State-Of-The-Art Educational Approach

Barbara was instrumental in helping our daughter navigate the college application process. Together, they created a thorough and practical plan for completing her college applications. Barbara was also able to help our daughter overcome her anxiety about writing her personal statements and the results were clear, engaging essays that gained her acceptance into numerous colleges, including Reed, UC Berkeley, UC Santa Cruz, UC Santa Barbara, Occidental and University of Puget Sound. Having Barbara’s expert help and guidance made the college application process far less stressful for all of us and it was a relief to know that my daughter was in such good hands. My daughter is now at UC Berkeley and we’re very grateful for Barbara’s guidance in finding just the right school for her.

“College essay writing is truly an art. Barbara Shore’s “Art of the College Essay” tutoring provided our son, Jake, with the guidance he needed to produce succinct, imaginative, meaningful essays that captured his unique personality and translated his accomplishments into one-of-a-kind works of art! Barbara carefully analyzes both the intention and mechanics of the writing with a critical and objective eye. She was able to ask Jake the right questions to reveal exactly what he was trying to convey about himself and why. The end result were two excellent essays and an increase in self-awareness and confidence. We are also certain that his essays were decisive in his acceptance at not one, but several top universities including Northwestern, USC, NYU and Carnegie Mellon.”

“Having a private college counselor for our high school senior proved to be the best investment and experience we could hope for. Barbara Shore really got to know our son and his particular needs in regards to finding a small learning environment for college. On one of my first conversations with Barbara she informed me that, “There is a college for anyone who wants to attend.” I have two sons with learning disabilities. One has ADD and the other has an auditory processing disability. I was so happy to know that they too would be able to benefit from a college experience just like everyone else. I know that my son would not have had the patience or the attention span to complete his investigations and applications of the colleges he had chosen without Barbara’s help. She helped him with his essays. She encouraged him, made him accountable for the process and followed up with him to make sure he was completing his tasks in the timely manner that is needed. She was patient, kind, and intuitive.
She is super smart and knows all about the pros and cons of every college. She called the colleges directly if she had a question.
Last but not least, she kept us informed so we were not out of the loop but were able to stand back and watch her empower our son on his journey into adulthood. We highly recommend Barbara Shore to anyone looking for a private college counselor.”

“As a mother of four children who have all needed tutoring at one time or another, I look for a tutor who can provide not just tools for learning but a deeper connection to my child in order to provide motivation and encouragement. Barbara has a heart of gold and a mind like a steel trap. I have come to rely as much on her insights about my children’s learning style and strengths as on her educational prowess. She is both an intellectual and a wordsmith who will connect with, inspire and entertain your children as well as educate them!”

“Barbara Shore provided language arts tutoring for our daughter, McCall Barbara is such an important part of our girls’ education. She has worked with their individual strengths and weaknesses to help them develop into stronger, more confident readers and writers. The improvement has been tremendous and we are so thankful for the caring support she provides.”

“Barbara Shore provided language arts tutoring for our daughter, McCall, the summer before she began boarding high school.
McCall had some trepidation about Freshman English because it was an essay writing class. Barbara was able to both allay her fears and equip her for what lay ahead. By the time school began, McCall had a tool belt full of strategies for how to attack and succeed at any writing assignment—including the dreaded 5 paragraph essay. She also knew that Barbara was on her team because Barbara even offered to be available by phone or to skype with McCall if she needed it. The proof of Barbara’s methodology was apparent when McCall arrived home at the semester break grinning from ear-to-ear and announcing, “I got an A in English—thanks to Barbara!”

“Clear thinking becomes clear writing; one can’t exist without the other.”

–William Zinsser, On Writing Well

“Writing is thinking. To write well is to think clearly. That’s why it’s so hard.”

–David McCullough, Author

Through my 20-plus years as an education researcher and writer as well as my training and work in counseling psychology, I have discovered an enormous amount about how people learn and what makes the processes of learning and communicating both meaningful and successful. I bring all of this knowledge and experience to helping students find out what they need to know.  This includes working with students on how to access information and how to apply and communicate that information clearly and and thoughtfully. In the process, my students always learn a great deal about both the subject matter and who they are as individuals and as learners.


People of all ages learn best when they are comfortable, engaged and have opportunities to demonstrate competence and creativity. In my roles as both a tutor and college consultant, building relationships with students and families based on trust and mutual respect is always paramount.

Critical thinking is at the heart of learning and it can be taught. The most important elements of critical thinking are recognizing a problem to be solved, posing questions, trying out hypotheses, gathering and analyzing information and formulating arguments. Whether I am working with a student with reading challenges or one who is writing college application essays, my approach always revolves around promoting and modeling critical thinking skills.

Writing is not only the result of critical thinking, but is critical thinking in action. Or, as the renowned author of On Writing Well, William Zinsser, put it, “Writing is thinking on paper.”

Rewriting and revising are also critical learning processes. The more students write, revise and rewrite, the clearer their writing and the sharper their thinking.

Learning requires both explanation and modeling, but modeling is more important. Most often, my time with students revolves around questions—mine, not theirs! By modeling the process of asking questions and sorting through possible solutions, students learn a set of thinking skills that will bolster their ability to learn and problem-solve throughout their lives.