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  • Writer's pictureAshley

6 Signs Your Child Needs Tutoring

How do I know when my child needs a tutor?

This is a question that many parents struggle to answer. A few teachers will tell a student’s family when a child would benefit, but many teachers do not or cannot say this. Most homeschooling parents will also have to identify this need on their own.

So, what should parents and families be looking for when deciding if tutoring is right for their child? There is no simple answer or formula but there are signs to look for. Below you will find 6 common signs that your child may need tutoring in either a small-group model or one-on-one.

1. Struggle with the basics

Research tells us that students who are behind, rarely catch up on their own. If your child is struggling with the basics, things will most likely not get easier for them without intervention. Students who struggle with sight word memorization, applying decoding strategies to words, remembering letter names and sounds, number recognition, trouble writing letters, etc. will find it much harder to keep moving forward with their peers and lessons. If your child is struggling with the basics, I encourage you to reach out and find help sooner, rather than later.

2. Diminished self-confidence

Unfortunately, children who are currently behind or are in the process of falling behind, know this. They know that others know, too. It is very common for children to begin losing their self-confidence in all things school. They may start saying negative things about their abilities, shut down or explode when it is time to do homework, give up on simple work tasks easily or feel hopeless about schoolwork.

3. Lack of interest in learning

After children lose their self-confidence in school and label themselves "incapable" they will often give up on learning altogether. This may look like abandoning preferred topics that require too much thought, not participating in shared learning experiences with family and friends, and using negative talk when discussing learning, in or out of school.

4. Anxiety about school

Students who are struggling academically hold onto a lot of anxiety about school. It is the place where they are expected to do things that they believe they are incapable of doing and where peers and adults see their weaknesses. Many students with anxiety about school will spend large amounts of time trying to figure out how to get out of going, how to leave early, or how to hide once in school.

5. Pattern of not progressing

Children who are going through a school year without much progress may not yet be exhibiting the previously mentioned behaviors but a lack of progress shows that something should be addressed. These are the situations where children may be hiding difficulties, struggles, or negative emotions and the sooner those can be dealt with, the better.

6. Spending too much time on assignments

Children who spend too much time on assignments may be quietly exhibiting their struggles. One great way to find out why is to ask them questions like "Can you tell me if this is too easy, just right, or too hard?," or "What do you understand about this subject/assignment?"

Another possibility for why children may be spending too much time on assignments is that they are having difficulties with executive functioning skills (time management, organizing, self-monitoring). These are skills that can be practiced with the help of a tutor.

If you notice one or more of these signs in your children, talk to them about it. You can ask them how they feel about school, what they think they are strong at, and what they think they may need extra help with. Speak with your child's teacher. Ask if they are noticing the same things and if they would recommend a tutor. Reach out to a tutor, share your concerns, and discuss with them how they may be able to help your child.

Remember, early intervention is an important key to student success. If you see these signs, don't wait too long to take action!

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