As a specialist in personalized learning, I make sure to partner with children and families to develop individualized goals that are appropriately rigorous for the child, meanwhile taking into account who they are as an individual outside of academics. This include social, emotional, and executive functioning skills, all of which are critical to academic success. Together, we will build a plan for tutoring that feels sustainable and child-centered. These plans are guided by a few principles:
Tutoring needs to be a temporary support. Our goal, first and foremost, should be to build resilience and autonomy within children, and this means that with time, we should be able to peel back supports and let a child stand on their own. As a result, tutoring sessions are focused on building new skills, meanwhile making a plan for independent work in between sessions. This could involve playing a math game that the child will play with a family member in between sessions; it could also involve learning a new strategy for writing that the child will practice through journaling in between sessions.
Tutoring is most effective through authentic activities. I generally don’t use worksheets or technology-driven programs for tutoring. All of our sessions will operate out of journals. Journaling is inherently learner-driven, as learners are able to manipulate our lessons and allow them to grow on the blank pages of their math journals. Generally speaking, we’ll use the journals to glue in math tasks or writing prompts. We’ll also use the journals as personal journals for homework in between sessions. Journaling also builds communication and executive functioning skills.
Tutoring is most effective when the child works in between sessions. My intention is never to over-load children, but instead to provide them with short bursts of repetitive practice over the course of a given week. This requires a close relationship between myself and your family, as we’ll need to hold each other accountable to the work that must be completed in between sessions. This usually includes nightly reading, nightly journaling, or playing math games 3-4 times per week.
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