You have made the decision to hire your student a tutor! This really can be a life changing event in the lives of many families. But, now that you have made the decision and hired your tutor, what now? Test Prep BootCamp has several tips to provide you to ensure successful tutoring sessions:
Set clear, realistic goals for your student.
It is helpful for the tutor to know which areas to specifically focus on, and it’s ok for these areas to change over time. To say that your student needs help in 5th grade math is very broad, however focusing on a few key 5th grade math skills - like multiplying and dividing fractions or working with integers - will help guide the sessions better. By setting clear goals, you will have more success in hitting your target! Also, be realistic and allow time for progress, not an overnight quick fix, which can put undue stress on your child and the tutor.
Meet in a distraction free, quiet area.
It’s important to be working in an area where the student will be able to focus without distractions like a background TV or siblings playing. You are paying for 1:1 attention between the student and tutor so make provisions for the area to be as quiet as possible to capitalize on the time the student has with the tutor.
Have the student come prepared with materials they want to go over and with the tools necessary to tackle those subjects.
You certainly wouldn’t write a very good book report without the book, so be sure you speak with your student before the session and help gather the appropriate supplies to make the session successful. Pencils, paper, calculator, ruler, textbook, notecards, highlighters and even a laptop are all useful items to have handy during a tutoring session.
Keep communication open between the tutor and the family.
Tutors love to know what to expect before they sit down with your student. They can come prepared with extra materials and mentally prepare how they’d like to help run the session. If questions arise between sessions, feel free to contact the tutor. They may be able to squeeze in an extra session or have a quick phone conversation with you to help devise a plan of action for the next session.
Tell the tutor all about your wonderful student.
Many kids suffer from lack of confidence and feel like they are “stupid” in math or in school in general. The competition is tough out there and after a hard day at school some days, your student may not be in the mood to sit and work on more things that they have a hard time doing. By telling your tutor all about the great things your kid CAN do, the tutor can help make connections between the easy stuff in their lives and the tough stuff. Your student may be a competitive swimmer but really struggle in math. By knowing what the student is passionate about, the tutor can connect your student’s hard work and love of swimming to math by talking about average swim times or tying math and the concept of hard work into other things the student understands. Many kids question, “why do I even need to know this stuff?” and by knowing what talents and interests your student has, the tutor can have a great answer to that question and can draw out connections between their struggles and passions. This is what we call making meaningful connections!
Always remember that the first learning experiences begin in the home so keep up the positive parenting! Your child’s tutor is your partner in providing educational enrichment at home, so continue reading with your kids, asking them about their assignments, reading through their papers and encouraging them in everything they do.