Three Signs Your Melbourne Primary Schooler’s Potential is Wasting Away (and How to Fix That)
Three Signs Your Primary Schooler’s Potential is Wasting Away (and How to Fix That)
Some Melbourne parents may have noticed a change in their child’s attitude to primary school this year. Your primary schooler may have gone from a kid who is bursting to tell you about their day, their friends, what they learnt and what they want to be “when they grow up,” to a reluctant student who “feels sick,” doesn’t “like their teacher,” has meltdowns before assessments, or can provide 101 reasons why they shouldn’t go to school or do homework.
Even though you might have noticed a difference in your child’s attitude to school when at home, you may have put it down to 2020 being a rough year for Melbourne primary school kids and figured that, with time, it would eventually resolve itself. It might not be until your child’s teacher requests a meeting with you that you realise that the problem is larger than you thought.
Your child’s teacher may have identified that your previously A/B student is now unfocused and struggling to understand the schoolwork that their peers seem confident in learning. What your child needs at this stage is not just better grades but a brighter outlook on school. And that is where A Team Tuition can help with Melbourne primary school tutors that specialise in helping kids get back on course this term and back to their usual confident self.
Melbourne school kids had a rough year in 2020. And 2021 hasn’t been a lot better with the ongoing uncertainty of when they might be plunged into another lockdown and all the upheaval that entails. While the CoVID interruptions can explain a slip in grades, it isn’t always the whole story. A dramatic change in attitude to schoolwork can be directly related to the student’s confidence levels rather than their ability. Here’s how to prevent wasting your primary school kid’s potential before they get the opportunity to explore it.
The long-term impact of low confidence in students
In the early and mid-years of primary school, your child will determine “how smart” they are based on the learning culture in the classroom. As an eight-year-old, your child is probably not the best person to make this determination! A lack of academic confidence leads to an “I can’t do it” attitude – and this is detrimental to their long-term approach to learning. It starts young and the signs can be subtle.
Your child makes dismissive statements like “I’m no good at maths”
This is the beginning of the “I can’t” mindset. Your child has started assessing their peers on a “smartness scale” and decided that they are not up to the task of being a top achiever. This little inner voice is a self-fulfilling prophecy as the emotional barriers to learning simply “get in the way” of learning. This is a key symptom of reduced confidence, and it will snowball throughout their academic career.
How A Team Tuition tutors overcome this: Our trained tutors identify the areas where the student struggles most (for example maths) and instead of forcing them to “rote learn” and memorise the maths, they can begin delivering maths lessons with play-based learning that addresses the curriculum. By encouraging your child to participate in games that demonstrate the maths, then being asked to come up with the maths to explain the game, your child is given the opportunity to make the connection and then build their confidence because they teach the tutor the curriculum. Read about Cecelia’s transformation from an “I can’t” kid who wouldn’t read aloud to a confident reader.
Your child reduces their career goals
As your child’s confidence diminishes, so can their aspirations. They start to downgrade their career choices – rather than becoming a vet they might be a vet nurse when they grow up because “maybe I’m not smart enough to be a vet.”
How A Team Tuition tutors overcome this: While not strictly an area of tutoring, our tutors are trained to recognise that lack of confidence and will explore “goals” with them. Together they can look at the child’s life aspirations and discuss the difference in workload at university and how long they’d have to study for each of their goals.
As your child can begin to understand the curriculum and grow confident with it, the tutor will begin a homework and study schedule that has clear, achievable goals and outcomes. By quantifying what’s needed to reach a goal, setting out a plan to achieve that, and proving to the student that they can reach each “little goal,” your child will gain the confidence to reach for their big goals.
Your teacher describes your child as “lazy/fidgety/unfocused/easily distracted”
At eight, your child may well be easily distracted. That’s not unusual for a kid (or some of us adults) but there can be more to it. Your child’s teacher may describe them as unfocused to the point of being disruptive in class. Regardless of the teacher’s abilities, in a room with 22 kids, it can be hard to get to the source of behavioural issues. By calling in a one-on-on private tutor, your child can be observed without any distractions.
How A Team Tuition tutors can help: A Team Tuition tutors are trained to observe your child’s behaviour and identify the type of learner they are. If they are fidgety, at what point do they become fidgety? Are they unfocussed? Do they “doodle” when working? Do they appear to stare off into space while someone is talking? Your child’s tutor will try using different engagement techniques (known as learning languages/learning methods) where the curriculum is taught in a ‘language” that is best suited to the child’s brain.
As an example, in a standard school setting children are mostly taught lessons aurally “you listen and write down and learn it.” While even an aural learner can struggle in a noisy class environment, if your child is a kinaesthetic or visual learner, it can prove especially difficult to process their lessons. For a Kinaesthetic learner, the tutor may begin by breaking up sessions with tasks that require your child to get up and move around – adding information to a chalk board, using the tiles on the floor as representations of “units” in the curriculum, creating visual demonstrations of the lesson using physical objects. The result of teaching in a method that their brain responds to can be transformational.
A Team Tuition tutors can then act as a “go between” with your child’s teacher to ensure everyone who is helping your kid achieve their goals is on board with learning techniques that suit their learning language.
Are all tutors trained in these methods?
There are a lot of tutors in Melbourne and like any service, there are the great, the good and the not great. Primary school tutoring is very different to high school tutoring where the end goal is in sight and the child has already learned good and bad study habits. While these can be adjusted at any age, getting a GREAT tutor in primary school will set a child up for lifelong learning that helps her to reach her full academic potential.
A Team Tuition is a specialist, national tutoring firm where young tutors are carefully recruited and trained to take a “whole child” approach to learning. This allows for changing of the child’s mindset, not just their grades. A Team Tuition’s philosophy is based on the idea that “if you believe you can, or you believe you can’t, you’re right” – so they help a child to believe that they “can.” Does it work? Around 90% of their students go from Cs and Ds to As and Bs, often in a single term.