Help! My kids are at home!

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You’re only just over a week in to having the kids at home and maybe you feel (or even look!) like this picture. I sincerely hope not but it’s a strong possibility it will happen in the next two to three months. There seems to be no end of help and advice out there, possibly even too much and I know (I’ve got two at home with me) it can be quite overwhelming. Well let me offer you one more piece of advice … but only if you can afford it in these difficult times.

Take 45 minutes or an hour off, while an experienced tutor takes some of the strain. Whether it’s handwriting, reading strategies, maths problems or dare I say it … spelling. There you go I mentioned the unmentionable.

I’ve got to be honest here, your child has got to WANT to go online and do some learning, whilst interacting with a stranger. It does sound a bit creepy but there are plenty of safe and child-friendly online platforms out there that will give peace of mind and an interactive way of communicating. Most tutors will also have genuine recommendations and be DBS checked.

The vast majority of us tutors are good at our jobs and will be able to build up a good rapport with your child, assess and adapt to their learning needs and help them make progress in those areas of need. Not a guarantee but a good possibility.

There should also be some great offers out there as we try to help each other in these unprecidented times. So, I dare you, take the plunge. You could look back in a few years time and see that bit was one of the best decisions you made.

What makes a good tutor?

I asked my clients what they liked about my tutoring and without exception they said that I gave them or their children confidence.

So many learners either lack confidence or need their confidence built up in a particular area.

So how do you build confidence? Be patient. Give time to process learning. Ensure that learners know that making mistakes is okay and a part of the process. Try different approaches. Give praise where due. Be professional in planning, assessing, marking (when appropriate) and in evaluating the learning. Build on strengths and don’t focus too much on ‘weakness’. Be friendly and approachable, build a rapport and a foundation of trust. I could go on.

Of course, there is so much more to being a good tutor: Subject knowledge, task appropriateness and preparation, organising files and resources, timeliness to name but a few. The key for anyone in this business is to aim to constantly improve, stay up to date whilst not forgetting ‘tried and tested’ and do it (as much as possible) with a smile on your face.

Happy learning!