Back to School Tutoring

August 16th, 2016

This week, Manhattan Beach Study Hut welcomes back many of its returning students as they begin back to school tutoring!

Like summer and fall tutoring, back-to-school tutoring serves a unique purpose. Our tutors help students wrap up summer assignments, while prepping them for the year ahead. Our Manhattan Beach tutors are especially suited to this task because they are familiar with the local schools’ books, teachers, and yes, rubrics. As I write, our expert English tutors are busy guiding kids from MBMS and Mira Costa through their summer reading assignments.
Manhattan Beach English Tutor
What can students expect to get from back-to-school tutoring?

Back-to-school Tutoring helps students relax into the new year and approach their classes with confidence.

The first week of school is super busy. For many classes, homework starts on day one, even if the student hasn’t yet found time to do the work. Our veteran science tutors can help answer those important questions, like how many hours to set aside each week for biology or chemistry. With our help, the student set a good pace from the get-go, so they won’t have to play catch up before mid-terms.

We can also help kids in grades K-12 schedule their commitments (and their fun time), so they don’t end up having to drop a favorite club or sport. Our goal is to coach students in how to handle all of their school commitments, and August is like our pre-training season.

While it’s smart to get a head start in all your classes, it’s especially important in cumulative subjects like math. Having a few extra weeks can make a big difference, especially as the learning curve gets steeper. Each year, the students learn not only new algorithms, but also new vocabulary and symbols. Geometry opens with proofs and logic problems; Algebra, with properties and proportions. All that newness can be overwhelming. With our experienced math tutors, students can familiarize themselves with the textbook, and develop smart study strategies before a clock starts counting down to the first test.

If you are a new student, there is an additional advantage to starting in August. The student and tutor can build up a good rapport, figure out how they work best together, and establish a good routine before school starts.

So, welcome back to those who’ve been coming for years! Welcome to the newbies!

And good luck all with the year ahead!

Manhattan Beach History Tutor

March 17th, 2016

So many people struggle with history in school! I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had students come in struggling in their history class and in search of help. As a Manhattan Beach history tutor, I hate hearing this from new students and do everything I can to make the class more enjoyable. I do my absolute best to bring a level of excitement to the subject that they clearly are not getting from their teacher.

Many people see history as nothing but a bunch of meaningless facts that only vaguely relate to one another. As a Manhattan Beach history tutor, it is my job to string all of these “meaningless facts” together into a cohesive story that the student can become engaged in. I find that even if the student does not end up loving history as much as I do, they generally find the class much easier and are able to do well in the class. All of this begins to happen when the students begin to realize that all of those little facts that they found so frustrating before beginning tutoring simply make sense once integrated into an engaging story. Sometimes getting to this point is more difficult, but from my experience just about everyone can do very well in history as long as the information is presented in an engaging manner.

 

Manhattan Beach History Tutor

Over the past two years that I have been working as a Manhattan Beach history tutor I have helped countless students overcome the seemingly insurmountable task of receiving an A in their history class or achieve a 5 on their AP exam. Seeing my students succeed in their history classes is a wonderful feeling but the best is when I can inspire some appreciation of the truly delightful subject that is history.

An Hour in the Life of a Manhattan Beach Spanish Tutor

March 8th, 2016

First Steps

During the first session it is important to establish the areas in which the student needs help the most as well as to reassure them that Spanish is not impossible and is something that can be attained through practice. In this first session, it’s important to discern the student’s learning style and objectives. It is equally as important to express our enthusiasm for Spanish. Each Manhattan Beach Spanish Tutor has not only excelled in the subject, but has found an appreciation for the language that we hope to communicate to our students.

Specific Targets

The next step is to ask questions about the curriculum, what they are learning at the moment, and which concepts they struggle with the most if they indeed have problems. Your Manhattan Beach Spanish Tutor is not here to teach the student what we think is important. While we can mix this into the lessons, the key is to help the student excel in their class. So teaching in line with their current teacher’s lessons, but approaching it in a new way, is essential. If they tell me specific lessons in grammar that they do not understand I will go over the lesson and explain it in my own way, in simpler terms, so that the student can understand.

Benefit of the One-on-One Model

I then will give them several examples relating to what we are discussing so that they can fully understand how a certain verbs are conjugated, how certain tenses work, and whatever rules in grammar they have trouble coming to terms with. If they continue struggle grasping the lesson, I will continue to go over the given tense or whatever concept we are looking at until they fully understand it. Then I will give them sample questions relating to the lesson for them to conjugate or answer appropriately. Your Manhattan Beach Spanish Tutor will stay on the concept until he or she is confident that the student fully understands it. With our attention solely focused on the one student, we can ensure that their needs are met.

Beyond the Hour

Afterward, I’ll give the student online resources so that they can review the lesson at home as well as test what they learned through quizzes my resources provide them. These resources contain explanations and examples so that they can continue their lessons daily so that when they see me again, they will have a better understanding and can move on to more complex ideas. Manhattan Beach Spanish Tutors are here to make sure that our students are better prepared to tackle new material. We provide skills and tools to make our students stronger, more independent students.

