Ask yourself this pertinent question: does your child really need to go to a tutor?
You are not happy with your kid’s academic performance as determined by the marks and grades and the stiff rat race where your kid seems to lag behind. The kid’s entire future is stacked against the numbers showing in his/her report cards. So you conclude that your kid must spend extra hours with the tutor to enable the kid to catch up. You think that tutorial engagement is the only way to improve your kid’s marks. You also feel that if extra time beyond school is not spent with the tutor, your kid will tend to waste that time not studying.
You may also readily give in if your kid wants a tutor, because other kids are doing the same. The kid’s desire to take up tuitions is influenced by his/her friends and peers, when they wish to go to the same tutor together. By agreeing for a tutor, you come to the conclusion that you are fulfilling your duty to help your kid academically, outside school, as you are not in a position to devote time and energy yourself.
Well, these are NOT the reasons why you should engage tuitions for your kid.
You should hire a tutor for your kid, only if:
1. There is a big gap between your kid’s potential and actual performance trend. If your kid has been consistently getting low marks of late, in certain subjects, say, 50 percent, but you know that your kid is capable of performing better say, 75 to 80 percent, as he has done so before in those subjects, then perhaps, he/she needs extra help.
2. The kid expresses inability to follow and cope with, as teaching progresses in the school, because of lack of firm understanding of fundamental concepts; there is not much help coming forth from the teachers in the school as they have to rush through the syllabus and have no time to bestow individual attention to your kid.
3. You are worried that, marks apart, your child is displaying weakness in certain subjects, which, unless strengthened with external professional help, will make it more difficult for the kid in higher classes; the level of understanding required will be much higher in higher classes.
4. Your kid is not comfortable with the teaching style of the teacher or the teacher’s competence, causing resentment and disinterest for the subject.
5. Your kid understands the importance of the tuition and is strongly committed to get the best out of it.
The tutor you hire should be:
1. Capable of teaching what is not taught in the school, to strengthen the conceptual understanding of the subject for your kid.
2. Able to patiently teach your kid, according to your kid’s learning style and speed.
3. Able to devote sufficient individual attention to cater to the specific needs of your kid. The tuition will not serve the purpose if another class room situation is created, with bigger student – tutor ratio and the tutor tends to dish out more of the same.
4. Able to motivate the kid to perform better by instilling confidence in his/her capabilities and removing doubts, fears and anxieties. The tutor should be persisting with adequate practice for your kid in the subject and should move on only when the kid has assimilated the content taught so far.
5. Affordable, with a good track record of commitment towards tuitions.
You may persist with tuitions for your kid as long as needed; as soon as the kid starts performing better, has developed better understanding of the subject and is confident of managing adequately on his own, the tuitions may be withdrawn. You should never pressurize your kid for marks and competitive performance. Let your kid understand that he/she has to compete with own self to keep performing better and better, irrespective of what others achieve. The kid must be encouraged to put in the best effort always and be ready to accept the result as it comes.
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