Why equality in education and private tutoring is a realistic and worthwhile pursuit

Why equality in education and private tutoring is a realistic and worthwhile pursuit

Educational inequality Improving academic attainment Narrowing the gap Social mobility Volunteers What's new?

Imagine a world where every student is able to reach their full academic potential,  it would be an incredibly amazing world. A good education is one of the most important keys to achieve success in life. A population that is educated is needed for a prosperous nation.  Education develops foundation skills such as reading, writing and numeracy, which are essential for further learning. Ideally, all students all over the world should be learning in small classes, under the direction of dedicated, skilled and motivated teachers.  But the reality of the world is quite different.

Even the most democratic countries in the world do not provide equal education. The unfortunate truth is that money gives a student access to a  better-quality education. Students from financially stable and secure backgrounds have access to top-notch schools with state of the art laboratories, libraries and technology. Students from a disadvantaged background are left at the mercy of state schools. Even the very best state school cannot compete with the lowest ranking private school. State school classrooms are more often than not overcrowded and manned by overburdened, overwhelmed and stressed educators who must deal with bureaucracy and poor teaching environments. Even the brightest and most motivated students battle to achieve their full potential in these circumstances.  In many of these situations, students who need extra support are likely to fail and eventually drop out of school. The future is bleak for these kids who will either end up doing lowly paid, menial jobs or worst- case scenario, end up in a life of crime with the cycle continuing when they have their own children one day.

The negative impact educational inequality has does not stop at the students. It sets off a chain reaction of events.

Inflated costs to society
Failure to provide equal access to educational opportunities imposes inflated costs on society. A poorly educated population limits a country’s capability to produce, grow and innovate. It damages social cohesion and enforces additional costs on public budgets to deal with the consequences such as higher spending on public health and social support and greater criminality. The study found that students who have enriching school experiences will be more likely to pursue further education and successfully transition into the labour market.

Increases National Interest
Giving more students access to better education can increase national interest.  Students that receive quality education gain better reasoning intelligence and learn to form their own conclusions from facts that they are given. Educated people work towards the common good of the country and understands the importance thereof and works towards protecting the national interest.

‘’The children of today are the future of tomorrow’’
With more and more children gaining access to better schooling they also become well-cultured.  Good schooling can motivate and provide for higher quality education. If someone can learn to be a good student, they will learn to be good citizens one day. Imagine if we could measure the loss we’ve endured as the human race due to exceptionally talented students who could not reach their full potential because of educational inequality. What could they have possibly invented or contributed to society?

A nation that works together
It is possible to improve educational equality as a nation. Everyone can contribute to making equal education for all a reality. Governments can manage school choice to avoid segregation and increased inequities. They could also develop an incentive system to make disadvantaged students attracted to high-quality schools. Governments can also find a way to improve the access that disadvantaged families’ have to information about schools and give them the necessary support to help them make informed choices. To ensure equity and quality, the government can also promise  access to quality, early-childhood education.  The main focus should be to recruit and support good teachers. Teacher education is vital to ensure that teachers receive the requisite skills and knowledge to do their best. Creating mentoring programmes for novice teachers and developing supportive working environment will help retain good teachers.

It is not only up to the government to promote educational equality. It is just as much the communities responsibility to uplift the youth to ensure a better future awaits them. Communities members should become more involved in mentoring the children in their community. Local business, community and political leaders can play a key role in providing recreational and tutorial support to encourage learners to study rather than to become involved in anti-social activities.  They can also give financial support to improve school facilities.

Teachers also play an important role in promoting educational equality.  A good teacher can be a great influence on a student. A teacher can inspire, educate and motivate learners to give their best. However disadvantaged schools are not fertile grounds to bring out the best in a teacher. It is therefore important for teachers in these schools to come together with government support, to create a platform to motivate and help each other give their best.

Early intervention from a young age is needed to prevent educational equality gaps from widening. Whilst achieving educational equality may elude some governments, there are some organizations and social enterprises which have picked up the baton to close the gaps in educational inequality.  Society, therefore, has a moral obligation to make sure that all children receive equal access to education to give them the vital skills needed to become contributing adults in society. Educational equality ensures that all learners irrespective of their race, religion, gender and socio-economic standing have access to the same learning resources and educational opportunities.

