The decision to seek a tutor for your child can be somewhat daunting and confusing. There are a variety of reasons you might head off on the journey to find a tutor for your son or daughter:
- You may have noticed they don’t seem to be reading or writing as well as their peers.
- They are expressing frustration with Mathematics and inform you they do not understand certain concepts.
- Perhaps a teacher has told you that your child is struggling with a particular area of their learning.
- You receive a less than favourable report that shows a drop in or little improvement in their grades.
- Your daughter or son is preparing for the HSC and is drowning in the demands placed on them to complete assessment tasks and maintain a study program.
- Your child has missed a block of schooling due to illness and requires some catch up tutoring to bring them up to speed.
- Your own intuition just tells you they need some help.
These are some of the common reasons we receive emails and phone calls from parents seeking a tutor for their child. What I have come to learn, in the dialogue between myself and parents, is that they simply want to provide their son or daughter with the ability to work to their potential, to be given the confidence to do so and to have a mentor who will regularly encourage them on a one to one basis.
Children and teens are well aware when they are not reaching their personal goals or are struggling to keep up with school expectations. Over time they can develop a sense of “learned helplessness” if problems are not arrested early. You might see a change in their enthusiasm in going to school, hear them complain about school in general and notice a reticence to engage in their homework tasks. In a busy classroom with twenty five plus students it is so easy for a student to slip through the cracks and this is when we find they have lost confidence in their ability to catch up. Tutors come to the rescue and solve these problems by
- building a good relationship with the student
- bringing activities and tasks that allow a student to succeed in the first instance
- And, finally, working with the student to fill in the gaps which enables the student to be better prepared in the areas which they have found challenging.
The tutor/student relationship is crucial to success. When a student is comfortable with their tutor, they are morereceptive to learning, are more likely to overcome their fear of failure, to ask questions and are therefore more willing to tackle previous learning issues without frustrations. Matching the correct tutor with a student is the most important first step. From my dialogue with parents it is about knowing that your child needs a good “role model”. If a mentor type relationship can be established, a student is more receptive to allow the tutor to capitalise on their strengths which in turn will give them confidence to work with the tutor to overcome their weaknesses.
There is no set time to look for a tutor, but it is best to offer your son or daughter help sooner rather than later.