What is Enrichment Tutoring?

Many people think of tutoring as a remedial endeavor, but that really isn't the right way to think about it. The fact of the matter is that classroom instruction can never be tailored to individual students, which means that learning is rarely optimal. By necessity, teachers must teach to the middle of the class. The teacher's pace, style, and goals are geared to the class as a whole, not specific students. With private tutoring, on the other hand, lessons can be specifically tailored to the individual student. For students who plan to take the ISEE or SSAT - tests that inevitably include material students have never encountered before - starting early is important. The goal of enrichment tutoring is to ensure students have a strong foundation in the core knowledge areas that will determine how they do on these tests. 

When a student is not excelling in a core subject, it is often because the class is moving too quickly, the teacher's style is out of sync with the student's learning style, the student did not build a strong enough foundation in previous years, the student has not yet developed the right study habits, or some combination thereof.  It is almost never the case that the student is simply "bad at" that subject. My job is to work with the student and their parents and teachers to figure out what's going on, set some goals, and create a game plan for reaching them. By working one-on-one, everything can be tailored to the needs of that particular student. My lesson plans and homework assignments (which are distinct from homework assignments from school) are unique for each student. By filling in gaps from previous years and moving at a pace that challenges the student at the appropriate level, their self-concept in that subject changes, their confidence improves, and their grades and readiness for these tests follow suit.

Alternatively, when a student is not being challenged enough by the material in class, they often get bored. While they may maintain good grades, their extra potential isn't put to good use. Students who are ready for more advanced material should be encouraged to take it up. Understandably, however, teachers are generally not in a position to provide that kind of instruction since their focus is on the class as a whole. Thus, in this kind of situation, my job is to create lesson plans that reinforce the more advanced aspects of what the student is learning in class, while previewing upcoming topics and challenging them so that their natural abilities shine through on test day. 

Both the ISEE & SSAT require a strong foundation in reading, writing, and math. That foundation is built over time. Unlike the SAT or ACT, the ISEE and SSAT include concepts students have not encountered in class. Thus, waiting until just a few weeks before the test to prepare does not work. Without advanced preparation and a solid foundation in each subject area, many problems are likely to seem bewildering. The earlier students develop their reading, vocabulary, writing, and quantitative skill sets, the more likely they are to feel prepared and do well on test day. Moreover, the stronger they are in these areas, the more likely they are to do well throughout their academic careers. 

Far from being remedial, then, enrichment tutoring is really about developing a strong foundation in core knowledge areas and a sense of self-efficacy and self-directed learning that will serve students well for many years to come. 


Peter A.


700+ hours
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