Yeah, your kids are back in school. You have your mornings back. You can now finish that cup of coffee without any interruptions. You can actually finish reading the newspaper without having to drive your kids to their next sports/hobby/activity (you fill in the blank).
While it may feel good to have your time back, you may also realize that your kids still need your time. Just because your kids are in school, doesn't mean that their education is complete. As the school year ticks away, your child’s teacher may inform you that your child needs help with writing.
Before you sign your child up with a writing tutor, here are three things to keep in mind:
A tutor is not a teacher.
What does this mean? It means that a tutor helps your child – they do not lecture them or repeat textbook information. A teacher’s job is to reinforce lessons, while a tutor’s job is to work one on one with your child. Tutors help students find their own answers to their questions.
A tutor will engage your child to discuss the topic of the writing assignment, to help your child develop ideas. This method helps your child practice writing basics (punctuation, phrasing, sentence structure, etc.), all devices of writing.
Tutors may also provide feedback on developing practice writing (essay drafts or story drafts) and suggest ways in which your child can develop solid writing skills. The tutor may address writing problems, ask your child questions to get them to look at the assignment in a different way and help them see writing in a different way.
A good tutor will focus on your child’s specific writing needs.
No two tutoring sessions are the same because each writing student is different.
At the beginning of the tutoring session the tutor will learn what areas your child needs the most help in (even if you and your child’s teacher have provided this information). A tutor will review your child’s class assignments, any previous writing samples and notice any writing habits (over/under use of commas, incorrect use of articles or misuse of prepositions – just to name a few). Your child should be encouraged to participate in their tutoring planning.
A good tutor should suggest that your child try different methods of writing.
Practice makes perfect, so your child should be encouraged to experiment with their writing. Think of the tutoring session as chemistry lab. Instead of your child mixing different molecules together, different learning methods are tried. Your child should be talking, brainstorming and writing ideas with the tutor.
To find a good writing tutor, ask your child’s teacher, principle or other parents for a recommendation.
You can check out the local tutoring center or better yet, go online to find a local tutor. There are several online tutoring services and they can provide you with a list of local writing tutors. You should be able to read a tutor’s profile, student testimonials and details like:
- Per hour rate
- Any tutoring/teaching credentials
- Tutoring methods
If you used a tutoring service for your child, leave a comment and share your experience. Using a tutor is not shameful, it shows that you are empowering your child with all the available tools to help them academically succeed.