UGYG: From Struggling Student to Successful Habits…
What is UGYG? Hi from Seth. UGYG stands for UpGrade Your Grades, and it’s my Executive Function Coaching Program that helps struggling students build the foundation they need to be successful in school and life… BUT it’s an unconventional approach that takes into consideration some critical factors regarding the key barriers to success that are often misunderstood, and that keep kids stuck. I offer 2 UGYG program options:
- Self-Paced: A self-paced, in-depth, semester-long, online program, for families to use on their own.
- Group: A group option called “Momentum”, where I get to know you and your child, as we go through the UGYG program together, live, online, throughout a semester, in a series of bootcamps and support sessions addressing your needs. Complete details linked at the bottom.
5 Notes: The Big Picture:
- UGYG is a semester-long, in-depth, online program for struggling middle and high school students and their parents. It’s designed to get results and help students change patterns so they can get unstuck, become more successful in school and have better skills to create a happier & more successful future.
- If your child won’t buy-in, it’s not going to help. Parents should click here to see the “Decision Video” for STUDENTS to understand how the video works, then show it to your child when you’re ready.
- It begins with a desire for change. Often, people blindly repeat the same old patterns, even though they want change. You don’t know what you don’t know, and this keeps people stuck.
- A big problem: Parents sometimes see it backwards. Parents often focus too much on grades or behavior. There’s a bait and switch irony here: You see, UpGrade Your Grades is not even about grades, it’s about how to improve Executive Function, and one of the results happens to be better grades and “behavior”.
- Executive Function is a quality of life issue. The real objective of this course is to improve a child’s quality of life: to empower your child with the EF skills they need to go for any of their goals or dreams. A child who doesn’t develop what I call “good enough executive function” will likely struggle to build a good quality of life in the future. On the other hand, when a child has “good enough executive function skills”, their future will be full of possibilities, opportunities and choices.
“Ohhhh my, what you’ve put together is absolutely amazing! You went above and beyond with details enabling each family to read, follow and execute! It truly is easy to follow and you’ve stated things extremely clearly. You’ve been such a blessing to our hearts by guiding and teaching us how best to work with our son. He really likes you and has been keeping up with all the video assignments. Thank you for what you DO! Thank you for who YOU ARE!!” – Michelle
Does your child go through “The Dip”?
“The Dip” is a 7-part, predictable, dysfunctional pattern that struggling students repeat semester after semester, and it doesn’t fix itself. It looks like this:
- Strong Start: Your child often starts a semester off strong. Things seem to be going well.
- The Dip: You’re shocked a few weeks later, when you realize that your child hit the mid-semester dip, because grades took a massive nosedive.
- Swim Upstream: You spend the rest of the semester stressed, trying to help your resistant child swim upstream, dig out of holes, deal with late work, incomplete work, missing work, zeroes, test corrections, etc. It’s a constant, baffling challenge trying to get clear information about what’s going on in school, what needs to get done and when.
- Hail Mary: The final 2-3 weeks of the semester are overwhelmingly stressful as your child deals with:
- Plenty of current work.
- Mountains of makeup work.
- Procrastinating until the last-minute on Big end of semester Projects, final Exams, Papers or essays, and big Reading assignments, also known as PEPR.
- Get Help (maybe): For some reason, many families wait until it’s too late, then scramble for teacher support, tutors or coaches in the eleventh hour.
- Amnesia: After the semester is over, families forget how bad it was and imagine that things will somehow fix themselves next semester. They try reactive (not proactive) strategies; lectures, nagging, logic, reason, convincing, threats of punishments and promises of rewards. Unfortunately, proactive changes rarely happen because people don’t understand the legitimacy of the Executive Function challenges.
- Rinse & repeat: Students fall farther behind, year after year, closing more and more doors of future possibilities in life.
The DIP is not a game, it has a serious impact on quality of life. And it does not fix itself.
Why does “The Dip” happen? 4 reasons
- Students who struggle with Executive Function are notoriously unrealistic about how much time and energy it takes to manage schoolwork.
- Students don’t have good systems in place, and if they do, they don’t have the habits to use them. So they struggle endlessly with output and execution.
