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To ask fellow tutors for advice?

(14 Posts)
philimimic Wed 29-Jun-16 19:44:42

Currently tutoring 2 children at once. Often find that by the time they have their books out, settled down, got food and drink (we do it at their house), a few minutes have gone. We then go through homework, again takes a little while. They often have little stories to tell me which I like hearing and I don't want to shut them down; equally I do want us to have achieved something by the end of the class! By the time we get onto the real objective of the lesson, we have about 20 mins/half an hour left. I do frequently give extra time.

Should I be stricter? I feel guilty about it!

Snowberry86 Wed 29-Jun-16 19:48:14

I tutor a boy who is a real chatter box so I have to work hard to keep him on task. I've worked with him since he was 8 and he is 13 now.

You possibly need to be former and kee them on task more but at the same time you want them to enjoy their time with you. It's a fine line.

philimimic Wed 29-Jun-16 19:51:34

I do kindly (I hope!) cut them off and say "ah really, that's interesting, let's turn to page xxx now" but it's getting a balance isn't it!

HereIAm20 Wed 29-Jun-16 19:54:57

Perhaps mention to parents that food,drinks and set up is cutting into paid time so perhaps that could happen before you arrive?

WhyCantIuseTheNameIWant Wed 29-Jun-16 19:58:51

Ask the parents.
If they are happy losing some paid for tutor time as the kids are more relaxed, then go with it as it is.

If not, see if you can turn up a bit later when they have had a snack and settled.

philimimic Wed 29-Jun-16 20:01:23

Ok will do, they're lovely boys and parents are nice too. So you don't think there's anything more I can do personally?

CrotchetQuaverMinim Wed 29-Jun-16 20:07:21

Sometimes I think it's important to have that sort of chatting - it can actually serve a purpose if you direct it. Stories can be practice in working out what the other person needs to know for it to make sense, sequencing events correctly, making it interesting, etc. A description of what they did on the weekend can be paraphrased by you to show how to do summaries and work out what is more/less important, how to generalise etc (you'd be surprised how many children can't actually do that, and have to tell you every little detail!). Talking about things that are happening in the wider world are good for vocabulary, argument construction, debate, persuasion, etc. - and also just good for getting a different view of the world from another adult. Many children don't get the chance to talk to anyone outside their family (who tend to have similar views, who know what the child is talking about, etc), so it's quite a good idea to just talk about all sorts of subjects. And it can easily be steered into useful work, whilst the child still things that it's just small talk/chatting!

RubbleBubble00 Wed 29-Jun-16 20:48:01

Could you ask parents to cut the snack and have books already on the table? Then you can have a little chatter while going through hw

philimimic Wed 29-Jun-16 21:09:09

I would ask but I feel like it's parents' prerogative - don't want to be seen as bossy or telling them what to do!

Mushypeasandchipstogo Wed 29-Jun-16 21:18:54

What are you tutoring and what age are the children? I would say this is fine with younger children but not for GCSE age and above.

AppleSetsSail Wed 29-Jun-16 21:22:58

As not a tutor but rather a parent who has used tutors, I suggest you check in with the parent. I always appreciate being consulted on where I sit on the leniency/value for money spectrum.

philimimic Wed 29-Jun-16 21:27:29

Tutoring key skills to two 9 year old boys i.e. Maths, English, creative writing. Some of my tutees have things all ready when I arrive, others don't. How would I go about saying it? I can't help but feel that it's the parents' prerogative but happy to be corrected smile

Mushypeasandchipstogo Wed 29-Jun-16 21:32:58

I would speak to the parents. I don't really think that they need food and drink but at that age it is really difficult for them to concentrate for a full hour don't you?

TheDevilMadeMeDoIt Wed 29-Jun-16 22:12:52

To the parents you say:

I love tutoring your boys, they're so friendly and chatty. But I'm a bit concerned that after they've eaten and told me about their week and we've talked about their homework, there's only about 20 minutes left for actual tutoring. Are you OK with this, or would you prefer my hour to start a bit later so that they've eaten and we can fit in some more work?

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