With the right tutor, your child’s grades can soar. Find out how to get one who will motivate your kids to achieve and boost their confidence at home, in school, and beyond.
It’s two weeks to the start of the new school term but if you’re thinking of giving your child additional academic help after school, you need to do your homework now. Don’t worry, you’re not alone in being a ‘kiasu’ parent. Up to 70 per cent of parents in Singapore send their children for tuition classes. After all, tuition ensures personal attention, homework assistance, and enhanced learning.
Finding a tutor in Singapore is not a big deal. There are thousands of tuition centres across the nation. You can also hire them through online tutoring platforms. But how can you ensure that you have picked a right (and result-oriented) tuition teacher? These tutors know how to work on the areas where their students need improvement, keeping up with their learning pace and making study engaging. Hence, it is important to assess the skills, experience, dedication and personality of the tutor before hiring them. Here’s how…
1. Ask Yourself these Important Questions
First of all, consider the tutoring requirements of your children.
• Does your child need assistance in homework, help with the subject, or both?
• Do you want a tutor for one subject or all?
• Does your child feel more comfortable with men or women?
• Is your child ready for extra classes after school?
• What is your budget?
• Home tutor or tuition centre? Which is more convenient for you and your child?
Thinking about these will help clarify your child’s tutoring requirements so that you can start the search with the right focus.
2. See Where You Can Find the Right Tutors
From tuition centres and local newspapers to online tutoring platforms, there are plenty of search options to find a tutor. Organise your search. Try approaching your child’s school teachers if they are open to it. They are familiar with your child’s learning pace, grades, and adaptability, and will be able to suggest what your child needs in a tutor.
Often the closest and best sources are your friends and neighbours. Check if retired teachers in your vicinity are able to provide tuition. Many parents also use online tutoring platforms to find a tutor. These platforms show reviews, a tutor’s experience, and the rates of listed tutors. This is one way to view a wide number of tutor possibilities at one go. The next step is how sort and find the best one for your child.
3. Check Their Educational Background and Experience
Check the educational background and teaching experience of a tutor. A maths tutor should have a college degree in mathematics. That said, the tutor’s experience should be given preference over his or her paper qualifications. Choose a tutor who has worked with the students similar in age and ability to your child. An experienced tutor will be familiar with the learning pace, difficulty, the syllabus and the methods that work with the kids.
4. Ask Plenty of Questions Like…
• What tutoring methods do you use?
Good tutors go beyond just answering and questioning and solving problems. They prepare and plan lessons according to your child’s strengths and areas for improvement. Often, they will use “hands-on” materials to make study engaging.
• Private tuition or Tuition Centre?
Most tutors offer home-based classes. This ensures that your child learns in the comfort of home. It is also convenient as you and your child will not have to travel for classes. However, it could get too comfortable and distracting too. At tuition centres, your child will learn in classroom-like environment, with more peer engagement. For some children, this can be motivating.
• What’s your track record?
Ask the tutors about their success with past clients. Ask for references and if possible, contact some the parents of these success cases to find out if the tutor is really “result-oriented”.
• What are your available hours?
Schedules have to fit, don’t they? Consider your child’s school hours, CCA hours, and other enrichment classes if any. Does your child even have time for more? Plan accordingly to ensure that your child is not being shuffled from back-to-back classes. Every child needs ample downtime to relax and ‘space out’.
5. Consider your Budget
Experienced tutors don’t come cheap. But that doesn’t mean you should choose an inexperienced or a part-time tutor just because he or she is more affordable. This is especially so if your child needs serious attention. Choose value over pricing. Your child’s progress is key. If price is a big concern, try to negotiate with the tutor to bring the cost down, or re-work your budget.
6. Monitor your Child’s Progress
After hiring a tutor, you will probably want to know how he or she works with your kid. Here are the ways to find out if the tutor will live up to your expectations.
• Ask for a trial or demo class
• Attend the class with your child
• Ask your child for feedback
• And of course, watch for improvement in your child’s grades
With the help of these tips, you can, hopefully, engage the right tutor for your child, one who will help your child to progress well academically in the coming year. All the best!
This article is contributed by David Lim, the Director at ChampionTutor – Home Tuition Agency. He has been in the industry of last 15 years.