When should you start looking for a private tutor?

Every month, we hear dozens of horror stories of parents who have been everywhere in search for a decent private tutor.

In this article, we hope to give you an idea of the best time to start your search for a tutor.

1. Will this be short term or long term tuition? Some parents use private tuition to prepare for specific examinations but other parents simply use it to boost grades and ensure that their child stays ahead of the class. If your child has some difficulties at school, it would be worth searching for a tutor. It’s always good to know if you are looking for short term tuition or long term tuition. If you are looking for short term tuition, then you should start as early as possible, give yourself an intensive period of 1-4 weeks. If you are looking for long term tuition, you can probably take your time and spend a couple of months trying out a range of tutors.

2. How far is your child from his/her academic goals? It’s worth talking to your child’s teachers to find out if he/she really needs private tuition. Most parents decide to pay private tuition for their child when they are close to taking an important exam such as 11 plus exams or GCSEs but some students don’t need this especially if they are already highly motivated and organised. It’s not worth disrupting their schedule to squeeze in a private tutor. If your child would like to get As and Bs but is predicted Cs and Ds, you probably want to start at least 2 years before the exam. If your child is predicted a B but you would like to get an A or A* then 9-12 months of tuition should usually be enough.

3. How busy is your child? You also have to be aware that you will need to schedule at least one hour of private tuition every week. If your child is signed up for rugby, cello lessons, swimming club, tennis tournaments, cadets and chess club… it may be difficult to squeeze in private tuition! You don’t want to overwhelm your child with too many activities. It may be worth missing out on one extra-curricula activity in order to squeeze in the private tuition sessions.

4. How mature is your child? Your child needs to be mature enough to take the tuition sessions seriously. This doesn’t mean that your child can’t have fun during the sessions, it just means that he or she should be able to pay attention and not feel as though the sessions are a chore. Some parents are eager to start private tuition from as early as three or four. There is nothing wrong with starting early, however, you have got to be conscious that children are different. Some children can handle an hour of concentrated learning. Others will simply find it frustrating and this can give them a negative perception of learning. If your child doesn’t have the concentration or motivation to receive private tutoring, it will not work anyway.

When you are ready to start your search, we recommend that you allow yourself two to three months to find the right tutor and that you take the time to build a positive relationship with the tutor and monitor your child’s progress throughout their time with the tutor.

As always, we are available to chat online if you need any assistance with your search and you can also contact us by emailing contactus@wisetutors.co.uk