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Phillip P.

Succeed in Life with Context Learning

Matawan, NJ (07747)

Travel radius
40 miles
Hourly fee
$45.00
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Phillip P. passed a background check on 5/7/14. The check was ordered by Phillip through First Advantage. For more information, please review the background check information page.

After sending a message to Phillip, you will be able to order a new background check for $7.99. As part of your tutor selection process, we encourage you to run updated background checks. Please also review the safety tips for hiring tutors.

Are you looking for a tutor with a proven track record of professional and academic success? If so, you can't do better than hiring me. A one-time Oxford University scholar, I am a five-time award-nominated poet, a former junior-level Internet-publishing executive and a nationally published journalist. I scored a 720 out of 800 on the SAT Verbal section, and I scored 720 out of 800 on the GRE Verbal section and 5.5 out of 6 on the GRE Writing section. And I can help you do all this too. The key to, for instance, scoring a 5 on the AP History, Literature and English Language exams (as I have done) is creating mental connections between the facts to form a mental picture.

This is called "Context Learning," and with me as your coach, you can learn to use this powerful tool to achieve success in whatever subject you set your sights on. What's more, I have experience tutoring junior-high and high-school students, as well as proctoring college-level classes. So, suffice it to say, I am comfortable working with both children and adults. I guarantee I can help you master the TOEFL, English, the GRE, the SAT, Reading, Writing, World History, American History, European History, HTML, French, Latin, SEO Marketing, and a host of other topics. So why not give me a try? An introductory session is economical at $35/hour, and my hourly rate becomes even more affordable after the first 10 hours per week!

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Phillip’s subjects

Science:
Philosophy, Physics
Computer:
HTML, Microsoft Excel, Microsoft PowerPoint, Microsoft Word
Language:
Elementary Education:
Business:
GRE, Microsoft Excel, Microsoft PowerPoint, Microsoft Word
Corporate Training:
French, Grammar, HTML, Latin, Microsoft Excel, Microsoft Word, Proofreading

ACT English

Is your target college or university in the Midwest or Rockies? If so, you might want to take the ACT instead of the SAT. The fact is, while all U.S. college and university admissions committees will consider either ACT or SAT scores, committees at institutions from Colorado to Ohio generally prefer their applicants take the ACT. And who better to help you ace the ACT English section than an Oxford-educated, professional writer?

In this course, students will learn to answer questions that require they replace an underlined passage. To help them do this, we will concentrate on various facets of English-language reading and writing, including grammar, punctuation, style, rhetoric and vocabulary. What's more, we will explore strategies students can use to find the best answer when a "curve-ball word" has them unsure which answer is correct.

The introductory lesson will consist of an explanation of the ACT English section's format, the student's completing a sample test and our briefly discussing each of her incorrect answers. Each subsequent class will consist of an in-depth, 30-minute to one-hour lesson on a key aspect of English reading and writing that the student did not previously understand, based on her sample-test answers from the introductory lesson; after each lesson, the student and I will complete practice questions together, discussing each question and thinking through the answering process aloud. The suggested time for each session is at least two hours.

Unless the student indicates a preference for another text, we will work from the Kaplan 2012 ACT test-preparation guide. Lessons can and should be repeated. Once the student feels confident she fully understands the reasons for her incorrect practice-test answers, we will meet for two final sessions: During the penultimate, we will discuss and practice test-taking strategies that can help raise her ACT English scores; during the final session, I will administer a new practice exam (computer- or paper-based, according to the student's preference), simulating the environment of test day. I will report the results of this final test within 48 hours of its completion, and the student may opt to continue our sessions based on her answers to this sample test.

Please Note: The above is my suggested lesson plan. Parents may choose to adhere to it at their discretion.

ACT Math

Is your target university or college in the Rockies or Midwest? If so, you should consider taking the ACT instead of the SAT. Truth be told, though all U.S. college and university admissions committees will consider either ACT or SAT scores, committees at institutions from Ohio to Colorado generally prefer their applicants take the ACT. And who better to help you ace the ACT Math section than a former Oxford scholar who has scored in the 96th percentile on standardized tests himself?

In this course, students will learn to answer multiple-choice questions about pre-algebra, elementary algebra, intermediate algebra, plane geometry, coordinate geometry and elementary trigonometry. To help them do this, we will review higher-math's many principles, laws and operations and examine how such rules are properly put to use solving problems. What's more, we will explore strategies students can use to find the best answer when a "curve-ball question" has them unsure which answer is correct.

The introductory lesson will consist of an explanation of the ACT Math section, the student's completing an assessment test and our briefly discussing each of her incorrect answers. Each subsequent session will consist of a detailed, 30-minute to one-hour lesson on a major aspect of problem solving the student did not previously understand--based on her sample-test answers from the introductory lesson; following each lesson, the student and I will complete practice questions together, discussing each question and thinking through the answering process aloud. The suggested time for each session is at least two hours.

Unless the student indicates a preference for another text, we will work from the Kaplan 2012 ACT test-preparation guide. Lessons can and should be repeated. Once the student feels confident she fully understands the reasons for her incorrect practice-test answers, we will meet for two final sessions: During the second-to-the-last, we will discuss and practice test-taking strategies that can help raise her ACT Math scores; during the last session, I will administer a new practice exam (computer- or paper-based, according to the student's preference), simulating the environment of test day. I will report the results of this final test within 48 hours of its completion, and the student may opt to continue our sessions based on her answers to this sample test.

Please Note: This is my suggested lesson plan. Parents may choose to adhere to it at their discretion.

ACT Reading

Is your target college or university in the Midwest or Rockies? If so, you might want to take the ACT instead of the SAT. The fact is, while all U.S. college and university admissions committees will consider either ACT or SAT scores, committees at institutions from Colorado to Ohio generally prefer their applicants take the ACT. And who better to help you ace the ACT Reading section than an Oxford-educated, professional writer?

In this course, students will learn to answer questions based on reading passages. To help them do this, we will practice locating key points and ideas in a wide range of adult reading-level passages, from news magazines, social- and hard-science journals and literary works. What's more, we will explore test-taking and reading strategies students can use to find the best answer when a "curve-ball question" has them unsure which answer is correct.

The introductory lesson will consist of an explanation of the ACT Reading section's format, the student's completing a sample test and our briefly discussing each of her incorrect answers. Each subsequent class will consist of an in-depth, 30-minute to one-hour lesson on a key aspect of English reading that the student did not previously understand, based on her sample-test answers from the introductory lesson; after each lesson, the student and I will complete practice questions together, discussing each question and thinking through the answering process aloud. The suggested time for each session is at least two hours.

Unless the student indicates a preference for another text, we will work from the Kaplan 2012 ACT test-preparation guide, with additional reading passages pulled from outside sources. Lessons can and should be repeated. Once the student feels confident she fully understands the reasons for her incorrect practice-test answers, we will meet for two final sessions: During the penultimate, we will discuss and practice test-taking and reading strategies that can help raise her ACT Reading scores; during the final session, I will administer a new practice exam (computer- or paper-based, according to the student's preference), simulating the environment of test day. I will report the results of this final test within 48 hours of its completion, and the student may opt to continue our sessions based on her answers to this sample test.

Please Note: The above is my suggested lesson plan. Parents may choose to adhere to it at their discretion.

Algebra 1

Say you're tiling your deck, and you want to create a simple design with two different colors of tile: A large sea-blue square on a field of a terracotta red. The problem is, though both types are perfect squares, the blue tiles for the center are larger than the red tiles. And the deck, well it's rectangular! So how many packages of each type of tile do you need to complete the project?

You could buy more than you need and lose money selling unused supplies back to Home Depot or Lowes. Or you could simply use some basic Algebra to figure out exactly how many tiles you need before you start. After all, a deck is a two-dimensional plane, and each tile is a two dimensional plane. By figuring out the square footage of the entire deck, then subtracting the total square footage of your blue, interior design, you know how much footage of red tile you need. And by dividing that by the area of one red tile you know how many red tiles you need. In other words, if r=the length of one side of a red tile, d=the the total area of your planned center design, w=the width of the deck and l=the deck's length, and x=the number of red tiles you have to buy, then (w*l-d)/r^2=x. In Algebra that's call a quadratic equation. And knowing how to solve it is the smart approach to DIY.

