A: Homework tutoring is only 10% of what we do. Typically, tutors concentrate on short term goals: make sure the homework is done, the student is prepared for the next test, or clear up something that the student doesn't understand. I had done homework tutoring to supplement my graduate school income in the past, and I know first hand that the problem with homework tutoring approach is that the underlying problems are not addressed. In most cases, once the tutoring stops the grades slide again (if they ever went up in the first place). This is very damaging to the student's confidence in that the student erroneously believe that they can't do math without a tutor.
Few of the elements of the Door-2-Math programs are the same as tutoring, but the main difference is that Door-2-Math programs have a long term goal of rebuilding a students math confidence. By rebuilding the foundation, imparting the right study and test taking skills we strive to make every student's experience a turning point where they ultimately sharpens their critical thinking skills. In a nut-shell, Door-2-Math programs teach the student how to learn instead of just 'Band-Aid' them.
A: No. Door-2-Math instruction is program-based and programs typically last 4-12 months. During the program, we see the student anywhere between 1 and 5 times per week and are in (almost daily) communication with the student and the parents otherwise. This approach benefit students in two big ways: 1) learning takes place without interruption of 'between-sessions' downtime and 2) the entire team, parents+student+Dr. Pan are in the 'same boat' instead of having a 'divided house' where clients are left to to worry about the "billable hours".
A: The programs start with an interactive assessment where Dr. Pan sits down with the student and a blank piece of paper and gently probes the student's math foundation by asking the student to solve simple problems. No standardized testing is used. The questions are always tailored to the students level and each subsequent question is based on the answer to the previous question. The purpose of having the assessment in a 'dialogue' format is two folds: 1) get an accurate picture of the student's math foundation gaps and 2) adapt future teaching to the student's unique preferred learning style.
Having this information, Dr. Pan then interviews both the parents and the student on the dynamics of how math learning currently takes place (does one of the parents help with math?, how's the relationship with the teacher?, what are the study habits once the student comes home? etc.)
With the complete picture, Dr. Pan gives the parents feedback on where the math level is and what is holding the student back. If all parties at the assessment feels comfortable working together as a team, then a customized program is put together collectively for the student.
A: Depending on the scope of the program and what the goals are, Dr. Pan will meet with the student between 1 and 5 times per week initially and modified as the program progresses. Also Dr. Pan will assign homework targeted to fill foundation gaps. Parallel to this, a constant and ongoing communication will take place with one or both parents on how to support the student outside of the teaching sessions. Finally, depending on the parents' and the student's choice, Dr. Pan will establish communication with the teacher to streamline and facilitate efficient learning.
Q: How much do the programs cost?
A: Without assessing the student in person, the best gauge is that the fee is comparable to programs offered at a national-chain learning center such as Sylvan (TM) but with the added benefit of exclusive, customized, one-on-one instruction and long term goal agreed by the whole team.