In a recent survey, 7 in 10 parents send their children for primary tuition. Majority of parents are spending hundreds of dollars per month on tuition, hoping that it will make a difference to their children’s academic grades.

We all want to make the most of our lives and this is true for students, parents and tutors when it comes to tuition. If you are already engaging a tutor for your child or thinking of getting a tutor to help support your child’s learning, here are some tips about getting the most out of the sessions so that they can be as productive and beneficial as possible.

1. Have an open discussion with the tutor
Discuss openly with the tutor your expectations and your understanding of your child’s progress. Try to specify what you would like your child to learn from the tuition. It could be certain areas of revision, knowledge of specific concepts or topics or foundation skills. It is a good idea to make a list of goals your child should achieve after a period of tuition with the tutor for the respective tuition like primary english tuition, primary math tuition and primary science tuition. Your tutor should tailor a plan to meet these goals. Everyone should be clear of this plan and on the same page. Hence your child should be aware of this plan so that he/she understands the objectives of the lessons.

As the weeks go by, regular review of this plan is required. What has been achieved? Are there new areas that need attention?

A key question is: do you want your child to have homework from their tutor? Many students have busy schedules with after-school activities and homework. An overwhelmed, overworked student isn’t a happy or productive one, so if you do agree that homework will be set then figure out when it will get done (a mad rush ten minutes before your tutor arrives is not a good idea…). A major plus for a bit of homework is that you can cover more ground and faster, but a reasonable balance must be struck.

2. Culture, Methods and Choices
Every tutor teaches differently, just like every child learns differently. Finding the right tutor can be tricky if you do not understand your child’s learning needs well. Pay a visit to the tuition centre personally or ask the tutor how a typical lesson will be carried out may help to give you an idea of the culture and teaching method. It is best to let your child experience first hand how the lesson is being carried out so always ask for a trial lesson.

If your child comes out of the lesson, beaming, you know this is the right tutor.

3. Be your child’s learning partner
Show interest in your child’s learning after each lesson by striking conversation about his/her tuition. What was learnt? What did he/she find interesting? If your child is in a group tuition, find out about his/her classmates. Your child may be very happy interacting with a child of a different school and this will promote positive peer interaction and learning.

During the tuition programme or enrichment programme, you can sit down with your child as your child does his/her tuition work. You can learn the concepts/topics together and extend his/her learning by finding out more about the topic. This will encourage your child to ask questions in class and seek clarifications from his/her tutor.

It is important to encourage your child to ask good questions during tuition as this can promote deeper understanding of the subject and helps to build confidence.

4. Preparation is the key
Teach your child to keep all his/her tuition work in a file and organise them properly. Your child should also have his/her stationery and notepad ready for lessons so the tutor can start straightaway. Spending extra minutes at the start of the lesson looking for last week’s worksheets on Maths word problems can set a lesson off to a bad start!

5. Right time, right place
An average Singaporean student spends 7-8 hours a day in school and if the child still has to attend tuition after, it will likely result in a grumbling and tired child. Choose a day when your child does not have much after school activities so tuition will not be a chore. Sending your child to a tutor that teaches only on the other side of the island is neither wise.

Your child will only get the most out of the lessons if he/she is refreshed. Hence making sure your child has her basic needs covered (lunch, bath and rest) is as important as choosing the right tutor.

We hope that parents can understand more about tuition or enrichment programme to make their children’s learning more interesting and productive. Feel free to talk to us at BlueTree Education.

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