July 25, 2019
The Benefits Of Hiring A Portland Math Tutor
Only around 25% of children in America are meeting the standard proficiency levels for math. Parents with children who are struggling to keep up in their math classes know firsthand just how frustrating it can be for both themselves and their children. At first, most parents take the approach of helping teach their children alone. Unfortunately, this is not always the best approach and most parents can only help so much because of their limited knowledge. It takes more than know-how to effectively teach a student properly.
The solution to a struggling student is to hire a math tutor in Portland. There are many benefits of offering the gift of a personal tutor to your child when they are struggling in their classes. If you are on the fence, below are some of the advantages to be gained from using a Portland math tutor.
More Confidence in Math And Learning
One of the best benefits of hiring a tutor for your child is it will help boost their confidence levels. As a parent who loves their children, a few minor mistakes on tests or a couple of low scores might not seem so bad. However, there is a lot of pressure for students these days to get great scores on all tests in order to get into the classes and schools they want.
All kids make mistakes, but when you have a child making numerous mistakes and they don’t understand how they keep making them, it can become very frustrating and their confidence levels will take a hit. They may become hesitant to ask questions or speak up for help in fear they will be made fun of or made to feel less capable than other students.
Tutors can help make the subject of math more fun for your child and less intimidating. Time spent with a professional tutor will give your child the confidence they need to keep trying. It can give your child a great foundation for the future.
You have the option of choosing an online tutor or an in-person tutor. No matter which choice you go with, your child will be getting one-on-one attention. Teachers in school do not have the time to devote attention to each child in their classes. Because of this, some children end up suffering the consequences. Even if your child’s math teacher offers extra help after school, it still may not be enough to make a difference. A tutor will be able to give them full attention and effectively identify where they are having issues understanding their coursework.
This type of help rarely happens inside a classroom. Teachers simply don’t have the time or motivation to help their students individually. They are focused on other things. They miss the individual trees and instead see the forest. They are too focused on deadlines, exams, and ensuring they are on track with their common core standards. In addition, more teachers are burned out and underpaid. They lack real and true motivation to help your child learn.
In addition, we have found that it’s the students who struggle with math who most need and most benefit from having one-on-one individually personalized tutoring.
Improve Grades and Test Scores in Math
Low test scores are often an indication of a lack of motivation or a lack of understanding. When you hire a tutor, they will be able to help your child with both of these issues. Everyone learns a little differently. Tutors are able to learn about the student and find ways to help them according to how they learn for the best results. Over time, test scores and grades will improve. This is essential for preparing your children for important standardized tests in the future. Math is critical to do well on the ACT and the SAT. And it’s also important for other exams. Does your child want to attend business school? The GRE and GMAT both require extensive mathematics. In addition, famously, the MCAT does not allow students to use a calculator.
Develop A Growth Mindset
Many students believe that they “suck at math” or that they simply can’t learn it. Often times, these students have a fixed mindset when it comes to learning subjects like math and science. Having a fixed mindset is a type of attitude. People who are fixed in their mindset believe that their skills are locked in place. They falsely believe that no matter the amount of effort they put in, they are doomed to fail. Therefore, they wrongly conclude, they might as well not even try. When they earn a D or F, they think “I’m stupid.” This internalizes the failure. They think it is part of their being or their essence.
On the other hand, students who develop a growth mindset believe that they can learn anything they set their mind to. If they happen to get a D, they would think something like: “Wow—that really stinks. I must not have studied hard enough for that exam. Next time I will step it up.” They realize that often time learning “failures” are simply a result of having the wrong strategy.
Working closely with a trusted tutor is important because it can help develop a growth mindset within the student. This can radiate out to every area of their life.
Help Them Learn The Most Important Subject
A Gallup poll showed that Americans rank mathematics as being the most valuable and beneficial subject in their lives. There has been a big push these days to teach more communication, arts, and English skills in schools. These skills are really important. And they should be taught. However, the data here show that students value mathematics. This is likely becoming more and more prevalent as the world moves towards an increasing focus on STEM-related fields and businesses. Hiring a tutor can help your child learn this valuable subject!
Ease Of Transition
When children have to change schools due to a move, it can have a significant impact on their studies. The new school may not be following the same math learning schedule your child was getting used to. This can cause confusion and difficulty for your child to acclimate. The trouble with their classwork can be made exasperated by the pressures of being the new kid in class. A tutor can help them behind the scenes to transition easier into their new math class. They can quickly be caught up if they are behind and helped to understand concepts that were missed out on while moving from one school to another. Your child will be able to start off on the right foot at their new school.
Improve Mathematical Reasoning
Hiring a math tutor can help your child develop their mathematical reasoning skills. These skills are thought to be the glue that binds all math and science subjects together. Mathematical reasoning is the ability to think about, understand, and explain reasoning about math problems. These skills are vital because often in math there is not one single solution. There are often multiple ways to solve complex problems. Students who have strong mathematical reasoning skills are able to see this and analyze problems before they attempt to solve them. Becoming a strong mathematical reasoner is also crucial to developing independence as a mathematical thinker. It allows students to see patterns in the problems that they encounter.
Encourage Strong Interdisciplinary Skill & Thinking
Mathematics is a special discipline because the core concepts in math are interdisciplinary, they are very useful in other fields. To the majority of students, math is an abstract concept that they will “never use in real life.” One benefit of working with a tutor is that the student can learn interdisciplinary thinking. At Tutor Portland, our tutors are all well-versed in mathematics, science, and other subjects as well. This means they are able to relate key concepts and ideas between subjects and incorporate those into their lesson plans.
Tutors can teach students that math isn’t only important during 50 minute periods throughout the week. Math is important all the time. You can use math to think about concepts in other fields. And other fields are starting to realize this. Many professional degrees and programs are now requiring applicants to have a strong interdisciplinary background.
