Aug 13, 2015
Balance & Tutoring
Throughout my teaching career, I have heard parents ask the question whenever a child is struggling with an aspect of their learning. ‘Should I be considering a tutor?’
As I continue to share some reflections on balance, I am pleased with the engagement of the community in these areas. Whilst not everyone will agree, and there will be differences of opinion, the fact that people are having conversations about these matters, I think, is a helpful place for us to be.
Throughout my teaching career, I have heard parents ask the question whenever a child is struggling with an aspect of their learning. ‘Should I be considering a tutor?’ Often as parents we can over think situations as we simply want what is best for our children. The question begs to be asked though, is tutoring a child in their primary years of schooling always the best thing?
Firstly, let me be clear. There cannot be a blanket right or wrong on this matter. Like so many matters involving children, they must be considered on a case by case basis. However, what I will say is that it is rarely the right thing for a child, sometimes as young as 6 or 7 to be spending large amounts of their afternoons, evenings and even weekends cooped up over exercises, drills and work, aimed at enhancing their results. Sometimes this form of tutoring is
known as ‘hot housing’ and this rarely strikes the balance that children need.
Our children need to be children. They need time to laugh, to play, to run around with their friends or siblings. They need down time, time alone to read, to play, to reflect and to process. If we push our children too much, there can be negative results that we may not see for several years.
Learning is something that should be loved, not forced. Again, let me reinforce that there are times that some targeted, specific tutoring can be beneficial. Blanket tutoring; however, may not be what our children need and I encourage you to raise the prospect of any external tutoring with your child’s class teacher before implementing a tutoring program. Whilst it may assist with one area of your child’s life, it may create issues in another area. Again, we are about striking a balance here.
Parenting isn’t easy, which is why it is wonderful to be part of a community that can think through these issues together. Partnership is the key. Your child’s class teacher will be able to share further reflections on how your child is progressing. Of course, our Director of Teaching and Learning, and Learning Support Team can also be of benefit if you have concerns or queries in this area.