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Tutoring For Your Needs • Passion For Education

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Feb 222011

Dr. Jack Truschel has some great tips on how to run a succesful tutoring program.  In his article, “6 Habits of a Highly Effective Tutor,” he highlights important attributes that a tutor must have in order to be effective.  At The Tutoring Solution, we work hard to insure our tutors develop and enhance these six habits.  The six habits are “being proactive, assessing the student, developing a working alliance, modeling appropriate behavior, matching learning styles with tutor styles, and communicating effectively.”

Being proactive means that when a student is assigned to our tutors, we make immediate contact with the student or the student’s parent and set up the first tutoring session in a timely and efficient manner.

Assessing the student is extremely important when providing effective tutoring.  The goal of the student’s learning must be set by the tutor, parents and student.  These assessments are used to determine the students abilities and prior knowledge and helps to determine how to move forward.

Developing a working alliance means developing a healthy relationship with the student.  Each student is unique and different and the tutor must understand what motivates and inspires students.  Tutors must also develop to show that their goals and the students goals are the same.

By modeling appropriate learning behavior, tutors demonstrate the importance of learning and how to attack problems that arise in the learning process.  Students who have difficulty understanding material often demonstrate anxiety and frustration when assigned tasks.  The tutor must demonstrate that not understanding how to do things is part of the learning process.  They must then teach students the steps needed to become succesful.

Tutors must present content in the student’s preferred learning style.  Often, this requires trial and error, but eventually tutors need to adhere to the student’s learning style and present material in an understandable way to the student. 

Communicating effectively is one of the most imporant tools an effective tutors can have.  The tutor must be able to recognize when a student understands something and when they do not.  They must also be able to effectively communicate ideas and procedures that will lead to a student’s success by using easily understood vocabulary, appropriate body language and providing constructive feedback.

“Tutoring can cause a shift of negative feelings to positive feelings, providing a sense of positive personal interaction, increased self-esteem, self-efficacy, and self-regulation!  Success is achieved through the synergy of tutoring!”

Feb 112011

I have spent the past hour reviewing websites that show the role that effort plays in success at school and the findings are astounding. 

Studies have shown that students who have a better vision of themselves as adults perform better in school.  In Dr. Patricia Porter’s article, Effort Brings Success, But do Student’s Understand This?, on her website, www.leading2learning.com/ she says that students who plan on becoming lawyers and doctors and an early age perform better than those who plan on becoming professional athletes or musicians.  The reason for this is because students who plan on becoming doctors and lawyers understand that it will require a lot of hard work and dedication, while those who want to become professional athletes or musicians believe that the determining factor in success is ability.

Another article, Study Says ‘Effort’ Key to Success Not ‘Ability’, http://www.schoolfamily.com/school-family-articles/article/6266-study-says-effort-is-key-to-success-not-ability , discusses the fact that American students attribute success to ability more than they attribute success to effort.  On the other hand, Asian students, typically believe that effort is the key contributer to success.

In The Secret to Raising Smart Kids, http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=the-secret-to-raising-smart-kids , they imply that for decades we have known that students who correlate effort to success are more likely to succeed in the advanced stages of schooling.  Students who understand that they are smarter, or slower at an early age believe that the reason they perform well, or poorly is because of their ability and not their effort.  Because they attribute success to ability, their is no motivation to work hard to achieve their goals. 

A great website that provides instructional strategies that address the issue of students placing a higher importance on ability than success can be found here, http://www.netc.org/focus/strategies/rein.php.  In the article, Focus on Effectiveness, it shows the key findings of several studies that demonstrate a larger need t0 focus on the effort of students and it gives a variety of strategies for the implementation of procedures that will help to demonstrate the importance of effort to all students.

