At some stage or another, every student regardless of their overall academic ability feels the need for academic support. Whether that is due to a learning difficulty in a particular subject, or to help them turn their B aggregates into A’s.
If this is you or your child, there are many helpful options available. From a private home tutor to online classes, you will find that once you have decided to find a tutor, there are plenty out there.
Let’s look at some of the common circumstances for engaging with a private tutor.
Investing in One-On-One Private Tuition Before an Exam
Investing in a tutor before exams can make all the difference to a learner’s grades and even, academic future. Before you decided to find a tutor, you should evaluate your expectations for doing so.
If your teenager has struggled with general schoolwork or a particular subject for a number of years, you could consider academic support in the form of private tuition over an extended period.
This is because even the best tutors are not miracle workers and it will take time to identify the learner’s weaknesses and possibly rebuild foundations and confidence. This is especially the case when it comes to subjects like Maths, Science and languages.
If, however, your child is average and wants to improve in a particular subject. You could opt for a short-term private tutor for an assignment or exam preparation.
The Best Age for a Private Home Tutor
When it comes to the optimum age to begin private tuition this can be extremely varied While it is common for parents to find a tutor for children aged between 12 and 18, there are many university students who require academic support for certain subjects too.
Regardless of whether your child is in nursery, primary or high school, there is no doubt that a private tutor can help especially when it comes to Maths, English, IsiXhosa or French. It makes sense that teenagers are often the ones who require a private home tutor because they are always studying. Here are some other subjects which commonly benefit from private tuition:
- Physics, Chemistry
One of the most convenient ways to find a tutor in South Africa is by using the Superprof website which boasts thousands of credentials-verified tutors who are able to offer online or face-to-face academic support.
There is really no age limit when it comes to using a private tutor. A child of six could start with violin tutorials and a person of 70 could enjoy painting lessons with a private home tutor, it all depends on the subject.
Basically, it’s never too late to learn anything new.
Whether that is an instrument, sewing or cooking you could improve on old skills or still master new ones at any age.
For instance, more and more people are recognising the importance of learning foreign languages these days. Bilingualism is a major advantage for anyone who wants to further their career and certainly looks impressive on a CV.
Why not refresh second language skills that you learned at school and have long since been forgotten?
Use the Holidays to Increase Your Knowledge
If your child feels like they have fallen behind in a certain subject or wants extra academic support to ace certain exams consider a private home tutor for the holidays.
Remember that the demand for tutors over long school holidays usually goes up so make sure you book one well ahead of time. In addition, agree on a schedule with both your child and the tutor to ensure that you maintain a healthy life-study balance.
Chances are that your tutor will be able to suggest great ways to keep lessons fun and ensure that your child is not overworked to the point of resentment during their school holidays.
Although it may not always be easy to get your child to see it this way, school holidays are a great opportunity to make use of a private home tutor. Not only can your child revise the previous year’s work, but you could find a tutor who is able to prepare them for the next school year too.
Here are a few tips for anyone looking to use some of their holiday time to make a difference to their academic results:
- Download specialised learning apps to a smartphone to tablet.
- Invest in fun holiday workbooks.
- Take lessons outdoors in parks or gardens to maintain an element of fun.
- Split the costs of lessons by sharing a private home tutor with friends.
There’s no doubt that a private home tutor during the holidays is an excellent way to succeed academically.
Not only this but with the right inspiration and motivation a child could even emerge from a holiday season with a clearer idea of what to do with their future!
Weekends and the Private Tutor
Maintaining a balanced life and striving for academic excellence at the same time is critical for the learner to not burn out or lose interest in their studies. The quickest way to ensure that a child will loathe the idea of a private home tutor is to force them to work with one every day of the week.
One way to use tutoring time wisely is to break it up with tutoring on Wednesdays and then with a few hours of weekend tutoring to get ahead.
The goal is to make progress and get ahead of the syllabus while still building free time into your schedule. For instance, by scheduling a tutorial on Saturday mornings and leaving the rest of the weekend free is not onerous to the weekend, but could make all the difference to the learner’s academic success.
Remember that too much study could also have a negative effect on the academic development of children under 15! Basically, this means that while education is important, so is play and relaxation.
When it comes to using your teenager's time wisely, here are a few questions that could help.
- When is the most favourable time to have hourly one-on-one tutoring? Is it in the morning, afternoon, or evening?
- When are the best hours for my child to unwind?
- Which subjects should they be studying?
- Are alternate days best for supplementary education?
- Which hours over the weekend will suit the whole family best for my child to have private lessons at home?
- When should we consider evaluating their progress?
- Can we change our schedule over school holidays?
- How flexible can we be with our schedule?
One way to ensure the success of your plan is to get input from your child and make them feel part of the decision.
Once lessons begin, your private tutor will be able to evaluate the current ability of your child and then tailor-make lessons to suit their needs.
Ideally, you would like your child to bond with the tutor as time goes on as this can have a huge impact on their willingness to learn as well as their progress. A good tutor has the ability to become a valuable mentor, especially to teenage children.
Private Tuition in the Evenings
Finding a private tutor for evening lessons has many benefits!
Your teenager’s tutor could use several approaches for private home tutoring. Some of these could include:
- Revising all that they learned at school that day
- Listening to any challenges that they are encountering
- Preparing revision worksheets
- Assisting with homework
- Studying from textbooks and anticipating any future difficulties
- Suggesting additional exercises
- Discussing methods to better understand what their preferred subjects are and providing them with study supervision
- Preparing revision schedules
According to the experts, it is wise to leave the education of your child in the hands of a specialist. The main reason for this is that when parents are over-involved there is a risk that one or both parties will lose interest.
The parent’s role should be to keep an eye on the child’s progress from a distance without applying too much pressure on them.
This means that you will need a private tutor who both you and your child are comfortable with and who you can trust with your child’s extra lessons and ultimately, academic progress!
When it comes to evening tuition, remember not to overload the child. Not only will they have less mental energy available but children between 12 and 16 need eight hours of sleep per night.
As you can see, private tuition does not necessarily need to be onerous or expensive. In fact, with just a few tweaks to your child’s schedule and ensuring that you find the right person, it could be an extremely worthwhile intervention that could improve your child’s results and ultimately, their overall confidence too.
This confidence should not be underestimated as it will impact every area of a child’s life from their personal relationships, leadership development, critical thinking, and their ability to dream big for their future.
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