When you’re looking for a tutor, you have many options to choose from. You can hire someone with experience in the subject you need help with or an expert in one of the subjects your child is struggling with. But, some children might need a different approach. Unlike traditional tutors, Learning Lab tutors are specially trained to work with students with learning differences.
Differences Between Traditional and Individualized Tutors
While traditional tutors may be highly qualified professionals who can help children learn new skills, specialized tutors have additional training to teach a specific population of students. Let’s explore how these two tutoring styles differ and how to find the best style for your child.
1. The Type Of Focus
Most traditional tutors focus on building skills around specific subject areas – math, science, reading, or writing. At The Learning Lab, our tutors focus on a child’s unique learning needs. Instead of subject-focused, we believe in student-focused tutoring. Students with learning differences need tutoring that helps them master the toolbox of strategies to help them make meaningful connections with the academic content they need help with.
2. The Educational Approach
In most cases, tutoring is seen as a reinforcement or catching-up process. Schools focus heavily on homework, projects, and tests. For students with learning differences, this means they can often fall behind as they try to fit into traditional standards of education.
Regular tutors often focus on helping students catch up with the academic schedule by reviewing assignments and classwork. These tutors may provide more practice on whatever is taught in the classroom instead of closing specific learning gaps. Learning Lab tutors focus on remediation using various instructional methods and evidence-based curricula designed to build foundational skills to help students feel more confident in their work and promote stable learning techniques.
3. The Overall Purpose
When choosing a tutor, parents need to look at the purpose behind tutoring. If the need for tutoring is merely to prepare for a test, then regular tutors may work. However, exceptional education tutors might be a better choice if the aim is to build personal confidence to improve academic skills or close significant academic gaps.
At The Learning Lab, our tutors work with students to address the root of their challenges. They look at individualized reports, evaluations, and data to create a comprehensive plan that addresses each child’s needs to develop a personalized educational plan that helps children feel more confident in school and life.
4. The Level Of Support
By far, the most significant difference between regular and special education tutoring is the level of support. Learning Lab tutors work in small groups or individual settings that promote better integration and personalized support. In addition, special education tutors are aware of the different challenges these kids experience and how to position learning opportunities differently to spark curiosity and lifelong learning skills.
5. The Type of Methods and Instruction
Regarding traditional tutoring, these professionals often follow a set curriculum determined by the schools and encourage the student to practice the skills taught in the classroom. However, these curriculums are not always designed for children with dyslexia. For example, one of the only ways to teach a child with dyslexia how to read is using the Orton-Gillingham approach. The Orton Gillingham approach requires a specialized training process and the use of a comprehensive, multi-sensory curriculum. Most traditional tutors don’t have access to these materials nor do they have the training to implement it.
What’s Best for Your Child?
Traditional tutoring is still a terrific option for many students. Yet, children with learning differences like dyslexia and ADHD require highly specialized support outside the school walls.
When looking for the best tutoring style for your child, it’s important to remember the importance of doing so in a structured, professional environment. Children who study in an environment prone to distractions can have more difficulty staying motivated.
The Learning Lab can help struggling students find the confidence and skills they need to master their educational challenges. If you’re considering tutoring services for your child, contact us today to learn more about our different programs and approaches. We can help you find the best tutoring program for your child based on their challenges and needs.