LE Does It Best: How To Make the Most of Tutoring Time

As discussed in part I, the educators at Learning Essentials (LE) are fully committed to helping every learner achieve his or her goals. The adage, “It takes a village,” truly grounds our methods and mindset around education. We believe that, with the help of our “playbook,” students and families experience academic support through collaboration and communication. Below are just a few of the ways in which LE tutoring sessions incorporate best practices.

  • Before learners are matched with a tutor, the executive director will conduct an intake meeting to assess the student’s learning style, preferences, strengths, and areas of need. This allows for the creation of a comprehensive learning plan, which will ensure that the best supports are put into place from the start. 
  • While we do not diagnose specific learning disabilities, our team is equipped to observe students’ learning profiles and connect families with the necessary professionals. We aim to ease the stress and confusion surrounding unique learning needs by providing academic tutoring, coaching, brain camps, parent workshops, and academic consulting. 
  • With collaboration from parents and any other necessary supports (teachers, pediatricians, behavior specialists, etc.) the team at Learning Essentials will develop learning goals and an academic “playbook” for the student. This playbook is a uniquely individualized approach to ensure that each learner receives customized instruction to work towards his or her personal best.  
  • Our advanced-degreed, highly qualified educators will work to provide learning support for any and all areas of need through one-to-one tutoring sessions. We address every aspect of a student’s educational needs, from medical needs and learning disabilities to psychological referrals and communication between the schools and families. It is always our goal to advocate for each learner and help him or her to simultaneously develop autonomy.
  • Because communication is a best practice for student success, parents are not only part of the initial collaboration, but are also thoroughly kept in the loop after every tutoring session. LE tutors will submit detailed reports about the session goals, materials used, visible progress, and plans for next steps. With parent permission, tutors are also encouraged to communicate with the child’s teachers to ensure full support by adapting materials and differentiating instruction to meet the student’s unique needs.  
  • Unlike traditional tutoring services, LE tutors strive to not only address academic and study skills, but also to provide learners with methods for boosting motivation and develop an intrinsic desire for learning independently. We essentially aim to empower students by “training” them how to learn.
  • Because the LE team is comprised of educational professionals, such as certified MCPS teachers, case managers, educational psychologists, language-based experts, experts in executive functioning, literacy coaches, and applied behavior therapists, we are able to fully support families with cutting-edge methods for instruction and research-based strategies to develop creativity, confidence, and positive study habits.
  • As part of our approach for consistent communication, LE will not only work to help students reach their learning goals, but will also evaluate and discuss progress along the way. In measuring progress, tutors are able to modify and adapt instructional techniques and strategies as a best practice for learning. By individualizing each “playbook,” students’ needs are addressed in a personal but fluid fashion, allowing for flexibility and creative approaches to learning.

LE Does It Best: How to Make the Most of Tutoring Sessions

Learning is not accompanied by a one-size fits all instruction manual. There are countless roadmaps to lead a young learner towards academic success. An essential starting point is for parents, educators, and the students themselves to identify academic strengths, utilize these skills, and accommodate any learning difficulties to establish grit and perseverance.

Basically, we need to know what we’re good at, what we’re not so great at, and how to use the former skills to compensate or balance out the struggles. This all seems well and fine, but often students struggle to reach this precarious balance of strengths and weaknesses, especially when the pressure for grades, scores, benchmarks, and admittance looms.

However, at Learning Essentials (LE), we know how to help families bridge the gaps to ensure academic achievement. Below are the best methods to make the most of your tutoring and study sessions, followed by ways in which LE helps to establish these routines for students of all abilities and needs.

– Establish and maintain a regular and consistent tutoring schedule. Depending on a child’s needs, tutoring may need to take place several times a week, once a week, or on an as-needed basis for major projects, exams, papers, etc. The key is to lay out a tutoring schedule that incorporates definitive learning goals aligned with the families realistic schedule.

– Treat tutoring sessions as a priority. Tutoring time needs to be taken seriously, but keep the conversation positive, since a student’s effort and motivation have a huge part in how successful the sessions will be. Provide reassurance that tutoring is not a sign of failure or incapability, but an extra measure to simplify learning and to help your child reach success.

– Build in flexibility. While consistency is key, we all know that daily life can become hectic, especially in the throes of the school year. Therefore, flexibility on the tutor’s part is essential. Talk about scheduling and a plan for last-minute cancellations up front.

– Remove distractions. When planning to keep tutoring sessions productive and get the most out of each meeting, discuss how to maintain a focused learning space. If tutoring at home, ask your child to hand over the phone, or other device for the duration of the session. Stress that this is not a punishment, but that uninterrupted instruction is key for success.

– Decide on a tutoring location that promotes concentration. Perhaps the neighborhood library or child’s school would be best. If working at home, set up an area that accommodates quiet productivity, away from screens, visitors, phone calls, and siblings. If the work space looks out into the backyard where siblings or neighborhood friends might play, consider closing blinds or relocating—your child shouldn’t have to watch others play while he’s working on school work.

– Set up a functional workspace. Make sure it is spacious enough for all necessary learning materials and consider flexible seating options. Especially for students with attention difficulties or tendencies toward hyperactivity or restlessness, a yoga ball, beanbag, cube, or stool can promote concentration and focus through muscle engagement.

– Discuss the length and frequency of brain breaks with your child and his tutor. These brief breaks in instruction and learning allow for little minds and bodies to take a much needed hiatus to recoup and refocus during a tutoring session.

– Set goals for tutoring sessions, both short term and long term. Be sure to discuss steps and methods for attaining these goals. It is important that parents know the trajectory of their child’s tutoring plan—what skills each session will address, how they’ll be measured, and what the plan might be for struggles or difficulties ahead. Transparency and communication are crucial components to establish a successful tutoring plan.