Online tutoring is an ideal way to help a teen who’s struggling with one or more school subjects, but it’s increasingly popular for parents to hire a tutor for an elementary school-aged child who is slow to learn to read or understand beginner math concepts. But is it really necessary for young children to be tutored? The truth is, online tutoring can actually be hugely useful for some elementary students, helping to set them up for a lifetime of learning.
Late Bloomers Fall Behind Quickly
The pace of learning has intensified significantly in the last couple of decades. Children are learning more advanced concepts in math and other subjects much earlier than they did even a couple of decades ago. That means the kids who are late bloomers are struggling even more with the pace at which they’re being introduced to new ideas. They’re at risk of falling behind, which means that online tutoring has huge benefits, even at this young age.
There’s another very good reason why hiring an online tutor to work with your child can make a huge difference even at a young age. At the elementary level, they’re learning core concepts in math, reading and other subjects that they’ll need a thorough understanding of if they’re to succeed throughout their school years. What they learn in elementary school is the foundation for everything they learn in middle school and high school, so it’s vital that they’re able to keep upright from the very beginning.
Early Confidence Sets a Child Up for Later Success
When a child is struggling at school it often becomes most apparent in the second and third grade, when there’s a big jump in what kids are learning, and in the expectations that are placed on them. Even if you’re the kind of parent who’s relaxed about your child’s academic performance, it’s still hard to watch them struggle, become overwhelmed and lose confidence.
Working with an online tutor can make a huge difference to your child’s outlook and performance, even at this early stage. The one-on-one time they get in an online tutoring session helps ensure they understand all these new but essential concepts, giving them the confidence they need to thrive in their academic environment, all the way through high school and beyond.
Everyone learns in different ways, and many people find that they just don’t retain information unless they’re able to study it in a particular way. For instance, some people learn best through discussion, while other people prefer to learn by reading. If you have a particular learning style that works best for you, it can be useful to talk to your online tutor and find out if they can help you incorporate your learning style into tutoring sessions.
What Are the Different Styles of Learning?
There are four main styles of learning: visual, auditory, reading and writing, and kinesthetic.
Visual learners get the most benefit out of using images and charts to organize information. In an online tutoring session, charting information and working with images, maps and graphs can be helpful
Auditory learners get the most out of lectures, discussions and the use of mnemonic devices. Having discussions with your online tutor about whatever you’re having trouble within the school is a simple way to incorporate this learning style.
Reading and Writing
People who learn best through reading and writing often take lots of notes or read up on subjects extensively. If this is your preferred learning style, try taking lots of notes during your online tutoring sessions, and read through them to prepare you for your next session.
Kinesthetic learners are hands-on learners. If you’re a kinesthetic learner, you prefer to learn through activities rather than discussions or note-taking. This can be difficult to incorporate into an online tutoring session, but elements of other learning styles, such as creating diagrams and charts, can also function as a kind of kinesthetic learning.
There’s No One-Size-Fits-All Approach
Some learning styles may be more difficult to fit into an online tutoring session, but the good thing is, most people prefer a mixture of two or even three different styles rather than just one. For instance, many kinesthetic learners also benefit from visual or auditory learning as well.
It’s also important to understand that even if you do have a preference, other kinds of learning can still work for you. However, incorporating your learning style preference into online tutoring and studying is likely to help you retain information.
Tutoring provides one-on-one educational support, which benefits most students, even if they aren’t struggling. Some students, however, need the extra help to process the information they learn from their teachers. The majority of students won’t just come out and say “I need a tutor.” It’s your job as the parent to determine whether your child needs the support of a tutor. A parent can discover their child’s need by observing their child, questioning the teacher and monitoring communication from the school. The warning signs of a child needing a tutor are hidden, but straight-forward.
Poor test scores, midterm reports and marking period grades can be obvious indicators your child needs a tutor. Low scores show that the student isn’t testing well, avoiding the work, or just not understanding the material. A qualified tutor can help determine testing issues, force dedicated study time and help the student learn the material.
A student acting out in school can mean he or she is confused or bored with the material. Both bored and confused students benefit from time spent with a tutor as the tutor can identify and remedy the source of the issue. Your child may already know the material and have advanced beyond the current grade level or missed a few key classes and doesn’t understand the current section of the curriculum.
Upcoming Major Test
If your child is going to take college entry exams, like the SAT or ACT, then your child should receive tutoring on how to take those tests successfully. Start the tutoring in the student’s freshman or sophomore year, so your young adult can take the test multiple times.
Look for hints that your child feels confused, bored, and uninterested in their word choices. They may actually say “math class is boring” or “I didn’t learn anything today.” This a signal that your child needs extra motivation or assistance. If your child avoid talking about school, it may be a sign of needing a tutor. Children want to succeed and share their successes. What they don’t say is just as powerful as what they do.
Ask your child why she or he is getting poor grades and/or acting out. He or she may be having problems with the teacher or the teacher’s teaching style. Your child may be following the lead of another child in the class. It’s the simplest way to determine whether your child needs a tutor or if something more complicated keeps your child from succeeding at school.
When in doubt, get a tutor for your child. Your child can always benefit from the extra support and educational assistance. Tutors can help answer questions about homework and keep the student motivated. What triggered you to wonder whether your child needed a tutor?