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Guest Blog: Saved From the Brink… and Seventh Grade Math

Blogger Biography: Amy is an 18-year Army spouse who had no idea what she was in for when her husband came home one day and said he was going to reenlist in the Army. It’s been a wild ride since then. Sure, she’s not in the running for President of the United States like she had once planned, but her military life has taken her to places she never dreamed of going. Now, she’s a child advocate, military family advocate, career woman, volunteer-aholic, Army spouse and the mamma to two great Army BRATs (Born Raised and Traveled … thank you very much). 


Any military spouse who has held down the homefront during a deployment will know what I’m talking about: It is that moment that pushes you to the brink … the one that makes you realize that you just can’t do it … that surrender is imminent … that you are completely and utterly unable to … do seventh grade math.

You may have been able to do it at one time.  Heck, you probably even passed seventh grade math.  But, not now.  No way. No how.

What you do know is if you can’t figure out that not only do two halves equal a whole, but figure out WHY they equal that and how you FEEL about it, then your relationship with your child will be forever altered.

So, in a moment of panic you beg the powers that be for your deployed service member to magically appear on video chat.  “Oh please, please, please Dad! You’ve got to call home NOW.”

And then, there he is.  “Yes!  Your dad can help you with this. Mamma out.”

But wait, he can’t help. He doesn’t know how he’s supposed to FEEL about two halves equaling a whole either; he only knows that they just do.

All kidding aside, math is a whole new adventure, and most parents just don’t know the right way to do it.  It’s not about right and wrong anymore. Rather, it’s about students being able to explain how they got their answer using logic and deductive reasoning.

Personally, I think that’s a good thing.  I want my daughter to be able to intelligently and logically explain why and how she gets her answers.  In my book, that’s an important life skill.

So, this is where Tutor.com for Military Families comes in. This is a service offered free to military families including active-duty, National Guard, reserve, wounded warriors and Gold Star families.

More importantly, according to my daughter in a Fort Campbell Courier interview, Tutor.com literally saved our mother-daughter bond from ruin. Jane, my intrepid seventh grader, was quoted in the article as saying, “Tutor.com actually saved my Mom and I from completely ruining our relationship a few times.”

Jeez! I didn’t realize it was that bad … at least she was laughing when she said it.

So, here’s what’s so great about Tutor.com for Military Families. Jane has access to an expert tutor anytime of the day wherever she may be in the world.  She can use it by logging in on a computer, laptop, smart phone or tablet. The Tutor.com application and classroom make it all so easy.

After she logs in, Jane usually takes and uploads a photo of her homework using her tablet computer.  Then, she and the tutor spend the time needed to sanely — and oh so very quietly — work through the problems. If she needs to, she can then upload a picture of her answers and explanations to make sure that she’s on track. The site even saves her files and conversations for her to reference later.

Jane has had some tutors that she really likes. They are able to explain things to her in a way that she understands.  By using the site’s Favorite Tutors feature, she can contact them again when she needs more help.  And, don’t think that this has let Dad off the hook.  He is able to stay engaged in his daughter’s education because she can email her tutoring session transcripts to him.

And that’s it.  Jane completes her homework calmly and on time. I have now retired to drinking coffee and reading the paper instead of trying to do math that my English major brain just can’t process.  And, even better, deployed Dad (he’s home now!) was no longer ambushed by math via video phone.

Moral of the story? If any of this is familiar to you and you yearn for homework peace, I recommend visiting Tutor.com … and soon. Students in eligible military families can sign in at www.tutor.com/military for help 24/7, no appointment necessary. They just choose a subject and ask a question. The expert tutor takes it from there … it couldn’t be any easier!

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