Category Archives: In-Home Tutoring

Getting the Most from In-Home Tutoring if Your Child has Learning Disabilities

Students with learning disabilities can benefit from in-home tutoring as well as routine homework time.

Students with learning disabilities can benefit from in-home tutoring as well as routine homework time.

Homework is intended to be review for children learn in school. By practicing new concepts and principles, children are better able to remember and apply them. For students with learning disabilities, homework time can be frustrating. In-home tutoring is an excellent way to help your child complete assignments and build on knowledge learned in the classroom.

But you should not rely 100% on in-home tutoring to help your child. There are ways you can turn homework time into a success even if the tutor is not present.

Make a Homework Calendar

With the help of your child’s teacher, establish a homework calendar for your child with columns for the day’s assignments, your comments and the teacher’s notes. Make sure that your child comes home with the calendar every evening and returns it to his teacher the following day at school.

Prepare In/Out Folders

Get two folders of different colors and label one “Homework In” and the other “Homework Out”. Explain to your child that all assigned tasks for the day go into the “in” folder to bring home. Teach your child to place all completed homework into the “out” folder every evening to hand in to his teacher the next morning.

Establish a Routine (and Stick to It!)

Children with learning disabilities thrive on consistency. Fix a set time and place for homework and stick to this schedule as much as possible. Abrupt changes in routine may upset your child and distract her from doing her homework.

Divide and Conquer

Review the homework with your child first before starting. If your child has a short attention span, break the homework down to manageable chunks that your child can work through one at a time without being easily frustrated.

Adapt Homework to Your Child

No two homework assignments are the same. Adapt the task to your child’s ability to finish it alone or with your help. Depending on child’s specific disability, begin with easy homework to build her confidence. If your child loses interest quickly, then get longer homework out of the way first before taking a break.

Know When to Stop

There’s a limit to your child’s ability to concentrate, especially at the end of a long school day. Take short breaks for your child to recharge and recuperate. If she keeps hitting roadblocks, then it’s probably time to call it a day. Make a note on the homework calendar informing her teacher of the situation and revise the incomplete homework another day.

Make Homework Accommodations

There are times when you may need to make certain accommodations to assist your child with her homework. Read an assignment to her or explain how to work out a math problem according to what she’s learned in school. Focus on the importance of understanding the lesson instead of simply getting her homework done.

Ensure Open Communication

Have regular meetings with your child’s teachers to keep abreast with her learning problems in school. Being aware of your child’s struggles is half the battle won. If you see little improvement in your child, don’t hesitate to ask for extra help through tutors or education specialists.

Following these recommendations help leverage the benefits of in-home tutoring. Your child can meet or exceed academic goals when everyone works together!

Tips for Helping Teens in Foster Care with Homework

Teens in foster care benefit from tutoring as well as structured homework time.

Teens in foster care benefit from tutoring as well as structured and consistent homework time.

It is common for youth in foster care to be behind their peers academically. Although younger children may be more willing to spend time on homework, teens in foster care may rebel against foster parents or guardians who try to get them focused on academic goals. In-home tutoring can provide the motivation teens need to do well in school. Tutors with experience working with kids who are several grades behind where they should be can boost a child’s confidence and get them thinking about their future.

However, a tutor cannot be with your foster child all the time. There are steps you can take to provide an environment conducive to learning. Here’s how foster parents and guardians can help teens with homework without turning these after-school study sessions into a dreaded war of wills:

Be Organized

Homework hour is all about making sure your teen has sufficient time to complete assigns while he still has energy. Make sure your chores are completed beforehand so she has your undivided attention if she needs it. Turn off the television and eliminate other distractions that can interrupt a teen’s concentration. Actions counter to these recommendations send a message to your child that homework isn’t a priority.

Be Consistent

Establishing a reliable routine is just as important as helping your teen with homework. Set a designated time and place for schoolwork. Have everything your child needs at hand, including reference books, a computer, dictionary, and writing paper. Your child has a limited attention span, so don’t waste it by having him hunt around for an eraser.

