SCHOOL has started. And once again, parents are sizing up their kids’ classmates. Of course most of us won’t admit there is a comparison, competition and competitors. But really now dearies.

In my kid’s preschool, we were sent a communication that explicitly said that tutorial sessions are discouraged because they want to develop independent learners. Despite having my own tutorial center, I totally agree with them. Besides, if I were a kid, I would never want to proceed from a tiring class day to an hour of tutorial session. No way.

But unfortunately for kids, the decision rests on the parents. And the thing about parents is that many of us are fueled by fear. And in this case, we fear that our kids are not at par with their classmates. Of course, parents would prefer for their kid to excel than to be the slow learner. Who doesn’t want their child to receive medals and awards at the end of the school year?

But how do you know that your child actually needs a tutor?

Before we get to that, let me point out that the best tutor for a child is still the mama and papa. An hour a day of going through books and assignments builds a good bond between the parents. And if you ask the right questions during this tutorial session, you will get insights about how your child actually sees and understands a lot of other crucial things.

There will be stories on who was bullying whom and what your child thinks of it. You might learn how your child gauges social and financial status by the snacks or things of classmates. You will get a chance to help your child overcome challenges in school. If done right, you can instill academic and life lessons to your little ones. The last one is something that your kid will most likely not get from tutors.

So, how do you know if your child needs a tutor or not?

First is if your child is really below par when it comes to core knowledge and skills. If your child is in Grade 1 and is expected to read and write with ease, but your little one did not master the phonetic sounds of the alphabet yet, you need to seek a tutor or if your child is in the year level where they will be taking up fraction equations but your child is still confused with division or multiplication.

You can rely on the class advisers or subject teachers for an honest assessment of your child’s knowledge and skills. So during the next PTC, frankly ask your child’s teacher on where he stands with regard to knowledge and skills versus what is expected for his year level.

Second is if you cannot personally, properly and consistently tutor your child or no one within the household can. We could not do it all dearies. Whether it’s because you have to stay late in the office or have other kids to attend to, or if you are just incapable of teaching algebra, chemistry, or Makabayan -- if you cannot do the tutorial sessions properly and consistently, it would be wiser to seek a tutor who can.

Consistency is very crucial if the child needs to catch up with the classmates. Every hour of tutorial session counts. You are racing against time here and if you cannot ensure that consistency, then seek a tutor.

Third is if your child has learning disabilities. Kids with learning disabilities have to be taught differently from those who don’t. They process and retain information differently. This is why there are teachers who specialize in Special Education. If you do not have a background in Special Education, it will be wiser to seek the professional services of a SpEd teacher.

But just a caution dearies. There are times when tutorial sessions are more harmful than helpful to a child. Do head on to my blog to find out why.

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