There aren’t enough words to explain what Josh Aronovitch has been able to do for my 13 yr. old daughter as her tutor this year. If you are a parent who has ever had their child struggle with anything in school, as well as struggle with you at home when you try everything to help them, then please read on.
Since Preschool, Kyla has always been behind the rest of her peers in almost every skill, though she was not special ed. I held her back in 1st Grade, which I had known would be necessary from the first day, and it caught her up in some things. But as elementary school went on, she kept struggling more and more in every subject. I reached out to the school for any help they could provide, which came in the forms of being pulled from class, going to special before and after-school math and reading programs, and getting more time with her teachers after school. I even tried to get her an IEP, but she tested out of that by just 1 point.
As you can imagine, Kyla was not very receptive to this. She was always a well-behaved student and would do everything she could to please her teachers, but when coming home after trying so hard for hours every day, the idea of homework was impossible to her… and I couldn’t blame her. I tried everything imaginable to help her, teach her, have family who were actually elementary teachers help her, but there was no motivation or energy left at that point in the day. From the ages of around 6-11, Kyla would start throwing horrible tantrums at home if she didn’t understand her homework (which was almost every night). These tantrums involved screaming, shouting, crying, rolling all over the floor, slamming things, not eating dinner, crying herself to sleep… the emotional and physical toll this took on her caused her to “hate” school. I can’t even begin to describe the toll all of this took on both me, her older sister, and my parents (who we live with). I had to take her to a child therapist by the start of middle school, because I truly felt that there was nothing else I could do to make things better. Thankfully, she was very open with the therapist, and we were able to boost her self-esteem enough to at least stop the tantrums and understand that we were happy if she just tried her best, no matter what the grade looks like. She settled into middle school, just in time for the Covid-19 Pandemic to start up and force her into remote learning for the rest of 6th grade, and what looks to be all of 7th.
At the start of this school year (7th grade), I knew I would have to find a tutor who could assist Kyla in any subject she needed, just to keep her on the track she had started so well the previous year. I asked her guidance counselor for recommendations, and Josh is the first person I called. He wasn’t only able to assure me he could help Kyla… he was able to promise me that he could help her learn in a way that she would be able to understand, and really start to feel success in school. For the first time, I felt that someone was finally hearing me when I described the kind of help she needed… I had been telling teachers for years that Kyla just doesn’t understand things in the conventional learning models, but they just kept trying the same things over and over. Josh gave me validation that my instincts had been right all these years, and offered me a real solution… I was onboard!
That was November 2020. It’s now February 2021, and I barely recognize this confident, brilliant, empowered young girl who is consistently getting A’s and B’s in every subject with not one ounce of frustration! Since her very first session with Josh, I’ve watched Kyla’s mind finally “click” in all the areas in which she struggled, and she’s finally been able to see the potential that has been there all along. He has taught her how to understand a way of learning that works in the way she needs, which no teacher or specialist had been able to do in all these years of school. The self-confidence I see in her is breathtaking, and I know we’ll never have to go through those struggles of the past ever again. Keep in mind, he was able to get her to this point of truly enjoying school in the middle of a year of fully remote learning, when we still don’t leave the house unless it’s essential due to the ongoing pandemic. And he’s only been working with her 1 or 2 hours a week, for about 4 months! Our home has a much more positive atmosphere, and Kyla continues to improve in every subject area. I’m so proud of her, and so grateful that Josh came into our lives. He truly cares about Kyla, and has even become a trusted confidant for her.
I can’t say enough wonderful things about Josh, b/c there aren’t enough words. The gift he has given my daughter is one that has set her on a path for success throughout her life, in a way I couldn’t have imagined. I believe he can reach any student, at any age, and show them how to succeed. If you’re still not sure, please read my story again. If there’s a chance for you and your child to avoid any of the frustration we went through, then I encourage you to set up just one session with Josh. Your child is worth it.
- Tracey Lee