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Ever wonder what happens during tutoring sessions? If you’ve never hired a tutor, you may not know what tutors can do to help. This article will take some of the fear out of the tutor hiring process by helping you understand what you should and should not expect from tutoring sessions. What Tutors Can Do. In a previous article, I listed several basic things tutors should do (see my article titled “Are you getting your money’s worth from tutoring?” from November 5, 2012). Some examples are gather student’s academic background information and have a long – term plan with goals for their students. But, what services can tutors provide? How much is “too much to ask”? The short answer is that tutors can help students, professionals, and military candidates learn knowledge and skills they do not have. However, this definition includes many possibilities. Will tutors help my child with their homework? Will they also teach or re-teach material they should have learned in earlier... read more

Families hire tutors for a variety of reasons. In general, though, tutors help students and professionals learn some skill or information. So, how do you know whether you are getting your money’s worth from tutoring? Here are five areas you can use to grade your tutor. 1. Communication. Tutors should communicate a lot! Tutors should conduct a background interview before starting lessons. They should gather information about student strengths and weaknesses, academic background, learning styles, and schedule information at a minimum. You can feel confident that they know what they’re doing if they do this. They understand that you need to know their students before teaching them anything. They may also use the information to write a learning plan listing several long – term goals for the student. Tutors should also talk with parents or adult students after each lesson. They should meet with parents at the end of the session to summarize student progress and preview the next... read more

Part 2 of this article relates to professionals, “non – traditional” college students, and military candidates who are making the tutoring decision. (Part 1gives advice and tips to parents and college students.) Professionals Professionals have different tutoring needs. Sometimes, employees are contractually obligated to earn college credits every few years. Some employers withhold pay raises if education and training requirements aren’t met. Most employers also list a minimum grade requirement for courses. Once you have gone to class the first time, review your course materials and syllabus. If some of it looks like it was written in French - and you’re not in a foreign language class - consider hiring a tutor right away! Your tutor can help you get off to a good start. Once you are back in the swing of things, you may not need the tutor’s help. I have a “5 – year rule of thumb” for returning/ adult students: if you took your last college class 5 years ago or more,... read more

Deciding to hire a tutor can be tough. Tutoring requires schedule adjustments, coordination, and clear expectations on everyone's part. Part one of this article gives some advice for parents and college students in making this decision. Part two relates to professionals, "non - traditional" college students, and military candidates. Parents First, consider the academic and social expectations you have for your child. Do you expect “C’s” and above? All “A’s” and “B’s”? Are extracurricular activities important? Do you expect participation in one, school – related activity (a common parental expectation). These questions will help you decide whether or not to hire a tutor for your child. Next, look at your child’s academic performance realistically. If your child is earning two “D’s”, and you expect “C’s” and above, it is probably time to involve a tutor. Base your decision on a current progress report. Also, consider whether you have the time and academic skills... read more

1. Give your brain a rest the day before the test. If you study enough prior to the then, then there is no reason to attempt to cram more information. 2. Make sure you're on pace to finish the test. If you are halfway through your exam time, and you're only a quarter complete, you probably won't have enough time to complete the entire test. Make sure you get the easy problems, skip the harder ones. 3. Take the time to answer the questions correctly. This is a balancing act between answering too fast and completing the exam. You may be answering problems too fast and may make a small error that will give an incorrect answer; if you are done with your exam early, take the time to recheck your work.

As you know, all teachers (and tutors!) were once students. So they know all the pitfalls that can cause a student to not get their homework done. The reason can be social - maybe the student wants to get his or her work done but the distraction of all the social media is too much to resist. The reason can also be academic - maybe the subject is difficult, such as challenging concepts or perhaps they're faced with an assignment that didn't get explained well enough to be done independently. Or sometimes it's the dreaded PROCRASTINATION. That can be the worst of all reasons to not get work done because the longer you procrastinate, the more the work piles up and then the student becomes "paralyzed", overwhelmed by the mountain of work that has accumulated. When procrastination has gotten the better of you, the important thing is to not let yourself be so overwhelmed that you don't do the work at all. Here's what you do: PRIORITIZE AND GET STARTED! It is a simple phrase... read more

