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Anyone else paying for tutoring for their DC, not for their levels, but for their DC's peace of mind?

(16 Posts)
CharleyDavidson Thu 31-Mar-16 22:57:13

As in the actual mental health of their DC?

DD1 is a good student and very (too) driven to do well. Mostly predicted A*s and the rest As. She's doing really well in her mocks so far. Revising for the first round of exams that count towards her grades, to be taken in May (y10).

She's happy with all subjects and what she has to do/wants to do for them. Apart from maths. Massive meltdown (and I don't use the term lightly, she really concerned us) a few weeks ago about how she was going to fail.

My dilemma was.... she didn't want me to talk to the school about it, but didn't feel like she was getting along with her maths teacher. She has no behaviour issues at all and would be mortified to ever get in trouble, but she just didn't feel that the teacher was actually teaching them anything. A few issues didn't sound quite right - like them being given a DVD with a lot of the stuff on and being told that there wasn't time to cover it all and they'd need to do some of it. There has been a curriculum/syllabus change (Wales) and DD did talk to the head of learning for y10/11 and he didn't seem perturbed about it. Told her to have faith in the teacher's methods. And that a degree of self directed study was appropriate. She didn't want me to talk to the teacher myself (a teacher who I remember teaching me in the same school in 1990) or to talk to the head of learning myself either.

Going down a set to have a different teacher would mean not necessarily being able to achieve the A or A*.

So I suggested a maths tutor. The young lady who used to teach her piano had graduated from a maths degree and yes, she was doing tutoring. So it's arranged.

Immediately, DD was a lot calmer about things. She's come away from her first session a lot happier about things. I'm sure she'd get her grade without the sessions (and the £20 a week for the hour) but I don't really care. We can afford it and it's already made her a calmer and happier about it all. Ideally she will realise that she doesn't need the sessions, but if they carry on for the next year, so be it!

AtiaoftheJulii Fri 01-Apr-16 00:04:46

I used to tutor maths, and part of my introductory spiel was how so much of doing maths is about confidence. It's a virtuous circle smile

I tutored one boy for 5 years - I did tell him and his family many times that they didn't need me! He got an A* in A level maths, and an A in AS FM, and a good university place.

If you can afford it, and your daughter's happy, why not? It can only improve her understanding and enjoyment of maths, which imo can only be a good thing!

Cookingwine Fri 01-Apr-16 07:53:12

No brainer isn't it? Keep the tutoring going smile

getoffthattabletnow Fri 01-Apr-16 08:12:06

I think your daughter is showing a lot of maturity in stating there's a problem and sorting it out.Many students at this age would just ignore the issue and hope for the best.

marialuisa Fri 01-Apr-16 12:15:33

We've done this for DD with maths. The tutor boosts her confidence and it's meant that something that was turning into a headache has been headed off. DD actually gets on well with her maths teacher and is predicted l8/9 but for some reason she needs a bit of hand holding. She goes once a fortnight and it's working beautifully.

Decorhate Fri 01-Apr-16 15:51:00

Totally agree about the confidence thing. I used to tutor a boy when I was a student & it was mostly about training him to keep calm & believing he could do it.

DontCallMeBaby Fri 01-Apr-16 23:15:28

As others have said, confidence is a big deal with maths. Plus different teaching/learning methods, and a different environment. I did A-level maths, having found GCSE a breeze, and came near to totally stuffing it up. Wasn't used to asking for help, lost my way, couldn't have asked my teachers if my life had depended on it. My mum taught maths, but no to A-level, and my dad had done, but our relationship was rocky at the time ... So I went to my mum's head of dept for tuition once a week. One on one, with someone I couldn't strop on (unlike my parents!), out of the house, worked very well.

26 odd years later DD had 11+ tuition, the best result of which was a huge improvement in her attitude towards maths. Again, a different environment,, one on one, and a calm, professional tutor made all the difference.

womdering Sun 03-Apr-16 08:39:30

I tutor children whose parents have sought me out for a number of reasons. Other than those going for the 11+, I have a large proportion of children who come because they were lacking in confidence (maths or English).

