A common question we hear from parents of primary school children is, ‘When should I get a tutor?’ Parents may be asking because they are unsure of the ideal age to start supporting their child’s education outside of the classroom, or because they are unsure of where their child is at compared to other students. Sometimes, parents want to prepare their child for the demands of school and scholarship exams but are unsure how early they should start.
Reasons parents arrange tutoring for their primary school child
The primary school students attending My Academy range in age and education goals, so their starting point and style of tuition will be particular to these. For example, we have:
- Pre-school and Kindy children coming to us for some short, fun sessions to get school-ready ahead of their first term.
- Primary students needing a brush-up of general English or Maths skills and who work best in a group setting, choosing a group program suited to their school grade, for a term or more.
- Primary (or high-school) students who need specialised help in a particular topic or skill, such as spelling, essay-writing or study skills. These students benefit from a term or more of one-to-one tutor attention to hone in on areas of need and to build confidence.
- GATE applicants preparing for the scholarship entry exam – this ranges from one-on-one tuition that may start years earlier to ensure the student has all the basic requirements of an advanced student, to extraordinarily capable students who just need the exam techniques and practice right before the exam.
- Families partnering with us to advise them and support their children through on-going tutoring all through their schooling years.
Now that we have entered a new year, what are you doing to plan ahead? Education support for your child is one area in which you may wish to set some goals and a strategy for 2021.
It is important to note that most concepts and skills take time to learn. For this reason, a tutor ideally would not be booked purely to cram for an exam; instead, the aim should be to develop concepts and skills months in advance, before choosing to focus on exam preparation. The tutor may provide a variety of problems or exercises for the student to explore and develop the application of a concept in a variety of contexts – important for those ‘tricky’ questions at exam time, but equally important for real learning to occur. Similarly, complex skills, such as expressing ideas through writing, take time and much practice to master, and require regular, helpful feedback in order to improve.
Our Director, Rachel Dreier, describes how most My Academy families choose to plan ahead:
“The primary school experience is the foundation for all future learning and any issues or gaps that arise here can create bigger issues down the line. The school years are where most of us develop the opinions of what we are good at and what we think we are bad at for life! Most of the families we work with understand the importance of giving the right educational support throughout school and making sure that students feel well prepared for any topics that arise. From feeling confident with times tables to entering the WACE exams feeling totally prepared. The parents we work with do take a lot of care in planning how to make the education journey as smooth-sailing as possible for their children.”
Where to start?
For parents and guardians who are unsure of priority areas of need for their child, we recommend beginning with a group program suitable for their age group. In a small group setting the tutor can quickly identify each child’s specific areas of need, and if these need further development than can be achieved in the scope of the group program, we recommend switching to or combining the group sessions with some one-on-one tuition.
It is also a great idea to talk to the child’s teachers ahead of tutoring, to find out their perspective on what concepts and skills need to be developed next, and in what timeframe. In addition, you can book a standardised assessment process with us.
With so many options available, we are flexible in considering your needs and we prioritise assessing your child’s learning goals and the kind of support that will most suit them, according to priority, personality, social/emotional needs and learning style.