Academic Coaching is a relatively new term that basicially is a notch above tutoring. Where a tutor will focus on teaching subject matter in the short term, an academic coach will focus on developing core academic skills that will apply across all disciplines. Where a tutor will help a student get up to par in one academic area, a coach will help a student fine tune his or her abilities, study skills, and, give them the confidence to perform across all subject areas.
As homeschoolers our focus in generally more focussed on coaching our children across all disciplines over teaching them individual subjects. We want them to learn how to and also to desire to learn more. Homeschoolers are never hesitant to hire a teacher as once we have set the desire to learn and given the childen the resources to discover, it is not threat or slight to us to hire someone to introduce subject matter.
It is also important for us to recognize when we need help in coaching our child by recognizing weak points that we, ourselves have been unable to inspire or motivate the child. In these cases an academic coach is absolutely necessary. It is becoming easier and easier to find such academic coaches on the internet.
As a native New Yorker, I wish there had been as much access to science tutoring in New York City as there is now. While I was strong in most areas and even got good grades in science, I would hve benefited from Tutoring Services in New York City to make me feel like I actually understood the knowledge I was memorizing and regurgitating on exams. I also have great access to tutors and Academic Coaches in the Atlanta Area (where I now live), as do homeschoolers all across the country.
I am glad that I now have access to academic coaching as needed so that my kids never end up science phobic (or any other subject for that matter) as I did. With the help of experienced professionals, I know that there is not limit for my homeschooled students as they learn the more difficult subjects and prepare for the much dreaded standardized tests.