Personal tutors the key to success

HELP IS AT HAND: Tutoring may be the answer parents seek to their child’s homework and study difficulties.
HELP IS AT HAND: Tutoring may be the answer parents seek to their child’s homework and study difficulties. CONTRIBUTED

MUM and dad haven’t got all the answers.

And the questions teachers ask these days are well beyond those maths problems and English studies of a generation or more ago.

So where do parents turn when they can no longer keep up with the homework, assignments and exam cramming?

A personal tutor may be the answer to improve marks, stay on top of classes and create good study habits.

Grace Simpkins, founder of Grace Simpkins Personal Tutors, said that if a child was struggling with homework, an investment in a tutor could be beneficial.

“Tutoring can improve behaviours as kids can get stuck on just one thing and then start playing up,” said Dr Simpkins, who has a branch on the Sunshine Coast.

“We do one-hour sessions each week which help them if they have that one thing keeping them back.”

Tutoring is available in many areas including private, personal, school-based, homework help and online services.

More than 520 tutors are listed online at which covers the Coast, assisting school-based children.

The price for private lessons varies between about $25 and $45 per hour from tutors listed at either an agency or online.

The best tip when searching for a tutor is to ask questions as the person/service chosen to educate your child needs to be the best suited to their needs and your budget.

Lifetime Learner director Terry Newman said the best advice for parents was to seek a member from the Australian Tutoring Association because they followed a strict set of guidelines.

“Tutoring can be very effective if it is well-targeted and the tutors are qualified in what you need,” he said.

But what do you do if personal tutoring is not within reach and help is required?

Free resources are available on the Coast including homework help once a week at selected libraries, plus online services such as

Maroochydore librarian Karen Gawen said libraries were not just for bookworms. They also provided help for anyone looking for information.

“We have all the free resources available for those people who can’t afford or don’t have these services at home,” Karen said.

“We have a lot of kids coming in for homework and assignment work.”

Homework help is a service where student teachers from the University of the Sunshine Coast visit libraries throughout the Coast on designated afternoons each week to provide assistance for school children as part of their wider field experience.

Other online services cover primary, secondary and tertiary-level education with access to up-to-date and accredited databases and resources.

Help from Australian-based begins with a student asking a question.

Then one of the many educated tutors tailored to the task will help work through the question with the student individually.

Yourtutor client services manager Peri Beecraft said the process was “just as if there is a room full of tutors and you walk in with a question”.

Last financial year, gave 1597 free tutorials to Sunshine Coast students in areas of English, maths, science and research. Of those, 1224 students accessed the service from their home computer.

All they needed was a Sunshine Coast Libraries card.

Sunshine Coast Regional Council library and gallery services manager Ross Duncan said the council understood the valuable role its libraries played in education.

“We are aiming to reconnect with the youth of our region and demonstrate the value that their library service offers,” he said.


Yourtutor online or @ your Library: Available Monday to Friday 4-8pm. Assists in homework and school projects in subjects such as maths, English, science and research.

Available libraries: Banana Shire, Cairns, Cassowary Coast, Central Highlands, Gladstone, Gympie, Ipswich, Isaac, Lockyer Valley, Logan, Mackay, Rockhampton, South Burnett, Sunshine Coast, Tablelands, Townsville and Whitsunday.


  • A current library card. To get one, all you need is identification and proof of your current address.


  • Have a question ready.
  • Be prepared to work – answers are not just given
  • Ask for help … including the librarian.
  • Know what you are looking for.
  • Don’t forget to have fun.


  • Choose a tutor that your child can get on well with personality-wise or can connect with.
  • Look for personal tutors through agencies which can provide one-on-one help.
  • Check their qualifications.

Topics:  education parenting

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