Homework is becoming a struggle, test grades are low, and you’re worried things might be getting out of hand. Is your child struggling or are they just being a kid? Is this something that can be fixed at home or school, or do you need outside help?
How do I know when my child needs a tutor? This is the number one question parents come to us with. The truth is, sometimes it’s hard to know. All students present their struggles differently, and all schools are different when it comes to the help they provide during and after school. We do often see students who need additional help present with some of the same signs. If you’re wondering if your child needs a tutor, here are three signs we suggest you should watch out for:
Consistently low grades
This may seem obvious, but it’s worth mentioning that your child getting one or two low grades shouldn’t be a red flag. Keep track of how often your child is bringing home grades that are unexpectedly low. If your student is struggling on a majority of assignments and tests, it might be time to speak with their teacher and begin seeking academic help.
We suggest that parents keep a folder with assessments and assignments that are concerning. This allows you to bring hard evidence to the school about your concern. If you choose to work with a tutor, handing off these papers will be helpful as they plan a course of action they will take to help your child fill their academic gaps.
Anxiety around school work
When a student is struggling in class, they may begin to develop anxiety around going to school or doing their class work. You may notice your child avoiding homework in a certain subject, complaining of a stomach ache before school, or attempting to go to the nurse consistently before a certain class. If you begin to see a pattern, this may be a sign that your child is struggling. It may be helpful to speak with your child’s teacher or counselor to see if they are observing a pattern as well- and to rule out any additional factors that may be contributing to anxiety (like friend problems).
Lack of confidence and low motivation
If your child is struggling to keep up in class, they may begin to experience a dip in confidence. You may hear them say things like “I can’t do this” or refer to themselves as dumb or stupid. Students who are struggling in a particular subject may even doubt their ability to do tasks they could do with ease before (such as an 8th grader doubting their ability to add and subtract).
Low motivation may also be a sign that your child is having a hard time with a particular subject. You may see your student put little effort into assignments or tests because they’re afraid of trying their hardest and failing. What looks like being lazy may be your child showing they’ve given up on learning something that is extremely difficult for them.
What should you do if you think your child needs academic help?
It can be difficult to know where to start when you realise your child needs extra help. Here are a few things we suggest you do when you start the process of finding your child the right academic assistance:
Meet with your child’s teacher to discuss your concerns. The teacher may have suggestions on what type of help your child needs. Having a meeting with the teacher on record can also be helpful later if your child ends up needing special education services such as an IEP.
Get clear on what type of help your child might need. Pull out all the assessments and assignments you’ve saved to get a clear idea on where your child needs help. You don’t have to have specifics, but knowing what subject your child is struggling with and what concepts have given them the most trouble can be helpful as you move forward with finding a tutor.
Schedule a free consultation with a tutor. It’s helpful to chat with a third party about what’s been going on with your child’s education. Here at Hoffman Tutoring Group, we offer free consults with no strings attached so that you can get a better idea of how we might be able to help your child and what additional resources we might suggest.
Make sure to try before you buy. You wouldn’t buy a car without giving it a test drive first- choosing someone to help your child academically is the same. Make sure to give the tutor a test run before committing to a package of sessions. Here at HTG we always give a 30-minute free trial to make sure the tutor is a great fit for your child.
Continue documentation. Even after you’ve gotten your child academic help outside of school, be sure to keep documenting grades, assessments, and any observations you have. Keeping good records will be helpful if you decide that more assistance is needed at school, or in the event that you change schools at some point in your child’s education.
If you still have questions or concerns about whether your child might need the assistance of a tutor, we would love to help. Click this link to schedule a free call with our founder.
Hoffman Tutoring Group