Writing is one of the most important skills for any line of work, yet we hear time and time again that schools aren’t teaching it to mastery. One-to-one tutoring will ensure that your child is a strong and confident writer!
It’s important to start by pinpointing what a student is having trouble with so that we can teach specific skills to address it. Is it composing complete sentences? Providing evidence to support an argument? Freezing up at the sight of the cursor blinking on the blank screen? Our writing diagnostic assessment and consultation will tease it out.
Once we’ve got a handle on what’s challenging, we break it down to basics so that students have a firm grasp on how to start pulling it all together. Your child will learn how to approach various types of writing so that they’re prepared to tackle any kind of assignment.
For the younger set, we want to set up a strong foundation that they can build on later. We start with parts of a sentence, punctuation, and basic grammar. Then we can expand on that by writing more complex sentences, and eventually move on to paragraphs. Throughout the lessons we want students to focus on structure and clarity, whether they’re answering a reading comprehension question or writing a story.
Middle School and Early High School Students
This is the age when students tend to lose interest in writing. It’s just not as fun, it’s more work, and it’s often confusing. They don’t understand exactly what’s being asked of them. It’s hard to get started. They don’t have any ideas. Or they repeat the same idea eight slightly different ways!
Tutors will revisit basic skills if necessary; this goes a long way in taking the mystery out of writing. Once the foundation is solid, kids can start doing more with word choice, sentence structure, and transitions. Tutoring will also help them include supporting evidence via paraphrasing and direct quotations. Not only does this make their text more engaging, it also makes the process more engaging! (We cover the boring stuff like citing sources, too.) With all this under their belt, they can tackle multi-paragraph assignments from five-paragraph essays to research papers.
At this age, it’s also important to incorporate executive functioning skills. This includes learning to use graphic organizers, transitioning from paper to computer, editing, and planning longer assignments (e.g. breaking it up into chunks, time management, and getting feedback.)
Later High School and College Students
When students reach junior year, they’re expected to have the basics down and utilize writing to explore new ideas, compose in-depth analyses, and set forth arguments. This requires a more sophisticated level of writing, and, often, more time. Cue panic.
Tutors teach students more advanced writing and executive functioning skills: identifying purpose, establishing a voice, integrating research, boosting editing proficiency, creating a writing calendar, employing note-taking, etc.
The summer is a great time to improve writing skills! In our summer programs, we have the freedom to individualize to an even greater degree than we do during the school year. We can have fun with creative writing, take a deep dive into a particular interest, or craft essays that any college admissions officer will love reading!
If you’re not in Chicagoland, no problem! Writing tutoring transfers especially well to online sessions. We use Google Docs, which allows the tutor and student to see their edits in real-time, as well as leave comments between sessions. Learn more about online tutoring - and see it in action - here!
If you’d like to help your child become a stronger and more confident writer, contact us today!
I just told my husband last night what a great decision it was to have our son do summer writing tutoring with you and how much he gained. His writing teacher this year told me in conferences that she had her husband read our son’s first essay because of how great it was.
Our tutor was fabulous! He taught Kevin more about grammar, punctuation, and writing than at least his three years in junior high! He also is unbelievably patient with a fantastic sense of humor. He helped with both ACT prep as well as college essays. My son really enjoyed working with his tutor.