Too young to tutor?

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The Good Schools Guide has condemned tutors who offer to teach children as young as two as ‘charlatans’. The Guide defined ‘unnecessary tutoring’ as ‘the tutoring of children of two, three and four years old’, stating that ‘this is nonsense, oppressive and driven by anxiety. People who purport to tutor this age group are charlatans.’

This comes after Ben Thomas, Headmaster of preparatory school Thomas’s Battersea, criticised private tutoring for ‘devouring’ the time of children as young as three, adding that pupils’ childhoods were being ‘swallowed up’ because they were spending so much time being coached.

At Maths Doctor we believe in improving educational outcomes for learners of all levels, but generally consider learners below the age of 7 to be too young to fully engage with our interactive style of tuition. Learning should be fun, and imposing private tuition on children as young as two can inhibit a child’s inquisitiveness, turning off their natural curiosity.

Instead of imposing a rigid learning structure on your child at such a young age, there are various methods parents can adopt to encourage an enjoyment of learning in a relaxed way. Here are three very simple tips to help your child get the most out of learning from a young age.

1. Play ‘thinking’ games with your child

As aforementioned, learning should be fun, so encourage your child to engage with games that offer more than one answer as a solution. By emphasising the value of strategic thinking, and encouraging analysis rather than just winning, your child will become familiar with challenging situations in a friendly and relaxed way.

2. Play counting games with your child

Look around at your surroundings and count the number of houses, red cars or bicycles etc. that you see. Encourage your child to search for patterns in letters, numbers or colours on restaurant menus. Show your child a handful of coins and explain the value of each before letting your child learn first-hand and put the coin in a machine themselves.

3. Place your child in situations where they can learn to socialise

Social skills are key to your child’s development and cannot easily be taught to children under the age of five via private tuition. Encourage your child to socialise with other children of a similar age and arrange frequent play dates so they can learn from their contemporaries.

We understand that some oversubscribed primary schools do impose a selective process and this can be a difficult pressure for both parents and children to bear. Here at Maths Doctor we believe we are best placed to help your child improve their learning outcomes around the age of 7. Please comment below to share your views on the issue.

Image source: crystalpalacegymclub

By Morwenna Evans Tuesday, February 18, 2014