6 steps to make your child’s tutoring experience a success
How do you maximise the time and investment dedicated to discrete tutoring sessions while supporting your child's wellbeing? Our six step guide breaks this down for you.
Every child has a different way of learning, and what works for one child cannot necessarily be assumed to work for another. Successful learning outcomes from tutoring sessions will therefore largely depend on the strength of relationship and the level of communication between tutor, student and parent so that individual learning preferences can be addressed early on. A strong connection between student and tutor builds the relationship and enables critical teaching and learning tools such as trust, listening and communication to play their vital role, ensuring your child feels supported throughout.
1. Explain your tutoring decision to your child
Where there are struggles with learning, the topic of a tutor can be sensitive for any student. Explain how a tutor can help and stress that there is nothing to feel self-conscious or anxious about – indeed, having direct access to specialist knowledge and guidance is a real opportunity. When it comes to sessions, encourage your child not to hold back with their tutor, to ask questions and get the most out of their time. Let them know that it is absolutely okay to ask for help.
2. Choose your tutor together
Review tutor overviews together and find a personality who feels like a good fit for your child and their learning needs. The chosen individual should also instil confidence that your goals for the tutoring can be met.
3. Consider session types
Which session type is most conducive to your child’s learning – one to one, or within a group? Does your child learn best participating alongside others, or could they benefit most from dedicated focus without side distractions?
4. Preparation is key
Speak to your child’s school subject teacher in advance to get a clear sense of where additional support would be most beneficial so that your tutor is informed and prepared from the start. Equally, make sure your child feels clear on what areas they are seeking to improve from their sessions. For their first session, encourage them to write down their top focus points – this might include gaps in knowledge, a particular concept they’re struggling with, or a homework task which they are finding hard. This helps the tutor become familiar with the student and can guide discussion, while ensuring that valuable time can immediately be spent on tackling key areas of difficulty.
5. Stay involved
As a parent, consider watching any recording of online sessions after the event – at least initially – so that you can help support your child between sessions. Stay engaged and be proactive: ask your tutor to share progress updates and advice on how you can work with your child to reinforce learning at home.
6. Listen to your child
Talk with your child – after every session – about how they feel their sessions are working. Is it helping to shape their confidence in the subject? Is it helping them back in the classroom? Do the same struggles remain? Consider if there is anything that could be done differently before, during or after sessions to make the most of the time and knowledge available. Your child may feel more inclined to talk to you about any problems rather than the tutor. If different methods of teaching are being used, can you work with your child’s teacher to provide further information for the tutor on syllabus and lesson plans. Help your child prepare for each session by reviewing previous sessions and working with them to identify any new, or continued, challenges. Those difficulties should then be discussed with the tutor at the start of their next session.
Lastly, make sure your child has had a snack beforehand, has a drink with them, and is sitting in a relaxed and comfortable workspace, ideally free of noise and distraction!