How Tutoring Can Overcome Obstacles to Learning


How Tutoring Can Overcome Obstacles to Learning

In a perfect world, children who experience learning problems would have hours of time to spend with parents, who understood the curriculum, and parents who could answer questions about things like algebra and rocket science. In the real world, working parents are often overrun with packed schedules and obligations, or unable to help children with complex technical homework like science or math.

In 2014, the Global E-learning industry was responsible for $164 billion dollars. Tutoring and online education that supplement what is provided through private or public institutions continues to grow, as parents see the importance of supporting academic development. Tutoring is widely accepted as beneficial, helping children overcome obstacles in learning.

Creating Strong Early Skill Foundations

When a child is unable to grasp early foundations in important subject areas like math or reading, the effect can be cumulative over time. Since core subject areas are built upward with increasingly difficult levels of learning, missing the fundamentals can significantly impede a child’s ability to succeed in school. And since few teachers review what was learned the previous year, your child may never have the opportunity to review the foundational concepts and understanding, and ‘catch-up’.

Tutoring allows a child to continue to progress with his or her class, while going back in time to concepts they may not have mastered within the past year or two. A tutor can work on the foundational training and deepen the child’s understanding, confidence and comfort with the subject matter, which they can start applying immediately in the classroom. The impact is profound not only on academic performance, but on mood and enthusiasm for learning.

Battling the “Summer Slide”

Even the best and most dedicated students experience what educators call “the summer slide”. While every child enjoys summer vacation and the memories that come with it, the change in habits and scheduling can create a problem by the time school returns in August.

Is there a correlation between lower first term performance and summer vacation? In an ideal world, every child would be doing some online learning, tackling a summer book list, or completing some type of light educational or life training to keep them tuned for learning. In our habit of packing summer full of fun things, we do kids a disservice that makes it harder for them to return to school in the fall. Habits and schedules have to be relearned, and that can take weeks, during which time your child is not performing at their academic best.

Tutoring (whether private or at a structured center) is a successful way to keep your kids engaged productively throughout the summer. While we are not suggesting that kids have homework every day of summer vacation (that would be mean), a tutoring session and assignments once per week can help kids maintain their A-game, and perform well as soon as they get back. See what the U.S. Department of Education recommends for elementary and high school students.

For parents who are considering a tutoring arrangement for their child, studies have shown that children benefit not only academically, but emotionally and socially from private instruction. A recent study by Stanford University revealed that clinical and situational anxieties were addressed after one-on-one training and tutoring. Nothing feels better for children than addressing an obstacle head-on and overcoming it, and the confidence to face any obstacle is perhaps the greatest and most powerful gift a parent can give.

About Jared R

Jared, founder of The Knowledge Roundtable, is passionate about the advancement of knowledge. He has a B.S. in astronomy and physics from UMass and an MBA in Advanced Financial Analytics, also from UMass. He has a day job as a Data Scientist in Boston. He has over 500 hours of tutoring experience in everything from algebra to writing. He taught our SAT prep group courses for two years in NH, and before that developed educational content for math, stats, and finance textbooks for two years. His teaching style is hands-on with a focus on problem-solving and critical thinking.