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Archive for January, 2015

Is your child struggling at school?

Monday, January 26th, 2015

School isn’t always ‘the best days’ of a child’s life. Sometimes, every day can be a hurdle, a battle. Sometimes a child is labelled as ‘naughty’ whereas in fact there could be an explanation behind his/her behaviour. Sometimes bright children do badly in tests and exams too.

Before jumping to conclusions, it’s essential to do something proactive so the situation doesn’t continue to slide:

  1. First contact the school to rule out whether problems are caused by bullying, being in the wrong set, friendship issues. Pastoral issues can hugely affect a child’s performance at school. If not, is there an undetected learning difficulty.
  2. Ask for an assessment; book an appointment with the school’s SENCO. (Special Educational Needs Coordinator) What tests could the school conduct to rule out SLDs? (Specific Learning Difficulties) The obvious ones spring to mind: ADHD, Dyslexia, Dyspraxia and Dyscalculia.
  3. Arrange a test undertaken by a speech and language processing specialist to check auditory processing and memory issues. While the symptom might be Dyslexia, the cause behind it might not be.
  4. Support your child at home. One to one attention is critical. Children who already feel lost in the system struggle terribly with homework. Can you sit with them every night? Can you arrange a tutor to give them the support they need? At this stage, it’s important to raise your child’s confidence.

Remember: children develop at different ages. So even though a ‘problem’ presents itself now, it might disappear as time goes on.

If you are concerned, and feel that some one to one support would help your child cope, you can book a tutor through 121 Home Tutors. If you’re in Manchester or Cheshire, we’re here for you.

Is homework a battlezone?

Monday, January 12th, 2015

Sometimes it can feel like it! Especially this time of year with Christmas hols throwing routines out the window.

For some of you, the homework battle might be all year round – the cause of many an argument or tantrum. Rather than let this negative situation continue, here are some useful tips to help:

1. Stick to a routine

If you are at home after school, this is easier to implement. Encourage them to complete their homework first so they can pursue their other interests afterwards. Get a copy of the homework timetable too so you can help them plan their time.

2. Praise Praise Praise

If your son or daughter battles with self-confidence, often this attitude is transferred to homework. Comments such as ‘I can’t do it’ or ‘I hate this’ reveal your child is struggling. And needs help.

Stay calm, read through the homework with them, and sit with them (if possible) while they do the task. Plenty of ‘that’s great’ and ‘well done’ will weaken that negativity cycle over time.

Why not make them a hot chocolate drink while they do the task? Make it a pleasant experience so your child doesn’t feel like it’s torture!

3. Inject fun into learning

There are some great online resources nowadays, plus apps, to hook your child’s interest in a subject. BBC Bitesize has some fab learning games, for instance. Or Google it! Fun online games Maths KS2/KS3.

Check out YouTube too; it’s an infinite source of ‘how to do’ videos.

It might not happen over night, but stick with it. Of course, if your skills are a little rusty and some one to one support would help, give us a call at 121 Home School Tutors.

Our bunch of tutors across Manchester and Cheshire are experienced at inspiring switched-off kids in no time at all!