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.

 

 

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.

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.

 

New_private_tutors_joined TutorMyKids_in_StIves and_Huntingdon.

WE’RE WELCOMING NEW TEACHERS TO TUTOR MY KIDS

We’re delighted to welcome two more teachers to our friendly, passionate, committed team of teachers who tutor children in Cambridgeshire. These teachers are working as private tutors in St Ives and Huntingdon area with primary school aged children.

These teachers have decided to take a break from full-time teaching to fit in with other commitments, but still want to help children to learn and see them blossom. Working as a private tutor is the perfect way to achieve this. Our teachers says that being able to actually teach children, without being bogged down in paperwork,  is the joy of being a private tutor for Tutor My Kids. Also, being recognised for your skills and abilities is something that can feel lacking when teaching full-time, whereas with private tutoring, it’s the norm to be thanked for teaching students. We love that!

THE REASON YOU WENT INTO TEACHING

We offer a haven from the often fraught work of full-time teaching, meaning that you’re responsible for and have control over your own work – teaching what your students need, not what the curriculum dictates. Our students love having a one-to-one tutor and our teachers love feeling respected for their abilities. Read When was the last time a parent thanked you for teaching their child? for more inspiration.

Our parents are positive, straightforward people who simply want their children to thrive; to achieve to their capabilities, but most of all, simply to give their children confidence. Confidence is the word used by our parents and carers most.

Our tutors are hugely valued by us, at Tutor My Kids and by our parents who appreciate that what we do is always in our pupils’ best interests.

WANT TO KNOW MORE?

Tutor My Kids is a small friendly company who organises tuition for school children. It’s usually at the parent/carer’s home. We recruit like-minded teachers who love working with children and are passionate and committed to helping them learn.  We operate safer recruitment.

For further information or an informal chat, please take a look at our website tutormykids.co.uk or get in touch at hello@tutormykids.co.uk or call Rachel Law on 01223 858421.