Blog & Resources - Make The Grade

Blog & Resources

Supporting kids as they learn is one of the most valuable contributions we can make. Everyone has different strengths and weaknesses, but we can all learn in an effort to improve ourselves. Kids face a lot of pressure to get good grades while they are in school. Their grades can help define their futures and learning about many different subjects can inspire their natural curiosity. By learning about different subjects, kids begin to learn about the world and think about what they may want to do for a career. What they learn helps carve out the rest of their lives. Academic tutoring is a great way to help encourage and supplement education.

Main Learning Types 

For teachers and tutors to be successful, they need to consider these main learning types when developing teaching methods:

Visual learners

These types of learners prefer to see and observe visual aids. Diagrams, pictures, and written instructions are helpful for visual learners. 

Auditory learners

When the subject matter is reinforced by sound, auditory learners tend to learn better. Auditory learners would rather listen to a lecture instead of reading notes. They are good at verbal explanations and may read aloud to themselves. 

Kinesthetic learners

Kinesthetic learners are also known as tactile learners. They learn better through experiences or actions. They like to touch objects and act out events. These types of learners may struggle to sit still for long periods of time. 

Reading/Writing learners

This type of learner prefers to learn through written words. They enjoy writing, reading, and researching. 

Different Types of Academic Tutoring

There are a variety of tutoring types:

One-on-one tutoring

One-on-one tutoring is the most direct style. It is great for evaluating current skill levels to build a tutoring plan. Students are able to set the pace with regular appointments to figure out the best pace at which they learn. When you are able to have this one-on-one interaction, students can easily ask to spend more time on certain subjects before moving on. This direct interaction allows them to spend more time making sure they understand the material. 

Group tutoring

Working in a group can have both pros and cons. At mAke the grAde, we make sure to keep these groups small. We usually have about two to four students within a group. This setup allows for each student to get more attention. One great benefit of this approach is that ideas or questions the student may not have thought of could be brought up by other students. The students can help open each other’s minds and increase how much they are able to learn. 

Online tutoring

Being able to teach online gives many more students access to knowledge. Tutors may be able to reach more students this way. A lot of its success has to do with how it is set up. We have an internet-based classroom to help students learn what they need to know.  It is a great option for those who need more flexibility in their studies. It also allows for easier access to online resources during the tutoring sessions. 

Classmate tutoring

Students could also receive tutoring from a classmate, but this method comes with some downfalls. The first problem is that a classmate is not a professional tutor. Just because classmates may know the material, does not mean they know how to teach it. There could be issues of trust or communication when attempting to learn from a fellow classmate. Classmates will not be versed in how to create goals and a plan to get there. They also will not understand the different learning types.

Main Goals of Academic Tutoring

There are three main functions that go along with tutoring:

Expanding knowledge

Strong or gifted students may have a hard time in school because they are bored. While tutoring is often used for students who are struggling, it can also be beneficial for those who need more of a challenge. It can expand their capacity for achievement and keep their interest in certain subjects. 

Providing a solution

Tutoring is commonly used for students who are struggling. It can help these students catch up to their peers by providing study and further instruction outside of school. Tutoring can help inspire interest in additional subjects by helping students understand more of the material. 

Supplementation

Tutoring can also be a great asset in supplementing students’ education. It can help reinforce and maintain progress through extra practice and independent lessons that they are not getting through their schoolwork. 

Benefits of Academic Tutoring 

Tutoring can help all kinds of learners by tailoring a curriculum to the student:

An individual experience

At mAke the grAde, we tailor the tutoring plan to the individual students. By assessing their current skill levels, we can determine goals and a plan for reaching them. Our tutoring allows for each student to have a unique plan created for him or her. 

One-on-one attention

When students are in class, it is hard for teachers to provide one-on-one attention. They are outnumbered and many students may not receive the instruction they need to excel. Tutors have the time to really get to know their students. They are able to learn students’ different learning styles to be able to help them learn in the most efficient way possible. Tutors’ methods can be adapted to suit each student and increase the success of the tutoring plan. 

