"*Thank you Juan for all you have done to help Niamh with her math. This was definitely a subject that she had struggled with. Since she began tutoring with you she has developed a much better understanding of the math concepts. Her teacher has seen a difference and Niamh has much more confidence with her math. We just received her SAT results and they are much better than they have been in the past. We really appreciate your hard work and dedication*."

**Ciara C.**

What I do is I listen to the students and I watch their attempts to solve their math problems. From there I determine what thought process they are using to tackle the problem. I have seen it before thousands of times. With myself when I was in school, with my friends, with my students, in their homework, in their exams, from elementary addition to complex functions, for years on end.

I see what the student is doing, how they are doing it and also what they are not doing to solve the problem. Then I ask them a few questions so they discover exactly where and how they are stuck and how they can get around the obstacle.

Then your child finds the solution that is the simplest and easiest for him or her, from the point where they were stuck before. I order my questions and suggestions so they feel it’s them who are discovering the solution by themselves, not me telling them what to do.

Furthermore, I proceed to show them how their method yields exactly the same result as the teacher’s method. This usually gives them great confidence in their own ability.

Then I go on to show them how they can solve the problem the way they want and rewrite their solution the way the teacher wants to see it. They basically don’t have a problem complying with the teacher’s format once they know they can find the right answer by themselves.

For details on my teaching experience please see the page "About the Tutor".

We live in and advanced, highly technological and competitive society. Students these days face overwhelming amounts of homework, pressing deadlines and stiff academic competition.

Each year colleges demand higher GPAs and higher SAT scores to grant students enrollment into their programs. School is not like it used to be in the 1970’s anymore.

"*Mr Castaneda worked with our son for about a month on Physics and Math tutoring in our home. He is very professional, prompt and pays attention to detail. My son enjoyed working with Mr. Castaneda, as he has a very easy going manner about him. I highly recommend him to anyone seeking math tutoring for their son or daughter. We would use him again in the future*."

**Karen C.**

If your child complains about too little time to sleep because of homework, why not give him or her the support they need? Probably you would love to help your children yourself but do you have the time it takes to review their homework with them? Chances are your work schedule keeps you very busy too.

A good math tutor can provide your child with the detailed explanations they need in order to catch up with their class and stay on top of their homework.

It is common for parents to feel frustration when their child keeps asking “Why?” about a formula or a method the parents remember from school. Usually the parent only remembers the procedure but not the reasons why the procedure works. When preparing for an exam, students are always coming up with more math questions than their parents can answer. Does that sound familiar?

For many students, a regular, once or twice a week tutoring schedule works best. Some other students benefit more from last minute, right-on-time, crisis-solving tutoring sessions before their exams. I work with you in figuring out what is the best approach for your child.

"*Hurrah. Jim passed the ELM. Yippee. [...] Your tutoring really helped him prepare for the test. Thanks*."

**Theresa T.**

You do not need to feel sad, or frustrated watching your child struggling too hard with math while their grade slips downhill.

The math help you need is only a phone call away (or an e-mail). Simply contact our tutor team, and we will be happy to assist your child with his or her math work, and/or test preparation. With our tutoring, your child’s confidence around math will improve, benefiting their self-esteem, and –maybe slowly but surely– their math performance and grade will rise as well.

**Motivation and behavioral issues**

For my tutoring to give really good, lasting results, the student needs to show at least a minimum level of interest and self-motivation in working towards improving his or her performance.

Let’s face it, there are relatively very few students for whom mathematics is their favorite subject. For any given activity, some people like it, some others don’t. And when it comes to likes and dislikes, there is little teachers can do about changing the preferences of their students.

My goal is always to help students improve their grades. My goal **is not** to make them like math. Sometimes it happens naturally. After a few sessions, some students develop a better appreciation for math and start liking it a little bit more. Sometimes it is next to impossible to make someone like mathematics. Some students just don’t care about it, but that is O.K. You don’t need to like math in order to get good grades in it.

All a student needs to get good grades in math is the desire to get them and the willingness to put in the time and the effort, the discipline to do the work. It is perfectly possible for someone not to care about math a slight bit and still get outstanding grades, but they have to work for it.

It is harder to work in something you don’t care about than in something you enjoy. So, in most cases it requires certain maturity from the student to see the long-term benefits of good math grades. Besides, it’s not enough just to see these benefits but it takes a personal commitment to getting them. So, the less a student likes math, the more self-discipline they need to do the required work.

Often, the interactive way I use to teach, asking questions, listening to students, paying attention to their reactions, avoiding lecturing them, looking at the problem the way they see it, providing solution steps that make sense for them, etcetera, is enough to motivate the student and engage him or her in the problem-solving process.

From time to time though, I see some young students, for whom their difficulties in math come mainly from lack of good study habits, extreme lack of personal interest and motivation, personality development issues, behavioral problems or problems in their relationship with their parents.

To be perfectly honest with parents, I have to make the following disclaimer:

My tutoring works best when the student’s troubles with math come mainly from the way his or her teacher is presenting the material in the classroom or the speed at which they are covering such material.

In general, I do not try to change other people’s behavior nor to motivate someone who is not motivated at all. So, if your child happens to be in this category, where the main roots of poor performance are personality, behavioral or relational issues, chances are my tutoring is not going to be very effective or is not going to give lasting results.