What to Do When Your Child is Discouraged Academically

This article is sponsored by Tutor Doctor Frisco-McKinney.

“I don't even care.”

What do you do when your student says this? Three questions come to mind. A series of questions that can start a powerful dialogue that has life-changing results…

  • Why do you feel apathetic?
  • What is it that's frustrating you?
  • How can I help?

Let's talk about it.

Surprisingly, Stacy Parkelj, owner of Tutor Doctor Frisco-McKinney does not think the first conversation about your child's academic success should be with her.

studying books studentStacy, who taught for more than 10 years before opening her franchise, knows from experience that classroom teachers need to be involved from the start.

Teachers can help identify problems and offer potential solutions. They also know that students who are struggling are usually missing key content for some reason. It might be distractions, class pace, or gaps in knowledge or skills.

For those reasons, Stacy suggests consulting your child's teacher at the first sign of a learning issue:

We first recommend you meet with the teacher to try to understand what is happening in the classroom. Sometimes the teacher will come up with an easy solution like moving the child to a better place in the classroom and that will solve the issue. But, many times, you will find that the teacher also feels outside support would be beneficial.

Some kids think the need for tutoring reflects poorly on them. These kids might not let parents or teachers know how they feel. Stacy suggests you address this at the start of your child's tutoring:

It's important to emphasize to your student that having a tutor does not mean they're not smart. It means they need a little extra support, just like Mom or Dad go to a personal trainer or a business coach.

Just like Mom or Dad, kids get tutoring to develop potential they possess, not because of skills they lack. One on one attention can address academics as well as behavioral and emotional issues.

What's in it for me?

Better grades? Of course. But the results of Tutor Doctor's 1:1 approach go even further than higher scores.

homework-study-tutorClients often see improved self-esteem; behavior; and grit, a combination of determination and perseverance. This is because Tutor Doctor tutors promote self-esteem at the same time they help students improve in school.

Stacy explains that, often, kids who are not doing well in class, feel disappointment from parents and teachers, and in themselves. Unaddressed, this can lead to any number of behavioral issues.

In most cases, after a few months of 1:1 attention from their tutor, parents tell us they see a marked difference in their student's overall self-esteem and behavior. The students also approach challenges and obstacles differently after they've had tutoring. They've learned that failure is okay as long as you learn from from it and grow, and they're able to take that life lesson beyond the tutoring session.

These foundational skills can have lifelong benefits that extend far beyond the classroom.

Why 1:1?

It's math, and not the kind you'll need a tutor to do. The more pupils being tutored at the same time, the more divided the tutor's attention. Personalized sessions enable the tutor to meet the students where they are, go at the student's pace and answer the student's specific questions as they come up.

student tutoringIt's also about more than that. Tutoring at home is more comfortable for many students and is less disruptive for the family's routine. It is less stressful and can help with anxiety.

Eliminating the commute may also lead to improved results in a shorter time than tutoring sessions outside the home.

Sounds pricey.

Brace yourself for an incoming cliche. Tutoring is an investment. Tutor Doctor strives to provide excellent value to its clients. Stacy says,

Our tutoring prices are in line with, and in many cases, less expensive than other tutoring companies and private tutors. We try to keep our prices competitive, while focusing on high qualities and standards of our tutors.

There's not a pricing link on the website, because each program is custom developed to meet client needs. Cost factors include grade level, subject, number of sessions per week, and duration of tutoring. Stacy says a good rule of thumb is to budget between $200 and $400 per month. That can vary, based on a student's needs.

Who says you're the best?

After all, if tutoring is an investment, how can you know Tutor Doctor is a wise choice? Easy. Examine the staff and listen to clients. Let's talk staff first. Stacy wants the best tutors on her team. She explains,

Tutor Doctor Frisco-McKinney has a stellar reputation in the tutoring community for being a great company to work for, so we attract the best tutors around.

If you want to be wowed, visit their testimonial page. You can also appreciate one of Stacy's favorite client stories:

Probably my favorite story is when I received an email from a mother of one of our students. Her son had been failing 4th grade and his demeanor had completely changed that year. He was depressed, getting trouble in school and even threatening to kill himself. His mom had taken him to counseling and had tried pretty much everything she could think of to help him.

She hired us to tutor him in hopes that at least he wouldn't fail out. Well, our tutor was such a great match that not only did he not fail 4th grade, but he also brought up all of his grades to As and Bs and made the honor roll the last 6 weeks!

She said all along it was his declining self-esteem from struggling with school that was causing these behaviors, and she hadn't realized it until she made the connection when he handed her his honor roll certificate with a huge smile on his face.

She said that reflecting back on the semester, it was just about a few weeks into tutoring when he had started to change back into his old self and started showing improvements. It was an incredible feeling for us and the tutor to hear about what an impact we made on a child.

Is this a long-term commitment?

That's up to the client. Stacy is proud of their renewal rate, as it speaks to quality results and successful student-tutor matches. She shared,

We have a 75% renewal rate, meaning that 75% of our families renew with us over and over. If you consider that many of our students are high school students who hire us for one specific subject or test prep, than you come to realize that 75% renewal is exceptional. Also, about 60% of our families come to us from referrals.

I'd also like to point out that we have a good number of students that have no academic deficiencies, but use tutoring to get ahead and for enrichment. All students can really benefit from tutoring.

Recognizing that different students have different needs at different times, Tutor Doctor has a wide range of offerings. There's a program for executive functioning skills like organization and study skills that is popular with middle-schoolers and kids transitioning to high school or college.

Also available, is an innovative SAT/ACT prep program that integrates 1:1 tutoring with technology with phenomenal score improvements.

So what you're saying is…

Navigating childhood, parenthood, and school is challenging. For many, tutoring provides the boost in ability and attitude that can carry a struggling student proudly across the finish line.

Tutor Doctor Frisco-McKinney takes the stress of car rides and competition for attention out of the equation, by offering in-home, 1:1 services. Think you might be in the market? Start a conversation to see if Tutor Doctor might be the answer you're looking for.

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