Relations between parent and child can become extremely tense and frustrated during homework or test preparation. However, many parents are unsure of if and when they should reach out for help from a tutor or additional academic professional for their child. We are sharing four signs that your child is in need of academic support from a tutor and additional signs that further support may be needed.
It’s not unusual for parents to be unsure about whether or not their child needs tutoring or additional help in school. If you’re feeling confused about how to determine if additional academic support is needed, here are some signs to look for.
4 signs your child needs a tutor
Their grades begin to decline
If your child is consistently underperforming and you’re sure it’s not laziness, then this could be another cry for help. As a general rule, people don’t fail at things because it’s enjoyable – children included. If your student is making a solid effort and still falling way behind, you may want to consider outside help.
It is perfectly normal to have off-days and topics that just don’t click. A bad test grade or two is not always the best indicator that help is needed (could be sleep-related, something outside of school, etc.) But, a steady decline in a class grade or grades should be a sign that something is wrong. If your child has dropped a letter grade or more and doesn’t seem to be on the upswing, it may be time to look into some academic support from outside sources.
Your child’s behavior changes
If you find that your student is unusually frustrated or dreading going to school, this could be a red flag. Especially if the student used to enjoy school and all of a sudden, they’ve lost interest or hate it. Academics may not be the only reason why your child loathes school out of nowhere. Nowadays, there are many factors that can contribute to a stressful or depressing school experience. But it’s worth looking into.
The teacher is concerned
If your child’s teacher is reaching out with concerns about your child’s academic progress, that’s not something that should be taken lightly. A tutor may be required but you will want to ask questions and gain some clarity about this. Be sure to keep a watchful eye on the concerns- especially if your child is exhibiting more signs.
They are unresponsive to parental intervention
If your child is not taking academic instruction from you or they’ve written you off completely, it’s okay to reach out for help. Trust your gut – you are their parent. You know them best. If you think something is wrong and they need help, then you are probably right. Have an open conversation with them and see where they are and how they feel.
How to identify what academic support is needed
It’s imperative to identify the root cause of the issue before jumping to conclusions. Once you’ve identified the signs of why your child needs a tutor, the problem is brought to the surface and can be dealt with accordingly. Here are some things to look out for when you notice how your child responds to school and learning. Sharing these things with your tutor is a great way to get the process started.
Is your once happy and content student suddenly anxious talking about school? It isn’t just the shift in the discussion where you feel like you’re pulling teeth trying to figure out what happened in school that day now that you have a middle schooler; your child actually becomes uncomfortable discussing school.
- For some children, this could manifest as actual physical discomfort, such as fidgeting or avoiding eye contact.
- It could be avoidance such as an immediate and deliberate change of subject for other children.
- This could also manifest as irritation or aggression. Some students are having such a hard time that they get upset even discussing things that are school-related.
If sudden discomfort is identified as a root cause, an appropriate place to start could be with a mental health professional, as well as a tutor. With the two experts working together, your child’s uneasiness around school can shift to an excitement and love of learning!
Misunderstandings around content
Even us teachers get frustrated when we understand the content our own children are learning, but for some reason just cannot help or tutor them. This is normal. But if your confusion about the content or is preventing you from helping your student, it’s a definite sign that a tutor is needed.
A tutor is a professional who can come in and play a very particular role in your child’s life. They develop a different relationship of respect and communication with your child.
Tutoring offered through MTT can help
MTT provided academic support through one-on-one tutoring. This model allows for a process that is individualized and efficient. There is no time wasted when it comes to identifying the root cause of regression and addressing it quickly.
Additionally, praise and encouragement is a huge factor in increasing a child’s confidence. Mindset and self-fulfilling prophecies are real! When your students believe they can do something, they will! Our tutors are trained to apply the growth mindset to every student they teach.
MTT tutors are data-driven and teach students to take ownership and responsibility for their decisions. Our team identifies the strengths and areas of need for a student and informs tutoring sessions around those specific areas.
Natalie Mangrum is the founder and CEO of Maryland Teacher Tutors. She is a reading specialist with a bachelors in elementary education and masters in education. As a parent to two young adults, and prior teacher, Natalie knows all too well the benefits of one-on-one tutoring and coaching for students. Her mission is to ensure that every aspect of MTT is done in a spirit of excellence! She enjoys alleviating the concerns of parents so they can breathe easy knowing their children are in good hands!