Ways you or a tutor can help your child excel without being pushy

Ways you or a tutor can help your child excel without being pushy

Improving attainment Mentoring What's new? Young people

As parents, carers and teachers, we all know and understand that children have different mindsets, learning abilities and motivation levels which we need to consider and support when it comes to education. It is very important that we do this without demanding too much of them. Nowadays it is thought that 5 good GCSE’s are required to give your child access to a good university, and providing your child an edge is considered by many as the answer.

Most parents will admit that they have been pushy at some point or another. Some might confess that despite their best efforts they’ve seen no change in their child’s behaviour or attitude towards a certain matter.  Being pushy generally leads to negative attitudes, rebellion and puts the child under enormous pressure and lowers self-esteem. Demanding extra hours of study when a child is tired or pushing for extra study time over weekends are both examples of being over demanding. Another example is insisting that homework is done on a Friday afternoon, especially after your child had a long and challenging week at school.  A rested brain will be able to take in more information, whereas an over-tired brain will not be able to take in any more information due to information overload.

Parenting does not come with a textbook, especially considering no two children are ever the same. Parents must often rely on trial and error to establish which methods are the most effective when it comes to communicating effectively with their children.  

We have a few ideas that you might want to consider if you would like to give your child a bit of extra motivation to excel in whatever they take on.

 

Knowing your child’s intelligence:
Dr Howard Gardner, a professor of education at Harvard University, developed a theory called ‘Multiple Intelligence”.  His theory suggests that there are 9 different types of intelligence that accounts for a broader range of human potential.  Perhaps knowing your child’s type of intelligence will help you distinguish from which angle to approach your child. According to his theory, the intelligence categories are:

  • Verbal-linguistic intelligence – someone who has good verbal skills
  • Logical-mathematical intelligence – someone who can think abstractly and conceptually
  • Spatial-visual intelligence – someone who can think in images and visualise accurately
  • Bodily-kinesthetic intelligence  – someone who can control their body movements
  • Musical intelligence – someone who can compose and produce rhythm, pitch and timber
  • Interpersonal intelligence – someone who detects and responds appropriately to the moods of others
  • Intrapersonal – someone who is self-aware and who is connected with their inner feelings
  • Naturalist intelligence – someone who is able to recognize objects in nature and categorize them
  • Existential intelligence – someone who takes on deep questions about the existence of mankind.

Become more involved
In order to excel, a support system is needed.  The first person in line is you as a parent. Set aside a time each day or week and talk to your child about what tests or exams are coming up and if there are any subjects they feel they will need to pay extra attention to. Support homework and exams by drawing up tests or asking questions.  Try to be more involved with projects and functions. Provide the items necessary to get the homework done.  Your role is to provide support and guidance. Teach, coach, mentor! Stay away from telling them what to do.  Instead,  allow your child to show and explain what needs to be done, with you acknowledging and or making suggestions for improvement.

The importance of reading
Reading is the key to lifelong learning. A love for reading should be introduced to your child from a young age. Reading can be a fun activity. Do research on books that match your child’s interest and suggest them to your child. Another great method is to also read the book and make it a topic of conversation and express your opinions on characters and happenings in the book. Allow your child to suggest a  couple of books as well. This way you also set a good example and showing your child that reading can be fun. Reading will definitely improve their general knowledge and can also inspire them or spark a new idea.

Your attitude towards education.
Children are influenced by the opinions of that of their parents. Therefore, if you have a positive attitude towards education, your child is most likely to adopt that mindset too. If you regard a good education as important so will your child. Showing a positive interest can spark enthusiasm and lead them to the very important understanding that learning can be enjoyable and rewarding and in the end, well worth the efforts. Motivate them by giving them tips on how you used to study and how well it worked for you. Always have a ‘can do’ attitude when discussing subjects and exam related topics with your child.

Create a balance
It is very important to create and encourage a balance of active learning such as sports, music visits museums and socialises with friends as well as quiet learning such as reading and homework. Your child should not feel as if they have no time to socialise and have fun. They need to be able to distinguish between when it is time to relax and when the time has come to work.  Exam time can be a very challenging and stressful time for your child. Make sure your child is coping with the pressure. Sit down with your child and plan the preparation time for the exam together. This way you can ensure your child has a study guideline and that he won’t feel alone and pressurised and had ample time to prepare for exams.

GT Scholars is a not-for-profit organisation that aims to improve social mobility and help young people between the ages of 11-16 reach their dreams and aspirations.Sign up to our newsletter to stay up to date with our workshops, enrichment activities and our after-school tutoring programs and find out how GT Scholars can help your child excel in their school work and prepare for the GCSE exams.

7 Benefits of One-to-one Online Tutoring

7 Benefits of One-to-one Online Tutoring

In The Know

It is a known fact that students perform better when receiving one to one tutoring.  Online tutoring is growing in popularity, and with reason. It can be just as effective as traditional tutoring. Here are 7 benefits of one-to-one tutoring, to name a few. It is very important to remember that within a classroom environment students may often shy away from asking a question to gain clarity on a topic. The student might be afraid of what his peers might think or perhaps the student is an introvert and does not want to speak up in front of his peers.

