This is the second part to “Does your child really need tuition?”. I urge you to read it before before this article.
In the previous article, Jun Wei has written an article about the 4 reasons why your child may not necessarily need tuition lessons. In this article, we will be touching again on the same topic but from a different perspective – will your child do well with tuition?
Every parent hopes their child will do well eventually in their lives and a good grade will often give them a better head start. Some children are fortunate to have good grades (with or without guidance from tuition) whilst others may not. I have decided to focus on children not doing well despite having tuition lessons in this article and discuss how to improve grades without tuition at a later time.
Here are the reasons why your child may not do well even with tuition:
(1) Divided attention – the more tuition, the better my child’s grades will be
I often have parents signing up their children for multiple subjects and sometimes, the same subject with another tuition centre.
Just last year (September 2020), I had an O level student whose parent has not only engaged a private tutor for him to guide him in Paper 1 specifically, but myself to guide him in Paper 2. I felt it was unnecessary to engage two tutors as our teaching methodologies would be different (given the other tutor was an undergraduate). Students need to time to adapt to the teachers/ tutors. We often compare and hence, judged a teacher/ tutor unnecessarily. Often, the child would find that learning hours have been extended and the intended help may backfire if the child is too tired.
Assess the child in terms of his learning hours and understand if the child genuinely needs help. Filling up his/ her hours may get divided attention. This creates unnecessary stress and undue pressure on him/ her.
(2) Even the most experienced teachers may not be suitable for your child
When I first started exploring teaching Mathematics in China, I get frowned upon very often. I get the “what are you doing here?” kind of look, presumably because I had a full head of black hair. And so, the experts in China are your typical bald, aged gentlemen who will be using their best abilities to discuss and make believe that the syllabus is the best for their children. Leaving the details to another time, sometimes you might be wondering if your tutor should look like one aged man or lady.
Truth be told, an experienced tutor would do the job well. Even better, an experienced tutor who is willing to do research and explore the difficulties with your child with patience so that the learning journey is a meaningful one.
Parents who wanted a quick fix for their child’s grades should consider experienced teachers and tutors. (You can infer from one of my articles written on the different approaches in solving one of the Mathematics question). However, one who does enough research and has in-depth teaching abilities will be able to provide a long-term solution to your child’s problems.
(3) Ebbinghaus Forgetting Curve – Understanding Memory Retention and Discipline
This has already been written in an earlier article: “Does your child always forget what he or she just studied?“.
I believe you would find this interesting enough to understand why your child keeps making careless mistakes or not able to remember what was taught in class.
Bearing in mind that there will be an hour and a half to two of contact time is required per subject weekly in the tuition centre, the tutors have an additional “untold” responsibility which entails some form of memory work for children who attend the lessons.
There were quite a few cases where students often relate to me that they are not able to remember the steps in answering questions for some subjects and in others, unable to reproduce the explanations.
The importance of self-discipline can not be neglected.
Often, our children would not be able to retain information taught in schools and even in the tuition centre if nothing was done to reinforce. This can be done with sufficient discipline and better time management in order to reduce the self-induced stress and inefficiencies in the learning curve while striving to do their best in their studies. This is often explained why some students can do well despite being heavily involved in their CCAs and other enrichment activities beyond the classrooms. We are talking about efficiencies and effectiveness in learning.
There are many factors if your child is still not doing well, even if you have hired good tutors.
If you need honest feedback on your child’s learning abilities on the subjects we specialise in math and science tuition from primary school to Junior College (JC), feel free to contact us for a diagnostic consult.