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Archive for April, 2013

Is it worth investing in a private tutor?

Wednesday, April 24th, 2013

A recent article in the Telegraph discussed the pros and cons of using private tutors for children who are already privately educated. The issue being discussed was whether, if you are already paying a substantial amount for your child’s education, should this be topped up with private tuition (and if so when do you need a tutor). Some of our students go to independent schools but many are in the state  school system – we feel the issue of whether to work with a tutor doesn’t depend on whether or not you pay school fees. At 121 Home Tutors we believe if you are trying to decide whether your child needs a tutor then your child is where you should start.

  • Tutoring can be used for many different reasons – it maybe that you want your child to go to a particular school or university and you want to help them ‘get to the top of the pile’. It may be that your child is struggling with a particular subject or topic within that subject. Or they may lack general confidence or study skills they need within the educational environment. In some instances you may be able to find additional support within school but often educational problems become linked with school and a learning situation away from that can help. We’ve seen many students have sudden breakthroughs with a tutor after months of struggling with a subject at school.
  • Observe your child. It’s important to listen to what teachers are telling you but you also need to listen and watch your child – their reluctance to complete homework could be a sign they are struggling, do they suddenly not want to go to school? The signs can often be much more subtle than this and an experienced tutor can quickly distinguish between genuine issues and laziness.
  • For children that are falling behind or have developed a negative relationship with learning just a few months of tutoring can turn them around. It boosts confidence in general and can make them fall in love with learning again.

If you’d like to know more about one to one private tutoring in Manchester and Cheshire at primary and secondary level (covering all subjects including Maths, English, French and Science) then call us today.

How long should I spend revising?

Wednesday, April 17th, 2013

It’s only a few weeks until GCSE and A Level exams, with many starting in mid May and running until mid June. It’s when our students start to turn their minds to revision. The most frequent question we get from students is when they should start revising. They also want to know how and what they should revise. So we’ve come up with some top tips to help you through the next few weeks.

  • Most schools and colleges don’t finish teaching the syllabus (that’s everything you need to know to pass the exam) until close to exam dates. That can make revision tricky if you want to be very thorough. Sometimes there simply isn’t enough teaching time to cover all the topics in the syllabus. One way you can tackle this is to do some self-learning (or work with the support of a tutor) to get ahead and make sure you know every topic in the syllabus. You may be able to get a copy of the syllabus from school but you can usually get them from a specific exam board (always make sure you are learning the correct syllabus).
  • Self led learning can be tricky for younger students or those who are already struggling and this is where one to one tuition really comes in handy. A tutor can work through the syllabus efficiently to find gaps in knowledge and support your learning in school. You can also try working with a friend, asking for extra help in school or attending revision sessions.
  • One of the best ways to revise is to do lots of past papers. Don’t be put off if you find them hard. It’s a good way to test your knowledge and identify any gaps. It also gives you an idea of the kind of topics (and the types of questions) that are likely to come up in your exams.  It’s great to try and revise everything but without past question papers you might miss key points or how to apply what you have revised in an exam environment. It’s best to decide what’s ‘important’ to revise based on what is likely to be asked of you, rather than what you think it’s best to learn.
  • There is no right amount of time to revise for. Some lucky students appear to be able to quickly read notes they have made and pass an exam with a great grade. The reality is usually that they have been working slowly and steadily throughout the year. It’s best to spend half an hour a day (no more) planning your revision and then spend the rest of your time on a structured revision plan.

We have one to one tutors available across Manchester and Cheshire right now covering all GCSE and A Level topics and syllabuses. Call us today for more information.