What Tuition Does Your Child Need?

Deciding whether your child would benefit from tuition and then choosing the best tutors, can be a daunting task. So how should you set about it?

Does My Child Need Tuition?

Many parents have contacted me, uncertain about whether their children need, or would benefit from tuition. As tuition can be expensive you should understand what it can achieve because tuition can help children in a number of ways but it’s not all about getting the best tutors:

• To catch up on areas of work they find difficult.
• To stretch, improve or extend the child understanding.
• To help engage ‘bored’ or ‘disengaged’ children.
• To improve their confidence.

Choosing the Best Tutors?

Tuition is a considerable investment in time and money. So you need to choose the best possible tuition. Making the right choice is important from the vast range of tuition schemes available. So ask these important questions of the Tutor.

• Are they qualified to teach?
You can ask to see their teaching qualification and their QTS certificate. Some of the qualifications that teachers might have include: Post Graduate Certificate in Education, Professional Graduate Diploma in Education and Bachelor of Education.

• Are they police (CRB) checked, and is the check an ‘enhanced disclosure’?
All adults who have regular contact with children, like tutors, should have an enhanced CRB check. You can ask to see this. Most schools require a new check every three years. But do remember that a CRB check is only as good as the information that is held on the teacher. It is a good safeguard but you should always monitor the safety of your child.

• Do you and your child like them?
The best tuition is the result of a good, effective working relationship between pupil and teacher. So to maximise the effectiveness of tuition ensure that your child responds well to their tutor. It is not worth sticking with a tutor that your child does not like!

• Will they be able to meet your tuition needs?
When you send your child to tuition make sure you, and your tutor, has a clear idea of what you want to achieve. Ask the tutor if he/she can deliver what you want.

What Type of Tuition is Available?

There are many different types of tuition service available – so make sure you get the service best suited to your child’s needs. I have grouped these into several categories, each one having something different to offer.

One-To-One Tuition

So you think one-to-one is the best? Perhaps you think it must be because it is usually the most expensive!

It may be true in the short term, just before exams but generally the tutors are dominant, and one-to-one tuition does not allow the child to enjoy learning independently, and it does not provide a forum for discussion, to express their opinions, their difficulties, or to interact with other children in the learning process. Moreover, the best tutors and teachers assess through watching children interacting with each other, discussing problems, and working and playing with other children.

As one-to-one tuition has been a flag ship of government policy since the 2010 election and is now widely available and some is delivered through schools in 10 hour programs although now the budget has been given to schools many are opting for small group tuition.

There are also teachers who provide this service privately. This is usually the most expensive tuition option as the teachers full attention is devoted to your child. It can be effective, and certainly children should make progress. However, in addition to cost, it is harder to make the sessions ‘lively’ and ‘fun’. Teachers will spend a large part of their time waiting for the child to finish their work.

And it is also difficult to foster independence in one-to-one tuition. Children often stop thinking through concepts and just wait for the teacher to teach, and explain it to them. In the long term, this is unhelpful. It is possible to find very cheap one-to-one tuition in some areas, but whilst this might appear attractive, parents should ask about the qualifications, and the skills of such tutors.

Small Group Tuition

Small group tuition is available across the UK. It is usually cheaper than one-to-one tuition, and so makes better use of the teacher’s time. It also provides children with the opportunity to share ideas, and for the teacher to use competition and games to enhance the learning of each child. As the session comes alive in this way it becomes easier for teachers to assess, build confidence and inspire children.

Small group Tuition Centres usually have up to eight children in each group. Between four and six children per tuition group is an ideal number as this allows good group dynamics and individual attention. If a group falls below three it becomes difficult to encourage group dynamics.

Larger tuition groups cannot guarantee, and often fail to provide each child with the individual attention they need and often seems no different to an ordinary school classroom. If your child is having difficulty then putting them in this situation is likely to make the emotional barriers worse.

Continuity and consistency is important to any tuition group. So attendance should be regular. Each group should have matched children, or similar ability. And the same tutor should lead the group.

Large Group Tuition

There are many large group tuition centres in some areas, some with between 15 and 30 children. Again, some of these groups do not use qualified tutors. So whilst these centres are often cheaper per session, the parent should ask whether the tuition provided is able to provide something different to what is being offered at school.

If your child is not achieving their academic goals or has a barrier to learning in large classrooms in school, why should large tuition groups be more effective?

Study Programs

There are many study centres in the UK. Many are ‘on-line’ websites, which sit your child in front of a computer or provides them with worksheets. Children are then expected to work through them on their own. The amount of teaching done is minimal.

So the parent should ask what am I paying for? The answer is the worksheet resources. These can also be found on the internet, the local library or in a book shop. It always amazes me how much parents are prepared to pay for these study programs when similar materials are available in shops at a fraction of the cost. Additionally parents considering a study centre should note that children who require tuition need the support of a tutor to help them learn, and to unblock any obstacles to their learning. Study centres do not provide the teaching and support your children need.

Genie was designed by jc tuition singapore and is accredited in the UK. Your child can succeed with the right motivation, good role models and the best tutors & teachers.

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