NY Times– Dr. Hillman, 30, represents a new niche in the $100 billion tutoring industry. Neither a traditional tutor nor a straight-up therapist, she is an amalgam of the two. “Homework therapists,” as they are now sometimes called, administer academic help and emotional support as needed. Via Skype, email and text, and during pricey one-on-one sessions, they soothe cranky students, hoping to steer them back to the path of achievement.
The service is not cheap. Parents in New York generally pay between $200 and $600 for regularly scheduled in-person sessions that range from 50 to 75 minutes. This on top of the hefty fees New York mothers and fathers already pay to help their children get ahead, or just stay on pace, from coaching for kindergarten gifted and talented tests, to subject tutoring, SAT prep and help with writing their college essays.
Ariel Kornblum, a psychologist for children and adolescents, works out of her ground-floor office at the Manhattan Psychology Group’s Upper West Side location. When she is not administering regular therapy, she is often advising middle and high school students whose inability to organize their schoolwork, she says, is hurting their grades, and their self-esteem. Dr. Kornblum helps them develop sorting strategies, workable planners and study schedules while also challenging some of the negative thoughts swimming around in their heads.
So here’s what we know. The tutoring industry is at an all-time high because of the glaring need for “extra” instruction, in order for students to succeed in school. Parents are hastily searching for the vehicle to drive their children down the path of success. By the looks of it, based on the NY Times article, parents are willing to expend quite a bit of resources on the quest for academic achievement, for their children.
The service is not cheap. Parents in New York generally pay between $200 and $600 for regularly scheduled in-person sessions that range from 50 to 75 minutes.
I just about fell out of my chair when I read that some parents pay $600 for a 1 hour and 15 minute “homework therapy” session, for their children. Fifteen years ago, my parents enrolled me in an SAT prep class. I attended a 2 hour class each Saturday for six weeks, and the cost was right around $1000. I remember at the time, being flabbergasted when I found out how much my parents were paying to boost my SAT score a whopping 100 points. Come to find out, compared to today’s standards, we were getting off pretty cheap. There is no way children become great students after just one homework therapy session spanning a little more than an hour’s time. I assume when parents commit, they understand that they are staring at multiple $600 sessions. This is just a vivid illustration of the competitiveness of the “academic arena”.
We are learning that there is a correlation between stress caused by academic struggles and emotional problems, for students. School can create stressors for young people and can cause them to react negatively to these stressors. This is why there is a demand for homework therapists. Stress and anxiety can exacerbate academic struggles. A child’s inability to perform to their potential in school may have little to do with intellectual ability. Academic struggles can usually be attributed to poor executive functioning skills in adolescents, as well as; lack of individualized learning strategies.
Evenings they work with overwhelmed students to create study guides, do algebra problems, organize binders, smooth out crumpled papers at the bottom of book bags and do “error analyses” when a biology test goes awry.
Organization is usually the number one skill that most students lack; therefore, students need guidance outside of school to create organization strategies to get them on the right track, before beginning academic instruction. It is no surprise that the homework therapists focus on binder organization, study guides, and help students organize their book bags. In fact, in our course, Getting Organized and Managing Your Time, we teach strategies in organization and time management. We teach students the binder system to organize their binder for effective learning. Students also learn how to organize their locker, organize their backpack, and attain balance in their life. In this lesson students learn how to manage their time using planners, as well as; daily, weekly, and monthly calendars.
We at Take Us Higher Learning recognized the needs of students long ago, and it appears as if parents and tutoring companies are catching on. We have the advantage of being middle and high school teachers; therefore, we are able to recognize the needs of students every day. This is exactly why we were so moved to create an online platform to provide the opportunity for students to learn the skills that they so desperately need. We created a website that has a courses to teach systematic learning strategies. These courses help students develop executive functioning skills and develop individualized strategies for effective learning. We offer exactly what the “homework therapists” offer, except for the emotional therapy portion. When a need for therapy exists, I think it can be absolutely beneficial to children; however, if students learn systematic learning strategies, it will allow them to achieve success in school, and the stress and anxiety associated with academic failure should disappear. Equipped with test taking skills, time management skills, organization skills, note-taking skills, improved study habits, goal setting skills, and memory strategies; students should not need Spotify playlists, silly putty, or scented oils. Academic struggles are the cause, and the effects are school stress and anxiety. If the causes are eliminated, the effects will also be eliminated.
Holly Schiffrin, a professor of psychological science at the University of Mary Washington in Fredericksburg, Va., who researches adolescent development and depression, says she thinks a tutor who helps a struggling student with study skills and confidence makes sense.
“But there should be a plan in place for them to become fully functioning, independent adults,” she said.
In order to complete our course, students will have to exhibit responsibility and learn independently. While it is a nice luxury to have a private tutor come to your house and ensure that your child is “present” at the session, it is not sustainable. Children having to complete an eLearning course on their own, allows for the student to become an independent learner. We actually suggest that parents sit in with the student as they go through the course, to participate in discussion and thought while completing our course. This will also help to strengthen the parent-child relationship, leading to a better family life.
In the past, quality instruction outside of school was only for the wealthy, Take Us Higher Learning is changing that. Our platform is for everyone. We know that some people cannot afford expensive private tutoring sessions. We created a website in which customers only pay $300 and have access to all of our courses for a full year. That is less than it costs to pay for your child’s prom, pitching lessons, or video game console. We have 8 courses available for students to become successful in school. If you purchase an “All Access Pass”, your child will have access to each course for a full year, and will be able to refer to the courses for help throughout the school year!
Subscribe today to allow your child to become a stress-free, independent learner!