Club Z! Tutoring of Olympia offers in-home tutoring to students throughout Thurston County, from pre-K to adults. Personal tutoring is available in all core subjects – reading, mathematics, science, and history – as well as foreign languages, standardized test prep, and kindergarten readiness. The most frequent requests are for all levels of math, reading comprehension and study skills.
Angela Grant, who grew up in Lesotho and England, before traveling the world with her military husband and eventually settling down in Olympia, has owned the local Club Z! tutoring franchise since 2005. Her educational background makes her business a solid choice for families searching for tutoring assistance in the Thurston County area.
Individual Tutoring Plans
Grant develops customized tutoring plans based on each student’s needs. When Grant meets with a family, the discussion is focused on the best solution to the challenges the student is facing.
“As a teacher in the classroom, I would see the one or two students who I knew could improve their grades with just a little bit of extra help,” states Grant. She describes situations where the student needs to refocus their attention on the subject material, or perhaps find a teacher who ‘speaks the same language’.
Another example is a high school student currently enrolled in Chemistry and Algebra 2. “A student needs the algebra skills to be successful in chemistry class. If the math curriculum is behind the chemistry class, then the student may be struggling – not with chemistry but rather with needing the algebra skills,” describes Grant.
Club Z! tutors don’t work just with students who are struggling to get up to speed. “Often there’s the A student who wants to be an A+ student. Or the student who, with a little bit of help, can stay on all the teams and get As and have a life and get sleep,” Grant says with a laugh.
Other students may be operating with an Individual Education Plan and be receiving therapy from a multitude of specialists. “A Club Z! tutor can fill the gap to helping the student get through the day-to-day schoolwork,” says Grant.
She also mentions cases where students were referred to her after completing speech therapy. “Other students may be in fourth or fifth grade and are struggling to get through their twenty minutes of reading. They just need someone to provide a little extra guidance on how language works and then the reading skills come rapidly,” explains Grant.
“Sometimes, it’s just opening a door and showing the student that if we have two or three pieces of the puzzle in place, we can find the answer to finish it,” says Grant.
Throughout the past seven years, Grant has developed solid relationships with educational professionals in the local school districts. Grant then uses these relationships to help families navigate through the school. Sometimes, she may suggest requesting a teacher whose style or presentation better matches the students needs. “Being guided to the teacher who speaks a student’s language is the ideal,” remarks Grant.
After developing the individual plan for the family, Grant assigns a tutor matched to the students needs. “I go out of my way to find tutors that are fabulous with the subject,” Grant says, “but also able to communicate that subject to students of all ages.”
Most of the Grant’s tutors are part-time, employed in other fields. Many are teachers who tutor as a second job.
Bringing Tutoring to the Student
Session length depends on the student, their age, and needs. For an elementary student, Grant prefers no more than one hour per meeting. “But when we’re getting into upper levels of math, it doesn’t make sense for the tutor to get up and leave if we’re just about to turn a corner.”
At the high school level, work sessions often run between an hour and an hour-and-a half. “There’s always flexibility. Some parents just want the tutor there until the work is done and we plan on an hour, but it might take an hour and 15 or 20 minutes.”
One of the unique aspects of Club Z! Tutoring of Olympia is that it brings the tutoring to the student – usually at the student’s home.
“Sometimes home is not where it works best, particularly if there are four dogs, three cats, and mayhem,” Grant says. “Then we either sequester the rest of the family to another area of the house or we move to the library or tutor at school.”
Club Z! individualizes each student’s tutoring plan. “We have kids who meet at the library, their parents’ place of business, tae kwon do – all kinds of places,” says Grant.
One of Grant’s most important jobs is to make sure families understand that they aren’t alone in needing help.
“There are hundreds of families whose child is struggling with calculus, algebra, or not getting their hands around reading, and it’s just taking awhile,” Grant says.
“It’s reassuring for parents to hear: ‘We can do this. We can dig out, we can correct, we can move forward,’” she says. “Whatever shape that happens to take.”