Math tutoring - find math help online
Math can be a tricky subject at any age, whether you're a parent, teen, college student, or grad student. You may watch your child struggling with geometry, or need help in your college-level coursework, or just feel that you don't really "get" the math you're studying. You're definitely not alone, and there are tons of resources available for math tutoring.
Once you've decided that you or your child would benefit from extra help in math, it's time to solve the second part of the equation: finding an appropriate form of tutoring. There are a lot of choices out there, from free online homework help to virtual tutoring to in-home paid tutors. This guide offers a detailed overview of how to find the right solution for your individual math tutoring needs.
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Add it up: which math tutoring approach is best?
Learning math effectively means more than just rote memorization and repetition. The best math teachers understand this and seek to engage students, arouse their curiosity, and provide a deep understanding of core concepts and practices. But when class time isn't enough to cover a student's needs, tutoring options are readily available. Some of those options include:
- Private tutoring: The personalized attention of a one-on-one tutor can be ideal for kids and adults struggling with math. Experienced tutors are familiar with the problems students frequently face, as well as how to overcome those stumbling blocks.
- Online help: Help may be free or paid and includes instructional videos, virtual tutors and homework help. Online math tutoring is increasingly popular because of the range of information available and the convenience of online learning.
- Small group classes: A particularly popular method for test preparation (SAT, GRE, etc.), small group classes may be held online or in a classroom, and can allow students to learn in a group and receive personal attention from the teacher.
- Volunteer or service exchange tutoring: For those on a budget, there are plenty of creative ways to find quality math tutoring for little or no cost. Search online or at your local school or library for volunteer tutors, or find a math whiz who is willing to exchange services--for example, an hour of English tutoring for an hour of math help.
To decide which type of tutoring is best for you or your child, take some time to think about your needs and learning style. For example, self-paced learners often do well with online instruction, while other students benefit more from one-on-one guidance. Use our TutorFinder to search for online math tutoring or tutors in your area, and read on for more information on math for different education levels, from kindergarten to graduate school.
Elementary school (kindergarten through 4th grade)
Though you may not realize it as a parent, concepts like geometry and algebraic thinking are not just for older kids. In fact, as soon as a child begins school, he or she begins learning basic mathematical concepts. Identifying shapes, counting and comparing numbers, reasoning, and problem-solving all help prepare your child for situations encountered in real life and provide the building blocks for success in higher levels of math.
In addition to this important developmental learning, elementary school is a critical time for kids to develop a positive attitude towards math. Interactive math games are a popular tool for younger children because they engage students and make learning fun. Whether it's counting money, telling time or multiplying numbers, a hands-on approach helps many children learn more effectively. Many tutoring resources for elementary school students, including online instruction, DVDs, and personal tutors, use interactive games and other tools that encourage kids to have fun while developing a deeper understanding of math.
Middle school (5th through 8th grade)
The transition from elementary to middle school means new challenges and more complicated subject matter for students. From 5th to 8th grade, it's common for math curriculum to include topics like:
- Multiplying and dividing fractions
- Understanding volume (3-dimensional space)
- Adding and subtracting decimals
- Working with linear equations
- Proficiency in basic geometry and pre-algebra
- Knowledge of ratios and statistics
It's very common for students to struggle with math at this stage, and seeking math help can be a great confidence-builder. Students may not feel comfortable asking for help on their own, so it may be necessary for parents to keep a close eye on their child's development and make the right call if they think tutoring is in order.
High school (9th through 12th grade)
At the high school level, students face even more challenging math classes. Specific coursework varies by state, but includes some version of the following curriculum:
- Algebra I and II
- Pre-Calculus and calculus
- Integrated mathematics I, II, and III
- Probability and statistics
College preparation is also a huge focus for many high school students. Advanced Placement (AP) classes are offered in most high schools, which allow students an opportunity to earn college credit in an enhanced learning environment. Standardized tests, college admissions tests, and rigorous coursework can make even the most ambitious student feel a bit overwhelmed. Tutoring at this level can serve to develop better study habits, overcome specific math problems, or deepen understanding of math concepts.
Higher learning: math in college and grad school
Whether you're just beginning your college career or embarking upon the path to a graduate degree, tackling college-level math doesn't have to be a headache. Adult students need math help just as much as kids, so don't be afraid to ask for the assistance you need to ace your math courses. Online or in-person tutoring can help you with a wide range of college-level math courses like statistics, college algebra, calculus and more.
How to get the most from math tutoring
When it comes to math tutoring, be sure to give yourself or your child enough time to see results. Even the best math tutors can't work miracles overnight. Progress usually comes over a period of weeks, but with solid effort, you will likely see the improvement you desire over time.
Ultimately, it is up to you to decide which method of tutoring is best for you or your child. Armed with the right information, you can be better prepared to make that decision, and choose a math tutoring plan tailor-made for your needs.