 

We are here to help! Call 310-546-2408 or email us at Kristen@studyhut.com to meet one of our excellent Manhattan Beach Spanish tutors!

Finals Preparation

January 15th, 2016

Finals, for some of you, are in just over a week! Hopefully your reaction to that isn’t to start crying or throwing your books across the room. Hopefully you’ve been diligent all year, you’ve turned in all of your homework, you’ve stayed organized, and you’ve started your finals preparation weeks in advance.

If somehow, this isn’t you-you still don’t need to go all Britney Spears 2007 on us.

We are here to help! Here are some steps to success!

Prioritize

  1. At this point, it’s too late to thoroughly prepare for all of your classes. Take stock of what needs the most triage. Which class is teetering right between grades? Where is there the most chance for affecting change?

Missing Work/Low Test Scores

  1. Do you have homeworks missing? These are zeros that are so easily remedy-it’s the first place to check. If your teacher accepts late work, make a list of homework zeros and bust them out.
  2. Does your teacher have a retake option? If so, find your lowest test score, and schedule a make up time to take that test. The time you put in for this make up test will also be productive towards a cumulative final.

Set aside SPECIFIED time to study

  1. Sitting around, complaining about how much you need to study doesn’t count. Write into your schedule when and where you will be studying. If you tend to blow this off, get someone (Mom, sister, brother, friend) on board to help hold you accountable. It’s crunch time now-there’s no more excuses.

finals preparation

Focus on the biggest holes

  1. So you’ve picked the 2-3 classes that you’re going to spend the most time on. This narrows the field, but still leave a lot of material to cover in one week. When you sit down to study, you should spend less time on the chapters you did well on in the past, and more time on chapters with which you struggled. It is NOT a good idea to throw the struggle-chapters aside as a hopeless after thought.

COME TO STUDY HUT

  1. Our experienced tutors will help you zero in on what’s most important, and will help you master the material quickly. We’ve got tons of resources, and because our sessions are one-on-one we can tailor it to whatever you need: an hour on adding fractions-that’s fine! 45 minutes devoted to factoring quadratics-let’s do it.

Finals Preparation

Fill out the contact form on the right side of this page to start using your time most efficiently for finals preparation!

Manhattan Beach tutor

October 5th, 2015
Manhattan Beach tutor

I love my job at Study Hut Tutoring… and this Portuguese Water Dog!

Being a Manhattan Beach tutor at Study Hut Tutoring has been an incredibly rewarding experience. I’ve always been drawn to the idea of working in education because of my own educational experience, which I believe was excellent, and made me want to be able to give as many Manhattan Beach students as possible the help that they need to have an equally excellent educational experience.  Each time a student comes and sits with their favorite Manhattan Beach tutor, me, I am reminded of the joy I get when I foster that eureka moment in my student.  It is so satisfying to see the light-bulb go on as a result of my instruction!

One of my favorite topics as a Manhattan Beach tutor at Study Hut Tutoring is lower level math because I feel that many students often get pushed away from math early on because they see very few practical applications for what they are learning. In order to combat this I do my best to explain to my students from Manhattan Beach Middle School (MBMS) and the other Manhattan Beach schools how what they are learning now will eventually be applied to their future studies. I believe that I am a unique pre-algebra and algebra 1 tutor because I have been exposed to higher level math (such as multivariable calculus and linear algebra) so I am able to explain what by Manhattan Beach students are studying in a great deal of depth and give them an idea of how what they are learning now will be applied later.

In addition to tutoring math, I also love to tutor history. I absolutely love history and love being able to see students become engaged in what they are learning. As a Manhattan Beach tutor, specifically for history, I do my best to place as much emphasis as possible on the story rather than the tedious task of memorizing dates and facts. The stories really are compelling.  Once students connect to the emotion of where we are, memorizing is so much easier.  I find that those come much easier when intertwined into an engaging story. Being able to spark an interest in a Mira Costa or MBMS student in history for the first time is absolutely amazing.

Why Do I Have to Know This?

December 1st, 2011

I’ve been tutoring for a while now. Before coming to the Study Hut, I
worked as a private tutor and substitute teacher in New Jersey for
about 4 years. During that time, there was one question I was asked
over and over again. It had nothing to do with sines or cosines. It
had no relation to bicameral legislature. And it bared no resemblance
to anything in chemistry. The question was a simple one: WHY DO I HAVE
TO KNOW THIS?!

And parents, let’s be fair; we’ve ALL asked this in the past. We’ve
all experience the study session where we have to answer 14 questions
relating to alternate interior angles, and we couldn’t think of a
single instance when we’d use the information in real life. We were
usually given the same excuses as well:

-“Maybe you’ll have a job with a lot of math.”

-“You’ll need to know it to get into college.”

-“You need to know it because it’s ON THE TEST.”

-“Because I said so.”

