One-to-one Online Tutoring is growing in popularity – and it’s showing no signs of slowing down

One-to-one Online Tutoring is growing in popularity – and it’s showing no signs of slowing down

Growth mindset Private tutors What's new? Young people

In recent years, the demand for private tutoring has grown at a phenomenal rate. The many challenges facing the traditional education system have deemed a proactive approach from stakeholders outside the system. According to an article in The Guardian regarding an increase in the number of children receiving private tuition,  almost a quarter of students in the United Kingdom received some form of private tutoring in 2016. This is a sharp increase from the 2005 statistic of only nine percent. Mathematics and English rank as the most requested subjects for private tutoring followed by the Sciences. These facts prove without a doubt that private tutoring is here to stay and for good reason.  

The average teacher-to-pupil ratio in the public schooling sector is roughly 1:16. In the global context this seems reasonable, but when taking into consideration that each child is unique in their learning style, it becomes less desirable. Many parents are coming to the realisation that more is needed to supplement their child’s understanding of the concepts learnt in the classrooms. Possible reasons for this include:

Enrichment
Many parents recognize that their child is capable of achieving goals and understanding concepts far above the expected level of education that forms part of the school curriculum. Every parent wants their child to reach their full potential. Private tutoring is one way to equip young people to reach their full potential. It allows for learning to occur at the pace and preference of the student while taking into consideration the students individual strengths and weaknesses. For students who are particularly gifted, it is better to challenge their appetite for education through private tuition. This can aid the personal growth of a student and place them at an advantage for higher learning opportunities.

Preparation for exams
A recent study concluded that around 38% of students reported having received private tutoring for the GCSE exam, while around 18% of students reported that they have found it necessary to receive private tutoring for the grammar school entrance exams.  Schools are expected to teach content but the responsibility of exam preparation falls primarily on the shoulders of the student. Preparing for exams is a daunting task on its own. Students have to deal with stress, time pressure and expectations from parents and schools alike. It is also a time where a formidable understanding of the examinable content needs to be solidified. The necessity for private tutoring becomes apparent in terms of providing much-needed support to students. It allows students to ask questions, revise content and attempt examination questions with the assistance of a reliable tutor who has a firm grasp of the content and the manner in which it is examined. A private tutor can provide educational support such as exam technique or study tips and much needed reassurance during this usually stressful time.

Remedial
In most cases, students require more time to fully grapple with and understand a concept. A private tutoring session can give a student additional time to engage with the content in a meaningful way. Again, the pace, strengths and weaknesses of the student can be more appropriately catered for by a private tutor. A private tutor can be a useful resource for motivating and challenging a struggling student to accomplish goals in a personalised environment.

Everyone is different
Students are all individuals, especially when it comes to their learning methods. There is a range of learning techniques that are ignored by the traditional schooling system in order to make learning mainstream. This means that the majority of students are missing out on the opportunity to reach their full academic potential. Private tutoring places your child at the centre of the learning process. Your child becomes more than just a statistic for the School Board, but rather the recipient of a valuable education process that can propel them towards a successful future.  Private tutoring has the potential to improve a student’s performance for this particular reason.

Benefit for parents
Private tutoring can also be a great help to busy parents with demanding schedules. The responsibility of assisting your child with homework and preparation for assessments can be managed by the private tutor. This is an advantage for your child as a tutor is better qualified to provide a conducive and productive learning environment. It also relieves some of the demands placed on a parent’s timetable allowing for more family quality time.

Monitoring progress
The traditional schooling system provides limited progress reports that are often not detailed enough to adequately monitor a student’s educational and personal development. Private tutors can provide continuous analysis of the progress of a student. This allows parents to mitigate not just educational problems that might arise, but also behavioural and personal issues that a student may be facing.  This also places parents in the best position to participate in the growth of their child.

Personal growth
Private tutoring can boost young people’s marks which can, in turn, increase a student’s self-confidence. This can also create a lifelong love and appreciation for education, rather than a disdain for it. Personal responsibility is also heavily emphasized during the private tutoring experience. Through the help of a private tutor, a student is able to recognise the value of being dedicated to one’s work. The benefits of which are higher test scores. This can be the springboard for personal motivation and growth.

If you believe, like Benjamin Franklin did, that “An investment in knowledge pays the best interest”, then private tutoring is a worthwhile investment for any student. Private tuition is increasing in popularity, not because parents see value in tutoring, but rather that they see value in their child. It is in the interest of ensuring that their children extract the fullest potential from their educational journey that has seen a sharp incline in private tutoring nationwide.

GT Scholars is a non-profit organisation that believes that education goes beyond the classroom. If this article has inspired you to join the growing number of parents that are choosing private tutoring, then register your interest the GT Scholars programme. The programme offers tutoring in Mathematics and English and will give young people aged 11-16 the best opportunity for educational success.

 

7 Ways you or an online tutor can boost your child’s literacy, vocabulary and oracy at any age

7 Ways you or an online tutor can boost your child’s literacy, vocabulary and oracy at any age

Growth mindset Parents What's new?

Language and communication skills are considered to be the fundamental building blocks for how we, as social beings, convey our thoughts, feelings and ideas. For children, the very first exposure to language development starts at home by imitating the language used by parents and utilising this development to further attain additional language skills in primary and secondary schooling and onwards.