In this class, students will learn to solve a wide range of algebraic equations, from simple algebraic expressions to radical polynomial inequalities. They will also complete special hypothetical and real projects like the one detailed above to give them a contextual understanding of how they can use algebra in their daily lives. Such projects can include, for instance, building a tree house, surveying their parents' property with a real surveyor's assistant, even planning out how many hours they'd have to work to afford a video game they want. The sky's the limit for such projects, but the basic point of them will be to solidify the student's understanding of algebraic principles in a way she will remember come test day. (Please note, all material costs for real projects, plus hourly rate for professionals like a surveyor's assistant must be paid by the student/parents in advance.)

Unless the student indicates a preference for another text, we will use "Algebra: Structure and Method," Book I from McDougal Littell. Our first session will consist of the student completing a proprietary Algebra I assessment test. I will report the student's performance on the test within 48 hours of its completion. The test will help delineate what aspects of Algebra the student does and does not understand. Subsequent sessions will be built around ensuring the student has shored up principles for solving problems she answered wrong on the test.

Between sessions, I may ask the student to read portions of the textbook and assign exercises to be reviewed the following session. The final session will consist of my administering a second proprietary exam to gauge the student's progress.

Sessions can and should be repeated until the student fully understands the material. Please be advised too: Because devising test materials and projects is time-consuming, the above-outlined teaching method cannot be implemented with students who have little time to master the material. I am happy, of course, to conduct survey reviews of multiple topics at once. But such reviews cannot be as effective as taking the full course. I therefore highly suggest meeting often for several hours each session over at least three months to ensure maximum effectiveness.

Please Note: The above is an overview of my proposed curriculum. I will, of course, gladly change it according to a parent's wishes and/or student's needs. Contact me via my WyzAnt email for more details.

Algebra 2

Roulette is a strange casino game. To many it seems perfectly winnable, while many more would lump those in the first group in with the proverbial "suckers" born every day. But who's right? Say you're considering playing the game at a casino, but want to know how many possible combinations of 100 outcomes could occur to help determine your odds. You know 100 is the average number of games played at one roulette wheel in any given hour. But how can you use that information to find out how many hours it would take until you've seen every possible combination?

Of course, you could approach this problem in a very dumb way by playing and/or watching thousands of games and recording their outcomes. OR you could simply apply the concept of calculating permutations (learned in your average Algebra II class) to the problem and discover that even if you were immortal and began playing roulette in ancient Egypt you still wouldn't have seen every possible set of 100 outcomes.

What's more, by calculating your probability of winning (another Algebra II concept) you'd see that you'll lose about 53 cents per spin when you average your wins and losses. So that's an AVERAGE of going $53 in the hole every hour until the sun blows up. Looks like that second group was right after all, and you know you'll be much richer and wiser by avoiding that darned wheel entirely, thanks to Algebra II.

In this class, students will learn to solve a wide range of advanced algebraic equations, from simple equations with inequalities to graphing hyperbolas and working with matrices. They will also complete special hypothetical and real projects like the one detailed above to give them a contextual understanding of how they can use algebra in their daily lives. Such projects can include, for instance, building an above-ground pool deck, learning to hit a target with a potato cannon, even determining how much flour you need if you want to make an eight-serving cake sized for two. The sky's the limit for such projects, but the basic point of them will be to solidify the student's understanding of advanced algebraic principles in a way she will remember come test day. (Please note, all material costs for real projects, plus hourly rate for professionals like a surveyor's assistant must be paid by the student/parents in advance.)

Unless the student indicates a preference for another text, we will use "Algebra: Structure and Method, Vol. II" from McDougal Littell. Our first session will consist of the student completing a proprietary Algebra II assessment test. I will report the student's performance on the test within 48 hours of its completion. The test will help delineate what aspects of Algebra the student does and does not understand. Subsequent sessions will be built around ensuring the student has shored up principles for solving problems she answered wrong on the test.

Between sessions, I may ask the student to read portions of the textbook and assign exercises to be reviewed the following session. The final session will consist of my administering a second proprietary exam to gauge the student's progress.

Sessions can and should be repeated until the student fully understands the material. Please be advised, too: Because devising test materials and projects is time-consuming, the above-outlined teaching method cannot be implemented with students who have little time to master the material. I am happy, of course, to conduct survey reviews of multiple topics at once. But such reviews cannot be as effective as taking the full course. I therefore highly suggest meeting often for several hours each session over at least three months to ensure maximum effectiveness.

Please Note: The above is an overview of my proposed curriculum. I will, of course, gladly change it according to a parent's wishes and/or student's needs. Contact me via my WyzAnt email for more details.

American History

Spanish philosopher George Santayana authored the much-repeated line: "Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it." But there are plenty of other reasons to learn about history as well. Perhaps you are a new immigrant who wishes to pass your naturalization test. Or perhaps you are a high-school student hoping to get a jump on college by taking an Advanced Placement class. Whatever your reason, there is no better way to shore up your understanding of American History than by studying with a tutor who himself scored a 5 out of 5 on his A.P. American History Test.

In this course, we will not only concentrate on the facts associated with major developments in American History; but we will also examine these events' contexts. Starting with the founding of the earliest European colonies, we will examine the myriad reasons so many traveled "across the pond." Then, we will move forward chronologically, examining the major ideas, personalities and technological developments that shaped those colonies into today's United States of America.

Unless the student indicates a preference for another textbook, we will work from the two-part "American Horizons" series, as well as outside primary sources, such as Martin Luther King Jr.'s "Letter from Birmingham Jail." We will also travel to local historical sites where major events occurred. (This feature is optional and subject to availability; the total cost for such trips shall be added to the day's tuition, which must be paid prior to such excursions.)

The introductory session will comprise a short, 30-minute to one-hour lesson on the Lost Colony of Roanoke. Afterward, the student will play the role of Sir Walter Raleigh or Queen Elizabeth I, as Raleigh applies for his Virginia Colony charter. The student must either be persuaded to grant or argue in favor of granting the charter, based on the endeavor's pros and cons. After this, the student will complete a short quiz on facts surrounding Roanoke's founding.

Subsequent sessions will follow a similar structure. Between sessions, I may ask the student to complete a one-page diary entry from the perspective of a historical personage; the student may also be given a reading assignment from a primary text and/or a textbook chapter. We will discuss these assignments in subsequent sessions with an eye toward placing major events in context.

The course will culminate with two final sessions: The penultimate session will see the student's learning test-taking strategies that will improve her performance on the U.S. Naturalization Exam or A.P. American History Test; the final session will see the student taking a practice exam simulating the environment for either test.

Taking the full course entails a great number of sessions. The suggested length for each session is at least two hours, and sessions should be repeated as necessary. However, because the U.S. Naturalization Exam focuses primarily on events prior to 1792, naturalization-oriented students may wish to discontinue the course after learning about the U.S. Bill of Rights.

For those planning to take the A.P. American History exam or enrolling to improve their performance in college-level classes, the full version of this course is advisable. Ideally, too, such students should enroll the summer preceding the start of their American History class.

Please Note: The above is my suggested course plan. Customers may discontinue or request variance at their discretion. Please be advised as well: WyzAnt has certified me to provide courses in French; I do not have sufficient training to provide this course to speakers of other languages who are not proficient in English.

English

Studying English might seem simple. After all, if you're reading this sentence without much difficulty, you're likely one of the Earth's nearly 400 million inhabitants who speak English as their native language. But, unlike many of the world's languages, English is more than a means of communicating with other people. It is humanity's primary lingua franca for both international politics and business.

There are, of course, many historical reasons for the primacy of English. But there are also practical reasons as well. Not only is it the third most-spoken language on the planet, but unlike many other languages, it is also a standardized language. And this means that, for instance, a journalist in the United States can email the mayor of the Pitcairn Islands, and the two can understand each other perfectly.

The standardization of English has many benefits, but it also means that one hallmark of a proper education today is fluency in either Standard American English or United Kingdom Standard English. And this can be difficult to achieve, both for those who speak English as a second language and English speakers whose natural dialects deviate from either standard.

One of the main reasons to seek an English tutor, then, is to ensure you are prepared for proper communication in the professional world. And who better to help you achieve an understanding of either standard than an award-nominated, nationally published American writer and journalist who studied English Literature at Oxford University?

In this course, students can choose to shore up their mastery of either standard, or receive help with their English training at the pre-secondary through secondary levels. As such, course structure and texts will vary from student to student, but may include lessons in grammar, style, rhetoric, vocabulary and pronunciation. Example exercises include sentence diagramming, readings from classic English-language texts, journal writing, study of the parts of speech, standard conjugations and word derivations, and conversational practice.

