Summer Test Prep Classes

July 7th, 2014

With summer underway and the Independence Day holiday weekend behind us, our enrichment programs at Study Hut are in full force, and learning is back on the agenda.

Tonight we begin our ACT small-group course, which runs Monday and Wednesday evenings for the remainder of summer.  Our SAT small-group course also begins tomorrow evening, and runs through the rest of summer on Tuesday and Thursday evenings. Students are excited to learn concepts that they either missed in high school or have not yet learned, and they are even more eager to go over their practice tests and learn time management and question prioritization strategies for both the ACT and SAT.  Students in previous classes at Study Hut Tutoring have learned all about the tremendous benefits of having an ACT tutor or an SAT tutor in their corner.

Whether a student needs help with SAT math, critical reading, writing, or some combination of these, having a top Study Hut tutor has shown to make a huge difference in students’ scores.  Our small group ACT and SAT classes have helped to earn students an average of over 200 points of improvement from their original scores, and many students improve 300 or more points.

At the Hut, we strongly suggest making a game-plan early so as to ensure that your son or daughter has the maximum amount of time to make the gains that he or she desires.  The test preparation process is, after all, about opening as many doors as possible, both for college and for opportunities beyond.

If your son or daughter has not yet taken a practice SAT or ACT, now is the time to see where you stand.  We offer free full-length SAT and ACT diagnostic tests, and we also provide free consultations to parents and students after the test so that you can fully understand your results.  Please email info@studyhut.com today to sign up at any of our beach-front locations.

Capstone

April 24th, 2014

For many years, our tutors have been helping seniors at Palos Verdes High School complete their senior projects called the Capstone. This project consists of a research paper on a topic the student is interested in or affected by and a corresponding research project or experiment. Study Hut owners Rob and Sean Patrick, together with Redondo Beach manager, Justin, are all industry partners and judge the Capstone projects at the end of the year to decide which students will receive prizes and scholarships. In the past, the entire project has been completed during the course of the student’s senior year, but during the 2013-2014 school year, the school made some changes. Now students are required to finish their entire paper in the last quarter of their junior year, leaving the entire senior year to dedicate to their physical project and research. As the school is aware that this can be a very stressful time for students due to Advanced Placement exams in May, AP students are not required to begin working on their Capstone papers until after they have completed all their AP exams.

Early in the school year, I worked with a senior named Cara whose project analyzed the effectiveness of three different teaching styles. She works as a swim teacher at the South Bay Aquatic Center, which was the perfect place for her to experiment with different teaching styles in her swim classes.  I recently worked with a junior named Halle who studied the societal influence on the evolution of music. While expanding on previously learned academic skills and preparing students for college level papers and projects, the Capstone also provides students an opportunity to pursue further education about a topic of personal interest.

Get out of Debt now

April 22nd, 2014

We are a nation of debtors.

 

These days it seems that everyone you talk to- students, teachers, artists, mechanics, architects, entrepreneurs, anybody & everybody is heavily in debt.

 

…but not financial debt.

 

Financial debt is something you can pay off. This is a more pernicious and dangerous debt…SLEEP DEBT.

 

According to a study from Harvard Medical School [1], for most folks if you get less than 5 and half hours of sleep in a 24 hour period, you’re in sleep debt. As sleep debt increases, your performance, energy, level, and your mood suffers. Not to mention that it interferes with your metabolism, blood sugar, and body weight maintenance.

 

If one does not get enough sleep over enough days, the deficit can hurt your performance as much as pulling an all nighter.

 

When it comes to studying and academic performance, sleep debt is an even bigger threat. Sleep debt slows cognition and damages your memory. Pulling that all nighter to crank through a project or cram for your exam is a recipe for failure. You’ll forget what you learn, be more cranky & groggy, and damage your health. Who wants that? Sleep!

