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Six signs your child could benefit from private tuition

Friday, January 5th, 2018

Are you a parent who’s worried about your child’s future? Perhaps their behaviour or grades have concerned you and you’re unsure how to help? Maybe you’ve been thinking about hiring a personal tutor for some time, but are unsure whether your child needs individual support?

When is it time to get outside help?

Your school years aren’t always the happiest days of your life. We all hope they will be, but in reality children can be beset with problems, frustrations and worries.

Perhaps you recognise some of these signs in your child?

  1. Falling grades/effort.
  2. Regular homework meltdowns/tantrums.
  3. Refusal to let you help them/go to school/talk about problems in school.
  4. Angry or anxious behaviour at home.
  5. Your child avoids/delays/says they hate doing homework/projects
  6. Your child’s confidence plummets.

That’s some list… Teachers, of course, are overworked and stretched. They simply have so little time to spend with strugglers that many children fall right through the net.

Even children in independent school or local grammar schools across Manchester and Cheshire can feel overwhelmed by a subject. With a faced-paced curriculum – whether at junior school, or at GCSE or A Level – children often fall behind if they misunderstand something.

Within weeks, the problem can snowball.

Sadly, there’s no doubt that the more competition in schools, the more struggling children feel inadequate. What can you do about this?

What’s the answer?

It might be that your child needs time management support, exam technique practice, or perhaps help to lift their confidence levels? One to one tuition can help them get back on track.

And if your demotivated son or daughter is in danger of failing this year, it might be time to call in tuition experts before things get worse..

If you would like to have a no-obligation chat with an experienced tutor here at 121 Home Tutors, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. At the very least, we’ll give you some good old-fashioned advice about where to go from here.

Could a Teacher Shortage Affect Your Child?

Monday, April 4th, 2016

You might have heard about the teacher recruitment crisis in the news? Schools are struggling to recruit qualified teachers across the board. With low starting salaries, many newly qualified teachers simply can’t get on the housing ladder and therefore don’t apply for jobs.

As well as this, trainee teacher numbers are down for the third year running. And of those teachers who enter the profession, a large proportion struggle with the daunting workload. In fact, in a recent survey, over half the teachers admitted they’d considered leaving the profession because of it.

This makes for a very unsettled picture if your child is in education at the moment, doesn’t it?

Aside from the recruitment crisis, what about teachers who leave mid-way through a school year? Adapting to another teacher or supply teacher’s learning style can take time – the impact of which can make children feel behind, or that there are gaps in their education.

Some children even struggle to adjust emotionally too, especially if their favourite teacher leaves…

How can private tuition help?

With schools up against it, there’s no surprise that private tuition has mushroomed. Here in the Manchester and Cheshire area, we speak to many parents who arrange extra support to help get their child back on track.

One to one tuition not only offers children and parents a reassuring stability, it can prove to be life-changing.

Popular requests are for English, Maths and Science tutors, as well as modern languages and entrance exam tuition. If you would like to arrange a personal tutor, do please get in touch with our professional tuition team here.

Do private tutors just help you pass exams?

Tuesday, July 1st, 2014

This is one of the biggest myths about private tuition. The idea that tutors ‘coach’ children to robotically pass common entrance, 11+ or finals exams is wide of the mark.

Undoubtedly, achievement is a top priority – judging by the countless parents and students who contact us to thank their tutor for helping them pass, or gain entry into the school of their choice.

Success is certainly wonderful! However, to achieve it, our specialists here at 121 Home Tutors don’t simply pass on knowledge. Tuition involves far more than that…

For instance, parents often ask for help with their child, or young adults approach us because they want to:

  • Restore confidence after a set back or poor exam results
  • Discover new ways to learn or retain information
  • Reignite their enthusiasm for a subject after losing interest
  • Overcome a learning difficulty that’s held them back
  • Improve their attitude to learning following a negative experience

Learning isn’t just about passing exams; it’s about developing life skills, opening doors, enabling young people to believe in themselves.

Also, an often overlooked benefit is the relationship between student and tutor. The one to one nature of tutoring is a special one, all built on trust and good communication.

In fact, we often hear from parents what a difference private tuition has made to their child’s communication skills. And how the relationship with teachers in school and parents at home has transformed as a result.

If you too want to help your child make positive changes, 121 Home Tutors can help. Whether you’re in Stockport, Altrincham, Wilmslow, or anywhere across Cheshire or Manchester, reach us here.

It’s never too early to get ahead

Tuesday, May 20th, 2014

With year 6 SATs out of the way, GCSEs and A Levels in full swing, many students this time of year often wish they’d revised more or got to grips with that tough part of the syllabus earlier.

Last minute revision can lead to panic. Feeling unprepared – and sometimes terrified – many children blank out in exams when faced with those dreaded questions.

And because exams are naturally competitive, a loss of confidence at the wrong time can sadly affect their eventual grades.

How can this cycle be avoided?

There’s no doubt: through steady revision and planning ahead students perform better. In fact, regular study helps them:

  • Overcome exam nerves, rather  than react to pressure the week before!
  • Structure their time better so that they don’t end up cramming
  • Boost their self-confidence and self-belief
  • Master difficult study areas so they feel ready to tackle any question
Passing exams often boils down to confidence. Whether you’re at primary or secondary school, in further education or an adult learner, you need to believe in yourself.

If this is something you struggle with, or lack of confidence affects your child, drop us a line at 121 Home Tutors. A tutor local to you – whether you’re in Altrincham, Wilmslow or Stockport (or anywhere across Manchester and Cheshire) can help you build skills over time so that you’re ready for anything!

Fractions for five year olds

Wednesday, August 14th, 2013

In the last few weeks there has been a lot of press coverage about imminent changes to the national curriculum, aimed at raising standards within education.

