Benefits of Tutoring
Learning is individual. Everybody has a different learning style, and ultimately, success in education depends upon a single person understanding subject matter in their own head via their preferred methods. Some of us learn best through listening, some through visuals, some through reading and writing, and others through a combination of methods. And yet while learning is individual, classrooms are not. Although teachers do phenomenal work in a job that is beyond difficult, it is simply impossible to adequately accommodate all the individualized needs of so many students within a classroom setting. In subjects such as math, writing, history, science, and Spanish, many students slip through the cracks, encountering difficulty in classes that may not be their natural strong suit, and then going through the rest of their educational and professional lives believing that they just aren’t good at something, that they simply can’t do it. However, we at College Tutors of Indiana believe that this is rarely true—we believe that every student is capable, and that through one on one tutoring and individualized instruction outside of the classroom, any learner can gain the skills to succeed in any subject. No matter what class it is, our tutors will give students the support they need, forming relationships, assessing how they learn best, and putting them on the path to thrive in subjects where they never thought they could. That is the beauty of one-on-one tutoring: For 60 to 90 minutes, the focus is exclusively on that one student, and that student’s unique challenges and goals. THAT is the magic of tutoring. To learn more about how our tutors can help, inquire here.
Math Tutoring Benefits
Of all the subjects in school, math is, for many people, the most painful. Some of us are born naturally gifted at math, and relish the process of solving problems independently, thriving on tests, and generally succeeding in class, but for the majority of students, this is not the case. Math is often a dreaded source of anxiety, stress, and boredom. Nevertheless, math is an essential skill needed in nearly all aspects of life and remains an incredibly important class through all of school, and a subject where discipline and perseverance can absolutely transform outcomes and results. Fundamental math comprehension is also necessary for admissions to many colleges (learn more about our college prep tutoring here). Tutoring is a prime path to improve math scores and grades for several reasons. First, tutoring forces students to practice. Often, a huge source of struggle in math simply comes down to a student not wanting to do the work—often because the student lacks confidence in completing the work. The initial struggle creates reluctance, and the daily demands of challenging work yield avoidance. This leads to missed homework assignments, lower scores on tests, and a vicious cycle of negative feedback, which further strengthens the dislike and avoidance of math that led to this problem in the first place.
But when a student works with a tutor in a one-on-one setting, it’s simply impossible to procrastinate and avoid the work, because there’s someone helping and watching every step of the way.
In all honesty, it’s no surprise that a child or teenager would rather do other things than math—video games, TV, social media, and playing outside are much easier and more fun. But if a student goes to math tutoring, and gains not only practice and guidance, but also individual success in math, a positive feedback loop begins to arise, and the general experience of doing the daily work becomes less painful and more satisfying. Another benefit of math tutoring applies to all subjects—individualized instruction. Students have the opportunity to have concepts explained to them in a way that makes sense, and move through the subject matter at a comfortable pace. If they’re lost in the classroom, the lesson may pass them by, but with a tutor, students can stick with a single problem until they get it. Whether for homework, studying, conceptualization, improved test – taking strategies (such as avoiding small, costly mistakes) or standardized test practice, tutoring can reinvent math for students and enable them to reach their full potential.
Writing Tutoring: From Pain to Fulfillment
Next to math, writing is also one of the most dreaded aspects of school. For many students, writing is a generally unpleasant process, a tedious task that forces you to stare into the abyss of an empty sheet of paper and wonder how on earth you’ll find a way to fill it with anything, let alone something good. For countless students, writing is nothing more than a painful march toward an assigned word count or page number, an obstinate obstacle standing in the way of all that is fun, pleasant, and interesting. But writing can also be a fulfilling, exhilarating process—one of the finest, most satisfying parts of life—and tutoring can help students see this side to an activity that often seems synonymous with a chore. Tutoring can assist students with the conceptual, technical, and editing aspects of the writing process—our writing tutors at College Tutors of Indiana have the skillset to be a resource at any phase, whether it’s the generation of ideas about a given topic, the actual act of constructing sentences with proper grammar, syntax, and punctuation, or the editing of an essay or story that is already complete. (For middle school students with those first essay assignments, see our “Four Steps to a Successful Essay” guidance.) Writing is as much about the subject as the prose itself—in fact, good writing depends upon accurate interpretation and thinking—and our tutors have the knowledge to help with writing assignments in any subject, from history papers to English essays to biology lab reports. As with any skill, practice is the road to improvement, and writing tutoring will enable students to practice with a qualified adult outside of school on a consistent basis. The older students get, the more important writing becomes—if students can write well in college, they are in a prime position to succeed in almost any humanities class, and more often than not, STEM classes also require a certain amount of writing. (Solid writing skills exemplified in a student’s college admissions essay can help students improve college acceptance odds – as well as securing valuable scholarship funds! See our “Tips for Writing a Solid College Admissions Essay”)And beyond education, writing is indispensable in every corner of the workforce—a poorly penned email could be the difference between getting a job and being passed up on, even in fields that have nothing to do with writing. Often, writing well is simply a matter of professionalism. Clear writing is an expression of clear thinking, and clear thinking is something that the world could always use more of—writing tutoring could be the gateway to students understanding the importance of writing, learning to do it well, and perhaps even finding a way to enjoy it.
