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Martha M.

Plano, TX

$50/hour

Experienced and Patient Tutoring for Homeschooling Families

20+ Hours
Background check passed as of 2/17/16
4.5 average from 13 ratings
Just what we were looking for!
— Pramila, Allen, TX on 3/1/16

$50/Hour


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Response time: 2 hours

Contact Martha

Vanderbilt University
Molecular Biology
Perkins School of Theology-Southern Methodist University
Master's
Southern Methodist University
PhD

Education

Vanderbilt University (Molecular Biology)

Perkins School of Theology-Southern Methodist University (Master's)

Southern Methodist University (PhD)

About Martha

Looking for someone to help with homeschooling your child? Homeschooling can be wonderful - or frightening. I should know; I homeschooled my three kids and taught several of their friends as well. I have been tutoring for many years in all different subjects. I began by tutoring first graders in arithmetic and have tutored graduate students in writing papers. I just love to teach - or more accurately, I love to see people learn.

So what qualifies me to tutor? My undergraduate degree is in Molecular Biology, so I have taken lots of science and math. I have two graduate degrees in religion where I had to write a lot of papers. And I have been a musician for years, having taken theory and piano since elementary school. I am currently refreshing my knowledge and going deeper in my musical learning by taking more music courses. Between the two degrees and the current work I am doing, I have covered a lot of subjects.

But knowing the subjects is not enough. I also have a lot of experience in tutoring. I have always tutored my fellow students, but I decided to tutor professionally when I took a break from working in a laboratory at the medical school to have children. Most of my students needed help in math, chemistry and biology. In fact I put myself through graduate school working at the Learning Center at SMU. Little did I know that all that tutoring would be great preparation for homeschooling my three kids.

If you are a homeschooling parent, I can help you choose a curriculum for your child. If you already have a curriculum you like, I can work with that. I used a variety of curricula with my own children - everything from worksheets to unit studies.

My approach to working with students who are in a regular school is threefold: First, I will look at what they are currently doing to assess their level. If they are needing help with math, I'll see how they handle some problems. For those who need help in writing, I will have them write something or look at a paper you have done. For music, I will give a few theory exercises. If there are papers or tests that they want me to take a look at in the problem subject, I can do that as well. Next, if there is specific homework they need help with, we will address that. And finally, I will use my extensive library of curriculum and tutoring resources to give work that will help with specific needs. This means that the tutoring I do will be custom fit for your child, just as I customized instruction for my own kids.

I would love to help you and your child fulfill the educational goals that you have, particularly if you are a homeschooling family. I am patient and encouraging and I love to see that "Eureka" moment when things begin to make sense!

Here are a few thoughts about specific subjects - addressed to the students.

I actually really disliked math as a child. I thought I was bad at math. When I finally figured out that math had a real purpose, it became a lot more fun. As I began to tutor math, I realized that I was better able to understand the problems students were having better than the math whizzes because I had had to struggle at one time. I can actually tutor higher level math since I have had through calculus, but I prefer teaching the basics that are so important to all other math. Since a lot of math is cumulative, I will make sure that you know the foundational material and each step along the way so that you can progress to the next step confident in your ability.

I told each of my children that they were not allowed to leave home until they could write well. I graded a lot of papers for my professors and saw that so many people could not write in a way that could communicate. The trick with writing well is to boil things down to the most important elements. I can help with organization, sentence structure, and creative writing. I personally have written everything from a dissertation to song lyrics. The same elements go into all writing. It is just a matter of learning them. The easiest way to help you learn to write is to work through a piece of writing with you and take you through the process of starting with the idea, developing the thesis and outline and then writing the paper or story. I think I can show you that you can learn to write in a coherent, organized, and lively manner. And by the way - my kids got to leave home and most of the students I tutored raised their grades on their papers at least one letter.

I am in the midst of improving my own music skills in piano, voice and composition, but I have always had a knack for theory and aural skills. I am one of those folks who thinks chord progressions are cool and analyzing sonatas is exciting. I listen to songs on the radio and transcribe the music just for kicks! I have learned from the best and discovered that theory can be made much more understandable by using some simple tools. I'd like to tell you that I can give you tricks for aural skills, and there are a few, but frankly, developing your ear is a matter of practice. What I can do is help you find ways to practice that really help. Let's have fun together working out all those concepts that seem mysterious but are actually a lot of fun!

I love to learn and I love to help other people learn. If you are frustrated with one of these subjects, I would like to try to give you a new perspective and a way of approaching it that will work for you. I might work my way out of jobs, but my ultimate goal is to give you the skills that will enable you to be able to learn on your own - and maybe even help someone else. Contact me and let's see if we are a good fit for a learning team.
Looking for someone to help with homeschooling your child? Homeschooling can be wonderful - or frightening. I should know; I homeschooled my three kids and taught several of their friends as well. I have been tutoring for many years in all different subjects. I began by tutoring first graders in arithmetic and have tutored graduate students in Read more

Policies
Cancellation
2 hours notice required

I will consider giving a discount for groups and multiple hour lessons.

