Parents often seek additional support for their children through tutoring. Whether it’s to reinforce learning, address specific challenges, or enhance overall understanding, the role of tutors can be invaluable in a child’s educational journey. However, for tutoring to be truly effective, clear and open communication between parents and tutors is essential. Here are some key tips to foster productive parent-tutor communication:

1. Establish Expectations from the Start: As a parent, clearly outline your expectations for tutoring sessions. What are your child’s specific needs? What academic goals do you hope to achieve? By articulating these expectations upfront, tutors can tailor their approach to meet your child’s unique requirements. Likewise, parents should be prepared for the tutor’s input with the expectations. If the parents’ expectations are not achievable, the tutor should let you know.

2. Communicate Regularly: Maintain open lines of communication with your child’s tutor. Share any updates or developments that may impact your child’s learning, such as changes in their schedule, academic progress, or personal challenges they may be facing. Similarly, encourage the tutor to provide feedback on your child’s performance and areas for improvement. It is important to mention that parents and tutors not go overboard. Too much communication can be as much (or a bigger) a problem as too little. 

3. Define Roles and Responsibilities: Clarify the roles and responsibilities of both parents and tutors in supporting your child’s academic success. While tutors provide academic guidance and support, parents play a crucial role in reinforcing learning outside of tutoring sessions and providing a conducive learning environment at home. While this might seem like it is implied, it can often help students if both parents and tutors maintain the same standards in their respective roles. For example, if a tutor expects students to have completed a novel to a specific chapter, it might be useful to have parents check in more regularly how the novel is going. In this way, when the student has time with their tutor, they can explain what is going on instead of procrastinating (check out our blog post on procrastination here).

4. Be Transparent About Concerns: If you have specific concerns regarding the tutoring process, don’t hesitate to communicate them with the tutor. Likewise, the tutor should communicate if they have any concerns in return. Whether it’s regarding the teaching approach, session frequency, or progress tracking, transparency is key to ensuring alignment and addressing any potential issues early on.

5. Encourage Two-Way Feedback: Foster a culture of open feedback between parents and tutors. Encourage the tutor to share their observations and insights regarding your child’s learning style, strengths, and areas needing improvement. Likewise, provide feedback on the effectiveness of tutoring sessions and any adjustments you believe could enhance their impact.

Helpful Hint

Both parents and tutors have a role to play in the student’s academic career; however, it is important that both sides stick to what they do best.

6. Respect Professional Boundaries: While it’s important to maintain open communication, respect the tutor’s expertise and professional boundaries. Avoid micromanaging or undermining their authority during sessions. Trust their judgment and expertise in delivering effective instruction tailored to your child’s needs. It might also be beneficial for parents to not join tutoring sessions to allow the student enough freedom to ask what they are struggling with and to avoid seeming like they are farther behind than the parents might have thought.

7. Collaborate on Goal Setting: Work together with the tutor to establish realistic academic goals for your child. These goals should be measurable, attainable, and aligned with your child’s learning objectives. Regularly revisit these goals to track progress and make any necessary adjustments along the way.

8. Celebrate Achievements Together: Acknowledge and celebrate your child’s progress and achievements in their academic journey. Whether it’s mastering a difficult concept, improving their grades, or demonstrating growth in confidence, recognizing these milestones fosters a positive learning environment and reinforces the value of collaborative efforts between parents and tutors.

9. Be Flexible and Adaptive: Recognize that every child learns differently, and what works for one student may not necessarily work for another. Be open to trying different approaches and strategies suggested by the tutor, and be willing to adapt based on your child’s evolving needs and progress.

10. Prioritize Your Child’s Well-Being: Above all, prioritize your child’s well-being and holistic development. Maintain open communication with the tutor regarding any concerns or challenges your child may be facing, whether academic, emotional, or behavioral. Together, collaborate on strategies to address these issues and provide the support and encouragement your child needs to thrive academically and personally.

Effective parent-tutor communication is fundamental to maximizing the benefits of tutoring and supporting your child’s academic growth. By establishing clear expectations, maintaining open lines of communication, respecting professional boundaries, and prioritizing your child’s well-being, you can foster a collaborative partnership with the tutor that empowers your child to reach their full potential.