Set your kid up for success!
Could your child benefit from a tutor? Fostering their positive relationship with tutoring and finding the right person to do the job sets the stage for success. Jess Rogers, founder and CEO of TutorVille, a one-on-one tutoring company for pre-K to college students that recently opened a franchise location in Buckhead, offers the following advice for parents.
Talk It Up, Not Down
Some children might not like the idea of a tutor. These additional studies can get in the way of other more fun activities or downtime at home. Or students might look at having a tutor as a personal weakness. Caregivers can promote it with positive encouragement to get kids on board. “Tell the child to think of meeting with a tutor like having secret weapon. This extra family helper is supporting and strengthening them where they need it,” Rogers says.
Find the Right Match
Whether your child is 6 or 16, pairing them with the right tutor is everything. “It’s not just about finding the best person at prealgebra but also someone who will mesh well with your kid,” says Rogers, who recommends paying just as much attention to credentials as to personality and demeanor. For instance, are you looking for fun and upbeat, calm and patient or more of a bootcamp coach style? To note, a concierge service like TutorVille’s takes the matching legwork out of your hands, as the staff spends time custom-coupling families and students with teachers so all parents have to do is provide input (well, and foot the bill).
Just like school or sports, a consistent schedule for tutoring is in the best interest of the child. “Don’t hire someone with a sporadic schedule or who cannot commit to the entire semester,” Rogers says. Likewise, try not to cancel on your tutor.
Create the Physical Space
Tutoring should never be done in the bedroom or with smartphones within reach, Rogers says. “Pick an open space, somewhere quiet, such as a dining room table. If it’s a nice day, it could even be out on a patio.” Make sure your child has the materials they need at each session, including pens, notepads and markers. It also can be helpful if a printer is nearby.
Maintain Open Communication
The tutor should be communicating with you about sessions and what your child will need to work on between meetings that may need your oversight, depending on the child and/or their age. If you’re not already getting regular communications from the instructor, Rogers suggests asking questions such as, “What did you work on today?” “What is the homework?” “Do we need more sessions?” Plus, don’t forget to talk to your kid about how it’s going for them, too. “The most important thing, and one of our core values, is [building] ‘trust through transparency,’” Rogers says.
Keep an Open Mind
A tutor might notice that a child requires help beyond the topic parents knew about. Be open to that feedback so your child can excel and gain confidence. “It’s not always an easy fix,” Rogers says.
Managing Editor and Wellness Columnist at Simply Buckhead. Blogger at Badass + Healthy.