Improve academic performance

By working with a tutor, students can better prepare for tests and exams. Tutors will work with students on their problem areas to increase knowledge of these subjects. By increasing this knowledge, it will help their grades to improve as well. 

Improves attitude toward learning and school

Students often become frustrated when they are not able to understand something. They could shut down and develop a sour attitude toward school and learning as a whole. They may feel overwhelmed and not know where to turn to. When students work with a tutor, they will be able to ask more questions and have someone help understand the material. This encouragement can help improve the attitude they have and help them view learning as fun again. 

Improves self-esteem and confidence

When students have the resources and skills to succeed, they will believe in themselves more. This newfound confidence is a valuable asset in school and in life. 

Improves study habits

Not only does working with a tutor help students academically, but it also helps with overall study habits. We at mAke the grAde teach students the best practices to study and retain knowledge. These skills help students throughout their lives and help them achieve their goals in and out of school. 

Provides a positive learning environment

To focus and retain knowledge, students need to be confident and secure in their surroundings. Tutoring gives students an environment that is free from the usual distractions. Students can focus better because there are fewer students and disruptions. 

Encourages responsibility and independence

Students who work with a tutor are taking a more active role in managing their education. They will be able to do homework without help and see the value of taking personal responsibility. They will better take responsibility for their actions. 

Helps overcome problem areas

With one-on-one attention, tutors are able to specifically target difficult subjects with students. This focus allows students to have more study time where they really need it. 

Encourages asking questions

When students are in a large group of their peers, they may be reluctant to ask questions in front of everyone. They may feel self-conscious or that their question is not a valid one. With academic tutoring, students may be more open to voice when they do not understand something. It can also help teach them how to ask these questions when they are in a larger group. 

Provides a challenge

Even if students are doing well in school, they can still benefit from tutoring. Tutoring offers an opportunity to learn more about things they are interested in and dive deeper into certain subjects. If students are bored, they need a challenge. Tutoring can provide this help. 

Provides direct feedback

When students are in a classroom setting, they may find it difficult to get specific and in-depth feedback. With one-on-one attention, students are able to receive detailed feedback on their work and information about their strengths and weaknesses. This information can help students improve and build their academic skills.

Helps students prepare for college

Tutoring is a great way to teach students how to build study plans and time management skills that they are going to need when they get to college. The skills they learn will help them as they grow older. 

Tutoring is a great addition to students’ academic plans. Through it, they can better understand their strengths and weaknesses and how to better study in the future.

Contact mAke the grAde

At mAke the grAde we offer assessments to help determine your child’s level of understanding and how to build goals from there. Contact us to see how we can help. 

Don’t forget, mAke the grAde is hosting a FREE live event on September 10th. You can find out all the details by visiting www.makethegrade.school.  You can also stay up to date with all the most recent details, tips, and tricks to help your child maximize their education here www.makethegrade.community.

The academic struggle is a complex and misunderstood issue. The traditional perspective that when a learner fails the fault lies with them is flawed. So also is the perspective that the educational system must be failing the student if the learner is not finding success and growing academically and intellectually. There are many factors unique to each learner that directly impact their academic success.  Individualized education plans and 504 academic accommodations can only do so much to address a learner’s needs, and not every learner qualifies. 

You may have already experienced the effects of your child struggling in school, especially when that struggle is expressed through behavior at home and in class. Highly intelligent learners often have to work harder to master content and achieve academically if their needs are not being met, and when they don’t find the success they often act out their frustration. It’s like they are their own worst enemy and sabotage their own success. 

Why is this issue so prevalent? The fundamental obstacle to their success hasn’t been addressed: no one has given them what they need. Even in a private school setting with small classroom sizes, many learners still struggle to understand concepts and earn high grades. There is a reason they continue to struggle: no one is helping them figure out what their learning needs are. 

