Every child is different and so parents can really struggle to know when it is a wise time to start to use the skills of a tutor. Some hold the view that the child is too young for a tutor, many will vociferously tell you this, or parents may hope that it will all just come right in the end, given time, and then… there appears to be a concern!
In a good school, the class teacher will be the first person to alert parents to the fact that their child needs more support to be able to learn at a similar rate to the peer range by noticing that they are not making expected progress. A class teacher may plan for extra help to be given in school which will alleviate parents’ concerns. No parent wants their child to fall behind.
A parent’s natural reaction is to protect their child in such circumstances and parents do want to work cooperatively with schools, so many parents will promise to find extra time in the week to spend with their child going through phonics, reading and doing spellings. However, I have seen many times that such well-meaning intentions do not deliver the desired learning improvements. No one is to blame, it’s just that the following factors remain a stubborn reality:
- The extra time parents find for their child often starts to tail-off after some weeks. The differing needs of siblings and after school schedules all put demands on a parent’s time. The reality of running a busy household is that the time being made for extra learning never actually existed.
- Parents aren’t teachers. They spend the time but may not have the skills to be as effective as teachers; I often hear, Maths wasn’t taught like that when I was at school, or I don’t remember Phonics the way my child is being taught.
- The parent / child relationship is that more personal, and a child sees home as a place to relax. Space away from siblings, early enough in the day for valuable learning, may be hard to achieve. Pressure within the family unit can increase, unknowingly in many cases.
- While a child struggles, the curriculum marches on and the learning concern can become compounded. A child is not making the improvements the parents hoped for with their ‘best intentions’ plan. New material is being introduced into the classroom each week before a child understands what was taught last week. The child becomes upset or anxious as the results they desire remain out of reach, which has a detrimental effect on self-esteem.
The good news is that there is good news!
Additional expert tuition in the early years not only improves short-term results for children, but the early intervention helps prepare them better for the challenges of the upper junior years by most importantly protecting their self-esteem as they learn to experience and recognise their growing success with learning challenges. It is much more beneficial for your child to receive tutoring when you think a learning issue has arisen, rather than wait until their self-esteem is low. The idea of tutoring is not cramming; it is to offer targeted support to specific key areas to enable a child to experience success, feel good about their work and then be more able to access the curriculum they are involved in day to day at school.
Please do not hesitate to contact me if I can help you and your child.