Young children who have educational delays are sometimes not aware of the problem. While you and his teachers are acutely aware of what is and is not happening in the classroom and at home, your child may feel accomplished and proud of his educational pursuits. He may, on the other hand, realize he’s not on the same level as his peers; which might make him feel bad.
Identifying your child’s need for tutoring and extra help in school is paramount. It’s the first step towards increasing his ability to learn and thrive in educational environments. The younger a child is, however, the harder it may be to help him understand why tutoring is necessary. Here are some things you can do to help.
Make Tutoring Fun
If a tutor is coming out to visit your home, make the entire experience a fun one. Create a warm and well-lit study environment. Talk to your child about the new friend who is coming to help him with his homework. Some kids are shy about needing help while others will embrace having someone new show them the same skills they’re learning elsewhere. Sometimes it’s just a matter of a different perspective.
Sit Down for a Serious Chat
If you have more than one child, send the others away so you can talk to the one who needs help without embarrassment. Ask your child if he realizes he’s having trouble with certain subjects in school, but don’t make it sound as though he’s doing something wrong on purpose. Reassure your child that lots of people have trouble with math or English (or whatever he’s having issue with), and use a real life example (like yourself) if you can do so without lying about it. Talk about some of the things that helped you or others and explain why tutoring is a great option to try. Helping your child to understand he is not abnormal will help him to embrace the entire tutoring process.
Make your Child a Part of the Process
Don’t just choose a tutor for your child without allowing him any input. You may be surprised to find that one child may respond to a teenager helping him with his math while another one will only take a seasoned teacher seriously. Involve him in the interview process. Let him meet and work with a tutor a time or two and ask if he’s happy. Gauge his progress and his contentment with the new tutor and discuss whether you think he should stick with the one he’s got or try a new one. Compromise is key, unless your child is merely being stubborn. Make sure you’re really listening to any concerns your child has.
Your child may not want to admit he’s having trouble in school; and some might be willing to browse subjects worth getting help with. Kids can be mean and cruel and no one wants to stand out from the crowd. Do your best to embrace the situation and identify with your child. The rest will fall into place naturally.