Partners in learning
Achieving success in distance education is dependent on the student, home tutor and teacher working together as a team. As a home tutor you play a vital facilitating role as you are the link between the Primary School teachers and your child/children. You are a partner with the teachers in the delivery of education.
As the teacher is in direct contact with students for only a small proportion of the total teaching time, you do much of the day-to-day work. Your main role is to guide, encourage and support your child/children in developing independent learning skills enabling them to complete set tasks in the negotiated time.
Students learn best when they have a secure, stable and positive learning environment. To achieve successful learning, you should:
- help motivate your child/children
- train them to develop good study habits and to be responsible for their own learning
- ensure students have the necessary course materials and equipment
- ensure students complete work in the allocated time
- be thoroughly prepared for each days lessons.
Organising student learning via distance education
One of the keys to being a successful home tutor is helping students to be organised. The following pointers will help you:
- When materials arrive from SIDE, check that you have all materials listed on the despatch form. If any materials are missing please contact your child's teacher.
- Read the Home Tutor Guides for each year level or learning area. These will explain what you need to do.
- Ensure students have a clear workspace for undisturbed study during the school day.
- Expect the student to organise the relevant materials for each lesson and pack them away when finished. Even young children are able to do this.
- Familiarise yourself with the course materials in Moodle and print the worksheets/workbooks required.
- Devise and adhere to a timetable/routine.
- Scan and upload completed work to Moodle for your teacher to assess.
- Return resources, such as reading books and library books, to SIDE regularly.
- Encourage and praise effort at all times, even if the success is only small. Stickers and stamps are a good way to reinforce positive reinforcement.
A timetable and associated routine are essential. Home tutors need to support students to develop a study routine and timetable. This will develop good study habits, which will help make it easier for the student to learn and encourage him/her to be self reliant, as well as provide security and stability.
The Primary School offers a broad curriculum, which incorporates a range of cross curriculum outcomes. Physical education and fitness is essential for students' well being. Students need to exercise in the low ultra violet light of early morning or late afternoon. Reading stories to students or having half an hour of silent sustained reading, say straight after lunch, can help structure the day. Normal school times, 9.00 am – 3.30 pm, may not be the most appropriate for your situation. Some home tutors prefer to get students to start at 8.00 am and finish early in the afternoon. Others prefer to have the morning free and get students to work later. Some activities may be appropriate outside normal lesson times, eg: independent reading or dvd viewing could be done at night.
Supporting student learning
- Home tutors can support student learning in the following ways:
- Be positive and enthusiastic, and take interest in your child's work. Discuss the work with your child during the study time so that he/she receives immediate feedback or extra assistance if needed.
- Be consistent. Most students look for order, firmness and fairness.
- Encourage learning beyond the classroom. Negotiate with teachers to incorporate local events into the program, or writing a travel diary.
- If you have more than one child to home tutor, encourage them to work together sometimes.
- For example, an older child could conference a writing task with a younger child, or read to a younger child.
- Check your child's work and go through any incorrect work with them. It is important to leave any incorrect work, showing with corrected attempts underneath. It gives the teacher information about the processes your child is using.
- When you receive work returned by the teachers, discuss the feedback provided by the teacher.
- There will be times when you need to be flexible. Your child may be ill or you may be busy with other demands. Speak to the teachers and re-negotiate your child's workload.
- Students with learning difficulties or special needs may have a modified learning program developed for them.
Support for home tutors
Teachers at the Primary School offer support for our home tutors through:
- Visits to SIDE. All parents, home tutors and students are invited to SIDE for an initial interview/induction. We strongly encourage visits to the Primary School whenever you are in Perth. Please contact the school to arrange your visit.
- Teacher visits. Some WA families may be visited at home by their teacher. These visits allow the teacher to assist students/home tutors, and to gain a better understanding of the student's home school environment.
We want to hear from you
Teachers, as partners, in the delivery of education value the suggestions and participation of home tutors. Communication is a two-way process and we encourage home tutors to:
- contact teachers early if you, or your child, experiences difficulties
- complete feedback sheets, surveys
- write comments on student work
- get on to the blog.