A Lifetime of Learning: Tutoring from Early Childhood to Adulthood
by Jill Henry
What do you think of when you picture a tutor and a student? Like most people, you may view a tutor as a person who helps a high school-aged kid with homework once a week. However, for millions of people, a tutor is a lifeline. Whether it’s a tutor to help a young child get ahead in life, help a struggling student develop executive functions, or help an adult excel in a new career – a tutor can change the path of anyone’s life. This blog highlights five influential times during which a tutor can help and how that can make all the difference.
The early years of a child’s life are essentially a constant learning experience. Kids are learning how to walk, speak, and eat. Young children are always developing and learning because their brains are highly flexible and trying to absorb everything around them. These developmental years are critical to the child’s future, and teaching a child a different language will set them up for success before they are even out of diapers!
This is a natural time to learn a second language because kids are already learning their native language. It is also the easiest time for humans to learn a language because of the brain’s great neuroplasticity, which means the brain can more easily “stretch” to learn new words, language structures, and grammar rules. Furthermore, a second language also develops problem-solving, critical thinking, and listening skills, as well as improve memory, concentration, and the ability to multitask. Finally, children proficient in other languages also show signs of enhanced creativity and mental flexibility.
Overall, children learning other languages will not only be bilingual (or trilingual!), which is a highly valuable skill in today’s interconnected world, but will also develop skills that last a lifetime. Many parents seek outside help to teach their children a foreign language. In fact, at WorldWise Tutoring our youngest student is only 1 year old! Enhancing your children’s learning at a young age is an investment in their future, giving them a competitive edge in school, the workforce, and life.
Despite any learning gains in the developmental years, pandemic closures set most children back 1+ years. Elementary-aged kids have not only missed out on an in–person education but also on valuable social time. Grade school teaches foundational skills in core subjects like math, reading, writing, and science. In elementary school, children also subconsciously learn how to build and maintain relationships with peers and teachers. Both – what they are directly taught and what they indirectly learn – are critical to the rest of their life.
Two years of pandemic school closures caused many students to fall behind in hard skills, such as accounting, and digital literacy. Students also now have deficiencies in soft skills, namely team building, project leadership, and time management. These educational losses are highly detrimental for students at a young age.
Extra help is needed to bridge these gaps, but many schools lack the staff, resources, and knowledge needed to differentiate instruction for students based on their current levels. This lack of help is largely caused by increased classroom sizes and underqualified teachers. Kids will continue to fall further behind, and with the gaps growing exponentially each year, this problem will go unsolved. However, tutoring has been a proven effective way to fill holes in students’ comprehension and mastery. WorldWise Tutoring offers both 1-on-1 tutoring and group tutoring to assess and addresses students’ academic and emotional struggles.
High School Years:
High school is considered to be the peak time for kids to enroll in tutoring – largely because this is when kids are susceptible to falling behind academically due to mounting social pressures. However, this isn’t the full picture. Many high schoolers are balancing sports, clubs, work, social events, and college preparation on top of taking 5-7 different classes every day. The guidance and support of a tutor can be a lifeline for kids.
A quality tutor will not just focus on homework completion and basic test-taking strategies. WorldWise Tutoring knows that a tutor is more of a learning coach, helping students increase their confidence and independence through the teaching of personalized learning and life skills.
It is crucial for students to learn how to learn and work. For instance, students need to deliberately be taught executive functions, such as time management, organization, focus, and self-control. These are some of the soft skills we use every day, and they are absolutely critical to academic success. Without them, many students have difficulty completing assignments, focusing, following directions, and handling emotions. WorldWise Tutoring helps students adapt soft skills into their daily lives by creating prioritized lists, breaking down assignments into more manageable tasks, establishing and maintaining a daily schedule, and instituting a routine of organization and getting ahead. Learning these skills is critical for high school students, as it will make the challenges they will face in school and beyond easier to tackle.
If a student previously had a quality tutor, then the transition to college could be a breeze. However, for those who did not, the lack of a foundation of executive skills may make learning how to function in a new environment while making friends and completing coursework a difficult balancing act. Luckily, a college tutor can help!
Additionally, most students are required to take classes that don’t apply to their major but are required by the school. It can be difficult for an English major to take a math class or a math major to take a writing class, for example. A tutor can assist college students in better navigating these new obstacles.
Furthermore, college-level academics are also often much more difficult than kids are prepared for. Learning to perform at this new level can be a challenge, and professors are often not available often enough to be a significant help. It is beneficial for college students to seek outside help beyond the university essay writing or math help centers. WorldWise Tutoring is here to assist. WorldWise tutors prioritize executive functions and other soft skills, which make balancing school, social activities, and self-care much more obtainable and enjoyable.
Learning doesn’t stop with graduation; it is a lifelong pursuit. WorldWise Tutoring also provides services for adults, many of whom are looking to pick up a new skill, get a later-in-life degree, or change careers. Learning at older age strengthens connections within the brain and helps keep dementia at bay. It can also be a lot of fun for adults to learn a new skill, such as playing an instrument or mastering a different form of technology.
It is good for the mind to be consistently expanding and growing. Although it may be a bit harder for older people to do this because of the reduction in brain flexibility, a tutor can make learning a new skill much easier and fun. A WorldWise tutor can also help adults who want to switch careers by assisting with resume revisions, interview skills, technological understanding, and improving vital soft skills.
Tutors are more than homework helpers. Tutors help students stretch their brains and develop lifelong skills at any age. Tutoring is for all people at any stage of their lives, because learning should never stop. WorldWise Tutoring is dedicated to helping students of all ages and all abilities to grow intellectually and develop essential life skills. Learn more about WorldWise Tutoring’s services here.