Supporting the work of the tutor at home

Tutoring for tomorrow’s schooling

Investing in your child’s future is both wise and commendable, but what exactly will
that future require from the next generation of adults? Forward thinking planning today can
reasonably be expected to pay off big dividends if you identify all the tricks and then avoid
missing any. Tutoring helps shore up gaps in your son or daughter’s education the same way
a professional athlete improves speed or batting skills. The way parents support their child’s
education, both in school and supplemental lessons, can be improved by taking into account
what’s known about tomorrow’s world of learning.

Contrary to nostalgic views, at no time in history have education standards been higher,
subject areas more demanding, and means of instructional delivery more diverse. Your
commitment to augmenting your son or daughter’s academic skills through tutoring largely reflects these realities. The probability that your student’s
post-secondary education will be a hybrid of a traditional and online school is high and should be taken into account when considering what
comprehensive strategies you, as a parent, can use to sustain learning. Here are some tips on how
to help your child’s educational experience in and out of the classroom.

No drama tutoring time

Tutor and student have a finite time to maximize their combined focus on a specific skill
during tutoring sessions. Arriving at the tutoring facility on time—at least 5-10 minutes early—
your learner’s mental attitude should be ready for learning. Helping to make every minute count
by clearing your schedule of potential conflicts immediately prior to leaving for tutoring can help
immensely. There’s no question that your agenda is already busy and tutoring is a sacrifice of
premium time, but blocking out some quiet time before leaving with plenty of margin built in
helps set the positive mood for the intense learning you expect and for which you’re paying.

Give your child an active role

One of the biggest shocks that college freshmen face when they arrive at college is that no
one makes them study. For many, college is the first time they’ve had to meet the expectations of
their own educational needs. Tutoring, while not the only instance for this practice, provides both
you and your learner the chance to make independent studying a good habit. Involve your child
in all communications with the tutor about his or her progress and areas of concern. This doesn’t
mean that a parent simply trusts that things are going well but that the parent encourages their
child’s full participation in determining learning objectives and problem solving when obstacles
arise in the tutoring session.

Trust but verify

The relationship between the tutor and your student must be one of mutual respect for the
task and for one another’s role. As a parent, you have the right to expect such a relationship
and the obligation to make sure all parties understand this. Sometimes, legitimate conflicts of
personality simply make the paring of one particular tutor with your child unworkable. Should
this happen, reaffirm with your child their role of active cooperation with their tutor, while at the
same time acknowledging that a better match is in everyone’s interest. From there, constructively
approach your tutoring company’s management, and involving your child in the process, arrange
to have another tutor assigned after ascertaining that the matchup is right.

Looking forward

While it’s your checkbook that pays for the service, it’s your child who, ultimately, has to
buy into his or her own learning. By involving your student in the process and allowing him or
her as much autonomy as possible in making the outcome of tutoring their own, you’re not only
preparing for this semester’s next grading period or an upcoming test, you’re teaching your child
how to engage a lifetime of learning.

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