Category Archives: Tutoring At-Risk Students

Incorporating Technology into Tutoring for Special Education Students

Assistive technology, when incorporated with online tutoring, can help students with special education needs meet academic goals..

What has long been an established item in mainstream classrooms – the use of technology in teaching – is gradually seeping into special education tutoring at home, too. The long held view that students with special needs would not be able to cope with online tutoring or using online learning aids has thankfully been proven wrong.

Technology can benefit a whole range of students, irrespective of their abilities, disorders or challenging behavior. Used imaginatively, parents, tutors and students can make technology work for them very effectively.

From strengthen awareness to simple life skills – make technology work for you

At the PACER Center and at FCTD (Family Center on Technology and Disability), students and parents can share for free in a fully-captioned assistive technology awareness series of videos, aptly named AT in Action. The videos are designed to improve awareness of assistive technology devices that can support students with disabilities, helping them to thrive at their own pace in their special education tutoring programs at home, at school and in their communities.

There is information on technology devices that help younger children with communication, learning and mobility issues and details on clever devices that enable students with fine motor and learning disabilities to use computer tablets as part of their Individualized Education Program (IEP). FCTD provides a free fact sheet for parents (in English and Spanish).

FCTD and Parent Training and Information Centers (PTIC) across the country offer information on assistive and instrumental technology resources for children with special needs or disabilities.

Incorporating Technology into Focused Learning Stations at Home

Parents whose children receive special education tutoring at home should discuss with their tutor and their child how technology – assistive or mainstream – can be built into their mini work environments or work stations. Simple tablets for example make use of a child’s natural curiosity to explore, to touch, play and to delight in bright colors.

It is important to encourage children with special needs to develop a love of learning and education. Allowing children to have  input in the design of their workstations will give them this and a sense of achievement but will also permit them to work at their own pace and level, once their workstation is fully set up.

These can be workstations that meet specific sensory needs in younger children or mini-environments designed for special education tutoring of older students who want to learn and socially interact with other students via the internet as part of their home study program.

Examples of Workstations

Learning through play is very much part of tutoring for special education students and for younger children this means their workstation could include toys and dolls’ clothes to encourage dressing up skills and imagination but also teach life skills such as tidying up after play.

Workstations can also be geared towards specific subjects such as math, using small and larger blocks or different size balls or boxes. Using scales or other forms of measurements, parents and home tutors can encourage exploration of shapes, sizes and weights, while teaching how to count, how to subtract, divide or add at the same time.

Special Education Tutoring within the Context of the IEP

Intensive in-home tutoring to students with special education needs is coordinated with the student's IEP.

Although Educational Tutorial Services offers nationwide private tutoring and test-prep tutoring to students of all ages, we are perhaps best known for our special education tutoring programs for at-risk students within the foster care system.

Having Somebody Speak Up For You

When families with special needs children first hear the diagnosis of their child’s disorder or disability, it can be numbing, devastating and deeply upsetting. Many parents ask “Where do we go from here?” It is common to turn to advocates like us to help guide you through the tutoring process.

Having one-on-one special education tutoring is important and can turn a child’s life around – since the in-home tutor will be far better able to recognize an individual child’s needs. For example if a student’s learning has improved and their development requires the IEP to be adapted to incorporate this, the monthly progress report will alert the school and caregivers to this.

Taking a Personalized Approach

Students are far more likely to improve and succeed in their learning if they feel secure, happy and their individual needs are met. We recognize this and tailor our teaching approach accordingly. Our tutors are very compassionate and have experience working with all learning abilities.

There are pre- and post assessments and monthly progress reports which are sent to carers, parents, teachers at the student’s school and to school administrators, but there are also the skills tutors have acquired by working with foster children and at-risk students – they are trained not just as special education tutoring providers but to recognize a child’s development needs as professionals within the context of foster care.

Often tutors come from the same community as their students and, therefore, have good insight into the concerns of foster parents and other caregivers as well as the challenges families face every day.  Because many of our tutors are certified in special education, we are uniquely qualified to provide special education tutoring. Learn more about our special education programs.

In-Home Tutoring for Special Education Students

Tutors who provide in-home tutoring to students with special needs should do so in alignment with the student's IEP.