According to an Employer Skills Survey conducted by the UK Commission for Employment and Skills, 91 000 employers identified skills most lacking among employment applicants are either directly or indirectly related to oral communication. We can, therefore, state that language development is of crucial importance to a child’s later success in life. There are various methods that parents, teachers and tutors can implement that can potentially improve young people’s language skills and their overall confidence.

Encourage writing
Trying to motivate young people to write can sometimes be a challenging task.  Providing young people with frequent opportunities to write has proven to be an effective way to improve written language skills.  Encouraging young people to write in a journal or diary is a great idea. Younger children still developing basic writing skills can have writing incorporated into everyday tasks. This can include writing birthday cards, postcards during holidays or grocery lists, they are all great introductions to writing. Another fun way to encourage young people to write is to let them participate in local poetry or writing contests or volunteer their writing skills at local publications or non-profit organisations.

Variety is key
With the information age in full swing, it goes without saying that there is a great demand for our attention. Twenty four hour news cycles, social media platforms, electronic devices and all the click-bait entertainment value that comes along with it are all demanding of our attention. It is consequently paramount to incorporate variety into the methods we use to teach our children pivotal language skills to ensure optimal stimulation and entertainment while they are learning. Don’t be afraid to try something different. Instead of selecting their reading material, take children to the school or community library and encourage them to choose their own materials to take home. Families can start their own ‘book club’ by setting aside one evening per week to discuss various books or publications together as a family. Young people can also practice reading out loud as it can boost confidence in their language and oracy skills.  Try to make learning fun by hosting ‘game nights’ playing games such as Scrabble or Upwords.

Debate and engage
When defining good language skills, one would assume that this encompasses the entire spectrum of these skills in generic form from listening, speaking, reading to writing. Over the years, however, there has been the sense that speaking and listening skills have taken the backseat in comparison to reading and writing skills in the standard educational systems.  The very same survey conducted by UK Commission for Employment and Skills detailing the lack of applicants with good oral communication skills identified that these applicants did not have the ability to manage one’s own feelings and the feelings of others, persuade and influence others and to make speeches or presentations. We must then, certainly, invest dearly into the development of young people’s spoken communication skills. Don’t underestimate the power of the debate. When speaking to young people, avoid the yes-no questions and leave them open-ended to encourage fluency and grammar skills. Question their answers and debate the topic! Remember to take on the role of the talker as this is a crucial part of improving children’s speaking skills. Make sure you always provide good speech for children to listen to as they will use this as the basis for their development.

Books, books, books
When acquiring any new skill, practice does make perfect. Books and related reading materials are the backbone of teaching and improving young people’s literacy and overall vocabulary.  Providing constant access to books and reading material will ultimately help them spend their time on something constructive, better their language skills and ipso facto provide them with the necessary skills to succeed in a professional world as adults.  Parents and tutors with a love for reading can set an excellent example and can encourage young people to do the same.   Do a little bit of research to find out what most young people enjoy reading. It can make it easier to connect and engage with your child. Set aside some time at home or in class to discuss what kind of books young people read for pleasure, don’t limit the discussions to school textbooks or course texts solely. Don’t underestimate the paperback – it is not set in stone that electronic reading devices are the preferred reading method in today’s society. Always provide children access to paper books.

Be the role model
Parents, teachers and tutors serve as the first subjects of imitation for children. We provide them with their first exposure to language usage, social skills, ethics and cultural norms. We cannot expect our youth to automatically attain the required language and communication skills if we do not set the example for them to follow and learn from.  Let your child see that you love reading and when they see you reading frequently they will follow your example. Share what it means to be a passionate reader by discussing your all-time favourite books and characters with them. Discuss books and topics and when young people see their peers being open-minded towards other opinions and new point of views they will feel more encouraged to behave in the same manner.

Give incentives
It is always important to reward young people for their efforts. Even as adults we feel more valued in a professional environment when we know that our work is appreciated. Rewarding and encouraging your child’s development will instil motivation for them to continue learning. They can be rewarded for writing well. Something as simple as encouragement stickers or certificates can go a long way.  Another way to reward them is to type out their written work, they will truly enjoy seeing their writing in a professional document format. You can also reward reading by taking them to do special activities related to the book they’ve finished reading. This will make their efforts feel valued and encourage them to read more.

Invest in tuition programmes
Sometimes we do need a little extra help,  don’t stray from asking for it!  There are many ways to ensure young people receive effective language schooling. There are many possibilities out there to consider like tutoring, short courses and mentoring programmes. Investing in one of these platforms gives our young people the optimal teachings they need for overall literacy and oracy and ultimately put them on the right path to personal growth and success.

The GT Scholars Programme is a not-for-profit social enterprise that offers various programmes and workshops to provide young people between the ages of 11 to 16 with the necessary skills to set them on a successful career path, improve grades and enrich their mentoring experiences. Sign up here and look out for our enrichment days and skill-building workshops.

