Billing and Registration Changes

I've come to realize I need to tweek SkilStak a bit to perfect it further based on the following realizations after the move in July:

  1. Private one-on-one instruction is always the most effective.
  2. Pairing provides social support but needs to be done by you.
  3. I prefer working with a few, highly dedicated learners.

Private lessons are now the default. I've concluded one-on-one is simply the best. Mixing more than two in a lesson has been better than a full classroom, but not the best it could be—especially for those who have been here for years. Making private lessons affordable sets the priority on helping these dedicated learners while creating a fair expectation and option for those just starting out, including adults.

I should note that there is always another adult in an adjacent room when I hold private lessons in our home.

Private rate reduced from $1200 to $800. Some of you will recognize this is the same as upper-level classes before, but instead of up to eight in a class instruction is one-on-one. That's $50 per hour which is the going tutor rate in the area as well.

Term semi-private changed to paired. Paired programming has been a thing for more than a decade. The term fits better and provides an immediate description. Both solo and paired are both private. Paired also emphasizes the restriction to only two coders at a time.

Rate for paired students remains $600 each. No change there, but be sure you want to stay paired for the entire block. You cannot change a pairing in the middle.

I'll no longer make the pairings, but can advise on potential pairings. It makes more sense to have you identify your own friends to pair with—especially given the need for carpool and schedule arrangments.

No more than two will be allowed into a single lesson. Two is the maximum in any lesson, ever. Even if a group is very socially compatible adding more than two overly dilutes the learning in a given lesson. I have sifted all the content and my method to take advantage of this limited number. It requires an entirely different approach when teaching the same content to a full class.

All groups with more than two must split appropriately by Summer. If you currently have more than two in your group you will have to split and find a time that works beginning with Summer and from them on.

Those not paired changed to private automatically. If you are currently attending a lesson by yourself you will be automatically upgraded to private. If you wish to continue as paired you will need to make that arragement before your invoice payment.

Waiting list added. Wish the reduced number of overall potential students a wait list has been added. Even if you are already in a given time slot you can add your name to another time you might prefer over your current time.

Invoices must be paid within 7 days or forfeit time. Because I block the calendar out when an invoice is sent it is important that they are paid in a timely manner so as to not block other potential signups for that specific time. Those currently enrolled will always have priority, unless they fail to pay after which time they will be added to the wait list with others awaiting openings.

Two pushed-out misses per block of 16 lessons. No need for make-up. Now that private lessons are the norm and everyone is on their own path and schedule there is no harm in simply pushing the scheduled lessons out by one when there is a miss. I am providing two free push-outs per 16 weeks, which should cover most unexpected cases. Anything beyond that will either be lost or can be made up at the rate of $50 per lesson hour provided there is a spot on the schedule to do the make-up. Holidays are eligible for free push-outs.

No free make-ups, ever. Make-up rate $50 per lesson. As the schedule becomes full it becomes obvious make-ups are nearly impossible. When there are openings, however, paying for a make-up is always an option.

Single lesson rate $60 per lesson. For those of you visiting from out of town who want lessons when you are here the rate is set to $60 per lesson for one-on-one private or $40 each paired.

Parent appointment rate $20 per 20 minutes rounding up. Parents handle keeping up with their child's progress differently. With the very limited time I have on the schedule it therefore becomes required that I charge those parents wishing to meet a minimal amount. Meetings can take place here or at elsewhere. Summit Coffee has been my preferred spot so far. I encourage parents to review the notes I keep in the shared Google doc for tracking and asking questions there or in email or chat when needed. I simply will not have time to say more than a few words between lessons.


Thanks for patience and support with these changes. They correspond with my personal priority to provide the best possible learning opportunities for everyone who I get to help. Unfortunately, this means I'll get to help fewer in person but I am counting on the release of to help even more who want to learn bad enough to put the time in to do it.


Mr. Rob
02:28:18 AM, Tuesday, November 20, 2018