Prepare Your Student for a Great Career
Many of the best—the most meaningful, well-paid, and highest status—careers require mathematics. Becoming a doctor requires high levels of math in order to succeed in subjects like general chemistry and general physics, and in order to do well on the MCAT. Engineers also need to be highly skilled in math. Any science field requires math. People high in the realms of computer science require mathematics. Statistics is built on math. For a long time, these careers have all required math. And the world is shifting even more so in this direction.
Many articles discuss how the future of work is STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics). This article discusses research from the Department of Education showing that students who study mathematics in college have higher rates of employment and better wages and careers post-college. This is likely because STEM positions are growing at a faster rate than non-STEM positions are.
Improve Your Child’s Financial Skills
Having a strong sense of mathematics helps students to better manage their resources or their monetary “capital.” Understanding the concepts of fractions, percents, ratios, proportions, and rate of change allow people to mentally think about their finances. It also improves their ability to strategically allocate their capital. Much of life comes down to the decisions that we make. And the decisions we make surrounding money are really important. Where are we going to choose to live, to go to school, and what investments might we make?
Warren Buffett has famously said that all the mathematics you need to be a good investor is a strong understanding of algebra. He says that he uses high school algebra every day as he analyzes and values companies. Now, your son or daughter may never become Warren Buffett. But, knowing algebra could help prevent them from making poor investment decisions.
Our Tailored Math Tutoring & Mentoring Process Creates Inner Drive
There is a lot of research these days showing that inner drive and study strategies are *the* most important factor determining which kids excel at mathematics. IQ is not the most important factor. Research shows that kids learn math when they are driven to learn it by internal motivation and when they have the most refined study strategies. The study strategies are easy to implement, but you have to know the right ones to apply. We can teach those to your student quickly. The more challenging thing it to gently kindle their inner drive to learn mathematics. Our math tutors know how to do this. We have a developed a specialized simultaneous tutoring and mentoring process that allows us to help with this.
At that the same time that we are tutoring your child, we are also mentoring them. I like to say that the mentoring aspect is the most important thing we do. We help students develop their own reasons for why *they* want to learn mathematics. We never force reasons upon them. Their reasons have to come from within! This is multiple orders of magnitude more powerful.
Develop Math Skills During School Breaks
All kids love their spring breaks and winter breaks. The downside to these long breaks is that it can be very easy for a child to forget the skills they have learned during the year. Thankfully, a tutor can help your child remember the skills they have already learned and then teach them new skills before going back to school. They will be better prepared for the new lessons their teacher will be giving. Your child will already have a leg up on the curriculum before they head back to class. With reinforcement, a tutor can help students recall their skills much easier. Their memories and skills of complicated math formulas will greatly improve as well.
As you can see, there are many reasons to consider hiring a tutor for your child. The right tutoring professionals can help children become more receptive to the struggles they are having in their math class and learn the skills to overcome them. Their comprehension, confidence and learned skills will offer them a better future both in mathematics and beyond.
Finding A Great Math Tutor in Portland
If you live in the Portland, Oregon area and are looking for a great math tutor for your child, consider us. No matter what area your child is struggling in or wants to improve in, our tutors will give them the necessary skills to improve their grades and be better prepared for testing.
Tutor Portland | Math Tutoring
950 SW 21st Ave #1117
Portland, OR 97205
Math tutoring Services Include:
- Mathematics tutoring
- Calculus tutors
- Algebra tutors
- Elementary math tutors
- Math test prep
We also offer math tutoring services for:
- Spanish tutors
- Chemistry tutors
July 25, 2019
Seven Benefits Of Working With Math Tutors Portland Oregon
Countless students struggle in school with math. That’s because once you fall significantly behind in a progressive subject like this one, catching up becomes next to impossible. Math tutors can help young students discover their ideal learning methods, attain mastery over essential, basic-level math skills, assist in test prep and discover strategies for successfully solving advanced math problems. Following are seven benefits that your child can gain by attending a tutoring session or, by investing in in-home tutors, with a qualified and experienced math tutor.
1. Tutor Students Can Get The One-On-One Attention They Need And Deserve
When people struggle in any subject, especially school math, asking for help can be extremely difficult, particularly in group learning environments. There is always the fear of frustrating instructors, earning the contempt of classmates, and failing to grasp the concept in question, even after the requested help has been received. This is actually why so many failing math students suffer in silence. Investing in online tutoring, in-home tutors, or private tutoring can be extremely beneficial for your student.
Conversely, students that engage in tutoring session have the benefit of a private, one-on-one learning environment in which asking questions is always safe and easy. The new subject matter is never presented until the current subject matter is fully understood. More importantly, essential math skills are built in a very steady, progressive, and easy-to-manage way. Helping students better grasp math across elementary school, middle school, high school and beyond can drastically increase their confidence in the classroom and benefit them as they continue their education.
2. Mastery In One Area Can Promote Confidence In Others
Failing in any subject can take a noticeable toll on a students’ overall confidence. Surprisingly, doing poorly in math can also affect students’ academic performance and general behavior in other areas. This is how many class clowns are actually born. The need to obtain approval from peers, and the need to deflect attention away from insufficient math skills, is inspiration enough to turn even the best-behaved kids into loud, boisterous jokers. As such, getting students the help they need as early as possible can result in impressive improvements across all areas of learning and advanced socialization.
3. Math Tutors In Portland Oregon Can Identify Your Child’s Learning Style
With the best math tutors in Portland, Oregon, the first tutoring sessions are largely exploratory in nature. In many instances, tutor students aren’t failing to grasp specific math concepts because they’re inherently bad in this subject; they simply haven’t been presented with complex ideas in ways that suit their individual learning styles. There are visual, verbal, auditory, and physical learners. Some kids are able to process new information best when instructors take a hands-on approach. Others benefit most from clearly written or spoken instructions. If your child is an auditory learner and only has access to visual learning tools in school, tutoring will provide an opportunity to confront and digest key information in a more needs-specific way.
