I have a couple of students who are going into year 11 next year. They absolutely need tutoring during the holidays to make next year less stressful for them. There are many gaps to cover, and working ahead will give them a confidence boost. This is what I plan on communicating with the parents–is there anything else I can add to illuminate the importance to both parent and student? Also, it may be difficult with people going away during the holidays–and I am doubtful emailing work will be effective.
Holidays are a great opportunity to catch students up and to take them ahead of their class for a strong start next year.
For this to work everybody needs to be on board and share the same vision of success. Specifically, both the client and student should understand the benefits and be keen for the holiday tuition.
When you do speak with the client/student you need to be prepared about what to say. It may help to make a list of points you want to cover. For example:
- Any fresh content from before the break would not been revised and will be forgotten. This means more time on the past instead of moving forward.
- Upon return to school, the student is faced with increasingly challenging content while being unprepared and caught off guard. This is especially true for your 11 and 12 students where maths content moves super fast and students are often caught off guard and overwhelmed.
- This all happens while the student is adjusting from care-free holiday time. The transition can be quite abrupt.
- What topics you plan to cover during the holidays. How does this fit within their curriculum and how exactly will it help them. For example:
- Perhaps their algebra is a bit weak and this opportunity to revise and develop their arithmetic and algebraic competence will serve them in every single topic they ever do.
- Calculus is a challenging topic and several year 11 and 12 topics are based directly on calculus. Calculus is challenging both conceptually and computationally. Anything you can do to advance their calculus knowledge will help greatly throughout year 11 and 12.
In regard to the time students will be spending away or overseas, this can be managed and planned but probably not completely controlled.
- The student is unlikely to be away for the full term of the holidays. During their time away set a reasonable amount of work but not that much that they need to worry about doing it all the time instead of enjoying their holiday.
- Set work they don’t need your help with such as revision work with which they are reasonably competent and won’t need much help.
- Rather than checking work via email which is unlikely to work well, you can use email to maintain accountability. That is, make some sort of schedule for communicating with the client and student via email while they are away. You only need to ask “what work have you completed, how is it going, are you finished the work –should i give you more? Etc”. The purpose is just to keep the student accountable rather than allowing care-free holiday mode to remove their responsibilities.
- Make sure to have a tutoring session with the student as close as possible to their departure and soon as possible after their arrival. Build that momentum back up as soon as you can.