Supporting Every Struggling Learner Is Our Specialty

This is where mAke the grAde can help. We help students at every level establish the following:

  • Mapping out their unique learning style and needs so they can see it for themselves
  • A rapport with an individual tutor who dedicates to addressing their learning needs
  • A social learning environment where they can support and be supported by peers who are also seeking to improve their academics

Once upon a time, every child was excited by and loved learning. Many of them get lost somewhere along the way due to circumstances beyond their control. Every child is also on their own timetable for intellectual and academic growth. Some kids read later than others, but when they start reading they advance more quickly than their peers. Others struggle with simple math concepts for a few years. But as time passes they find math is their favorite subject. Their individual development is a significant factor in their success. School systems both public and private often overlook this educational need in favor of standardization.

 mAke the grAde provides tools, strategies, and motivation so that your child can maximize their education. We have found when students know their learning needs are met, they quickly become inspired by and excited about learning again. It’s a simple but powerful model that offers significant rewards even for learners who seem unmotivated and resigned to their academic “fate”. What are that sets mAke the grAde apart? Let’s examine that in detail together.

mAke the grAde: Self-Esteem, Independence and Advocacy

Every learner has tremendous potential to achieve academically. Every student has challenges. Some students can overcome these challenges on their own and some need support. Being able to overcome these challenges enables a student to reach their full potential. Additionally, the inability to address or overcome these challenges can hold a student back and prevent them from reaching their potential.

Many factors can challenge a student. Sometimes it’s social factors like negative experiences with teachers, other students, or an instructor in a particular subject area like math or science. Perhaps they did poorly on a benchmark assessment or reading performance test that left them feeling less capable than their peers, or they found they struggled more than others to maintain the same academic pace. These experiences affect their engagement with all future learning and can lock the student into a static mindset where they must accept the judgment of others as final regarding their intelligence or academic potential.

In other cases, learners simply may not know how best to approach problem-solving in the academic world. They are hesitant to be independent because their learning has always been a top-down education model where the teacher is the authority, and they are to learn only as their teacher instructs them. They have no inclination or motivation to strike out on their own to find solutions to the problems posed in their class. When they can’t do it the way the teacher asks them to, they come to believe that they are unable to do the problems and they start to question their ability.  In reality, only their perspective of the problem needs adjustment, but they can’t see that because they have never known anything else.

Worst of all, asking for help is seen as a weakness or a lack of intelligence by themselves or their peers, so they don’t advocate for themselves. Moreover, some learners fear (or have been chastised for) self-advocacy because it makes them social disruptors in the classroom. They are afraid to “hold everyone else back.” So they keep silent and suffer, causing them to internalize their feelings of failure, frustration, and inadequacy as being their own fault.  

mAke the grAde is all about addressing these three fundamental learning needs to unlock each learner’s potential: Self-Esteem, Independence, and Advocacy: 

Self-Esteem

Our learners learn from the beginning of their tutoring sessions that where they have been does not determine where they can go. We evaluate their learning needs in a collaborative process to help them understand they can achieve academic success given time, perspective, and a growth mindset. Setting small, short-term achievable goals is a critical component of rebuilding your learner’s self-esteem. This is the foundation of confidence they will need to turn their academic lives around. It is also the first step to falling in love with learning all over again. 

Independence

To quote a popular phrase by Jack Sparrow, “The problem is not the problem. The problem is your attitude about the problem.”

Every learner learns from a young age that when you have problems, you must solve them. The problem is students rarely know more than one approach to problem-solving. They learn how the teacher solves problems and never make decisions about how to approach problems outside what they have been taught. Learners don’t generalize their learning because they have never learned how to apply their problem-solving skills in more than one way. 

mAke the grAde focuses on teaching students multiple problem-solving approaches and skillsets in every academic discipline. And we focus on finding practical and workable solutions more than rote memorization of formulas and strategies. When real problems arise in the classroom or in life, they have a complete toolkit to work with independently.

