As a parent, you may find tutoring to be a difficult decision when your student is struggling in school. It is an investment of both time and money, and you want to make sure your child is getting the best results. Tutoring is generally successful with most students, but how do you know if your child is getting the most out of sessions? Here are some tips that can help you increase the value of tutoring sessions:
Before the first session, set up a phone call to discuss the challenges your student is having in school with the tutor. Be as detailed possible; the more information your tutor has, the more they are able to target areas of weakness and come prepared with a game plan. It is also a good idea to give the tutor the classroom teacher’s contact information. The teacher would be the best person to provide the tutor with a better understanding of the student’s difficulties, allowing the tutor to focus on key areas.
Well before the tutor arrives, help your child gather all materials needed for the session. This can include textbooks, worksheets, homework, pens, pencils, or anything else that would relate to the lesson. It is better to be over prepared than underprepared; the tutor may want to review work completed in the past, and it is best to have it handy.
Throughout the week, make sure your student is completing the homework assigned by the tutor and the school. If the work is not complete when the tutor returns for the next session, it can be difficult for the student to make progress. Often, the tutor must review the incomplete material with the student, and push off any new material until the next session. You can avoid this by going over assigned work with your student each day and by checking the school’s Blackboard. Always remember to review the session notes submitted by the tutor; they often include instructional tips for parents to help their student with homework.
Keep Tutoring Sessions Consistent.
The key to making progress is by keeping tutoring sessions consistent. It is extremely important to not skip a session and to always keep a consistent, routine schedule with your tutor and student. If either you or the tutor needs to cancel a session, always reschedule the session within the next day or two. This prevents having to play catch-up with the tutor the following session and ensures the student does not fall behind. This is especially important during holiday breaks and midterms.
If you are unable to reschedule a cancelled session for any reason, make sure your student is still staying connected and receiving support from the tutor. This can be done through different methods of communication, such as Skype, e-mail, and phone. Regression in academics occurs when a student does not receive support regularly or discontinues sessions prematurely. You can avoid this by making sure you are scheduling consistent session with the tutor and your student is receiving support during times of cancellation.
Keep Open Lines of Communication.
Having a tutor is only part of the process when it comes to improving grades; the other part relies on your communication with the tutor and your student. Ask the tutor if they can end the sessions a few minutes early in order to give you an update on your student’s progress. Discuss the improvement that has been made and the next steps for reaching goals. Also, check the session notes the tutor submits after each lesson and look for any instructional tips you can use to help you student. By staying in the loop with your student’s progress, you can see how effective the tutoring really is.
Continue to communicate with your child as well. Check in with them every once in a while and get their opinions and feedback on the tutoring sessions. Do they feel that the sessions are successful? Is there anything in particular they would like to focus on? What are their goals for each session? Stay involved as reasonably as possible with your student’s academics and always listen to what their opinions are on their progress.
Progress takes time. Not every student is the same and each will learn at a different pace. It will take a few sessions for the tutor to build a rapport with your student, and for your student to feel comfortable sharing their difficulties and challenges with the tutor. The tips mentioned above will give you more certainty about tutoring and make you feel more confident about your decision. If you help prepare your student for sessions, set up a routine schedule, and constantly communicate with both your student and tutor, then your student is guaranteed to have successful sessions and make progress.