What is procrastination?

Procrastination is an emotion “Why don’t you just do it!” “You waste so much time playing video games!” “Do your homework!” It’s so easy for parents and teachers to get down on students who procrastinate – they’ll drive you nuts because it seems so simple: just do your work! Procrastination is an emotional self-regulation struggle, not a moral deficiency. Procrastinators aren’t “lazy,” “distracted,” or “uncaring.” What they suffer from is a deficiency in emotional self-regulation. What we mean by that is that they are not fully in control of their emotional responses to their academic workflow. So the worst thing we can do to a procrastinator is to call him or her “lazy.” That only reinforces the procrastination. Instead, procrastinators need help to overcome the impulse to put off work that is causing them anxiety.   Here’s how it works: Facing an “aversive” or unenjoyable or difficult task causes anxiety. To dismiss that anxiety procrastinators  […]

“Have you done your homework?” or what else a parent can do to build student academic independence?

academic ownership Tired of asking your child about homework? All parents want to support their child’s academics. But they also want to be able to walk away and watch their child manage school on their own. It’s a tricky thing to find that right balance between helicoptering and watching helplessly from the outside. The one risks becoming nagging and backfiring while the other risks missing help that a child really needs. So how to find that balance? Student Ownership This term is so often tossed around in education so as to lose meaning. So let’s spell out what we mean by “academic ownership”: awareness self-advocacy problem solving will power executive function Awareness means knowing what’s due tomorrow or next, it means knowing the current grades, and, most importantly, it means knowing what is expected of the student by teachers, textbooks and assignments. Self-advocacy means standing up for oneself. It starts with knowing what you need […]

Why get a tutor at the beginning of school? How academic coaching is more effective – and affordable

A+ Club academic support opens future opportunitie for students

Helping your child with math tutoring or chemistry tutoring at the beginning of the school year isn’t a bad idea. Anything a student can do to get ahead of class and really make sense of the teacher when school starts is great. However, there are several important reasons why parents should be wary of starting tutoring early in the school year: 1. Direct tutoring, even online tutoring, can be very expensive. 2. Direct tutoring can backfire on a parent because once school starts some students come to rely on their tutors and don’t learn to act independently. 3. Academic success is a process, not an outcome. 4. Successful students overcome barriers and empower themselves to problem solve, negotiate with teachers and succeed on their own. Certainly it’s better to do something than nothing, and you don’t want to be one of those panicked parents who call us for help in February. We’d rather help your child […]

Mentors for Students: the power of guided reflection, goal setting & problem solving

A+ Club teachers, mentors & academic coaches

Having someone who cares gives students confidence and a sense of purpose The academic coaches and mentors at the A+ Club fill that role for our students. We call them “Student Supporters.” They are, actually, experienced educators who believe in and love working with students. Studies show that college students who engaged in a mentoring relationship find greater success in the job place after college. Makes sense to us! — which is why we built the A+ Club academic support program around a consistent, positive and non-judgmental mentoring relationship with an experienced educator for middle, high school and college students. The A+ Club student support program places each student with a professional educator who acts as academic coach and mentor. Our academic coaches care deeply about their students and want to help them flourish. A+ Club academic coaches guide students through the daily struggles of schoolwork and help them gain the skills and confidence they […]

Academic improvement is not easy!

Finally, all-round academic help for parents of teens! If a middle or high school student has a low grade in one or more classes, what can a parent do? You can’t just say, “do your work!” — kids often respond to that with anger and excuses. Plus, your parenting time is precious and you’ve got enough to do with work, extracurricular activities and other children. One option is tutoring: if a student is struggling in a class, you can hire a tutor, say for math or chemistry, who can show your child how to get the work done. But think about it: isn’t your child supposed to be learning from the teacher? Direct math tutoring, for example, can help a student start to make sense of what’s going on in class. We love it when that happens! But we worry that the same habits may lead to the same outcomes — and then the parent […]

Piecing Together Academic Success: Study skills are essential for student improvement

When tutoring isn't enough: academic coaching for all-round improvement Many parents of teens who are underperforming in school look to find a tutor for homework help or figuring out math and other subjects. While a tutor can help organize a class or learn certain information and skills, at the A+ Club we don’t rely on tutoring alone. In addition to online tutoring, we use academic coaches and mentors who help students who want better grades and overall academic improvement by addressing their fundamental academic skills and concerns. Our academic coaches and mentors are experienced teachers who help students identify what it really takes for academic success. These include: 1. how to identify teacher expectations 2. how take full advantage of resources such as textbooks, study guides, and essay or homework assignment rubrics, and 3. how to develop effective organizational and time management skills. Lasting student improvement comes from our all-round approach, not just from hourly tutoring […]