Private Tutoring FAQs 

Why do many students benefit from private tutoring?

College is no longer an option but a necessity for your child to successfully compete in the 21st-century economy. The competition for college acceptance is growing while scholarship dollars are shrinking.

Our private tutoring program helps your student develop the skills that lead to college success. College preparation begins in elementary school as children develop skills in reading, writing, and math.

Students who fall behind in core areas need intervention to reboot their confidence. Children who fall behind don’t know how to ask questions and they start believing they are “dumb.” Remediation at the right time can turn frustration into success.

Academic skills are developed and refined across the grades. By high school, students should have a good foundation in reading, writing, math and science on which to continue building. In high school, Honors and AP classes lay the best foundation for college success.

Our ACT preparation and college counseling will help your student find and gain admission to the college that provides the best fit.

Do you work with gifted students?

Yes. Dr. Chippendale was a founding member of the Gifted Association of Missouri (GAM), and Dr. Paula Tinnin is a trained and experienced educator in gifted education.

How are your tutoring sessions organized?

All tutoring sessions are one-on-one and run for an hour (minimum of 50 minutes). Your student will work with an experienced specialist in his or her individual area of expertise. Well educated, motivating teachers are our greatest asset. Teachers work with each student to his or her skills while promoting the joy of learning. Students have the same teacher from session to session, and they work in a private room. This develops trust as students feel free to ask questions without embarrassment and admit if they are not understanding. Tutors can gauge progress and readily make adaptations to their teaching as needed.

What subject areas do you teach?

Teachers work with students from elementary-college and graduate school in Reading, Writing, Basic Math, Algebra, Calculus, Chemistry, Biology, and Physics. Test prep for ACT, PSAT, SAT, and GRE is also available. Tutoring sessions integrate school and supplemental materials.

Do you teach study skills?

Study skills are essential for school success, and we incorporate study strategies into individual subject tutoring sessions. Your child can also enroll in a structure study skills class that is both offered individually during the school year and small groups over the summer. Students learn time management, organization, note-taking, test preparation, and test-taking skills.

How do you select material for my child?

We use a combination of school and FOL materials, depending on your student’s specific needs. We do not use a one-size-fits-all curriculum. We incorporate Missouri learning standards into our curriculum. Our goal is never simply to teach to a test but to promote understanding and growth. We develop critical reasoning skills across the curriculum. We want your child to experience the joy of learning.

Do you provide assistance with IEPS or 504 Plans?

Dr. Chippendale and Dr. Tinnin work with parents and consults with schools to evaluate or develop an IEP or 504 plan. Both regularly attend school staffings. Dr. Chippendale also conducts Psychoeducational testing.

Who are your teachers?

All teachers at FOL are experienced professionals and trained in a specific subject area. Our teachers have a minimum of a B.A. or B.S. degree, most have an M.A. or M.S., and four have earned Ph.D.s. Because our teachers are all subject specialists, they are able to evaluate your child’s needs. Our teachers teach students, not subjects. The results speak for themselves.

What type of educational testing do you require or offer?

Both formal and informal testing is available but not required for your child. All students who enroll for math tutoring take a basic math test as part of their first session, but no other testing is mandatory.

Dr. Chippendale or Dr. Tinnin evaluates your child if he or she is behind in reading or writing or if the initial math screening suggests further testing is desirable. They use both standardized and informal evaluations, depending on your child’s needs. Numbers on tests alone do not tell the story. Dr. Chippendale or Dr. Tinnin will identify your child’s learning strengths, and our teachers will incorporate them into their teaching.

There is no standard testing regime for every child, but tests range from the Wechsler IQ test to individual tests in reading, writing, and math. Most tests are woefully out-of-date, and their results thus have questionable value. However, they remain legally mandated for students to receive special services in school. Please contact our office for a complete list of testing. Dr. Chippendale also screens for ADHD

How often will my child attend Focus on Learning?

You will be asked to sign a contract that stipulates rates and conditions, such as how we deal with missed appointments. However, you are not locked into any long-range contract.

Most students attend once a week, some come twice, and few require more sessions. Since all sessions are one-on-one, an hour at Focus is roughly equivalent to three small group sessions. At Focus, we believe that three students make a class, thus limiting individualized attention. No educational setting matches one-on-one teaching.

The number of weekly sessions your child attends will be determined solely by his or her specific requirements. You will be involved in determining the plan of action.

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