So, how much tutoring do you need?
Students will require varied amounts of tuition based on several factors: :
- their current academic standing,
- their goals,
- their year level,
- their work ethic and
- the length of time in which they want to achieve the goals
Tutoring can make a large difference to under performing students and this can really boost their confidence which in turn begins to reinvigorate the passion for the subject. There are a lot of positive aspects that can flow from tuition, however to maintain these, momentum is necessary!
A universal experience:
This is probably the most universal experience for maths students: When the tutor explains an idea the student understands- they “get it”. The tutor leaves but the student still “gets stuck” when they try it on their own. They can’t continue with the next exercise that was set for homework and wait until the next tutorial to resolve their problem. When they’re at school the next day they don’t feel 100% confident in class because they know they couldn’t figure out various problems from the last set of homework. This experience is quite detrimental to a student’s rate of improvement, it really kills the momentum.
Maybe this is happening because it takes the whole tutoring session just to answer all of the student’s outstanding questions. Maybe it’s because there was not enough time to really slow down and ensure there is deep comprehension for every concept that lesson, perhaps the student was desperate to get through as much content as possible.
The truth is that if a student wants to do really well, just getting through the work is not enough. They must:
- take whatever time is necessary to deeply understand each concept, including those super hard worded problems
- regularly spend time revising and bolstering weak areas
- periodically do timed practice tests to ensure they have good exam technique including time management and anxiety management
- practice, practice, practice… and, did we say practice?
Ok, so tell me, how much tutoring does my child need?
An hour of tuition a week will typically help the student with what has been taught in the past week and give time to revise upcoming work. However, if the student is already struggling to keep up, an hour of tuition, while being helpful, might not be enough. If your student is wishing to improve by a large amount, or in a short period of time, it would be wise to consider 90 to 120 minutes of tuition. This gives the student and the tutor more freedom to structure their lesson to ensure everything is effectively dealt with rather than just rushing to answer all of the student’s questions.
Two hours of tuition a week is seen as the best option for providing high results in the shortest time. Normally clients do a one hour lesson on two separate days. With this level of increased access to the tutor, the student can quickly start to feel like they are finally on top of everything or even ahead of their class mates. It provides a more consistent and free structure for the student where they will be able to get the most out of each tuition lesson, focusing on whatever they need to without feeling rushed. This allows the tutor and the student to be in contact every few days and therefore constantly make progress, without ever getting stuck for more than a day or so.
Once per week 1.5 hour lessons are also very effective for students who are mature enough to sit still that long. It typically gives the student some extra time beyond just rushing through their questions to focus on problem solving, back checking and other crucial study skills that bolster confidence and performance.
Generally, the more time a tutor is with a student, the more time they can spend refining the student’s study habits as well as revising and practising the class work. Leaving more time to fine tune exam revision techniques and time-management will allow the student to receive even higher results. In a nutshell, you should have an amount of tutoring that allows the tutor to do more than just answer your child’s outstanding questions.
Regardless of the situation, we tend to find squeezing more tutoring into a shorter time period gets better results than stretching those lessons out over a long time.