Summer Tutoring

July 9th, 2014

Imagine if each year you allowed three consecutive months to pass without ever considering diet or exercise; the result would be low energy, an underperforming immune system, and many other undesirable consequences. Just like any other part of the human body, the brain requires regular attention and maintenance to perform to its potential.  Students often struggle to get back into the swing of academics after a long summer break, as their brains have been stagnant for weeks on end.  Here at Study Hut Tutoring, we make sure to keep our students sharp through the summer time, allowing an easier entrance into the new school year and helping them to start strong and maintain that impressive GPA throughout the course of the academic year.

Summer tutoring offers many benefits to students.  For some, summer tutoring serves as a valuable time to assess the strengths and weaknesses of the previous school year, and to clear up and solidify conceptual understanding that they will need to progress to more advanced courses.  For others, summer tutoring serves as an opportunity to learn new material before being exposed to it in the classroom, giving them more confidence and an easier route to an “A”.  And still for others, we help with writing enrichment, summer reading requirements, and preparation for the Fall SAT and ACT.

Of course, we at Study Hut Tutoring also appreciate the value of leisure time.  Our founders, Rob and Sean, along with our tutors have been making the most of this summer by spending plenty of time on and in the ocean, be it to surf, spearfish, or boat across the channel to Catalina Island.  We will be seeing off our managerial staff on an annual leadership trip at the end of July, and look forward to building an even stronger team to help our students through the remainder of the summer and next school year.

If you would like more information regarding our summer tutoring services, or you would like to sign up your son or daughter for summer help to prepare for the upcoming school year, please feel welcome to contact us at info@studyhut.com.  Enjoy your summer!

10 Reasons Why Mira Costa High School Is Really Great

April 17th, 2014

10 Reasons Why Costa Is Really Great

1. People help each other out
Costa has so many clubs dedicated to helping charities locally and globally. Students and teachers join together to raise money and volunteer for things they are passionate about! And that is really cool. Many clubs raise money, some raise awareness, but the important thing is that Costa students really care about giving back to the global community.

2. Amazing new buildings!
New science buildings that ensure students get amazing hands on experiences and get to use new equipment. Even some of the older buildings have amazing technology and help make learning fun.

3. Everyone is blonde
Blonde is like a recessive gene or something, Costa is basically a crazy science experiment focused on furthering the blonde population. Its totally true because of science.

4. You meet friends for life.
You meet some of the people you will be friends with for the rest of your life. And you get like 6 hours a day to bond with them. And if you haven’t met your BFF so far– there are like 2,000 students. You probably haven’t met them yet.

5. Our sports teams are great
We win games. Run fast. Throw balls through hoops. CIF and stuff.

6. The teachers really care for students
Teachers at Costa are among the highest rated in the nation. Our teachers go above and beyond what is asked of them. Teachers are always going out of their way to like be positive role models, inspire the youth and write awesome letters of recommendation. They are pretty great.

7. Students are (over) achievers
But in a really positive way. We have way more AP classes than most schools, and we have to make more sections to accommodate all the students who want to take them. And if you get in over your head with your overachiever ways there’s always Study Hut to back you up!

8. Everyone has a secret talent.
At Costa, people have all these crazy secret hobbies like jiujitsu and rhythmic gymnastics. It makes the student body really diverse and also probably home of many future Olympians.

9. Amazing student activities and events
Costa ASB throws great school functions like dances, pep-rallies and more. Its fun to release some stress and see a student dressed up in the crazy horse costume.

10. You genuinely get an amazing education
Academics are taught, but life skills are learned. Students from Costa are well equipped to go to college and start making positive changes is the world. Costa paves the way for students to discover themselves and where life might take them.

The Value of Academic Reinforcement

April 16th, 2014

The Value of Academic Reinforcement

 

In almost two full years of working at the Study Hut, I’ve been able to see just how important supplemental education (in many forms) is for today’s young students. It’s nuanced at times, but there are myriad ways that seemingly inconsequential aspects of learning can change everything. Some of these things are just natural aspects of putting college students and grads in a room together and telling them to talk about academics, but in my tenure here I’ve watched the company grow and I’ve grown as a tutor and a person along with it. A particular session comes to mind here, and not because of how unique it was, but because it was extremely typical.

 

One of my weekly students, who we’ll call John Conner, came to me earlier this year to study for a history final. We hadn’t worked much together on history to this point, and John needed to catch up on almost everything covered on this test–we had our work cut out for us.

 

The first thing he asked me was: “Wait, so do you have this all memorized?” It was an honest question, and legitimate. Intuitively speaking, one would probably need to know a lot about US History to prepare someone study for a final exam nearly from scratch, but because of the way we work at the Hut, the way the Hut taught me to teach, and the very nature of supplemental academia, the session wasn’t about what I knew. It was about what John needed to know. We spent that hour combing through the text and his in-class notes to piece together what we agreed were the areas of importance. We spent the time looking for the questions, not the answers.

