As parents, we cannot expect our child’s entire learning journey to take place in the confines of crowded classrooms. Therefore we need to create chances for our children to learn in their natural setting as well. The best way to allow your child to achieve academic success is by obtaining the right balance between learning in the classroom and learning beyond the classroom. You might be asking yourself:
How do I help my child learn at home?
The problem lies in the fact that we see education as solely being restricted to the schooling environment. Learning in fact is part of life. It should be seamlessly included in the child’s everyday life. There are times when you can allow children to learn at home through unstructured activities like free play but you need to also accommodate for purposeful learning at home.
The child should know that a specific hour daily is dedicated to purposeful learning. It is true that developing a keen interest in your child’s learning from the get-go can actually help your child succeed. So does being interested in your child’s academic well-being mean helping children with studying then? Is that what education beyond the classroom means? Is this the means to obtain academic success?
“A child educated only at school is an uneducated child.” - George Santayana (America Poet and Philanthropist)
Recently studies have surfaced which state that children are fully capable of doing well without parental help. So if you were ready to break your head with solving the Pythagorean theory, stop right there! Children whose parents set high expectations, and allow their children to naturally learn often produced astonishing results.
Then again according to authors, Robinson and Harris in their book entitled, The Broken Compass: Parental Involvement with Children’s Education, a teacher with a good reputation can boost children’s chances of success. So what does this contradictory evidence mean for us parents?
Well, you can’t guarantee that the teacher teaching your child at school will give your child the energy and patience that he or she requires all the time; however, you can be sure that a private tutor with a good reputation can be highly invested in your child.
Thankfully any tutor that you select would have learnt educational theory and thus will be well-versed with the different learning stages to naturally foster your child’s learning development, irrespective of the child’s age and interest.
The Tutor Is a More Knowledgeable Other
Lev Vygotsky’s sociocultural theory is known to provide teachers with guidance and insight on how children develop and learn. As per his theory, Vygotsky believed that the bulk of human development occurred due to socially mediated dialogue and interaction. Simply put, he believed that children acquired cultural beliefs, values, and problem-solving techniques solely through their interacting with others.
Although Vygotsky passed away before completing his theories, many of his ideas are still prominent in educational research today. One of the ideas that Vygotsky put forward is that culture and social context are equally important when encouraging learning. During social encounters with individuals who are assisting the learning process within a zone of proximal learning development, children begin to construct knowledge and understand ideas.
Whilst Vygotsky did mention children as curious beings who attempted to learn for themselves, he stressed the importance of adults who played a vital role in the child’s learning. Vygotsky was so adamant of the scaffolding process that he stated, “Much important learning by the child occurs through social interaction with the tutor.” The role of the tutor as one who provides instruction and models correct behaviour is considered a valuable one in Vygotsky’s theory. Collaborative dialogue between the child and tutor is seen as being excellent for learning.
If you are a firm believer in Vygotsky’s theory and believe in the significance of having a More Knowledgeable Other (MKO) instill academic value into your child than finding the right tutor is certainly a way forward. One on one tutoring can yield the best results by catering to your child’s learning needs and style. A private tutor can provide constant interaction that will allow your child to develop the skills that the child will use on his or her own. The zone of proximal development offers a better understanding of the difference between what the child can grasp independently and what the child will learn with the help of a tutor.
In summary, Vygotsky’s theory mentioned four things detrimental to a child’s success:
- More Knowledgeable Other – The electronic or in-person tutor who is equipped with the knowledge about the topic they are teaching.
- Zone of Proximal Development – The difference between what a child can achieve independently and with the help of others.
- Language – The means by which adults transmit information and a tool of intellectual adaption
- Learning cannot be seen as being isolated from social context – All learning happens through collaboration. This is where concepts like “scaffolding” and “apprenticeship” come into play whereby the more educated tutor structures a task, allowing the novice to work independently thereafter, once assistance has been given.
If you think of Vygotsky’s theory it makes sense to state that children do need help beyond school hours, and this help will allow them to thrive into successful adults.
Theories such as Vygotsky’s state that learning is a curvilinear process. This means that the child’s ability to learn is highest when the child is younger but children’s’ willingness to learn gradually disappears as they get older. So ideally learning should be fostered from a young age. Getting your child accustomed to having a private tutor or an online tutor might prove to be the ideal solution that will speed up development processes, increased academic performance, and lead to higher student achievement throughout the child’s life.
As a parent, you must be willing to purposefully create the best social context for your child’s learning. Finding a more knowledgeable other who is an expert in his or her field is an excellent strategy to get your child to excel in the field. Academic tutoring is a way forward and more and more parents are embracing this fact.
6 Reasons Why Academic Support Can Aid Your Child
Perhaps you are interested in getting a private tutor to provide your child with learning support. Academic help will mean:
- Individualised learning experiences for your child. A private tutor will tailor-make lessons to suit your child’s learning styles and capabilities.
- A fun learning environment is created by the tutor. The tutor can encourage the student to enjoy learning through constant encouragement and creating fun ways for learning.
- Focuses on teaching your child at his or her own pace. Your child will learn to take initiative for his or her own learning. The child can also move forward if he wants to move ahead of his or her class. Enrichment activities can be provided by the tutor to improve problem-solving abilities.
- A tutor will assist the children to overcome learning barriers and obstacles. A child can be given academic support to overcome topics that seem too complex.
- An open environment in which the child does not feel reluctant to ask questions is ensured. A private tutor makes it a possibility for children to ask all sorts of questions and satisfy their curious minds without feeling nervous that other children may laugh at their questions.
- Tuition allows your child to become organised. A child who sets classes with a private tutor will have to make sure they stick to schedules and structured ways of learning which is an important skill.
You may be asking yourself how can I find an appropriate tutor near me? There are many tutors eager to encourage your child’s development, you just needed to be open-minded and search for the best one.
Painting the South African Schooling Picture
In South Africa, learners can choose to attend either private schools or public schools. The type of school that you choose to put your child in may offer many diverse curriculums. In fact in Johannesburg alone:
- Certain schools follow the Impaq homeschooling curriculum
- Others follow the government school’s CAPS curriculums.
- There are schools that teach according to the Cambridge curriculum
- Or those that follow the route of structuring math lessons based on Singapore’s mathematics.
- The independent examination body (IEB), and SACAI are the exam routes followed by independent schools
Irrespective of the curriculum followed at a particular school or homeschooling environment, children get assessed informally in their subjects daily. While the informal assessments are merely meant for teachers’ records to make note of pupil progress, every school has a formal examination thrice or four times per year with many formal assessments every term.
A picture of each child is painted every term based on his or her academic success. That is why children are constantly tested to ensure that they are able to achieve the designated outcomes for their age group. While we would expect year-end reports to focus on the holistic development of our child, this is sadly not the case in many South African schools. Report comments reflect merely the academic performance of the child. A child who is performing below the class average may receive a report comment which mentions that he or she will require learning support to obtain the necessary grades.
While academic help can assist all students to thrive, certain children seriously need the learning support. Children may have problems with concentration, information retention problems, reading problems, or experience a communication barrier. There are many students in South African schools for whom English is a second language or third language.
That is why hands-on support may be your answer to assist students with learning setbacks. Tutoring can help a child achieve academically and personally as it is focused on fostering the ideal environment for maximal learning support and guidance which will enable your child to do their best.
Are you asking, “Are there any private tutors near me?” Well, yes there are! Find your perfect tutor now!