What-is-the-right-age-to-get-a-tutor?

 

At Tutor My Kids, this is a question often asked of us, so I thought it useful to share some thoughts. It depends on many factors: the subject area, the concentration span of your child, if her school has raised any issues and last, but by no means least, is your child aware that he’s having difficulties?

Maths or English?

Maths is very sequential with understanding of one area being prerequisite of another. Gaps in the early maths, can make learning more advanced topics much harder. For example, we recently discovered that one of our year 4 students had missed the difference between odd and even numbers. This is normally a foundation or year 1 topic which rendered any questions relating to this impossible for her. It’s rather like building a wall; if the foundations aren’t secure the whole wall won’t be stable. In this case quick and easy to fix.

English is similar in that gaps can be present, but it doesn’t matter if you teach punctuation before adjectives or visa versa. English topics can often be added in a much more piecemeal way. The exception to that is, however, if there are difficulties with reading and phonics. This can have a big impact on learning to write and progress if not tackled early enough. How able your child is to sit and concentrate will affect the decision to tutor.

Concentration levels

Whilst it’s useful to fill in gaps early to enable new information to be added, it’s equally important that the child is able to sit and concentrate or the tuition will be much less effective. Parents often worry that their children won’t be able to concentrate for an hour at a time. Whilst some children just need to be a bit older to develop these skills, at Tutor My Kids, our teachers find that with a well planned lesson, broken into smaller chunks, most kids focus really well. Our private tutors often tailor the work to a student’s interests, such as football, horses, etc. as appropriate.

School’s view

Some parents believe there’s a problem with how their child is progressing. It’s only natural to wonder if one child has learnt to read easily, but a younger sibling is finding it much harder. Sometimes these nagging doubts can simply be a reflection of the skills that each sibling has, sometimes of something that may be making it harder for one to learn than another.

School’s are usually really good at spotting and communicating if your child is below where they’d expect them to be. Teachers can raise concerns during the school year. Parents’ evenings and school reports tend to be a more formal way of communicating any areas of concern. If you’re concerned that school haven’t raises any issues, it’s always worth booking some time with your child’s teacher to discuss this.

Your child’s confidence

As children become older, they tend to become more aware of any differences between what they are able to do and their peers. We have spoken to many parents who report that even children in Key stage 1 – years 1 and 2, report that their children are coming home thinking that they’re ‘stupid’ because their friends can do better in certain areas. This is such a shame and can put children off school and learning.

So, when is the right time to tutor?

As discussed, it depends on a number of factors: subject, concentration, school’s view and your child’s confidence.

At Tutor My Kids we feel that the child’s confidence is the main hurdle to be overcome. Invariably it’s the word that all our parents use; of course they want their children to progress, but they’re more concerned that their children feel confident in their abilities. It makes perfect sense; we all feel more confident in ourselves when we feel we feel we’re doing a good job.

How do I find out more?

At Tutor My Kids, almost all of our tutors are fully qualified teachers; at primary school level, we insist all our tutors are teachers. So, invariably we suggest that you speak to your child’s class or subject teacher first to get their opinion on your child abilities and if they think he or she is struggling.

Rachel Law, founder of Tutor My Kids, is always happy to have an informal chat – take a look at For Parents and either call 01223 858421, or get in touch by email.

If you’re a teacher who is interested in becoming a Tutor My Kids tutor, please take a look at For Tutors or get in touch be email or by phone 01223 858421

 

When-is-the-right-time-to-get-help-for-GCSEs-and-A-levels?

It can be quite difficult to spot that your child needs help coming up to their GCSEs or A levels; they want to be independent and frankly don’t always know they need help. Tutor My Kids offers some pointers to help decide.

Ask the question.

It’s always worth asking your teenager which subjects they’re finding hard – it may be the subject matter, the way it’s taught or how well they get on with their teacher. It’s worth asking the question of school too. Schools and colleges are pretty direct these days – many teachers will say if they think a private tutor may help.

Mock results.

Mock results are invariably below the grades your child will get, because they’ve got another 6 months+ to go at this point, but if they’re significantly different from the result they were expecting, it could be helpful to get a private tutor to help with GCSEs or A levels. If your child has any learning difficulties, it’s also worth asking if they can get extra time in the exams. Take a look at Could my child get extra time for GCSEs and A levels?

What grades do they need?

