We’re quickly approaching the two-year mark of the pandemic—an event that has disrupted school for teachers and students alike. That lost instructional time contributed to many students’ struggles in school. And that lost teaching time compels an even greater demand for highly-qualified tutors. Effective tutoring programs can bridge the gap for teens feeling the disconnect between one school year and the next.
When done correctly, tutoring can be the most viable supplement for the time we didn’t get to spend in the classroom these last semesters. Pre-pandemic, large-scale reviews of tutoring programs proved how effective tutoring can be. Research also demonstrated that one-on-one instruction yields fantastic outcomes no matter the grade. Post-pandemic, we can only expect that fact to remain true—and then some. Consider how getting a tutor might be right for your teen?
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1. Regular Tutoring Sessions Teach Students Study Skills & Time Management
For your high-schooler to benefit from tutoring, sessions need to be consistent over time, possibly over years. Students achieve the greatest academic success when a tutor forms a relationship with parents and students, has weekly one-on-one sessions, and checks in with parents during off-days.
On those off-days, the student is following a tutor-endorsed plan of action. That means reviewing material from past tutoring sessions, steadily completing upcoming assignments, studying for tests, and preparing questions for the next tutoring session.
A great tutor helps a student understand that they’ll get out of tutoring only what they put into it. In time, the student internalizes those study habits and time management skills.
Learning these skills early empowers students to develop healthy habits they can take with them into their college years.
2. One-On-One Tutoring Focuses Completely on Your Student’s Needs
Did you know that in the United States the average student-teacher ratio in public schools is approximately 16:1? That means your student is one of many demanding individualized attention—something that often is increasingly difficult in today’s classrooms. The teacher has to keep the class moving forward at a pace that accommodates the average student—not accounting for those who may be falling behind.
When a family hires a tutor, the student enjoys one-on-one attention. A good tutor should quickly identify individual strengths and weaknesses and develop a personalized study plan. Over time, the tutor will learn even more about the student’s learning style and goals.
If a student needs help in several subjects, you can find tutoring services that offer a broad range of tutors with diverse expertise. Sometimes you’ll need a tutor who specializes in only on subject, such as Physics or AP History. Other times, you might want a single tutor who can help with multiple subjects — from reading to math to study skills.
That flexibility to choose the right tutor for your student’s current needs ensures your child gets a well-rounded education, too.
3. Tutoring Can Improve a Student’s Self-Esteem, Responsibility, and More
When a student is struggling in school, their motivation flags. Learning feels like a chore or a burden. And it definitely does not feel exciting, relevant, or interesting. If those feelings go neglected due to class size or lack of individual attention, they may increase. Unfortunately, that only contributes to the cycle of self-defeating behavior.
Working with a tutor restores a student’s ability to see learning as fun. The first time a student discovers they already understand the material in Physics or Chemistry class, it can be a revelation. They speak up in class, secure in knowledge that their answer is correct. And when they don’t understand, they are confident enough to be vulnerable, ask a question and get the help they need. They understand that education is empowering and school doesn’t have to be discouraging.
4. Great Tutors Can Make Learning Exciting and Relevant
According to a new Harvard study, students in “active learning” classrooms learn more than they even realize. Active learning encourages students to engage with the material, making the experience fun, memorable, and interactive. Compared to a traditional, lecture-style lesson, active-learning strategies improve educational outcomes.
Why? As the study’s creator says, “Deep learning is hard work.”
While students might feel like they’re ingesting more information in a lecture, the opposite is actually true. Passively receiving information does not encourage retention. What’s more, it stifles creativity and promotes remote memorization.
While many educators now understand that active learning is ideal, it’s difficult to implement in a traditional classroom. Teachers face any number of obstacles — from fixed curricula to large class size. So the default remains a lecture from the front of the classroom.
With a one-on-one tutor, active learning is the norm, not the exception. Tutors can make learning fun, exciting, and, most importantly, relevant.
Making learning fun doesn’t mean turning it into a game, either. It means empowering students to be creative, to use evidence and make conscious decisions. It means being hands-on, whether literally or figuratively. Making students an active agent in their learning instills in them the confidence to be a part of the conversation, now and later.
5. For High Schoolers, College Essay Writing Guidance Is a Major Help
Over half of college admissions counselors, or 56.4 percent, say the college essay plays a considerable role in deciding who gets in.
One reason is that it’s an easy way to choose between two students with very similar qualifications. Sometimes, a finely crafted, thoughtful, and well-written essay is the thing that tips the scale in one student’s favor. On the other hand, weak writing, a poorly-chosen topic or a joke that falls flat can submarine a student’s chance of admissions.
Most admissions counselors recommend starting early—11th grade, or the summer before 12th—and editing often. The earlier high-schoolers begin preparing their essays, the more time they’ll have to work through several drafts, landing on a piece that’s edited for grammar, spelling, and depth, above all.
A tutor is ideal for this experience, helping to guide your teenager through the writing process by offering feedback. Of course, a tutor can’t (and won’t) write the essay for your student. But they’ll be able to study it for qualities like clarity, content, and consistency. That alone is a reason to consider a tutor for your student’s formative twelfth year.
Is Your Child or Teen Struggling in School? We Can Help You Help Them
As a parent, you’ve got a lot on your plate. As a high school student, the story’s no different.
From SAT/ACT prep to studying for AP U.S. History, precalculus, writing, and biology—it’s fair to say your teenager has a lot to juggle. That’s not including family time, a social life or extracurriculars. A tutor can help your student learn to manage their time wisely to feel fulfilled in all areas of life.
If you notice your child is struggling in school, it’s important to act sooner than later. That way, you can help to prepare them for a successful life beyond the doors of their high school. Schedule a consultation today or call 202-810-2003.