If you are considering getting a tutor to further your child’s academic prowess, there are some things that you should know that can make the overall experience more rewarding.
It is easy to assume that all tutors in the industry are well-informed about the 11+, but many are not. There are resources online where you can take a look at the 11+ test and you can also search for a listing of 11+ Regions held by the local school authority.
If you have found a tutor that you feel good about them providing academic assistance for your child, this is important, if they are not fully aware of the 11+ test and all its content you should point them in this direction for clarification.
Never be afraid to ask about their prior history and more specifically their pass rate over their last few years. The references from parents who have employed the tutor in question is another important factor. For best results, the references should all be local and people who you can call on easily, perhaps even a tutor who has worked with children in the same school as your child. You will want to thoroughly investigate any references and inquire about the services rendered.
You will want to see as much physical proof of their academic experience as you can, this can include academic certificates and teaching recognitions as well. Not all tutors are trained teachers, but they should all have a strong background of academic prowess if they can be counted on for quality instruction.
It probably goes without saying, but anyone with a criminal background should be kindly dismissed. As a matter of fact you will want to see a certificate from the CRB within the past five years. All teachers that are currently in service will have one of these and all those handling kids or working in the childcare industry will also have one.
If your tutor has no certificate from the CRB, they may have one from their last role as a tutor or in some other regard. You will need to require this document if your child will have 1-1 classes with the tutor, with no exceptions. Finally, even if your prospective tutor has a certificate, if you get an uncomfortable feeling about them, you should select the next option on the list, providing they meet all your requirements.
Timing the classes will also be important to the overall success of the experience. Having late-hour classes will be impractical. After 8, no 10-year-old will have the mental stamina to engage any useful data despite their eagerness to learn. Furthermore, if the child has been exhausted through vigorous physical activity and training, they may also be too tired to apply themselves fully to the lesson. You also can’t arrange for classes during an hour that will be convenient for the rest of the family.
The majority of teachers have their classes in their own homes with a single child and in a town or village hall if tutoring a variety of children. You may find some tutors that will be willing to travel to your home, but this must be worked out individually. Such an arrangement may be the most convenient solution if several children will be receiving instruction, there may be some increased costs of service for such an arrangement.
If the tuition will be taking place in a private home, be sure to ask questions about the environment where the classes will take place. Is there a quiet room where studies can be completed undisturbed? Is the professor’s place loud and busy locations where other things will be happening at the same time as the tuition? Tuition in loud an confusing areas will be less successful than in a quiet and peaceful atmosphere.
There will be plenty of homework that needs to be done and the amounts will increase as the day of the 11+ tests gets closer. Then there will probably be homework during the summer as well, as many of the exams will be taking place in the fall. Be sure you fully understand what will be expected before you begin your search for a tutor. With a tutor that is providing one-on-one support you can offer to oversee your child working on the test papers at home. This way you will ensure that your tutor spends the class actually teaching as opposed to watching them complete exercises, something that could be done at another time.
The charges for tutelage can vary a great deal, even between neighbors. The costliest option is not always the best deal but possibly a very well-qualified option. You can get an idea of what the going rates are by searching through the Tutors Directory in your local area. Tutors currently offering their services will place their rates and qualifications here.
Sometimes payments will be made on a weekly basis, other times they may ask for a large sum of cash in advance, these may not always be the most affordable option at times. If your tutor asks for the entire costs of tutelage within 1 or two payments, think about this option carefully. If for some reason you choose to not continue with this tutor, or your child begins to show little chance of passing the 11+, you will stand to lose plenty of cash resources.
What about payments on a weekly basis, this arrangement is less of a serious commitment. What’s the plan for days when you cancel, for a child’s sickness or other needs? What arrangements can be made if the tutor must cancel? Can classes be recouped during alternative times or schedules? Different tutors will have different policies that convene them but if you shop around you will find one with specifics that match your needs. All these things should be discussed in advance to avoid any confusion later.
Many tutors will provide their own assessments for the child, but these will often have a cost for the amount of time and consideration they can produce. This will usually happen in the first session and no actual content will be covered. Even if your tutor doesn’t actually provide an assessment to your child, most experienced tutors will be able to provide you with a rough idea of your child’s chances of passing the test. At some point, they should have a good idea of whether or not your child has the capacity to qualify.
If you don’t think that your presence will adversely affect your child’s performance, you may consider being in the room during the assessment. You may even want to attend a couple of the tutoring sessions yourself. Some tutors will be opposed to this, but they should also provide a sensible reason why your presence will be an inconvenience. The reason this is a good idea is that you will get an idea of exactly how your tutor interacts with your child and how your child relates to the tutor. If the tutors can communicate well and bring out the best performance in your child, this is a good thing. You should also see if the tutor engenders confidence and positive attitudes.
Getting regular updates on your child’s performance, progress, and chances of a successful completion are also important. This will provide you with the best perspective on your child’s chances of success, so that you can plan your next step carefully. A good tutor will be completely upfront in their information and provide proper examples to support their observations. You should also ask if there is a specific spot in the preparation that they will know whether your child will pass or not and what that would be.
If it becomes evident during the process that your child lacks the capacity to complete the 11+, your tutor should make this clear to you and also suggest that the tutelage continues no further. It may seem that the tutor is just looking to keep their pass rate nice and shiny, but this is not a motivating factor for a good tutor. It would be far worse for their professionalism to give the parents and child false hopes that they will qualify while continuing to collect payments on ineffective classes. A good tutor will work with the parents to come up with a plan to quit tutoring and work with their child so that they feel no discouragement or dismay about this.