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Archive for the ‘Student stress’ Category

Do You Suffer From Homework Hell?

Monday, March 26th, 2018

Homework hell. It can certainly feel like this if your child would rather do anything but! We explored how homework can be a battleground a few years back. Yet clearly this issue has not gone away…

In fact, it’s worsened as a recent Ofsted survey reveals. Though many parents welcome homework as a way for their child to gain independent learning skills, many parents echoed that homework can cause stress at home.

My child has special needs and just doesn’t ‘get’ it

If your child has special needs, the problems can be acute. Because some children just don’t ‘get’ what they have to do, or need help to understand it, they can take longer to complete set work – putting even more pressure on family life.

Some children end up so exhausted by homework that it can destroy their self-esteem. Is your child in this boat too?

It’s not just primary school kids this impacts on. Secondary school students sitting GCSEs and A Levels also struggle to both organise their time and complete set tasks.

How to help your SEND child tick the ‘homework done’ box

  1. Stick to a routine. If your child can have a rest and a snack first, then it’ll be easier to complete homework afterwards. Or if your child finds it easier to do homework first, then stick to that routine. Either way, routine can help you manage expectations better.
  2. Communicate with school if your son or daughter is in constant battle with homework. Ask if teachers can differentiate homework – or at least break down into steps – so your child finds it easier to do. Write in homework planners that your child tried their best to complete in a reasonable time, so your child isn’t penalised for not achieving enough.
  3. Keep a homework calendar so you can check when HW is set, and when due in.
  4. Consider private tuition if your son or daughter needs specialised help to access their learning. This might help if you feel out of your depth, or have work commitments that leave you little time or energy.

In fact, as our team of Manchester and Cheshire tutors find, one-to-one tuition can often turn a crisis round by steering children onto a better learning path.

Get in touch when you’re ready to talk it through with a professional who understands.

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.

Is your child struggling in their new school?

Thursday, September 28th, 2017

Starting Secondary School can be fraught with worry for many children. Will I make friends? Will I cope with loads of homework? Will older children bully me? 

Often, children take to new experiences like a duck to water. Others, however, seem to sink under the weight of it all. But what are the tell-tale signs that your child is struggling?

  • Refusal to discuss school/changes the topic
  • An attitude shift from positive to negative
  • Spends far too long on homework
  • Detentions or messages from the teacher
  • Sleep disturbance, eats less or more

The truth is, because our kids don’t always share things that bother them, a situation can escalate quickly. Troubles don’t always blow over after a few weeks. There could be a real issue brewing.

How to support your child at secondary school

  1. First of all, stay calm and approachable. Anxiety around new situations is common for everyone – not just children. Conflict is part of life. Showing empathy during these rocky times can help to show your child that it can take a while to settle in a new environment.
  2. Ask open-ended questions: Asking, ‘what did you do today?’ will probably return a, ‘nothing!’ reply. Asking, ‘What was the best thing about today?‘ followed by, ‘And the worst?’ your child is more likely to open up. You might even share a tricky experience you had at school at first which was later resolved.
  3. Get them organised and stick to it: If your child is badly organised, telling them off solves nothing. Instead, get practical. Know their timetable and homework timetable – stick it to the fridge. Help them pack their bags the night before. Keep to do lists on mini white boards for each of your kids. Rub off when done!

Still having learning issues? Approaching your child’s form tutor can be a useful first step to see if they have noticed any problems too.

Finally, if your child is still struggling with a key subject and they just can’t get a handle on it, one to one tuition can make a huge difference. Get in touch with us here at 121 Home Tutors.

We’ve a wonderfully supportive private tuition team across Manchester and Cheshire ready to step in and be there…

Summer Term Results a Wake-Up Call?

Tuesday, July 11th, 2017

No parent wants to admit that their child is struggling with a subject or behind. But the facts speak for themselves…

Year 10 and 12 students often face mock exams in the summer term – only to find they are not where they need to be. With two full terms to go before, panic can easily set in.

Year 6, transitioning into year 7, will be either inspired by their SATs results or gutted by them. Even though this year’s end of primary SATs results were slightly up – with 61% of children reaching the expected standard in reading, writing and maths – this still leaves almost 40% of children struggling…

And worse, as they head off to enjoy a taster day at secondary, tucked in the back of their minds is that they’ve failed their first six years’ of education…

I’m rubbish

Though failure is part of life, there’s no mistaking how hard it can hit our children. Some feel ashamed that they don’t measure up, while others dread going back to school for fear of being teased.