 

Seven character traits of a successful student

Seven character traits of a successful student

Growth mindset Improving attainment Mentoring Post 16 Private tutors What's new? Young people

No one student is alike, some students get good grades and others don’t. Perhaps some students operate with more integrity than others or perhaps some are greater leaders than others. It could be that some children are more passionate and proud and want to make a difference in the world. We are all individuals with different strengths.

Caretakers and teachers are often seen as role models by young people. With no support structure in place to help young people achieve their instinctive goals, their dreams are lost and become embers of a distant fire. But, what if we gave them enough support and stimulated them in the right direction? What if we gave them the skills and the know-how to be able to achieve their ambitions? Amongst most young people are leaders, influencers and change-makers. Successful young people are usually hardworking and ambitious and most of all they want to excel further in life.

Certain qualities can make it easier for young people to learn and grow within their own potential. Investing time and effort in young people can help them realise their qualities and build their confidence, an important factor in determining their future career path.

We have listed seven influential characteristics of a successful student which could help them benefit from the many advantages of private tutoring.

Determination
A mentor or tutor can help you prepare for exams, consider potential future choices and how to deal with the unexpected. They help you develop life skills like determination, self confidence and mindfulness. They will also help you to have the strength to be able to swim upstream and dig your heels into whatever it is that is laid in front of you and help you identify potential procrastination habits and how to avoid them.

Self – Leadership
Looking within yourself is probably one of the most difficult things any human being can do. Before being able to become a leader in the real world you must be able to lead yourself. You need to have enough confidence to pull yourself into gear and get going on the tasks set before you.  You are the one that will decide on how you will handle and behave in certain situations and your attitude towards it. How you will deal with your successes and losses. Seeing the bigger picture of where you are headed in life and working towards your goals on a daily basis can help you lead your way through life. To stand with both two feet on the ground, knowing who you are at all times is vital in a world with so much competition.

Active participant
Be curious and ask questions if you do not understand a concept. It could result in approaching the topic from a different angle or answering a question everyone was wondering about but not prepared to ask. Your teacher and peers might be appreciative of that! Remember, there is no such thing as a stupid question and there is no such thing as asking too many questions in class! A distant alarm bell goes off in our minds as we somehow remember these statements. The main point of being an active participant is to really listen and pay attention.

Self -Motivation
Being and staying motivated is one of the most difficult traits to maintain. As a student gets older, there will no longer be instruction and guidance from a teacher or tutor watching over them giving them homework deadlines. Students will need to set their own time-specific goals. Putting focus into moving forward towards goals on a daily basis shows internal motivation. This goes hand in hand with being a successful student, not only during student life but also in the future. Making a conscious decision to switch off from all distractions and focus on the main subject during lectures and tutoring times is vital. If you do not have good listening skills you will not be able to participate and communicate effectively with peers during tutoring and socializing.

Resilience
‘I get knocked down, but I get up again, you are never gonna keep me down.’ Remember this song? Sure you do. With so much going on in an ever-changing and influential world of young people, it is common that one’s self-confidence can take a knock at times. Many youngsters also experience personal challenges on the home front and this more often than not has an effect on their schooling and social development.

Self – Belief
So many characteristics begin with Self. It is important that young people are stimulated and guided towards finding their inner self and believing that they are capable of anything they put their mind to. If you want it, you can get it. As long as you stay focused and determined and maintain a growth mindset, you will always reach certain goals that you have yet to achieve.

Time Management
Whilst growing up and progressing through your school career, you will start managing your own time and setting deadlines to complete goals. This allows you to start taking responsibility for your own progress in life as you realise once again that only you can make a difference in this world and in your own world. Managing your own time is an important management skill you will need to learn for the career place. Being timeous with your school activities and tasks teaches you a sense of responsibility, a great trait you will need to possess in your future career.

Meeting with a mentor or tutor on a regular basis can help to build confidence and determination to reach your goals and aspirations. Tutors and Mentors who have real-life experiences can guide young children in the right direction when they are faced with difficult choices or situations. Character building is the basic foundation and building blocks of life.

The GT Scholars is a not-for-profit social enterprise that tackles educational inequality and improves social mobility. We run an after-school tutoring programme that aims to help young people between the ages of 11-16.  Our programme also includes mentoring and enrichment activities with the aim to help young people prepare for their exams, improve their grades and gain access to the most selective universities and competitive careers. To stay up to date and find out more about our courses and workshops, subscribe to our newsletter.

 

7 Ways to Use Technology for Good

7 Ways to Use Technology for Good

Growth mindset Post 16 What's new? Young people

Parenting can be challenging at times as it is, but parenting in the 21st century certainly brings on board a whole lot of different concerns. Especially when it comes to monitoring children’s exposure to technology. What is the daily limit of allowing your child to watch TV or play computer games?  What precautions can parents take to ensure children’s safety online? At what age are they allowed a smartphone?

Living in the information age where knowledge is freely available at the click of a button, means that children are learning at a much faster pace than before. Years of information and research are now contained within pages of compressed knowledge which has been simplified. There are also images and videos available to easily illustrate complexed concepts allowing children to take in information and knowledge without a long-term commitment.

A study conducted by Info Central in 2016 concluded that the average age for children to own an electronic device with access to the internet is 10, with over 64% of children favouring the tablet as a form of entertainment during car rides or while at home.

