If your child has been struggling in class and cannot seem to make up lost ground while others move ahead, it might be time to hire a tutor.
Choosing to bring in extra help can be crucial in clearing away the mental fog that conceals important concepts from your child. A tutor can accomplish a lot without adding new responsibilities for parents, who are already incredibly busy. Furthermore, a tutor who thoroughly understands the subject matter may help a child learn more quickly than a parent who may not be familiar with the topic, or has not been exposed to it in a long time―think ‘New Math.”
Whether the goal is to catch up, or to get ahead, investing in a tutor presents four main advantages:
1. Closed Learning Gaps
Students who are unaware of their knowledge gaps are likely to listen attentively in class yet may understand very little by the end of the session. They might even blame themselves for their lack of understanding, or wonder why others get it, and they don’t. This can be a sign that a learning gap exists. When hiring a tutor, it is important to find a professional who is trained to identify and close these knowledge gaps. For instance, when a child has not mastered their multiplication tables in math, they often struggle with division, fractions, unit conversions, and more.
In many cases, when a gap has been addressed, the student can progress independently from that point on, assuming the child maintains healthy study habits going forward.
2. Individualized Learning
It is common for teachers to research various teaching methods and look for effective ways to transfer their knowledge from the chalkboard to the minds of their students. However, they cannot reach everyone, every time. There will be days, or months, or entire grade levels when your child is in a class that uses teaching methods that do not resonate with their thought process. It’s okay, it happens. When a concept escapes your child in class, because of the method used to present it, working with a tutor ensures that the lesson is not lost for good. Your child can benefit from an individualized approach to learning new material.
3. Self-directed learning
Effective tutoring strategies include components that groom your child for independence. A responsible tutor goes beyond tackling the current academic crisis and instills productive study habits to keep your child on task, critical thinking skills to improve the way they process new information, and a motivational mindset for those times when classwork is particularly challenging.
4. Improved confidence
“It’s what you do in the dark that puts you in the light.”
This quote, from an ad put out by Under Armour—an athletic apparel company—sums up the emotional benefit of working with a tutor. When children struggle with a subject in school, sometimes their peers know it and obviously, their teachers know it too, which can lead to a child being embarrassed or discouraged. However, when children get individual tutoring, their labor is moved to a private setting and is addressed without a large audience observing (and potentially judging) them. Your child can work diligently through their problems behind the scenes, and return to school, confident and ready to thrive along with the rest of their friends.