During the course of a child’s early development, the main source of teaching comes directly from parental figures who provide sustenance, basic care, and attention for that child. An individual is dependent on the influence of family to learn how to thrive in the early years of life, and the efficacy of each child is affected by his or her home environment.
As a child grows, he or she will have an increase of sources of educational influence. Children are abundantly curious, as many parents can attest to, and continue to require strong family engagement as he or she enters into the Texas (or any!) educational system.
At Planting Seeds Tutoring & Test Prep, we understand how vital it is to have a strong family engagement during a child’s early education and beyond. We are committed to including parental involvement in every step of our tutoring process, and we promote a strong, supportive environment both in our tutoring sessions with your child and at home. Here are a few ways in which we successfully accomplish that:
- Monthly progress reports
- Weekly graded homework assignments
- Practice tests and worksheets (coming soon to our website!)
- Consistent communication with parents regarding performance
Our tutors work with parents in order to be sure that our students succeed in the subject in which they are taught and we expect to boost our students’ confidence by making the learning process accessible and fun. However, we cannot simply accomplish all that we desire with students in two to three hour weekly sessions. Essentially, in order for a student to easily prosper academically, he or she requires a supportive environment at home. We encourage parents to be familiar with the concept of making education fun in the home and enjoy sharing what we have found to be useful!
HOME ENVIRONMENTS: ENGAGING, ESSENTIAL
In Dale H. Schunk’s and Frank Pajares’ chapter in Development of Achievement Motivation, (edited by A. Wigfield & J. Eccles) titled “The Development of Academic Self-Efficacy,” parental involvement is indicated as a key factor in a child’s academic potential in early development.
Parents who provide a warm, responsive and supportive home environment, who encourage exploration and stimulate curiosity, and who provide play and learning materials accelerate their children’s intellectual development (Meece, 1997)….Parents who encourage their youngsters to try different activities and support their efforts help to develop children who feel more capable of meeting challenges (Bandura, 1997). Self-efficacy suffers in homes in which novel activities are discouraged (5).
An encouraging home environment is essential in building a child’s confidence to independently undertake learning after the student leaves school or a tutoring session. However, some parents may feel unequipped to take on this challenge due to difficult circumstances. We understand that creating such an environment can be hard. So, how can parents easily create support in the home?
THE KEY OF CONSISTENCY
Children thrive on routine and are more able to handle the stress of schooling when he or she has the ability to feel secure in daily tasks. However, if a routine is problematic, a parent and tutor who work together to engage the student in similar ways will create consistency which will improve the student’s ability to process new information. This can be carried out in multiple ways:
- Providing the student ample time to complete homework
- Repetition work of learned information
- Engaging the student after each session with questions regarding what he or she learned
- Have the student teach you, the parent, the information they learned
- Encourage new and exciting ways to implement learning strategies that go beyond a worksheet (activities)
- Having playful time with the student while engaging in learning also correlates a positive attitude towards the learning process
Each session with one of our tutors is carefully tailored to your student. At Planting Seeds Tutoring & Test Prep, we implement lesson plans based on your student’s progress, which ensures that your student will be successful in the subject he or she struggles with. We will work with you to answer any questions you may have on how to engage your student at home with the information taught during sessions.
SIMPLE, ACCESSIBLE RESOURCES
We understand that each child is unique. That’s why we take such special care to create our lesson plans based around what he or she needs to be academically successful! Some simplistic resources that we have found helpful to engage young minds are:
- Colorful learning. Having students interact with information with coloring engages the imagination. A dry-erase board is helpful for a student to colorfully interpret information and can save money on paper! Most office supply stores carry dry-erase boards.
- Memory work. World-class memory expert Kevin Horsley states in his book, Unlimited Memory, “The more we turn information into images or mind movies, the more we will remember and comprehend. We can learn to make all our learning more creative and memorable if we use our unlimited imagination” (pgs 45-46). Exaggerated songs, mental images, and other such memory devices are helpful to engage our senses in the learning process in both children and adults.
- Encouragement. A hearty focus on what a child does well (even if a few mistakes are involved) will go a long way to undo a lack of confidence in performance. Learning can be very stressful, especially in large group settings like school. That’s why tutoring is helpful and important to a child’s success. We heartily and precisely encourage strengths in students while gently correcting mistakes. This can be useful in any and every stage of the learning process in both children and adults. A child is far more engaged in learning when he or she feels confident that the information is within reach!
- “School” Yourself! The Texas Education Agency’s website has provided helpful resources for parents to identify methods of aiding their child in early developmental stages. This website also contains practice STAAR tests and many helpful resources to help you understand what is required of your student, and of educators, in the school setting. Here’s a look inside what teachers and schools must adhere to (the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills, or TEKS) in order for your child to successfully complete each grade level.
Here at Planting Seeds Tutoring & Test Prep, we guarantee that your child will excel when an encouraging environment both in our tutoring sessions and at home are accessible to students. We provide a caring, personal approach to education by adapting to every student’s unique needs. We also prioritize relationship building with each student because everyone is unique in his or her abilities and circumstances. We take pride in our students’ success!
Would you, or your student, benefit from our academic services offered in Austin, Dallas, South and Central Texas? Contact us today to receive information regarding our Foreign Language tutoring. Curious about what we offer in addition to Foreign Language tutoring? Click here to visit our website at www.plantingseedstutoring.com. You can also contact Planting Seeds Tutoring with your questions at (972) 342-6496, or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Do you or your student require tutoring in another subject? Please check out our list of Core Subjects to find out what we offer. Additionally, visit our blog to keep up with new and exciting content, and follow us on Facebook.