Others, however, take it personally – as if their results are a reflection of them as human beings. If your child has ever cried, ‘I’m rubbish!’ or, ‘I hate myself’ you’ll know how devastating it can be.

That’s why it’s essential to fight feelings of failure head on:

  • Praise your child like mad. Never underestimate the power of accepting your child for their efforts as well as achievements – however small
  • Help them put the exam grades in perspective. Rather than bemoan the marks with them, discuss how to improve in the future. This will encourage them to see that failure is something to learn from
  • Arrange a spot of tuition over the summer holidays and even into the autumn term to help your child get back on track

Look forward, not back

Student stress is well documented – sadly. That’s why it’s even more important to support our children earlier to help build resilience and coping strategies as they go through their education.

If summer tuition could help your child look forward, not back, please get in touch for a no-obligation chat. As many parents across Manchester and Cheshire tell us, it’s so nice to speak to someone who understands.

Is your child a struggler?

Thursday, May 4th, 2017

With Sats exams, GCSEs and A Levels in sight, the push for success is in overdrive. But what about the child who:

  • isn’t in a top set and feels inferior to his or her peers
  • is home schooled and has gaps in their learning
  • has zero confidence and might dread going to school
  • has a learning problem which seems to affect everything

Here at 121 Home Tutors, we speak to so many parents across Manchester and Cheshire whose children don’t ‘fit’ the media image of a happy child who learns with ease.

More often than not parents reach out to us because they are troubled by their child’s difficulties and lack of progress. Often, many lose hope that things will ever change…

So what does make the difference?

The truth is, every child has needs. Every child hits a wall at some point in their education. And every child needs that little bit extra support to help lift them out of the fog.

Here’s three ideas to help you find a way forward:

  1. Learn what your child is learning. You’ll discover that what your child is learning now is different to what you learnt at school. Apart from your child’s school website – usually packed with information – start here.
  2. Prioritise one problem at a time. Because children can feel quickly overwhelmed by all their problems, try to deal proactively with one issue at a time – reassuring your child that small steps are just as important as huge leaps.
  3. Arrange one-to-one help. A tutor onside can be a marvellous support system. Just having another adult who can share the load can make all the difference. Plus, a tutor who works with strugglers every day will have a range of techniques to whip out of the bag at a moment’s notice.

Don’t struggle on hoping things will change. Call us at 121 Home Tutors…

Four fab stress busters!

Monday, April 10th, 2017

Have you noticed your child showing signs of stress? Given that over half of schools across the UK recently reported an increase in kids feeling more anxious, stress is becoming a more common childhood experience than ever before.

With endless pressure to pass exams and achieve – on top of the usual hormone battles – the mix is a potentially damaging one.

Firstly, bad stress impacts on learning. Anxiety stops the brain from processing and retaining information. As a result, frustration can set in – leading to children feeling overwhelmed.

Of course, stress can be a motivator. It’s a natural part of life… That’s why it matters that we help children to feel more empowered by the challenges ahead, not daunted by them. Here’s four ways to do it.

Strategies to beat stress

  1. Set realistic goals: Rome wasn’t built in a day. When you help your child win the smaller challenges, it helps build their resilience to cope with the bigger ones. Achievable step-by-step targets across several months also break down the enormity of the final exam.
  2. Make mistakes: Making mistakes helps children learn. If your child writes a story or essay, or does a subject practice paper and the result isn’t what they expected, encourage them to think about the result differently. Rather than dwelling on negatives, get them to ask: what could I have done better? Or What worked well? Reflecting on what went wrong and right, encourages a more balanced response.
  3. Think positively: Negative self-talk is something we all need to deal with at times. But in children looking for acceptance and success in life, it’s even more important that we teach our children to feel good about having a go, to accept failure and then move on to the next challenge. Encourage your child to see that doing their best on the day is good enough.
  4. Pamper yourself: Exams are not everything in life. Help your child get what their body needs: sleep, nourishing food, relaxation, fresh air. Don’t pass on your deep worries about them passing or failing exams; just try to encourage them instead. This will help them relax during downtime rather than dwell on problems.

Top local tuition to fix learning problems

Whether you live in the Manchester area, or across Cheshire, it can make a difference to seek out support with an experienced tutor. Our 121 Home Tutors team can be reached by getting in touch today.

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.


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.