Many clients often ask when is the right time to get a tutor for their child. The right answer varies, depending on the child, but don’t wait until bad grades show up on a report card. Now is the right time if your child is experiencing any of the following:
1. Low Scores on Class Assignments, Quizzes, & Tests
School grades tend to be cumulative or averaged. This means that grades earned early on weigh just as heavily as grades earned now. The sooner your child gets the help they need, the more likely their grades will improve.
Check with your child’s school to see if they offer a site to track your child’s grades. Many schools offer 24-hour access to student scores through an online website. This can be a great tool for parents to catch poor performance before it gets out of hand. Many websites also offer a venue for chatting with your child’s teacher electronically! If your child’s school doesn’t provide this, try using this grade tracking tool to help your child monitor their class grade.
2. A History of Struggling with a Specific Subject
Your child may need help with previously learned concepts before they will be able to experience success in a current class. For example, math concepts tend to be cumulative. This means that students are expected to remember and understand concepts learned in previous grades to be successful on current school year tasks.
3. “I Can’t Do Math”
Has your child ever demonstrated doubt when it comes to their ability to do well in school? If the answer is yes, tutoring can provide him/her with strategies to increase understanding and improve grades. These strategies will improve your child’s confidence and help them start the school year on a good foot.
4. A Belief in a Math Gene
Many children benefit from learning about how the brain works. It is important that your child believes he/she can learn math and be good at it. There are many great resources available to help children understand the brain and how we learn.
If you are interested in strategies to help your child learn about how the brain works, check out the strategies listed in the post, 5 Brain Strategies for Learning Every Parent Should Know.
5. Teen is a Junior or Senior in High School
Many juniors and seniors will be taking the SAT and ACT during the school year. Help them to start preparing now by working with a tutor to create a study plan. Students find it difficult to squeeze test prep. in during the school year on top of their classes and extracurricular activities. A tutor can help the student identify the key concepts that need studied and create a study plan that will fit within the student’s current schedule.
In addition to creating a schedule, many topics covered on these exams were learned years ago and haven’t been used recently. Every child will benefit from refreshing previously learned skills prior to taking the SAT and ACT.
6. “I’m Bored”
Does your child complain that class is boring? Tutoring isn’t just to help students catch up. Many students use tutoring to get ahead and explore interesting topics in more depth.
7. Struggle with Problem Solving
The school year is crowded with so much information that many important skills are sometimes given less than adequate time for learning and understanding. The newly adopted Common Core State Standards include the Standards for Mathematical Practice, which are sometimes overlooked. Tutoring is an excellent time to learn and practice these problem-solving strategies.
8. Child is Transitioning Between Schools
Transitions from elementary to middle school and middle to high school can be extremely difficult for students. In addition to learning a new school and making new friends, students most likely will be learning a new set of expectations while also learning content. All of this can have a dramatic effect on grades and understanding. Tutoring can be used to support your child with content and strategies to implement during the transition.
9. Disorganized Backpack & Locker
If your child appears disorganized (loose papers, unable to find important items, doesn’t turn in homework, etc.), their grades may be affected. Although organization is a key skill to success in school, it is not always explicitly taught. Many students’ grades will improve with coaching on organization alone. If you are interested in helping your child with organization, a great tool for students is Evernote.
10. Child Doesn’t Want to Go to School
Avoidance is a coping mechanism for many students. It is easier to avoid a difficult situation than to admit they need help. Perpetual failure isn’t fun and can be very stressful for a child.
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