1. Explore Learning Scam No. 1 (charging for crappy American software, when much better is free on internet - see many free links below that offer better software than Explore Learning).
2. Student Support Centre Scam No. 2 (massively overpriced videos that children cannot understand - they still ask for a tutor).
3. Kumon Scam No. 3 (massively overpriced worksheet printing service - includes no tuition, marking, teaching or support - parents have to do everything).
All three of the above rake off massive amounts of money, use aggressive sales tactics, and are not 'tuition providers' at all.
The fact is its only because we parents have been so gullible that all 3 of the above get away with. Don't get ripped off by Explore, Student Support, or Kumon.
Kumon worksheets actually reduced my child to tears through a combination of no teaching or explanation, endless repetition and intense boredom. Children need more.
I myself have been ripped off by two of the above, and warned about the other by many parents. Now I am much more careful.
If you want tuition (and the truth is all children need it today), then my advice is get free worksheets and software off the internet. But if you are serious about your child's education pay for it. We get what we pay for. A good tutor usually costs £30-50 per hour now. However, if you are lunch you can get some very good tuition centres that will teach properly with real teachers for just £15 per hour. That is pretty good value. Links:
I want my kids helped (when they need it) by people not computers. Having said that, I did hear that some places have 'tutors' with only two grade Cs at GCSE! My friends kids all seem to go to MagiKats and seem to like it. I need to find out more.
Chopchop I also disagree. Kumon works! Surely everyone realises we learn through repetition. How does a baby learn to talk, how do we learn to play an instrument. In order to be good at something we need to practise it over and over till we have mastered it. Andy Murray has hit more than a few balls to get to where he is today, Tiger Woods has put in a good few hours of practise. If you want to understand why the Kumon Method works read "The Talent Code: Greatness isn't born. It's Grown" Daniel Coyle and "Bounce: The Myth of Talent and the Power of Practise". If you want to master something you need to practise it a little every day. I have two DD's doing Kumon, both were middle of the road students before they started. Now eldest DD is in the top Maths set in the top school according to the Times List, this is not a coincidence. Is she overworked and pushed too hard - No! she does 15-30 mins maths a day, and still manages to squeeze in 4-5 hours on facebook/TV If your thinking about Kumon give your child a chance and decide for yourself, you wont regret it.
With the exception of languages and possibly to get inside info on the 11+. Why the hell would any educated parent need to pay a tutor.
Surely the only reason you can afford a tutor is that you have a decent job, to get that job you had a decent education. Surely with a good CGP revision text book and BBC bitesizesd you can tutor your child yourself to at lest GCSE.
We learn by having things explained to us as adults rather than performing tasks as automatons. Why should children be any different? Short term examination results by no real teaching is a false economy. Real teaching has to involve explanation and mentoring so building a child’s confidence. Flash marketing machines and computers are no substitute for true one to one teaching. I learned this to my cost. After experiencing several “tick box” tutors only one stood out as providing real tuition for my daughter. I would suggest to parents to try www.ntrancetutors.co.uk. They really made a positive long term difference to my daughter’s education.