Several years ago I watched hopelessly as my effusive, happy, youngest daughter sank deeper and deeper into the dreaded, grade school, mathematical abyss.  She was so confused she no longer had any idea what was going on in class, she lived in mortal fear of being called on, and she started to hate school. It was clear she would never catch up without help, so I set out to find a tutor.

I knew nothing about tutors, but by a lucky twist of fate, we ended up in the hands of Martha Cummings, a remarkable teacher who rebuilt my daughter's faulty math foundation and slowly, painstakingly got her back on track. Martha was serious, kind, demanding, friendly, strict, smart and funny. She was a godsend, and I have never been so happy to write out a check.

Later in…

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