Feb 092011

When I was in the teaching credential program at California State University, Fullerton, one of the topics we covered the most was the concept of the seven multiple intelligences.  The idea being that as educators, we need to understand that all students learn best in different ways.  The seven different intelligences are Linguistic, Musical, Mathematical/Logical, Spatial, Bodily/Kinesthetic, Intrapersonal and Interpersonal.  By understanding how your child learns best, you will have a better idea about the most effective way to increase learning for them.

Linguistic learners can easily express themselves through words, written or verbally.  They understand grammar rules, can persuade others and enjoy reading and writing.

Musical learners enjoy a wide variety of music.  They understand the basics of music, enjoy creating and performing it.  They have a good sense of rhythm, pitch and have quick and accurate physical responses.

Mathematical/Logical learners are good at math and are extremely logical.  They require scientific explanations for events.  Often, they see themselves as future chemists, engineers, physicists, astronomers or mathematicians.  They enjoy dealing with numbers and prefer answers that are either right or wrong.

Spatial learners develop clear and precise images in their minds.  They have a good sense of direction, can easily put together jigsaw puzzles, recognize patterns, and can read maps easily.  They are good drawers and can easily replicate the world around them in drawings.  They enjoy hands on learning and can accurately measure distances.

Bodily/Kinesthetic learners are well-coordinated, are skilled in handling objects such as scissors, balls, or tools, and excel in physical activities.  They enjoy working with their hands, have quick physical reflexes and find fulfillment in physical activities.

Intrapersonal learners are self aware.  They understand their thoughts and feelings and are in-tune with how their emotions affect their decisions.  Their inner self is their ultimate sorce of strength and they are not easily swayed by the opinions of others.

Interpersonal learners are adept at understanding the moods, values, and intentions of others.  They can influence other people and prefer what they consider to be helping professions, such as teaching, politics or religious leadership.  They often attempt to help others solve their problems.  They are very comfortable in group settings and have a large circle of close friends.

The Multiple Intelligence Test is designed to figure out what type of a learner your child is.  As tutors of The Tutoring Solution, this information allows us to teach strategies to your child in their “learning language.”  By learning in their “learning language,” students are more likely to succeed in school.

If you are interested in receiving tutoring from one of our qualified tutors, please click here – http://thecatutoringsolution.com/tutoring.html

Also, if you are interested in reading our version of the Multiple Intelligenct Test, click here – http://thecatutoringsolution.com/381/multiple-intelligence-test/

Multiple Intelligence Test

 Posted by at 7:50 pm
Jan 292011

Want to know how your child learns best?  Have your child complete this test to help understand what their preferred learning style is.

Multiple Intelligence Test

Directions:   Rank each statement on a scale of 1 to 5, 5 meaning that it describes you the most.


  • I am careful about the words I choose.
  • I express myself well in words, written, or spoken.
  • I am grammatically correct.
  • I use spoken or written words to influence or persuade others.
  • I am understand the sounds, rhythms, inflections, and meters of words, similar to what is found in poetry.
  • I read often.
  • I like to write.


  • I like all kinds of music.
  • I know the basics of music such as harmony, chords, and keys.
  • I like to compose or create music.
  • I enjoy performing music, such as singing or playing a musical instrument.
  • I have a good sense of musical rhythm.
  • I have a good sense of musical pitch.
  • I have quick and accurate physical reflexes.


  • I am good at mathematics and calculations.
  • When I have a problem, I use a logical, step-by-step process to get a solution.
  • I am skeptical in accepting facts, reasons, and principles.
  • I require scientific explanations about way things work in the world.
  • I would like to become a chemist, engineer, physicist, astronomer, or mathematician.
  • I enjoy working with numbers.
  • I like questions that have definite “right” and “wrong” answers.


  • In my mind, I can visualize clear, precise, and sharp images.
  • I have a good sense of direction.
  • I am good at putting together jigsaw puzzles, or identifying patterns.
  • I can read a map easily.
  • I am able to graphically produce replications of the real world in drawing, painting, sculpting, drafting, or mapmaking.
  • I like to do activities in order to learn, as opposed to being lectured about them.
  • I am good at estimating distances and measurements.