All valid. All true. But none of these speak to the average Manhattan
Beach student. And, let’s face it, how often DO you use trigonometry
and chemistry in your real life? (Engineers and doctors, put your
hands down, I was being rhetorical.)

This is how I try to explain the value of education to my students:

When you go to the gym, you do pushups. Are you doing this because of
how often you push yourself up in real life? No. You do it because it
trains your body, and allows it to do other physical activities when
you need to. It makes your body strong. And to get strong, your body
needs to do a variety of exercises. Just doing pushups wont cut it.

It’s the same thing with your mind. You’re not going through Trig and
Chem and Bio and History because of how often you’ll use them in real
life. You’re taking these classes in order to TRAIN YOUR MIND HOW TO
THINK. You’re making your mind strong, so that, later in life, it will
be ready for when you really need it. By studying so many different
subjects, you’re practicing the fine arts of thinking analytically and
critically, which is beyond important in any career.

Plus, memorizing the state capitals is a great trick at parties.

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 Importance of Failure

September 13th, 2011

You may have heard this one before. It involves a ceramics class.

It was a fairly large and popular class at the school, so the teacher had to split it into two sections: Ceramics 101a and Ceramics 101b.

The teacher, a brilliant potter but a capricious and insufferable man, decided that he’d grade each of his sections differently and arbitrarily.

On the first day of class he announced to the students of 101a the following:
“At the end of the semester you will be required to hand in one pot and one pot only. I will judge your skill, artistry, and technical prowess based on what I see in that one pot, and that in turn will decide your grade for the whole semester.”

An hour later, he announced to the students of 101b a very different message:
“At the end of the semester, I will grade your performance based solely on the number of pots you complete throughout the year. I don’t care how well they’re executed, what shape they are, or how quickly you worked on them. All I care about is how many you make. The more you make the higher your grade will be.”

In short, one group was to be evaluated on the quality of their work, and the other on their quantity.

Here’s where things get strange.

At the end of the semester, the students from the Quantity Class produced better pots than the students from the Quality Class. Far better. Truly masterful work. On the other hand, the final projects handed in by the Quality Class resembled the pots that the students from the Quantity Class were making on their first few days.

What is the lesson here? In short, it’s practice makes perfect. The only way to get to success is to first fail. To get good at something you need to do it. A lot.

So for that reason we here at Study Hut in Manhattan Beach don’t just recite information to our students and expect them to absorb it. We test them on it. Ruthlessly. We make them fail repeatedly when they’re with us, in the hopes that when they are in the exam room they will succeed.

The 3 Study Huts: Supporting Our Neighborhoods

August 18th, 2011

We all know why Study Hut is the best place to learn: it is part of the community. Today as part of my
new responsibilities as supplier-in-chief, I had to visit all 3 Hut branches and check out the supplies. One
characteristic stuck out at all three. Each felt human. Each felt like a place that cares about its students.
Each felt like it was a product of its community.

This is because Study Hut really is a product of its community. The owners hail from Mira Costa High
School. Many of our tutors are from the South Bay area. Even the plants we use to decorate our rooms
are purchased from a local Manhattan Beach vendor. We take pride that we support our hometowns.

Other franchise organizations don’t have a stake in the well-being of our neighborhoods. Study Hut
does because we were born here, we grew up here and we reside here. As a tutor, I feel part of a
family, not a company. Our students feel comfortable here, encouraging candid dialogue that really
increases a students learning capability. Our study environment is pretty much the most awesome place
ever. Epic. What other place has a jungle theme room?

Sports and tutoring are Similar

June 14th, 2011

When I’m not tutoring at Study Hut in Manhattan Beach, I like to volunteer my time as a baseball coach at Westchester Babe Ruth. I see a lot of similarities to coaching and tutoring. One of the most important aspects to both is being able to relate to players and students. I was never very receptive to the old, over the hill baseball coaches because it’s hard to relate to them. Besides baseball, there’s not too much we have in common and it’s very hard to build a rapport with them. I feel the same can be said with tutoring, because I’m not too far removed from high school its a lot easier for the other tutors and me to relate to the students. When you are in a comfortable environment, it just provides a solid learning experience. Another very interesting relationship is the amount of work both students and baseball players put into their respective fields. No one is born an All Star or brainiac, it takes a lot of effort and hard work. The best players on the field and the best students in the classroom share a common characteristic and that’s work ethic. The ones that put the extra effort in more often than not are the ones who excel in sports or school. One thing I try to stress to my students from Mira Costa and Manhattan Beach Middles School is that they should never sacrifice their schoolwork for sports. A few of my high school students think that just because they play sports they can just cruise through high school. This is most definitely not the case. If they have ambitions to play collegiate they first must have the grades to get in college, and they will also need strong study skills. Road games in college drag student athletes out of classes for days if not weeks. If they haven’t established strong study skills in high school, they are doomed in college. Luckily the student athletes have a resource like Study Hut at their finger tips, and can learn the skills to succeed in the classroom.