I’m going to let you into a not so secret secret, ALL parents would benefit from having a tutor for their child.
It’s surprising, therefore, that choosing whether to have, or not have a tutor is one of the most difficult decisions faced by many parents.
We know this because we’ve spoken to many parents over the years, either by phone, face-to-face or online, and many of them were in a state of distress over just this issue.
I feel this is partly because there’s a lot of ‘talk’ on the web about how parents who have their children tutored are too ‘pushy’, or that they’re being ‘unfair’ on other families in their area.
A multi billion pound industry
Hardly a week goes by without a newspaper story about how many parents have tutors for their children, and not just private school parents since we know of many families from all walks of life who’ve arranged tutoring for their children.
I strongly believe that in the correct circumstances there are many benefits that come from having your child tutored and so I’ve put together a list of 15 reasons why this is so.
You might not agree with some (or all!) of them, however, I’d like to think that you’ll understand my point of view – and please feel free to get in touch or comment below if you want to let me know your thoughts on this hot topic.
And so without further delay, let’s crack on with the list.
1 Totally focused 1 to 1 attention
Ask any state school teacher how many pupils they have in their class and they’ll tell you it’s somewhere between 30-35. In some schools, they’re under pressure to admit more pupils, meaning one teacher may be trying to control even greater numbers.
That’s not, in theory a problem, PROVIDING all of the pupils are:
- Equally interested in the subject
- At approximately the same skill level
- Capable of understanding and following along at the same pace
- Haven’t missed too much of any previous classes
The problems begin when the class contains a mixture of abilities, along with some students who are disinterested in the subject, plus students who’ve missed key lessons and are therefore falling behind.
The effect of this, ON YOUR CHILD, can be that the teacher ends up firefighting and dealing with interruptions and distractions, rather than moving the class forwards and through the work for that lesson.
A calculation: Let’s assume the average lesson is sixty minutes and there are 30 students in the class.
On that basis the most undivided attention the teacher can provide each student is two minutes. That’s right, just two minutes.
Yes, I appreciate that class learning is an all-for-one model, but when the teacher is dealing with distractions, “Sit down Harrison”, “Jane, put your mobile phone away.” etc, then those issues are going to reduce the teaching time available.
When your child is working with a tutor, however, they have the tutor’s undivided attention, which means it’s much easier for the tutor to drill-down into your child’s subject knowledge and uncover any gaps – and help overcome them.
2 They’re able to progress at the pace that’s right for your child
Unlike a class where the pace is set by the teacher but has to accommodate every pupil, a tutor can ensure that they progress with your child at a pace that fits them much better.
Rather like the story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears, the correct pace is not too slow, nor not to fast, but just right
Experience will mean your tutor can speed up or slow down, whilst still nsuring the key aspects of the subject are covered in time for any end of year exams or tests.
3 It stops your child feeling embarrassed if they don’t understand something
Most of us have been in this situation in school at some time; the class teacher asks the class a question, waits a few seconds then calls our OUR NAME! “David. What’s the answer to question 1?” “Rachel. Which is the correct capital city for question B?”
And then it feels like time stands still and there’s a spotlight focused on us with everyone else in the class looking in our direction – and we can’t think of the right answer to the question.
Been there, and felt awful as a result, as I’m sure you have too.
Embarassment affects all levels
This isn’t something that ‘only’ affects those who are in the lower grades, since those who are the ‘high flyers’ in the class can feel just as stressed or embarrassed if they can’t answer a question. To them it means they don’t ‘look’ as good as they’d like or feel that others are judging them – not a nice feeling to have.
The advantage that students obtain from working with a tutor is that it’s ok for them to say they don’t know the answer, since that’s exactly why the tutor’s working with them.
This means there’s absolutely no need to be embarrassed or worried – all that needs to happen is for the tutor to identify what it is they might know, to correct that if necessary, and then to help them to understand what they’re missing so that can become part of their skill.
Then, when they’re back in class they won’t have to feel embarrassed any more
4 Able to look at questions from many different perspectives
When learning from a text book in class a pupil will usually learn a single way of working something out.
- One way to calculate an equation
- One way to write an essay
- One way to analyse a poem, for example.
Within the time constraints of the lesson there’s not enough time to do anything else.
Away from those time pressures, however, it’s possible for a tutor to help your child to see those questions, essay, periods of history, or poems from a variety of perspectives.
