Does Your Child Need Help with Math?

Here are seven steps that will help.

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1. Who can help - Reading this article indicates you believe your child may need help. So, the question arises: Who should you use...yourself, another student, a teacher or a tutor who specializes in the area of math.

2. Picking a tutor - A lot of personal information, both about you, the child and the prospective tutor, is involved. You want to pick someone that the child can feel comfortable with; this may be someone that the child knows. It is important that the child be able to relate to the person who is helping them. That is why it may be good for a teacher, a friend or another student that they know, to be the one used to tutor them. You play a big role in this, even if you don't get involved in the tutoring. You are the parent, the child looks to you for that comfort zone until he or she gets to know the tutor well and then the child looks to you to make sure that they are getting what they really need. It is obvious the child has a need and he or she does not know the solution. That is your job. You need to be involved and the tutor needs to know your involvement. This helps the tutor relate to the child in knowing that the parents are involved. A caring parent/child relationship assures the tutor that the backup is there even when the tutor is not. This relationship is more important than the tutor himself.

3. Picking the type of tutor - There are many ways of tutoring; it may be a classroom setting, a small group or possibly a one-on-one in the home, library, classroom or some facility where it is quiet. It can be someone that may talk to them on the phone, writes letters back and forth. A new way of tutoring is online, by using a system where they can communicate visually as well as audibly. By using a type of white board, the interaction between the child and the tutor can be seen as well as heard.

You need to know the best fit for your child because you want to help your child get going and get back on track so they can be comfortable in the regular program.

4. Locating a tutor - There are many resources to help find a tutor. You can check with your local school, your local college, look in the newspaper or with employment agencies. You can use the new means of locating lots of information… the Internet!

5. Evaluating the tutor - The person that is going to tutor your child obviously needs to have the knowledge of that particular area of study. They also need to have some references that you can check. They need to be the type of person that is honest and gentle but firm. You need a person that understands your child, how they think and how they work so the child can be comfortable with and be able to relate to the tutor.

6. Working with the tutor - After you find someone that you can relate to, that your child is at ease with and someone that you feel has the knowledge and the ability to work with your child, it is important that you set up some goals that will help your child learn how to grasp the areas that are being taught and how to maintain a good feeling about what he or she has learned. You also need to understand what the tutor expects of you so that the two of you are a team working together for your child.

7. Long term goals for your child - After a period of time of the tutor having worked with your child, and you and the child feel confident that this is a good pairing of people, you need to look at what may be in the future for your child. You need to have some long-term goals. What are you trying to accomplish? Is the child gaining the knowledge to go ahead and continue on in this particular area? Is the child confident in the knowledge gained and able to progress in the subject without further tutoring?

You may want to set some longer-term goals, a month, maybe to the end of the school year, or possibly into the summer months. You may want to look ahead as far as two or three years, depending on what you see the child’s needs to be. All of this, so that the child can go on to higher levels of learning and do it successfully without a tutor.

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