 

Remedies and tricks to get your zzz’s:

 

1) Be BORING. Our bodies like routine, structure, and regularity. Even if you have an unpredictable schedule during the day, try to institute a regimented lights-out/awake schedule

 

2) Take Notes. Do you really need 7 to 8 hours to be at top performance. The only way to find out for sure is to keep a sleep log. Log your wake up time and guestimate as best you can when you actually fell to sleep and see how much sleep you are actually getting. The facts may surprise you

 

3) Pay your taxes. When I say taxes, I mean your sleep taxes. Instead of waiting for one big lump sum to “catch up”  your sleep debt, you should instead make little payments along the way. Get the full 7-8 hours instead of attempting Herculean heroics on the weekends with a marathon sleep session

 

 

Bottom line from the study: you better get your 7 to 8 hours of ZZZ’s, otherwise your grades and your health could be in big trouble.

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.

Finding Your Dream College

March 18th, 2014
Finding Your Dream College
As your junior year winds down, it’s time to start coming up with the list of colleges that you will be applying to. Maybe you’ve had a dream school in mind since you were a little kid, or maybe you haven’t even started thinking about it, but you’ll need to come up with a mix of reach schools, safety schools, and a few in the middle of the road. There are around 4,000 colleges and universities in the United States, so trying to narrow them down can be overwhelming. Unfortunately, there’s no magic formula for choosing your mixture of schools, but here are some criteria you can use to find schools that would be a good fit for you.
  • Kind of college- Are you looking for a two year or four year school? Public or private?
  • Location- Do you want to be able to do your laundry and eat dinner at home, or only fly home for winter break from a whole new environment?
  • Size/Setting- How do you feel about being at a school where everyone knows your name? Or would you rather find your niche in a large, diverse student population?
  • Life Outside the Classroom- Do you see yourself in a fraternity or sorority? How important is school spirit to you? Do you want to be able to go to “the big game” every weekend? What about volunteering, or an active student government? What kind of balance are you looking for between being academically challenged and having a fun-filled social life?
  • Major- If you’re not sure what you want to do with the rest of your life, or want a lot of variety before you work on a major, don’t worry! That’s totally normal. If you want a specialized degree, such as engineering, it’s important to find schools that have the right program for you.
  • Cost- This is one of the most important factors in choosing a college. Talk with your parents about college costs, look into applying for financial aid, and research different scholarships.
Once you’ve come up with a manageable list of schools, go on some campus visits to get a feel for the school’s unique vibe. Each school has its own “X-factor” where even if it sounds perfect on paper, it might not feel right in person, or you might fall in love with a school you didn’t think you would. To make your search easier, the College Board website has a school search, information about schools, and background on the application process. Visit https://bigfuture.collegeboard.org/find-colleges/how-find-your-college-fit to start searching for the school that’s right for you!

Photo Blog – Hut offices

February 20th, 2014

 This week we are featuring three photos from our different offices in our photo blog. Here are some fun updates for this week!

We hope the students that have off are enjoying their Ski-Week. Let us know what you have been doing over the Ski Week and we will post stories on our blog for others to read about.

If you would like to schedule appointment, you can call the Manhattan Beach Location at (310)546-2408, Redondo Beach Location at (310)540-5888 or the El Segundo location at (310) 648-8526.

We have bananas growing at our El Segundo office!!

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In our Manhattan office – Ben received an A on his Calculus test! Kuddos to his tutor Josh for helping him out!

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Student of the day was Grace!

GRACE

If there is something interesting that you read about on our blog, you can let us know on our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/studyhut

We love getting your feedback on our Facebook page!

 

Geometry success over the summer!

July 9th, 2013

You might think that Study Hut during the summer would be a desolate place. This notion couldn’t be farther from the truth. While some students head to the beach or to a summer job, many are actually getting ahead by taking geometry over the summer.

Every day, we have geometry students at The Hut cramming their brains with theorems, postulates, and angle relationships. Mr. Hughes is teaching geometry this summer at Mira Costa and his class definitely moves a fast pace. Both our students and tutors can attest to this! The key to staying afloat in geometry over the summer and landing a decent grade is, first, knowing what to practice, and second, actually practicing again and again. Doing more math problems after five grueling hours of class may seem tedious, but our experience as tutors and more importantly, as students, has showed us that this approach leads to success.

It can be overwhelming to decipher what’s important in geometry and what types of problems to practice. This is where Study Hut can help. Not only do our tutors know the geometry course at Mira Costa better than the back their hands, they can also assess your strengths and weaknesses. At Study Hut, we will keep you organized to use your precious time efficiently. In an accelerated summer geometry course, nothing is more important than time management to prevent you from falling behind.

