Parents often ask when they should start considering a tutor for their child. Here are Tutor Doctor’s tips to help make the decision easier!
Grades, grades, grades. Parents often think that tutors only come into the picture when a student is receiving bad grades, but this simply isn’t the case. When it comes to students who receive tutoring, we can commonly break them down into three categories:
- A) Preparation. Students who want to get ahead. This category would include students who want training and assistance with future academic pursuits, like college-level courses and preparation for standardized testing (including the SAT/ACT exams).
- B) Preventative Measures. Students who want to maintain their academic trajectory. This category includes students that may have previously needed academic support but have since “caught up” and wish to maintain their rate of progress. This also includes students who know ahead of time that a class is going to be difficult (take AP Calculus for example) and want to make sure they have a tutor lined up in advance.
- C) Academic Difficulties. Students who are falling behind or facing current academic challenges. This is what most people think about when they hear the word “tutor.” In this area, tutors work to close learning gaps and bring the student up to speed.
In many cases, tutors play the role of all three! Ultimately, this will depend on a student’s individual needs and goals.
If your student is dealing with academic difficulties, here are a few more things to consider before adding a tutor to your child’s academic routine.
Why are the grades bad? This may sound a bit silly, but unsatisfactory results are not the only important factor - we want to actually know why a student is receiving poor grades. In some cases, students don’t have any academic problems but struggle with a lack of organization and time management that ends up reflecting on their academic progress. Parents can help by encouraging their students to get organized and making small routine changes to see if it produces a positive change. Of course, tutors can also make a huge difference in these areas as well (known as executive functioning), but it’s always good to try implementing these changes yourself.
If your student is organized and responsible but is receiving poor grades because they truly don’t understand the material, a tutor is probably going to be your best bet. Since tutors have the ability to go back and revisit previous concepts, working one on one is the best way to close gaps in the student’s learning. In many cases, students who receive poor grades suffer from both these issues - academic challenges and poor executive function skills. Parents will have to consider their own family’s schedule and what will be the best option for their child’s academic routine.
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