As a tutor, the most exciting, emerging area of my work is parent involvement. More and more parents are reaching out to me for information, skills and tools they can use in supporting their children’s learning. And, I am always encouraging parents sit in on tutoring sessions so they can refresh on the subject matter and learn new strategies.
All learning, including tutoring, is most effective when it’s backed up with daily, active involvement from parents and/or other caring adults.
I typically see each of my students once per week for one hour, and I always strive to pack as much value into this hour as is humanly possible. But significant educational impact comes from then adding in regular practice and consistent review, routines which need to be enforced by a mature person who is around on a daily basis.
Believe me, I know how hard it can be for parents to work with their own kids! (I’ve got grown kids myself, and homeschooling them was the toughest teaching gig I’ve ever had!)
This Education Week article discusses the three main reasons why parents hesitate to get involved with their kids’ homework:
- Parents don’t know the material themselves
- Kids resist or refuse help from parents
- Parents don’t have enough time
These are all valid and important issues, and I’m going to discuss and offer suggestions for each one of them in my next three posts.
Meanwhile, here’s Annie Murphy Paul with a super-clear explanation of the relative importance of parenting vs schooling. (Yes, good schools and teachers are important…but, kids only spend about 15% or their time in school!…which means that if we want our kids to learn better, we need to focus on what they’re doing during all those not-in-school hours, when parents are in charge).
[photo of painting: “The Tutor,” Getty Center, Los Angeles CA]