If you're venturing into the world of private tutoring for the first time, then you'll want to know what it entails. Private tutoring is a nice alternative to public schooling if your child needs more one-on-one attention than their school can offer. It also helps kids with learning disabilities or who are struggling academically thrive in their studies by giving them personalized instruction.
However, there are some downsides to this method of education as well. For instance, private tutor rates vary greatly depending on where you live and how much experience they have teaching students like yours; plus, these costs don't include materials that may be needed for lessons not covered in textbooks (i.e., art supplies).
Private tutoring is a service where an individual or group of individuals provide one-on-one instruction to students. There are many benefits and disadvantages to private tutoring, which I will go over in this article.
Some advantages include higher test scores, increased knowledge of the subject matter, more time for personal attention with less distractions, and better grades. Unfortunately, there are some drawbacks as well that might not be appealing to all people, such as a lack of socialization skills due to not being exposed enough in school environments with other children their age. Ultimately it all comes down to what you want your child's educational experience to be like while they're still learning new concepts!
Private Tutoring: The Pros And Cons Of Getting Some Extra Help
Tutoring works, so it’s little wonder that private tutoring is so popular these days. Studies indicate that it can comfortably move a student one and a half grades. This could mean moving a student from a low D to a good C or a low B to a good A grade.
Parents are queuing up for the services of tutors, spending between £20 and £60 (sometimes over £150 per session), and it’s not just the rich who are doing it. It isn’t uncommon to read about families with modest incomes investing in-home tutors and spending up to £1,000 on week-long revision courses or intensive study workshops, all in an effort to help their child keep up or give them that competitive edge.
If you are considering private tutoring for your child, these are the Pros and Cons you may wish to consider:
- Private tutors can work at a child’s pace. This is probably the number one consideration for seeking private tutoring. If you are a parent, you can surely recall the time you were at school, and for some reason, you lacked the basis for complex areas like calculus and geometry, and you always wished that someone would explain these areas to you from scratch. Tutors can do just that; unblock one area of learning to make way for further learning.
- Private tutors can give your child much-needed one-to-one attention. Is your child very visual, relying on maps, picture and visual stimuli to learn? Does your child prefer to learn by jumping directly into an activity rather than spending a long time reading text information? Children, like adults, have different learning styles, and a personal tutor is able to cater classes to their preferences in the way that an educator teaching 20-odd kids at once is simply unable to. Private tutoring can save your child from falling through the cracks of an education system which can often be all too generic.
- Private tutors can work on specific obstacles to learning: Dyslexia, dyspraxia, sight impairment or hearing loss can get in the way of a child learning and communicating. A specialised, qualified tutor with experience and true vocation can help your child advance in leaps and bounds.
- A good private tutor will not only teach your child core subjects; they will also teach them vital study skills: These include time management, handy tips like summarising and focusing on titles while skim reading, and strategies like paying attention to what the teacher emphasises in class, in order to predict the content of future tests.
- Private tutoring is extremely flexible these days: With online tutoring agencies like Superprof, your child can study when it best suits them, which means that they can fit study into an all-round schedule which should include time for hobbies, sports, etc.
- Private tutoring is convenient: If you can find a tutor who is willing to come to you instead of vice-versa, you will save the time and bother involved in travel.
- Private tutoring allows you to access the very best material possible: If you have done your homework and hired a qualified tutor with good references and a true vocation for what they do, they will not only be using your child’s textbooks to teach; rather, they will be knowledgeable on a host of alternative teaching methods (for instance, the Montessori and Steiner-Waldorf methods), which focus less on the structure and more on discovering the way we actually learn and retain information.
- A private tutor will help your child set goals and objectives for themselves: Study is not just about improving one’s marks at school; it is also about achieving specific targets which can go beyond those determined by the official curriculum. For instance, a gifted three-year-old may be given the goal of mastering a higher Oxford Reading level than her age suggests. This ensures that gifted and talented children (as well as those who are slightly more advanced than their peers) can continue to be stimulated and challenged, which is particularly vital for high-level learners.
- A private tutor frees parents from the duties of conducting a child’s homework sessions themselves: Especially if our children are entering their teens, some subject matter can be challenging even for parents: this includes areas like advanced maths and new technologies. In addition, most parents feel like they don’t have enough time to be with their children and would prefer not to spend the little time they have with their teens on something potentially conflictive or tense as study.
