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Do I Need a Math Tutor?

by | Aug 28, 2019 | Education, Math, Math Tutoring, Parenting, Students, Tutoring | 1 comment

Do I Need a Math Tutor?

You may be wondering if you need a math tutor. Is your difficulty in math really bad enough to spend money to fix? If your child is struggling, won’t their teacher help them in school? Doesn’t everyone have a hard time with math sometimes? I will answer these questions and many more in this blog.

First of all, struggle in math isn’t necessarily bad. In order to learn, we must be right at the edge of our understanding. To grasp something new, we usually have to work through it and make a few mistakes to get it right. This is all very normal. However, if your struggle is more of an ongoing complete lack of understanding rather than a temporary effort to understand a new concept, then you may need a math tutor. 

Do i need a math tutor?

Here are five reasons that it might be a good idea to seek out the support of a math tutor:

You Notice Attitude or Confidence Changes

If you notice that your child is avoiding math, seems bored or uninterested, is developing math anxiety, or is often upset by or tries to get out of completing math homework, that can be a sign that more support is needed. Young children tend to be curious and have an enthusiasm for learning new things. If you see your young child’s enthusiasm wane or even turn to negativity towards a subject, it probably means that they are having a hard time. Teenagers may not always outwardly display excitement about learning, but if you notice anxiety, avoidance, extreme frustration, or disengagement, it can be a sign that they are struggling. It is important to seek out help before they become permanently discouraged, decide that they “are not a math person”, or stop trying. 

Students can also lose interest in math because they are not being challenged. If a student never has the opportunity to face academic challenges, they can become bored with math. Math tutors are not just for struggling students; they can also be a great asset to accelerated learners by providing additional rigor.

Homework Takes Hours

If tons of effort is being put into completing classwork and homework assignments without any reward, this may be a sign that more help is needed. In order to be successful in school, it is usually necessary to practice concepts that are learned. As a student gets older, this means they should be spending some time each night reviewing what was learned in class and completing homework. If a student is completing assignments and studying for tests and quizzes, they should see this positively impact their grades. If a student is doing tons of work, but it does not seem to result in any additional understanding, they may need the help of a tutor. More support may also be needed if homework is taking hours and hours each night and causing lots of additional stress and tension during what would usually be family time.

There is a Gap in Understanding

If you notice that your child is not grasping or retaining basic math skills like how to deal with fractions or decimals, complete basic calculations without a calculator, or understand the relationship between numbers, it may be time for a tutor. Since new math skills rely on an understanding of previously learned math skills, a gap in that understanding where skills are missing can be very damaging to a child’s overall math ability. 

A tutor can use a diagnostic test to assess which skills are missing and reteach. Often children learn a skill but fail to make connections between new skills they have learned and what they already know. This can result in it looking like a child understands a particular math concept, but then not being able to think through and apply how to use that math concept in a novel situation. With additional and varied practice over time, a student can develop a deeper understanding that allows them to think critically and apply what they have learned.

There is a Need to Safely Ask Questions

In order to learn, a student has to feel comfortable asking questions and making mistakes. If a student is behind, they may require more help than the teacher can provide in the classroom. Sometimes a child is not below grade level, but they simply do not feel comfortable asking questions in front of thirty other students. There are also classrooms that foster a harsh or competitive environment where students do not feel safe to ask questions or get a problem wrong. Individual or small group tutoring can place a student into an environment where they can develop a positive and trusting relationship with a math teacher. Individual attention allows for time to answer questions and can create a positive association with math, allowing the student a safety net to get it wrong sometimes without those mistakes being counted against them.

When Preparing for a Standardized Test

Even if you do not typically struggle with math, you may find that you need a math tutor to help prepare for standardized testing. Tutors can help set up a plan, based on what you already know, to ensure that you are prepared for the test by your test date. Often students are not entirely familiar with the content of standardized tests, so guidance in this area can be helpful. In addition, having a set appointment with a tutor each week can develop the accountability and support needed to increase scores. It is easier to accomplish a goal of practicing for a certain amount of time each week if you know that you have time set aside for that specific purpose and a person who will hold you accountable. Tutors can also help when you run into a problem that does not make any sense or for which you have not yet learned the math concepts at school.

In math, it is especially important to seek help quickly if you notice confusion, since new math concepts often build on a foundation of previously learned math skills. If something is missed, holes can easily form in that foundation causing the whole structure of understanding to become unstable. A tutor can help to reteach missed skills, provide additional practice, increase understanding, and build up confidence.

-Nina Parrish, M.Ed.
Owner | Parrish Learning Zone, LLC

 

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                                       ~Nina

Nina Parrish, M. Ed.

Nina Parrish, M. Ed.

Co-Owner and Director of Education

Proud mom of two adorable girls. Teacher who has developed an education business that started at a kitchen table and has grown into a thriving small business... Click here to Learn more about Nina.

