Everything You Need to Know About Tutoring for Middle School Students

Is your sixth-grader struggling to understand what they read?

Maybe your seventh-grade student can’t seem to grasp basic algebra.

Or your eighth grader is a mess when it comes to organization and study habits. 

If your middle schooler is experiencing difficulties in school, you’ve come to the right place.

We’ll cover what you can expect from tutoring services for middle school students and how to find the best tutor for your child.

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Can Tutoring Help Middle School Students?

It can!

Research has shown that tutoring can help boost the academic success of middle schoolers.

Middle school students are more mature academically than they were during their elementary years, but they still have a fun attitude toward school. Students at this age can take on more responsibility and can benefit from one-on-one instruction and support.

How Can Tutoring Help Middle School Students?

Academics change in middle school and become increasingly demanding. 

Middle school is the perfect time to start tutoring to help students learn concepts and strategies that will be needed throughout the remainder of their educational career. 

Some benefits of tutoring for middle school students include improvements in: 

  • Study habits
  • Time management skills 
  • Attitude toward learning 
  • Test-taking strategies
  • Test scores
  • Grades
  • Self-guided learning
  • Asking questions when they don’t understand a concept 
  • Goal-setting 
  • Confidence 
  • Communication skills; and 
  • Relationships with peers

How to Know if Your Middle School Child Needs Tutoring

In middle school, your child’s frustrations may not be as apparent as they were during their elementary years. Your child may try to hide their struggles. Keeping in contact with teachers and regularly checking in on grades and classroom behavior will help parents know if their child needs tutoring.

Many parents solely look for poor grades as evidence that their child needs help. 

But, the truth is that many other indicators can point to a need for tutoring in middle school students.

Is your student:

  • Expressing frustration or confusion about what they are learning in class?
  • Showing signs of a drop in self-esteem
  • Showing a decreased interest in learning?
  • Experiencing a decline in their test scores?
  • Putting off their homework until the last minute?
  • Displaying disorganization when it comes to their schoolwork?
  • Turning in incomplete or sloppily done homework?

If so, they may very well benefit from private tutoring for middle school students.

The 4 Most Commonly Tutored Subjects for Middle School Students

#1: Math

Let’s face it. Middle school math can be tricky, and most bad experiences with math happen during the middle school years.

Middle schoolers are learning key foundational skills that won’t be covered later on but will follow them into high school and college. For example, those who fail to grasp an important aspect of algebra will struggle when they head into a calculus class.

Math tutoring for middle school students can help with critical concepts such as:

  • Pre-algebra
  • Algebra 1 
  • Geometry 
  • Order of operations 
  • Fractions
  • Decimals
  • Percentages
  • Ratios
  • Integers
  • Exponents
  • Scientific notation 
  • Probability
  • Statistics 
  • And more

Math tutoring for middle school students should start with a thorough assessment of the student’s math skills. 

From there, the tutor will create an individualized tutoring plan to set the student on a solid path for success in math.

#2: English

English, particularly writing, can be a hard thing to both teach and learn. There’s a divide in middle school students where some seem to easily pick up the concepts of writing, while others may struggle. 

The importance of writing is often undervalued, and it should be considered a critical area of study. Your student’s ability to express himself or herself in writing will be huge in college and in almost any career they choose. 

Middle school English tutoring typically focuses on areas such as:

  • Phonics
  • Reading fluency
  • Punctuation
  • Syntax skills
  • Grammar
  • Spelling
  • Vocabulary
  • Composing in-depth research papers 
  • Developing complex writing skills; and
  • Composition

English tutoring for middle school students begins with an evaluation of the student’s strengths and deficits in English.

This evaluation allows the tutor to have a greater understanding of your child’s learning styles and enables them to prepare an individualized tutoring program.

#3: Middle-Level SSAT Support

The Middle-Level SSAT, or Secondary School Admissions Test, is used for admission to private middle schools. If your student is hoping to attend an elite private middle school, this is a test they will need to do well on.

The SSAT can also help down the road with college admissions or scholarship opportunities.

The Middle-Level SSAT is a multiple-choice test that is given to students who are currently in grades 5-7 and consists of the following sections:

  • Verbal
  • Quantitative (math); and 
  • Reading comprehension 

The student will also be able to choose between a creative story starter or a personal essay prompt that is not scored but allows admissions officers to assess the student’s writing skills. 

The best way to prepare your student for the Middle-Level SSAT is through plenty of practice and familiarity with the … 

  • Content
  • Format; and 
  • Timing

… of the test, and the best way to accomplish this is through time with an experienced tutor.

