Special Cases

One of the benefits of having a private tutor is the ability to focus specifically on each student's individual needs.

At Mostly Math, we zero in on your specific concerns and design your tutoring accordingly. We are the place for expert advice when no one else seems to have satisfactory answers. Situations or requests that might seem strange or unusual to others are par for the course at Mostly Math. At Mostly Math, families benefit from tutoring supported by experienced, informed expert academic advising.

Here is just a sampling of special situations we experience:

My child is of above average intelligence, or even gifted, but you'd never know it by just looking at the report card.

Often, a student's report card simply isn't a reflection of his or her potential. We work with several smart, funny, perceptive students who, for whatever reason, need extra support to achieve the grades they want.

We understand how difficult it can be for intelligent children especially if there is a drastic drop in grades from one year to the next. Often, naturally intelligent children find that they breeze through elementary school with little or no effort. Being naturally good at school becomes their "thing" and their sense of identity becomes closely linked with their school performance. But, this natural intelligence can work against them if, as a result, they never really learn how to study, keep organized, and manage their time. As school gets progressively more difficult and demanding, these students can find themselves with no study tricks or organizational structure on which to depend. It can really seem as if they no longer have a clue how to function in school- to the shock of students, parents and teachers who have come to expect wonders from these children.

Mostly Math knows how to gently work with students who are working below their potential and can bring out that natural talent hidden behind a lack of coping strategies.

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My child is highly gifted and I need a tutor who understands the needs of extremely advanced learners.

While every child is special and unique, gifted children -- especially highly gifted children -- have additional needs.

Highly gifted children may need help achieving a healthy balance of being comfortable with whom they are, fitting into society and developing their natural talents. It is also important to have a tutor who understands that highly gifted students may be several different "ages" all at the same time -- a tutor working with a highly gifted child must be prepared to discuss theoretical physics one moment, and then deal with a chronologically-age-appropriate temper tantrum the next!

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My child is at the top level nationally in math contests, and needs a tutor who understands how to develop advanced problem solving skills.

Preparing for high achievement on a national math contest is very different from preparing to ace a test: Whereas school examinations evaluate student performance on material taught in class, math contests usually evaluate a student's knowledge of what hasn't been taught.

Contests provide extra challenges that allow children to work to a much higher potential, and success in this area is cultivated by exposing children to higher level problem solving, logic and creative exercises. Simply knowing material, which is usually easy for these students, isn't enough. Many high achievers have little difficulty in school, but students who perform well on these contests need to know how to struggle and search for answers. They need skills and strategies that they can use when they find themselves looking at a contest problem and have absolutely no idea what to do. Problem solving is a process, and it's not uncommon for good problem solvers to be more resourceful than knowledgeable. Since there is so much material that is fair game for math contests, tutors must understand how to use specific questions not as lessons in content, but as opportunities to extract general strategies for solving any problem that the student might face.

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