Communication is the key
Updated: Jul 27
To be an effective home tutor you have to be able to get the message across as easily as possible. It's one of your biggest responsibilities and also one of your greatest challenges, especially if your learner driver is your teenage son or daughter who won't listen to you at the best of times.
The way we communicate is connected to our learning style which is based on how we take in information and the way our brain processes it. Think about your own experience at school, how there were some teachers who seemed to just get you and you enjoyed going to their class and learning was easy; whilst other teachers seemed to confuse you and everything was a struggle. A part of this can be attributed to your own affinity to certain subjects - you know, left brain/right brain stuff. The other part is the way they presented the information and if their teaching style matched your learning style.
If you want things to go smoothly, one of the first things you need to do is get to know the learning style of your learner driver.
There are basically 3 types of learning styles:
Audio - they like to listen and will learn quite easily if you explain what you want them to do. Luckily a large percentage of people learn this way which makes things easier in the car.
Visual - they need to read something, look at a map or diagram or watch you demonstrate a manoeuvre. This will take a little more planning, and be prepared to use teaching aids. And when things are getting a little stressful, yelling 'TURN RIGHT' won't work so you may have to lean forward and use hand signals.
Kinisthetic - the trickiest ones as they have to engage in the activity to understand and take it in. Keep explanations brief and don't give them lots to read or show too many diagrams (their concentration span is short). You have to let them have a go and gently learn from their mistakes. Please make sure you are in a safe environment and you have some control over the car from the left seat - check out our advice in our blog post - Stay Safe.
So how do you work out which one is your learner driver?
Sometimes you will get clues from the language they use:
Audio - " That sounds about right "
Visual - " I see what you mean "
Kinisthetic - " That feels right to me "
But mostly you have to work it out by trying different ways to get the message across. So start with an explanation, then try some diagrams and if they still seem a bit vague then let them try it out. This may sound a bit tedious but once you work it out then you will know how to teach them for the rest of the 120 hours with less stress and more positive progress.
This post has only touched the surface of this subject, and with my limited digital skills I may not have been able to get the message effectively across to you (unless you are a visual). So if you are an Audio then I recommend you look up some YouTube videos and if you are a Visual then you may want to do more research. As for you Kinisthetic, I give you permission to print this out, summarise it in your own words and use a highlighter for anything you think is important. Hopefully you will find that engaging enough!
Please note: After all this advice, if you find that the two of you still get into a lengthy debate every time you go out together in the car, then it's time to rethink your strategy. Maybe you do need our help to get the two of you back on track.