At-risk students who have been removed from their families and placed in temporary foster care or children who have been through a traumatic experience and are now part of the long-term foster care system often have very different needs from children who live in a happy and stable family environment.

With some 114,000 children in foster care across the US on any given day, children are often moved from home to home, from neighborhood to neighborhood and, as a result, have gaps in their education. A large proportion of them, around 30 to 40%, require special education tutoring because they have been diagnosed with a learning disability.

Tutoring for special education students can take many forms and varies according to their Individualized Education Programs, their abilities and challenges as well as their age.  Tutoring may incorporate online tutoring or private tutoring with workstations with technology that allows learning and interaction with other students or simply help to improve in a specific area such as math, reading and writing or acquiring better study habits and discipline.

Working with Caregivers, Schools, and Social Workers

Whoever provides special education tutoring for foster children or at-risk students must be able to work together with all the different members of this “learning team”. The team consists of the child, the students’ school, foster parents or caregivers, and any agencies in the community providing services to the family and student.  Collaboration is essential for the student to succeed academically.

Providing Private Tutoring for Individual Students

Although legislation requires that teaching methods should be universal in their substance and technique, the wide range of learning and physical disabilities as well as behavioral disorders makes it necessary for special education tutoring to be tailored to individual students. Many at-risk students and foster youth are still waiting to be diagnosed officially, making it even harder for mainstream inclusive schools to provide the education these children need.

Such children often feel they are just “a number” in the care system, so one-on-one home tutoring addresses a child’s very real need to feel “special” in the best sense of the word!  Suitable special education tutoring takes into consideration a child’s need to learn at his own pace and ability, while at the same time stressing cognitive skills development and instilling good study habits.

Applying Best Practices

The National Center for Special Education Research (NCSER) provides educators with a research forum where new teaching methods and ideas can be exchanged and discussed. Asking the right questions at school should provide caregivers and foster parents with the answers as to what their special education child will need within the context of their Individualized Education Plan (IEP). Educational Tutorial Services ensures all tutors know how to provide tutoring services that are aligned to IEP for maximum benefit to students.

Why Partnering Tutoring with Youth Workforce Development Activities Makes Sense

Youth and young adults can improve employment outlooks by participating in WIA-funded tutoring programs.

The Workforce Development Act (WIA) provides job training funding to states and local communities. Nearly all communities allocate funds for both adults and youth. At-risk youth, including those aging out of foster care, in juvenile detention facilities, or living in shelters, often qualify for services.
Tutoring is one of the primary elements of WIA-funded workforce development programs for youth. In addition to study skills training and dropout prevention activities, tutoring ensures youth have the basic skills needed to secure and keep a job upon graduation. Tutors serve as teachers, mentors, and coaches to youth participating in WIA programs.

Understanding Literacy and Numeracy

When you cannot read, write, or perform basic mathematical functions, your chances of securing a job decreases dramatically. Literacy is defined as the ability of an individual to read or write. Generally, it encompasses your critical thinking skills, ability to speak well, and even listening skills. These, in turn, determine your presentation skills. Numeracy is your understanding of numbers and how to use them properly when solving mathematical-based problems.

Literacy and Numeracy Needed at Work

Many youth eligible for WIA services do not have the basic skills needed to get or keep a job. Workforce illiteracy is a growing concern for businesses. It affects every aspect of our economy. It is one of the reasons businesses turn to outsourcing to get critical jobs completed. All employers demand literacy and numeracy in employees. The exact type and level of literacy and numeracy skills needed vary depending on the workplace and business. However, common skills required by employers include:
• Writing grammatically-correct emails
• Taking proper notes quickly
• Reading instructions and safety notices
• Understanding workplace procedures
• Participating in or leading meetings
• Giving public presentations
• Counting change for a customer
• Using percentages for discounts
• Managing inventory
• Interpreting and applying statistical information

Most jobs require you to have at least one of these skills, though the vast majority mandate employees have multiple skills to be valuable. Even if you decide to pursue a job in a trade industry, you will need strong and proven math skills.

Role of Tutoring Services

You can bring your literacy and numeracy skills up to par with the help of quality tutoring services. You must work with a qualified WIA-approved tutoring agency. Tutors at these agencies have the experience to help youth and young adults strengthen literacy and numeracy skills. Curriculum is appropriate for older students who need pre-GED tutoring. For students who have dropped out of school, you can get the education you need to pass the GED exam.

