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How to find a tutor for Key Stage 1

(32 Posts)
BlandineN Sun 23-Jun-13 22:13:33

Hi there,

I am looking for advise/tips in term of how to find a tutor for my 6 year old daughter.

I am looking for a primary school teacher who can help my daughter during the summer break. She is in Year 1 but has been falling behind. She needs to go back to basics with writing, reading and math.

I tried Gumtree and various agencies but I am struggling to find anybody who has qualilfications working with young children.

Any tips/advise would be very welcome.

For info, we live in West London.


Wiifitmama Sun 23-Jun-13 22:16:00

I highly recommend this agency. I have worked as a tutor through them for two years and they are extremely professional and one take on highly qualified and experienced tutors.

Wiifitmama Sun 23-Jun-13 22:16:52

I should add - I am not on commission or anything! I just think very highly of them!

FadedSapphire Mon 24-Jun-13 07:10:58

Does she really need a tutor? She is only 6.
Wouldn't just reading to her, listening to her read, playing game etc with her help?
At 6 surely the 'basics' is where she should be at?

mam29 Mon 24-Jun-13 11:35:21

I was in same boat last year but things we did

carol vordman maths fcator summer club reviwed all the stuff she done in year 1 as each year is an animal, lots of repition.

went to free crafts
went to park

went to libary twice a week and did summer reading challenge

went on nature walks


did projects on butterlies where she drew pics, did some writing researched books and online . we went butterfly farm in swindon.

only thing did not get to do was watch catterpillar transform.

I got her to write a story.

she then wrote it neat

then drew and coloured pictures

i cut, laminated and binded and she created her own story book.

we wrote and looked at few poems
did some times tables

on pinterest we found some fun science experiments to do with kids from household stuff which she enjoyed.

my2bundles Mon 24-Jun-13 11:51:31

Im going to go in a completely different direction.. She is only 6, I have a 5 year old, at this age they need a complete break from academics over the summer. they need to be carefree and play, that will do them for more good than cramming sad They work hard at school, a complete break is just as important and when they go back to school they will be refreshed and ready to learn. If she really wants to do something (and I strongly belive at this age it should be child led) there are loads of fun educational websites like cbeebies, reading eggs, mathletics etc. just have fun.

IwishIwasmoreorganised Mon 24-Jun-13 11:53:27

At 6 can't you go over the basics with her? A tutor seems extreme at this age.

The summer holiday is supposed to be a break from school - you could easily do educational things, practising what has been covered at school so far but in a very informal, relaxed way.

toomuchicecream Mon 24-Jun-13 19:40:07

My concern with a tutor is that it would be once a week. What a year 1 DD needs is 20-30 mins per day. And as OPs have said, lots of fun, going out and about, making things, sleeping etc. Which you can then write about afterwards if you want to. You can do that far better than a tutor as you know what you are doing and can tie things in together.

What is the school saying? What can she do? What does her teacher recommend. As a KS1 teacher I'm making my way round parents I feel a need to speak to and making suggestions about things they could do with their DC in the summer (if they want to) - making sure parents of DC who are struggling a little know that they are, and that the parents know how to help and what resources are out there.

ReallyTired Mon 24-Jun-13 19:57:14

I think there is a happy medium between hot housing and doing nothing. I suggest that you do ten minutes a day of reading. (This will leave her plenty of time for playing!)

Something like dancing bears would help her. If she is confident with her reading then it will really help her in all aspects of the curriculum.

The other thing you could do is get some decodable books which are completely different to the schools. Then she will not be aware of being on say "pink" band. (disclaimer I have no idea what reading bands mean as my son went through Oxford Reading Tree stages instead.) Jelly and Bean books are really good.

The computer programme Timez attack is great for learning tables.

Periwinkle007 Mon 24-Jun-13 20:05:28

when you say back to basics do you mean for example she isn't confident with her basic phonics sounds yet and using numbers up to 20?

I agree with people saying they need a short burst of it every day rather than a concentrated hour or so a week.

reading most definitely should be every day at this stage, my mum says it is like learning to drive, if you have lessons for 2 months then have a couple of weeks holiday, when you come back to it you have to start again. I would work out where she is with actual phonics and then start from there, using decodable words to remind her how to blend and so on.

