Most parents come to me looking to help their students turn around bad grades, improve understanding, and restore confidence. Parents are right to seek out one-on-one in home tutoring to deal with these problems. One-on-one tutoring from a subject expert, hand matched to the personality and learning style of each student is by far the most effective solution to these academic problems. Unfortunately, many parents unknowingly undermine much of what tutoring can accomplish by making two mistakes, sometimes with catastrophic consequences. Here they are:
Beginning Tutoring Too Late: One-on-one tutoring is expensive enough that many parents try everything else first. The problem is that by the time their other options are exhausted, too many bad test scores and homework grades have been recorded, and too much material has to be re-taught. The end result of this delay in starting is a lower final grade, and actually higher costs trying to overcome a more desperate situation when much of the semester is over.
Allocating Too Little Time For Tutoring: After tutoring more than a quarter of a million students, we at Santa Clarita In Home Tutoring have a lot of data about what it takes to turn around bad grades and overcome understanding problems. It takes 3 hours per week of tutoring for about 60 days to make a 2 letter-grade improvement with an expert tutor. There is hard work to be done, material to relearn, and good grades to record. In spite of this, many parents ask to try an hour or two of tutoring per week to start, figuring that they can always add more if necessary. Again, this is exactly the wrong approach. Not only does it fly in the face of decades of experience, but by the time the parents realize that they haven’t provided enough tutoring, their child’s grades and knowledge gaps are often too big to close by semester’s end.
If you truly want to fix grade problems, build a solid knowledge base, and restore your child’s knowledge base, then start early, and provide enough tutoring immediately. You can always dial back once things are on the right track. That is the proven formula for success.