What is your background and experience?
I have a Master’s degree in Counseling Psychology and a Bachelor’s in Educational Psychology. I am a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor (LPCC) and I bring to my practice over 18 years of experience. I have worked within the public school system as a school counselor for over 12 years as well as maintaining a private academic coaching and tutoring practice. During that time, I successfully worked with children and teachers to improve students’ academic performance and behavior within the classroom setting. As a child, I received the benefits of tutoring for 12 years. I excelled in language arts and a family friend, who was a published author and poet, was my tutor. As I reflect on those years, tutoring provided me with valuable support, mentoring and academic accomplishment that I would not have received solely through my public education. We read Shakespeare, Dante and Mark Twain and I learned about grammar, punctuation, vocabulary, and wrote poetry, essays and short stories. Additionally, I received the benefit of adult mentoring and valuable training to become a tutor myself!
What is Counseling Psychology?
Counseling Psychology provides an emphasis on the education of the psycho-social aspects of learning. It is particularly helpful when working with children. It is one of several educational tools that enhance my tutoring approach. As well as focusing on academic areas, I am able to identify any emotional or cognitive blocks to a child’s ability to learn. Although I have worked with children K-12, my area of specialty is in grades 9-12 and up to sophomore level in college. I have found that these years are an important transitional time for teens and young adults. The focus is to prepare your child for success during high school, college then, adult years. Your child is learning not only academically, but growing socially and emotionally. It is a great benefit during this time for a child to have a trusted adult mentor. As a parent, you have instilled the values and beliefs that are necessary for your child to achieve success in their lives. However, it is now time to step back, take a breath and guide them…allow them to question, engage them in discussions on their beliefs about the world…let them try on new ideas…and, let them be mentored by a trusted adult. Sometimes this can be an aunt or uncle within the family. It can also be a trusted adult such as a teacher, coach or tutor. I can provide this mentoring naturally within the tutoring session.
What is the difference between tutoring and academic coaching?
The focus of tutoring is on academic preparation and skills building in a particular subject area. Whereas academic coaching focuses more on a student’s motivation and organization, time management skills, setting priorities and overall executive functioning skills.
What is your fee?
I charge $80 per hour for a 1 hour session. As needed, I can also meet for 1 1/2 hours at a rate of $120. Initially, I meet with the parent to discuss your child’s needs and to review any relevant testing or class assignments in order to formulate goals and a plan of action for your child’s sessions.
How long does a tutoring session last?
Sessions last one hour. Sometimes, when there is a project due, or during exam time, we may consider extending a session to last 1 1/2 hours.
Where do you meet with my child?
There are several places I can meet with your child: at my office in Kentfield in Marin County, California, the public library, and online. I also have limited spaces available to meet in your home. I work with students online in Marin County and all of the United States.
When do you meet with my child?
I can meet with your child during the week after school. Under special circumstances or during midterms/finals, I can also meet on Saturday.
Do you meet online?
Yes! I meet with many students online in Marin County, California and the United States. For example, I worked with a student who had a rigorous schedule and was having difficulty finding time to complete his assignments. It was because he had a different tutor for almost every subject and was spending several hours each day commuting to each one! I find that with my clients’ busy schedules, traffic, and the time it takes to travel back and forth it is oftentimes best to meet online. Meeting online allows parents and students greater flexibility and frees up time in their schedule that would be taken up by travel. Think of what you can do with all that extra time!
How does meeting online work?
There are several Internet platforms I use that will allow me to efficiently work with your child. Each feature allows us to talk and see each other, to share screens and to share documents both ways while we are meeting. It is a simple process and as easy as clicking a button to set up. You or your child may already be using some of these platforms. Either way, I will guide you and your child through the process.
Is meeting online as effective as meeting in person?
Yes! The technological advances available to us through the Internet make it easy and most students are comfortable with this arrangement. There are many online tutoring venues and tutors, academic coaches, and counselors commonly use it.
Can my child use their computer when they meet with you?
Yes! Most likely your child will need a computer when we meet. Many teachers have websites and list homework online. Frequently, homework assignments can be found and turned in online.
How often do you meet with my child?
I find that once a week is sufficient when providing tutoring support in one subject for a child who has average skills and is motivated. However, there are certain times when meeting twice weekly is more helpful. When a child needs help with academic coaching, organization, remedial tutoring, or has fallen behind in school, it is helpful to meet twice weekly until things are back on track.
My child has difficulty organizing himself. How often would you meet and how would you work with him?
When the lessons focus on organization, I find that there is more success if we initially meet twice a week. This will help your child to restructure old habits and establish a new pattern. When a new routine is established we can begin to meet once weekly. The amount of time this will take depends upon your child’s motivation and ability to assimilate the new information. Usually it takes 2-12 weeks to begin to integrate new material. If there are attention or learning differences it may take longer. Family involvement and assistance can be helpful. Initial issues addressed are: writing assignments in planner, preparing for the school day, preparing for homework, after school schedule, setting priorities, time management, and personal motivation.
My child has difficulty in language arts. How often would you meet and how would you work with her?
Sometimes if there is remedial learning that is necessary, it is best to meet twice a week until your child begins to demonstrate more confidence with her assignments. Each child’s need is different. Some have difficulty with reading while others struggle with vocabulary or writing. I believe that it is important to individually structure sessions for your child’s specific needs.
My child has trouble with writing, how will you address that?
As a professional editor, I have experienced that most everyone, both children and adults, have difficulty getting started with the process of writing. There are many strategies to use to gather information and collect our thoughts. Each of these strategies depends upon the type of writing assignment. Whether it is to compare and contrast a topic, writing a persuasive essay, or writing a research paper, each approach will be different. I can provide your child with the necessary training so that he or she can identify which tool is needed for what has been assigned. I use a teaching guide for young writers that breaks down styles and tasks of writing into a lesson format.
My child has trouble with reading, how will you address that?
Sometimes children skip over words as they read. Sometimes they reverse letters when they read or write. These kinds of errors influence their ability to comprehend what they have read. Although I am not a reading tutor, I can help to increase your child’s concentration to gradually improve reading comprehension.
My child has trouble with vocabulary and spelling, how can you help?
Building vocabulary is a project that takes time and focus. It can be easy and fun. The techniques I use are ones that we all have used naturally. Some of them are: elaboration, repetition, reading and recording, personal relevance, use of imagery and play with words. While working with your child, I will employ many of these techniques so that learning comes more naturally.
My child has trouble paying attention. How can you help?
Unless attention problems are severe, most children and their families are unaware that this is the obstacle to learning. I assess your child’s behaviors and achievement patterns for attention related issues while we begin lessons. If I find there are attention challenges, I will identify, with you, the areas of greatest need and help you begin to make a plan for your child at home and school to help them succeed. Some potential areas to be addressed are: establishing a daily routine, clearly defining chores, adhering as close as possible to a schedule during the school week, writing down directions, scheduling TV time and homework time to prevent unnecessary distractions.
What is a learning plan?
A learning plan is a strategy I develop for your child’s academic success. After meeting with you and your child together and working with your child for a few times, I begin to identify the most important areas of improvement for your child. Using your input combined with my observations and training I formulate a list of goals we’ve identified and the specific skills that need to be developed to accomplish those goals. This plan is a work in progress that will change as your child grows and learns new skills.