Children are very much aware of the World Wide Web and they want in. Trying to deny children access to the internet and technology may not be the best approach and you may end up doing the opposite of what you’ve hoped to achieve.  Parents need to strive towards guiding their children so that they are confident in using the internet and most importantly, be able to identify potential online danger.

The advance in technology is neither a good or bad thing. It is innovative and it simplifies a lot of once complex processes. It is neither helpful nor detrimental in itself, the latter is dependent on how you use it. Technology has revolutionised every sector and industry ranging from the corporate workplace, beauty, art as well as education.

Parents can utilise educational technology to empower their children and contribute to their growth and knowledge. Children should be taught how to use the internet and guiding them through this is the first step to empowering them with the right knowledge.

Here are seven ways to use technology for good:

E-Classrooms
The internet is home to various platforms where children can get the extra help that they need.  From online exercises and courses to online tutoring. E-classrooms often provide a supportive environment for learners and reward systems that encourage a learner’s strengths. Some courses are designed for particular grades and levels of knowledge and may be accompanied by virtual assistants who guide children through exercises and others encourage parent participation which can be a great way to spend quality time together.

Free Podcasts and Videos
Free podcasts and videos are more accessible as most platforms do not require the creation of an account before the information becomes available to the end user. The information obtained from free podcasts and videos may be a little less reliable than official e-classrooms that use curriculum materials pertaining to the country. Be that as it may, platforms like Youtube and scholarly articles shared online still remains a good source of information for young people to learn and improve their knowledge. Since the content of free podcasts and videos have not been certified and approved by scholarly boards, further research on topics might be needed to avoid being misinformed.

Mentoring Websites
One of the biggest advantages of the internet is that it connects people. Mentoring websites connects experienced people who are willing to shed light on industries with parents and their children looking for first-hand information. This can be extremely helpful when children start to consider different career options.  A mentoring website can provide children with answers pertaining to their prospective careers and what they will need to increase their chances of success.

Self Care Websites
The downside of free-flowing information is that it is not censored. Children can sometimes come across content that can negatively affect their confidence and perception of self.  It’s important that children think of the internet as a resource to build good self-confidence and a healthy self-image. There are several websites that offer health tips as well as emotional and psychological care guidelines. Positive affirmation is particularly strong and when coupled with love, support and guidance children receive from home,  these websites can help them distinguish between positive and empowering information and also help them identify and prepare them to deal with negative content.

Technology as an outlet for creativity
Another great way technology can enrich children’s lives is by providing an outlet for the creative and talented. There are great apps available, from online videos to singing apps likes Musical.ly.  Another great app is Soundcloud which allows the user to share audio files, and let’s not forget to mention Apple’s GarageBand! These are all healthy ways for children to stay focused on school and be expressive at the same time.

Calendars
It is beneficial for children to learn how to manage their time appropriately and how to organise their day. Over time they will be able to balance school and their social lives independently. Calendars are now integrated into electronic devices like phones and tablets. Google Calendar allows users to synchronise calendars between family members, friends and even schools. This is a great way for parents to keep a watchful eye on their children’s schedule without seeming too overwhelming and allow children to learn how to manage and organise their time.

Educational Chat Rooms
Apps like Whatsapp are a favourite among preteens and adolescents. Instead of just being used for passing time, they can also be used to network and discuss ideas and help clarify questions for group assignments. This free app is a useful tool because it can be used by children from all financial backgrounds. Parents can create these chat groups for their children within the app and children can exchange images, audio and links to information over the app.

GT Scholars is a non-profit organisation that focuses on social mobility and growth mindset. They also run an afterschool tutoring programme that includes online tutoring, mentoring as well as skill building and enrichment activities for young people aged 11-16. For more information on how to join the GT Scholars programme please feel free send an email to contactus@gtscholars.org

 

Think you don’t need maths tutoring? Think again!

Think you don’t need maths tutoring? Think again!

Growth mindset Post 16 Private tuition University What's new? Young people

Imagine for a moment that you are sitting in a restaurant. A waiter walks over to your table to take your order, “One double cheeseburger, a medium chips and a regular coke, please”, the waiter jots down the order and reads it back to you, you nod, satisfied and he walks off. As you sit there waiting for your food, the restaurant starts to fill up, a family of four take the table to your left. A young couple is guided to a table directly in front of you. There is a group of ladies; celebrating a bachelorette party, fourteen in total guided to a collection of tables lined up in the centre of the room.

More people come and a few leave as you sit there an hour later and still no food. You notice that the young couple, sitting opposite from you, is staring lovingly into each other’s eyes over two orders of delicious looking ribs and mashed potatoes. You look at the table with the bachelorette and her posse, where one of the ladies is making a toast as the others enjoy an array of starters.

You look to the family of four, study their frowns, their “plateless” table and think to yourself at least you are not alone; they too, are victims of this appalling service. At least that is until your waiter arrives at their table, their orders on a tray. Fuming now, you wait until they are served and then call your waiter over to your table. “What in the world is going on, where is my food?” you demand. The waiter looks at you as if you are crazy, absolutely bonkers, “What are you talking about sir, the chef is starting on your order as we speak?”

