Do you remember when your parents tried to help you with your homework? Or, if you’re young, have your parent(s) sat down with you to help? For those who are self-motivated, a gentle nudge from a Mom or Dad can give you comfort and guidance. But more often, parents have a special relationship with their student that generally makes it difficult for them to tutor their children. A tutor is a mentor, someone who has a special understanding of learning, and particular tools and methods to accelerate the learning process, but they can also see the student “from outside” and that gives a tutor a strong advantage for identifying needs and talking about a person’s academic struggle.
As parents, we all want to see our children excel in school. Some children are great at motivating themselves, while others need a push to catch up or even a little help to accelerate beyond their current curriculum. When it comes to building new skills in education, there is no reason to postpone giving your child that push. Does your child need a tutor?
While there are emotional cues that might be hard to read, you can always look at your child’s grades. You might have a straight-A student getting their first B, or, a kid showing signs that they need extra help. But grades give you concrete evidence that your child is succeeding, or is in need of an extra hand in one subject or another. But how do you read the emotional cues? What do you look for?
A lack of enthusiasm around school in general or in a specific subject is a red flag showing that your student is not enjoying their experience. Elementary school kids usually love to learn. If your child is in that age group and seems down, that’s a strong signal to you. Check in and see what’s up. But don’t make too many assumptions because your child may actually be bored! Seeing the difference is where a trained tutor can really help. Tutoring is great for kids who are behind, but it’s just as effective for students with excellent abilities. A tutor can pick out immediately that a child is not challenged enough, and can accelerate their learning plan to match their abilities, and even make recommendations to change their academic career path.
Remember to talk to their teacher. Don’t wait for parent – teacher night. A teacher can help you for two reasons. First, they have probably noticed that your child is suddenly not interested in a subject that they used to like. If they aren’t aware then let them know. Secondly, your teacher may have information that you are unaware of about what’s going on during the school day. Together you may more quickly find where your student is struggling and give them the assistance they need. It is important to get help sooner rather than later.
When you discover that your child is struggling academically, it is important that you identify their area(s) of difficulty and get them the best help you can find. Finding a tutor that can help them in that subject or subjects should be done before the child develops negative academic patterns which can stay with them permanently. The subject of math probably requires the most careful watch.
Math is a linear subject. Each new chapter and in each new term, math courses build on the content of the last. Once a child begins to fall behind, they are going to stay behind until they get help, or they give up. Delaying help risks more than grades, it erodes confidence, self-esteem, and that affects them socially in class, on the playground, and if it goes on too long, in their community.
Learn more about Hiring a Tutor and feel secure by understanding what a good tutor knows, and how they approach their work.