4. Establish A Strong Foundation For Future Success In Math
Feeling truly capable in any area of study can make learning fun. This is actually one of the greatest benefits of working with math tutors in Portland, Oregon. People who receive these services no longer find themselves dreading time in class, or worrying over their work at home. More importantly, given that many areas of math entail the development of essential and progressive skills, time spent with tutors can actually help lay a solid foundation for future success in the subject. When a student struggles with core skills, each move to a new chapter or section can place this individual further and further behind. Tutors can prevent this by both catching their tutor students up and getting them ready for the challenges and skills that invariably lie ahead.
5. Self-Directed And Self-Paced Learning Can Make Students More Proactive
Students who struggle in math often procrastinate when it comes to completing homework assignments and preparing for tests. Tutoring encourages self-directed and self-paced learning by teaching students their individual learning styles and exposing them to tips, tools, and strategies for problem-solving that prevent them from getting stuck. Moreover, students who get the undivided, one-on-one attention that Oregon tutors provide are more likely to feel comfortable asking for help in-class when they truly need it.
6. Tutoring Can Help An Under-Stimulated Student Reach His Or Her True Potential
Math tutoring isn’t just for students who are struggling in this notoriously challenging subject. It’s also for kids who have a special knack for mastering new math skills right away, and who are often bored or under-stimulated in the conventional learning environment. Working with a Portland tutor is a great way for advanced learners to start looking ahead to the increasingly challenging subject matter that they’re bound to confront, discover real-world applications for the math skills that they currently possess, and improve their testing and studying skills among many other things.
7. Tutoring Helps Kids Get Ready For College
The road to college is riddled with math challenges. Tutoring will prepare your child for the countless exams that will ultimately determine passing or failing grades, and admission to first-choice universities. With the benefit of added confidence and an increasingly self-directed approach to learning, tutored students tend to be more empowered when it comes to defining and pursuing their goals for higher education.
Math is one area of learning in which core, foundation-level skills are critical to success. If your child is struggling in math, consulting with a Portland tutor can provide far-ranging benefits. Tutor Portland is an excellent place to start searching for the qualified math help that your young student deserves.
Where To Find Tutor Portland :
Tutor Portland | Math Tutoring
950 SW 21st Ave #1117
Portland, OR 97205
We offer Math Tutors in Portland Oregon here.
July 11, 2019
Math is a hard subject. It’s really, really hard. I know. I’ve been there. My name is Eric Earle and I’m the founder of Tutor Portland. As a middle school and high school student, I fell behind in mathematics. [I mean, I fell waaay behind.]. And that made math and science really challenging for me because math is a cumulative subject: it’s inherently based on what comes before it. The courses and teachers simply moved on without me. They had to. The teachers had 20-30 other students to focus on. I wasn’t their top priority. I easily got lost in the shuffle of things. And my ability [and my confidence] in mathematics suffered.
I wish I knew back then the things that I know now. At the time, I didn’t realize that math was important! I thought I would never need to know it. But I didn’t understand that math and science are everywhere in society. And additionally, there are a number of “mental-models” or frameworks for viewing the world—big concept ideas—that you can learn by studying math and science. You can apply these “mental models” in any career: finance, law, entrepreneurship, health-care, teaching—whatever the case, you can always use the big lessons from mathematics and apply those to everyday life and situations.
But when I was little I didn’t think of these things. I just wish someone would have told me! My parents spent time looking for a private math tutor for me, but they didn’t find one because hiring a tutor is a really intimate process and my mom wanted to make sure that she invited a good, respectful, and knowledgeable tutor into our home. As a result, I fell behind and was largely unsuccessful at math and science in High School. I fell behind and never caught back up. And *that’s* why I didn’t like math: because I wasn’t good at it and because I didn’t focus on it. My lack of skill in mathematics caused me a lot of stress and anxiety. I remember a number of times in grade school when I sat at the kitchen counter pulling my hair out and crying 😢 because I simply couldn’t understand math. I wanted to work on it, but I was too far behind.
It would have been possible for me to catch up, but I wasn’t resourceful enough. I had all the resources 📚 in the world. My parents could have helped me. I could have asked my teacher. I could have found someone to help me. But I didn’t use these resources. I wasn’t resourceful. And this is because I was too young and I didn’t have the drive and motivation. I look back now and realize that the right mentor or tutor could have really helped me. I wish that 27-year-old Eric could have had a conversation with my younger self.
What would I have told him?
I would have told him how important math is. I would have encouraged him to work harder, be persistent, and just sit down with tough ideas and eventually he would start to figure them out. I would have shown him that he could learn anything if he set his mind to it. And I would have sat down with him and helped him.
When you’re trying to learn a hard, new subject, it is so helpful to have someone sitting down next to you who tells you that: “together, we can learn anything” and “we are going to figure this stuff out.” I normally say this to clients as I am pulling out their algebra homework and first starting to look at it. I thumb through things and say, “this is going to be good to save.” I aks them to get the syllabus out so we can look at their course rationally, see what every assignment is worth, and craft an overall game plan for their course.
A lot of learning is about having the right attitude and frame of mind. Actually, so much of life is about that, too!
Sometimes learning challenging concepts and ideas just take time. You have to commit to them. Sit with them. You have to sit down and start researching and learning. But when you’re a beginner and lack confidence in yourself, this can feel so overwhelming that many students fail to even start. I know this—because I used to be one of these students. And that is such a hard place to be in.
