Are you puzzled by your child’s poor academic performance and are wondering if she needs a tutor? Here are a few signs to understand if your child needs individual attention and some extra help.
By Hannah S Mathew
As parents, we always want the best for our children, to help them perform better in school and in life. And, especially, when it comes to improving academic performance, we try various approaches – allocating different work schedules, assigning extra reading material, discussing performance with teachers and so on. Of course, with the methods of teaching and learning having changed radically over the years, today, we also have learning apps, online videos, and educational CDs to help our children learn well.
Despite all this, if your child’s academic performance has still not improved, it may be time to engage a private tutor. Your child may greatly benefit by it.
These points will help you better understand the signs of your child requiring private tuition.
1. Age: From ages one to five, your child generally learns by imitation. Engaging a tutor at this stage may not be a good idea. Adam Caller, Founder of Tutors International, says that a child can start with home tuition at the age of six. Also, it’s quite common for children to be tutored privately until their first year of college.
2. Difficult subjects: Each child may find a subject difficult for different reasons. Following are some hints that your child may need extra tuition in the subjects mentioned.
3. Discipline: To be able to study independently in the future, your child needs to be focussed and disciplined. It is the key to solving problems related to studies. Your child may perform poorly in academics if she is not punctual or does not revise her lessons periodically. A tutor can help her get more organised and capable of managing her time thoroughly.
4. Learning speed: Does your child lag behind in class, fail to finish his tests within the given time and struggle to keep up with all that is happening in class? This can be a sign that he needs help. Your child may need extra coaching to practise his work and meet his deadlines.
5. Evasiveness: If your child avoids taking up roles of responsibility in the classroom, hesitates to contribute to discussions, avoids being in the spotlight or is shy about speaking up in class, she may need a boost to her confidence. Encouragement from a tutor can help overcome her shyness.
6. Learning style: With the growing number of students in each class, your child may not receive individual attention. Teachers may not be able to successfully identify his difficulties or have enough time to clear his doubts. If teaching methods involving large groups do not help his learning, he requires individual attention and frequent assessment, which he can get from his tutor.
7. Grades: Even if you are unperturbed by your child’s falling grades, she can be greatly disturbed by her inability to do well in academics. Irrespective of her age, she may want to top the class, get into a specific university or fulfil your expectations of her. If extra tutoring can better her chances, after-school tuition is a good option.
8. Band-Aid situations: Frequent absences from school because of participation in extra-curricular activities or sports, or an illness can put your child at a great disadvantage in class. In such cases, enlisting the help of a tutor for a short period can help him get back in the game again.
9. Additional goals: Is your child interested in pursuing a career in fine arts? Does she want to participate in competitions outside the school curriculum? Or, does she aim to top other competitive exams and debates? Then, she may require the attention of a private tutor to help her keep up with the school syllabus.
10. School: The school’s syllabus, goals and expectations may be more than your child can cope with. Sometimes he may need to be taught a lesson or subject more thoroughly than it is done in class. Also, some schools are focussed on getting good grades and do not pay attention to individual learning. In fact, few school syllabi focus on the development of your child’s mind or improving his skill set.
A demanding job, social obligations or the responsibility of taking care of an ailing or elderly member in your family are a few reasons why you may not be able to give your child the extra attention she needs. However, it can help to identify when and where she needs help academically. See if she is responsible enough to engage in online tuition, comfortable in being a part of a large group of learners in a coaching centre or in need of focussed individual attention from a home tutor. Depending on your child’s requirements make suitable arrangements.
However, remember to always monitor the private tuitions and never leave your child alone with a stranger.
Hannah S Mathew is a freelance teacher, trainer and certified diagnostic counsellor.
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