5 Tricks That Will Help your Child Get Homework Done (without it being a big deal every time)

Every night it’s the same problem. Is there any way to get your child to do homework without it being overly dramatic? Here are a few efficient tricks that will help reduce the drama!


A well deserved break!

Upon returning home from school, after a long day of having been sitting and concentrating, it is important to let them relax a little bit. Letting them take the time to have a snack, to watch a little bit of television or play on the computer will allow them to take their minds of school and will be beneficial for them. In fact, since this relaxation period will allow them to disconnect in order to better apply themselves, there is no point in imposing homework as soon as they arrive home.

Creating a homework time-schedule and environment favorable to schoolwork eliminates distractions!

If there is a time for rest, there is also a time for work! Make things clear and establish a specific time for doing homework while respecting the start and end time of the homework period every evening. This way, you will be able to establish a daily routine. In the long run, it could become a reflex and you will not have to fight them on it constantly! As we know, distractions are abundant at home: television, game consoles, chats, text messages… you don’t need to look far for ways of loosing their attention! We have to eliminate these sources of distraction because peace and quiet while doing homework is essential to a child’s concentration. It is important to remember that an appropriate study space must be quiet and well lit in order to allow them to read easily.

Having fun while learning, learning while having fun: giving new meaning to learning “by heart”!

Since homework time is inevitable, why not make it a pleasant experience? First of all, you must approach the situation with enthusiasm and most importantly with sincerity; avoid being forceful, invest yourself fully, and follow your heart! As with your child, give yourself a break when arriving home. In a more relaxed state of mind, you will not get as easily discouraged in the face of resistance. Also, your good humor will likely be contagious!

Remember that learning can be done in other ways than through memorizing the subject matter systematically. In this case, don’t be afraid to explore outside the conventional ways by incorporating a bit of fantasy in the work. We can use our imagination in order to make the experience more pleasant and positive. Here are a few simple tricks:

  • Spark their interest by giving them problems to solve;
  • Make them recite notes using a fun and catchy rhythm, in order and in disorder (try using their favorite song!);
  • Make them do readings out loud and then ask them questions about what they just read in order to get them to interact;
  • Recreate a television quiz where you are the animator and they are the participant;
  • Give them a dictation of the recipe for supper and get them to help with supper in order for them to practice additions, subtractions, and divisions

Find a method that suits them

Whether it is conscious or not, every child develops their own tricks that help them remember subject matter and this is often through association: making links between elements is the best method that the brain has to store information and memorize it. Also, the student will, for example, create shortcuts in order not to have to learn entire multiplication tables. Obviously, with this type of technique, we save a lot of time and we simplify what we find complex. However, it is not a way of being lazy in order to save time and avoid the workload, but it is instead a personal strategy that gives them certain aptitudes for other concepts in order subjects. Therefore, we have to take the time to figure out what methods suits them the best and to encourage them to apply it properly. Targeting and encouraging that personal strategy for learning and for doing homework will give them more confidence in themselves generally and in their methods specifically.

Knowing how to recognize and harness their strengths

Following the same idea as above, instead of targeting what doesn’t work, it is always preferable to highlight the good points in order to encourage and gratify your child. Also, by identify the concepts that are already well established, the magnitude of the tasks will seem reduced: go over what is already understood and congratulate them for it, go step-by-step, and most importantly, do not see it as a hurdle to overcome, but instead as small successes that have been achieved. A mountain is, after all, but a series of pillars we climb one at a time. Looking at is this way, it is much more satisfying once at the summit to see the road that has been traveled!

Posted in Non classé | Leave a comment

Éléonore’s account of her experience as a student at School Success

Marilou, tutor at School Success, had a great idea for her student Éléonore. In order to learn more about students’ experiences at School Success, we asked Marilou to help Éléonore write a short text about her tutoring experience and what it means to her. The whole team was touched by her account! She has shown us that tutoring can make all the difference and that her tutor, thanks to all the confidence she had in her student, has allowed her to improve at school and continues to do so. Congratulations to Éléonore for this great text, and to Marilou for her help!


My name is Éléonore L., I am 12 years old and I have had the pleasure of being a student at School Success for the last two years. Before starting the tutoring sessions, I had a lot of trouble at school, especially in French and math. Also, I was too shy to ask questions in class, therefore I would understand less and less. I had lost confidence in myself because I could see my classmates getting good grades whereas I was failing.