Again, I will cater this course to fit the needs of each individual student. Too, WyzAnt has certified me to provide courses in French, so I am more than willing to provide lessons for native French speakers with a general proficiency in English. I cannot, however, offer lessons to speakers of other languages who have not already attained a high level of proficiency in conversational English.

For more information or to set up a curriculum for yourself or your student, please contact me via my WyzAnt email.

European History

Spanish philosopher George Santayana authored the much-repeated line: "Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it." But there are plenty of other reasons to learn about history as well. Perhaps you are a high-school student hoping to get a jump on college by taking an Advanced Placement class. Or perhaps you are already in college and wish to improve your understanding of European History before or while taking a course. Whatever your reason, there is no better way to shore up your understanding of European History than by studying with a former Oxford student who aced his own A.P. history exams.

In this course, we will not only concentrate on the facts associated with major developments in European History; but we will also examine these events' contexts. Starting with the end of the Last Glacial Maximum, we will examine how the experiences of prehistoric Europeans underpin the beginnings of Western Thought. Then, we will move forward chronologically, examining the major ideas, personalities and technological developments that led to European Civilization as we know it today.

Unless the student indicates a preference for another textbook, we will work from "Europe: A History," as well outside primary sources, such as Jean-Jacques Rousseau's "The Social Contract."

The introductory session will comprise a short, 30-minute to one-hour lesson on the Aurignacian peoples who arrived in Eastern Europe about 45,000 years ago. Afterward, the student will play the role of a prehistoric tribal leader, arguing for her tribe's moving west from the Asian plains. The student must persuade me, the chieftain, that moving west will ensure the tribe's survival, based on the endeavor's pros and cons. After this, the student will complete a short quiz on facts surrounding prehistoric human migration into Europe.

Subsequent sessions will follow a similar structure. Between sessions, I may ask the student to complete a one-page diary entry from the perspective of a historical personage; the student may also be given a reading assignment from a primary text and/or a textbook chapter. We will discuss these assignments in subsequent sessions with an eye toward placing major events in context.

The course will culminate with two final sessions: The penultimate session will see the student's learning test-taking strategies that will improve her performance on college-level final exams or the A.P. European History Test; the final session will see the student taking a practice exam simulating the environment for either exam.

Taking the full course entails a great number of sessions. The suggested length for each session is at least two hours, and sessions should be repeated as necessary. For those planning to take the A.P. European History Test or enrolling to improve their performance in college-level classes, the full version of this course is advisable. Ideally, too, such students should enroll the summer preceding the start of their European History classes.

Please Note: The above is my suggested course plan. Customers may discontinue or request variance at their discretion.

French

«Peux-je tailler mon crayon, s'il vous plaît?» Sounds intriguing, no? Never mind that the translation for this sentence is as plebeian as, "May I please sharpen my pencil"; say it twenty times to your main squeeze, and it's sure to cause some sparks.

For centuries people have considered French the most romantic of Romance languages. But it has also long served as a standardized medium for international communication. In fact, French is the namesake for the term describing a language everyone speaks, "lingua franca." And today it still serves as an official language for many international organizations, including the United Nations.

What's more, French boasts 75 million native speakers between France, Quebec and western Switzerland, plus another 65 million French-creole speakers in the Caribbean, Africa and Asia for whom proper Parisian French is the second language of choice. And you almost have to count the world's nearly 400 million English speakers, whose language is largely based on Medieval Norman French.

As a result, whether you plan to do business in Europe or an emerging market, or are an English language or literature student, French is a strong choice for a second language. And who better to help you learn the language than a former Oxford student who has himself dreamed in the language and traveled French-speaking countries extensively?

In this course, we will practice basic communication in French. Unless the student prefers another textbook, we will work from a combination of the "Horizons" textbook series and Rosetta Stone French. Sessions for beginning students will comprise 30-minute to one-hour interactive lessons drawn from their textbooks. After this, they will participate in practical exercises entirely in French, with the goal of helping them perfect their pronunciation and build their listening skills. Between sessions, students will complete assigned Rosetta Stone and textbook exercises to help improve their listening, reading, speaking and writing skills.

Advanced students may opt to work on reading, critically discussing and translating classic works of French Literature, such as Moliere's "Le Misanthrope." For children, a starter course featuring French children's books can also be devised.

Because the backgrounds students possess in French can vary, customers are encouraged to discuss their needs and goals with me so I can develop a curriculum that fits their objectives. I can then offer a more in-depth description of my catered lesson plan prior to scheduling an introductory session.

GED

Life throws everyone a left hook from time to time. Maybe it just happened to do so for you while you were a teenager. And, now that you're back on your feet, you're ready to start hitting back.

If so, your first step should be obtaining a GED. With it, you can finally get that office job you've always wanted, go to college... even attend graduate school. But the first step is making sure you pass your GED exam. And, as for doing that, you can't hope to find a better tutor than a former Oxford student who has experience successfully tutoring GED candidates.

In this course we will review all the concepts you'll need to have mastered to earn your GED. Unless the student requests a different text, we will use Kaplan's 2012 GED test-prep guide. The initial session will consist of taking a practice GED to determine which concepts the student has yet to shore up. After the practice test, we will discuss each wrong answer briefly, with both tutor and student talking through the questions to find the correct answers.

Subsequent sessions will consist of 30-minute to one-hour lessons on key concepts the student did not initially understand, as evinced by her introductory practice test. After this, the student and tutor will talk through a battery of practice questions on the day's topic, and the student will be assigned sets of practice questions to answer between sessions, the answers for which will be discussed at the beginning of the next session.

Once the student feels confident she has mastered all the concepts necessary for success on the GED exam, there will be two final sessions: The penultimate will see the student learning test-taking tricks she can use to find the correct answer if she runs into a "curve-ball" question on her real exam; during the final session, a second practice exam will be administered in a simulation of the environment the student will confront during the real exam. I will report the student's performance on this second exam within 48 hours, and the student can then determine if she requires further tutoring before taking her GED test.

Please note: This is an overview of my standard GED lesson plan. However, I recognize that one size does not fit all. Feel free to contact me about your own individual needs and goals for studying for the GED, and I will be happy to cater a curriculum to your personal objectives. For more information, please contact me via my WyzAnt email.

Geography

Believe it or not, 37 percent of U.S. citizens can't locate the United States of America on a map. Now, probability says you likely aren't THAT bad at geography. But, even if you are, don't you think it's time you learned where you stand, literally?

This course is designed to help students figure out where they are in the world so that, in a very real sense, they can figure out where they're going. Key exercises include using Internet image resources and descriptions of the culture of each region's inhabitants to help students visualize their orientation in relation to other towns, states, nations, continents and oceans.

The introductory session will include a lesson on the student's position on a map of her home town. The student will then play a game called "10 Days in the USA," followed by a short verbal quiz on some of the facts she learned in the course of playing the game.

Subsequent lessons will follow a similar plan with a progressive broadening of scope to encompass a greater and greater area of the map; the student will play other board games, including "Name that Country," "10 Days in Europe" and "10 Days in Africa." Occasionally, too, I will create large maps for the student to stand on so she can better visualize her position in relation to other locales. And, after each lesson, the student will participate in an oral quiz to rehearse what she's learned. In this way, the student will not only gain a better understanding of geography, but will also learn to place her own life and geographical position in context while learning to use maps and atlases.

This is a standard lesson plan for younger students. However, a curriculum for adults who wish to better understand geography can also be developed. Please contact me via my WyzAnt email for details.

Geometry

Suppose you want to install a swimming pool, but you only have 1,000 square feet of available space in your backyard. And, worse, your backyard isn't perfectly square. Heck, it's not even perfectly rectangular or triangular, or circular for that matter, but kind of shaped like a piece of pie cut with a spoon. So what size pool can you fit into your rather wonky backyard? You'll need at least about 400 square feet (20 feet horizontally and 20 feet vertically) for people to move around in. And you have to also try to maximize that space into areas large enough for people to walk in.

The key to solving such a problem is knowing your geometry. From discovering what shapes and sizes fit most efficiently into your oddly spaced patch of property to figuring out how much water you'll use filling up your pool each year, this ancient branch of mathematics gives those who understand it an edge in the most practical of practical problems.

