How is MFK different from tutoring? Let me count the ways.
I can’t pretend to know what all tutors out there do but I can tell you what I used to do before I zeroed in on this method. I showed my students Way. Too. Much. Stuff.
I showed them the Way Too Much Stuff well, and with love and passion and patience, and with belief that I was doing the right thing. I showed it all to them in a way that engaged them and that produced many light bulb moments. I showed it all to them because I was determined to deliver as much value as I possibly could.
And it didn’t work (according to my very high standards for functional use of a skill). The skills weren’t sticking the way the need to to really thrive in math. Why? Because I didn’t leave enough time for review and practice. Here’s the thing: when you leave time for review and practice, it means you’re not going to cover as much stuff. And as a teacher, that’s a tough call. But I saw over and over again how students need more practice and exposure with a math skill when it’s new than us well-intentioned teachers think. LOTS MORE.
Fast forward to today where I’m super solid on all of the hallmark features of this practice method I’ve created. One of them is teach less stuff, but make it the most important stuff, and teach it really really well. Leave tons of time for practice and review, using spaced repetition (another hallmark of the method, separate blogpost on that coming soon.)
As I always say: It’s Not How Much You Cover. It’s How Much You Retain. This is not a respected phenomenon in most classroom and tutoring situations. Hence, all the people thinking they can’t do math. Not so. Just takes practice.