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  • What ages do you serve?
    I work with students from beginning readers through high school. I support all ages with personal and academic writing and grammar instruction. I can teach math through Algebra I and sometimes help with Geometry. My son, John is available for higher-level math instruction.
  • How can you help my struggling reader?
    I have a particular interest in identifying the reasons children struggle to read and finding appropriate interventions to help them. I heartily endorse the Hill RAP program from the Hill Center for students who need assistance with decoding and fluency. I have a big library of leveled books on many topics so I can usually find interesting books at an appropriate guided reading level for every student. I address vocabulary and comprehension for students who need support in those areas.
  • How can you help my child develop basic math skills?
    I know a child must be able to add, multiply, subtract and divide (with and then without concrete materials), count money, tell time and understand basic fractions before the rest of his or her math education can fall into place. No matter what else a child needs in math, I make sure he or she has a foundation in these areas first. I find the Montessori math materials and curriculum to be both elegant and inspiring for elementary school students. I admire Maria Montessori's ability to convey concepts in ways that are clear and conceptual for young math students. I am building my personal collection of Montessori math materials and I love to share them.
  • What about higher level math?
    Once a child has learned the basics, I focus more on problem-solving and mathematical applications. Whether teaching computation, geometry or simplifying radicals, I make sure students understand concepts and have mastered mathematical vocabulary. I make sure my students understand underlying concepts before teaching a process to math problems. I provide assessments and instruction to fill gaps for children who are transitioning to a new school or program, help children prepare for Algebra I or Geometry, provide high level work for students who crave more challenging math than they can access in school and I support students to understand and keep up with the work they are doing in their regular math classes. My approach depends on the needs of the child and the goals the parents and I identify.
  • What services can you offer for my gifted child?
    I understand the unique challenges of asynchronous development that impact children whose intellectual abilities exceed their social and physical abilities and can work with you and your child to address them. A child whose aptitude is extremely high but who is showing average achievement may not be noticed by teachers as having a learning disability. I can address gaps that may result from learning differences, including giftedness. It is sometimes hard to find appropriate books for early precocious readers. I have a lot of experience in this area and can make recommendations. I will move your child through literacy and math skills at a pace that is supportive, challenging and interesting. I will focus on concept mastery and problem-solving, rather than rote practice. I am especially pleased to have discovered the work of Ed Zaccaro and Michael Clay Thompson with which to challenge and help gifted students deepen their mathematics and language concepts, including grammar and poetics for older elementary and middle school students. I can address areas of need that are not addressed by many schools. For example, a child whose writing skills are significantly behind her reading skills needs support to close the gap. But if her writing skills are "on grade level" (even if she is reading 5 years above that level) she may not get the help she needs. I will work with you to identify and address your child's unique needs.
  • Can you help my child improve his End of Grade (EOG) scores?
    I can help prepare students for End of Grade assessments, although I always will put developing foundational skills and understanding concepts before "teaching to the test." If your child is struggling with End of Grade testing, I will assess his or her needs and make a realistic plan for intervention. I can help with test-taking strategies, but I will start where your child is and focus on academic growth first.
  • My homeschooled child has to take an annual achievement test.  Can you help with that?
    I can administer the Woodcock Johnson III, a well-respected and widely-used achievement test that meets the requirements of the State of NC. See my page on Testing and Assessments.
  • Is my child is achieving at a level that is appropriate to her abilities?
    I can assess your child's reading and math skills and administer an aptitude/cognitive abilities test. Analyzing the results will give us a good idea whether your child is learning to his potential.
  • Can I observe my child’s assessment or tutoring session?
    I am very flexible in this area. Some children focus better on the tasks at hand if they are not distracted by parents in the room and others want to show their “best work” to their parents. Together, we will determine the best environment for your child. That said, when purchasing a standardized assessment tool, I make a professional commitment to honor test protocol and test security, including not revealing actual test items. For this reason I generally can’t allow parents to observe a standardized test session.
  • Please describe the testing and tutoring environment.
    I work from my home, a sunny, pleasant, passive-solar family home in Solterra, a co-housing community between Durham and Chapel Hill. I share my home with my spouse and a small dog. Our four young adult children are in various stages of independence, so we are mostly empty-nesters. I have an office/tutoring space in the house dedicated to Solterra Way Cottage School, but if other family members are not home, my students and I sometimes work in the living room or at the dining table. The atmosphere is warm, comfortable and inviting but I also make sure that students know we are here to do important work together and that is our priority.
  • Can you help my child get into the Gifted or AIG program in our school system?
    Criteria for identification as Academically or Intellectually Gifted varies from one school system to another. I can find out the criteria for the school system your child attends and offer assessments that will give us a good idea if your child may qualify, but the decision to identify a child for AIG services is ultimately up to the school system. Most schools use a combination of aptitude and achievement testing to determine eligibility for these programs. Tutoring is more likely to impact achievement scores than aptitude scores. I have experience as a gifted education specialist in the Chapel Hill Carrboro City Schools and Durham Public Schools and as a parent of a child in the Chapel Hill Carrboro LEAP program. I understand the importance of appropriately matching services to the needs of gifted students and will advise you honestly about your child's needs.
  • Why do you conduct assessments before tutoring?
    Knowing the right starting point helps ensure that your child is appropriately challenged and not bored or frustrated. Assessment is driven by the questions we want to answer and instruction is driven by those answers.
  • What are your fees?
    Check out this page for information about pricing and fees.
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