- Students are resistant to your help and to doing the things that would make a difference.
- Parents often don’t understand Executive Function or how to break the pattern. Because of this, parents often mistakenly believe that their child needs to, “just choose to motivate themself and try harder.”
Much of the advice our students have been given is great advice for naturally organized people, but useless for non-traditional, outside-the-box, neurodiverse, atypical learners who struggle with Executive Function.
These kids who struggle with every aspect of execution: getting started, follow-through, finishing, focusing, prioritizing, organizing, planning, managing time, overwhelm, etc..
Note: It’s not about motivation, it’s about building Executive Function SKILLS, and many adults have trouble understanding the distinction. Therefore, adults mistakenly choose ineffective interventions and the pattern gets worse.
Students often hear shame messages like this: “You just need to motivate yourself, stop being so lazy, be more disciplined, choose to work harder, apply yourself more, you just don’t seem to care, why can’t you just put forth more effort, you have so much potential, you make things so hard on yourself, if you would just…” This is an endless loop that has a terrible impact on a child’s transition to adulthood. As a result, struggling students often feel shamed, and therefore feel even less motivated, even more resistant, and even more distant from their parents, who were doing their best to help.
What’s the solution?
During UGYG, I take you step-by-step through the entire process I use with my students, to implement the key systems, habits and mindsets needed to turn it around.
No ambiguity or confusion, you will know exactly what your child needs to succeed and how to support them.
- I will teach you my exact methods to create the right foundation for a successful school year.
- These are EF skills your child will use and refine throughout their entire schooling.
- In fact, these are critical life skills.
This is a unique program because it’s for students and parents. Its aim is to help struggling students who need guidance with the right tools so they can navigate more successfully and therefore create a better future. It’s also unique because I mix my playful tone with the seriousness of the situation.
I’ve spent the past 20+ years helping hundreds of outside-the-box learners. Coaching is the best way I know to help them change habits, and I designed UGYG to be a game-changer for you.
What are the benefits for parents?
- Most important: Feel more confident in your child’s potential to build a happy and successful future.
- You’re not the one telling them how to do school, I am. Parents often tell me, “my child won’t take my advice, but they listen to you.” This is a huge relief to parents and they appreciate that I reaffirm what they’ve been trying to teach.
- Feel more at ease as you watch your child become more independent and confident.
- Feel clear about what your child needs – you’ll learn the exact systems your child needs so you don’t have to worry if you’re covering all the bases.
- Learn the difference between enabling your child in an unhealthy way that causes “learned helplessness” and how to help your child in a healthy way that teaches independence.
- Feel less stress and have more fun in your relationship with your child.
- Learn how to help your child manage overwhelming emotions and resistance.
- Feel you are not alone, see other parents in the same position.
- Feel free from having to lecture or nag your child. If your child won’t listen to you, I’m the one telling them, so they can take more ownership in the process.
- You get to see how I communicate with kids (parents often tell me how helpful this is in helping them learn better ways to communicate).
- In-depth PDF support sheets that detail key concepts and keep you on track.
- Your child will navigate the mid-semester “dip” better.
- Better grades.
Note: UGYG is not for people seeking a quick/easy fix or a magic bullet. The reality is that these issues often take years to overcome. But UGYG will help move the needle and is designed to get your child on a much better trajectory.
“Thanks so much… your lessons are awesome and although there has been some resistance as you said there would be, he is enjoying them and really, really benefiting already. He’s feeling more hopeful and like he’s getting some control over things and less overwhelmed. I think even just having his dedicated sacred study space has made a big difference. So grateful we found you.”
Who is UGYG for?
- Age: Middle and High School students who want results. They feel frustrated and want to improve how they navigate school, be more efficient, get more out of their efforts, have more fun/free time and less stress. (Yes, some college students use UGYG.)
- Homework – Students who struggle with homework. It’s often missing, incomplete, late, lost, forgotten or nameless.
- Grades – Students whose grades do not reflect their ability or potential. Grades often suffer from missing and incomplete homework, late work, low quality work, not preparing for tests adequately, doing projects or writing papers at the last minute.