Finding the right tutoring service for you is important. You want one with interesting and inspiring tutors who provide encouragement and support as you progress through the WIA program. Once you find a tutoring agency that suits your purposes, you will be on your way to building skills for a positive future.

Tutoring At-Risk Students: How to Give Disadvantaged Teens the Best Chance to Succeed

Tutoring for at-risk students can help re-engage them in their academic life and get them back on track for success.

At-risk students are in danger of failing academically due to outside factors. This does not mean that at-risk students will fail or are already failing; rather, it means the at-risk student may face difficulties or hardships that other students do not. These obstacles may impede their academic concentration and increase the likelihood that they will drop out of school.

Options Available to At-Risk Students and Their Caregivers

As the parent of an at-risk student, if you are aware of the problem and want to do what you can to help, then you are partway there. Understanding is half the battle. Under the No Child Left Behind federal legislation, schools have been told they have to do a better job of helping at risk children succeed. So the first thing to do is to go and speak with your school – ask the teachers what your options are.

If no solution presents itself you should appreciate that students at risk of dropping out of high school due to academic or behavioral problems have the option of transferring to an alternative high school set up to specifically support troubled teens. Again, asking at your child’s current school would be the best place to start for this option.

Tutoring for At-Risk Students is a Solution

Tutoring at-risk students is an established and effective way of giving them the helping hand they deserve to ensure they succeed academically. Private and one-on-one sessions with an experienced tutor have been statistically proven to increase a child’s learning and the experience often stimulates confidence and self-esteem.

Before and after school tutoring programs have been identified as having the potential to turn academic failure into academic success. In addition, the skills and lessons learned during tutoring sessions remain with that child and should continue to benefit them for years afterwards.  Learn more about the tutoring services Educational Tutorial Services provides for at-risk students here.

Academic Tutoring for Students with Learning Disabilities

Tutoring gives students with learning disabilities confidence.

Every student who struggles in school requires personal attention to stay at the same academic levels as peers. Students with learning disabilities have special needs that many classroom teachers do not have the time to see to with today’s larger classroom sizes. Your student can benefit from the one-on-one attention provided by a highly qualified tutor from a tutoring agency that conducts thorough background checks on tutors and matches students to the most appropriate tutor. Tutors provide academic assistance in several ways.

Subject Matter Reinforcement

If your student is struggling in a particular subject area, a tutor can provide the reinforcement needed for him to learn. By reviewing the material over and over again, using techniques for his specific learning disability, he has a better chance of retaining the necessary information. Tutors with a degree in special education can provide customized tutoring sessions for your student.

Homework Help

Students with learning disabilities get easily frustrated when working on homework assignments. That frustration can cause them to lose interest in schoolwork. A tutor can keep students motivated through on-going and honest encouragement. When a student begins to complete homework assignments correctly more often without help, he feels better about himself and school in general.

Study Habits

While helping students with homework and reviewing class test results, tutors provide tips and techniques to help students establish study habits. It is important students develop strong study skills as early on as possible. However, older students with learning disabilities can still learn ways to improve study skills. Study habits can help students who choose to attend college after high school.

Confidence Building

The personal attention a student with learning disabilities receives from a tutor can do wonders to bolster his self-esteem. With every academic achievement, even a small one, he feels more confident in his academic abilities. Tutoring is about more than the academics, it is about helping students be better students. And, that involves them being more positive about school and their future.

Effective tutoring for students with learning disabilities requires a compassionate and understanding tutor. It is important that tutoring takes place in a location that is comfortable for the student. With the right environment and tutor, there is no reason students with learning disabilities cannot excel academically.

Tutoring At-Risk Students to Help Them Get Back on Track

Tutoring can keep at-risk students in school and on track academically.

Everyone agrees that education is important. Even the most disillusioned youth will admit somewhere deep down that dropping out of school is, in regards to their future, a bad thing. However, it can be incredibly difficult for youth when there are extra-curricula, and sometimes unavoidable, factors inhibiting their studying.

In the modern educational environment, students who are in danger of falling out of the school system are known as ‘at-risk students’. But what exactly does this mean and what help is available? Individually tutoring at risk-students is widely accepted as an efficient way of ensuring those disadvantaged students don’t fall behind.

