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Is Your Student Struggling?

Home tutors are well aware that students learn differently and that means that a one-size-fits-all approach doesn’t always work for them. This is why some students struggle in their lessons in school because they couldn’t catch up to their peers or the teacher’s methods. Home tutors need to know and recognize the learning styles that fit their students best and to see which activities they respond well to. If a home tutor fails to meet this, then their student may ultimately struggle with their tuition sessions as well. However, aside from the learning styles, there can also be other factors that can hinder a student’s understanding such as learning difficulties and disabilities like dyslexia, dyscalculia, and dysgraphia.

However, how do tutors know their student is struggling especially during their tuition session? Remember that struggling students will find it harder to keep up with their lessons in school because of different factors and if they also continue struggling in tuition sessions, tuition will ultimately be ineffective. If they have a hard time keeping up with the lessons, they will have a harder time completing tasks and retaining their lessons as well as applying them for their exams.

It’s important for home tutors to detect if their student is struggling with lessons, especially during their tuition sessions. Sometimes, students wouldn’t outright tell their home tutors that they are struggling for reasons such as they feel embarrassed or they don’t want to slow down the lessons. If this is the case, then tutors should look out for the following signs their student is struggling.

Longer time completing tasks

There are many signs that students are struggling with their lessons but one of the most obvious ones is that they may take longer than others to complete a certain task or activity. For example, a home tutor may ask a student to answer a Math problem and usually, other students would take 5-10 minutes to solve it. If the student needs more than that amount of time, chances are they are having issues with answering it.

There are also other times that students disregard the activity or even waste time and procrastinate as much as possible. They may think that putting off the task while they do something else is helping them but the truth is, they are just dawdling because of the frustration of not being able to do the task right away. There are cases where they actually forget how to answer or go on with the activity which is why they are biding their time. In some cases, they may altogether have trouble remembering the steps of completing the task.

This is why it’s important to monitor the student during tuition sessions if they are given an activity. In some cases, home tutors can also see this when the student is doing their homework. As homework usually reflect what they have learned that week, tutors can see whether their student has managed to absorb the lesson from school and apply it to their homework. If the student is visibly having trouble with that, then chances are they are also struggling with their lessons. As such, monitoring them will also give tutors the time to keep track of the activities that engage students and those that don’t work well for their attention span.

Receives low marks

Many will think that low marks are obvious signs of a struggling student and they are right in some aspect. An occasional low grade is not a concern, however, if the report card is full of them, then parents and the tutor should be alarmed. Additionally, this will not only affect the parents and tutor but also the student, especially if they put in great time and effort and the results are still not what they wanted.

This is why it’s important for home tutors to speak with the student’s parents before they are hired so they already have a baseline of what they are working with. They can even ask for the previous year’s report cards to study and analyze the best approach and result they can give the child. Parents’ involvement is also a key aspect in a student’s academic development and tutors shouldn’t leave them out of the equation.

Change in attitude

Another tell-tale sign of a struggling learner is their attitude, or more specifically the change in their character. When someone is frustrated, they will inevitably show a change in attitude. For students, they may show their frustration in different ways such as arguing with their tutors or even their family. They may even be frustrated with the simplest questions, being asked to answer a relatively easy problem, and listening to discussions.

A change in attitude is understandable for students especially since tutors should also think of their internal struggle with not understanding the lesson. However, as their mentors, tutors should also help students understand that lashing out wouldn’t help them. Instead, it may even cause tension between their relationships with their parents, family, and their home tutor.

For tutors, it’s best to stay calm when students are acting out due to their frustration. Give them time to calm down and for the home tutor to also do the same. Butting equally hot heads wouldn’t get the tuition session anywhere. By giving them a time out and chance to calm down and clear their head, tutors can then restart the lesson or topic or use another approach that would help the student deal with their lesson.

Negative comments about school

As tuition sessions are 1-to-1, there are more chances for the tutor will get to know their student and vice versa. Aside from helping them with their lessons, they can also form friendships and camaraderie with each other. Tutor and student can bond over their shared interest and sometimes, students will open up more to their tutors. This is why it’s also important for the tutor to also ask about their school or how they are doing in school. It is possible to determine if they are struggling by their responses. If they constantly come back to the same negative comment about their school work or their teachers, it’s time to consider and figure out what they may find difficult.

As such, students who are mostly uninterested in their classroom often reserve notes from their teachers. If they constantly receive such notes, and if their parents also open this up to the tutor, then there’s a high possibility they are struggling with their classes and lessons. Home tutors should assess whether the student’s rants are related to learning or behavioral problems. More often for struggling students, these two can be related to each other as well, but as tutors, it’s best to see and focus on which issue can be resolved first.

Makes careless mistakes

If the student makes careless mistakes, may it be in their homework or the activity the tutor has given them, then they may be suffering from a disorganized way of answering. And being disorganized is also one sign that the student is struggling. In answering or solving questions, there’s a certain pattern that helps students eliminate the chances of making careless errors. If they have no system of answering that they follow, chances are they haven’t fully grasped the proper way how to.

Disorganization isn’t also limited to just answering problems or homework. It can also be seen with how students handle their schedule or their presence of mind. Students may constantly forget their books and materials or they may not have a set system for studying for their exams or doing their homework.

Loses motivation easily

If the student makes careless mistakes, may it be in their homework or the activity the home tutor has given them, then they may be suffering from a disorganized way of answering. And being disorganized is also one sign that the student is struggling. In answering or solving questions, there’s a certain pattern that helps students eliminate the chances of making careless errors. If they have no system of answering that they follow, chances are they haven’t fully grasped the proper way how to.

Disorganization isn’t also limited to just answering problems or homework. It can also be seen with how students handle their schedule or their presence of mind. Students may constantly forget their books and materials or they may not have a set system for studying for their exams or doing their homework.

Conclusion

The first step in solving is always to understand the problem at hand. For tutors, this is helping determine if the student is struggling. After this, they can then determine which part of the process the student is struggling with. From then on, they can work to help the student overcome their struggles and weaknesses and help them reach their goals. Home tutors in Singapore need to understand that tuition is for the student and with this in mind, whatever strategy, method, or teaching style they will be using, they should adapt it in a way that would help the student best. As such, tutors shouldn’t work alone. They also need to list down the help of those people around the child when tuition ends such as their family and teachers.  With more forces helping the child, it will help the child reach their goals easier and reach their full potential.

Carelle

Carelle

Carelle is a teacher who has been through the ups and downs of the teacher and learner life. She wishes for every learner to gain educational satisfaction that will help embody the people they want to be in the future.

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About FamilyTutor!

FamilyTutor is an established home tuition agency in Singapore! We match suitable home tutors for our clients not just to improve the students' academic grades, but also to build a strong rapport and meaningful relationship with the students and even the their whole family. FamilyTutor put every student in good hands!

If you need an excellent home tutor, feel free to call/WhatsApp us at +65 8777-2168! Our matching service is free!

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