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Archive for the ‘do I need a tutor?’ Category

Why hire a private tutor?

Sunday, October 15th, 2017

Why are more and more parents turning to private tuition to support their child achieve? Everyone has a personal reason, of course.

However, as one of the top tuition services across Manchester and Cheshire, here are just four reasons we constantly come across:

A confidence booster

If your child is struggling at school, and just can’t get a handle on a weaker subject, private one to one tuition can help your child get to grips with a tricky topic fast.

Unable to ask for help

Many children are introverts, and hate asking for help in class. Usually the fear of looking ‘stupid’ in front of peers can scupper them from sticking their hand up. Over time, struggling becomes the norm, followed by plummeting grades and student stress.

One snag is that if you went to school in the Dark Ages (!!), you’ll know that many subjects are taught differently nowadays.

So if you don’t feel confident teaching trigonometry, Science subjects or 19th century literature, a private tutor can help! Besides, most children prefer their parents to be parents – not teachers.

Teacher change/issue

Some children feel lost when their teacher leaves – often finding it hard to transition to a new one.

Sometimes, too, teachers are so busy fire-fighting poor behaviour in class, that your child’s problem gets inadvertently over-looked.

Quality time with a tutor can help your child re-engage with the subject again.

Lagging grades

If your child or teen comes home from school with a bad report and shame written all over their face, you’ll know how hard the fall is when grades slip. And worse, some children find it so hard to claw back by themselves…

A private tutor will not only help your child work out why their grade slipped in the first place, but help them develop new strategies to ace it next time.

Finally, a good tutor will help your child believe in themselves more rather than feel such shame at failing. After all, learning from failure is the way we all learn in life.

Call 121 Home Tutors today

Call Alison and the team if your child is struggling, if they need a boost to their grades, or you want your son or daughter to prepare for an entrance or mock exam.

Can a private tutor really make a difference?

Tuesday, October 6th, 2015

‘Time’ is something which none of us can get back. And yet we often come across children here in Manchester who struggle to achieve in the time they have, or who waste so much time and energy as they don’t know how to get the best out of themselves.

Unfortunately, being in a class full of other children competing for the teacher’s attention means that time is in short supply. That’s one of the reasons why we come across many children who’ve struggled with a subject for months, and sometimes years.

Often, all a struggling child needs is someone to sit and explain a tricky technique or skill at their pace within an environment where they feel supported. Since some children hate drawing attention to themselves and their difficulties, they can get trapped in a cycle of underachievement.

Private tuition can change all that! In fact, one-to-one attention can actually accelerate learning. We’d be rich if we charged a fiver for every parent who said they were amazed at how much their child had improved in such a short space of time!

Time, then, is just one of the gifts of having a personal tutor. Do you want to find out all the others? If your child struggles at primary or secondary school , or they have a mental block when it comes to a subject, we can help.

With tutors spanning Manchester and Cheshire, we’ve a kind, patient tutor ready to listen. Just call 1-2-1 Home Tutors!

Is tutoring too tiring?

Monday, December 16th, 2013

Over the last few months there have been lots of reports that tutoring can be damaging to children. Just this month one headmaster said private tutoring overloads children with work and makes them too tired.

If you’re thinking about hiring a private tutor how do you ensure it’s a positive experience that benefits your child? Here are our top tips.

  • Work with an experienced tutor, checked by a reputable company. That will mean they will understand how tutoring works and what an ‘average’ child can cope with.
  • If you decide to use a tutor then be prepared to spend some time with the tutor explaining what your child is like, what you think they can cope with and what ‘normal’ is for your child. A good tutor will also get to know and read your child but no one knows them better than you.
  • Make sure your tutor has a plan and that it fits in with other activities and isn’t overloading your child on any day or week.
  • It depends on your child but we wouldn’t normally recommend tutoring for more than 2 subjects at any one time.
  • As soon as you start seeing signs that your child isn’t coping with tutoring or it is negatively affecting their performance in school then reassess things with the tutor.
  • Ask your child how they feel – can they cope? Are they too tired?
  • Build in plenty of down time for your child – they need to blow off steam!

If you need help with finding a private tutor in Manchester (we cover all areas) or Cheshire (Didsbury, Wilmslow) then call 121 Home Tutors today.

 

We hope you all have a fantastic Christmas break and look forward to seeing you back reading our blog in 2014.

 

How young is too young for tutoring?

Wednesday, July 10th, 2013

Would you hire a private tutor for your two year old?  Believe it or not some parents do. Recent reports have suggested that parents are signing very young children up for elocution lessons to prepare them for future educational settings such as prep school or Oxbridge.  So is tutoring at such a young age necessarily a bad thing?

