For example, when I was working at a tutoring centre – the youngest student I ever had was in Year 3. And she wasn’t even the youngest. Another tutor had a student who was in Kindergarten or younger. It was astonishing! And also hilarious.
The tutoring lesson with this Kindie student involved:
“What is this?”
“This. Is. A. Cat.” or “Cat. C. A. T.”
The lesson was also spent playing games, but eventually the Kindie student would get bored and run around the Centre (weeee!). Of course, their poor tutor would try to coax them back to the table.
I mean, isn’t this a bit extreme? The Kindie student didn’t seem to be struggling in learning or anything.
Is it the norm now to send children to tutoring as early as primary school?
I do think that more and more students are taking up tuition, not necessarily because they require it to keep up with the average, but because it is seen as the norm. Students without tutors are perhaps seen as “disadvantaged”, because they do not receive extra help – all they get is the “basic” education delivered by the school.
Yet, as more and more students take up tutoring, it becomes a requirement to have tutoring. There almost seems to be a competition amongst some parents – every other parent is getting tuition for their kid, don’t I need to too?
I do see the advantage and lure of getting a tutor in order to “get ahead” of everyone else. In fact, I really do advocate “getting ahead” not so much as a means of competing against other students, but because it can benefit you in terms of:
- Learning content twice – it sticks easier in your brain
- Time management
Personally, I was “home tutored” by my mum in primary school. She taught me Maths and the short cuts. As a result, everything in Maths was already pre-learned up to Year 9/10 – it was a breeze. In Year 11 and 12, I struggled with Maths (particularly with 3 Unit), because everything was “new” content to me.
I also went to a tutoring class for 1 term for 3 Unit Maths, but that was a nightmare. It was a complete waste of time, because:
- It was a class and not one-on-one tuition
- I was struggling – but the class was about “getting ahead”
But, back to the topic, really – how young do you want/need to start? Do you need tutoring at all?
If you don’t help your child get ahead, are you disadvantaging them? Or should tutoring (expensive) only start when they struggle?