Tutoring for Children

Elementary school and middle school grade levels are a critical time in a child’s education and skill development. I have helped children in grades 1-8 (ages 5-14) aim for strong numerical literacy and language arts skills through regular practice and review. I’ve worked with 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th and 8th graders on math, writing, reading, spelling, phonics, grammar and vocabulary.
Outside of lessons, I assign worksheets and extracurricular assignments – like fun online games and activities – and I ask parents to make sure their children complete this practice. I also drill my students about the material they’re learning with me and in class. This way, they can find the right answers themselves and strengthen their critical thinking skills. This results in the mastery of basic math and language arts concepts, creating a structured foundation for both subjects when students eventually enter high school. I am familiar with Common Core English and Common Core Math standards/curriculum, and I use Common Core-aligned resources/materials to help my students meet school standards and achieve academic success.
The bottom line: I want my students to do well in their homework, score high on tests, understand the concepts they study — and still enjoy learning!

Elementary Math, a.k.a. Basic Math

Basic math is necessary for life to function! Sadly, the development of core math skills is frequently ignored or overlooked in many elementary and middle schools. I have helped hundreds of frustrated children master addition, subtraction, division, multiplication tables, number operations, number theory, fractions, decimals, ratios, proportions, and percents. Applying these concepts to confidently solve basic, intermediate, and advanced word problems is another critical math skill that I teach. I try every method and “shortcut” until students really understand what they are learning and how to use this knowledge to help themselves outside of a classroom or test prep. My aim is to make the process as simple, straightforward, and painless as possible. Students also use many of my online resources, like Prodigy Game and SplashLearn, so math practice is always fun and motivating!

Prealgebra

Prealgebra is usually learned as part of 7th grade math, 8th grade math, or 9th grade math. It sets the stage for higher level math with signed numbers, order of operations, graphing, and solving equations — the heart of algebra itself. I use “tried and true” methods as well as helpful shortcuts to ensure middle school students truly understand the math they are learning and its practical application in real life situations.

Writing Coaching

Like a plant, writing skills need strong roots to survive and grow. This is the time when children are the most creative and curious, eager to tell their stories and listen to the stories of others. They need to know how to express themselves and explore the world around them. My writing coaching focuses on building strong, complete sentences and answering questions. Step by step, my students learn how to write paragraphs, essays and short stories. Grammar practice and vocabulary knowledge are also included. Resources like Quill and writing assignments are the backbone of meaningful writing progress.

Language Arts

I try to use the Socratic method of teaching as much as possible. I ask many, many questions so children can find the answers by themselves and the right answers make sense to them. More importantly, I encourage them to enjoy reading and explore their own creativity.

Reading

Critical reading and reading comprehension stem from critical thinking skills. We work on reading passages with questions, both with multiple choice answers and open-ended answers so students can practice writing as well. My favorite online reading tools —ReadTheory, ReadWorks and Dreamscape – help me assess their reading levels and see which key concept areas they are struggling with. I teach older students the most straightforward strategies to quickly and confidently find the answers in a passage or text. I also work with them to break down complex material into manageable pieces so they can better understand what they are reading.

Grammar

Not understanding the English grammar system is like trying to play a game without knowing the rules! As a native speaker, I have studied English grammar my whole life and have continued to practice it regularly while working as a professional writer and editor. I guide children through age-appropriate grammar practice and review, for personal learning or for test prep. Grammar workbooks, worksheets and online tools like Quill, Prodigy Game and Dreamscape are how students effectively practice outside of lessons.

Vocabulary

Words are the bricks of any language, so a rich vocabulary builds a strong foundation for word usage in writing, speech, and self-expression. I have tutored elementary school and middle students in regular vocabulary study and word knowledge for test preparation. My lesson plan for vocabulary includes the practice of new words through different exercises, including but not limited to analogies, synonyms, antonyms, sentence completion and sentence usage. I also help my students invest in good vocabulary workbooks, flashcards, apps and programs for maximum review and memorization. Quizlet is a favorite tool that helps students keep practicing!

Phonics

The study of phonics begins as early as kindergarten because it’s such an important part of the English language. Using a systematic approach, I have helped elementary school and middle school students build their knowledge of phonics, including vowel recognition, through a variety of enjoyable exercises. I also use online resources like Lalilo, Freckle and Prodigy Game for homework and practice outside of lessons. Older students review the basics and then focus on prefixes, suffixes, and Latin and Greek roots, also supported by regular vocabulary study on the side.

Standardized Test Prep

State testing

I help my students target the skill areas they need to strengthen and improve in math and language arts to score high on the STAAR, PARCC, and SBAC tests (all grade levels and test sections).

Gifted child testing

I also provide tutoring for gifted child testing, including the SCAT, CogAT, and ERB CTP, at all grade levels. Elementary school and middle school students have worked with me on related practice material and practice questions for math, logic, grammar, spelling, analogies, quantitative reasoning and reading. My CogAT and SCAT students score in the top ten percentiles.

Private School Admission Test Prep

It’s hard to explain to younger students why they need to score high and work hard at test prep, so many parents have sought my help to make sure their children score in the top percentiles on the ISEE and SSAT. I help with prep for all sections of these tests. Whether students see me for several lessons to target specific struggle areas or for months to fully prepare for each section, they make progress and increase their scores when they are committed to their test prep. Even short-term students doubled their scores after just a few lessons!

ISEE test prep

I offer complete test preparation for the Lower Level ISEE (grades 4-5), Middle Level ISEE (grades 6-7), and Upper Level ISEE (grade 8 and above). During their test prep for the Verbal Reasoning and Reading Comprehension sections, students focus on extensive vocabulary review, sentence completion exercises, and reading homework. Students only succeed in the Quantitative Reasoning and Mathematics Achievement sections after we have completed full concept review and worked through practice material together. Strategy, time management, and test taking skills are also part of our preparation for ISEE math. I especially coach quantitative comparison problem-solving, a question type unique to the ISEE and other tests created by ETS. Additionally, I have helped students strengthen and improve their writing for the unscored ISEE essay section so their submissions highlight their individual voices, talents, and achievements.

SSAT prep

I have helped students prepare for all sections of the Middle Level SSAT (grades 5-7) and Upper Level SSAT (grade 8 and above). In addition to reviewing SSAT verbal and SSAT math concepts, students master analogies, build their vocabulary knowledge, sharpen their reading skills, and learn the art of solving word problems. I also guide them through the SSAT essay/short story section so their writing really shines and sets them apart from other applicants. Whether students invest months of time in their test prep or spend a few lessons with me to improve their test performance, they raise their scores and become better test takers. One of my most successful students raised his overall score by 86 points after only 6 lessons.


Natalie G. is a thoughtful, generous, and helpful tutor. She does an assessment for her planning of support. The content instruction offers a clear understanding to achieve measurable goals. In addition, she provides resources for continued learning and study. Extremely satisfied with this fantastic tutor for my middle schooler.

Tonya, 5 lessons with Natalie


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