22 October 2007


Every child is unique!
There can be many reasons why a child does not perform well in academics. Whatever the reason, parents hunt for a tutor. Many a time, parents expect tutors to perform miracles with their wards just before exams. Understandably, the parents have either no time to spare or the children do not listen to their parents. It is common to note that a student disagrees with his parent on a lesson or on the teaching methodology. For this reason, some schools recommend that a parent should refrain from teaching at home. But when the parents are summoned to the school for a report of the child, the parents panic when told that their child is not doing as well as his classmates. Some schools insist on the learning by play method and no exams upto 6th grade. Books are not sent home either and the parents are clueless about the child's performance. Some children get cold feet at the mere mention of exams when they suddenly have to write one in 7th grade. Some do not know how to manage their time in an exam and invariably leave out a section of the question paper. Some students are able to score well in the tests where few portions are given, but when a whole term's portion is given for the exam, they do not perform as well.
A tutor can certainly help his student with time management, better organisational skills, development of a positive attitude which reinforces the student's self confidence. Engaging the best tutor one can find, is only half the battle won.
But what of the student? Does he really excel in academics after a new tutor begins?
In my experience as a tutor of many years, it is always seen that the attitude of the student is the biggest factor in determining his progress. "You can only take a horse to the water but cannot make it drink " is a common saying which is very apt in this case. Students who desired to do well, put in their best and eventually did extremely well with the help of tutors. But those that were not motivated enough, did as before or sometimes, even more badly. So, what attitudes should a learner have, or how can we help change attitudes?
The answer lies in the fact that the attitudes of the student is closely related to the parent's belief systems.The parents of those that did well did not give up on them. Encouraging words and unconditional love was like magic potion to them. Parents believed in their child's potential. Harsh words were never used to make them feel small. They were never reprimanded in front of their friends in comparison to their friend's children who performed very well. They were not belittled in front of a sibling who did better. All this can be damaging and the child will stop trying after some time. A tutor cannot perform magic if the parent keeps belittling the child."You can do it!" ,"Good!","Excellent!" is what a child wants to hear while learning. Bill Cosby, who brings out the best in children on his talk shows seconds that. I sincerely hope you encourage your child today and everyday. It will help build his confidence.

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