Repetition, Repetition, Repetition!
I saw one of my middle school students this afternoon. We have been studying all summer to support his transition from elementary. Our focus has been math. He's a great math student, and learns quickly. The biggest challenge for him seems to be the wide breadth of math skills that he's expected to have efficiency at going into the next grade.
With math, repetition is integral for becoming comfortable with the various topics. This is where having a tutor becomes so important. In school, many students don't get the practice they need to become truly familiar with the numerous steps involved in the different concepts. It's important to remember that every student digests information at his/her own pace; in their own way. For my student, when we revisited a topic today to check for efficiency, it was like we were starting from zero. He doesn't hold onto these seemingly random concepts the same way another student might. However, I know that even as adults we often circle the same problems in life for years before we course correct. I leaned in with patience, taking it back to the most basic element of the problem. Before I got far into my re-teaching, he jumped in, took the reins, and knew exactly what to do. It was in there! He just needed the destigmatized freedom to repeat!