When I was in grade school having a tutor was tainted with negativity. If you had one that meant that you were “slow”. In high school, suddenly, having a tutor became hip. Almost everyone I knew had one especially for math. Nowadays, it just seems like it is a part of children’s regular after school routine. Most, if not all, children even as young as six years old have tutoring as part of their after school activities.
How does a parent decide, then, if their child needs a tutor? Below are some scenarios:
1. Difficulty in one or more subject areas. A parent who helps their child with schoolwork may be the one to notice any challenges or difficulties. More often than not, however, the child’s teacher will be one of the first to determine if the child needs help in one or more subject areas. This will be discussed during the Parent-Teacher Conference or the teacher may call the parents to school before the conference if it is an urgent matter. If the child is older or is able to articulate any frustration in a particular subject, then she or he may be the one to ask for help.
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2. Review for upcoming exams or assessments and to finish assignments. These days it seems that children have so much more homework and the lessons more challenging that finishing schoolwork takes up so much time. Then they have to review for exams too. Parents who do not have time to help their children after work or who end up fighting with their children when studying or doing homework usually enlist the help of a tutor. Stephanie Aguilan, a teacher at Southville International School, affirms that, with a tutor, parents can be assured that their child meets the expected schoolwork for the week and is able to review for upcoming exams or assessments.
3. Higher grades. Joan Ongtengco, a private tutor, says that for parents who seek out her assistance one of the most salient concerns is to help their children get higher grades. Usually this is for Math, Reading, and Chinese subjects. Most parents, then and now, almost always want their children to have high grades because, to them, this is still the only objective way to measure intellect.
Once parents decide to get their child a tutor the question that then comes up is where to get one. Referrals from friends will be the most reliable as they would have had first hand experience. Ongtengco says that this is how her tutees find her. Many schools now offer tutoring services after class. In fact, according to Aguilan, the school that she teaches in makes it a point that each teacher has a tutee.