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Tutor Tip of the Month

Adult learners have a lot of demands on their time. From family to work, buying groceries to doing the laundry, many of these responsibilities cannot be put off and the best intentions to study and review lessons between tutoring sessions can be lost in the daily shuffle.

Tools from time management can help keep study plans on track. One way to start is to talk with your learner about what they want to practice and review between sessions. Discuss ways to incorporate the practice into their days, and then ask them to keep a record of when they study, for how long and what they do. Create a chart together to track the information. If something comes up that keeps them from studying when planned, ask them to record that, too. This record is not a test; they will not be judged based on their success. It is simply a tool to help identify challenges to their studying and to find solutions.

At the next tutoring session (or about a week later), review the study record. Discuss what was manageable and what didn’t happen that they had hoped to accomplish. Look back at their goals, and talk about whether their plans need to be scaled back or whether they seem to be on target. If one or two things tend to delay their studying, brainstorm ways to work around those challenges, other resources and techniques to bring in to meet their goals, and tools for problem solving.

If one challenge is family members not understanding that the learner needs time alone without distractions to study, you can role play together how to express this need, explain that they are available at other times, and ask for support in accomplishing this important goal of improving literacy skills.

The literacy program staff can help with more resources and techniques.

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