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Will a tutor help and if so, what sort?

(6 Posts)
74looloo Tue 03-Jan-17 21:55:21

Hi. I have a yr8 son who has had a bit of a turbulent time since he was 6 with divorce, horrible and ongoing aftermath, a neurological condition with an operation and needing to wear splints. Year 8 is the first year he has been 'normal' i.e.: doesn't wear splints. He is mid stream for his school groups but the problem is he won't try to do better as he is scared to fail, this results in tears and a lot of frustration all round. This has been a problem for a few years and it's only this year when it's come to a bit of a head and his lack of confidence is really affecting him in and out of school. To spare you a lot of the details...he has agreed that he will try a tutor. The question is, what sort of tutor should I look for? I'm not that bothered about the grades, but really want someone...anyone...that can work with him to improve his confidence levels which he can apply to school and social life. Am I better looking for a tutor in a stronger subject for a 'quick win' or are there tutors who generalise but will help with study skills/ confidence....and where can I find them? He is at a high achieving school, which although I have no problem with, he is not really on their radar as he is mid stream. Any advice appreciated. Ps: please do not advise he tries an out school club as I've tried this many times over the years and he resolutely refuses to try anything apart from football.

GnomeDePlume Wed 04-Jan-17 03:54:19

Is he struggling with specific subjects? For example if he has had to miss school there may be foundation topics he has missed in, say, maths or English which mean that some of the foundations in his education 'building' are missing.

Would it be possible to contact the school, talk to specific subject teachers and find out if there are any gaps in his understanding?

74looloo Wed 04-Jan-17 06:17:28

Hi. The operation was in a year 5, and he was only off school for a week. psychologically, he know he has something that makes him different from others. Sorry I wasn't v clear in the last message. He isn't struggling in a specific subject, as he is mid stream for all of them, but most teachers have identified he could do better if he applied himself a bit more (no behaviour issues either). Now I've started probing a bit more as to why he won't try harder, it's coming out about being scared to try and fail and complete lack of confidence that he would get it wrong

fourcorneredcircle Wed 04-Jan-17 09:29:01

Rather than an academic tutor it sounds like he needs some SEAL stuff - social and emotional aspects of learning. Schools sometimes have programs they can access for this. Or they have resources they can use.
It may be that the school has counselling available too. Your son is clearly struggling with his self worth/confidence and a school counsellor might be able to help him work on that? Counselling is often provided long term for very complex issues but there are sometimes short term (half term, or six week) blocks available too.
Could the school provide a buddy? In our school we match KS3 students that are struggling with confidence to a Y11 (we don't have a sixth form) and they have time together once a week during registration where they chat about well, All sorts! They seem to spend a lot of time talking about what the younger student is learning in lessons and the older student saying things like yeah, they found it hard too. Sometimes they talk about friendship.

Try contacting his head of year. See what they suggest.

Autumnsky Wed 04-Jan-17 13:16:15

It sounds that he could benefit from a role model. I am wondering if an older student who is excellent in acdemic and also confident, outgoing and with a warm heart might help.

74looloo Wed 04-Jan-17 14:14:11

Thanks for the advice, the student support sounds like a good idea. I did email his form tutor last term and she had a chat with him, but I think I will try again with student support and see if she is a bit more understanding.

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