Take a Break

After school, give your teen some downtime before hitting the books again at home. Have a healthy snack while chatting about her day at school. Discover what she learned in class and if she faced problems during a particular lesson. Reassure her that homework reinforces learning. This is your opening to start the day’s assignments.

Learn the Lesson

Nothing frustrates a teen more than a difficult homework assignment and nothing annoys you more that not being able to help her. Take time to study the material before trying to teach your child how to find the correct answers. If you don’t understand the lesson, find someone who does. An in-home or online tutor can provide assistance when you need it.

Think Outside the Box

Learning should be fun. Change settings by doing homework at the library instead of at home. Experiment with various methods of imparting the same knowledge to your child and see which ones work best to help her understand her homework.

Limit Homework Time

Your teen has spent almost an entire day in school, learning many subjects in a closed classroom environment. At home, keep homework time between 15 to 20 minute increments. Forcing your tired child to spend longer than 20 minutes on homework may produce resentment against extra assignments and discourage learning in general.

Offer Constructive Feedback

If your child has a tough time with a particular task, be patient and suggest different approaches to the problem instead of berating his inability to find a solution. Remember that homework is practice for what your child has already learned in class. Go through the lesson with her briefly before taking another shot at the answer.

Monitor Progress

Keep tabs on your teen’s progress in school. His struggle with homework may point towards learning difficulties during class. Discuss the issue with his teachers or attend parent-teacher meetings to find out more about the teaching methods employed in school and ways you can help at home.

Tutoring can help teens in foster care catch up with their peers and prepare them for graduation. Contact us today if your teen needs tutoring!

Beyond In-Home Tutoring: Ways to Help Your Teen Improve Math Skills

Take advantage of all of the resources available to help your teen improve math skills today!

Take advantage of all of the resources available to help your teen improve math skills today!

Math is one of the most challenging subjects in school and a source of endless nightmares for teens and parents alike. Parents who have struggled through their own bad experiences with math may resist helping their teens who need help with math homework. Although in-home tutoring can certainly address your teen’s immediate need for homework help, there are steps you can take to help him improve his math skills outside of formal learning sessions.

Use Math Daily: Show your teen how math is important in everyday life by proposing numerical questions regularly. Take her grocery shopping and have her estimate the total cost before you actually check out. Ask her to calculate the final cost of a sale item when you take her to the mall. Using math daily trains your child to think numerically, laying a good foundation for solving math questions in school and later in life.

Make Math a Priority: Give her practice worksheets on days she doesn’t have math homework. There’s no one way to approach a mathematical problem. If your teen is stuck, help her work at it from another angle or us a different approach like drawing a diagram. Work the problem as thoroughly as possible.

Skip the Problem: Math problems should only take a minute or so to complete, and homework assignments shouldn’t take longer than 20 minutes to complete. Let your teen know it is okay to skip a problem and return to it after she has completed the remaining problems. Spending too much time on a problem causes your teen to become frustrated which can result in unnecessary errors.

Refer to Examples: Go through the math lesson for the day with your teen and look at sample problems that she may have done in class. Refer to the sample when your child starts her homework and guide her towards the solution without actually telling her what to do.

Make Memory Aids: Math is all about numbers and formulas that may be too overwhelming for your teen to retain. Make memory aids that she can review at a glance to remind herself of how a particular problem should be solved.

Learn, Practice, and Practice Some More: Practice makes perfect. Assisting your child with homework reinforces class lessons but without regular review, your teen may still forget what she has learned. Set time aside to go over the week’s key math lessons. A brief oral test can indicate how well your teen understands the math concepts she is learning.

Encourage Group Study: Teens are extremely social. Let her invite some friends over to figure out the math homework together. Help them stay on track by leading them in a discussion of the questions and their proposed solutions. Praise their efforts and reward them with a snack and free time once they’re done with their homework.

Take Advantage of the internet: Educational websites provide a wealth of information and resources you and your teen can use. If you are having trouble with a particular math problem, find help by searching the Internet using keywords in the math problem. Never copy solutions from the Internet, but use them to help your teen better understand a problem and its solution.