This means they’ll be more able to work with the subject, become more comfortable with their studies, and go on to achieve better exam results.
5 Can help review homework & highlight learning issues
When teachers are marking and commenting upon a class’s homework they’re handling upwards of thirty student’s work. Different answers, different misinterpretations, different missed steps or words.
This all takes time, which means that each piece of work only receives a small proportion of their time to be marked.
A tutor, however, can spend time going through the work they’ve set your child, with them. This means they will benefit by receiving a more detailed explanation of what they’ve done that’s correct, along with any suggestions to improve their work for the next time
6 Can tailor studies for specific school entry requirements
State school teachers are, naturally, focused upon helping their students to achieve the best results possible in their studies that lead to end of year exams.
Sometimes, however, those students (or the student’s parents) might have plans for them to sit entrances exams for other schools, perhaps a local Grammar school or a private, fee-paying school.
Both of those types of entrance exam require specific and different skill sets and it’s important, therefore, that your child is schooled in the correct exam techniques for them.
Unless they receive focused support for those exams they will be at a disadvantage in the exam compared to the many other pupils who will have spent many hours practising those tests until they have felt comfortable in working through them.
A good tutor will know exactly what is needed for a particular school, especially if parents are hoping that their child can secure a scholarship place since those exams will always require a higher standard of entry and a commensurate pass mark
7 Boost confidence
We often find that the students we tutor weren’t always poor performers, but perhaps due to being off school due to health reasons, or due to lots of changes of teachers, they have simply lost their confidence.
It’s as if they’ve taken the thought that they weren’t achieving that well to mean they’re no good, and so they give up.
A good tutor can help your child to uncover and re-confirm what they already know, and from that position of beginning to re-build their confidence, to help them to bridge the gaps in their learning so that they can feel confident in the class again.
Many times students, once they’ve overcome their lack of confidence, can move up quite a few grades, which in turn makes them feel even more confident – a win-win situation for everybody.
8 Will identify stumbling blocks and correct them before they become a habit
Classrooms can be noisy and distracting places.
This means that it’s quite possible for a well-meaning teacher to explain something clearly, but if your child’s mind wanders for a moment, they could miss an essential step in the process.
Simply copying the work down they might not realise they’ve missed that step, but when they attempt to work through some exercises, during homework perhaps, they could find themselves stuck.
Perhaps they fall back upon prior learning – but what if this question is based upon a slightly different model or approach?
Then, they might think they’ve answered the question, but in advertently get it wrong.
Working one on one with a tutor means the tutor can ‘staircase’ your child’s understanding of the subject, so that they can break down and explore the how’s and why’s for each step.
This means your child will be much more able to work on their own with confidence when attempting that work later.
9 Can teach ‘outside’ the syllabus so as to strengthen your child’s knowledge
In a classroom, pupils will often say something to the effect of “But why do we need to know X, Miss, it’s boring and irrelevant?”
It’s tantamount to admitting they’re just about to switch off and ignore the rest of the lesson, or simply follow along blindly, jotting down what they’re asked to do but not really taking much in.
Whilst all teachers will do their best to enthuse their students with the subject in-hand, a tutor can spend time tutoring ‘around’ the subject, so that your child can develop a better understanding as to how each part fits together.
This can mean they will see connections more clearly and then be more able to produce better work of a higher quality than before.
All parents benefit from arranging a tutor for their child
I’ll admit I’m biased but I strongly believe that if timing and finances permit, every parent would see a significant improvement in their child’s school grades if they could arrange a tutor for them.
These are just a few of their reasons why parents should arrange a tutor for their child.
Whether it’s that undivided attention, overcoming lack of confidence, or helping to bridge gaps in learning, every child benefits from a tutor.
Online vs face to face – which is best?
With the current Covid-19 Coronavirus lockdown all tutoring is being carried out online.
That, as many families have discovered, is a perfectly good way to work, however, for some students, the face-to-face method might be easier and so post-Covid-19 that’s something parents could consider too.
Have you ever considered, or employed a tutor?
If you’d like some help choosing a tutor please get in touch and we may be able to help find one for you.
My wife and I only tutor in our own key subjects, however, we know of other tutors who we may be able to recommend for you.
- How have you found having a tutor for your child?
- Would you have a tutor for them?
- Do you feel they’re unfair on other parents?
Comment below and let us know your thoughts.