1.  It makes distance irrelevant
Due to the flexibility of online private learning, logistics are irrelevant as both the student and tutor have the option of scheduling and learning from anywhere, as long as they have an internet connection. Students have the added benefit of being able to study when it best suits them. This gives them the ability to have time to study and still be able to partake in hobbies, sports and other extracurricular activities. Students spend most of their day in a formal learning environment and with after-school tutoring they might not feel up for entering another formal learning space. With online tutoring, they can still receive after-school support but they are in charge of the location.  It can be somewhere informal and most importantly, where they feel comfortable.

2. Individual attention
Just as with traditional tutoring, one-to-one online tutoring is also able to provide the student with that much needed individual attention. One-to-one tutoring session builds confidence and helps the student be less intimidated by exams. It is a great way to give your child extra support with material that he finds challenging, whether it is in Maths, English or Science. Every young person has a different learning style. Taking this into account an online tutor can tailor lessons to adapt to the students learning style and pace. Students receiving individual attention can drive the conversation, and control the question that they want to ask. An online tutoring session creates a stress-free environment where the student experiences minimum fear of failure.

3.  Tutor availability
Online tutoring opens a world of tutors that hold academic degrees and have experience in a professional field. Online tutors are passionate about sharing their knowledge with students, in return making the students excited to learn more about the subject and passionate about learning in general. Communication technologies available today makes it easier for online tutors to connect with their students, and offer students many different ways of communicating with those who impart knowledge that a normal classroom would not. With online tutoring, a student can contact their tutor by sending a quick email or text via an instant messaging application if they require clarification regarding certain class material or assignments. With face-to-face tutoring, the student has to wait for the next face-to-face tutoring session before getting help with questions.

4.  Better grades
One-to-one online tutoring is effective in helping young people improve their grades as it makes them more motivated and engaged, discussing problems and trying to figure out the answers for themselves. Online tutors also have the opportunity to reinforce lessons and creating an effective learning environment. This results in students being equipped with the tools to succeed in their exams and having the tools to succeed at school, university and beyond. Online tutoring increases the student’s sense of responsibility as they cannot copy someone else’s work or rely on the ideas of their peers. This makes them take on a more serious approach when it comes to fully mastering the materials.

5.  Private tutoring provides additional information
Online one-to-one tutoring not only provides the student with the opportunity to address the things they need help with, but it also gives them the opportunity to lead the conversation topic to match their interests. They are given tasks and materials which are different from the material given at school and can also choose their own additional reading lists if they wanted to. This often helps a student to perceive the topic from a different point of view making them understand the topic better. A gifted child, for instance, can be stimulated by the private lessons they received as they would go beyond a normal classroom syllabus.Online tutoring can go beyond improving a child’s marks in school and can help them set and achieve life goals. This can result from having tutors and mentors who provide the tools to set and achieve said goals.

6.  Regular feedback on Academic Progress
An online tutor can provide parents with regular feedback on their child’s progress and address any areas of concern. Some online tutoring companies provide parents and carers with weekly or monthly reports on their child’s progress. This eases the concerns some parents may have of their child’s progress and also helps them to evaluate the effectiveness of the online tuition.

7. Online one-to-one tutoring is cost effective
Private tuition can be costly and not everyone can afford a traditional tutor. Online tutoring makes equality teaching available to more students. For a much lower fee, every student can gain access to quality online tutoring.

 Given the information we now have regarding private online lessons, it’ almost seems as a matter of necessity to have children enrolled in such programmes for them to better succeed in an ever-changing world that requires constant learning. Online learning can be a powerful tool that parents should opt for if their child is in need of help.

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.

 

Meet one of our volunteer mentors – Jason

Meet one of our volunteer mentors – Jason

Volunteer roles Volunteers What's new? Young people

Our volunteers are amazing people that are passionate about making a difference in education. We would like you to get to know who they are and what they do at GT Scholars, so every few weeks we conduct an interview with one of them. Here is the most recent interview with one of our volunteer mentors, Jason Luu.

Why did you decide to volunteer with GT Scholars?
I decided to volunteer with GT Scholars to make a difference in my local community. Having already done some work to help other communities in different countries, I came to the realisation that I should also be contributing to my local community. I also recognised that providing support to people when they are still young can make a significant difference, as this is something that I was not fortunate enough to have when I was younger. If I had the opportunity to be mentored when I was a teenager, I can only imagine how much more I could have achieved by now or how many disasters I could have avoided.

Tell me a little bit about you and what got you to where you are today?
I was born in London, my parents were refugees from another country. This had a huge impact on me and my upbringing. When I was younger, I was embarrassed by my heritage because it was so foreign to western culture. But as I got older and matured, I embraced my background and decided to stand up and stand out rather than follow the crowd. I more took control of my life and did not live according to other people’s expectations. This has become a big factor in getting me to where I am today. It turns out that my own expectations for myself were wildly beyond other people’s expectations of me.

