Should You Get A Tutor for Your Primary-Aged Child?

Published: 08/03/2021

Should You Get Tutoring To Help Your Primary Aged Children After Homeschooling? 

With so much formal schooling missed over the last year, many parents have been left wondering whether they should get extra tuition for their child, to help them catch up. 

While schools have been working hard to deliver the same high quality education remotely, trying to mitigate any lasting damage to our children’s education, we are all aware that delivering lessons in a school environment by a qualified teacher is a very different learning experience to a harassed parent delivering lessons around a kitchen table, while trying to juggle homelife, work and homeschooling.

But before you commit to hiring a tutor, one thing worth considering is whether your child really needs it? By which we mean, for younger children, simply letting them play and socialise with their peers may be more of a priority than formal learning right now. 

Of course, the decision is wholly up to you, but, if you’re wondering should you get tutoring to help your primary aged children after homeschooling ends, or not. Let’s take a look at what tutoring is and what options are available to you. 

Why tutoring?

Even before the pandemic, tutoring was a hugely popular way to provide additional support and learning to children. Around 1 in 4 parents, pre-pandemic, were employing a private tutor to top up their child’s education. 

The benefits of a private tutor are numerous:

  • Undivided attention - in a busy classroom, the squeakiest wheel gets the oil, and if your child isn’t the one who shouts out, they can get overlooked by the teacher. 
  • Build confidence - children who regularly get poor results or perform badly in school can play up as a result, with a lack of confidence in their learning ability manifesting as bad behaviour. Tutors can help children build up their academic strengths and celebrate achievements, big and small, boosting their confidence and improving behaviour.
  • Different learning style - we all learn differently and if your child doesn’t engage with the way their teacher is teaching, they can quickly fall behind. A private tutor will build the tuition programme around your child. 
  • Encourage enthusiasm - if your child has fallen out of love with a particular subject, they can quickly disengage. And in a busy school environment, if they fall behind, they can get left behind. A private tutor can inject new levels of enthusiasm into a subject and teach it in a way that makes even the most mundane subjects exciting.
  • Deliver lessons your child missed - with homeschooling, it may have been the case that you didn’t know how to deliver a lesson, or neither of you were enthused by a subject, so it slipped through the net. If you’re still working from home and trying to play catch up with tuition too, a private tutor can teach your child for you. 

Options for tutoring 

If you feel your child could benefit from a tutor, what options are available to you? We’re going to delve into the various options and with each one, we’ll give you an idea of cost too. 

The National Tutoring Programme - (free)

At the end of 2020, the government launched a National Tutoring Programme:

“A landmark government funded, sector-led initiative designed to support schools and address the impact of Covid-19 on pupils’ progress and learning.”

The scheme is aimed at helping limit damage caused by COVID disruption to the education of disadvantaged pupils in England. 

State-maintained schools throughout England will have access to the National Tutoring Programme’s tuition partners and academic mentors, as they see fit. 

Through the programme, approximately 15,000 tutors will be made available to around 250,000 children. 

Schools can access heavily subsidised tuition from an approved list of tuition partners, or, if the school is in a truly disadvantaged area, they can employ in-house academic mentors to deliver intensive, catch up support. 

Educational apps for kids

There is a world of educational apps available to help your child learn. These are by no means the extent of what’s available, merely a sample:

  • Easy A - this is an app to help kids learn maths. Simply take a picture of the question your child is struggling with and send it to an Oxbridge-educated tutor through the app. They will talk through the problem with your child, explaining the concepts and ensuring your child understands each step. Sessions last 30 minutes (but they can last longer if required). Tutors can tackle problems from key stage 1 through to GCSE. It’s a £10 per month subscription with rates of 50p per minute. 
  • Reading eggs - this paid app aims to make learning to read interesting, engaging, and fun for your child through singing and playing games. 
  • Onebillion - this free app is focused on teaching reading, writing and numeracy to your child in their preferred language. 
  • Collins Big Cat reading assessment tool - this free tool helps assess and analyse your child’s reading levels.
  • DuoLingo - a brilliant free way to introduce another language to your child. 

Online tutoring

Nicknamed ‘zutors’ by the BBC, the demand for online tutors delivering education virtually, has rocketed (understandably) during lockdown. 

  • Mentor Jr - this free virtual tutoring service pairs sixth formers or first year university undergraduates with primary children, giving them free educational support and mentoring. 
  • Planet BOFA - this is for those children in the 11+ world. Prices start at £7.99 per month, but parents rave that it’s got their child into their secondary school of choice. This online tutoring system covers everything your child needs, combining learning and testing, personalising tutoring to suit your child’s preferred learning style. BOFA works out how much prep your child needs and adapts the tutoring accordingly. 
  • MyTutor - there is a wealth of online tutoring agencies that will pair your child up with a virtual tutor, who will deliver tutoring of the subject suited for your child’s age. Prices tend to start from £20 per hour.

How to find the best tutor for your child

For more information about how to find the best tutor for your child, we suggest these routes:

  • Ask your child’s teacher for their recommendations. They know your child best and what their academic needs are. Also, teachers are likely to recommend a local tutor who knows the school’s syllabus, so they enrich your child’s education, not hamper it. 
  • Pool with other families in your child’s year group to split the cost of hiring a private tutor - keep the group small (3-4 max) for targeted tuition. 
  • Hire a tutor through an agency. A nationwide tutor provider such as Tutor Doctor or Tutorful will pair you with a local tutor. 
  • Join local parenting groups on Facebook and ask for local tutor recommendations. 
  • Check out your local council website for guidance on accessing the National Tutoring Programme.
  • If you are able to consider a nanny for your child, make sure that you make clear that you would like tutoring or educational experience when recruiting. We can help make this easy for you at myTamarin, with a large pool of exceptional nannies with educational backgrounds. 

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