“Starting, he is only starting!” You shout, shocked by the complete disregard for you, the casual dismissiveness of your waiter’s answer and the outright injustice of it all. “I’ve been here for over an hour, most of the people you have served came after me, I was first and yet they get their food before me…” “So what?” your waiter says, cutting you off mid-sentence. Of course, you can’t believe what he just said; you are at a loss for words. Your waiter looks toward three of his colleagues approaching, trays overloaded with soft drinks, ten double cheeseburgers and eighteen medium packets of chips

Your waiter smiles, “Here comes your order sir,” he tells you. “This is not my order,” you say as the three waiters carrying the trays begin to offload on your table. “What do you mean sir?” Your waiter seems genuinely surprised, “Did you not order, double cheeseburgers, medium chips and cokes.” “I ordered one double cheeseburger, one medium chips and one regular coke, not this mess.”  You are yelling now, beyond boiling point. “But sir, what difference does it make, whether we serve you first or last, two cheeseburgers or ten?” Your waiter asks sincerely, “Are you not the one who said, you do not need math?” You just sit there, unable to speak. “Oh yes, and this meal will cost you two hundred and thirty-seven thousand pounds. Now is that going to be cash or card?”

Ok, I admit that this is a bit extreme, or is it? Shakuntala Devi once wrote: “Without mathematics, there’s nothing you can do. Everything around you is mathematics. Everything around you is numbers.”

I want you to ask yourself, what do you want for your future? Do you hope to own a house someday, own a car? Well, those come with payments like taxes, mortgage, and insurance and you will need math to calculate those or risk paying too much, two hundred and thirty-seven thousand pounds for a cheeseburger as an example.

How about your career of choice? Math is needed for almost every single profession in the world. If you want to be a biologist, archaeologist, an attorney or work as a cashier at Tesco, it is without a doubt that numbers will be part and parcel of the job. Basically, you will never be able to live without math so accept it and try to make learning math fun.

A friend once told me, “I want to be a photographer, what do I need to know about calculus or trigonometry?” Well, that is quite simple actually, a photographer will need to calculate the depth of field, determine the correct film speed, shutter speed, aperture, and exposure, and so much more.

Do you like playing video games, Playstation, Xbox, Wii, and others? Do you have a few killer ideas that you just know will make great games? If so, guess what? Math is a necessity. Aspiring video game programmers will need to study trigonometry, physics, and calculus.

As a boy, I had dreams of becoming an astronaut, “to go where no man has gone before.” If that’s you, then consider this, astronauts use maths in order to make precise mathematical calculations, from how the spacecraft leaves Earth’s atmosphere to how the astronauts pilot the craft. So no math, no Captain Kirk.

Math is a necessity and when considering the uses and benefits thereof there are a number of reasons to learn math:

  • Develop your “lifelong learning” skills:  Asking others for help, looking stuff up, learning to deeply focus on tasks, being organized, etc.
  • Develop your work ethic:  Not making excuses, not blaming others, not being lazy, being on time, not giving up so easily, etc.  This is more important for “success” than raw IQ. There is no shortcut.
  • Get better at learning complicated things.  You are less afraid of complex ideas and classes.
  • Develop pride & confidence in your ability to understand complicated things.  This is not fake self-esteem, but one that is earned.
  • Certain careers in science, health, technology, and engineering require serious Math skills.

Studies suggest that intelligent & motivated people are generally more interesting and happier. Your frontal lobe is not done developing until the age of  25-27. The more things you can learn before reaching that age, the more things you can learn over your lifetime. A survey concluded that 20% to 40% of college freshmen take remedial courses.  Do you want to retake high school courses in college, or do you want to take real college classes?

If you need assistance with Maths or English, sign up for GT Scholars flagship programme, GT Scholars Academic  Programme. This programme not only has tutoring in Maths or English, but also provides skill-building, enrichment and mentoring.  Keep a lookout for our enrichment days and our skill-building workshops by signing up to our newsletter.

It is never too early to introduce your child to personal development and mentoring

It is never too early to introduce your child to personal development and mentoring

Growth mindset Parents What's new? Young people

It is never too early to introduce your child to personal development

Most psychologists will agree that temperament and environment influence the development of a person’s personality the most. It is also said that developing your mind is the most important goal, as everything you do in life is affected by your mind and how it operates. This being said it is crucial for a young person to understand the importance of personal development and achieving their potential.

The importance of personal development
Personal development is an important lifelong process and an exciting journey everyone must embark on and is associated with self-awareness. The importance of personal development must be communicated to children from a very early age on and be introduced to them as an active priority. The earlier personal development is set in motion, the better the chances are of a child achieving success in adulthood. Personal development is a good way for people to assess their skills and qualities, consider what their aims in life are and set goals in order to realise and maximise their full potential.  It is a very effective way to identify strengths and how to address and improve on weaknesses. It also covers activities that improve awareness and identity, develops talents and potential, builds human capital and facilitates employability. Furthermore, it can enhance a person’s quality of life and contribute to the realisation of dreams and aspirations.

Introducing your child to personal development
Throughout a child’s development, there are many different skills learned. Starting from as early as birth through to adulthood. The general age ranges are grouped from 0-3 years, 3-7 years, 7-12 years and 12-19 years. In general, a child’s development progresses from head to toe, from inner to outer, simple to complex and general to specific. A child’s development can be measured through social, emotional, intellectual, physical and language milestones.

