Many students struggle at school. They may be disinterested in school, or they may struggle academically. If a child starts their academic schooling with a faulty base or foundation, they risk having difficulty in the future.

To avoid the risk of students dropping out, or being unable to pursue tertiary education, many parents are seeking the help of home tutoring.

A private tutor or educator not only helps the student feel motivated and achieve academic success, but they also listen to the student's worries and analyse the pupil's strengths and weaknesses.

From the first day of primary school to the final day of secondary school, learn how private tutors assist students in reaching their academic goals!

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How Does Private Tutoring Assist During Primary School

Maths

While many students dislike maths, this subject is very useful in everyday life.

In addition to the fact that we use mathematics every day, maths is a compulsory subject until at least year 10 and therefore warrants careful attention.

No matter whether its revision of basic, already taught mathematical concept or newly introduced mathematical problems, many young pupils have a hard time getting their head around maths. 

Maths can be very difficult for a lot of students.
It has been found that many young people suffer from maths anxiety (Source: Visual Hunt)

25 per cent of Australian 15-year-old students reported feeling helpless when doing a mathematics problem (Thomson, DeBortoli & Buckley, 2013)!

To cure this anxiety and ensure that their child succeeds, many Australian parents are calling upon personal tutors to teach their children from primary school until the end of secondary school.

Primary school is a crucial period where students need to learn certain notions, such as:

  • Learn how to count,
  • Addition,
  • Subtraction,
  • Multiplication,
  • Division etc.

A qualified maths tutor needs to ensure that their student correctly understands the proposed exercises that they were given in class and the tutor needs to follow their reasoning until the end to understand how the student thinks.

With dedication and pedagogy, you can fill the gaps in your pupil's knowledge and make the exercises more enjoyable!

Demonstrate to your student that mathematics can be fun and success is achievable!

English: Writing and Reading

Illiteracy touches the lives of Australians.

According to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), 1 in 5 Australians have low literacy and/or numeracy skills (2017). And yet, according to the 2018 Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), Australia is ranked 16th on a list of the countries with the highest literacy rate.

This is not too bad considering that there are many nations ranked behind Australia, but it's not the best.

Australia is behind many European countries such as Norway, Sweden, Denmark, France, Netherlands, and Germany.

These statistics are a major concern, and it is evident that more needs to be done to improve the literacy of Australians.

It’s a particular worry for Australian parents and they realise that there is much room for improvement. So more and more parents have been hiring tutors to get school help for their children.

If you are providing private tutoring sessions to a primary school student, it is vital to go over the basics and ensure the pupil has mastered them. The English language basics include:

  • Reading
  • Writing
  • Grammar
  • Conjugation
  • Spelling

During an at-home, personal tutoring session, you can carefully follow the advancement of your pupil while improving their motivation and providing them with the help they need.

Start with simple, fun exercises, and as your sessions progress, make them a bit more complicated, but still entertaining, to meet the standards of the national educational board.

You can get high-quality tutoring online.

Preparing Students for Secondary School

According to the PISA report mentioned above (PISA), 15 year old students in Australia are recording their lowest results since this form of international testing began.

After years of decline across a variety of disciplines, Australian students have for the first time failed to surpass the OECD average in maths, while also falling in reading and science.

The report shows that we aren’t preparing students adequately and that they risk being left behind. 

These are troubling figures, particularly as secondary school is vital for your child's future success. But don’t worry, if your child is struggling, they can still improve with the assistance of a private tutor!

Academic tutoring is particularly helpful during the school holidays when your child has time to study and become a better student before the next semester begins.

Private tutors can help their students study for tests and exams.
Private tutors can help prepare primary school students for secondary school. (Source: Visual Hunt)

How Does Private Tutoring Assist During Secondary School

International Languages

After mastering English, learning a second language can be vital to succeeding during secondary school!

Even if your child learnt a second language during primary school, it is secondary school where they are more likely to become conversational and fluent.

Learning a foreign language may not be high on the priority list for 12 to 13 year old students, particularly with all the changes they are going through, including entering secondary school.

But the importance of learning a foreign language can be gleaned by a quote from John Wooden:

"Confidence comes from being prepared."

Pre-teens are already feeling a lack of self-confidence so it is vital to help them as much as you can and prepare them to have the confidence they need.

To find out what they might need to prepare for, here is a list of the languages taught by the highest number of Australian schools:

  • Indonesian,
  • Japanese,
  • Mandarin,
  • Italian,
  • French.

Mandarin became the most studied language among state school students for the first time in 2019. Mandarin accounts for 18.8 per cent of total language enrolments, with over 82,000 students enrolled in Chinese at state primary schools, secondary schools, and the Victorian School of Languages last year.

If you are a private tutor, now is the perfect time to assist your student in preparing for secondary school foreign language classes. There are various resources available to make your tutoring lessons fun! 