GT scholars provides high-quality individualised tuition by tutors who are passionate about academic success. They match students with mentors who can assist them to set and achieve academic, career and personal development goals. They also run enrichment programmes to help build confidence and make students aware of the academic and career opportunities available to them. These programmes are provided at a low price or free of charge to young people from disadvantaged backgrounds. The aim of these programmes is to address educational inequality by giving children, particularly those from lower-income households, the strategies, skills and support required to achieve their academic and career goals. To find out more about GT Scholars, register your interest here or give us a call on 020 881 68066.

7 Reasons Why Every Young Person Needs A Mentor

7 Reasons Why Every Young Person Needs A Mentor

Parents Volunteer mentors What's new? Young Leaders

A mentor can have an extremely positive influence on a young person’s life, however, the effectiveness of mentoring is often overlooked. A mentor is someone who the mentee can depend on, someone that acts as an active listener, tuned into the unique needs of a mentee. With the right mentor, a young person can gain professional socialisation skills and receive personal support to facilitate long-lasting success.

Here are 7 reasons why every young person needs a mentor:

  • Every young person has potential: We have all heard the saying: ‘In every caterpillar, there is a butterfly waiting to spread its wings, flourish and soar to greatness.’ Much like a butterfly, in every young person exists greatness waiting to be unleashed. Mentors can serve as a source of guidance and support to help young people reach this greatness by assisting a young person in goal setting and providing motivation.

  • Mentoring is relational: It is believed that young people are very dependent on relationships to develop their ideas and perceptions of the world. This is mostly influenced by their interaction with social media, peers and adults. Young people can often feel isolated and disconnected from adults. This can result in a young person’s perceptions and opinions being influenced by misinformation obtained from peers and social media. Mentors can challenge and correct these perceptions and opinions from a more mature perspective and bring about an inquisitiveness, passion and a more informed opinion within a young person through dialogue and active engagement. The relationship between a mentor and a mentee can help build trust and illustrate the dynamics of positive relationships. 
  • All young people are unique and different: “Everybody is a genius, but if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will go through its life feeling like it is not smart”. This quote is worth remembering as young people can sometimes feel pressured to fit into the same mould and can be expected to conform to limited ideas of success and greatness introduced to them through social media and peers. Since mentoring is such a unique process, it helps each young person to realise their own unique abilities, talents and strengths. It is important for each young person to realise the unique ways in which they can contribute to society around them. A mentor can help show a young person that if they are a ‘fish’ they may not be able to climb trees, but they could certainly swim! 
  • Informal education: Throughout a young person’s formal education they are taught a variety of subjects and skills, but they are rarely taught about themselves as individuals. Learning about oneself can be thought of as lifelong informal education that often has no curriculum or duration. However, it is imperative that young people start getting to know themselves before heading out into the world as adults. Knowing yourself helps you to make well-informed decisions later in life such as career choices, social or relationship choices and educational choices. The unique process of mentoring gives a young person the personal space to discover things about themselves which they can use later on to make these important decisions. A mentor can also act as a valuable sounding board since they have the advantage of experience, and they can help steer a young person in making profound discoveries about themselves. 
  • Challenge thinking: Sometimes young people can be overly accepting of certain ideas about the world around them without challenging these ideas and forming their own opinions – such as what kind of future is attainable for them in terms of education and career options. We live in a world where young people are inundated with what the ‘ideal future’ is, but rarely are they encouraged to self-reflect and challenge what motivates and inspires them personally. A mentor can challenge a young person’s aspirations and ideas so that they may be better understood. 
  • Accountability: A mentor can act as a great sense of accountability for a young person to reach their goals and their true potential. Young people may be accountable to a parent for their household chores, or a teacher for their homework but who makes them accountable for their life goals? This is where a mentor comes in. They can set weekly goals for a young person to ensure that they are reaching those goals or working towards those goals. They can also help their mentee stay on track with their ambitions through providing the unique tools they may need to reach those ambitions. Accountability is also a vital life skill for a young person to learn as it fosters responsibility and independence. When a young person is accountable they learn to take responsibility for their own growth.

  • Staying grounded while dreaming big: It’s good to dream big! But sometimes a young person’s ambitions can be rooted in fantasy, and from time to time they can lack the ability to recognize the reality of a situation. A mentor can help in grounding a young person and guiding them practically through some of the realistic challenges they may face on their way to achieving their greatness and goals. A mentor helps to bridge the gap between how a young person may see the way forward and what is realistically the best way forward.