In this class, students will learn about the nature and attributes of a wide range of geometric shapes, from simple squares to complex rhomboids. They will also complete special hypothetical and real projects like the one detailed above to give them a contextual understanding of how they can use geometry in their daily lives. Such projects can include, for instance, building a birdhouse, plotting out the plan for a decorative garden, even constructing a regulation football or soccer field in their backyards (space permitting). The sky's the limit for such projects, but the basic point of them will be to solidify the student's understanding of geometric principles in a way she will remember come test day. (Please note, all material costs for real projects, plus hourly rate for professionals like a landscaper must be paid by the student/parents in advance.)

Unless the student indicates a preference for another text, we will use "Geometry," from McDougal Littell. Our first session will consist of the student completing a proprietary Geometry assessment test. I will report the student's performance on the test within 48 hours of its completion. The test will help delineate what aspects of Geometry the student does and does not understand. Subsequent sessions will be built around ensuring the student has shored up her understanding of the principles integral to solving the types problems she failed to solve correctly when taking the assessment.

Between sessions, I may ask the student to read portions of the textbook and assign exercises to be reviewed the following session or corrected out of class. The final session will consist of my administering a second proprietary exam to gauge the student's progress.

Any time I invest in checking assignments I will bill the client for at my standard rate. (My standard curriculum includes at least one hour of out-of-class work for both myself and the student, for every hour of in-class work.) The purchase of all standard materials, including textbooks, calculators, paper, writing utensils etc. shall be client's responsibility. (I may be able to offer you a private discount on these via Amazon, depending on the season. So do inquire about this upon contacting me.)

Lessons can and should be repeated until the student fully understands the material. Please be advised too: Because devising test materials and projects is time-consuming, the above-outlined teaching method cannot be implemented with students who have little time to master the material. I am happy, of course, to conduct brief reviews of multiple topics at once. But such reviews cannot be as effective as taking the full course. I therefore highly suggest meeting often for several hours each session over at least three months to ensure maximum effectiveness.

Furthermore, due to time and cost considerations, I am unable to accept face-to-face clients seeking less than two hours of tutoring per session. My minimum requirement is 2.5 hours, the equivalent of my standard introductory session. I can, however, accept students with minimal requirements for lessons via Skype and offer my Skype-only students an 11% discount. Please see my profile for details.

As a final note: The above is an overview of my proposed curriculum. I will, of course, gladly change it according to a parent's wishes and/or student's needs. Contact me via my WyzAnt email for more details.

Government & Politics

Founding Father Thomas Jefferson once wrote, "Whenever the people are well-informed, they can be trusted with their own government; that, whenever things get so far wrong as to attract their notice, they may be relied on to set them right." No doubt, Jefferson was thinking of Plato's "The Last Days of Socrates"--and Socrates's lament that rule by an uneducated populace is no more than mob tyranny--when he wrote this.

The very least you can do to live up to Jefferson's ideal, then, is know the laws of the nation he helped create and you live in. And that entails knowing the federal, state and local laws that govern your life. This course will focus on these matters, examining U.S. federal laws and state and local laws pertaining to the student, from those laws' origins to the present day. Attention will be paid to the original letter of primary laws, as well as precedents, amendments and subsequent legislation that have shaped the student's implicit contract with her society as it currently exists.

The student will also learn about the core political philosophies of America's Democratic and Republican parties, these philosophies' basis in Western Thought, how these philosophies contribute to the formation of political planks and platforms, and the specific mechanics that govern each party, respectively. Such discussions will take place in an unbiased, objective manner, so as to present the student with all possibilities and allow her to make a personal determination based on fact.

The first session in this course will feature a 30-minute to one-hour lesson on the U.S. Constitution, placing it in its context according to the thoughts of those who wrote and signed it. Attention will be paid to the historical question of Federalism vs. Anti-Federalism and the pros and cons drafters of the Constitution considered when deciding whether to do away with the Articles of Confederation. Following the lesson, the student will play the role of a Constitutional Convention delegate tasked with arguing for the new Constitution. Afterward, she will complete a short exam on the information presented.

Subsequent sessions will follow a similar structure, as the evolution of U.S. law is traced from the 1780s to the present. Interlaced with lessons on the evolution of federal law, other sessions will focus on the evolution of the student's state and local laws. Unless the student requires the use of another text, we will work from the most recent edition of "Magruder's American Government." Other resources, including handout copies of existing laws and articles I select from publications of repute, such as The Nation, the National Review, The Wall Street Journal, the New York Times and The New Republic, may be included for advanced students.

Example between-session assignments may include composing one-page journal entries from the perspective of a major American lawmaker, writing an essay comparing the political arguments of cable television commentators from both sides of the political spectrum, and composing speeches arguing for or against a bill Congress is currently considering that the student takes a personal interest in.

Again, all sessions will be conducted with an eye toward providing information and context in an unbiased way. Students will be encouraged to voice their personal viewpoints in lively but civil debate, but catering political and governmental history to suit a particular ideology will be discouraged (e.g. attempting to portray Thomas Jefferson's Agrarianism as an example of contemporary anti-corporatism, rather than as its forerunner, would be grounds for correction as an illogical argument.)

Please Note: The above is my suggested lesson plan for secondary through post-secondary students. However, because a course in Government and Politics is highly suggested for people of all ages, including children and adults seeking U.S. naturalization, I am more than willing to cater my curriculum to the individual. For more information, please contact me via my WyzAnt email.

Grammar

"For whom were you looking?" might sound strange to the American ear. But, actually, even in Standard American English it is the grammatically correct way of phrasing the question we typically construct as, "Who were you looking for?" And just because the fact doesn't matter much when you're speaking to friends, family, even people from your home town (all of whom would probably think you were pretty odd for using that word "whom") doesn't mean such knowledge is unnecessary. In fact, an ignorance of basic English-grammar concepts can hurt you when you most need to impress: For instance, when you are emailing a prospective overseas business client for work.

Learning to use good grammar can seem daunting. But, although many elementary and secondary English teachers say things like "the rules are just the rules" and "there are always exceptions to the rules," in reality English grammar is altogether sensible. It allows English speakers of diverse social, geographical and cultural backgrounds to communicate clearly. And every seemingly arbitrary rule seems the most intuitive when you understand it.

Led by a former Oxford student, online publishing executive and award-nominated, nationally published journalist and poet, this course will help students master concepts such as the parts of speech, proper verb conjugations, correct phrase and clause positioning, spelling, punctuation, infinitives, etc. Students will, for instance, learn when to use an ampersand and when to spell out "and"; how to use a semicolon to set off independent clauses without conjunctions, as well as longer lists (as they are used in this sentence); what the difference between "every day" and "everyday" is; and why even renowned writers like like Stephen King get it wrong when they use phrases like "to not be."

The introductory lesson will feature a short, 30-minute to one-hour lesson on the methodology of sentence diagramming and the parts of speech. The student will then participate orally in helping me complete several basic exercises using this technique. Following this, I will assign a practice exercise of the student diagramming several sentences from the New York Times newspaper, then rewriting these sentences improperly, according to the way she generally hears such sentences constructed in conversation. We will discuss this exercise at the beginning of the following session.

Unless the student indicates a preference for another textbook, we will use "Burnham's Basic Verbal Skills," the "Associated Press Stylebook" and "Strunk & White's Elements of Style." Lessons will loosely follow the structure of the first session, with my introducing increasingly complex concepts each session. My suggested session time is at least two hours, though sessions should run until the student fully understands the concept that session focuses on. As further practice, I will often ask the student to write a one-page journal entry, letter, story or other piece of writing, implementing all the grammatical rules she has learned thus far.

The course will culminate in the student's learning to construct a secondary and post-secondary essay, then writing a five-page essay explaining her feelings about a given topic and her reasons for these feelings. She will be tasked with implementing perfect grammar in this essay, and I will report her performance within 48 hours. Once the student has her results, she may choose to continue our sessions as needed.

Please Note: This is an overview of my general lesson plan for secondary-level students. I can cater this plan to junior-high students and college students as needed, but I highly suggest younger students take my Reading and/or Writing courses in lieu of this course. Please contact me via my WyzAnt email for more details.

GRE

OK, so you're a year off from finishing your bachelor degree, and you're probably thinking, "Now what?" Maybe an undergraduate degree in your field isn't enough to land a sweet job anymore. Or maybe you just want to learn more about the thing you love the most. In any case, applying to graduate schools is one option on the table. And with so many other students competing for the same limited spots these days, good grades and some club officerships aren't enough.

In fact, most grad-school application requirements include the submission of general GRE, or "Graduate Record Examinations," test scores. And, with such fierce competition to contend with and the cost of taking the test rising every year, you'd do best to hit a home run on the test your first time up to bat.