The government are now insisting all students get GCSE maths and English and it certainly easier to get these done in year 11 with the other GCSEs, than have them hanging over into year 12 or 13. Take a look at  the new GCSE grades for information on the new grading systems.

Does your child need a specific grade to get into their sixth form, university or apprenticeship choice?

How can a private tutor help?

A private GCSE or A level tutor can help in all sorts of ways. Firstly they can help with subject knowledge – filling in any gaps which your child has not fully understood. Secondly, they can advise on where to pick up marks. Many of our tutors also mark or set exam papers, so have a really good understanding of where marks can be gained and lost. Finally, confidence should not be underestimated, a student who is confident of his or her abilities is invariably calmer and more relaxed going into the exams, which means they’ll suffer less from exam anxiety and perform better.

When is the right time to get help from a private tutor?

Whilst it is always good to be guided by your child and by school, as a provider of private A level and GCSE tutors in Cambridge and surrounding areas, at Tutor My Kids we’re also aware that availability of good tutors drops rapidly the closer it gets to the exams.

They’re in year 10 – is this too early?

This depends on your child. If they’re very far behind the grade that they need in year 11, they may well be value in finding a private tutor in year 10.

How do I find a good tutor?

At Tutor My Kids we’re biased, but we think that teachers make the best private tutors. Almost all our private tutors in the Cambridgeshire area are teachers. Teachers know how to put across the information well; it’s what they do everyday. We also believe that the personality fit between the tutor and student is as important as their subject knowledge, so we always visit our clients personally and always interview our tutors face to face to ensure a great match. Personal recommendation is always a good way to find a good tutor and we’re always delighted by how many of our clients recommend us to their friends and colleagues. And of course, our tutors are all DBS checked.

If you’re sourcing a tutor yourself, do ask for testimonials from present or previous clients and check them out.

For more information, please email Rachel Law or call her for an informal chat on 01223 858421.

 

 

Could-my-child-be-dyslexic?

Dyslexia

Dyslexia is very common. It’s thought that 10-20%* of the population are dyslexic. How do you know if your child is? At Tutor My Kids, we see a greater percentage of children with reading and writing difficulties, because our private tutors work one-to-one with many of those students.

Symptoms

Symptoms of dyslexia generally fall into 3 main areas.

Reading difficulties

These tend to stem from the student having a weakness in their phonological understanding (this is the sounds that letters make that help us to read (decode) a word.) In addition, some dyslexic students perceive that the letters move on the page – this is know as Irlens Syndrome – and can compound reading difficulties. Children can be slow to read because they struggle to remember repeated words.  Because decoding the letters and sounds is so hard, students often dislike reading out loud. This can often have an impact on the child’s comprehension because each word has to be sounded out individually, the meaning of the whole sentence can be lost. Children can find copying from the board a difficult and time-consuming process.

Writing difficulties

These tend to show as handwriting being uneven or hard to read, inconsistency in spelling high frequency words (although more complex ones may be remembered more easily) and a difficulty in organising their ideas to get them down well on paper.

Whilst dyslexia doesn’t cause fine motor problem (e.g difficulty in writing neatly and evenly), it can occur at the same time. Difficulty in learning the sounds of letters in words (phonics) makes it hard for children to be able to learn words and spell them well.

Working memory difficulties

These are also part and parcel of dyslexia and become apparent when students are faced with multiple instructions – such as get your book, write the date, start at question 3, skip question 4, then do question 5. It’s not uncommon for children with poor working memory to struggle to remember the third and subsequent instructions.

If there is a noticeable difference between a child’s ability in maths and science, compared to their English, this can be an indication of dyslexia. Also if there is a marked discrepancy between a student’s ability to articulate their thoughts verbally and their ability to write it down. However care should be exercised here as some people tend to be stronger in the maths/sciences or English/humanities. However, if they are present with some of the other symptoms, it may be worth taking some advice on.

We’ve put together a Tutor My Kids Dyslexia Questionnaire for Children. This will help to see if your child might benefit from a dyslexia screening test.

Is dyslexia curable?

Dyslexia is a life-long condition, but with correct timely help it can be managed very successfully.

Why is it useful to know if my child is dyslexic?

