Robert P.

Pacific Grove, CA

$40/hr

Helping You Learn Makes My Day

In-person lessons
Replies after +3 days
Background check passed as of 8/20/12

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St. Paul's College, Washington, D.C.
Liberal Arts
Graduate from the University of Pittsburgh
PhD

Education

St. Paul's College, Washington, D.C. (Liberal Arts)

Graduate from the University of Pittsburgh (PhD)

About Robert

My name is Bob P. I taught deaf and hard of hearing children for ten years when I was younger. I then became a computer programmer and worked for twenty-five years as a computer programmer for various businesses and for the federal government. I retired in 2000 and have since been active in substitute teaching and in singing in several community choruses. My wife and I also have enjoyed traveling and taking courses at Monterey Peninsula College.

One of the most enjoyable experiences I had during my retirement was helping the young daughter of one of our Hispanic friends learn to read. She was a very bright girl, but was not being read to at home, because her parents were not native speakers of English. She was getting special help at her elementary school, but was still unable to read independently. She was in the third grade and still was not able to read at grade level. We decided to have her father bring her to our home for daily lessons. It became apparent to me after one lesson that she did not have the basic phonics skills that are the basis of independent reading. She had been so smart that she had been able to guess at the content of a story by looking at pictures and talking around the subject with the person who was listening to her "read".

We immediately began to work with a computerized phonics program, "Phonics Success", and after one week she began to see that there was a way to stop guessing and actually start reading. It was as if a log jam had been broken and a mighty river of knowledge and happiness began to flow. Soon after this happened we went to the local library and found story books that were about things that young children liked. I can't recall at this writing the name of the first book that she really read on her own, but I can recall how proud she was and how happy that made me.

After many sessions of reading more and more books, she was on her way. I met with her teachers at our local elementary school and they were very helpful in recommending ways to build on the progress that she had made. They were delighted to see that she was getting the help she needed and felt that they could now give her more challenging tasks. Long story short, she was soon reading at grade level and doing much better in math, science and other content subjects, now that she was able to read and understand written English. Today, she is a happy and successful high school student, and is even talking about going to college some day.

I know that there must be many children out there who for some reason or other are not reading at grade level. I also imagine there are some that are having trouble with math and science, and content subjects, because they cannot read the English language easily. It would give me a great deal of pleasure to help them get on track. No one loves a success story more than I do.
My name is Bob P. I taught deaf and hard of hearing children for ten years when I was younger. I then became a computer programmer and worked for twenty-five years as a computer programmer for various businesses and Read more

Policies
Cancellation
24 hours notice required

My default rate is open to adjustment depending on how far I must travel. I can also adjust it based on whether sessions are longer than one hour.

Travel Radius
Travels within 10 miles of Pacific Grove, CA 93950
Background Check: Passed
In-person lessons
Math:
Prealgebra
Language:
ESL/ESOL
Test Preparation:
SAT Reading

Approved subjects are in bold.

Approved subjects

In most cases, tutors gain approval in a subject by passing a proficiency exam. For some subject areas, like music and art, tutors submit written requests to demonstrate their proficiency to potential students. If a tutor is interested but not yet approved in a subject, the subject will appear in non-bold font. Tutors need to be approved in a subject prior to beginning lessons.

Dyslexia

As part of my training in Special Education for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, I studied reading and reading difficulties. Some of the hearing impaired students I taught had reading problems in addition to their hearing impairment. My son also was diagnosed with learning problems and was able to make considerable progress due to the knowledge and dedication of his teachers in the Pacific Grove school system.

I would love to be able to assist children with dyslexia, using my own training and cooperating with their teachers.

Elementary (K-6th)

I have strong skills in the teaching of reading and basic math at the elementary level. I taught deaf and hard of hearing children at the elementary and middle school level for ten years.
Please see my statement in my profile for a description of how I was able to help a student with normal hearing who was having difficulty with reading in the third grade get up to grade level in a very short time. Once she was able to read at grade level, all of her other subjects became easier for her. Her difficulty in reading had been holding her back. Once those problems were solved everything became easier for her, and she became much more enthusiastic about school work. She is now a very successful high school student and is talking about going on to college after she graduates.

Elementary Math

I am convinced that many students have difficulty with math because they do not have a clear understanding of the basic concepts that underlie the mathematical operations they are asked to perform.

When I work with students, I first try to find out whether they really understand what adding means, then subtracting, then multiplying then dividing. I ask them to tell me in their own words. I ask them to show me the operations with real objects. If they are not quite clear we work on each operation until it does become clear. Only then do we go on to practice each operation until it becomes automatic.

After the students have mastered the concepts and are fairly skilled in doing the actual operations on their own, we go to working on the word problems.

There are many materials that are helpful on the road to math competency. I am familiar with those materials. My contribution will be to ensure that each student uses those materials, with clear understanding, every step of the way.

English

Once a student has become skilled in the basics of phonics, reading, spelling and grammar he or she must be given practice in putting all those skills together to express his or her ideas in a clear and pleasing way.

A student gets that practice in a class that is usually called English, and that is usually introduced in the middle-school years.