Now, obviously, as a former Oxford University English Literature student, junior publishing executive and award-nominated poet, I shouldn't be your first choice for a GRE Math-section tutor. But I have personally scored above the 95th percentile on both the Verbal and Writing sections. (My best scores to date are a 720/800 on the Verbal and a 5.5/6 on the Writing.) And, assuming you're already scoring well on the Math section, matching my scores on the the test's oft-overlooked Verbal and Writing sections is bound to help you stand out as one of the few engineering, research-science or mathematics students who CAN write a legible dissertation.

During the introductory session for this course I will administer a practice GRE. This will be a full exam to simulate as much as possible the environment you will confront when taking the real test. After this lesson, I will score your answers and report the scores to you within 48 hours via email.

Because I will be helping you, specifically, with raising your Verbal and Writing scores, we will disregard your practice Math section score after this first session. In subsequent sessions, then, I will present 30-minute to one-hour lessons on concepts your initial practice exam scores indicate you need to shore up. One session, for instance, might be on the proper structure for a GRE essay; another might be on the basic Latin and Greek root words, prefixes and suffixes that regularly appear in GRE vocabulary lists. Another, still, might see us practicing your reading comprehension with excerpts of graduate reading-level articles, or practicing the use of active, rather than passive, voice. My lesson plans are entirely dependent on how you perform on your initial practice test and which concepts you need to work on. We will run vocabulary batteries, answer hundreds of practice questions together, and learn "best-guess" strategies that will help you find the correct answers when the test makers throw you a "curve-ball" question.

Unless you request another text, we will work from the most recent edition of the Kaplan GRE study guide. In contrast to an official Kaplan tutor, however, I will not limit the material we cover to helping you achieve a predetermined score; often, such tutors will ask you how high you "need" to score during your first session with them and will then base their lessons on lowered expectations. I, in contrast, will help you score as high as possible, even perfectly, on your Verbal and Writing sections. Ultimately, this is more beneficial to you than these other tutors' methodology because, rather than simply helping you achieve the very lowest scores you need to meet a specific school's requirements, I will help you blast your Verbal and Writing scores into the stratosphere. And this, in turn, will make you a shoe-in for your target school and even open up possibilities for acceptance at schools you might have previously thought were out of your league.

My suggested time for each session is at least two hours, and we should repeat sessions as necessary. I also suggest beginning sessions at least three months prior to your scheduled testing date. Only once you feel you have mastered all the concepts required for perfect scores on the Verbal and Writing sections will I administer a second practice exam and again report your scores via email within 48 hours. After this, if you feel you still need work, we can continue our sessions until you score 800s and 5s consistently.

Please Note: The above is an overview of my standard curriculum for my GRE course. I will, however, gladly cater my course to fit your needs. For more information, please contact me via my WyzAnt email.

HTML

These days, nearly every job-board posting you come across includes some form of alphabet soup: HTML, XML, CSS, JS, PHP, MySQL, CMS, SEO.... It can seem there's no end to the plethora of esoteric acronyms HR people can dream up. Really, though, each of these hodgepodges indicates a very specific and very useful Web site-creation skill set that, if you want to land a sweet job, you probably ought to have. And who better to help you learn the most basic of these kooky acronyms than someone who has years of professional experience as a junior executive at an online publishing company?

This course will focus on XHTML5--the most recent incarnation of HTML, or "Hypertext Markup Language," and its cousin language XML, or "Extensible Markup Language." Over several sessions, I will help you learn to use XHTML5 to lay out Web pages, insert text and links, create basic elements like drop-down menus and text fields, and implement text effects.

Unless you request another text, will work from the most recent copy of "XTHML for Dummies." The introductory session will consist of a short, 30-minute to one-hour lesson on basic "tags," or lines of code, you can use to organize text for a Web page. We will also cover the basics of using WordPad to create .html files. Afterwards we will work together on creating a basic, one-element, text-only Web page and load this page into your favorite browser.

Subsequent lessons will conform to a similar structure. Each lesson will build on the information presented in the previous lesson, until we have covered all the tags available with XHTML5. Afterwards, we will use the information we've covered in the lesson to turn the Web page we created in the introductory session into more of a Web site. Then, you will complete a short quiz on the information presented that day.

Between sessions, you will be responsible for reading a chapter from our assigned text. As for quizzes, I will grade each and report your performance on it via email within 48 hours of your taking it. You will also be encouraged to experiment with your fledgeling Web site using the information presented in each assigned reading, and during the following session, I will inspect your code and help you discover its flaws.

Other sessions will feature lessons on how to "rip" and "retool" other Web sites' XHTML for use on your own Web site. At the end of the course you may choose to submit the Web site we have developed over the course of our sessions, and I will grade it based on my several years of professional experience determining whether to back or acquire privately owned Web sites for my company.

Finally, WyzAnt does not offer tutor certification in CSS, JS, MySQL, PHP, Web site development, CMS, SEO or SEM. However, I have a professional background in all these topics as well. If you therefore wish to learn about these topics after you have mastered XHTML5, I will gladly continue tutoring you until you have a full-fledged, fully functional Web site. Example lessons for this will include using Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) with XHTML5 to give your site exceptional aesthetic appeal, using JavaScript (JS) to add tracking tags and enhanced user interfaces, and using Personal Homepage: Hypertext Processor (PHP) and My Structured Query Language (MySQL) to create interactive databases. And, to anticipate XHTML6, we can also cover Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG), which improves Web sites' readability.

Following these topics, we can also explore implementing a Content Management System (CMS) and utilizing wire-framing and Adobe Flash-development applications to decrease development time and increase functionality. Finally, we can explore Search Engine Optimization (SEO), social-media and Search Engine Marketing (SEM) strategies to increase your Web site's visibility online.

We can explore these topics to the depth you prefer, or explore all of them fully. Please be advised, however, that some industry-standard development applications require you pay a fee in order to access them. Should you choose to study these, then, you will be responsible for paying both our access fees in addition to my standard service fees.

Please Note: The above is my suggested curriculum for HTML lessons. Of course, every student is different, so I will gladly cater my tutorial to fit your needs. Please contact me via my WyzAnt email for more information.

Latin

The great Roman orator and statesman Cicero once said, "Assiduus usus uni rei deditus et ingenium et artem saepe vincit." The translation: "The assiduous practice of one subject often outshines both skill and natural genius."

No doubt, if you seriously wish to learn Latin, you’re already a devoted student who held Cicero’s maxim as fact without ever having heard it. Likely, too, you’re enough of a bookworm to have recognized several words in the above quotation. Doesn’t “assiduus,” look awfully similar to Modern English’s “assiduous”; doesn’t “ingenium” look like “ingenious”; “artem” like “art”; and “deditus” like “dedicate”? In fact, for native English speakers Latin is one of the easiest languages to learn because Latin is the basis for so much of English. And, though some might tell you studying a “dead language” is useless, it’s hard to call Latin “dead” when its direct and indirect descendants comprise the lion’s share of Europe’s myriad languages. Master it and you’ll not only have a head start on the weird words of standardized tests, like the SAT, ACT and GRE, but you’ll be able to decipher most foreign European languages and understand Latin-based scientific taxonomies, instead of just memorizing them.

Learning Latin has practical uses, then, for students of both the humanities and the sciences. But it is also nearly as alien to modern English speakers as it is familiar. Not only is it no longer spoken today outside an extremely conservative Catholic mass, but it also features many grammatical rules contemporary languages have dropped in preference of inflection and word order. Consequently, if you plan to study Latin formally, you would do well to practice your lessons with a Latin tutor. And who better to serve as your Latin coach than a former Oxford Scholar who studied Latin himself and also speaks a modern Romance language, French—for which he has also received WyzAnt certification?

Our goals for this tutorial include your mastering Latin-reading and –writing skills. Because my background is in Classical Latin, I am not equipped to provide Canonical Latin lessons or coach Latin-listening and –speaking skills. We will reach these goals by first building a solid base in Latin grammar and vocabulary. Then, we will work on honing your skills with progressively more challenging contextual assignments, such as your writing journal entries, translating primer excerpts and classic Latin literary texts like Ovid’s “The Metamorphoses,” and studying ancient Roman history and cultural life. Over the course of the tutorial you will develop the individual persona of a 1st century Roman. It is from this persona’s perspective that you will write your journal entries; your persona’s name will be the closest approximation to your real name that can be translated into Classical Latin; and your persona will begin the tutorial as a very young Roman patrician, under the tutelage of me, Magister Philippus, an educated Greek slave.