Children with dyslexia or dyslexic traits find it so much harder to read, write and remember things. Often dyslexic children think they are stupid because they school friends can do things more quickly and easily than them. This is such a tragedy and can affect a child’s confidence really badly. Some parents/carers are concerned that finding out might label or stigmatise their child, but this is becoming less of an issue with so many well-known and successful people (Jamie Oliver, Richard Branson and others) declaring that they’re dyslexic. It is, thankfully, no longer something to hide. If you, and your child’s teachers, are aware of this, additional help can be put in place to make their life easier.

If your child is approaching GCSEs or A levels, it’s possible they may be able to get extra time in their exams. Take a look at Could my child get extra time for GCSEs and A levels? Tutor My Kids also does exam concession testing.

Screening vs Diagnosing

Initially, it’s always worth having a chat with the SENCo (special educational needs co-ordinator) at your child’s school because some schools are able to screen for dyslexia.

Tutor My Kids offer dyslexia screening to children in the Cambridge and Ely areas. It takes up to an hour and is usually done in the student’s home. It’s a quick and cost effective way to establish if there is a likelihood of your child being dyslexic. We use industry recognised, standardised tests, which are administered by qualified teachers, making it a great starting point to getting extra help from school.

This screening will not give you a formal diagnosis of dyslexia, as only Educational Psychologists are able to offer this, however in our experience parents often initially want an indication of any problems and this screening test gives that. Schools tend not to need a formal diagnosis in order to put additional help in place for students.

Fees for dyslexia screening are £198 (£165 + vat)

Irlens Syndrome

Irlens Syndrome is the name for the sensation that words and numbers are moving on a page, which can make reading text difficult. Sometimes coloured overlays can be used to ‘fix’ the letters on the page and consequently increase reading speed.

Tutor My Kids can offer Irlens Syndrome screening alongside their Dyslexia screening tests, for an additional £20 (inc VAT)

Who can I discuss this with?

It’s always worth having a chat with the SENCo at your child’s school, initially. At Tutor My Kids, Please contact Rachel Law by email or call her on 01223 858421 for help and advice.

*The British Dyslexia Association claim 10%, some American sources think nearer to 20%.

Could my child get extra time for GCSEs and A levels?

How could my child qualify for extra time in his/her GCSEs or A levels?

Qualification for extra time in the exams is ultimately down to your child’s school to decide, but there are various factors which might mean that your child would benefit from extra time. If your child has dyslexic tendencies – click the link to download our Dyslexia Questionnaire,your child may be able to get extra time in the exams. Children with working memory issues may also be able to qualify for extra time.

Which exams are eligible?

UK GCSEs and GCEs (A levels) and BTech are eligible for extra time.

How could I apply for extra time?

At Tutor My Kids, we always point you to the SENCo (Special Educational Needs Coordinator) at your child’s school first because they know your child’s educational history and can best advise.

However, sometimes, schools don’t have the time or funding to assess all the pupils who might benefit from exam time and it’s useful to be able to do this testing privately.

How does it work?

If you think your child may be eligible for extra time in some exams, speak to the SENCo first. The SENCo needs to fill out the first part of a form, called a ‘JCQ (Joint Council for qualifications) Form 8’. Then school or Tutor My Kids can assess your child and complete the rest of the form to see if extra time can be gained?

What do I need to be aware of?

Firstly, submitting a form 8 is no guarantee of getting extra time.

Secondly, the school’s SENCo (special educational needs co-ordinator) will need to fill out the first part of the form.

Thirdly, the concessions are applied for by exam subject, so you might get extra time in one exam, such as English, but not another, say maths.

Finally, the school would ultimately make the final decision if extra time will be awarded.

How does private testing work?

Have a look at the Dyslexia Questionnaire first.

Get in touch with school’s SENCo to see if they think a ‘Form 8’ would be successful and if they’d be prepared to submit one.

If they’re not willing or able to submit an application, would they fill out the information to enable the test to be done by Tutor My Kids?

Once you’ve had the ‘Form 8’ filled out by your school’s SENCO, we book for our qualified assessor to assess your child.

The assessor (using various standardised tests) will assess your child and fill out the ‘Form 8’ with the results.

How far will Tutor My Kids’ assessors travel?

Our Tutor My Kids assessors will travel up to 15 miles from Cambridge to do the assessment. It can usually be done at their school.

How long will it take?

The testing takes up to an hour, depending on the tests done.

What are the costs?

Fees for the testing, completion and submission to JCQ are £180.

What’s the deadline for summer 2018 exams?

Deadline for the submission of the form 8 (with SENCo comments) is end Jan 2018.

Who can I discuss it with first?