My parents sign me up for School Success in order to help me improve. Before my first meeting, I was worried because I didn’t know if tutoring would help me. However, the meeting went really well! Marilou, my tutor, was great, but what made the difference was that I felt that she had confidence in me because she would keep encouraging me. With her, I am no longer afraid to ask questions, I feel free to ask for what I need without the fear of being judged. She is able to understand me, and now she knows when I do not understand, without me even having to tell her. She can explain a problem to me in many different ways until I understand it.

If I had to describe my tutor to you, I would tell you that she is funny, friendly, always smiling and most importantly… she has given me back my confidence and continues to have confidence in me! She helps me with my homework when I don’t understand it, she gives me extra assignments in order for me to improve, but most importantly, we have fun together!

Posted in Non classé | Leave a comment

Frequency, duration and number of hours of tutoring: is there a secret formula?

When a parent first contacts us, they often ask what method is recommend to begin the tutoring sessions. How often per week should we have sessions? How many hours should it last? Is there an ideal location where they should take place? Here is an overview of these main points, with recommendations from School Success!

Frequency, duration and number of hours of tutoring: is there a secret formula?

Frequency of meetings

Should the meetings be once or many times a week? Should they be close together or spaced out?

Depending on how much catching up is needed and the overall work required (homework, review, exam preparation, etc.), the frequency at the beginning might be quite variable. Nevertheless, in order to establish a good routine and give the tutor the opportunity to do a proper follow up at the beginning, we suggest a minimum of once a week.

If the student is significantly behind and has a lot of catching up to do, you can also start with many meetings close together. Once this “urgency” has been met, you can, with the tutor, reevaluate the necessity of continuing this way or maybe space the meetings out more.

The time period when the tutoring begins may also influence the frequency. At the beginning of the school year, the meetings can be more spaced out then when end of term exams are around the corner. At this time, the number of meetings per week can increase.

Homework help can also be more frequent and can take place during the week or on the weekend. This way, the tutor can do a proper review of what has been seen in class, targeted to the notions that were not well understood, and will help prepare the student for the notions to be covered the following week.

Length of sessions

Is one hour enough? Is it too much? How long should a tutoring session last?

One hour of tutoring often goes by quickly: by the time everybody gets set up, books are opened, and progress is checked, new problems or concerns are addressed, etc. Also, with the preparation and the travelling that the tutor must do, less than an hour is not really worth their time when it’s a tutoring session at your home.

During the week, after school, or in the early evening, one hour sessions and often enough, especially for grade school students. You must consider that a full day of school can already have been demanding for your child and that asking him or her to concentrate longer can be difficult. Students in high school or Cégep can stay concentrated longer, therefore you can discuss with them and with the tutor what the best approach would be.

Meetings can, however, be longer on the weekend: based on our experience, we have often noticed that students are more receptive and better rested. Their ability to concentrate is therefore greater.

Preferred locations for sessions

Is it preferable to have the meetings at home or at school? At the library or at the coffee shop on the corner? Online?

Between sports practice, art classes, or extracurricular activities, why not avoid more moving around? Meetings at the student’s home are the most popular method and we have some good tips on how to set up an efficient study space.

At times, in order to develop the child’s autonomy, some parents prefer to have the meetings outside of their home. For the Montreal region, we often suggest our learning center in Côte-des-Neiges, which is available to students and tutors during the week after school and on weekends.

Otherwise, with permission from the principal, it is at times possible to have the meetings at school. However, it is important that an appropriate location is made available to you and that the opening hours permit it.

Similarly, a library is a good place to have the meetings. It is a calm location favorable to studying. However, you must make sure you have access to an area for studying that is slightly apart from other visitors so as not to disturb them. Also, before planning a meeting, make sure to check the library’s schedule: some libraries close early or are simply closed on certain days.

Online meetings are another option to consider, which may be used as a compliment to the other meetings. Using our virtual classroom, the web-cam sessions offer live interactions and are often quite useful. In fact, if a meeting in person is not possible because of a transportation problem, do not hesitate to use our interactive platform!

As you can see, there are many factors to consider for individual tutoring. Since every case is unique and requires a particular follow-up, the secret formula requires many different ingredients! First of all, keep in mind that you must be well prepared ahead of time, communication properly throughout the sessions, and don’t forget that the main goal is the success of your child. We will be here to be part of the winning solution!

Posted in Non classé | Leave a comment

Interview with Michèle, a previous student of ours, and now a tutor with School Success!

