I have found that one of the most important elements to successful tutoring (of minors) is including the parents. Most of us would agree that parents have a primary and weighty role in the development of their children. Academia is no exception. I have developed a few methods to include parents in a manner that positively channels their influence towards my goals as a tutor. Thus far, the result has been excellent; parents are more satisfied, children learn with more enthusiasm.
- Engage in respectful, meaningful correspondence with the parents. Learn what their specific concerns and goals are. Parents are likely to know your student better than anyone else, and the information they can provide upon further questioning may prove invaluable.
- Always provide a succinct explanation of how you tutored, the milestones you achieved, your observations, and ways the parent can help the child improve. This not only keeps the parent updated regarding what you have done, but also allows them to better understand and assist their child's learning when you are away. I give a "works provided" sheet to the parent after every session.
- Whenever possible, compliment the child to the parent in the child's presence. Generally, this greatly improves the child's enthusiasm and desire to please their parents. Also, this promotes the parent-child bond, which is beneficial to learning in many respects.
- Finally, make it clear to the child that you are corresponding to the parent. A degree of accountability for his/her conduct and progress can go a long way.
Feel free to add any ideas/tips you have on this topic.