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Archive for January, 2012

2012 – a year of change in tutoring and teaching

Wednesday, January 25th, 2012

Last year was a year of real change in the UK, we faced tough economic times and many public and private sector workers lost their jobs. The tutoring world also faced hardship. Many parents, despite wanting the best for their child’s education, had to let tutors go. On the other hand we didn’t lose students because suddenly there was a group of students and parents who realised how important being the best might just be in the future. Many children who are now at school face an uncertain career future and so they need to achieve the best they can at school and be multi-skilled to survive.

Our own tutors are learning about diversifying and how that can keep you employed when things go haywire with the economy. So, for example. some of our language tutors who traditionally taught French and German are now adding in additional languages that they are qualified to teach. And our tutors are continually improving their own qualifications to put their career in the strongest position possible. This is a great lesson to teach children, whether you call it a back up plan or keeping fingers in lots of pies. The days of lifelong jobs seem to be a thing of the past so your child needs to both academically succeed and think about alternative career plans alongside any they already have. One of our English as a Foreign Language tutors has spent years working with students who have moved to the UK. Now things are changing he’ll also be teaching English at GCSE and A Level (one of our most popular subjects).

Adapting is something that comes almost naturally to teachers and tutors – we see new students every few months, we deal with lots of different syllabuses across different exam boards and help students with different learning styles.  We know it’s a valuable skill and one we certainly try and pass on in the tutoring environment.

If you need help with one to one tutoring in subjects including English, Maths and History across Manchester and Cheshire including Altrincham, Bramhall and Sale then contact us today.


One to one tutor or tuition centre?

Wednesday, January 18th, 2012

Over the last few years tuition centres such as Kumon have become increasingly popular with parents, especially at primary level. Many of our students have at one time experienced tuition centres and many parents want to know if they are better (or worse) than the kind of one to one tutoring that 121 Home Tutors offer.

  • Tuition centres have their place – they tend to be cheaper than one to one tuition and for some parents budget is a serious consideration.
  • Some children respond better in the group environment – but we tend to find students who are struggling in the classroom really benefit from one to one attention in a quiet and safe place like their own home.  If your child struggles in a classroom, (for example they don’t want to approach the teacher, they don’t speak up and fall behind) then they will be much better suited to one to one tuition.
  • Group work is usually pitched at the average person in the classroom (as in school) and there is only limited time to deal with students who are struggling. This might mean serious issues aren’t dealt with.
  • Many tuition centres follow a set system or pattern for learning and your child works to achieve certain goals. One to one tutoring is adapted specifically to the needs of the individual child, what they need to learn and what they are struggling with (and can also incorporate ways they prefer to learn).
  • Most tutors (including 121 Home Tutors) will come and tutor in your home meaning you don’t have to deal with the inconvenience or cost of travelling to a tutoring centre.

We’d be happy to discuss your tutoring options and figure out if 1-2-1 or group work would be best. If you need help with one to one tutoring in subjects including English, Maths and History across Manchester and Cheshire including Altrincham, Bramhall and Sale then contact us today.

New Year Resolutions

Thursday, January 12th, 2012

At 121 Home Tutors all our tutors have their own personal New Year’s resolutions (lose those few pounds gained over Christmas, expand their tutoring business, be a better tutor, take up a new hobby). Yes. we all have our aims and ambitions for 2012 and we know you will have yours too. But what if you made just one of your resolutions an education one (and encouraged your child to do the same?). It could mean 2012 could be an even more successful year and it could be the first step in passing exams, getting a place at a school or university or the beginnings of a successful career. So we asked our tutors what resolutions they would suggest parents and their children make for 2012 and here’s what they came up with.

  1. Plan. Being organised pays off, whether that’s coming up with a revision schedule long before exams or booking in 11 plus tutoring well before your child sits their entrance exams then planning is the key.
  2. Recognise. This resolution is for both parents and students. Tutoring is fantastic and can mean you can overcome academic problems you have. But tutoring doesn’t happen unless you are willing to recognise that a problem exists. As a parent it can be hard to face up to the fact that your child might not be doing as well as you’d hoped and as a student it can be downright embarrassing to admit you are failing in an area or topic. Communication is really important – if you think your child is having problems then talk to them (and their teachers) as soon as possible, early intervention by teachers or a tutor can easily resolve a problem. If a problem is left unchecked then it becomes harder to deal with later on and your child can also suffer a serious knock to their confidence. Tutoring isn’t about saying you aren’t good enough, it’s about saying you want to be better and you are smart enough to see there is a way to do that. Parents tell our tutors that the most common problem areas tend to be in the topics we need the most on a day to day basis – so English (primary, GCSEs and A Level) and Maths (primary, GCSE and A Level).
  3. Future. Encourage your child to think about their future now. It’s really easy to forget that the choices made in secondary school can dictate the path our life takes. Find positive ways to encourage your child to focus on their school work when needed and help them out if they start to struggle. It’s also a good time to reflect on where you want your future to be – after all tutoring isn’t just for children!

Here’s to a happy and successful 2012. If you need help with one to one tutoring in subjects including English, Maths and History across Manchester and Cheshire including Altrincham, Bramhall and Sale then contact us today.