  • I am well-coordinated.
  • I am good at using hand-held objects, like scissors, balls, hammers, paintbrushes, needles, pliers, etc.
  • I am good at dance, sports, or games.
  • I work well with my hands.
  • I relieve stress and have fun doing physical activities.
  • I have quick reflexes.
  • I have accurate aim when throwing things or aiming things.


  • I understand why I believe and behave the way I do.
  • My self-understanding helps me make wise decisions.
  • I understand my emotions which help me decide whether or not to be involved in certain situations.
  • I understand the complexity of my feelings, emotions, and beliefs.
  • I rely on myself more than others.
  • I have strong opinions and am not swayed by others.
  • I affect the world around me.


  • I understand the moods, temperaments, values, and intentions of others.
  • I can influence other individuals to believe my own beliefs, preferences, and desires.
  • I would like to be involved teaching, counseling, politics or religious leadership.
  • I can help groups or couples solve problems.
  • I understand what motivates others even when they are trying to hide their motivations.
  • I am comfortable and confident with groups of people.
  • I have a large group of friends.

Results:  The results of this survey should give you a good idea about what type of learner your child is.  The tutors of The Tutoring Solution can use this information when preparing for tutoring sessions.  The tutors are highly adaptable and when asked, can perform this test to assess the learning style of your child and use tutoring techniques and strategies that appeal to your child’s learning style.

To sign up for a tutoring session, click here – http://thecatutoringsolution.com/tutoring.html

Jan 252011

Duolog Math is similar to the Duolog Reading post that I added earlier, http://thecatutoringsolution.com/234/duolog-reading-ask-your-tutor-to-use-this-process-and-improve-your-childs-reading-ability/, only it deals with Math.  The process has been proven to be succesful and I use the theory described when dealing with improving my students mathematical abilities.

This process is broken down into several steps:

  • Step 1 – Listen – Give the student time to explain what they think that their difficulty is.  Do not interrupt.  Let them fully explain the problems they are having with the material.
  • Step 2 – Read – If the problem is a word problem, be sure to read the problem together and check for understanding.
  • Step 3 – Question – Ask questions that help to guide student thinking.  Here are some examples:  What kind of problem is it?  What are we trying to discover?  Can you restate the problem in another way?  Can you break it down into steps?  How did you get your answer?  Does that make sense?  Where was the last place that you knew you were right?  What kind of mistakes do you think you might have made?  Do not say, “You are wrong.”  Try to avoid yes or no questions and give students time to fully construct their responses.
  • Step #4 – Pause – Encourage students to think out loud and encourage them to do it all the time.  That way it is easy to find out where they are going wrong and allows the tutor time to think of questions that will encourage self-correction.
  • Step #5 – Make it Real – When the opportunity presents itself, use real world situations that the student may find themselves in in the future or have experienced in the past.  By using real-life scenarios students are more likely to understand it’s importance and have a better idea of how to go about solving the problem.
  • Step #6 – Check – Always check to see that the answers are correct, when answers are incorrect, encourage students to retry the problem and use guiding questions to see if they can self correct the problems they encountered.
  • Step #7 – Praise – Give praise and encouragement whenever you get the chance.  Even for small successes as it will help students from feeling frustrated.
  • Step #8 – Summarize – At the end of each session, have the student summarize what they have learned.  Point out where the student did well and where the student still needs improvement.

Duolog math works extremely well and I have personally witnessed it’s success in student achievement.  One student had failed all previous math courses and when this program was implemented he received a B in Algebra 1A, which he had previously failed and a B in Algebra 1B, which he had previously received a D.

*All information about the Duolog writing process comes from Tutoring.  Educational Practices Series — 5 by Keith Topping

Jan 132011

“Duolog reading has been demonstrated to be effective with thousands of children in hundreds of schools in many countries.” – Keith Topping

Duolog reading has been proven to work for thousands of students and according to many studies it has proven time and again that it is one of the most effective ways to improve a child’s reading ability.

