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Top Tips For Getting The Best Results From A Tutor

These days more and more people are hiring a tutor for their child, whether it’s to help with 11 or other entrance exams, for GCSEs or just to help with a particular subject area. Good private tuition is not cheap though, so it’s important to ensure you’re getting the most out of it. Here are our top tips for working with a tutor to get the best results for your  child:

  • Make sure they’re a good fit for your child. If your child needs help with maths, it is simply not enough to find a tutor who teaches maths. The relationship between your child and their tutor is one of the most important factors that will affect the outcome of tutoring. That doesn’t mean they have to become fast friends, but the right tutor will be able to engage your child and relate to them, as well as motivating them. They will also need to be firm when necessary - but not so firm that it turns your child off learning. If you think back to your school days, the subject you hated the most was probably more because of a teacher you disliked than anything else! Make sure your child can get on with their tutor, or both tutor and child will struggle to achieve.
  • Be open and honest - but positive and kind. If your child is struggling in a particular subject, they probably already know about it and don’t need to be told again. Similarly if you’re paying for tuition to help them to pass an entrance exam, it’s important that your child see this as a positive thing rather than a statement of your lack of faith in their abilities. Talk to them and explain why a tutor is a good idea, and how you think it will help them. Things like "a tutor will help you to feel more confident in your English lessons” or "I know you can do it; the tutor will just show you the best way to go about it” are a good start.
  • Discuss tutoring homework before beginning. If your child already struggles to sit down and complete homework for school, more homework from a tutor might just become a weekly battle. Speak to the tutor about their usual practices when it comes to homework and see how this fits in with the homework your child is already receiving from school. It is likely that a tutor will set some homework, so you’ll also need to talk with your child beforehand and agree upon how and when this extra work will be done.
  • Communicate. Most tutors will provide details of what has been covered in each lesson, and will come to you if they have concerns over your child’s study. It’s important too though that you should speak to them. Let them know if your child’s teacher has identified a particular area that needs improvement, or if there is something they are doing well at and will not need to cover in tutoring sessions. It’s also useful to keep your tutor informed of any relevant test or exam results from school and school reports also. The more informed your tutor is, the better they can tailor the content of their session to ensure your child benefits as much as possible.
  • Ask your child for feedback. While you may have hired a tutor to improve exam grades, exams are not always the best indicator of abilities or tutoring results - especially if your child suffers with exam nerves. Take a look at the homework your child is doing from both their tutor and from school to see improvements, but also speak to your child. They may tell you that they feel more confident in a particular lesson, that they’re able to answer questions when called on in class, that they’ve learned a new way of studying.

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