- Personal Attention- When in a classroom, a teacher cannot always halt the entire lesson to explain a problem over again for one student. With a tutor, children have the time to keep asking all of their questions until they understand the concept.
- Work at Their Own Pace - When your child gets this one-on-one attention, they get to work at their own pace and can keep going over something until they fully grasp it.
- Tailored Study Time - A one-on-one tutoring session is tailored to students’ specific needs and how they need to study, which is not available in the traditional classroom. This can be especially helpful to children with learning obstacles like dyslexia and ADHD.
- Learn Good Study Habits - Tutorhub explains that a good tutor also teaches time management, handy tips like what and how to focus on summarizing and titles while skimming, and strategies like paying attention to what the teacher emphasizes in class so that they can better predict they content on future tests.
- You See Real Results - Enlighten me says that sessions with private tutors often result in dramatic improvements in grades, entrance exam scores and test scores - and for many students, only a few sessions are needed before improvements are seen.
- Children can feel pressured by their parents: Ideally, the idea of private tutoring should come from the child rather than her parents. This is because a child can close off to their tutor if they feel like their parents are being too pushy.
- Children need to learn to overcome their own difficulties: Some critics argue that private tutoring is tantamount to serving up education to your child on a platter. Instead, they should learn, so say these critics, to succeed through their own efforts exclusively (a good tutor will not spoon-feed your child, of course, but rather, motivate and provide them with direction).
- Safety: Some parents worry about how safe their kids are with adults they do not know. They should always ensure that they are dealing with an agency that properly screens its tutors or a private tutor that can provide them with references and a DBS/ CRB check, which will ensure the tutor has no prior convictions. For those curious to understand more about DBS and CRB checks, check out our recent blog post on the subject.
- Extra-curricular activities may suffer: If you cannot afford a tutor who comes to your home, your child will probably spend valuable time getting to and from the tutor’s home or office. Outside interests such as sports and music are equally informative to a child’s growth and development. Time constraints can be a reason to forego private tutoring.
- It's Expensive - Care.com says that you should expect to pay anything from $10-$15 an hour for a high school student and up to $75 an hour for a certified teacher with experience as a tutor.
- Time-Consuming - Going to a tutor can take up a lot of time. This may take time out of a child's other extracurricular activities like sports and music, which are equally important to a child's growth and development.
- Conflicting Personalities - Personality conflicts can arise between students and their tutors, which can hinder their sessions. Before officially hiring a tutor or signing a contract (if required), ask if they would be willing to have a trial run for free or half-price to make sure they can work well together.
- Accessibility and Transportation - Figuring out transportation in rural areas can be difficult, especially if the tutor is under the driving age. Be sure to work this out and make arrangements well in advance.
- Finding Quality - Quality can be hard to find. Do your research and ask around your network for a few recommendations. Word of mouth can be the best source when it comes to finding a quality tutor you can not only trust but who is reliable.
In summary, tutoring is an effective way of learning. It comes with powerful advantages, not least as it’s the means to get better grades at school and maybe improve life prospects. There are disadvantages, however, such as its cost. It’s your call, and I hope that this article has helped you come to your own conclusion about whether it is right for you.
Advantages And Disadvantages Of Private Tuition
The questions that parents ask when their child is enrolling into primary school:
- Does enrichment lessons really benefit my kids?
- Does my kid need tuition?
- What kind of tuition to choose? 1 to 1 or group tuition?
- Which tuition centre to go to?
There are two; private (1 on 1) or group (class setting) when it comes to tuition. This is what I think from my years of experience: having 1 to 1 tuition, small group tuition, and even larger groups in one of Singapore’s more established tuition centres.
For clarity, 1 to 1 tuition (private tuition) refers to tuition where one tutor faces one student, either in a home setting or within a tuition centre.
Advantages Of Private Tuition
In my earlier years, when I’m still new to teaching, I had thought that 1 to 1 tuition is the most effective form of tuition. The common advantages:
- Undivided attention – The student has the tutor all to himself/herself
- Instant feedback for students for maximal learning – Timely feedback is the way in which students learn
- Flexible lesson schedule – It is easier for you to change the schedule with the tutor
As long as a parent could afford the expensive fees of 1 to 1 tuition, why not go for it, right?