Our introductory lesson will come directly from the first chapter of our text. Unless you indicate a preference for another text, we will work from the “Ecce Romani” series, as well as outside primary texts should we complete all the lessons in the series. The session will consist of a short, 30-minute to one-hour lesson, then cooperative completion of the practice questions. Some portion of the exercises may be assigned for completion between sessions.

Subsequent sessions will follow a similar lesson plan. The course will culminate in your taking a proprietorially devised reading and writing test exclusively in Latin, and I will report your scores on this exam within 48 hours via email. After the exam, if you wish to continue our sessions, we can build on your existing knowledge, pursuing even great Classical Latin literacy until your persona assumes the role of ancient Roman Lawyer, Legion Officer, Senator, or any number of other roles.

Please Note: To help students fully understand the difference between ancient Roman and contemporary U.S. culture, the roles personas can assume will be limited according to the sexual politics of antiquity. However, male students may develop a female persona and vice versa, and I will take every pain to impress upon students that they are not personally limited in such ways today. Similarly, parents may request I address questions of ancient racial, religious and ethnic politics in contrast to their state in modern U.S. society; though thoroughly patriarchal and often religiously prejudiced, ancient Romans tended to be more liberal on questions of race and ethnicity than many living Americans. But I, of course, defer to parents’ judgment on these themes. Also, the above is my general curriculum for my Latin tutorials. I will gladly cater my lessons to students with a pre-existing background in Latin, or make my lesson plans even more basic for younger students. Please contact me via my WyzAnt email for more details.

Literature

You might think studying literature is a waste of time. And why not? "Literature" is just the thoughts and opinions of a bunch of dead people, right? You can't, for instance, build a bridge or fix an engine with it. So why study it?

But the reason literature classes still feature so prominently in standard curricula around the world is how much more important literary studies is than most other subjects. It not only helps students master reading, it also opens them to a wealth of ideas, wisdom and knowledge so important that the greatest minds of previous generations took the time to write them down.

What’s more, picking apart, say, a short story or poem helps students practice the critical thinking skills they'll need to apply the technical knowledge they learn in other courses. After all, any monkey can turn a wrench. True masters in any field know when to use that wrench—-and when, on the other hand, to use a screwdriver.

A former executive editor who studied English literature at Oxford University, I am uniquely equipped to guide students through literary studies’ seeming minefield of esoteric terms and concepts. In these lessons, students can receive help with a literature class they are currently enrolled in; they can shore up their understanding of literature and literary criticism for the AP, SAT II or GRE literature exam; or they can tackle the topic via a ground-up approach over an extended period. As such, lesson structure and texts will vary from student to student and may include lessons on texts from the Graeco-Roman through post-modern periods. From Sophocles to Salinger, Virgil to Vonnegut, the only limit to the scope of these lessons is a student’s interest.

Along the way, students will also learn to identify and differentiate between literary devices, such as theme, plot, motif, story, character, irony, empathetic narrative, enjambment, and many others. Each session will include a discussion of a reading assignment during which the student will practice presenting arguments about what she feels the assigned reading meant. The student will also regularly submit essays and take quizzes on her reading assignments and will occasionally submit special projects, like writing an additional chapter to a novel or translating a Shakespearean sonnet into contemporary American English.

The lessons will culminate in the student’s choosing a school of literary criticism she most agrees with and writing a five-page essay in keeping with that school’s views and conventions. The essay will focus on two works of literature I feel best fit the student’s personal interests, and in it the student will develop and argue a thesis that links the works thematically. I will then score this essay according to the College Board’s standard essay matrix.

Additionally, students can also choose to structure their lessons around a specific exam, in which case the lessons will begin and end with my administering assessment tests. I will score both tests according to the conventions of the appropriate test maker (The College Board or ETS), and students may choose to continue the course after I report their performance on the second such assessment.

Again, I will cater this course to fit the needs of each individual student. Too, WyzAnt has certified me to provide courses in French, so I am more than willing to provide lessons for native French speakers with a general proficiency in English. I cannot, however, offer lessons to speakers of other languages who have not already attained a high level of proficiency in conversational English.

Finally, this course focuses on advanced reading concepts. I will therefore assume students enrolling in it have already mastered the practical and remedial skills of English reading and writing, including rhetoric, grammar and style, as well as reading and writing themselves. If they have not, I highly suggest they consider taking my English, Reading, TOEFL and/or Writing Courses instead.

For more information or to set up a curriculum for yourself or your student, please contact me via my WyzAnt email.

Proofreading

One of those technical, jargon terms, "proofreading" can sound a lot scarier than it is. In fact, "proofing" is a task that, traditionally, printers, their apprentices and assistants performed. And this means that, until recently, it was a job for tradesmen, not college grads.

Still, many looking to land a publishing or editing job conflate "proofreading" with "copy editing." But, contrary to this assumption, proofing is merely the practice of looking over a document's final, printed draft and correcting minor punctuation errors. Should an accent mark go over the “e” in “resumé”? Should that sentence end with a period or a semi-colon? Should that comma come before or after the end-quotation marks? These are the essential questions a proofreader seeks to answer, as opposed to a copy editor's concerns with style, spelling and words' definitions and connotations. So, you see, proofreading is hardly frightening. And if you see it listed as a requisite skill for a given job, all the employer requires is you know your punctuation and accent marks.

And yet, understanding printing conventions is a lot more complicated than knowing how to use periods, question marks and exclamation points. Understanding how to properly punctuate entails knowing your colons (:), semi-colons (;), parentheses ( () ), commas (,), quotation marks (""), em-dashes (--), en-dashes (-)... and a host of other non-verbal symbols. Furthermore, punctuation conventions differ depending on which side of the Atlantic your audience lives, what publishing medium you're using and what genre you're working in. For instance, did you know that British style dictates all commas and periods appear outside quotation marks, while American convention dictates the opposite? Or did you know that including a slash mark (/) in newspaper texts is a major faux pas?

(Believe it or not, this second example is slightly absurd, even, because modern printers do have the dies to create these marks; the reason for the rule, then, is simply that many years ago this wasn't the case, so consequently, accounting for a lack of slashes became standard, formal practice in the news industry.)

Perhaps, at this point, your head’s already spinning with such contradictory conventions. But just think how much better you’ll understand all such rules with a former executive editor and Oxford student guiding you through them. Not only have I regularly proofread professionally while helping to complete both a monthly national’s and online international’s publishing cycles; as an award-nominated poet and scholar, I can instruct my students on the conventions for creative and scholarly texts, including standards like MLA and Chicago styles.

In this course, we will study the proper uses of all English punctuation marks and the spellings of some of English’s most common, accented foreign loanwords. We will also cover the differences between British and American punctuation conventions and both the print and online conventions of today’s several genres and industries. Finally, we will study the standard proofreading marks all proofreaders use to communicate with editors and printers, and we will discuss the industry outlook for proofreaders in the marketing, news and publishing industries.

Required texts for this course include copies of the Associated Press Stylebook, the Chicago and MLA style guides and “The Elements of Style” by Strunk and White. Our first lesson will comprise my administering an assessment test to gauge the student’s pre-existing background in proofing. This test will see the student proofing a galley proof of a feature story, as they might have to if interviewing for a proofreading job with a newspaper. Based on the student’s performance, we will then shore up in subsequent lessons her understanding of those concepts she displayed a lack of background in on the assessment. Standard exercises will include proofing galley proofs from all manner of literary and journalistic genres, many of which will come directly from publishers with whose staff I have connections.

Many lessons will also include in-depth lectures on specific accent marks and their usages. And outside assignments, such as proofing published documents like newspapers for errors and reading respected publications to pick apart their conventions will figure centrally in this course as well.

Finally, this course focuses on professional-level skills. I will therefore assume students enrolling in it have already mastered the practical, remedial and advanced skills of English reading and writing, including rhetoric, grammar and style, literary interpretation, and reading and writing themselves. If they have not, I highly suggest they consider taking my English, Reading, TOEFL, Literature and/or Writing courses instead.

For more information or to set up a curriculum for yourself or your student, please contact me via my WyzAnt email.

