High School Tutoring
One of the most popular programs that we offer is our High School Tutoring service. Tutoring is very common in high school because—let’s face it—high school can be tough! There are a lot of different pressures and distractions in high school. Students are exposed to an entirely new environment with peer pressures and the sudden need to “look cool” and maintain their social status. This can cause students to lose sight of their academic goals, with many students’ grades suffering and slipping as a result.
This is why we believe it’s important to take a wholistic approach to high school tutoring. It is not simply enough to teach the content. We believe that the tutor should also function as a life-coach or mentor. There is a wonderful opportunity for this to happen alongside the tutoring process. It can unfold magnificently if the proper rapport and relationship is built up between the student and tutor. When there is trust, the learning process and truly flow.
Tapping into intrinsic motivation:
As coaches and mentors, our tutors are skilled at helping our students improve their own levels of motivation. We do this by tapping into their intrinsic motivation. How is this done? Intrinsic means that the motivation is coming from within them. In order to coax it out, we must ask the right questions. We need to be skilled at asking good questions.
This gets the student talking about their own reasons to change. Why might they be more motivated to complete their homework. What would be in it for them? There are always reasons. And we have to find their reasons, instead of imposing our own on them.
Everyone has the motivation with them to change. They don’t need more. We just need to help coax the motivation out and then work to get it all aligned in the proper ideal direction.
Once we have the students’ internal motivation lined-up and in the right place, we can start the hard work of teaching the material.
What subjects do high schoolers need help with?
We have found that high school students often need help with a variety of different subjects. The most common is mathematics. Students fall behind in algebra or geometry. This can sometimes cause a cascade effect, which leaves the student feeling dejected and falling behind in other classes as well. We have heard of this happening to many students who speak with us and come to us for help.
English and writing courses can be very difficult for some high school students. Some high schoolers just don’t English courses very seriously. This is a shame because reading and writing are some of the most valuable skills on the planet. Reading and writing gives you the skills needed to succeed in business and life. Our co-founders, Andy and Eric Earle, both read and write extensively. In fact, these skills are the reason why they have both been successful as entrepreneurs (and Eric as an investor). It’s important that students understand reading and writing are foundational skills. I never understood this in high school. I wish someone had told me how important these skills are. But it has to come from the right source. A parent telling a child this is likely to cause defensiveness. However, we have found that a tutor—who also function as a life-coach and mentor—is often able to get important messages like these through to the student.
High schools often need help with Spanish. It seems as though Mathematics and Spanish are the most common subjects that students struggle with. This makes sense. Both math and Spanish are like foreign languages—and you have to learn to speak them. One thing that makes Spanish difficult is learning the accent and how to speak more authentically. But these skills can improve with the help of a tutor.
What does the average tutoring session look like?
The normal tutoring session is when both the student and tutor meet at their regular time to review some homework, work on worksheets, and discuss the subject. The tutor will usually start by reviewing prior homework or quizzes. The tutor will expect that the student has questions prepared about aspects of the material she doesn’t understand. They will discuss these and then likely dive into the next assignment, which they will work on together. Over the course of the session, it is likely the tutor will be asking questions in order to better understand exactly what the student knows clearly and what she doesn’t get.
Most tutoring sessions last for one hour. However, some families like to have 90 minute sessions, which is also OK. One of our co-founders, Eric Earle, remembers when he used to have 3 hour tutoring sessions to help him for the MCAT. So there really is no limit to the amount of time that we can spend with you. One of our clients hired us to work 5+ hours per day with their kids. During these days, we assisted them and made sure they were participating actively in their online courses. We helped edit essays. We helped the student develop a strategy for answering difficult writing prompts. His grades turned around. His parents became stress-free and felt as though a weight had been lifted off their shoulders.
Custom High School Tutoring Plans:
Yes. We certainly create custom high school tutoring plans. We do this by listening to your story and to what is currently going on in your student’s life. Then we do a deep dive into your student’s academic reports and grades. We want to know what their grades are, what assignments are missing, and what can still be turned in. We uncover the most important assignments, which we call “critical homework projects (CHPs).” CHPs are assignments which, if completed or improved, would have a significant impact on a student’s grades. These CHPs become our top priority. We have seen students make significant improvements on their grades from CHPs alone.