Advocacy

Knowing how much you don’t know is the mark of true wisdom. It can be humbling, but even the strongest and smartest of us must ask for help when we don’t understand something. Knowing where to get correct and useful advice is critical. mAke the grAde focuses on teaching students how to ask for help in productive ways, and offers the opportunity to consult an expert in a non-threatening setting away from peers. This is why self-esteem and independence are fundamental to our model. It is impossible to help a student ask for help if they don’t have the self-confidence to know they can learn and the skills to independently solve their problems once they have asked for help and support. 

Teaching advocacy is also the key benefit to both our individual and small group tutoring sessions. It allows learners to gradually ease into asking for help in a classroom setting where they might otherwise keep silent. We believe without self-advocacy, students will not unlock their potential. So we teach its value in helping students address their own learning needs.

Final Thoughts

mAke the grAde offers unique benefits to students which enables them to overcome their individual challenges to learning through addressing their unique learning needs. Students are not learning robots despite the best efforts of conventional education models.  If a learner’s needs are not met in the classroom, they will struggle, grow frustrated, and likely give up. They can only take so much before they shut down, and it’s a normal human response.

Our goal is to help them see past their frustration, have confidence in the power of their own potential, take control of their learning with independent problem solving and advocate for themselves to overcome challenges when they lack knowledge or need help. It is as effective as it is simple. Every learner can benefit from what mAke the grAde has to offer. Visit our website today for details about how your learner can benefit from our services anywhere in the world.

Don’t forget to check out our mAke the grAde community where you can find all the latest and greatest ways to keep maximizing your child’s education.

The college admission process is stressful for your child. There are many factors to consider when picking a college. In addition to choosing schools to apply to and the regular schoolwork, sports, clubs, and other extracurricular activities. Students need to also study and prepare for the SAT/PSAT or ACT exams.

Success on the SAT and ACT – high test scores – is a critical part of getting accepted to the college of your choice and is key to a student’s future academic plans. College admissions officers use the SAT and ACT scores, in addition to grades / GPA, and other criteria, to make their admissions decisions. At mAke the grAde we prepare students to reach their potential and maximize their scores on these tests.

What our Tutoring Entails for Your Child

When students enter into our program, we create a detailed plan to help them succeed:

Abilities Assessment.
We do an assessment of each student’s present ability and skill level. Based on the assessment and individual success plan is created based on the students goals and timeline.

Strategies for different sections.
When students take a standardized test, it helps to have a plan of attack. By knowing what to expect and how to tackle different sections, they will be better able to make it through the test with better results. Different subjects require different approaches. We can teach students how to strategize for every question within these different sections.

Practice.
Practice helps when preparing for these tests. Our pacing drills and practice tests will help students prepare for their upcoming exams. The more consistent, the higher likelihood of success.

Content review.
People tend to have more strength in certain subjects. We will help your child review different areas and give extra focus to the subjects for which your child needs additional assistance.

Feedback.
Feedback is essential in the learning process. By providing feedback, we help students identify in which areas they need more focus to do better on these exams.

Practice Testing.
Practice testing, or “mock” testing, is a key component which simulates the students actual test and helps to determine if they are on track.

The Benefits of Using mAke the grAde

We offer benefits above and beyond traditional SAT/PSAT and ACT prep courses:

An individualized plan.
One of our key benefits is that we tailor the program to the student. This approach makes sure your child focuses on the areas he or she struggles with the singular goal of improving their test taking skills to increase their final scores. An assessment will help us know how to make the program fit your specific child and once complete, a plan is developed accordingly so your child does not need to spend as much time subjects that are already strengths.

We look at your child’s strengths, but take other factors into consideration as well. For example, a student’s goals and the time commitment he or she is willing to give to the process also factor in. Further, each college and university has its own score requirements for these tests. We take all of these factors into consideration when helping your child prepare for the test.

Both in-person and online options.
With opportunities both in-person and online, you can be sure your child is getting the instruction needed in the format that works best.

Getting into the right school can affect your child for the rest of his or her life. Let us help them prepare for these exams and work toward an ideal career. Contact us today to learn more.