Travel Radius
Travels within 5 miles of Plano, TX 75023
Background Check: Passed

"Just what we were looking for!"

- Pramila, Allen, TX on 3/1/16

"Patient and thorough"

- Byron, Rowlett, TX on 10/11/15
Math:
Prealgebra
Science:
Biology
Music:
Ear Training,
Music Theory
Elementary Education:
Grammar,
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.

Bible Studies

I have a Master's degree in Theology and a Ph.D. in Hebrew Bible. I have taught both New Testament and Old Testament at the college and graduate school level. In addition I read Biblical Greek and Hebrew.

Biology

I have a degree in Molecular Biology from Vanderbilt University and have done laboratory work in DNA research, tissue culture, and pathology labs. I have tutored at the Learning Center at SMU, as well as teaching biology to my own homeschooled children. I still have the microscopes and dissection kits to prove it.

I have been fascinated by all things biology since 7th Grade Camp, where I looked through the lens of a microscope for the first time and realized what an amazing world was out there. My particular interests were in genetics, so I focused on the molecular biology in my college studies.

Ear Training

I have been a musician for over 40 years. In the past two years I have taken Music Theory and Aural Skills as a refresher course, along with piano, choir, voice, and composition. I have made A's in almost all of these courses. I also tutor other students at my college in these subjects.

English

In terms of my own abilities in English, I was able to write a dissertation that received a high pass. I am also a professional writer of articles and curriculum for the United Methodist Publishing House.

I have taught all three of my children to read and write from the beginning stages up through college. I have also taught creative writing with children in a program called Written and Illustrated. The children wrote, illustrated, and bound their own books. Several of my former students have gone on to make literature or writing their career.

If grammar is an issue, I have an excellent program that I use that includes old-fashioned sentence diagramming. I have found that even a small amount of diagramming produces great results in helping children understand the structure of sentences.

I address spelling in a variety of ways depending on the grade level. Primarily I use a resource called Spelling Power that worked very well with my children, including the child that had trouble mixing up letters.

You can see more of my qualifications in reading and writing.

Grammar

My own grammar education was grounded in the wonderful process of diagramming sentences. This taught me to see relationships between words in a way that has been helpful ever since. I taught my children grammar using both the old book that I had used and some newer resources that focus on prepositional phrases. Between these two approaches, I have been able to help both children and adults understand the beautiful puzzle that is grammar.

Prealgebra

I actually really disliked math as a child. I thought I was bad at math. When I finally figured out that math had a real purpose, it became a lot more fun. As I began to tutor math, I realized that I was able to understand the problems students were having better than the math whizzes because I had had to struggle at one time. I can actually tutor higher level math since I have had through calculus, but I prefer teaching the basics that are so important to all other math. Since a lot of math is cumulative, I will make sure that you know the foundational material and each step along the way so that you can progress to the next step confident in your ability.

Reading

I have a great deal of experience in teaching children to read, having taught my three children and having tutored many children over the years. I make sure that a child has a good grasp of the sounds of letters, then move on to sounding out simple words. Some words have to be learned by sight, so we work on those as well. As the child gains confidence, we work on comprehension, first at the level of sentences and then paragraphs.

In addition to having a lot of experience, I am a very patient and encouraging person. I feel that it is important to give a child a chance to figure words out for themselves rather than jumping to help immediately. However, that has to be balanced with understanding how much frustration a child can handle.

Writing

I told each of my children that they were not allowed to leave home until they could write well. I graded a lot of papers for my professors and in my own classes and saw that so many people could not write in a way that could communicate. The trick with writing well is to boil things down to the most important elements. I can help with organization, sentence structure, and creative writing. I personally have written everything from a dissertation to song lyrics. The same elements go into all writing. It is just a matter of learning them. The easiest way to help you learn to write is to work through a piece of writing with you and take you through the process of starting with the idea, developing the thesis and outline and then writing the paper or story. I think I can show you that you can learn to write in a coherent, organized, and lively manner. And by the way - my kids got to leave home and most of the students I tutored raised their grades on their papers at least one letter.

Vanderbilt University
Molecular Biology
Perkins School of Theology-Southern Methodist University
Master's
Southern Methodist University
PhD

Education

Vanderbilt University (Molecular Biology)

Perkins School of Theology-Southern Methodist University (Master's)

Southern Methodist University (PhD)

Just what we were looking for!

Martha was able to help my 4th grader with reading and writing skills. She was very knowledgeable and patient. My son enjoyed his lesson time with her.

— Pramila, Allen, TX on 3/1/16

Hourly rate

Standard Hourly Rate: $50.00

Cancellation: 2 hours notice required

I will consider giving a discount for groups and multiple hour lessons.

Travel policy

Martha will travel within 5 miles of Plano, TX 75023.