The school SENCo is a great place to start, especially, if your child is already having help from the school. Please also feel free to call Rachel Law on 01223 858421 or email her at hello@tutormykids.co.uk

 

5-reasons-for tutors-to-use-a-tutoring-agency

Private tutor Cambridge

Tutor My Kids is different from many agencies, so we’re probably a bit biased, but this is our thoughts why tutors and teachers can benefit from using the right agency to find students.

At Tutor My Kids, the vast majority of our private tutors are fully qualified teachers. Working in Cambridge, Huntingdon, Newmarket and Ely, our tutors teach at the students’ homes. So we think it’s really important to visit our clients personally.

Student and Parent Visits

We always meet with the student and their parents/carers in their homes in Cambridgeshire. Doing this achieves 2 key things. Firstly, it enables us to check that there’s a good place for tutoring to occur – a kitchen or dining room table, to allow space to work and set the right tone for tuition. We always suggest a ground-floor, family friendly area. It’s one of our safeguarding criteria. Secondly, by meeting the child in the parent’s home, we have a really good idea of the home ethos and culture which means we have a great idea of which of our tutors will fit in well with that. That means that when you meet the student and their parents, you can be pretty sure you’ll get along.

Assessment

In many cases, we’re able to do some assessment with our students, so the tutor already has a starting point for the tuition. Invariably, this information is supplemented by information from the child’s class or subject teacher, with the parent’s permission. We also think that it’s important to play to the tutor’s strengths.

We match your skills and preferences to our clients

We’re a small agency, with local knowledge, which means that we know all our tutors personally. We know which of our primary school teachers prefer to teach maths rather than literacy, which ones are happy with both. We know which of our maths tutors prefer to tutor the stronger and which prefer the weaker students. We know how far our tutors are happy to travel and accommodate this. We have the view that if the teacher is tutoring what they want, where they want, when they want, it all runs smoothly. Add onto this a great personality match between student and tutor and we’ve got a winning formula.

We stay in touch with the tutor and client all the way through the process.

Rachel’s favourite bit of her job is talking to our clients and tutors to see how well the tuition is going.  Everyone likes to feel valued and we love to hear how well the tutoring is going. Having an agency to talk to means that any potential problems can be headed off too. The vast majority of the time, our clients and our tutors in Cambridge, Ely, Newmarket and Huntingdon, say how well we match our clients and tutors. In fact, only the other day, Rachel made a first call to a new client to see how the first session of tutoring had gone and the feedback was, ‘You couldn’t have found us a better tutor, Rachel.’ It’s not unusual to hear our tutors say, ‘All our clients are fabulous.’

Won’t I lose part of my fees?

At Tutor My Kids we pay our teachers a good hourly rate and our tutors keep all of it. We think it’s important for the tutor to be able to focus on their students, so we invoice the client and pay the tutor, to avoid the awkwardness of the tutor having to ask to be paid.

5 great reasons to join Tutor My Kid as a private tutor in Ely, Cambridge, Newmarket and Huntingdon areas.

So, good rates of pay, keen, well matched students, with Rachel having visited their home first of all, some assessment often done and the support of an organisation to bounce ideas off as the tuition progresses. What’s not to like? For an informal chat, please call Rachel on 01223 858421 or email Rachel to get in touch. We look forward to hearing from you.

How-much-difference-can-an-hour-of one-to-one-tuition-make?

Private tutor Cambridge

As a company that provides private tutors in Ely, Cambridge, Huntingdon and Newmarket, we are often asked “how much of a difference can you actually make in an hour?”

It’s easy for us to sit here and tell you how brilliant we think we are, and how much of a difference we can make to your child’s confidence and their grades but, as a parent myself, I much prefer to hear from other families about their experiences:

“The results have been spectacular – going from a predicted E to a predicted B and actually enjoying learning!”

Jenny and her son Sam, Ely

“Being able to cover topics on the National Curriculum with a private tutor and have the topics explained to her at her level of understanding has set her up superbly to cope with the topic when introduced in the classroom”.

Verity and her daughter Isabel, Cambridge

So how are we able to achieve this in just one hour a week?

Did you know that families who home educate are often advised that home schooled children require 1 hour of tuition a day, or the equivalent of 10 minutes for every hour they are in school, due to the one to one attention they receive.This advice varies slightly between local authorities but one hour seems a common guide. This figure is also in keeping with the tuition provided by local authorities to sick children who are unable to attend school, where they tend to provide around 5 to 8 hours tuition a week.

