Sylvan Learning Centre client Tiana

FAMILY: Tutoring can make a big difference for students

Extra help can keep academic challenges from getting out of control

November is often the time of year when students start to struggle: the novelty of the new year has worn off and the countdown to winter holidays has begun.

If midterm results and teacher feedback show students have challenges in certain subjects, it can be a good time to think about engaging a tutor. And this year in particular, with an accelerated schedule to make up for time lost to the teachers’ strike, some kids are in greater danger of falling behind.

“There definitely is a crunch going on this year, especially with the high school students,” says Mike Lander, director of Sylvan Learning’s West Shore centre.

“There’s a lot of need for extra tutoring sessions throughout the schools.”

Three groups of students can benefit from tutoring, he says. Those who are behind, those who are doing well and want to maintain that level, and the “get ahead” students who may not be getting the challenges they need from regular classroom hours.

With students who are struggling, it’s important to remember they may need to go back to earlier foundations to rectify a current gap in their learning. “A student may be struggling with Grade 6 math, for example, and they may need to go back to Grade 4 concepts,” Lander says.

Whether parents decide to use a centre like Sylvan or go with a private tutor, he says, it’s imperative parents know who’s going to be working with their kids.

“I would always suggest having a conversation with them. Learn what their philosophy is, and you do want to make sure that you’re working with somebody that is reputable,” he says.

Also vital to tutoring success is a regular schedule, with time slotted in just like for hockey or band practices. “Our most successful students are coming three or four hours a week. With just one hour a week, you’re really not making any progression.”

Academic struggles can get lost in the maelstrom of sports, extracurricular activities, or things happening at home, but it’s vital that struggles are dealt with before they balloon into larger and larger struggles.

“Often education gets put on the back burner, but it’s so important,” Lander says. “It’s the most important factor for their economic future.”

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Significant donation boosts Victoria Hospitals Foundation’s most ambitious fundraising campaign

Townline’s $600,000 donation helps purchase new 3 Telsa MRI for Royal Jubilee Hospital

Rickter Scale: Early morning ear worm resonates

The Rickter Scale is a regular column

Trees Cannabis director fined $1.5 million for selling marijuana

Fine follows provincial crackdown on popular dispensary

Saanich Police say bubbling pavement poses no threat to public

Resident reports water coming from cracked pavement at Cedar Hill Road and Cedar Hill Cross Road

Saanich marks B.C. Heritage Week with diversity display

Exhibit on display at Cedar Hill Recreation Centre until Feb. 27

VIDEO: 7 things you need to know about the 2020 B.C. budget

Surplus of $227 million with big spending on infrastructure and capital projects

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Feb. 18

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

POLL: Do you support the proposed changes for ICBC?

Tuesday’s provincial budget predicted a shift from shortfall to surplus in wake… Continue reading

Island wildlife rescue centre sees 9 poisoned birds since January

MARS trying to fundraise for ‘rigorous and expensive’ lead poisoning treatment

Via Rail lays off 1,000 employees temporarily as anti-pipeline blockades drag on

The Crown corporation has suspended passenger trains on its Montreal-Toronto and Ottawa-Toronto

VIDEO: Knife-wielding man arrested after barricading himself in Lower Mainland Walmart

A man had barricaded himself in the freezer section of the fish area at a Walmart in Richmond

Budget 2020: Weaver ‘delighted,’ minority B.C. NDP stable

Project spending soars along with B.C.’s capital debt

B.C. widow ‘crushed’ over stolen T-shirts meant for memorial blanket

Lori Roberts lost her fiancé one month ago Tuesday now she’s lost almost all she had left of him

Higher costs should kill Trans Mountain pipeline, federal opposition says

Most recent total was $12.6 billion, much higher than a previous $7.4-billion estimate

Most Read