Afraid that your child is not catching up in school? Your child is showing signs that he is not doing so well in school? If you are thinking of adding a tuition in your child’s schedule, what do you look out for or bear in mind when looking for a tutor or a centre? Here are some tips:
Ask your recommendation. Get your child’s teacher or other parents for introduction or recommendation. Consider meeting a few tutors with your child. (This buy-in by getting your child involved in the process should help in his willingness to add the tuition in his schedule.)
Credentials & experience
Check the tutor’s credentials (paper & experience) if you are engaging a private tutor. We have seen parents being lied to by tuition agencies in Singapore. In tuition centres, we select our teachers carefully. Ask about their training, experience and references. It is important that the tutor is a certified in some way or at least have good knowledge in the subject being taught. Find out whether the the tutor has experience working with students at your child’s grade level. The skill set for teaching A-Levels students is vastly different from experience with primary school children.
Goals & expectations
Communicate the goals & expectations Involve your child, the tutor and yourself in this process. Perhaps it is a good move to get the tutor to design or propose a plan to help your child. For example introduce new chapter before the school teaches, if that is deemed to be a suitable method. Where possible, ask your child’s teacher to participate in the design of this plan so that it links to school work. Try to create a partnership between you, your child’s tutor, the teacher and your child. However it may not be practical to do so in Singapore’s system, maybe it is important to keep the tutor updated on requirements in the school.
Schedule to win. Choose a day or timing when your child is not too tired from too much activities or he /she may not be optimising his /her performance. Perhaps a nap after school for young children will help refresh and thus be better for tuition afterwards. Allow for breaks and not back to back, rushing from one to the other, so as to increase the effectiveness.
Consider about frequency. Students who are weak in a subject will need time and practice and repetition to grasp the topics. Perhaps 2 times a week is essential. Remember that it takes time to see improvement, so do not be too impatient and expect a quick fix. However if the am of the tuition is to give your child an edge to be cream of the crop, perhaps once a week is a good balance.
Observe your child and the tutor. The sessions should include hands-on learning and be very interactive. The tutor should be guiding your child through direct teaching and guided practice. Is your child doing well with the style of the tutor? Does your child like the tutor?
Regular and systematic communication
Request periodic communication from both the tutor and your child. Keeping a note book to record every lesson’s progress or message can be very helpful. Even texting comes in useful as a channel of communication in our busy society. Pop by to pick up your child and have a quick chat with the teacher on your child’s progress if time allows. Give it a few weeks and you should be able to notice an improvement in daily work and a few months you should be able to notice a difference in results.
Bear in mind the practicality of distance and travel. If tuition is a twice-a-week affair and your child be going to tuition class or lesson on his own, you may not want to have him travel too far, proximity to home or ease of getting to centre should be a consideration. Even if you are sending your child, you might not want to send him / her too far and make it an expensive (in terms of time or money) routine that you cannot sustain.
Understand your child’s style of learning and communicate it to your new tutor. It will save time and effort for the new tutor to figure it out. Perhaps your child has ADHD or face learning difficulty, it makes more sense to engage a tutor who is trained in visual, auditory and tactile styles.
Class size is a critical factor in tuition. If you child is weak and needs dedicated help, there is little point in putting your kid through another classroom setting. If your child is exactly struggling because the school teacher cannot have time and attention for him / her, why put him through another class without much benefit and make him / her tired.
Talk to us and explore with us at our centres if you stay in the vicinity of Ang Mo Kio or Bukit Merah (Tiong Bahru) and see how we can help your child. We have 1 on 1 tuition as well as class basis trainings.