When thinking about tutoring and some of the big ideas & themes in education and education research—I often sit back and think to myself—what type of qualities would a tutor have needed in order to help me? There are a few core ideas that always come to mind:
- A great understanding of math & and the ability to explain difficult concepts in simple ways 👍
- A pleasing personality and pleasant demeanor 👍
- Somewhat that I looked up to 👍
- Strong understanding of communication and psychology 👍
- The drive to teach and improve others 👍
Those are some of the qualities of a great tutor. Tutors can not only provide resources and assistance to students, they can also teach them how to be resourceful and self-directed learners themselves. The best tutors *empower* their students to achieve their own learning goals. The best tutors also have a sense of calm persistence. They sit down and say—in a reassuring way, “We are going to figure this stuff out, okay?” That alone is incredibly helpful to a student. Normally, when I say this, I see the student visibly relax. I can almost feel my sense of calm and confidence being transferred to the student. The best tutors come from a place of knowing confidence. The best tutors are people who aren’t naturally good and math science; they are people who themselves had to struggle with the subject. And because they were able to overcome their own learning struggles time and time again,
My Story (continued…)
I got decent grades in math and science, but I never understood the subjects. It wasn’t until my early to mid-twenties that I developed the desire to start relearning mathematics. I had a lifechanging volunteer trip to India. I was volunteering at a neurology clinic up in northern India and I witnessed first-hand the incredible amount of poverty [and absolute lack of access to healthcare]. And it moved me. I saw people suffering and I realized that I had to help. That’s when I became a pre-medical post-grad student. At that point, my mathematics was so terrible that I couldn’t get into a college math class. I took the placement test at Portland State University, but it was so bad I couldn’t even get into math 70 [high school pre-algebra]. So I started working with a tutor. We met at the Multnomah Athletic Club twice a week. And slowly I started to improve. By Fall term I was already enrolled in math 95. I earned straight A’s in math 95, 111, and 112.
I fell in love ❤️ with mathematics because of my trigonometry professor, who taught our class with active learning strategies. [This is something we now employ at Tutor Portland]. These active learning techniques helped me learn math easily and effortlessly. I went on to earn over 100% in both Calculus I and Calculus II.
Learning math has continued to pay benefits. It has helped me in every area of my life. Learning math teaches you mathematical reasoning and “number sense.” It gives you the ability to look at numbers and data and just make sense of them without extensive analysis. You just start to *get* math and numbers. This has helped me with science and many aspects of my everyday life. Furthermore, it has taught me that I can truly learn anything. I took the most challenging subject (for me) and I mastered it. *That* is empowering. *That* is what we strive to do at Tutor Portland.
👍 All of this has given me perspective. It has given me a unique point of view on not only how hard it can be to learn math, but how important it is, and how rewarding it can be to finally understand it! As a 20-something, I started tutoring students in Liberal Arts. I taught public speaking, communication, writing, and Spanish. Then some parents started asking if I knew any Portland math tutors that I could recommend. At first, I connected them with a mechanical engineering student (with a knack for teaching). And then, as I developed my own math skills, I started tutoring as well.
I realized that my unique view on math and learning was something that had to be available to more Portland families. Together, my math tutors and I have developed and honed our active tutoring approach that works to engage students in their course material and get them thinking deeply about math. All of the research today shows that students learn math when they hear themselves verbalize their mathematical thinking. So that’s what we focus on. We ask questions which encourage students to engage with and think critically about the course material. 👍
If I can learn it…
As you have read already, math used to be a huge challenge for me. I avoided it at all costs. And my attitude was that “math doesn’t matter.” This is a defensive and protective attitude. And I was holding it because I was afraid. I was engaging with math from a place of fear and lack.
Now, that has all changed. I relate to math from a place of confidence, abundance, and curiosity. My mathematical reasoning skills are highly developed. I can use and apply the mathematics that I know to real-world situations. And math has provided me with different mental models, or ways to think about and analyze the world. Mental models are things all disciplines have. They are frameworks—or guiding visions—that help us see the world in certain ways. That’s why an interdisciplinary approach to learning is so favored because it allows you to think about complex problems through various lenses.
Tutor Portland’s Mission
That’s why we’ve made it our mission to help all students—from middle or high school to adult learners—understand mathematics and apply their learning to other subjects. We’ve made it our mission to help children and families overcome the stress and anxiety around math.
[And – hey! – this is totally normal. It’s normal to have anxiety about math]. But it’s not acceptable to never overcome your fear. The world needs young people who know mathematics. More and more the jobs and positions are shifting towards students who understand STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics). All of the research shows this. America is being an economy built on math, technology, and science. The best employees in the future will need to know these ideas and be able to think critically about math, science, and more.
High school students often wonder what the point of studying math is. “When will I ever use this?” They ask.
I used to ask those exact same questions!!!
We get it. It’s natural to ask that. 👍
It’s our mission to help them learn math! (Leave that stuff up to us!!!!!). Our goal is to help students understand how critically important math is to their future. Do they want to be a doctor, an engineer, a scientist, a businessman? All of these occupations require math! Math will make you better at whatever it is that you decide to do. At Tutor Portland, we have an element of mentoring in all the tutoring that we do. We believe it’s important to inspire students and make them want to learn math, instead of forcing them. We’ve found that by connecting a student’s future goals with what they are learning today, they become ten times more motivated to study and put the effort it. 👍
But it’s important not to push subjects on students. We often hear about teacher and parents who, in a very well-meaning way, tell their students the reasons they need to learn math. This doesn’t work 🚫. Countless studies have shown that people become more motivated to do things when they hear themselves give their reasons for why they want to do something. Therefore, we like to ask questions. We ask students questions like: “So, we know you probably aren’t interested in learning all this mathematics stuff—especially not on Sunday!—but if you were interested, why might you be?” Questions like this do a lot. First, they provide students with autonomy. Autonomy is something that is important for *anyone,* but it is especially, especially important to teenagers. Second, this question gets the student thinking about why they might want to learn math. There are several other follow up questions to ask.
