How is Whole Education different?
Some tutoring programs are like crutches. They help students hobble from one school assignment to the next, but they don't help students build any writing "muscle".
Our conceptual approach to writing helps students view each new essay as a collection of skills, rather than a random set of expectations. This lets them track their progress across all types of writing. When students see their skills improve, they become invested in their learning and motivated to push themselves more.
We teach students the whole writing process, but we tailor instruction to what they need most right now. Students have different knowledge gaps and different learning styles, so we make the classes fun and relevant to their studies and interests.
Some students just don't like writing, so why force them to do it?
When students struggle with writing, it can have a negative impact across all academic subjects. English assignments suffer, but so do short answers on tests, as well as reports and presentations. Poor writing might mean AP classes are not an option. And what about SAT or ACT essays and college applications?
Unfortunately, a small problem in writing often snowballs into a larger issue as students lose confidence. Paper after paper is returned covered in angry red marks, and many students decide they will never be good at writing. They stop trying. After all, no one likes to be bad at something.
Tutoring stops the cycle of negative feedback around writing. It allows students to slow down and fill in their skill gaps. It also teaches them how to effectively evaluate their writing before turning it in. Once students see the possibility of success in writing, their interest in it blossoms.
Here are some of the obstacles we've helped students overcome:
I don't have any ideas. I don't know what to write about.
My teacher keeps telling me to "say more" on my essays, but I don't know what else to say!
I don't know which details from the book to include.
My teacher said my writing is like talking, not like writing.
My English grade is going down the drain.
I've got a lot of ideas, but I don't know where to start...
I HATE writing!
My teacher says I repeat myself in my essays.
Can writing tutoring help students get an edge?
Many students come to Whole Education tutoring in order to pursue specific goals and aspirations. They want to push their writing to the next level and take advantage of amazing opportunities.
These highly-motivated students make use of their tutoring sessions to advance more quickly. They learn new skills and strategies to add to their Writing Toolboxes by working toward specific goals. They also get feedback on writing for real-life opportunities. These include applications for private high schools, essays for competitive summer programs, cover letters for internships, and even personal essays for college applications.
Here are some of the goals we've helped students attain:
I' want to do well in my AP class, and there's a ton of writing!
I want to be eligible for Honors English.
I'm applying to a private high school.
I'm submitting an application for this really cool summer program!
I want to write for my school paper.
I'm working on my college applications.
I love creative writing, but I've never really liked writing essays.
I want to do well on the ACT.
If students are already stressed with school work, won't more writing just make it worse?
Think about a typical math class: When students learn a new concept, they get to practice it in homework and quizzes before they take a test. Missing a few homework problems is no big deal, and it helps students see where they need more practice or study.
But when it comes to writing, students get very little low-stakes practice. They generally only write a handful of essays per semester, and each one has the grade value of a test or more. That means the stress of writing comes from how little of it there is, not how much!
In tutoring, we isolate one or two concepts at a time so students can drill and master them, just like they do in math. Students do write full essays, but they do it one step at a time, with support. They have access to templates, worksheets, sample writing, and engaging activities that jump-start their thinking. In addition, they build habits that help them streamline the writing process and make it clear-cut instead of intimidating.
Regular writing desensitizes students to constructive criticism as they learn to evaluate their performance on each aspect of writing separately. They can see where the improvements are and also where more practice is needed. As students gain new skills and independence, their confidence grows and they no longer feel stressed about writing.
How long does a student need tutoring?
Some students have a concrete goal, such as preparing for the ACT essay portion, so they may enroll in tutoring for the eight to ten weeks prior to the test, opting to work on that single skill.
Other students may come to tutoring because their English grades are slipping, sliding, or even plummeting, and they want help getting back on track. These students often take several months' worth of Weekly Tutoring sessions so that they have continual support as they work towards academic goals.
Still others come to us for help as they need it. They may be overwhelmed by an English essay or a literature assignment, and they want a Drop-In session or two to discuss their ideas and make a plan for their writing.
If you're not sure what would help you, schedule a free consultation! Tell us your goals, concerns, and schedule, and we'll find the plan that's right for you.