Whilst it’s true that many of the benefits of a mentor can to some extent be fulfilled by a parent or sibling, it may be important to a young person that their mentor is from outside of their immediate family. In our experience, most young people derive greater benefits from mentorship when paired with a non-parent mentor, and that they thrive within this unique and valuable relationship.

If your child is between ages 11-16 and you are interested in our mentoring programme, please contact us for more information. We also have great tutoring as well as enrichment programmes available.

Life is not fair and other messages parents and private tutors need to start telling their kids

Life is not fair and other messages parents and private tutors need to start telling their kids

What's new?

As parents we love our kids and we want to protect them from some of the harsh realities of this life and the disappointment that goes along with it. But, an overprotective parenting style can have some negative effects in the long run and may leave our children unprepared for the real world.

According to Julie Lythcott-Haims, author of How to Raise an Adult: Break Free of the overparenting Trap and Prepare Your Kid for Success, parents have the very best of intentions, but when they over help, they deprive their children of the chance to learn the important things in life. Here are a few basic fundamental principles to teach our children that life is not always all that fair.

Hard work pays off:  Teaching children the importance of determination and hard work is essential. Especially in this era where we are continually exposed to convenient and easy ways of doing things, such as information that is easily accessible on the internet or microwave-ready meals.  Parents must make more of an effort to ensure that they can still raise independent beings who are able to go out in the world and fend for themselves. You can do this by praising their effort more than their achievement or put them in difficult but achievable situations. Children need to understand that when an effort is being made to achieve a goal, great benefits can be reaped. Furthermore, teaching children self-perseverance is extremely important for their social and emotional development.

Teach them to take responsibility for their own actions:  As a parent, you often have to administer penalties to your child even though they may feel equally daunting to you. Through this they will learn an important life lesson – there are consequences to every action. You can demonstrate this by connecting the action and consequence using real-life examples. For example, because you did not go to bed early last night you am tired today and can’t focus, or because you spent your money carelessly you can no longer afford the new laptop you had your eye on. Forcing responsibility onto children has never been proven to be effective, so children need to be taught life skills and responsibility will naturally follow. If children do not have responsibilities they might feel entitled and start adopting the-world-owes-me-something mindset.

Learn the importance of education: Children need to know the importance of obtaining education and how a good education can be their ticket to their desired life aspirations. They need to grasp that good grades are necessary for college acceptance and that their grades are a reflection of who they are to the admissions board. They need to understand that not working hard in school will result in poor grades which will then, in turn, result in only being qualified for low paying jobs.

Failure is part of life: Teach children that life is full of challenges, and that some of these challenges often result in failure. It is important that your child learns how to deal with failure and process the emotions that come with it. Failure can also be a part of learning as it teaches perseverance and appreciation for achievements. Remember parents set the example so be careful how you act in front of your child when you deal with failure, whether you scream at the sky or laugh, this will be the example your child sees.

Independence is invaluable: It is always a great idea to encourage independence. An easy way to do this is by giving children guided choices and respecting their choices, such as letting them decide on a family activity on a Sunday. You can also involve your children in making plans or coming up with solutions, such as working out a quicker route to school or setting up a chore roster. Learning simple life skills, for example, doing the laundry, working with money, or planning grocery shopping will be a great skill to have in the long run. Children must be able to look after themselves mentally and physically.

The list above is not all of the tips that you as the parent may consider to prepare your child for the realities of life out there, but they most definitely will be helpful in the initial steps of preparation.

Get started by looking into GT Scholars programmes that support your child in reaching their full potential. The GT Scholars programme helps young people aged 11-16 to achieve excellent grades and reach their future goals. Contact us to find out more.

 

7 Ways you or a Maths tutor can boost your child’s skills in Mathematics

7 Ways you or a Maths tutor can boost your child’s skills in Mathematics

Parents Young people

Mathematics is one skill you cannot go without in life. It is the basis of all things and it forms part of our everyday lives. From buying a bus ticket, scheduling appointments, telling the time or driving from one city to another, all these actions, and then some, require maths. The better we become in maths, the more we can achieve. According to the Math Worksheets Centre, almost every good position in the business world requires some form of maths.