Reading

Of the traditional "three r's" probably no skill students learn is as crucial as reading. After all, you can learn "'riting" and "'rithmetic" by simply reading a book. But, if you can't read, there's no way you can access it or any other skill without verbal explanations. And that can spell trouble for any individual. As readers, people can expand their skill sets indefinitely, entertain themselves very cheaply and remain engaged and informed citizens. Without reading, they are beholden to others for their daily keep and forced to accept whatever they're told.

Of course, reading at the adult level is far more complicated than simply recognizing words' face-value meanings. In fact, today's adult-level reading material utilizes devices like irony and implication so regularly it says as much or more in what it omits as what the words it contains actually say. But, as the saying goes, "Every journey begins with a single step." And, long before anyone can master the mental back flips required to, say, understand an industry white paper or read Tolstoy's "War and Peace," she must first begin at the beginning.

Taught by a former executive editor and Oxford University student, this course focuses on the first principles of reading. Depending on a student's age and current skill level, lessons may consist of simply reading story books, reciting classic nursery rhymes and engaging in basic phonic exercises (Ages 3-5). Or they may consist of more intensive lessons in phonics, spelling and image-text association buttressed by in-session and take-home reading practice (Ages 5-7). The purpose of either program is to instil phonemic and phonological awareness and an understanding of the Alphabetic Principle, all of which are crucial to reading English and other Western languages.

Sessions for even more advanced readers (Ages 8-12) may consist of lessons on common English morphemes and phonemes, including inflective bound morphemes and simple stems, roots, prefixes and suffixes; instruction on when to re-read a sentence; word games like rhyming exercises; and in-class and take-home reading assignments of slightly more advanced texts requiring the student engage and interpret the information presented.

Because I will shape this course around the age, interests and schedule of each student, required texts may vary. I will, however, utilize both informational and entertaining texts as available in teaching all three age groups, so as to involve as much of current reading-education theory as possible. The ultimate goal of this course is to elevate the student's reading abilities to a level commensurate with her age and grade level.

This naturally means moving students from the Non-Reader to Emerging Pre-Reader stage, from Emerging Pre-Reader to Novice Reader, or from Novice Reader to Decoding Reader. As this course is primarily intended for younger students it will not seek to move students from the Decoding stage to the Fluent stage and beyond. For help with attaining these more advanced stages, I suggest taking my Literature course.

In the service of understanding a student's current skill level, then, all coursework will begin with an introductory session comprising a simple reading test. I will select an unfamiliar text appropriate for the student's age and skill level and, with the help of a parent in the case of younger children, observe the student's reading and comprehension. Based on this assessment, I will devise a learning plan detailing which concepts a student needs to learn to progress to the next skill level. I will report this plan and my proposed methods of achieving each benchmark within 48 hours of the assessment. In subsequent sessions I will implement this plan, pacing progression through it according to the student's own comprehension speed.

Finally, I am not trained to adequately assist children with behavioral, neurological or learning disabilities. I understand the theories underpinning reading education in uninhibited children and can help such students who have fallen behind due to circumstance or a crucial misunderstanding passed over by a teacher. However, I do not have a formal understanding of special-needs learning, and I cannot, therefore, ethically accept such students into my program. For students with such needs, I highly suggest contacting my fellow WyzAnt tutor, Barbara A., instead.

Please Note: This is a general explanation of my Reading curriculum. I will, of course, modify it to meet parents' and students' expectations and needs. Also, due to the nature of early reading development, sessions MUST take place in a relatively quiet place, such as a library, and while I will give sessions via Skype for a discount, I require that a parent be present to assist the student in operating her computer. In the case of live sessions, I require they occur in a public library and that a parent be present at all times to assist me in engaging the student properly.

SAT Math

Is your target college or university on the Atlantic or Pacific coasts? If so, you might want to take the SAT instead of the ACT. The fact is, while all U.S. college and university admissions committees will consider either ACT or SAT scores, committees at institutions on the coasts generally prefer their applicants take the SAT. And who better to help you ace the SAT Math section than a former Oxford scholar who has scored in the 96th percentile on standardized tests himself?

In this course, students will learn to answer multiple-choice questions about number and operations, algebra and functions, geometry, statistics, probability, and data analysis. To help them do this, we will review higher-math's many principles, laws and operations and examine how such rules are properly put to use in problem solving. What's more, we will explore strategies students can use to find the best answer when a "curve-ball question" has them unsure which answer is correct.

The introductory lesson will consist of an explanation of the SAT Math section's format, the student's completing a sample test and our briefly discussing each of his or her incorrect answers. Each subsequent class will consist of an in-depth, 30-minute to one-hour lesson on a key aspect of mathematics the student did not previously understand, based on his or her sample-test answers from the introductory lesson; after each lesson, the student and I will complete practice questions together, discussing each question and thinking through the answering process aloud. The suggested time for each session is at least two hours.

Unless the student indicates a preference for another text, we will work from the Kaplan 2012 SAT test-preparation guide. Lessons can and should be repeated. Once the student feels confident she fully understands the reasons for her incorrect practice-test answers, we will meet for two final sessions: During the penultimate, we will discuss and practice test-taking strategies that can help raise her SAT Math scores; during the final session, I will administer a new practice exam, simulating the environment of test day. I will report the results of this final test within 48 hours of its completion, and the student may opt to continue our sessions based on her answers to this sample test.

Please Note: The above is my suggested lesson plan. Parents may choose to adhere to it at their discretion.

SAT Reading

Is your target college or university on the Atlantic or Pacific coasts? If so, you might want to take the SAT instead of the ACT. The fact is, while all U.S. college and university admissions committees will consider either ACT or SAT scores, committees at institutions on the coasts generally prefer their applicants take the SAT. And who better to help you ace the SAT Reading section than an Oxford-educated, professional writer?

In this course, students will learn to answer questions based on reading passages. To help them do this, we will practice locating key points and ideas in a wide range of adult reading-level passages, from news magazines, social- and hard-science journals and literary works. What's more, we will explore test-taking and reading strategies students can use to find the best answer when a "curve-ball question" has them unsure which answer is correct.

The introductory lesson will consist of an explanation of the SAT Reading section's format, the student's completing a sample test and our briefly discussing each of his or her incorrect answers. Each subsequent class will consist of an in-depth, 30-minute to one-hour lesson on a key aspect of English reading that the student did not previously understand, based on his or her sample-test answers from the introductory lesson; after each lesson, the student and I will complete practice questions together, discussing each question and thinking through the answering process aloud. The suggested time for each session is at least two hours.

Unless the student indicates a preference for another text, we will work from the Kaplan 2012 SAT test-preparation guide, with additional reading passages pulled from outside sources. Lessons can and should be repeated. Once the student feels confident he or she fully understands the reasons for her incorrect practice-test answers, we will meet for two final sessions: During the penultimate, we will discuss and practice test-taking and reading strategies that can help raise her SAT Reading scores; during the final session, I will administer a new practice exam, simulating the environment of test day. I will report the results of this final test within 48 hours of its completion, and the student may opt to continue our sessions based on her answers to this sample test.

Please Note: The above is my suggested lesson plan. Parents may choose to adhere to it at their discretion.

SAT Writing

Is your target college or university on the Atlantic or Pacific coasts? If so, you might want to take the SAT instead of the ACT. The fact is, while all U.S. college and university admissions committees will consider either ACT or SAT scores, committees at institutions on the coasts generally prefer their applicants take the SAT. And who better to help you ace the SAT Reading section than an Oxford-educated, professional writer?

In this course, students will learn to answer questions based on reading passages. To help them do this, we will practice locating key points and ideas in a wide range of adult reading-level passages, from news magazines, social- and hard-science journals and literary works. What's more, we will explore test-taking and reading strategies students can use to find the best answer when a "curve-ball question" has them unsure which answer is correct.

The introductory lesson will consist of an explanation of the SAT Reading section's format, the student's completing a sample test and our briefly discussing each of his or her incorrect answers. Each subsequent class will consist of an in-depth, 30-minute to one-hour lesson on a key aspect of English reading that the student did not previously understand, based on his or her sample-test answers from the introductory lesson; after each lesson, the student and I will complete practice questions together, discussing each question and thinking through the answering process aloud. The suggested time for each session is at least two hours.

Unless the student indicates a preference for another text, we will work from the Kaplan 2012 SAT test-preparation guide, with additional reading passages pulled from outside sources. Lessons can and should be repeated. Once the student feels confident he or she fully understands the reasons for her incorrect practice-test answers, we will meet for two final sessions: During the penultimate, we will discuss and practice test-taking and reading strategies that can help raise her SAT Reading scores; during the final session, I will administer a new practice exam, simulating the environment of test day. I will report the results of this final test within 48 hours of its completion, and the student may opt to continue our sessions based on her answers to this sample test.

