“We aren’t born smart; we become smart.”
This quote from Albert Jacquard (1925-2013), a famous French scholar, helps pinpoint the reason any child could benefit from a bit of after-school tutoring one on one.
If your child’s grades aren’t what you’d hope they’d be, it doesn’t mean your child isn’t smart. It just means they probably have a different learning style and could benefit from some after-school help and private tutoring.
This year when they went back to school, you decided to get in touch with some tutoring services to organise private tutoring at home for your child.
Their calculus grades weren’t great last school year, and you’re a bit worried about what grades they’ll get this year without a bit of math tutoring.
And the tutoring had been going well, but now your child seems really discouraged and demotivated, the student from hell.
Maybe you’re already on your second or third math tutor, but you refuse to give up. Your child will do better in school this year.
This school year, your child is going to succeed academically, however much home tutoring it takes.
And you’re right. If your child is struggling at school, they need support, whether it’s an english teacher, a chemistry tutor, or an algebra tutor. After school help or private tutoring can help learners regain their confidence at school and love of learning, and you have a responsibility to find a tutor for them.
Here’s some advice for the best ways to support your child’s after-school tutor…
Support your child’s learning with one on one tutoring
As a parent, you definitely have a role to play in your child’s academic career.
And also to support their tutor, and help them find the right after school help.
Don’t you agree?
Did you think that paying for private math tutors near me and test prep at home for your children was enough to see them improve?
Your child’s after-school tutor is a kind of academic counselor. They’re playing a key role in the education of your progeny, and helping them tackle maths, spelling, grammar, vocabulary, reading writing, and study skills.
The tutors have mastered the material, understand the official curriculum, and have a wide range of exercises and assignments to help your child eliminate their weak spots.
But unfortunately, all that isn’t enough. ‘You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink.’
Take your garden as an example. It isn’t enough to just stake your tomatoes to guarantee beautiful round shiny red ones in August. You also need to water them!
In order to help your child at school, it’s the same thing:
You need to give them lots of support until they re-find their love of learning.
How can I help my child improve at school?
Start by supporting and mentoring your child daily:
- be available to discuss ideas and have conversations
- find other workbooks and learning tools that can further help your child’s progress and deepen their understanding
- Ask them questions to try and judge their motivation and interest
- Provide encouragement and positive affirmation ‘That’s great,’ ‘Good job,’ ‘You’re learning fast!’
- Sit with them while they’re working on their homework
- Ask them to summarize what they’ve learned
- Be patient
- Encourage the positives and don’t dwell on the negatives (from elementary school right up to college, teachers tend to emphasize the mistakes students make on exams, and don’t spend enough time on the areas where they’re strong and doing well. This can often be the source of frustration and discouragement for students.)
Putting in some time to try and keep your son or daughter motivated can really help increase the impact of their after school tutoring sessions, and the success of their tutor
Personally, and having been in situations where the student was in danger of flunking out - they wouldn’t work, refused to do their homework, and were convinced that they were stupid - it’s very discouraging, and support from the parents is almost as important as the private tutoring itself.
I’ve had several students who are getting my help with economics under protest, and have no interest in getting extra helping supplemental instruction themselves.
It’s the presence, perseverance, and patience of the parents (and of course, of my efforts as well), which help the child begin to make an effort academically again and see improvements.
The satisfaction of seeing results and getting better grades finish the job.
You can also try and evaluate the quality of after school classes yourself.
Mental and physical preparation for private tutoring
If they’re going to try and beat a system where teachers grade on a curve, even subconsciously, it is important that your child has a good relationship with their teacher and feels able to talk to them.
Whatever subject it is, whether they’re in a catch-up class, math, a foreign language, or earth sciences, they should be preparing body and soul for each class.
In a way, there’s a bit of training and coaching to do for your child to start putting the effort in at school.
- Sleep well: in order to absorb new ideas or build on concepts they’ve already learned, their brain needs to be well rested.
- Eat well and stay hydrated - studies have shown that after just a 1 or 2% decrease in hydration levels, our ability to concentrate decreases as well. It’s proof that you cant perform well if you’re dehydrated.
- Breathing well - a lack of oxygen also interferes with your ability to concentrate. Have your child do some breathing exercises, and maybe even a bit of exercise (some yoga sun salutations, stretches, and other simple moves would be good). A bit of physical activity can also be a great confidence booster.
- Sit up properly - having good posture will help with your child’s breathing. The body should be straight, on a good chair, and with the feet parallel on the floor.
- Try to make sure all their supplies are ready for when the tutor arrives - get a folder, pens, papers, books, and notebooks together so they can do their studying with everything they need.
A lot of these ideas seem so basic that they’re often forgotten.
However, paying attention to the details can help your child regain their confidence, and without even realizing it, your child will have ticked all the boxes to really improve their concentration and comprehension during their tutoring sessions.
Don’t forget homework from your child’s private tutor
For their two hours of private tutoring near me, leave your child in the hands of their tutor.
But I would advise speaking to them at the end of the day.
Daily homework help
Have your child go over their notes and textbook every night before they go to sleep. While the body is still at night, the brain continues to work.
Reading before they go to sleep is an excellent mental exercise to deepen their comprehension without too much effort, and the next day you’ll see that your child recalls the concepts read the night before much more easily.
If your child is getting extra help for language classes (whether it’s English or a foreign language like French, Spanish, German, Italian or Arabic), it is important to practice in between classes. Get your child to speak, read, and write in the language they’re learning.
Engage your child in simple and fun conversations to help them work on their oral and written expression.
Have your child work on dictations and re-transcribe simple dialogues.
Try and find easy examples and ways of explaining the concepts that they’re struggling to understand:
It’s normally the teacher’s job to break down complex ideas for their students, but they can’t always be with them.
For math classes, create some extra practice examples. Even if you aren’t a mathematician yourself, you can still create a few basic addition, algebra, or geometry problems for them to solve.
And of course, you’ll have heard about online tutoring classes to learn for free?
Instead of aimlessly wasting time surfing YouTUbe and Facebook, or sitting passively in front of a TV, why not have your child check out some of the online learning sites that are available?
There are tons of free, interactive and educational websites which will give your child the additional support to work through everything their tutor is trying to teach them.
Invest in some learning aids for your child
Our final piece of advice would be to invest in enough learning aids. A plumber would be able to do his job without the right tools, and neither will your child’s tutor.
Just as a doctor or a painter need the right tools to do their job, so do tutors running after school lessons. Get the right workbooks and other learning aids for your child’s level - study guides, subject summaries, basic overviews…they’ll all make learning a bit easier.
If they’re struggling with social sciences or social studies, paying attention to the news (reading the newspaper or listening to the radio) can also help increase their learning and help give your child an appetite for more information about history, geography, economics, social sciences, and foreign languages and cultures.
And there you go, now you have everything you need to know to make your child’s after school tutoring sessions go as well as possible.
If you think of anything that we’ve left out, don’t hesitate to leave us a comment below!