When is a Student At-Risk?

Being ‘at-risk’ is when, due to a wide range of potential factors, a student is deemed likely to drop-out of school.

According to education experts, there are several factors which might indicate a particular student is at-risk:

  • Having a disability (or more than one)
  • Being held back a year
  • Speaking English poorly
  • Living with only one or neither parent
  • Living at or below poverty
  • Having one or both parents who are unemployed

Of course, just because one of the above factors may be applicable to an individual does not mean that student is struggling at school. It simply means that the student may be facing challenges that other students are not.

One of the most accepted solutions is tutoring for at-risk students.

What Does Tutoring Entail?

Tutoring is usually one-on-one interaction between a tutor and student. Tutoring at-risk students in such a manner provides a level of engagement, interaction, and support that is just not available in the classroom.

Better quality educational experiences enable an increased level of learning and can help disadvantaged students bridge the gap to where they should be. It can help them get back on track.

Tutors are able to provide immediate feedback, point out and clarify errors, and thoroughly explain every area being studied. With a tutor, there is no hiding in a classroom and pretending you understand when in reality you do not. Tutoring at-risk students greatly improves their chances of not falling behind or out of the school system all together.

Such one-on-one attention gives the student a huge amount of confidence. It not only increase the child’s understanding but also gives them the confidence in their own learning ability. At-risk students who have been tutored achieve at a faster rate, thereby increasing their chances of academic success and bridging any learning gap that has already developed.

Does it work?

Fager (1996) lists a number of outcomes attributed to tutoring programs in general such as encouraging community relationships, improving self-esteem, building confidence, and increasing achievement. It is clear that tutoring at-risk students will greatly increase their chances of overcoming their disadvantages. Learn more about our tutoring services for at-risk students here.

Tutors for Special Education Students

Both you and your child benefit when you hire a special education tutor. Your child will love you for it!

If your child has disabilities, including physical, emotional, or learning, she probably qualifies for special education services. Unfortunately, classroom education is often not sufficient because teachers typically have students with an array of disabilities in the same classroom. Lessons are often disrupted, making it difficult for special education students to learn. After-school tutoring can help students with disabilities who are struggling in traditional classrooms.

Understanding Learning Differences

Highly qualified tutors are licensed teachers with the experience needed to work with a diverse spectrum of learning differences. Students with ADD/ADHD, and even those with diagnosed emotional disabilities, can benefit from one-on-one interactions with skilled tutors. These tutors also can improve educational outcomes for students with dyslexia as well as those with autism.

Home-Based Tutoring Advantages

In-home tutoring can be especially beneficial for students with disabilities. The tutor meets with the student at your home, at a time that is convenient for both you and the tutor. Being in a familiar setting can keep students focused on their homework assignments. For students with physical disabilities, traveling to and from tutoring facilities can be a hassle, especially if the location is not properly handicapped accessible.

Curriculum Accommodations

If students require changes for the curriculum to be useful, tutors with degrees in special education can make those accommodations. They are familiar with IEPs and can make sure their curriculum aligns to requirements established by the school and parents. You always have the right to ask the tutor about their accommodation plans.

Team Tutoring Opportunities

It is possible that students with specific medical conditions may need a team tutoring approach to meet their education needs. A team approach ensures the student is medically safe during the tutoring session. Although this is most likely if tutoring takes place outside the home, in-home tutoring may need to be designed in a similar fashion.

Finding a tutor that understands the special needs of your child is important. When hiring a tutor, be sure to let him know about your child’s disabilities or medical conditions and ask for the tutor’s special education qualifications. An accurate initial assessment will guarantee your child receives the best academic support from the get-go from a qualified special education tutor.

When Out-Of-School Youth Need to Improve Reading Skills

Without strong reading skills, out-of-school youth will find it difficult to find a good job. Private tutoring can help you improve reading skills and prepare for the GED exam.

Without strong reading skills, out-of-school youth will find it difficult to find a good job. Private tutoring can help you improve reading skills and prepare for the GED exam.

