The goal of tutoring is not to replace independent homework time for students. The goal of tutoring is to give students the skills and confidence they need to tackle unfamiliar questions and find their own correct answers. When hiring a tutor, the goal should be to develop a strategic plan, so as the student reaches grade 12, the hours of tutorials are gradually decreased without impacting the student’s marks. When this has been achieved, we can say tutoring was successful. By the end of their grade 12 year, students who wish to continue into university must have the skills to study independently, organize their time wisely and stay focused on tasks; otherwise, they will have a hard time adapting to the demanding coursework that comes with earning a university degree.
Too many students are dependent on their tutors and tutoring lessons just to complete the given homework. It is important for parents to work as a team with their tutor to ensure their child is doing independent work at home. Some students get into the habit of taking weekends off. Their weekend starts Friday until the end of the day on Sunday, and no work or study gets done for 3 days of the week! It is definitely OK for students to take Friday evenings off to relax from their busy weeks, but Saturday and Sundays are a great time to catch up with homework and do a little review of the material covered.
The best use of tutoring time is when the student comes prepared with their questions because they have already spent the time to recognize their trouble spots. Tutors can then help the student with specific questions and move on to either getting the student ahead of class or review the previous material to ensure complete understanding.
With this system of tutoring, a child would only need to see their tutor once a week and still perform extremely well in school. Once the student sees the initial improvement from tutorials and consistently scores above their grade goal, the move towards lessening their tutoring hours can be implemented. This move must take place slowly to allow the tutor and the student to become accustomed to the change without impacting the student’s grades. We have found that it is harder to improve a student’s performance the second time around if the student experiences a big drop.