As a busy parent, it can sometimes be easy to overlook signs that your child may be struggling at school. During primary school, especially the early years, it’s common for parents to expect their children will improve their skills naturally as school goes on, and the thought of primary school tutoring may never cross their minds.
Read on to find out more about primary school tutoring – it may just be the best opportunity you ever give your child.
The Pros of Primary School Tutoring
There is a popular misconception that primary school tutoring is only for kids who are struggling, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. If your son or daughter showed an early passion for tennis and had some great natural ability to go with it, would you want them to just continue playing at a slightly better level than other? No – you’d want to encourage their interest and skills by getting them some professional coaching. By the same token, if your child loved tennis but was struggling with the basic skills, you’d also want to help them improve so they can keep enjoying their sport without being left behind.
The same goes for their education. Primary school tutoring can help with the basic skills, as well as build more advanced skills and knowledge. When done properly, tutoring can be great for all kids – let’s find out why!
Today’s Work Pays Off Later
Primary school tutoring shouldn’t necessarily be about giving kids all the answers. It’s about building their confidence to give things a go, and teaching them how the basics work so they can come up with the answers for themselves. It’s these basic learning skills that can sometimes be missed in school – not to mention the fact that everybody responds to different teaching styles.
Putting some work into the right kind of tutoring today can ensure your child is equipped to learn more while they’re at school. A tutor who works closely with a child should be able to identify ways to connect them to the joy of learning, and ultimately help them to develop the learning skills they can take with them to school.
Getting Back on Track is Easy When the Gaps are Small
Things get missed at school. It would be great if that wasn’t the case, but we have to be realistic. If a teacher has 30 kids to work with, it’s nearly impossible for them to walk every child through every maths problem or complex sentence and make sure they have a full understanding of what’s being taught.
But often the gaps in a child’s knowledge are quite small – they may have just not been paying attention when a couple of basic maths problem solving techniques were taught, but as we know, even a small gap can lead to a lack of confidence and a child slipping behind.
Good primary school tutoring aims to fill in those gaps, get a child back on track, and get them learning effectively again. Addressing the smaller gaps at primary school age can be a lot easier than going back to them years down the track.
Primary School Tutoring Builds Confidence
Confidence plays a big role in a child’s learning and development. Part of the cycle that can occur when a child has gaps in their learning is a reluctance to ask questions because they are afraid of sounding silly. Tutoring aims to build a child’s confidence so they can ask questions and clarify their understanding. This is a fundamental part of how we learn, but for kids who lack confidence it can be an uphill battle.
Tutoring should also remove a child’s fear of failure. Getting questions shouldn’t be seen as a bad thing, rather an opportunity to learn and improve. Often, a child who is afraid of getting the answer wrong can switch off or look for ways to avoid the problem, which not only limits their learning but can be a distraction for others in the classroom. Primary school tutoring should aim to instill in kids the confidence to give something a go and learn from mistakes.
Developing a Love of Learning
Deep down, children love to learn. It starts well before they go to school, but somewhere along the way learning can become a bit less fun for them. This can be due to a range of factors, but primary school tutoring is a way to help unlock that love of learning which is present in all kids.
Tutors can make a connection with their students, and when done in a way that’s tailored to each child’s specific needs, tutoring can help children develop a love of learning. Sometimes all it takes is that one “a-ha!” moment for a child to be excited by working out a problem, giving them a desire to learn more.
Helping Children Enjoy School
School can be a tough place for any child, but even more so if they are experiencing some gaps in their learning. It only takes one missed piece of information, or one type of maths problem they don’t understand for a child to go into their shell. Once they lose the confidence to give things a try and ask questions, a child can find themselves slowly slipping further behind.
That’s not fun for anybody, particular if it leads to behavioural issues that sees them being reprimanded rather than encouraged. Good primary school tutoring helps bridge those learning gaps, build a child’s confidence, and get them back to enjoying their school day.
Primary School Tutoring Helps Protect Children’s Self Esteem
As parents we’ve all probably reached the end of a long day, slumped into a chair and thought about how much easier things were when we were kids. But is that really true? Maybe for some who breezed through school without too many issues, but for a child who is struggling it can be a pretty difficult experience.
Children need a strong sense of self-esteem in order to flourish, whether it be with school work, sports, and even friendships. But as they get older, there’s plenty of things waiting around the corner to try and knock that self-esteem down. We don’t want difficulties with school work being another one. Primary school tutoring can build the confidence and skills for a child to be successful in their studies and take away one of the pressures of growing up.
Removing Conflict from the Home
As parents, we love our kids – but we’re not teachers. Sometimes we need to acknowledge we’re not the best people to help a child with algebra, and more to the point, it can sometimes be impossible getting your child to sit and focus on homework activities. Have you ever had a situation where you’ve been trying to get your child to do something without success, only for them to listen more to a family friend?
