Summer Tutoring a Leg up for the Struggling Student

School’s out! It’s time for swimming, surfing, vacations…and Math and Reading? As an elementary school teacher (20 years in June!), I believe that a Summer spent well, can literally make or break an upper elementary/middle school student for the following school year!

If your child had difficulty with a particular subject this year, you need to visit your child’s teacher, and discuss the areas of concern for that subject. For example, if your child needs assistance in Math…is it fractions, decimals, percents, measurements, algebraic thinking, or integers that made the year difficult? What skills should be mastered in order to be successful in the next grade?

Armed with this information, find a tutor! College students, and even high school students can be good , inexpensive tutors, and your child will be more receptive because they, too are “young”. If you so choose, YOU, the parent, may also tutor your child using the internet as a resource, or a school supply store for materials. The areas to be addressed during the Summer are the ones indicated by your child’s teacher, and also the information sent home to you from standardized /end-of-the year testing.

I find that short tutoring sessions twice or thrice a week is enough! Your child can still take swimming lessons, have picnics, and go to the beach. Summer activities are an important part of the exciting season, and a child should never be denied this relaxing respite. You can also, as a parent use Summer travel as a way to educate your child. For Social Studies, visit a war memorial, a museum, or a Civil War reinactment /Medieval Fair. For Science, go on a nature hike, visit a planetarium, or grow some plants in the warm sun! During the lazy, hazy days of this season, visit the library often, buy kids’ magazines, and read the backs of cereal boxes. Use measurement while trying out new Summer recipes, putting together that backyard pool, and figuring out how long the slide is at the park.

If your child enters a new grade filled with a bit more confidence, and the first bit of academia doesn’t frighten him/her, then success won’t be far away! They say “first impressions” are important…and they are! If your child experiences success right away in a “new, more difficult” grade, then who knows what heights can be reached. A little Summer practice goes a long way when the school bells begin to ring in Fall!