Counseling and Neurofeedback
Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist
Board-Certifed in Neurofeedback

Study Skills for Students

About Pat LaDouceur

Here’s what I believe

study skills for students

I believe that school should be fun. 

But some of my clients tell me they’d rather poke their eye with a bicycle spoke than sit through classes all day and homework all night.

Fortunately, their perspective changes once they start using the right study skills for students.

Here’s the key: All students can learn whatever they want to learn.  Brains are made for learning. With the right kind of practice, you can too.

Here’s what I do

I help students organize their academics, improve their grades, and have more time for friends and fun. This means that I help you:

  • Learn what motivates you so you stop procrastinating and start getting things done
  • Find easy ways to keep track of what’s due when
  • Get things done early so you have a lot more free time
  • Predict what’s going to be on tests, and know for sure when you’ve really learned it

Why Pat?

First, I’ve taught middle school, high school, and college, so I know where students are coming from, what gets in their way, and where they need to go.

Second, as a Neurofeedback practitioner and licensed therapist, I learned a lot about how the brain works, how to improve learning and memory, and how to address problems with focus such as ADD and AD/HD. I know how to help my clients shift from worry and stress to developing their strengths and taking positive action. And I’m known for my innovative and outside-the-box strategies to help students reach their goals.

Third, I’m a mom. I know how stressful it is when your student isn’t doing the work they’re capable of — and what a relief it can be to know that your child has the tools to make their own way in the world, and get help when they need it.

“Pat My son now gets his homework done in a much shorter time and can enjoy free time in the afternoon. Our relationship has improved [because] I don’t have to constantly nudge him. And he feels more confident as a result.”  — Parent

“Pat is a great resource for parents of teens.” — Parent

My story

I’ve always liked school. When I was a kid I wrote “lesson plans” for my younger sister. I wanted to teach her my favorite subject: math.

She did not appreciate the effort.  😉

But after years of coaching, teaching, tutoring, and parenting, I learned that for many students school isn’t fun. It’s stressful. 

And parenting stressed-out kids is hard.

When my kids were young, they did their homework — as long as I was sitting right next to them to keep them on track. My daughter got distracted by people talking, birds flying by, almost anything. My son, on the other hand, couldn’t sit still for long enough to learn how to say “umbrella” in Spanish.

I tried giving advice.

“How about starting early? How about doing the hard stuff first?”

But when 10 o’clock rolled around, they’d have a pile of work to do – when they were least focused and most irritable.

I struggled with questions like, “When do I jump in? When do I step back? How much help is too much?”

As a teacher, I saw students face similar challenges. In middle school, many students had trouble keeping track of their assignments and remembering to turn them in. By high school, plenty of students didn’t know how to focus on hard problems, or couldn’t motivate themselves to get started on writing assignments unless the deadline was less than 8 hours away. There is another shift in college, where the problem is balancing more independence with very little structure.

Talented students get stressed about school because they don’t know how to manage time. Parents want to help, but it’s easy to become anxious or over-involved. I know. I’ve been there.

 

The “mindset” challenge

Here’s a key: How well students do has a lot to do with how they think about themselves.

One of my clients, a high school sophomore, told me that she felt bad because she got a C- on a math test. “I guess I’m not a math person,” she said.

A few days later a 7th grader said: “I’m behind in all my classes because I’m not an organized person.”

At first I was surprised at how students defined themselves based on how they were doing in school.

But then I got angry. I knew these self-assessments weren’t true. The problem wasn’t about who they were. It was about how they were approaching school. I wanted them to know this:

To succeed in school, you need the right strategies, and every student can learn them.

My program

I promised myself then that I would find a way to help students not only do well in school, but also shift the way they see themselves as students. I drew on my 25 years of experience as a therapist, teacher, and parent to create the Skills for Academic Success program.

These strategies helped my own teenagers – and the students I coach – manage time, get organized, talk to teachers, study effectively, and get As.

Fast-forward to today:

My daughter is a college junior studying Environmental Politics, and my son is a sophomore majoring in math. My daughter told me recently, “I know how to get things done, and I love it. Now I’m in charge of what I learn.”

The same thing can happen for you — or for your student.

I saw it in my classroom. I saw it with my daughter. And I see it with my clients.

Now I teach study skills for students who want to organize their academics and improve their grades, so that school is less stressful and more fun.

What’s next?

If this story speaks to you, let’s talk about working together. I offer each interested student a complimentary “Take the Stress Out of School” strategy session.

Just fill out this application, and I’ll contact you (and your parent if you’re under 18) to find a good time to talk.