The importance of tutoring school children

September 24, 2009

A parent recently said he would have never made it through school without his tutor. He was not a poor student by any means; he actually graduated near the top of his class from a very prestigious school and went on to a top notch college. When I asked him why his tutor was essential to his education, what he said was memorable

“she knew how I learned and was able to teach me to see things in a different way, different than how the teachers at school were teaching me.”

Every child learns in a different way.  Some take a little more time to pick up the information being taught at school while others need a challenge.  Tutors are vital to the educational process because they go beyond the attention given to a student in a regular classroom setting. A good tutor provides a sense of competency to their students, encourages higher level thinking, re-teaches material as needed in a non-threatening environment, teaches to one’s learning style, is knowledgeable about the content material, provides empathy to the student, is an excellent resource to the parents, and coordinates with the child’s teacher.

When looking for a person to work with your child you should look for the following characteristics:

  • Enjoys working with children and can establish good rapport with the child.
  • A person who is patient, kind, understanding and fair.
  • The ability to teach alternative methods to solving a problem and making necessary accommodations.
  • The ability to see what needs to be done to help the child and to initiate a plan of action.
  • Enthusiasm!
  • A good communicator who easily talks to the parent and teacher.
  • Reliability as a worker: Punctual, dependable, steady.

When you decide to give your child the best chance at early success with tutoring, be sure you’re selecting someone who has more than just subject matter knowledge; someone who has the ability and track record to reach your child in a meaningful and lasting way.

The journey of learning

September 16, 2009

“It is a journey not a race” was the message delivered to the parents at my sons’ back to school night.  It made me smile as this is one of my fundamental beliefs and a cornerstone of Little Scholars’ philosophy.  Every child learns at a different pace.  Some children excel at sports before their peers while the same child struggling to score a goal is reading a year or more ahead of his classmates.  It is important that the child who outshines his peers on the soccer field understands the concepts of the game and how to play the game.  Just as it is for the five year old who is reading “Harry Potter” comprehends the story as well as the phonetic rules of decoding a word so he can be a successful speller.

What is the goal at the end of your child’s journey this year?  Do you want him to be reading at a comfortable level?  Writing his name?  Recognizing the letters of the alphabet?  Writing a creative journal entry?  Increasing his confidence in school? It is important he have the appropriate map for his journey.  Make sure you have given him the tools necessary to achieve in his adventure.

The tools necessary differ from child to child.  You must start by knowing where your child is consistently functioning. Is he reading at a 1st grade level?  Is she able to read the letters of her name?   Decide a realistic goal for the end of the year.  For example, I want him reading at a 2nd grade level and all 250 sight words or I want him to recognize all the letters of the alphabet. Then make a map with benchmarks for each stage and build upon those benchmarks.  With the appropriate map, your child will be able to have a successful journey with limited roadblocks and wrong turns.

All my best in your child’s journey this year!