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Tutoring For Your Needs • Passion For Education

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Aug 232011

Thank you for choosing The Tutoring Solution to tutor your child.  Our goal is to accommodate your tutoring needs to the fullest. We have created this Customer Bill of Rights in order to let you know what you can expect from us.

We promise:

  • to be learners in the field of education.
  • to be up to date on methodology and best practices.
  • to continually improve our processes and procedures.
  • our tutor will give your student their undivided attention during tutoring sessions.
  • to do everything in our power during the tutoring session to increase academic success.

To schedule appointments contact your tutor directly.

During tutoring sessions, we ask you to remain present.

Payment will be handled using Google Checkout.  An email will be sent to you on the 1st and the 16th of every month indicating the amount you owe and how to proceed with the transaction.  Please make payment as soon as you receive the email.

To get the most out of the tutoring we provide:

  • “LIKE” us on Facebook.  We regularly post educational tips on our Facebook page – facebook.com/thetutoringsolution.  By “Liking” us on Facebook, you will have access to tips and advice that will help you get the most out of your tutoring with us.
  • Subscribe to our RSS Feed.  We post daily tips and advice on The Tutoring Solution blog – www.theCaTutoringSolution.com
  • Communicate with your tutor at the end of every session to determine the progress your child has made and discuss with them ways to develop their education.

We know that we provide an excellent service for the students we tutor because we go above and beyond what is expected of us.  In return, we ask you to refer us to anyone who you think may need tutoring, to “Like” us on Facebook and to tell your friends about the services we provide.

If you have questions, comments or concerns, contact Zeb Welborn, day or night, by phone (909) 973 – 9089 or by email, thetutoringsolution@gmail.com

Thank you for choosing us for your tutoring needs,
Zeb Welborn


Jul 132011

School on Wheels is very excited to have Zeb from the Tutoring Solution host a workshop for our volunteer tutors this Saturday in Long Beach. I’m also happy to have the opportunity through his Blog to talk a little bit more about School on Wheels and spread the message of what we are trying to achieve.

I thought it might be helpful to start with some statistics from our website to demonstrate the need surrounding our mission. Over 1.6 million children are homeless annually in the United States. Families with young children account for 40% of the homeless population. Lastly, over 35,000 homeless youth are enrolled in LA County Schools, 12,461 in LAUSD alone. It is hard for most of us to imagine the obstacles these students face. Constant moves create gaps and setbacks in their education. Students usually move several times during the year, and fall behind 3-4 months with each move. At some shelters, families have to be out by 7am each morning, are let back in at around 5pm for a meal, and sleep on cots in one big room after lights out at 9pm. One of the students in our program had to literally hide in closets after lights out to finish work for her AP classes.

School on Wheels is a non-profit organization founded in 1993 by Agnes Stevens, a retired school teacher. The mission of our organization is to enhance educational opportunities for homeless children from kindergarten through twelfth grade. Our goal is to shrink the gaps in their education and provide them with the highest level of education possible. We do this by offering:

· One‐on‐one weekly tutoring with a volunteer

· Backpacks, school supplies and school uniforms

· A toll‐free number for students to keep in touch with us

· Assistance in school enrollment and locating lost records

· Guidance for parents in educational matters for their children

· Two learning centers, one located in the heart of Skid Row and the other in South Los Angeles

· Tutoring in seven major regions in Southern California, including Los Angeles, Orange, San Bernardino and Ventura counties

· Three annual scholarships and additional learning opportunities for all students

Our program serves as a consistent support system to homeless students and brings the message that they are cared about and important. We work with over 1500 homeless students during the course of the year, primarily through volunteer tutors. Tutors are matched one-on-one with a student and commit to working with that student for at least one hour each week.

I currently serve as the Education and Training Coordinator for School on Wheels, and am responsible for expanding resources for both tutors and students in the program. There is a great need to further educate our tutors to be more effective in their sessions, especially in the areas of motivating their students to take ownership of their education. It might be helpful to think about who motivated you as a child – your parents, or maybe your teachers or counselor. What if your parents were busy searching for housing, food, and a job. Maybe your teachers or counselor try to help, but they never really get to know your needs since you are only at the school for a few months. The further you fall behind, the more frustrated you get with school. Add these issues to the usual lack of motivation non-homeless students face, and you can see there are some big obstacles to overcome.

Our tutors are really looking forward to Zeb’s presentation which will address “Motivating the Unmotivated”. I know it will be a great help to them in working with their students. If you would like to know more about School on Wheels and how you can get involved, please email me at nbayus@schoolonwheels.org.

