Would you like your children to be absolutely fluent in English and/or another foreign language? Should they have someone with an outstanding academic record and teaching experience help them? Would you like your children to have their education tailored to their needs and tastes? Would your children benefit from expert help in enhancing their talents and overcoming any difficulties they have? Would it be good for your children to develop a sense of etiquette? Would you like your children to be exposed to the finest in international culture and the arts? If you have a time consuming and demanding job would you like your children to have other worthy role models? Would you children benefit from being around sporty and clean living young adults?
If the answer to most of these questions is yes then hiring a private tutor is a must.
What is a private tutor? Is someone who is hired to assist the child’s education and overall progress. For babies and toddlers families hire nannies or even mannies. However, the role of a nanny is not really educational. Very young children often have a nanny-tutor who will begin some lessons.
A private tutor usually supplements a child’s education. The girl or boy goes to school as normal and then comes home for the private tutor to assist the girl or boy with homework. If there is no homework the tutor will usually do other academic work.
The tutor may play games with the children. These can be chess, other boardgames or childlike games such as hide and seek. The tutor could introduce the children to sports such as swimming, basketball, football, golf or tennis. He might coach them in these sports. The tutor could play musical instruments and sing for the children. Likewise he or she may teach a musical instrument to the children.
At the very least the tutor will be speaking the target language (most of the time the language requested is English). The tutor can be another positive adult influence in the lives of these children. He or she will imbue them with cosmopolitanism whilst not undermining the child’s national identity.
Your child might never have had a conversation with a foreigner before meeting this tutor. He or she will see that people of other nationalities are different enough to be interesting but not so different as to be frightening.
A private tutor can prepare your child for boarding school or university in another country. The girl or boy will learn about the culture of that other nation – often the United Kingdom. The child will learn the sort of things that no textbook can teach about colloquialisms and unwritten rules. He or she will then feel much more confident about making the move. It could be that you do not wish your children to be educated abroad. Instead of the child studying in another country you bring the best of that country into your house.
A private tutor can greatly broaden the horizons of your child. He or she can also work academic miracles. Children on the verge of academic disaster can be saved. Exceptionally able pupils can achieve even more with the guidance and admonition of a gifted tutor. Most children are neither dunces nor geniuses – they are in the middle. Ordinary children can still do much better academically with the assistance of the right tutor. Tutors are an immense help not just in the academic sense. What they bring to a family is not quantifiable in terms of academic results. Children can become worldly wise and internationally engaged.
Why do we use the word ‘private’ here? That is to underline the point that this tutor works for one family only. In some major cities there are tutoring agencies that hire out tutors by the hour. For example if your daughter has trouble in Mathematics then a Maths tutor might some to your house twice a week to assist her. If your son finds Geography difficult then he might go to a tutorial centre once a week for some one-on-one tuition. It could be that your child is gifted in a subject and wants that extra edge that comes from one-on-one teaching. Therefore your daughter wishes to perfect her German so she has some individual lessons from a German. All this is tutoring. But these tutors will teach many different people. They will not be exclusive to one family. This sort of tutoring often takes places in a tutorial college and not in your home. A private tutor is at your disposal to work when you want, where you want and as you want. You might have an exclusivity clause in the contract prohibiting your tutor from doing work for anyone else.
Larissa Evans is an expert on etiquette. As a Russian married to a Briton and living in Paris she has a unique multinational perspective on these issues. Mrs Evans spoke of the benefits of having a tutor for her son.’’He is well – educated having been in a public school and Cambridge. He provides an excellent role model which is even more important for my son as I a divorced from his father. He has helped my son improve in Maths and English immensely. He is sporty and has inspired my child to be more of a sportsman. He has taught my son that computer games are not a good way to spend time.’’