Matric pass rates may be on the rise, with 81.3% of learners passing for the year of 2019, however there’s great room for improvement.

But what can be done to bolster the education system? What happens to the other 18.7% of learners who don’t make it? And how can parents step in and prevent their children being part of this statistic?

So how can academic support tutorials help with this?

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How Does Extra Tutoring and Supplemental Academics Help?

One of the biggest factors that causes poor academic performance is when kids start falling behind with their school work. Sometimes it’s because the syllabus has become too challenging for them and they lack the necessary skills to keep up. But at times it’s simply due to boredom with the subject-matter of their coursework, and homework assignments become neglected.

Every child has the right to schooling according to the law and although it is legal to homeschool your own children it is imperative that they do indeed receive a recognised form of education certification.

Apart from a matric certificate and university exemption there are other avenues that youngsters can pursue if tertiary education is not something that appeals to them. Often homeschooling allows more freedom to choose a different academic path, especially when there are learning disabilities at play and kids require individualised instruction.

Ultimately it is the Department of Education’s responsibility to ensure academic resources are provided to learners who are falling behind with their studies but unfortunately it’s only too easy for these students to slip through the cracks. Thus the need of private tutoring and study groups.

But why is tutoring the right form of academic support for battling learners?

  • two male students in classroom
    Many youngsters feel happier and more confident when they receive academic support in a smaller group setting - Unsplash

    Can improve academic achievement.

  • Provides a way for learners to catch up if they’ve fallen behind.
  • Boosts morale.
  • Helps to see the fun in school work again.
  • Reinforce new concepts learnt at school.
  • Helps with preparation for tests and exams.
  • Can turn boring subjects into exciting subjects.
  • Teaches new learning strategies and study skills.
  • Safe space to ask questions that you can’t ask in a big class.
  • Receive tailor-made lessons.
  • One-on-one attention.
  • Gives a sense of mentoring.
  • Receive sound academic advising.

When kids need help with certain aspects of their studies, a private tutor is a very powerful tool and children can hone their academic skills at a rate that would be difficult to achieve in a normal learning environment.

How to Find a Private Tutor Near Me

There are a few factors you should take into consideration before you begin looking for a tutor for your youngster:

  • What is their age and grade?
  • What are their particular struggles? (test preparation/writing skills/comprehension etc.)
  • Their schedule? When and how can they fit in extra academics?
  • Online tutoring vs. private tutoring in person.
  • One-on-one tutoring services or group tutoring lessons?
  • Your budget.
  • Are you looking for temporary academic resources or a long-term solution?

When you have answered these questions you will have significantly narrowed down your search. Think of what tutoring companies or tutoring centres you’ll find in your area as well as how much you plan to spend on supplemental academics.

Here’s a good example of the kind of information you should relay to prospective tutors:

“Hi there, we’re in search of home tutoring for our daughter who is having difficulties with her mathematics. Although it’s only primary school she puts immense pressure on herself when she cannot grasp new concepts and algebra has become a source of stress and anxiety for her. I think more than anything she just needs a confidence boost.

She is available on Wednesday evenings any time after 5:30 pm and we’d prefer to use home tutoring. Perhaps we could meet and discuss how long he will be needing tutoring and how long tutoring sessions usually go on for?"

There are also plenty of online tutoring sites such as Superprof that provide one-on-one tutoring with the flexibility of being able to fit lessons in on-the-go.

young boy sitting at desk using laptop
Online tutoring offers maximum flexibility because learning can take place anywhere! - Unsplash

You may also be able to find local tutoring programs that are free of charge either at your child’s school, local churches and charities.

Apart from free online tutoring there are loads of online platforms that provide academic support at no cost. However, this will take more effort from your side and you may need to play the role of mentor and help your child utilise these academic resources.

What Is the Cost of Private Tutoring?

The average private tutoring fee is usually about R180.00 per hour. But this is only an estimate and you may find a private tutor that charges far less. On the other hand a professional tutor with a lot of experience may very well charge more than double this rate.

These are some factors that can influence the cost of tutoring:

  • The age of your child. For instance, tutoring for primary school level will cost less than tutoring for high school learners.
  • The level of qualifications a tutor possesses. A student tutor will charge far less than a professor of qualified teacher for the same subject.
  • The amount of teaching experience a personal tutor has. More experienced tutors are entitled to charge more.
  • The subject that is being taught. A maths tutor or someone tutoring any of the sciences will usually be more costly than someone dealing with the humanities.
  • Are you living in a city or a rural area? Cities usually mean higher rates.
  • The amount of tutoring sessions you will be requiring per week. Usually the hourly rate drops the more hours you require.
  • Travel costs. If you hire a personal tutor that lives some distance from your home then they are entitled to charge you additional travel costs.

All in all it’s challenging to try and figure out an accurate budget for tutoring services. The best strategy is just to enquire and make your budget and needs known.

How Frequently Should Learners Receive Extra Tutoring?

There’s a big misconception that academic support means hours of supplemental academics when in fact it shouldn’t be the case at all. The last thing you want to do is to overwhelm a learner who is already stressed.

Not all learners have the same concentration levels and younger learners will automatically have a lower attention span than older learners. At primary school level a simple 30 minute tutorial perhaps twice a week is probably all they will have the mental capacity for.

As students enter high school they can increase their tutoring and mentoring to an hour at a time once or twice a week (it really depends on the individual’s needs).

By the time learners are in matric they should easily manage with around two to three hours of tutoring every week. This is a great way to hone study skills in preparation for finals.

woman reading textbook at desk
Through consistent tutoring learners can gain excellent study skills by the time they reach matric - Unsplash

For older learners with striving for excellent academic achievement it’s possible to spend up to two hours daily on tutoring sessions during the holidays. A good tip is to encourage learners to arrange for their tutors to meet them in the mornings while they’re still fresh and energised.

You should now have a bit of a clearer idea of what online and private tutoring entails.

What Type of Tutoring Is Best?

Whatever the subject or learning difficulty you’ll find a tutor that’s right for you at Superprof. With thousands of tutors from around the globe it’s impossible not to find somebody who can fulfil all your academic support needs.

Whether you are looking for online tutoring services, a private home tutor or group tutorial sessions, it really just depends on what works best for you or your youngster.

Here are some pros and cons to help you understand the various tutoring options:

Personal one-on-one tutoring is perfect for learners who really need individualised instruction and a strong sense of mentorship. The lessons will be specifically designed with the learners personal academic achievement goals and learning style in mind. This form of tutoring tends to be more costly but ultimately because the instruction is so focused on the learner’s specific needs they tend to deliver the quickest results. And you may end up paying less in the long run.

Online tutoring is very much the same as personal tutoring except that it takes place on a screen. The lessons are still tailored to the learner’s individual needs. There are also fewer expenses such as travel costs and online tutoring allows for greater flexibility for individuals with busy schedules.

school children holding hands in classroom activity
Some learners really flourish in the comradery that a small study group offers - Unsplash

Small-group tutoring sessions take place in a classroom or venue where a handful of students meet together and receive instruction from a tutor. This option is fine for learners who are comfortable speaking up in front of a group. It’s important to note that the lessons won’t be individualised to a learner’s specific needs but will address general issues. These sessions are less costly as the fee is shared by the group.

Most tutors will offer a free tutoring session to allow a student to decide whether being tutored is the right option for them.

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Kyla

Born from a family of creatives, Kyla has a passion for the arts and interior design.