History Tutoring Benefits
History is a strange subject because although it’s actually so interesting in real life, school often finds a way to make it the very antithesis of entertainment. Some say that history is irrelevant because it stays in the past—it no longer tangibly exists—but this is an error in judgment. History is constantly alive, living and breathing around us, carrying the world we know today on its wave. Every country, government, institution, law, religion, and culture is a product of the complex processes of history, and the only way to understand the present is to learn about the past. But why is history so frequently boring in school? The answer to this question may vary from student to student, but there can be little doubt that it’s easy to get lost in a classroom history lecture. As the teacher talks and talks to a room full of tired students, the words seem to melt into the classroom walls; the second hand on the clock moves like minutes; and subject matter that is literally the story of the world and humanity itself somehow becomes dull. This happens partly because students feel uninvolved. If the teacher is lecturing to a large group, it’s hard for the individual student to feel connected to the material, or even invested in it. And while many history classes feature discussions, these conversations are often dominated by a select few zealous students, and social anxiety can hinder full participation of the others.
However, in history tutoring, the material becomes a conversation between two people, not a lecture to a group, and as the interpersonal relationship of trust, comfort, and mutual understanding arises between the tutor and the student, the subject matter itself can become much more lively and vivid and compelling… and relevant! With a tutor, students also feel more comfortable asking questions because they’re not being judged by their peers or the teacher who is giving them a grade. History tutoring is pure, unadulterated learning. Furthermore, passion is infectious, and our history tutors at College Tutors of Indiana relish all things related to the human past—they are often history majors who encountered a lot of success at the college level, studying a wide variety of historical time periods and regions, and they are beyond excited to share their knowledge and love of history with students of all ages. Even if a student isn’t exactly struggling in history class, tutoring can be a prime way to get ahead and knock assignments out of the way so academic time and energy can be directed elsewhere to more difficult classes. Whether the goal is a higher grade, a 5 on an AP exam, or maintaining diligence with the daily demands of class, tutoring is a surefire method to improve your students’ overall experience with the subject of history.
Benefits of Science Tutoring
The primary challenge of science for most students is the blend of a massive amount of information with technical problem solving—it’s almost as if science takes elements of history and math and combines them into one colossal behemoth of academic stress. To be sure, science itself is a broad term, and the various conventional branches of it present their own challenges—biology, chemistry, physics, and environmental science all contain different material with different demands, and certainly merit blogs of their own, but they do have a few things in common. All of these subjects use the scientific method—the measurement of data, the testing of hypotheses, and the processes of experimentation—and all of these classes necessitate regular, consistent studying, both with respect to conceptual problem solving and rote memorization. There is no way to improvise your way to success in a science class—in a subject like English, if a student is a naturally gifted writer, they can often circumvent some of the labors of learning and write pleasing, stylish sentences to intellectually charm their way into a good grade, but that will not work in science. We would argue that natural talent also helps students much more in math than science—a knack for numbers can enable students to creatively solve a problem, but it won’t simply toss all the elements on the periodic table into their brain, and neither will it magically memorize the obscurities of human anatomy for them. More than most other subjects, science depends on discipline, diligence, hard work, and a healthy dose of curiosity —but it can also be deeply conceptual, relying on the ability of students to use their knowledge of formulas to solve actual problems with concrete numerical solutions. Tutoring can help students with both these elements (pun intended) of science classes. As with history, our tutors in all branches of science, from chemistry to physics to biology, possess both passion and expertise, and they truly enjoy guiding students to success in their classes. A by-product of sound science tutoring is that it also strengthens the student’s learning skills, helping them to gain in areas of creative problem solving that will prove valuable in all areas of their lives.
Benefits of Spanish Tutoring
Spanish is another subject that is underrated in its utility, and vividly alive outside of the classroom. Not only is it the fourth most spoken language in the world, but it’s also widely spoken in the United States, as well as by almost all of our neighbors in Central and South America. Spanish can connect students to millions of people and open up a huge swath of the world for learning, exploration, and fun. And yet in the classroom, the joys of learning are often swallowed by the boredom of vocabulary lists, grammatical charts, and homework assignments. Spanish seldom feels relevant in the confines of school. In addition to this, learning a new language, no matter which, is always challenging, especially if a student is doing it for the first time. Foreign languages operate differently from English, and this lack of familiarity can be daunting. But in the context of tutoring, Spanish can be clarified on a conceptual level and brought to life in the imagination of students. The Spanish-speaking world is filled with exhilarating adventure, and many of our tutors are very experienced in these countries, having both traveled extensively and even lived in places where Spanish is the primary language.