As you may know, I am a big fan of the well-known author and brain specialist, Dr. Daniel Amen. He mentions in several of his books that Physical Exercise is good for the brain. I have read of research studies that showed a clear correlation between IMPROVEMENT in students' test scores in math and science, and their level of physical activity (for example, when math class followed PE class, the students had significantly higher scores). Maybe we should schedule PE before all math classes in our schools. What do you think about that idea? This morning I read an online article on the myhealthnewsdaily site, entitled "6 Foods That Are Good for Your Brain," and another article about how Physical Exercise helps maintain healthy brain in older adults too. The second article, "For a Healthy Brain, Physical Exercise Trumps Mental Workout" was found under Yahoo News. The remainder of this note is quoted from that article: Regular physical exercise appears to... read more

Most people that I know feel that multiple choice questions on a test are a double-edged sword. On one hand, the right answer is somewhere right in front of you; you just have to pick it. On the other hand, multiple choice questions will do everything within their power to confuse you and lead you away from that right answer. Here are a few of my strategies for getting it right: *50/50 - Does anyone watch Who Wants to Be a Millionaire anymore? I know I don't, but I do remember it. So, for those of us who either watch or remember it, think about the 50/50 lifeline. They'd eliminate two wrong answers out of the four potential choices. This is a great place to start! Eliminate anything that you know to be blatantly wrong. If possible, I like to physically cross it out on my test (in pencil, in case I change my mind). That way, you know what you can ignore when selecting your answer. *Absolute words - This means words that are superlative or absolute, like "always," "never,"... read more

Throughout the course of my own education, and now as a semi-educator myself, I have picked up various handy ways to assist with memorization. The first and probably best "memory assistant" is music. It doesn't have to be good, or really even "musical." But putting whatever you're trying to memorize to music is vastly helpful! In high school, I memorized the presidents of the United States (in chronological order) by putting them to a song. I can still sing it to this day. I can also recite the alphabet backwards by simply putting a tune to it. The best thing to do is write out the words to your song, then sing it repeatedly - taking away a few of the written words each time. You (or whoever you're helping) won't forget it! Similarly, rhymes are very helpful too! Remember the old favorite "i before e, except after c, or when sounding like 'ay,' as in neighbor or weigh"? I'll bet you do... because it rhymes! Lastly, mnemonic devices... read more

The above-referenced subjects include different-aged PreK-College student needs I have experienced at the beginning of each school year since Fall 2010, when I first began tutoring in earnest via WyzAnt, instead of substituting daily for lesser pay in 18 area elementaries in our school district. I am not including higher math (Grade 7 and above) in my math tutoring experience. I also have helped adults with ESL/ESOL, general and academic reading/writing/comprehension/test preparation as well as public speaking for different-sized audiences, sometimes at-the-last-minute before "the big presentation day".

Playing a math game. Following a recipe. Building a science project, robot, or electronic kit... These are some ways to use hands-on learning activities to make science and math more interesting. This summer, for example, I have been using some new modules that include electronics/science of electricity, automotive engine technology, solar energy labs, etc. for "gifted", "average", and "special needs" students. And everybody loved the new study lessons. Even the ADD/ADHD students (myself included) stayed interested during entire lessons. I think we need more of this sort of thing in the schools. What do you think? If hands-on learning can keep the attention of ADD/ADHD students, it can work for other students too! I enjoy watching students learn through interactive games that utilize technology. For example, we like to race the clock and fill in math and science puzzles. There are many active ways to make learning more interesting, and before you know... read more

I was not taught how to practice piano until college. The time spent alone practicing is just as important as the lesson itself, as it connects one lesson to the next. Practicing without much of a plan, I found myself less prepared than I thought I was when I walked onstage for my recitals. Including practicing strategies in the lesson gives students the confidence they need to work on their own between lessons. From techniques I learned in college and my own research, I have developed a method that is adaptable for many subjects. While there are many effective methods of practicing, this one has been quite successful for my students and me, as it covers multiple problems that typically arise. I will use piano and test preparation as examples. Pre-Test Some form of baseline data reveals the strengths and weaknesses of the student and determines the focus of preparation and practice. Piano: Play through at a steady tempo, taking notes as soon as the section is finished... read more