- Study skills – Students who want to learn how to study more effectively.
- Organization – Students who are “organizationally challenged.” They lose things, can’t find their papers, have papers crammed in the bottom of their backpacks, in the wrong folders, messy lockers or desks. These are students who find old papers and say, “Oops, I thought I turned that in” or “Oh! I was looking for that!” Students whose binders are out of control, whose bedrooms are a catastrophe.
- Avoid consequences – Students who want to avoid having to go to summer school or repeat courses for recovery credit, who want to avoid stress caused by “the dip” pattern and who want to avoid arguments with parents about school.
- Planners – Students who don’t like planners, lose planners, forget planners, barely use planners, who don’t know how to use planners to reliably track responsibilities. They often fool themselves by saying, “Planners just don’t work for me, I’ll remember it.”
- Motivation – Students who have trouble with self-starting, procrastination, avoid their work as long as possible, who say they have a big project, exam or paper the night before. They have mastered the art of excuses for not starting.
- Mindset – Attitudes about school can either be self-defeating or positive. These kids have self-defeating mindsets like this: I can’t, this is stupid, I don’t care, I’ll do it later, I hate school, the teacher hates me, I’ll never use this, my parents always bug me. Having the right mindset is critical so students don’t just listen to their old self-defeating stories, so they have the skill of questioning their own narrative and choosing perspectives that help them persist through challenges. They create a mindset that says, I can do this. It may take some effort, but I’ve got this.
- Focus -Students who are easily distracted, who want to work smarter not harder, and who are willing to try new strategies so they can have better focus, concentration and attention.
- Efficiency – Students who spend way too much time on homework and want strategies on how to be efficient.
- Free time – Students who want to learn how to work more efficiently so they have more free time and less stress.
- Overwhelm – Students who are overwhelmed by managing the countless details of school and life, who have no idea where to start, who don’t have effective systems for managing the due dates, school work, etc..
“Seth, your energy on the video lessons is incredibly engaging and you make the information in your videos super concrete for the kids. You tell them exactly what to focus on and what they don’t need to worry about. The way you talk is so relatable, and your program is really simple to follow – both for parents and students.” – Yulianna R., Los Angeles
Who UGYG is NOT for?
To be clear, UGYG may not help you at all. I’ve had the benefit of working with complicated students for 20+ years, I work with students for a semester at a time and have learned to address the nuances that get results.
The average person who buys a program does not apply what they learn, and I can only help people who take action. Again, this is not a quick fix – if that’s what you’re hoping for, please do not enroll.
- Magic bullets – This program isn’t for you if you’re looking for cheap, quick and easy. There are no magic bullets. Change takes time, effort, a proven approach and action.
- Investment – Your results will vary depending on your investment of time, persistence, study and application.
- Effort – If you can’t or won’t put in the effort, this is not worth your money.
- Willingness – You’ll have to be willing to show up, pay attention, try what I teach, listen carefully, and put in time the with your child, even though they may be resistant (don’t worry, I help with the resistance throughout the entire course).
- Child’s willingness – If your child can’t or won’t give this a real shot, it’s not worth it. Show your child the video I made for students here >>> and see how they respond. You can then make an informed decision together.
“Going slowly seems to be working for my kiddo, I am taking it as a win. The other day his planner spontaneously appeared out of his backpack with notes written in the boxes, after weeks of resistance, and it brought tears to my eyes. Baby steps!”
- A practical, proven system that gets results when applied. This is exactly what I’ve successfully taught many kids over many years.
- Hours of in-depth, masterclass video instruction, including my down-to-earth, quirky, personality that I use to relate to my students. The lessons are fun, not boring or stuffy.
- 35 Student in-depth teachings, with clear action steps to set students up for success.
- 20 Parent in-depth teachings to guide you through the process.
- Action steps throughout the course to implement what you and your child are learning and strengthen your relationship with your child.
- In-depth printable PDF support documents and checklists to help implement my teachings.
- Templates for advocacy emails.
- Bonus “Touch up” live bootcamp midway through the semester to help keep the momentum going and refine core concepts.
What will students learn?
