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The correlation between confidence and success has been well-documented. Itâ€™s therefore crucial that children are instilled with a sense of self-esteem and worth from an early age.
To aid this type of personal growth, experts have been calling on schools to work on social skills and self-esteem as well as academic learning and preparing for school entrance. If your child is suffering from low confidence, however, they may require a little more help to bring them out of their shell.
Whilst some children are naturally more confident than others, academic struggles or difficulties in the classroom can erode confidence and emotional wellbeing over time. Tutoring can play a valuable part in building your childâ€™s confidence, therefore â€“ turning an under-confident learner into a student who not only meets challenges head on, but also actively enjoys grappling with new problems.
A tutor has the opportunity to really get to know each student individually, tailoring lesson plans around their strengths, weaknesses, likes and dislikes. If a child is able to progress at their own pace, and topics are being introduced in a manner that appeals to them, they will gain confidence. The one-to-one setting also allows students to air their emotions in a way that is less exposed (thus reducing pressure or feelings of embarrassment); if they donâ€™t understand something, theyâ€™re much more likely to share this privately with their tutor, meaning that learning difficulties can be dealt with more quickly (before these turn into a real problem and the student flounders, losing even more confidence).
Through tutoring, learning difficulties that could potentially destroy a studentâ€™s confidence can instead be turned into confidence boosters â€“ because the tutee will gain a deeper understanding of a topic they may once have struggled with, giving them a real sense of achievement and developing their confidence as a result.
The individual attention and support a child receives through tutoring has many benefits â€“ one of which is the chance to learn in a distraction-free environment. If a student is struggling with a particular subject or feeling low in confidence, a classroom setting provides many opportunities for avoidance â€“ they can simply muck around with their friends instead and ignore the problem. Tutoring removes this possibility, helping the tutee learn how to focus, develop concentration skills, and start to believe in their own abilities. Alongside this is an opportunity to develop self-management skills, which also builds a sense of self-worth, as students begin to take greater ownership over their work.
Private tutoring also removes any sense of competition: students can set their own personal goals and donâ€™t have to worry about â€˜keeping upâ€™ with the rest of the class, or being shouted down by their peers.
Many subjects are cumulative, meaning that students are often asked to build on what theyâ€™ve already learned â€“ and mastered â€“ before they can move on to the next stage. For students struggling in a classroom setting, itâ€™s easy to get left behind â€“ and with that, the drive to succeed is extinguished, as a learner feels they can do nothing but give up. Learning has become an uphill struggle.
Tutoring, by contrast, can turn the cumulative process into a series of realistic goals, meaning that the more a child learns, the more they want to learn. The ambition to succeed becomes stronger and stronger as more goals are achieved â€“ even if these are only minor â€“ and the more enjoyable learning becomes, due to the rapport that is being built between tutor and student, and the lesson plans that are tailored to their individual preferences.
Learning to enjoy a subject is the first step to excelling in that subject; and there can be no greater confidence booster for a child than doing well at something they love.
All of the above â€“ the one-to-one setting, the lack of distractions, and the relationship that is built between tutor and tutee â€“ creates a unique environment in which a tutor can make learning incredibly enjoyable for their student. The intimate setting means that itâ€™s possible to praise and reward the child for each small step they take, making the activity of conquering a challenge a really enjoyable one. Moreover, being beyond the scope of the formal classroom means itâ€™s also possible for tutors to dream up really fun ways for students to learn; once the weekly comprehension has been tackled, a tutor might play a quick game of Scrabble with their tutee to boost vocabulary; they might delve into a bit of arts and crafts to complement another subject theyâ€™re teaching; or even fire up the iPad and find an intellectually-stimulating app to explore together. Removing the constraints of the classroom means thereâ€™s greater capacity for the child to be really engaged with â€“ and involved with â€“ what theyâ€™re doing: which not only increases the speed with which they learn, but improves happiness and confidence immeasurably.
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