Cue the woes.
At some point in a student’s academic career, there will be a subject or a concept or a class that they will need a little help understanding. There’s no shame in asking for help.
But how do you, as the parent, know which kind of help will suit your child best?
Awhile back we talked about what to look for in a great tutor. Now, let’s explore the types of tutoring that are out there and which ones benefit which type of learner.
Getting extra homework help from your student’s teacher is always a great way to understand how the teacher (aka the test preparer and homework grader) conceptualized the assignment. Teacher Tutoring also helps build rapport. The problem is time. Coming in at lunch or recess or even after school is great for quick questions. When it comes to digging into the root of the concept, however, there just aren’t enough hours in the school day.
Peer to Peer Tutoring
I love having students work together and learn from each other. When you think about it, school is really a microcosm of our larger society. School is more than just academics; it’s also about social skills and friendships, learning to collaborate and work out differences appropriately. So when the opportunity presents itself, allowing students to teach each other helps team spirit, build confidence and character, practice empathy and patience, and discover a new side to themselves as mentor.
There are a lot of tutoring centers that employ the group tutoring methodology. As with Peer to Peer Tutoring, this process focuses on a small group setting (usually 3-5 students) but with a teacher at the helm. It’s usually student-led (ie: what are most people in the group challenged by?), which helps students learn to speak up — that all important self-advocacy piece of the puzzle — and defend their answers, thereby learning through the argument. Group tutoring is great for a self-starter student or one who may be struggling with a particular concept. It’s harder, though, for our quiet or more introverted kiddos who get a little anxious over having to voice their opinions in a group setting.
I’m not a fan of online tutoring. Even for the best student out there, there’s nothing that can replace having someone sit next to you for an ask and answer session. Human connection trumps technology every time.
1:1 Private Tutoring
Almost everyone can benefit from private tutoring. Building a strong mentor:mentee relationship is key to student success and with the right person sitting at the table, homework doesn’t become so daunting.
Private Tutoring is great for students who are struggling not just with the concept but study skills too. All those time management, organization, forward-planning skills (those executive function needs) are key building blocks to student success in and out of the classroom.
A good tutor recognizes that they are not just there to practice that algebraic equation or review grammar, but, rather to help the student learn to help themselves by building confidence, strong study habits, and problem-solving skills.
I’m so proud that I stumbled upon my calling as a tutor several years ago and so grateful that I’ve been able to sit side by side with students, helping them blossom into confident, young people who are learning to value learning from their teachers, their tutors, their parents, their friends and themselves.
She created the One Wraparound Service for The Struggling Student, which includes Academic Support, Behavior Management, Special Education Advocacy and School Placement services. Christine truly loves helping struggling students realize their inner potential and the possibilities that await them in and out of the classroom.