It is very easy for a child to develop a phobia for maths. This could be due to a number of facts. Maybe it is because maths, in general, is regarded as a difficult subject and the child has made the assumption that this is true. Therefore they do not engage in a growth mindset when they think of maths. It could also be due to a teacher’s attitude towards the subject and how they present it. Whatever the reason may be, the general viewpoint of how your child looks at maths can be morphed into a positive one. Let’s look at 7 ways you can boost your child’s skills in mathematics:

  1. Understanding the Basics:  Maths is learned by following a learning order.  All functions and concepts of maths are related to each other and in order to understand the more complex concepts, a good understanding of the basic concepts is important. Maths is like one big puzzle and all the pieces fits in together in the end.  Parents can help their child feel more confident in the basics of addition, subtraction, division and multiplication. This will prepare them for the next advanced levels of maths. Confidence is key!
  2. Ask for help:  Children should always be rest assured that it is okay to ask for help and they should be encouraged to seek help when they feel that they have reached a dead end. Sometimes students get frustrated by a math problem and this can make them feel despondent, but perhaps if they had access to a tutor who could help and give that extra bit of guidance, it could make a world of difference. Sometimes a child only needs a bit of extra attention and explanation on a certain topic. Knowing they have a tutor on hand will make them more eager to communicate as to which areas they are having difficulties with. GT scholars have maths tutors to assist your child in maths as well as any other subject that he might need guidance on.  Try to recognise when your child is getting frustrated and reach out in either acting as a tutor yourself or if time is of the essence an actual tutor will be the best option. 
  3. Practice, Practice, Practice!: ‘’Practice makes Perfect’’.  Maths is seen by many as a language on its own and just like learning a new language, practice is an important factor in being successful in maths. Set time aside to practice mathematical skills with your child. For some students learning maths can be a slow-moving experience, teach them to embrace the ‘’A-Ha!’’ moments as this will ignite enthusiasm and energy for learning maths. 
  4. Find gadgets and games that encourage Mathematical thinking:   It has been proven that learning mathematics can be more effective if games and activities are used as learning aids. Math puzzles, riddles and even math inspired cellphone apps are a great way to make learning maths fun. Use these methods to improve and help them relate maths to real life situation. Simple games like Uno, Chess or Checkers serve to highlight mathematical concepts. The possibilities are endless and you can use things that are easily accessible like a home calendar, a wall clock, measuring cups and even a ruler.  These are all mathematical tools. Incorporating the fun factor into your child’s maths learning experience cultivates a growth mindset and boosts their development of a clear concept of mathematics. 
  5. Maths in real life:  Make them aware of the relevance of maths in everyday life.  Challenge them to recognise and solve real-life maths problems while you’re out together.  Allow them to sum up the total cost of items while out shopping, calculate change or even how many of a particular item will be needed to last through the month.  Your child will show more interest in mastering mathematical concepts if they realise the value thereof. 
  6. Learn the vocabulary of mathematics: Learning the vocabulary of maths is the doorway to understanding more advanced concepts and getting used to mathematics in general. It is always a good idea to check if they know the definition of new terms. If your child cannot define the terms, help them by using examples and make them solve simple problems to demonstrate how the term is used. 
  7. Guide them on how to tackle their math homework: The goal of math homework is to reinforce the skills learned in class. Get them into a habit of studying the textbook and worksheet examples first before starting on the assignment. Redo some examples first, making sure that they understand the lesson, before starting the assignment.

 

 

 

 

As a parent, strive to make your child realise the beauty of maths and how to embrace it. We need to make them understand that the better one’s abilities are in maths, the more successful one can be. On top of it all, mathematics also offers rational thinking habits to make life easier.  Our children should learn to use maths as a helpful tool in daily activities and problems.

It is always a great idea to engage with initiatives such as GT Scholars as a method to utilise resources to enhance your child’s academic career.  GT Scholars is an accelerated learning programme aimed at achieving academic success.  Our tutors and mentors are professional and well informed in their respective study fields, and can provide the perfect assistance to your child’s academic needs.  If you would like to ensure that your child is set up for academic success, you should contact us for more information.  We offer private tuition in Maths, Science and English as well as a Mentorship programme.   Register your interest here or give us a call on 020 881 68066.

 

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

Parents

There is no set manual to follow when 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 them back inside the box, washing dishes, mowing the lawn or walking the dog.

Give them pocket money:

Give children pocket money, whether in the form of payment for chores, they have completed or an allowance they get weekly or monthly. You can sit down with them and work out a weekly budget, teaching them how to set out money for spending and saving. 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.

Teach them not to 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 must know 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 know 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. If we do not praise them this way, their confidence can suffer a knock when they try and don’t succeed at first. 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.

