Math Tutoring – A Helpful Tool for Those Struggling with Mathematics
Before the introduction of “new math” and Common Core and STEM programs in our schools, the best math tutoring help came from within the child’s own home.
Parents, assuming they were willing and had the education, could assist their children by utilizing the same tried and true methods to learn math that they had learned with. Those math-learning techniques emphasized concentration, memory and practice, practice, practice backed up with flash cards and counting games.
With the increasing need for young people to graduate from school with a solid background and functional use of math in order to compete in a global economy world, parent tutors need help. Outside math tutoring has become more and more important to those who children who struggle with math. Parents, frustrated by their own confusion at the new methods and strange math terminology used in schools today, are usually the first to agree.
Let’s face it. Mathematics is difficult for some people.
For the child who is struggling with math, falling behind can be a downward spiral that is hard to recover from. Math progression is based on conquering each level of math beginning at memorizing numbers and doing basic adding and subtracting in order to advance to the next grade level. You can’t progress to algebra or geometry without a sound understanding and grasp of adding and subtracting numbers.
Falling too far behind can lead to life-long consequences.
It’s imperative that as soon as a parent or teacher recognizes a math-learning problem, some constructive action be taken. For the slow learner, extra attention and assistance from trained tutors can do wonders to help a child learn the basics and catch up to their grade level math.
The internet is an important tool in the math tutoring process. There are numerous math instructional programs aimed at each grade level that help make math interesting. They use games, colors, music and puzzles to make learning math fun so as to hold their interest.
But online learning is limited. Without the help of a personal, one-on-one tutor trained in the newest methods of teaching math, computer learning can only go so far.
Very few of us can afford an after-school math tutor five days a week. The next best thing is a combination of the two: weekly or bi-weekly sessions with a tutor augmented by online instruction, practice, monitoring and testing.
There are many good tutoring services available. Financially-sound schools systems are often able to offer individual or group math-tutoring during the class day or after school. If these services are not available, or a child needs additional help, commercial math tutoring companies operate in almost every city and town in the country. Usually the school itself will have a list of recommended tutoring services.
Tips for our Spanish Tutors
Tutoring a student in Spanish can be a rewarding experience and a quick way to earn some extra money. It is also a great way for the tutor to reinforce his or her knowledge of the language. Not all Spanish grammatical and morphological structures or pronunciation will be intuitive for a native English speaker, however, and so certain areas will give students more trouble than others, and will require more focus from the tutor.
A few basic rules apply to all tutors no matter the subject. A tutor shouldn’t avoid eye contact and should modulate his or her voice. Remember, the tutor has to engage the student’s attention before any learning can occur. Consistent eye contact will also help a tutor command respect from a student, which is especially important when dealing with a young pupil. Furthermore, and this is of chief importance when teaching any language, the tutor must speak loudly and clearly.
Pronunciation is the first hurdle that most new Spanish students face. When tutoring, hold the student to a reasonable degree of perfection in pronunciation. For example, many native English speakers who are beginning to learn Spanish will see the word “sociable” and pronounce it as if it were in English. Obviously, this is not the correct pronunciation in Spanish, and it must be corrected when encountered. However, soon the student will discover that Spanish is much more consistent in its phonetics than Engish – every vowel and consonant makes the same sound in almost every word. Diphthongs, the sounds made when combining two vowels, are one of the only exceptions in Spanish, and more advanced students may need reinforcement on how to pronounce these compound sounds. For example, “muy” is not pronounced “moo-ee” but rather “mwee”. This distinction must be gently noted and corrected by the tutor every time the student deviates.
Many native English speakers will have trouble with Spanish gender agreement, verbs, and sentence structure. A tutor must reinforce the concept that an adjective must agree with the gender of the noun it is describing; for example, “la chica alta” is correct, while “la chica alto” is incorrect. More advanced students may also flounder with the subjunctive mood; while not many cases of the subjunctive mood exist in English, a tutor can still bridge the two languages by noting the English phrase “If I were a butterfly,” which is one of the only examples of a parallel idea in English.
Ultimately, a Spanish tutor will find success when he or she draws parallels between English and Spanish, reinforces concepts learned in class, and does not move past an area of concern until the student understands it in full.
How to Find the Best Science Tutor in Los Angeles?
Science means knowledge. In order to find a good tutor, you will want to look for someone who has the following attributes:
1. Humility – A proud person will be condescending to a student who is still learning. Look for someone who is quiet and quick to help. Smart people are not always good tutors because they are very snooty about what they know.
2. Educated- It goes without saying that it helps if the tutor knows what they are talking about. Education can be formal or informal. Abraham Lincoln taught himself to be a lawyer. Just make sure that the tutor knows what they are saying. Look for reviews on sites like www.ratemyprofessor.com.
3. Complementary teaching style. This is very important. If your learning styles are not complementary, the tutor will be talking over your head. In order to find a tutor with a complementary learning style, you need to know your learning style and theirs. The following site is a great place to check this:
4. Low priced. Generally, you will pay more for a tutor who has more formal education. Always remember that formal education does not equal competence. Some very poor teachers are just great at taking the standardized tests that are common in the educational system. Look for a peer in your school who got an A in the subject you are interested in. They will charge you way less than a formal tutor.
5. Check out the free online options. Probably the best online option is Khan Academy, particularly if you are a visual based learner. Kinesthetic learners should stick with in person tutoring:
6. Complementary personality with your tutor. Take the following Myers-Briggs personality test and have your science tutor do the same. People in the NT, NF, SJ, SP categories will do better relating to each other than to those who are in a different category:
Take this test -> http://www.keys2cognition.com/explore.htm
7. A tutor willing to learn from you! Remember that the best way to learn is to teach something. If your tutor is unwilling to listen to your feedback, try someone else.