9 Tips for Interacting with Your Child’s Tutor

Tutoring works best when children are given the right balance of space and support. Giving this space is difficult, however, if your child’s tutor isn’t communicative. Your child’s tutor should give you regular updates, including what needs to improve and a general plan going forward. Without these updates, it’s easy to get anxious and interject yourself into the process, which is usually detrimental. So here are 9 tips for interacting with your child’s tutor to ensure that your child gets the most out of their prep, and that you stay informed and sane.

1. Establish what you need from the beginning.
When you’re interviewing a tutor, explain your expectations clearly: you would like a short update after each session and a more detailed update after each mock exam.

2. Set realistic expectations
Expecting a tutor to completely change a student’s relationship with a subject in two months of once-a-week meetings isn’t realistic. Start early and give tutoring time to work. Allow extra time if your child has anxiety or low self-esteem.
Understand that standardized tests are harder than school exams and demand a significantly deeper understanding of a subject. Just because a child does well in school doesn’t necessarily mean they’re ready for their standardized test.
If your child is prepping for a standardized test, start with a Biometric Edge mock exam to learn where they should put their focus.

3. Know your responsibilities
If your child is taking a standardized test, you’ll need to register them for their exam (with the exception of the PSAT and SHSAT). Ask your tutor when you should register and take care of it right away, especially if you live in a city where spots fill up quickly. Here are links for registering for the SAT, ACT, ISEE, SSAT and TACHS exams.

4. Be consistent
Students do better with a consistent day and time for their tutoring. Avoid constant rescheduling, as it gives your child the impression that tutoring isn’t important.

5. Understand progress isn’t always linear
Sometimes students work for a while without seeming to improve, and then – boom! – it all happens at once. Sometimes students take a month or two to apply their lessons.
If scores aren’t improving, talk to your tutor. Just understand that it doesn’t necessarily mean that tutoring isn’t working.

6. Get involved if homework is ignored
Homework is crucial to progress. It’s when students solidify concepts and strategies, learning how to apply them without their tutor present. If your child isn’t doing their homework, set consequences and enforce them. Ask your tutor to share homework assignments with you and set up times for your child to complete them.

7. Ignore rumors from other parents
Taking a standardized test can be stressful for everyone. There are a lot of misleading rumors floating around (read why you should ignore other parents, here). Definitely ask your tutor if you hear something concerning before it makes you crazy.

8. Don’t move the goalposts
It’s great when tutoring works well and works quickly. If a child breaks their target score, it’s natural to set higher expectations. Be careful, however, of constantly raising the target score and forgetting that they’ve already exceeded expectations. It can give your child the impression that nothing will be good enough.

9. Recognize when it’s time to make a change
Sometimes, you need to switch tutors. This can be for various reasons, some of which aren’t anyone’s fault. Next week’s blog will cover when it’s time to make a change.

Taking these steps will help tutoring run much more smoothly and keep everyone relaxed and sane.
To your child’s success!

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