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Minato's Math Mentoring

Students are Behind in Math

Most of my private tutoring students struggle in their current math class at least partly due to deficiencies in their math skills from past years. Based on a respected online math diagnostics tool, most of my students are two or more grade levels behind. As I help them with their current math work, it is clear that my intuition agrees with the diagnostic tool. Some students are five or more grade levels behind in math. Yet, most of the students have very high grades, generally more As than Bs. When I check their historical grades in math classes, they tend to be very high, As and Bs. Yet, they do not have the skills.


My Schedule is Packed

My tutoring schedule is packed to overflowing. I can't add any more students. Other tutors I know report the same.

A Possible Solution: Minato's Math Mentoring

For about ten years I have been having a few of my private tutoring students use iXL. This is an online math resources. It is the resource I use for the diagnostic tool mentioned above. I have mixed feelings about learning online, but I am very impressed with iXL. Several of my students have been using it and have brought their math skills up quickly and dramatically.

I have purchased a membership in iXL. Any existing tutoring student of mine can have a free account. I will help them get setup and started, see below. This service is included free with my regular tutoring fee. We will use up to 15 minutes per week of our tutoring time to work on iXL and remediating weak math skills.

For students who are not my regular students, I have the following offer. Meet with me one time for one hour to get all set up in iXL and get a work plan. Then, meet with me on Zoom for 15 minutes per week, so that I can guide the student to success. The cost is $100/month. I will keep detailed records of each student's progress in a Google Doc that I will  share with the student and parents. Parents can meet with me in person or Zoom as needed for $100/hour, billed in 15 minute increments.

Interested students or parents should email me.

Mentoring Not Tutoring

Students will need to be self-driven and disciplined for this to work and/or parents will need to be involved. Fifteen minutes per week is enough time for me to evaluate the students' progress and provide guidance for the next week. It is not enough time for me to actually teach them much math. 

This can be a good solution for students who are on my waiting list while they wait to reach the top of the list and get actual tutoring. It can also be a good solution for school breaks, especially summer. For some students this might be all they need.


  1. Students meet with me to get signed up for iXL and get a lesson on how to use it.

  2. Students do the diagnostic test on their own. It takes about 45 minutes the first time.

  3. I will study the results and iXL's recommendations.

  4. I will provide an action plan in writing to the student and parents.

  5. Each week the student will do an agreed upon amount of time working in iXL. Typically I recommend one hour per week minimum when school is in session and three hours per week minimum during breaks.

  6. At an agreed upon time each week the student (and parents if they wish) will meet via Zoom to check progress and modify the plan as needed.

The Default Action Plan

The plan for each student will be developed individually. But the following is where I will start:

  1. The student will do 10 minutes of iXL diagnostics per week.

  2. I will give the student specific iXL lessons to do each week for at least 40 minutes. I usually choose lessons that are connected to what the student is doing in their math class, but often at one or two grade levels lower.

  3. iXL will also make suggestions of lessons for the student to do. These tend to be several grade levels below and easier than what I recommend. I encourage the students to do 10 - 30 minutes of these per week. These lessons are great to do when the student is a bit too tired to do their harder school work, math or otherwise.

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