Tuition: the training or instruction provided by a tutor. This innocuous-looking word has been the subject of great, heated debates among parents for years.
On the one hand, you have parents who strongly support tuition, saying it meaningfully occupies their children’s time and improve their academic performance. On the other hand, you have parents who feel that the lessons the children are taught in school are enough, and there is no need to burden their minds further with tutoring at home. They feel that a child’s brain can only hold so much at any given time, and needs to play and run about after a day of teaching and instruction at school.
Both groups of parents have their good intentions, but we can’t exclusively follow one thought at the expense of the other. Yes, children need to be children, but they also need to have a good education: it is necessary if you want then to have a good future.
Depending on your stance on tuition as a parent, and depending on the tutors that you employ to teach your children, tuition actually does more good than harm to your child in the following reasons.
1. They Need To Improve In Certain Subjects
As a child, I was weak in Math. My sister shared the same weakness. However, I was able to pass through primary school without a private tutor, but my sister could really use one. And so, my parents got a tutor for her and my brother, and I can say that it improved their Math scores and their knowledge of the subject immensely.
In schools, teachers cannot just isolate one pupil and concentrate on them, to the detriment of the other children in the class. Since every child has their own speed at which they assimilate their subjects, not every child will be carried along in the classes. If you feel your child could improve in certain subjects, getting tuition for that child would be a good idea.
However, you should check the tutor’s credentials and teaching methods, so as to ensure that the private tutor teaches your child at a pace that is right for him or her, and that the tutor takes the time to create lessons, assignments, and tests for them, always going over them in the next tutoring session to make sure that your child understands what he/she is being taught.
2. You Feel They Aren’t Getting The Grades They Should Get
This is a valid fear, but getting a tutor isn’t necessarily the solution to it. Schools in Singapore are extremely competitive, and every child has their limits.
If you think that your child really needs tuition, you can consult with a tutor to test the child before making any further decisions. It could be that your child is doing the best they can at the moment and because learning has become boring for them.
A tutor can introduce fun ways of learning to your child, and this can increase their grades. Some children may just be careless with their grades. Sit them down and ask them to calculate those grades that are lost, against those that they are getting. This will open their eyes to their folly, and make them sit up more in their classes.
3. They May Have Just Too Much Time To Play
Many children simply go to school because we make them. They don’t know the practical applications of what they are being taught, and when school is over they just run out and play after doing their homework. If you feel your child has too much playing time on their hands, getting a tutor for them is a good idea.
A tutor creates his instructional materials and may develop a curriculum of their own or follow the curriculum of any of the schools around, depending on the learning capacity of your child.
A tutor can introduce your child to the practical applications of their studies, and let their imagination run wild. Teaching and learning don’t have to be boring. Studies even show that children understand lessons better when the lessons are fun and taught using practical everyday applications.
4. You Feel A Tutor Will Give Your Child The Push Needed To Do Their Homework
Some children can be difficult when it comes to completing, or even starting, their homework. As working parents, we may not have as much time as we would like to check on our children’s school work and ensure that they do their homework.
A private tutor will be able to make our children do their homework and even do some revision on what they learnt at school. They can do this by using a reward and punishment system: if a child completes their homework, the tutor can play a game with them; if they fail to do so, the tutor can withdraw game privileges.
Tuition provides the discipline our children need to finish all their school work once they get home before the run out to play.
5. They May Communicate Better With A Tutor About Their Studies Than With You
Adolescent children, or teenagers, can become quite difficult when it comes to opening up to their parents about certain issues like school. This tends to put us at out wits’ end because we want to know how our children are doing, but we can’t force the information out of them.
A tutor serves as a sounding board for our children. Children tend to confide in them about their problems and issues with school and academics, and tutors, in turn, can give us the feedback we need about our children’s welfare.
Despite all the good points about tuition, it can be harmful when parents overdo it. Children do not gain the necessary skills to go through life, such as making friends, teamwork, interpersonal interactions, and the like. You may also neglect your children without meaning to, causing them to grow closer to their tutors, and this is very bad for our families.
Tuition is a good option for our children, but if it seems to be having any negative effects on our kids or on our relationship with them, it would be wise to discontinue it.