Two jars placed outdoors at night, filled with flecks of color and symbolizing the magic of learning, by Engel Tutors.


Eric's Philosophy of Tutoring

Fun ~ I believe tutoring should be fun above all. Students who are having fun are more alert, engaged, curious, and able to concentrate for longer periods of time. Having fun doesn't guarantee competence, but it does give students a leg up on the learning curve. With this in mind, I strive to build individualized tutoring programs based on each student's strengths and needs.

Strength Based ~ Good tutoring recognizes each student’s learning strengths and helps them to see these strengths as bridges to their personal success. All of us have strengths, but too often it is the weaknesses or failures that are highlighted in our eyes. I help students regain confidence in their ability to achieve and enjoy learning.

Uniquely You ~ People are as different as snowflakes. We have different skills, interests, curiosities, and needs. That's why I take time through an interview and assessment period to develop a specialized program for each student based on both parent and student input.

Practical ~ I combine skills development with work on students' school assignments. Many parents want their student to improve their organizational skills, time-management, or ability to remember more of what they are learning. Yet students do not want to fall behind on school work just because they are spending additional time in tutoring. When students practice these skills in the context of their academic work, they learn more and complete their assignments, while these big-picture learning goals get the attention they deserve.


Engel Tutors reading icon, a book, symbolizing the F.A.S.T. reading program, a phonics-based, multi-sensory approach to reading.

F.A.S.T. Learning (Foundations of Analysis Synthesis Translations) is a fun, accessible, phonics-based reading program. Students enjoy F.A.S.T. because it employs visual, audio, and tactile activities. This multi-sensory approach helps all kinds of learners.

As a tutor trained in the F.A.S.T. Learning reading methodology, I aid students in overcoming decoding and comprehension challenges. I also believe in bolstering students' vocabulary by giving them a strong foundation in Latin and Greek roots, prefixes and suffixes. Active reading techniques and comprehension games also help many students improve reading comprehension levels.


Engel Tutors writing icon, a pencil, representing both creative and practical approaches to tutoring writing skills, building confidence, and overcoming writer's block.

Many students fear writing, or simply do not know how to get started. My background as a professional storyteller helps here, since storytelling exercises help students realize that they actually do have something to say. My students strengthen their writing skills with a variety of practical and creative activities tailored to their personal interests. Students learn to overcome writing blocks and develop skill as writers, building confidence in their abilities.


Engel Tutors math icon, addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division signs, symbolizing Eric's use of the Fun With Math program in his Ann Arbor tutoring services.

I coach elementary through high school students with learning challenges in fundamental math. Judy Liautaud’s "Math The Fun Way" series is one program I use which gets solid results. I also help students struggling with Algebra and Geometry. One of the problems with advanced math is that students cease to see any connection between what they are learning and the real world. While helping students with their homework and test preparation, I also provide real world projects which put those math equations to useful work.


Engel Tutors memory icon, a raised hand and question mark, symbolizing the success students experience through the coaching strategies in Eric's Ann Arbor tutoring services.

One of the areas I enjoy working with the most is memory. Memory refers to our ability to retain information over the short or long term. I use fun and effective strategies for improving that ability. Storytelling techniques, memory chunking, acronyms, and homemade games all help students discover their memory strengths and develop creative strategies for improving their memory.


Engel Tutors organizational skills icon, a file folder, representing Eric's philosophy of helping Ann Arbor students develop their own organizational style through games and role-modeling.

Students frequently associate the word ‘organization’ with ‘unnecessary torture.’ I realize that the best way to improve organization -- whether time-management or sorting a book bag -- is to make the task fun. I use games to help students develop their own organizational style. Often, I role-model by sharing examples of my own organization. Sometimes we even have organization parties!

>READ What Clients Say