For homework assignments, you could suggest your pupil watch particular movies and TV series in the foreign tongue they will learn. This way they can learn common expressions and basic vocabulary while also being entertained.

We all know young people can’t keep their hands off their phones these days. So take advantage of that, and get your student to use a language learning application such as Duolingo. Learning via an app is a great supplement to private tutoring classes.

A useful tip: try and enforce the importance of learning a second language. Explain to your pupil that it will really assist them in their future endeavours, no matter what career they choose. 

Sciences

Entering secondary school is a big step forward for students: it's during this time that students will be confronted with new scientific subject matter.

On the program:

  • Biology,
  • Chemistry,
  • Environmental Science,
  • Physics,
  • Psychology.

However, science subjects can be difficult for even the most well-intentioned, studious secondary school students!

As a tutor offering, private, one-on-one science lessons, you should carefully study your student's scientific syllabus. If you have an in-depth understanding and you’re well-prepared for your educational coaching, your student can avoid falling behind and actually progress. They might even become top of their class!

Private tutors are particularly useful for the difficult science subjects.
With private tutoring and hard work, your student could become a scientist! (Source: Visual Hunt)

If your child is having trouble with the sciences, don’t hesitate to hire a private tutor! The personal tutor will familiarise themselves with your teenager's course materials, determine their strengths and weaknesses, and help them to successfully achieve their scholastic goals!

To succeed during exam periods, you have to work hard all year long. A private tutor should keep in mind the importance of continuous monitoring of their pupil.

Private Tutoring During Final School Years

Senior Secondary Certificate of Education (Australian Tertiary Admission Rank)

Students in Australia are issued a Senior Secondary Certificate of Education (SSCE) and other records of achievement when they complete their senior secondary education.

The Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Certification Authority (ACACA agency) in each state or territory is responsible for issuing the SSCE for that state or territory.

Each ACACA agency offers a variety of subjects in its SSCE. The agencies adopt or adapt the 16 subjects from the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA).

This is where a private tutor can help. A personal education coach can assist your child in choosing the right subjects.

Some of the subjects offered include:

  • Art,
  • English,
  • Literature,
  • History,
  • Philosophy,
  • Health and Human Development,
  • Business Management, 
  • Economics,
  • Legal Studies.

Of course, the options may differ according to the school you are attending or the state/territory in which you live.

The choice of subjects is very important as it often determines the future degree and career of the studying teenager.

Parents should encourage their children to choose subjects according to their strengths. If the student has had trouble in the sciences during the whole of secondary school, it would be unwise to force the pupil to choose biology or chemistry. This would discourage the student from continuing their studies in further education.

"Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing it is stupid." - Albert Einstein

The private instructor should also assume the role of a counsellor: during tutoring, the educator should assess the interests of the pupil as well as their academic abilities.

Other than simply assisting the student to get good grades, the private tutor should guide the student's learning process and help them avoid failing a year 11 or 12 subject due to ill-preparedness!

After receiving their Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR) score and their SSCE, the student has the option to join the workforce or progress to tertiary education where they will undertake a degree in a specialisation of their choosing. 

International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IBDP)

The idea of pursuing an International Baccalaureate (IB) may be daunting for some 16-year old students. IB is an internationally accepted qualification suggested for entry into tertiary education and is recognised by many universities across the world. It takes two years to complete and its six subjects prepare you for university.

IB is accepted by more than 2,000 universities across 75 countries. Therefore, if your teenager aspires to attend a prestigious university such as Cambridge or Oxford, or to study abroad along the Costa del Sol or Côte d’Azur, IB is highly recommended.

Employers are highly attracted to students who have completed an IB. They may choose to hire someone with an IB over someone who hasn’t. This is yet another reason for your student to undertake this program.

Students must take six subject groups with at least three taken at Higher Level (HL) and the remaining at Standard Level (SL). HL subjects take up 240 teaching hours while SL subjects comprise 150 teaching hours.

The six subject groups include:

  • Studies in language and literature,
  • Language acquisition,
  • Individuals and societies,
  • Sciences,
  • Mathematics,
  • The arts.

That might sound like a lot of hard work but sometimes with success comes late nights studying and early morning exams. 

A private tutor is trained to make the student feel valued and appreciated, something that can be difficult to achieve when they’re in a classroom environment. This is important to boost the teenager’s motivation, and as a result, grades.

Above all, listen attentively to your student: tailor your one-on-one tutoring sessions according to the student’s needs so they can be prepared adequately for tests, assignments, and assessment. 

There is no shortage of students who want to succeed and achieve their academic goals, and you can help them along the entire journey. Being a personal tutor and offering extra school support is a very rewarding job! 

Find out more about private tuition for university students.

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Alison

Ali is an Australian writer, community manager and art curator living in Paris.