In English classes a student moves from writing sentences to writing paragraphs, from writing paragraphs to writing stories, and on and on. It gets more complex each year.

Sometimes a student can become overwhelmed by the complexity of these new tasks, and can become discouraged. At times like that being able to study with a tutor can be of help.

I would be happy to assist any student who is struggling with this major step in his or her school life and help turn it into a giant leap forward.

ESL/ESOL

When I was studying for my PhD in Special Education for the Deaf and hard of hearing, I took many courses on linguistics and the methods of teaching languages. I taught deaf and hard of hearing students for ten years. My wife's first language is Spanish, and I have tried over the years to speak Spanish with her, but her English is so much better than my Spanish, that we end up speaking English almost all the time. I have taken several courses in Spanish. I have tried to teach myself Italian and German in preparation for travel to Italy and Germany. I even studied Chinese in preparation for a trip to China two years ago, but did not learn much more than a few phrases, and those are gone from my memory now.

I love languages and would be happy to help any student who wants to learn English. I would be happy to work with you on listening skills, speaking skills (including accent "removal"), reading and writing; whatever you want to learn.

Grammar

A young child says "Me fall down." His mother says, "Oh I'm sorry you fell down, and tell me again, say, 'I fell down'". The child says, "I fell down".

The story above is an example of the teaching of grammar. Grammar teaching starts long before a child enters school. It is simply the teaching of the rules for expressing oneself in a language.

One of the reasons that grammar must be formally taught is that some of the language patterns that a child hears and uses may not be accepted and used by the educated members of his society.

The job of a tutor of grammar is to find any serious grammatical errors in the child's spoken or written language, and tactfully give him practice in expressing himself in grammatically correct English.

The challenge for a tutor is to correct a student's errors in a gentle and supportive way. I would never want to stifle a child's desire to communicate. I would only want to help him or her communicate in English that is grammatically correct.

Hard Of Hearing

I taught deaf and hard of hearing students at the elementary and middle school level for six years, and at the high school level for one year. I also worked in the training of teachers of the deaf for 4 years. I would be very happy to work with hard of hearing students at any level and with any subject. I would particularly like to work with students who need help with reading comprehension and with vocabulary development. Please contact me so that we can discuss how I can help you with your need.

Microsoft Access

In 2008, I took coursework in Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, Access and PowerPoint) in the Business Skills Center at Monterey Peninsula College in Monterey, Ca. We used the O'Leary series of Workbooks for Office from McGraw Hill Higher Education publishers.

I have used Access on my personal computer at home to keep track of my cd collection. I would be happy to assist anyone who wants to use this powerful software for home or business use.

Microsoft Excel

While working in the business community as a computer programmer, I used Microsoft Word and Excel on a daily basis. I continue to use them in my personal life now that I am retired.

In 2008, I took coursework in Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, Access and PowerPoint) with Mr. Randy Smith in the Business Skills Center at Monterey Peninsula College in Monterey, Ca. We used the O'Leary series of Workbooks for Office from McGraw Hill Higher Education publishers.

Microsoft Word

While working in the business community as a computer programmer, I used Microsoft Word and Excel on a daily basis. I continue to use them in my personal life now that I am retired.

In 2008, I took coursework in Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, Access and PowerPoint) with Mr. Randy Smith in the Business Skills Center at Monterey Peninsula College in Monterey, Ca. We used the O'Leary series of Workbooks for Office from McGraw Hill Higher Education publishers.

Phonics

When I was in training to become a teacher of the deaf and hard of hearing I took many courses in the teaching of speech and auditory training. That course work and my subsequent experience as a classroom teacher of deaf and hard of hearing children convinced me that many children have difficulty in reading because they do not get enough exposure to the subtle differences between sounds that can make a great difference in understanding the meaning of a written sentence. In order to succeed in reading a student needs: (1) a step by step exposure to the basic sounds of English (listening), (2) practice in putting those sounds together into meaningful words (speaking), and (3) practice in recognizing the written letters and letter combinations that are used to record those words on paper (reading). Phonics training can provide all these needs. Materials are available and I can guide a student in using them.

Prealgebra

Prealgebra covers all those basic concepts and skills that a student must master before he/she can be successful and comfortable with algebra.

Some of the topics covered are:
Advanced computational skills, especially multiplication and division.
Understanding powers of numbers and square roots.
Addition, subtraction, multiplication and division of fractions.

Writing equations in order to solve word problems, which includes getting familiar with using unknowns, e.g. If x = 7, what does 5x equal?

Using negative numbers, and picturing them on the number line.
Factoring numbers and finding least common multiples.

Basic geometric skills, including calculating the areas of triangles, rectangles and circles.

It would give me great pleasure to help your student master all of these skills. Please contact me through our email system so that we can get started soon.

Reading

Reading is a skill that equips a person to listen to the great conversation that is now, and always has been, going on between members of the human race. That is why it is so important.

Skill in reading is based on the ability to recognize both the sounds of our language, and the symbols that we use to record those sounds on paper. See my description of Phonics.

Once a child is able to "sound out" words that appear on the written page, he or she should be asked to read materials that are written at, or slightly above, the level of language that he understands through listening and speaking.