Main objective: By the time you are done with this course you will feel better because you will have helped your child effectively set up the right school systems, refined them for effectiveness, know how to maintain them, learned the right mindsets, and be off to a strong start and be building the key habits & routines. Here are some topics:
- Systems – Learn the systems students need to succeed (students are not often taught these in school, so if they don’t figure it out on their own, they flail around year after year, with missing and incomplete assignments, falling grades, decreased motivation, and insufficient time studying or working on projects and papers). Learn how to use these systems effectively and how to tailor them to your child’s personality and learning style.
- Planners – Which planner to use and why. How to completely set up the planner properly for a successful school year. How and when to update a planner properly. How to backward plan for tests, projects and papers so students don’t wait until the last minute.
- Organization of papers – How to manage the paperwork from multiple classes simply and effectively. How to keep track of the most important assignments and current work. How to maintain the backpack.
- SSS: Sacred Study Space – How to optimize your home SSS for focus. How to remove distractions from the SSS. The exact materials you should have in your SSS so you can get more done in less time.
- Nightly planning – Routine of exactly what to do each day after school, how to do it and why.
- Grade checking – How to proactively check online grades, when to do it and how to respond to missing assignments, incomplete assignments and low grades.
- Browser optimization – How to set up the browser for school success and how to minimize online distractions.
- The Motivation Lie – The right mindset concerning “unmotivated” students. How to deal with procrastination. Why the brain is resistant to help and what to do about it.
- Resistance – Avoidance, resisting help, how to help your child.
- Executive Function – How the brain executes tasks, what can your child do to make it better, what can you change that makes it worse.
- Stress and the nervous system – Fight, flight and freeze, what’s going on in the body and how to work with it rather than create more stress.
- Routines – Learn about the habits and routines you need to have in order to be a successful student.
- Procrastination busters – Tips and tricks for self-starting and persisting.
- Refine and maintain – Sharpen the sword. Checking systems from last week, adding any new systems, learning to maintain systems and refine how effectively students use them for their particular learning style.
- What to do weekly – How to do my Sunday systems check to stay current and build habits.
- Asking for help – How students can let parents help you when they are resistant to it. How to let teachers help.
- Advocacy – How to advocate for oneself.
“I’m loving your lessons so far! For the first time in a while, I feel hopeful that I can help my son. He actually started crying when I showed him the student video to see if he would be open to the course. It was a resounding YES!”
- This “start” lesson gives an in-depth overview of UGYG.
Module 1 – Prep Your Brain
- How it Works: This tells you specifically how to use the course.
- Resistance: The CORE problem is that students resist. They resist starting schoolwork, using planners, staying organized, being forthcoming with parents, asking for help, etc.. HOW do we help deal with resistance. If this is not addressed, students will not be able to achieve major life goals and it will impact their future.
Module 2 – Foundations + Frankenstudy
- Your Brain – What is Executive Function in-depth, and why is it so crucial to understand?
- Foundations – What are the exact foundations you need in order to succeed in school?
- How to FrankenStudy and create systems that are customized to YOUR needs and preferences?
- Paper Management – How to manage all the papers from school effectively. How to NOT just have the system everyone recommends, but use one that will actually work (2 Videos)
- The Dip – What to do in the middle of the semester when you hit that dip and things start to fall apart? Why does this pattern happen? Why do you need to understand this?
- Planner Setup – How to set up a planner for YOUR brain, a planner that you can and will actually use? (7 Videos) How to use a planner when you resist them?
- SSS: The Sacred Study Space – How exactly to set up a space for studying where you can get stuff done effectively? (2 videos) Why is this so important?
- Foundations assessment – Now we look carefully at the foundation you created and make sure it has everything you need. Did you create a foundation with holes or will it hold up under pressure?
- Review – Zoom Out – let’s take a look at what we’ve done so far and really make sure all the pieces are in place before moving on.
Module 3 – Implementing Your New Systems
- About Implementation – Now that you’ve got a foundation, how in the world will you implement the systems? How will you learn to use these tools?
- Routine – Daily Planning (2 Videos) Successful students do this naturally, but some students don’t know how to plan daily and it seems like a waste of time. So how can you do it so it helps you have MORE free time and be MORE successful?
