Tom Armstrong — Private Mathematics Tutoring

Phone: (508) 241-6124 (call or text)

Mendon, Upton, Northbridge, Grafton, Sutton, Uxbridge, Hopedale

What I Do:

I help math-anxious people learn and gain confidence in math and science. As someone with learning disabilities, I had to work hard to become a successful engineer, fluent in mathematics so I have empathy for those taking up the same battle.

In addition to explaining mathematical concepts in simple terms, most students need a lot of positive reinforcement to overcome the math anxiety that results from poor grades. And all people have gaps in their education, especially in math; perhaps they just never understood fractions, or exponents and they require a little patient review of concepts they learned years earlier.

My goal is to foster an interest in math and science in students so they can not only improve their grades this year, but to face future math and science challenges with eager curiosity and confidence.

My Qualifications:

I have a BS in Engineering from Northeastern University, an MS in Computer Science from Boston University and I am a Massachusetts licensed math teacher for grades 5 through 12. I have worked as a software engineer for all of my adult life and I've been tutoring young (and old) minds privately in their homes for 30 years.

Fee Schedule:

  • All Students:

    First Visit and Consultation — FREE.

  • 5th — 8th grade:

    $40 per hour when paid 4 sessions in advance
    $60 for one individual hour

  • 9th grade and above:

    $50 per hour when paid 4 sessions in advance
    $75 for one individual hour

  • Second Student immediately following first student:

    $10 per hour discount for second student.

  • Second Student joining the same session:

    $10 per hour discount for second student.

What to expect:

Most tutoring sessions are 45-50 minutes of study followed by a 10-15 minute consultation with a parent. However, if a student is "on a roll", I will omit the consultation and stay focused on the lesson. I may also cut the session short if the student becomes saturated with new material; trying to push math into a saturated brain is counter-productive.

Most people like to meet once a week and reserve their time by purchasing a month in advance (either 4 or 5 weeks). I try to be flexible when people need to change times but keep in mind I have many students so I may not always be able to accommodate a last-minute change.

I am happy to meet with the student's teacher on my own time. I have met with many teachers at Nipmuc Regional and Grafton and would enjoy meeting more. Most teachers are eager to work with me on an on-going basis through email.

I usually begin a session with the current homework assignment or recent tests. From there, I evaluate the student's strengths and weaknesses. As I become more familiar with your student, I may omit subject areas where they are strong and concentrate on subject areas where they are weak including subjects they learned in previous years.

I encourage the parents of students to ask their student to explain their assignments to them. It doesn't matter if the parent understands it fully or not. Explaining their assignment to someone helps them organize their thoughts and cement the knowledge in their heads.

What not to expect:

I do NOT do student's homework for them. The student is responsible for completing their assignments whether the assignment is used in our tutoring session or not. Usually they get a "jump" on their assignment but there is no guarantee that it will be completed during the tutoring session.

I often help students prepare for college entrance exams but my main focus has always been on understanding mathematical concepts, not test preparation.

My price structure encourages weekly on-going sessions rather than one-time help with a tough homework assignment because the most successful tutoring occurs over the long term.

Pets Welcome:

I absolutely love dogs and cats. You don't need to apologize if they jump on me or get hair on me, I love it.

Tutoring Environment:

At least one parent or responsible adult must be home otherwise I cannot enter your house.

A quiet place with no distractions, away from household activity (typically a dining room table) where we can spread out books and papers is best. The student's room usually has too many distractions. I have also met students in a library but this is usually not convenient. Your home is best.

Please do not feed your student while they are being tutored. If they need to eat, please see that they are fed before I get there or they are able to wait until the session is over.

Cell Phones:

I do not recommend cell phone use during a tutoring session. Often, well intentioned students want to use the cell phone calculator but inevitably, notifications will pull their attention away. I will always have a (non-cell phone) calculator handy so please ask your student to leave their cell phone in another room for an hour.