Maybe you’ve got one of those kids who shoves loose papers in his desk and in pocket folders. Or one who waits until the last minute to study for a test or begin an assigned project. You cringe, but don’t want to force the issue. Sometimes it’s easier to hear from an outside party that that’ll never do. During sessions, we take a look at the whole operating system—backpack, binders, folders, assignment notebook—make changes collaboratively, check in during every subsequent session to see if the student is sticking to the new system, and make tweaks as necessary.

Improving study skills requires what is often a big shift—getting started practically right away on the bigger projects (report, upcoming test, oral presentation), breaking them down into smaller tasks, and making a schedule. Routine studying involves figuring out how to sustain focus during study sessions, creating and utilizing tools such as flash cards, and taking advantage of online resources. I introduce tried-and-true studying techniques and help my students customize said techniques to work for them.