I was told by my grandmother how the Sears catalog in the mail was one of the events that everyone in her town looked forward to with great glee.  They could actually buy things!  Yay!  Now, there’s a department store almost anywhere, and yes, Virginia, there is an Internet.  You can always get what you want.

The same thing goes for services, like tutoring.

Everyone will, at some point, need a tutor unless you’re one of those rare people who get skills and knowledge immediately.  I know I’m not. I have a PhD, have published in prestigious journals, and have won awards for my teaching.  But physically, I was an uncoordinated disaster.  That is, until I got one on one training in kenpo karate from a world class trainer. Similarly, you, or your son or daughter, might be a champion athlete, but are hopeless at math.  And you know that math skills are essential in our society.  Without them, you might as well pack it in and start living in a cave.

I had clients, a star basketball athlete and a star baseball player (played for the minor leagues), both like that. Yet, without math success, they might not even have been allowed on the team.

If that happens, they feel like a failure, their team loses, the school loses, and guess who feels responsible for that?  The parent, of course.

But, I hear you cry, there are no tutors around.  Well, that wouldn’t be true; it’s just that there aren’t any good tutors around.

Well, we have the internet!  With Skype, or video conferencing, you can have a tutor from far away as close as your computer.  Isn’t that great?

You should, of course, use the same criteria in selecting the tutor as if he were physically present.  How many years has he been tutoring, does he have advanced degrees?  A Master’s?  A Doctorate? Does he have testimonials?  Does he teach to your student’s (or to your) learning style?  Does he know how to meet your student’s special needs?  If the answer is yes, then he is as close as the nearest laptop.

Dr. Fred Young


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