Is your child temporarily out of school? A home tutor can help to boost their self-esteem.

“But I can’t do that!” said Ollie, my Year 7 student during our first lesson. “He is lacking in confidence but wouldn’t ask for help,” said his mother later. I have heard this so many times.

When I began teaching and tutoring 17 years ago I didn’t realise how pivotal a role self-esteem plays in learning. Being naturally drawn to everything that is creative and fun, I have always structured the learning so that my students feel at ease and enjoy the process. Though I did it intuitively at first, I have found such an approach more fruitful than I had anticipated. Buoyed by its success, I have become increasingly interested in revealing what constitutes optimal learning.

Self-esteem is the key ingredient very often overlooked when we focus purely on ‘the attainment of knowledge’. The belief that learning is limited to endless memorising of facts and consequent testing can run some children into despair.

Ollie knows all about how that feels. He was doing reasonably well in Year 6 but when he started Year 7, he couldn’t handle the demands of secondary school.

High standards, competition and the perceived lack of support on Ollie’s part left him discouraged and anxious. Despite various interventions trying to keep him at school, Ollie wouldn’t engage and his parents finally decided to remove him temporarily.

That was around the time when I finalised my approach: Building Blocks for Effective Learning. Using my qualifications and experience in teaching, social science and counselling skills, I formed a programme that provides a strong foundation in both Maths and English, inspiring a desire to learn through confidence building.

I took Ollie through all the steps involving acceptance of the situation and understanding the barriers that contributed to it. We spent time exploring self-image, motivational factors and attitudes to learning. It helped him to learn how to cope with his feelings surrounding school and subsequently, he was able to return and he went up several sets in Maths and English.

Testimonials from parents and children in similar situation:

‘Katerina has been instrumental in our son’s recovery and her approach is kind, professional and sensitive, both to children and parents alike.  She has a wealth of invaluable experience and an open mind, essential in teaching.’

‘Your work has been invaluable in helping Louis through a very difficult transition to secondary school.’

‘I have come a long way. That is because of you helping me.’

For more information about this programme, please click here, or follow my blog. In these contributions, I would like to offer a variety of perspectives on how to improve a child’s self-esteem and self-confidence, whilst drawing attention to ‘false’ attempts, which are all too easy to make.