GRINDS

Hi, and welcome to the grinds section of L.C. Maths!

In addition to the grinds that are already included with a membership, we also offer additional small group grinds and one-to-one grinds to any student who feels that they need that extra bit of help with a particular topic in Leaving Cert Maths.

Below, you will find the answers to some of the more common questions that we are asked about our grinds, as well as the booking calendar itself!

Our one-to-one grinds are €30 each and our small group grinds are €10 each.

Typically 50 minutes, but we're not very strict on that.

If Mr. Kenny feels that a few extra minutes will greatly help a student with their understanding, he will gladly keep going!

The exact timeslots for the grinds will be finalised just before they launch in January.

Good question!

Our grinds typically have the following structure:

  • The first 5 minutes are spent determining what the student(s) specifically needs help with, whether it be figuring out what equation(s) to use, the theory behind the maths, the maths itself etc.
  • Over the next 15 minutes, Mr. Kenny then talks through a relevant question or two in order to improve the student's understanding (using either a digital whiteboard or overhead camera depending on the question).
  • In the following 20 minutes, the student(s) then attempts a similar question or two. Mr. Kenny will offer his help and guidance anytime the student(s) gets stuck or is unsure how to proceed.
  • In the next 15 minutes, we then discuss that student's solution(s). If necessary, Mr. Kenny will walk the student(s) through the solution (again using either a digital whiteboard or overhead camera).
  • In the final 5 minutes, Mr. Kenny will then offer further advice on how the student(s) should proceed depending on how well the student(s) did in attempting the question(s).

Of course, this structure is flexible and may vary depending on the specific issue that the student is having.

In-person grinds are always better.

You've probably noticed by now that we're very honest here. We have no problem admitting that our grinds would be more effective if they were instead given in-person, and that is true for online grinds in general.

That's not to say that they are ineffective, just that they are less effective.

For example, an in-person tutor can look over the shoulder of a student as they attempt a question and thereby point out their mistakes as they go along. This is not possible with an online grind as students do not have overhead cameras etc. Instead, there's repeated pausing to check what a student has done so far in that question, breaking the flow of a student's concentration.

This is just one of the many ways in which an online grind is more "clunky" than an in-person grind.

Online grinds did not become popular because they are better for students. They became popular because tutors could reach a larger audience and thereby make more money. They became popular at the detriment of a student's learning.

Back when Mr. Kenny gave in-person one-to-one grinds, he typically charged €40 - €50 per grind (depending on the subject). We don't try to make cringey arguments as to why we feel justified in continuing to charge that rate. Instead, we charge a lower rate for our online grinds to reflect the fact that our grinds are not in-person.

No matter how good an online tutor is, and no matter what fancy hardware they use, that tutor would be even better if they gave you grinds in-person. Any online tutor who suggests otherwise is being intentionally dishonest and should be avoided.

You can always find an in-person tutor who will move things in their diary to suit your preferred time. You can always find an in-person tutor who will travel to you and not vice versa. You can always find an in-person tutor that will offer you support in between grinds. Online grinds are more convenient for the tutor, not the student, and the price of such grinds should always reflect that.

"Wait, are you saying that I shouldn't book a grind here?"

Well, for one thing, Mr. Kenny is not very strict with the length of his grinds. If he believes a few more minutes would be beneficial to a student, he will gladly keep going.

A 50-minute in-person grind is always more effective than a 50-minute online grind. However, what about a 50-minute in-person grind compared to a 60-minute online grind? The answer to that is not as obvious. 

However, if you already have an in-person tutor who you believe is doing a good job, don't stop and switch to our grinds! Keep going with that tutor, we really don't mind!

Well, we haven't tried them ourselves, but they might be good too!

This website was created solely to give students the best outlook for their exam. We therefore certainly don't mind if students consider grinds elsewhere.

In fact, not only do we not mind it, we actively encourage it!

However, we urge caution when choosing whoever you gets grinds with, be it with us or elsewhere. 

Many people created grinds websites solely because they realised that they could exploit the need for students to learn remotely during a global pandemic.

Many people created grinds websites solely because they had the mind-blowing thought that "Skype = 1 student but now Zoom  = many students. Grind not as good for student but me make more money. Me very smart." and decided to make a career out of trying to extract as much as they could from students and parents.

Many people set up grinds websites for both reasons.

Such websites are typically easy to spot based on their prices. The people who set up such websites should be considered salespeople first and tutors second. We therefore don't recommend such websites (and we certainly hope that none of our students ever becomes such people!).

