Tutor Doctor in the North State: Ten Steps Toward Building Your Child’s Strong Academic Future

It’s that time of day again. The kids are home from school, backpacks bulging with assignments that seem too complicated, too lengthy or too boring to begin. Perhaps you’ve tried to motivate your son to no avail or attempted to help your daughter on assignments that frighten even you. It might be time to call Tutor Doctor.

Across the world, Tutor Doctor connects students with one-on-one tutors who help kids in their own homes. Just over a year ago, Bridgette and Andrew Jacobsen recognized a dearth of in-home, individual tutoring in Northern California, so they decided to open a Tutor Doctor franchise, serving elementary through high school kids (and even adults!) in Redding, Anderson, Shasta Lake City, Palo Cedro and soon Cottonwood. http://www.tutordoctor.com/redding

Most students request help with reading, writing or math. Andrew conducts an in-home consultation for each new student, assessing kids’ learning styles, personalities and academic needs. The Jacobsens then match each student to a tutor who has proven his or her subject matter expertise and completed a background check. Many of the tutors are qualified teachers and have experience helping children who struggle with ADD, dyslexia or have special needs. But mere qualification doesn’t determine a match; it also depends on the tutor’s teaching style and the student’s learning style. “We believe in a team effort,” says Bridgette, “We need the cooperation of the student, the parent, the teacher and the tutor to make kids successful.”

A credentialed teacher, passionate about helping kids be their best, Bridgette has seen too many kids lose interest in education. To help maintain your child’s enthusiasm for learning, Bridgette offers these ten recommendations, gathered from the book Academic Success Formula: How Ordinary Students Get Extraordinary Results, written by “the passionate educators of Tutor Doctor.”

  • Develop a growth mindset. Kids with a “fixed mindset” either believe they are “smart” or not. Those with a “growth mindset” see learning as a process, dependent on hard work and fraught with experiments and mistakes. Instead of praising good grades with “You’re so smart,” which fosters a fixed mindset, try phrases like “You worked so hard on that,” “You have really improved in this area” or “You found such a creative solution!”
  • Keep goals in sight. Work with your child to create Strategic, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely (SMART) goals. Long-term goals set kids’ eyes on the prize, while short-term goals help them keep positive energy by marking the ground covered toward larger goals.
  • Maintain motivation. Some kids, especially those with special needs or behavioral difficulties, respond well to external motivation – like stickers or a special outing with parents – that can develop internal motivation, which everyone needs.
  • Know your child’s learning style. Visual, auditory, and kinesthetic learners each benefit from different teaching approaches. Tutor Doctor’s one-to-one method allows tutors to cater to each child’s learning style.
  • Find a positive role model. In addition to academic learning, Bridgette says, “tutoring is also about developing a relationship and helping kids to gain confidence.”
  • Find and address learning gaps. A broken foundation leads to a shaky building. By going back and filling in information a child missed, tutors alleviate frustration and help kids move forward.
  • Commit to lifelong learning. Ongoing learning keeps us relevant and engaged in the world around us. Encouraging kids to stay open-minded promotes success in school and beyond.
  • Improve “X-skills.” Based on Bob Rosedale’s formula that “better organization = better grades,” Tutor Doctor offers an Academic Game Plan that fosters kids’ executive functioning skills (X-skills) of planning, organizing and time management.
  • Maintain good nutrition. What we eat influences how we think and respond to our environment. Good nutrition helps kids’ brains absorb new information.
  • Teach your child to stand out. Fair or not, outstanding students get more positive reinforcement, which boosts their confidence in learning. Teach your child to stand out by thinking of others first, asking for help, reading to improve communication skills and using the summer to stay academically strong.

Learn more at http://www.tutordoctor.com/redding.

Jenna Christophersen
About Jenna Christophersen

Jenna Christophersen is a Chico native who loves her community and can never get quite enough of the arts. She supports fostering creativity in any venue, especially as a part of young people’s daily lives.

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