How do you know when your child is ready for tutoring? Seattle Succeeds Tutoring #1

It can be difficult to determine when school is not enough.  Interestingly, kids who need support and kids who need challenge often show the same signs.  A student’s attitude about school offers lots of insight.  If your child complains about being bored or is resistant to doing classwork or home work, he or she may be a good candidate for tutoring.

Often students who are bright but are struggling to keep up will say that school is boring.  This is true because the difficulty level is too great.  Likewise, students who are bright but need challenge will also make the same complaint.   This is because they are not being asked to stretch themselves.

Vygotsky’s theory of proximal development is what’s at play here.  He observes that learning needs to be developmentally appropriate and it needs to be not only what children can do on their own but what they can do with the help of others.  This means, in part, that school work cannot be too difficult or too easy.

Here is where it gets very difficult for teachers.  If you have a class of 28 kids, they are sure to be in 28 different places for each subject area.   Usually teachers can place students into 5 or 6 groups where ability levels are similar.  Note, however, that this is rarely going to work for a student who struggles significantly or who needs a great deal of challenge.  Those kids are likely to be in groups of peers who have different needs.  The teacher groups those kids the best he or she can, but it is often impossible to find a good match.

Because of this reality, tutoring can be a huge boost for kids who fall outside of the “norm” for their grade level.  Tutoring gives kids one-on-one time with a teacher who meets them where they’re at.  Your child works at his or her level and moves according to his or her own pace.  The learning is accelerated because no time is lost on other students who have different needs.

Our school system isn’t perfect, but private tutoring can certainly make it work better for some students.  Let me know if you think tutoring may be a good fit for your family!