It’s important to note that questions such as these need to be asked in the setting of a relationship with strong rapport. This is where many teachers and tutors go wrong. They try to “motivate” their students without first developing a relationship with them. This erodes trust. Students don’t need to be “motivated.” Students have all the motivation they could ever need already inside of them. We just need to coax it out. But it’s elusive. That’s why tutoring is an art as well as a skill.
Math Tutors in Portland, Oregon
😃 At Tutor Portland, we’ve learned a few things about how to find a great math tutor. The first, most important thing that we look for is integrity and character. In order to gain the trust and respect of a student, it is necessary that a tutor must first show and demonstrate these deeply held qualities. In addition, it’s really important that a prospective tutor knows how to teach math. I once hired a physics tutor who was very brilliant. He had a Ph.D. in physics and was clearly smart. But he couldn’t get through to kids. He couldn’t explain challenging ideas in simple ways. This is the most important thing that is required of a tutor. I spoke with our clients regarding the Ph.D. tutor. These families told me that he was explaining concepts in a way that was over the students’ ability to grasp them. Eventually, we had to let him go. It’s not enough to be good at a subject, tutors have to know how to teach ideas and concepts in multiple ways. In fact, the ability to teach tough concepts in easy effortless ways is the number one ability of a good tutor. Understanding the material should be a given. That is baseline stuff. A lot of people understand mathematics. But very few people know how to teach math in a way that anyone can understand.
Over time we have developed a comprehensive checklist regarding what we look for in math tutors. Here are *just some* of the key elements that we look for:
- 👍 Can this tutor explain tough concepts in 5 different ways?
- 👍 Can this tutor use metaphors [which are relevant to the student’s life]?
- 👍 Is the tutor able to adopt an active learning approach where he engages the client in in-depth discussions about mathematics?
- 👍 Does this tutor embody virtues and integrity?
- 👍 How adept is this tutor at teaching mathematics?
😃 These are some of the key questions that we can ask ourselves before hiring any math tutor.
If you want to learn more about us, please feel free to call us at (503) 347 7102.
Tutor Portland | Math Tutoring
950 SW 21st Ave #1117
Portland, OR 97205
We offer Math Tutor services in:
- Lake Oswego
- Vancouver WA
- West Linn
- NW Portland
We offer tutors in the following specific Math subjects:
- Tutoring algebra
- Geometry tutors
- Calculus tutors
- Statistics tutors
- Basic mathematics tutoring
March 19, 2019
High school can be a challenging time for many young students. They have new social groups, sports teams, and classes. We’ve been around in Portland since 2015 and have worked with students from nearly every high school. We’ve found that there are 10 ways our Portland-based math tutors can help your student improve their grades and their confidence.
Our Approach To Math Tutoring
We focus on a personalized approach to tutoring. It is one thing for math tutors to provide stock answers to questions and challenges, but we seek to move beyond that by customizing our tutoring and providing what we call: tutoring in the moment. Our tutors are brilliant at adapting to the needs and demand of students.
Every student learns differently, and therefore we must teach through new examples and methods until one works. We believe it is our responsibility to teach an idea or topic, not the student’s problem to learn it.
That’s why during our interview process we look for Portland-based math tutors who have not only an understanding of the subject matter, but who can consistently demonstrate an ability to teach topics and ideas in new and exciting ways.
The end result of all of this is that your middle school or high school student will start to excel at math.
The Benefits of Our Portland-Based Math Tutors
- Better Grades
- Lower pressure and stress
- More confidence
- Improved understanding
- Greater speed and accuracy
- Stronger mathmatical reasoning (which is very important for the SAT, ACT, and GRE tests)
- Higher performance
- A new-found interest in the subject
- A reliable support system
- Better grades in other courses, too! (Math is the foundation for many sciences. And the skills and tools they learn prepare them for chemistry, physics, and even biology.)
Important Factors to Consider
The most important part is to choose the right kind of tutor. Just because someone has strong understanding and knowledge of the subject, does not make that person a good tutor. Dealing with teens requires immense patience, care, and an ability to teach ideas in different ways. At Tutor Portland, we developed a team of professional tutors who know and understand the best ways and practices that can help your teen achieve success in mathematics. Math is not as complicated as most people believe it to be, once the fear is driven out, interest and capability take hold. Contact us about a free tutoring session and information phone call, to see if Tutor Portland might be a good fit for you.
March 1, 2019
Are you looking for a tutor? We look for them, too. And over the years we developed some processes and a handful of definite qualities that we look for in prospective tutors.
We base our processes on research and experience. Both research and experience have shown us that when looking for a tutor it is best to look for tutors who have the foundation of knowledge (the actual math, science, or Spanish knowledge) and also have the soft skills necessary to be able to connect with and relate to the student.
1. Soft Skills
We’ve found that over 50% of a tutors success is their ability to connect and relate to a student – it’s the teacher’s attitude, ability to communicate, and ability to connect that makes the biggest difference when it comes to education.
The bottom line is that your child is going to be much more likely to have a positive attitude towards learning and education if they are being assisted by someone that they like, relate to, and connect with.
2. Foundation of Knowledge
Of course, it is critical that a tutor not only talk the talk, but that they walk the walk. They need to know their stuff. We’ve interviewed tutors that didn’t – and of course we’ve interviewed tutors that did. It makes a big difference. It’s clearly visible. And we all know it.
3. Discipline (Preparedness)
We’ve interviewed tutors who weren’t prepared. We could tell. We’ve also interviewed tutors who brought lessons plans to the first meeting, who had everything written down and prepared. They were ready. And it showed. Hard work shows its colors.
These are just a few of the traits we look for in our tutors. We also look at who they are as person.
