INTRODUCTION and PHILOSOPHY
Children's education is a parental responsibility. Most parents strive to rear their children so that they have the best chance for success in adulthood. This requires exposure of the student to numerous aspects of life including basic, core and elective education. Schools, teachers and tutors may be part of the solution, or they may be part of a problem. Most schools today are more of the latter than former. Which are yours?
Teaching is a difficult and time-intensive profession. Teachers must not only understand the subject matter, but also be able to explain the concepts in many different ways, at the levels of the students. Our task is to use every means possible in order to instill the understanding of the subject matter in these young minds.
The training of young minds is no casual matter. Teachers must be able to convey concepts to these minds CORRECTLY -- incorrect concepts, procedures, techniques, etc. do more damage than not having any at all. Unfortunately, education is not taken very seriously in this country. Most teachers learn to teach from a textbook with little understanding of the subject matter. Students learn only procedures and rote, mostly inaccurately. Concepts are seldom assimilated. Rote is no way to teach the young.
Tutoring is also often found inadequate. It does no good to reiterate the same material in the same way as in a school classroom situation. Tutoring by rote is, at best, a temporary expedient, and mostly ineffective. We steer away from this method -- we do actually teach concepts in a personalized and effective way.
The understanding of concepts makes possible the derivation of a large number of procedures. Without such understanding, it is necessary to memorize thousands of procedures in order to solve problems -- a task not possible. Schools today teach students to achieve mediocrity -- that is, to pass standardized achievement tests at a minimal level. For that, a procedural approach is sometimes sufficient. With this approach, students cannot hope to gain a true understanding of any subject area and cannot hope to excel in academics or in life.
Analytical thinking skills (critical thinking) must be learned at an early age. At puberty, children lose the ability to learn proper thinking skills. If this occurs, they have no choice other than to use substitute skills such as memory, recall, research and rote procedure. This is one reason why most Americans are math and science challenged -- without adequate understanding or competence required to proceed to the next level. A large number of high school students are actually at a 4th-5th grade level or below at math and science skills. If grades are scoring below a B, it is a certainty that basic prerequisite skills are lacking.
Mathematics is an essential life skill. It is also a required subject at all levels of schooling, and certainly required for admittance to higher levels of learning. It is important to understand that it is NOT acceptable for people not to be able to perform simple calculations quickly without the use of calculator or paper. It is NOT acceptable to be unable to perform simple conversions, shopping calculations, ratios and measurement calculations.
Concepts and skills must be
learned correctly the first time. It is extremely difficult to correct an
erroneous concept or technique once instilled. Most teachers are not expert in
mathematics. They also do not have the luxury of time to review carefully every
student's work in their entirety. It is therefore paramount that parents
frequently review and guide their children's work to detect conceptual flaws
and improper technique.
Schools today must resort to "canned teaching" for a variety of reasons. Unfortunately, a combination of expertise and psychology is required to teach the fundamentals -- a tough combination to find in most schools.
We can teach and/or restore those missing skills. We can instill understanding of concepts. We can gain rapport with most students at whatever level they may be. We are well-versed in the fundamentals, theory and practice. We are experts at diagnosing problem areas. In short, we are a part of the solution for shoddy education.
Students have great need to review subject matter as they learn new material. Concepts must be absorbed gradually and not crammed. It is too late to start studying or reviewing mere weeks before a major test -- months, sometimes years, are required.
We are effective. We have on staff a specialist in developmental intelligence with credentials including multiple doctorates. Our tutors have green light certification (criminal background checks) from the National Center for Safety Initiatives.
Reserve your time now.
David K. Yoshinaga, Ph.D., Ph.D., Sc.D.