Remember to be their role model:  

Our children look up to us as their parents from the day they are born. 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 learn how GT scholars can help your child reach even higher heights.

Growth Mindset: The one thing you or a private tutor should be teaching your child

Growth Mindset: The one thing you or a private tutor should be teaching your child

Growth mindset

Dr Carol Dweck said it best: “If parents want to give their children a gift, the best thing they can do is teach them to love challenges, be intrigued by mistakes, enjoy the effort, and keep on learning.” The Psychology Professor from Stanford University presented and popularised this philosophy in 2007 through her book, Mindset. Here, she explains her very profound yet simple idea – the differentiation between two mindsets: fixed and growth mindsets.

Mindsets shape how we perceive our abilities and impact how we view the world around us. With a fixed mindset, a person believes that their core personality, talents, skills, and overall intelligence are fixed traits. In a fixed-mindset world, you are either perceived as intelligent or simple-minded. On the other hand, a person with a growth mindset believes that skills and talents can be developed through consistent effort and persistence. This mindset makes you more receptive to learning and improving through hard work. Essentially, this mindset lends itself to the idea that there are no smart or simple-minded people but those who have or have not unlocked their intellectual potential.

As a parent, you don’t only want your child to be successful, but you want them to have the know-how to handle setbacks when they occur. Their journey to success should be a fulfilling and satisfying one. This will only be possible if your child takes on a growth mindset. There are a few ways that this can be done. Let’s look at some practices you can adopt today:

Growth Mindset Role Model

Take charge of the language you use about yourself. As a parent, you must remember that developing a growth mindset within your child starts with you. So, show your child your excitement for challenges and how mistakes can be a learning opportunity. Share instances in your life journey of success, failure and challenges.

Brain Knowledge

Showing your child how the brain works positively affects how they view learning. Teach them that the brain is a muscle that will grow bigger and stronger through continuous hard work, perseverance and practice. They will know that it is adaptable and can change and increase depending on how we use it. Equipping your child with the knowledge that the brain has an extraordinary ability to change and evolve based on our experiences illustrates that we have a lot of potentials to develop into much more than we ever believed. GT Scholars has an interesting article on Study Habits which is an interesting read on this topic.

Embracing Mistakes

Your child needs to know that making mistakes is a natural part of a learning journey. This approach facilitates building self-confidence in the mere act of trying anything. Your child will be less anxious about whether he will make a mistake. Another excellent method is to have daily learning discussions with your child, whether in the car, during dinner or bedtime. Ask questions like what they learned that day, what mistakes they made, and what they learned from it.

Power of “YET”

It is important to have an ear-on-the-ground approach to monitoring your child’s language. This will give you an indication of whether they are thinking with a growth or fixed mindset. Teach your child not to focus on their shortcomings but on the next step to their achievement. Look out for words such as “I can’t”, “ I don’t”, and “I won’t”. When your parental radar picks up on this, complete it by saying ‘yet’. Try to introduce story books where the character learns to do something he did not think he could do or where he learned from mistakes.

Hard work and persistence pay off, but the underlying secret to success is obtaining and maintaining a growth mindset. Use these four tips and start nurturing a growth mindset in your child today. It will allow them to go through life knowing they are in control of their ability and can continually improve by learning.

Get started by looking into GT Scholars programmes that support your child in reaching their full potential here! The GT Scholars programme wants to help young people aged 11-16 to achieve excellent grades and reach their future goals.

Should luck play a part in your child’s academic success?

Should luck play a part in your child’s academic success?

Growth mindset Parents Private tutoring What's new?

Luck is an attractive idea, as it means believing that your success was brought about by chance rather than through your own actions.

The problem with chance is that it is a misunderstood force that cannot be controlled or predicted. No one can tell or choose when you will be blessed with good luck or when you will be harmed by bad luck, and so it makes it a very unreliable factor.

On the other hand, choosing to rely on your own actions gives you control over the outcome and your future. Thus, if you decide to put in the hard work yourself and to persevere towards a goal, the outcome is more than likely to be successful.