 

What I mean by all of this is that knowing is never part of my job. It’s about finding out, whether that means learning the material along with the students or just learning about the students themselves. The achilles-heel of today’s schools is the inability of schools to teach on a more personal level with each student. Of course, it’s a numbers game and it would be impossible for even the greatest instructors to personally teach lessons to all of their kids. But that’s the point. Because we’re in a unique position to help bridge the gap between teacher and student, concept and practice, we can always provide an invaluable set of tools for students of all kinds.

 

My knee-jerk reaction to John’s opening question was to say, “No, but you will soon.” This, to me, was the job in a nutshell. We don’t have the answers to the test your student will take, but we might know where to look.

How to write a college essay

April 23rd, 2013

How to Write College Essays

As a lifelong student, there a few characteristics you know are important to a good college essay. Strong diction, clear writing structure, and correct grammar – but there might be a few illusive aspects of an outstanding college essay.

First, try to come up with a relatively unique storyline for your main essay. I know that is challenging; and you probably will not come up with anything an admissions officer has not read before.  But try to say something unique.

At minimum, try to say something moving. Reach deep down within yourself and pull out something you are passionate about, or an event that really impacted your life.

Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, great admissions officers everywhere want to see young/potential professors. The want to see the deep inquisitiveness, curiosity, and desire to learn that is prevalent in academia. This can all be summed up in one word: drive.

Are you driven about your field of study? Academics? Leading other people? A particular public policy issue? A particular pursuit? Life?? The essay only has to be one of these sections – but this drive has to shine through somehow.

It helps the admissions staff see how you could fit in at their university if it is an issue/section that can directly relate to a field of study they offer. If you love travel, and you love learning about different cultures, maybe you will be an International Relations major or Anthropology major. They like to see that there is some sort of direct connection between your displayed passion and their college.

Make sure at least one of your essays is about your chosen field of study. If you do not know which field you want to major in yet, just pick one. Do not worry about not knowing. Many young adults do not know what they want to do when they go to college. But the school does not want to hear “I have no interests” they want to hear “I’m really interested in a lot of things” or “I’m really interested in this one thing.” But if you go with the “interested in a lot things” essay – be sure to narrow it down to top two or three interests. Top two is better, especially if the essay is short.

Good Sample Topics

  • How travel abroad changed your opinion of the world/opened your eyes?
  • How has working/volunteering with those less fortunate changed your view of the world?
  • How did struggling with working in high school to help your family change you for the better?
  • What was an adverse event you thrived under? How?
  • A personally traumatic event, and how you succeeded anyways, can actually make some of the best essays around
  • Leadership roles (sports, student government, club leadership)
  • Something you are incredibly passionate about – if you can write a long essay about it – it can be your chosen field of study if you want

A Parent’s Role in Helping a Child Do Well In School

November 6th, 2012

Kids today have it rough. With all the competition to get into top ranked schools, parents are starting earlier and earlier to give their little academics a head start. But when does a parent’s involvement in their kids school work become a hindrance? Like most things, it’s all about a balance.

Studies show that children with parents who stay actively involved with their schoolwork will test better than kids with parents who don’t. So stay involved! Ask questions, congratulate success and encourage asking for help in more difficult subjects. Parents should know when their kids have a test and except to see the grade for it. This holds their student accountable for their grades. When parents do get back their kids work, reward their efforts. This doesn’t mean taking your daughter to buy a new IPod every time she brings home her Friday spelling test. But it does deserve a high five or a hug. (And remember parents, B grades are still fridge worthy!) Parents should be concerned with lower grades. When problem areas in their kid’s classes arise, steps should be taken to find extra help for their students. Begin with asking to see homework and review all problems that they have trouble with. If problems continue, check in with the teacher and see what else you can do to make sure your child keeps up with work.

When involvement becomes a hindrance rather than helpful is when parents begin to micromanage. Parents must remember that students should be expected to do their homework—and not because Mom stands over their shoulder until it’s done. Establish a set routine and stick to it. Your little study monkey should know that every day like clockwork, when he/she comes home, they makes a snack and start on homework. If your student is having trouble in school, run through their completed homework for mistakes, then help them with the questions they had trouble with. If your student normally tests well in school, ask if they completed their homework each night and trust that they have fulfilled each assignment completely. This allows your student to see that they need to be responsible for their own work and that you except them to be in charge. If they begin to slack on tests, start reviewing their homework again. Students need to learn how to be accountable for their studies. Writing down assignments, organizing papers and planning when to study are lifelong skills that they will need as a student as well as a professional. 

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.