How often should I have a private tutor?

This needs to be a balance between your child’s needs, your tutor’s availability, and your own budget.  For one subject, once a week is probably enough, with your child doing some practise on their own in between sessions. If you are having a private tutor for more than one subject, you should consider one hour a week per subject. However, tutors will understand that this is not always possible and it should be possible to split an hour session into, for example, half an hour of maths and half of English.

How long does a private tuition session last?

This is something you will need to discuss and agree with the private tutor before starting. I have seen sessions advertised ranging from 30 minutes to 2 hours!  From my own experience, I recommend sessions of 1 hour for each subject as this is long enough to introduce each topic and give your child plenty of time to practise, without being so long that they lose concentration

Where will the private tuition take place?

This depends on the tutor and is something you will need to discuss with them. Some will come to your house, some will tutor in their own home, and others will hire a room. Personally I feel it is best to tutor in the child’s own home so that they feel more confident and comfortable in familiar surroundings.

What are the benefits of private tuition?

With a private tutor your child will get individual, targeted help. The tutor will assess your child to find out what their strengths and weaknesses are, and then focus solely on those areas where your child needs help. Everyone learns in a different way, and a private tutor will also take this into account, ensuring that learning is an enjoyable experience for your child. Because the tuition happens on a one-to-one basis, any mistakes or misconceptions can be picked up on and addressed immediately, before the child has chance to embed wrong thinking or methods.

How can I help my child with their homework?

It’s difficult. You want to support your child with their homework, but you don’t want to do it for them. So, how much help should you give them and what’s the best way to go about it?

The first thing you should do is make sure that you child has somewhere comfortable to work. By this I mean that they should have enough space to spread their books out, and there should be enough light for them to see what they are doing. Also make sure that there are no distractions, such as from the television or other siblings. This may be all the help that they need.

If they are struggling with the task itself, read through it yourself to make sure you understand what they have to do. Then try breaking it down into a series of smaller tasks for them, but instead of giving them a list of steps to follow, give them a list of questions to answer.

Click here for ideas for helping with English or literacy homework
Click here for ideas for helping with maths homework.

If your child is struggling with their homework on a regular basis it may be worth talking to their class teacher to see if they are having general difficulties. Sometimes children can benefit from having a private tutor who can give them some one-to-one help to help them catch up with their class.

Finally: everyone likes to be praised so make sure you do this. If your child has found the homework particularly hard then it may be better to praise the amount of effort they have put into it rather than the end results.