One of the most significant changes at primary level will be the introduction of the computing curriculum, which will see five year olds creating computer programmes rather than learning how to use word processing packages. They will also be taught how to keep their personal data safe on the internet.  The computing curriculum will be backed by up changes to maths teaching with younger children being taught more complex maths such as fractions.

Internet savvy youngsters

Although some of the proposed changes have been criticised these suggestions make perfect sense. Our children live in an increasingly technological world with many careers entirely dependent on the ability to use that tech. The right thing to do is to arm students with the skills they need to succeed in 15 years time when they are looking for jobs.

We’re always looking for tutors with strong digital and technology skills to support primary and secondary students as we feel this will become increasingly important over the next decade. If you’d like to help your children become more comfortable with technology then a private tutor can help – we even have tutors who can help you learn to write a computer programme! If you’d like more information on private tutoring for computing then call 121 Home Tutors today. 

Tutoring for gifted children

Tuesday, July 30th, 2013

A few weeks ago a report published by Ofsted stated that clever children are being failed by our schools. Ofsted inspectors are concerned we have a culture of low expectation, meaning brighter children aren’t recognised or pushed to achieve higher grades.

It’s a problem we see here at 121 Home Tutors. Class teachers often don’t have the resources or time to dedicate to a child who needs pushing. Bright kids can be problematic in the classroom if they become bored. If they aren’t stretched they can switch off and start to be disruptive in the classroom.

So if you have a bright child what can you do to help?

  • School is the first place to start. Talk to their teacher and see if there are ways they can be challenged within the classroom environment. There are various ways this can happen – from setting them harder work to working with an older pupil. A good school will recognise the challenges of each individual pupil and do what they can to accommodate them.
  • Another option is to work with a private tutor. You can work around the school curriculum or you can stretch your child by tutoring them in something entirely different – a new language maybe. It doesn’t have to be about racing ahead at school – the aim is to keep your child engaged in learning.
  • Find alternative ways to develop your child outside of education. Sign them up for activities and clubs – their social development is as important as their academic excellence.

If you’d like more information on tutoring for gifted children at primary or secondary level in Manchester and Cheshire call 121 Home Tutors today. 


The Child Driven education

Monday, May 13th, 2013

TED is an organisation devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading. It’s a fantastic resource for students (and teachers) to watch inspirational speakers talk about a variety of topics. We recently came across educational researcher Sugata Mitra talking at TED about children and teaching.

“There are places on earth, in every country, where, for various reasons, good schools cannot be built and good teachers cannot or do not want to go…”

There are some fascinating insights on why and how children learn. There’s a very powerful message about children being interested in something in order to be educated.

We frequently find students who come to us for tutoring aren’t interested in either the topic or the way it’s being taught in the classroom. It becomes our job to find new ways to engage a child, either by taking a different approach to learning (so  we might ditch the books and use videos, or turn off the computers and try drawing mind maps and using pens and paper). What we find, as Arthur C Clarke says in the video, is once a child is interested it becomes education.

If you’d like to know more about how one to one tutoring (covering Manchester, Hulme, Trafford, Heaton Mersey, Wilmslow and other areas) and how it can change your child’s approach to education call us today. 

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.

Is tutoring really worth it?

Wednesday, September 26th, 2012

Last week we stumbled across this article from Canada about whether private tutoring really offers students any advantages.

The article states that about a third of Canadian parents hire private tutors. In the UK, according to the Sutton Trust charity in 2005 around 18% of 11-16-year-olds received some private or home tuition. Last year that number had risen to nearly 25%. With increasing competition to get into grammar schools some parents see tutoring as a necessity rather than the luxury it once was.  There has been concern expressed on both sides of the Atlantic that the rise in private tutoring will widen the gulf between those that can afford it and those that can’t – creating an unbalanced education system that favours those with money.

In our own private tutoring company we see parents from a wide mix of backgrounds, some with money, some with not so much. Their reasons for accessing tutoring for their children vary – some see academic success as an important measure of future success, others just want to help their child be better at Maths or English. Either way we hope we offer a service that allows children and parents to access the education they need.

If you’d like to talk to us about private one to one tutoring for primary or secondary aged children in Manchester or Cheshire (Bury, Levenshulme, Heaton Moor and other areas) then get in touch.






A new year, a fresh start

Tuesday, September 11th, 2012

It’s September and the start of a new academic year. It’s the perfect time to set some new year’s resolutions when it comes to school and study!

  1. Concentrate on the positive and going forward. If you had a bad year last year then it’s important to reflect on what happened and how you could improve but you shouldn’t get too bogged down in what went wrong.
  2. Think about where you want to be by the end of the academic year and what you need to do to get there. You might need to spend more time studying or work one to one with private tutoring in Manchester.
  3. Take some time to plan. One of the biggest ‘mistakes’ students make (and we hear this all the time!) is that they don’t plan. We often hear about students doing homework on the bus or cramming for exams at the last moment. And then the results are disappointing. If you plan study then you know what your commitments are, you can stop worrying about them and have more time for fun.
  4. Do you have balance? If you have a heavy academic year coming up then what do you do to relieve the pressure? Think about hobbies or activities that will give your body and brain space to recover.
  5. Learn to share. If a problem comes up then tackle it quickly – find someone you can confide it, a parent, a teacher, a friend or a tutor. If you leave an issue to fester during the year then it’s much harder to sort out.

Here’s wishing a successful academic year for all our students across Manchester, Stockport and Cheshire. If you’d like to know more about our one to one private tutoring in Manchester, Didsbury, Sale, Altrincham and Trafford, Wilmslow and local areas then drop us a line.