Please Note: The above is my suggested lesson plan. Parents may choose to adhere to it at their discretion.

TOEFL

For many students around the world, studying in an English-speaking country is a major goal. After all, albeit U.S. News and World Report might be just a little culturally biased, it is the very same publication American and British business people read when helping their own children select a college or university. And, according to nearly every list the magazine has ever compiled, the U.K. and U.S. host all 10 of the world's best universities--including Cambridge, Harvard, MIT, Yale, Oxford, ICL, UCL, the University of Chicago, U-Penn and Columbia.

The problem is that every single one of these magnificent, well-known institutions requires non-Anglophones prove their ability to speak, read, write and listen to English on an advanced level to gain admission. In the U.S., the standard test for this is the TOEFL, or "The Test of English as a Foreign Language."

The TOEFL tests the taker's ability to read English on the collegiate level, comprehend the advanced spoken English of an academic lecture, verbally convey thoughts and opinions on advanced topics spontaneously, and write comprehensively and intelligently on an academic topic. And, albeit students may be completely capable of such tasks in their native languages, the fact that the TOEFL requires they do so in a totally different tongue might make the test seem prohibitively daunting.

And yet, anyone with the mental wherewithal to perform excellently in one language can certainly do so in another. They key is merely practicing. And with a former executive editor, Oxford student and award-nominated, nationally published journalist and poet by your side, gaining the required mastery to ace the TOEFL will be easier than you ever imagined.

This course will focus on helping students hone their English skills with the specific goal of acing the TOEFL. As such, the first lesson will comprise the student's taking an assessment version of the TOEFL and our discussing her goals and needs so I can better cater the course to her. I will then score the student's assessment according to the standards of the TOEFL's maker, ETS, and report the student's performance as well as a learning plan based on this performance within 48 hours.

Based on this learning plan, subsequent lessons will focus on shoring up the student's weak areas. Methods of achieving this goal will include every standard TEFL, or "Teaching English as a Foreign Language," practice--such as reading and interactively responding to English-language Children's literature and advanced texts in the student's desired field of study; image-word association and task-based communicative-language exercises for both spoken and written communication; and blended-learning assignments that utilize English-language media and regular textual and verbal communication with me.

The course will culminate with the student's taking a second simulated TOEFL assessment, which I will score and report as I did with the initial exam. The student may then decide to continue working with me on correcting any remaining misunderstandings. Or, if she is satisfied with her performance on the second assessment, she may opt to discontinue our sessions.

Of course, it is important to note that this course is for students with sufficient preexisting English fluency to allow for easy verbal communication. This course's goal, after all, is to improve fluency in English to the collegiate level. Consequently, all communication between myself and a TOEFL student will take place in English, with no exceptions except those provided here.

That said, I am certified to teach French, so I may be able to assist TOEFL-taking French speakers with less-than-perfect English fluency. This is the only exception I will make to my above-noted requirements because French is the only living language I have certification and a sufficient background in to allow for communication with less-than-fluent English speakers. I, therefore, cannot conscionably continue working with any non-Francophone student who scores less than a 60 on her introductory assessment.

Please Note: The above is an overview of my standard TOEFL lesson plan. I will naturally modify it to meet the needs and expectations of each individual student. For more information, please contact me via WyzAnt email.

Vocabulary

Has a boss or teacher ever marveled within earshot at how well-spoken a colleague is? Do you ever find yourself "at a loss for words," or struggling to express exactly what you mean to others? If so, you might want to consider improving your vocabulary by taking a course taught by a former executive editor, Oxford University student and award-nominated, nationally published poet and journalist.

In this course, we will cover on the proven methods that have assisted people in learning new words for generations. The course will begin with my administering a proprietary vocabulary assessment test, followed by a one-on-one discussion with the student and/or parent on the student's unique needs and goals. I will then score the test and report the student's performance along with a study plan designed specifically for her within 48 hours of her taking the test.

Subsequent sessions will focus on shoring up the student's understanding of the language principles she is weak on, as evinced by her assessment performance. Topics might range from deconstructing words into their constituent phonemes and morphemes, constructing meaning for an unknown word using an understanding of its roots, prefixes and suffixes, learning how to gauge the appropriateness of words' usages depending on audience, and understanding and remembering the subtle meanings of words' denotations, as well as the implications of their connotations. Along the way, students will also learn hundreds of new words, which they will be encouraged to use both verbally and in their writing.

As this course is appropriate for younger students through college graduates, I cannot say before meeting a student which texts I will require we use in this course. Reading assigned texts, however, in conjunction with speaking and creative writing exercises, will figure prominently in this course. One such assignment may see the student using 30 unfamiliar words found in a classic short story within a 2,000-word story of her own. Realistically, I can make no such determinations or projections before meeting with a student and/or parent. However, I will make every effort to match reading materials and assignments with the age and abilities of the student.

Finally, it is worth noting here that this course focuses strictly on vocabulary. So while GRE, SAT and ACT takers can learn a great deal from taking it, it is not designed to prepare students for confronting the many rigors standardized tests impose.

That said, I will gladly take on standardized test takers whose only weakness is a limited vocabulary, or who wish to take this course as an introduction to working with me. For all others I suggest taking my SAT Reading, ACT Reading or GRE course.

Please Note: This is an overview of my standard Vocabulary curriculum. For more information or to discuss how I can modify this plan to meet yours or your student's needs and goals, please contact me via WyzAnt email.

Writing

Often underrated as a skill, writing is integral to every profession. From lab reports to poetry, legal briefs to news stories, to even simple emails, you will have to string together a lot of words in your life, no matter who you are. Meanwhile, the ability to write well is rarer than gold, begging the question: What's the point in any human endeavor if we can't successfully communicate our knowledge to others?

In a word, then, this course is all about getting you to write on the level of a professional writer. As a five-time award-nominated poet, former executive editor and one-time Oxford University English student, I am fully equipped to teach you the skills I have used to put bread on the table for myself every day of my professional life. And I can do that whether you are just learning to construct complete sentences, need to perfect your writing to improve your academic performance, or want to communicate better with others in your profession. Heck, with enough time and interest, I can even teach you to write poetry and fiction that someone WILL publish.

The introductory session for this course features a writing-assessment test. Having learned about your field/interests, I will present you with a writing prompt specially designed for your age and knowledge base. We will then spend 30 minutes getting to know each other better. The suggested time for this session is 150 minutes.

Based on your assessment performance, I will construct a curriculum specifically for you. This can cover a wide range of topics, from first principles of vocabulary, spelling, punctuation and grammar, to advanced concepts like structure, style, plot, voice, theme and literary devices. Each session will feature a 30-minute to one-hour discussion on one or more of the concepts your assessment indicated you need to shore up.

Then, we will practice each concept with in-class exercises and out-of-class assignments. Some basic exercises include, for example, sentence mapping and vocab drills, while advanced students can enjoy workshop discussions akin to the system utilized in formal collegiate writing education. We may also discuss out-of-class reading assignments to examine how other writers use literary devices and how you can emulate these skills to kick your writing up to the journeyman or even mastery level.

Finally, those students who perform exceptionally well and evince notable talent in the creative version of this course will have the full benefit of my professional Rolodex. This can mean, for instance, my introducing a student to my circle of professional writers, publishers and literary agents at each year's biggest professional-writing shindig, the Association of Writers and Writing Programs Conference. (Please note: If I invite you to join me on such a trip, your travel, room, board and attendance fees are your own responsibility. Due to my fervid belief in your abilities in such a case, however, I do not charge a fee for my time spent with you on the trip; in other words, at that level you are a full-fledged fellow writer and my personal friend, and any time spent together will be "hanging out.")

Don't miss this chance to make your writing shine. Contact me via WyzAnt today to learn more!

Please Note: The above is an overview of my proposed curriculum. I will, of course, gladly change it according to a parent's wishes and/or student's needs. Contact me via my WyzAnt email for more details.

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Education

Bethany College

The University of Oxford, England UK (Other)

Hourly fee

Standard Hourly Fee: $45.00

Cancellation: 36 hours notice required

10% off per student for each student after first in group sessions! *Please Inquire for Details **Maximum Discount of 50% Off Per Student

Travel policy

Phillip will travel within 40 miles of Matawan, NJ 07747.

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