Why You Need to Set Tutoring Goals

Why You Need to Set Tutoring Goals

So, I hate to run. Hate it. But a while back I had friends who loved to run together. So, I decided to start running, too. Peer pressure, yo.


But I knew that I couldn’t just start running (literally out my door) without some goals in place. How far did I want to start running? When did I want to be able to run that distance? Did I want to run at a particular pace? (BTW, I could run and walk at the same pace, that’s how slow I ran!)

Once I had some idea of my goals, I downloaded a Couch to 5K app and started training. The app was great because it gradually moved me from walking to running within the time period I selected. By the time I hit my first 5K race, I was ready! And once I conquered the 5K, I changed my goal to 10K.

Just as I needed to set some running goals, you should set tutoring goals with your or your child’s tutor. Let’s talk about why and what questions to consider when setting those goals.

Is your teen struggling in Social Studies, study skills, or organization? I would love to help! Find out more 🙂

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Why You Need to Set Tutoring Goals

Goals shape Tutoring

This should not be a surprise, but the tutoring goals you select will shape the tutoring that happens. If the family wants to focus on study skills over content, I will spend more of my time on teaching study skills. But if the family wants to improve the immediate grade, I spend more time on course content.

If parents don’t have a goal in mind, the tutor will pick one themselves. That might be fine, but you and the tutor may have different definitions of success. Goal-setting ensures that you are both on the same page.

[click_to_tweet tweet=”Goal-setting ensures that you are both on the same page.” quote=”Goal-setting ensures that you are both on the same page.”]

Provide motivation for student and tutor

These tutoring goals will not only motivate your child, but the tutor as well. We want your child to succeed, in whatever way you have defined success. I love to hear about higher grades, planner use, and increased confidence!

Pinpoint an endpoint

Sometimes tutoring just seems to go on and on and on. It’s not clear when, if ever, the tutoring will stop. Tutoring goal-setting creates automatic reflection points. When the goal is met, you will need to decide whether to set a new goal and continue tutoring or whether it’s time to stop. That built-in reflection can save you time and money!

Things to Consider:

I usually recommend creating SMART goals. Research has shown that SMART goals are more likely to be achieved than a more amorphous goal, such as “do better in school”.

  • S – Specific; the goal is clearly defined
  • M – Measurable; how will you know you have attained your goal? Include percentages and/ or letter grades
  • A – Attainable; Can you reasonably achieve your goal? If you set a goal that you cannot achieve, you will lose your motivation quickly.
  • R – Relevant; does this goal relate to your long-term goals?
  • T – Timely; Set a time or date to complete the goal by

While SMART goals work for many categories, not everything can be measured. Grades are pretty concrete, but what about self-confidence? Realize that some goals might not be SMART, but are still important anyway.

Also, be sure to review the goals over time. As the school year progresses, your child may achieve her goals or your goals may change. For example, toward the end of the school year, many of my families focus more on standardized test prep and less on organization.

Questions to think about when writing goals:

  1. What is currently challenging my child the most?
  2. What outcomes do I want for my child?
  3. How quickly do I think he could improve?
  4. What methods I do want to use?

Work with the tutor

Experienced tutors have worked with students for years. They know how kids learn, what are realistic time frames, and methods to achieve those goals. After writing the goals with them, allow the tutor to come up with an action plan.

So, create those goals and help your child achieve them. Though I hope it goes faster than my running pace 🙂

Let me know how it goes in the comments below!

Related Posts: How to Work Successfully with a Tutor, What to Do When Tutoring Isn’t Helping, How to Find the Right Tutor for Your Child, How Long Should My Child Be Tutored?

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