In today’s competitive environment, parents are keen to ensure that they provide the best education for their children. So, when they get admission to a good school, they are elated. But the buck does not stop there. Even after gaining admission to a reputed school, parents have to be hawk eyed to ensure that their child is doing well in academics and that there is adequate balance between work and play. In this article, we present a few ideas on how to decide if your child needs a tutor.
Focus right from the beginning
Working couples do find it a bit tough when they have to sit with their child and monitor his/her performance – but this is something that they should be mentally prepared to do. Rather than having a lenient approach in the earlier years, it will be better if they ensure that their child gets the basics right in the primary school level. Many parents do not want to stress their children and they end up pampering the child so much that the real trouble starts when the child enters middle school.
One of the best methods of education, there are some parents who feel that this method pampers the children till the primary school level so much that children start facing problems when they reach class V. Anshu Jain, whose daughter has moved into Class V says that the pattern of teaching is so simple till Class IV that children find it difficult to cope up with the increased demands in middle school. Anshu’s daughter struggled hard to write at a normal speed and Anshu had to take the help of specific writing workshops to overcome this gap in the learning.
Reading and Writing
Due to advent of Television, Internet and Video Games, children are so distracted that they lose interest in reading books or writing. Ms Sudha Seshan, one of the middle school teachers, in a private school in Bangalore says, “The games, Face book, PSPs are all addictions, from which it is so difficult to wean the children. It is better to avoid such distractions. It will be worthwhile to encourage children to read books and ask them to write their thoughts based on their understanding.” Vimala Mahajan, a teacher in a primary school says, “We should encourage children to make mistakes and learn from them. This will boost their self confidence. Even if they have written something that is not good, begin your feedback by appreciating the good points and then gently nudge them towards the gaps and tell them how different their essay will look if they improve further on their writing skills”.
When do you decide that your child needs special care?
- Your child’s grades are consistently falling despite putting in the best effort.
- Your child is irritable and shows loss in concentration.
- Your requests are perceived by the child as nags.
- Your child is not able to complete the homework.
- Your child is not able to complete the class work.
- Your child’s teacher has made a specific remark about your child’s behaviour.
It is worthwhile to ask these questions
- Are you, as a parent, spending enough time with your child?
- If you are a working mother, are you able to devote time for your child’s studies?
- Are you looking at his class work on a daily basis?
- Does your child suffer from sort of health problem? Is he or she anaemic? Does the child have problems in vision?
- When was the last time have you met the class teacher?
- Are you in touch with other parents?
- How is your child’s handwriting?
- How is your child’s grasping power?
- Who are the colleagues your child is interacting with in school? What is their influence on your child?
- Do you engage in dinner time casual conversations with your child? [After all, a family that eats together stays together].
Performance of the student
The performance of a student in studies is a cumulative of several factors.
- The competence of the teacher in school.
- The simplicity or complexity of subject/ syllabus
- The interest in learning and scoring good grades
- The interest shown by parents and encouragement
- Health issues
- Dietary habits
- The scope for devoting time for outdoor activities after school hours.
- The level of after school support required.
Accept the problem – do not ignore it!
There is no need to panic if your child doesn’t fare well. Carefully analyse the situation. Talk to your child gently. Be firm as per the situation demands but be flexible too. As a parent, you ought to know the trick for maintaining a balance. If as a working mother, you can’t devote time for studies, and then start scouting for external support that may be able to help your child. Even when you do that, you have the responsibility to stay connected. I know fathers have a role to play too but considering today’s 24 x 7 work environment, it will be too much to expect them to devote 100% attention to the studies. But I am sure fathers can play a supporting role and motivate and encourage their wards.
Many parents do not feel the need to stay connected with other parents. Today, it is very important to keep in touch to know what is happening in the school. The responsibility does not end with dropping the child in the school in the morning and arranging for pick up in the afternoons.
At some point, the parents need to take a decision to support their child by arranging for tuitions. If you come to that, treat it as an investment and not an expense. Before you decide to enrol your child for tuitions, carefully evaluate the options
- From a logistics perspective (location of the classes)
- Of engaging a tutor who can visit your home
- The impact this additional coaching will have on your child’s play time
- What are the subjects that need special attention by way of extra coaching
Selecting the right tutor is of course an even more challenge.
Today the quality of teaching is vastly subjective. There are some teachers who can understand the pulse of students and some others who struggle to hold the class. Peer pressure is at an all time high in today’s world. Children can easily get swayed in such an environment.
Browsing through the note book of your son’s classmate who studies in the neighbouring division can give you an insight into what is being taught in your son’s class. Frankly, there is no point in complaining about lack of teaching talent, because in a world where the BPO industry beckons people with attractive salaries and bonuses, schools have a hard time getting dedicated teachers. The fact is that not all teachers can be as passionate and as dedicated in equal measure. At the end of the day, only those who love teaching can breathe life into their classes.
ThinkVidya.com offers you a variety of options while looking for Tutors, Home Tutors or Tuitions for your child. You can also post your Tutor requirement and you will get a number of responses from quality tutor within few hours.
Rather than blaming the school or the teachers, as parents, it is our primary duty to correct the situation and plug the gaps where needed. I am sure with single minded devotion, it is possible to turn around things but consistency is the key word here. Parents need to constantly monitor the performance and help their wards in whichever way possible. In extreme cases, it is not wrong to approach student counsellors who can show you the correct way.