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Is your quiet child invisible in class?

Sunday, November 5th, 2017

Well-behaved children at school are the silent majority. And yet, it only takes one or two ‘noisy’ peers in a classroom to disrupt your child’s learning.

While teachers do their best to curtail disruptive children, sometimes the quiet ones are overlooked.

What could this mean for your child and what can you do to prevent it?

Is your child an introvert?

Introverted children:

  • Often don’t get the attention or recognition they need
  • Sometimes have lower self esteem
  • Are not necessarily shy
  • Don’t always feel confident speaking up in class
  • Need longer ‘thinking’ time
  • Can feel emotionally exhausted by school
  • Sometimes fear failure – this might stop them from taking part
  • Might be inadvertently seen as lazy and indifferent

The consequence is that quiet children might switch off learning, stress about going to school or struggle to achieve their potential.

How to help your quiet child achieve

  1. Speak to the class teacher if your concerns continue. If nothing changes, raise your concerns with the head of department or head of year. Moving class might be one option if nothing improves.
  2. Encourage extra curricular interests to draw out your child’s voice. Sometimes, a child can come out of their shell by doing something they love. Check out the different clubs and after school opportunities.
  3. Ultimately, celebrate your child’s creativity and personality. After all, being who you are is fantastic.

Of course, if your child continues to struggle at school and you need that extra hand at home, a private tutor can make all the difference.

Whereas a quiet child would rarely ask for help in class, you’ll find it’s different in a one to one setting. In fact, our Cheshire and Manchester tutors are quietly changing children’s lives week in week out.

Get in touch with our renowned tutor team today.

The Power of Praise

Friday, October 27th, 2017

When your child comes home devastated if they’ve done badly in a test, didn’t secure the ‘expected’ levels or has bombed in an end of term mock exam, the first reaction is often to panic.

If you find it bewildering how to help your child overcome disappointment, you’d not be alone. Some children don’t just ‘brush off’ a feeling of failure – and focus instead on the fail not the gain.

Praise, however, is something which can break down that wall of shame. And, over time, it can truly change your child’s thinking. Let’s look at one way you can help you child out of a dark hole:

Give specific praise

When I was a child, my teachers would often write ‘Good’ in exercise books, or ‘This is worrying’ without further comment. I was left wondering what was actually good, and – worse – the generic negative comments made me feel such a failure.

What would have helped? If you give your child specific feedback about an aspect of their work or attitude, they’ll feel as if they are still heading towards their goals.

Saying ‘You came up with some fantastic ideas there. Well done! Now let’s try to work on…’ you can praise something specific and build challenge into it.

Once they appreciate the mini achievements along the way, you’ll find them develop a more resilient mindset to disappointment. Mindfulness is something none of us should take lightly.

When to call in a private tutor?

Sometimes, children tumble backwards and end up in a stressed heap. You’ll spot there’s a problem when your child talks more negatively about school or him/herself.

With everyone busy and you having all the kids to manage, it can be hard to set aside time to go through your child’s schoolwork in depth. Plus, as many parents find, you might even feel a little out of your depth too…

Instead, a one to one tutor – who’s experienced at helping kids out of a jam – will help to turn things round so that your child can keep things in perspective.

Working with a private tutor also means they can cover tricky subjects in a safe space without other kids winding them up for being last in the class.

Get in touch with Alison and the 121 Home Tutors team today. With a terrific team of tutors across Manchester and Cheshire, we can help.

 

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 your dreams come true?

Thursday, August 3rd, 2017

What dream future has your child set their sights on? Maybe they want to be a scientist, a teacher, travel the world, be a doctor…

Whatever the dream, education will help them move towards achieving those goals. Except, while that sounds fantastic, life can sometimes get in the way.

