“Success means having the courage, the determination, and the will to become the person you believe you were meant to be.” – George Sheehan (Quote Source Brainyquote)

It's sometimes surprising for parents to find out that their child may be struggling at school and needing additional educational support. If your child is struggling and at the risk of failing or not keeping up with the class, then it's important to examine along with the school and teachers, the reasons why.  The school wants the best for your child and with their feedback,  parents and educators can often identify where the student can most benefit from extra  support within the classroom and/or  privately. Getting this support early is crucial in helping a child feel motivated and confident in their ability to succeed academically.

If your child is struggling at school, its important to identify where the problems or weaknesses lie. Sometimes it could be attributed to simple boredom, or distraction due to personal family issues and problems, health issues or too many missed classes that they are struggling to catch up with. There are many and varied reasons why children may be struggling at school.  Once these issues are identified its easier to address them and find them the help and support they need.

Identifying The Issue Is the First Step to Solving it!

  1. Your child's teacher will understand precisely why your child is struggling in the classroom so it's important to communicate with them regularly and openly. They may have ideas to help guide your child get back on track.
  2. Your child is the first person you should go to about the problem, be open and supportive, ask them how they are feeling and what they feel they need to help them do better.
  3. Plan a course of action on how you can establish that extra school support for your child. Commit to it.
  4. Communicate with your child and the school teacher consistently to evaluate how things are improving.
Personalized sessions encourage academic brilliance.
Academic experts or Tutors help with exam practice, scholarship or internship applications, study skills and much more. Photo Source: Unsplash

Academic Support Organisations

Academic support available currently are numerous, with varying strategies offered to help support student achievement. The priority of academic support programs is successful and improved student achievement outcomes.   Now more than ever there are a number of academic support organisations available to help your child.

Academic Support Options

  1. Classroom Support

Peer mentoring is a great way to get help students while in the classroom. Peer to peer mentoring is valuable to both students,  it allows and fosters confidence in the mentor student while reinforcing and helping a fellow student improve their understanding. Peer programs will normally be organised by the school during the school year.

  1. In School Support

Study groups are a productive and engaging way for students to not only learn to work together, but also an excellent way to improve and help retain what they have learned.  Again in-school study groups are often organised by the school, but you could also organise one yourself.

  1. Before and After school Support / Holidays and Vacation

Before school or after school can also be a good time to establish extra academic support. Depending on your schedule and preference, it is possible to book tutoring support any time of the day.  It may take certain scheduling changes and organisation on your part but when you see the improvements it will be well worth it.  There are Before and After school clubs run within the school and can involve one to one tutoring or group mentoring, but this depends on your local schools and with recent funding cuts in some provinces, programs like these may no longer be offered. The curriculum always follows the Canadian Provincial guidelines, and is run alongside and in support of the classroom curriculum.

  1. Outside School Support

More and more students seeks academic achievement support outside of the provincial school systems due to a myriad of factors including increasing budget cuts and constraints, which leaves programs and extra student support within the school vulnerable.  But there is a whole world of organisations and strategies that are available to you outside the school system. You can check with your local provincial school authority to get current information on what support is available. You can contact relevant local school boards for free advice on support programs, or you can enrol in a private tutoring centre for online or face to face tutoring sessions.  Museums, libraries and community centres may also have educational programs, and check with your church or community groups that may also offer free tutoring support to their members.

Why Choose Private Tutoring For Academic Support?

Academic success in school and in the learning process is critical to a child's confidence,  motivation and development. Difficulties and challenges in the classroom and in learning can be detrimental to their confidence, and can have a long lasting negative impact. Addressing these issues early is important and necessary in helping the student succeed academically. With increasingly limited resources available to educators, a more challenging curriculum and greater class sizes, students may find themselves having difficulty keeping up with the class. Fortunately there is another option and parents are looking more and more to private tutoring to help address their child's academic needs and challenges.  With the ability to address personal learning issues and weaknesses, a private tutor can go a long way in helping a child reach their true academic potential.  Reasons you may want to choose Private Tutoring are:

  1. Dedication to the individual student's excellence in and ensuring their academic achievement and success.
  2. A very flexible schedule; tutors are often available at convenient times for the parents and student.
  3. A variety of strategies and resources for the individual students preference in learning styles, like online virtual school, face to face private lessons or even group workshops.
  4. Vulnerable or marginalised students, gain the tools to excel despite huge setbacks whether a student was expelled from school, or being an ESL English learner or having a learning disability.
  5. A tutor can be trusted, and most will have a Criminal Record Check (CRC Certificate).
  6. Specialised academic experts, in their fields are why personal tutors , besides having a general knowledge, are highly qualified with a Bachelors or Masters degree.  Tutors can also be invaluable mentors and can counsel on life skills, study skills, and can provide help with exam prep and scholarship or internship applications.
  7. Your child's school can also work in concert with a Private Tutor, ensuring that they follow the Provincial curriculum and create a personalised learning program.
  8. Private tutoring promotes academic empowerment, confidence and collaborative work skills.
  9.  Accountability to the child for his or her own learning with support and guidance of a tutor, students learn how to use academic tools successfully and encourages good study skills and habits.
  10. Encouraging children with a positive attitude to learning,  focused on engagement and retention.
  11. Promotes mental health by limiting stress, anxiety and low self-esteem.

Read more about the benefits of a private tutor.

Selecting An Academic Support Tutor

It can be overwhelming in making the right decision for your child. An easy way to find a tutor for your child is by using the referral of other parents or if possible, hiring a teacher at your child’s school. But if this option is not available and then  you will need to do your own research and due diligence.

Find out how to pick a suitable academic support tutor.

The Most Important Points In Finding a Tutor

Safety – make sure you do your due diligence and get a Criminal Record Check (CRC)  or a check through the RCMP or request it from the potential Tutor, to make sure that they don’t have a criminal record.

Knowledge - experienced in the subject is critical when you are hiring. Request their resume and confirm their qualifications and certifications, like a bachelor’s degree and the amount of relevant experience in the subject.

Communication – Make you sure clearly communicate and set goals for the sessions. Evaluate your child's progress so you can see that they are achieving your target outcomes.

Learning should be fun, engaging and supportive
Tutors can specialise in working with babies, preschool, or kindergarten aged children. Photo Source: Unsplash

 What Age Can I Begin Academic Support For My Child?

Early childhood education is a priority for preschool children. As early as age 2 years old, they are already being academically assessed.

  • Verbal Communication
  • Physical development
  • Social and emotional development
  • Creativity and self-expression
  • Basic literacy and maths

It is never too early to start assessing whether your child is in need of extra support tutoring.  The earlier a parent and teacher can identify problems in learning acquisition,  the better for the child to get the extra support they may need.   Private tutoring will give them access to personal and individualised learning,  which is often a challenge in the increasingly stressed and budget strapped schools. Working with a private tutor can get them back on track with their peers or better , and their academic achievements could further excel with greater confidence and learning skills.

When the mainstream school system is falling short, you can use your parental power to ignite your child’s potential for learning.

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Yvette is a freelance Canadian writer living in Paris. She spends her time between Toronto and Paris and likes to travel and learn. She's the proud mom of two strong minded women and enjoys her free time giving back to her communities.