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The Unexpected Benefits of Tutoring - Friendly Penguin Tutoring

There can be so many benefits to tutoring, some of which might be a surprise to you. The main reason that parents decide to book their children in with a tutor is for academic reasons. However, the extra benefits that come along with this can help to shape children in ways that they might not even be aware of. Let’s take a look at some of the advantages in further detail and delve into how this can have a positive impact on pupils.




National Curriculum

In this fast-paced world of education, more subject content than ever is expected to be absorbed and retained by pupils. The National Curriculum for KS1 and KS2, which most schools in the UK follow, is full to the brim for each subject with demands of what is expected to be covered. For the core subjects, this is pages and pages long for each year group. Now imagine that you are a child of 8 years old, navigating your way through the school day. There will be many different thoughts running through your mind, such as friendship issues, what you ate for breakfast, did you pack your pencil case etc. From the minute the bell rings in the morning, the learning race begins. Switching between reading, writing, arithmetic, problem solving and spelling (all before lunchtime usually). Often, there isn’t enough time to solidify this learning from the previous session before zooming on to the next crucial lesson that is demanded from the National Curriculum. It can leave you (and the teacher) in a spin. After lunch, there may be work to finish from the morning that didn’t have enough time to be finished before starting history, rushing on to PE after that with a singing assembly at the end of the day. All of these lessons are essential no doubt about it, but can you start to see why some children struggle to keep up with the race of the school day?


Academic Progress

This is where tutors come in. Tutors have the luxury of one important factor: time. During this time, the pupil can focus in on one subject and can relax with the knowledge that they aren’t going to be whisked away mid lesson which can cause panic for some children. With this time, the tutor will have planned learning that can be delved into slowly, building on skills by removing the amount of support given until the pupils is successfully completing tasks independently. As these sessions are usually one-to-one (or in small groups), the amount of progress that can be made may surprise you. Each lesson will be planned out based on previous learning, gaps identified from initial assessments and it can be guided from the pupil if they are feeling successful with certain areas of the subject (2 digit column addition for an example). Before moving on, these skills will be checked for understanding by applying them to real-life and problem-solving situations. This will really check to see if a pupil has understood the skill that they have learnt. Over the suggested 10 week block in a subject area, you will start to see progress with the child’s understanding: they may be getting more questions correct, completing them faster or able to verbalise how they have reached certain conclusions. In just 10 weeks with tutoring, you will be able to see positive progress with the key identifies areas that were set out in the initial parent consultation. By having the time with a qualified teacher, pupils will begin to flourish.


Attitude towards learning

Some children may not have the most positive attitude towards learning, which can take the form of a variety of emotions (sullen, defiance, apathy). The reasons for this will vary widely but once common one is that pupil’s feel that they are falling behind. Imagine trying to learn how to drive on the motorway if you don’t fully understand the basic fundamentals of gears. When children miss the understanding of the basic steps, they can start to feel scared and discouraged in the lessons. Teachers are amazing and they do their best with a class of around 30 children to cover all the gaps in learning. This is where the work with a tutor can start to change this attitude in a subliminal way. When children start to feel successful with their learning, a lightbulb can go off in their head where they actually feel like they can achieve the objective. This in turn can lead children to want to keep learning more now that they understand the basics. They will be able to go into school and apply their learning feeling like they are in a better position to keep up with the pace of the lessons.


Self-esteem

Self-esteem is important to everyone of all ages. When you a child in school and you see other children grasping concepts easier or quicker than you, it can start to cause doubt in yourself, which can affect self-esteem. With the work of a tutor, open discussions can be held to identify which parts of the learning children are struggling with. As children progress with their learning and they start to get more right answers, slowly their self-esteem will begin to grow. This learning will make them proud of their achievements, this coupled with the praise from tutors and other teaching staff inspire children to believe in themselves.


Confidence

This is the main reason that I would encourage parents to send their children to a tutor: to build confidence. Initially, I mean confidence within learning but this will evolve over time to incorporate a wider sense of confidence within themselves. By having extra sessions with a tutor in a core subject area that they are struggling with, children will be able to work on problems with the confidence that a qualified professional is there to help them. As the tutor is not the person who will be giving grades out at the end of the year or marking exams, it is more of an informal setting where children can lower their guard and ask for help freely. When children work on these subject areas with support, soon they will be able to have the confidence to work on tasks by themselves to get the correct answers. The confidence that they will gain from these sessions is invaluable. Children will have the confidence to go back into school and use these skills in their curriculum lessons and most importantly, gain the confidence to be able to ask the teacher questions now that they have practised this informally with a tutor.


Social skills

We sometimes take social skills for granted. Children will pick these up from all aspects of life, from family life to organised group activities and school. Since the pandemic, I have noticed more children who struggle with their social skills after leaving their homes after extended periods of time. Some children need more support with this than others. The social skills that can be covertly picked up by children during tutoring sessions is extensive. Skills such as taking turns, asking clear questions and responding to questions are just a few examples of soft skills that can be learnt. If social skills are a key part of your concern to do with a child’s learning, be sure to mention this in your initial consultation. These can be worked into sessions in a subtle way that can help children to build these skills in a learning situation. A tutor who is a qualified teacher will be able to do this in a way that is practically in disguise!


Study Habits

As children go through school, more homework will be demanded from them from a variety of different subjects. This should start at quite an early age with the task of reading at home and completing spellings. Maths homework might be added onto this later on and then creative projects as they reach the top of primary school. This is to enhance learning that is being studied in school and to prepare children for secondary school, where even more will be expected of them. One thing that will help children succeed is to build good study habits. This is where a tutor can help. If completing homework is becoming a problem, mention it to the tutor in your initial consultation. It may be that the tutor requests the homework in the first couple of sessions to go through this with children and model how to complete this successfully. They can talk about the best time of the week to complete this, what to do if they are struggling with it and talk about the rewards that come from this. If we build good study habits with children early on, it can become less of a problem when the level of the work becomes harder the further up the school years that they go.


Summary

To summarise, there are so many benefits of hiring a tutor to work with your children. You may be requesting them for a specific concern with a subject, such as spelling, but the package of advantages that you gain within this are countless. When looking for a tutor, you need to find someone who you know that your child will work well with. Most tutors or tutoring companies will offer a free consultation or session so that you and your child can be assured that you have chosen the right person.


Here at Friendly Penguin Tutoring, I offer you a free parental consultation and a free session with the child to ensure that you are completely happy with the working situation. From then on, I recommend a block of 10 sessions in one specific subject area, for example reading. With the 10-block booking, you only pay for 9 and get another free session at the end of the block. This is to ensure that you have both had enough time to see progress in whichever form that takes (confidence or attainment). After the first block of 10, it might be that children would like to continue on with this subject further or change to a different subject, for example grammar. You have to do what is right for yourself and your child, you are the only ones who know what feels right for you as a family. Friendly Penguin Tutoring is here for you if you choose us to help you on this learning journey.


Written by Rebecca Price















Tutor at Friendly Penguin Tutoring










Rebecca Price is a qualified teacher and has seven years’ experience teaching in a classroom setting. She was an exam marker for the KS2 Maths SAT papers in 2019 and has experience of delivering the National Curriculum across the Primary age range.


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