 

Here are three tips for success in geometry over the summer:

1)      Try your best to pay attention in class. Five hours of class is a long time, but you will be in much better shape if you take an interest in the subject and will spend less time at home trying to figure out what the heck you were supposed to learn that day.

2)      It is not unusual for a student to occasionally feel overwhelmed and lost in geometry. Trust us, you are not alone! Get help from an experienced tutor at Study Hut. Often times, a second explanation or a different approach will turn a few light bulbs on.

3)      Know your postulates and theorems! In order to do proofs, you need to know and understand all of the postulates and theorems in your book. You will commit these to memory more easily by making an ongoing list of postulates and theorems as you learn each chapter. Put this list in front of you every time you do your homework. If you do this, these fundamental concepts will begin to take root in your brain and you will not have to shuffle through your book.

A proud tutor story!

May 1st, 2013

I tutor a girl who is in the 7th grade and she has a twin sister – both in the same classes. These 2 girls have been struggling in all their classes and have not been receiving the best grades (though as a tutor I knew they could do much better).

We bought the girls planners – so that they could get organized and write all their assignments down instead of using only their IPAD. We really want to help them get their grades up before the end of the year – and I feel like it can happen! I tutor one of the twins and another tutor helps her sister.

For many students, it’s only one or two classes they are focusing on – but these girls need help in all their classes – English, Spanish, Science, Social Studies, and Math.

I am very well versed in Spanish and math – my two best subjects – and not so well in English, Social Studies, and Science – but it’s nice to tutor these subjects – not only to help my student but also to reteach myself things that I have forgotten about over the years.

So together, my student and I have made a good plan and we are on the same page – with preparing ahead – doing flashcards, section outlines, and section reviews right when she finds out she has a test.

Last week we knew she had a Science test – so we prepared very early instead of her waiting until the last minute and not studying and also not telling me she had a test.

We worked on the Cardiovascular system and studied all about the heart, veins, lungs, capillaries, arteries, and many other interesting subjects. 

Long story short – she came in today and told me she got a 91% on her test and her sister got an 83%. She told me she wanted to scream with excitement when she got her test. Today, we then studied for her Social Studies test for Thursday and she really wants to get another good grade!!!

AVID year-end site team meetings!!

April 18th, 2013

What is AVID?

AVID is an Advancement Via Individual Determination: A 4-year elective that helps kids get ready for a 4-year college experience. 
AVID is a bi-weekly tutorial which helps kids keep their GPA up, SAT and ACT tutoring starting in 10th grade, and the rest of the time is focused on expanding their horizons and getting them ready for college.

From their website it says: AVID, Advancement Via Individual Determination, is a college readiness system for elementary through higher education that is designed to increase schoolwide learning and performance. The AVID College Readiness System (ACRS) accelerates student learning, uses research based methods of effective instruction, provides meaningful and motivational professional learning, and acts as a catalyst for systemic reform and change.

AVID began in 1980 by Mary Catherine Swanson, then-head of the English department at San Diego’s Clairemont High School. The federal courts issued an order to desegregate the city’s schools, bringing large numbers of inner city students to suburban schools. While applauding the decision, Swanson wondered how these underserved students would survive at academically acclaimed Clairemont High.

Her answer was AVID, an academic elective. But it’s more than a program – it’s a philosophy: Hold students accountable to the highest standards, provide academic and social support, and they will rise to the challenge.

AVID is having their year-end site team meetings. 
Peninsula High School’s meeting was today and Palos Verdes High School is tomorrow
the AVID year-end site team meetings are where parents, students, teachers, and tutors get together to discuss how the year went
and discuss goals for next year. 
The Peninsula High School Avid seniors set a record: 100% of the kids that applied to a 4-year school were accepted to at least one.
They had a record high for applications for next year’s freshman that is. 
The AVID Program is increasing the amount of tutors they are going to have next year – so the ratio will be 7 students to 1 tutor in tutorials.
This year it was about 12 tutors to 1 student. 
They also have a record high number of kids going to their overnight college trip – which is where 41 kids spend 2 days to go see  Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and University of California Santa Barbara.