Our math tutors have experience providing homework help to teens. Learn more about in-home tutoring for teens by contacting us today!

How Foster Parents Can Get Elementary-Aged Students Interested in Science

Science homework does not have to be a chore for students or parents. Use expert recommendations to engage elementary-aged students in science.

Science homework does not have to be a chore for students or parents. Use expert recommendations to engage elementary-aged students in science.

Like math, science is a daunting subject for many children. Some feel intimidated while others are simply not interested. Parents often assume that they need to be rocket scientists in order to help children with their homework. In fact, foster parents can easily learn about science alongside their elementary-aged foster children when using the following methods:

Have Fun with Experiments

An easy way to solidify science concepts in your child’s mind is to capture her attention visually by running simple experiments at home. For instance, if your child’s science homework is about the change of an object’s physical state, help her understand this by showing how liquid transforms into vapor when you put a kettle of water to boil for hot chocolate.

Extend Science Lessons into Your Backyard

Show your child that what she has learned in school really exists. Point out the different clouds in the sky that affect weather changes (earth sciences), or help her identify the insects in your garden (life sciences) when you go out for a walk together. Helping your child with her science homework often requires taking class lessons outside the classroom.

Participate in Science Projects

Science projects are an effective learning method for any child. Test your child’s knowledge of underlying concepts by asking leading questions about the science projects assigned to her. Avoid building the projects for her. Instead, provide the materials she needs to create her project efficiently.

Use Mind Maps

Review the topic summary for the day’s science homework with your child before starting. Make sure your child knows what is expected of her when she addresses the task at hand. If needed, draw a colorful mind map linking critical points with key subject matters under that particular topic. Visualizing the topic in a mind map enables your child to pinpoint exactly where she may be having trouble when completing her homework.

Visit a Science Fair or Museum

Add science fairs in the vicinity to your calendar or take your child on a trip to the nearest museum to pique her curiosity in this subject. A major challenge when doing science homework with your child is to retain her interest in science as being more than just a subject to learn in school.

Play Interactive Science Games

Interactive science games are a great way to help your child with her science homework. Surf through the internet to find many free topic-related science games. Some games offer multiple choice answers that reinforce your child’s memory about a certain subject. For example, to go on to the next level in a game for life sciences, your child may be required to name the key features of an animal. If you are hesitant about going online, set a time every week for a game of science trivia with your child and the rest of the family.

Hire a Science Tutor

Sometimes children in foster care learn better from a tutor.  A science tutor can make homework time fun and exciting while help your foster child bridge identified learning gaps. Science tutors at Educational Tutorial Services are trained to help youth in care meet academic goals. Contact us today to learn about our in-home tutoring services!

Academic Help for Children Who are Visual Learners

Visual learners can find everyday homework difficult to complete, especially if involves a lot of text. Expert tutors can help your visual learner with homework in way that allows her to attain more of the material she learns.

Visual learners can find everyday homework difficult to complete, especially if it involves a lot of text. Expert tutors can help your visual learner with homework in a way that allows her to retain more of the material she learns.

Although most students use all of their senses during the learning process, most prefer one over the others. The brain uses different channels to gather information about the world. This means your goal is to discover what channels are mostly used by your child and help him use that to his advantage. Here are some tips for parents whose children are visual learners.

Get Equipped

One of the first things to do dealing with a visual learner is to get properly equipped. This means when you pick workbooks for your child, you should pick the ones with many pictures, diagrams and other visuals in them. Get a chalk board or pen board and use it in your studies with the child. Tablets are great teaching tools for visual learners. Draw a picture or a diagram whenever you can to support your verbal explanations. Use pictures, bright colors and other visuals when helping your child with homework assignments.

Use Video Lessons

Nothing beats a good visual for a visual learner. This definitely is a case of when a picture is worth thousand words. Understand that your child’s brain is searching for pictures and it singles them out to learn from them. So, using videos is a strong tool you can leverage during study time. You can use educational cartoons for younger kids or use educational PC games for older ones. Online tutoring can be highly beneficial for visual learners because of whiteboards and other teaching tools used by tutors.

