“I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears and sweat…You ask what is our policy? I will say: it is to wage war, by sea, land, and air with all our might and with all the strength that God can give us…You ask what is our aim? I can answer in one word: It is victory, victory at all costs, victory in spite of all terror, victory, however long and hard the road may be.”
Commit your way to the LORD, Trust also in Him, And He shall bring it to pass.
“But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”
Tips for Successful Tutoring
Everyone knows that American schools are not what they used to be. Once the envy of the world, the U.S has plugged to embarrassing lows, ranking 28th in science among industrialized nations and 35th in math. Educators and politicians have made endless efforts to remedy the ailing system—from forced busing to free lunches to free iPads, to paying students to come to school—the list goes on (and at a cost into the billions). So far, nothing has worked. In fact, with each passing year, the education establishment proposes some new cure for education only for things to continue to get worse—Common Core Standards being the latest.
Christian education has proven to be the exception. Even though teachers in Christian schools make only about half of what their public school counterparts earn, their students consistently outperform public school kids who are the sad casualties of liberal policies and anti-Christian curriculums. This comes as no surprise to us who believe the truth of God’s Word. Proverbs 16:3 says, “Commit to the LORD whatever you do, and He will establish your plans.”
We recommend implementing the following strategies into your tutoring sessions:
- Make Character Growth a Top Priority: As Christian educators, we know just how important character is to academic achievement. Take some time to read through the Seven Lamps of Christian Virtue. As you see, traits that spur students toward gaining an eternal perspective and a Christian worldview are uppermost in character development. In addition, students that grow in qualities such as persistence, diligence, determination, and grit will usually find a way to overcome whatever challenges they may encounter.
- Discover the Root Causes of Academic Problems: There can be several reasons why students fail to live up to their full potential. Low test scores, not turning in assignments, being overly social in class, excessive lateness or absences, or simply not fearing the consequences of failing a class are all common causes for student underachievement. Get to the heart of the problem and deal with it specifically. There is not a “one size fits all” approach to tutoring.
- Establish an Action Plan: If your goal was to get into shape, you wouldn’t expect to achieve your objectives after a time or two in the gym. The same is true of tutoring. The best outcome will occur if you establish a steady tutoring regimen with your students and they stick with it. In fact, research shows that one of the primary reasons why tutoring often fails is because students don’t continue with a well-structured tutoring plan for a reasonable duration of time.
The following should be constructed into your Tutoring Action Plan, in this order:
- Define Your Learning Targets: What does success look like? “When I complete my tutoring, my student will__________________” (Fill in the blank, and be specific). Whatever your objective, it should be clearly defined and articulated.
- Determine How You Will Measure Success: Frequently assess if progress is being made. You may want to check the parent portal on a weekly basis, or have your student complete a daily progress report that is initialed by each teacher to show that assignments are being completed (most schools have daily progress reports). Just make certain that regular and on-going method of assessment is part of your plan of action.
- Build a Tutoring Regimen: Finally, once you have identified your learning objectives and have determined your method for assessing progress, it is time to create tutoring program that will accomplish your goals. What should be your focus: test preparation, homework completion, reviewing notes taken in class? How many days per week are necessary, and which days will be the most productive? For example, if a teacher gives regular exams on Fridays, then it may be a good idea to schedule tutoring on Thursday evenings in order to review the material.
- Emphasize Organization and Study Skills: Note and test-taking strategies, time management, organization skills and even some memorization techniques should be taught in conjunction with the content tutoring. Research shows that tutoring has a greater likelihood of succeeding when study skills are incorporated into the tutoring sessions.
- Have Frequent Correspondence with the Teacher: Most schools allow parents access to class portals so they can monitor their child’s progress. You may want to request access to the log in numbers from your parents. p. You should email or call the teacher periodically for progress updates, and immediately if there are signs that your child might be struggling or falling behind. “
- Hold Your Students to High Standards: Don’t allow your kids to make excuses. The first step toward success at anything is taking responsibility for our missteps and owning our wrong choices. George Washington Carver once said, “Ninety-nine percent of the failures come from people who have the habit of making excuses.”
- Limit All Electronic Devices (Including TV): Ask any teacher: Today’s obsession with video games and Facebook is having a devastating affect on youth of all ages. Many kids are simply addicted to the extent that they are unable to focus on anything else. The Bible teaches temperance (moderation) in all things (1 Cor. 9:25, Gal 5:22-23, 2 Peter 1:6). On school nights, we recommend that kids be granted only 2 hours of electronics maximum, and less if they are failing to meet household standards.
- Encourage a Discipline Plan at Home: Next to daily prayer, discipline in the home is the single most important factor in shaping a child’s future success. Although correction is a major component of biblical discipline, it is not all that it consists of. The New Testament’s definition of discipline also includes instruction, training, guidance, and the cultivation of morals. Discipline is not the same as punishment. Punishment focuses on justice; discipline concentrates on teaching . We strongly warn against most non-biblical approaches to discipline. Two books that we do endorse are Dare to Discipline by James Dobson and Parenting is Heart Work by Turanski and Miller. Also, please see 10 Reasons for Christian Discipline.
- Recognize You’re in a Spiritual Battle: Are you in the fight? We fight spiritual battles using spiritual weapons. Here are 5 things you that can do to have a powerful impact on your child’s success.
- Pray for your students.
- Pray with your students.
- Encourage your parents and students to attend a solid Bible-based church and youth group.
- Live out a Christian example in front of your students.