The number of families’ homeschooling, or elective home educating (EHE), is growing in this country and it’s estimated that over 50,000 children are currently
home educated in the UK with this figure rising by as much as 80% per year.

The online education resource EdPlace estimates that British parents spend as much as £6bn a year on private lessons for their children and a recent Ipsos Mori poll for the Sutton Trust found that 24% of all young people in the UK have received private tuition at some point; in London, the figure rises to 40%.

Quality tuition

We’re biased, of course. Tutor My Kids was founded in Cambridgeshire by a teacher and all of our tutors (with the odd exception) are teachers. This means that we do feel very strongly that not all private tutors are equal. Many private tutors who are not teachers are very good, but there are plenty of tutors out there who know their subject matter very well but lack the experience in putting it across to learners, especially those who are less confident. Teachers do this, day in, day out and it makes them excellent tutors.

So how much of a difference can we actually make in an hour? Quite a bit.

If you are interested in finding out more about private tutors in Cambridgeshire  and how it could work for your family, then please email us
or call Rachel Law on 01223 858421 for an informal chat. For information about becoming a tutor, click the link.

All our tutors are fully qualified teachers and have been DBS checked.

Why-we-get-such-great-results-at-Tutor-My-Kids.

Private tutors Cambirdgeshire

 

 

 

 

 

What is it that we do that is so very different?

Well I think, as ever, it’s rarely one thing, but a combination of several things which together form something quite incredible.

We’re small and local

Founded in 2011 by Rachel Law, a teacher and mum, we’re based in Ely, Cambridgeshire.

We know all our tutors personally, so we know their background and experience. We know what they’re good at and what they’re really great at! We talk with them regularly and we’re one big team.

Our tutors are amazing

We have amazing tutors. We are pretty picky – with a few exceptions, all our tutors are qualified teachers. Teachers have the curriculum experience and years of experience to understand how to get that information across to students with a huge variety of different learning styles. It’s what teachers do day in, day out; it’s our stock in trade.

Our teachers have the academic underpinning and understanding to know which learning blocks build information and how to rebuild the missing ones.

If you’re a teacher who’d like to find out about Becoming a Tutor My Kids tutor, click the link, email Rachel or call Rachel Law on 01223 646421 for a friendly and informal chat.

Our clients are amazing

We have great clients who simply want to give their children more confidence in their learning. We’re blessed with appreciative clients who are generous enough to recommend us to their friends, colleagues and family.

For more information about Tutor My Kids or private tuition in Cambridgeshire, please click the links.

For us, it’s personal

Rachel visits all our clients in their home to ensure that we understand what is needed academically, but also to get a feel for how the student learns and which tutors would be the best fit for your family and child. Rachel also interviews all our teachers personally, face-to-face. We feel that the personality fit between tutor and student is equally important. As a primary school teacher, Rachel is also able to assess many of our students to understand where their strengths lie and discover areas where we can help to improve understanding and confidence.

We’re joined-up

With our clients permission, we liaise with the student’s class or subject teacher to supplement the information from the initial assessment. Our clients are invariably hugely supportive of their child’s teachers, but just feel that the teacher can’t devote the one-to-one time to their child that they’d like. Many parents worry that the teacher may be ‘put out’ if they get a tutor. This couldn’t be further from the truth; all teachers want the best for all their pupils and almost without exception are just delighted that the pupil is getting some extra help to support them.

We stay in touch

Our tutors feedback to our parents after each session to explain how it’s gone – what’s been good, what needs more work etc. In addition, Rachel stays in touch with our parents and tutors too throughout the tutoring, to ensure that it’s all going to plan and helping out with any issues or concerns.

We love seeing great results

We’re all hard-wired to love seeing great results from the tuition  – it’s one of Rachel’s greatest joys –  The best bit of my job! We just love helping people to thrive and giving kids confidence.

We’re positive

All our teachers are positive, upbeat people who bring a ray of light with them. They’re a joy to have around and without doubt this rubs off on to our pupils and their families.

What makes us brilliant?

So, I think it’s being small enough to know our tutors and clients well, having amazing, positive teachers who bring a rush of energy and positivity with them. It’s joining up with schools so we have the fullness picture we can of the student’s needs, keeping our clients up to date with progress and loving seeing kids learn, thrive and gain confidence. And feeding back to our parents.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3-Things-to-Do-with-Your-Kids-Over-the-Summer

Mum helping her daughter learn

There are 3 key things to help your kids with over the summer.

