Academic Coaching

Our goal at the Study Hut is an environment both disciplined and casual. If that sounds like an oxymoron, it isn’t. If any of us — child or adult — hopes to do something well, we first have to plan how we’re going to do it. Strategy and structure must come first. Yet we find that a lot of students get frustrated by this first step. They try to sidestep it, dismissing it as pointless. Obviously we understand the point, but there is no way that students can when they only understand discipline as a means of coercing them into doing it right (ask any child what the word “discipline” means, and most likely he or she will answer: punishment).

Fear is productivity’s worst enemy. We hate fear; we reject it — that’s why our elementary academic coaching approach is casual. We’d like students to see the good things that will come if they develop discipline, rather than the bad things that will happen if they don’t.

Elementary School Academic Coaching

Also, just as “disciplined” and “casual” are two of our favorite words, so is “accountable.” To us, accountability means honesty and a well-grounded sense of cause and effect, act and consequence. Each of our students is paired with one tutor, an expert in elementary academic coaching, who gets to know his or her personality, strengths, and weaknesses. Our students learn that when they don’t do what’s asked of them, they’ll have to answer for it; and more idealistically, when they do something well, they’ll be praised for it. Of course, this calls for parents to participate as well. Our greatest successes have always depended on parents who are willing to commit to these same ideals. This way, students understand discipline and accountability as values that apply to their whole lives, not just to the few hours a week that they spend with us.

On the elementary academic coaching front, there is no winning without discipline and accountability. But when students are coached to cultivate these traits on their own, they can move on to developing the skills they’ll need to succeed in middle school and beyond: note-taking, outlining, annotating, and when necessary, memorizing. Once equipped with those skills, they find that they can actually enjoy school. And that is, of course, the real reward.