“Is she coping? Is he keeping up? I hear the other parents are paying for outside tutors… Am I doing everything I’m supposed to be doing to support my child’s learning? Do I need to hire a tutor…?”
One of the many anxieties of being a parent is that question we all ask: am I doing enough? When our child maybe starts to struggle a little in school, it is natural to wonder if there is more we should be doing. Teachers commit an incredible amount of time to support student learning during the school day, often going above and beyond to meet the needs of each individual student. But what if progress still seems slow?
Setting aside the question of pressure for a second (and that is a big topic in itself), there can be times when an out of school tutor might help. Sometimes support might be needed to help bridge learning gaps that may have arisen for all sorts of reasons, from changing schools or curriculums, to disruptions at home, or just the normal stresses and strains of growing up. Sometimes there might be very specific learning challenges that just need a little more specialist help to overcome, such as preparing for a new school, or for college or school admissions testing.
If you feel confident that your child has maximised all extra support on offer but still needs help then the best way to maximise learning is to work together with school to identify the issue(s), discuss solutions, set realistic and appropriate goals and estimated timelines for reaching these goals between school and home. This may mean reaching out to a tutor to be part of this process.
The most important considerations when seeking a tutor is competence and child safety. Select an educator with certification and training in the specific area where your child needs support. For best results, choose an individual or company that has demonstrated success in working with students with similar learning needs. Check the credentials, references and safeguarding policies and procedures of the individual or organisation to ensure that you are hiring someone credible and knowledgeable in providing academic and safe support for your child.
But don’t forget that your child’s well-being needs to be your priority. Each day our children need time to rest after school, time to eat meals and to go to bed at a decent hour. Over the course of the week, as a minimum, they need to be exercising at least three times a week, either as part of their school curriculum or outside of school and they need to have quality time with family and friends. They also need time to complete school work and attend their extra-curricular activities to the best of their ability. A tutor or tutors need to be strategically scheduled to maximise learning and not end up negatively impacting well-being, in school learning and activities. If this healthy balance cannot be achieved with time management support, if needed, then we need to step back and ask, do we need to realign our expectations?
If you need support and or guidance with any of the above please reach out. I am happy to help. We need to work together to ensure that our children are healthy, safe and successful.