Preparing for an Academic Tutoring Session

If you are engaging an academic tutor for your child, you will want to make sure to get the most value  from each session. The academic tutor you have chosen is only part of the equation – you must also have a student with a good attitude who is well-prepared.

Curriculum It is important that your child bring his school books and assignments with him.  Most academic tutors will be able to teach your child how to solve simultaneous equations with no preparation, for instance, but it’s important that he understands the way your student’s particular book is presenting this concept in order to tailor the explanation.  Otherwise, your student may understand the academic tutor’s approach but be totally confused when he returns to class and is facing his instructor’s alternate method. If possible, explain to your child’s teacher that he is meeting with an academic tutor and request a copy of his text (and solutions manual, if available) to loan to his tutor. Many textbooks are also available in digital format – which is great if you have an online academic tutor. Give your academic tutor a call or email before your session to let him know what you’ve covered since your last session.  Otherwise, the first part of your academic tutoring session will be wasted on literally “getting on the same page.”   If your student will be tutoring for an entire semester, it’s also a good idea to get a copy of the class syllabus and test schedule for your academic tutor. Your academic tutor is then able to help your student schedule his time and pace himself in preparing for tests, mid-terms and finals.   Communication Ask your teacher if he/she is willing to share his email address with your academic tutor.  Sometimes it may be helpful for them to communicate directly. Most teachers are anxious to see their students succeed and are very willing to cooperate with the academic tutoring process as it really helps ease their workload.   Attitude In addition to communication and curriculum preparation, be sure your student has their attitude prepared for academic tutoring. Try to schedule academic tutoring sessions when your child will not be too tired or hungry (providing a snack beforehand if necessary). Many academic tutoring sessions occur right after school because it’s more convenient to the parents and tutor, but students are often burned out by that time. This is one advantage of online academic tutoring – it can happen in a very stress-free environment (like your child’s room) and can be at a time when they are refreshed.

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