Why Do Students Need Tutoring? | Kip McGrath

According to the Australian Tutoring Association, one in seven school children will be supported by a tutor at some stage in their education.

Why do students need tutoring?
There are many reasons why parents decide to get their children a tutor. Surprisingly, not all are because they’re struggling at school – although this is one of the biggest reasons.

In the early years of school
From the moment they’re born, children are naturally inquisitive, they want to discover new things and gain new skills.

But while children have a natural desire for learning, not all children have the same aptitude for it. In addition, this desire can deteriorate once they start school as they’re placed into a structured setting.

For some children, picking up the basics and getting their head around many of the unfamiliar concepts takes time. These basic concepts need to be established and understood to build foundations within their learning.

At different stages in the school journey
Young children may be fine in their early years at school but start to struggle as the work gets harder, or they start having to take tests, such as SATs. Students may need some extra support when they are transitioning to secondary school or even with their final exams.

While schools work hard to keep children at a similar stage in their learning, it can be a tricky task with up to 30 children in a class to teach, all with different abilities and styles of learning. This is where tutoring can help.

A quality tutor should be able to assess your child’s current ability level, decide if they need some additional support and create a program that’s tailored to their individual needs to help them succeed and build confidence.

When they’re excelling at school
Students who are intellectually advanced and excelling at school may also benefit from a tutor who can extend their current school learning. They may need the challenge of extra work to stay engaged.

Due to disruptive events
Students may also need tutoring for other reasons, including unforeseen disruptive events such as illness, family bereavement, or as we have seen more recently Covid- 19.

According to National Survey by Pivot, reported by the Grattan Institute, most teachers believed that students were only learning at about 50-75 per cent of their normal pace during home learning throughout the pandemic. Teachers in more disadvantaged schools said it was more like 25-30 per cent.

How to identify students who need help
One of the biggest indicators to identify if your child needs the support of a tutor is if their teacher suggests it or their results decline. However, there are also a few other key warning signs to look out for, especially in behaviour .

Difficulty getting down to work
Your child may seem unmotivated when it comes to anything to do with school, for example, they put off doing their homework for as long as possible or are they constantly getting up and down instead of staying on task.

This lack of interest in completing their schoolwork and becoming distracted can be a sign that they’re struggling with what they have to do but don’t want to admit it.

A drop in confidence levels
If your child was previously doing well and was happy in a certain subject, then they suddenly start doubting their abilities or start to show less interest in it, this is another red flag that they might need tutoring support.

Subjects like maths and English can really pick up the pace when a child hits Years 3 and 4. This can make students who were previously good at a subject start to struggle.

The transition into secondary school can also be a time in which confidence levels drop as students are thrown into a new situation, and the work gets more challenging.

They suddenly ‘hate’ school
Your child could suddenly show no interest in going to school. Using tactics to not go to school or seeing a drop in enthusiasm is another warning sign.

It’s understandable when you start to think about how they must be feeling. It can be very disheartening if they’re trying hard but are still falling behind in their work and grades. A tutor can help them catch up, grow their confidence and reignite their love of learning.

A change in personality
As school is such a big part of a child’s life, if they’re finding it tough but are afraid to talk to anyone about it, this can impact how they act, both in school and at home.
If your child suddenly becomes angry or seems unhappy, this can be another indicator that they need tutor help. Of course, it may also be due to bullying or other reasons, strong communication can aid with your child opening up about their school struggles.

They think school is too easy
Sometimes students need help not because they’re struggling at school but because they’re actually finding it too easy. In these instances, they can become bored and unable to achieve their full potential.

So, if your child is complaining that the work in class is too easy or they’re just not as engaged as they used to be, speak to your child’s teacher, who might be able to provide additional resources. In this instance, a tutor will be able to help push your child to reach their correct educational level.

The best time to get tutoring for students struggling with school
Ultimately, the best time to get tutoring for your child is when you think they need it.

The sooner you notice the signs above and receive the help of a tutor, the sooner your child will be able to reach their full potential.  Early intervention will be more effective at getting children who need support to get on track , while also building confidence in their education journey.

Some of the critical times they may need more tutoring support include:

• During the first couple of years at school
• If they move schools
• When they transition to secondary school
• Before important exams

We understand it can be difficult for parents to decide whether to get a tutor or not.

A learning assessment can tell you where your child currently sits against where they should be for their age and year level. It can also highlight their strengths and weaknesses so a tutoring program can be tailored to their specific needs.

Take action to help your child succeed
If you think your child needs support, many indicators may confirm your concerns, from results at school to a change in behaviour.

If you notice a problem, take action. Talk to your child, talk to their teacher and book your child in for a free assessment. The sooner you do, the sooner you can help your child catch up, keep up and reach their potential.

View our other tutoring articles or book your free learning assessment today to see if tutoring is right for your child.

Published in UK