January, 2004: St. Clair Shores Sentinel

Susan Kruger was featured in this article in the St. Clair Shores Sentinel.

susan kruger

Workshop helps with schools frustrations

By Julie Stevens

For many students, as well as for parents, back to class after the holidays signals the return of school and homework frustrations.

For many students, incomplete assignments, relatively simple assignments that take hours to complete, and rushing to finish last-minute projects, are among many of the common complaints that Susan (Woodcock) Kruger hears on a regular basis.

Kruger-Woodcock, the instructor of two educational programs that will be offered in January and February through the St. Clair Shores Adult and Community Education’s enrichment program, said such complaints are easily resolved.

As the owner of Lighthouse Learning and Organizing Services, Kruger-Woodcock has designed classes that teach students and parents strategies for making homework time much more efficient and consequently, more enjoyable.

SOAR® -which stands for Set goals, Organize, Ask questions, and Record your progress – is an interactive workshop for middle school, high school, and college students. Through this program, which will be held at James Rodgers Elementary beginning Jan. 28, students learn tips to manage homework, projects and extracurricular activities, organize materials, take meaningful notes, effectively prepare for tests, increase reading comprehension, and communicate effectively with parents and teachers.

“As a young student, I used to spend a lot of time on homework, but my grades never seemed to reflect my effort,” said Kruger- Woodcock, a certified teacher and reading specialist, specializing in study skills and organizational strategies. As I entered college, I learned many strategies that made my study time so much more effective. I was literally earning better grades in college than in high school and in half the time.”

As a high school and elementary teacher, Kruger-Woodcock observed a similar lack of problem-solving and study skills among her students. Kruger-Woodcock fells that these skill are not being taught in most classrooms because of an already overwhelming curriculum.

Kruger-Woodcock says lack of study skills is arising epidemic among student today. Kruger-Woodcock, who specializes in teaching study skills and organization strategies, believes the increase in a typical student’s work-load warrants the development of innovative study techniques. In short, students now need to study smarter, not harder. -Her workshops are designed to specifically teach students how to increase efficiency and free up valuable time.

One time-saving strategy Kruger-Woodcock recommends to students, especially those in college, is paying attention to the pictures and paragraphs in a textbook. She said publishers tend to spend a lot of money on color and detail, so illustrations serve as an effective tool for increasing reading comprehension.

“What’s written in the text really supports the illustrations,” she said. -Kruger-Woodcock also offers a workshop that coaches parents in helping their children succeed. She says parents are essential to a child’s learning process. In elementary school, as well as high school, “the interest and pride parents show in their child’s activities contributes to their success more than anything.

BEACON is a program for parents that goes over strategies for effectively assisting children with homework, while avoiding unpleasant power struggles. Tips include strategies for scheduling homework, organizing homework space and materials, balancing homework with free-time, and effective communication strategies between parents and students.

According to Enrichment Coordinator Kay Schoof, the workshop that is available to the school children is very important for school success.

“But we like to offer a good variety,” says Schoof. “Most students lack study skills and organizational skills. It’s a very helpful program.”

While the workshops are geared toward all students, it can also assist those students who suffer from Attention Deficit Disorder.

And the program has proved successful. – I’ve had many students tell me that it was very successful for them,” Kruger-Woodock said. “It’s drastically improved their comprehension.”

SOAR®, a three-session program, is being offered through St. Clair Shores Adult and Community Education beginning Jan. 28 from 6:30-8:30 p.m. The cost of the program is $70 with a materials feel of $35. Materials include a study course-pack for student’s continued reference. BEACON is a two-hour program that will be held on Feb. 5. The cost is $20 with a materials fee of $10. For more information, contact St. Clair Shores Adult and Community Education at 586-285-8880 or Kruger-Woodcock at 248.98.STUDY

(248.987.8839). Workshops are held at James Rodgers Elementary located at 21601 L’Anse.


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