Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Tuition for Joey?

Alright, the burning question I have been asking myself recently is, when should we start to send Joey for tuition? Is it a necessary part of formal education now in Singapore?

Most of my friends’ children do attend at least one or two tuition sessions. Some may even engage tuition for all the subjects for their kids. I used to think they are just purely “kiasu” parents, but I have come to realise that it’s not what we desire that determines the outcome. The education system determines for us that tuition seems to be part of what the kids need to have.

When should we start to look for a tutor? How to choose the right tutor? Private tuition or group tuition?

Here are some guidelines I found out from some fellow friends and parenting websites:

Choice of Tutors
1. Student Tutors – these are those who are still in school, Polytechnic or JC students. Experience is not their advantage but price is. Normally their charges are between $15-$25/hr.

2. NIE Trainees – these group of tutors are highly sought after, cos they have relatively more experience that the student tutors and their charges are not too high as compared to the next 2 levels. Their in-depth understanding of the current MOE’s format of examinations enables them to ask for charges between $20-$40/hr.

3. Full-time Tutors – they are the group that make their living out of this business. Most of them have many years of tuition experience, hence their charges are also higher, in the range of $20-$80/hr. Most of the full-time tutors specializes in certain subject.

4. Teachers & Ex-Teachers – without a shadow of doubt, this group is the most experienced and have the most relevant information on the current MOE standards and requirement for your kids. And becos of that, they demand the highest charges between $30-$150/hr. Most of the tutors are so reliable that they almost can guarantee an ‘A’ for your child.

What next?
Once we have decided on the type of tutor we need, next is to find them. Which brings us to, where to find the tutors?

1. Obviously the easiest way is to search online. There are so many tuition agencies available online, I think I need a tutor to guide me here. Engaging a tuition agency gives us the ‘no-hassle’ experience, you just need to submit an application form online and viola, within 24 hours someone will call you with matches of tutors of different shapes and sizes (venue and prices).

2. Another way is by friends’ recommendation. Usually this is the safest bet (if your friends are reliable). However, the problem is we have to be flexible enough to work around their schedules if they are good.

3. One viable way I read on a website, is to allow the online tuition agencies to find the matches for your child. But instead of allowing the agency to interview the tutors on your behalf, do the interview yourself. Because this will allow you as a parent to determine what your child need from the tutor. And here are the points to take note of (I’m not the expert, I just rip this off from the web, but I’m learning too)
a. qualifications of the tutors – check their past academic achievements or proof of teaching experiences
b. personal qualities – get to know the tutor a bit more than their teaching experiences, like what kind of CCA or hobbies are they into? Do they have any special talents or abilities? Do they have younger siblings/children in school?
c. teaching styles – learn a bit more on the tutor’s teaching style. Do they prefer to use the reward style or the more serious and discipline style? Access which style is more suitable for your child.
d. schedules and rates – negotiate if the price is over your budget.

Having said all, I am determined (if I can) not to engage a tutor for Joey as long as I can. Tuition is good but so early in her schooling stage, I feel if I can delay that extra stress factor, I will do so. Furthermore, there are no examinations in P1. Let her enjoy bah!

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