Parents: Getting the Most of the Tutoring Experience

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Your child’s tutoring experience and ultimately their academic success is dependent on them, their tutor and you as the parent. It is a partnership between all three of you. You as the parent know that you play an important role not only as the overseer but someone who is also actively involved in the process. Below are some tips that may help you specifically with that engagement to ensure that your child as well as the tutor is meeting your expectations.

Explaining the Small and the Big Picture

While you as a parent are concerned about improving your child’s overall academic performance and long term success, your child is often concerned about getting an immediate task complete. Usually when working with a tutor, the immediate task is their homework. This is natural desire as it is about achieving a specific and immediate outcome. Share with your child that there are two goals which are equally important. One being getting the task (for example, their homework) completed as well as improving their academic performance resulting in their overall success.

Sharing this information with your child lays the foundation for a successful tutoring experience. It helps the tutor reinforce not just the immediate concept(s) needed, but can aide in future academic assistance that your child may need. Explaining your overall goal to your child’s tutor also ensures that you have communicated your expectation to them. The goal is not just helping or teaching to a specific assignment, (the short-term goal) but truly keeping in mind the bigger picture for your child which once again, is their overall academic success.

Preparing Your Child before the Tutoring Session(s)

Encourage your child to work on the assignment or task as much as possible prior to meeting with their tutor. This will help the tutor identify and pinpoint where they can best help with your child’s academic needs. Also it will help you by ensuring that you are spending your money effectively for the tutoring sessions which should focus on what is really needed to help your child academically.

Also reinforce with your child that they needn’t be shy about their needs. Stress to your child that they should share with their tutor where they need help. This means sharing as much information as possible. For example, tell them to tell their tutor where they became stuck or what did they not understand. Your child shouldn’t be afraid to ask a lot of questions either. Your child communicating to their tutor when they need more clarification or explanation is vital to their academic achievement. Even though good tutors can often tell when a child doesn’t understand something, it is helpful for them to hear what the child is thinking or what is needed.

After The Tutoring Sessions and On-going

Help your child and his/her tutor by reinforcing what has been learned or discussed. This may just be as simple as asking your child to communicate to you what they learned to you actually reviewing the work that was completed after the tutoring session. This may involve you occasionally checking in with the tutor to scheduling specific times to speak with them in which you request timely updates. What action(s) you take is obviously up to you. This is based on what your level of comfort with the tutor is; your knowledge of the academic subject; and most importantly how you feel that your child is progressing.

Please ensure that you ask you child how they feel overall about the tutor that they are working with as well. Ask them if they feel that the tutor is helping them to learn. Ask them if the tutor is explaining things to them in a way that they can understand. Also don’t forget the tutor. Their opinion is important as well. Ask them what they are experiencing as they are working with your child. Is there anything that they would recommend that you reinforce with your child? Feedback from both parties is important for you to determine what actions you may need to take or your level of involvement in the tutoring experience.

Obviously, ensuring that your child gets the most out of his or her tutoring experience is a joint effort on everyone’s part – yours, your child as well as the tutor. The ultimate goal is academic success. By ensuring that you have all the information you need from both your child and their tutor as well as being able to reinforce and support the overall tutoring experience, you are on well on your way! On your way, as the parent to ensuring the overall goal of your child’s academic success is not just being met but is exceeding your expectations.

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