Math Tutoring

Math Tutoring

Numbers are a part of our everyday environment, and most people take their understanding of math for granted. The truth is that not every person is naturally attuned to mathematical concepts, and you might find that there are holes in your understanding that impact your daily life. For some people, a new career path highlights the fact that what they learned in school has been lost, and they can’t recall complex ideas that were previously mastered. The good news is that you’re not alone, and you can gain a better understanding of both basic and complicated math principles by using a qualified tutor.

Math deficits present themselves in a variety of ways, and you may find that you struggle with one or more of these common issues.

  • Difficulty memorizing math facts such as times tables or formulas
  • Inability to consistently execute basic computations even when understanding complicated principles
  • Difficulty connecting concrete mathematical ideas with abstract symbols
  • Misunderstanding the language of math, including written math concepts in formats such as story problems
  • Difficulty grasping math concepts with visual and spatial associations

The Benefits of Tutoring

One of the biggest reasons that adults seek out math instruction is because they realize that an identified lack of knowledge is beginning to impact their education, their current job or their ability to advance their career. Because it’s not always in your best interest to highlight something that may affect your ability to compete, using a tutor is the best way to quickly and efficiently correct this issue without a lot of fuss or attention. Also, a professional tutor can help you identify and correct weak spots that you may be unaware of before they impact your daily life.

Finding the Right Tutor

Tutoring isn’t a one-size-fits-all proposition, nor should it be. There are a variety of learning styles, and most people favor one approach over the others. Experts recognize seven different ways that the brain learns information. Keep in mind that you may find that you have several primary ways of learning that work best for you.

  • Visual – learn best with pictures and images
  • Auditory – retain knowledge through hearing and sounds
  • Kinesthetic – learn through their environment and touching
  • Verbal – primarily use the written and spoken word to learn
  • Logical – rely on systems and reasoning to process information
  • Solitary – need self-directed and internally focused learning environments
  • Social – do best in group settings with lots of feedback from others

When choosing your math tutor, it’s important to understand your preferred learning styles. If you tend to do best in social settings but are working with a one-on-one tutor, you will probably not see results as quickly, so look for programs that use methods and environments that suit you.

Asking for Help

Many adults hesitate to seek out a math tutor due to embarrassment, but nobody can claim that they remember everything that they learned in school. It’s entirely possible that you have a full capacity to correct areas of weakness but just haven’t been taught properly. While having trouble with math may indicate that there is a learning disability present, it’s also equally possible and quite common that you just need to relearn math concepts you have lost over time.

Unless you work in a specialized field where you’re using advanced math principles daily, you’re probably like the majority of American adults and know only the basic concepts of addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. This is completely normal as your brain filters out and files away information that it doesn’t use regularly. In addition, even people who studied advanced math in high school or college may use shortcuts such as counting tricks for times tables that were never fully memorized.

Again, this is quite common, and almost everyone experiences gaps in their learning, so there is no reason to feel like there is a stigma attached to seeking a math tutor. On the contrary, recognizing a weakness and taking steps to correct it is a sign of high levels of maturity and personal responsibility.

What Costs You Can Expect

The cost of a math tutor will vary based on the type of service that you use. Using a private tutor, for example, costs an average of $50 an hour while group sessions are usually less. Costs for virtual tutoring also vary, but you will usually pay a monthly or annual fee to access all the services offered by your online provider.

In some cases, you will be using a series of prescribed lessons as you work through a course while other services may have a computer algorithm that customizes each lesson to your growing skill set. Online services may even provide you with access to a real person who can answer specific questions and cater a plan to your individual needs. If possible, take advantage of free trials for virtual tutors or try a few sample sessions at a private tutor before locking yourself into an approach that may not turn out to be a good fit.

Where to Find a Math Tutor

There are a variety of ways you can look for a qualified math tutor. If you have a university in your area, you may be able to work with the student service center even if you aren’t currently attending the institution. Some companies offer continuing education through their HR department, and you may be able to access math tutoring for no cost or at a reduced rate using company resources. In addition, there are virtual tutoring services for all budget ranges from Khan Academy that offers free lessons to sites like Tutor.com with customized plans starting at $40 per month. Finally, freelance tutors often advertise locally using marketplaces likes Craigslist or Facebook yard sale pages, so use those resources as well.

There are a plenty of reasons that you might find it useful to seek out a math tutor. In most cases, it is relatively painless and well worth the investment to hire someone to help shore up your knowledge base. Unlike when you were in school, you now have the advantage of both motivation and maturity, and your efforts to increase your understanding of math are sure to pay off and improve your life and career prospects.