Your child’s academic success is very important. It unlocks the potential of your child by providing the right knowledge and tools to achieve a certain goal or career path. Thus, a well nurtured and successful schooling career ensures a bright and prosperous future. Since academic success is of such great importance, it becomes clear that the last thing a parent should do is leave it to chance. So, here are a few ways that you can overrule luck and take control of and predict your child’s academic success:

  • Personally, monitor your child’s progress: It is important for you to personally keep track of your child’s academic success. A child in the UK spends only about 22% of their week in school. This means that more than three-quarters of their week is being spent at home with you. This shows that you have a far greater influence on your children than their teachers, and you should take an active role in their education, beyond just going to parent-teacher meetings and school functions. Set aside a specific time, daily or weekly, to ask them about their academics and how they are doing in school to keep yourself updated and involved. You can also check on their current school work and assignments regularly so that you can find out whether they are struggling with any subject or topic.
  • Support their aspirations and goals: Your child needs to have aspirations, dreams, goals and plans, whether they are academic or extracurricular. You should regularly ask them about these aspirations so that you can support and advise them. You can support them by making sure that they are doing what they need to do in order to achieve these goals, or you can provide them with extra help or classes. For example, if they want to be a scientist when they grow up, make sure that they are taking the appropriate science subjects in school, enrol them in scientific extracurricular clubs or activities, and provide them with access to helpful books and resources. You can also enlist the help of a mentor who has experience in the field that your child is aspiring to be part of, who will be able to provide educated advice and wise counsel so that they can make their dream a reality.
  • Support them if or when they fail: It is very likely that your child will not succeed in everything that they do in or out of school. Failure, after all, is always going to be part of life and your child should be taught that failure is not the end of the world. Therefore, as a parent, you need to make sure that you are supportive and understanding when your child fails. If you are too hard on them, it will develop a fear of failure which will discourage them from trying new things. Richard Branson, the famous founder of the Virgin Group, believes that the people that are generally considered more fortunate or luckier than others are usually also the ones that are prepared to take the greatest risks and to not be afraid of trying something new.
  • Praise them for every effort they make: Research done by Dr Carol Dweck, a leading researcher in the field of motivation and a Professor of Psychology at Stanford University, has shown that sometimes parents can negatively affect their child’s academic development by focusing too much on achievement, and not on the effort made to reach the goal. This will lead to a fixed mindset, where they will believe that they cannot improve their intelligence, character or creativity no matter the effort they make. On the other hand, if you praise them for the effort they put into reaching a goal, it forms a growth mindset, where they firmly believe that extra effort can make them more intelligent, and they will not be afraid of any challenge.
  • Nurture and encourage a good work ethic: It is important to teach your child about the importance of hard work and independent learning. This prevents slacking in school, and they will independently choose to succeed academically. You must make sure that they are doing their homework and assignments properly and on time. You can do this by keeping a record of their homework activity, removing distractions such as technology and social media if need be, and helping them to come up with a daily schedule so that they can manage their time effectively.
  • Enlist a tutor if needed: If you find that your child is struggling with a certain subject or falling behind in school, and it is beyond your expertise or help, it is best to provide them with a professional tutor. The tutor would able to provide knowledgeable assistance with the specific subject or problem since they are well-educated in their respective field. They will also provide personalized care for your child’s academic needs, using a uniquely tailored approach to help your child achieve success. Furthermore, since you are paying them directly, you can closely monitor if the tutor is making a significant positive difference in your child’s academic career or not.

As you can see, your child’s academic success should not just be left up to the teacher, and it definitely should not be left up to luck. You as a parent can really make a meaningful difference. By taking an active role and providing consistent help, your child will feel supported and able to succeed.

GT Scholars really believes in going beyond luck and putting in the hard work to achieve academic success. Our tutors and mentors are professional and well-informed in their respective study fields, and can provide the perfect assistance to your child’s academic needs. If you want to make sure that your child is set up for academic success, you should contact us for more information. We offer private tuition in Maths, Science and English and a mentorship programme. Register your interest here or give us a call on 02088168066.

Parents: How to Secure Your Child’s Future in an Unpredictable World

Parents: How to Secure Your Child’s Future in an Unpredictable World

Parents

Last month the British public voted to leave the EU. Whether you are for or against the UK’s break away from the union, it’s safe to say that the future of the young generation is relatively less stable now than before the EU referendum. Fears for the economy are impacting an education system that has already seen its fair share of changes this year. Add to this just how much technology has changed the job market over the past twenty years with the rise of location-independent workforces and quicker communications, and it’s clear that the best way to secure your child’s future is to prepare them for an unpredictable world.

So how can you tutor preparation in your child? The best way is to raise them with skills that can benefit their attitude towards their future rather than their knowledge about it. Learning is essential, but motivation is critical.

