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The Benefits of Tutoring

popofatticus“Your daughter does not know the letters of the alphabet or their sounds very well. She also struggles with numbers. She cannot read. We think she has a learning disability and should repeat kindergarten.” Hearing these words from my daughter’s teacher, I was left speechless from shock. It was the middle of March 2001, and the same thought repeated: Why didn’t you tell me sooner so that I could have done something? When the shock left me and reality set in, I knew that I needed to give my daughter academic help. Through this, she would gain both a better experience in school and the self-confidence she would need to be a successful adult.

Since 2001 I have tutored many learners of various ages and needs, including my daughter. Each student came to me with his or her own unique challenges and needs. My job was to help those students gain the knowledge and skills that would help them succeed in school. And they did succeed. So how could tutoring benefit your child?

Parents seek out tutors because they want their children to earn better grades, improve their scores on quizzes and tests, and have a better overall experience while in school. Research shows that many students who receive tutoring show improvement
in their daily homework as well as on their quiz
and test scores. According to one study, students improved from an average of 50.31% on quizzes
and tests to an average
of 80.26% after strategic tutoring (Hock, Pulvers, Deshler, and Schumaker, 2001). Better grades on tests and quizzes will result in better scores on a child’s report card. This in turn will foster better self-esteem and confidence within the child, and he or she will enjoy the school experience more and may even gain more confidence to ask the teacher questions.

One-on-one attention provides another key benefit in that there is the opportunity for immediate feedback on homework for a struggling student. For example, a tutor can quickly analyze a child’s math error, and the child has the opportunity to correct it with guidance. After intervention that includes a quick review of the corresponding math concept, the tutor can watch and guide the student through similar problems. In addition, tutors support independent learning by teaching different learning strategies that will help students in the future. Learning how to access information sources, take notes well, and organize and plan efficiently are valuable strategies that students will take with them after their grade school years. Another important benefit of tutoring for some students is that one-on-one tutoring allows the tutor to minimize distractions and helps students focus on their work. Noise, hunger, odor, and temperature can distract students and have the potential of breaking down their concentration. Reducing distractions and keeping them focused on the school work are important tasks that help students keep up with the expectations of the teacher and the rigor of the classroom.

Finally, we remember that what we do in our everyday lives reflects our Christian faith. The Bible tells us in
1 Corinthians 10:31, “Whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” Doing their best is one way our children show their gratitude to God for his promise of forgiveness. Getting good grades is wonderful, but doing one’s best reflects one’s Christian faith. If your child struggles in school, consider getting extra help so he or she can enhance and develop the talents God has given. The talents children develop when they are young will help inspire them as adults to serve their Lord in extraordinary ways!

pcl_spring_2015Georgene Hughes, a 1983 graduate of DMLC, lives in Watertown, Wisconsin, with her husband, Dan, and their three children. She is currently an adult basic education instructor for Madison Area Technical College.

Image by popofatticus is licensed under CC BY 2.0.