Now this is an unusual story, and we would love to share it with you: Michèle, previously a student who benefited from our tutoring services, is now a tutor with us! We are happy to introduce her to you through this interview we recently had with her!

Interview with Michèle, a previous student of ours, and now a tutor with School Success

What was your situation at school before beginning tutoring sessions?

In general, aside from physical education, I always got good grades at school. However, once I reached secondary 4, math got a lot harder. Also, I had to keep an average of 76% or higher in math in order to stay in my high school’s science program the following year. I lacked structure in my study techniques, and the idea of failing, or not reaching my objectives made me anxious.

Were you apprehensive about your first meeting with your tutor, and what would you recommend to a student beginning their sessions?

I wasn’t apprehensive at all, but I had a lot of expectations. I needed help finding study strategies in math and I depended a lot on my tutor to help me find them. I was ready to put a lot of effort into reaching my objectives, and I hoped that my tutor would be at the height of my expectations. I was not disappointed! I believe that a tutor has a role in the success of their student, but that, without continuous effort on the part of the latter, it is much harder to reach the desired goal. I ask students not to be afraid to admit that they need help and accept the help that is offered to them with all the effort that is required.

Did tutoring influence your results, your self-esteem or your study methods?

Thanks to the help my tutor gave me, I felt safer during my exams and my grades shot up like an arrow. I even got a 95% in my ministry of education exam, and, on the transcript, it said that only 4% of students in secondary 5 in Quebec got a better grade than me! Did I ever feel proud! Also, I had a final overall average above 76% in math and I was able to get into my school’s science program the following year. My tutor helped me a lot, if only for the positive encouragement he gave me, or the simplistic and clear approach he used compared to the one my teacher used with the group. He made me practice a lot and thanks to that, exams no longer scared me.

In your opinion, as a student, what is a good tutor?

If I base myself on the experience I had as a student, a good tutor is someone who is creative and can adapt his or her teaching strategies to the needs and abilities of each student. It’s someone who believes in his or her student’s success and takes an active role in it.

What motivated you to become a tutor?

Since I’m studying to become a special education counselor, I told myself that tutoring would be the best way to become familiar with the role of helper as a teacher or special needs counselor. Also, it is interesting to get to know the parents’ point of view about the services provided by the school, and to be able to observe and identify where the student may be falling behind and help make up what’s lacking.

Is there a particular reason that motivated you to collaborate with School Success, and in your opinion, what are the advantages of using School Success instead of providing the services yourself?

As I am now studying to become a teacher, I told myself that collaborating with School Success could allow me to gain relevant experience with respect to my future profession. Also, the schedule is rather flexible and it was a lot simpler, for the moment, to manage my own schedule rather than find a part-time job. The experience I had with School Success made a big different for me, and it is what I wish to provide my students with while working with them. Working with School Success is a lot simpler for me than offering the services myself. For example, I don’t have to advertise, they regularly offer me students that live near me and that have similar availabilities as I do, etc.

As a tutor, what is a good student?

A good student, for me, is someone who wishes to succeed and who’s ready to apply all the efforts necessary to reach the objectives from the beginning, with their tutor.

What would be the best advice to give a tutor to help them establish good contact with the student and their family?

I think that the best way to establish a good relationship with a student’s family is to plan a meeting where everybody shares their expectations, before taking the student under your wing. Also, it is important to respect certain courtesies (ex: arriving on time, taking the time to say hello when arriving, etc.) and provide them with concrete results about their child’s progress. As for the relationship with the student, I think it’s important to take into account each student’s ability to learn at every session and be able to adapt accordingly. You have to display an interest in him or her and not forget to highlight their achievements. You mustn’t hesitate to take the time for discussion and to teach them things that do not necessarily relate to the subject matter you are learning. This makes the meetings lighter and the student is more likely to do the task at hand.

Can you share with us the strongest point of your experience as a tutor?

Though I do not consider that I have gained a lot of experience as a tutor, I have already had some memorable experiences. First of all, I loved being part of the Pour 3 point project, because it matches my values. Working as a tutor allows us to meet a lot of great people that enrich our work at every session. I think there is nothing more rewarding than to see the positive impact of our work, and to see our students’ progress and reach the desired objectives.

