Tuition, is it right for my child?
As my eldest daughter, Holly, starts here 3rd week at school in year 5 she will be starting extra tuition classes, out of school, funded by us. What for? Well, before I explain my thoughts and feelings on tuition and why I’ve changed my opinion I need to explain what the tuition is for.
In some parts of the country senior schools are split in to 2 category’s, Secondary school and Grammar school. I am aware that this doesn’t happen in all area’s of the UK but unfortunately for Holly and her class friends, we live in a county where it does. Now, to determine which type of school Holly will go to, she will need to sit a test known as the 11 plus or in other parts of Kent, the Kent test. Not all children need to sit this test, parents can decide whether to let their children take this test and are guided by schools as to whether, academically their children are capable of sitting and passing this test. Some parents make the choice on not wanting to put that pressure on their child, whether they’re academically up to it on not, and of course we all know our own children and what they are capable of. Other parent’s might feel with the right tuition they could improve their child’s ability’s and give them the opportunity to have a choice. If a child doesn’t sit or pass it, they can only apply for the secondary schools. If they pass, you have the option to choose. With this all explained it now time for me to continue on with my opinion on Tuition and why I changed my mind!
All through Holly’s schooling, her teachers have commented on how intelligent Holly is and how well she is doing academically, and although (without being big headed) we, as Holly’s parents know that, it’s comforting to hear it from professionals. We all think our own child’s is awesome, funny, clever right? If that’s the case, why would she need tuition?
I always thought tuition was meant to be an aid to help give students a boost in a subject they might be falling behind on or if they have missed out on schooling due to illness etc. If you had to tutor a child to pass the 11 plus test, that it would mean they might make the wrong school decision and struggle in a Grammar school instead of flourishing in a Secondary school. Better to be top of the class than struggling at the bottom, right?
A very dear friend of mine had a different opinion, which made me rethink my own. She said to me “If a child has the ability to learn than why not tutor to get the very best from them. They are never going to unlearn what they have learned but take that knowledge with them. It will build their confidence, they’ll believe in themselves” This got me thinking that maybe she could be right. After talking to other parents about the 11 plus and tuition, I began to realise that if I didn’t look into or even get Holly some tuition then she could be at a disadvantage, even if she is very capable of passing, because everyone else is getting their child tutored. It will push up the pass mark, possible pushing a usual top score down to middle score, it may end up not even be a pass mark.
What if Holly buckles under pressure? Maybe we shouldn’t make her sit it and hope she continues to do well in a secondary school? Well Holly has made the decision herself as she has her heart set on a Grammar school she wants to go too. She wants to sit the 11 plus, she wants to pass! So, we’re going to do what we can to help her, show her we have faith in her, we know she can do it!
I did think maybe we could by the books and papers and I’ll tutor her myself as this might work out cheaper in the long run, although the books are expensive. Would I be able to? I left school over 20 years ago! Also, would she sit down and do it for me? I was recommend, by a few Mums, a lady that ran an 11 plus tuition class. She helps tutor them to understand the paper, it’s lay out and even run through some mock papers to prepare for the test. She helps the children to understand verbal reasoning which is where most students lose marks. After some of us parents doing some mock tests ourselves, online, we’ve discovered some adults may not be able to understand it either. (O.K don’t judge me, school was a long time ago!)
Holly will not need to sit this test until September next year, although it is 12 months away it would make this year an important one for her, so with everything taken into consideration; Holly starts her first tuition tomorrow!!!!
Are we doing the right thing? I guess only time will tell.
Let me know your thoughts! Do you agree?