Some of the facts about tutoring

Tutoring, generally, helps students to improve their knowledge. There is no such tutor that can significantly improve student’s knowledge over just few lessons (even though some tutors claim that) especially in Mathematics as one of the most demanded subject. So, improving knowledge is a time consuming process and consistent work need to be taken over longer period of time.

Parents and students are often confused when choosing a tutoring. Several questions are often in their mind.

  • Who is good tutor?
  • What tutoring option to choose?
  • How much will cost me?
  • Will tutoring scheduled time clashes with other activities? And finally
  • What about parents’ time?

Somehow we are accepting that “good” tutor is a tutor with long tutoring experience and always has plenty students.

The most common tutorial options are; tutoring at home, tutoring at the centre (small groups) and on line tutorial. The most preferred tutorial option is tutoring at home but, it is very hard to bring “good” tutor at home at the suitable time. If we are lucky to do that then the charges are very high for such service and for one year (for 1.5 hours session per week) could be higher than an average monthly salary. Many families can’t afford that.

On the other hand, to attend small group classes, student can’t get full individual attention and we have to accept slower progress in knowledge. Another problem with this tutoring option comes from difference in learning abilities between students. Even if group formed of students with similar level of knowledge, still this problem exists. Usually this tutoring is a bit cheaper than tutoring at home but, is it really like that. If we add travelling expenses just for one lesson per week than our tutoring fee is not much lower than tutoring at home. In addition to travelling expenses we have to consider travelling time as well. Student is wasting at least 1 hour time to come to the centre and back to home for one 1.5 hours lesson, while parents are spending 2.5 hours.

Tutoring on line, in last few years, becomes more and more popular because it is a bit cheaper and can be done at home. There are many computer programs that students can practice questions in maths but we can’t consider this as a tutoring because there is not enough or at all explanation of theory and crucial concepts. The other way of tutoring on line is with web camera when student can see tutor on the other side and to have full interaction. This is very similar with having tutor at home and all positive and negative aspects of tutoring at home apply to this way of tutoring.

Whatever of those tutoring options we choose, there will be a few important elements missing or unsatisfactory enough. That is:

  • Very often students stop asking tutor to repeat again some concept they couldn’t understand as they don’t like to look “dumb” and session by session they are making small gaps in their knowledge.
  • Often students forgot some of concepts they understood in last session and they have to ask tutor to explain again in next session. Of course, they are paying tutor’s time and in this case they are paying for something they already paid.
  • Missing some sessions due to some unpredictable situations leads to inconsistency in studying.
  • Loosing (or not developing) independent study skill is the major concern with the above mentioned tutorial options. Students usually avoid working on harder concepts independently and waiting for tutor to explain them. On that way they are not losing only independent study skills but also confidence in their knowledge. This produces higher stress level on tests and exams (there, they know, they don’t have tutor to tell them what to do). For that reason, usually, students can’t score mark equivalent to their knowledge and as a consequence their motivation and interest in studying dropping down.

So, how to eliminate (or reduce) those negative aspects and to get full benefits of tutoring. After researching this area for longer period of time, we are confident to say that we have right formula for successful Maths home tutoring for students year 9,10,11 and 12. Our home tutoring is concept based and exam oriented and fully compatible with school curriculum but, with a strong focus on topics more important, for younger students (year 9 and 10), for their VCE mathematics and for older VCE students (year 11 and 12) on exam requirements