Multi-purpose toys can be seen to grab the attention of very young children from the onset. You will notice that if you put blocks, wooden puzzles, or books in front of your infant, he or she will want to explore these toys, play with these objects, and naturally learn what to do with the objects. In fact, every interaction that you have with your infant allows his or her brain cells to form connections.

You will note that sometimes your little bundle of joy will listen to a song over and over again and while you may not realise it at first, his repeated action allows children to develop in a healthy way. By now you will have understood that children learn from the time that they are born. You will notice that the smaller the child is, the more he or she learns for the sheer enjoyment of learning.

You may be asking yourself, how can I make sure my child retains his or her love for learning?

"You cannot make people learn. You can only provide the right conditions for learning to happen."  - Vince Gowmon (speaker & poet)

While Grade 1 and 2 children are still highly curious beings, from Grade 3 onwards children no longer feel so enthusiastic about learning. From Grade 7 onwards teenagers seem completely indifferent towards learning and their motivation seems to wear thin. The reports that serve as an assessment of children's academic potential can be mentioned as the reason why children are likely to lose their motivation for learning.  That is why it is essential for parents to work on fostering their children's study skills from the get-go.

Parents are vital role players in their children's education.  As a parent, you ought to understand that your child's formal education cannot be seen as starting only when the child enters Grade R or begins their foundation phase journey.  The earlier you start creating the correct conditions for learning the better. Besides learning languages, skills, and content from a very tender age never hurt anyone.

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Creating a Conducive Learning Environment

A home tutor could be roped in from the time when your child is in Grade R or even while your child is in Grade 0 to create a conducive learning environment. An educational method called the Montessori method could be used by a qualified tutoring services provider. The Montessori method is based on the philosophy that all children are curious beings that want to learn.

Dr. Maria Montessori developed this method in the 1990s which used children's innate love for learning as the premises to foster further learning. While government schools in South Africa find this brain-stimulating method far too costly to use in the classroom situation, you as a parent can adopt tenents of this method when creating a learning environment at home. Within your young child's room designate specific areas for different concrete objects. Opting for one on one tutoring will mean that a tutor can come in and help your child as he or she plays with concrete objects that you have deliberately placed in the room. Playing with concrete objects allow children to develope fine motor skills, whilst simultaneously allowing them to formulate a whole new vocabulary and imaginative ideas.

young girl doing homework
For young children, unconventional learning processes can be applied to keep them engaged. - Source: Pixabay

Since your wish as a parent is to better your child's cognitive skills but also focus on the development of your child holistically-socially, emotionally, and physically- the Montessori method will allow you to do so. By using this method cognitive skills inclusive of memory, reasoning, sensory processing, logic, and processing speed is bound to improve. You might also be opening the door of opportunity to rectify any cognitive weaknesses that your child may be experiencing immediately by trying out diverse educational methods on your child with the help of a home tutor. You will also be creating a child who is independent and will see learning as a self-directed process.

Montessori spoke volumes of creating optimal conditions to ensure child learning and a deeper look at the Montessori method shows that a one-on-one tutor will be able to utilise some ideas from the method when working with your child.

It is impossible for the child's teacher to use these ideas in the traditional school classroom but these ideas can possibly be implemented at home with a private tutor.

