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to think getting a private tutor for a four year old is insane?

(183 Posts)
mslucy Sat 13-Feb-10 20:53:32

I am rarely shocked but heard today that an old friend of mine is thinking of getting a private tutor for her son, who is one day older than DS.

She is a very successful lawyer and only sees her kids at the weekend.

She is already forking out £££s on private school fees, so why the feck she needs a tutor is beyond me.

Shocked and saddened. Want to kidnap her poor ds and take him home to our slightly haphazard household so he can hang out in the park with his mates, watch TV, play video games, read stories, chat to his parents, go to school cake sales and all the other things normal four year olds do.

Has anyone else heard of anything like this?

HennyRettaBadaBada Sat 13-Feb-10 20:56:21

Lordy, no. If she thinks he needs a tutor on top of private school, something (in fact, lots of things) is very wrong.

I wouldn't want my 4-y-o playing video games either, though.

rubyslippers Sat 13-Feb-10 20:56:28

what is the relevance of "she only sees her kids at weekends?"

it isn't shocking - wholly unnecessary IMO but not shocking ...

JustMoon Sat 13-Feb-10 20:56:31

What is the relevance of saying she only sees him at weekends? I think you are being a bit mean actually, it's none of your business.

JustMoon Sat 13-Feb-10 20:56:54

X post ruby.

amidaiwish Sat 13-Feb-10 20:57:51

yes plenty. i guess he is in reception. i guess he is not "keeping up" in class and they are worried.

in some ways i think well a bit of extra 1-1 help, i am sure it is probably only once a week, would be helpful, help him "catch up" and then set him up for a good school life.

esp if he is v young for his year, or didn't have much in the way of nursery.

otoh i think it is ridiculous, but i can kind of understand it and wouldn't think too badly of her. maybe if both parents work ft she feels she can't spend the time with him with his reading etc... that she would like to / needs to and is compensating?

fernie3 Sat 13-Feb-10 21:01:01

I actually thought about trying to do something like this for my 5 year old, she is struggling so badly in reception and I dont know how to help, the teachers suggest reading to her and trying to teach her the letters at home. My three year old has learned most of them through me doing this but she still doesnt know them!
I dont think its ridiculous if she has a reason, it is hard to see your child slip further and further behind the rest of their class, if she has the means to do this then its up to her.

scottishmummy Sat 13-Feb-10 21:02:15

i work ft and mainly see my children evenings and weekends.its not a crime (yet) despite the martyr mummies on mn who advocate selling up,moving out and knitting your own tampons

yep working- its called supporting your family

fulltimeworkingmum Sat 13-Feb-10 21:02:23

I only really see my DD (4) and DS (2) at the weekends(occasionally they are up before I leave and I sometimes get home before they go to bed) They are happy, loving, well rounded children. I am a far better mother to them by having a fulfilling, challenging (not to mention well paid) job. Whatever other people choose to do for their children is not really any of our business, as long as the children are not being exploited or coming to any harm.

CheerfulYank Sat 13-Feb-10 21:03:48

Who cares for him while she's working? Couldn't that person just work with him a bit more if he's having a problem in some area? (Can't imagine what that problem would be, as he's four, but...)

Agree with henny about video games though.

mslucy Sat 13-Feb-10 21:04:06

he's been at a very expensive private prep school since the age of three.
Tutors fine for A Levels/GCSEs (or even 11 plus).
He is also a bright child - no problems at all. It's about entering him into an ultra elitist world that at a very very young age.

To my mind these kind of over-the-top parental expectations are far more harmful than any video game.

fernie3 Sat 13-Feb-10 21:04:32

oh and I am a SAHM so that has nothing to do with it.

JustMoon Sat 13-Feb-10 21:07:26

So because she can afford to send him to a private school then he's a genius and needs no help? One of the boys in my sons class (yr1) has a tutor, he only goes to the local primary though so is that OK?

