"I was pleased to find a study skills class for my daughter as she is about to enter middle school. Organizational skills are difficult for her, and I wanted to give her a head start in learning essential skills before starting 7th grade. The course materials provided by Carolyn are excellent. I was thrilled when I saw my daughter apply her new organizational skills to her out-of-control bedroom. She wrote a clean-up plan, breaking down the the big job into small steps. It is a "work in progress," and she can refer to her work plan so she can keep making progress toward her goal."


"I also just wanted to thank you for everything you did for me, I never really got a chance to tell you that. I think of you not only as my teacher, but a friend. The best memories I have with you is when we just sat at your desk talking. You didn’t just teach me how to write a good paper, but you taught me much more important things about life. I really do miss the Monday nights we spent together. I know I would drive you crazy a lot of the time, but you stayed with me and helped me grow into the person I am now. I will always be thankful for the time you gave me."

-Jon Leener, Univ. of Wisconsin

"Carolyn is a tutor that not only helps your kid excel in school, but also your kid loves so much she never wants to stop going."


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e-News Summer 2010 – Back to School Edition

2010 Issue 2
Carolyn Roth, M.Ed., Tutor & Academi Coach

The Overachiever’s Binder

What ideas here could be incorporated into your system?

  • The exceptional student may have as many as 4 dividers for EACH subject. That’s right. These sections divide notes, homework, handouts, and tests. Although you may choose to have only one divider per subject it’s worth considering these distinct groups, and at least filing your papers that way.  Even if you primarily use a spiral notebook, you must think of a place to keep handouts, tests and returned homework.  Don’t like binders…how bout an accordion file?
  • It’s commonplace (and necessary) to have an assignment book to record daily tasks, but do you also have a monthly calendar to give you the continuing big picture?
  • Now, about that pencil case. It’s really more functional to think of this as a supply source. Keep post-its, note cards, paperclips, rubber bands, highlighters, whiteout, and memory stick handy
  • Lastly it can be valuable to keep some reference material enclosed in page protectors with you.
  • Would any of these be worthwhile for you?

– a list of transitional words and phrases
– math formulas
– maps
– spelling rules
– science terms
– literary terms

Back to School

Get Ready

The end of summer is always bittersweet. Lots of us save travel for the last part of August, just before the rude return of the SCHOOL ROUTINE. Consider these ideas to help relish the end of summer as well as prepare for the shift back to the responsibilities of academic life.

If you had any projects slated for the summer now’s the time to finish them up. In the slower pace of summer, I try to finish up activities that were pushed aside during the busier part of the year. Typically I reorganize files, sort through piles of stuff, and plunge into a new project around the house.

Students I’ve worked with have taken the time to redecorate bedrooms, train pets, learn to type and do art projects.  Whatever self-initiated project you’ve begun, now is the time for completion.

And summer reading assignments? Hopefully the reading is done, but what about the written response? Don’t wait until the night before school to do it. Perhaps you mistakenly think this will just give you a longer vacation, but in fact it will create last minute discomfort, probably a poor product, a really cranky ”last” day, and a sour start to the year.

This year do it earlier and let that last free day REALLY be free.  Savor your last days at the pool and sleeping late with a clear conscience.

Get Set

Is your desk piled high with sunscreen, and vacation souvenirs? Clean off your work area and make sure you have what you need to start the year.

Often teachers have specific requirements for materials to use in their classes, however you can still stock up on some basics before the first day.

Check your supplies to see if you need any of these:

  • printer paper and ink
  • Month at a glance calendar for the wall
  • Space on your bulletin board.
  • A drawer for files with empty file folders
  • pencils, pens, post-its, white-out, 3 x 5 cards, etc

In any case, on the first day take an assignment book, paper, and pen / pencil.

Often overlooked in shifting back to the school routine, is realigning your body clock.  If you’ve been staying up past your “bedtime” all summer, go to bed earlier and wake up earlier the week before school. Making the shift is much easier on your body if you do it a little bit at a time.


Brain research tells us that a happy brain is a learning brain. How can you elevate your mood about the return to school?  What do you look forward to? Most students enjoy being with friends. Many also love sports and being on a team. Get your brain in gear by imagining the activities you like and the accomplishments that await.

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