The whole philosophy behind engaging a student in tutoring is about alleviating anxiety around learning itself or the results of the learning process for an individual. A student who feels overwhelmed either by a specific subject or the pressure of performing academically creates impetus for seeking a tutor. It is important that all learning experiences are comfortable to create as much confidence in the student as possible. There are several ways learners, parents and tutors can achieve this.
They can take charge of their own learning environments by creating spaces they feel comfortable in. This can include elements such as study set-up; desks versus bed, or ambience; music versus silence and even facilitation; note-taking versus reading. It is very individual, but important that learners understand under what circumstances they learn best. Experimenting with ways of studying, environments, and times of the day can also benefit tremendously. There are no wrong choices here.
Talking with your child can help them to realise what are the obstacles in the way of building on their study habits outside of the classroom. Some individuals relish being alone to get their own perspective on things, whereas some children can really benefit from having a constant sounding board. If the former suits them, try helping them organise themselves with study planners, note taking, library trips, study snacks – whatever support they need. The latter option means giving up your spare time to sit with them or be around them when they choose to study. This can be to extend a helping hand, impart knowledge or simply just listen to their anxieties or frustrations. There is a no one-size-fits-all approach here, whatever works for your child.
The role of a tutor is definitely rooted in providing individual support. It also means being flexible in your approach in order to suit the learning needs of your student. As a new entity in the learning process of a student it is essential that you make them feel comfortable and take away the negative stigma they have been feeling with regards to their schooling. Starting with their basic foundations and assessing where the gaps is one of the best ways to start them off. Build on what they know, take aspects from their strengths to support their weaknesses. For example, if a student enjoys physical education, find a way to build that into their tutoring. Perhaps they respond well to kinaesthetic opportunities, so bringing in puzzles, games, and flash-cards can enrich their experience. Additionally, making a discernible difference for the child between your teaching approach and their classroom teacher’s can be pivotal in relieving their stress. Always keep in mind that learning is an individual process.
It is not about making learning feel the same as relaxation, but about taking away the impetus for stress by whatever means necessary. This will be one of the key ingredients in achieving a higher level of result for a student’s schooling.