Essential Algebra

online tutor


algebra & pre-algebra, grades 6-12

Everyone Can Succeed at Algebra

In 2004, I had a student named Eric in my Algebra 1 class in Washington DC. He did well for the first two weeks – mostly review. We began the algebra in earnest, however, and he became frustrated, stopped participating, and failed the Friday quiz. He used the mantra math teachers hear so often: he was “bad at math”.

A quick after-school session was all it took, though: Eric’s problem was not the algebra, it was a misunderstanding fractions: the ideas of common denominators, reducing, and equivalence to decimals and percentages. After reviewing and building these skills, we saw a dramatic and welcome improvement.  

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A weak foundation in pre-algebra skills can leave students with the perception that they are “bad at math” – something I have seen consistently during my fifteen years in the classroom.

If this sounds familiar, why not reach out now?   Mark

Focus on Fundamentals


Pre-algebra & algebra skills,  grade 6 – 10,  middle school & high school


One-on-one tutoring sessions


Personalized assignments after each session to reinforce learning


Schedule regularly and as-needed


Easy online scheduling for quick, easy sign up – anytime, sessions when you need extra help

Students feel safe to try, make mistakes, and truly learn.

In online math tutoring, we work together with an online whiteboard and audio/video chat. You need just two things: a computer and a good internet connection.

factors, prime numbers, fractions, decimals, inequalities, equations, exponents

quadratics, complex numbers, functions


How does online tutoring work?

Students need only a computer and high-speed internet. We will the student and I will use Skype, Zoom, or Google Hangouts to hear and see each other. These platforms have an online whiteboard that we both can write on using a mouse or tablet.


What subjects do you tutor?

I focus on the fundamentals of pre-algebra and algebra Decimals, fractions, percents, linear equations, exponents, square routes, inequalities & one-step equations. Uncertainty in ANY of these areas must be overcome for  a student to succeed.

Can you help me in other subjects besides math?

Currently, I am focusing on algebra  only. I may help clients with test prep questions from time to time.

Can you help me prepare for the SAT/ACT/GRE?

I help current clients with test prep questions from  time to time.


When are you available for tutoring?

I accept appointments Monday – Friday 6:00 am – 9:30 pm

How often should I or my child have tutoring sessions?

Frequency of sessions depends on the student’s needs and goals. 

  1. Two or three one-hour weekly sessions will yield the most progress.  
  2. One weekly session is appropriate for review & “keeping up” 
  3. If a regularly-scheduled student needs extra help (such as due to an upcoming test), an online scheduling system for these slots makes signing up simple and eliminates email/phone tag.
How does scheduling work?

We can set up a schedule when we first meet by phone or email. I recommend two or three one-hour sessions per week.

Once you are a regular student, I have an online scheduling system to help with any changes.

I need extra help this week. Are you available? How do I sign up for a session?

Great question! I use an online scheduler that shows my availability. AUTOMATIC SCHEDULING***    You can sign up for a session and it will take your payment via card at the time of scheduling. You can sign up with just a few hours notice or up to two weeks in advance. 

Don’t see a time that fits your schedule? Send me an email or text to see if I’m available.


What are your rates?
  • 90 minute session – $90
  • 60 minute session – $60
How does payment work?

For sessions that are scheduled as needed: payment is required by card at the time of scheduling. When you schedule online using the online scheduling system, it will automatically request your payment before you can confirm that you have scheduled a session.

For regularly scheduled weekly sessions: You will be automatically charged weekly on Sundays for sessions occurring that week. We will set this up through the payment processor Square the first week. Any tutoring sessions missed in accordance with the cancellation policy will be refunded by pro-rating the following week, unless the student or parent requests otherwise.

What is your cancellation policy?

I ask for 24 hour notice for a cancellation.


How do I get started?

Use my  email here.

Or call   705.994.4704

Part of company proceeds helps Mark's Essential Algebra work with local students in need. Ask about our program.

What Students And Parents Say:

Since working with Mark, teachers have said that my daughter is more willing to ask questions in class. Working online is pretty natural for her and it’s fantastic for me.

Jennifer, Collingwood, ON

Our son is clearly more confident now; he looks forward to telling Mark about his test grades.

Maria, Hampton, NH

Mark has worked with my son online and in-person. He has always done his best to be available. Mark often stresses the importance of understanding the fundamentals. We can see my son now trying to understand his work instead of just guessing the right  answer.

Lee, Charlottesville, VA

Mark really took the time to build a strong repore with my son and figure out how he learns best. He successfully encouraged him to take his time, practice, and persist!

Michael, Charlottesville, VA

Our daughter failed algebra last semester, partly from not understanding and partly from giving up. Working with Mark online this semester, she is on top of things and working hard! Mark works with her twice a week and gives her some practice homework after each session.

Deborah, Collingwood, ON

My daughter has always thought of herself as “bad” at math. I like that Mark talks to her with respect and simply expects her to do her best. When she gets confused or frustrated, he finds different ways to approach a question but they keep on working. She definitely appreciates his high expectations.

Joseph, Collingwood, ON

Working online with Mark has been a fantastic opportunity for my son. Mark works with him online twice-a- week and they go over homework. Mark also works with him to reinforce his weak areas.  My son is definitely more confident now.

Wendy, Charlottesville, VA

My daughter talks about her algebra class more confidently since she began working with Mark. Since her school closed in March, she has been working with him online and keeping up strong!

M. J. Collingwood, ON


a discussion with me…