Core Subjects

Sessions are tailored to meet the student’s needs in any of the following areas: mathematics, grammar/essay writing, reading comprehension, social studies, science, and French.

For core subjects, I customize sessions following the student’s school curriculum instead of offering a pre-determined program that may not relate to current classwork.  Parents and students find this approach offers immediate results and enhances self-esteem which is so important for academic success.  I typically spend the first 5-10 minutes of each session organizing and checking the binder reminder, school planner or online homework assignments.  The remainder of the session is tailored to the needs of the student.  The student and I prioritize according to upcoming tests and projects.  If the student does not have any pressing homework assignments, I generate my own curriculum designed to address the areas in which the student needs additional academic support.


Math is often considered a four-letter word to many students.  I strive to foster confidence and a more comfortable relationship with this subject.  Because math skills must be mastered sequentially, each student needs a solid foundation upon which to build. I provide support and an opportunity to fill in gaps that might be missing from early instruction.  With younger learners, I reinforce basic concepts such as fractions, decimals, multiplication tables, negative and positive integers and percents.  These are the very areas which are the weak links that often drag students down in middle school and high school.  As students advance, I provide clarification and individual instruction in geometry, algebra and trigonometry, specifically focusing on the
SAT math section, SAT Subject Tests (SAT II’s) and AP examinations.  I also teach specific time management skills and strategies to help students prepare for standardized testing.  I encourage students to sever their dependence on calculators.  On the other hand, I can instruct an advanced learner to utilize a graphing calculator in ways that can cut down computation time.

My goal is for students to develop enough confidence in their math skills set to dispel test anxiety.  Students often come to me and express distress about understanding the material but “freezing” when the time comes to perform on exams.  My Master’s level counseling training enables me to guide students in various methods to quell test anxiety and achieve success.

Essay Writing and Grammar

Writing is a skill that will help students in all subjects and eventually in the work environment.  Composing essays is often a very challenging and paralyzing experience for students of all ages.  I often hear the statement, "I have these great ideas in my head, but I don't know how to organize them and put them on paper."  My goal is to help students feel more comfortable with and excited about the process of writing.  Students generally need grammatical support with maintaining consistent tense, point of view, parallel construction, noun/pronoun agreement, spelling and punctuation.  I teach students how to write persuasive essays, rhetorical analysis essays, reflective essays, synthesis essays, high school and college application essays, research paper/projects, and DBQ’s (document based questions). 

With younger learners, I focus on how to write a simple paragraph with topic and concluding sentences and how to vary sentence structure.  Once these concepts are mastered, I move the child toward a more sophisticated kind of writing.  I teach the student how to "show, not tell" by including imagery and sensory details to make the writing more captivating and vivid.  Everyday “blah” sentences soon transform into original, dynamic ones.

With middle schoolers and high schoolers, I place a strong emphasis on the five-paragraph essay; I guide each student through the process of developing a cohesive five-paragraph essay with a strong thesis s

tatement and

introduction, supporting paragraphs, transitions, and a solid conclusion.  Before students attempt this advanced style of writing, I make sure the proper foundation has been laid for success.  If this is missing from early instruction, I fill in the gaps.  I teach the writer how to create a brainstorm web, develop an outline, generate a thesis, utilize transitions and write a strong conclusion.  Editing is the final stage of the writing process.  I encourage students to always read their own works before handing them to be graded.  We make sure there is sentence fluency, fully developed ideas, a clearly developed thesis, a logical order to details and a satisfying, solid conclusion.  My ultimate goal is for the student to feel comfortable enough with the writing process to have the skill and confidence to write independently without my step-by-step guidance.
Upon request, I am available to provide editing support for both
students and parents.  Parents occasionally ask me to review their application essays.  I am happy to do this and charge a fee commensurate with my hourly rate.

Reading Comprehension

Students frequently complain that they study for hours and hours and still do not do well on tests.  This is often because they have never really been taught proper study skills and how to distill information.  The development of strong reading comprehension skills is the backbone of an ability to excel in multiple subjects.  One of the strengths of my tutoring program is that I enlighten students on how to understand the material, how to retain information and how to interpret test questions to identify the right answers.  I employ the Lindamood-Bell strategy of visualization and verbalization, and I have developed my own method of using creative techniques to aid learning.  Because reading comprehension is an important component of the high school entrance exam, high school exit exam, SAT, ACT, AP and STAR tests, I integrate many standardized test-taking techniques  into my program.  I find that even if the student is not preparing for one of these exams, these skills are transferable to the classroom.  In fact, the knowledge of how to study, to comprehend and to present information in a cohesive, intelligent manner is paramount to success in school and later in the work environment.