4. Integrity, Morals, Values
We ALWAYS ask ourselves, is this a tutor we would feel comfortable handing over the keys to our house? How about to our mothers house? Because tutors come into your home, it’s of critical importance that they have the highest levels of integrity. Whenever we are looking for a tutor – we look at their morality through both objective and subjective measures.
5. Their Life Path
We are much more inclined to hire a pre-medical student or a PhD mathematics student (who wants to teach) than we are to hire a tutor who just wants some extra cash. We look for tutors who have meaning and purpose behind their actions. We are looking for a tutor who has ambition and is willing to help and assist other people in achieving their dreams.
These are just a few of the qualities we look for.
We would be happy to give you advice on hiring and finding a tutor of your own. Or, if you like our style, you can always request a free session from one of our highly rated, regarded, and loved tutors.
February 1, 2019
Tutoring services are of critical importance because lecture based styles of teaching mathematics, science, or Spanish leaves a large majority of students feeling lost and left behind. Teachers must stick to a schedule. And, so, if your child gets behind in middle school or high school, they are in big trouble because it is easy for the law of compounding to start working against them.
Tutoring Services Are A Necessary Addition to Lecture-Based Learning
This is especially true in subjects like math, science, and Spanish. In these classes, what you learn in year 2 and 3 depend on what you learned in year 1. Therefore, if your child happens to not understand what is happening in year 1 – he is going to struggle in the following years. This will lead to other bad habits. When students are behind they start cheating. They copy off of their friend’s homework. Many students are able to earn Cs and Bs in math class. But they aren’t understanding the material at all. Tutoring services can help put a stop to this cycle. Tutoring allows a student to backtrack and learn all of the fundamental skills that they might have been missing. It also gives immediate support in that it allows them to get caught up on their homework and raise their grades in the short term.
Tutoring Services Have A Positive Compounding Effect
Tutoring services help your child even more than you might initially think because they have a positive compounding effect. What does this mean? It means that once your child starts to understand math, she is going to start to enjoying it more. Once she enjoys it more she will put in extra effort and start to improve further. This will help her in other subjects like science. For the most part, Chemistry and Physics require a fundamental knowledge of Algebra (and beyond!). Realizing that it IS possible to learn math and science also teaches your children that they can accomplish whatever they set their mind to. These benefits start to compound. And soon your child is a doctor, lawyer, or scientist. And one day maybe even their children will be using our tutoring services as well.
Tutoring Services Will Propel Your Child Above His Peers
Your child is meant to shine. He is meant to excel. Sometimes kids just need a little boost. We need someone to motivate us, to teach us, to guide us to success. This is what our tutors can help do.
We were founded back in 2015 under the name Mentor Portland. Mentoring is a part of who we are. And we still use an aspect of mentoring in all of our tutoring sessions. Many of our tutors have degrees or minors in psychology and human motivation. If you are curious to learn more about who we are, you can read more here.
If you are passionate about your child’s success, you should also check out the Talking to Teens video series for parents. The videos here teach you how to motivate and inspire your children to do more and be their best selves.
January 1, 2019
Math and science tutoring for your children is the best investment you’ll ever make. Why? Because the world is moving faster and faster towards jobs that require a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) education. Perhaps in the future, the majority of well-paying jobs available will be reserved for those students who understand math, science, and technology.
Your kids are your most important asset. You invest (over the course of their lifetimes) millions of dollars in your children.
Math and Science Tutoring Can Help Your Child Earn $20,000 – $30,000 More in Salary after College
The NY Times reports that Engineering, Computer Science, and Mathematics bachelors degrees earn an average of $55,000 to $65,000 starting salary after college. Social sciences earn an average of $45,000.
Some reports showed that the average starting salary for engineering was $73,700. This is compared to a humanities degree which earns $43,100.
The bottom line is that humanities and social sciences are no longer the most valued degrees. The world has a shortage of STEM graduates. And if you want your child to be on the cutting edge, they need to know mathematics and science.
Math and Science Tutoring Teaches Your Child Transferable Skills
Having strong technical skills is a benefit at most any job. When you know how to code, or you have the mathematical capability to analyze a balance sheet, you are going to earn the position over the candidate sitting beside you.
STEM education prepares you to be a doctor, or a scientist. These are meaningful jobs that will provide your family with status and security.
Math and Science Tutoring Prepares your Child for a Job
Every year 3.2 million jobs in STEM aren’t filled. We simply don’t have enough qualified people to work these positions. The great thing about having a STEM education is that you have options. You can decide whether you want to be a doctor, scientist, computer scientist, or you can even become a writer, or lawyer, or teacher.
That’s why at Tutor Portland we are so proud to focus on math and science tutoring for high school students. Feel free to contact us if you have any questions about your child’s education.
December 1, 2018
Our experience with tutoring for kids has taught us one thing: kids learn differently than teenagers and adults do. There are a few core ways a child’s approach to learning differs from that of an adult.
1. Tutoring for Kids uses a Different Style of Motivation
Adults study and learn in order to accomplish a given goal. Get a job. Secure a raise. Earn your graduate degree. Kids, however, are intrinsically motivated to learn because they are curious in understanding what the world is and how it works. That’s why it’s important to make elementary education fun and interesting. Grab a kid’s attention right off the bat. Enhance their natural curiosity and interest.
2. Tutoring for Kids Emphasizes that They Have The Whole World Open To Them
One elementary school teacher, Pauline Gremaud, has this to say: “I teach students that they are writers. They are readers. They are scientists. They are explorers.” (You can learn more by reading her incredible blog.)
At Tutor Portland we believe this is a great approach to elementary education and learning. Kids at this age need to know that the skills they are learning matter – that these skills are fundamental to becoming their future self. It’s important that they know that through learning they can reach their dreams. They can be a writer. A scientist. An explorer.
