Frequently asked Questions:
How does online tutoring work? My tutoring program begins with a free consultation and intake evaluation designed to pinpoint potential problems that your child is experiencing. After the intakes, I will design an individualized plan to help your child succeed. Each of our sessions will be 50 minutes in length and conducted over Skype or Zoom (my new favorite) and utilize bitpaper (an online interactive whiteboard program) as well as be recorded. After each session, I will email a summary of our session along with a link to the recording of the video.
How long are your sessions? I plan for each session to last for 50 minutes. This allows for for a slight overage so I don’t need to stop in the middle of an explanation and can give your child the attention they deserve. Occasionally there are times when it is better to have shorter sessions and meet more frequently. We can discuss which option is best for your child after the evaluation.
What are your rates and policies? You have some control of the rates. A single session rate is $75 and is payable 24 hours prior to the scheduled session. If you sign up for an automatic monthly payment option, the price drops to $60 per session (a savings of 20% per session.) Click here for more information on the automatic payment option. Downloadable copies of our Policies are available here.
How does payment work with online tutoring? There are a few options that we can work with here. My preferred method of payment is via a credit card or Paypal account utilizing the automatic payment plan. This ensures that a session never has to be cancelled because of lack of payment. If you desire to pay for each session as we go, it too may be done online or I will accept a check made payable to ROBIN DEMARCO ENTERPRISES, INC. mailed to P.O. Box 1602 Lockport, NY 14095-1602. If you are paying by check, please remember that payment must be received 24 hours prior to the session or it will be cancelled. There is also a $50 returned check fee that will be charged.
Will you help with homework assignments? The Homework Club (a paid membership group) offers a series of videos to help with day to day assignments. All current tutoring students are automatically enrolled into The Homework Club with the price of tuition. During a tutoring session, homework is not my main focus , understanding the concepts is. However, if your child has a specific question they would like to go over, they may email it to me (firstname.lastname@example.org) and I will work it into their next session. If we complete a topic and there is time left in the session, then we can work on homework questions.
The kid down the street says he’ll tutor my child for a much smaller fee. Why should I hire you? Would you hire the neighborhood kid to do surgery? You might let them apply a bandage, but for surgery you’re likely to go to a professional. It’s the same here. If all you’re looking for is someone to help your child with their homework, the neighbor might be sufficient. If your desire is to help your child reach their maximum potential, learn and have a firm understanding of the topic you will be better off going to a professional. With my degrees, licenses and close to 20 years in the classroom combined with 9 years of tutoring, I am a professional.
Is there anyway to reduce the cost? Recruit a friend! Find another student in your child’s class who would like to get tutoring, and split the cost. I prefer to work one-on-one with students, but I understand working within budgetary constraints. I will allow sessions to be shared by students in the same class. This allows them to work as partners outside of the online tutoring environment which has been shown to help with student understanding and information retention. However, I limit these shared sessions to 2 students. When we start getting into groups of 3 or more, the attention paid to each student diminishes rapidly and I want to be able to ensure that every child’s needs are met.
Is there any specific equipment that my child will need? I don’t recommend using a smart phone for tutoring session as the screen is too small. That said, iPads, tablets, laptops and desk top computers are all very suitable. Optional equipment would include a pair of headphones. I use headphones myself to limit the amount of distractions, but they are not necessary.
Does online tutoring really work? Online tutoring can be extremely powerful. Your child is in their comfort zone while we are working and we have an amazing amount of resources right at our fingertips. It is very hard to do some lab examples for science in a traditional tutoring set up but it is very easy (and safe) for us to show a quick video that demonstrates what we are trying to show. Also, since students all learn differently, the online experience opens up multiple ways to teach a specific topic.
How can online tutoring be as effective as sitting next to my child? As stated previously, during an online session your child is in their comfort zone. This allows them to focus on what they are learning without fear of being teased by other classmates. Many students refuse to ask for help because they don’t want to look dumb to their friends. When they are being tutored online, no one outside of the student, the parent and the tutor need to know. Also, in most cases I work 1-on-1 with students. It is very apparent when their attention begins to wander.
How long do you recommend my child be enrolled in tutoring? This is a question that I really can’t answer with any certainty until after the evaluation. Every student learns at their own rate and each student has their own set of strengths and weaknesses that we must deal with. If your child has medical issues that we need to deal with, that too is going to change the scope. The evaluation is designed to look at attention span, science topics, solving algebraic equations and reading comprehension. Until we know specifically what we are dealing with, all I can say is it depends.
If my child is looking for help with science, why does the evaluation cover other items as well? Science is a complex beast. It is really an application of knowledge to our everyday life. This means that invariably almost every problem a student faces in science will be a word problem. During my time in the classroom, one of the most recurring problems I saw were the students couldn’t understand what the question was asking. Similarly, many people will tell you that math is the language of science. Algebraic expressions are used for everything and often times they need to be solved to give a quantitative answer to a problem. The second biggest problem that I noted was students having issues with taking the abstract math they learned in their math class and applying it to real life problems in a science class. Sometimes the problem is actually the material being covered. The only way I can determine the sticking point for your child is by doing a thorough evaluation that looks at all facets.
Will you contact or work with my child’s teacher? Yes, I am willing to collaborate with the classroom teacher. I ask that you send the teacher an email letting them know that your child is getting tutoring with me, and copy me on the email. This lets everyone involved know that we have permission to talk about the student’s progress and classwork and it provides the teacher and I with each other’s email.
Why does your site name say Skyping, yet you use a different program? Skype is one of the oldest on-line video chatting platforms, and everyone knows what it is. But technology doesn’t stand still, and things have evolved over the years. Not too long ago, Google Hangouts were the state of the art, currently it’s a program called Zoom. Zoom makes it easier to record our session, share our screens and interact and have a better experience.