Tutoring can be a bit like that – children often respond well to an outside influence, more so than they do to you. Don’t worry – it’s not a failure on your part, it’s just the way kids are! In this sense, primary school tutoring can remove some of that conflict from the home and achieve better results.
Primary School Tutoring is a Healthy Extra-Curricular Activity
Done in the right way, kids can really enjoy their tutoring experience and see it as an extra-curricular. Making primary school tutoring a part of a child’s routine can give them something to look forward to outside of the classroom. While some kids can be a little resistant to it at first, when tutoring is done in a way that makes it fun for children to learn, they quickly embrace it and enjoy their weekly sessions.
Particularly if an hour of tutoring each week can help the children enjoy learning while at school for 30 hours a week – it is absolutely a healthy extra-curricular activity to be involved in!
Giving Children Amazing Role Models
Children can never have enough role models. In an ideal world, they connect well with every teacher they have through school, but we know that isn’t always the case. A good tutor is another figure in a child’s life they can look up to, and when their connection comes through the world of learning, it has huge benefits for the way children see their school journey.
Primary school tutoring allows children to form a bond with someone who is dedicated to helping them learn, and this can never be a bad thing.
The Cons to Primary School Tutoring
When done in an ineffective way, primary school tutoring can have its drawbacks. Rather than seeing these as a reason NOT to enrol your child in tutoring, the below issues should be viewed as things to look out for when choosing a tutor.
Generic Tutoring Isn’t Individualised
Many primary school tutoring services use generic worksheets, computer programs, large groups and standard learning styles in a ‘one size fits all’ package. While this can be effective in some circumstances, generic programs like this can often end up feeling just like an extension of school.
If your child has some gaps in their learning because something hasn’t worked perfectly at school, why send them to another classroom situation and risk the same thing happening again?
When choosing a tutor, look for someone who makes practical use of your child’s learning time. This could be by identifying specific gaps needing to be filled, or even focusing on the work your child is actually doing in school to build a better understanding.
The Cost of Primary School Tutoring
The cost of living just seems to go up and up with no end in sight, so it’s understandable that extra costs are tough to manage. Primary school tutoring can be expensive, which is why it’s important to look at the big picture.
A child who struggles through school could experience a range of psychological problems down the track, particularly if their issues with school work are spilling over into behavioural problems. Tutoring is a great way to nip it in the bud early, get your child back on track, and give them a better chance to flourish in their school life.
Because of the cost, you don’t want to be throwing money away on ineffective tutoring programs, so make sure you do your research before signing up. Read up on how a tutor or tutoring service structures their programs, and see if it makes sense to you before investing.
The Time Commitment
Like any extra-curricular activity, primary school tutoring is an investment in time. So many of us are time-poor, but when it comes to your child’s learning, confidence and self-esteem, tutoring could be the best use of time you can make.
To get the most out of tutoring, we recommend a one hour session each week. In the whole scheme of things, one hour a week shouldn’t be too much of a stretch, especially when you see your child happier, enjoying school more, and proudly displaying the confidence they gain from a quality tutoring service.
Some Tutoring Venues Don’t Encourage Learning
Many parents tell us that other tutoring services don’t encourage a good learning environment for their kids. This can be for a range of reasons – it feels like a classroom, the groups are too big, the children are just working on computer programs and not being shown the fundamentals of learning. The list goes on.
Private tutoring in your own home, while convenient, can also be ineffective, especially if you have a busy household. It can be difficult for kids to focus on the task at hand when there’s so much going on around them. There could be siblings watching tv, playing video games, or you may even be in the background giving kids an excuse to take their attention away from their work.
When considering primary school tutoring, consider venues that are warm, fun, and feel like a safe place for kids to learn.
Can It Be Too Much School Work?
When tutoring becomes too frequent, children start seeing it as just an extension of the classroom. Here at Big Improvements Tutoring we recommend tutoring once a week – this keeps it fresh for the kids, makes it something to look forward to, and doesn’t feel like a chore.
It’s also important to give your child a chance to practice their skills independently, and a 3-night-a-week program can also end up being used as a bit of a crutch. Remember, effective primary school tutoring is about developing learning skills and confidence to tackle problems by themselves.
So don’t overload the kids with tutoring – they still need time to be kids!
When weighing up the pros and cons it becomes clear that, when done right, primary school tutoring can provide kids with huge benefits which will help them in their immediate school life, with flow-on effects right through their education.
At Big Improvements Tutoring we aim to provide a supportive, confidence-building environment for children to discover a passion for learning. If you think your child would benefit from positive, individualised primary school tutoring, click below to book a free session today!