In Home Tutoring: A Parent’s Resolution for the New Year

The holidays are over, and it’s now clear to you that private in home tutoring is calling your child’s name. By this point in time, the tears were shed over the disappointing report card weeks ago, and, you’ve recovered from your fit of parental rage only to realize that something’s got to change, or this broken record’s going play again in June. Again, you know it’s time for something different, and you’ve thought about in home tutoring before, but, you’re still not convinced that in home tutoring rates are worth what it’s going to cost you.

Like many other parents, Pam Fowler feels strongly that her family made the right move when they decided to go with private in home tutoring. Fowler, a teacher herself, believes that some of the current trends in the classroom today leave children with less than the best instruction. “They’re missing out on the fine detail. I think that the current philosophy of embedding mini-lessons and not explicit instruction is leaving some of our kids behind, and, I think, especially for kids that have deficits, or maybe a chaotic life, or parents that have busy lives and can’t spend that kind of time with them, that they’re missing out on the foundational skills.”

You can easily interpret the most recent SAT test scores as an indication of the need for supplemental education outside of the classroom. At least, you can make the argument that the average cumulative education most of our children have received in our nation’s classrooms isn’t enough all by itself. At the beginning of the 2011-2012 history note school year, The Los Angeles Times reported some discouraging news about the performance of the most recent high school graduating class. A look at how the high school graduating Class of 2011 performed on last year’s standardized test reveals that mean SAT reading scores have fallen, once again, and are now at the lowest they’ve been in more than 30 years – the lowest scores since 1972 to be exact. Furthermore, the average SAT math score is also down. Also, the mean writing score earned by last year’s graduating class on the same test was down 2 points compared to scores earned the previous year. No wonder so many students are already getting extra help from a private tutor and in home tutoring services, especially in the areas of home math tutoring and reading!

There is one particularly frightening statistic that supports the need for supplemental education outside of the classroom in 2012. The College Board projects that only 43 percent, that’s significantly less than half of college bound seniors, had combined reading, writing and math scores high enough to have a 65% chance of maintaining a B- average in the first year of college. The Los Angeles Times also reported that the Class of 2011 was the largest graduating class ever to take the SAT. In plain English, it is going to continue to be an uphill battle and the odds are against parents and students who want and need to perform better than their peers. The facts are this: last year’s class was the most diverse in history, and faces unique challenges, such as record unemployment, our struggling economy, and long lines of jobless college grads in front them.

Marcia Galiano, a veteran teacher, principal and school administrator with 37 years of experience agrees with Pam Fowler. Galiano, now a co-owner at Next Level Tutoring in Oceanside, New York explains why she too believes that in home tutoring works best. “When you are looking at a family or student who is considering a private tutor, you are dealing with a child who has probably suffered a negative affect when dealing with a school situation. When that child is in any situation that connotes a “teacher learning experience” the results will not be satisfactory. So, now we move to the home. What does the home represent? It represents nurturing, caring, familiarity and because the emotional response is so critical to learning, it becomes a feeling of, ‘I’m comfortable here. It’s not stress. I can learn.’ and, what begins to happen is that when you reduce the threat, you present a situation that allows for high challenge. That’s why the in home tutoring situation with a private tutor is the optimal learning experience.”

Lawrence Galiano goes on to explain why things fall apart sometimes. “Most parents think that it’s set it, and forget it. You send your kids off to school, they’re there for seven hours, the teacher tells them everything they need to know.” He chuckles warmly. “Well, where are we living, Disneyworld? In home tutoring isn’t meant to replace you child’s school curriculum, in home tutoring works in concert with it.”

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