By the end of the summer holidays, many kids are itching to get back to school. Others, however, may be apprehensive about returning to the classroom – maybe they were struggling in certain subjects or feeling disengaged from learning. To provide support, many parents turn to tutoring. But how do you know if tutoring is right for your child?
“If your child is struggling, even just a little, the problem is likely to increase as the year rolls on,” says Rochelle Callard, owner of NumberWorks’nWords Tutoring in Sippy Downs. “Whether they are having difficulty keeping up or need extension, it’s important to be proactive in supporting them to turn that around.”
A personalised approach
No two students are identical. Therefore, Rochelle believes a successful tuition program is a personalised one.
“The personalised approach we take at NumberWorks’nWords can really make a difference to a child’s progress,” Rochelle explains. “All our new students are given a free assessment and introductory lesson, where we identify their speciﬁc areas of need. We then tailor a tuition program for each individual, set goals in consultation with parents, and provide regular progress feedback,” Rochelle continues. “It’s this personalised and targeted approach that bridges the gaps and builds up student conﬁdence and self-belief.”
More than a classroom
According to Rochelle, tutoring is much more than simply recapping what a child is taught in the classroom, particularly if that child has already fallen behind.
“The program should be aligned with the National Curriculum, so it complements what the student is doing in the classroom,” says Rochelle. “A good tutoring session will build on what the student already knows, breaking down learning into achievable chunks – learn a new concept, practise it, master it. This way, the child experiences success, gains confidence and begins to enjoy learning once more.”
Rochelle also believes that a tutoring program must be engaging. “We have built-in ‘brain breaks’, certificates, rewards and a positive learning culture. Our program is visual and exciting, so students aren’t just required to sit in a classroom and concentrate,” she says. “This approach means that students who usually can’t sit still, can focus for longer.”
Confidence is key
Going beyond the academic aspect of tutoring, Rochelle believes that the key to a child’s success is building their learning confidence.
“Many children lack confidence in themselves and their answers, which can really hinder them in the classroom,” she explains. “By building up their confidence and supporting the student to feel safe enough to ask questions, take risks and make mistakes, they will soon begin to flourish.”
“I see so many children experience those ‘light bulb’ moments, when they realise they can do it,” Rochelle continues. “With confidence, they become happier, more engaged and academic success quickly follows.”
Even if you are unsure, Rochelle recommends having your child assessed. “It’s always worth picking up the phone to find out if your child may benefit from extra support. Whether they are falling behind or want to race ahead, there are many ways that a tutor can help.”
Your child may benefit from tuition if she/he:
- Needs to develop skills
- Struggles with completing their homework and needs help
- Says they are OK, but your instincts are telling you something’s not quite right
- Wants to get into or stay in the top group at school
- Needs a confidence boost before moving to a new school or sitting exams
- Loves learning and just can’t get enough
- Can be disruptive during lessons or plays the class clown to cover up non-achievement
- Has clear strengths, but but wants to work on their weaknesses
- Needs support to find their love for learning
What to look for in a tuition provider
- Appropriate qualifications for teaching children of your child’s age
- Experience with tutoring children that have similar needs to your child (i.e. catch-up, extension, exam prep)
- Tutoring programs that are linked to the Australian school curriculum
- Learning methods that are compatible with the way your child is taught at school
- A system for setting goals and celebrating success
- A reporting system for communicating progress
- A track record that proves your money will be well spent
For more on tutoring, try Beyond the classroom – tutoring services on the Sunshine Coast and Cluey Learning – we review their maths tutoring for kids
NumberWorks’nWords are the English and Maths tuition experts for students of all abilities from Prep to Year 10. Over the past 34 years, their tuition programs have proven to be effective in boosting students’ confidence and results. For an expert opinion on how your child is doing, book a free, no-obligation assessment and intro lesson at numberworksnwords.com/au.