You’ve made the decision to get your child a tutor but have no idea where or how to start. As a teacher and president of a tutoring company, Teachers to Go, I completely understand that the whole process of finding the best tutor for your child is daunting. Therefore, I have compiled a few tips, many that we use when finding the best match for our students, to help make this process easier for you:
1. Before moving forward in the process, think about your child’s personality, learning needs, and your family’s schedule. Here are some questions to ask yourself:
2. Ask other parents about their experiences with tutors/tutoring companies. This information will give you contacts to get your process started. Keep in mind that every student learns differently, including your child, and a tutor that may have worked, or not, for their child doesn’t mean you’ll have the same results. Don’t be afraid to ask the tutor/company any questions you feel are important to finding your child the best tutor possible. The tutor/company may be the professional in education but no one knows your child better than you do!
3. Before committing to any sessions, I highly recommend requesting a consultation with the tutor to give you the opportunity to ask him/her questions. Some questions you may want to ask the tutor may include:
Throughout the whole process, keep in mind that while a tutor’s credentials and experiences are very important, having a tutor who connects well with your child is crucial. The relationship they build with their tutor will really help your child get on board and perhaps even (gasp!) get excited for the sessions together. Good luck in your search!
by Julie Freedman Smith and Gail Bell
Wandering through the children’s section of a library or book store is like wandering blissfully down memory lane. Books take us back to time with a favourite teacher, a comfy couch with mom and dad, or the bedroom floor – lying on one’s tummy while rereading an old favourite. Life was simple. Books made everything better.
These days, there are so many other ways that kids might spend their time. Literacy remains critical to the development of many skills. In addition, book time creates an incredible opportunity for connection with our kids; developing strong relationships, memories, and inspiration for future discussions. Reading is the gift that keeps on giving.
On the other hand, almost every parent has felt their eyes rolling back in their head at the thought of reading that SAME BOOK ONE MORE TIME!!!!
So, how do we get the most out of book time with our kids?
1. Let them “read the book”
With young children, choose books with pictures that tell a story and words that rhyme. Your kids can help you “read” the book. Have them finish the sentence using the sounds of the rhyming words and the pictures as clues. They could even tell you a version of the story by going through the pictures. Although they aren’t actually reading the book, when kids have memorized parts of a book and can pretend to read it to you, they see themselves as readers and that encourages future reading.
2. Keep books with you in the car
It’s so easy to let your electronic device entertain the kids while waiting at the doctor’s office. However, if reading is important to your family, get really clear on how much screen time is right for your kids and then use available time for reading, puzzles and other games that allow hands-on problem-solving and creativity development. Reading a book builds a child’s imagination.
3. Visit the library
Feeling trapped in the house? Getting out to the library is a great escape. Kids can look through shelves and shelves of books and discover their own treasures. In addition, story times mean that you don’t have to do all the reading and that your child learns to sit and listen while in a group.
4. Do home-reading during the day and read to them at night
It’s best to do school reading homework during the day. Waiting until a child is sleepy can be really tricky for kids who aren’t confident readers. At bedtime, read books that are slightly beyond your child’s reading level. This exposes little ears to new vocabulary and engages their imagination. It leaves them dreaming of a wonderful story when they close their eyes to sleep.
5. Use the book to start your own story
If you have read the story one time too many, ask your kids a question about the characters or their actions: “Have you ever felt that way before?” “What would you do if you saw a giant beanstalk growing up to the sky?” These are great ways to connect with conversation and build a foundation for your growing relationship.
Four Steps to Reduce Parents’ Stress With the IEP Process
If your child has recently been diagnosed as an exceptional pupil, then you’re in for the lengthy process of the development of their Individual Education Plan, otherwise known as an IEP.
As a parent, there’s a lot to understand what is involved in the process. Here are some steps to help make the process less stressful for you as a parent:
1. Make a friend in education – Develop a relationship with another member of the IEP team and/or reach out to Teachers to Go to help you learn about the process. Our teachers have direct experience with the IEP process and can explain your role as a parent.
2. You don’t have to go alone – There is a lot of new information presented during the IPRC meeting and it might be nice to bring someone along. Our TTG teachers’ first-hand knowledge of both your child’s abilities and the accommodation and/or modifications available through school will make them as asset at the meeting. They can also help you think of questions to ask and even act as a note taker during the meeting so you can focus on the discussion. Just make sure you tell the school beforehand that you’re bringing a guest.
3. Learn the lingo and educate yourself – There is a lot of terminology used in the IPRC process and it’s important to take your time to learn and understand it all. Take your time to absorb the information because it can be overwhelming. Here are a few terms to get you started:
Ontario Student Record (OSR): is the record of the student’s educational progress through schools in Ontario. It will include all of your child’s report cards, transcripts, and any other information seen as useful in the improvement of the instruction of your child.
Special Education Resource Teacher (SERT): is a specially trained teacher who assists in developing IEPs for each individual student. A large part of a SERT’s job is communicating and working with others involved in a child’s development, including parents, classroom teachers, psychologists, social workers. On a daily basis, the SERT collaborates with classroom teachers to support inclusion of exceptional students within the classroom.
Individual Education Plan (IEP): a written plan that describes the special education program and/or services needed by a student. It is based on assessments that show the student’s learning strengths and needs. It describes the student’s strengths and areas of need as well as the key accommodations and/or modifications to the program that will be implemented for them.
Accommodations: strategies that will help a student meet the provincial curriculum expectations of his/her grade-level.
• extra time given to complete assignments and/or tests
• use of amplification equipment
• preferential seating
• having instructions repeated or chunking of assignments
Modifications: changes to the curriculum so that a student will be given work at their ability level in a particular subject or course. The student works at a different grade level in the subjects that are chosen.
4. Be confident – The other members of the Identification Placement and Review Committee (IPRC) may be experts in education but no one knows your child better than you. Therefore, in order to ensure that your child gets the help they truly need, it’s crucial that you understand your role in this process. The knowledge you have about your child is invaluable. Remember to contact Teachers to Go today and inquire about our Special Education Advocacy Program.