Jun 262011

Natasha Bayus from School on Wheels, a non-profit organization that provides volunteer tutoring to homeless children across Southern California has asked me to give a presentation on how to motivate students to their volunteer tutors.

Natasha found me through this blog and really enjoyed the tips I provided on motivating students in my blog and decided to ask for my help.  After looking at the organization and understanding the valuable service that they are providing to students across Southern California, I immediately jumped at the chance to offer my expertise to the excellent tutors who volunteer their time to improve the lives of students.

Since being asked to present I have been hard working to put together a dynamite presentation for the volunteer tutors and will have much more information about increasing motivation in students in the upcoming weeks.  Check back frequently for more information about School on Wheels, increasing motivation and my upcoming presentation.

Paired Writing Model

 Posted by at 4:25 pm
Apr 192011

One effective way to improve your child’s writing is by using the Paired Writing Model as described in Keith Topping’s article, Tutoring — Educational Practices Series 5.  In the article Topping outlines an effective way to improve student writing achievement in a one on one setting with a student and a tutor that has been proven to increase a student’s writing ability.

The Paired Writing Model can be broken down into 7 steps:

  1. Generate Ideas – The tutor and student discuss ideas for the writing topic, the tutor should write down student ideas.
  2. Map Ideas – The tutor and student should then go back over the ideas together and place the ideas in some sort of logical order.
  3. Draft – Either the student or the tutor can begin to write the draft for the assignment; however, if the tutor is writing the draft it needs to be dictated by the student and the tutor simply transcribes the students ideas.
  4. Read – Both tutor and student read the excerpt paying as much detail to punctuation when doing their reading.  The student reads the same excerpt in the same manner.
  5. Edit – Begin editing by highlighting problem areas where meaning is lost and try to correct those problem areas.  Then, make sure that the organization of ideas is correct.  Lastly, check for spelling and punctuation errors.
  6. Best Copy – Either tutor or student can write the copy since the ideas were generated by both and either could be considered the author of the work.
  7. Evaluate – At a later date, the tutor and student should evaluate their best copy to insure that no changes could be made to improve the work.  If the work is already evaluated then the tutor and students should review the comments to seek improvement for the next assignment.

The Paired Writing model has proven effective when compared against students who did not receive tutoring in this manner.  The tutors of The Tutoring Solution can perform the Paired Writing Model with your students to help improve their writing ability.  If you are interested about receiving tutoring from us, please contact Zeb Welborn at (909) 973 – 9089.

The Importance of Praise

 Posted by at 3:30 pm
Apr 172011

“Praise is a powerful form of feedback.”  At the end of each tutoring session, the tutor should go over what the student has learned during the session and reward them with positive comments about the strides they made during that session.  Praise becomes even more powerful when it comes from someone whom the student has developed a positive relationship with. It is important for tutors to develop a strong relationship with not only the student, but the parent as well and provide praise when seeing that improvements have been made.  As a tutor, you should praise every opportunity you get.  For every success big or small, prasie the student, but be genuine in your praise.  Recognizing success is critical when attempting to increase motivation and develop good learning habits. At the end of each session, sit down with your student and praise them for everything they did well during the session.  The more positive encouragement they receive, the more likely it is that they will want to repeat those same behaviors in the future. *All information comes from Keith Topping’s article, Tutoring. Educational Practices — Series 5

Apr 162011

During tutoring, errors happen all the time and it is critical for tutors to address errors that arise in an appropriate manner.  It is always important to point out errors, but to do so in a positive way.  Try not to say, “No” or “You’re wrong.”  Instead, let them know that they have made an error and encourage them to find out where that error is.  If they can self-correct then let them know that they did a good job.  If they can’t find the error, make sure to provide enough clues until they discover the errors themselves and reward them for doing so.

Once they have discovered the error that occurred, talk about why they made the mistake and how to avoid it in the future.  By discussing each error, students recognize the faulty logic in their thinking and eventually develop much more sophistication when it comes to self-correction.  This technique not only helps in the learning process, but gives students more confident in their abilities, because even when they make an error, they still experience success when they correct the error.

In some cases a student may just not understand the question and after providing clues and ample time for the student to self correct, it may be necessary to demonstrate the activity to the student.  Be thorough in your explanation of the procedures involved in solving the problem and check for understanding constantly.  When you are sure the student grasps how to attack the problem then give them the opportunity to answer a similar question so that they can demonstrate to you that they know how to answer the question.