I can help a child get started on the reading path and then move along quickly and easily wherever it may lead.

SAT Reading

Many students and adults wanting to enter college are good readers, but they may not have had enough experience in using reading skills to analyze material that is presented at the college level.

The SAT tries to assess how well a student will be able to use his or her analytical reading skills with college level materials in all areas: Literature, Science, Philosophy, Politics, History, even Math.

Most of the questions on the SAT are multiple choice, but they are not simple. They require a student to read a passage and then choose the best answer to a question about that passage from a series of questions that are all more or less correct.

Other parts of the SAT ask a student to choose words or phrases that best complete a statement. For those questions, a broad vocabulary is helpful, but it is also necessary to be able to analyze a sentence as a whole.

Fortunately, there are materials available to help you prepare. I can expose you to those materials and give you practice using them. I can also give you helpful tips on how to take multiple choice tests.

I'm looking forward to helping you get into the college of your choice.

Special Needs

I have a PhD in Special Education, with a concentration in the area of Education of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing. I taught the deaf and hard of hearing for ten years, working in elementary schools where students with other special needs were being taught. I have also substitute taught in special education classes for children with learning disabilities. I would be particularly interested in tutoring students who need help in the areas of reading, language development and math.

Spelling

In many languages spelling is not that much of a problem. Most of the sounds in those languages have only one way of being spelled. If the child knows the letter that goes with each sound in a word he most likely will be able to spell the word correctly.

English, however, has many words that were brought into English from other languages, and the spelling was brought along with them. So, with English the learner has the task of deciding which letters to use for which sounds and when to use them.

The best illustration of this problem that I have seen is the trick question, "What does photi spell?" The answer is fish -- ph as in "phone", o as in "women", and ti as in "nation".

There are spelling patterns, however, and certain rules; and there are many helpful exercise books that are available. By working with those exercises and by paying attention to the special spellings of words as they occur in the student's ever expanding reading vocabulary much progress can be made.

Once a child can read at grade level or above grade level it is much easier for him or her to spell at grade level.

Study Skills

I believe that one of the most important skills that a child can learn is to set reasonable goals for his or her education and to take the daily steps that are necessary to reach those goals.

Once a child has decided on goals, he or she needs to learn time management skills. He or she must set aside time to study on a daily basis. He or she must find a quiet place away from all distractions.

A child should look upon homework as a friend that will help him or her remember what was taught in class and make that knowledge a part of his or her life for now and for the future.

A child must learn the importance of reading his or her textbooks BEFORE class. After all, the text must be read eventually, why not read it beforehand to get a jump on understanding the subject?

Finally, a child should be encouraged to reward him/herself for having done the work necessary to learn a subject. Sometimes learning itself is study's best reward, but it doesn't hurt to add some special treat in recognition of the effort put forth.

I feel that it is my job as a tutor to help a child develop all of these skills. There are materials on the Internet and elsewhere that are helpful. I will present them to your child and encourage their use.

Vocabulary

After mastering phonics and basic reading skills, vocabulary development is the next step in the journey of reading development. See my Subject Descriptions for Phonics and Reading.

Vocabulary development,like reading, is a lifelong journey. We read a book and we come across a new word. Sometimes we can get an understanding of that word just from the context. Sometimes the author actually gives a definition or a description of the word.

A child's vocabulary will develop naturally just by reading ever more challenging books, but we can also show him or her how to use dictionaries. When we expose them to dictionaries, it is also important to show them how to use any phonetic symbols that show how the word is pronounced.

Older students, especially those who have been exposed to other languages, should be taught to use the notations on word derivations that are given in advanced dictionaries.

I would be happy to assist in vocabulary development at any level, from elementary to college level.

Writing

Good writing is based on a thorough knowledge of the vocabulary and grammar of English, but it goes beyond knowing how to construct a correct sentence.

A good writer looks at what he has written and asks himself, "Is this sentence clear?, Does it add anything to what I want to say?, Does it fit with the rest of the sentences in this paragraph?, Is it too long?, too short?, too convoluted?. Is it boring?" The list goes on and on. Writing can be a very challenging task.

I would love to help anyone who is interested in improving his or her writing skills. There are helpful materials available at every level, from grade school to college and beyond. Many times all that is needed is to have someone to "bounce ideas off of". (Bad grammar, I know.)

Please contact me to discuss your writing needs. Let me know how I can help.

St. Paul's College, Washington, D.C.
Liberal Arts
Graduate from the University of Pittsburgh
PhD

Education

St. Paul's College, Washington, D.C. (Liberal Arts)

Graduate from the University of Pittsburgh (PhD)

Hourly fee

Standard Hourly Fee: $40.00

Cancellation: 24 hours notice required

My default rate is open to adjustment depending on how far I must travel. I can also adjust it based on whether sessions are longer than one hour.

Travel policy

Robert will travel within 10 miles of Pacific Grove, CA 93950.

Background Check Status for Robert P.

Robert P. passed a background check on 8/20/12. The check was ordered by Robert through First Advantage. For more information, please review the background check information page.

After sending a message to Robert, 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.