The framework of tuition have shifted from aiding student’s learning ability to improving academic competitiveness over the years. So how do you know if children really do need home tutors?

We tend to overdo things (FOMO). We look at people and the things they do, and naturally emulate them even when not needed.

It’s not celebrities or Instagrammers that we’re referring to. We’re talking about hiring home tutors for our child.

Parents see their kids’ classmates/cousins/friends getting help from private tutors, and the fear of missing out (FOMO) kicks in. Anxious parents then start stuffing their child’s timetable with tuition, even if it costs a bomb.

It’s almost like an addiction.

Excessive tuition is detrimental to your child’s health

There’s this peculiar mindset: the more home tuition there is, the more effective it is.

That’s somewhat true. But when sleep is sacrificed, it could be counterproductive.

School-going children are recommended to have 9 to 11 hours of sleep per night.

Yet, Singapore kids don’t catch enough winks. And it’s not just school work that’s causing the lack of sleep.

How many primary school kids do you think are still awake at this hour?

They spend almost 8 hours a day in school, and have to contribute a few more hours to homework or extra lessons with home tutors, or both.  

We’ve all heard how sleep is important to our health, yet most of us tend to turn a blind eye to expert advice.

Undersleeping causes health issues like obesity, cardiovascular disease, weakened immune system, etc. And let’s not forget about the exacerbation of stress.  

No doubt tuition lessons are positive additions for academic achievement. But when it takes a toll on your child’s health and mental well-being, parents may want to cut back on those lessons.

How to determine if you’re excessively engaging home tutors

Other than an overly tight schedule that leads to a lack of sleep, here are a few more intrinsic signs to identify if home tuition is affecting your child.

Is your child highly dependent on home tutors to finish their homework?

Back in 2015, the news that reported parents pay home tutors to finish kids’ homework made us cringe. Private tutors should be encouraging your kid to learn instead.

Are they not interested to learn at all on their own?

You: “Why aren’t you practicing?”

Your child: “The home tutor will help me.”

If that’s your child’s reply, take note! If your child is reluctant to do any activity associated to learning, they could either be overly reliant on the tutor or they’re simply disinterested due to stress.

Do they demand for more lessons during exam periods?

Is your little kid expressing worries about the upcoming exams and voluntarily requesting for more remedial lessons from home tutors?

Kids can be unready emotionally to deal with the exams if they’ve been spoon-fed with “knowledge”. The lack of independence and confidence can also suggest that the lessons were transient in their effect, meaning they could still have confusions academically.

Ironically, the above signs could also mean they’d probably require a private tutor.

The best approach

The modern world of tight academic competition made room for ruthless preparation for exams.

But because attitude is the key towards improved learning, cramming your child’s schedule with excessive home tuition can be counterproductive.

Tutors, parents, and students should have a discussion to work out the best timetable and teaching strategy for the student’s struggling subject or topic.

Some kids in Singapore have been living with perfect scores for so long, they’ve forgotten how to cope with failure. They have to understand that blemished grades on their result card are not their nemesis.

Home tutors and parents should also be aware that the balance between academic, personal and social skills should be the ultimate outcome of the process. The goal is to teach students to love the process of learning no matter the subjects.

On a final note

If we’ve learned anything from the tuition culture in Singapore, it’s the heavy focus on academic results than unfolding the love and confidence towards learning.

As much as parents would like an equilibrium between work and play for their child, sometimes the culture has infiltrated too much into the deciding factor of engaging home tutors.

Play is always important.

With that, students are consumed with the idea of academic success and that they can’t do it without the help of a tutor. In other words, building resilience is crucial.

Still, communication is key. Talking to your child is always a great way to know whether your child requires a long-term home tutor.

Need some advice on finding the right tutor?

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