* All information from this blog post comes from Keith Topping’s article, Tutoring.  Educational Practices — Series 5.

Spring Break!!!

 Posted by at 3:45 pm
Apr 132011

Spring break is an excellent opportunity for students to recharge their batteries and finish the school year strong.  It is also an excellent time to meet with tutors to catch up on understanding important concepts or prepare for the upcoming SAT Tests.

The Tutoring Solution has tutors that can meet with you at all hours of the day to discuss ways that we can improve your child’s academic performance.

For the rest of April only, The Tutoring Solution will be offering a free session where we can sit down with you and your child and develop strategies that will help to increase their academic success.  During this session we will discuss academic goal setting, come up with a  plan for implementation, and advise you and your child on ways to increase achievement.

If you are interested in receiving a free academic advisement session, please contact Zeb Welborn at (909) 973 – 9089.

I hope to hear from you soon.

Apr 072011

Why do we make the decision to educate our children?  What value does education have in our society?  What is the goal of education?  Schools originated thousands of years ago, and although they were different then the schooling that students receive today, it’s purpose was the same.  Historically, the purpose of education is to teach our children how to survive in the world.  As humans have always lived in groups, in order to sustain those groups, the elder members of society needed to teach the necessary skills for survival to the young . . . to keep the group going.  If we look at the purpose of schooling and it’s design then grades have no place in education.  Imposing grades on students not only goes against the initial needs for education, but it actually limits a student’s ability to reach their full potential.

Let me give you two examples that demonstrate the problems of using grades as a measuring tool for student achievement.

In elementary school, a student is struggling.  He is not reading at grade level and is having trouble understanding the concepts in math.  The student is evaluated on writing samples and math tests.  The student performs poorly on these tests and frequently receives F grades.  The teacher marks the problems the student did wrong on his math tests and makes grammatcial corrections to his homework.  The student sees his F grade, becomes discouraged, and never looks at the teacher’s remarks.  This pattern continues throughout his schooling.  His improvement never goes beyond minimal.  He is consistently labeled a “failure.”

A second student performs extremely well in school, the teacher praises the student constantly and tells the parent that their child is doing a great job.  Because the student outperforms other students the child frequently receives A’s and relatively low feedback on assignments other than GREAT JOB!  They do well, but these students have no more improvements to make, they know what it takes to earn an A and they do the required amount but never advance further in their learning.

The two examples take place in classrooms all over the country.  Grades deter student achievement.  It does have its benefits, but I truly feel that overall it is hurting our children.  I have worked with students of all ages as a tutor and found that academic achievement and the desire to learn occurs much more rapidly when students are not evaluated, but are encouraged to learn and improve.  By seeking improvement, no child is labeled a failure and no child stops learning.  As educators, we need to seriously think about using grades as a tool to evaluate student achievement, if we are to meet education’s true goals.

Stay Tuned for Part 2 of Grades Hinder Achievement in an Upcoming Blog Post

Mar 302011

The Effort Contract is designed to keep your child accountable for their effort.  Many students that struggle in school do so not because they don’t desire to do well, but because they don’t know what it takes to do well.  The Effort Contract gives the child the idea that effort is important in school and that if they develop a plan to increase their effort then they will be more likely to succeed.

The Effort Contract that we use is broken down into seven questions.

The first question, (What are some ways that you can do better in school?) gives your child the opportunity to evaluate their own school behavior.  Our tutors will sit down with your child and discuss how the child currently performs in school and will suggest areas for improvement.  The student will then be able to evaluate a variety of ways that they think they can perform better in school.

The second question, (What is your plan to become more successful?) gives the student an opportunity to develop a plan for success.  Once our tutors have guided your child to answer the first question, they can then give recommendations on developing a plan for improvement.  The student will then decide what he or she thinks is the best plan to become m0re successful.

The third question, (What are some problems that might keep you from completing your plan to become more successful?) allows students to understand potential roadblocks to their success.  I have never met a student who did not want to succeed.  Many students were immediately willing to put plans into action that would help them to do so, but something got in the way that deterred them from accomplishing their goals.  By acknowledging potential roadblocks to success, students will realize that they can overcome those road blocks if they recognize what they are.

The fourth question, (How can you overcome potential problems for success?) allows students to be proactive in recognizing and dealing with problems.  When they can recognize potential problems before they arise, then it makes sense to decide beforehand how to address those problems when they do arise.  By developing a plan to overcome problems before they begin, students prepare themselves and face less anxiety and pressure when they are faced with difficult situations.