Posted in Non classé | Leave a comment

“A victory, big or small, heals many wounds” anecdote provided by Francis, tutor at School Success

Raphaël, secondary 5, is a shy guy who lives in a far-away town in Saint-Mathieu in a small modest home. It wasn’t the warmest relationship at first. He was doing secondary 4 math, and it’s wasn’t easy! I had to go over many concepts with him dealing with fractions and signs seen in secondary 1 and 2. From one week to the next, he’s motivation seemed to disappear and he would forget what we saw the previous week.

Then, slowly, after a few weeks, a bond began to form between us as we started chatting about things other than math; school, travels, becoming a cook (his dream job), teachers, friends, fake friends, gangs, girls, etc.

Raphaël had other much greater preoccupations than simultaneous linear equations. For the most part, this explained his incapacity to concentrate thoroughly on a problem.

In math, you have to dive into a problem as if you were entering a dark room full of strange objects. Slowly, your eyes adjust to the obscurity and you begin to recognize objects. You begin to put together what you learn easily and establish connections, and you end up figuring out what you will have to find at the end of the problem, and then, which path you want to take to get there. The last step is to jump right in, use the right screwdriver at the right moment and don’t second-guess which way to turn it (basic algebraic functions).

This being said, such an introspective approach requires a lot of what I like to call peace of mind. The smallest torment can prevent us from seeing clearly in the dark, or make us forget the science behind screwdrivers, to follow my previous analogy. 

The solution? Put your life on hold for a moment and stop worrying to give yourself time for one calculation, or two, or three… And I think that realizing you are not along in asking yourself important life questions lightens the feeling of insecurity.

Also, Raphaël had to accept the fact that his greatest weaknesses went back to grade 5 math. That’s hard on the ego. June was approaching, and I had to make him understand the urgency of the situation, without humiliating him. That was a great challenge. If he failed math, his self-confidence would fall to the lowest level, and it would be even more difficult to catch-up.

Once he was in the right state of mind: “forget everything else, I will do math like crazy until the final exam”, he improved one thousand times faster and his competence in math finally reached the desired level. His class notes became clear and well structured. So, the home stretch was the easiest part, or at least the part he was the most confidant about. I was absent during those last two weeks (I started working for “Les Débrouillard”). He got there on his own. And I don’t think my absence was a bad thing.

At the end of June, I was informed that, against all odds, he had passed math!

I won’t forget him. And I don’t think he will either. A victory, big or small, heals many wounds.

Francis, tutor at School Success

Posted in Non classé | Leave a comment

Interview with Marichelle, tutor at School Success!

Marichelle has been a tutor with us for almost two years now, and not unlike her colleague Guillaume, she offers her tutoring services in the Montreal region and at our learning center in Côte-des-Neiges. Here is an interview we conducted with her in order for you to get to know what of our tutors!

Interview with Marichelle, tutor at School Success

Hello Marichelle. First of all, a crucial question, were good at school?

I was rather good, yes. In grade school, I always finished my work quickly and I would get bored in class. In grade three, I had a great teacher who suggested that I help other students who were having trouble in my class, and also the younger students at school. Now that motivated me! I still remember a board game I created to help with verb conjugations!

And how did you become a tutor?

In secondary five, I was working in a café, and honestly, there isn’t much work on Saturday afternoons. My boss’ daughter would do her homework there and ask me questions occasionally. Little by little, I got in the habit of finishing by work related tasks in order to go help her! When the café shut down, I lost my job as a waitress, but I won my first tutoring contract!

In your opinion, what should be the main quality of a good tutor?

Listening. Listening to what we’re being told, but especially what we are not being told. Tutors who listen are constantly adapting to their students and creating a crucial bond with their students.

What was your favourite subject at school?

English classes! I had been placed in “English Language Arts”, which means we didn’t do any grammar, but literature analyses instead. I had amazing teachers who pricked my interest. I still remember how I felt while analysing a song by Tom Waits and understanding the references to biblical myths! That’s when I realized that words were not only a means of communicating. It is in part thanks to these teachers that today I study French literature!

And the one you liked the least?

In my time (I always feel so old when I say that, because of the reform I suspect), we had a carpentry class in secondary three. I don’t remember the exact name of the class; I do believe my memory is particularly selective. It was absolutely pathetic. I probably passed that class because the teacher had pity on me.

What was your best tutoring experience?

