Older Students Conquered Math when returning to College; We have had a few clients recently who are going through career changes e.g. retiring from the military, selling a business, wanting to finish that college degree or going into to a new line of work.
These people are definitely self-starters, they aren’t afraid to jump into the deep end. But then after a little time in class or online, they find that those rules that they use to know aren’t in their short-term memory anymore. We tell them this is like learning a new language with different meanings for common phrases such as; simplify the expression, factor the polynomial, substitution, variables, constants, Integration, Derivative, equation of the line, limits, slope, area, trigonometric functions to name a few.
I, too, am in my 50’s, but I am a practicing engineer and educator, so I developed these skills in the 1980’s and use them regularly for my work. It’s said that if you don’t use it you lose it. This is true for everyone. I have assisted these people to learn the skills to work on their own and achieve success with math education.
We work with my students online or in person depending on what works best for them. I use old books that I had in college which subject matter hasn’t changed since Gottfried Leibniz and Sir Isaac Newton developed these practices (1640’s to 1720’s) some 300 years ago.
Real People encounters with College math;
For Example; A new student who has been working in the medical field nursing and accounts receivables for over 25 years. She has decided to finish her bachelor’s degree and go onto an MBA or Law Degree. She has a great New York Catholic education but it has been almost 40’s years since then. We told her that this is a new language and getting to know the terminology is essential. Terms like; evaluate the expression, simplify the expression, FOIL method, factoring polynomials, substitution, are getting me long stares and confusion. Math is formulaic so once you understand the process you can solve any problem. We have adjusted our approach to slow down get these essentials clear because math builds on itself.
Another student who finished his carrier in the military, and then opened his own company, and now has sold it and is halfway through a bachelor in computer science degree. He was taking a calculus course at a community college and couldn’t find tutors on campus. He is a very dedicated student but needs another person to help him with the fine points, including; udu, Integration by parts, trimetric substitution, standard forms, and polar coordinates. We worked problems together I explained the solution then I would have him explain the solution method back to me so I could see if the concept was sinking into his short-term memory.
Our teaching method is similar to that I used when we were in school, we talk our way through the problem, and the students are following the solution on paper or similar to an overhead projector as in the old days but online now. Older Students Conquered Math with our help.
If you are finding yourself in similar situations come to check us out at PETutors.us or call at (804) 972- 2600.