Tutor Doctor | Sep 22, 2014

How to Make Tutoring Work for You

Categories: Elementary School, High School, Middle School, Tutoring, K-12, K12

With increasingly large class sizes and competition to get into the best schools, most students need a little help at some point in their academic careers. If your child is struggling to keep up or is losing confidence, getting them effective academic coaching can help to restore their self-esteem. If your child is doing well, but they need to improve their grades to get into the right college, having personalized academic help will improve their grade point average.

More school is not the answer

Avoid situations in which your child is simply moving from one school to the next. If you have an after-school learning center with a high student to teacher ratio, you child will not get the help they need. If your child is struggling with school, more school isn’t going to help. They need personalized attention so they can discover the gaps in their foundational knowledge and work to fill them.

For many children, struggling academically affects their self-esteem and they may begin to feel too shy to ask or answer questions in class, further inhibiting their growth. Putting them into a classroom situation with a tutor will do little to overcome these feelings of inadequacy.

However, one-on-one tutoring (preferably in the comfort of your home where your children will feel more secure) will help them to verbalize what they don’t understand so that the tutor can effectively bridge the gaps in their knowledge. As their abilities grow, so will their confidence.

Start with a consultation

Ensure that your child is tested by the tutor or institution so that the academic requirements are clear. You don’t want to be paying for tutoring sessions that aren’t focusing on the right areas. It’s also imperative that you select an agency that teaches study and organizational skills. If your child is falling behind, it may just be that they lack study skills. Learning the skills they need to succeed will enable them to be effective independent learners in the future.

Make sure it’s a match

When selecting a tutor for your child, make sure that it’s a good match. Opt for compassionate tutors who really care about your child’s goals. Tutors must be firm enough to get children to study and do their homework and kind enough to encourage them to express themselves. Tutors who nurture curiosity and encourage children with positive rewards are better. If you aren’t happy with your tutor, say so!

More work isn’t better

If your child is struggling at school or if they want to get better grades, giving them more outside work to do is not a great idea. Avoid learning centers which have a prescribed curriculum that doesn’t match your child’s. Instead select a tutor who helps your child with their homework and assignments and who sticks to the curriculum.

It’s also vital that your tutor has the right qualifications for the job. Ensure that they are not only familiar with the curriculum and the requirements of your area, but that they are experts in the subject.

Pic by Intel Free Press