There are a lot. Many students bring a little ray of sunshine with them. But I must say that there was one experience that was particularly pleasant. It took place last year with a student I had been meeting regularly for at least one year. For a period of three weeks, I went to his house every afternoon to prepare him for his 6th year of grade school. I must say we were really comfortable, set-up on the balcony with books, tropical juices and pistachio nuts! To reward ourselves on a job well-done we would take a break, and go buy ourselves an ice-cream or iced-cappuccinos!

Tell us of an anecdote that happened to you as a tutor

I was asked for my hand in marriage! After a meeting, a young student of mine brought together his father, mother and younger brother in the hallway. His 7-year-old self valiantly declared that he intended to marry his tutor!

Where do you see yourself in ten years?

I would like to have a clinic for adolescents. I would combine services in special education, psychology, guidance counselling, legal aid, and medicine. I would like it to be a place where teenagers feel comfortable to come ask for advice or receive services.

Posted in Non classé | Leave a comment

How to prepare for your first meeting with your tutor

Before a first meeting, we often encounter the same issue, even though we have a vague idea of how the session will take place, we never really know exactly what to expect! We mostly hope that everything will go smoothly and everybody will get along well. Here we give you a few useful tips that will help you break the ice between your tutor, your child, and yourself!

How to prepare for your first meeting with your tutor

Before the meeting

Address the main person concerned. Before the first meeting, it is already possible for you to prepare the field. You can start by asking your child how he or she envisions the tutoring sessions. Is your child insecure about his bad grades? Is your child motivated to do well? If you child is feeling reluctant about seeing a tutor, be reassuring by explaining that the tutoring will serve as an accompaniment to help better understand the subject matter and help you child succeed in his or her studies.

Facilitate communication between the various parties. Getting in touch with the teacher beforehand would also be very useful for the tutor: you can invite the teacher to an eventual meeting with the tutor, which could ensure a better follow up and better academic support. We can also have the teacher fill out an evaluation form, which draws up a portrait or your child’s academic situation and will be given to the tutor.

Bring together all available academic documents. To the best of your abilities, prepare all pertinent documents useful for the tutor: school report cards from the current year, homework, exams, and previous assessments (from former tutors, teachers, special educators, etc.). These documents will allow your tutor to have an overall idea of the subject matter that has been discussed in class, and the tutor will also be able to target you child’s main difficulties, in order to draw up a better portrait of the situation.

Decide on an adequate time slot for the sessions. Making the right choice of when to have these sessions is an important element. If the meetings are after school or in the evenings on weekdays, you must consider your child’s ability to concentrate. For example, planning a session after a long day of school or after training for a sport may not be very productive and may reduce the effort made by your child. Weekend meetings can be very efficient since the students are more rested and therefore more receptive. The weekend also provides the opportunity for the tutor to review all subject matter seen during the week and concentrate on what was less well understood.

Choosing the location of the session. The location where the session will take place should not be chosen randomly. You would like to do the meetings at home? Here are a few suggestions for creating a workspace. If you would like the sessions to take place in a more neutral area, we suggest a public library near you, a quite café in your neighbourhood, or our learning center in Côte-des-Neiges.

During the meeting

Get acquainted. At their arrival, take a moment to get to know the tutor. Before jumping into the work, it is normal for the tutor to want to break the ice, as much to get to know your child as to lighten the mood. Good chemistry is desirable for the tutor to be efficient, and let them get to know each other before getting into the thick of things.

Instil calmness in the house. During the meeting, avoid all sources of distraction and noise: television, loud music, animated conservations, etc. As much as possible, it is best that your household remains quiet during the sessions to favour your child’s concentration.

After the meeting

As needed, organise a game plan for future sessions. Once the meeting is finished, discuss with the tutor whether or not it is necessary to establish objectives or an action plan to ensure a smooth progression of the sessions. This is also the time to plan the next session and reassess if the frequency and duration of the meetings are appropriate.

Ensure follow-up between meetings. During the week, between two meetings, make sure your child is doing his work properly and verify whether he or she is applying the methods suggested by the tutor. This is a good way to ensure there is a progression in your child’s results. Then, share with the tutor the successes and difficulties encountered.

What to do if there is no chemistry between your child and the tutor? At times, personalities can in fact not be compatible. You would have to first consult both sides, your child on the one hand and the tutor on the other, in order to have a full assessment of the situation. Afterwards, contact School Success, and we will quickly find a solution to the problem. A good relationship is essential to fully benefit from tutoring; we will accommodate you to find a tutor whose approach and personality meet the needs of your child. 

