Learning Specialists Versus Tutors: How We Differ

Enrichment Therapies

February 20, 2017

young student writing in notebook

By Elizabeth Drewelow

Chemistry 101 was the class I feared most.  Just thinking about it gave me anxiety.  Although I participated in class and took notes, I felt like I was treading water.  For the first time in my life, I realized I needed help.  So, I joined a study group, in which a tutor was present. Reflecting back on this time, I can say that the support in the study group I joined was great.  However, our time was devoted to studying current and upcoming topics in chemistry class. Our sessions were largely content based, rather than skill based.  What I really needed was for someone to teach me how to study, visualize, and apply the concepts that I was encountering in my class. As a Learning Specialist, my goal is to work with you and your child to figure out the skills that are in need of enrichment and support.  It is my belief that, as a team, we can identify specific gaps in understanding.  Based on his or her unique preferences and needs, study skills can be custom built for your child. For example, many students struggle with math.  This may become evident to a parent when the child brings home assignments with errors, avoids doing homework, or becomes easily frustrated with math practice.  Let’s say the child is working on fractions.  At first, it might seem best to spend extra time practicing fractions.  However, maybe the child continues to struggle, even with a lot of fractions practice.  This is when a Learning Specialist can be of help! Using diagnostic measures, a Learning Specialist can target specific skill areas that may be hindering the student’s knowledge of fractions and overall math growth.  If a student is lacking knowledge in the areas of addition, subtraction, multiplication and division concepts, working with fractions is going to be a great struggle.  Moving forward, a Learning Specialist can strengthen fundamental skill sets that will support the child’s overall understanding of math.  Approaching learning in this way will help a student to tackle all new math topics, whether fractions, decimals or pre-algebra, with more confidence and certainty. Another benefit of seeking the help of a Learning Specialist is our level of expertise.  At Enrichment Therapy and Learning Center, our Learning Specialists are certified teachers.  This means that we are not only knowledgeable of all curricular areas, but we also have a variety of strategies and experiences to draw from in planning sessions for our students. Beyond this, we have experience in incorporating skill building into games and activities that make learning fun. If you are in the process of pursuing educational support for your child, consider the possibility of seeking out a Learning Specialist.  This choice may provide your child with just the right opportunity to develop the foundational skills that he or she will need throughout their educational career.  The benefits of this decision could make all the difference.

Enrichment Therapy & Learning Center has locations in the Iowa City, IA area and Des Moines, IA area. We provide individual speech-language therapy and tutoring as well as offering small group academic programs.  At Enrichment Therapy & Learning Center our passion is to help kids achieve effective communication skills and gain academic success.  Contact us for more information on how we can help your child succeed.


740 Community Drive, Unit A

North Liberty, IA 52317



5530 West Pkwy, Suite 300

Johnston, IA 50131



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