Reading

Regular reading is always a great thing to help your child. For young children, read to them and with them, reading the tricky words for them. Aim for daily if at all possible; as with all things, a few minutes a day is more beneficial than an hour at the weekend.  As they get older, encourage them to read to themselves too. For older kids, getting ahead of GCSE and A level texts ahead of September can be a great help. Not all kids love reading – try getting them reading on a kindle, tablet or audio books. There is definitely a link between reading and writing; those children who read a lot tend to use better word choices in their written work.

Writing

Take a look at your child’s school report and see if school have highlighted any particular ‘next steps’ – using capital letters, commas, better word choices etc. Writing a daily journal can be a great thing for children (maybe invest in a gorgeous notebook specially for that purpose), book reviews, letters to relatives (who doesn’t like to receive a hand-written note), hand-made greetings cards, shopping lists etc.

Also take a look at How to make writing easy for kids #1 and How to make writing easy for kids #2

For older children, time spent getting ahead of texts for GCSEs and A levels over the summer can be invaluable – taking notes, mindmapping (https://mindmapsunleashed.com/10-really-cool-mind-mapping-examples-you-will-learn-from and revision cards, can be a great help.

Handwriting

Handwriting formation is a great one to crack over the summer, when you’ve got a little more time on your hands. Just check with your school that you’re following the correct style for your school. Most schools teach joined up writing because it’s thought to help spelling if you join up the word in one sweep (it’s from NLP – a thought and an action combined). However, it’s important to get the individual letter formation correct first. Some children can be rushed into joining before this is secure. This site is a great one for advice and help, from another teacher and parent, and includes free handwriting resources. http://www.teachhandwriting.co.uk/

Maths

For children in years 1-2, a thorough knowledge of numbers – which ones add up to 10 and 20 (these are called number bonds). Learning doubles, halves and random single digit sums (e.g 5+7) are invaluable skills to work on. A good way to practise this is to make a game out of it. Get a 0-9 dice (type ‘0-9 sided dice’ into Amazon or ebay or use a random number generator) and throw them randomly to generate 2 numbers to add. You can throw twice for older children to get 2 digit numbers (e.g. 23 + 68). Again, 5 minutes daily is much more effective than an hour at the weekend. Children relying on adding with their fingers isn’t wrong at all, but it slows children down, especially as the maths gets harder.  It also stops these problems becoming entrenched later down the line. Our tutors in Cambridgeshire and I have seen many GCSE students who still add up basic numbers on their fingers whilst being able to do Trigonometry and other much complex maths.

Also take a look at How to make maths easy for kids #1How to make maths easy for kids #2 and How to make maths easy for kids #3

From KS2 (years 3-6) onwards, times tables are the back bone of maths success. Practise these so your kids can say them in random order and know the corresponding division facts. 25÷5=5.

For secondary age kids, after the basics (number bonds – numbers adding up to 10, 20 ,100 etc), doubles/halves, times tables), ensure that the formulae are known – area of a circle, Pythagoras, trig etc. My maths and other such sites are great for tutorials and practising tricky areas (fractions, percentages, decimals etc) over the summer too.

For more information about Tutor My Kids or private tuition in Cambridgeshire, please click the links.

If you’re a teacher who’d like to find out about Becoming a Tutor My Kids tutor, click the link, email Rachel or call Rachel Law on 01223 646421 for a friendly and informal chat.

Thanks for reading. Speak soon,

Rachel.

Rachel Law is the founder of Tutor My Kids, a teacher and a mum.

 

 

 

 

 

Summer Tuition – A great help or pushy parenting?

At first glance, it might look like pushy parenting, but it’s easy to forget stuff!

We all forget things if we don’t do them regularly. Can you remember passwords for websites that you rarely use – no me neither! PIN numbers for accounts you don’t use very often – yep guilty!

Kids are no different, they forget things.

It’s long been recognised by teachers that kids learning can take a backward step over the summer holidays, but is this true or an urban myth? Take a look at the research.

Many of our teachers who work as private tutors in Ely and Cambridge area report that without repetition children can forget things that they’ve learnt the prior to the holidays. Many of our private tutors work through the school summer holidays to keep the children’s learning active over the holiday.

