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One on One Tutor Blog

The purpose of our blog page is to provide resources, ideas, and suggestions to assist parents in guiding their children as we believe parent involvement is the single most important part of a child's success in school and in life.

Signs of Academic Difficulty

Thaddeus Falana M.ed - Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Signs of Academic Difficulty


Often times, parents watch their child get pushed through grade levels without properly identifying the child’s learning gaps or seeking appropriate interventions from the child’s school or outside agencies such as One On One Tutoring Service, located in Philadelphia, PA .  I have met with countless parents who had no idea what their child’s weaknesses were.  The end result is that the child’s learning gaps continue to widen as he or she gets older making it more difficult, expensive, and a lot more time consuming for interventions to be successful.   It is strongly recommended that parents assess their child at least twice a year, in the beginning of the school year and the end of the school year, in order to know where he or she stands in accordance to his grade level and age.   Usually, schools have the ability to provide such testing, however, a wiser choice would be to allow an outside entity such as One On One Tutoring Service, to administer achievement tests that will identify not only your child’s instructional level in reading, writing, and mathematics, but also identify weak skills that may be affecting your child’s progress in the classroom.  In addition to periodic testing, (Misunderstood Minds n.d.) suggests some signs to look out for if your child is struggling in reading, writing, or mathematics:

Reading (decoding):

  • trouble sounding out words and recognizing words out of context
  • confusion between letters and the sounds they represent
  • slow oral reading rate (reading word-by-word)
  • reading without expression
  • ignoring punctuation while reading

Reading (comprehension):

  • confusion about the meaning of words and sentences
  • inability to connect ideas in a passage
  • omission of, or glossing over detail
  • difficulty distinguishing significant information from minor details
  • lack of concentration during reading


  • difficulty getting started on writing assignments
  • poor use of lines on the paper
  • organizational problems
  • uneven spacing between letters
  • many misspelled words
  • poor letter formation
  • transposed letters and spelling omissions
  • poor narrative sequencing
  • lack of transitions
  • poor vocabulary
  • many misspelled words
  • frequent capitalization, punctuation, and grammar errors
  • trouble generating ideas or elaborating on them
  • difficulty developing and organizing ideas
  • lack of opinion or sense of audience
  • difficulty with writing tasks that require creativity and/or critical thinking


  • be unable to recall basic math facts, procedures, rules, or formulas
  • be very slow to retrieve facts or pursue procedures
  • have difficulties maintaining precision during mathematical work
  • have difficulties with handwriting that slow down written work or make it hard to read later
  • have difficulty remembering previously encountered patterns
  • forget what he or she is doing in the middle of a math problem
  • have difficulties sequencing multiple steps
  • become entangled in multiple steps or elements of a problem
  • lose appreciation of the final goal and over emphasize individual elements of a problem
  • not be able to identify salient aspects of a mathematical situation, particularly in word problems or other problem solving situations where some information is not relevant
  • be unable to appreciate the appropriateness or reasonableness of solutions generated
  • have difficulty with the vocabulary of math
  • be confused by language in word problems
  • not know when irrelevant information is included or when information is given out of sequence
  • have trouble learning or recalling abstract terms
  • have difficulty understanding directions
  • have difficulty explaining and communicating about math, including asking and answering questions
  • have difficulty reading texts to direct their own learning
  • have difficulty remembering assigned values or definitions in specific problems
  • be confused when learning multi-step procedures
  • have trouble ordering the steps used to solve a problem
  • feel overloaded when faced with a worksheet full of math exercises
  • not be able to copy problems correctly
  • may have difficulties reading the hands on an analog clock
  • may have difficulties interpreting and manipulating geometric configurations
  • may have difficulties appreciating changes in objects as they are moved in space

Misunderstood Minds. PBS.  n.d. Retrieved from:



The importance of tutoring for school aged children

Thaddeus Falana M.ed - Tuesday, May 31, 2011

The importance of tutoring for school aged children

It is extremely important that parents are aware of the importance of tutoring for school aged children.   As the methods of delivering instruction change due to the advancement and incorporation of technology and as standardized testing becomes the new measure of success, one thing still remains, we still expect one teacher to effectively teach to a group of students.  Unfortunately, it is almost impossible for one teacher to provide the adequate amount of attention each and every student needs.   According to (Hams, 2006) childhood is a multistage process where early investments feed into later investments. Skill begets skill; learning begets learning.


 Effective tutoring offers the following benefits:

Individual instruction- A quiet child is more likely to open up and ask questions that they would normally refrain from in a large classroom setting.

Small group instruction- Students are more open to helping and learning from each other in a small group of about 3-5 students.  It also reassures other students that they are not the only ones in need of assistance.  In this type of setting, competition amongst students actually can help motivate others to want to achieve academic success.

Identifying learning problems- learning centers such as One On One Tutoring Service located in Philadelphia, PA offer testing that will pinpoint students learning problems which makes instruction much more effective as instructors are able to identify weaknesses and learning gaps thus effectively developing a plan to target and build upon weak skill areas.

Improved academic performance- systematic tutoring as offered by accredited learning centers like One On One Tutoring, and is based on student needs along with input from teachers can and will indubitably lead to overall academic performance.  By targeting academic weaknesses, instructors are able to fill learning gaps and the end result is improved performance in the classroom.




Harms, W. (2006). Enriching Education Throughout Childhood Pays Big Dividends For Disadvantaged. Retrieved from

Compass Learning Website

Thaddeus Falana M.ed - Friday, May 13, 2011
Award-Winning Performance

CompassLearning Odyssey® delivers student achievement solutions that combine cutting-edge technology with current educational research and management tools. The result: award-winning software that excites and engages students and educators alike.

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Duval County Public Schools

Thaddeus Falana M.ed - Friday, May 13, 2011
Duval County Public Schools

By:Vicki McLenahan

Our district has chosen to use Compass Learning Odyssey®, a Web-based curriculum, to enhance your child's educational experience. The Odyssey program offers a customized learning program for your child. The targeted instruction is aligned with state and national standards while a variety of instructional approaches facilitate differentiated instruction to meet the needs of your child.

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Bay Area Tech

Thaddeus Falana M.ed - Friday, May 13, 2011
Bay Area Tech. Schools
Bay Area Technology School is proud to implement an online instructional software called Compass Learning Odyssey for all of its students to be used in BayTech's Integration Classes in the Computer Lab. Students will be assigned to the online courses as the teachers of those courses see it necessary. All students will have their own passwords to login to the online software, anywhere and anytime...
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Wilson Reading Systems

Thaddeus Falana M.ed - Friday, May 13, 2011
The Wilson Reading System

The Wilson Reading System is a reading program designed for students in grades 2 through 12 (and adults) who have difficulty with decoding and spelling. It is a complete curriculum that has 12 steps, beginning with phoneme segmentation. Its main goal is to teach students language and word structure through a carefully planned program.

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