What age should a child start tuition and is it even necessary?



Seeing children going for tuitions after school is nothing new. Some people even hire private tutors who come to their house to teach their children. This too, isn’t new.

There used to be a time when tuition classes were taken by only those who had difficulty in focusing at school and required additional help.

Or were needed by those who were preparing for some highly competitive exam and had no guidance to fall back on.

But at this time, it would be shocking to see a child finish their entire schooling without going for tuition classes.

If you are a parent, then despite all the tuition trends, do you think you should follow them like everyone else; or maybe it is just an additional investment of time, money and effort that may or may not benefit your child?

Another point worth wondering is that should we leave our children alone during primary school or give them a headstart in school through tuitions? The answer isn’t very easy.

How old is your kid?

First and foremost, what matters is your child’s age. Many parents fix tuitions even for their little three-year-old. Well, even if life is a race and you want your child to be the best, you have got to consider that their early age requires you to focus more on how you shape your kid as a person and not their future report card. Pushing your child excessively towards academics, can create imbalance in their overall growth, confidence and development.

Although it is great to teach kids early on to sharpen their mind and skills, you should also figure out if you as parents, or the other people (if you have a bigger family), aren’t enough for the basic learning required by a three- or four-year-old. Hiring a tutor might make academics something too serious for them, and your child may burnout too soon. On the other hand, studying with an elder sibling might work as a bonding, growth and enjoyable moment for both the children.

Will they become overly dependent?

Similarly, is a packed schedule of tuition for a teenager effective after school? It is important to identify if your child really requires that extra help, as maybe, a day full of school and tuition may make them too dependent on others for their studies, and they might not be able to handle their studies by themselves, especially in higher classes.

However, if your child is interested in joining tuitions themselves and you think it is proving beneficial for them, then there shouldn’t be any harm. When in doubt, you can always discuss with your child and they can also take trial classes for a few days to figure out what works best for them.

Is online tutoring worth it?

Online tutoring companies in South Africa are rapidly expanding, and so is their popularity, especially with the remote learning culture due to the pandemic. But if your child is looking for tuition, should you pick the old-school in-person tuition classes or recorded-lectures, app-based educational platforms?

While there are several factors which need consideration before making a decision, one such is your financial situation. Many online study programmes come with heavy fees which you may not find worth spending for. The tuition culture can be a strain on parents, both financially and psychologically. If your child is in a school where they get the right mentoring and lessons, then tuition isn’t a necessity without which your child cannot learn and grow. Sure, it may seem like a necessity, but there still are several kids who ace their academics with just school, self study and seeking help and guidance from a sibling, or a friend, or a parent.

Still, tuition can be great for your child if it focuses on your child’s individual needs and growth, the tutor plans creative lessons and the length of the classes is not overwhelming. Make sure your child is not always buried in books and gets ample opportunity for exploration, hobbies, free time, play, rest and relaxation.

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