Frequently Asked Questions

How much does math tutoring cost?

Lessons are

  • $40 for a 1 hour session (younger students)
  • $45 for 1 hour and 15 minutes
  • $50 for 1 hour and 30 minutes (most high school and college students)
  • Sessions longer than 1 hour and 30 minutes are charged at the rate of $34/hr. 

These rates are for tutoring given at my location near Campbell and River in Tucson.   I typically do not drive to student’s homes.  If I do, there is an additional charge to cover my driving time. 

How long is a lesson?

A math lesson can be from 1 to 2 hours in length.   For high school students who are covering a fair amount of material in a week, I suggest 1 hour and 30 minute sessions ($50) once or twice a week.  Longer lessons can be especially helpful in the beginning, or when we are trying to make up lost ground.

Grade school students may choose either the 1 hour session or the 1 hour and 15 minute session.

How often does a student get tutored?

This will depend on the student and the math course.  Typically just once a week, though again,  in the beginning when the needs and gaps of the student are being assessed, and we are playing catch up, twice a week and some longer sessions can be very helpful.

Is it possible to get an extra math tutoring session right before a test?

Yes, provided we can make the time to schedule it.   It is not a good practice to give tutorials exclusively prior to tests.  It can put the student in the position of trying to grasp material they do not understand at the last minute and under pressure.   A pre-test tutorial should be a review, not an emergency!

How long will it be before we see improvement on test scores and grades?

It will usually take a little while to see improvement on test scores.  If the student is confused about just one specific topic, it will be fairly easy to clear up the problem.   However, most math problems provide multiple opportunities for misunderstanding and errors.   It may take several sessions for me to pinpoint all of the problem areas, and then going back and re-teaching, and re-learning  the missing fundamentals can take some time.  

Why does math seem so difficult?

One of the reasons math seems hard is because it requires a certain amount of repetition and dedication.   Math takes work, and focus, and time.   The frustration comes  when you are putting in the time and not getting the desired results because there are gaps in your understanding.

Even a very skilled classroom teacher is not going to be able to tailor every lesson and explanation so that all of the pieces fit together every time for every student.   With math, sometimes just a tiny missing piece is the difference between all of your answers being right and all of your answers being wrong.

That is the beauty of having a private math tutor — the missing pieces can be identified, and the needed explanations given so that one’s time and effort yield success and mastery rather than frustration and confusion.

How do I get my son or daughter to do their homework?

Well, sadly, there is no magic bullet on this one.  There are many things to do in Tucson that are way more fun than doing math homework.  And for students at the University of Arizon, or Pima Community College, those choices are multiplied many times over.  However seeing a math tutor on a regular basis is probably the best method out there for increasing the degree to which a student is held accountable for his or her math homework.  Plus, it is a lot more fun and less frustrating to do math homework with a tutor, than on your own.

It is almost impossible for parents to stay on top of all of their child’s homework, and kids can become quite adept at skirting around homework responsibilities.

And while a tutor also cannot insure that homework gets done every day (unless your child comes for tutoring on a daily basis…  😉 ),  it is usually very clear to a tutor whether or not the student is putting in the necessary time on the subject.   And that is information that isn’t always obvious to a parent.

Any “don’t worry, I’m on top of it” statements by the student won’t hold any water with a tutor unless the student can actually work the necessary problems.

So regular math lessons create a degree of accountability that helps the student stay on top of their work on a regular basis.  And if work isn’t completed due to lack of understanding, having a tutor enables the student to fill in those missing pieces and then complete the work.

Ongoing math lessons create a distinct vortex of focus on math.  The parents care and are focused on the math.  The tutor cares and is focused on the math.  All of this helps the student to care and become focused on the math.  This results in more homework being done,  better grades on tests, and a better knowledge and understanding of the subject.   

Are there any additional or long term benefits to math tutoring?

Yes.   There are additional benefits that come with tutoring and mastering math, that may not be on everyone’s radar when they sign up for tutoring.  Frequently improved grades, enhanced self confidence, and real world math skills are the items that are at the top of the list when someone signs up for tutoring.  

However, in addition to these achievements, with a good math tutor, and with time, the student can also develop ways of looking and thinking about things that will be applicable in a wide range of settings far more varied than math.  These abilities would include logical and critical thinking skills, the practice of considering multiple perspectives, and the discipline of being methodical.  These habits and skill sets can be invaluable, and will last a lifetime — far outliving the achievements that were the impetus for tutoring to begin with!

For a more in-depth discussion of how math relates to these four skills, read the associated post on the posts page.  


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