TUTORING: DOES YOUR CHILD REALLY NEED THIS HELP?
Do you think your child could be doing better in school? Be realistic about your answer. We all want our children to excel and make us proud but the truth is, some children struggle a great deal with class assignments, homework and staying organized. Helping your child with these tasks sometimes becomes frustrating for him and for you, sometimes to the point of tears for both student and parent. Your intention to help him is good, but you may feel overwhelmed and even find your child hard to teach. This is when a good tutor can help.
These are some of the signs that your child may benefit from tutoring:
- You are absolutely sure (not just wishing) that your child can do better and believe that one-on-one teaching and learning is the way to go
- Your child’s grades are falling but used to be great
- You can see your child really struggling with assignments and homework takes forever
- Your child seems confused about lessons taught in school
- Your child lacks confidence in his ability to do school work
- Your child needs help preparing and studying for tests
- Your child always seems to be disorganized, forgets books, papers, assignments, etc.
- You know with certainty, after an assessment, that your child has a learning disability which requires a specialized tutor
Look for these qualities in a tutor for your child:
– An understanding of your child’s immediate academic needs
– Punctuality and reliability
– Obvious enthusiasm
– A positive attitude
– The ability to set goals for achievement
Keep in mind that not all tutors are created equal. Some are great and will help your child tremendously while others are impersonal and not quite as caring as we would like. Good tutoring helps almost immediately, gives a child more confidence in his ability to complete schoolwork tasks and gives him a feeling of success.
What your child should know about tutoring:
Do not assume that your child knows why he is being tutored. Most likely, you are the one who decided he needs the help or maybe the teacher has recommended it. In my first tutoring session with a child, I would always ask “Do you know why you are here?” Most often, I would get a response like, “Because I am having trouble with Math problems.” or, “Because I have trouble understanding questions on a test”, for example. The worst response was something like, “Because my mom said I have to learn more.” The best scenario is one where the child understands that tutoring will help him overcome whatever he is struggling with.
Make sure your child realizes that working with a tutor would be beneficial for him. You could say something like “I know you are trying really hard to understand the Math problems and I don’t like to see you struggling with them. I think that a tutor would be a big help to you. Would you like someone to sit with you as a helper?” This kind of statement from you is much more encouraging than, “What? This test was easy! You will have to work harder. No more television until you can do better! You need a tutor!”
I hope you are able to find a good tutor who is able to understand what your child needs in order to progress and that your child is enthused about being tutored.