As we dust off the pencil cases for the start of another school year, it’s worth considering what sort of year you want your child to have in 2023. Of course, we all want a great school year for our kids, but that can look very different family-to-family. Maybe your child wants good friendships and social skills, maybe they have an academic goal. Your child might need to push themselves outside their comfort zone.
Education expert Julie Lancaster, from Numberworks’nWords tutoring, suggests asking reflective questions as part of your back-to-school process, to help you and your child get the most out of every school year. By doing this together, you can identify where your child is sitting – academically, emotionally and motivationally.
“Reflecting on the year that has gone and then setting goals on the year to come is a very effective way of identifying gaps and possible problems,” Julie says.
She says it’s also an opportunity to highlight areas of interest and potential growth.
Questions to ask your child at the start of every school year
- What did you love about last year?
- What are you looking forward to this year?
- Which subject do you find easiest and hardest?
- Are you interested in learning new things this year? What are they?
- What does a successful academic year look like to you?
- What are your strong and weak points?
- What is your passion?
- What is your favourite thing about yourself?
The answers to these questions can then form the basis of your child’s own focus points and goals for the year. Write down the answers and revisit them at the end of the year, to see how far they have progressed!
Confidence is at the core of having a great school year
Successful learning at school stems from kids having confidence and being engaged in the learning. Julie says when confidence is lost, the best way to rebuild it is to identify the gaps and then break down the learning into bite-sized, achievable chunks.
“The first thing we do, is assess a child to identify any gaps in their current learning. That’s why we offer a free assessment at Numberworks’nWords,” Julie says.
“Identifying those gaps allows us to hone in on specific needs and goals so every child can succeed.
“The first thing we want to see is a change in a child’s confidence. So, we ensure there is lots of praise, fun and rewards,” Julie says.
“When one person in the centre achieves a goal, the whole centre celebrates. It’s a wonderful learning culture where everyone thrives.”
Julie feels the success of the Numberworks’nWords tutoring program lies in its unique program structure.
“The program focuses on learning in very small achievable chunks – learn a new concept, practice it and master it. Because the program is very visual and exciting, students are not just required to sit in a classroom and concentrate. This approach means that students who usually can’t sit still can focus for longer.”
Every child is different
One thing parents know for sure, is that no two children are the same. Their interests, their learning style and their difficulties can all be vastly different. Therefore, it’s almost impossible for schools to cater for every student in the class at all times. Students who are struggling need more attention, and no child is ever at the same level as the person next to them.
“Because every child is so unique, it’s important that their learning is individually tailored to them,” Julie says.
“It’s just as important to support students that need to extend and forge ahead as it is build up those students that are disengaged. Both ends of the learning spectrum can quickly become bored and disengaged if their needs are not being met.”
Signs your child might benefit from tutoring
- They need to develop skills
- Completing their homework is a struggle and they need help
- They say they are okay, but your instincts are telling you something’s not quite right
- Getting into or staying in the top group at school is a goal for them
- A confidence boost is needed before moving to a new school or sitting exams
- They love learning and just can’t get enough
- During lessons they can be disruptive or play the class clown to cover up non-achievement
- There are clear strengths, but they want to work on their weaknesses
- They need support to find their love for learning.
The Numberworks’nWords program is an innovative approach to tutoring designed for children from Prep to Year 10. It covers Maths and English in line with the Australian Curriculum in a fun and engaging way.
“Because the NumberWorks‘nWords program is engaging and structured, students make far more progress here than other methods,” Julie says.
“It’s such a different style of tutoring that parents and kids need to come in, experience the centre and see it in action for themselves.”