Reading is one of the basic skills that all students need to master, preferably in elementary school. Unfortunately, many students are not afforded that opportunity. Students in foster care, those who are homeless and disadvantaged teens often do not meet standards for reading and comprehension. These skill deficiencies often result in teens dropping out of school, experiencing homelessness, or ending up in prison.  Job opportunities are scare and your ability to make a decent living is limited.

Out-of-school youth who want to read better can now get help. The Workforce Investment Act provides funding that allows youth to receive remedial tutoring in reading. Expert reading tutors can help youth read more proficiently and even prepare the GED exam. In addition to working one-on-one with a private tutor, out-of-school youth can take the following steps to improve reading skills:

#1 Vary Reading Materials – It is important to find material that is interesting. Materials that are similar or too difficult will frustrate or bore you. Reading should be educational and fun, so add crossword puzzles or hobby magazines to your reading list.

#2 Visit the Library – The library offers access to many books and other reading materials without burning a hole in your wallet. You can find books on any subject that interests you. Most libraries participate in inter-lending programs so if your library does not have what you want, ask them to borrow it from a partner library.

#3 Break It Down – Learning to read can be an intimidating process at any age. Break reading passages into smaller, easier chunks that are easier to handle. Read out loud so that you can hear each sound you make when sounding out words. Use a dictionary to look up words you don’t understand.

#4 Choose Relevant Hobby – Reading doesn’t only come from books. Free time activities such as origami or building a car model require reading simple instruction manuals. You not only will find reading helpful but also rewarding when you complete these activities successfully.

#5 Make Time for Reading – Reading fluently takes practice – lots of practice. Set a time for reading an hour every day, even if it is simply reading the daily newspaper. You can spend time online reading your favorite blogs or news site. Whatever avenue you choose, commit to it so your reading skills improve faster.

#6 Be Realistic – Depending on your reading level, it may take quite a bit of time for you to see noticeable improvements in your reading ability and comprehension skills. There is no overnight miracle that will have you reading like an Oxford English professor. It is likely you will mispronounce common words or struggle over funny-looking words. And, that’s okay. Every student has been there at some point!

#7 Test Your Comprehension – You are learning to read now, but eventually you will be reading to learn. Check that you understand what you read by asking yourself questions before, during and after a reading session. Comprehension of a text gives meaning to its words and drives home the importance of reading.

A private tutor can determine your reading level and develop a plan to help you improve your reading skills in a specific period of time. Contact us to begin your reading-improvement journey today!

Tutoring Out-of-School Youth Who Need to Improve Basic Skills

WIA-funded tutoring can help out-of-school youth learn basic skills needed for successful employment.

Older youth who have dropped out of school may be eligible for WIA-funded tutoring. These services must be approved through your local workforce development center. While you may not want to participate in remedial education, it will be required for you to do so if you do not have the necessary basic skills.

Importance of Grade-Level Proficiency

Youth who meet proficiency requirements for their grade level are better prepared to meet needs of employers. In many cases, these demands are pretty straightforward. You need to know how to read instructions, write notes or emails, and even have decent research skills. For most jobs, you need to be able to add, subtract, and calculate percentages without using a calculator. With WIA tutoring, you get tutoring in:

  1. Reading
  2. Writing
  3. Math
  4. Science
  5. Social studies

Review of these subjects is intended to help prepare you to take and pass the GED exam. One goal of WIA is to help youth get a secondary education degree or certificate. For older youth, that means getting a General Education Development (GED) degree because they are too old to return to high school.

Benefits of Tutoring

Being academically proficient is only part of the story. Youth need to have additional skills to be attractive to prospective employers. These skills are often what make one applicant stand out from the others:

  • Communication skills
  • Presentation skills
  • Time management skills

Youth can learn these skills through intensive tutoring. Tutoring may take place in small groups or on an individual basis. All tutoring services are based on an initial academic assessment and resulting individual learning plan.

Why Tutors Make the Difference

Youth who are not eligible to participate in WIA-funded tutoring are often left to their own devices. It can be challenging for them to find the motivation they need for independent study. Tutors do more than provide academic instruction. They also provide much needed:

  • Social support
  • Encouragement
  • Mentoring
  • Problem-solving guidance

Keep youth on track to meet academic goals is an important role for tutors. Good tutors take this responsibility serious. They want students to succeed. Completion of a WIA tutoring program gets students one step closer to being a successful adult.