You may have considered it already, or you may not have given it a second thought, but home tutoring is becoming a very popular and effective way of helping children get the best out of their education. It is, however, largely misunderstood by parents.
For example, despite what some parents may believe, home tutoring is not always about helping children who are ‘struggling’ at school. It can be a great tool to help overall performance and the attainment of the higher grades. We thought we’d take a look at some of the key aspects of home tutoring, including what it actually involves.
So what does a home tutor do?
Home tutors are often perceived to be people who sit at home (either your home or their home) with your child for a few hours on a regular basis. And many home tutors do indeed carry out their work in this way.
However, there are also home tutors who work with groups of children. This is a relatively new development, and allows tutors to enhance a child’s work through peer involvement.
Tutors often help children who are struggling with a certain aspect of their school work. For example, a child may find Maths difficult in Year 8. This concerns the parent, who contacts a tutoring agency and books some sessions to help the child overcome the difficulties and make progress in that academic year.
Other GCSE tutors work with a child through Key Stage 4, helping them with various GCSE exams. This is often with one particular subject at GCSE, like English or Maths, for example. There are also tutors out there who work with children have shown exceptional ability in certain subjects, and need to be ‘stretched’ outside of school to reach their full potential. This can be very effective, and lead to higher grades and better opportunities for the children.
Would my child benefit from a home tutor?
This is a good question, and it isn’t always as straightforward as some parents may think it is. Just because your child isn’t doing so well in History in Year 7, for example, it doesn’t mean that you should find a tutor. They may just be getting used to the subject.
You have to weigh up the investment in time and money, and whether or not your child would make real progress through extra support.
Most children do, but it’s worth taking a good look at your child’s learning style and considering if they would be able to work closely with someone (1:1 or in a small group) for long periods of time.
However, if your child is receiving results at school that are much lower than you think they should be (rather than just a ‘lack of hard work’ issue) then finding a tutor is most likely something you should pursue.Tutors can really help with boosting grades that are falling below average. The attention they can give to your child (even in small groups) can be significantly more effective than the whole class approach they will be used to.
There is also a lot of value when your child is coming up to a big exam. For example, they could be sitting their GCSEs soon and need a tutor’s input to make sure they master the skills and knowledge that is required to meet their target grade. Or they may need a certain grade for their post-16 life, and this could happen if they have extra tuition. Many parents do this even if they are making good grades at school. The child could have problems with the pressure of exams, and a tutor can help, with exam preparation skills being part of the instruction.
It’s important to remember that your child may well want to have extra help.
It’s also vital to bear in mind that, just because you’re organising a tutor, it doesn’t mean that your child has an issue with learning, or is not ‘as good’ as other students.
In fact, many parents secure a tutor simply to enhance the overall progress of their child.
So is home tutoring the way ahead?
Only you and your child really know the answer to that question. But if grades are suffering, and it’s causing stress, it may be worth thinking about having a tutor who can help with boosting performance, and reinforcing the skills and knowledge your child needs.
Obviously, it can’t have a negative effect. Any extra work around these important years can only improve overall progress. And having a positive, friendly tutor around to help can provide significant help with self-esteem and confidence.