Ahh summertime! The school year has finally come to an end and we have a few months of lazy poolside days ahead of us. I bet this time of year is a favorite for most kids. For now, gone are the days of book reports and chapter tests.
Resistant to Tutoring
I received a call the other day from a parent in Herndon, Virginia. The mother of a rising fourth grade boy, this mom was calling to inquire about summer tutoring options. Her son muddled through math in third grade, and while he managed to receive passing marks, his foundation of basic facts was weak. On the advice of his teacher (and her own intuition) mom was calling around to learn more about summer tutoring programs to find the best match for her son’s needs. Like most boys at this age, this student was very resistant to working with a tutor – especially in the summer! As mom and I began our conversation, she mentioned this to me, seeking advice on how to best get him warmed up to the idea. She was excited to learn we could select an experienced tutor to come to her home work with her son but was concerned about his buy in. Mom didn’t want to move forward with tutoring only to have her son throw a tantrum the moment the tutor arrived to the home.
After discussing educational history and strengths and weaknesses in the classroom, we moved on to interests and activities outside of the classroom. An active child who loves sports, mom felt her son would best respond to an upbeat and engaging tutor who would make sessions interactive and hands on. To keep him engaged, especially during the summer months, he would need a tutor who could create games and activities to reinforce math concepts. Interactive, hands on, multi-sensory – all important and all necessary to get this boy excited for summer learning.
Using Hands-on Activities in Tutoring
As I was following up with the tutor we selected for this boy, the tutor shared with me she was prepared for her first session with games, activities, manipulatives and a prize chart! At the beginning of each session, she would outline objects on a whiteboard. This allowed her students to see what was on the agenda and what they would be covering each day. She used the bottom right portion of the white board to outline goals and daily objectives, which allowed her students to keep focused and relate efforts to meeting goals. And finally, there was the coveted prize box – a novelty item she used in her classroom during the school year and kept stocked with trinkets for students who followed the daily outline and objectives.
Do you feel your son or daughter would benefit from summer tutoring but he or she is resistant to the idea? Whether to review last year’s concepts, preview what is to come this fall, or a bit of both, summer tutoring should be fun and engaging. Working with a tutor who is trained and able to strategize to get buy in this summer will give your child a leg up, allowing him or her to enter the classroom with confidence in September.