How to Tutor an Elementary Student

If you have a child in elementary school, then there's a fair chance that he or she needs extra help outside of school. Even if your child is excelling, home tutoring can be useful to make sure he or she is being challenged. Keep reading to find out what you need to know to begin tutoring your child.

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Tutoring Your Elementary Student

Identifying What Your Child Needs

Talk to your child's teachers and school counselors to find out what your student needs to work on. If you have detailed information about your child's progress at school, you'll be a more effective tutor at home because you'll know your child's strengths and weaknesses. In certain cases, it may become necessary to seek a professional tutor to help your child.

Tutoring an elementary student can be very different from tutoring a middle or high school student because many older students need specific homework help. In contrast, elementary students may need help developing basic skills, like studying habits and organization.

Setting Goals and Keeping Your Child's Interest

In order to keep tutoring sessions focused and on-track, it can be useful and often necessary to set goals and stick to them. These goals will help you keep track of your child's progress and provide your child with a solid idea of what you expect. If your child suffers from study anxiety or has trouble concentrating, create a calm, encouraging atmosphere free of distractions and be sure to provide a lot of positive reinforcement.

To keep your child's interest, consider breaking up your session into two or three chunks of 20-30 minutes. Each chunk should have a different type of activity. In the first part, you might want to teach a lesson. During the second part, your child can practice the lesson with a fun activity, like a puzzle or a game. The third part can simply be a brief review of the lesson's key points.

Tutoring Techniques for Reading and Math

Many students need extra help in math and reading. When tutoring your child in math, be sure to additional practice problems because repetition is often the key to success. Begin by review the math concepts with your child. Then, solve one of the practice problems together. Finally, have your child attempt the rest of the problems on his or her own.

Whether it's for school or for fun, reading can help kids develop vocabulary, comprehension and critical thinking skills. For a fun activity, sit with your child and read together. After completing a passage, ask your child questions relating to plot and character motivation. You may also want to teach your child reading strategies, like prediction.

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