Some Basic Questions About LMC, Answered

What is the ‘bleeding neck’ problem you solve?

We help struggling kids pass math class with flying colors. They will earn better grades than they considered possible for themselves.

Best of all, they will enjoy learning and feel good about themselves as students, so they’ll retain their desire to learn and succeed well after they graduate from school.

How do you help your customers accomplish this?

Love Math Club is a direct-to-consumer online tutoring business. We schedule recurring appointments for students to meet 1-on-1 with a private online tutor.

We use a student-centric design which allows for a level of personalization not possible in most public school classrooms while still maintaining a rigorous approach to academic standards.

Sessions are student-led and usually last 30 to 60 minutes, starting with homework problems and ending with an informal quizzing process known as “formative assessment.”

This all happens using a few simple but powerful technologies such as video conferencing software like Skype or Zoom, whiteboard collaboration tools like Scribblar or Ziteboard, file sharing and document collaboration on Google Drive, IXL Learning or another source of endless standards-based practice questions and assessment items, and finally, text or email communication to follow-up on any lingering issues afterward.

By providing corrective information and recommending what to practice, tutors give students a way to measure their progress and a plan for how to proceed with studying.

The tutor’s job is to assist with self-reflection and provide direction on what to practice next to improve performance efficiently, rather than deliver essential information as a teacher lecturing at the front of a classroom.

Tutors ideally serve on an ongoing basis throughout an academic year rather than as a last-minute cram session.

Why did you decide to solve this problem?

Struggling in math class is a problem I experienced personally, and I found tutoring was a great way for both parties to learn.

It all started when I enrolled in a multivariable calculus course during my freshman year of college at Duke. I had always earned good grades in math class up to that point, but this class whooped my butt.

I underestimated the effort it would require, and I ended up failing the class. Not okay with me! I decided to re-take the course to prove to myself I could do it. I admitted I needed some assistance and I visited the university tutoring center for help.

At the same time, I started working as an online tutor with a tutoring service teaching introductory calculus. I knew that by teaching introductory calculus, I would master my skills and it would help me succeed in the multivariable class.

Thankfully, I was right! My final grade was an A.

Meanwhile, I found out that I’m quite good at tutoring. Students kept giving me feedback about how I helped them compared to the other tutors.

They would be frustrated almost to the point of tears after wasting the past two hours getting transferred between several tutors who didn’t know how to relate to the student and help them.

After just 15-20 minutes, I was usually able to get to the root of the problem for these students because I knew what it was like to feel frustrated and clueless. Student after student thanked me not only for helping them unravel their confusion about a particular concept but also for not wasting their time and therefore overcharging them, either.

So, I first decided to solve the problem of struggling in math class because it’s one that I experienced painfully and personally. Then, I later continued down this path of service because I found out from positive self-reports from students and parents along with measurably improved grades that I was better than the average tutor at facilitating positive student outcomes.

Now, I’m excited by the unfolding disruptive innovation taking place around online learning, blended learning, and competency-based education.

People are continually proposing new school reforms, indicating that previous changes haven’t worked, and there are still severe problems with the traditional classroom teaching model in our modern world.

The 1-to-1 tutoring model has been around since universities started employing tutorials over a century ago. I believe a new model is emerging that combines this tutorial model with digital tools to create a personalized learning experience never before possible.

In 40 years, the American public school system will probably not operate as it does today. Students should not and will not be grouped into cohorts by age, where the curriculum is paced the same way to all students over a 12-year period. Instead, we’re seeing shifts toward modular learning where students can progress at their own pace and only once they have mastered prerequisite skills and concepts.

Mastery learning and competency-based education are proving to be more effective at ensuring all or most students succeed, rather than a select few whose pacing and learning styles are best suited to a traditional classroom. According to the Competency Education Toolkit, “Competency-based education is an outcomes-based approach to learning that requires students to show mastery of skills and knowledge at one level before they can advance to the next level. All students are held to the same high standard, and all students receive individualized supports and continuous feedback to help them progress in their learning. This approach ensures that students have a strong foundation to build on as they continue through school.”

American education needs creative people outside of the school to implement this new approach to learning by leveraging technology in innovative ways. Not all knowledge is gained in the classroom, and this is becoming a reality more and more each year.

My lofty goal with Love Math Club is to successfully discover and validate an effective online educational system that focuses on affordability, accessibility, capability, and responsiveness.

Online learning technology can help us move away from the outdated industrial era batch model of education and approach teaching students in highly individualized ways.

If American society can figure out how to use technology to facilitate learning effectively, the school system which fails to deliver today might be able to experience a complete turnaround.

My goal is to use the years of experience I have on both sides of the tutoring marketplace to blend essential pre-existing online learning tools with personalized support to create a competency education program that is highly effective at producing student achievement in mathematics.

But, I can’t do it on my own… I need your help!

Who are the people you serve?

I help parents whose kids need help with math. They are often busy professionals willing to do anything to help their child succeed in life, but they can’t or don’t want to spend several hours each week assisting with homework. They might even perceive some of the modern teaching methods to be outdated and ineffective in schools, and they are looking for a personalized supplement to their child’s math education.

Like most people, they have some emotional attitude about math, probably that they hate it or are frustrated by it in some way. When they sit down to work on the homework with their kid, they find that “math has changed,” and they don’t know why or how.

The parent knows they know math. They graduated from the 7th-grade decades ago! How can it not make sense, they wonder. They are like Mr. Incredible, pulling out their hair and screaming, “Why would they change math? Math is math!”

When their kid is stressed, confused, and helpless when it comes to solving their math homework, parents are even more stressed about it because they don’t know what to do.

There may be a power struggle occurring with their kids as they start to grow up. Enforcing rules about studying and doing their homework has gotten to be tedious and straining on the relationship. Sometimes, hiring a tutor is a good idea if for no other reason than to maintain peace and harmony by avoiding fights about grades and homework.

In the same way that parents are relieved to hire a babysitter every once in a while so they can get out of the house and spend some time alone together without the kids, they feel so much better when they can secure some time with a qualified tutor who their kid doesn’t hate.

The student may be a boy or a girl between the ages of 11 and 18. They may or may not have mild or moderate learning differences such as Autism or ADHD. They are probably earning a B or C grade and want to raise their marks by a full letter grade.

Some students make D’s or F’s and need remedial help, typically wanting two weekly hour-long meetings. Other students have earned an A and wanted a coach to practice with and challenge them. It just depends.

No student has the exact same situation or reason for seeking tutoring, but all students could benefit from occasionally meeting with a tutor for private help and clarification.

Often, students who are most drawn to me personally are tired of hearing from “old” teachers (sorry… their words, not mine!) who remind them of their parents. I’m right in the middle of the students and the parents age-wise so they may think of me almost like an older brother figure who has joined the family.

When and where can you meet with a tutor?

Anytime, anywhere. Since we use virtual collaboration tools, our tutoring is available to students all across the United States. Scheduling is flexible according to your needs. There is never any traveling required – just navigate to the web browser links provided by your tutor.

Wouldn’t life be better if your kid loved math? Schedule a no-obligation consultation today.

3 thoughts on “Some Basic Questions About LMC, Answered”

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