Teach Your Child to Work with Text

No matter how much your child likes pictures or other visuals there is no way they can learn by them alone. They still need to know how to work with text and how to make it a more memorable source of information. Here is one good tip for the parents. Get several highlighters and teach your kid to single out key thoughts and sentences of the text by highlighting them. This is how you create visual anchors in the text and help your child memorize and learn more information from reading words.

Use Gestures to Communicate

Verbal communication can also be hard for visual learners. So, when you are trying to teach something to your kid with words, use your hands and your entire body to support your words. You may help your kid to memorize certain things easier, if you back your words up with signs. Your child is more likely to remember you “talking” with your hands than what you said in words. This is another reason visual learners benefit from online tutoring – tutors use video to communicate with students.

As you see, these practical tips for parents can make your study times easier and more fun. You can learn to “speak the same language” with your child and avoid frustration when you communicate. When you need extra help, contact us for a private or online tutor that can provide the learning environment your visual learner needs to excel in school.

In-Home Tutoring for Special Education Students

Tutors who provide in-home tutoring to students with special needs should do so in alignment with the student's IEP.

At-risk students who have been removed from their families and placed in temporary foster care or children who have been through a traumatic experience and are now part of the long-term foster care system often have very different needs from children who live in a happy and stable family environment.

With some 114,000 children in foster care across the US on any given day, children are often moved from home to home, from neighborhood to neighborhood and, as a result, have gaps in their education. A large proportion of them, around 30 to 40%, require special education tutoring because they have been diagnosed with a learning disability.

Tutoring for special education students can take many forms and varies according to their Individualized Education Programs, their abilities and challenges as well as their age.  Tutoring may incorporate online tutoring or private tutoring with workstations with technology that allows learning and interaction with other students or simply help to improve in a specific area such as math, reading and writing or acquiring better study habits and discipline.

Working with Caregivers, Schools, and Social Workers

Whoever provides special education tutoring for foster children or at-risk students must be able to work together with all the different members of this “learning team”. The team consists of the child, the students’ school, foster parents or caregivers, and any agencies in the community providing services to the family and student.  Collaboration is essential for the student to succeed academically.

Providing Private Tutoring for Individual Students

Although legislation requires that teaching methods should be universal in their substance and technique, the wide range of learning and physical disabilities as well as behavioral disorders makes it necessary for special education tutoring to be tailored to individual students. Many at-risk students and foster youth are still waiting to be diagnosed officially, making it even harder for mainstream inclusive schools to provide the education these children need.

Such children often feel they are just “a number” in the care system, so one-on-one home tutoring addresses a child’s very real need to feel “special” in the best sense of the word!  Suitable special education tutoring takes into consideration a child’s need to learn at his own pace and ability, while at the same time stressing cognitive skills development and instilling good study habits.

Applying Best Practices

The National Center for Special Education Research (NCSER) provides educators with a research forum where new teaching methods and ideas can be exchanged and discussed. Asking the right questions at school should provide caregivers and foster parents with the answers as to what their special education child will need within the context of their Individualized Education Plan (IEP). Educational Tutorial Services ensures all tutors know how to provide tutoring services that are aligned to IEP for maximum benefit to students.

Ways Private Tutoring Supports Classroom Education

Private tutoring helps students better understand concepts learned in the classroom.

Private tutoring helps students better understand concepts learned in the classroom.

There are many reasons to consider private tutoring for yourself or your child. Private tutoring offers a number of important benefits that are simply not available in a classroom setting. Having a teacher devote all their attention to the student is perhaps the most important benefit of private tutoring. A private tutor knows that it is important to tailor the lesson plans and strategies to cater to the student’s unique needs. This in itself will prove to be very beneficial to the student.

Classroom Teaching Targets Multiple Students

In the classroom, the student is part of a group of twenty to thirty other students. Each student has their own abilities and the rate of learning also differs from one student to the other. Furthermore, each student has their own individual strong points as well as academic weaknesses. Teachers must develop and deliver lessons to the class as a whole, in essence treating the entire class as a single student.