3. Tutoring for Kids uses Different Learning Methods
When it comes to adult education, a lot of teachers use a “teacher centered approach.” The teacher is the expert, the authority. This is a traditionalist style of teaching: the emphasis is on the teacher.
In a constructivist style of teaching, the focus is on the student. Learning is interactive instead of being based solely on repetition (traditionalist). Students work in groups. And knowledge is seen as fluid and changing. Most importantly, a student’s opinion is valued. It matters.
Teaching methods can have a huge impact on a child’s success. Cooperative learning, inquiry-based learning, and direct instruction are all methods of teaching.
At Tutor Portland we believe a Student Centered (constructivist) approach to learning has the greatest benefit for students.
Tutoring for kids is different than adult education because kids have a unique style of motivation and they need to know the whole word is open to them. At Tutor Portland we believe we can best help our students succeed by utilizing a student centered approach to education and learning.
November 1, 2018
As the world moves faster and faster towards online meetings, working remotely, and nearly everything online — we’ve found that in-home tutoring still works best for most students. One things we’ve discovered over thousands of hours of tutoring is that each student learns a bit differently. We all have different strategies for learning and solving problems.
1. Each Student Learns Differently
Everyone has their own way and method of solving problems. And this means using a wide-array of educational techniques is the best way to help students realize their inner-genius. In our experience, switching between different styles of teaching and learning is simply harder to do online. One student might learn best with diagrams, writing, or through visualization. And when the tutor and student are both sitting at the same desk, it’s much easier to switch back and forth between different learning styles. Eventually picking the one that works best.
Through our many years of in-home tutoring, we’ve learned that if something isn’t working – teach it a different way.
2. In-Home Tutoring Has A Greater Emotional Understanding and Connection
Human psychology and understanding is a big part of what we do at Tutor Portland. And it’s just harder to do online. During in-home tutoring, it’s easy to read a student’s nonverbal communication and body language. Maybe they didn’t understand something. Maybe they are feeling down on their abilities. One of our tutors would be able to see this in a student’s body language, and take the appropriate steps to correct it.
We call this Tutoring In The Moment. We are able to stop our students and provide a redirect, re-framing their thinking from a negative view of their own capabilities to one of possibility, desire, and hope.
Maybe a student, when you use a particular style of teaching, starts to lean in and becomes visibly more interested in what you are saying. This is a clear sign to our tutors that this particular style of education is working.
3. In-Home Tutoring is Convenient + Online Tutoring is Easy to Skip
I’ve personally done online tutoring in the past. And it seems like 25-30% of the time is spent waiting for the computer to load, or for the internet to refresh.
Can you imagine having a personal trainer over skype? It would be better than nothing. But having a trainer in person is much better. You are much less likely to skip the session or blow it off.
When you know a tutor is coming to your house at 5:00PM, it’s easy to prepare and make it happen. There is something less formal about online communication appointments. They are much easier to skip.
These are just a few reasons why we believe in-home tutoring is better than online tutoring. We encourage you to contact us, if you have any questions about your child’s education.
October 1, 2018
Human beings are driven by emotions. We experience feelings of joy, anger, sadness, and relief with changing scenarios. Getting anxious is also an integral part of our behavior. One of the leading types of anxieties is exam anxiety. It’s a universal problem and almost all of us face it at some point in our lives. It’s a trait that can have negative effects on our personality and future success.
Exams rattle us all. High school students seem to face exam anxiety most often. It can be stressful because it makes you lose focus for prolonged periods of time. As a responsible parent, you should take the following steps to help your child manage exam anxiety.
The process of dealing with exam anxiety is a series of rational steps which include observing the symptoms in your child, finding the causes behind them, and helping your child overcome those issues. If you don’t prepare your child for dealing with exam anxiety, she might be left behind compared to other children.
In this article, our top tutors have created a process of dealing with exam anxiety, and structured it into bite size components so that you can help your child manage their stress on test day.
Symptoms of Anxiety
The foremost thing in fighting anxiety is to learn about the symptoms associated with it. The symptoms help you reach the base of the problem. As a parent, you must be able to read the symptoms emerging in your child. It requires you to engage thoroughly with your child during his learning years.
Physical symptoms are associated with the personality of your child. These symptoms appear whenever your kid engages in demanding activities. Increased release of sweat from your body is the first sign associated with physical symptoms.
Apart from sweating, your kid might face shortness of breath as a result of anxiety. This is due to increased tension and associated increase in heartbeat. This is a serious issue which needs to be dealt with in the early stages otherwise it could lead to severe problems for your child in the future.
Lack of concentration is another physical symptom which is associated with exam anxiety. Due to increased levels of stress, your child loses concentration and doesn’t take any interest in things happening around him. He could lose focus in his family and social life, which can have other negative impacts on his health and well-being.
Exam anxiety changes your child not only at the physical level but at the mental level as well. The mental capacity of your kid could be greatly affected come test time; making your child appear as if she isn’t as smart as she truly is. As a parent, you should help your child reduce the levels of stress and anxiety otherwise, she might begin to doubt her own abilities.
Rapid mood swings, rage, and anger coupled with excessive emotional behavior are some of the mental symptoms associated with exam anxiety.
Negative thinking, yelling at family and friends, and poor memory are behavioral symptoms that students facing exam anxiety often experience.
Causes of Exam Anxiety
Fear of Failure
Fear is the biggest enemy of all of us. It keeps us from taking brave steps. If we have fear of a certain thing then we will be unable to perform our best at that particular thing. Your kid might be having a fear of failure which is leading to anxiety.
Lack of Confidence
Lacking confidence when taking on a task can often negatively impact our performance. This trait is often found in children going to school. If your kid is not having enough confidence in his personality then he will not be able to express himself properly which will result in lack of creativity. Once you’re short on creativity and confidence, your anxiety can grow exponentially.
