Peak’s evidence-based academic coaching program empowers students to grow into self-regulated learners who can thrive academically and succeed throughout their educational journey. Our highly-trained academic coaches model fundamental and higher-order academic skills such as:
Our methods are evidence-based, stemming from our background as educators and the tenets of Educational Psychology and other educational sciences. Rooted in science and honed through direct experience, our methods are adapted to the needs of each individual student. After all, while many effective habits and skills are universal, each student is unique: different learning preferences, different strengths/weaknesses, different levels of confidence, different backgrounds, different habits, etc. You will not find another coaching service as comprehensive and intensive, nor one as supported by evidence and research, as that which we have developed here at Peak. Call or come in for a free consultation to learn more.
Executive functions are controlled by the frontal lobes of the brain and include behaviors such as attention and focus, organization and planning, initiation and maintenance of tasks, regulating emotions, impulse control, and self-monitoring. Effective control of these behaviors is critical to success in school. Fortunately, students can learn to improve these skills through effective instruction and modeling from an experienced academic coach. Peak’s academic coaching program helps students improve their executive functioning while also maintaining accountability as students transition toward greater autonomy and self-regulation.
Effective organization is a lower-order academic skill but fundamental to student success. Students with poor organizational skills often think that simply by not losing their work they are organized. These students often stuff their papers into a folder or the folder flap of their binder. If your goal is to “not lose” your assignments, then this practice is effective. If your goal is to be able to effectively manage and learn from your materials, which it should be, then this practice is ineffective. Students need to be organized in such a way that they can easily find materials when looking for them, know the purpose and function of materials, and, most importantly, effectively utilize those materials to study and to learn. Peak has developed an easy to implement and highly effective organizational method that allows students of all ages to quickly and easily maintain organization in each class.
Students who struggle academically almost universally do not use a planner, let alone use one effectively. Furthermore, effective planning is much more than just writing down your homework, something novice students do not understand. Effectively planning involves a broad set of skills and a strong metacognitive understanding of yourself as a student as well as the varying expectations and challenges of your coursework. Each academic coaching session involves time spent planning out a student’s schedule, including homework assignments, long-term assignments, study time, and extracular activities.
As school (and life) becomes more and more fast-paced and competitive, students today are becoming more and more stretched for time. To effectively function in today’s high-paced school environment, students need to develop effective time management skills. Making things worse, students are inundated with distractions from their phones and computers. Every child needs a healthy balance between their home-life, school-life, and personal-life. Without effective time management, one or more of these areas in a student’s life will suffer and negative outcomes are the result. Academic coaching with Peak helps students develop their time management skills, making them more efficient and effective learners as well as reducing stress.
In order to develop into confident, self-regulated learners, students must learn to effectively advocate for themselves. Knowing when and how to effectively seek help from teachers is an extremely important skill. Each academic journey comes with bumps in the road, students who can effectively self-advocate are able to manage these bumps most effectively and, therefore, achieve higher levels of success. Peak gives students the skills and confidence to communicate effectively and appropriately with their teachers in person and in writing.
As students progress through school, effective note-taking skills become more and more essential to academic success. Many students can make their way through elementary and even middle school without being challenged to the point of needing to learn to take good notes. It’s almost always in early high school where students face the consequences of not having already practiced and developed this all-important skill. Developing good note-taking skills is not easy. It takes time, practice, reflection, and revision. Students must learn how to focus simultaneously on their note taking and on their teachers lecture; they must know what to write and what not to write, how to properly organize the information in their notes and how to take notes quickly yet effectively. These are just a few aspects of note-taking that students must consider. Peak’s academic coaches teach and model these skills and check notes regularly, providing feedback so students can hone this all-important skill.
We frequently hear from students that they are “bad test takers” because they don’t do as well as they’d like or as well as they’d anticipated on assessments. The causes of low quiz and test scores are a combination of ineffective study habits, novice metacognitive skills, and poor test taking strategies. Peak’s academic coaching program improves students’ performance on assessments helping them learn good test taking strategies, improve their study skills, and improve the metacognitive ability to know the difference between thinking material is understood vs. truly understanding the material.
Have you ever heard this from your student: “I really thought I was ready for the test” after seeing a low grade? This is a clear indicator of underdeveloped metacognitive skills. Metacognition is “thinking about thinking.” In one form, it is students’ ability to reflect on their learning and knowledge and accurately assess what they do and do not understand. Developing higher order metacognitive skills is an integral important step in becoming an effective, confident, self-regulated learner. Out of everything we do with students, it is the ultimate development of strong metacognitive skills that leads to a fully developed self-regulated learner, a student who, given the appropriate materials, information and resources, can succeed in any academic environment.