic subject that will be taken the following school year. Summer time is also an excellent time to brush up on literacy skills, especially for those in the younger academic grades. Regular scheduled reading, as well as vocabulary cards, created to memorize and understand newly introduced Summer relaxation is important in maintaining a healthy balance in the pursuit of rigorous academic endeavors, however, it’s important to always keep the study mindset sharp!

Teaching Style

April 25th, 2012

Working at Study Hut has taught me how to implement different learning styles for different kids. With some of my students, I have very hands on approach where I am constantly checking their planners and making sure they are on top of all of their assignments. In sessions like these, I am talking for most of the time. For my students that I know are trying their best and are just coming to tutoring for the few questions that they couldn’t figure out, I take a more observational approach. I watch them as they try and solve the problem, and try to assess where they are going wrong. Recently I have seen a lot of improvement in one of my 7th graders that has required a lot of hands on attention. He began coming to Study Hut about 5 months ago, and was getting a C or below in all of his classes. We discovered that his main problem was organization. I began to push him into writing everything down in his planner including soccer practice and piano lessons. The idea is to develop these necessary habits early on so that when high school and college come along they have the tools to cope with stressful schedules. After about a month of pestering him, he finally began to write everything down, and as a result has become much more motivated. The planner gives him a sense of direction, and he feels less overwhelmed with everything he needs to do. His mood has changed dramatically from someone with very little confidence and motivation to someone that is hopeful and much more excited about school. His grades are still not as high as we both want them to be, but I’m confident that we can raise them by the end of the year.

Getting into College and Paying for It

April 13th, 2012

Hey everyone. After hours of research and planning we at Study Hut are almost ready to start a new line of services aimed at helping college-ready-high schooler’s not just choose the best college for them but also help get into and pay for school. The first half of our new services will be geared at having students “Brand” themselves by identifying their own unique set of skills and strengths which they can then use to better their chances of getting to the college of their choosing. By better understanding and realizing his/her own strengths students will be better able to write insightful and stronger college application essays and articulate their worth to colleges during the application process.
After you get in the school of your dreams we offer another set of services, which mom and will love, that help reduce the cost of college. We will help students apply and win scholarships by coaching them how to best present themselves when applying for scholarships. We are also able to find other ways of reducing the college cost by getting in-state tuition, testing out of some college courses (which is not just limited to AP tests), help with FASFA application and process, tuition reimbursement, and other programs offered to help students reduce the cost of college tuition.
We at the Hut have all ourselves gone through the marathon of college apps and are aware how much stress the process can be. We are happy to offer our own experience and expertise in aiding students doing their very best to get in and pay for college.

Homework Tactics

February 20th, 2012

With the beginning of a new semester, it is important to stay focused and keep grades high to kick things off the right way. Frequently students are worn out from tests and projects that closed the previous semester, so it is easy to slack off and let small assignments fall through the cracks. Eventually, the problem builds, and subjects like math become increasingly difficult and overwhelming. However, there is an easy fix to this common problem: short intervals of homework every day with frequent breaks.

Often, students think that to do their homework, they have to post up at their desks for hours on end and knock it all out in one sitting. Thus, they dread homework and just do not do it. If, instead, they try studying for fifteen to thirty minutes at a time, they would likely have a higher success rate of completing all their work and retaining the information. When a student practices math problems every day, even if just a few, he or she becomes fluent and comfortable with the subject and eventually stops dreading study time. Whenever students find their minds drifting or their eyes getting heavy, they should stop and walk away from the homework for a few minutes, just to refresh themselves and give them added staying power. Of course, this tactic is great for all subjects, especially the ones each student enjoys the least. With this homework strategy, students should be able to manage studying and still never feel like all they do is homework. Grades will go up and the new semester will be under control nearly effortlessly!

BYU Independent Study vs. Study Hut Tutoring

February 6th, 2012

What do you do if you’re a Mira Costa High School student and your finals week didn’t go like you had hoped?
If you’re a student who didn’t pass 1 or more of your classes this last semester there is still hope! Credit for classes not passed can be made up via Independent Study offered through Brigham Young University. BYU offers a wide array of high school courses that allow you to independently make up credits without falling behind. The courses consist of between 6 and 8 instructor-graded assignments (referred to as speedbacks) that are submitted either online or through the mail, as well as 2 midterms and 1 final (which must be taken at a credentialed proctoring center). Conveniently, Study hut tutoring not only offers BYU independent study tutoring but also is a BYU accredited proctoring center.
BYU Independent Study is undoubtedly a great opportunity to get a 2nd chance to make up for class with a non-passing grade. Courses are however completely independent some students find it difficult to stay on track and not fall behind. Not to mention there is very little additional instruction if a student is struggling with a particular lesson of the course.
Study hut’s wide array of friendly tutors and its BYU accredited proctoring services make it the perfect environment to help your high school student make up credits for courses with non-passing grades.

Do Not be Fooled by Manhattan Beach Middle School students

January 4th, 2012

Dont let these Manhattan Beach middle school students fool you. Please stay active with them and keep them engaged.

Go through his “edline” acct with him and talk to him about each of his grades. He could use practice quizzes and he can make them himself.

He needs to focus on his daily planner too, as do ALL of our middle schoolers, and even most of our high schoolers, and have all his tests written on the day they will be given, and have a detailed study plan written out for the days leading up to his test(s).

The study tasks should say, “Make 20 flashcards for spanish verbs” and that would be on Monday for example, even if his test isnt until friday. The next day should read, “review flashcards for 2 [20min] chunks”…. you can make him difficult practice quizzes where you will be able to see if he is not only comprehending the material, but retaining it.

You’re def going to want to make mini quizzes (they can be as small as 3-5 questions based on the material he just covered). If no practice quiz is given, there is no real way to ensure comprehension.

He can work on HW, but that shouldnt be his number 1 or even number 2 priority, unless the difficulty of the assignment is a pressing concern. He needs some management help, and probably a little conceptual help, you can evaluate the needs of all this at the beginning with an interview process. You will be able to gauge and feel more comfortable after working with him a second time…that kind of thing builds as you get to know your student.

Tutoring Math in the Age of Homework

December 21st, 2011

Today we live in the now generation and we expect to accomplish things to match this fast paced lifestyle. Often students apply this same principle to their school work and expect to master topics right away. We try to get by with minimal effort and complete the assignment as soon as possible. This strategy rarely works and can push student further and further behind in their academics. The subject of mathematics often suffers most from Math is not as difficult as it appears if you have a solid foundation for it.

I often ask students conceptual questions to help them grasp the idea they are studying and find that they know a lot more than they think they do. I am a nerd and I love math; but it was not always an interesting subject to me. Math is a cumulative subject that requires a strong foundation and in order to move forward. Similarly to a puzzle, in math we cannot see the big picture when some of the key pieces are lacking a good fundamental understanding. Here at the South Redondo Beach Study Hut, I tutor a range of subjects but math is by far my favorite to teach. Many of my students are bright individuals from Palos Verdes, Redondo, Manhattan and Torrance High Schools studying a wide variety of topics of mathematics. I work one-on-one with these students to improve their grades in their current math class and help them re-learn some of the fundamental principals that they were lacking. In addition to working with each students individual needs, I teach strategies that will enable them to excel in any future math class that they may encounter. We often need to learn how to take advantage of our educational opportunities to grow as a student.

We can often get frustrated or overwhelmed with tough subjects such as mathematics because it is so easy to get behind without even noticing it. I work on strengthening each individuals weakness within the subject and help them gain confidence in their work. Once your student has mastered these strategies, they begin to appreciate the art of enjoying the learning process.