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Ms Brown was wonderful with tutoring my child in Algebra ll.
Pam Cantrell Burton
Pam Cantrell Burton
2020-10-14T16:15:51+0000
Parrish Learning Zone helped my daughter with on-line SAT and college essay preparation. She not only scored in the top 90 percentile on the SAT after working with Lauren Cannavo, she especially benefited from the tutoring she received for her admission essays. My daughter was accepted at Notre Dame, UVA, William and Mary, and received scholarships to George Washington University and the University of Alabama. She was initially deferred at the University of Chicago and waitlisted at University of Michigan and Emory University. She eventually chose not to remain on the waitlists and committed to UVA.Lauren also advised our daughter regarding her submission of a 20 page essay on community service for DECA, a high school business club. Our daughter, along with her partner, won second place in her category at the DECA state competitions in 2019 and 2020, and received second place at the DECA international competition in 2019.Lauren was not only a top-notch professional, she really cared about our daughter and was so pleased about her accomplishments. We are so very grateful to her and Parrish Learning Zone.
Marijayne Kruus
Marijayne Kruus
2020-05-11T21:51:37+0000
Mr. Chaves is an extremely gifted chemistry teacher. It's such a difficult subject--my son was drowning by the time we found PLZ. This was truly a last ditch effort on our part. Mr. Chaves was able to turn that ship around after only 4 lessons and my son passed the SOL! He was able to distill difficult concepts in a way that made them comprehensible and he was patient and kind and gave my son the confidence to succeed. His actual eacher expressed surprise and made a point of telling him he didn't know how he did it but he was impressed. It takes a gifted teacher to get results like that.I only wish we'd found PLZ and Mr. Chaves in the beginning of the school year.
Wendy Zelazny
Wendy Zelazny
2018-06-08T02:05:15+0000
Highly Recommend
Anne Kater Reeves
Anne Kater Reeves
2018-06-07T22:46:05+0000
I highly recommend Parrish Learning Zone. My daughter was able to achieve the SAT score she was aiming for with the help of her Math (Mr. James Slane) and English (Mrs. Lauren Cannavo) tutors. Not only did they help her with practice tests but they also boosted her confidence in taking the SAT. The owners (Nina and Jay) were always prompt in answering my emails. They are very accommodating and worked around my daughter’s schedule (thank you Shiela for all your help in finding available dates for my daughter to meet with her tutors). Thank you Parrish Learning Zone for helping my daughter achieve her goal!
Beth Yankovich
Beth Yankovich
2018-03-23T20:29:18+0000
I can't say enough good things about Parrish Learning Zone. My son has historically suffered from low reading comprehension. I felt he needed a little extra help so I contacted Parrish Learning Zone. The owners at Parrish matched my son with the perfect tutor for him, they developed a rapport almost immediately. He is now in 8th grade and doing well in all his classes. My son is very active in school sports and the staff at Parrish are always very accommodating. They always reschedule with no problems. My son even likes to go early to chat with Sheila.
Beth Kent
Beth Kent
2017-11-08T18:59:11+0000
Awesome! Very structured and student focused - they identified the areas of weakness and turned those into areas of strength in a very short amount of time. I loved the communication from the tutor and the company. I received a specific report of my child's tutoring session including improvements and areas that needed continued work. I received reminders of upcoming tutor sessions - which I needed!! I felt the individual attention and service was worth every penny AND found the prices to be much more reasonable that other tutors in the area. I would HIGHLY recommend Parrish Learning Zone to any parent that needs to find highly competent tutoring help for their child. Parrish is simply the best!
Michele Hiltbrunner Freemyers
Michele Hiltbrunner Freemyers
2017-03-14T15:53:50+0000
An excellent place to take your kids for any tutoring needs! PLZ is a very personalized and hands on service! Both of my teenage boys have been through here for various reasons and I know we will continue to make use of them!
Tammy Elms Mosco
Tammy Elms Mosco
2016-06-02T12:20:59+0000
SAT Prep Course with Parish Learning is definitely a worthwhile invest !!...My son's scores improved over 200 plus points!!
Janice Boles
Janice Boles
2014-12-02T22:34:32+0000
I am extremely thankful to Parrish Learning Zone. I have a son that is a freshman in college majoring in mechanical engineering. I am so glad that we found out about the Parrish Learning Zone because they were very caring and really worked hard around my sons high school football schedule to ensure that he received all of the needed instruction in order to do well on the SAT testing. It was a great investment for his future. I believe this experience prepared my son for the transition to college life. He was able to attend a top engineering college and to play football there. My daughter is a senior in high school now and was admitted into two of the top ranked public schools in Virginia. She will be a freshman at one of these schools next year. She also was enrolled in the Parrish Learning Zone for preparation for the SAT. I am again thankful to the Parrish Learning Zone and feel that this was a great long term investment into their futures. I would strongly recommend the Parrish Learning Zone to anyone looking for an environment that offers a caring and knowledgeable approach to educating students. They are the best.
Angela Jackson
Angela Jackson
2014-05-15T00:39:39+0000
Andrew Powers
Andrew Powers
2014-02-09T12:32:29+0000

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