Social and emotional development forms part of how your child manages emotions, how they learn to express themselves and manage positive and negative experiences and relationships. You can help your child by giving praise for achievement, allow them to socialise with other children and adults. Another great way to improve your child’s social and emotional development is by  providing opportunities for them to learn how to share by letting them take turns playing with a certain toy or game, let them learn to share in decision making, make time to listen to their thoughts, opinions and concerns and most importantly providing them with opportunities to take responsibility. As a parent or carer showing warmth and affection and also giving your child the chance to express how they feel can make them feel safe, secure and valued and this will improve their self-confidence. When a new situation arises it is always a great idea to give them the necessary time and space to adjust to the change.

Intellectual Development focuses on learning and attention span. This points to how we understand and process information, our reasoning skills, our memory and logical thinking. Language development and cognitive development are the two main areas of intellectual development. Language development allows us to process our thoughts and understand the thoughts of others and cognitive development is all about using our minds and structuring our thinking to understand what is happening around us. It is important to take time to talk about what your child sees, hears and experience as this can assist in his intellectual development. Motivate your child to be inquisitive about understanding how machinery and computers work. Ask and answer questions and entertain your child’s ideas and suggestions. If you do not know the answer to certain questions, spend time researching topics together. Dare your child to be innovative.

Language development in your child can be addressed by discussing books, pictures, objects and sounds. You can even ask your child to recall something from the past or ask them about how their day was and how they solved problems they were faced with . Young people who have decided to go to university or college, as well as those learning a new trade, will continuously improve their language skills thus improving their chances of employment. Always remember that it is your responsibility as a parent, carer or teacher to nurture and encourage the different skills necessary, especially in the early development years of a child. Thereafter young people, with the support and guidance from parents or carers, are responsible to uphold their desire for further development and success.

Physical development starts from infancy and continues well into a child’s late adolescent years. Physical development focuses on both gross and fine motor skills, which involves gaining control over the body. Coordination and muscle movement plays a big role. Physical development reaches its peak during our childhood years making this an extremely critical time for neurological brain development as well as coordination. As physical development continues children gain self-confidence which in turn has a positive effect on social as well as emotional development. There is no doubt that physical development is vital to lead a healthy life. Encourage your child to be active and motivate them to join a sports team or go on hiking trails as a family.  Young people can learn important skills and values like honesty, teamwork, respect, discipline and fair play. By joining a team or participating in competitions young people can learn how to approach and deal with competition. How to process victory as well as failure.

At GT Scholars we understand the skills required and provide impact courses, enrichment days and skill-building workshops to assist in your child’s personal development. Our programme gives young people the strategies and skills they need to achieve their aspirations. Young people enrolled in our programme will benefit from improved grades, increased confidence, motivation and raised aspirations. Visit our website for more information on the GT Scholars Programme. You can also sign up to our newsletter and be kept up to date on our enrichment days and skill building workshops.

 

7 ways you or a private tutor can reignite your child’s love for learning

7 ways you or a private tutor can reignite your child’s love for learning

Growth mindset Parents What's new? Young people

Learning is an important activity which is necessary to keep our brains healthy and active. We begin to learn from the moment we are born and continue to do so throughout our adult and geriatric years. Learning forms the basis of how we interact with others, how we deal with situations and how we view the world. How we learn and how we process information also differs from person to person, and therefore it may sometimes be challenging to find ways to impart knowledge.

During the foundation years, infants and toddlers learn by touching and feeling as they explore the world around them. Their young minds can be kept stimulated through activities such as finger painting, singing, using building blocks and through visual means such as animated shows. As children get older, the ways in which they learn evolves and where a toddler would easily be entertained by wax crayons and colouring books, pre-teens and teens may not be as receptive to this. Here are 7 ways to reignite your child’s love for learning:

Work together
Children’s ability to focus on their studies may improve if a parent or guardian sits next to them while they are doing homework. Although the intention is not to help them with homework directly, but rather to create a shared workspace that will help to keep each other focused. Having a shared workspace is also a great way to spend more quality time together. Another plus point of having a shared workspace is that you will be nearby for any questions your child may have and it will shows that you are interested and invested in their learning. Your child will be reassured that you are supportive and always open to questions.

Design an exciting workspace
The environment in which one works is conducive to how well you can focus or how much you are distracted. It is important to consider creating a communal workspace for yourself and your child by decorating it with images and things you both like. Try something different like using yoga balls as seating. Make it a team effort and involve your child in creating an exciting workspace.  A good workspace will maximize learning potential. Make sure that the workspace is well lit, clutter free and visually stimulating.

Office hours
When your child needs your help with homework, you can set up “office hours” – just like your university professors did. Your child can then schedule a time to ask questions or ask for your help with homework during your “open hours.” This lets you help your child without actually doing the work yourself and will encourage them to be independant and willing to solve the answers first before coming to you. This will build your child’s confidence and also allow them to become more in control of their learning, by becoming resourceful and only seeking guidance unlike having you do the work for them.