For instance, many enquiries we receive from worried parents stem from a mix of the following:

  • My child is struggling at school and seems to be going backwards
  • My child has lost confidence after switching classes/schools/teachers
  • A terrible report/exam failure has knocked my child’s self-esteem
  • My child just can’t keep up/is behind/gets little support in class
  • My clever child is overwhelmed by the thought of sitting an entrance exam

Often that dream can disappear altogether while you battle your child’s everyday problems… The good news is, those dreams are still there. What matters now is how to help your child handle feeling down.

Here are some useful pieces of advice our fantastic tutors across the Manchester and Cheshire area have shared:

Be a role model

If you hit a problem, get something wrong or forget something, admit it out loud and then suggest what you could do next time rather than getting angry or berating yourself.

Inspire with success

If your son is struggling with being dyslexic or dyspraxic, for instance, remind him that he has plenty of talent and that this learning issue is only one part of him. Mention how many famous people there are who haven’t let Dyslexia or Dyspraxia stop them: Richard Branson, Steve Jobs, Daniel Radcliffe…

Keep it in perspective

Encourage your child to take up extracurricular activities such as sport, drama, singing, ballet – whatever your child is interested in. This way, it will keep everything in balance and help your child to realise that a special need isn’t a life sentence!

Encourage positive talk, not negative

If your child comes back from school saying,’ I’m so stupid at Maths’ or ‘I’m useless at reading’ try to steer them towards more positive thinking:

Reading can be tough sometimes. Show me what was tricky today and let’s work on it together.‘ Or, ‘It might feel that you are stupid, but you’re still learning. It’s hard to get everything right first time. I never did. Let’s look at one of the sums etc you struggled with..’

As we approach a new term, your child’s negativity might be triggered by previous experiences. Always try and nip it in the bud by doing something positive rather than giving into negative thinking.

Before long your child will see those dreams reappear… If you are still struggling, give us a call. We’re specialists at turning children’s fortunes around…

Is your child shy or sensitive?

Monday, March 27th, 2017

Is it true that children these days are more confident than we ever were? In some cases, yes. However, the truth is that many children are not as outgoing as we think they are.

In fact, many shy or introverted children would rather disappear in a classroom than take centre stage! Is this your child? Introverted children typically:

  • Get on with their homework quietly
  • Rarely ask for help in class
  • Don’t make their feelings or thoughts obvious
  • Think through things, rather than react straightaway

Sensitive children, on the other hand:

  • Often take things personally
  • Cry or get upset easily
  • Can’t handle criticism well
  • Dislike being the centre of attention

And yet, it’s important to know that shy or sensitive children are usually very good-natured and kind too. Wonderful qualities… This is why shy or sensitive children need a little more patience and encouragement to help them see that they, too, can achieve.

The power of kindness

Because shy or sensitive children are disposed to low confidence, it’s essential to adjust your approach. Try these useful ideas:

  • Praise your child for trying, not just achieving
  • Share that you too make mistakes so they know getting things wrong is part of learning
  • Give your child the choice to make good decisions. ‘Do you want to learning spellings first or some Maths?’
  • Speak calmly, without raising your voice
  • Don’t let your child dwell on the upset. Change subject or do something else to help them move on

Tuition that nurtures

If your child is behind or not meeting expected levels in primary school, or is underachieving in GSCE or A levels, a one-to-one tutor can make all the difference.

At 121 Home Tutors, we have a team of the kindest tutors you’ll ever find across the Manchester to Cheshire area. Speak to Alison at head office to find out more.

 

How to get your de-motivated child back on track

Monday, February 27th, 2017

Another slammed door. Another homework battle. Could your child be de-motivated? Here are some of the tell-tale signs:

  • They avoid asking for help
  • They get angry and frustrated easily
  • They refuse to do homework
  • They say they are useless or hate school

As a parent, it’s so hard to face up to this as it’s not how it’s supposed to be? But don’t worry.. We have some ideas to help your child get back on track.

