It's not just the under-achievers who need extra help.

Falling grades are not the only signs that your child may need a tutor – here are a few points to help identify whether they might need extra tuition.

“Finish your homework, and then you can go outside and play”, used to be the extent of our after-school activities. Today, kids clock up an impressive amount of soccer/ballet/swimming lessons in the hours you and I used to sit around watching the Fresh Prince of Bel Air and making daisy chains out of weeds.

Your child might need a tutor if they are falling behind OR excelling.


The standards and expectations at both primary and high school are much higher than they were decades ago. While school readiness is mostly about emotional maturity, parents are often surprised at the fast-paced nature and how much has changed since we last donned a uniform.

If you suspect your child may be falling behind or could benefit from the help of a tutor, there are a few key signs to look out for, particularly in their behaviour.

What’s worth noting is that tutors aren’t just for children who need extra help academically. Parents also employ tutors for gifted students looking for more advanced studies above what’s being taught in the classroom or to help teach study skills in the lead up to exams.

Here are four signs your child needs a tutor:

1. A drop in confidence levels.

If your usually confident child begins to lack interest or confidence in a subject they previously excelled in, this is a red flag you don’t want to miss. They may be having difficulty with grasping new or abstract concepts. Alternatively, they may have lost confidence in a class full of whizzes.

If you’ve tried and failed to assist them, tutoring often helps children improve their self-esteem about their ability to learn.


“Apparently I am no longer allowed to call my daughter beautiful.”

Just as an FYI, this post is sponsored by Kip McGrath Education Centres and KipOnline™. But all opinions expressed by the author are 100 per cent authentic and written in their own words.

2. They ‘hate’ going to school.

If your child tries very hard but doesn’t show improvement in their grades, they can easily get discouraged, lose interest and rebel against going to school. Tutors can teach students how to focus and better learn in school.

Leading to an improvement in grades, but more importantly, to a more confident child who is more likely to apply themselves in school.

If your child “hates” going to school, you might have a problem.


3. Change in schools or teacher.

We all remember that one teacher that stood out in our schooling years — the one that just got us and made an indelible mark on our careers. Conversely, we all remember teachers we didn’t necessarily get along with so well.

If your child has recently changed schools or teachers, and isn’t excelling at the same pace as they were before, take it up with the teacher first. If you don’t feel equipped to help, enlisting a tutor can assist in the transition between schools or teachers or provide a more positive learning environment to supplement their education.

Similarly, if a child has recently experienced an emotional upheaval like parents separating or a death in the family, bringing in a third-party tutor can help defuse feelings of anxiety. Or feelings your child might have around disappointing you when they don’t get something straight away.

4. They think school is ‘too easy’.

If your child isn’t engaged in schoolwork or finds school too easy, first chat your child’s teacher. He/she is one of your best resources to help you decide if your child needs a tutor. Tutoring can benefit talented children and help open their minds to understand and study deeper aspects of the curriculum.


The link between homework and childhood obesity.

So what should you look out for in a tutor? The Department of Education and Communities have put together a list of questions to ask.

Things have changed since Nicky was at school…


10 questions to ask a potential tutor:

– How long has the tutoring service been in business?

– Does the service belong to a relevant industry association with an enforceable code of conduct?

– Does the tutor have references from other parents who have used the service?

– Has the tutor been interviewed face-to-face by the tutoring service?

– What qualifications and experience does the tutor have?

– What training does the tutor have in the subject area being tutored?

– Is the tutor equipped to give correct support in curriculum requirements?

– Have reference checks been conducted on the tutor?

– Does the tutor offer a free assessment? A good tutor will always offer a free assessment first to evaluate the child’s needs. That way a plan can be made to help them improve.

– Has the tutor undergone relevant child protection screenings?


Would your child benefit from supplementary tuition?

Here are some funny teaching moments that you might relate to…

KipOnline™ is backed by Kip McGrath Education Centres – Australia’s only supplementary tuition program that offers face-to-face lessons with a live tutor – online and in real time, from home.

Identify areas of struggle and improvement for your child. By booking a FREE online assessment with KipOnline™ or at your nearest Kip McGrath centre, a fully qualified teacher will conduct your child’s assessment and discuss the results with you in confidence.

English and Maths tuition for primary and secondary students up to year 12. For more information go to or call 1300 789 457.