Posted in Online Tutoring, Resources, Tips for Parents, Tips for Students

The Best Online Tutoring Services Of 2018

Like many services and industries, tutoring is moving more online as people become more comfortable and familiar with digital communication and are able to appreciate the accessibility and selection of online tutoring.  One result of this is that the online tutoring industry has exploded, to the point where the sheer proliferation of services can be overwhelming.

That’s why I’m so glad that our friends at Reviews.com have created a guide to the best online tutoring services of 2018.  They have thoroughly researched the top platforms and written up a detailed report with their findings, but that’s just the start.  Their report goes on to explain what students should know before enrolling in online tutoring, the best practices for ensuring a positive tutoring experience, and much more.  The whole thing is chock full of incredibly valuable information and actionable tips for students and their families who are seeking help through online tutoring, and the best part is, it’s absolutely FREE!

Check it out here: The Best Online Tutoring Services Of 2018

Posted in Online Tutoring, Tips for Parents

What If I’ve Never Tried Online Tutoring Before?

I often still hear from people who have never tried online tutoring before and aren’t sure if it will work for them or their children. When they go to look for tutoring, they have the image in mind of sitting down at a table with the tutor. Given this expectation, the idea of sitting by yourself in front of your computer to receive tutoring may seem off-putting. However, I haven’t found that meeting with students in person allows me to provide any better service than meeting online does. In fact, just the opposite is the case; in my experience, online tutoring, by providing access to the learning tools of the PC and Internet, works better than in-person tutoring, convenience factor aside. And, one of the great things about online tutoring is that it’s easy to try out just a bit to see if it works for you, so you don’t have to take anybody’s word for it but your own.

Chances are your kids already use Skype to video chat with friends and relatives, and if they do they’ll probably take naturally to online tutoring. For those “noobs” still curious about how online tutoring works, here’s a link to a video demonstration.

Posted in Online Tutoring

My Secret Strategy For Making A 32 On The ACT – Without Test Prep!

In this blog post I will reveal the secret strategy that I used to make a 32 on the ACT and go to college for free, without any test prep. Are you ready? Here it is:

Learn what is taught in school as you go along.

Let me explain. Students and their parents spend hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars on test prep materials, services, and software each year, but the ACT (as well as the SAT) is designed to measure academic achievement in high school. This means that there’s nothing on the test that is not covered by the standard curriculum that all students are required to take. Test prep is only a review, and can’t prepare a student to perform well starting from scratch. The time to begin preparing for the ACT is not a month or even six months before taking the test, but the first day of freshman year, by having a passion for learning, a personal motivation for what you are doing, and by getting help along the way. Learning is fueled by relevance, and without having a sense of purpose and drive, cramming facts and figures is like trying to fill a bottomless bucket.

As an online tutor and academic coach, I help students not only learn the most effective ways to use their talents, but also get in touch with their own sense of passion, motivation, and burning sense of curiosity. If you build a house with a strong foundation, you won’t need to do last-minute repairs. Contact me today to find out how I can help your son or daughter unleash their inner academic rock star.

Posted in Online Tutoring

Why Tutoring Is Important For Smart Kids

One of the reasons many people don’t hire a tutor until the last minute is because of the social stigma, similar to that associated with psychological therapy or counseling, that if you need help you must be “weak” or “stupid”. However, this stigma is both wrong and incorrect.

It is wrong because there should be no shame associated with getting help if you need it; this doesn’t make you less of a person or less worthy in any way. It is incorrect because kids don’t struggle in school because they are “stupid”, they struggle because school doesn’t work for them.

A tutor is a specialist, either in a particular academic area, or in providing one-on-one instruction, or both. One-size-fits-all public education is calibrated for the masses, designed to be workable for the “average student”. The problem is, average students don’t exist! Just like the average height of people in a room can be 5’6”, even though nobody in that room is actually 5’6” tall, the average student is an abstraction. Each student is an individual and benefits best from individual attention. It is no secret that any student can benefit from individual attention, this is just something that public education is inherently unable to provide.

Furthermore, the more gifted or talented a student is, the more they are able to benefit from working with a specialist. A student with a particularly strong aptitude or passion for a given subject will benefit most from the help of a specialist to help them fully reach their true potential, something an “average” education will never provide.

A cafeteria-style education fills minds the way a cafeteria fills bellies, but it can’t meet the needs of exceptional students to follow their passions and unlock their full potential. That’s why, in a public education setting, the smartest kids are really the ones that need help the most.

Posted in Online Tutoring

Another Advantage Of Online Tutoring

A few weeks ago I woke up one morning and felt a cold starting to come on. The symptoms were mild and didn’t keep me from functioning, but I knew that I would be contagious if I was in the same room with somebody.

I had a tutoring appointment that morning, but fortunately it was on online appointment. It occurred to me then, that if I had been tutoring in person, I would have had to make a choice between either cancelling the appointment, or taking a chance on making my client sick. I was glad I didn’t have to make that choice! I was able to continue with my schedule as planned, with no interruption, and I realized that this was an advantage of online tutoring I hadn’t thought of before.

So there you have it, yet another advantage of online tutoring – no transmission of cold or flu bugs!

Posted in Online Tutoring

How Math Tutoring Can Help Any Student Get Better Grades With Less Stress

While the common perception is that tutoring is a last-resort solution for students who are struggling, the reality is that tutoring represents an investment that can help any student get more out of their education and enjoy life more.