Posted in Non classé | Leave a comment

Travel log: Globetrotting Tutor

December 18, 2012

Last summer, one of our student’s mothers contacted us with a rather exceptional request: follow and tutor a group of twenty or so students on their downhill ski competition in Austria and western Canada. We moved heaven and earth to find a tutor that could take advantage of this great opportunity. Francis, math and science tutor, summarizes this experience for us.

Ski hill on the Hintertux glacier in Austria

Ski hill on the Hintertux glacier in Austria

In fall 2012, the Eastern Township’s elite downhill ski team was leaving to train in the most beautiful mountain chain in the world. The first three weeks took place at the Hintertux glacier in Austria. The last two were at the Panorama station, in British-Colombia.

Every morning, the students would leave early to get on the mountain, they would have lunch up top and would come back at around 3:00 or 4:00pm. Intense training! They are real athletes.

I had the unforgettable opportunity to accompany them for the duration of the training camp. It was a memorable time! I had to cancel two university sessions in order to be able to leave for so long: I do not regret my decision.

Every night before supper, the students would set up around the table to do their homework. My job was to motivate them, structure their homework sessions, and especially to answer their question in order for them to move forward as efficiently as possible. I had three secondary three students, three secondary four students and eight in secondary five. Gradually, I gained a place in this big family where everybody is always talking about turning techniques, anecdotes about tourists falling off the T-bar, the best skiers in the world, the fog at the summit, the bruises on their arms, etc. A really great gang! I was a sort of hybrid between a trainer and a student. Pretty great!

Authority? I had neither the need nor the intention of putting myself in a position of authority over them. On a few rare occasions, I had to intervene to make the study environment less noisy. The ambiance was always pleasant.

Questions? I was asked a ton! And good questions too. They made me work hard. Every day, they left with a slightly less foggy understanding of science or math and they would thank me warmly.

Motivation? That is the variable that changed a lot from one day to the next. Where do you find the motivation to study when physical exhaustion and the feeling of already having worked enough takes over you? It can come from two places, often simultaneously.

The Eastern Township’s elite downhill ski team at the summit of the Hintertux glacier

The Eastern Township’s elite downhill ski team at the summit of the Hintertux glacier

First of all, the parents kept a watchful eye on their kids. They are their main sponsors and they intent on them doing really well. For the most part, if the grades at school were not satisfactory, skiing is over! Therefore, no choice to work hard to catch up the months missed at school because of races and training. They know they mustn’t get too far behind.

Secondly, other than the build up of lactic acid, injuries and the desire for naps, the incredible health of these students keep them going. Cardiovascular health, but especially hormonal/mental health comes from their team spirit. What I mean by this is a spirit of competition, but also of rigor, respect, mutual help, and encouragement. The mountain of work seems never ending, but it’s as if a great big gondola carriers them up and brings them to open their books, earphones on their ears, and jump into it head first. Impressive.

Page 118, #6 to 22 the laws of exponents, trigonometric circles, personal final International Education project, laboratory reports, Hess law, etc. The list is long, but fascinating! At least, that’s my opinion.

Some nights were more difficult than others, especially when the chronometer disappointed them, but that’s life. One of my students, the one that was having the most trouble, told me that if it hadn’t been for skiing, he would have dropped out of school. But he will continue at school, I am sure of it, and he has the potential too.

Are they living their dream? I think so! They know that life has spoiled them, and that they take it into account in their way of seeing the world. They still have a lot to learn beyond the ski hills, but they are well on their way.

Skiing is their life. Some have been doing it since the age of two. This type of training trip is more and more familiar to them, but they aren’t about to take it for granted. One thing is sure, I was one of the most excited when the plane was taking off!

I thank you 6,023 X 10^23 times for allowing me to live this experience. I will remember it my whole life.

The Eastern Township’s elite downhill ski team

The Eastern Township’s elite downhill ski team at Panorama, British Colombia

Posted in Non classé | Leave a comment

What is the parent’s role in tutoring?

Seeing your child struggle with problems at school can be heartbreaking. Not being able to help the child yourself, despite the best intentions, can be just as upsetting. A good way to overcome this problem would appear to be through tutoring. What about the parent’s role in this new dynamic? How should you react and involve yourself properly in this process?  Here you will find a few suggestions to allow you to participate actively in your child’s success.

What is the parent’s role in tutoring?