5 Skills for Young People to Help Secure Their Future

1. A Growth Mindset

Fostering a growth mindset in your child will reduce their fears that some students are just naturally more gifted and talented than them and encourage them to overcome unpredictable obstacles rather than let them hold them back.

Not only does a growth mindset help students overcome failing a test or experiencing drastic structural changes to a school system. It will also encourage persistence when the time comes to find a job.

2. Digital skills

Computer literacy is as important today as being able to read and write in the 20th century. Even professions that appear to rely on manual labour will have digital administration systems, and at the very least, applying for work and managing your banking requires a certain level of experience online.

To prepare your child even more, free online coding classes and a number of other free online courses are available.

See more: The world of free online education.

3. An entrepreneurial mindset

In some ways, many of the qualities of an entrepreneurial mindset work alongside a growth mindset, such as learning from failure, persistence and a thirst for knowledge. But fostering entrepreneurial thinking in your child will also set them on a path of goal setting, learning how to find and use resources to meet those goals, and the independence to stand behind their entrepreneurial intentions with conviction.

4. Curiosity

Here at GT Scholars, we don’t believe that curiosity killed the cat. We believe that a child’s conscious effort to learn more about topics that interest them will set them up for a successful future in which they can learn independently of school systems, private tuition and parental guidance.

Please encourage your child to ask questions, travel and experience different cultures, learn new languages and try other hobbies because their curiosity in these areas will show them a world outside their own. Preparing for an unpredictable world can be helped significantly by showing your child that the world won’t just change in the future but is already a melting pot of differences from country to country.

5. Workplace Agility

Alongside the ever-changing nature of the workplace environment is the growing need for employees who can manage various task areas rather than just specialising in one. Your child’s success in an advertising role may, in the future, require them also to wear the design hat, write copy, and conduct outreach to digital media outside of traditional news and magazines, such as online blogs, Instagram influencers and musicians.

Developing workplace agility, in essence, the ability to switch between various jobs and job roles rather than remaining in one company department for 20 years, will help them build another skill to prepare them for success in an unpredictable world.

The GT Scholars programme is an after-school programme for ambitious young people who want to achieve top grades at school, get into top universities and enter competitive careers. We hope this is helpful to any parent worried about their child’s future in an unpredictable world, especially after the recent EU referendum. But we also believe in character education and promote this by teaching perseverance, resilience, confidence and self-motivation to prepare students for a successful future no matter what happens.

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Are students becoming too reliant on private tutors?

Are students becoming too reliant on private tutors?

Private tutoring

There are many reasons why hiring a private tutor might seem like a good idea for your children.

If they’re genuinely struggling in a subject, they can provide the support and guidance they need to improve results. Below are five ways parents can ensure that their children do not become too reliant on private tutors.

1. Build your child’s confidence

Children build confidence by finding ways to solve the problem independently. Therefore, as a parent, hiring a private tutor can communicate to your child that they cannot excel by themselves. This could dent their confidence, especially if the tutor doesn’t work in a style that builds their confidence. However, you can still help them by pointing them toward valuable resources and finding a tutoring programme that supports them to do this.

2. Help your child become an independent learner

This might include creating study guides or notes on where to find certain reference materials. To become successful at the university level, for example, students need to develop their level of independence and be able to think for themselves. An excellent private tutor should be able to help prioritize your child’s time and work in a manner that allows them fully understand how to work independently.

3. Help your child take accountability

Part of being a student is taking responsibility for your actions. Any successful marks could be misinterpreted with a private tutor helping your child. This will make them feel that the good marks directly result from the help you paid for. Equally, if the results are poor, then they’re likely to be under the illusion that the tutor didn’t educate them well enough to be able to pass.

4. Help your child develop time management skills

Time management is a life skill which is crucial for success. Children must understand proper planning and how to stay focused. By teaching your children adequate time management, they’ll have more time to make educated decisions about their learning. Additionally, it helps them to reduce stress.

5. Motivate your child to succeed

A lot of pressure is placed on children to do well and achieve success. Therefore, for them to cope with the workload, they need to be motivated. Setting goals can be a great way to encourage them and help them to excel in their chosen subjects.

GT Scholars is a social enterprise that provides courses, workshops and a year ­round programme for young people aged 11-­16. One of our core goals is to help our students become independent learners. We provide them the skills and strategies they need to achieve their aspirations. If you’re interested in private tuition or interested in one of our courses, then get in touch with us here.