Jun 01, 2017
Five topics for tutors to consider incorporating into off-season sessions.
It’s clear that continuing your tutoring sessions throughout the summer can be beneficial for both you and your students, but determining which topics to teach is a bit more ambiguous when school lets out. You may feel like you’re grasping at straws when trying to ensure that your sessions remain valuable, especially if your students aren’t enrolled in summer classes. In reality, there is a great deal of material you can focus on to ensure that your sessions remain advantageous. The school break can be a wonderful opportunity to advance your tutoring career with the proper planning. Here are five topics to consider incorporating into your off-season tutoring sessions:
Summer homework is a crucial tool that prevents learning loss during the non-academic months. It’s an unfortunately common practice for students to wait until the last minute to complete summer assignments, but scrambling to get the the work done defeats it’s purpose in the first place. Students will show up to class with incomplete or poorly done work, and the lack of preparation can have a clear negative effect on learning. Spend summer month tutoring sessions working with your students on September assignments well before classes start and make sure to allot the necessary time required to grasp the subject matter. Research shows that breaking up information into smaller chunks and spacing out learning over time is effective and much more beneficial for learning. Create an interval-based assignment schedule so that the homework can be completed over the course of the summer and not rushed through when Labor Day hits.
If you’re tutoring older students, summer is the ideal time to shift your sessions towards standardized test preparation. Many major exams, such as the SAT and ACT, take place in the fall and winter. Plus, when classes reconvene, finding time for test preparation will be more difficult when coupled with a busy academic schedule. Not only can you work on the actual test material, but you can also focus on methods such as useful shortcuts for certain test categories and time management improvement (see Clark’s recent blog post on how to tutor this important skill). Once you go through section-specific material, have your students take practice tests at regular intervals as it’s shown to be very effective in increasing test scores.
Specific subjects may be your conventional focus, but it’s also imperative that your students strengthen non-academic skills. They can be immensely helpful in improving performance both in school and throughout life. Spend tutoring sessions focusing on refining practical attributes that can be applied beyond the classroom. Examples include organization, prioritization, and stress reduction, among others. Teaching students to recognize negative patterns and the methods by which to correct them can prevent non-academic limitations from impeding on academic success.
Summer tutoring can be extremely beneficial for young children who are just getting started on general academic skills. Market to parents in your community, elementary schools and summer camps to locate potential clients you can work with over the summer. Topics you can teach vary, but include basic reading skills, writing fundamentals, and language proficiencies. While it may not be something you’re used to, it’s a great way to continue holding sessions during the break and it’s certainly rewarding — you’ll play a crucial part in laying the foundation for a child’s successful academic development.
One of the more obvious ways to utilize summer tutoring sessions is to prepare for the upcoming school year’s material. Many students are well aware of the classes they will take in advance and, if they don’t have the class curriculum already, you can generally locate rough outlines online for more general subjects or even contact the school for information about the course. If a student exhibited any struggles in past subjects, it’s also a great time to brush up on that material and strive to improve comprehension. This is especially useful for subjects that are cumulative in nature, such as foreign languages and mathematics.
Join Clark today to get more tips, tricks, and tutoring topics for the summer and beyond.