The fifth question, (How can I help you do better?) is critical to the development of a tutor/student or teacher/student relationship.  It shows students that they are not in this alone.  All students need support and encouragement. Having your student explain how you can help them is a big step.  It builds trust and requires commitment by both parties.  As a tutor or teacher you must listen to their answer completely and then have a discussion about the ways in which you are willing to help.

The sixth question, (How can your parents help you do better?) develops goals for parents.  As a tutor of struggling students, I have found that it is just as important for parents to get involved in their child’s education as it is for the student.  By having the student suggest ideas for their parents’  involvement in their education it allows for a dialogue to occur between the parent, child and tutor that gives momentum to a plan for success.  Parents want to be helpful, but sometimes are not sure how they can help. The student knows the abilities of the parents and can suggest ways that would help them perform better in school.

The seventh question, (What consequences should happen if you do not follow through on your plan?) holds students accountable.  The consequences should be real and of value to the student.  But you should also ask the question, (What rewards should happen if you do follow through on your plan?)  Both questions need to be asked and this holds the child accountable for both failure and success.  With your guidance, they choose the punishments and rewards. You monitor them to make sure those consequences and rewards are acceptable for the educational plans that they have put in place.

The great thing about The Effort Contract is that it holds the student accountable to themselves.  They develop an understanding that the way they were doing things can be improved by increasing their effort.  I have found that this realization has an amazing impact on student achievement.  When they realize that there are better ways to get things done, and implement a plan to do so, and then follow through with that plan, a transformation takes place. It is a fascinating situation to be a part of.

If you think that your child is struggling in school and can increase their academic effort consider hiring a tutor from The Tutoring Solution.  We can evaluate their effort using our Effort Contract and encourage them to work harder in school.

For a copy of  The Effort Contract that we use with our students, click on the following link:  http://thecatutoringsolution.com/83/the-effort-contract/

Mar 052011

In a previous article, Dr. Jack Truschel’s “6 Habits of a Highly Effective Tutor,”  http://thecatutoringsolution.com/553/dr-jack-truschels-6-habits-of-a-highly-effective-tutor/, I highlighted the key attributes that successful tutors must have.  In this article, I am going to show you how The Tutoring Solution addresses those issues and why we adhere to the 6 Habits of a Highly Effective Tutor as described by Dr. Jack Truschel.

We are very proactive in acquiring new students.  We make immediate and consistent contact with those who express interest in receiving tutoring from The Tutoring Solution.  We work with you to set up a time frame and schedule that suits your needs and try our best to accommodate your needs every step of the way.

We have a great system in place for assessing a student’s academic levels.  When students need help in one subject, such as Geometry or Chemistry our tutors are able to analyze their prior knowledge by going through the material with them.  When a student is struggling in a variety of classes, we have several different techniques that we employ designed to increase student achievement.  We can assess a student’s learning style, this will notify tutors and parents the preferred learning style of the student.   Several of our elementary tutors have hundreds of hours of experience running diagnostic tests to assess a child’s reading level or mathematical abilities.  Our website offers a variety of resources that we use to assess a student’s capabilities.

All of our tutors have prior experience either at a tutoring capacity or in the classroom.  We pride ourselves in offering the most capable and effective tutors.  Each tutor really strives to understand a student’s way of thinking and delivers the material to the student in the most effective way.

As a tutor of The Tutoring Solution, we always model appropriate learning behavior.  One of the skills students struggle with most is effective work habits and study skills.  By modeling these skills ourselves while with our students, we teach them to think for themselves and frequently we find that the skills we instill in our students lead them to be successful well beyond our time tutoring them.

Our tutors have tutoring experience in the subjects they are asked to tutor and can easily assess a student’s preferred learning style in their content areas.  For example, many math problems can be done in a variety of ways and our tutors can assess and deliver the content in the appropriate way for the student to be able to grasp the concepts covered.

As I’ve eluded to before, all of our tutors are experienced in their content area and educating children.  I personally evaluate every tutor that we hire to ensure that our tutors are able to communicate effectively to our students.

Our tutors have a proven track record of being highly effective.  On a weekly basis, I am receiving calls for parents who are thrilled about the achievement and progress that their children are making.  It is because we use principles and practices that have proven to be effective in one on one tutoring situations and will continue to do so to provide the best tutoring services for those students who sign up for tutoring sessions with us.

If you would like to receive tutoring from some of the most effective tutors in the Inland Empire, Orange County and Los Angelse County.  Call Zeb Welborn at The Tutoring Solution today.

909 973 9089