Sometimes education during the school day just isn’t enough for a child to master the classroom curriculum. For children who are struggling, or just need some one-on-one help, a tutor can be the perfect solution.
But before hiring a tutor, talk to your child about why you feel tutoring is so important. He or she may be resistant to the idea of needing extra help, or be embarrassed about it. Taking the time to be supportive and encouraging can make a big difference. As a parent, you need to sit down with your child and have a serious discussion about the possibility that he or she might need some extra help with someone other than you.
Once you’ve found a suitable tutor, you want to make sure that your student gets maximum results from each session. A little planning and preparation ahead of time can make that happen. Here are 7 tips for how to maximize your tutoring lessons:
1. Set Expectations
Let the tutor know what your expectations are. You may simply want the tutor to monitor homework assignments and make sure they are completed. Perhaps you want the tutoring sessions to concentrate on strengthening weak areas or preparing for upcoming exams. Some people use tutors to prep for standardized tests, such as the SAT, ACT, ISEE, or SSAT. Just make sure that you convey to the tutor exactly what you expect his or her role to be.
2. Keep Tabs on the Student-Tutor Working Relationship
There needs to be an element of chemistry with the tutor and student. The whole point of this is that you are seeking one-on-one reinforcement for your child, and that is not going to happen without good, clear communication. You will need to determine if the tutor is a good fit and evaluate the relationship after a few meetings.
3. Create a Productive Environment
Remove distractions before a tutoring session, and make the environment conducive to learning. This includes making sure that the child is well fed and rested. Some kids prefer to work in total silence, while others do better with soft, lyric-free background music. Discourage any phone usage during the session. Also, make sure that your child goes to the lessons prepared. He or she should organize any class notes, examples, graded quizzes and tests, class syllabus, textbook, notebook, or any other necessary materials.
4. Do Extra Practice
One of the biggest mistakes that some students make is not practicing enough. If your exam involves solving algebraic equations, you need to practice solving algebraic equations. Merely memorizing the material is not enough. There are many resources where students can find additional math practice questions, such as: Atom Learning. 98% of students have said that they preferred learning verbal and non-verbal reasoning on Atom rather than in books. Additionally, students who use Atom to prepare for entrance exams are 4 times more likely to get into their first-choice schools.
5. Track Progress
Discuss progress regularly with your child to gain their input on how competent they feel, what they like and don't like about the subject matter, and what they would like to accomplish for the day or week. Help them cope with learning materials that they find boring, and help them finish projects that they deem hard. Always consider their input for ways you can better help them succeed.
6. Set a Suitable Tutoring Schedule
Set reasonable tutoring session times based on age and attention span. If a child experiences difficulty with focus, start with shorter lessons and more variety. Gradually increase the study time if it seems productive. Notice what garners the child's interest and work in these areas as much as possible.
7. Address the Problem Areas
Discuss with the tutor the problem areas that need to be addressed. Let the tutor know exactly which topics are giving difficulty. Either you or your student can convey this information to the tutor, depending on the maturity level of your child. The tutor could eventually detect the problem areas, but if those are identified beforehand, the tutor’s time is better spent in actually helping your student overcome the problems.