#4: Summer Programs

Summer tutoring for middle school students is a great way to help students review the previous year’s material to ensure understanding and mastery and to give students a head start on the upcoming year’s coursework. 

Summer tutoring programs can be beneficial for public, private, and homeschooled students. 

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How to Find the Best Tutoring Services for Middle School Students

You know your child needs extra help, but how do you find the best tutoring for middle school students?

Whether you’re looking for an experienced tutor who comes with years of experience in the classroom or a student tutor to help your child work through their homework, Emergent Education can help. 

Emergent Education offers … 

  • In-person
  • One-on-one 
  • Small group; and 
  • Online

… tutoring for middle school students that is specially designed to meet the unique needs of your child.

At Emergent Education, we talk with you about where your student is, where they want to be, and what it will take to get them there. Together, we work to design a plan for their learning by setting goals and timeline targets.

How Much Is Tutoring for Middle School Students?

Tutoring rates for middle school students may range from $20 to $75 per hour. The hourly rate will depend on:

  • The tutor’s level of experience 
  • The type of tutoring needed
  • Whether the tutoring is individual or done in a group setting
  • The tutor’s credentials; and the
  • Location of the tutoring

How Long Does a Middle School Tutoring Session Take?

Because middle school students have a longer attention span, tutoring can go for as little as an hour or as long as 2 hours. 

However, for a younger middle schooler or student who is still overwhelmed by having to focus for a prolonged period, tutoring can be done in small increments rather than a single extended session. 

Qualities to Look for in a Middle School Tutor

Middle school students can be a dichotomy. 

They are sometimes more — and sometimes less — mature than elementary students, and the challenges of teaching them can be unique. Below are the qualities that are specifically helpful for a middle school tutor.

Makes a Connection

Connecting with the students creates trust and a bond, as well as mutual respect.

For middle school students, connecting with their tutor may be the most critical element in a successful tutoring experience. 

Whether it’s in-person or online tutoring for middle school students, a child who feels a strong connection with their tutor will be more attentive and engaged, leading to an enhanced level of learning. 

If your middle schooler doesn’t feel comfortable with their tutor or doesn’t enjoy the time they spend with them, their learning will be hindered. This is why it can be helpful to know something about your tutor ahead of time. 

You may even have the option of scheduling a trial lesson so you can get an idea of the chemistry between your child and the tutor.

Keep in mind that it will most likely take a few sessions for you to see success, so at this stage you are looking for connection and chemistry.

Promotes a Love for Learning

Most middle school students still view learning and school as fun — or at least they should. 

If they don’t, the right tutor will make it exciting for them again and refuel that thirst for knowledge that they once had by:

  • Encouraging them to ask questions 
  • Inviting them into a new topic in a way that inspires curiosity
  • Helping them make connections between different areas of learning; and
  • Providing opportunities for them to see how what they are learning today will be useful tomorrow 

Encourages Responsibility

By the time students are in middle school, they are expected to take on more of the responsibility for their learning. When you are looking into tutoring for middle school students, you want a tutor who will make it clear that the student must put forth an effort to benefit from tutoring.

A good tutor will work with a middle schooler to promote responsible academic practices, such as:

  • Demonstrating good study habits
  • Remembering to bring materials and homework
  • Having neat and organized work
  • Coming prepared for tutoring 

They will teach students strategies to be independent learners by having them evaluate how they think, learn, and study. 

Demonstrates Technical Knowledge

Because the foundational subjects become much more complex in middle school, it is critically important that tutoring programs for middle school students can demonstrate a deep and thorough knowledge of all areas of academia, particularly math and writing

Due to different learning styles, in order to grasp the subject-matter a student may need to have something explained to them in a way that is different from what they were initially taught in class. A tutor without technical knowledge will struggle to do this.

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Emergent Education: Tutoring for Middle School Students in the Portland Area

The years spent in middle school are a critical component of your child’s educational future. 

If a child fails to master a basic skill, it can be easy for them to fall behind — and extremely tough to catch up.

Emergent Education can help ease some of the many challenges of middle school for you and your child.

At Emergent Education, we offer tutoring for middle school students in …

  • One-on-one

  • In-person

  • Small group; and

  • Online

… sessions, and we have services for each middle school subject — and every family’s budget.

Our team of professional teachers and student tutors has worked with countless middle schoolers and can help your child build confidence and skills that go far beyond the academic classroom. 

With our tutors’ diverse experiences and educational skills, we can match your child with the tutor best suited to their individual needs.

Give Emergent Education a call today to schedule your first tutoring session — for FREE!

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