Get creative
Creativity is a sure-fire way to keep the spark for learning alive. Have your child tell you all about the things he or she has learned and let your child quiz you afterwards or ask them to explain certain topics to you and build a conversation around it. Your attentiveness will show your child that you are interested in their learning, and that is a great assurance for young people to know that they always have your support. Also, not only is this a way for you to learn something new, but it is also a fun way to bond and create some memorable laughs with your child.

Make it a group effort
Start a study group where young people get to invite classmates to read, write and do math equations together. If your child is old enough to handle organizing and delegating, let your child take on a leadership role. This is effective in also assisting your child in gaining organisational skills. This new found responsibility is sure to leave your child feeling confident in their abilities and leadership skills. You can support your child by making a workspace available for the study sessions. You can even offer to see to refreshments and any other resources needed to make the study group a success.

Engage the senses
We are all sensory beings, and it comes as no surprise that stimulating your child’s sense of touch, sight and smell can be beneficial and help them to focus. A stress ball or fidget spinner placed nearby the workspace can assist in stimulating the senses and therefore, help your child to focus. Playing some white noise can also assist to break the deafening silence in the room, which can tend to be distracting to your child. Allow your child sensory experiences to facilitate their learning, but be cautious of things that may be a distraction.

Healthy snacking
Good nutrition is of utmost importance in ensuring that your child can remain focused and have all the vitamins essential to function at school. Provide your child with healthy, balanced snacks and use snack time as a way to engage with your child and instil learning. Parent and child baking sessions are a great bonding experience, and things such as the basics of food hygiene and healthy eating habits can be incorporated into this.

Your child’s education, whether in the classroom or outside of the classroom, is a shared responsibility between a parent or guardian and a teacher. It is therefore important to make an effort to be involved in their learning, as well as to give them space to learn independently.  Pressure and stress to perform well in their studies can often hinder a young person’s ability to focus. By making learning fun concentration and learning can definitely improve.

The GT Scholars Programme is an after school programme that includes high impact courses, workshops and programmes to give young people between the age of 11-16 the strategies and skills they need to achieve their aspirations. Visit the website to find out more about their enrichment days and skill-building workshops.

 

 

 

In The Know – Going Digital!

In The Know – Going Digital!

Growth mindset In The Know What's new?

Being tech savvy has become one of the most important skills to have in our technology-driven world. Have a look at these activities and courses that can help young people be prepared to fully engage with the digital world.

Virtual Work Experience: Free Formers
This is an experience that gives young people from the age of 14 and up an opportunity to spend a day in a digital agency and see the inner workings and actively work with different departments on an exciting project, solve problems and complete real-life tasks. Sign up for free here.

Digital workshop Innovation Lab
The British Museum’s Samsung Digital Discovery Centre has been turned into an innovation lab.  This workshop gives young people a chance to test new technologies and ideas.  The workshops will be held on the 18th November as well as on the16th December and are free to join for young people ages 7 and older. For more information follow this link.  

Tech Future Classroom
This free-to-use suite of computing offers various digital skills projects and challenges for young people between the ages of 11-18. There are 6 projects complete with open badges for completion. The course can be led by a teacher or completed individually. Click here to find out more about how to get involved.

 

The GT Scholars Programme is an after-school programme that also focuses on social mobility, growth mindset and helping young people achieve their aspirations. The programme includes tutoring, mentoring and enrichment sessions for young people aged 11-16. Registration for the January programme is now open. You can register online by following this link.

We need private tutors to teach children that failure is a part of learning

We need private tutors to teach children that failure is a part of learning

Growth mindset What's new?

Firstly, let’s understand this: to learn we must fail. Yes, that’s right. Failure provides us with opportunities to learn and an opportunity to reflect. Like Thomas Edison once said: “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that it won’t work.” Every attempt is a lesson to learn.

Many of us are constantly held back by the fear of failure. But how do we ensure that our children adapt the mindset of, “you won’t succeed unless you try’’? How do we ensure that they experience true freedom through embracing failure?

First and foremost you need to show empathy. We need to empathise with our child when we see that they are in distress. If you only say things like “It is okay, you will do better next time”, it can make your child feel as if their feelings of frustration and disappointment are being brushed off. This can escalate the feeling of distress they are already feeling. Rather try and level with your child. Try saying “I can see that you are really disappointed by this and I know you are really hoping to do better.”

Explain to them that failure is inevitable and happens to everyone. Tell your child about a time when you failed and how you dealt with it but most importantly remember to tell them what you learned from your failure and how you came out better on the other side of it. Make your child understand that things do not always go according to plan and if they don’t, that it is 100% okay.

See your child’s failures as an opportunity to teach acceptance and an opportunity to develop their problem solving skills. It is a great idea to spend time with your child and try to come up with an action plan together on what to do to have a better chance at success next time around. Try exploring areas such as different teaching techniques or perhaps entertaining the idea of making use of a tutor. According to Dr Mintzer, a clinical psychologist at the Child Mind Institute, it is a balance of acceptance and change and about accepting that the situation is what it is and building frustration tolerance while at the same time asking if you can change something in the future or how to learn from it.

