“This program saved my life!” exclaimed a woman who had walked up to a Tutor.com booth at a recent conference. Nicolette is both a military spouse and works with military families, so she understands firsthand the unique challenges of raising schoolchildren in the armed forces.
Tutor.com: How did you find out about Tutor.com and what was your experience with using the program?
Nicolette: In 2011, my family was stationed from the Virgin Islands to Maryland. At the time, my son Anthony was going into the fifth grade and had never lived stateside. This move came with many changes for him: he went from a private to a public school, everyone spoke in a different accent, the culture was different, and so was the curriculum and what everyone was learning! On top of all the changes that came with the move, Anthony’s dad was also deployed in Afghanistan. Anthony was really struggling with his grades and barely making it. The worst was math. He just couldn’t seem to pass. So, I decided to bring him to a tutoring center to help him catch up. This would have been a service that I paid out of pocket for. It was then that someone at Military OneSource recommended that I try Tutor.com/military first because Anthony could create and use an account for free as a military child.
Anthony would log on, put in his problem, and the tutor would really talk him through the process. They never gave him the answers; they walked him through solving the problem. Then the tutor would give him a similar problem to try to prove that he knew how to solve it and do the work on his own. It took a few sessions, and then eventually it clicked. He used his account all through fifth and sixth grade, starting out with basic math, and then for algebra and geometry in middle school.
Tutor.com: What did your family like best about using Tutor.com?
Nicolette: For both Anthony and myself, our favorite feature of the program was the independence it gave him to work on his studies. Once I walked him through how to have a session, Anthony would sign in on his own and became comfortable using it himself because it was so easy to use. One of the challenges he was having at school was physically understanding his new teachers because of their different accents compared to his. Because Tutor.com/military accounts do not use cameras or microphones for security reasons, the pressure was taken off Anthony and he could understand the tutors through the text chatting. It really helped alleviate some of that stress.
I also loved how the tutors were so approachable to Anthony. They never made him feel dumb or that he was asking too many questions. Once he had his tutoring session, we both knew that he could do the problem on his own.
Tutor.com: You currently work as a Family Assistance Center Coordinator, helping military families find resources and help for whatever they need. Do you recommend Tutor.com to the families that you work with now?
Nicolette: Of course! I tell the story about my son all the time! I joke that Tutor.com saved my life. I didn’t understand the math either, so to have a reliable resource help my son—they did my work for me! I didn’t come home stressed thinking about how I was going to help Anthony with his homework, especially when my husband was deployed and I was on my own. Tutor.com did that part for me and made my workload easier. I tell families now that my son has a 3.7 GPA because of Tutor.com. It gave him the foundation to excel in math and he always knew he had the resource if he needed it for other subjects.
Tutor.com: What would you say to those who make funding decisions about the Tutor.com/military program?
Nicolette: Please never stop the funding of this program! It helps the service member—and the spouse—so much. This program is also a great way to retain service members when you are able to say, “We offer this program to help your children.” It is one less thing a military family needs to stress about.
Tutor.com/military is funded by the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) MWR Library Program and the HQMC Voluntary Education Program, and by Coast Guard Mutual Assistance (CGMA). Those who fund the program determine eligibility for its use. To learn more and see if you are eligible for free online tutoring, visit www.tutor.com/military/eligibility.