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Stephen Silva
Noodle Expert Member

August 12, 2022

So you've decided to hire a tutor to help your child. What next? Don't put too much stock in tons of years of experience. There's a saying "You don't need an astronaut to teach you how to fly". You can find great college tutors who might not have job experience but have clearly demonstrated knowledge in a given subject. Don't be shy to ask the tutor to give you a test session or to list courses, grades, awards in a subject. The frequency of the lessons should be determined based the need. If your child needs to pass a math exam in 3 weeks, schedule as many lessons as you can. If the tutoring need is just to give your child an added advantage in a subject, you can schedule 1 or 2 sessions a week.

(Math) Nothing may be more feared in the minds of young children and their parents than learning the basic math facts. Just hearing the times tables reminds us of our own childhoods, staring at a blank page and trying to remember the dreaded 9 x 8 = 72. This fear is called "mathematical anxiety." It has been defined as "a feeling of tension and anxiety that interferes with the manipulation of numbers and the solving of mathematical problems in ordinary life and academic situations". And studies have shown that mathematical anxiety isn't just tied to social economic class. Furthermore, math is often associated with pain and frustration. For instance, unpaid bills, unforeseen debts, unbalanced checkbooks are a few exampls of the negative experiences associated with numbers. Tutors should show their children how numbers are successfully used by them in positive pleasant ways, such as in cooking, sewing, sports, problem solving in hobbies and home repairs. I tutored a student who feared math but loved baseball. Teams keep all kinds of statistics on batters, such as: number of times at bat, number of runs scored, number of hits, number of runs batted in number of walks , number of strikeouts and batting average . These are all used to determine the quality of a batter to be able to hit and score runs. Focusing on the fun and cool benefits of math can remove the barrier some children have of math.

(Science) I think children in general have a fascination with science. Whether it's a volcano exploding, the earth quaking or gazing up at the moon, children are perplexed by things they can't control. A tutor must capitalize on this fascination. Good learning and fascination go hand in hand. If I'm tutoring a student on gravity, I'll point out the significance the Moon plays on the Earth's gravitational pull. For example, the Moon stabilizes our rotation. When the Earth rotates it wobbles slightly back and forth on its axis. . But without the Moon we’d be wobbling much more and that would affect life as we know it on Planet Earth. A tutor who introduces fun science facts to the learning experience keeps a student excited and eager to learn more. Additionally, what's a science class without a real life Science Experiment. And don't be disappointed if the project doesn’t work as expected. Many a scientist have "failed their way to success." In fact, Albert Einstein is quoted as saying “Failure is success in progress." I can guarantee that Alexander Graham Bell didn't discover the modern telephone on his first attempt. If a tutor shows the "cool side of Science" and provides practical experiments, the science tutoring experience will be well worth it.

(ELA)English Language Arts— English, Language and Math are subjects where the attention span of students must really focused on the lesson plan. Children are easily distracted when lessons are long without much Tutor/Student interaction. There are 7-year-olds who can play with Legos for 30 minutes but who can't sit still to write their favorite activities." To counter this, introduce a little creativity to the lesson plan. For example, when I teach children simple Data concepts, I'll create a database of popular movies, sport teams or Music videos. You'll be surprised how focused a child get's tutoring a subject they perceive as "boring". So adding little creativity can go a long way in turning something dull into something fun.

(Social Science) Social Studies is defined by the National Council for Social Studies as “the integrated study of the social sciences and humanities to promote civic competence." In today's world of Facebook and Twitter, our society is becoming very un-social. It's not uncommon to see a group of people sitting at a table and each one is texting,tweeting or Skyping someone far,far away. Additionally, children can get their news directly from their phone, sometimes while an event is happening. A tutor must adapt their lessons in the face of Social Media. Relying only on a textbook simply doesn't cut it anymore. That being said, Social Media is a double-edged sword. Information is available instantly however not everything you read on Social Media is correct.. The key is to teach students how to distinguish between the two. When I tutor Social Science, I stress fact checking. Anyone can find a study or blog that supports one opinion or another. I emphasize fact checking an article for source, context and an author's background. Not only will this help the student in Social Science but in other subjects and future careers as well.

Evaluating the tutoring lesson is as important as selecting the right tutor. If the tutoring is going well, you'll see your child more enthusiastic and focused doing their homework. The "When will I ever use this?" can turn into a better grades. That being said, some children will embrace the tutoring lessons quicker than others. Asking your child to show you what they've learned so far will measure how the tutoring lesson is progressing. If you feel the tutoring is working but not quick enough, increase the tutoring sessions. If on the other hand, your child's grades and attitude continue to be bad, switching tutors is always an option. Since children are very unique, one tutoring technique doesn't work for everyone. Additionally, don't be embarrassed that your child needs a tutor. Studies have shown that tutoring is on the rise as Colleges become more selective and getting into a college with a good reputation is becoming more essential.