So you’ve finally found the perfect tutor for your child, and arranged your first lesson. That’s great! But it’s only the start of your child’s learning journey.
If you want that first lesson to go as well as possible, then you need to prepare for it.
Here’s how to make your first tuition lesson a success...
The days leading up to the first lesson provide your child with a great opportunity to prepare themselves for what’s to come.
It’s helpful to consult your child’s teacher before their first lesson. This does two things.
Firstly, it means the teacher is aware of the extra support your child is receiving, and so they can adjust their own teaching accordingly.
Secondly, it means they can possibly provide you with useful materials, such as the curriculum or past exam papers, which the tutor can use to personalise your child’s lessons.
Remember, your child’s teacher isn’t going to mind that you’re hiring a tutor. It’s far better for them to know as soon as possible.
Before your child has their first lesson, consider noting down a list of topic areas that they struggle with.
You’ll probably already have a pretty good idea of which topic areas your child struggles with, but writing them down in a list will help you cover all of them.
More importantly, you can present your tutor with this list so they know where to focus their efforts.
If you send this over to them ahead of your child’s first lesson, then your tutor can already start coming up with a plan of action.
Your tutor will likely have an idea of which topics your child will be studying with them, especially if you followed the advice above and sent a list of your child’s weaknesses.
It may be worth asking the tutor for any resources or reading that your child can work through ahead of the first lesson.
This helps prepare your child for their lesson, and ensures they get a head start for their learning.
Your tutor may even be able to set some work to do before the first lesson, which they can then use to ascertain your child’s knowledge levels.
If your child has never had a tutor before, then it’s likely that they’ll be nervous about their first lesson.
A good way of alleviating some of these nerves is to brief your child ahead of time. This can be as simple as explaining how their tutor is going to help them, and what they can expect from the lesson.
It’s also a good opportunity to answer any questions and address any concerns that your child may have.
If you don’t know the answer to any of these, reach out to your tutor. They’ll have heard them all before and will be able to answer on your behalf.
The day of the lesson is really important. You need to make sure your child is in the right frame of mind for learning.
Staying fed and hydrated is really important when you’re learning. The right diet can increase concentration, aid critical thinking, and improve memory.
Some of the best brain foods for kids include fish, eggs, fruit, and nuts. You can find a more comprehensive list here. Essentially, you want to avoid junk foods and stuff that’s high in sugar.
You should also make sure your child drinks plenty of water on the day of their lesson. Water offers a wide range of health benefits, and numerous studies have found links between water consumption and brain power.
If, like most kids, your child hates the idea of drinking plain water, then even diluted squash or flavoured water will provide that brain boost they need.
On the day of their first lesson, your child will quite rightly be a little stressed out. After all, they’re going to be spending an hour or so with a complete stranger, possibly even in the stranger’s house.
A stressed child is not a child who’s going to learn effectively. So you need to make sure they keep calm.
You could spend some time with them doing something they enjoy, like playing a video game, before the lesson. This will help take their mind off it.
Another great way of calming your child is to ensure they get lots of fresh air. Fresh air can provide you with a lot of health benefits, one of which is reducing stress and anxiety.
The teaching doesn’t end when the first lesson is over. That post-lesson period is a good chance to consolidate your child’s learning, and set them up for success.
A lot of tutors will give your child some homework to do before the next lesson. If your child is anything like I was growing up, they’ll probably try to mislead you about how much they’ve been given.
Despite how much kids hate it, homework helps your child to more effectively learn the content they were taught during the lesson. It’s important, therefore, that your child actually does it.
Be sure to ask the tutor about the homework so that you can keep track of whether your child has completed it.
If it’s a subject area that you understand relatively well, you can even ask the tutor about how you can help your child with their homework.
Much like the brief you gave your child prior to their lesson, a good debrief can ensure that your child is happy to continue learning, and allows you to address any issues that they have.
Now that your child has experienced tutoring, they’ll be in a better position to identify any parts they don’t like. It’s important to listen to their feedback.
Perhaps they don’t understand what the tutor is telling them. Maybe they didn’t find the work challenging enough. It’s even possible that they simply didn’t ‘click’ with the tutor.
You should take note of any issues and either address them yourself, or pass them on to the tutor. This will ensure better learning going forward.
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That’s why we carefully match you with the best tutors for your needs.
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All the best with your tutoring!