Why Learner Tutoring Was Exactly What My Honors Student Needed

Math tutoring for an honors student? Not something you hear of every day. But, besides the fact that there are plenty of smart kids with stellar grades who seek out tutors simply for the sake of getting ahead, there are also students in honors math who, for one reason or another, hit a rough patch and begin to struggle in their classes. 

That’s what was happening with my son, Bubba. Long story short, we turned to Learner for help, and they delivered. It is like a night and day difference between how he was feeling about math before, and how he feels now, after using Learner’s tutoring services.

A Review of Learner Math Tutoring Services

The Struggle

I initially called Learner because I wanted to get to a point where I was not arguing with my son every day about doing his math homework. B is in year 5 and he’s in honors classes, but he was struggling with Algebra.

He had reached this point of just—I wouldn’t say laziness, exactly—but just so much confusion and frustration that, to him, at the time, it felt more worth it to just procrastinate it and spend his time on more enjoyable activities.

I didn’t blame him for struggling. Remote learning has really taken a toll on him. I’m sure it would for me, too, if I were in his situation. He was so tired of feeling like he had to teach things to himself. And he just really wants everything to go back to normal (don’t we all?).

B’s teacher only explains things in one math-thinker type of way, and my son’s brain doesn’t work like that. He wasn’t responding well to his lessons, and didn’t usually grasp the new concepts in the style his teacher approached it from. Which is why he felt like he had to go back through the material after each lesson and re-teach himself everything. Only, it wasn’t very effective, leading him to this point of pretty much giving up on math.

I could see that B needed someone who would take the time to explain things 1-on-1. Someone who has the skills to explain concepts in different ways if he isn’t getting it at first. I thought perhaps finding a tutor could help. And so we began our search.

Choosing Learner

I had heard another mom friend of mind talk about how her son experienced some success with Learner’s math tutoring platform. I hadn’t heard of it before, but I thought it was worth looking into. I was impressed at the website’s description of their thorough vetting process for hiring tutors. And for their apparent attention to detail in matching specific tutors to specific students. 

I hadn’t seen that kind of customization in any of the other tutoring programs I’d looked at. And, since my biggest concern was B getting some 1-on-1 time and attention, I thought I should dig deeper. That’s when I went ahead and gave them a call.

When I spoke to the folks at Learner and explained our situation, they told me that their tutors meet regularly as an Educational Team to discuss challenges just like this one. They mentioned that they focus on taking baby steps to build confidence and get little wins that build to bigger successes. 

They also detailed for me how part of their process for hiring Learner tutors involves the candidate being asked to explain a problem in three different ways. I was impressed with their process (and kinda wishing they had the same requirements for grade school math teachers). So we decided to move forward.

Our Experience

Our experience with Learner’s tutoring service turned out to be exactly as advertised. During the first session, the tutor was able to assess my son and identify knowledge gaps that have been holding him back in his recent math assignments. I noticed the tutor also gave a nice balance of addressing B’a homework and quizzes for the day or week, but also going back and filling in these gaps in his understanding.

I appreciated that the tutor was so understanding, careful in teaching at B’s pace, and helping him keep up with class, while simultaneously catching him up to speed on everything he’d struggled with beforehand. It seems any tutoring available at school (in the pre-COVID days) was solely focused on the class assignments at hand. But I’d imagine some online programs are more geared toward just teaching what they deem appropriate for the age level, and expecting the student to apply it to their schoolwork accordingly.

The Difference Learner has Made

Within 2 weeks of tutoring sessions, I began to see a change in my son. I no longer had to fight him to do the tutoring—and he actually acknowledged that it was helping him. He also seemed to not dread his math class so much, as he was finally starting to catch on to everything they were learning.

Within a month of the sessions, B’s math grades are now significantly improving. AND we no longer argue about homework. He takes care of it all on his own! (Don’t worry, though, we have plenty of other issues to fill that gap—aren’t tweens just so fun?).

When we had completed all the Learner lessons that we had paid for, I asked my son if he wanted to continue (half expecting a “no” answer—but thought it could be worth throwing the idea out there). He quickly agreed! He also revealed that he feels proud of the great progress he’s made in such a short period of time. And admitted that he could never have done it without Learner’s help. 

I’m elated at B’s progress myself. I’m so glad he learned to first accept, and now embrace the help Learner’s tutoring had to offer. To any of my fellow parents out there with a child experiencing difficulty in math (let’s face it, that’s probably a lot of us), check out Learner’s math tutoring platform. Yes, even if you have an honors student, they could see some significant benefits from tutoring, just as my son has.

*Received a free tutoring session for this collaboration review.

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