Tutor vs. Big: Tips to support your Little’s education
It’s normal for you and your Little’s parent/guardian to have concerns about your Little’s education. However, straddling the line between a tutor and a Big can be difficult. Occasionally helping your Little with their schoolwork is great, but there are plenty of resources you can connect your Little with to address any academic concerns. The Big/Little relationship is unique because it provides a special friendship for your Little. If they begin to see you as more of a tutor, this may change the way the feel about your outings and possibly affect the way you two interact.
Tips to incorporate education into your outings:
- Read with your Little. Newspaper comics or magazine articles are short and simple
- Go to the library. Take your Little to sign up for a library card & check-out books
- Go on a college tour. Visit our local junior colleges, state universities (East Bay/ San Fran/San Jose) UC’s (Berkeley/Davis), and private universities (USF/Stanford)
- Explore other options outside of college. Vocational programs are a great way to train students for specific skills.
- Share your experience. Talk to your Little about your college/work experience.
- Picture the future. Have your Little draw a picture of their future, include their career, and list any classes or special skills they’d need to have to prepare
- Check out help wanted ads. Look through the classified section of the newspaper. Talk to your Little about qualifications, salary, duties, and academic knowledge.
- Encourage time management. Create a time log or daily planner to help your Little plan each week. Include study time for difficult classes, volunteer time, chores, playtime, match outings, etc.
- A’s aren’t everything. If your Little is struggling in school, set realistic goals and encourage them to gradually improve their grades. Remember: a well-rounded student is better than a straight-A student.
- Encourage extracurricular activities. Help your Little to discover clubs, sports, volunteer opportunities, etc. Encourage them do get involved with positive programs outside of school.
- Familiarize yourself with the college requirements. Ask your Little about their classes and make sure they are enrolling in college preparatory classes each semester.
- Examine role models. Chances are, your Little looks up to a few athletes, actors, political figures, musicians, etc. Talk to them about what it took for those people to succeed. (Even Disney Channel stars have homeschooling in between scenes.)
- Pay attention to your Little’s interests. If you notice that they enjoy hiking, incorporate an educational piece into your outings. Google a nature guide for local hiking trails. Print out pictures and descriptions of trees, plans, and bugs and have your Little identify these items during your hikes.