High school parenting means being concerned about many things. Naturally, one of the major areas of focus is your student’s academic success. You want your student to learn. You want your student to get good grades. You want your student to have multiple doors of opportunity after graduation.
Working with a good academic advisor will help your student make the course and schedule choices that are appropriate. Some of the most successful students may be those who have mastered three important skills. They understand the importance of doing well; they have learned the skill of good time management; and they seek the support or help that they may need early in the game.
An important source of support, often overlooked until too late, is the help of a tutor – for a specific subject or for several subjects. Tutoring is not necessarily a remedial function, but rather like having an academic personal trainer. Good students know how to take advantage of the possibilities of good tutoring – early in the semester before trouble starts.
Why not wait for tutoring until trouble happens?
Getting help with course work is always a good idea – no matter when it happens. Even when it occurs at the last minute, getting help with a paper, or help understanding important concepts, or help studying for a test, can make a difference. However, starting early to work regularly with a tutor – especially for a difficult subject – can make a significant difference. Here are twelve reasons why starting tutoring early can help your student.
- Real learning takes time. Starting with a tutor early in the semester gives your student a chance to learn concepts slowly and solidly.
- Early work with a tutor helps your student grasp foundational concepts on which more difficult work may be build. Getting the basic building blocks early can prevent difficulty later in the semester; it’s a proactive approach.
- Beginning early with a tutor means that there is time to change tutors if that is necessary. All tutors are not alike. If the match-up isn’t right, there is time to make changes before crunch time occurs.
- Beginning early means that your student and his tutor will have time to get to know one another. They will have time to establish the rapport that can make a difference in how they work together. The more that the tutor works with your student, the more he or she will get to know his or her strengths, weaknesses, and learning styles. This means that the tutor will know best what areas need to be addressed and what style of approach will work best.
- Early work will mean that early homework assignments will be done correctly. This translates to a higher grade average and less jeopardy occurring later in the semester. It lowers the stakes for one major event such as a midterm or final exam.
- A tutor will hold your student accountable for completing work. This will help your student with time management skills and will also mean that your student may simply be spending more time with the material than she would otherwise.
- Your student will learn early some of the important study techniques of successful students. The tutor serves as an important role model as your student learns how to “do high school” successfully.
- The classroom teacher will see that your student is taking the course seriously and working hard to do his best work. That message of effort is important.
- Your student will receive constant feedback on his work. In some courses, continual feedback may not come from the teacher. There may be only one or two major tests or papers. Receiving early and continual feedback from a tutor helps your student stay on track.
- Your student may build confidence in his learning abilities as he successfully navigates work that the tutor may assign. This may help with his motivation to continue to do well.
- When the busy tutoring season of midterm or final exams occurs, a student who has an established relationship and schedule with a tutor may be given priority of time. Tutors who are extremely busy or in demand are more likely to give priority to regular tutees.
- Your student will establish a relationship and make a new friend – a role model of good academic skills as well as a role model of helping others.
Tutoring is highly successful if the student truly seeks and understands the importance of the help. If your student has had difficulty in the past, or has made some mistakes along the way, working with a tutor can be an ideal way to get help with his fresh start.