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Is Your Child in 8th Grade? The Time to Start Planning for College is Now

by | Sep 1, 2022 | College Admissions

Middle school is an ideal time for your child to gain good time management, organizational, and study skills that will prepare them for high school and beyond. Even though college is years away, it’s important to set the foundation for homework routines and positive social and extracurricular activities. 

Tutoring services in seventh and eighth grades can set the stage for a solid academic career by reinforcing strong study habits and independent learning. These are critical years, as a child who lags behind academically in middle school may find it extremely difficult to catch up and ‘fit in’ once they reach high school.

Most of us can remember teens who veered off on a destructive path during high school and perhaps became involved with substance use and ‘the wrong crowd.’ Perhaps they even dropped out of school and their decisions as teenagers may have resulted in negative lifelong consequences. 

Another reason to consider tutoring services in middle school is to prevent the learning loss that happens during summer break and midterm vacations. Regular tutoring sessions can give your child a head start on mastering the concepts they’ll be learning in the next semester. Tutoring can also help your child begin to zero in on their career interests. Eighth grade is not too early for students to begin researching programs of study at various colleges, and also get an idea of tuition costs and scholarships. They’ll be way ahead of the game once they reach high school if they have a basic understanding of college admissions requirements.

Just as important as academics is helping your child learn to develop resilience and a positive outlook. Adolescence is a turbulent time for most people, and young teens face a number of challenges: physical and emotional changes, sexual feelings, and peer pressure, to name a few. It’s also a time often marked by conflict between the teen and parent as the teen asserts the need for greater independence. A tutor can be a trusted guide during this phase and encourage a young adolescent to focus on their skills and strengths, both personally and academically.

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First, a tutor is much more than a ‘homework helper.’ Tutors offer flexible, individualized instruction and personal attention that a busy classroom teacher simply can’t provide. If your child has fallen behind in math, for instance, a tutor can identify their learning gaps, design a curriculum that reviews mathematical concepts and problems, and patiently work with the child until they master each lesson. 

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First, if students don’t fully comprehend basic mathematical concepts that build upon each other, they may easily get lost as instruction becomes more advanced. Here’s a typical example: if “Johnny” doesn’t really understand decimals, fractions, and ratios by eighth grade, Algebra 1 in 9th grade may seem overwhelming.