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The 5 Tips to Choose the Best One-On-One Math Tutoring Service

The great thing about living in some larger cities is that you have multiple choices when it comes to choosing services. The downside is that making that decision becomes all the more difficult with such a large talent pool to draw from. A perfect example of that can be found when trying to find a math tutor for a child who is perhaps struggling with the subject. Perform a generic search for a math tutor and you will have plenty of people to choose from, but how do you know which is best? Here are a few tips to help you decide:

1. The most important thing to look for in a math tutor is someone who is solely dedicated to math. There are many great tutors out there who are able to touch on a number of different subjects, but the fact that they do not devote themselves to one means that they may be a little lacking when it comes to some of the more complex math equations.

2. Once you have established that the tutor is truly devoted to math, you will want to hear about success stories they may have had with other students. Don’t be afraid to ask for references so that you can get an idea of just how effective their math tutoring methods are, as well as seeing if the way they teach will be suitable for your child’s needs.

3. Experience and credentials are other factors that are going to come into play in your decision. Just because someone has a strong background in math, it doesn’t mean that they will necessarily do well in a one-on-one setting with your child.

4. The next thing you are going to have to ask about is the scheduling that the tutor is willing to commit to. There will be some that will require you to drop everything and meet them at a place of their choosing and at a time that best fits their schedule. That is not really an ideal situation for anyone other than the tutor, so look for someone who will come to your home on your time. That makes scheduling easy, whilst also allowing you child to commit to math tutoring in an environment in which they are comfortable.

5. Once you have chosen, make sure to sit in on the first session so that you can evaluate the performance of the tutor. You may find that, for one reason or another, they simply are not a good fit with your child. Someone that looks great on paper doesn’t always necessarily translate well to real situations.

If you are serious about hiring a Math tutor, then you really need to take a look at establishments that are highly specialized in the subject you are looking for. You will find that they will meet all of your needs and will easily fit the bill when it comes to all of the tips outlined above.

Sam Mirs is the founder of Amazing Math Tutor, an in home tutoring company in San Diego. We provide one-on-one in home tutoring in various Math subjects such as: algebra, algebra I, algebra II, trigonometry, geometry, pre-calculus, Calculus and college level math. We are also specialized in tutoring the Math section of SAT, GRE, GED etc. We serve all San Diego county and examples of areas are: Carlsbad, San Diego, Del Mar, La Jolla, Poway, Rancho Penasquitos, Encinitas, Solana Beach, oceanside etc.

Reviewing Childhood Lessons – Memory and Rewards

Some Background

In third grade, I failed penmanship and arithmetic. Apparently the teacher told my mother that I had passed third grade by the skin of my teeth. Looking over my report cards reveals comments such as, “If Margaret would try she would get better grades.” In seventh grade at the DOD school in Madrid, Spain I was given the choice of moving to class D and get a “C” on my report card or stay in class C and get a “D”. Given my father’s value of high grades, I chose Class D. All of this was before 1975 when Special Education became a legislated part of the public school system. Since my perceptions of these memories indicate that I was trying, I likely would receive special education services if I were in school today.

At church, during high school I was encouraged to memorize Scriptures to improve academics. So, I began to memorize long passages of Scripture, reciting them at church and at church camps. Also, during high school, my dad offered me $1.00 per “A” I earned on my report card. By the time I was a senior, I was on the High Honor Roll with all “A’s”. My first year of college was a challenge, getting a “D” at mid-term in Psychology. However, by my senior year, I was again able to get all “A’s”. I believe I was still probably working harder for those “A’s” than other students, but I was achieving better grades. Decades later, I want to review these lessons in light of what I have learned about how we learn.

Lesson #1: Memorizing Scriptures Develops Cognitive Skill

Yes, the old adage, “use it or lose it” applies here. When you exercise your brain it develops. Scientific Learning’s motto, “Fit Brains Work Better” reveals how this principle works. According to the neurodevelopmental approach, “Duration, Frequency, and Intensity” present three important ideas. Short, frequent, focused review of whatever is to be learned, locks into one’s brain. Today, I tell my students to put spelling words, vocabulary words, math facts or formulas, memory verses on cards. If they go through these cards between subjects, several times a day, they will learn it. Some may need to review longer to get the desired results, but they will learn. Do all of my students follow my advice? No, I am afraid that it is a hard sell, but I am not going to quit telling them to do it. While this works with anything, when one memorizes Scripture you get an added benefit: Psalm 119:11 Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.

Lesson #2 – External Rewards Encourage Learning

As a teacher, I would always prefer that students have internal motivation to learn – “for the love of learning.” It would be great for students to be diligent in their studies in order to please God. We can continue to pray and trust God for this. It happens sometimes, but often external rewards are necessary. It may be something as simple as, “Great job!” or a high five or a sticker on a chart. Twenty-first century students would normally not be motivated by $1.00 per “A” on a report card as I was in the 60s. While a monetary reward may not be the best, it certainly works on the job for adults.

After reviewing these childhood lessons, I see that I need to remember to apply these in my life even today as I continue to learn.

A Child Psychologist Explains How ADHD Testing Works

When giving presentations at local schools on children and ADHD, parents often want to know what’s “normal” and what are the signs of ADHD. “Isn’t it typical for a fourth grade boy to get bored, easily distracted, and disruptive at times?” And many parents are very concerned that if their son or daughter does receive ADHD testing, the label and possible implementation of medication could be damaging.

These concerns are very legitimate and important for me to clarify. Many parents have heard the term “psychological testing” but there is a great deal of confusion about what it really involves. Parents may be asking, “What will this look like?,” “What does it accomplish?,” or “What could the results mean for my child?”

Therefore, it is often helpful and comforting for parents to have a basic understanding of what is involved in this process and how to know if it might be appropriate for their child. Here are some steps to follow and helpful pieces of information:

Talk to a psychologist who conducts psychological evaluations about the possibility and appropriateness of ADHD testing for your child. This will help you determine whether your child’s school difficulties are actually due to inattention or whether they may be caused by other environmental issues, such as poor teacher-student fit or social stress.

Individualized psychological testing will assess for other possible issues that could be impacting your child’s school performance and focus (such as anxiety or learning disorders, for example).

Many parents are concerned that ADHD testing will automatically lead to prescription of stimulant medication. The psychologist can help clarify this issue. It is important to know that the psychologist cannot prescribe medication. If the testing does produce a diagnosis of ADHD, the psychologist would likely refer the child to physician (i.e., a psychiatrist or pediatrician), who would then determine how or if the child would benefit from medication.

The focus of the testing will be determined by the nature of the problem. If a child has difficulty concentrating, for example, areas that can be impacted by inattention and poor focus will be evaluated. Psychologists who provide assessments carefully and extensively interview patients so that they can identify the presenting problems and utilize the appropriate tests to assess the child.

Following a comprehensive evaluation, parents should not only know whether their child does or does not meet criteria for ADHD, but they should also have a clear understanding of their child’s intellectual strengths and weaknesses, learning style, related symptoms, and some recommendations for addressing these issues.

Another very important thing for parents to consider is how to discuss the need for testing with their child. Parents can ease their children’s minds somewhat by clarifying that testing is not for finding out what’s wrong with them, but rather for helping to find solutions that will help them meet their potential and struggle less in school.