What Can You Expect On Your First Tutoring Session

Child Holding Hands Up Surrounded By Learning Materials

Have you signed your child up for their very first tutoring session? Going to a tutor can be a nerve-wracking experience for your child at first, and it can also be nerve-wracking as a parent. 

However, there’s nothing to worry about. Tutoring can help your child catch up or get ahead in their learning, and it can also be a lot of fun. Plus, tutoring can help your child build confidence, so they feel better prepared at school. 

What should you expect to happen during the first tutoring session? Read on to find out. 

Related: Reading Intervention Strategies You Need to Know 

Identifying strengths

During the first tutoring session, the tutor will need to get a general idea of where your child is at during their learning process. 

While many parents may think that tutoring involves exposing a child’s weaknesses, a lot of tutoring involves focusing on a child’s strengths. Once the tutor discovers the child’s strengths, they can help your child use the strengths to their advantage in learning. 

This is especially the case for younger students. For example, if your child loves to draw and is highly artistic, drawing out visual examples for math problems may help them learn better. If they’re learning arithmetic, they can draw pizza slices to learn how to add and subtract. 

Your child may have some learning strengths that you don’t even know about, and a tutor will help draw these out. 


One of the biggest benefits of tutoring is that it offers a lot of convenience. Most tutors can work around the parent’s and the child’s schedule to create a learning calendar that works for everyone. 

During the first session, the tutor will typically recommend how many tutoring sessions your child should receive each week or each month. Remember, tutoring works best when it’s consistent and frequent, so don’t be afraid to sign up for multiple sessions per week. 

We suggest keeping the same schedule from week to week as best as you can so your child will know what to expect. 

Related: Reading Intervention: Helping Your Child Improve Comprehension

Building rapport

As we mentioned earlier, meeting with a tutor for the first time can be a nerve-wracking experience. Children are usually timid when they meet someone new, and meeting with someone older who isn’t a parent or relative can be especially intimidating. 

Luckily, tutors know specific tactics to build rapport with students to make them more comfortable during their learning sessions. The tutoring center will also work to match your child with the right tutor based on their personality, learning style, and other variables. 

During the first session, the tutor will take some time to get to know your child so they can feel more comfortable. They’ll ask your child questions about their hobbies and interests and their school experiences. Based on this information, the tutor will be able to develop a learning plan that suits your child. 

Discussing areas that need improvement

Every child has academic areas that could use some improvement. During that first session, the tutor will help identify what learning aspects need some improvement. 

However, identifying areas of improvement isn’t typically as simple as listing a subject, such as “math.” The tutor will need to perform deeper assessments to understand why your child struggles in certain areas. 

Goal setting

Setting goals helps track progress and keep your child motivated. Goal setting isn’t just for parents who want to know how their child is doing – it’s also so children can see how much they’re progressing from week to week. 

During the first session, the tutor will help your child map out academic goals for the coming weeks and months. 

How Students Can Prepare Before Tutoring Starts

Young Student Holding Folder

Just as you prepare your child for their first visit to the dentist or first day of school, you should also help them prepare for their first tutoring session. The more they know going in, the less anxious they’ll likely be

Here are some ways you can help your child prepare:

Share Struggle Spots

Encourage your child to share their struggles with learning. If you set the expectation that they should perform well in school and not have any weaknesses, your child will be more afraid to open up when they’re struggling. 

Discuss their struggles with them and let them know that everyone experiences struggles with learning. 

Bring in Work You Need Help With

Have your child bring in some specific homework assignments they need help with. This will make it easier for the tutor to assess your child’s needs and areas for improvement. 

Eat Beforehand

Learning on an empty stomach can be tough. You don’t want your child to be distracted from learning because their stomach is growling. Set them up for success by giving them a nutritious snack before their first tutoring session. 

Are you looking to help empower your child through learning? Click here to learn how it’s done. 

How Parents Can Prepare Before the First Tutoring Session

Parent at Computer With Child

Of course, there are some things you need to do to prepare before the first tutoring session. Here’s what to do:

Communicate Expectations

While tutoring should be fun, it’s important that your child understands that it isn’t a time for them to mess around. You should communicate to your child that the tutoring is going to help them learn and grow. 

You should also communicate your expectations to the tutor. Let them know what areas you want your child to progress in and what academic goals you’d like them to achieve. 

Explain Why You’re Hiring a Tutor

Children aren’t always on board with the idea of hiring a tutor. Explain to them that everyone experiences learning difficulties at some point, and hiring a tutor will make school easier and more enjoyable. 

Develop Simple, Easy-to-Understand Goals

Allowing your child to set their own goals will increase motivation and accountability. You can even develop a points or reward system at home to keep your child motivated. 

Involve Your Child’s Teacher

Your child’s teacher should be aware that you’re signing them up for tutoring sessions. To give the tutor a better understanding of what your child is learning in school, as their teacher for a syllabus, current assignments, and past exams. 

Gather Necessary Materials

You don’t want your child to show up to their first tutoring session empty-handed. Ask the tutor beforehand what your child should bring to the session. 

Reinforce Lessons

After a tutoring session, you should help reinforce what your child just learned so they can better commit it to memory. This doesn’t have to involve giving your child extra homework. 

Instead, you can incorporate what they’ve learned into everyday life. 

Related: What is Executive Dysfunction? 


Now that you know what to expect from the first tutoring session, it’s time to start preparing yourself and your child. By showing up to the first session prepared, your child will be better set up for success. 

Don’t be afraid to reach out to the tutoring center beforehand to ask questions on how to prepare. 
Are you looking to hire a tutor for your child? Contact us today!

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