I also have role models who I can look up to and inspire me. Some of them are alive today and some are historical figures. Having these role models allow me to draw energy, ideas and behaviours from. If anyone reading this doesn’t have a role model, then you better start looking.

Why do you think mentoring is valuable to young people?
Traditionally, mentoring is something that has been reserved for older, professional and sometimes even wealthy people. Many of the most powerful leaders in our society have or had mentors. So why can’t the rest of us have access to this resource?

Many young people today from my local community have parents who are very busy working or studying, and their friends are usually in the same boat as them. Thus, having a mentor who has the right experience would really help with some of the things that they struggle with, and would help to develop smarter behaviours and habits. This additional guidance and development can really help a young person to be successful in all that they do. I really believe that if I had a mentor when I was younger, I would not have had to experience so many difficulties in my life. I would have been able to get where I am today sooner or even be more successful sooner. It is the aim of all good mentors is to guide their mentee to reach their full potential.

What part of the volunteering process have you found the most fulfilling?
Seeing students and their parents working together, and it provides extra support to traditional parenting.

What do you think is the most important skill to have as a volunteer mentor?
I think showing a genuine interest in someone else’s future and actually caring about their happiness is an important skill. It is not just about making sure that they are successful, but also about helping to define what true happiness means to them and their family.

Jason briefly attended university before deciding to drop out and start his professional life earlier. He now works in the headquarters of the Department of Health, holding CEOs, directors and major leaders in healthcare and education accountable to the taxpayer as a Senior Contract Manager. He has spent the last 3 years dedicated to promoting equality and fighting social injustice at his place of work and at home in his local community.

GT Scholars is a social enterprise that provides tutoring, mentoring and enrichment to young people from a range of backgrounds. To find out more about our volunteering opportunities, please get in touch with us. 

Parents: Local libraries are closing and what this means for educational equality

Parents: Local libraries are closing and what this means for educational equality

Improving attainment Narrowing the gap Parents Social mobility What's new?

Recently, the BBC reported that around 343 local libraries in the UK closed in the last six years. The rest of the article continues to discuss the effects this has on the professionalism of the government service, but little mention was made as to what these closures mean for educational equality.

No matter how gifted and talented a student or child may be, or whether a student receives private tuition or not, access to educational resources is vital to the nurture of a growth mindset. The British government acknowledged the important role of libraries when they approved The Public Libraries and Museums Act in 1964, an act that made the provision of a library service a duty of the local authorities.

And yet, the number of libraries available to local communities continues to decrease year after year. Government spending cuts, that have seen an exchange of full-time staff for volunteers taking library roles, have been justified due to a decrease in the overall number of people visiting local libraries (including children).

But should a drop in library visits lead to a situation in which those communities who benefit the most from them ultimately lose out?

Who is affected?

The Taking Part 2015/16 Quarter 2 Report by the Department for Culture, Media & Sport states that whilst adults from black and minority ethnic groups showed a significant decline in library use along with the white group, the gap between the two groups is widening. To add to this, of the adults interviewed it was those who lived in the most deprived areas that visited the library more than those living in the least deprived areas.

With this report it is instantly clear that deprived communities and groups already performing worse at school, those less likely to have access to private tuition or private schooling, will also suffer more from the closure of local libraries.

It’s all too easy to observe the 21st Century population walking the streets with their heads bent over their mobiles whilst forgetting that there’s still a significant proportion of the population that don’t have personal internet access. A report into the Welsh Libraries service claimed that 50% of respondents visited their local libraries because they had no home computer.

But most importantly, with the need for computer literacy and digital skills in today’s workplace, a lack of access to computers brought about by the fact that local libraries are closing could reduce the employment chances of those that are already unable to afford a personal computer, internet, or private and home tuition. This couldn’t be much clearer than in the following statistics which show that 22% of Welsh library visitors need help to use the computer and 30% use library computers for job hunting.

What this means for educational equality

Perhaps you are reading this blog article online? On a smartphone or laptop? Our ability to research topics online has sped up the process of research for our studies, free book-reading apps make it simple to download new reading material at the click of a button and with affordable smartphones there is less need to visit the local library to use their computers.

But focusing on the declining use of local libraries by a whole population under one government budget, rather than focusing on the need for the service in specific local communities, could impact educational equality as a whole. It would be a terrible shame to limit the job prospects and educational potential of children from those families who can’t afford a home computer or internet, because without equal resources they may continue to lack the funds to provide the same resources to their children in the future.  

At GT Scholars, we know that young people are capable of achieving their full potential if they have the right support and that promoting educational equality is the right thing to do. This is why we offer a high impact tutoring programme in Croydon founded on the belief that every child should have the chance and the choice to succeed academically and in their chosen career.

To find out more about the GT Scholars Programme, why not meet us at one of our information sessions? You can book tickets online by visiting www.gtscholars.org/information-sessions