23 Feb 2024

Why Math Tutoring is our most Requested Subject

The National Assessment of Educational Progress, known as the NAEP, is the gold standard federal exam to test children nation-wide on their math and reading skills. The most recent test given to 13-year-olds was fall of 2022, and the results were released in July 2023. The math and reading performance of 13-year-olds hit the lowest level in decades. This decline was widely attributed to learning loss during the recent pandemic. Some of these children are still trying to make up what they missed.

What is Unique about Math

Math is unique in that every skill builds onto the next. If you don’t master math facts like subtraction and multiplication tables, you will struggle with fractions. If you don’t master fractions, you will struggle with algebra. If you don’t understand algebra, you will struggle with geometry and pre-calculus. When children hate math or have difficulty with math, the most likely reason is that they didn’t master an important skill or two along the way. During the pandemic, students missed all sorts of important skills, and then they moved to the next grade. Other students missed skills because they were sick or never understood a concept, and the teacher moved on. So for a student who struggles with math, the tutor’s first step is to evaluate them in all the skills they are supposed to have mastered at their grade level and find the gaps.

Understanding Math

When teachers show you how to solve a problem, it is tempting to just follow the steps. However, doing math by rote is very different from truly understanding it. Ideally, students should be able to solve problems in multiple ways and visualize numbers and shapes. Using diagrams is particularly helpful. Tutors help students gain a deep understanding of concepts, which goes to the long-term memory and can be retrieved later as a stepping stone for more advanced math. Tutors can also challenge students with word problems and real-life applications to make math less abstract and more relevant.

Building Self-Confidence

Many of our students get OK grades in math but don’t feel confident. Others do well with daily assignments but get nervous for tests, ending up not doing their best. One-to-one tutoring helps these students double down on weak areas, take practice tests, and review material in different ways, so that when they take the next test, their confidence will be strong, resulting in higher grades.

One-to-one Attention

No matter how good your teacher is, it is difficult to address the needs of thirty plus students in the class. A personal tutor can spend the time necessary to address weak areas and help students build skills and confidence.

Sign up for math tutoring here.

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