When learning in a class of students, students are typically not able to inform the teacher about how well they are assimilating the lessons. What’s more, the lesson plans will be planned to suit the needs of an average student and the teachings will be conducted at a pace that best suits an average student. This means that a non-average student – whether gifted or with learning disabilities – may not be able to grasp the points being made by the teacher. Even the best teacher (in such circumstances) will not be able to determine whether students are assimilating what is being taught.

Classrooms Have Too Many Distractions

Numerous distractions exist in classrooms that can conflict with a student’s ability to learn. In some instances, distractions that exist in classrooms can prove to be detrimental to the growth and education of the student. Certain distractions that can impede the student’s learning might even intimidate their less aggressive fellow students. The end result is that a student that is being taught in a classroom is not able to achieve their learning objectives.

A Relaxed Environment Is Conducive To Learning

Private tutoring on the other hand is very different. The learning environment is much more relaxed and conducive to learning. A private tutor is also ready to travel to teach the student at their home. The learning environment is happier and more productive.

Private tutoring also means that the tutor is able to focus their lesson plans on a particular skill set. For example, if the student is strong in math but weak in algebra the tutor can focus on improving the student’s ability to master algebraic thinking.

Private tutoring is beneficial because it means that the student who is tutored in private will gain a competitive edge over their peers. In a highly competitive world, no student can afford to be left behind. Being tutored in private is very beneficial because it helps the student overcome minor or major deficiencies in their grades in a particular subject.

What to Expect from Special Education Tutoring

Knowing what to expect from special education tutoring ensures your child gets the academic help he needs.

Tutoring for special education students usually takes place in the classroom in an inclusive environment with children who do not have learning, physical or behavioral disabilities or difficulties. However, foster children’s education is often patchy because they move from home to home and therefore school to school. As a result, they may require additional special education tutoring at home.

So what can foster parents expect from private tutoring in the home or online tutoring services? Here are some questions to ask a tutor:

  • What can the tutor tell parents about their child’s rate of learning – is it what is expected at this stage of a child’s development?
  • What can parents do at home, after special education tutoring has ended for the day, to help a child do her best at school?
  • Is the tutor applying specific techniques or interventions to help a child with his learning difficulties – techniques that parents could learn and apply during playtime?
  • What kind of study habits and skills will the tutor be teaching?
  • What will the child’s Individual Learning Plan (ILP) look like?
  • Does the home tutor provide progress reports?

Special Education Tutoring Should Cover a Wide-Range of Learning Abilities

The special education tutoring provider parents choose for their child should preferably use tutors who live within the communities they teach in and should offer a whole spectrum of services for children with special needs, such as:

  • speech and language impairments
  • autism spectrum disorders
  • hearing and visual impairments
  • learning disabilities
  • emotional and behavior disorders
  • delays in their development

For parents of children with physical disabilities, it is usually preferable to find a provider who offers home-based special education tutoring, such as Educational Tutorial Services.

Academic Goals Should Be Achievable

With diagnostic testing it is possible to establish benchmarks and to build up a student’s confidence with one-to-one special education tutoring at home. Assessment sheets are given to parents and, following discussions with parents and students, tutors put together achievable goals so students can reach the next benchmark in their development and learning process. Using a student’s own strengths to achieve continued learning success and therefore higher grades and improved test scores at school, tutors devise Individual Learning Plans that bring results.

Any special education tutoring provider parents hire for their child’s home education should at least offer the following:

1. Pre- and Post-Test Assessments

2. Individual Learning Plans

3. Monthly Progress Reports

You can learn more about Educational Tutorial Services’ special education tutoring programs here.

Private Tutoring Helps Reduce Stress and Anxiety

Tutoring can help students who feel overwhelmed. By reducing stress and anxiety, students feel more confident and will perform better in school.

Tutoring can help students who feel overwhelmed. By reducing stress and anxiety, students feel more confident and will perform better in school.

