Would My Child Benefit From Extra Tuition?
This is a question that will come up at least once in every parents’ life. More than likely it will come up a number of times for different subjects and at different ages but what do we do about it? For some the idea of additional tuition is normal for others it feels hard to admit it’s needed, it also carries a cost in terms of money and time. There are lots of different opinions and research around private tuition and many people are passionate for or against.
Different types of Tuition
Before you even think about whether or not it’s a thing you want to pursue its worth looking at the different types that are on offer. First of all, there is academic tuition and tuition for other things like music as well as one to one sports coaching and more. But even within the main categories there are different approaches and options.
In many cases companies or individuals will offer formal teaching outside of the school framework. So, the lessons are very much like your child would get at school. For many children this is ideal, it’s familiar and provides a really solid platform to build on what they are learning at school.
While keeping to curriculum subjects and very much designed to support scholastic learning companies like Discover & Be offer something more bespoke. The idea here is to teach how the child learns best. Some kids work well in a formulated setting, others grasp concepts through play better than repetition. Some children work better at home, outside or using physical examples rather than abstract statements and formulas.
There are many places that offer group sessions in the holidays to boost term time learning. These can be great fun and a way of bringing in tuition without putting too much focus on your child. Afterall, if they have friends doing it, why not?
Do They Need Tuition?
This is a big question and one that is hard to answer in many cases. Often parent teacher evenings will plant a seed that a child may be struggling in a certain subject or academically in general. Sadly though, there are times when this may be down to the classroom environment with disruptive pupils nearby, perhaps teaching practices don’t match a child’s learning preferences and more. But there are certainly times when parents are made aware of an issue and have a chance to think about what to do. Tuition should be viewed in a positive light generally, if your child is finding things hard then a good tutor will help them improve and enjoy it more. A dislike of a subject can often be down to it being hard and not actually about the topic. The general advise would be to speak to the childs’ teacher, find out what they think about extra support and then speak to some local tutors. If the opinions match that’s a good sign.
Downsides to Tuition
There are pros and cons to private tuition as with most things. Well firstly it isn’t cheap. Rates can vary a great deal but you can assume its at least £25 per session and can be a lot higher. Obviously any parent who can afford tuition and knows a child needs it would not hesitate but the sad reality is it may be too much for some people to afford. It is worth shopping around and looking at options like fewer than 1 session a week to spread the cost, group sessions and more. Another downside can be the usual bullying and mocking that goes on. A child may find it embarrassing they have to have extra tuition, it may be cause for some jokes and worse from other kids. Less important to parents but just as important to kids is the time it takes. After school and weekends are free time or homework time. Adding on more learning time can be tough especially when its at a set time each week. Missing out on playing with friends and more can cause a lot or arguments.
How Long Do We Need Tuition For?
Well it really depends on the child, the progress and your budget. For some children private academic tuition is an ongoing process from primary school right through to 6th form. For others it’s just a short-term boost where they struggle with reading for example. It is really important to work with the school to understand if its working or not. Ideally you would want to get feedback they are improving and see grades going up. Do be aware though, tuition may not work, the tutor may not be very good or the style of tuition may not suit the child. So keeping an eye on it without putting pressure on is a key part of the process.
All in all, private extra tuition can be really helpful. It can give confidence to a child and help them enjoy school more, it can get them through exams, it can help them stop being worried they cant do maths etc. It does cost money but if you can afford it and your child needs it then it’s a no brainer!