Here’s How it Works:

  • Choose Appropriate Material – The reading material should always be slightly above the student’s independent reading ability.
  • Read Together – Read the words aloud together with the student.  As a tutor, adapt your reading to that of your student.  The student must read every word.
  • Correct Errors – When the student reads a word wrong, tell the student the correct way to say the word.  The student should then repeat the word correctly and move on.  Always correct errors in this manner.
  • Pause – Give the student four seconds to self-correct mistakes, if no self-correction occurs then correct the error.
  • Establish a Read Alone Signal – Agree on a way for the student to signal when he/she can read passages alone.  The signal could be a knock or a hand gesture.  The tutor should stop reading when the signal  is given and allow the student to read aloud.
  • Return to Reading Together – When the student does make an error when reading alone that they do not self-correct return to reading together.
  • Alternate – Alternate often between reading alone and reading together.
  • Praise – Compliment your student when they get through hard words, when doing well at reading alone, for self-correcting, for getting all the words in the sentence right.  Look and act pleased.
  • Review – Talk about the passage you have read.  Why is it interesting?  What are the definitions of difficult words?  What were the main ideas?

This is just one of the many tools that tutors of The Tutoring Solution are prepared to use if requested to by parents.  Our motto is “Tutoring for your needs.”  If you believe that this is the best way to assist your child in improving his/her reading ability, don’t hesitate to ask your tutor to use it.

*All information about the Duolog writing process comes from Tutoring.  Educational Practices Series — 5 by Keith Topping

January Meeting

 Posted by at 9:16 pm
Jan 092011

Each month, The Tutoring Solution has a meeting to improve our business.  The January meeting was conducted this past Wednesday in Chino Hills and was extremely productive. 

Here are some goals we established for the upcoming month. 

  • Website Design – Our website has received a lot of praise from those who have taken the time to visit it, but Lacey Welborn, our Web Designer, is planning on overhauling the entire website to make it easier to navigate and include more features.  I have seen some of the designs for the new website and it looks amazing.  I can’t wait to see what the final outcome will be.
  • Blog – I have been working feverishly on this blog because I am passionate about education and improving it.  I can’t think of a better way to devote my time, energy and resources than improving the lives of students.  One thing that was discussed in the meeting was trying to acquire Guest Bloggers to contribute to the blog.  Through the network of fellow educators that I have established in my years as a teacher, and now, The Tutoring Solution’s Owner, I look forward to posting tips from colleagues and friends devoted to improving education.
  • Student of the Month – Each month we will profile one of our students.  The award for Student of the Month will go out to those who have shown improvement thanks to The Tutoring Solution and its staff of excellent tutors.
  • Outreach – We want to be involved in the development of our community.  Therefore, one of our largest goals is to get our company name and reputation out to students that we can help.  If you come across this post and know someone who could benefit from tutoring, please inform them about us.  We send out a monthly newsletter to friends of The Tutoring Solution, if you are interested in receiving it, email us requesting that we add you to our contact list.

The Tutoring Solution will be hard at work this month, trying to do all that we can to improve the lives of those we come into contact with.

Daily Activities Report

 Posted by at 3:05 pm
Jan 032011

Each time The Tutoring Solution tutors a student, the tutor is required to fill out one of these forms.  The form indicates the dates and times the tutoring session occurred, hwat was covered and the signature of both the parent and the tutor.  Use the time to fill out the log to discuss the progress made with your child for the tutoring session.

Dear Tutors,

 Posted by at 2:55 pm
Dec 142010

The category, Tips for Tutors, of Mr. Welborn’s Classroom is directed towards tutors of The Tutoring Solution.  It will deal specifically with how to increase achievement of students in a one-on-one setting.

Tips for Tutors will also be a guideline for tutors, so that customers of The Tutoring Solution will know exactly what is expected of each tutor that the company hires to improve the education of the local community.