Homework Coach FAQ: How Do We Instill Study Skills

Yes.  But a homework coach’s goal is to focus on organization, time-management, goal-setting and helping the student’s overall academic success.  The coach is not expected to be an expert in all your child’s subjects. However, we will try to match the coach’s strengths to your child’s weaknesses.  For example, if your student is weak in math, we’ll assign a coach with a good math background.  But if all you want is a math tutor, we’d refer you to our sister company In-Home Tutors.

No. Your child may not have had teachers who took the time to develop good study skills.  Or maybe your child is a bit disorganized and distractable but you see no reason to label him or her “ADHD”.  We agree… like most human characteristics, we all fall somewhere on a spectrum and we can support your child wherever they fall.   And remember, you can suspend our service at any time.  We instruct our coaches that their goal is to work themselves out of their job; their mission to help the student become confident and equipped with the study strategies needed to succeed without outside assistance.

There’s a big difference in mindset.  A good math tutor will arrive for a session and get straight to work helping your student understand their current math unit and complete his or her math homework.  A coach, on the other hand, will start a session by reviewing all homework and upcoming tests, will take stock of the student’s motivation and other concerns and then will help map out that evening’s study schedule.  At that point they may turn to math homework and our coach can probably provide tutoring assistance if the student is having trouble understanding the material.

Read more on the difference between and homework coach and a tutor  

We hear this from parents a lot!  Every student is different, of course, but here are a couple of reasons why you should perhaps be tolerant of your child’s prevarication.  ADHD children find it terribly difficult to get started on a project.  Or, their learning style may not lend itself to independent study.  If they are audio learners, trying to read a complex text book can be torture.  But if they could work with someone who would talk through the material with them, they’d not only pick up the concepts more easily, they might actually enjoy the subject.  You could no doubt provide this service for your student yourself, but you are probably tired after a day at work, and you have other children to supervise.  So don’t get frustrated with your student. Bring in a homework coach who will be happy to talk through your child’s history assignment!

Another reason that children struggle to complete homework is that they feel overwhelmed.  There’s too much to do and they do not know how to start.  This is an executive function skill commonly lacking in students with even mild ADHD.  Our coaches can help them think through each assignment, break it into smaller tasks, and show them how to get started.  Often the students are quite capable of finishing the project on their own at that point, without the coach needing to be present.

For some students, one hour a week may be effective.  The coach can help the student plan their homework week and also work on study skills and test-taking strategies.  But our experience shows that homework coaching works best when you bring in the coach at least twice a week.  That way there is continuity within the school week, and the coach can hold the student accountable for following through with the study plan they had worked out at the beginning of the week.

Please note that you may vary your schedule at any time and we will adjust your invoice accordingly.

Well, that is an option you could consider. Here’s what HomeworkCoach brings to the table to justify our (slightly) higher fees: we interview each tutor and check their background.  We’ve done this long enough now that we have good instincts for who will make a good coach.  Then we train the coaches using methodology which has been proven again and again with students of all ages and abilities.  And then we provide ongoing support and advice, drawing on the expertise of lifelong learning specialists.  So the chances are really high that we will send you a better prepared, more suited homework tutor than you can find for yourself.

There’s more: if your coach doesn’t work out or gets sick, we can quickly send a replacement. If you’d hired your tutor independently you’d be back to square one.  And finally, we make the month-to-month administration very convenient.  We track hours, bill accurately, set up easy monthly credit card payments.   You do not need to have cash ready for your tutor, or worry about whether you have to send the tutor a 1099 tax form or withhold taxes.  It’s just much easier with us!

Absolutely. If your child has had a hard time staying on track in high school, you can be sure it will not be easier in college, with all the freedom of being away from home.  We will find your student another young person familiar with the campus and its resources, who can meet  with your undergrad and help them manage their new environment.  Don’t let them flounder, contact us right at the start of their first semester!

We ask for 24-hours notice.  Just call or email us.  If your coach is due for their next session within 2 days, either let them know yourself that you are suspending the service, or, if that’s awkward, we’ll do it, but please be certain you get a confirmation from us; please do not just assume we got the email and that we have cancelled your coach.