As a popular-with-parents tutor service across both Weybridge in Surrey and Chichester in Sussex, we meet many parents with constant worries about their child's education. This year was no exception...
One of the biggest challenges facing schools this term has been a squeezed budget. With less money to spend, there is only so much extra support available to children in the classroom. This means that unless your child has a full statement, one-to-one help is often out of the question.
There has always been a myth about SEN children that they are unintelligent. In fact, many are often very gifted. Aspergers and dyslexic children, for example, are smart cookies!
However, the reality is that children with difficulties often feel so negative about themselves. Many hate drawing attention to their problems to limit teasing in class... If you are a parent with a child like this, restless sleep feels like the norm.
What's the bigger picture?
The problem is that a learning difficulty affects day-to-day progress, and can even destroy confidence. That's why it makes such a profound difference to have personal support with a patient teacher or tutor away from the classroom where a child can focus uninterrupted.
But this is only half the picture. While children with a recognised condition still battle with lessons in school, many primary and secondary children go undiagnosed.
Several of our tutors this year have supported children who struggled like mad in primary school with writing, reading and communication, and were then later diagnosed with conditions such as Sensory Processing Disorder, Dyslexia and Asperger Syndrome.
The fallout from this is that a child can grow up with huge gaps in their learning, often feeling like a fish out of water in secondary school.
Overwhelmed and unsure what to do next?
Private tuition is not just about helping a child leap over learning hurdles. It's about emotional support and confidence-building too.
Don't run yourself ragged feeling worried to bits about your child. Call SEND specialist Nikki de Villiers at Lemon Tree Tutors today. Whether you are in Chichester or Weybridge, we're only a call away.
With years of experience in helping parents and children get through the toughest times, we are there for you too.
Your childhood shapes everything, doesn't it? As do life's experiences... In my case, education offered a safe haven away from an unsettled home. Lessons such as English, German and History were my beacons of light...
Teachers were too... Teachers who left footsteps on my heart. Teachers such as Mrs Brown. She was truly wonderful...
Guiding the class in with the kindest smile, she made German lessons fun. 'Shouts' never echoed off her classroom walls; in fact, her voice had the softest tone I'd heard... Yet we listened, soaking up every word.
She treated my shattered confidence with endless empathy and patience. From gentle pats on the arm to encouraging winks, she simply cared... What a difference that made to a quiet soul who so desperately wanted to be noticed.
French lessons were another matter... The teacher used chalk as weapons to wake students up. When chalk pinged off my head to shake me out of an apparent daydream, I lost all respect for him. If he could only nurture using violence, I couldn't warm to him or the subject. Yet I loved languages... He just never took the time to find out.
Words of wisdom
Who'd have thought that I too would be a teacher years later, and that I too would become a source of inspiration for children in my charge. Interestingly, my tough start in life gifted me this depth of wisdom which I tapped into time and again.
At a small school full of unwanted children - all in care - I was the only teacher never attacked. Maybe the soft voice, kindness and genuine smiles made the difference... With children streamed into 'bottom' sets, I found something amazing in every one. With the child who came to me underachieving - but who really despised himself - I helped him like who he was.
It's all about the words teachers use at the right moment; never giving up on a child when they have; finding a way through a wall, or just listening to what a child doesn't say.
The Lemon Tree way
Do teachers make a difference? Without doubt. That's why when I founded Lemon Tree Tutors I wanted to bring together a team of special tutors. Special tutors with special qualities. I turn applicants away rather than refer someone who I'd never place with my own children.
Private tuition is about trust after all. That's why I personally vet our Surrey tutors to make sure each one is qualified, safe and bursting with personal qualities. It's these which bring out the best in children, after all. Great results always follow! Our breathtaking results are certainly testiment to that.
Were you taught by a great teacher who left an imprint on your life? We'd love to hear your story - and what difference they made.