Important Activities Parent-Tutors Can Do Well

This is post #2 in the series “How to Be a Great Parent-Tutor.”

What important activities can a parent-tutor do well? You might be surprised how “qualified” you actually are to be a great tutor and mentor for your child. For example:

  • develop “reading readiness” skills before starting school
  • teach (and design!) content information, ideas, and learning skills
  • guide the child to successfully complete school homework assignments
  • demonstrate and help develop study skills
  • help with catch-up in areas in which a child is behind
  • observe and discover basic concepts that have been missed or not thoroughly learned, and help the child fill in those learning gaps
  • motivate, coach, challenge, encourage and provide feedback for a discouraged child so he develops confidence and enjoyment in learning
  • provide a quiet, focused, one-on-one learning situation for a child who finds a classroom environment overwhelming
  • provide individualised solutions–a parent often knows and understands a child better than anyone else does
  • provide continued learning when a child misses school, or provide home learning instead
  • provide the emotional stability and love a child needs when facing difficult times
  • provide the extra one-on-one help a special needs child requires but which the classroom teacher does not have sufficient time to provide
  • help with study and test-taking skills, and encourage and motivate a child who fears tests and exams
  • provide extra challenges for gifted students beyond the usual classroom curriculum
  • help a child “dig deeper” and develop their personal interests and passions—both for school subjects and for hobbies, arts, sports, employment skills, etc.
  • help mediate frustrations between a teacher and student
  • provide a child with the opportunity to use personal learning styles that are not often used in the classroom
  • work with the child’s overall study skills and discipline over time
  • provide hands-on, real-life experiences that make practical use of “theoretical knowledge” being taught at school (example: home baking includes Reading, Math, Science, and Social Studies)
  • be part of the child’s educational team–work with teacher, coach, administrator, doctor, psychologist, etc.
  • observe the “homework” the teacher is providing, and determine whether it is helping the child and is suited to the child’s needs and abilities–and if it is not, work with the teacher to improve that situation

But what if I can’t? Sometimes parents feel they cannot provide quality one-on-one tutoring because they don’t have enough time due to work and other important activities, and/or because they have several children, or there are health issues or other considerations. And while there are sometimes very valid reasons parent-tutoring may not work for you, here are some possible solutions you might want to consider:

  • If children are learning the same general topic (even at different levels: for example, a grade one child learning single-digit addition and a grade 2 child learning double digit addition, or children of different ages learning about Canadian geography or history), it often works well to learn together. The older child can delve deeper, while the younger child sees the interesting learning of the older child and is inspired to “keep up.”
  • It is often good for younger children to quietly observe older children’s lessons. A younger child can do puzzles or other quiet activities at the other end of the table or on the floor nearby while an older sibling is learning. If an older child is reading aloud, a younger child may be happy to listen and the whole family can participate and discuss.
  • If the older child’s learning activity is of interest to the younger child, such as a science experiment or drawing a map for Social Studies or creating artwork or doing another project, the younger children can be encouraged to watch as long as they aren’t too distracting, and often can take part, and/or do the same activity (at their own level).
  • When an older child has a chance to explain (and “teach”), this is a great learning experience for both children. Teaching what you have just learned is one of the best ways to solidify the learning, and young children often think it is very exciting to learn from and/or with older children.
  • Parents can get together with friends and/or parents of their children’s classmates, and take turns doing homework help, or help with specific areas in which they have expertise. Grandparents (biological or “adopted”) can be great tutor-helpers. Some organisations provide “homework help” sessions for free. And if you lack literacy skills, there are often community organisations that provide training for adults.

In future posts in this series, we will dig deeper into how parents can be excellent tutors. Be sure to subscribe to this blog so you don’t miss any posts in this series. And also check through the previous posts (see the “Tutoring Topics” page for a list) for all kinds of great learning and tutoring tips so your family can learn together.

Other posts in this series, “How to Be a Great Parent-Tutor”:

  1. Why children need parent-tutors
  2. Important activities parent-tutors can do well
  3. Building a Good Parent-Tutor and Child Relationship
  4. Learning Styles, Intelligences, and Behaviours
  5. Developing Individualised Tutoring–Tips for Parents
  6. Monitoring Your Child’s Progress
  7. Some Basic Learning Goals
  8. Home Tutoring Resources
  9. Suggestions for a Tutoring Session at Home
  10. Specific Suggestions for Primary Grades
  11. Specific Considerations for Intermediate Grades
  12. When to Consider Hiring a Tutor
  13. Costs of Tutors and Alternatives
  14. All Kinds of Learning Activities
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2 Responses to Important Activities Parent-Tutors Can Do Well

  1. KatieLewis says:

    If the child is facing trouble due to some physical or mental deficiencies or disorder. They need special attention to understand the things properly about the topic, within time and should be accurate. Professional tutors have experience of handling such children and know how to help them in their ways so that they can understand the topic or subject. To help your child with the regular school work and learning process, visit the C2 Mclean Google page.

  2. Norma J Hill says:

    Thank you for your input, Katie. While this series of posts is focusing on how parents can tutor, it is true that there are situations in which it is wise to have professional tutoring help–and we will talk about that in an upcoming post. Meanwhile, thank you for your suggestion.

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