Students, Flu Season, Tutoring, Online Learning


Nope, this post isn't about cats eating cucumbers, complex radicals, or WARHORSE germ warfare  Yes, hand washing is the first line of defense to staying healthy during flu season. And schools are sanctuaries for germs--coughing, hacking, sniffles, high fives, keyboards, desks, doorknobs, weight room, cell phones can = sick student.

And missing one day of school can really create a little or a lot of chaos for a student. Long absences can wreak havoc on the rest of the semester, and into the next several years, especially in math.

I got a call last week asking if I would tutor a 9th grader who has missed 2 weeks of high school classes. She is having a hard time catching up on missed math and English content.  And the class is still moving forward.  So, I thought I'd post about some resources that might help:

  • Have the student ask the teachers if they have resources that will cover the missed material. Most teachers offer study labs. Also, teachers may know other students who could help tutor. Some teachers will even video core material lessons and demonstrations so students can watch and rewatch.
  • Check with the school's guidance department for tutor recommendations. It's great to find a peer tutor who has mastered the course material and even better if she/he has taken the same course from the same teacher. 
  • Parents and grandparents can help the student identify topics that were covered during the student's absence from class and make a plan to catch up and master missed concepts.  
  • Students should use weekends to dig into the missed course material. If it's math and grammar, practice and more practice is essential. 

Here's a list of online resources that may help--and students know they can Google or search Youtube videos for online tutoring help. Online videos are great since they can be reviewed many times--even on the smart phone.

Yay Math  is a good site for finding specific math concepts and will line up with the textbook. These math videos are free and on Youtube as well.   Videos are made in the classroom and have student participation. 

That Tutor Guy is a popular site that covers math from middle school to college.   There's a free trial for the first 7 days to test out before you pay a fee for the subscription.

The Grammar Guys youtube channel has free, fun videos that cover grammar and punctuation topics. 

Spark Notes is a good way to get help with literature. A complex poem, short story, or novel can require help for understanding literary devices, themes, and literary criticism. 

MIT Open Courseware is a site offered by MIT that covers many undergraduate courses. If you're taking high school or college Calculus and missed the lecture and notes on "Rate of Change," for example, you can watch university professors "teach" content.  

And of course, students, parents, grandparents can do online searches by topic and find a variety of  tutors and videos that might help.  But don't wait, tackle the missed content as soon as the student feels well enough to dive in.

Hey, there's a world of information out there that can help elementary, high school, college students "catch up," but also gain a deeper understanding of a subject. Some people, regardless of age, just love to learn--hey, we're all students.

I'm a good example of "teaching an old dog new tricks."  A good tutor, free chemistry courseware, and some good youtube biofuel mentors helped me get going with WARHORSE.

Here's a link to The Worlds' 50 Best Open Courseware Collections (free videos, lecture, notes, textbooks). Students who wish to explore horse management, programming, music theory, nutrition science, food safety, robotics, physics (and much more) might enjoy surfing the courses for interesting and helpful content.