I think this post is more about your issues of her working lifestyle and what you think a parent 'should' be.

noviceoftheday Sat 13-Feb-10 21:07:26

What has her job or working hours got to do with it? I can't believe your cheek in implying that you are the better parent. angry

scottishmummy Sat 13-Feb-10 21:07:33

i love my ott parental expectations baby mandarin classes,toddler piltaes,esoteric discussions at nursery.hell cant push em too hard

all you others need to keep up

blueshoes Sat 13-Feb-10 21:07:44

I can understand it. The tutor would only be doing what a mother with no job or a less full-on job would do to help a child catch up. It does not have to be pressurised. Just some 1-1 attention like ami says.

I felt my dd was not getting on with reading at reception because the teaching method was not focused or systematic. I researched it and decided I wanted to drill her in Jolly Phonics. I could do that because I worked pt. I went through the series one letter a day for a term. Dd caught on within a few months and is now sailing. She is at private school too.

If I were your 'old friend' with no time during the week to coach my child, I might hire a tutor too.


frakkinaround Sat 13-Feb-10 21:09:33

Sometimes children need a little extra help that school is not equipped to give them. The amount she's paying should get her that support but maybe he learns a little differently and someone else may be better placed to help. Falling behind could do more damage in the long run than an hour a week with the right sort of tutor.

JaneS Sat 13-Feb-10 21:10:00

Is it possible the 'tutor' isn't so much someone to coach the child, as a reasonably interesting, intelligent person just to spend time with the child?

It might be nice for the child to have someone to talk to (as opp. to sitting in front of the TV), and a babysitter isn't really being paid to do that. Maybe a tutor is ok?

HennyRettaBadaBada Sat 13-Feb-10 21:10:01

Harmful in their different ways, I'd say, Mslucy.

I'd be concerned if he really needed a tutor at that age if he's at an expensive prep school. The school should be jolly good if it's charging a lot of money. If they're doing a decent job, they should also be talking to the parents about the (lack of) need for a tutor. Maybe they are talking to the parents about it for all you know.

I do know of one prep school where the teachers actually suggested the parents hire a private tutor for their 'struggling' four-year-old twins. The parents instead took them out of that school and put them into a state primary where they are happy and are doing very well.

(And I say that as a user of and great fan of prep schools!)

Either the parents are barmy or the school is not up to scratch.

But I really, really would not be quite so smug about the 'haphazard' TV-and-video-games lifestyle that you would prefer your friend's son to have. grin

mslucy Sat 13-Feb-10 21:10:45

I have always worked myself and am not anti working mothers - far from it.
Just think kids need to have fun and this is a bit sad.

JustMoon Sat 13-Feb-10 21:13:35

How do you know that he doesn't have fun?

scottishmummy Sat 13-Feb-10 21:13:52

your op reads full on judgey pants.with assumption your happy chaotic brood is preferable to parental home

which is what nasty thing to infer.

why would you a stranger offer a better environment than mum and dad

blueshoes Sat 13-Feb-10 21:15:35

A tutor is not for hours and hours a day or even 5 days a week. You are letting your imagination get the better of you.

I would imagine for a 4 year old maybe 30 -45 minutes a time - their attention span is limited. No longer than a typical afterschool activity. Lots of time for unstructured play after that.

frakkinaround Sat 13-Feb-10 21:17:03

A good tutor will be able to make learning fun! You don't know what he's struggling with or what form the tutoring is going to take. It's probably only an hour a week or so - plenty of time for fun, hanging out with his mates in the park, watch TV and read stories. In fact tutor will probably read stories with him as part of it...

It is entirely possible that this tutor will do what I did as an EY tutor, which is read stories (encourages literacy), do cutting and sticking (fine motor skills), do drawing (fine motor and pre-writing skills), play games (foundation numeracy) and TALK. It's what most people do, the tutor will just have an agenda behind it.

mslucy Sat 13-Feb-10 21:17:17

very surprised by the reactions I have received.

I read to my kids all the time, do maths games and take them to educational activities - like after school drama. I am training to be a teacher ffs and know quite a bit about child psychology/development.

But I also let them watch TV and play with the Wii.

Because I think that life is about balance.

My concern is that my friend has forgotten this.

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