Correct me if I am wrong, but I was under the impression that tutoring services aimed at school-aged students was for those struggling in a particular subject area. It was meant to be corrective. That’s how I always thought of it.
In fact I was feeling pretty smug about the fact that none of my kids had required tutoring so far.
So you can imagine my surprise when my friend whose son got into a selective school told me that his new teacher had to tell the class to limit their tutoring sessions to once or twice a week, so they can “have a childhood”.
But these kids are already smart. Some of them are geniuses. Why would they need tutoring?
It turns out there are two main reasons:
- Because their parents are really competitive and want them to get ahead of the pack
- Because these kids really, really love learning and school is not enough for them.
Who are these smart, Stepford children? It’s like discovering a whole new world.
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I, like most parents, live in the “normal” world whereby my children often fake illnesses to get out of school and whinge and moan whenever they have to do homework.
Apparently it’s called “tutoring for extension” as opposed to “tutoring for support”.
I asked the question on one of the many Facebook parenting forums I am a member of and was introduced to a completely different world in which ambitious students and their equally ambitious parents are forking out thousands on tutors each year.
Above average kids tend to go to coaching primarily to help them get into a selective high school. There is a massive market out there for that. Others just need motivation or just brain stimulation.
It has become very common, especially for kids and parents with high expectations and ambitions to get into selective schools.
Kids at private schools do it too. I know one school where all the kids on the honour roll are turtored because they don’t want to get 79 per cent they want to get 89 per cent. Some tutors are doing assignments. That’s cheating.
Teachers generally dislike the excessive tutoring, as it doesn’t teach the kids to think or problem solve, but just to rote learn, and puts a lot of pressure on them.