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Some tutoring advice for parents, students, and tutors

How pretentious: I'm claiming to offer advice to all parties in the tutoring process! But if you bear with me, I hope to actually offer some helpful advice. Some advice for parents: It’s easy for a parent to feel guilty. “I have to provide the best educational experience possible for my child. If I don’t, I’m a bad parent and a bad person.” Combine that with a lack of clarity about what “best” is, and it’s not wonder that there’s a lot of insecurity about this. Unscrupulous tutors take advantage of that. Do yourself a favor: take a breath, and breathe. You are not solely responsible for everything regarding your child. You, of course, have many responsibilities. But your first and most important obligation is to raise your child in a loving, safe environment. Nowhere is it written in the contract you signed when you became a parent that you will be held accountable for how well your child does in precalculus. Remind yourself, explicitly, in writing... read more

The nightmare of hiring a tutor

In principle, hiring a tutor is an enterprise that is anticipatory and deliberate. It involves anticipating what potential problems might crop up, using a student’s history and self-evaluation. Tutoring can also be in response to a desire to advance more quickly; it’s not always used to “fix” a “problem”. A parent might consult with friends, or with the student’s teacher, to obtain personal referrals. After interviewing a number of possible tutors, the parent and child, together, choose the tutor that embodies the combination of empathy, subject knowledge, teaching ability, and cost effectiveness. If this sounds like you, congratulations. No need to read onward, to find out how the rest of us in the real world live. If this doesn’t sound like you, don’t worry; you’re not alone, and I promise this won’t be a “you should feel guilty about this” post. Here’s how tutoring often works in practice. A student starts struggling in a subject, but that... read more

Help! My Child Is Behind In School And I Don't Know What To Do!

As the smell of new boxes of crayons and freshly sharpened pencils fills the isle at the market, parents might be thinking “Help! My child is behind in school and I don’t know what to do. How can you start out behind?” This realization brings a feeling of failure before the new school year has even begun. Although the education system in America has many problems, one of which is constantly allowing students to be promoted to the next grade regardless of their failing to meet the standards required to be promoted, there are many things that parents can do at home to help their child succeed and grow as much as possible. 1) Read, read, read everything in sight! Children of all ages need to hear fluent adults reading to them on a regular basis. This helps them to develop expressiveness in reading, fluency and accuracy, increase vocabulary, and better understand figurative language. It also greatly influences a child when they see that their parents or guardians... read more

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