Favour communication and exchanges

Starting at the first meeting, take the time to have a good discussion with your tutor, since he or she could have questions to ask you. The tutor will most likely want to know about your child’s temperament, mainly to get to know him or her, but this will also help guide the tutor towards the best approach to take during the sessions. During this exchange, you may want to establish the basics of an action plan, which could serve as a guide during the meetings. Don’t hesitate to communicate your expectations with respect to the tutoring; by making all this clear, misunderstanding and disappointments will be easily avoided!

Establish an area favourable to studying and concentrating

In order to ensure efficient sessions, the environment in which they take place is an important factor and you can easily set up a space dedicated to studying at home. At times, for various reasons, the home is not the most convenient place for the meetings. For a calmer and more neutral area, you can consult the schedule at your nearest public library and set up a meeting there. You can also ask at school if there are rooms available after class.

Trusting the tutor

It is important to trust the tutor and provide them with the space required in order to favour their relationship with your child. Since respectful exchanges are essential, be open to suggestions provided by the tutor: who knows, maybe you will see things differently following the sessions!

Be motivated and especially, motivating

Panicking won’t help! By keeping a positive attitude and being reassuring, you diminish your child’s worries over the difficulties experienced. At the first encounter, certain students can be unwilling to have to rely on tutoring. After the first sessions, find out if you child appreciated the meetings and ask him or her to summarize briefly what they covered.

Ensure follow-ups between sessions

You must keep in mind that the tutor is supplementary help, not a replacement: the tutor is there to complement the support you are giving your child. Therefore, between sessions, make sure your child’s efforts remain constant, and share his efforts and progress with the tutor. Since a large part of learning comes from the individual, it is important that the student continues working without the tutor.

Observe your child’s attitude toward tutoring

The support and attention you provide your child with should above all provide good study methods as well as the tools adapted to your child’s needs. In order to ensure that the sessions do not become a crutch to your child’s improvement, discuss with your child the perception he or she has of tutoring. If need be, consult your tutor in order to work together to find ways to develop his independence.

The tutor is not there to replace you in your role of parent, but instead to work in collaboration with you in support of your child’s academic goals. Throughout this process, don’t forget that the objective is the success and well being of your child. By adding more help (parents, professors, tutor), we have the means to create an environment based on collaboration, which will assuredly promote the student’s confidence.

Posted in Non classé | Leave a comment

Interview with Guillaume, tutor at School Success!

Guillaume has been a tutor with us since 2009. He offers tutoring services in the Montreal region and at our learning center in Côte-des-Neiges, he is one of our most active and involved tutors. We are happy to introduce him to you by sharing this short interview we conducted with him.

Interview with Guillaume, tutor at School Success!

Hello Guillaume. First of all, a crucial question, were you good at school? 

I always did well at school; I was lucky to have parents who were very involved, who helped me with my homework all the time, but they especially made me appreciate at an early age how important school was, and the luck I had to be able to go to school everyday.

And how did you become a tutor?

During my first year of University, I had a friend who told me about her new tutoring job. She didn’t work for School Success, but for an organisation at the University. Curious, I came across the School Success website while doing an Internet search so I sent in my résumé. One month later, I was hired and the magic continues on.

In your opinion, what should be the main quality of a good tutor?

A good tutor must first and foremost be flexible: both it in terms of schedule and the work to be done, a tutor must always be ready to turn on a dime and work in the best interest of the students and their parents.

What was your favourite subject at school?

I loved French and Math.

And the one you liked the least?

Art: total absence of talent, it was almost embarrassing!

What was your best tutoring experience?

During my second year at School Success, I was tutoring two sisters at their home, two days a week. This family in particular made me understand the role of a tutor; I would go there so often that it was part of my daily routine. The parents were warm and welcoming, and the girls worked hard. I only tutored them for one year, but it summarized everything I like about tutoring: a great relationship, varied tasks (we worked on pretty much all subjects) and the feeling of being useful and appreciated.

Tell us of an anecdote that happened to you as a tutor

My goodness, there are so many! My favourite was the time when, while we were finishing our session, a student started criticising my profile picture. Since she had been working well, I allowed her to choose another one, and showed her a selection. Her comments were hilarious!

Where do you see yourself in ten years?

I see myself in education, of course, with a lot of contracts and previous work behind me. I would like to be able to do a Master’s and broaden my horizons. But, most importantly, in 10 years, I see myself happy and well accomplished!

Posted in Non classé | Leave a comment