First things first

Don’t despair. The first thing to do is isolate why your child could be feeling this way:

  • Do they have a recognised learning problem?
  • Have they had a change in teacher/class/table?
  • Have they sat exams recently, or had a school report?
  • Have they fallen out with friends at school or got into trouble?

School can be a huge challenge for many children. Some are labelled ‘lazy’ when in fact they might be struggling with a learning problem.

And if a report has come home saying they’ve not reached the ‘expected’ achievement level or grade, a child’s confidence can take quite a beating.

How can you make things better?

Two techniques to help motivate your child

Be realistic: 

Not every child is a top grade student. While you want your child to achieve and be the best they can be academically, it’s important to accept that your child might be more average at this point in time.

If so, praise them like mad for every little thing they achieve. This way, you can help them build their skills up over time.

Choose words carefully:

Children are deeply affected by words they hear. That’s why it matters to use positive language as much as possible:

  • You worked so hard on that
  • Well done; you stayed so calm
  • One more go, and you’ll get it next time
  • I’m so proud of you

It’s OK to ask for help

We’ll come back to this topic again as we know how much it affects children. So many parents spanning Manchester and Cheshire approach our tuition team for support for this very thing.

If you need to talk to a professional tutor as you’re worried about your child – whether they are in junior, secondary or 6th form – you only have to get in touch.

Is your child too self-critical?

Thursday, January 26th, 2017

Has your child ever said, ‘I’m rubbish,‘I’m such an idiot,‘ or ‘I’m useless’? Sadly, it’s far too common – and can be so upsetting to hear. What’s causing this confidence dip? And what can you do about it?

Teenagers are bombarded by media images promoting perfection and the important of success. Meanwhile at school, the endless drive to push up standards makes many teens feel they’re a disappointment if they don’t measure up.

Even in junior and infants school, there is pressure on children to pass exams,  achieve full marks. And on top of this, because levels have been phased out, children are confronted with reports saying they’ve ‘not met expectations.‘ In black and white – spelling out that some kids are simply ‘not good enough.’

Of course, this isn’t the intention. But as we see here at 121 Home Tutors, it doesn’t take much to shake a child’s confidence. Worse than that, if left to fester, shaken confidence can turn into a crisis.

How to help your child boost their confidence

  • Praise your child for the smallest achievement – especially for trying. If they did poorly in a test, saying ‘I’m so proud of how hard you tried’ helps a child with low self-esteem realise that making an effort matters too.
  •  Explain how making mistakes in life is natural – that one bad performance doesn’t mean they are worthless. Failing at something is an opportunity to improve. This thinking can also help them keep perspective and not over dramatise failing.
  • Break down a big problem into a smaller one. If your child is struggling with Maths, for instance, whittle down the areas that he or she most struggles with and focus on them first.

Still need some specific support, or feel out of your depth with a subject? Don’t worry, we’ve a wonderful team of personal tutors across Manchester and Cheshire ready to step in to help.

Whether your child is feeling stressed by A levels or GCSEs – or is struggling with SATs or entrance exam skills – drop us a line today.

 

How important is self confidence?

Monday, July 25th, 2016

How confident is your child? Research just published shows that girls’ confidence deteriorates as they progress through their teens. Worrying, isn’t it?

Adolescence is an inevitable battle as it is. With the onset of puberty, a host of physical, emotional and social changes hugely impact on teenagers. Add the pressures of achieving at school to the mix, and self-esteem can plummet.

Here at 1-21 Home Tutors in Cheshire’s heartland, just south of Manchester, our tutors find both teenage boys and girls suffer from low confidence. While body confidence and identity are undoubtedly key issues at this age, academic self-doubt is an undeniable hurdle.

Low self-esteem can affect academic – and indeed life – success. So what can you do to protect your child?

