Saturday, June 30, 2018

Math and Science Tutoring in Red Hook, Rhinebeck and Pine Plains

Chestnut Tutoring,  Advanced Learning and Remediation

FALL-SPRING 2018-2019 Red Hook, Rhinebeck, Kingston High School, Saugerties, Lake Katrine, Pine Plains Local Academic Support (Tutoring available via Skype)

Remediation and Advanced Learning for all subjects (Grades K-12)

Tutored Subjects (by appointment only)

SAT / PSAT Math and Verbal (New Format)

Common Core Curriculum

Mathematics -Algebra I, Geometry and Algebra II/Trig
Social Studies - American History, European History, Global Studies
Science -Biology, Chemistry, Earth Science, Physics
Foreign Language -German
Study Skills discussed at all tutorial sessions.


7 days per week per appointment
Saturdays are Skype Tutorials ! Call today to learn more about this effective method for tutoring at your location.

map to Chestnut Tutoring
Contact Philip Russo for appointment and further information.

13 Trow Blvd, Red Hook 12571
(845) 876-8661



Meet Philip Russo, MA Ed., Owner

Following is an interview with Mr. Russo, owner and primary tutor of Chestnut Prep in New York City. He would like you to know more about his background and the advantages of his tutoring program.

When did you start tutoring?

I started tutoring in college while completing my degree at the University of Chicago. I was asked to teach the Dean's children who were attending University High School, a laboratory school founded by John Dewey in 1886. I was able to coach the children in a variety of subjects since my undergraduate studies were diverse in math and philosophy of science with a minor concentration in chemistry. Years later, I began a master's degree at the University at Albany. Focusing on secondary education, I revisited John Dewey's ideas once again.
When I began my education degree at Albany in 1997, community members in Rhinebeck, New York, knew I was also offering full-service tutoring. Before I even graduated, my small business was well established. I have now been teaching for 20 years in all major areas of math, science, history, English, and SAT exam prep.

What is your opinion of the new Common Core curriculum?

First, I think we should accept that the Core is here to stay and will not disappear anytime soon. We should remain creatively optimistic and look for ways to excel within this new structure. Many parents are frustrated, in particular with the methodology of the Core math curriculum in the younger grades. They see the approach as needlessly confusing, and indeed it sometimes is.
But, if we consider the big picture, there are some benefits in learning multiple methods to solve math problems. As adults, we must have skills which we adapt to find solutions in a dynamic world. We must often change our way of thinking to arrive at a common goal. A simple elementary math fact, such as 9+5=14, is presented in many different ways. Terms such as "using doubles" and "making tens to create a lasso" are only some of the buzz words forming the foundation of the mental math techniques now found in the Core. So my role as a tutor is to help students reduce their test anxiety in math and better understand that there are many ways to solve a math problem as their skills are refined.

What do you offer that the Common Core does not?

One of the challenges of an educator is to identify unseen talents and abilities in students, and then create programs that amplify and enrich these skills. Testing and assessment today are limited far too often to an exercise in finding mistakes and faults. Ideally, we use this data for remediation and correction of misunderstood concepts. But as a society, we must actively identify and promote talented math and science students at a very early age.
It is common for parents of children who have mastered math facts above their grade level to seek out structured academic enrichment programs. In the spirit of independent study, they come to me for training in the well-known Singapore Math program, learning at a pace that is limited only by their ambition and ability. This requires differentiated instructional programs which, unfortunately, are not the main focus of the new Common Core math curriculum.
I consult with families to help build a flexible, private curricula. As a tutor, I reinforce the material taught. There are many advantages experienced by students learning ahead of their grade level. Not only do their grades improve in their current classes, but as the subjects become more difficult in higher grades, they have an academic advantage. Increased academic awareness does not increase the level of boredom in the classroom. Rather, it further stimulates the desire to learn. The old adage that "children are like sponges" has proven to be true.
As an educator, I offer services to help fill the gaps and deficiencies in the Core program. Parents are concerned that the science and history content at the Core primary grade level has been removed. To address this concern, I offer science demonstrations and math workshops during the summer months for local students to enrich these areas, as well as German lessons for all ages.

What are the biggest influences on your educational philosophy?

I have had the good fortune to visit 17 countries, thus far, and have experienced the classrooms of Europe and Asia first hand. Last summer, I spent a week in a German high school (the most advanced, a gymnasium), and participated in chemistry lessons. I was very curious to compare our curriculum grade by grade with the German approach for math and science.
Our school systems are very different in structure, but one key feature stood out. When analyzing European and Asian middle schools, I found they teach the same math and science content to students in younger grade levels than our schools do. Specific math concepts in algebra are often taught three years earlier compared what we offer our local public school students.
Germany has three types of high schools, so they are able to group students more easily according to ability or vocational and professional ambitions. Offering differentiated instruction to their precocious elementary students eventually puts these countries at a tremendous advantage when competing with our students internationally. So my goal is to help identify our talented students earlier, offer enrichment content to ambitious students to help them compete globally, and also to help students who are currently struggling in school.

Do you volunteer in the community?

I am a volunteer on the Alumni Schools Committee of the University of Chicago and conduct prospective student interviews. I serve as an ambassador of the Admissions Office at college fairs and information sessions in the Hudson Valley. It is very rewarding. The interaction that prospective students have with alumni volunteers is incredibly important to the students' college search process. Many students are unable to come to campus before they apply to the University of Chicago, so their meetings with a volunteer might be their only face-to-face interaction with a representative of the university.

SAT Prep Course begins this Spring for Rhinebeck, Red Hook, Kingston High School students.


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