Within a relatively short time, and with a huge dollop of praise and positivity as well as targeted support in areas they hadn't understood/ covered at school, these children gain hugely in confidence, competence and self-esteem (in relation to their academic ability). In fact, the most rewarding aspect of my job is hearing how much more motivated and engaged the children become in their tutored subject, at school.

SmallCarrot Mon 04-Apr-16 10:32:52

Yes. DD had a maths tutor at her request, she is very much like your DD in terms of being too driven and she was worrying needlessly about maths, she went to a tutor and suddenly her confidence improved massively and she was much less stressed. It was the best money we've ever spent.

SanityClause Mon 04-Apr-16 10:47:30

DD2 had a tutor for spellings and maths when she was 9 or 10. This was purely for her own confidence, and after a while, she decided she was okay, and didn't need the extra help. It was nothing to do with the 11+, although lots of people do have tutoring for that where we live, but we had already decided that grammar school wouldn't be the right environment for her and had no intention of entering her for the tests.

I have also offered DD1 tutoring in various subjects (for example, when both music teachers left at Christmas time, in year 11, so basically with a term and a half before the exams, to be replaced by someone who promised them they'd all get a C, even though DD1 was predicted A*.) She hasn't taken me up on it, but like you, I feel it's less to do with lack of ability and more to do with a confidence boost.

CharleyDavidson Mon 04-Apr-16 22:13:10

I suppose it just strikes me as odd that she needs tutoring at all. She's on the G&T programme and is in the 'super-set' for maths in her school - stupid name for it, but they split top set into 2 this year and that's what they decided to name the top-top group. She just hasn't gelled with the teacher. And worries that she isn't actually being directly taught stuff, just expected to cover it on the CD Rom they were recommended to buy. When I asked her what they did in class, she said it was sheets of stuff to see if they knew what to do. I had thought about going in to talk to them, but she was v anti this and didn't think it would achieve anything. She's probably right. So the tutoring was the idea instead.

She did 4 papers of mock exams just before the holidays and I will be interested to see what her predicted grade is from them. Perhaps, if she gets the A/A* GCSE grade in the mocks that she's supposed to be capable of (pre any tutoring) then she will become a bit more confident in her ability.

Either way, it's £20 well spent for each session.

RedHelenB Sun 10-Apr-16 19:10:56

Maybe dropping down a set would help if she requires extra teaching and they have a teacher who explains things better? After all if the top set has been split in half then that is still top set and in my dd's top set they are all deemed capable of getting a 7 8 or 9

noblegiraffe Sun 10-Apr-16 20:24:27

Don't let her drop down a set if her only issue is confidence. Research shows that girls tend to think that they are much worse at maths than they actually are, where boys tend to have more confidence.
Tutoring to boost her confidence is an excellent route, rather than allowing her to talk herself down. If she made it into the supergroup, then she has the ability to stay there, she just needs to keep on top of her independent study.

CharleyDavidson Sun 10-Apr-16 20:30:39

She wouldn't want to drop down a set anyway, so that's a no go. Especially as I don't think she needs extra teaching for what she can do and to achieve her predicted A*. It's more giving her the security blanket to remove some revision stress. She has a CD rom of revision links that explains lots of what she needs to do and is happy using them. And she's very self motivated to do well too.

Elibean Mon 11-Apr-16 20:28:57

OP, I did just that with dd1 when she was in Y4 - her teachers said she was fine, but I saw her panicking and crying at home as there were gaps in her knowledge (which we didn't realise at the time, and probably due to various unavoidable changes in teachers due to maternity and illness early on). She had a year of tutoring, and has done well in maths ever since.

If you can afford it, go for it. What your dd is asking for is support, and it sounds as if this support is working for her happiness and confidence. Well done you x

Elibean Mon 11-Apr-16 20:29:43

Meant to say, more importantly, dd1 has enjoyed maths ever since - the tutoring was never about grades, just confidence.

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