Learn to be confident

Here are some helpful suggestions to help your child gain more confidence:

  1. Say I can! Self-doubt nags away at us, saying ‘you can’t do that.’ Instead, train your inner voice to say ‘I can.’ Remember how amazingly talented you are at different things.
  2. Failure is a life lesson. Nobody is perfect. Low marks in a test happens to us all. Nobody is perfect. (repeated to remind you that we’re all on a learning curve!)
  3. Try try try If you struggle with a subject, don’t accept that you are naturally bad at it. Don’t give in to negative thinking like this. Instead draw up a mind-map by breaking that subject down into topics you understand, and topics you don’t. This will help you see that you’re not bad at everything. And help you identify those areas to work on.

Regular tuition with feel-good factor

If your child is struggling with a subject such as Maths, Science, English or a Modern Foreign Language, private tuition with an expert will help them overcome all those worries and fears in no time.

A great way, too, to help your child feel good about themselves! Why not call our head office in Wilmslow for an initial chat?

How to boost your child’s self-esteem

Monday, April 25th, 2016

It can be heart-breaking for a parent to hear their child say ‘I’m rubbish’ or ‘I just can’t do it.’ Have you experienced this?

The primary school environment can be highly pressured where a child’s self-esteem can easily take a hit if he or she gets low marks in a test, if there’s a change of teacher, or even being moved down a set/class/table.

At secondary level, if a mock exam is given back without lots of positive feedback, it can massively affect a student’s confidence – even knock them off course at the final hurdle.

Endless supply teachers can also disrupt learning, where students don’t feel confident that they know enough.

How can you stem the tide?

1. Challenge negative self-talk with encouragement 

Remind your child how well they have done on something else in the subject previously, to help them balance out their perspective. Then offer to help: ‘Let’s work through this together…’

2. Reward effort, not just success

Children need to hear that they are ‘doing their best.’ If you only praise when they get something right, it can make them feel inadequate when they get something wrong.

3. Share your own failures 

Empathy is a powerful emotion.. When you share that you too used to find X subject tricky, or failed an exam but never gave up, it helps your child to see that getting it right first time doesn’t always happen.

Teaching children to not give up – to find different routes round a problem – can help them feel success is more reachable.

Get academic support from a personal tutor

Here at 1-21-1 Home Tutors in Wilmslow, we hear from worried parents all the time requesting exam and study support at stressful times in their child’s school career.

Luckily, we have a team of the loveliest tutors across Manchester and Cheshire who are there when your child needs that extra bit of help.

Contact us if you too need some advice. Remember, you’re not alone.

Is it time to empower your children?

Monday, November 16th, 2015

It’s officially anti-bullying week in the UK. An opportunity to encourage our kids to ‘make some noise,’ to stand up to bullies rather than suffer in silence.

Growing up, of course, has always been tough. Aside from the usual hormones, children have an ever-growing list of daily challenges – each demanding resilience. Exams, finding their identity, society influences, pressure to succeed etc all take their toll.

How can we help our children to bounce back after failure, to grow strong in a world which often knocks them down? Here are some useful ideas:

1. Teach problem solving. Don’t always give them the answers. Only by working things out for themselves can children truly understand what works and what doesn’t.

2. Let them make mistakes. Hard to witness, but making mistakes is an essential part of growing up. If your child makes a mistake, it’s an opportunity to talk about making better decisions in the future.

3. Build confidence. It’s amazing how many children we meet here at 1-2-1 Home Tutors who arrive with with zero confidence. Children often feel useless and stupid compared to their peers (even siblings.) To combat this lack of self-belief, praise praise praise like mad…  Even for the tiniest achievement.

4. Empower your child with skills. Sometimes, we’re so busy as parents that we forget our children look up to us. That’s why it matters to ‘show’ your children how to cope under pressure. Encourage them to break down a problem into steps to make it easier to handle.

This is what our private tutors across Manchester and Cheshire do. And it works! That’s why we love seeing smiling, happier children take on a challenge rather than be scared by it.

Get in touch with the tuition team here in Wimslow if you too need some help.