For the majority of the students out there, it’s not true. The “pros” may actually be bad for your child. In addition, there are many more hidden cons that no one else has really talk about.
Disadvantages Of Private Tuition
While it is true that your child will get the best possible help from the 1 to 1 tutor, this builds over-reliance on the tutor over time. One key to a sustainable learning attitude is independence, and hiring a 1 to 1 tutor goes counter to it.
Will your child be able to handle learning in a group setting in the future, especially with years of learning how to learn from a 1 to 1 tutor?
It may be many years ahead for our kids, but we need to think far ahead for them as parents.
Timely feedback is of utmost importance for learning. I will not deny it. But overly instant feedback?
We want our kids to be able to analyse questions, go through a proper thinking process (something we always preach and teach at Eton), and check for careless mistakes. We want them to be independent thinkers and take responsibility for the answers they have made.
Instant feedback sometimes go counter to this. The feedback comes before the student has the time to process, think, and check through the questions and their answers. It usually stop short children’s train of thought – I mean, would you pay good money for a 1 to 1 tutor to just wait for your child to think?
While I provide WhatsApp help to my students, I am unable to respond immediately as I may be in lessons or be busy with other personal events. I realise that frequently for students, in the process of typing out the question, they manage to think through the question and are then able to solve the question before I even answered them.
They can follow through with the proper thinking processes that were taught and emphasized in my classes and apply them before I give feedback. This helps many of my students score As in the national exams.
If the feedback was instant, they would be over-reliant and may even be so for the rest of their study career.
Flexible Lesson Schedule
For most students, once a weekly schedule is fixed, most would not change. And this is good, as it builds a habit and good discipline of the following structure. However, most of the experienced and good 1 to 1 tutors will not allow flexible lesson schedules anyway because their schedules are usually packed early in the year.
Most 1 to 1 tuition do not have any proper lesson structure or planning.
More often than not, most 1 to 1 tuition at home are just the student asking the tutor school questions, using school notes, school worksheets. At other times, the lesson will be using store-bought assessment books of random question compilations.
When conducting small group tuition lessons we plan our lessons (in terms of what to teach and timeline). We use our exclusive in-house materials, consisting of notes and concept-building worksheets that teach students to identify the kinds of questions that could appear. In addition, we use lesson props to let students experience kinaesthetic learning first-hand.
How many would 1 to 1 tutors bring lesson props to your house for learning?
No Peer Interaction
There is zero peer interaction in 1 to 1 lessons.
In terms of small group tuition, peer interaction allows students to know how they stand in relative to their peers from other schools.
Peer learning is already done in schools, but this only lets students glimpse how well they are doing in their studies compared to their schoolmates. However, national examinations are across the entire nation, and not just for a single school.
Done properly, this could help spur students on in a healthy competition to be a better version of themselves.
Tough To Hire Experienced Tutors
There are many 1 to 1 tutors, but experienced and good 1 to 1 tutors are not easy to find.
The experienced and good 1 to 1 tutors usually have their schedules filled early in the year. Think of this, a hardworking tutor working 7 days a week could may only teach a maximum of 2 lessons a weekday and 4 lessons a weekend. That means a maximum of 18 students. How fast do you think it would take for 18 slots to be filled?
This number reduces if you consider that the tutor may not be full-time or may want a day or two of breaks.
So Who Really Needs 1 To 1 Tuition?
Definitely, there will be some unique cases where 1 to 1 tuition is more useful, provided you get the right tutor.
Students who need extra attention and the exams are just around the corner
Extremely strong students, already scoring 85% and above (at least for sec and JC), and want to achieve even higher to top the school.
One of the primary detriments of private tutoring is its expenses. Recruiting a quality coach with capabilities and related knowledge can be exorbitant, and numerous families will most likely be unable to manage the cost of it.
Private tutoring is worth it, but you have to know that you will have to invest time and money if you are looking to improve your skills and overall results in school. ... In the end, private tutoring is a lot cheaper than enrolling children in private schools.
Tutoring can help strengthen subject comprehension, boost confidence, and build important learning skills. Tutoring gives students individualized attention that they don't get in a crowded classroom. This helps children who struggle to keep up, as well as those who aren't challenged enough.