I am starting with a new student who is in year 4, is there anything I should prepare in particular regarding math problems, or should I concentrate on their text book they use at school?
In year 4 they may not have a text book. If so this is something you will need to bring up with the student and client, perhaps organise for a question book. Having a resource which has an intrinsic structure to it will necessarily provide an easier structure to follow in tutorials themselves. This means you can spend less time preparing work and planning what to do and spend more time on tutoring fundamental concepts and teaching useful learning strategies etc.
If you haven’t worked with such a young student in a while an important thing to remind you is that younger students are much less self aware. You need to double check that they really understand a lot more – you can’t take their agreement and responses on face value as much.
If you are rusty look through the syllabus for year 4 maths it will give you some ideas of how concepts are explained. You will need to draw lots of demonstrations and where possible physical demonstrations as younger students are used to learning this way.
The most important thing is to make the student feel comfortable and build good rapport. Once they like you they will learn from you a lot easier! Use more positive reinforcement to get them on your side.
Younger students also find it harder to concentrate. Keep them engaged by being interactive such as getting them to explain things back to you and be more involved, as involved as possible or they zone out. Also, sitting still may be a challenge – if so just take a 2-3 minute break in the middle of the class, make sure the student get up and moves around to change their physical orientation.