I am a wife, a mother of three, a Christian and a math tutor. I love all of these parts of my life and find joy in helping others. I especially to see them learn to do material that seemed so hard in the past. I've watched every single student I've worked with attain the goal that either the student had or the parents had. I've been thrilled to see them all pass the difficult math class, make high scores on SAT's, achieve an 'A' for the first time ever in math or whatever that student's goal was. It's been a privilege to share the joy of watching them succeed.
I home-schooled my own three children for grades 1-7. I tutored elementary, middle, high school and college students during the years my children were growing. I also began tutoring home-schooled students. When my youngest entered the school system, I had much more free time on my hands so I volunteered at the local middle school, helping students who were behind in their math class. I found out several sad truths about the public school system :
- Teachers are overworked and it's impossible for them to make a point of spending a great deal of time helping one student at a time.
- If a student gets behind in math, the problem will snowball quickly because the students are given frequent "checks" to see that they remember what they have learned so far. Also, the material builds on itself and a math topic taught in the fall might be used the entire school year. If your child had trouble with something like fractions then he or she will lose points off a test month after month when that topic reappears on a quiz or test. That brings their grade down over and over.
- Based on how amazed the teachers and staff at the school where I volunteered were that I was tutoring for no charge, other parents and community members do not make time to help in the schools.
- If your child has a teacher that is just burned out, it is nearly impossible to get cooperation from the teacher to help your son or daughter.
- Students would rather die than raise their hand in class.
I accepted an offer to teach geometry to a small group of home-schooled students during the 2012-2013 academic year. This really opened my eyes to the need for students to be able to turn right to the place in their notebook to find notes, handouts or other material. Therefore, I stress student skills like note-taking when I tutor a young man or woman regardless of their grade level.
I have also worked as a substitute for math teachers in middle school.
I tutor in my kitchen and the parents either wait in our den (and read or watch TV), sit in their cars or run errands during the sessions. I have MS (multiple sclerosis) and can not drive from one student's house to another. Because the parent has to drive to my house and helps me in that way, I offer some extra time past an hour at no charge. Also, I charge less than most tutors with my years of experience.
THE FIRST SESSION:
The first session can vary depending on the situation that the student is in. If your son or daughter has a quiz or test very soon, I will find a way to meet with you immediately. We will discuss the areas of math where there are obvious strengths and the areas that are troublesome. There is no charge for the time spent before the tutoring begins. I have found repeatedly that it helps put us all at ease to sit together in the den and talk about what the problems are and how long math has been difficult.
As I mentioned, I will correspond with the teacher to stay current with all dates of upcoming assessments and to ask the teacher's opinion of any noticeable problems in the class. It's good to find out the teacher's opinion of how much the student is participating in class.
I like to spend 15 to 20 minutes at the beginning of the first session working some general math problems that shouldn't be too difficult. It helps me determine how much material from previous years is being retained and how the student goes about solving a problem.
LENGTH OF THE SESSIONS:
For any session, if the tutoring time lasts 10 or 15 minutes over an hour, you are only charged for an hour. When deciding if the session will be 60 minutes or longer, in all cases, 90 minutes or two 60 minute sessions per week proves to be a better choice than 1 hour per week.
However, I understand the cost of tutoring adds up quickly and if just one 60-minute session per week will have to be the normal schedule, we will make that work.
Also, there will be homework from me and I will need someone to check that it's being attempted on a regular basis, no later than the day before the session. The student will have my email address to ask me questions. I would rather receive an email and help work out a problem (at no charge) than for the student to struggle with a problem and postpone finding out how to solve it. I will show your son or daughter several math sites and expect them to try the them mainly to build accuracy in working problems. I will also be looking for ones that that target any difficulties going on.
I will do my best to find a way to make the material as easy to understand for the student as possible. For every hour you pay for, I will be working at least two hours on my own to find the right worksheets, exchanging corresponding with the teacher and talking with you and your son or daughter.
I'm blessed that my oldest daughter attended college on a full scholarship, that my second child is currently attending college on a full scholarship and my youngest daughter has excelled in all of her honors and AP classes. I know that the individualized attention in math I gave to them helped all three of my children get through their math classes (and they all hate math) and it can make a world of difference for your child as well.
I truly hope I can be of help to you. If I can't, I do hope you find the help you are looking for here at WyzAnt.
Sincerely, Tracey M
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