Frequently asked questions

What makes the Tutor House better than a chain tutoring company?

It's mostly the one-to-one dedicated time; teaching to the unique level each person is at. It eliminates peer pressure. My initial half hour assessment for kids is free, so that both the client, parent(s), and I see whether The Tutor House is a good fit. My session times can be more flexible then at a chain. The fee can be per session, and there are no prepaid contracts (or any contracts) to sign. We look for progress together, and the parent can even stay if they wish - usually in my waiting room. I invite you to call or visit a chain tutoring company, and compare it to The Tutor House.

Why did you start The Tutor House?

I've always loved working with kids—over the years as a mom, grandmother, a day care provider, a church volunteer—helping kids learn has always been a pleasure. So I retired from my office job, took an excellent educational assistant course and ESL training, and discovered how much I love tutoring and the world of special needs children.

How can parents best support their children outside of the classroom?

Read with them! Help the children memorize multiplication tables and adding. Take the children to the library and just spend time playing games that stimulate learning. I think "IXL" is a wonderful website tool to use! Parents who "celebrate" their children's special needs are a joy to watch. We can learn so much from these kids who think outside the box. I know I do!

Why are you so passionate about handwriting?

My son is a high school teacher, and when he showed my some of his students' written essays, I was shocked at the handwriting. I don't mean cursive writing necessarily, but even the printing was often almost illegible. The teachers don't seem to have enough time to teach penmanship, yet require it still for many projects and daily journalling. I find "Handwriting Without Tears" is a marvellous tool for improving both printing and cursive handwriting. As well, handwriting develops other skills in a person that don't develop with a keyboard, tablet, or smartphone.

What's the best part about tutoring?

It's been so satisfying. I love the variety; elementary through high school, special needs and adults (college prep, ESL, and adult literacy). Hearing positive comments from the parents , marks improving, and seeing the client's confidence grow is encouraging, but laughing and learning together is best.

Is there anything else you'd like to add?

Maybe it's because I'm grandmotherly and we meet in a homey atmosphere, but I love the rapport that builds with each client - and their parents: we're all in this together, including the client's teachers.

What are your qualifications?

I have diplomas in Calligraphy, English as a Second Language, Educational Assistant, and Adult Literacy. Of course, those are just on paper. My real qualifications are that I am patient and kind, but also persistant and tenacious when it comes to helping students learn. I love it when a student comes in reluctantly, and in a few weeks he or she is focused and determined to improve, and having real fun doing it.

In ten years of tutoring, what have you discovered about helping students learn?

When students are doing poorly at school, it's rarely about a lack of ability or not understanding the material. It's almost always about a lack of focus or confidence. It's understandable; a teacher with a full classroom doesn't always have the time to give to each student, families are busy, and we all live in a society that's addicted to distractions (even kids). When a student is with me, it's one-on-one, no distractions, with all of my attention. When they focus, they realize they can do the work, that they do understand, and that creates the confidence they need to do it on their own and at school. Tutoring is less about the transfer of knowledge and more about training students HOW to learn.

What's with all the books?

Yes, the first thing you'll realize when you come into my house is there are books everywhere. I love books. I think the students like being tutored in a room full of books (that's my story and I'm sticking to it!).