While demands on students are higher than they have ever been, individual support and attention is low. Teachers are necessarily some of the best-intentioned individuals, but they themselves are constrained and overburdened and unable to provide students with the kind of inspired mentorship and individual attention they would like to.

Math is possibly the subject where the majority of students struggle the most, with damaging effects on their confidence and self esteem. Despite the fact that our innate mathematical ability is our birthright as human beings, many students associate math with stress and failure.

A large number of students face an even greater challenge in overcoming clinically-identified mental blocks (such as depression, anxiety, or so-called “learning disabilities”) related to school in general and math in particular. For these students, the feelings of stress and failure are painfully acute.

At the same time, exceptionally talented or passionate students are hurt just as much by the lack of individual attention, as they have difficulty fulfilling their full potential in the typical school environment. The talent that gets wasted in this way represents a loss to society at large as much as it does to individual students themselves.

A good tutor can help overcome all of these problems by providing individual attention and guidance:

  • By helping struggling students to learn in a way that is best suited to them, revealing their innate strengths and abilities, with corresponding gains in confidence and motivation.
  • By helping talented and passionate students nurture their dreams and reach their full potential.
  • By helping all students save time, effort, and energy, leaving them with more freedom to spend quality time with their families and enjoy life.

In particular, a math specialist is invaluable for being able to provide expert guidance across a range of topics, and being able to adapt the approach and the material to each individual student.

The value of education means it isn’t something to take for granted, but is worth investing in. If you’re not absolutely certain that your kids are getting the best possible value from their education, contact me to find out how I can help.

Posted in Inspiration, Online Tutoring, Tips for Parents

Request From An Ideal Tutoring Client

I recently received the following request, and I wanted to share it because it demonstrates the qualities of an ideal client, and it was also a great opportunity to share the benefits of my tutoring service.  A few things to note:

  • She and her daughter are both motivated and proactive.  The request came at the very beginning of the school year, so they are looking to play keep-up rather than catch-up.  They are thinking long-term about how to maximize the daughter’s educational opportunities and prevent problems from developing, rather than operating in damage-control mode.
  • She is discriminating and willing to invest in her daughter’s education.  She knows what she is and isn’t looking for, and is shopping based on quality instead of price.  Rather than seeking bargain-basement alternatives, she is looking for the solution that delivers the maximum value.

I am considering on line tutoring for my child (H.S. junior). Her current math & physics teachers (public H S) are either confusing or have difficulty in expressing concepts and she is attempting to teach herself the info of these advanced classes. She has expressed that she doesn’t want to get too frustrated, do poorly, and let the grades interfere with a possible interest she has in pursuing a STEM career. She has not used any tutoring in the past. Here’s my q’s: 1) can you help tutor both areas in one session? 2) how are your services different than just a homework helpline? 3) do you also do act prep for math & sciences 4) do you follow a set curriculum?  I anticipate weekly tutoring would be most beneficial and would pay the monthly fee.

———————————-

I’m glad to hear that your daughter is taking a proactive interest in her education and her career.  It is very inspiring when young people take responsibility for their own lives, and it reflects very highly on the maturity of their parents.  So, congratulations!

To answer your questions: 

1) Yes, I can help your daughter with both math and physics!  These areas are my specialties, and I have extensive experience working with students at her grade level specifically.  You can see testimonials from several of them and their parents on my testimonial page: https://synergytutoring.wordpress.com/testimonials/
 
2) My service is unique in a number of ways.  One is that I take a personal interest in every student I work with and I care very much about seeing them succeed, not just in class or in school but in life.  When it comes to tutoring, one end of the spectrum is homework help, which is basically providing answers and explanations for specific assignments, and the other end of the spectrum is academic coaching, which focuses on the student’s overall, holistic success and satisfaction in academics, career planning, and every aspect of life.  This is the type of service that I offer.
 
3) Yes, I can help your daughter prepare for the ACT!  I am very familiar with the topics and strategies for both the ACT and the SAT, and I can help your daughter integrate the preparation for these tests into her overall study plans.  I earned a full scholarship to a prestigious liberal arts college based on my ACT score, so I know that my strategies work!  I even have a series of articles I have written covering all aspects of preparing for the ACT and SAT that I will be happy to share with her.
 
4) In your daughter’s case, since she is already following a curriculum, I would help her to master the material she is already studying.  However, because of my specialized background in math and physics, including an undergraduate degree, 3.5 years of graduate work and university teaching experience, and 10 years of tutoring experience, I can adapt my approach to specifically prepare her for the continuing work she will need to undergo in order to prepare for a STEM career.  As a future engineer or scientist, she can especially benefit from my foresight in laying the groundwork for more advanced studies and a rewarding career.  I understand the types of reasoning and study habits that are essential for success in these careers, and I can help her to establish them early on, giving her an edge in her studies from the very beginning.  Many students begin to undertake such courses of study only to drop out when the going gets tough, but with my help she will find her advanced studies to be a stimulating and rewarding challenge, not a stressful obstacle.
 
I believe that all kids are smart, and my job is to prove it to them.  I specialize in working with each student’s individual learning style to make the learning process stress-free and fun!  I understand the difficulties of being a student and the challenges that teachers, especially those in the public schools, face in trying to do the best they can for a wide range of students.  I especially like working with talented, motivated students like your daughter to help them reach their full potential in science and math, so I am sure it will be especially rewarding to work with her.  Please get in touch and let me know when you would like to start!
 
Regards
 
Dane