In a recent survey, approximately 35% of Ontario parents have purchased tutoring services for their child. As part of the school curriculum, children work on a variety of assignments from completing science projects to making presentations.
There are a few things to consider when deciding if your child needs help with school work. Historically, tutoring has been useful for children who have been falling behind or getting poor grades. For some older children and teens, getting specific support in one subject may help reinforce a teacher’s lesson and assist in completing school work. But tutoring may also benefit younger children by helping them learn key concepts.
Some children may simply need help with organization, to better understand how to break down a more complicated assignment before starting it. In this case, attending an after-school homework club or having closer parental monitoring could be enough. Sometimes, it can be helpful to proactively engage a tutor if you anticipate an area of difficulty for your child.
There are some children who face challenges such as having a learning disability or attention problems. If a child’s difficulties persist, they may benefit from a psycho-educational assessment to better understand their strengths and needs, and to determine what factors are affecting their learning. Under these circumstances, the child may qualify for an Individual Education Plan that provides specific accommodations or modifications in the curriculum, such as extra time to complete school work. A specialized tutor could also teach specific learning strategies.
If you do decide on tutoring, consider the qualifications and experiences of the tutor. It may help to discuss possibilities with your child and your child’s teacher. It is important to explore your options and decide based on the unique needs of your child.
Dr. Olivia Ng, C. Psych.
Clinical Child Psychologist
14A Martin Street, Milton, L9T 2P9
References (and great resources for parents!):
Hart, D. & Kempf, A. (2015). Public Attitudes toward Education in Ontario 2015 – The 19th OISE Survey of Educational Issues, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education of the University of Toronto (OISE).
Halton District School Board (2016). Working Together – A Guide to Special Education for Parents, Guardians, and Students.