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Five Signs Your Child Needs a Tutor

My child isn’t failing. My child isn’t struggling. Why would I need a tutor for my child? A common misconception about private tuition is that it is reserved for the kids who are failing or those whose marks are dropping below average and need improvement. While tutors are an invaluable resource for students who are in this position, tutoring can be beneficial for a wide range of students. The question is – how do I know that my child needs or could benefit from a tutor? Here are a few signs that indicate it might be time to get a tutor:

1. Your child tells you that they need help

If you’re really lucky, your child might tell you they feel they need help. They might be struggling with a particular subject or concept and say they need some extra help outside of class to keep up. A tutor can assist by identifying the concepts that a child might be failing to grasp and explaining them in a different way or taking the time to revise them more extensively. This isn’t always possible in the classroom and, even when the assistance is there, children often don’t feel comfortable asking for help in this setting.

2. Your child is showing signs of anxiety about school work

Your child might be feeling anxious about their overall performance or coping with school, certain subjects or workloads (this can often be true for senior students). If this is the case it is important to first speak with teachers about options for support. A tutor can then help to relieve anxiety by addressing these areas of concern. This might mean helping the student to develop study skills or catch up on class work and assignments. Even just having an hour or more devoted each week to homework or assignments in a productive and supportive environment can be reassuring for students. Group sessions in particular can relieve anxiety by identifying common problems and encouraging support amongst peers.

3. Your child wants to improve their academic performance

A child might be maintaining a consistent performance but want to improve their marks or results. As older students start looking at university options, they may begin to get concerned about winning a place in their preferred course. A tutor can help by working with the child to improve particular cognitive and practical skills, such as critical thinking, time management and exam preparation.

4. There is conflict around homework and assignments

Parents’ main reason for seeking a tutor is usually conflict with their child when it comes to homework and assignments. Don’t worry, you’re not alone if you’re battling your child to get their work done. This may be due to busy lives, the child’s poor time management skills or a loss of communication between parent and child. For parents a tutor means having someone who knows the curriculum and what the student should be doing if it is becoming difficult to pry this out of them. This can relieve the stress of not keeping up with your child’s work or not being able to explain concepts in a way that is familiar to them.

5. Tutors for when a child lacks confidence

Many children, regardless of year level or competency, find a lack of confidence is their main hindrance in learning. For some, increasing their confidence might just mean confirming what they have already learnt. For others it is the opportunity to express their ideas in a receptive and comfortable environment that rewards them for doing so. Not everyone can be heard in the classroom and often children who lack confidence will shy away from questioning or contributing to discussion. Increasing confidence would be the number one reason to seek tuition and the number one benefit of tuition. The confidence that children build can then carry over to the classroom. They become more willing to give things a go and ask for help from the teacher when they require it.

If you can identify any of these signs in your child, it might be time to consider a tutor. Tutoring is not always about improving academic performance it can be simply about building confidence, relieving school anxiety or just helping with homework and assignments. Regardless it is safe to say that most children will take away something beneficial.

You can find local Brisbane tutors in our comprehensive directory.

This is a contribution by Charlotte Trappett, from Homework Solutions, Sandgate.

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Janine Mergler

Janine Mergler is a veteran Queensland teacher, graduating from QUT with a BEd majoring in Social Sciences. After many years in the classroom, Janine moved on to academia. She has proudly trained new generations of teachers in her role as a lecturer at Queensland University of Technology Faculty of Education. She has also worked in the Queensland Government as an education specialist, developing education resources and delivering community awareness programs to help families conserve water. Currently she is the owner and editor of Families Magazine, a publication specifically targeted at parents who value a quality education for children.  Janine leads a team of professionals who write about family lifestyle, early childhood, schools and education information and family-friendly events.

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