Benefits of Tutoring For Primary School Children
If you’re reading this, about the benefits of tutoring for primary school children, the chances are you’re probably asking yourself one of the following questions:
- Will my child benefit from tuition in Primary School?
- What type of tutoring should I try – online or in person?
- Are one-to-one tutoring sessions or group sessions better?
Here are a few thoughts that may help you to decide whether tutoring is right for your child
Will my child benefit from tuition in Primary School?
Whether it’s passing entrance exams, earning qualifications or just getting back on track, for decades parents have sought extra support from personal tutors to help their children reach their potential.
And you can understand why when Education Endowment Foundation research concludes that, for children in primary school, extra tuition can be equal to an additional 6 months of progress and in secondary school it’s worth an additional 4 months. That’s not as a result of inadequate teaching at school but simply a recognition that topping up learning with personal support provides a clear advantage.
For many children, that advantage translates not only to academic achievement but also confidence and improved mental health both in the short and long term. According to National Numeracy, there is a direct relationship between wage distribution and numeracy skills and having good maths skills is linked to being happier and healthier.
It’s no wonder that 70% of children who receive tutoring start in primary years.
And with education systems still reeling from the repercussions of Covid the need for additional learning support has never been higher. A 2021 study by Michela Carlana of Harvard and Eliana La Ferrarafound of Bocconi University investigated the effectiveness of tuition in light of learning loss resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. They found that tutoring “substantially increased students’ academic performance”. The benefits they found were even greater however, as they concluded that the tutoring also improved their “socio-emotional skills, aspirations, and psychological well-being”
A growing number of parents see tuition as a route to success with over 30% of students receiving tuition in the UK pre-Covid (over 40% in London). That number has grown significantly in the last 2 years, but interestingly almost a third of parents don’t admit to their friends that their children have tutoring.
But whilst parents in the UK are keeping their cards close to their chests, parents in other countries – especially Hong Kong, UAE, Singapore – seem desperate to give their children every possible advantage. According to EdSurge, Asian households spend about 15% of their income on supplemental education services, compared to a mere 2% spent by their Western counterparts.
Why – because they know that education gives them a route to a better future in what is an increasingly competitive but more accessible world. As the internet shrinks the workplace, allowing people to work remotely from anywhere, employers have changed their outlook. Sourcing the best talent at the lowest cost means our children will be competing against people from all over the world.
Online or in person tutoring?
Pre Covid the majority of tutoring was in person, with just 11% done online, however since lockdown that situation has changed – probably forever. Driven by the need for schools to work around Covid restrictions, online learning has been normalised. Students and parents have become used to interacting online and can really see the benefits.
Not only is online learning more convenient, allowing tutors and students to access sessions from virtually anywhere, it is often more relaxing with students being able to access sessions from the comfort of their own homes. More importantly, it’s also more efficient. Research shows that tutors spend a huge amount of time travelling, preparing content, marking etc. and parents pay for that additional time in their hourly rates. Why would a tutor spend time and effort travelling when they don’t have to and why would a parent choose to pay for it?
Whilst everything points towards online tutoring, it’s clear that some students struggle to concentrate for long periods of time. Spending 45 minutes to an hour online is food and drink for a wandering mind but having someone physically sitting next to them can help retain better focus. That’s clearly a plus for in person tutoring, but it could also be argued that shorter, more focused online sessions would have more benefit.
One-to-one or group tutoring sessions?
Education systems across the world have to balance cost with effectiveness. The evidence is clear that 1-to-1 is more effective, but it’s impractical and unaffordable to imagine every child with their own personal teacher at school. As a result, schools operate a one to many teaching approach, where they deliver lessons to a whole class at once, pitched roughly at the mid-level of the class.
Whilst totally understandable, the risk is that children below the mid-level may struggle to grasp what’s being taught and soon become disengaged. For children above that level, they aren’t challenged sufficiently to reach their potential and can quickly become bored. Group tutoring is no different. Whilst group tutoring online can be more cost effective, it is no more efficient than classroom teaching. In fact for many students, online group tuition is less effective because they can “hide” and it may be little different to watching a video.
One-to-one tutoring, on the other hand, allows children to receive the tutor’s undivided attention and the entire session can be personalised to that child’s specific areas of need and their ability.
The question is how do you make 1-to-1 tutoring affordable so that every student can access the support they need? At Plytime Learning that’s our mission – to provide more effective and affordable learning support.
In summary tutoring can be a great educational tool that allows your child to develop their knowledge and build their confidence in subjects where they need a bit of additional support and encouragement.
If you think your child would benefit from primary maths support we are currently offering a free taster week of Plytime Learning including 24/7 access to personalised content, performance review and rewards. Additional FOCUS Tutoring sessions can be added at just £8.50 per FOCUS15 ® session, to provide your child with any extra attention and support they may need to be their best.
Sign up for a FREE 7 day trial of Plytime Learning today and discover your child’s potential – you’ve got nothing to lose!