  1. Follow the child's initiative– The truth is we have many diverse learners in classrooms throughout South Africa. We have many learners with special needs that tend to fall through the cracks because the curriculum expects all learners to grasp knowledge at the same pace. An instructor who is employing premises of the Montessori method can adapt any lesson plan to meet the individuals learning goals and milestones specific to the child that he or she is working with. In this way, outside of the classroom, it is possible for your child to learn at his or her own pace.
  2. Building an independent child– In the classroom setting it is literally impossible to boost the confidence of each and every child especially when children are often competing for better grades. Using ideas from Maria's method will mean ensuring that the learning process is self-directed and the child embodies a sense of independence and self-confidence after every lesson. In this way, the lack of confidence that the child feels in the traditional setting will be remedied at home.
  3. Fostering a love for learning – The reason why it is important for private tutors to be brought into children's lives from a young age is so that tutors can help learners see learning as far less a burden. The school bell summons the children to learn but a private tutor can work with the child's curiosity and use that curiosity to teach without being restricted to a curriculum and the amount of content that needs to be covered within a set time frame.
  4. Children learn from each other – While the classroom has more of a chance to allow children to learn from their peers, it is not impossible in private tuition. Perhaps you can opt for an online tuition class whereby children learn together and from each other. You could also ask a tutor to work with all of your children if they are not too different in age. That way your younger child can learn from the older one and vice versa.

From as early as 2 years old, children learn to memorise things and fixate on things. They are also learning to pay attention . Between the ages of 2 to 7, children are expected to problem solve, read, and dictate instructions. While you want your baby to use his or her early years to be carefree and play, remember your child is already a learner. In this way, you can ask for assistance in the form of a private tutor for your child from any age but learning need not be structured, conventional, or overwhelming for the young child to improve the child's academic performance, and promote development.

If toddlers can start swimming lessons, guitar lessons, and baby gym at an early age they can certainly get supplementary instruction, in the form of a private tutor. However, all learning will occur through play and interaction at this tender age.

young child reading book with orange background
Your child's nature and behaviour are cues as to when a tutor may be beneficial. - Source: Unsplash

While you need to d0 a lot of contemplation and consideration when deciding if your younger child will benefit from an at-home tutor, your older child could certainly achieve better with a private tutor by his or her side.

The Benefits of Tutoring Services

  • You can find the right private tutor who is the best fit for your child. You cannot choose who your child's teacher will be but you can decide who will tutor your child. Your child will thrive best with someone whom he or she feels comfortable with. In this way, our child will feel comfortable enough to ask questions, and ask for help when a certain topic feels far too overwhelming.
  • Tutoring offers an individualised learning experience. Your child need not compete with other children when working with a home tutor and can work at his or her own pace.
  • The child will get personalised homework help and assistance with studying tips to improve his or her study skills.
  • Since the private tutor is invested in your child's academic progress, your child may be all the more motivated to do well.
  • Private tuition can give your child the confidence that he or she needs to do tackle any problem.
  • If you choose a tutor for a particular subject for primary and secondary school learners, the child can get to grips with the subject content and understand it better.
  • Sometimes students can learn concepts ahead of time with a private tutor. Tutoring services students can work at a faster pace than his or her class.
  • A tutor can create a stimulating environment for children who would otherwise lack motivation.
smiling schoolboy with right hand on chin
Private tuition can help boost your child's confidence. - Source: Unsplash

Consideration For Getting a Tutor

As a parent, you may be wondering why more parents are requiring tuition for their three-year-olds.  You need to decide on what age you should seek out a private tutor based on your child. There are various factors that you need to keep in mind. Every parent's situation is different and every child exhibits different behaviour. The nature of the child is one of the first things you need to take into consideration when deciding on whether to rope in a tutor or not.

There are many parents who have noticed the academic challenges of their child.  Perhaps your child has bad study habits, lacks focus, faces difficulty with retention, or has a communication barrier. Some children find reading to be a mammoth task and simply cannot wrap their tongues around words that are more than 2-syllables. If you notice that your child is struggling to a point where his or her self-confidence is threatened, it is all the more important to get a private tutor involved as early as possible. The sooner you bring in help to address a learning problem, the easier your child can rectify it. As a parent, during your interaction with your child, you will be able to ascertain when the best time to opt for tutoring services is.

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Laila

Laila is an enthusiastic English educator and a fun-filled freelance writer. She has accomplished her dream of getting her first book published and has managed to write over 1 000 000 words since beginning her freelance career. In her free time, she is a travel blogger who explores all South Africa has to offer.