Writing I would do as a holiday diary/scrapbook or do some fun things like nature walks or mini science experiments or days out that she can write about. draw some lines so she can practice writing neatly but try and get her to sound the words out herself, even if she spells them wrongly they may be phonetically ok if that makes sense (such as tode for toad, maid for made and so on - can work on that later). If it is actually that she isn't forming the letters correctly then I would get one of those handwriting white boards or write on wipe off books so she can practice the ones she needs to. If it is more about story writing then remind her it needs a beginning/middle/end etc. some of the kids workbooks have pictures you have to put in order and say what is happening in them, that might be good for her to try.

Maths - just do basic writing of the numbers if she does them back to front or simple addition and subtraction numbers up to 20 and then you will have to find out what other stuff they do in maths in yr1, I am not sure.

I understand why you would want a tutor but it would be nicer for her to do it with you if it is possible and 20 mins a day would be more productive to be honest.

InViennaWeWerePoetry Mon 24-Jun-13 22:10:17

They don't need a tutor at this age, they really don't. My foster daughter aged 7 is in her third week of her new school, I had to move her when I was given custody about 5 weeks ago. She came with level 1s in her sats, taken a few weeks before the school switch. She then missed just over a week in the transfer. In 2 weeks at her new school, she's improved dramatically, looking back at the work I was sent from the previous school she's like a different child. She's still a long way behind her classmates, but if this is what she can do in 2 weeks there's no doubt in my mind she'll catch up eventually. She's had no tutoring outside of school, only input from me and she's my first child, I have no teaching experience whatsoever. We've just been reading every night religiously, we've been doing phonics and I got her some maths books from WH Smith we've been working through together. Lots of spelling/maths/etc related board games so she doesn't realise she's learning, lots of encouragement. That's it. Save your money for when they're struggling at GCSE level, there's nothing at this age you can't sort out yourself.

zingally Tue 25-Jun-13 19:21:05

I'm speaking as a private tutor here!

What InVienna said above is very sensible!

"there's nothing at this age you can't sort out yourself".

You don't need to be a qualified teacher to be able to read with your child regularly, play some maths games together. It's really very easy.

BlandineN Tue 25-Jun-13 22:59:30

Thank you all for your comments/advice. It's a big help.
All of last year (reception), she was in the bottom of her class. I worked with her all through the year, tried different techniques to make learning fun...this year it was the same story. I am just starting to think that she needs some more formal support. She will try to negotiate, argue in order not to do the homework. It is becoming a weekly battle. I don't like the idea of taking a tutor either but I don't know what else to do.

I don't find the teacher very supportive. Basically, her response is that in a class you have children at the top and some at the bottom. She is not overly worried about my daughter. I just feel I have to do everything I can to help her.

Any other advice/tips very welcome.


Periwinkle007 Tue 25-Jun-13 23:08:27

what is it she struggles with the most? Is it possible it is confidence related? does she seem to know the answers if you talk to her about things but isn't comfortable with the reading/writing/paper communication?
I am just wondering if there is any possible dyslexia link or some other specific learning difficulty? They can't test until they are 7 usually but the signs are often there and it could explain why she is struggling.

ReallyTired Wed 26-Jun-13 09:35:00

When is your daughter's birthday. Summer born children are at a real disadvantage in the foundation stage and key stage 1.

I think with franchaises like Kip McGraph or Explore a lot depends on whose running the franchaise. The best way to find a good tutor is word of mouth. Also I think you have decide what you are trying to achieve by using a tutor and be realistic. Giving extra support to a severely dyslexic child so that they can master the basics of reading is a very different goal from getting a child into Habs or some other top independent school.

It is more constructive to focus on your child's progress than comparing her to her classmates. It may well be that she won't go to university or get straight A*s at A-level, but there is no reasons why she can not have a happy and productive adult life.

Having a tutor to help with homework can get round the weekly battle of homework. If homework is causing grief in your house then prehaps a tutor is a constructive idea. Sometimes children who do little work get caught in a vicious circle circle. They underachieve because of laziness in class, so the teacher thinks that the child is stupid and gives simpler work. The child still fails to do the work and makes zero progress. (Consersely children who work hard find themselves in a virtuous circle)

Does your daughter have any hobbies to give her a sense of achievement?
However this age a child really needs one to one rather than being stuck in front of a computer like some tutorial companies do.

It is hard to recommend anyone without knowing which part of the country you are in.

Elibean Wed 26-Jun-13 09:38:20

My Y1 dd has developed a lack of confidence in maths (long story) so I've asked her lovely TA if she can do an hour of maths after school with her.

Admittedly, dd was thrilled at the idea (special attention - a confidence boost in itself!) and admittedly, she's not so much struggling with the work as with her confidence, but it's working really well.

