08 February 2013 ~ 0 Comments

Tutoring the little kids: Where to start?

Meet the child and parents first in an informal setting. A coffee shop works well. Get to know the parents and the child and ensure that everyone is a good fit. It is so important that both the child and parent feel secure and comfortable with you as their tutor.

  • Find out and record from the parent about their desires from the tutoring. 
  • Address any special medical (just in case) or educational needs the child may have.
  • Not essential and not always available, but I like to get contact details to the child’s class teacher. It is a good source of knowledge / back ground information.

 First 15 minutes of the first tutoring date.

  • Get to know your child. Find out their likes / dislikes / interest. They can draw a picture and label. This is beneficial in many ways.
  • You see and monitor their coloring / motor skills.
  • You can see their confidence levels. Do they ask for assistance to draw or seem lacking in confidence to have a go?
  • You will become aware of their phonetic knowledge as they aim to label their pictures.
  • You will be aware of their concentration levels. Do they stick at the activity until completion. Do they need redirection.
  • Are they independent or do they require much assistance to complete the activity.
  •  The pictures provides talking points and lets the child see that you have a genuine interest in them as a person. This will help you create fun activities that draw upon their personal interest.


Be fun, energetic and motivating but also let them know who is boss. Succeed by:-

  • Giving praise, rewards like gold stars and stickers, smiles, clap for them, give them high fives when you like what they are doing.
  • Ignore any bad behavior. Giving a reaction is giving in to the child’s desires to gain a reaction from you. They will test the boundaries. Instead, stop the activity and wait until the child is ready to listen and recommence once attention is regained.
  • Ensure to report to the parent / carer about the child’s behavior. Do this in front of the child. They need to see that mom or dad will know if they are not co-operating.
  • Ensure to follow up with any absent / working parents via email if it is a child minder you speak with on the day. Don’t forget it is EQUALLY, if not more important to report on positive behavior too.
  • Reward the child at the end of the session with verbal praise, stickers or play a fun game, even draw a picture together. I have an iPad and this comes in very useful. Kids love a chance to see they have earned a 5 minute reward time. All of my games are educational too, so it is added learning time.
  •  FOLLOW up with parents on a regular basis in person or via Email. This is especially a good idea after the first meeting.
  •  Feel good that you have helped this little person succeed.
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