Therefore, tutors can both help students with the basics of vocabulary and grammar, but also tell them stories that increase enthusiasm and desire to learn. Nothing is more powerful for education than internal motivation, and tutoring can help provide this for students. Furthermore, language learning ultimately comes down to human connection—the pursuit of mutual understanding and communication between two individuals—and this is exactly what tutoring is. With Spanish tutoring, students can connect with the person who’s teaching them the language in a way that would be very difficult in a classroom with twenty to thirty other people in it. This combination of human connection and language learning almost provides an appetizer of sorts for a study abroad experience. At College Tutors of Indiana, our approach to Spanish tutoring is immersive—in addition to assistance on whichever homework assignments or grammatical concepts students are given in class, our Spanish tutors make time in their sessions for free-flowing conversation. Students can chat about their day, their life, their passions, and interests, and really try to communicate their genuine self in Spanish—this is the essence of true language learning, and when it becomes not only meaningful, but also fun. We strive to achieve this combination with our students in Spanish tutoring.
High Dosage Tutoring for Schools
Another form of tutoring we offer at College Tutors of Indiana is High Dosage Tutoring (HDT), also known as High Impact Tutoring or High Frequency Tutoring. Our High Dosage Tutoring model—executed through a staff of experienced tutors, mentors, and leaders—resulted in our students’ growth in proficiency at a rate of 4x – 12x as compared to non-tutored students, as measured by our student’s 2021-2022 ILEARN (Indiana Learning Evaluation Assessment Readiness Network) assessments). We strongly believe in HDT and consider the HDT model as one of the most effective ways to close learning gaps in the United States, growing students to the levels of proficiency needed for academic and career success. According to a 2021 study conducted by EdResearch For Recovery, one of the most critical factors behind the effectiveness of tutoring is frequency. For tutoring to substantially impact learning outcomes, it must occur consistently and in high doses—as with any skill, repetition is key, and the more sessions a student has with a tutor, the more they will improve. High-dosage tutoring also facilitates the development of a relationship between the tutor and the student— as the student gets more comfortable with their tutor, the tutor gains a better understanding of the student’s learning needs. Studies show that tutoring positively impacts students of all ages, roughly increasing achievement by an additional three to 15 months of learning across grade levels.1 Another review of around 200 rigorous studies discovered that high-dosage tutoring—defined as more than three sessions of tutoring a week or at least 50 hours over 36 weeks2—is one of the only academic interventions with significant, tangible effects on student achievement in both reading and math.3
High-dosage tutoring has also been identified as a prime method of addressing the learning loss that accompanied the COVID-19 Pandemic. Although this practice is more tailored to tutoring programs in schools, the principles also apply to private tutoring outside of the classroom—the benefits of repetition and consistency in tutoring cannot be overstated, and while one or two sessions will certainly help a student with a short-term assignment or a specific concept, it is ultimately regularity that will lead to long-term academic improvement.
So, Why Hire a Tutor?
So why tutor? Why spend the extra money? Why make your child spend even more of their time stuck inside learning, when they’re already in school for 8 hours a day, 5 days a week? The answer to the question why tutor can be concisely stated in three words—personalization, practice, and passion. As said many times, what separates tutoring from school is that it’s personalized, it’s individual, its focus is completely dedicated to the learning needs and style of a single student. Students can communicate to their tutor how they learn best, and then the tutor can tailor their lessons to their students’ needs to bring about optimal outcomes. Tutoring is also personalized in the sense that it’s ultimately designed to accommodate the student’s personality—with tutoring, students acquire a sense of agency in their education that they rarely experience in the classroom, and as the interpersonal relationship between student and tutor builds, so too does the comfort level of both. In a tutoring session, there is no judgment from peers, no fear of speaking in front of a large group, and much less pressure than there would be at school.
Another main reason to tutor is practice. No person falls into life a master at anything—every skill is ultimately the product of hard work. No level of talent can defeat the effects of prolonged work and practice, and what tutoring does, as previously mentioned, is force students to practice. If a student finds math or reading genuinely challenging, they’re just not going to want to practice in their free time—it’s painful. But with practice, anyone can improve, and tutoring guarantees that a student will, for at least an hour, sit down and practice with guidance from a mentor who knows what they’re talking about.
A true mentor is nearly priceless! See “What are the Qualities of a Good Tutor?”
For many students, it’s not talent or natural ability that they lack—it’s simply an absence of desire to focus and be diligent, and tutoring helps this type of student as well. With their tutor, they can let their true potential shine, because it would be quite awkward to come into a tutoring session and then refuse to make an effort. The social component of tutoring almost guarantees that the student will get some sort of practice out of it—there’s an adult watching and encouraging them the entire time. A final major reason to tutor is passion—whatever the subject, if an adult has allotted the time in their life to become a tutor in a specific area, then there can be little doubt that they possess genuine passion for it.
Passion is like an avalanche, multiplying as it moves, growing and absorbing and sweeping up everything in its path. As tutors, there’s nothing that we would love more than to impart some of the passion we feel for our subjects to students, and maybe even transform their opinion on a specific area of study. It’s one thing for a student to work in school because they have to, but it’s something else entirely for them to work because they want to, and if tutoring can help push students toward the latter, then we can say that it has been a success, and that the student could answer the question “Why tutor?” on their own.