It can be really hard to help your own child overcome school troubles.
The problem is that you, the parent, can't get an objective view of the situation. You hear your child's version of events, and the teacher's version of events may not match. Your child may blame the teacher or be afraid to admit to her real level of effort. The teacher may be overwhelmed with struggling students and unable to give your child the time she needs.
Everyone may feel defensive about the situation, and the truth is likely somewhere in between the version you hear from your child and the teacher.
We recently received this note from one of our tutors, and we think it highlights an important benefit of hiring a professional tutor:
"I met with Sam and his mom this morning for an hour. The trouble he has been having has been remedied, but we are meeting again next week to work some more and to work ahead. It is my opinion that the teacher, being new, is leaving out some important steps in the problem solving process. Once I showed those to Sam, he was fine. Prior to this unit, he was doing well in class, but we will keep going back as we prepare for his midterm. We will continue to work as needed and schedule time to review for the midterm exam as well. I just wanted to give you an update. They are a very nice family."
In this situation, the fresh perspective of a professional tutor not only helped get the child back on track, it also gave the child's mother an understanding of what was going on and how her son could address the issue moving forward.
It's not about assigning blame, but it IS about getting an objective handle on the issues affecting your child's performance in school. Just one or two sessions with a caring, conscientious tutor can make all the difference for your son or daughter.
If you've been frustrated or confused by your child's school troubles, leave us a comment or get in touch today! You can fill out our web form or call us at (757) 410-1919. We love to troubleshoot students' problems, and we're happy to offer a fresh, objective perspective.
Most of us can recall a book from middle or high school English class that gave us a great deal of trouble. Classic literature can be tough, even for students who are generally solid readers. If your child struggles with reading, classic texts can mean a lot of struggle and frustration.
Learning to break down and comprehend challenging texts is an important skill, however -- one that will serve your child far beyond her school years. Our teachers offer the following tips for improving comprehension:
What other strategies have you tried? Leave us a note in the comments! And if you try these tips but find that your child still needs help, give us a call.
A recent study revealed that only 8% of Americans successfully keep their New Year's resolutions, which is a shame, because January is the perfect time for students to embrace a clean slate and set goals for the second semester.
Why is January so perfect?
Well, for one, students are generally well-rested after a break for the holidays. Also, with midterm exams and the second semester beginning, it's a good time for reflecting on study habits and taking steps for improvement.
Let's talk about some resolutions that could benefit your child as we begin the New Year:
Resolution #1 -- Get Organized
Now is the time to clean out binders, go through the desk, and set up a clean, well-organized study area. It's hard to stay on top of things if your work space is cluttered and messy!
Resolution #2 -- Keep and Use a Planner
Students, particularly middle school students, love to think they can remember everything they need to do. "I don't need to write it down!" they say ... until suddenly they are caught empty-handed when a big assignment's due, or they find themselves unprepared for a test. The start of a fresh, clean year is perfect for choosing a planner that works for your student and teaching him/her how to record homework, check off tasks, and keep track of project deadlines.
Resolution #3 -- Set "Now and Later" Goals
It can be hard for young students to see the point of the daily school grind and be motivated by its impact on their future. Homework is important but it can also be hard and boring -- while video games, friends, and sports are fun right now! Help your student make the connection between the daily work of school and long-term goals. Discuss future dreams and career plans, and set one "later" goal. Maybe your child wants to be a veterinarian, so that's the later goal. Then talk to your child about how the work he or she does every day in school connects to that "later" goal, and set a "now" goal that will be a building block for that future dream. Maybe your child needs to improve her science grade because she will want to establish strong skills in biology and chemistry for her future career. Helping your child make the connection between now and later can be very motivating!
What are your New Year's Resolutions? What do you hope for your child in 2015? Leave us a comment and let us know! And as always, if your child needs support reaching for academic goals, let us know. We love to help!