3 Warning Signs That Your Child May Need A Tutor

3 Warning Signs That Your Child May Need A Tutor

Education is changing. Fast.

As we move forward, the education system in Australia is becoming more and more competitive. Which means teachers are under ever increasing pressure to cram more into the curriculum than ever before.

As a result, more and more teachers are recommending tutors as a way to help individual students to keep up with the group. The only problem with this is that by the time a teacher recommends a tutor, students are often weeks or even months behind where they need to be.

The good news is that there are warning signs that parents can investigate in order to gauge their child’s level and proficiency in school.

1. Panic in the lead up to class or a test

If a student is confident in their ability and understanding, they rarely panic in thew lead up to a test.

Typically, stress is the first sign of difficulty in class as it shows that a student is not feeling comfortable with their level of knowledge or experience.

2. Poor relationship with teacher

Sometimes, student and teachers just clash. Personalities don’t always sit nicely, and as a result a student’s learning experience can be affected.

But in reality, teachers get along with students who are performing well.

Say what you like about the fairness of that fact, it’s fact nonetheless.

Which means that students who aren’t getting on well with the teacher will typically fall into one of two scenarios:

  1. They don’t get along well with their teacher because they are performing poorly and feeling like they aren’t keeping up with the class or
  2. They are about to fall behind due to their poor relationship with their teacher; which will typically lead to less effort on the student’s part.

Sometimes the relationship with the teacher causes the difficulty. Other times, the difficulty causes the bad relationship. But in both situations, a student will likely find themself in need of extra help soon.

3. When asked, a student doesn’t know what they are working on in class

Student’s who aren’t able to explain (no matter how briefly) what they are covering in class are highly likely to be having difficulty.

While it is possible, in some subjects, that they are able to perform the necessary analysis or calculations based solely on a question presented, the higher understanding that will become critical in later years is likely missing.

Students who perform well without really understanding what they are doing are in danger of falling behind in later years. This is an important warning sign that definitely shouldn’t be ignored.

A tutor can help rectify problems before they become problems

These warning signs are usually precursors to difficulty within the classroom. By allowing a private tutor to help a student work through these difficulties early, students grow more confident and avoid more serious issues later down the track.

 

VIDEO: How The ATAR Creates Bad People

There aren’t many people we come across that like how the ATAR is used. We certainly aren’t the biggest fans, but it goes far beyond simply ranking students unfairly. The problem we have most of all is that the system actually encourages students to alienate their peers rather than help the out. Is this the kind of mentality we want to encourage among our young adults as the leave their school environment and venture into the big world?

Why Parents Make Bad Tutors

It’s been seen in dozens of families. Every day when speaking to parents about organising a tutor for their child, there’s usually some variation of the same sentence thrown in:

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I’ve tried working with him, but I really think it’s time for some professional help

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It makes sense! Parents, where possible, are always keen to give their child the best experiences growing up. Including the educational experiences. But the reality is that parents can’t make good tutors. In truth, parents make bad tutors.

Why?

The education system has changed in massive ways since you went to school

Heck, it’s changed in massive ways since I finished school! And that was 8 years ago. Students are being taught new concepts, in new ways, usually at different ages to when you learned them.

As tutors, it’s our job to be on top of these new techniques and concepts, so that you don’t have to be!

The relationship between you and your child is fundamentally different to the relationship your child can have with a tutor

As a tutor, dealing with frustrated students is part of the package.

As a parent, dealing with frustrated children is part of the package.

But the reality is that is quite tough to do both of those things at the same time.

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As a parent with such a strong emotional attachment, it is a challenge to work objectively with your child without becoming frustrated yourself!

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Typically, we end up hearing that children just don’t listen to their parents in the same manner and they do with their tutor. They get distracted. Maybe they get distracted asking about going to a friends house, or what you’re having for dinner.

But with a tutor, the relationship is 100% educational. There is no space or reason for these distractions to exist, which means there’s no problem!

 Having a separate tutor helps students compartmentalise

When students have a dedicated Maths tutor, you will find that they are better at compartmentalising. Which ultimately means that they are able to learn better.

If you (as a parent) try to tutor your child, it’s not as easy. Because the conversations you have with your child get lost among the hundreds of other interactions you have every day.

As a tutor, this isn’t the case. The ONLY conversations that a tutor usually has with their student are education based. Which actually means that they are more easily able to retain the information, as they can associate what they have learned with their tutor.

Parents are amazing at many things, but being a dedicated Maths Tutor usually isn’t one of them.

Which is why Maths Tutors such as us exist. We have a very specific role in students lives. A role that we are well practiced with, and that we use to make a positive difference in our students’ lives.

As a parent, you have so many roles: friend, family, authority, cook, cleaner, breadwinner.

