Why Modern Tutoring Isn’t Enough

The modern K-12 school system is dysfunctional and students are suffering in it. Yet, the costs keep rising. Parents see their children struggling and contact a tutor, only to find that most tutors are part of the system rather than a solution to it. Most treat some of the symptoms, but neglect the causes of the problems. After spending lots of money on tutoring, parents will find their children in trouble again.

Affordable Private Tutoring in the Classical Liberal Arts Academy

Students commonly have problems that come from a number of sources. We need to address the immediate problems (low grades, confusion, frustration, etc.), but we also need to get to the real causes of those problems. This is the difference between classical tutoring and modern tutoring.

1. Poor Study Skills

Many students struggle because they have never learned the basic study skills needed for success, or because they have not continued to develop the study skills necessary for college prep studies. We work to help students learn how to study and acquire the discipline needed for success. We help identify the specific study skills students lack and work to develop them.

  • Do students know how to study for mastery?
  • Do students know how to memorize rules and definitions?
  • Do students know how to take notes?
  • Do students know how to manage assignments?
  • Do students know how to prepare for tests?

These skills can’t be assumed of students–they must be taught!

2. Poor Teachers

I know from experience what it’s like to struggle under an incompetent teacher. A 7th grade Algebra teacher led me to dislike Mathematics in school because I thought there was a problem in me because I “didn’t get Algebra”. Schools also are plagued by high teacher turnover and many students end up with a first-year teacher for an important course–and this can be a disaster. When students are struggling under a poor teacher, they need to help to overcome that teacher’s flaws and stay on track for their overall school progress.

3. Poor Curriculum

Many schools today offer study programs that are not sufficient for student progress. Programs are “dumbed down” to allow schools to serve as many students as possible, rather than to provide the best education possible. Even worse, schools divide students into different levels or “tracks” allowing them to pass from one grade level to the next without learning of the content of the published curriculum standards. Even worse (!) teachers in modern schools often curve grades to all students who fail classes to receive passing grades–because many of the students failed. What a mess.

Through tutoring, a weak school curriculum can be supplemented to provide any student, in any school, with an academically challenging course of study.

4. Poor Study Materials

Dog food is made not for dogs but for dog owners who don’t actually eat them. Modern school textbooks are like dog food: they are not made for students to choose, but for state level school board members who don’t actually need to study them. Modern schools don’t provide students with the best textbooks ever produced, but the textbooks that happen to be available. Often, this has more to do with bringing profit to the publisher than understanding to the students. Sometimes, students struggle because the textbooks chosen by their schools don’t explain concepts well. Some textbooks are so chaotic that it’s hard to even find the lesson content on the pages. There are bad textbooks.

In the Classical Liberal Arts Academy, we are able to provide students with the best textbooks ever produced and alternative sources to make sure they get the best lesson content to master every concept.


Modern tutors normally offer to help students raise their grades or test scores, but the children need much more than this. Modern tutors tend to take advantage of the anxieties of parents and cover up some of the symptoms of modern schooling, but do not address the causes. In the Classical Liberal Arts Academy, we’re recognize the importance of the symptoms, but know that the only way to truly remove them is to eliminate the causes of them–and we can do that.

God bless your studies,
Mr. William C. Michael, Headmaster
Classical Liberal Arts Academy

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