May 9

Ask A Tutor Tuesday – 5/8/2017

Question: My student seems advanced for his age. He’s 11 and can complete most of the homework we do with only a little prompting. I’m looking for a way to challenge him in our sessions. Any ideas?

It’s wonderful that your student seems to be doing so well in school. First, I’d suggest making sure you are covering all of the bases in your sessions and not just working on homework that he knows is easy for him. Some students don’t want to work on their more difficult assignments in order to avoid looking ‘not smart’ in front of someone else. However, if this isn’t the case, there are several things you can do to challenge your student.

  • See what he would like to learn. If your student has a very inquisitive mind, it is likely he would enjoy exploring some of his interests. For example, if he enjoys science, he might enjoy doing an experiment with you. If sports is an interest, you might do some research together on a particular player or team. If he is an avid reader, maybe the two of you can select a more advanced novel or nonfiction book to read.
  • Introduce him to one of your passions. Whether it is your career, a hobby, or a subject you are very knowledgeable about, hearing about your interests will be inspiring to your student. Better still, bring in some props to illustrate–books, photographs, tools–anything you think will be a learning experience for him.
  • Try doing some advanced math or ELA work from the Academic Program.
  • Bring in some brain teasers or other fun but challenging games, like a sudoku puzzle.

Remember, homework is only one part of the tutoring experience. The more you can engage your student in learning, the better.

Amanda Carr joined School on Wheels in early 2015. As engagement specialist at School on Wheels, she is dedicated to providing volunteers with resources to help them succeed.

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