Nevin Katz Tutoring |&nbps; | 

Writing and Homework Coaching

With respect to writing and homework coaching, I work with students ranging from middle school up through the post-graduate level.

While tutoring often focuses on helping a student develop knowledge, skills, and understanding in a particular academic area, I see coaching as a way of helping a student develop more holistically. As such, coaching involves a primary focus on the development of goals and habits, fostering an awareness of accepted procedures and conventions, guiding the completion of work according to assignment criteria, and supporting student growth over the long-term.

Tutoring and coaching are by no means mutually exclusive, and oftentimes I will work jump between subject tutoring and homework coaching depending on what is needed. I also might say that writing coaching and homework coaching can also be combined. I can absolutely work with parents and students to develop a custom plan that can incorporate both approaches.

Writing Coaching

I greatly enjoy helping students improve their writing. I help students write in the range of styles, including analytical, creative, and persuasive. Depending on what they want to work on, we may focus on school assignments, college essays, internship applications. We also may focus on writing prompts designed to help a student excel at a particular skill. Writing coaching may include, but is not limited to, the following areas:

  1. Particular types of essays (e.g. analytical, persuasive, technical, five-paragraph)
  2. Freshman, Sophomore, Junior, or Senior Research Projects
  3. College or Internship Application Essays
  4. Crafting Resumes, CVs, and Cover Letters
  5. Development of writing skill through a range of writing styles
  6. Standardized test essay practice (e.g. ACT, SAT, SSAT, GRE)
  7. Productive email communication with teachers and coaches

Homework Coaching

Homework coaching involves helping students improve study habits, stay up-to-date with recording and submitting their assignments, augment the quality of their homework and test preparation, and develop a greater sense of personal accountability. For long assignments, I work with students to set incremental milestones.

Oftentimes, homework coaching involves helping my students develop better organization and time management skills, as well as a greater sense of accountability. Every student has a unique set of strengths and challenges, and over the course of homework coaching, we discuss how to capitalize on strengths while compensating for personal challenges.

Since check-ins and reinforcing habits are so important, I recommend that homework coaching be scheduled at least twice a week.

At the outset of the year, homework coaching involves the following:

  1. discussing current study and homework strategies
  2. setting goals for the year
  3. obstacles and challenges from previous years
  4. taking an inventory of homework habits to see what could be improved
  5. discussing approaches to the first set of classes or modules

As we settle into the school year, I work with students on the following strategies:

  1. checking through assignments that are due across the classes
  2. checking the online school portal, teacher site pages, and/or assignment notebook to identify current assignments that are due
  3. breaking down long-term projects into chunks
  4. working out homework plans for the week
  5. completing key assignments during the session
  6. developing skills and understanding related to subject matter I tutor

I also work with students on the following growth-oriented areas:

  1. clarifying areas of accountability
  2. checking in on the development of key habits
  3. evaluating progress against goals
  4. discussing what can be learned from experiences with challenging assessments and assignments.

Twice-a-week homework coaching is usually essential since so much can happen in a week. That second session is important for helping us refine strategies, adjust homework plans based on new assignments, and catch issues before they get larger. Unless additional reports are requested, my approach is to one 20-minute report per week, which would capture progress and challenges in both writing and across subject areas from the week's two sessions.