However, Mr. Kenny is certainly not claiming to be the only person who is giving grinds for the right reasons. €10 for a group grind and €30 for a one-to-one grind is a fairly common (non-exploitative) rate for online grinds, and you can certainly find those rates from well-reviewed, highly-qualified tutors on other websites.

We really don't mind if you consider those alternatives!

Sure!

Don't worry, we've got you covered!

As we are only interested in increasing the grades of our students, we have no problem with giving tips on how to find even cheaper grinds elsewhere.

Below, we've grouped other grinds into three categories, ranked from best to worst.

\[\,\]

1) Other one-to-one grinds

Although we believe that our grinds are priced very competitively, particularly considering how qualified Mr. Kenny is, it's certainly possible to find high-quality one-to-one grinds even cheaper elsewhere.

For example, there are many college students that did very well in their exams who are working part-time minimum wage jobs in order to pay their way through college. Such students would be delighted to travel to you for a one-to-one grind for less than €30.

\[\,\]

2) Other group grinds

Group grinds are significantly less effective than one-to-one grinds and should only be considered if students cannot afford one-to-one grinds either with us or elsewhere.

Again, we believe that our group grinds are priced fairly. However, it is certainly possible to find group grinds for as low as €5 each (albeit typically in larger groups).

This is also true of group "revision courses", "crash courses" etc.

In general, group grinds should only be considered if your maximum budget is €10 per grind.

\[\,\]

3) Recorded "grinds"

Grinds, by definition, include interactions between a student and a tutor.

There are many websites that refer to a collection of their recorded videos as "grinds".

We could quite easily take a similar lazy approach and spend a week or two creating 50+ hours of lesson videos and include them with our membership. However, such videos do not make for an effective learning experience. Watching hour-long videos without any student-tutor interaction is simply not going to improve a student's understanding as much as actual grinds, even if a teacher's notes booklet (that is typically of lower quality than a €30 schoolbook) is included.

Websites that encourage students to pay for their recorded videos are in fact aware both that they are not grinds and that students can spend those 50+ hours learning more effectively using other means, and yet offer such "grinds" regardless.

We only suggest considering such videos if a student is on a very tight budget, and students should not be paying more than 50 cent per hour for such recorded content.

Again, this amount should also be applied to recorded "revision courses", "crash courses" etc.

If a student can afford more than that, then they can likely afford group grinds which should instead be considered.

Only if a student wants them to be, and only with their parent's/guardian's permission!

A student's privacy is important to us and, in accordance with EU privacy laws, we therefore only record a grind 1) if a student wants us to and 2) if a parent/guardian allows us to.

In the booking form, we therefore specifically ask whether a student would like the grind to be recorded or not.

If the answer is yes, we will then send the student a link to the recording shortly after the completion of the grind which allows the student to both stream and download the grind at their own convenience.

Again, for the sake of privacy, this recording will be unlisted and can therefore only be accessed using the link that we provide.

And don't worry, it will be possible to both stream and download the recording until at least the student's final exam!

Once a timeslot is chosen on the calendar, you will be automatically redirected to the booking page which needs to be completed to reserve that timeslot.

On that page, you will be required to provide the following information:

  • an email address that information about the grind can be sent to
  • the specific topic that the student would like us to focus on during the grind
  • if the student would like us to record the grind or not so that they can view the grind again whenever they wish
  • any additional information that the student believes might be useful, e.g. a specific exercise question or sample/past paper question that they are having difficulty with
  • payment details for the grind

Our grinds take place on Google Meet.

Don't worry, there is nothing for you to install and you do not even need a Google account!

We will email you a link to join the grind and, assuming that you are using a laptop or computer, that link will open directly in a browser and therefore does not require installing a separate program.

In the unlikely event that you instead plan on joining the grind on a smartphone or tablet, installing the Google Meet app may instead be more sensible [Android] [iOS].

We recommend using a computer, a laptop or a large tablet if possible!

All you'll need is a pen and paper!

We totally understand that a student may, for example, have had a tough school day on the day of the grind and would prefer to simply take it easy for the rest of the day.

We therefore allow a grind to be rescheduled to any available timeslot as long as that request is made less than 3 hours before the start of the grind.

Likewise, a student may no longer feel that the grind is necessary because the topic has "clicked" since the grind was booked. We wouldn't want that student to be wasting both their time or money on a grind if it's no longer needed!

We therefore again allow a grind to be cancelled for a full refund as long as that request is made less than 3 hours before the start of the grind.

In either case, the grind can be rescheduled or cancelled using the links provided in the email that is sent to you.

No problem!

Feel free to reach out to Mr. Kenny on Teacher Chat or at teacher@lcmaths.ie.

(If you wish to reserve multiple grinds at once, select each timeslot one by one.)

These grinds will go live in January!