As with the usual advice for finding the right tutor for a willing child, parents should follow the tried and tested gut-feel rule. If you have found a qualified tutor, complete with references or word of mouth recommendation, then trusting your gut instinct is always a good idea. The trouble is, how do you get this great tutor to engage with your unwilling child?
It might be that your child just doesn’t see the need for a tutor, or it might be that they feel the last thing they want to do after a long day at school is to spend another hour or two learning. Whatever the reason for your child’s reluctance, read on and see if we can help you find a good solution.
Today we’ve got 5 solid ways to help unwilling children to engage with private tutoring.
Set the right tone
With a reluctant child, it’s often hard to strike the balance between fair and firm. Setting the right tone right from the start of tutor sessions is, however, vital. Letting your child know that the sessions are not optional and that you have clear expectations for their participation means that they should feel they have nothing to lose from engaging as much as they can.
It is important to note that you as a parent know your child best. If you know your son or daughter thrives with a TLC approach, or that the opposite is true, then finding a tutor on the same page as you in terms of their expectations of your child will pay off.
With a reluctant child, it’s often hard to strike the balance between fair and firm. Setting the right tone right from the start of tutor sessions is, however, vital.
Find the connection
Help your chosen tutor get to know your child with a view to helping them to find out what your child is really interested in. Finding a point of connection can really help a tutor to reach out and engage with a reluctant learner. Couching the complexities of Shakespeare’s tragedies in modErn terms can offset the tricky aspects. A bit of Dizzy Rascal to help explain Romeo and Juliet? Just the trick.
Trust your tutor
A great teacher has heard it all before, just like a great parent, an experienced teacher knows that a little pain often makes for a lot of gain. They should be tough enough to handle everything that your reluctant child throws at them – but not literally of course. Finding a pro who can handle a moody child or stroppy teen is really worth it. More often than not, persistence and consistency are the key ways to get through to a tough cookie.
The benefits of one to one
Of course, the biggest plus when it comes to encouraging a reluctant learner is one-to-one learning. If your child sits down with their tutor, week in and week out, eventually, they are going to connect and they will get the most out of the time and money you are investing. Sometimes, knowing that their tutor is there for them, and them alone can make the difference. This is especially the case if your child has been switched off by learning in a big class where they might feel lost.
Sometimes, knowing that their tutor is there for them, and them alone can make the difference.
More often than not, when a child knows that their tutor has an on-going and productive relationship with you, they quickly realise that engaging as completely as they can with the tutor is the best way to move forward. Most children, even thorny customers, really want to please their parents. Knowing that they will be getting a glowing report from their tutor each week can be a real incentive for them to get as much as they can out of their tutoring sessions.
In summary, if you feel like your child is unwilling to engage in the tutoring process, there are a number of ways you can counteract that animosity of feeling. Having great communication with your chosen tutor is a real advantage in such circumstances. Failing all of this, there is a lot to be said for a little old-fashioned bribery and it doesn’t need to cost a thing. Promising some extra gaming time or a trip for a hot chocolate can really work wonders when push comes to shove.