I remember my friends who live in New York City freaking out when we first had our babies. Not about motherhood, but about getting on the right pre-school waiting list. They had newborns. Let me tell you how grateful I was to live where we do, where when your child is age appropriate for pre-school, you simply sign them up. No rigorous application process involved. As my kids get closer to school age I have become more aware of the highly competitive environment we all live in these days. I have to confess that I am getting a little nervous myself about what it takes for a child to really excel these days. It doesn’t matter if you are from New York City or middle suburbia. In this day and age even superstar kids may not get in to their college of choice.
Although college for my children is still far off in our futures, I can see that many of the kids who seem to get ahead all have one thing in common. Tutors. They are getting great help outside the classroom to excel. Sometimes when kids need a little extra help to keep up, once their grades begin to rise and their confidence level is up they begin to soar. Tutors can also be a great asset to the kids who are bright enough that they need to augment their traditional schoolwork to keep them engaged. In any case giving a child that focused one on one relationship can be invaluable in a school system that may have up to twenty-three kids to a teacher per classroom. So how would you know if your kid needed a tutor? Chuck Cohn of Varsity tutors offered some guidelines. The kids who may need tutors are ones lacking in some fundamentals of knowledge, skills or subject matter in a class they are taking. On the flip side if a student is not challenged in school they may need more than what the school has to offer. Test preparation or students applying to colleges also benefit greatly from the aid of a tutor.
Chuck Cohen of Varsity tutors points out that when choosing a tutor you need to identify the child’s needs, and know what you want. Make sure the tutors’ personality would mesh well with that of your child’s and that they have the technical skills and communication skills necessary to effectively transmit the material your child needs to know. Not all children learn in the same way. That is something mothers of more than one kid usually pick up on pretty quickly! If you are hiring a tutor to benefit your child, then you need to make sure that their teaching style matches the learning style of the student as well. Improving academic achievement requires strategies, hard work and patience. A good tutor will make the best use of their time spent, learn the strengths and weaknesses of each individual child, what they respond to, and how they learn. As parents we all want to give our children the best advantages in life. If you live in New York City that may mean jockeying for a top spot on the premier pre-school waiting list, for the rest of us, when the time is right, and the need arises, we can hire a tutor to give our kids the advantage they may just need. If you need that great private home tutoring service, check out Varsity Tutors.
*Varsity Tutors is a paying partner. All opinions are my own and not swayed by outside sources.