Children need to be taught that when we do fail, we cannot do much about it in the heat of the moment, sometimes we need to accept the outcome and move on. Many of us are constantly held back by the fear of failure. The unseen hazards of social media are often overlooked, for example, if a girl’s friend tells her that she will not be able to go to the movies with her tomorrow night but afterwards she sees her friend posting a picture with someone else at the movies on Instagram, her feelings will be hurt.  These instances are where we need to teach our child that calling the friend and screaming at them because she is angry and feels she failed at a friendship will make matters worse. We need to teach them that there is an option to ignore the situation and not engage in confrontation. This might not make her feel better and this is where you as a parent need to give guidance and empathy to help your child deal with the disappointment.

Our children should learn not to have a too high regard for others opinions. We are too scared about what teachers, tutors, parents and friends would think about us if we fail.  We are too concerned about what society will say if things don’t go as planned. Worrying about other people’s opinions will prevent you from reaching your goals and dreams. Teach your child that in life, one sometimes will get into a situation where you might have to make an unpopular decision to achieve success. If you are constantly worried what other people think it will prevent you from making the right decision

Be an example to your child by striving to constantly grow and move forward. Should we fail, we have to look at it as a lesson to learn, adjust the route, adapt to changes and try again, but now with better knowledge. If appropriate, discuss your failure with your child and share your story on how you dealt with it. We have all heard the stories of failure, Einstein was classified by his teachers as “mentally slow” and Walt Disney was fired from one of his first jobs due to “lack of creativity”. Don’t be afraid to fail, dare to take risks, fail again, try again and reach your full potential.

GT Scholars is a not-for-profit social enterprise that provides a range of courses and workshops. Our growth mindset course focuses on helping young people and parents have a full understanding of growth mindset and how to apply this in their everyday lives. Find out more about our courses and workshops here.

7 Traits of parents with successful children

7 Traits of parents with successful children

Growth mindset Parents What's new?

There is no set manual to follow when it comes to raising successful children but psychological research has narrowed down a few factors that will most likely result in success. It comes as no surprise that a majority of the responsibility lies with the parents. Although, it is not entirely up to the parents, there are a few things parents with successful children have in common. Let’s look at 7 traits of parents with successful children.

Make them do Chores: Making children do chores from a young age will teach your child that hard work pays off. Most importantly, chores also imprint a sense of responsibility on a child.  Always ensure the chores are age appropriate and that they do receive some type of praise or remuneration for it. Chores can range from picking up toys and putting it back inside the box, washing dishes, mowing the lawn or walking the dog.

Give them pocket money: Give children pocket money, whether it is in a form of payment for chores they have completed or an allowance they get on a weekly or monthly basis. It will teach them the value of money and also how to work with their money.  It is important, however, not to give them more money when they run out of their own. This will defeat the purpose. They also need to learn the importance of saving, even if it is saving for a fancy bicycle or a new gaming centre they would like to have. You can sit down with them and work out a weekly budget, teaching them how to set out money for spending and money for saving.

Teach them to not be afraid of failure: “There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work and learning from failure” – Colin Powell. You want your kids to develop a growth mindset. You want them to view failure, which is inevitable, as a chance to learn and grow – not as a dead end. They need to learn to keep at it and not give up on the first try.

Let them learn to be tolerant:  Being tolerant to different types of people with different personalities is a very important trait to have. It is just wrong if a person looks down on another. Your child should learn to be the Good Samaritan. This will result in great respect from their peers. In addition, children should also learn the principle of putting themselves in other people’s shoes first before judging. That way they can understand why certain things happen and how to deal with these situations when they arise. For example, you can introduce this by explaining why a school bully might be acting out in a certain way.

Encourage entrepreneurship:  Based on research by Bill Murphy Jr., a renowned entrepreneur, the majority of today’s entrepreneurs were encouraged to act like entrepreneurs at an early age. These included personally observing an entrepreneur while growing up and being constantly challenged by their parents to come up with ways that they think they can make money. You can help your child by setting up a lemonade stand in the front yard to sell to the neighbourhood and taking part in school market days.

Praise them for hard work:  The way we praise our children has an effect on how they view their success. When they earn a high score on a math test or win a sports trophy, it is important to praise them for their hard work and perseverance, not just telling them that their success was a direct result of them being smart or talented. Although we want to compliment our children, we also want them to know that although they have a natural talent, hard work is always required and that it always pays off. This will nurture a growth mindset.  If we do not praise them in this way, their confidence can suffer a knock when they try and don’t succeed at first.

Remember to be their role model:  From the day they are born our children look up to us as their parents. We are the first example of trust, love, empathy and respect they will have in this world. How we deal with failure and how we celebrate success is constantly being observed by our children.  You need to set examples of the type of person you would like your child to be. The “do as I say, not as I do” method is not one that often succeeds. You want your child to trust you and strive to be like you, not to obey you out of fear of being punished for not following the rules. It is likely that the moment you are not around, they might just do the exact opposite of what they were told.  They need to want to follow the rules. They need to want to succeed because you succeeded.

Raising a successful child is a conversation that many of us parents have engaged in before and one that can carry on for an infinite amount of time. We hope you found this topic insightful.

GT Scholars strives in providing mentoring, tutoring and enrichment to children from diverse backgrounds. Feel free to contact us to find out how GT scholars can help your child reach even higher heights.