Many parents wonder if their child is too young for private tutoring services.
Is there an ideal age to begin tutoring? Is there an age when tutoring would do more harm than good?
As you’ll see in this article, the answer to this question isn’t easy. Children grow, mature, and learn at different rates, which means one child may be ready for tutoring at an age that another isn’t.
Can Five-Year-Olds (Or Four-Year-Olds) Be Tutored?
If you have a five or four-year-old and you’re considering a private tutor, first ask yourself why you want a tutor.
If you feel like your child isn't learning fast or well enough at school, it might be because your child's brain hasn't developed enough to master the concepts they're learning in preschool or kindergarten.
If you want your child to be more prepared for the concepts they'll learn in school, that could be a valid reason to begin tutoring. If your child tries tutoring at a young age and doesn't respond well to it, the tutor will likely tell you that your child is too young.
Sally Shaywitz, a pediatrics professor from Yale, is concerned about early childhood tutoring that relies on academic methods instead of play.
She says, "I'd prefer children to be in an environment that respects their developmental level more."
Many experts on early childhood learning advocate using play and hands-on materials in learning environments. For example, playing with a set of blocks helps teach math, spatial relationships, and more.
TutorMe has a flexible online format in which tutors can playfully introduce stories, concepts, and ideas or through online games or videos.
Our online platform also makes short tutoring sessions that keep your young child's attention possible. With a tutor who understands the needs of very young students, your child could enjoy and benefit from tutoring.
Can a Young Child Take an Online Tutoring Session?
Any age child should get a parent's help to set up the online tutoring session. The younger the child, the more assistance they’ll need with the computer or device.
However, this shouldn’t deter you from trying online tutoring—children get used to the online tools quickly, often learning as fast as an adult would.
It’s okay if you need to hang around while your child is tutoring. You get to see firsthand what your child is doing and how they interact with the tutor. You can then help with positioning the camera and setting the volume.
Benefits of Tutoring Services for You and Your Child
If your child is at the right developmental stage for learning new concepts and you find a tutor who connects well with them, tutoring services can be very beneficial.
Additionally, your family can benefit from online tutoring. Here are some examples:
- Your child may become motivated to learn. There's nothing like making learning fun to delight a child and make them want more!
- One-on-one tutoring allows the tutor to tailor the learning experience to your child's likes and dislikes. For example, if your child loves dogs, the tutor may use dog stories or illustrations to help teach the lesson.
- Tutoring provides a low-stress learning experience. Tutoring is all about working at your child's pace. Use online tutoring to give your child short bursts of learning that encourage and challenge them without putting too much pressure on them.
- Learning at home can be better for everyone's health. If there’s an illness going around your area, you can still engage your child in lessons through online learning. You don't have to worry about your young child picking up sick germs from a classroom.
- Tutoring at home usually means less distraction. Children can quickly become overwhelmed by their surroundings. A school classroom environment full of other busy youngsters can be a very distracting place! The one-on-one tutoring experience in a quiet room in your home may lead to better quality learning.
- Online tutoring is also better for the rest of the family. It's hard to juggle multiple schedules—getting some kids to sports practice, others to music practice, and another to the math tutor. With subject matter experts available 24/7 for on-demand academic support, TutorMe gives you the flexibility to choose a time that works best for you and your family.
How To Make Tutoring Even Better for Your Young Child
When the parent gets actively involved in the tutoring process, the child becomes even more engaged with the concepts and ideas presented.
Add more value to your tutoring by incorporating some of these things into your child's life:
- Play games that are similar to concepts taught in the lessons
- Talk about your child's tutor and the lesson during the day, and turn it into a fun discussion
- Take a field trip to a place where something they learned is put into action
- Drop playful little hints about an upcoming tutoring session to make your child feel like it's something to look forward to
Online Tutoring Can Foster a Love of Learning
Tutoring can be an excellent source of stimulation for your child's brain, cultivating curiosity and a desire to learn more.
Tutoring can also prepare your child for more complex concepts learned in their school environment and give them something to look forward to at home.
Sometimes, the wrong type of tutoring can be harmful, turning your child's brain off rather than igniting it with fun and excitement.
If you feel like this is happening, you can always stop the tutoring. Take a break. Let your child explore concepts on their own through play and experimentation. It may be that their brain simply needs more time to develop.
Above all, remember that tutoring is a catalyst for more effective (and fun!) education, sparking academic curiosity, and often, a life-long love of learning in your child.
Keep this objective in mind when you search for the perfect online tutor for your child, and you'll be on the right path to helping your child love learning.