I teach a day a week at a local school in the Ely area. The year before last, I kept the same class as they went up a year. (They left me in August as year 3s and re-joined me as year 4s in Sept). I was quite surprised by how much they had forgotten from the end of July to Sept. It’s rare you get the opportunity to experience the effect so directly. Hardly surprising when there’s so much going on in the holidays. All those ice-creams to be eaten, friends to see and places to visit.

Does it really matter?

For many kids it doesn’t matter that they forget things because topics will be covered again in the next academic year.  The education system is designed to allow for this. Also, you’ll most likely be reading with them or they can read independently and they’ll be experiencing other things whilst on holiday or out for day trips

What are the problems with this?

With increased focus on covering more topics in the curriculum, it does mean that it can be at a pace which is too quick for some children.

For many kids little and often work well to keep ideas fresh. High degrees of repetition help to keep ideas and way to solve problems front of mind.  Our tutors in Ely, Huntingdon and Cambridge, are aware of this and generally plan to repeat areas to ensure retention.

Shouldn’t kids have a rest in the holidays.

Absolutely! Kids should have downtime to chill, be a bit bored and enjoy time with family and friends. I think our children do need to have this time to relax and recuperate. In fact, I’d recommend not planning too many organised events so kids can make up their own play, games and do all that lovely old fashioned stuff like building dens in the garden. Limit screen time and get them outdoors.

But, the two aren’t mutually exclusive. It’s still possible to do this and incorporate 4-6 hours tuition over the WHOLE of the summer holidays, a 1 hour, weekly session without impinging on this time.

 Do I need a tutor? Can I do it myself?

At Tutor My Kids our tutors are qualified teachers, which we feel is important, especially at primary level, because the ways in which maths and English are taught in school is entirely different to the ways in which most parents were taught.

However, there are things you can do to help your own kids, without question. The main things are to read with your kids regularly, practise handwriting, play some maths games and get them to write a journal, diary or letters to keep these skills up.  Take a look at our news to see various blogs on how to help your kids learn.

For more information about Tutor My Kids or private tuition in Cambridgeshire, please click the links.

If you’re a teacher who’d like to find out about Becoming a Tutor My Kids tutor, click the link, email Rachel or call Rachel Law on 01223 646421 for a friendly and informal chat.

Thanks for reading. Speak soon,

Rachel.

 

The-Best-Bit-of-my-job

Tutor My Kids
Tutor My Kids

I love my job! I love helping kids who have lost confidence find their confidence again and get a renewed interest in their learning.

And the very best bit of that is talking to Tutor My Kids’ amazing tutors in Ely, Huntingdon, Newmarket and Cambridge and the students’ parents, hearing first hand how the tuition is going. I especially love that first call.

It’s natural that parents and students are going to feel anxious before the first session of private tuition, especially if they haven’t had a tutor before. Students and their parents wonder if they’ll get along with the tutor, if the tutor will be able to help them, if the tutor ‘will talk their language’ and be on the same wavelength as them. So the first call is always a great joy to know that all these anxieties have been swept away. Whilst our testimonials show how well we match our tutors to our students, many of our clients are delighted, but slightly surprised how well we achieve this.

I think it’s down to a number of key factors. We always visit our students and their parents/carers in their own home well so that we can gain a good understanding of their needs, but also their personality. I think a tutor who can connect with the individual student is as important as the tutor having the correct subject knowledge. We always interview our tutors face-to-face to ensure a great understanding of their skills and personality too. In many cases, I will do an initial academic assessment when I visit to get a feel for any specific areas which need to be addressed. This (with the parent/carers’ permission) is supplemented with information from the class or subject teacher at school. With my view, the school’s information and finally the tutor’s expertise, we have a real 360 degree view of the students needs. But is it just down to this great academic and personality matching?

With a few exceptions, all our tutors in Ely, Huntingdon, Newmarket and Cambridge (the areas we cover) are qualified teachers. Their many years of experience of their subjects is paramount, but how to get their learning across to a wide variety of different students who learn in a myriad of different ways, equally, if not, more valuable.

For more information about Tutor My Kids or private tuition in Cambridgeshire, please click the links.

If you’re a teacher who’d like to find out about Becoming a Tutor My Kids tutor, click the link, email Rachel or call Rachel Law on 01223 646421 for a friendly and informal chat.

For our other news and blogs, take a look here

Thanks for reading. Speak soon,

Rachel.