- Monday Checkin (2 Videos) These check-in videos are quick lessons that you should watch daily for at least 2 weeks when you get home from school. They will help you know EXACTLY what to do to be successful.
- Tuesday Checkin
- Wednesday Checkin
- Thursday Checkin
- Friday Checkin/Reflect/Celebrate – this one has some extra important lesson ideas for you. You’ve finished a week, you’ve got to take time to appreciate your efforts and celebrate!
- Sunday Night Overhaul (2 Videos) One of the most important things you can ever do is to do the SNO to MAINTAIN your new systems. If you don’t learn to maintain, the systems won’t do you any good. This shows you EXACTLY what to do and makes it easy. NOTE: Do this every week for the rest of the semester
- Goal Setting – How exactly should you set goals for the semester? What works? This will help.
- The 1% Rule – Doing school is overwhelming and there is a lot of resistance and stress that prevents you from feeling motivated. How do you get over procrastination? How do you self-start without being bugged by parents all the time?
Module 4 – Maintenance – Sharpening the Sword
- Accepting Help – Some students won’t accept help from parents and resist asking for help from teachers. But we need help. So HOW do you accept it? How do you even ask for it when you want to resist?
Module 5 – The Dip and How to Get Out of a Nose Dive
- The Dip & 19 Ideas to help you through it – ALL of my students hit the DIP. Grades fall, motivation falls, it’s ugly. But HOW do you make the DIP smaller? THAT’s the question! Here’s the answer.
- Mid-Semester Inspiration. Watch this halfway through the semester when you don’t feel like doing anything!
- Putting out FIRES (3 Videos) – when things heat up, what to do! There are some common fires that need to be taken care of. This will make it crystal clear so you can know what to expect and how to react.
- The Q: (or the Queue) A way to make things easier when you’re trying to manage a bunch of schoolwork. This is a special tip for how to add an effective new folder.
Module 6 – Finishing Strong + Celebrating Growth
- PEPR Strategies (5 Videos) Students MUST learn to deal with the end of semester Papers, Exams, Projects and Reading Assignments. Unfortunately, they
- The FINAL Stretch – HOW to dig deep when you want to give up at the final stretch of the semester. How to get through it EFFECTIVELY!
- Tying up Loose Ends – At the end of the school year, you want to have closure and make SURE there is no unfinished business. Here’s EXACTLY what to track for success and to make sure you don’t forget anything that will drag your grades into the ground.
- Let Go of the Semester – HOW to feel like you’re really done with the semester or year so you can close the chapter and move on to the next chapter right.
- Inspiration for that LAST Minute – A great old quote that will help motivate you for the final push! This will help you zoom out to get perspective again.
- Prepare for the NEXT Semester or school year – You’ve got to think about this even though it may be the last thing you want to think about at the end of a semester! But this will actually make it easier.
- My Final Thoughts! – Relax and hear my positive thoughts to wrap things up!
Module 7 – PARENT Lessons
- Parents, HOW to Help your Student
- How to Help with CLEAN SLATING
- How to Have Difficult Conversations
- 3:1 Rule
- What do YOU think?
- Printable PDF Index
- Where “Should” You Be?
- Parents, What to Ask?
- What about medication?
- Proactive Advocacy Email
- Emotional Regulation
- Webinar Replays
- Wait Time
- The Parent Dip
- Parents, How to do the FINAL STRETCH
- Trust Your Kid?
- How to Celebrate the End?
- Parents, My Final Thoughts
How it works?
- When you sign up, you’ll receive an email from me with the links you need to begin. No tech skills needed.
- Once you log in you do the lessons at your own pace, but with a “recommended” schedule. Just log in, click the lesson, and you’ll see the simple instructions, the current video lesson and the printable pdf’s.
- I walk you and/or your child through the lessons step by step. I’ve been doing this for a long time, so I’ve designed the entire semester to flow as smoothly as possible and to optimize for success.
- There are 35 robust lessons designed especially for students – where I am speaking directly to them. However, parents should watch ALL student videos so you can thoroughly understand my teachings. If you’re not willing to do this, it is not worth your money.
