Do Children Really Need Tutors?
Updated: May 7
Tutoring is expensive, and given children are already attending school full-time, parents understandably ask why incurring this expense is beneficial.
There are situations in which tutoring is beneficial. If a child is struggling with a specific subject or with the curriculum as a whole, the timely and focussed use of a tutor can help the child get back to grade standard.
If a child is doing well at school, they can benefit by being stretched beyond their grade level, again in respect of either specific subjects or the overall curriculum.
Tutors can also assist with specific goals, for instance in the preparation for exams, and can help with the development of important meta-skills like time management that the school curriculum may not cover.
At their best tutors can provide personalised attention for your child that generates tangible positive results, and they can make a material difference to critical exam outcomes.
However, results depend on how good the individual tutor is – they are not all created equal – and the rapport that they establish with your child.
Tutoring style is critical and again there is no one size fits all solution – children learn differently. If the tutor’s focus is on rote learning, most kids will derive little benefit beyond short-term memorisation of information and may come to resent the commitment of time outside school they are being asked to make.
The decision to hire a tutor is multifaceted – financial given the costs involved, and requiring a clear assessment of how it will help your child achieve his or her goals.
Tutoring should not be the default choice for parents – the aim should be for kids to achieve their academic goals within the school day with time outside school for sport, time with friends and rest. When tutoring is necessary it should address specific goals and come to an end once those goals are achieved.
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