23 Jul

Some parents choose to hire home tutors for their children because they want their child to perform well in a particular subject, while others will engage tutors only if they see their children struggling in school.

Both types of parents may be said to be increasing the stress on their children to perform well academically. However, hiring home tutors can actually increase children’s confidence in themselves and cover gaps in their learning, provided that parents understand their children’s capabilities and parental expectations match those capabilities.

Tutoring for children who are already performing at their best in school may actually harm them, which can lead to their being tired or even too confident in themselves. Their teachers may not like it when they use ideas or strategies that are not covered in class on exams and assignments. Home tuition can also make a child less independent in the learning process, relying too much on the tutor. This can cause trouble down the road when she enters university.

Focusing tuition on a child’s weaknesses is the key to helping him perform well in class. Parents don’t want to spend extra money on unnecessary lessons, and children don’t want to spend energy and time studying subjects in which they’re already doing well. For example, if a child is not doing well in Chinese, it is important to identify why and to concentrate tutoring efforts in that area. Perhaps it is because there is not enough exposure to the language. Hiring a tutor that speaks only in Chinese with your child for a few hours each week can be helpful.

On the other hand, it may be wiser to purchase exam preparation, 10 year series or study material for a child to work through independently. This might be the case if the child understands concepts in the subject well, but she doesn’t do well on exams. Preparation manuals can help her understand the types of questions exams ask and how to answer them correctly. If the child is capable of studying such material on her own, setting a schedule for her to do so and then checking her work is just as effective as hiring a tutor.