I have decided to take the next 30 days leading up to Christmas to share ideas for academic enrichment gifts and stocking stuffers.
I am coaching a handful of students in Geometry right now. This can be a challenging subject. What's amazing is how very different each of them is being taught. Some have the blessing of having very detailed notes and handouts that they can use to learn the material. Others are not so lucky. I have one young man who is attending a very respected charter school which considers itself classical, and so maybe for that reason is using a Geometry book that looks like a novel and was published in 1929. Maybe I'm exaggerating a little, but it's horrible. He struggles to take good notes due to some learning issues.
I began working with another young lady a couple weeks ago who also had no text or context for her studies other than the daily notes and handouts. I ordered a textbook for her and dropped it off to use while studying for her final exams. Her mom called to say it made such a difference.
Don't be afraid to ask the school for a text book. They may say they don't have them or only have class sets. I can't promise it will work, but I would certainly mention that as a tax paper you should be able to get a text book for your student. Another idea is to order a supplementary tool. I have ordered several of this Tutor in a Book's Geometry which my students and parents are finding helpful. Yes, you can always Google a concept or go to my "go-to," Khan Academy, but sometimes it's nice to have a written resource that your student can easily access. You can also ask the teacher to let you know the syllabus for the next few weeks, so that you and your student can access related resources. You can search the concept, i.e. "Pythagorean Theorem" and add "pdf"which will typically bring up a nice chart or explanation on the particular concept.
There are some amazing teachers, but sometimes they fall short and often times the way subjects are being presented is not the most logical or efficient. This means we have to advocate for our students and teach them how to advocate as well. Yes, they may mumble or roll their eyes, but ultimately they will be grateful if you pick up some of these resources for Christmas gifts. If not, you can always blame it on me.