Michaela O.: A Military Move Brings Academic Challenges

Michaela and her family.

Master Sergeant Michael O. of the U.S. Marines has moved every four years of his 26-year military career.   During his last move, from Georgia to Virginia, he brought his wife and two daughters along.  Once his older daughter Michaela was enrolled in her new school she immediately found that the new curriculum was challenging and for the first time she needed extra help.   We caught up with Michael, his wife Marcia, and their eighth grade daughter Michaela to find out how Tutor.com for U.S. Military Families helped them during a difficult academic time.

Tutor.com: One of the reasons the Department of Defense wanted to provide online tutoring to military families is the very mobile lifestyle you lead.   How has that affected your family?

Michael:  I’ve moved many times during my military career, but often my family would stay put to give them stability.  But, for this last move before I retired, the family moved with me.  It was a big adjustment, especially for Michaela who found her classes in Virginia very different from those she had been taking in Georgia.  It really had an impact.  We didn’t realize how different the education systems were between states.

Tutor.com:  How did you find out about Tutor.com for U.S. Military Families?

Michael:  I was at a meeting at the Pentagon for new community members and someone happened to mention it to me.  I only wish we had learned about the service our first day!  It made a big difference for Michaela.  We loved that Michaela had access to tutoring whenever she needed it.

Tutor.com:  What subjects did you get help in Michaela?

Michaela: I worked with tutors mostly on math.  I would use it to study before a test.  I’d ask the tutor for extra problems that I could work on, especially word problems which are hard for me.  The tutors helped give me tips and then I could do it on my own.  I did better on my tests.   I also got help writing papers.  I really liked working with the tutors.  At the end of the year I had a high B in my math class.

Tutor.com:  What made math so tough?

Michaela:  Moving from my old school to a new one was hard because the classes were different and I didn’t know some of the information.  Tutor.com helped me with everything I didn’t know.

Marcia:  Yes.  I’d say that the tutors really connected the dots from one curriculum to the other.

Tutor.com: Do you have a busy schedule outside of school?

Michaela:  Yes!   I’m a cheerleader and I sing in the chorus.  I’m also in a mentoring program with my mom called Emerging Young Leaders.

Marcia:  Emerging Young Leaders is a program for middle school girls sponsored by a sorority. It helps girls get ready for college and provides culture awareness.  We also recently went to a weekend retreat put on by the Steve Harvey Foundation called Girls Who Rule the World.

Tutor.com:  You are a busy family!  Michaela, what’s your advice to other busy students who want to get great grades?

Michaela:  You have to be organized and follow your schedule.  Include enough time to study.  And if you have questions, ask during class or go to the teacher before or after school.  I used Tutor.com in the evenings and on the weekends.  It was really convenient way for me to get help.

Have a Tutor.com story you want to share?  Email jkohn@tutor.com.

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