It doesn’t matter what age a student is-he or she can fall behind in class for a variety of reasons. Lack of comprehension, which can lead to boredom and lack of interest is the main reason for failing grades. This can happen in grade school as well as the upper grades, so high school students aren’t the only ones who can benefit from tutoring. Yes, second, third, and fourth grade students can have trouble in school with even the most basic subjects. Do you get a tutor at this age? Of course! In fact, having help with schoolwork at this young age will benefit the student as he or she progresses through school. What may have been a great difficulty without previous help, may come quite easily to a student who has had some assistance from a tutor early on.
Parents should never adopt a “wait and see” attitude with their children when it comes to learning. As soon as the problem becomes evident, talk to the teacher right away. See if he or she has any idea where the problem lies and what suggestions they may offer you. It may be that a little extra after school work will be all that is needed, or in some cases, more intensive sessions with a tutor might be recommended. It all depends on the nature of the learning problem, and the teacher will be the one to best advise you. This is the person who has educational contact each day with your child, and they may be better able to give you a clear picture of what is happening with your child.
You may find that your kids are embarrassed to let you know that they are having problems in one subject or another. They may be afraid of disappointing you, or worse, so they try to muddle through as best as they can. The longer the problem goes unnoticed, however, the worse it becomes. The only alternative is to be held back at the end of the year, and repeat the class. This can be emotionally hard on any child who sees his or her friends advancing to the next grade, and humiliating to be attending the same class with students who are younger than him or her. Don’t let this happen to your child. Get the help they need to keep up with the rest of the class.
Hire a good tutor who has an aptitude for dealing with younger students. One who is friendly, and is able to communicate on his or her level without talking “down” to them would be definitely recommended. Students relate much better to someone who is able to establish a good rapport, and are often more willing to open up and talk about what it is that is giving them such difficulty in a particular subject. Parents, no matter how understanding they are, are not often able to get their kids to talk freely the way the tutor can. Don’t try to help your child on your own. This can be extremely frustrating for both you and your child, and you may not understand the concepts that are now being taught.
Visit the school your child attends and ask if there is a list of recommended tutors, or if there is anyone who specializes in certain subject matter. Many times, high school students are willing to assist younger, grade school students. This often works out quite well because the tutor is not that much older, yet has been through grade school not that long ago, and the subjects taught are still fresh in their mind. It is much better than having someone who is going to teach plain facts and figures without explanations or reasoning. This type of tutoring is more suited for the older or college student who can make sense of dry facts and figures. Younger children need someone who shows emotion and humor, and is willing to take the time to explain things they don’t understand, often even making a game of learning sessions. If he or she is happy with their tutor, they will be much more willing to study, look forward to the sessions eagerly, and be learning on an acceptable level in no time.