  • Many parents argue that they have to get a tutor for their young children not because they want to but because of the education system. It’s not an issue in every part of the country but in London there is fierce competition for good state schools and many parents turn to paid for education and entrance exams to give their child a decent education. What this does mean is that some children need some help to prepare for those tests and so tutoring might be a necessary evil.
  • Children are meant to learn – it’s what we’re programmed to do. Most children, given the chance, will absorb huge amounts of information and love learning. That doesn’t mean that tutors should be the ones doing the teaching but parents are busy and sometimes might need a bit of a support (but we do think teaching for young children is best done by those closest to them).
  • We’ve written before about tutoring for primary school children and how it can help with confidence and teach them to love learning.  There are plenty of reasons why using a tutor when your child is 5, 6 or 7 might be a good thing.

If you’d like to know more about tutoring for younger and primary aged school children drop us a line. 121 Home Tutors cover Manchester and Cheshire.

 

Is tutor regulation the way forward?

Wednesday, June 26th, 2013

Last month was packed full of news about private tutoring and whether it is a good or bad thing. And we’ve spotted a few news items discussing whether tutoring needs more regulation. The Centre for Market Reform of Education is making plans to set up the first national association for tutors.

The idea is such an association would develop industry standards and improve the consistency of tutoring. It is just at the consultation phase, but it would require all tutors to be vetted (checking background information) and to have a minimum set of qualifications. This minimum level would mean all tutors would have to have a degree in their specialist subject (so to tutor GCSE Maths they would need a degree in Maths) if they were tutoring children over the age of 11. For younger children the tutor would still have to have a degree but in could be in any subject.

There are no plans to make membership compulsory for all tutors.

At 121 Home Tutors many of our tutors do have degrees but we don’t think insisting on that level of education is always needed. We always ask our tutors to be at least one level above the students they are teaching (so they must have a degree in English to tutor A Level English). We agree that that a specialist subject tutor with a degree is a good idea for secondary school students but it’s not always needed for younger children.

We’ve found over the years that undergraduates can make fantastic tutors as they are enthusiastic and students often relate very well to younger tutors. We realise there is a need to ensure tutoring is being carried out correctly and we encourage all our tutors to learn and understand the correct curriculum. We also offer ongoing support to our tutors and encourage them to take teaching qualifications or gain teaching experience.

In our experience good tutors continue to find work through word of mouth and recommendations from other parents. On the other hand ‘bad’ tutors tend to be known locally and quickly find it hard to get work. It’s also worth remembering that you are rarely ‘stuck’ with a tutor as they are on a week by week basis.

Our major concern is that if you insist that all tutors are graduates you make tutoring much more exclusive (and expensive) and then there’s no opportunity for the very students who need the help to access tuition.

If you’d like to know more about our approach to private tutoring in Manchester and Cheshire (Sale, Trafford, Didsbury, Heaton Moor) then contact 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…”

http://www.ted.com/talks/sugata_mitra_the_child_driven_education.html

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.

Disclosure and Barring Service and Tutoring

Monday, February 25th, 2013

Many parents will be familiar with a CRB check.

For certain jobs in the UK, including those that involve working with children, you are usually  required to have an enhanced CRB (Criminal Records Bureau) check.  When a company request a CRB check a person’s details are checked against various sources including the Police National Computer. The check reveals if they have a criminal record and any convictions, cautions, reprimands and warnings. It may also show if an applicant has been barred from working with vulnerable groups.  Tutors have not always been required to have a CRB check as most tutoring is carried out in the home and classed as a domestic arrangement.

At 121 Home Tutors we have always required our tutors to have a basic CRB check. In the last few weeks the CRB  has become the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS).  The idea behind the change is to bring the functions of certain checking bodies together – the Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) and Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA) and reduce the number of people being checked.  The change also means the certificate will be sent to an individual who can challenge the information before it reaches an employer.  It will also see the end of a new check every time a new job is taken, with updates to a certificate now possible.

What does this all mean for tutors?

It won’t make a great deal of difference day to day. All new certificates will be branded DBS and old certificates still stand. You will now be able to port your certificate to a new job from Spring 2013.  If you are a self-employed tutor you still can’t apply as an individual  – you can use an umbrealla organisation or you may be able to apply through a trade or professional body. You can find all about the changes here http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/agencies-public-bodies/dbs/services/dbs-subscribe/

If you’d like to know more about tutoring for 121 Home Tutors (covering Manchester and Cheshire) you can contact us here.

 

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.