Before taking a test, it is common for students to feel stressed. To help students deal with stress, parents often seek the help of private tutors. Private tutoring has been shown to help many students overcome feelings of panic and extreme anxiety often associated with test prep and test taking. Students who are tutored privately are able to walk into the classroom feeling more confident and relaxed and they will also generally perform better on exams.

Getting Optimal Results

Private tutoring is typically spread across several sessions. A private tutor needs to start off by finding out how much the student knows and what areas are causing the student the most trouble. This information will allow the private tutor to structure the lessons and sessions in a manner that will help ensure optimal results.

Before starting a session, the tutor also needs to ask the student about different aspects of the subject material. The tutor encourages the student to do more than simply try and memorize the topic that is being taught. The student is encouraged to understand and apply the knowledge that they have gained. Understanding and applying the knowledge gained will help the student do well in their essay exams.

Use of Practical Tests

To help the student reduce or even eliminate stress and anxiety, the private tutor must make use of practical tests. These tests help the tutor get a feel of how the student is going to perform when the examination day arrives. The tutor must also be ready to use strong measures such as simulating real tests. They may also time the student. Timing the student helps to ensure that student learns to not take up more time than is allowed to complete the test. These simulated situations help to make the students feel more relaxed. The more the student practices, the more likely it is that he will do well o his tests. Private tutors must work on the premise that it is possible to make the student learn as well as remember information.

Understanding Poor Performance

Stress can make students perform poorly on tests or homework assignments. Stress does not have anything to do with understanding or knowing the subject. The anxiety that a student faces before a test is often more about meeting teacher and parent expectations. Students worry too much about disappointing their parents and teachers. This makes them worry more about test grades rather than on the test itself.

Stress can cause blackouts and it also makes the student forget all that they have learned. Simulated tests can help the student break free of the stress they are feeling. Private tutoring provides an environment that is safe and conducive to studying and learning. Private tutoring will help the student deal with their stress while preparing for an important test.

Private tutoring also ensures that the student is not put under extra pressure. In fact, private tutoring offers practical and suitable recommendations to aid the student. These recommendations will make it easier for the student to review the subject material. The best part is that private tutoring makes the student feel more relaxed and confident about passing their exam.

Improve the Confidence of Your Child with Private Tutoring

Private tutoring can build student confidence in no time!

The success of a child’s academic achievements can depend on a variety of factors. In some cases, students struggle with their learning simply due to lack of confidence. This could be a lack of confidence in their abilities or lack of confidence in a classroom environment. Either way, this is something that can have a serious negative effect on their academic achievements.

One way in which children who lack confidence can get valuable additional support is through private tutoring. Participating in private tutoring can benefit these students in a number of ways and can ultimately guide them to the academic success they might otherwise miss out on.

How Private Tutoring Boosts Student Confidence

Some children lack confidence in certain subjects and areas while others lack general confidence that affects their overall learning abilities. Due to the availability of tailored private tutoring, students that fall into either of these groups can benefit. Private tutors can provide assistance with a wide range of programs and subjects, which means that they can cater to a child’s specific needs.

Some of the ways in which private tutoring can help students that lack confidence include:

  • One-to-one support: The one-to-one support that a private tutor offers to a student can help to increase their confidence levels. Students do not have to worry about competing with a class full of other students for the attention of their tutor.
  • Progressing at a suitable pace: Private tutoring means that students can learn at a pace that they are more comfortable with which means that they are not going to feel as though they are falling behind as they might in a classroom environment.
  • Eliminating distractions: While learning at school, some students may be put off by various distractions, which could include the behavior of other students, and this can have a negative effect on their confidence. With private tutoring, these distractions are eliminated so students can focus on learning.
  • Building a rapport: A private tutor can build a valuable relationship with the student which will help to make learning easier. This in turn will help to increase confidence levels.

A Positive Investment

Hiring a private tutor can be a positive and valuable investment when it comes to offering extra support to children who lack confidence in their learning or with specific subject areas. It can help to give students the confidence to ask questions and can help to engage them more when it comes to learning.