Fear of Repeating Past Mistakes
There might be a time when your daughter used to be confident in her abilities. But then, a failure led to the loss of confidence and promoted fear of failing again. This is a common problem seen in many children. It’s natural that your kid doesn’t want to fail. So to avoid failure, she might be avoiding truly trying and giving her best effort. Her brain rationalizes that if she doesn’t fully try, she can’t be accurately evaluated. “You can’t find my true potential,” her actions seem to say.
The solution? Teach your child to have a “growth mindset” about life and learning.
Tips to help your Child
Once you have studied the prevailing symptoms and associated causes, the next phase is dealing with the core of the problem. It requires you to engage with your kid and help him out. This all starts with giving proper time to your child on a daily basis. There are no shortcuts to help your child out of this problem. It is a long process that takes time and consistent effort and support. Students and children need to know that someone is there for them: that they have someone they can count on (and someone who is counting on them).
There are many ways to which you can help your child avoid exam anxiety. The following is a list that our top Portland educators and tutors have created:
Assist In Studying For The Test
The most basic thing which promotes anxiety is the difficulty which your kid might be facing in preparing for his test. There could be problems which he is not able to understand, or there might be a proportion of syllabus he hasn’t covered.
As a responsible parent, you need to assist your kid with the his studying. You can help him cover topics and sit down with him to study. This will be a huge boost to your child’s confidence. He will be more comfortable in dealing with the problems which he previously found daunting.
The bottom line is: someone needs to be engaging with your child, 1 on 1, on a consistent basis.
Ask Her To Prepare Her Own Notes
When you write something down, research shows that you are much more likely to remember it. You can interpret it in your own style, and practice writing it in your own words. This is helpful practice come exam time. Ask your daughter to prepare and write notes and even explain them to others if she can. This will help her listen to other student’s views and thus increase her levels of understanding. This will be a huge boost of confidence.
Teach Her To Be Expressive
You need to be expressive to perform well in your exams. If you’re not able to express your thoughts and ideas on paper or through speech, your teacher won’t be able to accurately grade what you truly know.
Ask your kid to be fearless while sitting in the exam hall and to be expressive about her thoughts and ideas. This is not easy. As a parent, you can help your child learn how to be more expressive and resilient towards sharing ideas.
Talk To His Teachers
When it comes to learning, teachers can be very helpful. If your child is going through an exam anxiety situation, then his mentors should aware of it. (He does have a strong mentor and / or role model, right?) They are usually extremely useful in helping with exam anxiety and other issues.
Ask the teacher what is going on. Your teacher has hundreds of hours observing your child in class. She normally knows what is happening. If not, you can ask her to pay special attention to how your child is doing on exam day. If problems persist, our tutors recommend meeting with a teacher regularly.
Get Help From Professionals
A professional who has been dealing with similar issues for years can help your child out of the situation. A psychologist or a therapist can help your kid relieve stress and tension through interactive activities. Apart from activities, a professional can help your kid control his brain in a much better way. Controlling your brain is important to get control over your emotions. If your kid is able to manage his emotions then he will be able to manage exam stress as well.
Go Hiking, Or Spend Time In Nature
It is necessary to take breaks from your regular routine as it helps you relieve stress and maintain focus. A refreshed mind helps you be more creative and thoughtful.
You can arrange intermittent breaks from your child’s education and take him to a hill, lake, park, or somewhere refreshing. This will bring him closer to nature. Research shows that nature improves the functioning of our brain and reduces stress. It is important you schedule time for your child to have inner reflection. If your child understands herself better, she will become more confident and better able to solve her own problems and cure her own exam anxiety.
Indulge In Stress Relieving Exercises or Sports
Sports and exercise are great ways to reduce stress. First of all, exercise has been proven to improve your mood. Students often stop studying or don’t study because they aren’t feeling good. When students take time to exercise, they actually end up feeling better and getting more done.
Exercise releases endorphins.
Ask Him To Change His Habits
Your kid’s eating and sleeping patterns greatly impact his mental behavior. If he has sleeping issues or bad diet problems, then you should get to work immediately and help him recover from these bad-habits. If not properly addressed, these could lead to serious health issues, bad behavior, and exam anxiety.
Set a daily routine for your child, one which includes his sleeping and waking up times. Cook him better food. Ask him to eat his vegetables and fruit. Try to have him cut down on his refined sugars and processed foods.
Here is an article about how to cook healthy foods for your children.
Exam Anxiety: This Too, Shall Pass
Life gives you a new opportunity at each turn. Your child must learn this if he wants to be successful in life. Tell your child that a failure is not the end. (It’s simply an opportunity to learn, grow, and start working harder and smarter.)
Teach your child that failure is a one time event, it’s not a person or character trait. We might fail at certain things, but that doesn’t mean we are “failures.”
A supportive attitude from those around him will help him reduce exam anxiety at a much faster rate. Tell your child that you believe in him. Tell him that you love him no matter what happens.
Every Time You Fail You Learn Something
Your child is currently going through a phase of learning. Remind her that learning should be fun.
Tell her that when you fail, you don’t actually fail but learn something new. If she builds this attitude, she will lose her anxiety problems and will be more confident going into exams.
Children who have been suffering from exam anxiety problems can recover to normal conditions if their issues are properly dealt with. It is the responsibility of the parents, and to a large extent of the teachers, to help children make their way to confident test taking skills.
Parents can learn from the topics we’ve discussed here, and the links to other great articles that our tutors have provided. If these therapies are properly applied, then your child will perform better as a result.
If your child continues to struggle with her learning, you should seek professional support. A mentor, psychologist, or tutor can often help your child improve her mindset and grades. Please contact us if you have any questions about the future success of your child.