Don’t worry about adding “tutor” to that list, that’s what we’re here for.

 

If you’re interested in finding out more about getting a Maths Tutor so that you don’t have to be one, check out our information page

Tutors aren’t the rescue squad, they’re the prevention team!

Tutors are not the rescue squad, they're the prevention team

Tutor to the rescue

When most parents call us to organise a tutor, they’re calling in the hope that a tutor will be able to swoop in and save the day. Your child might be struggling to keep up in class, or having issues with a teacher. Either way, the motivation behind finding a tutor is usually as a rescuer, rather than a prevention method.

Tutors only have a very limited amount of time with students (typically one hour per week) in order to try to bring students back on track. Which means that in one hour, a tutor has to:

  1. Identify past knowledge gaps and address them
  2. Continue building on recent content
  3. Strengthen understanding of current content so the student does not feel left behind in class.

Rough, right? It’s not an easy task!

But the best solution to this problem is not just throwing more time or money at the tutor.

The solution

By engaging a tutor as a prevention method rather than a rescuer, students never reach that point. They are addressing problems as they occur rather than weeks or even months later. Which means that a tutor can focus on keeping a student on the right road, rather than trying to steer them back to the road from somewhere in the bush.

A tutor is like roadside assistance

Last night my car broke down in the middle of a busy road. It wouldn’t even start. I gave it a good push and got it off the road, and then called the trusty RACV. They came, picked up the car, and dropped it off at the mechanic without me paying a cent. All because I took the precaution of spending $80 on roadside assistance.

I later found out that, if I had waited until the problem occurred to pay for roadside care, it would have cost $165 on the spot. Not only that, but I would be at the mercy of whoever turned up, whenever they turned up.

Don’t wait until the problem occurs – that only makes it harder (and more expensive) to fix. Tutors can make sure the problem never occurs in the first place. 

You can book a tutor by clicking here ->

 

5 Things That Tutors Do For Students (That Have NOTHING To Do With Maths)

The core reason behind getting a tutor might seem obvious. But what many parents don’t realise is that there is a huge range of hidden benefits behind having a tutor. They aren’t obvious up front, but these benefits are what REALLY make getting a tutor worth your time and energy.

1. Tutors build confidence in students

This is BY FAR the biggest advantage of working with a private tutor. A tutor at home is a hugely valuable resource that is 100% on the student. They work together with students to build skills, fix gaps in knowledge and understand the content.

But this focus goes beyond simple academics.

One of the core goals of tutors is to build confidence within their students. In doing this, tutors show students of what they are truly capable of and how it truly is within everybody’s reach to love and be passionate about what they learn.

While many parents and students are grateful for the higher grades and increased focus that comes from a private tutor, it is the confidence that people really rave about. Because without that confidence in themselves and their abilities, students can quickly fall to the overwhelming pressure of the schooling system.

Tutors are there to not let that happen.

2. Tutors provide accountability

When studying, one of the easiest things for students to do is simply wave off their work in favour of Netflix. Let’s face it, we’ve all been there.

And it definitely doesn’t do us any favours in the long run.

With a tutor, there is an added element of accountability – meaning that you have someone asking “have you done this yet?”, which is a HUGE motivational tool. The fact that you have someone asking about your progress is often the difference between reaching your goals and just letting them slide by.

It is one of the biggest tools for fighting procrastination.

Check out this related article on overcoming procrastination →

3. Tutors give students a safe place to “bounce ideas”

When working through challenging problem-solving questions, especially for the first time, it’s pretty common to come up with about 6 different ideas in 4.2 seconds. (I guess, roughly…)

Actually hashing out if those ideas have merit is tricky, though. Which is why it helps to have someone to bounce ideas off.

As tutors, our job is to guide students towards finding their own solutions. So while we aren’t there to just give away answers, we can definitely point out why or why not a particular idea might work. In fact, that’s exactly WHY we’re there.

4. Tutors keep students consistent

By having a regular set time to study or work at home, students can quickly build a routine. Which we all know is great. Because when there is a routine in place, you tend to have a much higher likelihood of completing work, even on the weeks when you might not be able to see your tutor.

Maths homework (and any other homework really) can become just as regular as eating dinner and brushing your teeth. But it only tends to happen when you have someone there to get you started.

5. Tutors help to make plans and schedules

It is often alarming how many students we come across (especially in the senior levels) who say that they have NEVER had a formal study plan for themselves.

But when we dig a little deeper, the reality is that students either don’t know how to make one or don’t even realise that they need one!

Tutors are scheduling gurus – after all, they have to look after their own schedules which usually include working with students, balancing University studies, sport and personal leisure time. And they always pull it off in style!

By passing on this skill, tutors are able to help students build a strong schedule that focuses on every aspect of life – not just the academics.