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Acumen Summer Online Classes and Tutoring

Start the school year ahead of the game!

Summer is a time for relaxation and recharging, but for most it is also a time for preparation and planning. Acumen Tutoring’s summer classes and tutoring will help your student get a head-start on the coming school year.

All tutoring and group sessions will be conducted via Zoom.

Here’s what we are offering for this Summer 2020:


Jump Start Group Sessions

Once again I’ll be offering small-group sessions to help students to a solid start in the new school year. This year I’m offering two online classes, intended for my students who are entering some flavor of Algebra 2 or Calculus:


One-on-one Tutoring

Barbara and I offer individual tutoring throughout the summer. 

Summer School

Tutoring is especially important if your student is taking a course in summer school. Tutoring will make the intense, concentrated nature of those classes easier to deal with.


Preparation for next year
Math, Science, Computer Science

If your student is taking anything from Algebra 1 to AP Calculus, 9th grade physics to AP Chem, twice-weekly meetings through the summer (with breaks for holiday trips, of course) are usually sufficient to cover much of the 1st quarter’s topics in a particular class. Students taking Geometry will especially benefit from learning how to do formal proofs.


Summer Assignments
English, History, Journaling

If you need help with summer reading and journaling, Barbara works with students on analysis and writing for their summer assignments.

Also, for students who will be applying to colleges next year, Barbara can work with your student to write winning college essays.


Test Preparation
SAT, ACT, SAT Subject Test

If a standardized test is in your future for next year, we can prepare you for the trial. If you feel you need to improve your math score or learn how to lay out and writing an SAT essay, we can help.


Computer Science
Java Programming

If your student is going to be taking a computer class next year or just wants to get a taste of what coding is all about, he or she will find it useful to meet with me over the summer. We’ll write Java code (the language taught in the AP CompSci A class) and create a simple game or two while learning the principles and practice of computer programming.


Summer Hours

John and Barbara are available for tutoring during the summer Monday through Saturday 9:00-5:00. Other times are available by arrangement.


Course Descriptions

Following are the complete course descriptions and day-by-day outlines of this summer's offerings. The two prices listed for each class are the standard fee and the Acumen Tutoring student fee.


Algebra 2 Foundations (Class full)

School-year course: Algebra 2 / Algebra 2 Honors
Prerequisite school-year course: Algebra
Duration: 5 days, 1½ hours/day
Cost: Tutoring student: $300 / Standard: $350


Sign_up_now Having finished a year of Geometry, the high school math curriculum returns to Algebra; Algebra 2 is an extension of algebra, exploring the further reaches of that subject, adding a great in-depth study of such topics as trigonometry. Unfortunately, students have had more than a year to almost entirely forget the things they learned in their Algebra 1 class.

Algebra 2 Foundations covers all the Algebra 1 topics that the student will need to make the first quarter of Algebra 2 a breeze. As we discuss Algebra topics, we’ll also look at how those topics will be extended later in the Algebra 2 course so that they will be familiar with those taopics when they finally arrive in the school year.

All in all, Algebra 2 Foundations will make the first quarter of Algebra 2 very, very easy.

Class Outline

Day 1: Properties of Exponents

  • Exponent rules
  • Multiplying and dividing exponents
  • Simplifying rational expressions

Day 2: Functions

  • Definition of a function
  • Linear, quadratic, piecewise
  • Zeros of a function
  • Domain and ranges

Day 3: Polynomials

  • Polynomial names and degrees
  • Multiplying polynomials
  • Factoring polynomials
  • Solving polynomial equations

Day 4: Rational Expressions

  • Domain and range
  • Multiplying & dividing
  • Adding & Subtracting
  • Solving rational equations

Day 5: Graphing Quadratic Equations

  • Parabolas
  • Vertices & intercepts
  • Transformations
  • Wrap-up

Limits, Derivatives, and Integrals

School-year course: Calculus, AP Calculus AB/BC
Prerequisite school-year course: Precalculus
Duration: 5 days, 1½ hours/day
Cost: Tutoring student: $300 / Standard: $350


Sign_up_now Calculus is the start of a new era in a student’s mathematics education; it is not difficult, but is utterly different from all the math that has come before. Once the student understands the new concepts, calculus is significantly easier than Precalculus.

Limits, Derivatives, and Integrals gives the student an understanding of those concepts. The week presents an overview of the three concepts on which calculus is based: limits, derivatives, and integrals. Going into next year's Calculus class with an initial understanding of these concepts will greatly help the student adapt to this new math.

This course is appropriate for students taking either Calculus or AP Calculus. Note that it's not a useful class for students who have taken St. Margaret's Precalc Honors class, as they have already studied most or all of these topics in that class.

Class Outline

Day 1

  • Review of Limits
  • Limits, slopes and tangent lines
  • Introduction to derivatives

Day 2

  • Derivatives
  • Derivatives: Polynomial rule
  • Derivatives, slopes, & tangents

Day 3

  • Practice with Derivatives
  • Product and Quotient rules

Day 4

  • Chain Rule
  • Derivatives of trigonometric functions

Day 5

  • Introduction to integrals
  • Practice with integrals
  • What to expect in the coming year