Here are seven helpful tips for that upcoming test: 1. Try not to panic! Fear can cause you to forget information that you would normally know. 2. Cramming for a test does not work. Start preparing about a week before the test. 3. After the test is handed out, write down all the formulas, rules, and other information you want to remember on scrap paper. This will act as a reference sheet for you as you progress through the test. 4. Always remember to show all of your work on scrap paper just in case. 5. Do the problems that you know first and the harder problems last. This will also help you relax. This is also an efficient time management strategy. 6. Careless mistakes are common problems during tests in mathematics and science. Always review your work before submitting your test. 7. Get rid of any distractions! (shut off that cell phone) For more individualized assistance, contact me!

I am new to and now I want to tutor you! For about 10 years now, I have been teaching subjects such as mathematics, physics, test preparation, and astronomy in higher education. I have helped students of various backgrounds understand these subjects. I have also used multimedia and technology to help students visualize some of the complex ideas that can come up in these fields.

In their book “Willpower: Rediscovering the Greatest Human Strength,” Roy F. Baumeister and John Tierney share an amazing amount of information about willpower, or self-control. One interesting point they make is that a number of studies have shown two particular lessons concerning human willpower: “1. You have a finite amount of willpower that becomes depleted as you use it. 2. You use the same stock of willpower for all manner of tasks.” So your supply of willpower is fixed and is depleted by any number of activities – studying, exercising, dieting, being patient with others. What conclusions can we draw from this as it relates to studying and test preparation? First of all, if you are involved with a rigorous test prep program, do not also attempt to start a new sport, learn a new language, and begin writing a novel all at the same time! When people make big changes in their lives or undertake new projects, their efforts are undermined when they try to make other... read more

The new school year beckons - be it middle or high school, college or post graduate study. Fall college visits, applications and essays are also just around the corner. Get a jump on what you or your child may need in terms of support for specific academic subjects, computer skills, standardized tests (SSAT, ISEE, PSAT, SAT, ACT, ASVAB, GRE, etc.). I look forward to continuing my track record of success with students to assist them in maximizing their potential and achievements. David

In today's world where everything is about our accomplishments, and time is of the essence, it really helps to get a tutor. I don't think I would be where I was today if I had not had the benefit of a tutor in some of my college subjects. A good tutor can help you to have more confidence and success as you move forward with your goals and dreams. Working with a good tutor can make a world of difference for you. Why not give it a try today?

Summer learning loss can affect everyone. Teachers must spend quite a bit of time in the beginning of every year reviewing to get students past the summer slump. There are a variety of ways you can keep yourself or your child from losing to much ground over summer. One of the best ways to keep the brain sharp and active is to keep reading both fiction and nonfiction literature at or above grade level. Even if it is only 25 minutes a day, you will keep the reading skills sharp and continue to learn new things. I also found out that Barnes and Nobles is offering a free new book reward to children who read 8 books. You can check out their website or visit the nearest store for more information. Whether in a cool place during the heat of the day, or as part of the night time relaxation, reading for 25 or more minutes is possibly the best time investment you can make. There are also many kinds of puzzles you can practice solving such as Suduko to keep the math and problem solving skills... read more

In recent years, education has determined what mothers have had a strong feeling about for years: children don't all learn the same way. Well, duh. There are the obliging, easy-to-reach and teach verbal students, the head-in-the-book or the clouds visual learners, and the athletic, impulsive kinesthetic (or physical) kids. There is even a small subset we can refer to as the taste/smell group; they are intuitive, compassionate, and easily led. They may fall into any of the major three modalities, or stand alone. Today, I'd like to talk about Visual Learners. Very often, the information they hear can be parrotted back very accurately right away. However, this is not necessarily an indication that the information they are repeating has actually "passed through the thinker." It's more like coffee that is brewed, then poured and drunk. Once the information has been poured in and delivered, unless there is a significant anchor, it can pass away completely. And it often... read more

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