- There are an additional 20 in-depth lessons specifically for Parents. I teach you how to help your child deal with their resistance, emotional regulation, homework problems, etc..
Got questions? Email email@example.com
- When should we start? You can start UGYG at any time, but the closer to the start of the semester, the better. This way, you can help your child get systems in place proactively instead of reactively. The important thing is to just dive in and take action asap.
- What if we are not on traditional semesters? It doesn’t matter much. I planned UGYG for typical semesters in the USA, but I have families in different countries, families on hexters or quarters, homeschool families and other non-traditional schedules. The content is the same no matter what schedule you are on and you go at the pace that works for you. I give you “suggested” times that you can adapt to your situation. Simply go through the course in order, and adapt it to your needs. The important thing is that you apply the principles.
- How much time is needed? A lot, and it will also save a TON of time, energy and frustration over the rest of the semester and for years to come. Most student videos are 5-10 minutes long and require action. You can go at your own pace and do several lessons in a day or break it up over multiple days. Again, this is not a quick fix – that doesn’t work. But it is reasonable. Plan on spending several hours the first month as we get systems in place. Then it will require less time each month.
- What if my child isn’t ready? Honestly, this isn’t for you right now. You may benefit from an in-person coach, tutor, therapist or other support professionals to address underlying challenges first. There are many other fantastic programs to explore.
- What if I want to do it with more than one of my children? No problem. You pay per family, so you can use it with multiple children. Multiple family members use the same login info.
- Will I be able to download lessons? Yes, you can download from Vimeo and keep them.
- Will we have access after the semester ends? YES. As long as I keep the course online, you’ll have access. I have no intention of taking it down. You “should” revisit UGYG as a refresher each semester until your child is a solid student.
- What if I’m not technologically savvy? Don’t worry, I make it clear, step by step.
- Is it worth it? Absolutely, especially when you consider the cost of not taking action and especially if you view education as an investment in your child’s future. If this program helps you and your child transform their educational experience so they can be moving forward rather than backsliding, it’s a no-brainer. I’ve been helping complicated kids turn it around for a long time, and I know what works and what doesn’t. Coaching is $150-$250/hour, and this is incredibly deep, focused, relevant, and includes a full semester of coaching lessons. I designed this to be a game-changer. Also you can compare it to other things you spend money on – tutoring, neuropsych evals, therapists, support programs, etc.. And you get a 30-day money-back guarantee, so there’s no risk.
- What if I have other questions? Email firstname.lastname@example.org
How do we get started?
How do we start? If you 1) watched the video for parents above, 2) you and your child watched the video for students, 3) you read through this page carefully, and 4) you want to start, click a program below to enroll.
How do we pay? Credit card through the link.
Guarantee – There’s no risk. If this isn’t for you, email me within 30 days and I’ll refund you 100%. No catch. I’ll ask for feedback but will refund you either way.
How to Enroll
- You get the self-paced, independent, program to do on your own time, your own way.
- Get the robust, semester-long online program. Video course with 35 incredible lessons covering all critical topics.
- For Middle and High school students (college students sometimes use this course)
- Get downloadable support PDFs to help you execute lessons
- Get 20 Lessons just for parents, to help you help your child with confidence
- 30-Day 100% Money-Back Guarantee
- STUDENT BONUS Date TBA for fall 2021, Student “Touch-Up” session to serve as a pep-talk for students during The Dip midway through the semester to help keep momentum going, refine core concepts and tell them where they “should” be at this point. Will be recorded for you.
- PARENT BONUS Date TBA for fall 2021, Live, for Parents, Ask me Anything Office Hours. Get help midway through the semester, when the DIP happens and things fall apart. Will be recorded for you.
- NOTE: You can enroll in the self-paced program any time, and you can upgrade to Momentum Group, and apply 100% of your investment to the upgrade.
2) Momentum Premium Group Program
Enrollment for Fall 2021 is closed. To learn about the group, get on the waitlist, and get special discounts, click here >>
Questions? Email email@example.com
Scholarship? I have 3 partial scholarships for families who legitimately need financial help. Email me if interested.