Family & Parenting

Should You Tutor Your Own Kid or Hire A Tutor

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Last Updated: Jun 5, 2018

Parenting Guidelines:In this highly competitive environment, parents won’t mind to go extra miles to ensure their children get the best of education. Parents fight to enrol their children to the best private school, even if the cost is higher. Some other enrolls their children in cram school. However, the most popular option seems be tutoring.

Tutoring offers more flexibility than the other options. Parents and their kids can choose on the specific subject that the kids need the most help rather than in all of them. Cost-wise, it’s definitely cheaper since tutoring is usually conducted at home instead of a specific building.

Despite the growing trend of private school, cram school, and tutoring, some parents believe that these institutions and expert tutors aren’t what their kids need. What their kids need is parent’s support in the simplest form: their closeness and availability. They believe that the duty to educate their kids are on their own, quite literally. Therefore, rather than enrolling their children to another school or hiring other people to help their children study, they do it themselves.

Of course, one is not better than another. It depends more on whether the method match the parents and the kid or not. As per parenting guidelines, Parents who is used to teaching or very enthusiastic about their kid’s learning process will probably prefer doing the tutoring on their own, while the busier parents would rather entrust their children to qualified tutor.

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1. You know your children will benefit more when you are the one teaching
Every kid has different needs. Some kids may have trouble bonding with stranger, including their own tutor. If you persist on hiring a tutor, instead of helping your kids catching up with their peer or overcoming their weaknesses, you may have just pushed them to the wrong direction. Instead of getting your children to enjoy learning in more familiar environment, you may make them dread or fear the session.

Of course, it’s not good for your children to keep avoiding every single unfamiliar person in their life. However, that one is quite a different problem, and should be addressed gently, preferably with psychologist and not by thrusting a tutor on their face.

If the objective here is to help them study instead of helping them to get more comfortable around new people, then tutoring your kids on your own is one of the few cases when it is more beneficial for them to receive tutor from their own parents.

2. You have the time and expertise to teach the subject, or are willing to work for it.
Tutoring is a job, even if only part time. So don’t be fooled, even if the tutoring session only goes one or two hours, once or twice a week, but the behind the scene takes longer than that.

Before tutoring, you need to assemble the material to teach. If you are not a teacher and is new to tutoring, it may take a lot of time just to do this one task. After that, you’ll have to master the material yourself. This is probably easy if you are teaching elementary school kids, but if you are teaching junior high kids and above, the subject difficulty will be higher, and therefore it will take more time.

If you believe that you can provide that much time every week, and has the expertise of the subject or at least is willing to work for that expertise, then you’ll have no problem teaching the kids on your own.

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1. They put less burden on the child
Tutor has no personal history with your children. Most likely, they also won’t stay long in your children’s life. Therefore, your children won’t feel the need to impress their tutor. They will know that they are allowed to make mistake that it is okay to not get it at the first try.

It’s different when their own parents tutor them. Parents usually have high expectation, and children will always want to fulfill them. They will want to never be wrong and always get the answer right, because they want to make their parents proud. While in some cases this means the children are more motivated, if the children is weak under pressure, this can stressed them out instead of helping.

2. It’s less personal
Why I think it is important is because parents sometime can’t see their children as their own person, but instead as extension of themselves or their dream. Maybe they even already have a grand plan of the future for their children – like planning for them to enter Ivy League, even when they are still elementary school and have plenty of time to figure out where they want to end up at.

If parents who are like this see their children struggling in their basic subject, they may feel upset and frustrated. And, let’s be real, our children is indeed struggling. That’s why they need tutoring in the first place. Parents will feel mixed emotion, from disappointment to anger. As a result, they may feel the need to push their children harder, which, just like in the first point, stress the children.

3. They are likely to be more up-to-date to the latest development in the subject
While basic school subject usually don’t change much, unless you are working closely with it, or very diligently keeping yourself up-to-date with it, you may miss some new information.

Working parents will probably want to hire tutor for this reason. Teaching is a tough job, even if only for a subject for once or twice. You’ll need to arrange the material, master it before you teach it, and find a way to present it in the simplest way possible so your kid will understand. Keeping yourself informed and up-to-date will take more time and effort from you, and you’re not sure you can afford it.

The baseline is, the decision you make will depend not only on what type of parents you are, and also what your children prefer. Make sure you are on the same page as your children when decision is finally made. Do you prefer tutoring your own kids or would rather hire someone professional to do it?

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