Published Nov 16, 20

4 min read

When teaching young children, completion of at least a high school diploma would be recommended. Teaching older students, in high school or college, the ideal tutor would have at least an undergraduate degree, with emphasis on mathematics (engineering or science degrees often have solid math requirements too). Helping others learn requires great communication skills, and the ability to identify the best way to convey the material in a way that matches the individual needs of the learner.

The best tutoring companies invest resources in continually training their staff on the latest educational methods to help learners master the material. To minimize time and travel expense wasted in transit, the math tutoring location will ideally be near you. A large math tutoring company with many locations will have better odds of a location near you.

Some tutors are available only at pre-scheduled times, whereas others can be reached outside those hours, or even around-the-clock in some cases (e. g. some of the online services). Depending on your needs, this may or may not be important. Many academic studies have documented that students learn best when they have more attention to their individual needs.

Typically, the youngest children in particular benefit from small classroom sizes, but this can also be the case for older ones. The best way of learning is through practice, practice, and more practice. This can be done through homework assignments, or in-class practice sessions. Regular testing is important to ensure that the material is being mastered.

g. SAT, GRE, GMAT, LSAT), so having access to tests in the same format as the expected standardized exams is useful. Tutors need to be compensated for their time (they have families to feed also), so it's unrealistic to expect good math tutoring for free. To get smaller classrooms or individualized tutoring, it will naturally need to cost a little extra.

Some math tutoring companies offer financial aid or discounts, so it doesn't hurt to ask whether those are available (a discount at a better math tutoring company might make it a better value than full-price at a lesser company). Educational expenses might be able to be deducted from your income taxes, depending on where you live, so be sure to save receipts and ask your accountant for more information.

This morning I visited my local Classical Conversations community and observed my son’s Challenge II class and my daughter’s Challenge B class. For both, I was able to be with them during the math seminar and witness some good math teaching. I will not name the tutors, so as not to embarrass anyone, but I will share what I was able to learn from them: namely, what makes a great math tutor.

They started out by asking, in general, if the students had any questions regarding their preparation of the lessons. Then, they asked the students specific questions about what kind of question they were solving, what concept they were considering, can the question be written different ways, and can it be simplified before they proceed to solving it? In doing so, the majority—if not all—of the students were actively participating in the math discussion, a real dialectic of math.

If a particular method were used to solve it, the tutors would ask if anyone had solved it another way. In doing so, they were able to help the students recognize different ways of thinking through the concept; sometimes, this process helped them to discover why a particular step worked in the solution.

Afterward, they would ask, “Do you all understand why that didn’t work?” At one point, one of the tutors made a mistake that a student caught, and the tutor happily acknowledged the error and walked through why the error was made. By doing this, she was able to help them see how skipping steps or not writing out the steps can lead to simple errors.

In both classes, the students were provided with a twelve-inch by twelve-inch (or so) dry-erase board and marker that they used to work through the question while the tutor worked through it on the board, asking questions. This allowed the tutors to see whether individual students understood the process, and it allowed the students to see for themselves that they actually understood the concept.

The tutors were careful to utilize the proper names of things, such as radicand, radical, exponent, and factor, or Identity Law, denominator, and numerator. The tutors would ask questions such as: why multiplying a fraction, e. g., 2/3 x 3/3, was allowed and did not change the value of the first fraction.

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