To Tutor or Not to Tutor
A private tutor is a wonderful gift to give your child. Most people could benefit from a tutor at some point or another in their academic careers and beyond. If you are considering a tutor for your child, here are some thoughts on the decision making process.
Sometimes, for a variety of reasons, a child falls behind in one or more subjects. Distractions in a classroom such as noises, behavioral issues in other children, or even temperature can account for this kind of deficit. My own daughter #1, now about to start her senior year of college on the Honor Roll, had a difficult time in a 6th grade Humanities class. After a meeting with the teacher, it was determined that D1’s assigned seat underneath the air conditioning vent was the source of the problem. The noise and the on and off breeze were distracting this capable student. A seat change solved the problem and no tutor was needed in this case, but you can see how a situation like this could necessitate some catch up work if it went on for very long. A deficit can quickly snowball, so a wise choice would be a temporary tutor to help fill the gaps.
Maybe an able student doesn’t have a gap or deficit, but they are taking on a particularly difficult subject for them. This is another time a tutor can really ease the frustration for that student and parent. Once my kids get past 6th grade math, I can’t help them too much. I’m pretty good with French but can only help with primary Spanish. Time to call in the reserves! A good tutor is a great relief in these situations, as well.
An advanced student may also depend on a tutor at times to provide the challenges that keep their love of learning alive. We tend to think of a tutor more for catch up or help with a difficult subject, but a good tutor can provide the difficult subject for a student to whom most subjects come easily. The needs of a gifted student are very different from 90% of the other kids in the classroom. My middle child, a son, is this child. He has a math tutor now, at 17 years old, to brush up on the skills from classes he hasn’t taken in a while before he takes the SAT and ACT tests. Finding a new passion always breaths fresh air into all of his studies. When you think about all of the needs a classroom teacher is expected to meet every day for twenty plus children and their parents, it is hardly surprising that something drops on occasion.
If a child has been diagnosed with a learning disability such as dyslexia, the greatest help they can receive is more time – more time in instruction, more time to answer a question verbally or on paper. Their perceptions are different from normally-abled students. Their recall is slower. Of great benefit to LD students is a multi-sensory approach in instruction. A multi-sensory approach really benefits anyone, for we all learn new things more easily if we can use all of our senses in the process. The more we see, feel, smell, touch, move and do, the deeper into our long term memory bank a concept embeds itself. The engagement of multiple modes is especially important for any child with a learning disability. It reigns in their focus and capitalizes on their strengths.
Here are some ways I incorporate sensory stimulation when I work with my students. Please try these at home with your kids.
* sidewalk chalk on a concrete driveway
* crayons on fine sandpaper
* spell spelling words with alphabet cereal, gummy letters, or even scrabble tiles or alphabet beads
* act out the part, form letters with your hand or whole body
* make up a jump rope rhyme and jump to it
* make a board game and play it
I hope I have armed you with some good information to help determine if a tutor is right for you or your child. The benefits can be enormous and so can the bill. Tutors in our area range in price from around $40 to $150 per hour depending on level of education and experience. I have had parents tell me that their children never do as well as they do when they are working with me on the side. Having a tutor all of the time is just not possible for many families, so I hope the information presented will help you use your tutoring budget most effectively.
While I tutor throughout the school year, this summer, I am running two camps to help keep your children’s brains engaged and prevent “summer slide”. They are:
*Reading Camp 1 – July 13 through July 15 from 9 am to noon, cost $150
*Reading Camp 2 – July 27 and 28 from 9 am to noon, cost $150
Both Reading Camps are designed to use games and activities in a multi-sensory approach to improve skills used for reading and writing. Reading Camp 2 builds on Reading Camp 1, and both will take into account the levels of the students attending. This is aimed at students entering kindergarten through 5th grade. Limited space is still available.
*CalligraPHUN 1 – Mondays of July 11, 18, & 25 from 10 am to noon, cost $110
*CalligraPHUN 2 – Tuesdays of July 12, 19, & 26 from 10 am to noon, cost $110 (only 2 spaces left!)
CalligraPHUN will include basic instruction in classic calligraphy, modern calligraphy, lettering, and handwriting including, posture, grip, and movements. Experimentation and practice with a wide variety of tools will strengthen fin motor skills for all ages. Great for scrapbookers and card makers! Adults are welcome. For ages 9 and up. Limited space is still available.
Please call me at 817-528-6279 or email me at email@example.com to reserve your child’s place today!
Mary Ayers was born and reared in Ft. Worth, Texas in a family full of teachers, tutors, librarians, readers, and storytellers. She earned her degree in Human Learning and Development with a minor in Art from Texas Wesleyan University. Her love affair with art actually began at Tanglewood Elementary under the direction of Ms. Ruth Heck. She went on to teach art and 3rd, 4th, and 5th grades at Alice Carlson Applied Learning Center. She has tutored privately off and on for the past 20 years. She still enjoys art of all kinds and reading to her 5 year old Dachshund, Roxy.