Building Confidence in Children with Learning Difficulties

Children who have some learning difficulties – who need to go more at their own pace and have patient understanding and tutoring – can find school a very frustrating place. Gradually, unless their needs are recognised, they can suffer low-self esteem and underachievement. They can become fearful of going to school and this can later lead to illness or school-phobia. We need to recognise the need for special help as early as possible but in many children this can get missed until their early teens or even later as they struggle with their schoolwork. Fortunately individualised one-to-one tuition can help children with learning difficulties to overcome the barriers to learning and realise their potential.


While children with general or “global” learning difficulties experience problems reaching expected attainment levels across the curriculum, specific difficulties – such as dyslexia or dyscalculia – may be reflected in particular areas of learning (e.g. literacy or numeracy), with children able to do well in other areas – and indeed they often can really excel in other aspects of learning and achievement once that is discovered and realised.

Individual one-to-one tuition is often invaluable for children struggling in school as the result of any learning difficulty or combination of learning difficulties, because, unlike classroom teachers, a tutor can give a child their full attention and ensure that the level and pace of their teaching is suited to the child’s needs.

If the child becomes frustrated or fails to secure a particular concept or skill, tutors are able to give their pupils the time and space to ask the questions that they need to ask in order to understand the concept or master the skill. Tutors can then adapt their lessons according to their pupil’s specific requirements and employ a variety of teaching methods and strategies to ensure the pupil remains engaged with learning, rather than becoming disheartened in the face of challenges.

All children have their own learning styles and preferences, and a home tutor can help children who may feel disengaged in the classroom to discover a learning style that they can enjoy. When the teaching methods used play to a pupil’s strengths and preferences the pupil’s confidence and self-esteem can grow and the greatest leaps in learning and skills development can be made.

Home tutors can also make sure that all progress made is consolidated before new concepts and skills are introduced. By only introducing new ideas when they can build upon established concepts and skills, tutors can ensure pupils’ memories are ready for the new information, and pupils will respond positively and remain motivated, rather than feel overwhelmed.