Could you maybe ask one of the TAs at your dd's school if they do tutoring in the school holidays?

mrsshackleton Wed 26-Jun-13 09:56:11

An hour every day Elibean?!

I was going to ask what people thought of the Maths Factor, was thinking of getting ds to do something like that for 10 mins a day over summer as he struggles with maths and it might help his confidence. However, he is not keen so it will have to be fun, fun, fun.

ReallyTired Wed 26-Jun-13 10:06:15

If one of the TAs is agreable to doing private tutoring then I think that is an excellent idea. They might have problems OKing it with the head. Alternatively a school TA might have a friend at a different school who could do some private tutoring. (There would be no conflict of interest if the TA works at a different school.)

I expect that Elibean paid for an hour as you have to pay a minimum amount for that one session. Certainly if you have a private tutor then you have to pay for at least a hour.

"However, he is not keen so it will have to be fun, fun, fun."

I don't think its realistic to have everything being "fun". However a bit of gentle bribary works well for doing stuff that a child hates.

Sparklingbrook Wed 26-Jun-13 10:12:50

DS1 had a tutor at 6. Best thing I ever did. Teacher had left him behind and claimed she didn't have time to help him so just carried on. (Class of 15 hmm). At Parents Evening she told us we needed to 'do something'.

So he did half an hour of week one-to-one with a tutor. First of all going way back in maths to the point he had started to 'drown'. Eventually when he was confident she helped him with his handwriting and spellings. She totally restored his confidence and he never looked back. smile

He's 14 this week, has had his handwriting described as 'exquisite' and is aiming for an A in Maths GCSE.

Sparklingbrook Wed 26-Jun-13 10:30:44

Oh sorry that sounded really boasty. blush V proud though.

ReallyTired Wed 26-Jun-13 10:40:32

Sparklingbrook you have every right to boast. It is great that you managed to break the vicous circle of underachievement and your son is now in a virtous circle.

This idea of life always being play is a very British thing. Six year olds need to work as well as play if they are going to be sucessful in life. There is a lot to be said for chinese style tiger parenting in moderation.

Sparklingbrook Wed 26-Jun-13 10:43:22

Thanks Really. I think the confidence thing is so important even at 6. To believe they can do it, and to have somebody confirm they can makes a huge difference.

Maybe he would have got there on his own eventually. we will never know.

Elibean Wed 26-Jun-13 11:12:10

Oops! An hour once a week - and then only for a few weeks (till the holidays).

Did I sound like a Tiger Mum for a minute there? grin

Elibean Wed 26-Jun-13 11:15:47

And no, the hour is optional. She would do half an hour, but dd wanted an hour - she does feel very special.

Re the 'fun' thing - I would make lots of fun, backed up with the other thing kids thrive on: routine. A set amount of time at particular time of the week/day for few minutes, and try and make that time enjoyable.

Squeebles are fantastic for later on, times tables etc.

Maths pop is quite good for number bonds and addition.

My iphone transformed dd1's tables from poor to excellent in the space of a two week holiday last summer wink

InViennaWeWerePoetry Wed 26-Jun-13 19:54:04

What level or work did you try doing with DD though OP? Practising the work the rest of the class are doing that she can't won't work- you have to go right back to basics and start again. I spent days with my DD (almost 8) reading books an average 4/5 year old could read easily, which she wasn't finding easy as such but it wasn't challenging her. What it did do was build up her confidence. We did the same with maths, going back to basic counting to 10, 20 etc, things she could already do, but it built up her confidence. We worked through foundation stage books I bought from WH Smith and then progressed onto the year 1 work, some of which she could do and a lot of which she couldn't. I don't know how DD's doing in comparison to the rest of her class less than 3 weeks on, but I do know she can do things now she couldn't have done 2 weeks ago and her teacher is really pleased with the progress she's made already. Ex MIL is a TA, she's assured me what I'm doing with DD is no different to what support staff will be doing with her at school.

I think the other thing to bear in mind is that different children 'click' with academia at different ages. I'm an April birthday and was miles behind where I should have been all through primary school, it finally clicked at the beginning of secondary and I went on to get 4 As at A level (in the good old days when they were hard grin ). I never had a tutor. In contrast my brother with an August birthday sailed through primary school top of his class, then started to find school much harder at GCSE level. He had a tutor for some subjects in year 11, and we both came out with very similar GCSE grades. A top of the class child in primary school isn't guaranteed to stay there throughout their school career, just like a bottom of the class primary school child isn't doomed to never catch up on their own.

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